Stephanie Blythe, Artistic Director
Kayo Iwama, Associate Director
Stephanie Blythe, Artistic Director
Kayo Iwama, Associate Director
Edith BersEdith Bers received bachelor's and master's degrees from Columbia University and studied voice with Tourel, Callas, Popper, Berl, Guth, Faull, B. P. Johnson, Cuenod, Brown, Hotter, and Stader; and acting with Stella Adler. Among her performance credits are the United States premiere of Schumann's Des Sangers Fluch and the television production of Britten's The Turn of the Screw. She has presented master classes and served on juries throughout the world, including: Symposium on the Care of the Professional Voice, Aspen Music Festival, Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition (Brussels), Korean Broadcasting System, and the Bel Canto Institute (Florence). In addition to teaching at Bard, Edith Bers teaches at the Juilliard School (where she served as chair of the voice department from 1991 to 1995), Manhattan School of Music, and New York University.
Artistic Director, Graduate Vocal Arts Program
Stephanie BlytheA renowned opera singer and recitalist, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is considered one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner, German lieder to contemporary and classic American song. Ms. Blythe has performed on many of the world's great stages, such as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris National Opera and San Francisco, Chicago Lyric and Seattle Operas. Ms. Blythe was named Musical America's Vocalist of the Year in 2009, received an Opera News Award in 2007 and won the Tucker Award in 1999. Ms. Blythe recently released her first crossover recording on the Innova label with pianist Craig Terry. Ms. Blythe has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the US and Europe including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Opera National de Paris. Her many roles include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila , Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon, and Giulio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress, Ježibaba in Rusalka, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites; Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, and Ino/Juno in Semele. She also created the role of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon's 27 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Ms. Blythe has also appeared with many of the world's finest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Minnesota Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Ensemble Orchestre de Paris, and the Concertgerbouworkest. She has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Ravinia festivals, and at the BBC Proms. The many conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Nelson, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas. A frequent recitalist, Ms. Blythe has been presented in recital in New York by Carnegie Hall in Stern Auditorium and Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center in both its Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall and its American Songbook Series at the Allen Room, Town Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also been presenter by the Vocal Arts Society and at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC; the Cleveland Art Song Festival, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Shriver Hall in Baltimore, and San Francisco Performances. A champion of American song, Ms. Blythe has premiered several song cycles written for her including Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson by the late James Legg, Covered Wagon Woman by Alan Smith which was commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recorded with the ensemble (CMS Studio Recordings); and Vignettes: Ellis Island, also by Alan Smith and featured in a special television program entitled Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. Ms Blythe starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcasts of Orfeo ed Euridice, Il Trittico, Rodelinda, and the complete Ring Cycle. She also appeared in PBS's Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic's performance of Carousel and her acclaimed show, We'll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith. Her recordings include her solo album, as long as there are songs (Innova), and works by Mahler, Brahms, Wagner, Handel and Bach (Virgin Classics). Ms. Blythe's many engagements have also included her return to the Metropolitan Opera for The Rake's Progress, the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Il Trovatore, the Seattle Opera for Semele, Samson et Dalilah with the Atlanta Symphony and Carnegie Hall for a recital in Stern Auditorium. Last season she performed with the San Francisco Opera as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and the Houston Grand Opera as Nettie Fowler in Carousel. She also performed her new program, Sing, America! at Carnegie Hall. Next season she returns to Opera Philadelphia for the title role in Tancredi, brings her acclaimed performance of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon's 27 to New York's City Center, and returns to Palm Beach as Ruth in performances of The Pirates of Penzance. Ms. Blythe was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 2009. Her other awards include the 2007 Opera News Award and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award. She is also the Artistic Director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music.
Professional Development Workshop
Lucy Dhegrae“Vocal versatility and an omnivorous curiosity” (New York Times) are the hallmarks of mezzo-soprano Lucy Dhegrae, a passionate vocalist with a flexible technique that fits a variety of styles. She has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Talea Ensemble, the Albany Symphony, among others, at such venues as Miller Theatre, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center.
Dhegrae, who is “everywhere new music is being sung” (New York Classical Review) regularly premieres new vocal works and operas, and has worked closely with such composers as Unsuk Chin, Jason Eckardt, Susan Botti, Alexandra Vrebalov, and Sky Macklay. Her opera premieres include Trillium J by Anthony Braxton, Andy: A Popera (Opera Philadelphia/Bearded Ladies Cabaret), A Marvelous Order by Judd Greenstein, and Ashley Fure’s The Force of Things. Dhegrae’s festival appearances include Darmstadt (Germany), Klangspuren (Austria), Mostly Mozart, Bard Music Festival, Gesher Music Festival (St. Louis), and Aldeburgh Music Festival (as a Britten-Pears Young Artist).
As “soprano and raconteur” (The New Yorker) she directs Resonant Bodies Festival, an annual festival of new and experimental vocal music, which she founded in 2013. She is on the faculty at the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program (where she graduated with an MM in Vocal Performance ’12), and is a core member of the new music ensemble Contemporaneous. She lives with her husband, composer Shawn Jaeger, in New York.
Photo by Ariadne Greif.
Artist in Residence, Acting Workshop
Jack FerverJack Ferver is a New York–based writer, choreographer, and director. His genre-defying performances, which have been called “so extreme that they sometimes look and feel like exorcisms” (New Yorker), explore the tragicomedy of the human psyche. Ferver’s “darkly humorous” (New York Times) works interrogate and indict an array of psychological and sociopolitical issues, particularly in the realms of sexual orientation, gender, and power struggles. His visionary direction blurs boundaries between fantastic theatrics and stark naturalism, character and self, humor and horror.
Ferver’s works have been presented in New York City at the New Museum; The Kitchen; The French Institute Alliance Française, as part of Crossing the Line; Abrons Arts Center; Gibney Dance; Performance Space 122; the Museum of Arts and Design, as part of Performa 11; Danspace Project; and Dixon Place. Domestically and internationally, Ferver has been presented by the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College; American Dance Institute (Maryland); Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (Illinois); Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (Oregon); Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA (Maine); Institute of Contemporary Art (Massachusetts); Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston (Texas); and Théâtre de Vanves (France).
His work has been critically acclaimed in the New York Times, La Monde, Artforum, New Yorker, Time Out NY, Modern Painters, Financial Times, Village Voice, and ArtsJournal. Ferver has received residencies and fellowships from the Maggie Allesee National Center of Choreography at Florida State (2012); Baryshnikov Arts Center (2013); Watermill Center (2014); Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art (2014); Live Arts Bard, the commissioning and residency program of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (2014); and Abrons Art Center (2014-2015). He is a 2016 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant.
He teaches at Bard College and is guest faculty at New York University. He has also taught at SUNY Purchase, and has set choreography at The Juilliard School. As an actor he has appeared in numerous films and television series. In 2018, he had premieres at the Guggenheim and New York Live Arts.
Core Seminar III
Lucy Fitz GibbonNoted for her “dazzling, virtuoso singing” (Boston Globe), Lucy Fitz Gibbon is a dynamic musician whose repertoire spans the Renaissance to the present. She believes that creating new works and recreating those lost in centuries past makes room for the multiplicity and diversity of voices integral to classical music’s future. As such, Lucy has given U.S. premieres of rediscovered works by Baroque composers Francesco Sacrati, Barbara Strozzi, and Agostino Agazzari, as well by 20th century composers including Tadeusz Kassern, Roman Palester, and Jean Barraqué. She has also worked closely with numerous others, premiering works by John Harbison, Kate Soper, Sheila Silver, David Hertzberg, Reena Esmail, Roberto Sierra, Anna Lindemann, and Pauline Oliveros. In helping to realize the complexities of music beyond written notes, the experience of working with these composers translates to all music: the commitment to faithfully communicate not only the score, but also the underlying intentions of its creator.
As a recitalist Lucy has appeared with her collaborative partner, pianist Ryan McCullough, in such venues as London’s Wigmore Hall; New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Park Avenue Armory, and Merkin Hall; and Toronto’s Koerner Hall. They have three forthcoming CDs: one of works by James Primosch and John Harbison on Albany Records; one alongside Dawn Upshaw and Stephanie Blythe of Sheila Silver’s Beauty Intolerable; and one featuring mid-20 th century Polish works on Acte Préalable. 2019-2020 season highlights include a fourth consecutive season with the Brooklyn Art Song Society; the premiere of Anna Lindemann’s multi-media theater work The Colony; the premiere of a new work by Indian-American composer Shirish Korde with Boston Musica Viva; the premiere of a new orchestration of Lukas Foss’ Time Cycle; two tours with the Musicians From Marlboro, performing works by Brett Dean, Kate Soper, and Handel in such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Kimmel Center; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Kalamazoo Symphony; and Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Eureka Symphony. In 2018-2019, Lucy joined the Brooklyn Art Song Society for a third consecutive season; premiered John Harbison’s IF, a monodrama for soprano and ensemble, in Boston Musica Viva’s 50 th Anniversary season; and performed works by Babbitt and Wuorinen with clarinetists Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima, among numerous other chamber music concerts. She also appeared as a soloist with the Eureka Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Cornell’s Baroque Orchestra, and Harvard’s Dudley Orchestra, performing works ranging from Handel’s Messiah to world premieres.
A graduate of Yale University, Lucy is the recipient of numerous awards for her musical and academic achievements. Lucy holds an artist diploma from The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory and a master’s degree from Bard College Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program; her principal teachers include Monica Whicher, Edith Bers, and Dawn Upshaw. Lucy has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center (2014-2015) and Marlboro Music Festival (2016-2019). She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University, and will join the faculty of Bard
College Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program in the fall.
Associate Director, Graduate Vocal Arts Program
Kayo IwamaAmerican pianist Kayo Iwama is the associate director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, working in tandem with the artistic director, the internationally acclaimed American soprano Dawn Upshaw. Other collaborations with Dawn Upshaw include master classes and a recital at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program at the Aldeburgh Music Festival, and appearances at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Virginia, the University of Wyoming, Edward Pickman Hall at the Longy School of Music and the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. In addition, Kayo Iwama has concertized extensively with singers including Kendra Colton, William Hite, Rufus Müller, Christòpheren Nomura and Lucy Shelton throughout North America, Europe and Japan, performing at venues such as the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Morgan Library, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, the Token Creek Music Festival, Tokyo’s Yamaha Hall and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The Washington Post has called her a pianist “with unusual skill and sensitivty to the music and the singer” and the Boston Globe has praised her “virtuoso accompaniment…super-saturated with gorgeuos colors”. For over two decades she taught at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she also served as the coordinator of the Vocal Studies Program for fifteen years. There she has worked with some of today’s most promising young singers and collaborative pianists, and assisted Maestros James Levine, Seiji Ozawa and Robert Spano in major operatic and concert productions. In addition her teaching has taken her to some of the foremost universities of the United States and Taiwan to give master classes and performances. She is currently on the faculty of Songfest.
A former resident of the Boston, Massachusetts area, Kayo Iwama was a frequent performer on WGBH radio, and performed with such groups as the Florestan Recital Project, the Handel and Haydn Society and Emmanuel Music. In addition she was the pianist and music director of the critically acclaimed Cantata Singers Chamber Series, creating programs devoted to rarely-heard works of art song and vocal chamber music. She was formerly on the faculties of the Hartt School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston Conservatory.
Ms. Iwama earned a bachelor of music degree at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she studied with Gilbert Kalish. She also attended the Salzburg Music Festival, the Banff Music Center, the Music Academy of the West and the Tanglewood Music Center, where she worked with such artists as Margo Garrett, Martin Isepp, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz and Erik Werba. She has served previously on the music staffs of the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She can be heard in recording on the Well-Tempered label, with baritone Christópheren Nomura in Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, two ISMM discs devoted to French mélodies and the songs of Schumann with tenor Ingul Ivan Oak, and on the recently released The Reckless Heart with soprano Kendra Colton, a collection of 20th century American and British song.
Sondra LoringSondra Loring has been dancing in New York since 1982, and received a 1996 Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) as an improviser, writer, teacher and performer, specifically with David Rousseve and Neil Greenberg. Her own work has been produced in NYC, notably Danspace Project, DTW, BAM, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Joyce Soho and PS122, as well as in Mexico, Venezuela and other venues throughout the United States. Loring received the prestigious Meet the Composer commission, along with a grant from the US/Mexico Fund for Culture for El Puente/The Bridge.
In 1992, Loring co-founded the annual Improvisation Festival/NY, a two-week program of workshops, classes, ‘jams’ and performances by both national and international improvisers. She also founded and edited JUICE, an underground dance journal in NYC. She was an artist-in-residence for Movement Research (MR) and on the Artists Advisory Board for MR and for Danspace Project.
After moving to the Hudson Valley, Loring rocked the dance scene, organizing performance and educational experiences for the local community, with infusions from the NYC dance world. Her work as a director includes site-specific events, concert performances and collaborations with artists spanning the disciplines of music and art. Her recent piece, CRUSH, with Maria Simpson, was performed in NYC and the northeast region.
Early in the 2000’s, Loring opened two yoga studios, Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation in Hudson, and Satya Yoga Center in Rhinebeck, and continues to teach yoga and direct teacher training programs at Sadhana. She founded the Sadhana Service Project, bringing trauma-informed and mindfulness-based yoga to those impacted by trauma, addiction and incarceration. Her creative work includes choreographing, teaching, designing one-of-a-kind coveralls, disrupting sexual stereotypes through photography, mothering her son, tending her small farm, and working for peace and justice in her community.
Lorraine NubarVocalist. B.A., M.A., The Juilliard School. Studied with Jennie Tourel, William Vennard, Daniel Ferro, Martial Singher, Frank Corsaro, Gerard Souzay, Elly Ameling, Jeanine Reiss, and pianist Dalton Baldwin, with whom she conducts annual master classes at Vermont Opera Theater’s “Foliage Art Song” festival. First American to be appointed to the voice faculty of the Paris Conservatory; has prepared singers for the Paris and Lyon Operas and regularly conducts summer master classes at Foundation Royaumont in Val d’Oise, Centre International de Formation Musicale in Nice, and summer vocal chamber music program at Les Azuriales Opera. Has served as juror for Young Concert Artists International competition, Paris Concours, and Marseille Concours. Teaches at Bard College Conservatory, Juilliard, and New England Conservatory.
Joan Patenaude-YarnellFollowing her debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Micaela in Carmen, this Canadian-born soprano joined both the New York City and San Francisco Operas. She has also sung with opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Her roles have included Violetta in La Traviata, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Gilda in Rigoletto, Nedda in I Pagliacci, the title role in Suor Angelica, Mimì in La Bohème, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Elle in La Voix Humaine, and Héro in Béatrice et Bénédict.
As a recitalist she performed internationally under the auspices of the Canadian Government, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Les Jeunesses musicales, and the United States Department of State. With orchestra she sang under the batons of Sir Charles Mackerras, Charles Dutoit, Seiji Ozawa, Julius Rudel, and James De Preist. Her recordings include Songs of the Great Opera Composers with Mikael Eliasen, pianist, on the Musical Heritage Society label, as well as releases on the C.B.C. International Series and Vanguard labels.
In addition to her position at Bard Conservatory, Miss Patenaude-Yarnell also serves on the voice faculties of Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music.
Her students perform with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Paris Opéra, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Stuttgart Opera and are participants in the young artists programs at Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Center (Zurich, Switzerland), and Volksoper (Vienna). Several of her students are current winners of the George London Foundation Awards, Marilyn Horne Foundation Awards, and Puccini Foundation Awards, as well as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions First Prize Winner, 2004.
She has presented her master class “The Principals of Bel Canto” throughout the U.S. and Canada. In the 2014-15 season Miss Patenaude-Yarnell has given master classes in the Art of Bel Canto at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) Young Artists Program, Princeton University, and the University of Southern Ontario (Canada). She is presenting classes in spring 2015 at Guild Hall (London, England), the Royal Welsh College of Music/Drama (Cardiff, Wales), and Oberlin in Italy (Arezzo, Italy).
Elizabeth ReeseElizabeth Reese (AmSAT, M.Ed, LMHC), began studying the Alexander Technique in 1981 and considered the work as a core part of her training as a choreographer/performer in NYC. She certified as an Alexander teacher in 1994 at the American Center for the Alexander Technique and, in 2006, as a teacher of Breathing Coordination with Jessica Wolf. Elizabeth was senior faculty for ten years at AT-NYC, a certification course for AT teachers, and is a founder and instructor at Postural Rehabilitation, a continuing education program for veterinarians. In 1999, she created and established The Warwick Summer Arts Festival, producing performance events at farms, parks and lakes around the town of Warwick, NY, which continues today. Her interest in the embodied experience of trauma led her to her masters work in mental health counseling and, in 2014, her work as a research associate on a study exploring the significance of posture in performance, injury, relationship and emotional regulation, using horses as models, funded by the American Holistic Veterinary Foundation. Elizabeth has presented workshops and seminars throughout the US as well as Ireland and Denmark and has presented at numerous national conferences for the American Society of the Alexander Technique. She is currently on faculty at Neighborhood Playhouse and maintains a private practice at her farm in Sugar Loaf, New York and in New York City.
Artist in Residence; Director, Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship, and faculty, Bard College Conservatory of Music
Erika SwitzerErika Switzer is an internationally active pianist, teacher, and arts administrator. She has performed on the stages of New York’s Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), David Geffen Hall (Lincoln Center), Frick Collection, and Bargemusic, and at the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Spoleto Festival, Mostly Mozart, Bard Music Festival, and Stanford Live. She has also appeared at concert series throughout North America, Europe, and Africa. During a seven-year sojourn in Germany, she performed at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and the Munich Winners & Masters series, and won numerous awards, including best pianist prizes at the Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, and Wigmore Hall International Song Competitions. European appearances also include recitals for Pro Musicis at the Salle Cortot in Paris, Académie Francis Poulenc at the L’Hôtel de ville de Tours, and Göppingen Meisterkonzerte. Recent premieres include the 5 Boroughs Music Festival Songbook II (Matthew Aucoin, Jonathan Dawe, Evan Fein, Whitney George, Laura Kaminsky, Missy Mazzoli, Paola Prestini, Kamala Sankaram); Brooklyn Art Song Society (Andrew Staniland); and Vancouver’s Music on Main (Jocelyn Morlock, Caroline Shaw). Switzer has been recorded by the CBC, Dutch Radio (Radio 4), SWR and the Bayerische Rundfunk in Germany, WQXR New York, and WGBH Boston. An upcoming recording release, English Songs à la française, features her long-standing duo partnership with baritone Tyler Duncan. Together with soprano Martha Guth, she cofounded Sparks & Wiry Cries (sparksandwirycries.org), which contributes to the future of art song performance through publication of The Art Song Magazine, presentation of the songSLAM festival in New York City, and the commission of new works. In addition to teaching in Bard’s undergraduate Music Program, Switzer works with the Graduate Vocal Arts Program on diction for singers, vocal coaching, and chamber music. BM, MM (solo piano), University of British Columbia; MM, Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, Germany; DM (collaborative piano), The Juilliard School. At Bard since 2010.