ALUMNI - Simpson College

ALUMNI - Simpson College

“The opera training opportunities at Simpson

are on the level that one would expect from

a university offering graduate degrees in

music. We were immersed into the art form,

as undergraduates, through a combination

of excellent voice training and high-quality

opera productions and scenes programs.

Subsequently, the school attracted a high

level of student talent. I’m grateful for the

‘hands-on’ experiences I had in the Simpson program,

which included everything from playing rehearsals and

coaching singers to painting flats. Simpson prepared me

remarkably well for further training and eventually a

professional career in music.”





Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor,

The Santa Fe Opera, Utah Opera

Chorus Master, Utah Symphony

“I can safely say that I would not

have had the same number of career

opportunities had I not been educated

at Simpson College. I would have been

lost at a state school, or conservatory

with graduate students taking all the

performing opportunities. The music

department went above and beyond

the call of duty to prepare and stage

professional-level productions. That tradition

thrives today, as new faculty and staff reinvigorate

the high level of artistry that has existed already

for decades.”


Baritone, Metropolitan Opera

“At Simpson College, I learned the value

of discipline and hard work in music.

There were countless moments we

heard and made music that took my

breath away. I was also taught to be

an independent learner. It was this skill

that stood me in best stead in graduate

school and beyond. Choosing to enroll in

the music program at Simpson College

was one of the best decisions I ever made.”


Artistic Director, Des Moines Metro Opera

Corey Bix

Robert L. Larsen

Tenor at Vienna Volksoper, Conductor, pianist, stage director,

Metropolitan Opera, Utah Opera, editor, and college professor,

Bard Music Festival, Aspen Music Founding Artistic Director of Des

Festival, Greek National Opera, Moines Metro Opera

Santa Fe Opera.

Brad Cresswell

Sarah Larsen

Mezzo-soprano with Seattle Opera,

Classical Music Director: WGTE Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass

Radio; formerly tenor with Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Wolf Trap

Opera of Chicago, and credits on Opera.

Deutsche Grammophon, Philips,

New World, Innova, and Carlton

Classics record labels.

Christopher McBeth

Artistic Director, Utah Opera

Douglas Duncan

Founding Managing Director,

Des Moines Metro Opera

Michael Egel

John Michael Moore

Baritone. Metropolitan Opera,

Glyndebourne Festival Opera,

Minnesota Opera, Welsh National

Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera,

Artistic Director, Des Moines Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia

Metro Opera

Chamber Society, Chicago

Robert Goodloe

Chamber Musicians.

Veteran baritone at the

Gayletha Nichols

Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera National

Theodore Green

Council Director

Tenor. Royal Swedish Opera, Beverly O’Regan Thiele

Toledo Opera, Minnesota Opera, Soprano with Washington National

Vancouver Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera, Metropolitan Opera,

Michigan Opera Theatre, Boston Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe,

Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera

Des Moines Metro Opera, of Chicago, Glimmerglass Opera,

Minnesota Orchestra, Opera Fort Worth Opera, DMMO,

Theater of St. Louis.

Chicago Symphony.

Carolyne Hall

John Osborn

Assistant to Artistic Director Principal Tenor, Metropolitan

Francesca Zambello, Glimmerglass Opera, Houston Grand Opera,


BBC Proms, Salzburg Festival, La

Patrick Hansen

Conductor, pianist, coach and

stage director. Brevard Music

Center, Opera Festival of New

Monnaie (Brussels), L’Opéra de

Paris, New York City Opera, La

Scala Milan.

Joseph C. Perniciaro

Jersey, Pittsburgh Opera, Des Assistant Professor of Voice and

Moines Metro Opera, Lyric Opera Director of Opera, Fort Hays State

of Chicago, Memphis Opera, University

Juilliard Opera Center. Director of

Opera, McGill University.

Rita Harvey

Marc Schreiner

Tenor. Houston Grand Opera,

Lincoln Center Festival, Edinburgh

Broadway actress, singer and Festival, Salzburg Festival,

performer in Phantom of the Opera, Nashville Opera, Minnesota Opera,

Fiddler on the Roof, Frankenstein: Des Moines Metro Opera, Syracuse

The Musical, The Prince and the Opera, Toledo Opera, Lake George


Opera, Opera Memphis.

Craig Irvin

Susanne Sheston

Baritone with Chicago Lyric Chorus Master, Santa Fe Opera,

Opera, Minnesota Opera, Los Utah Opera, Utah Symphony

Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Chorus.

Company, Philadelphia Opera,

Wolf Trap Opera.

Kimm Julian

Baritone. Assistant Professor of

Music, Minnesota State University.

Richard Walters

CEO, Hal Leonard Publishing,





2002 Spring A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2002 Fall The Marriage of Figaro

2003 Spring The Merry Widow

2003 Fall The Magic Flute

2004 Spring The Seagull

2004 Fall Carousel

2005 Spring The Crucible

2005 Fall Die Fledermaus

2006 Spring Così fan tutte

2006 Fall Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi

2007 Spring Albert Herring

2007 Fall Dido and Aeneas / Pagliacci

2008 Spring The Consul

2008 Fall Prima Donna / Il Campanello

2009 Spring Falstaff

2009 Fall The Marriage of Figaro

2010 Spring The Mikado

2010 Fall The Magic Flute

2011 Spring Albert Herring

2011 Fall Die Fledermaus

2012 Spring Così fan tutte

2012 Fall The Beggar’s Opera

2013 Spring Cendrillon

As a Simpson College music student, I have had

the opportunity to participate in eight operas,

three regional tours, a madrigal dinner, and a

European tour! In auditions and masterclasses I

have already benefited from Simpson’s network

of outstanding alumni, many of whom are

influential in the field of professional opera.”


Bachelor of Music, voice performance major


Bernard McDonald, director of opera | 515.961.1637



Simpson College offers a renowned and

unique undergraduate opera program

that is fully musically and technically

resourced, supported by a professional

orchestra, in an intimate, purpose-built

theatre. If you are an aspiring singer,

pianist, conductor, stage manager, lighting

designer, stage director, set designer,

costume designer, or vocal coach, or if you

are interested in musical theatre and seek a

broad liberal arts education, you can do no

better than to begin at Simpson College.

All of the voice, coaching, and conducting

faculty have professional careers,

national and international credentials

as performers, and are a close-knit team

dedicated to developing the tradition of

excellence established over many decades.

Simpson College punches massively above

its weight in the number of professional

singers, artistic administrators, choral

directors, conductors, and music educators

it has produced.


• Two fully-staged productions of opera or

musical theater per academic year

• Principal, supporting, and chorus roles

performed exclusively by undergraduates

• Student opera with a professional orchestra

• First-rate voice, coaching, conducting, and

piano faculty

• Dedicated one-on-one music preparation,

vocal, and language coaching

• Biannual May Term Opera Workshop in

musical preparation, stagecraft and career


• Visiting professional stage directors, designers,

and master teachers

• Internships and employment opportunities

with the Des Moines Metro Opera


We prepare students for performing careers,

train music teachers, and lay the groundwork

for graduate studies in performance,

conducting, stage direction, musicology, music

education, and arts administration. Our alumni

can be found in all of these areas at the highest

levels of the profession. Aspects of the program

have been cited as outstanding by U.S. News

and World Report and the program in voice

as exceptional by the National Association

of Teachers of Singing. All ten of Simpson’s

2012 graduates in vocal performance attending

graduate school are receiving scholarships — in

some cases, full tuition remission plus stipend.

The Simpson College Music

Department has a special

place in the nation’s vocal and

opera community. I graduated

with a music education

degree, a ton of performance

experience, and was in the

chorus of the Des Moines Metro Opera.

I wish every talented young singer might

have the quality experience I had at

Simpson. Simpson was a great beginning

for me and continues to be for others.”


Director, Metropolitan Opera

National Council Auditions


Simpson College is the performing home of

the Des Moines Metro Opera, with which

it enjoys an historic, close partnership. It

provides Simpson students with the invaluable

opportunity to experience professional opera

on their doorstep. Every summer Simpson

students serve as interns and production staff

in the summer opera festival. Many singers

from Simpson have taken part in the DMMO

Apprenticeship Program, an opportunity

afforded usually to only the most talented

graduate students and

young professional

singers from all over

the United States.



Director of Opera. Conducting, vocal coaching,

collaborative piano. Conductor, coach, pianist, chorus

master. New York City Opera, Glyndebourne Festival

Opera, Netherlands Opera, New National Theatre

Tokyo, Aspen Music Festival, Florida Grand Opera,

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Opera.


Voice, stage direction, acting. Baritone with over

20 years’ singing at Vienna State Opera, Vienna

Volksoper, Innsbruck Opera, Paris Opera, Houston

Grand Opera, Sacramento Opera, Eugene Opera,

New Jersey Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Des

Moines Metro Opera, Chautauqua Opera.


Voice, vocal pedagogy, diction. Has performed in

opera and on Broadway, including Lyric Opera of

Chicago, Opera Co. of Philadelphia, Phantom of the

Opera. Has performed with most major orchestras

in the U.S., and in Italy, France, Quebec, Israel.

Recorded Victor Herbert songs for the Naxos label.


Voice, stage direction, music history, vocal

literature, history of American musical theatre.

Leading bass-baritone New York City Opera, Lyric

Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Boston Lyric

Opera, Atlanta Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera

Theater of St. Louis, New York Philharmonic.


Chair of the Music Department, Director of

Choral Activities. Voice, conducting, choral

methods, choral ensembles. Artistic Director,

Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble. Experienced

conductor and choral clinician in high demand

across Iowa and the Midwest.


Voice, conductor of Simpson Madrigal Singers.

Soprano with DMMO, Oklahoma Symphony,

Canterbury Chorale. Her students are represented in

opera companies and graduate programs throughout

the U.S. In 2012, five won the MET district and

regional competitions.


Music staff accompanist, pianist and organist.

Teaches piano, and accompanies opera, choral,

student recitals and auditions. Recent productions

include Dido and Aeneas, Pagliacci, Albert Herring,

The Magic Flute, The Crucible, The Consul, Falstaff,

Die Fledermaus, and The Beggar’s Opera.


Vocal coaching, collaborative piano. Pianist,

composer. Four pieces commissioned by the Des

Moines Symphony. Has received two ASCAPlus

awards from the American Society of Composers

and Publishers; accompanies student recitals and

auditions for DMMO.

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