Morgan Balfour, Australian-born, American-based soprano, is the most recent winner of the Handel Aria Competition. Described as being “blessed with a name, a voice, and a stage presence destined to go far” by Adelaide Now, Morgan is quickly garnering attention in both the United States and her native country.
Equally at home on operatic and recital stages, Morgan has appeared with organizations such as Pinchgut Opera, Sydney Philharmonia, American Bach Soloists, and Canberra Symphony Orchestra. She will be touring with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in December. She has also been featured at several music festivals, including the Brisbane Baroque Festival, Coriole Music Festival, and Port Fairy Spring Festival.
For the 2019–2020 season, Morgan joins the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a resident artist, where she will perform and cover roles in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La Bohème, and The Shining. She will also perform a solo recital at the 2020 London Handel Festival.
Morgan holds a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. She is also an alumna of the Melba Opera Trust, Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Gabriela Estephanie Solis, mezzo-soprano, a San Francisco Bay Area native, enjoys a varied performing career on the East and West Coasts. She was most recently seen as a member of the Boston Early Music Festival Young Artist Training Program in Handel’s Orlando (role of Medoro). Other opera experience includes Handel’s Alcina (Bradamante) and Cavalli’s La Calisto (Endimione) at San Francisco State University under the direction of Christine Brandes. She also performed at the Amherst Early Music Festival in scenes from Cavalli’s L’Erismena (Orineo).
A passionate concert soloist, her repertoire includes Bach's B Minor Mass (American Bach Soloists Academy), Handel’s Messiah (Eureka Symphony), Copland’s In the Beginning (University of Notre Dame), Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri (Sacred Music at Notre Dame), Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Vivaldi’s Gloria (First Church Berkeley). She also enjoys regular engagements with the California Bach Society for works such as Monteverdi’s Vespers, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and works of J.S Bach.
She has performed with the American Bach Soloists, JSB Ensemble Stuttgart, the Weimar Bach Cantata Academy, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Chamber Choir, the Westminster Choir College Choral Festival, and the Minnesota Chorale. Gabriela won the Bethlehem Bach Aria Competition and received first place in various divisions at NATS Indiana and San Francisco Bay Area chapter competitions. She holds an M.A. in English Composition from San Francisco State University and recently graduated from the Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame, receiving the vocal performance award. Recent and upcoming performances include La Pasión según San Marcos by Osvaldo Golijov with the Minnesota Chorale and a bilingual Spanish and English setting of Handel's Messiah with Twin Cities-based group Border CrosSings.
Tenor James Hogan holds a master’s degree in voice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. James has appeared in many productions at the conservatory, including performances as Grimolado in Handel’s Rodelinda and Bajazet in Tamerlano. James is in high demand as a soloist among the San Francisco Bay Area ensembles including California Bach Society, Chora Nova, and Bay Choral Guild. In October of 2017, James gave a recital in at the San Francisco Opera for their symposium of John Adam’s Girls of the Golden West. In 2015 James appeared with the opera company, Ars Minerva, in their revival of a lost 17th century Baroque opera, La Cleopatra. Upcoming, James will travel to Weimar, Germany to sing the role of Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. For more information, visit jhogan.co
Hailed as one of classical music’s “Rising Stars” by the Wall Street Journal, baritone Christòpheren Nomura has appeared in opera, oratorio, recital, and music festivals throughout the world. Opera roles have included Papageno, Figaro, Marcello, Malatesta, Mercutio, Don Giovanni, and Guglielmo, with such companies as Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and opera houses in Hamburg, Berlin, and Kiel, Germany.
In oratorio, Mr. Nomura has appeared as soloist with such noted orchestras as Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, San Francisco Symphony, Utah Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among many others, in works ranging from Monteverdi’s Vespers, Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion to Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 and Frank Martin’s Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann.
Upcoming concerts this year include performances of Brahms’ Requiem with the Washington National Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Handel’s L’Allegro with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Bach’s St. John Passion at the National Cathedral, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Pacific Symphony.
Mr. Nomura holds a master’s degree and artist’s diploma from the New England Conservatory, and was winner of the prestigious Young Concert Artists International and the Naumburg competitions, and received an International Fulbright Scholarship, which enabled him to study with renowned baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. A resident of Maplewood, New Jersey, he cherishes his home life spent with his wife and three active sons.