Marie Severing – Soprano
Marie Severing is Director of Choral Music at Big Foot Union High School, Walworth, WI. Her musical educational experiences include study at L’Ecole Hindemith, Vevey, Switzerland and Northwestern University, Chicago. She has a Master’s degree from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, with an emphasis in Vocal Care. She has studied with Helen Boatwright, Hugues Cuenod, Yolanda Marculescu, Elizabeth Fischer-Monestero and Susan Blumer.
For the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 school years, Mrs. Severing was invited to be Soprano Section leader for the Wisconsin State Honors Mixed Chorus. During her tenure as Director of the Big Foot Union High School Vocal Music Department, her choirs have performed with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and in festivals in London (England), Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando and New Orleans. Her students have been privileged to work with such distinguished choral conductors as Weston Noble, Rick Bjella, Anton Armstrong, Michael Ross, Margaret Hawkins and Richard Severing.
As a soprano soloist, Mrs. Severing has performed locally with Choral Union (Janesville), The Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale (Walworth County), The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, The Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra, The Northern Wisconsin Summer Music Festival, Oakway Symphony Orchestra (Detroit), and many others. For over 20 years she has had the honor of working with many talented students as a private voice teacher, and has been an enthusiastic promoter of singing as a lifetime sport.
Alex Gmeinder – Tenor
Tenor Alex Gmeinder has been praised by the Madison Isthmus for his “…powerful tenor voice…” in UW-Madison’s production of Don Giovanni.
Mr. Gmeinder earned a Masters degree in Opera Performance from the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison earlier in 2013. While at Madison he performed the roles of Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Giasone in Cherubini’s Medea, and the title role of Fritz Kobus in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz.
This past summer Mr. Gmeinder spent five weeks in Novafeltria, Italy at La Musica Lirica where he studied with Rossini Festival coaches from Pesaro, Italy. While in Italy he performed the roles of Arturo in Donzetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Edoardo Milfort in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio.
Other opera roles include King Ouf the 1st in Chabrier’s L’Etoile, the title role in Bernstein’s Candide, Eisenstein in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Vašek in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and Reverend Parris in Ward’s The Crucible.
Not a stranger to the concert stage Mr. Gmeinder has performed Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat, Schubert’s Mass in E flat Major, Mozart’s Requiem, and Mozart’s Regina Coeli with the Janesville Choral Union. With Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale he has performaned Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, and will soon be performing Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Ralph Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music. Most recently Mr. Gmeinder was a soloist with the Wisconsin Chamber Choir where he sang Mozart’s Requiem.
Mr. Gmeinder studies with soprano Julia Faulkner who is on faculty at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Mr. Gmeinder has joined Sarasota opera for their 2014 fall and winter seasons as an apprentice artist.
Dan Richardson – Baritone
Bass-baritone Dan Richardson, known for his “clean, clear, declarative” tone and “lovely core sound and earnest musicianship” is excited to be performing with Choral Union in the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Recently, Mr. Richardson appeared as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with the Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra, as Papageno with Candid Concert Opera, and performed with the New Millennium Orchestra as Death in Viktor Ullmann’s the Emperor of Atlantis on the Pritzker Pavilion Stage at Millennium Park.
He has also performed with the Florentine Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Louisiane, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Chamber Opera Chicago, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he performed the role of Don Bartolo for their “Opera in the Neighborhoods” production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
As a concert soloist Mr. Richardson has performed with the Fox Valley Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Virginia Consort, the Milwaukee Ballet, Music by the Lake, and the Grant Park Chorus.
Mr. Richardson is an alumnus of Simpson College, where he studied with Dr. Maria DiPalma and Dr. Robert Larsen.
Sarah Luewerke – Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Leuwerke has been seen on the operatic stage, as concert soloist, recitalist, and as chamber musician throughout the United States. Highlights include appearances with the Billings Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, North Star Opera, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Madison Opera, and the San Antonio Chamber Choir. Ms. Leuwerke received her Bachelor of Arts degree (Music) from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. She then became an apprentice artist with the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist Program. Praised on the stage as being “fresh-voiced and broadly comic…” (Colorado Springs Gazette), some of Ms. Leuwerke’s operatic roles include Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel) Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Siebel (Faust) and Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Alisa (Lucia di Lammernmoor). She has been heard as soloist in Verdi Requiem, Bach B minor Mass, Mozart Requiem, Durufle Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Colomba Mea (Kenneth Leighton) and Stabat Mater (Szymanowski). Ms. Leuwerke was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition. Ms. Leuwerke is also an active ensemblist with the Madison Choral Project and the Madison Bach Musicians