Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer
This season, soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer makes her debut at Houston Grand Opera as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and returns to the Metropolitan Opera for The Magic Flute.
A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Ms. Harmer has appeared in their productions of Le nozze di Figaro, War and Peace, Khovanshchina, Parsifal, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Die Agyptische Helena, and Jenufa. She also appeared in the Met’s HD broadcasts of the Ring Cycle and The Magic Flute, which have subsequently been released on DVD (Deutsche Gramophone). Other recent opera engagements have included multiple roles in the Seattle Opera's acclaimed production of the Ring Cycle, Die Walküre at the San Francisco Opera, Glauce in Medea at the the Glimmerglas Festival, Wanda in La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito at Opera Boston, Adalgisa in Norma at the Palm Beach Opera, and Mimi in La Bohéme at the Utah Opera Festival.
In concert, Ms. Harmer has appeared with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra , as a soloist at the Schubert Festival with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and in Lincoln Center’s Tribute to Renata Tebaldi. In 2005, she made her New York recital debut under the auspices of The Marilyn Horne Foundation, and was presented by the George London Foundation in a recital with Ben Heppner at the Morgan Library.
Born in Roseville, California, Ms. Harmer graduated with a Bachelor's degree from The Boston Conservatory and attended the Music of Academy of the West. She was also a member of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theater of St Louis, and was one of nine singers invited to study at The Music Academy in Villecroze, France. She was recently named a winner of a 2010 Richard Tucker Grant. Her many other awards include the 2007 Jensen Award, the Teatro alla Scala Award at the 2007 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, first place at the Palm Beach Opera Competition, the 2005 winner of the George London/Leonie Rysanek Award, and an award from The Marilyn Horne Foundation.
Bass Matthew Anchel
Bass Matthew Anchel, called "a voice to watch" by the Wall Street Journal, was recently a Grand Finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Performances during the 2013-14 season include joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of The Nose and Die Zauberflöte, Ferrando in Il Trovatore with Opera in Williamsburg, a return to Opera San Jose singing the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, the Bass solo in the Mozart Requiem with Allentown Symphony, and a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for Sarastro in The Magic Flute, a production directed and designed by Isaac Mizrahi. Future engagements include joining the Metropolitan Opera for a second season for their productions of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Die Zauberflöte and Die Meistersinger von Nurnburg, and debuts with Opera San Antonio as (First Soldier in Salome) and the Oratorio Society of New York for Verdi's Requiem.
Performances in the 2012-2013 season included Ferrando (Il Trovatore) with Opera San Jose, Alidoro (La Cenerentola) with Knoxville Opera, and Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) with Music Academy of the West. For the 2011-12 season Mr. Anchel was a member of the Ensemble of Oper Leipzig, singing Zaretski (Eugene Onegin), Alaska Wolf Joe (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), Marquis D'Obigny (La Traviata), and The Police Inspector (Der Rosenkavalier), among others. From 2010-2011, he sang with Los Angeles Opera as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, performing the roles of Count Ceprano (Rigoletto) and Fourth Noble (Lohengrin), both under the baton of James Conlon. He also joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Dr. Chausable in the world premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Other performance highlights include Haraste (Troilus and Cressida) and First Soldier (Salome) with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Familiare (Maria di Rohan) with the Caramoor Festival; and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro in his international debut with the Intermezzo Festival in Brugge, Belgium. He has also performed Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Enrico VIII (Anna Bolena), Oroveso (Norma), the Verdi Requiem, and Handel's Messiah.
In addition to his recognition from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Matthew is a recipient of many awards. They include 3rd Place in the Palm Beach Opera Competition, the Judges Award from Opera Index, and Encouragement Award from the George London Foundation, and Finalist and Encouragement Award in the Loren L. Zachary Competition. Born and raised in New York City, Matthew graduated from the famed LaGuardia Performing Arts High School, and later attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he started studying with his current teacher, Patricia McCaffrey.