Saira Frank – Soprano
“With her strong, silvery soprano, Frank shines” says Madison’s Capitol Times. An avid recitalist and concert artist, Frank performed the soprano solo in Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the Grant Park Symphony and Chorus of Chicago this past summer, as well as two solo recitals this year at Carroll University in Waukesha.
Frank’s opera credits most recently include the Duchess Christina in Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei with Madison Opera and Bella Rose in Fresco Opera of Madison’s original ballad opera The Good, the Bad, and the Divas. A favorite of Opera for the Young, Frank has performed in their past six productions and is currently Cinderella in the 2012/13 tour.
She holds a master’s degree in opera from UW-Madison and two bachelor’s degrees, one in vocal performance and one in French from Northwestern University. Other roles in Frank’s repertory include Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, the title roles in The Merry Widow and Alcina, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and Armidoro in La Buona Figliuola. Saira lives in Delafield and teaches at Carroll Academy.
Spencer Schumann – Countertenor
Spencer Schumann, Countertenor, is in his final year of his Bachelors of Music Performance at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Having received both the UW – Madison School of Music Vocal Performance Scholarship, and the Opera Props Foundations Award for his Opera Workshop Scenes performance of Rossini’s “Tancredi”, he has quickly taken to a performance career. Shortly after he began studying with Professor and Associate Director of University Opera, Mimmi Fulmer, Spencer had his UW Opera Workshop debut as Nero from Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea. He has also played the role of Gheradino in University Opera’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, having previously joined University Opera Chorus for their performance of Maria Stuarda.
This past August, Spencer joined The Taliesin Choir at the Frank Lloyd Wright estate as a soloist in their performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana. Spencer has also spent four consecutive semesters singing with the UW Chorale – the UW’s premier university choir and was a solo performer with the University Early Music Ensemble.
Evan Bravos – Baritone
Evan Bravos is currently an M.M. candidate for voice and opera at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Mr. Bravos’ recent roles include: Sid in Albert Herring, Falke in Die Fledermaus, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, Tapioca in L’étoile, Mr. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Maximilian in Candide, and Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors. He has also been seen as Belcore in L’Elisir D’amore, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Masetto Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. Bravos has also secured musical theatre credits including: Billy Bigelow (Carousel), Prince Charming (Cinderella), and Baker (Into the Woods).
In 2011, Bravos won competitions including the Greek Women’s University Club of Chicago’s Music Competition and the Elgin Opera. In 2010, he received 1st place in the NATS Wisconsin competition the Upper College Music Theater Men’s division and in 2009 the Senior Men’s Classical Division. As a concert artist, he has sung the baritone solos in the Bach and Mendelssohn Magnificats, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Copland’s Old American Songs, Bizet’s Au font du temple saint (from The Pearl Fishers), Brahms’ Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, and numerous children’s outreach concerts. He has sung with the Lake Geneva, Manitowoc, Fox Valley, and Elgin Symphonies, the Elgin Youth Symphony and has been the guest soloist for the Janesville Choral Union and the Elkhorn Singers. In March, he performed in a recital with pianist, Alan Darling, entitled songs from my childhood, a comparative analysis of the songs of composer Charles Ives with soprano Amber Wagner. This summer, he joined The Chicago Bach Ensemble, with performances in and around the city. Mr. Bravos also enjoys singing regularly with the St. James Cathedral Choir in Chicago under the direction of Mr. Bruce Barber II. Upcoming performances this year include Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (a new opera by composer Ricky Ian Gordon) at Northwestern, and baritone soloist in the Duruflé Requiem at St. James.
Originally from St. Charles, IL, Mr. Bravos holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Lawrence University Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin where he studied with Kenneth Bozeman. Mr. Bravos is currently in the studio of Karen Brunssen at Northwestern. Residing in Chicago, IL, he enjoys teaching privately as he finishes his musical studies.