PROMOTING AND EMPOWERING WOMEN IN AND THROUGH MUSIC
PROMOTING AND EMPOWERING WOMEN IN AND THROUGH MUSIC
Soprano Karen Hunt is a passionate performer of opera, concert, art song, and theatrical music. A native of North Idaho, she has frequently worked with Inland Northwest Opera in both mainstage and outreach productions, as well as the University of Idaho Opera Workshop. Her vast repertoire includes roles such as Drusilla/The Coronation of Poppea and Samuel Pummill’s new opera Opera Noir. Other favorite roles include Gretel/Hansel und Gretel, Cendrillon/Cendrillon, and Julie Jordan/Carousel. This spring she made her debut with Transgressive Theatre-Opera in their concerts of Le Comte Ory and Letters of Love and Subterfuge, and also performed Finette in Offenbach’s Bagatelle and Sophie in von Suppe’s The Finishing School at Roosevelt University, where she has just finished with her M.M. in Voice Performance as a student of Judith Haddon.
Her oratorio repertoire includes the soprano solos in Schubert’s Mass in G and Marion in Handel’s Israel in Egypt. Her art song repertoire is more wide-ranging, with a special emphasis on American art song, including the works of emerging composer Jesse Hampsch.
Outside of singing, she is also a director, producer, and volunteer. In these roles, she is a facilitator of meaningful and empathetic programming that brings together community, inspires individuals and shapes the character of patrons and performers alike. In her senior year of high school, she organized a 24-hour immersive Homeless Awareness event for her school while serving as the president of the Key Club (Kiwanis International). As a director and producer, she has worked professionally with Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre.
In addition to her Master of Music degree, Karen also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Idaho, where she graduated magna cum laude. When she is not pursuing the arts, she loves to cuddle with her corgi, Rosie and read Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien and Harry Potter novels.
Emily Crisp, soprano, is a Georgia native and current resident singer in Chicago. Emily has a bachelor degree of vocal performance from Kennesaw State University and a master's of voice performance from Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA). She has studied with Juddith Haddon and Valarie Walters. During her time at university, Emily has performed many principal roles such as Jenny from Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters Who are Not Sisters, Helena from Franz von Suppé’s The Finishing School, Papagena and the third spirit boy in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Paride from Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, Tallulah Carter from Thomas Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca, and Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She has been the featured soprano soloist for various oratorio works of Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Emily has also performed with distinguished choirs such as the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Grant Park, and the Atlanta Opera Chorus. She was a finalist in the Kennesaw State University Concerto Competition in 2015. Emily won second place in the duet category of the National Opera Association Convention in Indianapolis in 2016.
Madison Lawry is a Nashville, TN native and discovered her love for music in church choir and aspired to be a classical singer at a young age. Ms. Lawry’s has sung a variety of repertoire from Bach to Paulus to Schubert to Milhaud. She has performed at a number of venues including the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Schermerhorn Symphony Center and The Grand Ole Opry. Last year Madison was seen in CVAC’s production of Alcina as the role of Morgana and in Chicago College of Performing Arts ’as the role of Ida in Offenbach’s operetta,The Finishing School. Other notable roles include Nora in CCPA’s OperaFest XI production of Riders to the Sea, Barbarina in Samford University Le Nozze di Figaro, and Lieschen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata (BWV 211). Since 2018 Ms. Lawry has worked at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as an Audience Services representative, learning the “behind the curtain” operations of arts administration. This past summer Ms. Lawry was the Principal Teaching Artist of music for the Auditorium Theater’s summer camp, Hearts to Arts, a program for children who have lost a parent and use the arts to help them heal and provide a community of people who have also experienced loss. Ms. Lawry is a recent graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts.
Ana Dragovich, born on June 18, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois, is a Serbian-American operatic soprano and theatre/film actress with a B.A. in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago where she studied with Michael McBride and a M.M. in Voice Performance from Roosevelt Chicago College of Performing Arts where she studied with Jonita Lattimore. She was born in Chicago and has resided here for the past seven years, but she was raised in the Wild West of Tucson Arizona! She is a founding member of The Valkyrie Ensemble and manages all of our social media pages, edits our online projects, and creates our promo materials. Ana is currently enrolled in the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management's Online MBA Program to further qualify her for her position at The Valkyrie Ensemble. www.anadragovich.com
Julia Rahm, mezzo-soprano, has performed repertoire from Vivaldi to Debussy, and Rossini to Heggie. A Francophile and travel fanatic, her fondness for French and Baroque music started while she was living in Paris, performing solos in Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus and Gloria at Chartres cathedral and St. Germain de L’Auxerrois. Her operatic roles include Ms. Bentson in Lakmé, Catherine in Offenbach’s Pomme d’api, Ellen in Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters (Rorem) and Amalie in The Finishing School by Franz von Suppé. Julia is also a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, most recently having sung in Cavalleria rusticana under the baton of Riccardo Muti. She teaches piano and voice and is the Alto Section Leader at North Shore Baptist Church. She earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Theater, Music and French from Sarah Lawrence College and her Master of Music in Voice Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, studying under Mark Crayton.
In The Valkyrie Ensemble’s upcoming all-female production of The Magic Flute, Julia will be portraying Papageno. In addition to her classical singing, she currently teaches a workshop she created called Collective Voice Healing, in which group participants use their own voice as a modality to cultivate mindfulness, presence and deeper creativity. A devotee of many art forms, she is also a poet and songwriter. www.juliarahm.com
Marnie Baylouny is a soprano originally from New Jersey. She completed her undergraduate degree at The Boston Conservatory under the tutelage of Patty Thom and Michael Strauss. During her time at the Conservatory, she made her main stage debut in the chorus of Rake’s Progress and covered the role of Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. In her time since graduating, Ms. Baylouny has gone on to perform Papagena, Erste Dame, and Susanna in various summer programs. She now resides in Chicago and studies with Julia Faulkner and coaches with Beth Parker.
Soprano Alannah Spencer hails from Madison, Wisconsin. In May, she finished a Master’s of Music in vocal performance from Roosevelt University where she studied with Professor Mark Crayton. She has performed a number of operatic roles including Bagatelle in Offenbach’s operetta Bagatelle with Roosevelt Opera and Antonia in Les Contes D’Hoffmann with Miopera. A great lover of song and new music, Alannah was a member of the second place team at the Chicago SongSlam competition last spring. She is also the second soprano section leader at St. Matthew’s Episcopal church in Evanston. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, reading books, and attempting to craft the perfect cheese plate.