Project 21 Artists
Brenda L Huggins is a stage director, dramaturg and multidisciplinary artist working in opera and puppetry based in NYC. As the resident stage director with Opera del West in the Boston area from 2014-2017, Brenda created intimate productions of classical and contemporary opera works including The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret (2019), Le Portrait de Manon (2017), Signor Deluso (2017), Don Pasquale (2016), Le nozze di Figaro (2015), and The Seagull (2014). Her dramaturgy work includes the first workshop of Ghost Variations with OperaRox (2018) at the National Opera Center, and the New England Russian Theater Festival at the Boston Playwright’s Theatre (2010). Original puppetry works include Beautiful Nightmare at the National Puppetry Festival: Fringe in Swarthmore, PA (2013) and a commissioned by Juventas New Music Ensemble for Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Nasenflügeltanz (2015) at the A.R.T.’s Club Oberon in Cambridge, MA. Brenda holds an M.A. in Theater Education from Emerson College and is the Learning and Leadership Manager at OPERA America in Manhattan. www.brendalynnhuggins.com
Katherine Doe is an active performer and teacher based in New York City. She recently appeared as the mezzo soloist in Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 and Songfest with the Queens College Symphony Orchestra, the alto soloist in Mozart's Requiem with the Queens College Choral Society, and made her international debut as alto soloist in Bach's St. John's Passion in Japan. This season she sang as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with New York Opera Forum, and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Queens College Classical Singers Club. She will soon appear as Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Queens College Opera Ensemble and the title role in Rinaldo with New York Opera Forum. She is a founding member of Os Ensemble, a choir specializing in new compositions.
Katy is currently completing her M.M in Classical Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music, and studies voice with Sherry Overholt.
New York based soprano Rachel Duval has made a name for herself as an unconventional classical performer. A former trapeze artist and internationally acclaimed performance poet, Ms. Duval performed on Spanish National Television singing Puccini, German local television as the featured poet at the German National Slam, and was honored to be part of the world premier of the hip-hopera Stomping Grounds at The Glimmerglass Festival in 2017. Rachel sings both lyric soprano and baroque mezzo soprano roles, including: Damon in Acis and Galatea (Westchester Baroque Festival), Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas (Opera Steamboat), Angelica in Händel’s Orlando (Cantanti Project), and Sarah in Kamala Snkaram’s virtual reality opera The Parksville Murders (Opera On Tap). Last spring, Rachel made her off-Broadway debut singing Queen Vashti in The Queen’s Dilemma at the prestigious Center for Jewish History. Ms. Duval also works as an Executive Speaker Coach and voice teacher, and is a full time mother of two.
Soprano Mithuna Sivaraman is thrilled to make her role debut as Clizia with Cantanti Project. Since relocating from San Francisco in 2018, she performed the role of Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea) with New York Lyric Opera Theater, and appeared in the ensemble of New Camerata Opera’s double bill of Venus and Adonis/Savitri (she also covered the role of Savitri). Other roles include Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and First Spirit (Die Zauberflöte). Mithuna is also an experienced choral artist, and is singing her first season with Downtown Voices at Trinity Wall Street. Furthermore, Mithuna is extensively trained in Hindustani and Carnatic voice, with teachers including Ustad Vilayat Khan and D.K. Pattammal. In her non-singing life, Mithuna is a seasoned transfer pricing specialist with the international tax practice at Ernst & Young LLP. She graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 2008, earned her JD from Emory Law in 2013, and is a California-licensed attorney.
Mary Kathryn Monday, mezzo-soprano, has been praised for her wide array of vocal colors and passion for characterization on the operatic stage. She is thrilled to bring King Egeo to life with Cantanti Project and Dorian Baroque. Other performances this season include Flora in La Traviata and a member of the female ensemble in Stinney: An American Execution with the Prototype Festival. Last season, Ms. Monday gave a recital featuring Berlioz's Les nuits d'été and scenes as Didon from Les Troyens and as Carmen at the National Opera Center. Other performance highlights include Charlotte (Werther) and Maddalena (Rigoletto) with Golden Rose Opera, La suora infermiera (Suor Angelica) with Chelsea Opera, Queen Gertrude (Hamlet) with Cantanti Project, and being featured in the chorus of Tosca with LoftOpera. Mary Kathryn resides in Manhattan and continues her vocal studies with Carol Yahr. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Furman University. Say hello at mkmonday.com.
Noted for her lyrical pathos and comedic flair, mezzo-soprano Brittany Fowler has been praised by the New York Times for her “dynamically fluid characterization”. Recent engagements include Dorothy Hindman’s Pillowbook Fresh Squeezed Opera, Venere in the Cantanti Project’s Euridice, the alto soloist in Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostra in Pennsylvania, La Beata Vergine in Sances’ Le Lachrime di San Pietro with the New York Continuo Collective, and First Lover/Evil Tongue 2 in a workshop of Kate Soper’s The Romance of the Rose. Her operatic roles include Larina (Eugene Onegin), Ottavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Meg (Little Women), The Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and La Musica (L’Orfeo). She received her BA in Music and Italian Studies from Wesleyan University; her training includes young artist residencies with the Boston Early Music Festival and Opera North as well as studies at the University of Bologna in Italy.
Alexandria Hoffman has been the Millinery Assistant to Corrina Griffin for Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular since 2011, and the Costume Administrator at Glimmerglass Theater Festival since 2012. Alex hold an MA from NYU in Visual Culture: Costume Studies and a BA from UCSB in History and Theater, emphasis Costume Design. The Seafarer, (Floriday Repertory Theater); Anoush, Roudolf Kharatian (Ballet 2021); The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome, Brandon Stock (Outside Inside at NYCFringe); “Cross”, Gerry Maravilla (Isosceles Media). Assistant Costume Design- Off Broadway: That Poor Dream, Kate Fry (The Assemly); The Architecture of Becoming, Kate Fry (Women’s Project Theater); Philosophy for Gangsters, Sarah Cogan (Rotten Apples Theatrical); One Night, Jessica Jahn (Rattlestick at Cherry Lane Productions); F#%ng Up Everything, Melissa Trn; Totally Tubular Time Machine, Sarah Cogan. Other: “The Story of Vice”, Kama Royz (National Geographic Productions); “Cop Show”, Michael Bevins (M.E.G.A. Films); “How You Look at It”, Stefanie Genda (How You Look at It LLC); Marry Harry, Stefanie Genda (American Theater Group); The Cripple of Inishmaan, Stefanie Genda (Hartt School). www.ahcostumedesign.com
Mezzo-soprano Tara Gruszkiewicz has been praised for her “dusky, haunting timbre” and “magisterial delivery.” This season, Tara debuted as Schwertleite in Wagner's Die Walküre with the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra. During the past two years, Tara has expanded her opera and concert career to China, at venues including the NCPA in Beijing, the Shanghai Symphony Hall, the Tianjin Concert Hall, the Jiangsu Grand Theatre in Nanjing, and the Suzhou Arts & Culture center, as well as on CCTV and Jiangsu TV. Stateside and abroad, Tara’s has performed Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Bradamante (Alcina), La zia principessa (Suor Angelica), Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), Erste Norn (Götterdämmerung), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Le prince charmant (Cendrillon), La tasse chinoise (L’enfant et les sortilèges), Miss Todd (The Old Maid and the Thief) and Nettie Fowler (Carousel) at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Dimenna Center, Lincoln Center, and Symphony Space. Tara holds a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
Mezzo soprano Emily Hughes is an active performer of opera, art song, oratorio, and musical theater in the New England region. Recent roles include the Shepherdess inVenus and Adonis with New Camerata Opera, Lola in Cavalleria rusticana with Taconic Opera, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Panopera, and Second Lady in The Magic Flute with The Nahant Music Festival. This past summer, she was an apprentice artist at Teatro Nuovo. The previous summer she performed the title role of Cavalli's La Calisto with dell'Arte Opera Ensemble and was a recipient of their Jeiven Emerging Artist Award. In concert, she has been a soloist for The Messiah, Carmina Burana, and Vivaldi's Gloria, and has premiered works by many living composers. Additionally, Emily has a special interest in performing early music and has sung with the New York Continuo Collective, the Baroque Academy at Amherst Early Music Festival, and Haymarket Opera Company. For upcoming performances, please visit www.emily-hughes.com.
Originally from Paris, Texas, and now a resident of New York, Alaina Logee has sung with several companies city-wide performing roles such as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro and the title role of Suor Angelica with New York Lyric Opera. She has been seen in Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Siena Summer Music Festival. Miss Logee is a graduate of Texas Tech University and is currently a student of Mark Oswald. Upcoming performances include Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Cornerstone Chorale as the Alto soloist and as Third Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute in Weimar. This is her fourth appearance with Cantanti Project.
Operations Director Laura Mitchell holds a B.A. in Music and minor in Mathematics from UC San Diego and an Artist Diploma from the prestigious University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Her administrative background includes IT Project Management, Business Analysis and Systems Analysis & Integration. Her personal mission as an administrator of an arts organization is to create a space that celebrates the singer as much as the company; to create a space where singer’s opinions matter and where they can learn to make their own decisions as musicians. Laura is passionate about leveraging the booming market of free technologies to enhance the experience for both singers and productions in a cost-effective way.
At CCM, she performed the roles of Fiordiligi, Musetta, Susanna, and the title roles in Alcina and Manon. Laura has worked with Lyric Opera Virginia, Sarasota Opera, San Diego Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theater, along with programs in several other countries. Her performances are often praised for “captivating” performances (Classical Singer Magazine), and “nuanced delivery” (Oberon’s Grove).
Core Artist and Operations Director
Dylan Sauerwald is a distinctive historical keyboardist and conductor. At the keyboard, he has been praised for his “fleet fingers” and “sophisticated playing,” (Capriccio) and as a conductor, his productions have been called “heart-wrenching and self-reflecting” (OperaWire). Mr. Sauerwald performs widely with early music ensembles across the US and Canada, and his playing is featured in the BBC historical drama Poldark. As a recording artist, he can be heard on the New Focus, Coro, and Urtext labels, as soloist and continuo player on the harpsichord, organ, fortepiano, and lautenwerck, performing works from the 16th century to the 21st. A champion of early opera, he has led productions acclaimed as “refined and flexible,” (Boston Globe) and “a remarkable musical experience” (OperaWire). He is in demand as a guest conductor, appearing with Sunshine City Opera, Miryam Baroque Ensemble, Dorian Baroque, and many others. Mr. Sauerwald directs Polyphemus Early Music, and is Director of Music at New Dorp Moravian Church.
Soprano Joyce Yin, praised by New York Concert Review for singing with an “otherworldly quality,” brings a committed physicality and depth of emotional connection to the stage. This season, Joyce sings the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Libby Larsen’s Try Me Good King, and Clara Schumann’s Sechs Lieder. A performer whose “deft characterization” is “matched by her fearless singing” (Entertainment Hour), Joyce particularly enjoys exploring the nuances of determined women such as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Morgana (Alcina), and Gilda (Rigoletto). Recent highlights include Ines in Donizetti’s La Zingara with Amore Opera, Linfea in La Calisto with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, the title role in Caccini’s Euridice with Cantanti Project, and her debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic as the soprano soloist in the Messiah. Joyce is a winner of the Met Auditions Audience Choice Award and the Musical Merit Foundation of San Diego. She graduated with her M.M. in Opera Performance from Arizona State University. Please visit www.joyceyin.com and @joycesings for updates.
Core Artist and Artistic Director