Christopher Preston Thompsonharp/tenor
With a “mystical harp and a beautiful voice”, Christopher Preston Thompson has “enchanted” audiences (The Epoch Times) in New York City and beyond. Described by Opera News as a “versatile, funny, game and attractive…obviously well-trained singer”, Christopher ranges in experience as singer, actor, and historic harp player, with specific focus on Early Music and New Music.
For a recent performance with Toby Twining Music, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Christopher “had an amazing vocal and rhythmic command that helped create some of the most other-worldly and percussive effects…remarkable.” New York Concert Review deemed his performance in the title role of Benjamin Britten’s The Prodigal Son as “superb”, hailing him “a fine singing-actor…singing with dramatic intensity, great sound and crystal-clear diction”. For his recent recreation of the epic tale, Nibelungenlied with The Broken Consort, the Boston Musical Intelligencer reported that “Christopher Preston Thompson with harp in hand, delivered 14 stanzas in Medieval German with great outward passion, the words themselves made biting, piercing.” And, most recently, Christopher was praised by Classical Voice North Carolina for a “stylish and delicate” French Baroque performance during a concert spanning 900 years of repertoire, noting “Thompson’s liquid and transparent voice is perfect for this type of music, with its complicated melody and ornamented phrases. Thompson’s diction is as clear as a bell, and he easily distinguishes between trills and vibrato.” The article went on to describe Christopher’s versatility, saying “Thompson flipped a figurative switch and sang in a perfect cabaret style for three songs..from Jacques Brel’s Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. There could not be a much more difficult set of transitions for a singer than from langue d’oïl to lenga d’òc to 18th-century French, German, and English, and then to the particular style of Broadway; Thompson pulled it all off beautifully.”
Credits include Gotham Early Music Scene’s production of Medieval musical drama The Play of Daniel, Vancouver Early Music Festival’s The Unknown ‘Carmina Burana’ with Sequentia, On Site Opera’s Pygmalion (Pygmalion cover),concerts with Pomerium, Toby Twining Music, The Broken Consort, Concordian Dawn (founding Artistic Director), New York Virtuoso Singers, the world premier of multiple Grammy nominee, David Chesky’s new opera, The Pig, the Farmer, and the Artist in the role of the Artist, Underworld Production Opera’s Il Trionfo dell’Onore in the role of Flaminio, a solo concert entitled Un Mélange de Paris et New York on the Atelier Concert Series at the American Church in Paris premiering Five Songs on Texts by Fauset and Grimké by Laura Kaminsky, which he also premiered in NYC at Symphony Space in the Spring of 2013, the Church of the Transfiguration’s productions of Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River as the Madwoman and The Burning Fiery Furnace as Misael, roles with Encompass New Opera Theatre (Anton, The Theory of Everything), the Bronx Opera Company (Remendado, Carmen; Mercury, Orpheus in the Underworld), dell’Arte Opera Ensemble (Snout, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Basilio/Curzio, Le Nozze di Figaro), Great River Shakespeare Festival (title role, Cymbeline), and Nicu’s Spoon Theatre (Prince Edward/Lord Stanley, Richard III), and resident positions with the Marble Choir and The Good Pennyworths.Christopher has also been seen in ABC broadcasts of Hope Is Born! and Rachael Ray’s Battle of the Carolers, and he can be heard on the Marble Choir’s recently released album, it’s about love.
Sarah’s clear, agile soprano voice can be heard in venues across New York City and the world. This season, Sarah appeared in the roles of First Lady and Papagena in Mozart’sThe Magic Flute with the Metropolitan Opera Guild and covered the role of Johanna in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. She performed in a recital entitled In the Valley with the recital series Marble Music Next Door, and sang at the Metropolitan Opera’s List Hall as part of the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Artist Showcase.
Sarah has portrayed Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Mortality in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Luisa in The Fantasticks, and Anna in The King and I. On the concert stage, Sarah has appeared as a soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
She won first place in the Artists-in-Training Scholarship Competition with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, as well as Continued Studies Awards from Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and won a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to travel to Germany and study the life and music of J.S. Bach.
Sarah’s outstanding musicianship has led to engagements with the New York Philharmonic, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Salzburg Festival, Voices of Ascension, New York Virtuoso Singers, Collegiate Chorale, American Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic. She is thrilled to be joining Ars Musica for the first time this season.
When she has free time, you’ll find Sarah in the wilderness mountain hiking, canoeing, and fishing. She recently summited Clouds Rest at an elevation of 10,000 feet on a 5-day solo hiking trip in Yosemite.
Bass-baritone Jonathan Woody is a sought-after performer of early and new music in New York and across the United States. Equally comfortable as soloist and ensemble member, Jonathan is a member of the Grammy®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, where he has earned praise as “charismatic” and “riveting” from the New York Times for his solo work. In 2016, Jonathan was named the winner of the first Tafelmusik Vocal Competition in Toronto, Canada, and subsequently made his debut as soloist with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Other recent solo engagements include the premiere of Ted Hearne’s The Source at Brooklyn Academy of Music, a nationwide tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Apollo’s Fire, and appearances with American Classical Orchestra, New York Baroque Incorporated, Bach Collegium San Diego, Nashville Symphony, Pegasus Early Music, and Spire Chamber Ensemble. Festival credits include Carmel Bach Festival (as 2013 Virginia Best Adams Fellow), Oregon Bach Festival (as 2014 Vocal Fellow), American Bach Soloists Academy, and Amherst Early Music (appearing with New York Polyphony). Jonathan has joined Opera Lafayette, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Amsterdam Presents and Beth Morrison Productions for recent staged productions, and was a 2015-2016 Vocal Fellow for American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice forum. Jonathan has recorded with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the Musica Omnia label and with New York Polyphony under the BIS Records label. Jonathan holds degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park, and McGill University and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Niccolo Seligmann connects music from disparate points in space and time to create an experience that is totally new. He plays over 20 instruments from all over the world, with roots stretching back millenia (not to mention the interactive software instruments he builds from scratch.) A typical concert can feel like a fireside chat, a whirlwind journey, or a revelatory vision…
Seligmann is an improviser, composer, arranger, producer, and educator. His improvisations and original music have been featured on WGBH Boston’sDrive Time Live and WYPR Baltimore. You can hear him play four different instruments in the soundtrack to critically-acclaimed PC game Civilization VI. He has performed all over North America and in Europe, fondly recalling performances at the Kennedy Center, at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, in a bustling plaza in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and inside a 4000 year old redwood tree near Crescent City, CA. He is delighted to be the viola da gamba coach for UCLA’s Early Music Ensemble, beginning in 2016.
Niccolo is a core member of The Broken Consort, a group dedicated to “Early music turned early magic” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). In 2011 he and Brian Kay founded the global folk and medieval group Divisio, hailed for its “intricate improvisational rhythms.” He also performs medieval music with the ensembles Hesperus, Eya, and Alkemie, and Renaissance and Baroque music with The Peabody Consort, Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, Baltimore Baroque Band, and Peabody Consort of Viols. 2016 marks the beginning of his industrial EDM drag queen side project, LADYPRODUKT. He is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory, having studied viola da gamba with John Moran. niccoloseligmann.com.
Praised by the Albuquerque Journal for his “heartfelt intensity of smooth, effortless, bittersweet tones,” countertenor Patrick Fennig is established as both a soloist and ensemble singer. He has appeared with Fretwork Viol Consort, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Concert Royal, The American Classical Orchestra, The Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra and Big Apple Baroque.
His stage credits include Big Apple Baroque’s production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and a role composed for him in I Fioretti in Musica, a neo-Renaissance madrigal opera, which premiered at LaMaMa Experimental Theatre Club. In past seasons, he has appeared as a soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Schütz’s, Sei Gegrüßet, Maria and Buxtehude’s Jesu Membra Nostri.
Patrick is a member of The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Early Music New York, Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble and Collectio Musicorum and sings regularly with Pomerium, Musica Sacra, and Big Apple Baroque. He is the Artistic Director of Schola Cantorum Pompeii in NYC. Patrick holds a degree in Religion with a Concentration in Music from Northwestern University, where he studied and coached with Ellen Hargis, Mary Springfels and Grant Herreid. He currently lives in New York City. PatrickFennig.com.
Nicholas TamagnaCountertenor (member emeritus)
Nicholas Tamagna is a countertenor of rare quality who is quickly establishing himself on the world’s opera stages. As a Händel specialist, he has conquered such roles as Giulio Cesare, Orlando and Polinesso. His flawless technique, seamless registration, clarity of diction, and dramatic versatility have won him critical acclaim in a wide range of repertoire.
In 2017/18, Mr. Tamagna appears with Nederlandse Reisopera and at Staatstheater Oldenburg (Germany) in the title role of Hasse’s Siroe, Re di Persia (December 2017 – April 2018), with Opera Omaha as the Refugee in the company premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Flight (April 2017), and with the Spoleto Festival USA as Pompeo in Vivaldi’s Farnace (May-June 2017).
In 2016/17 he will sing the alto solo in Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater in a dance production with Malandain Ballet Biarritz at Opéra de Rouen in France. In New York at Merkin Hall, he sang Goffredo in Rinaldo with operamission, and with One World Symphony he performed the title role in Sung Jin Hong’s Hannibal. He again joined early music ensemble, Le Poème Harmonique on tour as the Spirit in Dido and Aeneas and as the vocal soloist in To be or not to be, a Purcell/Shakespeare pastiche, performing at Opéra de Haute-Normandie Rouen, Opéra Royal de Versailles, and Opéra de Vichy.
In 2014/15, he returned to the Händel-Festspiele in Karlsruhe, Germany as Oronte in Händel’s Riccardo Primo, where he made his European debut the previous year. At Theater Münster he performed Polinesso in Ariodante, and débuted at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden as Hassan in Zaid Jabri’s Cities of Salt.
During the 2012/13 season, Nicholas Tamagna triumphed as Akhnaten with Indianapolis Opera, from which a filmed version was broadcast. In New York, he performed the role of Ottone in l’Incoronazione di Poppea at Symphony Space, the title role in the North American premiere of Händel’s Rodrigo with operamission, and Pisandro in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Opera Omnia. In recent seasons, he has performed the title role in Endimione/Pane in Cavalli’s La Calisto (NY), Cesare/Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare, re d’Egitto (Washington DC/London, Ontario, Canada), the Witch in Hansel and Gretel (NY), Farnace in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto (NY), the Duchess in The Gondoliers (NY), Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus (NY), Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Memphis), the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas (NY and Rouen, France), and Ruggiero in Alcina (NY).
Mr. Tamagna is featured on DVD as the Spirit in Dido and Aeneas (2015, Outhere Music), with Canadian early music ensemble ¡Sacabuche! in performances of unpublished works of the Italian Baroque (2015, ATMA Classique), and soon to be released recording Son of England: Music of Henry Purcell and Jeremiah Clarke (2017, Alpha Classics) with Le Poème Harmonique Orchestra. An active concert soloist, He has sung in renowned venues including Philharmonie de Paris (France), Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, and the Bozar in Bruxelles (Belgium).
Mr. Tamagna was the 1st Prize winner of the inaugural Nico Castel International Mastersinger Competition.
Representation: Stephens Nicolson Artists Management.