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Headshot of opera bass-baritone singer Peter Barber with Arizona Opera

Peter Barber


Peter Barber is an American bass-baritone and Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts. In October of 2021, Barber made his professional role and company debut with Salt Marsh Opera, performing Escamillo in Carmen. In February of 2022, Barber made with role debut with AVA as Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, followed just a few months later by Schaunard in La Bohème, under the baton of Maestro Christofer Macatsoris. Last summer, Barber joined The Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Singer, covering Fiorello in The Barber of Seville, and performing Truffaldin in Ariadne auf Naxos during the Apprentice Scenes program. In the Fall, Barber performed the role of Barone Douphol in La Traviata, and is currently preparing the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni to be performed in April/May 2023 with AVA. Next summer, Barber will be returning to Music Academy of the West (’19) to perform Colline in La Bohème with Daniela Candillari conducting.

Throughout the virtual 2020/21 Season, Barber performed in three recitals with the Academy of Vocal Arts, earning reviews like, "...command over the full range of his voice from top to bottom was unshakeable" for his presentation of Schubert's Der Wanderer. In January of 2020, Barber made his professional debut with Pacific Opera Project, performing Amantio in POP's double-bill production of Gianni Schicchi and L'enfant et les Sortilèges. Also with POP, Barber was to perform his first professional lead role as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, but the shows were cancelled due to COVID-19. Some of his other role highlights include: Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Stobrod/Blindman in Cold Mountain, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. Barber is currently in the voice studio of Bill Schuman.

Outside of the opera world, Barber has grown a substantial audience on YouTube, surpassing 80,000 subscribers via videos with in-depth musical analysis of contemporary music, as well as creating non-operatic musical covers. He is also one of the founding members of a musical group called The Bass Gang (Bobby Bass, Peter Barber, Tomi P, and Marwan Ayman), which was formed during the pandemic, and consists of four bass singers that collaborate virtually from all over the world. The Bass Gang released their first EP in May of 2021 (May the Bass Be With You, Vol. 1), and released their second EP in May of 2022 (May the Bass Be With You, Vol. 2), collaborating with some of the most exciting singers in the virtual landscape (MALINDA, Jonathan Young, Colm McGuinness, and Elliott Robinson). Just recently, The Bass Gang collaborated with Tim Foust, the bass singer for world-famous acapella group, Home Free. So far, The Bass Gang has amassed over 2 million views/streams between YouTube and Spotify alone.

Praised for his “healthy and soaring tenor voice” (The Herald Times), Korean American Brad Bickhardt is a vibrant and versatile performer in both the operatic and musical theatre canon. Highlight performances have included Nemorino (The Elixir of Love), Tony (West Side Story), and Alfredo (La Traviata), as well as originating the role of Colin in We Wear the Sea Like a Coat. Additional 2021/22 appearances have included filming Stone Soup for Tri-Cities Opera, appearing in recital with Chelsea Opera and Maryland Opera, and as a guest artist at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. Bickhardt has previously appeared with Opera Saratoga in their critically acclaimed production of Man of La Mancha under the baton of Broadway conductor, Laura Bergquist, as well as in Opera Naples’ productions of West Side Story and La Traviata.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bickhardt was on the roster of The Glimmerglass Festival in productions of Wagner’s Die Feen as well as The Sound of Music, and in 2019, was a member of the prestigious Wolf Trap Opera Studio in which he covered and performed principal roles in L’heure espagnole, Lîle de Merlin, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Ariadne auf Naxos. On the concert stage, he has appeared as the tenor soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and Mozart’s Miss Brevis in Bb.

Bickhardt received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he appeared in 13 productions with IU Opera Theater as well as serving as an Associate Instructor of Voice. Bickhardt's graduate thesis consisted of compiling an anthology of musical theatre repertoire for undergraduate tenors and their pedagogical applications, and he was named an Encouragement Award from the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council. Bickhardt is a proud alumnus of the rosters of Tri-Cities Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Naples, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Charlottesville Opera. Bickhardt's primary vocal instruction has been under renowned baritone Andreas Poulimenos and husband and wife team Kevin and Heidi Grant Murphy.

Headshot of opera mezzo-soprano singer Lauren Cook with Arizona Opera

Lauren Cook


Praised for her captivating stage presence, “full bodied" (Indie Opera) and "nuanced voice” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), mezzo-soprano Lauren Cook is quickly establishing a name for herself in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Mazzoli. During the 2021 Season, Cook made her company debuts with Painted Sky Opera performing Hannah After in the Oklahoma Premiere of Laura Kaminsky’s As One, Opera Saratoga performing Antonia in Man of La Mancha, and Virginia Opera performing Wellgunde in Das Rheingold. Cook was most recently seen performing Edwin the Avatar/Eddie in the film version of Frances Pollock’s Earth to Kenzie.

Other notable stage credits include Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Scalia-Ginsburg), Blanche de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Mélisande (Impressions de Pelléas), and Tisbe (La Cenerentola). Cook has appeared with Opera Philadelphia, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Naples, Opera Iowa, Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera Louisiane, Guérilla Opera, Odyssey Opera, Seagle Festival, and the Louisiana Opera Outreach Program, and has performed as a soloist in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Cook was also a featured soloist in Boston Symphony Hall at a gala hosted by Alan Cumming.

As a contemporary repertoire advocate, Cook premiered Evan Mack's Roscoe, and was most recently seen workshopping the role of LeAnn in Missy Mazzoli's upcoming opera: The Listeners, with Opera Philadelphia. Cook was also featured in a collaborative project with Guerilla Opera, where she premiered excerpts from The Desert, Lazy Citizen, War is a Racket, and Malice in the Palace. Other notable projects include the workshop and premiere recording of The Leopard (Dellaira) as the role of Angelica with American Opera Projects, the premiere recording of The Wake World (Hertzberg) with Opera Philadelphia, a recording of Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Wuorinen) with Boston Modern Orchestra Projects, and a pre-workshop of Permadeath (Visconti) as Aphrodite in association with Friends of Madame White Snake. Prior to the pandemic, Cook was also scheduled to perform Elder #2 in the New York Premiere of Lembit Beecher’s Sky on Swings with Opera Saratoga.

Cook will close out 2021 with the World Premiere of Molly Joyce’s Our Way of Being Small in the World with Fresh Squeezed Opera in NYC, followed by a recording with Opera Philadelphia of Daniel Belquer’s piece Religare Resonare, composed specifically for use with Vibrotextile wearable technology by Music: Not Impossible Labs. In the 2022 Season, Cook returned to Virginia Opera to perform Cherubino in their mainstage production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Praised for her "expressive, lovingly shaded soprano" and "dazzling coloratura and lithe stage presence [used] to piquant comedic effect" (Opera News), French-American soprano Véronique Filloux spends the 2022/23 Season with Arizona Opera, making several exciting role debuts including Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Liesl (The Sound of Music), Pamina (The Magic Flute), and Agatha (Frankenstein - workshop). Filloux also joins Washington Concert Opera as Miss Ellen (Lakmé) and Pacific Opera Project as Martesia in the US premiere of Vivaldi's Ercole su'l Termodonte. Filloux is delighted to spend her summer with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Artist, singing Iris (Semele), singing on Steve Blier's recital "Night and Day, USA," and giving a Parlor Recital. In the 2023/24 Season, Filloux looks forward to debuts with companies including Berkshire Opera Festival as Musetta (La Bohème) and Livermore Valley Opera as Curley’s Wife (Of Mice and Men), as well as two returns to Arizona Opera as Rosina (The Barber of Seville) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni).

Filloux has spent the past two summers with Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Peaseblossom/Tytania (cover) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and L'Amour/La Folie (cover) in Rameau's Platée. As a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Seasons, her roles included Papagena (The Magic Flute), The Girl/Luna (The Rose Elf, staged premiere), Frasquita (Carmen), Despina (Così fan tutte), Chan Parker (Charlie Parker’s Yardbird), and the title role in Handel’s Semele. Filloux also performed recitals with Salt Marsh Opera and Musicians Club of Women and was scheduled to debut with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's Mass in C.

Active in competition, Filloux has won 1st Place in the 2022 Zenith Opera Competition, the 2023 Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Competition- Arizona, the 2022 Mildred Miller Vocal Competition, and the 2021 Camille Coloratura Awards. Filloux is a prize winner in the 2022 Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition, 2023 Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Competition- National Finals, 2022 Annapolis Opera Competition, 2021 Orpheus Vocal Competition 2021 Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Competition- DC, and the 2020 Musicians Club of Women Competition, as well as a Pittsburgh District Winner of the 2020 Laffont Competition.

In past seasons, Filloux has been proud to work with opera companies including Opera Lafayette, Chicago Opera Theater, Salt Marsh Opera, Opera NEO, and Central City Opera, with whom she spent two summers, singing Papagena (The Magic Flute) and the title role in Debussy’s La damoiselle élue, earning the 2019 Opera Guild Artist Sponsorship and winning both the company’s Young Artist Award and Apprentice Artist Award. Filloux made her Kennedy Center debut as Tigrane (Radamisto) with Opera Lafayette. On the concert stage, Filloux has performed solos in Carmina Burana, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Messiah, and several Bach cantatas with organizations including the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Bach Collegium San Diego, Maryland Bach Cantata Project, and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, with whom she has enjoyed several collaborations. Filloux is a proud graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Maryland Opera Studio.

Headshot of opera baritone singer Yazid Gray with Arizona Opera

Yazid Gray


Yazid Gray has been described as "a vocal chameleon" (Seen and Heard International) with "a baritone voice of fine quality and warmth" (onStage Pittsburgh). In 2022/23, Gray debuted with Intermountain Opera Bozeman as Homecoming Soldier in The Falling and the Rising, Madison Opera as Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, and the New Mexico Philharmonic in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. In summer of 2023, Gray joined the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis singing the role of Luddud, covering Zodzetrick, Simon, and Parson Alltalk in Treemonisha, and covering Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. He then joined Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra as a soloist singing Letters from Lincoln by Michael Daugherty. In the 2023/24 Season, Gray returns to Madison Opera as Ophémon in Joseph Bologne's The Anonymous Lover. He then makes his Arizona Opera debut at Mercutio in Roméo & Juliette.

Gray recently finished a summer with The Glimmerglass Festival as a young artist where he sang Le Dancaire in Carmen, Baloo in the World Premiere of The Jungle Book (Sankaram/Rourke), and covered the role of Cedric/Matteo in the World Premiere of Tenor Overboard (Rossini/Ludwig). He is a former Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera where he performed The Woodcutter/The Outlaw in the World Premiere of In a Grove (Cerrone/Fleischmann), Le Dancaire in Carmen, Policeman #3 in Blue, and Second Priest in The Magic Flute in the 2021/22 Season.

In the summer of 2021, Gray performed with Chautauqua Opera as an apprentice artist where he appeared as the baritone soloist in As the Così Crumbles: A Company Developed Piece. In Pittsburgh Opera's 2020/21 Season he performed in all four main stage productions which included Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Soldier in David T. Little’s Soldier Songs, Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and Athamas in Semele. During the summer of 2020, Gray participated as a featured young artist in Chautauqua Opera's digital season and in 2019, he made his debut with the company singing Fiorello in The Barber of Seville.

In the 2018/19 Season, Gray sang the role of Bello in La fanciulla del West with Maryland Lyric Opera. He then went on to join Opera Santa Barbara as a member of their Chrisman Studio Artist program, where he performed the roles of Schaunard in La Bohème, Zaretski in Eugene Onegin, Le Podestat in Le docteur Miracle, and Thomas Putnam in The Crucible.

Gray made his professional debut in the summer of 2018 as Charlie in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with Opera Maine. Also comfortable on the musical theater stage, Gray has performed roles such as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime, Jim Conley in Parade, Hunter Bell in [title of show], and Al in The Most Happy Fella.

Yazid received his Bachelor of Music in Voice from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and is a graduate of University of Michigan - School of Music where he received his Master of Music in Voice. His academic credits include Oliver Jordan in the Michigan premiere of Dinner at Eight (Bolcolm/Campbell), Mercutio in Roméo & Juliette, and Demetrius in A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

Headshot of assistant stage director Emerson Haven with Arizona Opera

Emerson Haven

assistant stage director

Emerson Haven is a stage director and assistant director of theatre and opera originally from the foothills of Appalachia. He is a 2023 graduate of Florida State University’s Masters in Opera Stage Directing and has a particular love for new works and baroque opera (especially the works of Händel). When not directing or assisting, he is active as an arts educator and creator of his own work, performing in his one man show Voicing Home. He would like to thank his friends and family for all their support.

Headshot of opera countertenor John Holiday with Arizona Opera

John Holiday

countertenor and guest host

Countertenor John Holiday has established himself as “one of the finest countertenors of his generation” (Los Angeles Times). His voice has been praised as “a thing of astonishing beauty” (The New Yorker), “arrestingly powerful, secure and dramatically high” (The Wall Street Journal), and “timeless” (The Washington Post). Holiday’s unique voice and powerful story have been the subject of profiles in The New Yorker, CNN’s Great Big Story, Los Angeles Times, and more.

Headshot of pianist Kihwa Kim with Arizona Opera

Kihwa Kim


Kihwa Kim is a versatile collaborative pianist who is well-versed in the areas of vocal and instrumental music. Prior to joining the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, Kim served on the faculty of Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. Kim has built a professional career as an opera/vocal coach, working with several opera companies including Dayton Opera, First Coast Opera, Chonnam National University (Gwangju, South Korea), Knoxville Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and Kangsookja Opera Line (Gwangju, South Korea).

Kim is an alumnus of the Music Academy of the West, where she received the Vocal Piano Fellowship Award (2017, 2018) and the Opera NEO (2019). Upon finishing her Opera NEO Apprentice Pianist program, she has been invited by the company to participate as a member of the music staff since 2020.

Kim has also played in a number of master classes given by Warren Jones, Graham Johnson, James Conlon, Martin Katz, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw, and Simon Keenlyside.

Along with her experience as an opera/vocal coach, Kim held the position of orchestra pianist at City of Mokpo Symphony Orchestra in South Korea (2007-2009) and staff pianist at Northern Kentucky University (2014-2016).

Kim completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music with Colette Valentine and Tamara Sanikidze. Kim also received her Artist Diploma in Opera Coaching and a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Marie-France Lefebvre and Kenneth Griffiths. Before her studies in the United States, Kim earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance at the Chonnam National University with Hyunok Moon, where she was appointed the Honorary Chancellor’s Award as the top graduate of the College of Arts.

Headshot of Katherine Kozack, Head of Music, Chorus Master, and Principal Coach of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio.

Katherine Kozak


Pianist, coach and chorus director Katherine Kozak has enjoyed affiliations with numerous companies throughout the United States. Her most long-standing relationship is with The Glimmerglass Festival, where she is the current Chorus Director, and in 2023 recently completed her 12th summer season. Katherine’s work with the chorus can be heard on Château du Versailles Spectacles 2021 CD/DVD release of The Ghosts of Versailles, for which she also performed on celesta and piano.

A deft and vivacious chorus master, Katherine notably garnered much acclaim with the Florida Grand Opera Chorus, with whom, up until the pandemic, she prepared approximately 20 productions. Under her direction, they were critiqued as “astutely balanced and exuberant”, “[having sung] with power and majesty”, “outstanding” and “vocally flawless”.

Katherine has a repertoire of over 80 complete operatic and musical theatre scores, and has operated in nearly every music staff role. She has functioned as head coach, rehearsal pianist, recitalist, supertitle caller, recitative accompanist, assistant conductor and administrator, and this wide range of abilities has brought her to The Dallas Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Colorado, and Central City Opera, among others. Notable conductors she has assisted include Richard Bonynge, Joseph Colaneri, John Demain and George Manahan.

In addition to her involvement in highly-regarded Young Artist programs, she has also helped develop singers at the university level. Appointments have included Associate Coach at The Juilliard School, and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Miami (FL).

Katherine holds the Master of Music in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from the University of Illinois, where she was a student of John Wustman. She has enjoyed collaborating with singers since the young age of 11, when she began accompanying and touring with the Singing Angels, based in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Headshot of stage director David Radamés Toro with Arizona Opera

David Radamés Toro

stage director

Latino American director, David Radamés Toro, applies his backgrounds in music and mime to create innovative opera productions. He has worked at companies such as Minnesota Opera, the Wexford Opera Festival, Seattle Opera, and Washington National Opera. An admirer of modern era opera, David has had the privilege of directing 21st century works such as Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (director, Minneapolis Opera & Austin Opera), Dead Man Walking (Opera Idaho, 2022), The Shining (Opera Colorado, 2022), Glory Denied, (Opera Fayetteville, 2020), and Flight (Minnesota Opera, 2020). He also enjoys directing opera for young audiences and has done so with Tri-Cities Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Opera Saratoga.