Voice Teachers

Robynne Redmon: mezzo-soprano, University of Miami Frost School of Music
Robynne Redmon (mezzo-soprano) is an assistant professor in the Department of Vocal Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and program director for the Frost School of Music at Salzburg. Critics have hailed her “glorious singing, intense acting, excellent phrasing, ardent tone, splendid shading and solid coloratura and excellent artistic sense” (Das Opernglas) and for her “exactitude of pitch, her luxuriance of tone, her abundant animal spirit and unerring dramatic intelligence” (Newsday). She has performed leading roles with the major opera houses of the world including The Metropolitan Opera (Maddalena in Rigoletto, Marina in Boris Godunov, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Fenena in Nabucco); Lyric Opera of Chicago (Adalgisa in Norma, Fenena in Nabucco, Laura in La Gioconda), and with San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Berlin State Opera and Opera de Marseilles. She added the role of Amneris in Aida in her South American debut at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, sang Eboli in Don Carlos with Boston Lyric Opera and Minnesota Opera, and as Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Frugola in Il Tabarro for Montreal Opera. A respected interpreter of modern music and creator of new roles, Ms. Redmon performed in world premieres of Madame Mao for Santa Fe Opera, and Harvey Milk and Esther for New York City Opera. Equally at home in recital and concert she has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Nashville Symphony with whom she recorded a critically acclaimed Beethoven Missa Solemnis (Naxos).  She also sang a special Chinese language version of Das Lied von der Erde at the British Library as part of the Silk Road Exhibition.

Margaret Astrup: soprano, Western Connecticut State University
Margaret Astrup enjoys a versatile career singing in styles ranging from contemporary opera, art song and chamber music to Bel Canto and Bach. She has performed in opera, oratorio and recitals in all the major NYC venues as well as throughout the tri-state area, the Midwest and in Europe. She has also performed in premieres of several chamber operas. Her recordings include songs by Otto Luening, Wm. Grant Still and Alec Wilder on Newport Classic labels as well as Cosmos Cantata by Seymour Barab for Kleos/Helicon Records and songs of Ruth Schonthal for Albany Records.  She has recently completed a recording with violinist Eric Lewis of folk songs settings from the British Isles by Holst, Vaughan Williams and Rebecca Clark that will be released by Centaur Records in 2011. Margaret Astrup teaches at Western Connecticut State University where she is Area Head of Vocal Studies and Opera.

Peter Atherton: bass-baritone, Chapman University
Peter Atherton has had the joy of performing over forty-five roles ranging from Seneca in The Coronation of Poppea to Frederick in A Little Night Music.  His operatic credits include performances with the Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Baltimore Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Wolf Trap Opera, Virginia Opera, San Francisco Opera Touring Division, Opera Atelier, Cairo Opera and the Operafestival of Rome and Verona.  He has performed with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Lucas Foss, James Conlon, Kurt Herbert Adler, David Effron and Myung-Whun Chung. In concert and oratorio he has performed to acclaim with numerous orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, L’Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Basel Chamber Orchestra, Bach Cercle Genéve, International Chamber Ensemble Rome, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Orchestre de Belgique, Philadelphia Singers, San Diego Symphony, William Hall Chorale, Angeles Chorale and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. Equally popular in recital, he has performed in Vienna, Zürich, Rome, Hannover, Basel, Geneva, New York, Houston, Miami, Palm Beach, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  Mr. Atherton’s versatility as a singing-actor enabled him to perform six different roles in The Phantom of the Opera in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.  He has also recorded a program of French Art Song for the Hannover Radio in Germany. Mr. Atherton holds the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School, Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California, and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.  He has received numerous awards including Artist of the Year sponsored by The National Arts Club in New York City and a full scholarship to The International Academy for Soloists where he studied exclusively with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Mr. Atherton holds the Robert and Norma Lineberger Endowed Chair of Music at Chapman University and is Director of Operatic Studies and Associate Professor of Voice in the Conservatory of Music.  He is a member of the Artistic Board of Directors of Operafestival di Roma.  Mr. Atherton has served on the faculty at the University of Southern California, the University of California at Los Angeles, Occidental College and at Operafestival di Roma and has presented master classes throughout North America.  His students have been admitted to prestigious graduate and apprentice programs across the country, with many performing professionally in Europe, the United States and Canada.

Yvonne Douthat: mezzo-soprano
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ms. Douthat holds degrees from both Louisiana State University and the University of Houston and recently completed her DMA at the Eastman School of Music under Dr. Robert McIver. While studying and performing in the US and abroad, she had the pleasure of working with many inspirational artists and pedagogues including Benita Valente, Richard Miller, Wolfram Rieger, Martin Issep, Diane Zola, James McKinney, Paul O’Dette and Phyllis Curtin. Highlights of her numerous operatic roles include Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Octavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillion, and Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera. As a resident artist at Ohio Light Opera, she performed Tessa in The Gondoliers and other operetta roles.  In addition, Ms. Douthat spent two summers at the prestigious Marlboro Chamber Music Festival under the direction of Mitsuko Uchida and Richard Goode. As a regular soloist with the Eastman Rochester Philharmonic and the Rochester Oratorio Society, Ms. Douthat performed Mozart’s C-Minor Mass, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Schumann’s Faust, the Duruflé Requiem, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, and the title role of Handel’s Solomon.  Of her performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Genesee Valley Orchestra, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported “she sang with a remarkably plush instrument and delivered the sort of deeply-felt rendition of “He was despised” that seems to stop time.” Her past teaching positions include the AWTY International School in Houston, TX; the Eastman School of Music; and the University of Rochester. Her students have made appearances on stages from the College Light Opera Company to Houston Grand Opera. Yvonne presently resides in Salzburg with her husband, tenor, Virgil Hartinger.

Frank Ragsdale: tenor, Oklahoma City University
Dr. Frank Wayne Ragsdale earned degrees from Atlantic Union College, The Longy School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami. Dr. Ragsdale has performed in opera, oratorio, musical theatre, and recitals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Central America where, for three consecutive years, he was invited by the U.S. Embassies of Costa Rica and Honduras to give recital tours and master classes with collaborative artist Thomas Enman. He has performed in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Cairo Opera House, Mechanics Hall, Notre Dame, San Marco di Venizia, and St. Martin-in-the-fields. Some of his operatic roles include “Rodolfo” from La Bohème, “Alfredo” from La Traviata, “Don Ottavio” from Don Giovanni, and “Tamino” from Die Zauberflöte. Some of his musical theatre roles include “Tony” from West Side Story, “Freddy” from My Fair Lady, and “Sam” from Street Scene. As well as performing, he has directed opera, musical theatre, and theatre. Dr. Ragsdale is on the voice faculties of Oklahoma City University and the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg and is currently the NATS Texoma Region Auditions Chair.

Vocal Coaches

Mary Dibbern: Vocal Coach, Collaborative Pianist
Mary Dibbern, collaborative pianist, is completing her third season as Music Director for Education and Family Programs with The Dallas Opera. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Humanities-Aesthetic Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dibbern has been on the faculty of the University of Miami at Salzburg for eleven years and has taught French Diction at University of North Texas in Denton.  Mary Dibbern has a BA in Music Performance from the University of North Dakota; a MM in Collaborative Piano from SMU.  Dibbern was a resident of Paris, France for 31 years. She studied at the Ecole normale de musique in the last class of renowned pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, and accompanied the students of French baritone Pierre Bernac. She continued for many years as assistant to Dalton Baldwin, and accompanied the private lessons and master classes of Gérard Souzay. Her work with French composer Jacques Leguerney continued from her arrival in France until his death, a period of nineteen years in which she worked with him on recitals, editions, and recordings of his unjustly neglected mélodies.  Dibbern worked at the Opéra Nationale de Paris for main stage productions, as well as for the Centre de Formation Lyrique (young artist training program for singers and pianists). She has also worked as guest coach at all of the major French opera companies, and many European, Asian and North American venues, including Minnesota Opera where she was Head of Music from 2009-2012. During that time, she gave fifteen different pre-performance lectures and taught opera appreciation throughout the community in the St Paul-Minneapolis metropolitan area.  Dibbern is an accomplished recital accompanist and master class teacher. She has taught master classes on French mélodie and opera for singers and pianists in the US, Canada, China, Japan, and throughout eastern and western Europe. Her French mélodie recordings include Mélodies de Jacques Leguerney (Claves) which won the French Grand Prix du Disque; Offenbach au Menu (Maguelone) and Mélodies de Jacques Leguerney, Vols. I and II (Harmonia Mundi France).  Mary Dibbern is the author of six books in the Performance Guides series for Pendragon Press: Tales of Hoffmann, Carmen, Roméo et Juliette/Faust, Manon and Werther; as well as Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney: A Guide for Study and Performance written in collaboration with Carol Kimball and Patrick Choukroun.  Her next publication with Pendragon Press will be a translation of Massenet en toutes lettres, a new biography by Anne Massenet, the composer’s great-niece, followed by her translation of the General Catalogue of Massenet’s Works by the Association Massenet Internationale. Mary Dibbern has edited eight volumes of Jacques Leguerney’s mélodies for Editions Max Eschig and is the Editorial Consultant of the Leguerney Estate for new editions of the rest of the composer’s vocal and instrumental music.

Thomas Enman: Longy School of Music
Thomas Enman is the Music Director, Opera at Longy, B.M., U/Montana, M.M., Boston University. Piano with Rudolph Wendt, Bela Borzomenyi-Nagy. Music Director: OperaFest at Great Woods. Recitals with Donna Roll throughout the U.S. Recitals and masterclasses in Central America for the State Department. Former faculty: North Shore Center for the Arts, New England Conservatory. Adjunct faculty: Lesley College, U/Miami. Member: Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, CMS. Current President of Boston Chapter of NATS. Voice coach: U/Miami Frost School of Music Salzburg program.

Accompanying Teacher and Vocal Coach

Francois Germain: Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam
Pianist Francois Germain has performed extensively in Europe, the United States and Canada as soloist and accompanist. Originally from Aix-en-Provence, France, he is the recipient of many awards, including first prizes in the Radio-France Competition, the Madeleine de Valmalète Competition and the Paul and Verna Gelinas Competition. He holds a bachelors degree in music from the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud, and a masters and doctorate degrees in piano performance from the University of Montreal. Recent performances include such venues as the Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, the Galerie d’Art d’Outremont, Salle Claude Champagne (Montreal), Steinert Hall (Boston), Leakin Hall (Baltimore), and he has participated in festivals in Banff and the Centre d’Arts d’Orford. A native French and German speaker, he specializes in French melodie, lied and art song. He served from 2002-2007 at the University of Montreal as a vocal coach and assistant to Rosemarie Landry (a disciple of Pierre Bernac and Gerard Souzay) where he acquired a unique expertise in French lyric diction and style and has worked as a coach/repetiteur for the University of Miami Frost School of Music in Salzburg program as well as Operetta Belle Lurette in Québec. In addition to his performance activities, Dr. Germain holds a masters degree in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and was recently featured as guest speaker at a week long festival held in Montreal, Quebec, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dmitri Shostakovich. His principal teachers include Marc Durand, Jean Saulnier, Bernard Flavigny and Clara Woringer-Kastler, and he has taken part in master classes with such greats as Thomas Grubb, Roger Vignoles, and Malcolm Martineau. He currently teaches piano, vocal coaching and opera at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam, New York.

Staff Pianists

Gregory Thompson: Central State University
Dr. Gregory Thompson (Head of Staff Pianists) is Associate Professor of Piano at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH.  Prior to his appointment at Central State, Dr. Thompson was Acting Chair of the Department of Music and Fine Arts at Johnson C. Smith University.  He holds the B.A. degree in Piano Performance from Limestone College, the M.M. degree in Piano Performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, and the D.M.A. degree in Piano Performance from The University of South Carolina.  Dr. Thompson has done additional study in the United States and in Europe.  He has served as instructor of music at Morris College in Sumter, S.C., Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., and at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C.  He has also served as adjunct professor of piano at Charleston Southern University and Lecturer in Opera Coaching at the University of South Carolina.  Dr. Thompson has performed as pianist and accompanist both in the U.S. and abroad.  His performances have included solo recitals, orchestral performances, chamber recitals, and vocal and instrumental accompanying.  In the summer of 1998 he served as principal accompanist for Studio Lirico’s production of Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ in Cortona.  Dr. Thompson is a member of MTNA, NCMTA, Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum, and is a member of the Board of Directors for Theater Charlotte.  While in Charlotte, he served as pianist/choral accompanist for Calvary Church of Charlotte, NC.