Here is a list of the 2021-22 Graduate Voice Cohort at University of Washington.
Cee E. Adamson, DMA candidate
Cee E. Adamson (she/they/Mx.), mezzo-soprano, is pursuing the DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington, where she is studying with Dr. Carrie Shaw. Prior to the University of Washington, Cee studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, based in London, where she received the Master of Music and the Master of Performance degrees, and was designated a Guildhall Artist. Other education includes the Advanced Artist Diploma and Master of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, and undergraduate degrees in music, accounting, and management from Franklin Pierce University.
Mx. Adamson occupies a fluid place as an operatic talent, capable of treading the beguiling and liminal space between the countertenor and mezzo-soprano. Cee’s vocal versatility has been well showcased in roles as Oberon in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giulio Cesare in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, The Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and tragic and comic roles from Mercedes in Carmen to Florence Pike in Albert Herring. Cee was also requested to appear as a featured supernumerary in Glimmerglass Opera’s production of Philip Glass’s Orphée.
Before turning her full attention to performing, Mx. Adamson served as an arts administrator and educator with several organizations such as Bel Cantanti Opera, Washington Revels, and Glimmerglass Opera. Cee is an avid performer in opera and recital, and has an affinity for the music of Buxtehude, Handel, Schumann, Poulenc, and Wagner. Additionally, Cee enjoys early jazz, music from the Roaring Twenties, Cole Porter, Sarah Vaughan and contemporary classical music.
Outside of music, Mx. Adamson is passionate about social justice, fashion, travel, and just about all things pertaining to the United Kingdom.
Ryan Bede made his solo debut at Seattle Opera as the Second Priest in The Magic Flute in Spring 2017, and has since returned as Fiorello in The Barber Of Seville, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Jim Crowley in An American Dream, and Moralés in Carmen. He also joins Symphony Tacoma for Mozart’s Requiem and the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah in the 2019-20 season. He is an active participant in the Tahoma chapter of NATS and teaches on the faculties of Seattle Pacific University and Tacoma Community College.
Karen Dunstan, MM candidate
Dunstan has performed in many opera productions, including La Boheme, Dido and Aeneas and L’Elisir d’Amore. She feels at home with some operas more enigmatic characters, including the Spirit in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), The Magic Flute’s spirit trio, and Grimgerde in Die Walküre. (She hopes to tackle Don Giovanni’s Commendatore next.)
In addition to performing, Dunstan is a researcher who is passionate about inclusivity in and broad access to opera, particularly with regard to queer representation. Dunstan examined the history of queer representation in opera in her project “Someone Will Remember Us: Queer Narratives in Opera and Art Song”, and is excited to bring this perspective to future operatic endeavors.
She has directed multiple volunteer church choirs, and has a witty, down-to-earth style that makes her entertaining and engaging both as an educator and a performer.
Virginia Elizondo, MM candidate
Described as, “a young, blooming, dramatic soprano with the aura of Gundula Janowitz,” Virginia Elizondo is a proud, born and raised Houstonian. She attended The University of Texas at Austin where she studied voice with Dr. Cynthia Morrow. Following her graduation, she enjoyed several years of performing with Conspirare under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson. She next thrived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she sang for three years with the Grammy award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, under the direction of Norman Mackenzie, Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, and Thomas Søndergård.
She is currently pursuing her Master of Voice Performance degree at The University of Washington, where she is blessed to study with Dr. Carrie Henneman Shaw. The wife of a medical provider, and mother to three young children, including her youngest who was born prematurely at 26 weeks gestation, Virginia is grateful for the challenging opportunities in her life that provide depth and sincerity to her musicianship.
Having endured what often felt unendurable, Virginia believes firmly that music is meant to connect us to each other, to teach us, and to heal us. There is tremendous difficulty and heartache in the world, and it is always Virginia’s goal to use her gifts of expression and connection to provide channels by which we as fellow human beings, brothers and sisters on this planet, can share in strength and comfort knowing we are not alone or abandoned. She hopes that her voice and her spirit will provide a light for those who need it most in what could be their darkest hours.
Virginia, her husband, Nick, and their three wild things, Evelyn, Nicolas, and Eleanor, live in Anacortes, Washington.
Limuel Forgey, DMA candidate
The operatic performances of dramatic-lyric baritone Limuel Forgey have been described by critics as “sung richly and acted with devious candor…Forgey’s silvery tones seemed effortless in delivery of his heartless demands.” (Jane Snow, The Opera Critic: La Traviata). The Fresno Bee said of him, “Forgey’s voice filled the theatre with an edge and vigor” (Scarlet Letter, the Opera), characterizing his performances as “powerful” and “nuanced”. Mr. Forgey recently returned from an international engagement singing the role of Marco (Gianni Schicchi) with Opera Romania (in partnership with the California Opera Association). In 2018 he was part of a touring recital of German lieder (Cal Arts/Cal State Fresno) throughout the region Southern Germany. Forgey is happily back in the United States and earning his DMA at the University of Washington in Seattle. Mr Forgey is managed by VAM services.
Kenneth Foster, MM candidate
A native of northern New England, Kenneth Foster earned his undergraduate degree in voice at Lee University in Cleveland, TN where he studied with James Frost. Following his bachelor’s degree, Kenneth relocated to Rochester, NY and studied with Katherince Ciesinski and vocal coach Dr. Russell Miller through the Eastman School of Music. Often called a powerful voice, Kenneth is currently finishing a Masters of Music degree at the University of Washington where he studies with Dr. Carrie Shaw.
A passionate and expressive performer, Kenneth extends his love of vocal performance to his private studio where he provides vocal instruction for students ranging in age from 8 to 35. Kenneth has been performing in opera since 2012 when he performed his first principal role as the black cat in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. Other roles Kenneth has explored include: Father (Hansel and Gretel), Sam Kaplan (Street Scene), Jack (Into the Woods), and The Prince (Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.)
Beyond the stage Kenneth has a bit of an obsession with vocal pedagogy, and can be found reading books on the subject in his spare time. He currently lives in Seattle with his 6–year–old tabby cat named Thomas, who is also a lover of vocal music and can be heard singing along with Kenneth throughout the day.
Meaghan Guterman is pursuing a DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington, and is a student of Dr. Kari Ragan. As an active musician in the Seattle area, she is a section leader and cantor at St. James Cathedral, and performs with the Mägi Ensemble, Chorosynthesis, and the Starlight Carolers. She also serves as a cantorial soloist for the High Holidays, and maintains a private voice studio.
Caitlin Hennessey, MM candidate
Lyric soprano Caitlin Hennessy, originally from Chicago, is studying for her Master’s in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington under the direction of Dr. Carrie Shaw. She completed her Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where she studied with world-renowned tenor, Jerald Siena. During her undergraduate studies, she was directed by Nathan Gunn in Don Giovanni where she “…wooed the audience with her charm and opened the door to understanding the complex character of Donna Elvira. Her inevitable departure in the final act was as difficult for the audience as it was for Elvira.”-Nathan Gunn. She sang roles including The Young Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen, 2nd woodsprite in Dvořák’s Rusalka (LAH-SOW Portland), as well as in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, The Light in the Piazza, and in Angels Vocal Art’s production of Candide. She also was a soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa Brevis. Ms. Hennessy has done recital work at the University of Illinois with Dr. Casey Robards. Caitlin is also a church cantor at various Catholic churches in the Pacific Northwest specializing in Gregorian Chant and enjoys dedicating her time to passing out lunches to those in need.
Nicholas Klein is a DMA student in Voice Performance at the University of Washington, where he also serves as a Voice Area Teaching Assistant and School of Music staff accompanist. Prior to beginning his studies at UW, Nicholas earned a Master of Music degree in Music Education, Kodaly Certification and Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the Capital University Conservatory of Music in partnership with the Zoltan Kodaly Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemet, Hungary. Nicholas maintains an active professional performance career as a soloist, chorus member, accompanist and conductor. Nicholas has competed at numerous Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions, where he won the Freshman Men’s Classical Division, Freshman/Sophomore Men’s and Women’s Musical Theater Division, the Senior Men’s Classical Division and the Junior and Senior Men’s and Women’s Musical Theater Division.
Mallory McCollum, MM candidate
Having spent the last several years moving from coast to coast, Mallory is happy to return to her hometown of Seattle. She most recently was based in the greater Philadelphia area, where she was privileged to serve as both an educator and performer. Mallory holds a BM in Music Education, with a credential to teach K-12 in Band, Choral, Orchestral, and General music. She has sung the roles of Rose Maurant in Street Scene, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She also frequently participates in NATS competitions, having won twice in the LA chapter, and has had the opportunity to work with Elena Mindina and Angel Blue in masterclasses. She has studied with Dr. Jeanne Robison and Robin Massie, and is currently studying with Thomas Harper while pursuing her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington. Mallory is grateful for the support of her family, and in her spare time can be found working with horses and children.
Joseph Muriello, DMA candidate
Korean American soprano, Eun Ju Vivianna Oh has had an adventure-filled and multi-faceted career as a recording artist, music director, teacher, and a mother of two beautiful daughters but she never gave up her passion to become an opera singer. She has recently re-energized her life-long dream journey as a singer through pursuing a DMA in Voice Performance under the guidance of the esteemed professor Dr. Carrie Shaw.
She began her musical education studying the piano and added singing at the age of sixteen under the tutelage of Monserrat Alavedra, followed by Mary-Curtis Verna, Carmen Pelton, and with Cyndia Sieden and Deanne Meek at the University of Washington.
Ms. Oh has performed major operatic roles and scenes including: L’Orfeo, Gianni Schicchi, Le Nozze di Figaro, Xerses, Der Rosenkavalier, L’enfant et les sortilèges, Hydrogen Jukebox, The Old Maid and the Thief, Glory Denied and many more.
She holds a B.M and an M.M in Voice Performance from the University of Washington. After bachelor’s, Vivianna spent time as a music director in the foreign film department at the Educational Broadcasting Station, Seoul, Korea. She also worked with the Disney Korea, Korean Broadcasting systems, and Hansol Education Corp.
Ms. Oh is a music director/conductor at the First Korean United Methodist Church in Tacoma, Washington. She was a music teacher at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Santa Clarita, CA. She also maintains a private music studio, teaching many young singers and pianists in the Seattle area. One of her latest projects includes organizing the Youth Musical Theater Choir Group based in Bellevue, WA, and surrounding communities.
Zach grew up in small town Minnesota. His first voice teacher was his aunt Joy Ciaffonni who encouraged Zach to start singing. Zach received his Bachelor of Music from Concordia College-Moorhead, studying as a tenor with Professor David Hamilton and Dr. Anthony Leathem. Zach also sang with and was an administrative intern for the Fargo-Moorhead Opera company during his time at Concordia.
Zach has performed with the Lakes Area Music Festival in their productions of Carmen, The Magic Flute, and La Belle Hélène. He also participated in master classes with co-founder and artistic director of the festival, John Taylor Ward. Previous roles for Zach include Count Almaviva (Barber of Seville) and Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus) both performed at Concordia. A talented vocal technician, Zach excels at coloratura passages in both the Baroque and Bel Canto styles. He is currently honing his skills at the University of Washington where he is earning his Master of Music in Voice. Zach loves chess and riding his bicycle when he is not performing or studying music.
Sarah Santos, MM candidate
Sarah Santos, soprano, hails from Houston, Texas and is currently based in Seattle, pursuing a Master’s of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Washington. Ms. Santos is an avid fan of Gilbert and Sullivan and has been a member of the society of Houston since 2009. Her favorite roles include Maria from West Side Story and was praised by Broadway World for her ‘glorious high notes’ as Constance in The Sorceror. Sarah hopes to travel the world, playing the role of Offenbach’s Doll and seducing Hoffmans in every time zone.
In addition to performing, Ms. Santos enjoys teaching and is a member of Texas Music Educators Association and National Association of Teachers of Singing. She has taught 5th – 12th grade Choir and has maintained a private studio for eleven years, mentoring young musicians in voice, piano, and theory. Her students received merits in University Interscholastic League and All-State competitions, as well as the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams. Ms. Santos’ studio philosophy is to create independent learners and creators by providing a safe, inclusive, and positive environment where students feel confident in creating healthy sounds.