Kevin Murphy, USA - Artistic Director

Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Pianist Kevin Murphy, a leading figure in the world of classical vocal music, has served as Director of Coaching and Music Administration for Indiana University Opera Theaterand Professor of Practice at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Musicsince 2011 and has recently joined Professor Anne Epperson at theJacobs School of Music in creating the new Collaborative Piano Program. In 2011, he was appointed Director of the Program for Singers at the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute,and marked his first season as Artistic Consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival.Previously, Murphy was Director of Music Administration and Casting Advisor at the New York City Opera (2008-2012) and Director of Musical Studies at the Opéra National de Paris (2006-2008).

Kevin Murphy was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by Maestro James Levine into join the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program at The Metropolitan Opera,and from 1993-2006, he was an assistant conductor at the Met.

He is sought after and respected for his work as a private vocalcoach and teacher and has guest taught at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel andItaly, Glimmer glass Opera,Tangle wood, Aspen Music Festival, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music,and the Juilliard School. He hasalso assisted Maestro Seiji Ozawa in Japan in his Mozart/DaPonteopera festival in Japan, and has been a guest opera coach andat operacompanies such as the Netherlands Opera and, CanadianOpera Company,as well as and the Ravinia Festival.

Thomas Michael Allen - Voice teacher

University of Southern California

Lyric tenor, Thomas Michael Allen, has enjoyed an International singing career spanning the last two decades, performing at Théatre des Champs-Élyéesin Paris, Zurich Opera, Staatsoper Berlin,La Monnaie in Brussels, Grand Théatre de Genève, Baden-Baden Easter Festival, Opérade Lyon, Opéra de Monte Carlo,de Nederlandse Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Cincinnati Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival. He has been a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Les Musiciens du Louvre, The Academy for Ancient Musicand The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.

Alongside his performing career, he is Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has taught singing at the Amsterdam Conservatory, The Israeli Vocal Arts Institute, and was a co-founder and faculty member of Body-Mind-Voice Berlin and Balance Arts Opera Berlin. He has given master classes at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp and Rutgers University, and the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. His students have won prizes at many international competitions and regularly perform at the world’s greatest opera houses and festivals.

Bretton Brown, UK - Pianist and Coach

Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival,

American pianist Bretton Brown lives in London and regularly coaches singers, including artists performing at the Metropolitan Opera, Semperoper Dresden, and San Francisco Opera, among other houses. Also committed to the development of younger artists, Brown was professor of collaborative piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2015-16 and serves on the staff of the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.

James Conlon, USA - Conductor

Music Director of the LA Opera, RAI National Symphony Orchestra Torino Italy, Ravinia Festival

James Conlon, one of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra and is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters.
Mr. Conlon is Music Director of the LA Opera and Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy, where he is the first American to hold the position in the orchestra’s 84-year history. He served as Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival has also served as Music Director of the Ravinia Festival. Principal Conductor of the Paris National Opera , General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Germany where he was Music Director of both the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and the Cologne Opera; and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic .He has conducted performances at the Metropolitan Opera ,Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Mariinsky Theatre, Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, Teatro del Opera di Roma, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

As Music Director of LA Opera, Mr. Conlon has led more performances than any other conductor in the company’s history, with more than 50 different operas by more than 20 different composers to his credit. 
In an effort to call attention to lesser-known works of composers silenced by the Nazi regime, Conlon has devoted himself to extensive programming of this music throughout Europe and North America. His work on behalf of suppressed composers led to the creation of The OREL Foundation, an invaluable resource on the topic for music lovers, students, musicians and scholars, and the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School. His appearances throughout the country as a speaker on a variety of cultural and educational topics are widely praised.
Mr. Conlon is among the five initial recipients of the Opera News awards and was honored by The New York Public Library as a “Library Lion.” His other honors include the Sachs Fund Prize‬ from The ArtsWave Organization for his artistic achievements and outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Cincinnati, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Los Angeles, the Music Institute of Chicago’s Dushkin Award, the Medal of the American Liszt Society and Italy’s Premio Galileo 2000 Award for his significant contribution to music, art and peace in Florence .He holds four honorary doctorates. Mr. Conlon was named Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and, in 2002, he received the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest distinction, from then-President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac. 

Chris Crans, USA - Coach, Voice teacher and Conductor

Mannheim National Theater, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University

Mr. Crans is an international vocal coach and voice teacher. Currently, he lives in Mannheim, Germany, where he joined the conducting/coaching staff at the National Theater. Mr. Crans has spent many years accompanying and assisting some of the world’s great voice teachers: Trish McCaffrey, Ruth Falcon, Marlena Malas, and many more. He has been on the voice and opera faculties at Indiana University, Jacob’s School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music, where he co-founded the Undergraduate Opera Workshop. He has conducted and coached at many American opera houses, including the Des Moines Metro Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the Utah Festival Opera. He has also taught master classes in Antwerp, Berlin, Mexico, New York, Las Vegas, Utah, and Arizona.

Abbie Furmansky, Germany - Voice Teacher

Deutsche Opera Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin Opera Studio

American soprano Abbie Furmansky came to international prominence while performing as an ensemble member at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she quickly established herself in the lyric repertoire. She is especially noted for her riveting stage presence, rich vocal timbre, musicality and expansive voice.

Abbie Furmansky maintains a private vocal studio in Berlin, and regularly gives voice lessons to the Staatsoper Berlin Opera Studio. She has been a vocal instructor at IVAI's renowned Summer Opera Program in Tel Aviv, Body Mind Voice Berlin, and Ars Vocalis Mexico. She continues to teach at the Greek Opera Studio, and Summer Singing course in Beveren, Belgium.

She has worked with well-known conductors such as Kent Nagano, Ingo Metzmacher, Christopher Hogwood, John Nelson, Christian Thielemann and Edo de Waart. Throughout Europe and in the USA, she has appeared with the German Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orchestra, and Bulgarian Radio Symphony. She has sung in illustrious halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, the Philharmonic Gasteig, the Royal Concertgebouw and Esplanade Hall. She has performed with opera companies such as the New York City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Oper Frankfurt, de Nederlandse Opera and the Baden-Baden Festival.

John Lidal, Norway - Pianist and Vocal coach

Norwegian Opera & Ballet, LidalNorth International opera, Oslo

Scandinavian pianist, chamber musician and vocal coach, John Lidal has worked throughout the United States and Europe with numerous singers of international stature coaching principle roles for productions at ROH Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Théatre du Châtelet, Opéra Bastille, The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, and Theater un der Wien.

John Lidal currently serves on the music staff of the Norwegian Opera & Ballet Oslo and serves as the Artistic Director of the LidalNorth International Opera Workshops. He is much in demand for master classes worldwide, most recently at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP), Staatsoper unter den Linden Operastudio, Berlin, and at the Manhattan School of Music.

Samantha Malk, USA - Voice teacher

South African mezzo-soprano, Ms. Malk is committed to developing and inspiring singers. She has been a voice consultant for the young artist program at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv for the last four years, and in July 2014, she joined the voice faculty of the IVAI Summer Opera Program in Israel. Samantha maintains a private voice studio in NYC, and guest teaches in Amsterdam and London.

Patricia McCaffrey, USA - Voice teacher

Metropolitan Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, The Curtis Institute of Music

Regarded as one of the world’s most sought after vocal technicians, Trish McCaffrey is currently on the vocal faculties of The Curtis Institute of Music, Brookly College Conservatory of Music, LidalNOrth in Oslo, Norway, Berlin Staatsoper Studio, The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, The New Israeli Opera Meitar Opera Studio as well as maintaining a private voice studio in New York City.

She has served on the voice faculties of Arizona State University, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan and The Hartt School of Music and has taught at the young artist programs and studios of The Santa Fe Opera, Ravinia Steans Institute, Berlin Staatsoper The New Israeli Opera Studio, Intermezzo Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut and Brugge, Belgium, International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy as well as the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Jennifer Ringo, USA - Language coach, Vocal diction

Los Angeles Opera, The New York City Opera, University of Indiana, Houston Grand Opera

Jennifer Ringo is known internationally as a language coach and teacher of vocal diction. She has prepared productions for The New York City Opera, University of Indiana, Houston Grand Opera, Cincinnati May Festival, Aspen Opera Theater, as well as the Institute of Vocal Arts in Montreal.

Ms. Ringo taught vocal diction at Bard College Conservatory of Music from 2005 to 2008. She has taught at Song Fest, and currently works regularly with the Domingo Thornton Young Artists Program of the Los Angeles Opera, as well as the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival.

She maintains a vocal studio in New York and Los Angeles.

Mark Schnaible, USA - Voice teacher

Boston university, Brooklyn College, Rutgers University

Mark Schnaible has served on the voice faculties of numerous summer opera programs among them International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, Intermezzo Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut, Sherrill Milnes Voic Experience Foundation in Florida and the LidalNorth International Opera Workshop in Oslo, Norway. He is a former Associate Professor of Voice at Boston University, a former Visiting Associate Professor of Voice at Rutgers University and remains on the voice faculty of Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. He holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree for his contributions to performance and teaching.

Claude Webster, Canada - Pianist and Coach, NLP

Opera de Montréal

French-Canadian vocal coach with more than 25 years of experience, Mr. Webster has been internationally sought after as a leading specialist in French repertoire. Since 2004, he has been repeatedly invited to the IVAI summer program in Tel Aviv. He has also been on faculty at programs in Berlin, NYC, Miami, Puerto Rico, Montreal, and Virginia. Since 1997 he has been the head coach at Opera de Montréal’s young artist program - Atelier lyrique.

Claude Webster is also a professional Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) coach and teacher holding lectures and workshops on mental preparation for performances.

Armin Zanner, UK - Coach

London’s Guildhall School

Armin Zanner is head of Vocal Studies at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, one of the world’s leading conservatoires. As a coach, Armin has a particular interest in Lieder, and is Artistic Director of the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria, where he also teaches. He has been on faculty at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt, Germany – a summer academy he helped establish in 2011 – and has given masterclasses and workshops at schools including the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.