Vinaccesi Ensemble

Music for Voice and Continuo

KIRK EICHELBERGER

Kirk Eichelberger has performed over fifty roles and continues to captivate audiences with his portrayals of a wide range of characters in the operatic bass repertoire. He has sung   Mephistopheles in Faust with a number of companies, including Opera Birmingham, Opera Grand Rapids and Opera San Jose. Other opera highlights include Sparafucile with Vancouver Opera, The Four Villains with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Ferrando with Opera Manitoba, and the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis.  Particularly passionate for singing modern operas in the English language, recently he was seen as The Emperor in Tan Dun’s Tea with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and as Karenin in the West Coast premier of David Carlson’s Anna Karenina. Additionally, he has sung John Hale in The Crucible by Robert Ward, The King in  The Little Prince by Rachel Portman,  Louis in A View from the Bridge by William Bolcom at Washington National Opera, and many others as well. On the concert stage, Mr. Eichelberger has performed the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Oakland East Bay Symphony He has also sung the bass solos of Mozart’s Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem. Mr. Eichelberger was a national finalist in the 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 1999 MacAllister Awards for Opera Singers. He holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Moody Bible Institute.

SUSIE FONG

Susie Fong is active both as a harpsichord soloist and continuo player and has participated in such festivals and workshops as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, American Bach Soloists Summer Academy, Vancouver Early Music Festival, and SFEMS. She has performed regularly as part of the SFCM Baroque Ensemble, including its concert version of Handel’s Alcina in March 2011. Susie has an M.M. in Harpsichord Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Corey Jamason, and received her B.A. in Music at the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied harpsichord with Laurette Goldberg and played in the Collegium Musicum. Susie is also an accomplished solo and chamber pianist, having studied with Audrey Grigsby and Robert Rios in Southern California. She currently teaches harpsichord in the SFCM Preparatory and Adult Extension Division and resides in San Francisco, CA.  

NANETTE MCGUINNESS

Nanette McGuinness has been hailed in the press for her “creamy golden tone,”glorious soprano," and “magnetic stage presence.”  She made her operatic debut under the direction of Alan Curtis in the role of Nino in Cesti’s Semiramide. Solo engagementsinclude Handel’s Samson, Solomon, Ode to St. Cecilia, and Messiah, Purcell’s Ode to St. Cecilia, Mozart’s Vespers, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Audiences have also heard her in roles that include Mimi, Musetta, Countess, Micaela, First Lady, Lauretta, Nella, Despina, and the Foreign Woman with the Silesian State Opera (Czech Republic), Opera San Jose (Opera in the Schools), West Bay, Pacific Repertory, Open a, Berkeley, Livermore Valley, and Pocket Opera companies, among others. She often sings and premieres new music, including San Francisco composer David Garner’s Chanson für Morgen, supported by a grant from the East Bay Community Foundation, and William Ludtke’s Christmas Suite with JoAnn Falletta and the San Jose Symphony.She was a San Francisco Opera Guild Teaching Artist and her CD of music by women composers, Fabulous Femmes was called “perfect for song-recital lovers,” by Chambermusic Magazine. An alumna of Cornell University, Ms. McGuinness received an MM in Vocal Performance from Holy Names University and a PhD in Music from U.C.Berkeley. 

HALLIE PRIDHAM

Hallie Pridham graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 2005, where she was principal cellist and winner of their 2005 concerto competition. She continued her studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied modern cello with Jean-Micael Fonteneau and Baroque cello and viola da gamba with Elisabeth Reed. In 2007, Pridham was chosen to perform with other members of the SFCM Baroque Ensemble at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for a broadcasted concert.  In 2010, she was the winner of the SFCM Baroque Ensemble Concerto Competition and also the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement award. Pridham received a scholarship to attend the American Bach Soloists Academy for the second year in a row and was chosen to perform in the Boston Early Music Festival with Early Music America's Young Performer's Ensemble.  Hallie is currently the house Concert Manager for the San Francisco Early Music Society and performs reguarly in the Bay Area as a soloist and in ensembles such as Liaison, the Vinaccesi Ensemble, AMerican Bach Soloists, and the San Francisco Bach Choir Baroque Orchestra. 

KINDRA SCHARICH

Kindra Scharich has performed a number of roles in the lyric mezzo repertoire, including Rosina, Cherubino, Dorabella and Dido. In 2009 the San Francisco Chronicle praised her "vocally assured singing and deep-rooted pathos."  Her work has encompassed a broad range of styles, whether on the operatic or concert stage. In 2010, Kindra performed Countess Lydia in the west coast premier of David Carlson's Anna Karenina. In that same season, she was the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah under the baton of Maestro Ragnar Bolin and was a guest recitalist for the American Composer's Forum Los Angeles Chapter. She was also presented by Lieder Alive! San Francisco in  a Mahler and Wolf sesquicentennial celebration recital. Enthusiastic about working with living composers, Kindra is currently collaborating with California-based composer Janis Mattox on a Spanish chamber opera, underwritten by the Guggenheim foundation and based on a Bolivian legend. Kindra studied voice and piano at University of Michigan and Eastman School of Music, and completed her post-graduate degree at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her longtime voice teacher is Jane Randolph, and she currently coaches and collaborates with pianist John Parr of the San Francisco Opera.

JONATHAN SMUCKER

Jonathan Smucker has performed more than thirty-five roles in opera, oratorio, operetta, and musical theater, including leading roles by Mozart, Handel, Rossini, Benjamin Britten and Gilbert & Sullivan. Of his 2010 portrayal of Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola for Pocket Opera, the San Francisco Examiner says, “adorable tenor Jonathan Smucker ingratiates with his youthful vocal freshness and beauty.” A new music enthusiast, he has sung Dionysus in Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar (final version premiere) with Ensemble Parallèlle, Simon Stimson in Ned Rorem’s Our Town (Western US premiere) at the Aspen Music Festival, and Gèrard in Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terribles for Oakland Opera Theater. Smucker was an Apprentice Artist with Ash Lawn Opera in 2009, recently returning to the main stage as Charlie in Brigadoon. Other credits include appearances with San Francisco Opera Guild, Festival Opera, West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, Opera San Luis Obispo, Lamplighters Music Theatre, and season preview concerts for Opera Santa Barbara. He earned Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Postgraduate degrees at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He recently sang the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Vallejo Choral Society, and will appear this August as St. Chavez in Four Saints in Three Acts, presented by Ensemble Parallèle and SFMOMA.