Gerard Sundberg, Baritone

5B-g-sundberg-lg[11]-400Gerard Sundberg holds both Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Minnesota where he studied voice with Clifton Ware and Roy Schuessler.

He is presently Professor Emeritus of Voice at Wheaton Conservatory of Music (Wheaton, IL), where he taught studio voice and vocal pedagogy. Living in the Twin City, MN area, he is an adjunct voice professor at Bethel University. Dr. Sundberg is also an active church musician, and vocal and choral clinician.

His three recordings are “Singer on a Journey” including four sacred song cycles by Brahms, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams and Carlisle Floyd; “Songs for the Journey” and “Songs Through Endless Ages” including arrangements by Edwin Childs of hymns and gospel songs.

Gerard Sundberg performing with Camerata Chicago in 2019. Photo Credit Dan Andersen.

Performances for this 2021-22 season will include Handel Messiah with Chicago Camerata 12/10,11; Messiah with Atlanta Symphony TBA; Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) with Wayzata Symphony (MN) TBA; Haydn Paukenmesse (Mass in time of War), Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem with Downers Grove Choral Society (Chicago) TBA; and The Peoria Bach Festival (IL), repertoire and dates TBA.

Robin Wiper, Soprano

1S-robinwiper-0150x0180Robin Wiper is a local private vocal instructor with a checkered past.. She has her Masters Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and has had the blessing to learn from many famous Master Clinicians, Teachers and Coaches during her 25 -plus years of study, performance and teaching. She has studied acting, directing, pedagogy, movement and dance, and has twice been a Certified Actor Combatant in six weapons as a stage combat artist with the Society of American Fight Directors. Her students have gained entrance to fine schools and conservatories around the country. Currently residing as a stay-at-home, home schooling mother of four, she coaches and teaches voice lessons out of her home in Wheaton. She is also wife to Steve Wiper, who knows about her former secret life as an opera singer, among other things. Continue reading if interested.

Ms. Wiper, an aluma of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Apprentice Program, has had the pleasure of singing all over the world. She made her Lyric Opera debut as Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica as an apprentice. Her favorite roles with the Lyric have been varied from Papagena in The Magic Flute to the pants role of Oberto in Alcina. With the Lyric Opera she has also performed the title role of Lucia with the Grant Park Orchestra.

Ms. Wiper has also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (debut LuLu 2000) as well as with the New York City Opera (debut Orfeo1997) both onstage at Lincoln Center and on their National Tour (title role in The Daughter of the Regiment 1998-99). She was also featured in the role of Margaret in the opera Lizzie Borden as which was broadcast live from Lincoln Center. Other regional opera companies include Indianapolis, Atlanta, Cinncinnati, Cleveland, Memphis and Eugene. She made her European debut at the Spoleto Festival in Italy as Blondchen in Mozart’s the Abduction from the Seraglio.

A sought-after recitalist and oratorio performer, Ms. Wiper has performed with a variety of orchestras, including the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Atlanta Symphony and the Birmingham Symphony.

Equally at home in the world of musical theatre, Ms. Wiper has performed in professional and semi-professional companies in such roles as Fiona in Brigadoon, Lizzie in Baby, the Mistress/chorus/swing in Evita, Winthrop (yes, Winthrop) in The Music Man, and Liesl in The Sound of Music.

Denise Gamez

Denise Gamez – Alto / Mezzo-soprano

3A-Denise-Gamez (HD)-300Mezzo-soprano Denise Gamez regularly sings recital, oratorio and symphonic repertoire with orchestras throughout the United States and abroad.  She has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis, San Francisco Opera, Toledo, South Dakota, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Terre Haute, and Wheaton College symphony orchestras, and twice performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica under the baton of John Nelson, most recently in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis this past November.  She has collaborated with other conductors including Patrick Summers, Dennis Russell Davies, David Bowden, Delta David Gier, Sherrill Milnes, and Daniel Sommerville in repertoire including Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Verdi Requiem, Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, the Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Saint Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas.  At the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera, where she received the Gropper Memorial Award, she sang Dame Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Fidalma in Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage.  She was mezzo soloist in the premiere of Daniel Kellogg’s Children of God, commissioned by the Soli Deo Gloria Music Foundation.  In recent seasons, she has been a frequent guest artist at the Peoria Bach Festival, operatic and Broadway selections with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra, and the Bach Saint John Passion with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.  Recently, she appeared as Mrs. Noye in the Wheaton Opera Music Theater production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.  A frequent recitalist with pianist Daniel Paul Horn, she is a graduate of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and the Indiana University School of Music, and is currently a member of the voice faculty at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.


Timothy Bentch

Timothy Bentch – Tenor

4T-timothybentch-0150x0180Tenor Timothy Bentch was raised on a farm in Missouri. His first singing experiences took place in the local Mennonite church and practicing scales on the tractor and in the silo but eventually led him to a master’s degree at the acclaimed Curtis Institute of Music. For twelve years he lived in Hungary where critics referred to him as “a treasure in today’s Hungarian musical life”, naming him the most significant “Hungarian” lyric tenor of this generation. He has sung at all the leading venues in this country appearing before presidents and prime ministers with many television appearances and radio broadcasts. At the Hungarian State Opera he premiered new productions as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Belmonte in The Abduction, Nencio in L’Infeldelta delusa by Haydn and the Evangelist in a semi-staged version of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. Other roles with the Hungarian State Opera include Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Tito in La Clemenza di Tito, and Alfredo in La Traviata. His performed opera repertoire of over 40 roles also includes such roles as Mozart’s Mitridate, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore, Edguardo in Lucia, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Ismaele in Nabucco, Fenton in Falstaff, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, four roles in operas by Benjamin Britten, and numerous baroque operas – Jupiter in Semele, Nero in The Coronation of Poppea, Monteverdi’s Ulyssis, and Orfeo – a performance that marked the opening of the new theater in the Hungarian National Palace of the Arts in 2005. His performances have taken him to many other countries including the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, France, Malta, Israel, Russia, the UK, and Germany.

In symphonic repertoire, he has performed the entire standard repertoire from renaissance and baroque to the large works of Mahler and Verdi. Highlights have included the Evangelists in the Bach Passions, the Dream of Geronius by Elgar, and Mahler’s 8th Symphony which he recorded for Naxos. This recording was lauded by critics winning the “Recording of the Month” by Sterophile Magazine. Bentch’s performance was described as “bright, confident, and heroic, and his “Blicket auf!” is stunning.” Another critic wrote, “Bentch’s top B-flats and Bs are as heroic as his sweet singing is sweet. His “Blicket auf,” a moment that can cause fear and trembling, is stirring in all the right ways.” A recent review in the BBC Music Magazine praised Timothy Bentch’s “heroic tenor” as one of the saving graces of a recent recording of Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Warsaw Philharmonic. He has sung with the philharmonic orchestras of Lille, Strasbourg, Avignon, Saint Petersburg, Sofia, Warsaw, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, the Ars Nova Symphony in Chicago, and appears regularly with the Hungarian National Philharmonic. His most recent performance with the HNP of the Britten War Requiem was critically acclaimed and broadcast live on national radio. He has sung under the batons of Zoltán Kocsis, János Fürst, Ádám Fischer, Tamás Vásáry, János Kovács, John Nelson, Jean Claude Casadesus, Antoni Witt, György Vashegyi, and Valentin Radu.

Timothy is the co-founder and co-artistic director of the Crescendo Summer Institute. He is active as a voice teacher and his former students sing in many of the leading opera houses of Europe. He also enjoys scriptwriting. His recent script was a quarterfinalist in the Academy Nicolls Fellowship in Screenwriting Competition sponsored by the Academy Awards.

Annie Rosen

Annie Rosen – Soprano

2S-annierosen-0150x0180Annie Rosen, a mezzo-soprano of “bright promise” (Chicago Tribune), is a 2017 graduate of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble of the Lyric Opera of Chicago; her performance in the Ensemble’s 2017 showcase was recognized as “the evening’s tour-de-force” by the Chicago Tribune. Rosen began her first season at the Ryan Center jumping in as Mélisande/Pelléas et Melisande in rehearsal with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; she then “knocked the ball out of the park” (Chicago Classical Review) in her Lyric Opera debut as Tisbe/La Cenerentola, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Later in the season, Rosen created the role of Edith Thibault in the world premiere of Bel Canto, which aired on PBS’s Great Performances series in January 2017. This past season, Rosen understudied Adalgisa/Norma and performed Ascagne/Les Troyens, Wellgunde/Das Rheingold, and Second Lady/Die Zauberflöte, all at the Lyric Opera. Upcoming engagements include recording Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the baton of Kent Nagano, her Wolf Trap Opera debut as Stepmother/The Juniper Tree, and a return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. as Siébel/Faust.
In 2014-15, Rosen joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its anticipated production of Die Frau ohne Schatten. As an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, she covered the role of Ni Gui-Zhen in the U.S. premiere of Huang Ruo’s Mandarin-language opera Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and performed the role of Kitty Oppenheimer in a scene from John Adams’ Doctor Atomic. Other highlights of 2014-15 included residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and Banff Music Centre, where Rosen worked with Heartbeat Opera to fully stage György Kurtág’s Kafka-Fragmente for voice and violin, culminating in performances in New York City that Opera News called “extraordinary…a fully-fleshed spectrum of emotion and experience” and The Wall Street Journal, “savage, moving, and – when appropriate – funny.” Also in 2014-15, Rosen returned to the New York Festival of Song, performing in its new music series and the NYFOS annual Spring gala.
Rosen was the 2012 winner of the Opera Foundation’s American Berlin Scholarship. In 2012-13, she performed twelve roles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including Zweite Dame/Die Zauberflöte, Mercédès/Carmen, and Sméraldine/L’amour des trois oranges. Rosen then made her Italian debut as Giannetta in a new production of L’elisir d’amore at the Teatro Regio di Torino.

Rosen is also a passionate chamber musician and recitalist. She is a core member of Cantata Profana, a New York City-based chamber ensemble honored by Chamber Music America for its adventurous programming of contemporary repertoire. Works performed with the group include Berio’s Folk Songs, Ligeti’s Nouvelles aventures, Thomas Adès’ Life Story, and songs of Stravinsky and Webern. Rosen’s solo recital repertoire stretches from Monteverdi and Handel, through Schumann and Shostakovich, to world premieres of Hindi and Farsi songs by Indian-American composer Reena Esmail.

Rosen was a Semifinalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She holds additional awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera, and the Connecticut Opera Guild. She is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant and the Louis Sudler Prize in the Performing and Creative Arts. A New Haven, CT native, Rosen earned degrees in musicology and performance from Yale University and Mannes College.