Music Director – Opera
Maestro Brian Garman joins CBMF in 2018 as Music Director of Opera, leading Falstaff. He also is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Berkshire Opera Festival, having conducted their inaugural production of “Madama Butterfly,” last summer’s “Ariadne auf Naxos,” and returning to the podium for this summer’s “Rigoletto.” He recently opened Seattle Opera’s season with “La traviata,” and the preceding fall was appointed the inaugural Music Director of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program. He led that program in a Verdi concert and productions of “Don Pasquale,” “Don Giovanni,” “Ariadne auf Naxos,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “among others. Prior to that, he was on the conducting roster at New York City Opera. Concurrently, he led runs of “Un Giorno di Regno” and “L’Étoile” at the Wolf Trap Opera Company. Maestro Garman was also the Resident Conductor at Pittsburgh Opera for ten years, leading productions of “Roméo et Juliette,” “Rigoletto,” “Le nozze di Figaro,” “Die Zauberflöte,” “Werther,” and more to unanimous acclaim. Additionally, as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Opera Center, he conducted several productions with that company. On the music staff of The Santa Fe Opera for six years, he was associate conductor and assisted in the musical preparation of dozens of operas.
Artistic Director – Opera Studio
Lynn Baker is a vocal coach, English diction specialist and collaborative pianist. She was an assistant conductor and English diction coach at New York City Opera until its closing in 2013. She is currently vocal coach and casting consultant for New York City Ballet, teaches song classes at The New School, and, most recently, has been English diction coach for multiple productions at Opera Philadelphia and the Curtis Institute of Music. Other coaching and performing credits include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Opera, Atlanta Opera, Washington National Opera, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Bard Summerscapes Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Juilliard Opera Center. Lynn is a frequent vocal recital pianist and an avid performer of contemporary opera and art song. She holds a Master of Music degree in accompanying from The Juilliard School.
Master Vocal Coach
Susan Caldwell has been a member of the opera and vocal coaching faculty at Mannes College The New School for Music since 1998. Director of the opera workshop in Mannes’s extension division from 2011-2013, she has also served as music director of the opera workshops at New York University and Kean University. Her operatic experience includes many years with the New York City Opera, work with the Netherlands Opera, including the world premiere of Alfred Schnittke’s “Life with an Idiot”, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich. She assisted Robert Craft in the preparation of “The Rake’s Progress,” and is the harpsichordist on his recording with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In addition to her professional affiliations, she is active as a vocal coach and collaborative. Ms. Caldwell holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from St. Olaf College and the University of Georgia.
Tenor Barry Banks’ outstanding facility in roles by Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti regularly takes him to the world’s leading opera houses. Current season highlights include his debut as Arnold (Guillaume Tell) at Welsh National Opera under Carlo Rizzi and a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to sing Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia) under Evelino Pidò.
Glyndebourne Opera, Santa Fé Opera, American Lyric Theatre, The Juilliard School, New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Canadian Opera Company
Career Planning and Development Instructor
Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wolf Trap Opera, Atlanta Opera, New York City Opera, OPERA America, New York Philharmonic
Jennifer Hopkinson Smith
Opera Children’s Chorus
Director, Opera Children’s Chorus
Nina Revering is the Founding Artistic Director of the Conspirare Youth Choirs in Austin, Texas, an outreach program of the Grammy®-winning, six-time Grammy®-nominated vocal ensemble Conspirare. As a performer, Nina has performed widely as a soloist and chorister throughout the Southwest and around the country. Her educational background includes work at the Youth Performing Arts School and Boston University. A soloist at St. Mary’s Cathedral from 1994 to 1997, she was also Victoria Bach Festival’s New Young Artist in 1994. Nina studied baroque recorder with John Tyson of the New England Conservatory and performed with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus under conductors Seiji Ozawa, John Williams, and John Oliver. She has been with Conspirare since 1995 and founded the Conspirare Youth Choirs in 2005. Nina also teaches music in Austin area schools.
Kristel Jelinek Brown
Stage Director, Opera Children’s Chorus
Kristel Jelinek Brown is a director, teaching artist, and performer, who holds both a Masters Degree in Applied Theater from the City University of New York, and a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Colorado (Boulder). Her performance credits include: Norwegian Cruise Lines (principal vocalist), The Show at Showboat, Atlantic City (principal vocalist), Urban Cowboy: The Musical (First Nat’l Tour) regional productions of Lysistrata Jones (Cleonice), Aladdin (Princess Jasmine), Aida (Ensemble), Grease (Frenchy), and Alice in Wonderland (White Queen). Directing/choreography credits include: The Sound of Music, Le Nozze di Figaro, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Merry Widow, Bye Bye Birdie, and Seussical. Kristel is the current Director of Voice, Theatrical, and Specialized Programming for Parlando School of Musical Arts in Boulder. Her teaching artist experience extends, locally, to Imagine! of Lafayette, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn’s Spellbound Theater Company, Broadway’s Inspire Change Program, the CUNY CAT Youth Theater program, and the New Americans Welcome Center of Staten Island. She resides in Lafayette with her husband, Darin, and two children, Charlotte and Bodie.