Christmas Oratorio

Kathrin Danzmayr, soprano
Peggy Kriha Dye, soprano
Laurel Semerdjian, alto
Benjamin Bunsold, tenor
Aaron Wardell, baritone
David Danzmayr, conductor


_dsc9819Bavarian soprano Kathrin Danzmayr came first to international attention when she sang the role of Pamina in a production of W. A. Mozart’s Magic Flute during the Salzburg Festival Summer. During this production she had the pleasure to collaborate with Grace Bumbry, who became one of her most important mentors. Further career highlights include the role of Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) in Dinkelsbühl and Clorinda (La Cenerentola) in Hamburg.

In 2010, Kathrin became a member of the distinguished Salzburg Concert Society, where she sang more than 70 concerts a season, touring throughout central Europe, including Munich and Stuttgart. In addition she worked as a soloist among others with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, the Glasgow Sinfonietta, Greenock Philharmonic, as well as the Breckenridge Festival Orchestra and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra to name a few.

This season Kathrin will join the Columbus Opera and Opera on the Edge, where she will perform as Mimi (La Boheme) and Frasquita (Carmen). Besides this new engagement she received immediate reinvitations from all US orchestras she has worked with.

Kathrin Danzmayr received her musical training at the University of Leipzig and the University Mozarteum in Salzburg where she studied with Lilian Sukis and graduated with the highest honors. Further teachers include Barbara Bonney, Angelika Kirchschlager, Malcolm Martineau and Patricia MacMahon. Mrs. Danzmayr has received several awards, was the youngest finalist at the Robert Stolz competition in Hamburg and one of the winners of the Samling Foundation in the UK.

Kathrin has recorded for Universal Records as lead singer of the band “iMozart” and has also toured extensively with the group in concerts. Their debut album “iMozart Lounge” topped the Austrian album charts.

She currently resides in Columbus with her husband and their two children.

peggy-apr-2016-3Described by Opera News as “a forceful presence with an intriguingly complex lyric soprano,” Peggy Kriha Dye has performed with major opera companies and orchestras throughout the world, and is currently Artistic Director of Opera Columbus. Ms. Dye originated the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, written and conducted by Andre Previn at the San Francisco Opera, and reprised the role with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Washington National Opera. Other significant roles include Musetta in La Bohème with the San Francisco Opera, Shanghai Opera House and Festival Opera of Walnut Creek; Nannetta in Falstaff with the Utah Opera; Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Houston Grand Opera; and Nedda in I Pagliacci with the Tulsa Opera. Her recent success in the title role of Opera Atelier’s Armide marked her tenth production with the Toronto-based company. In 2012 and 2015, Ms. Dye performed this role in Toronto and the Royal Opera House in Versailles. She has also performed the role with Glimmerglass Opera Festival and Opera Columbus. In 2016, Ms. Dye performed in Opera Atelier’s production of the Berlioz version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice. Upcoming engagements include Opera Atelier’s 2017 production of Medea, in which she will play the title role.

laurel-semerdjian-photoLaurel Semerdjian, an American mezzo-soprano of Armenian descent, has recently been hailed as “a dramatic and musical tour de force” (Pittsburgh Tribune) for her portrayal of Asakir in Pittsburgh Opera’s production of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song. Her voice has been praised for its “guttural low notes” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) and “appealing weight, intensity and flexibility.”

Throughout the 2016–2017 season, Ms. Semerdjian makes several significant role debuts. In her return to Bellevue City Opera she performed her first Dorabella in Così fan tutte. This autumn she will debut with Syracuse Opera as Tisbe in La Cenerentola. In early 2017, Ms. Semerdjian returns to Sarasota Opera for her initial performances of the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.

Ms. Semerdjian has recently fulfilled two seasons as a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera, where her responsibilities included performances of the roles of Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress, Meg in Little Women, Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera 27, Fenena in Nabucco, Emilia in Otello, Eduige in Rodelinda, Asakir in Sumeida’s Song, and covering the title role of Carmen.

In the summer of 2015 she performed the role of Cherubino in Bellevue City Opera’s inaugural production of Le nozze di Figaro, and in the summer of 2014 she performed the role of Mercédès in Carmen as a Vocal Fellow at Music Academy of the West, under the guidance of legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. She has also fulfilled young artist residencies with Sarasota Opera, Dallas Opera, and Tacoma Opera.

Ms. Semerdjian was born in San Diego, CA and raised in Tacoma, WA. She holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas and a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Arts with a Minor in Music Industry from the University of Southern California. The present performance marks Ms. Semerdjian’s debut with ProMusica.

bunsoldheadshotTenor Benjamin Bunsold is honored to be making a second appearance with ProMusica having performed in Mozart’s Great Mass in 2014. He enjoys a varied and prolific performing career in opera, concert, and recitals. He has sung a wide variety of operatic roles, most recently Emperor Altoum (Turandot) with the Fairbanks Symphony in Alaska, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Ohio State Opera Theater, Gastone (La Traviata) with Opera Columbus, and Romualdo (Clarimonde) with Cleveland Lyric Opera. Other notable roles include Fenton (Falstaff) with Opera Idaho and Forth Worth Opera, Alfredo (La Traviata) with Asheville Lyric Opera, Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) with Shreveport Opera, Alfred (Die Fledermaus) with St Petersburg Opera, Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) with Opera in the Heights (TX), and Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Sevilla) with Center Stage Opera in LA. Upcoming engagements include a return to LA as Romeo (Romeo et Juliette) for CSO and Remendado (Carmen) for Opera Columbus. He has also performed with Opera Memphis, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera North Carolina, Winter Opera St. Louis, Drei Groschen Oper in Munich, Germany and in Ibadan, Nigeria. He has been a Young Artist with Fort Worth Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Opera Tampa.

An active concert soloist, Benjamin has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Kalamazoo Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He has been a featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in e flat minor, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. He’s been tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem at Virginia Tech University, Beethoven Mass in C with the Knox County Symphony, and has performed numerous recitals such as Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Britten’s Serenade Op. 31 for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. He holds a BM from Ohio Wesleyan University, an MM from the University of Illinois, and is currently in the DMA program at Ohio State University. He resides in central Ohio with his wife and their 2 daughters.

aaron-wardellBaritone Aaron Wardell is in demand as a performer of opera and concert in the Midwest and beyond. He was most recently seen as Giove in La Calisto with Chicago’s Haymarket Opera and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly with the Castleton Festival. He has appeared with Chicago Fringe Opera, Chamber Opera Chicago, Main Street Opera, Dayton Opera, Opera Tampa, Central City Opera and internationally at Teatro National de Sucre in numerous operatic roles including Marcello (La Bohème), Junius (Rape of Lucretia), Sam (Trouble in Tahiti) Don Pizarro (Fidelio) and the title role in Don Giovanni.

Equally at home on the concert stage, this season he made his debut with the Illinois Philharmonic and Fox Valley Orchestra in Schubert’s Mass in Ab. He has appeared as a soloist with the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, Aurora University, Harper College, George Williams College (Music by the Lake), Downers Grove Choral Society, Niles Metropolitan Chorus, The Bach Ensemble of Naples, FL and Cincinnati Baroque in such works as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. John Passion, Brahms’ Requiem, Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, Arvo Pärt’s Passio and Haydn’s Creation.

Aaron completed his formal musical training at Western Michigan University, and earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma certificate in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.