Catherine Sandstedt, Coloratura Soprano, is a native of Columbia, Missouri. She currently resides on Long Island, New York where she has recently completed her Masters in Vocal Performance at Stony Brook University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA). At Stony Brook, she studies voice with soprano, Brenda Harris. Ms. Sandstedt has enjoyed many performances while at Stony Brook, namely performing the roles of Elisa in Mozart's Il Re Pastore, and Mélisande in the adaptation of Debussy’s opera Impressions de Pelléas. In addition, she has performed with the University Orchestra as a soloist for Handel’s Messiah; performed a duet from Derrick Wang’s new opera Scalia/Ginsburg, with the composer himself playing the piano; and performed the premiere of Nathan Heidelberger’s work, “Come il vento tra queste piante” with the Contemporary Chamber Players. Ms. Sandstedt currently teaches voice at Suffolk County Community College as an Adjunct Faculty member. She has taught students for over 8 years, not just voice but also viola, violin and piano. Ms. Sandstedt enjoys working with students of all ages and musical backgrounds, hoping to help each student find their confidence with music, develop safe and proper technique and also help to expand their knowledge to better understand the theory behind the music each student is learning. Before moving to New York, she received her Bachelor of Music in both Voice and Viola Performance from the University of Missouri where she studied voice with Ann Harrell and viola with Leslie Perna. She worked closely with Christine Seitz on many operatic performances before she graduated in 2016. Performances include Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), Gianni Schicchi (Nella) and The Crucible (Mary Warren). In addition, she has performed at OperaNEO, which is based in San Diego, in Handel’s Rinaldo(Almirena) and Gluck’s Armide (Lucinde/Plaisir). Not only does Ms. Sandstedt perform as a soloist, but she has had the great pleasure to sing with the Marble Collegiate church choir in New York City as well as St. Ann's and the Holy Trinity church in Brooklyn. But that is not where her choral work ends! Ms. Sandstedt is a member of Vox Nova, which is a small choral ensemble of 16 singers. Vox Nova consists of established music educators, conductors, and professional vocalists who meat once or twice a year, rehearse for 3 days and then perform two full concerts.
American soprano, Anna Mandina, recently finished a residency with the Missouri Symphony where she performed the role of Mimì in La bohème as a part of their Hot Summer Nights Festival. Last season, Ms. Mandina understudied the role of Micaëla in Carmen and performed the role of Annina in La traviata with Sarasota Opera. In summer of 2017, Anna performed the role of Eva Crowley in the East Coast premiere of Jack Perla's An American Dream with Opera Maine. Other roles include Second Lady (The Magic Flute), Mrs. Gobineau (The Medium), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Violetta Valéry (La traviata), Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Susannah Polk (Susannah), Lady Billows (Albert Herring), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), and Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow). Her partially performed roles include Suzel (L’amico Fritz), Marguerite (Faust), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Die Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), and Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus). Anna has performed with the Missouri Symphony, Sarasota Opera, Opera Maine, Boston Conservatory Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury, Seagle Music Colony, the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Vocal Academy, and the Show-Me Opera Program. Ms. Mandina most recently received the Sarasota Opera Guild Leo M. Rogers Award for an Outstanding Apprentice Artist. She also received an Encouragement Award in the 2015 Kansas City District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and won the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Vocal Competition in 2014. Anna holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Master of Music in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory. This season, Anna is thrilled to return to Sarasota as Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and in 2019, she will make her mainstage debut as Liù in Sarasota Opera’s production of Turandot.
Rachel Naughtin believes that teaching and performing go hand in hand. Since moving to Lawrence, Kansas, in 2013, Rachel has become an active performer and educator in the area. She currently teaches elementary general music and musical theatre classes in Lawrence while continuing to pursue a performance career and maintain a thriving private voice studio. Rachel has sung with Te Deum Chamber Choir, Lawrence Opera Theatre, Kansas City Opera Institute, and the Kansas City Chorale. In 2013, Rachel completed a M.M. in Vocal Performance at the University of Missouri. There, she had a voice teaching assistantship and performed the role of Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, among other roles. Rachel earned her B.M. with majors in Vocal Performance & Choral/General Music Education from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music (2011). She has performed repertoire spanning five-centuries and welcomes the opportunity to explore new music.
Lacey Gladden Fayette native, just finished her fifth year of teaching K-12 Vocal Music in the Glasgow School District. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Central Methodist University as well as a Master’s degree in Voice from the University of Kansas. She enjoys teaching private voice, flute, and piano to students in central Missouri. Lacey has been a featured soloist on several concerts and recitals throughout her career, and has performed many roles with the Opera Theatre at Central Methodist University and the University of Kansas, including Pamina in The Magic Flute, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Patience in Patience, Lucy in The Telephone, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Mariane in Tartuffe, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, April in Company, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro,and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. She will be featured as Sister Mary Amnesia in Fayette Area Community Theatre’s production of Nunsense this summer. Lacey and her husband, Benjamin, reside in Fayette and outside of teaching and singing, her most important job is being a mom to Clay David.
Emily Bennett has performed the roles of Morgana (Alcina), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Miss Pinkerton (The Old Maid and the Thief), Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and chorus roles with Michigan Opera Theatre and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. As a concert soloist, she has performed with the Missouri Civic Orchestra and Choral Union, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, the Rackham Symphony Choir, and the Tallahassee Community Chorus, performing: Bach’s B Minor Mass, St. John’s Passion, and Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasia, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiemand Missa brevis in F, Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Ms. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri and a Master of Music from Florida State University studying vocal performance with Ann Harrell and Stanford Olsen respectively, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, under Joyce Castle.