Scott Bass (Sandman) is a countertenor, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Chicago, Illinois. Receiving a Bachelor’s in Music in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts in 2019, Scott has built a vast portfolio of vocal, instrumental, composition and production work. Having taken First Place for the Illinois NATS Competition, performing works along side the Chicago Sinfonietta, Illinois Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and with multiple albums of original music recorded and released under the pseudonym “base.”, Scott prides himself in the diversity of his musical language, taking influence from an extensive range of musical history, from Baroque to Punk to Hip-hop and beyond. This portrayal of the Sandman will be Scott’s second performance with EChO, having been previously featured in The Composer at 70 concert in 2021. He is excited to share with you what will be an amazing experience of fantasy and whimsy in Hansel and Gretel.
Marnie Baylouny (Gretel) is a soprano living in the Chicago area originally from New Jersey. She got her start in music during high school when she participated in the school’s honors choirs, as well as New Jersey’s County, regional, and all-state choirs. Marnie then went on to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Boston Conservatory where she studied under the tutelage of Patty Thom. During her time at the Conservatory, she understudied the role of Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, performed in the chorus for Rake’s Progress, and played Euridice from Orfeo ed Euridice in a scenes program. Marnie has also participated in many summer programs, including American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, International Performing Arts Institute, and Florence Voice Seminar. She made her operatic debut in 2017 as Papagena in Berlin Opera Academy’s production of Die Zauberflote, and returned the next year to sing Erste Dame in their same production. That same year, she performed in Astoria Music Festival’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro as Susanna. In 2019, Marnie attended Miami Music Festival where she reprised the role of Erste Dame. Marnie now resides in Chicago where she studies with Karen Brunssen. She is also the production manager and a co-founder of the Valkyrie Ensemble, a Chicago-based, feminist opera company. This past fall, Marnie had the pleasure of performing in EChO’s concert The Composer At 70, featuring music by Francis Lynch. She is thrilled to be returning as part of their production of Hansel and Gretel.
Molly Clementz (Hansel) possesses “a wonderfully rich tone, gleaming top notes, and a vibrant lower register” (Opera Today). Ms. Clementz made her professional debut with Pacific Opera Project in the acclaimedLa Gazzetta as Doralice, in which she was described as a “mezzo to be reckoned with” (Schmopra). Ms. Clementz was Opera Santa Barbara’s featured Mosher Studio Artist, performing many roles including Mercédès in Carmen, Lapák in Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi. During her time at OSB, she also covered the lead roles of Carmen, Fox Goldenstripe (The Cunning Little Vixen), and Lisette (La Rondine). As a finalist in the AIMS’ Meistersinger Competition (Graz, Austria), Ms. Clementz sang performances in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Hungary.
A passionate performer of contemporary music, she began collaborating with composer Paul Scherer in 2020, starring as Viola Mae in his recorded Jazz Opera, La Trout Lily. She competed with two roles in the Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition at the National Opera Association Convention in Santa Barbara (2016), performing as Mother Rigby in The Scarecrow (Joseph Turrin), and Vanessa in Letters to Quebec from Providence in the Rain (Jeremy Gill). Ms. Clementz premiered the lead role of Viola in the West Coast Premiere of Joel Feigin’s award-winning Twelfth Night. In 2018, she was showcased in the College of Creative Studies Musical TV Project, in which the new productionShake on It was written and produced for her and recorded for television. For more information, please visit mollyclementz.com.
Kjersti Cooper (Ensemble) is an emerging soprano who enjoys singing within the realms of opera and musical theatre. She originated the role of Agnes in the world premiere of Frideswide and the Devil as part of OperaFest XII at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Past roles include Greta Fiorentino in Street Scene for which she was recognized as having “colorfully played” (Theater Jones), Aunt in Madama Butterfly, Papagena in The Magic Flute, and Shepherdess in King Arthur. Partial roles include Fée in Cendrillon and Xanthe in Lysistrata. She received her Master of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas.
Jade Dashá (Dew Fairy) is a soprano and recent graduate from DePaul University where she earned her Master of Music degree. After Jade’s EChO debut as Dew Fairy, she will be covering Grace Alumond and singing in the chorus in Chicago Opera Theater’s world-premiere production of Quamino’s Map. In the Spring, Jade will be featured in a Wagner concert with the Wagner Society of Chicago, then spend the summer in San Diego covering Dalinda from Ariodante and singing as a Studio Artist with Opera NEO. Her most recent acknowledgements include competing in the Illinois district of the MONC auditions. After Jade graduated, she was seen as Giunia in CSO’s Lucio Silla. During her graduate studies, she was set to perform Due Donne in DePaul Opera Theatre’s 2020 production of Le Nozze di Figaro before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. During her time at Florida Southern College, Jade sang Kate in The Pirates of Penzance, Casilda in The Gondoliers and Rosalinda in the second act of Die Fledermaus. Jade also sang the role of Nella in the Imperial Symphony Orchestra of Lakeland’s Gianni Schicchi, as well as Spirit 1 in their production of The Magic Flute. Currently, Jade is working, singing and living the dream in Chicago.
Originally drawn to singing through traditional Scottish and American songs, soprano
AddieRose Forstman (Ensemble) brings the simplicity and authenticity of folk music to the operatic and art song repertoire. AddieRose began 2022 by making her Carnegie Hall debut in a gala concert presented by Vincerò Academy. Later this season she will appear in the chorus of Hansel and Gretel (Evanston Chamber Opera), present a concert with pianist and composer Maria Thompson Corley, sing Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande, dell’Arte Opera), and cover Zerlina (Don Giovanni, Vincerò Academy). She is also participating in Vincerò Academy’s second season studying Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Adina (L’Elisir d’amore), and Musetta (La bohème) under the guidance of leading music professionals such as Ailyn Pérez, Pretty Yende, and Rachel Willis-Sørensen, as well as the program’s founder Maestro Abdiel Vasquez, and others. A profound desire to create purposeful and productive avenues of poetic communication with audiences has led AddieRose and her frequent collaborator, pianist Edward Forstman, to curate and produce numerous programs of art song over the past several years, through organizations such as dell’Arte Opera (NYC), Downtown Music at Grace (Westchester, NY), A Little Lunch Music (Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, AL) and Music in the Home (Lancaster, PA). Additionally AddieRose has performed on the operatic and concert stage with dell’Arte Opera, The Broad Street Orchestra, The Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, and The Albany Symphony.
With a voice praised as “rousing, full-throated,” and “ringing,” (San Diego Story), Southern California baritone Jeffrey Goldberg (Father) has performed the roles of Gugliemo from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Dr. Falke and Eisenstein in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Claudio in Berlioz’s Beatrice et Benedict, Bartolo and Antonio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Howard in the Chicago premiere of Dog Days, by David T. Little, as well as several partial roles. He has also performed with Pacific Symphony in their Opera for Kids! productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. On the concert stage he has performed as soloist in several beloved masterworks, including Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Voice and Opera, having previously studied at Chapman University where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance.
Mezzo-soprano Kiley Korey (Ensemble) graduated college at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and is grateful for the chance to perform with colleagues on stage once more, especially in such a fun and lighthearted production as Hansel and Gretel. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor and specialization in Vocal Performance and Opera from Luther College. Kiley takes a special interest in cross-disciplinary connections to the arts informed by her multiple academic pursuits, and regards Deborah Gover and her current teacher, W. Stephen Smith, as influential teachers and mentors in her technical development and her “process over product” way of approaching singing. An art song enthusiast, Kiley has performed numerous recitals of her own both at Luther and, most recently, in her hometown of Princeton, Illinois. Notable operatic credits include Meg Page in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ensemble in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and extensive opera scene work. Kiley owes a great debt of gratitude to her past and present teachers and mentors from all disciplines and family who encouraged her passion, persistence, and individuality in all facets of life.
Soprano Allison Mann (Ensemble) hails from small-town, Red Oak, IA. She has been seen in many performances as a member of several opera companies around the world such as Loveland Opera Theatre, Opera Fort Collins Outreach Program, and Opera Classica Europa in Germany. She was last seen as Dodo/Valencienne Understudy in Loveland Opera Theatre’s production of The Merry Widow. Other professional credits include: Annina/La Traviata (Opera Classica Europa), Queen of the Night cover/Die Zauberflöte, and Isabelle understudy/Pirates of Penzance (Loveland Opera Theatre). Allison completed her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Northern Colorado. During her time at UNC, she performed and covered many roles. Most notably, she performed Barbarina/Le Nozze di Figaro and covered Cunegonde/Candide. Allison was named a finalist in the 2017 Colorado/Wyoming NATS competition. In addition to her Master of Music, she holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Puerto Rican tenor Karlos Piñero-Mercado (Witch) is a Chicago-based performer. Karlos is a new music enthusiast and is passionate about reviving the usually overlooked Latinx art song, especially the music of Puerto Rico. He is extremely excited to be back on stage with Evanston Chamber Opera as the witchiest of Witches. He was last seen on the Chicago stage singing in The Composer at 70, a concert of works by Francis Lynch and premiering Freedom Ride by Dan Shore with Chicago Opera Theater. Recent performances include: Rodolfo in a concert performance of La Bohème, Howell and Whiteside in Lynch’s For those in Peril, La théière in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges, Cornelius in Lynch’s Joseph’s Gift, The Lover in Menotti’s Amelia Goes to the Ball, Eisenstein in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Dr. Cajus in Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Brother in Weill’s The 7 Deadly Sins. He received his Master of Music degree at Roosevelt University, studying under countertenor Mark Crayton. In his free time, Mr. Piñero-Mercado yearns for the love of his two cats (Radamès & Thaïs), going on the never-ending quest to find the best brunch spot, and searching for the board game that will get him through the next year of the pandemic.
Praised for the dark timbre and agile control of her voice, mezzo-soprano and Minnesota native Josephine Stracek (Mother) enjoys performing for audiences throughout the United States. Her passion for poetry and language has brought her on a path of exploring art song, new and old. She loves to present unusual vocal repertoire, sharing undiscovered songs with her audiences. Josephine is a graduate of North Park University (BM ’17) and Roosevelt University (MM ’19). A favorite as a recitalist and chamber artist in northern Minnesota, she has been featured in series at the Fairlawn Mansion, Glensheen Mansion, and Kitchi Gammi Club. She has appeared as a guest soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the North Park University Choir at St. Hilary’s Church in Chicago. Josephine has been a recipient of several awards in both Minnesota and the Chicagoland area for her work as both a vocalist and a pianist. Josephine’s rich mezzo-soprano voice often enhances sacred services, opera, and choral choruses in the Chicago area. She has appeared in several operas including Zerlina/Don Giovanni (Mozart), Helen/Three Sisters Who are Not Sisters (Rorem), le Bergère and le Rossignol/L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel), and George de Planteville/Bagatelle (Offenbach). Josephine previously appeared with EChO in their fall 2021 concert The Composer at 70.
Venezuelan-American contralto Angela Torres-Kutkuhn (Ensemble/Assistant Stage Director) has been privileged to sing in Jake Heggie’s Again, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Daron Hagen’s Amelia (Chicago premiere), Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Menotti’s The Consul, Verdi’s Falstaff, the US premiere of Mountaintop by Jacob TV, The Hermit in Weber’s Der Freischütz, and as back-up for The Rolling Stones. She has appeared with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Main Street Opera, in two world premieres with Evanston Chamber Opera, and is a founding/core member of, as well as Chief Officer of Operations, for Forte Chicago, an all-female opera improv and sketch comedy troupe. Angela is excited to join Evanston Chamber Opera once more. This time around she is making her debut as Assistant Director and contributing her knowledge and love of improv and opera into this wonderful production. When she is not singing her face off or learning the art of directing, you can find her playing the role of Chef at Spoke Cafe, a Louisiana influenced cafe in Ravenswood.