Soloists for Bach Missa Brevis & Cantata 21

Soprano Caroline Jou Armitage started singing in her crib before the age of one, according to her mother, but studied piano and violin from kindergarten through high school instead, as was customary for most children of Taiwanese immigrants. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in economics, she began formal studies in voice and later performed the roles of Laetitia in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief and Lucy Lockit in Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera in the Bay Area, and in Paris, Papagena and the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Most happy in the realm of early music, Caroline has participated as a vocal soloist in the Baroque Academy at the Amherst Early Music Festival and has sung as a soloist in Carissimi’s Jephthe. She has also sung as a chorister in several local groups since 2010—most notably, the California Bach Society. Caroline dedicates this solo performance with CBS to her musical instructors Karen Clark, Paul Flight, and Tamara Loring.


A renowned countertenor, Paul Flight has performed works by John Adams, Leonard Berstein, and Unsuk Chin with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, the Cincinnati May Festival, and the Norwegian State Opera. In 2003 he sang the title role in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten for Oakland Opera Theater. He made his debut at the Kennedy Center in 2008, singing the first countertenor role in Adams’s El Niño, and in August 2010, he made his debut at the Edinburgh International Festival singing the third countertenor role in that work. At California Bach Society’s award-winning performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 2016, Dr. Flight sang the aria “Erbarme Dich.” He is a former member of such distinguished ensembles as the Waverly Consort, Theatre of Voices, Pomerium Musices, and the New York Collegium.


Tenor Jonathan Thomas, a native of Lawrence, Kansas, moved to San Francisco in 2014 and has since appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in Carmina Burana, led by Ragnar Bohlin, Monteverdi’s Magnificat from the Vespers of 1610, and Pérotin’s Sederunt Principes, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. He has performed as a soloist in numerous concerts and recordings in the Bay Area, including Handel’s Messiah with Cantare Con Vivo, a French Baroque concert with Chora Nova, and Cappella SF’s album Facing West, among others. Before coming to San Francisco, Mr. Thomas completed opera apprenticeships at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Des Moines Metro Opera. He has performed concert and opera repertoire throughout the Midwest, including Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Laertes in Hamlet, Don Curzio and Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, and the role of the Raven in the world premiere of Robert Kapilow’s Summer Sun, Winter Moon with the Kansas City Symphony. Jonathan received his bachelor of music in vocal performance from the University of Kansas. He currently sings with the chamber choir Cappella SF and as an AGMA member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.


Sepp Hammer’s voice has been described as showing “warm baritone gravity” (The Boston Globe). Recently with the California Bach Society, he sang the role of Christ in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and the bass solos in Charpentier’s Le reniement de Saint Pierre, Zelenka’s Missa Votiva, and Bach’s cantata Aus der Tiefe. Other concert engagements include Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Solano Symphony, Zelenka’s Gloria with Chora Nova, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with the Contra Costa Chorale, and, with various ensembles, Charpentier’s Messe des Morts, Schütz’s Symphoniae Sacrae, Bach’s Magnificat and B Minor Mass, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in G Major, and the Requiems of Brahms, Fauré, and Duruflé. Since 2016, Sepp has been a member of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale. In recent seasons on the opera stage, he has appeared as Pistol in Verdi’s Falstaff with Cinnabar Theater, the Speaker in The Magic Flute with Pocket Opera, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale with North Bay Opera, and in the role of Wagner in Gounod’s Faust with Opera San Jose. His opera roles also include Escamillo in Carmen, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, the title role in Don Giovanni, John Proctor in The Crucible, and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.