Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones. He is perhaps most acclaimed for his signature portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, having performed it with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, as well as the most illustrious orchestras on the North American continent, and at the Ravinia, Vail and Saratoga festivals. 2021-22 season highlights include performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the Florida Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the National Cathedral, Boston Baroque, and the New York Philharmonic. Other notable performances in the season include Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Phoenix Symphony, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and will be performing the role of Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Des Moines Metro Opera, as well as the role of Dick Hallorann in Paul Moravec’s critically acclaimed opera The Shining with the Opera Colorado.James M. Schaefer
Baritone James Martin Schaefer has an active performing career throughout the United States and beyond. He has received wide acclaim in many of the canonic operatic and oratorio baritone roles. He has performed in numerous productions with Los Angeles Opera and he was a member of Opera Pacific’s O.P.E.R.A. resident artist program.
Some recent engagements include appearances in Los Angeles Opera productions of Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Don Carlo, Wagner’s Tannhauser, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Bernstein’s Candide, Gluck’s Orfeus and Eurydice. He was recently featured as principal performer in Verdi’s La Traviata. In March 2022, Mr. Schaefer was “Bass Soloist” for St. Matthew’s Passion by J.S. Bach, which was a collaboration between Los Angeles Opera and The Hamburg Ballet. He also recently appeared as the bass soloist for the Berkshire Choral Festival.
Mr. Schaefer has garnered praise for his “marvelously expressive” (Los Angeles Times) and “powerful” (Orange County Register & Long Beach Press Telegram) interpretations of the most beautiful music composed for the baritone voice.
Mr. Schaefer has appeared as a featured / solo artist with Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Esplanade! Orchestra, the Pacific Chorale, the Long Beach Symphony, Les Grande Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Distinguished Concerts International, New York, The Young Musician’s Fund Debut Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Opera, La Mirada Symphony, The California Quartet, Chorale Bel Canto, Opera Pacific, Intimate Opera of Pasadena, Center Stage Opera, the Bakersfield Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Pasadena Pro Musica, the Roswell Symphony Orchestra, and the Long Beach Camerata.
More information available at jamesmartinschaefer.comMark Walters
Being touted as one of the next great American Verdi baritones, Opera News describes Mark Walters as “a force to be reckoned with.” He is lauded for his performances throughout the United States as Scarpia in Tosca, Germont in La traviata, and Pizarro in Fidelio. For his performance in La forza del destino, The Chicago Sun Times commended his “vocal fury.” Walters is now foraying into richer, more dramatic roles including Die fliegende Holländer, Jochanaan in Salome, Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen, the title role of Sweeney Todd, and Iago in Otello. This February, Walters takes on another premiere as Duke in Anton Coppola’s Lady Swanwhite with Opera Tampa.
Last season, Walters sang the role of Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West with Virginia Opera, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Bob Jones University, the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Spokane Symphony and Don Pizarro in Fidelio with Boston Baroque.
Recent engagements include a company début as Scarpia in Tosca with Minnesota Opera and a return for their world première of The Shining as Mark Torrance; the title role of Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera and Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra; the title role inDon Giovanni and Peter in Hänsel und Gretel with Seattle Opera; Germont in La traviata with Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera, and Finger Lakes Opera; Don Pizarro in Fidelio with Kentucky Opera and Opera Omaha; Marcello in La bohème with Florida Grand Opera and Opera Coeur d’Alene; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Carolina; Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Opera Tampa; Valentin in Faust and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera; a production of Peter Grimes with Canadian Opera Company; Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West with Mobile Opera; his début with the Spoleto Festival USA in John Adams’ El Niño; début with Opera Santa Barbara in the title role in Don Giovanni which he subsequently performed in concert with the Kalamazoo Symphony; Scarpia in Tosca with Sarasota Opera and Opera Tampa; and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Florentine Opera.
Career highlights include the world première of Rappahannock County by American composer Ricky Ian Gordon recorded on the Naxos label. His European début as Germont in La traviata with Den Nye Opera, Norway and his Asian début as Don Giovanni in Osaka, Japan. He also portrayed the Reverend Olin Blitch in a special 50th-anniversary production of Susannah, personally overseen by Carlisle Floyd.
Walters’ oratorio work includes his Carnegie Hall début in Orff’s Carmina Burana and Fauré’s Requiem conducted by John Rutter; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Tallahassee Symphony, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Augustana College, Springfield Symphony, Traverse City Symphony, and the Lima Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem with the Mississippi Symphony and Spokane Symphony; Cantata Memoria with DCINY at Carnegie Hall; Verdi’s Requiem with Spokane Symphony; Vaughn Williams Serenade with Springfield Symphony; the Brahms Requiem with Arizona Music Festival; and Händel’s Messiah with the Mississippi Symphony, Augustana College, and the Händel Oratorio Society. As a featured soloist, Mr. Walters has sung in the Milnes Voice Gala Honors James Morris, in the Baritones on the Bayou with Opera Louisiane, as Elijah with the Pensacola Choral Society, and in a Gala concert for the Canterbury Festival, UK.