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Our Artists


The following Artists will be appearing at this gala benefit concert:

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Catherine Miller | Accompanist & Music Director
Catherine Miller


Pianist and vocal coach, Catherine Miller is a member of the music staff at San Diego Opera, a lecturer at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and is in her fifteenth season as Artistic Consultant for the Pasadena Opera Guild. She has worked with Opera Santa Barbara, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Teatro Municipal in Santiago Chile and for the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

Active as a recitalist with classical singers, she regularly performs throughout Southern California. Recent engagements also include recitals at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Wigmore Hall in London, England, the Chiesa Santa Margherita in Vernazza, Italy, and at the Mondavi Center in Davis, California.

She is the official accompanist for the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions for the Los Angeles District and the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition and has played for the Dalis Vocal Competition and Operalia.

She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary.

Jamie Chamberlin SOPRANO
Jamie Chamberlin

Jamie Chamberlin – SOPRANO

Recognized by Opera News for her “shimmering tones”, Greek-American soprano Jamie Chamberlin has made waves in the world of contemporary music since her debut with the LA Phil at the Walt Disney Concert Hall singing the world-premiere of Salonen’s Wing on Wing.

A frequent collaborator at Long Beach Opera, Jamie made a stunning turn as Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn Forever by Gavin Bryars (US Premiere); also, she recently dazzled as Faustine in Stewart Copeland’s (of the legendary rock band The Police) The Invention of Morel, for which she was praised for her “superhuman soprano” (Schmopera).

Favorite roles include Cunegonde in Candide (Long Beach Opera) and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor (Pacific Opera Project). Jamie’s voice can be heard in the Coen Brothers film Hail Caesar!,  and as a Delos Recording Artist. She is an alumna of the prestigious Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and holds a Master of Music degree from UCLA.


Laura Claycomb SOPRANO
Laura Claycomb

Laura Claycomb – SOPRANO

BIO coming soon.

Shana Blake Hill SOPRANO
Shana Blake Hill

Shana Blake Hill – SOPRANO

BIO coming soon.

Marla Kavanaugh SOPRANO
Marla Kavanaugh

Marla Kavanaugh – SOPRANO

New Zealand native Marla Kavanaugh has starred in opera and musical theater productions all over the US. In the Bay Area, the soprano received acclaim and awards for her performances in numerous operas as well as the West Coast premiere of Master Class, and the post-Broadway premiere of Paul Gordon’s Jane Eyre. Marla has performed at the Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), the LA Opera Gala celebrating Plácido Domingo’s arrival as Artistic Director, and the Central Park commemoration of the victims of September 11th.

With husband, tenor Daniel Rodriguez, she has performed in more than 125 cities in the US and abroad and as a guest on five of his albums. She made her Lincoln Center debut in 2014, followed by her Carnegie Hall debut in 2015, where she has returned every year since for holiday concerts. A founding member of The Highland Divas, she has performed in Scotland, on the international television show Hour of Power, and at Madison Square Garden. She returns to the U.K this year as soprano soloist for the London premiere of “The Street Requiem”.

Catherine Cook MEZZO-SOPRANO
Catherine Cook

Catherine Cook – MEZZO-SOPRANO

American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook has excelled in a wide range of roles with leading companies throughout the United States. In the 2017-18 season, Catherine Cook returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Camila in Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel, and sang the Innkeeper in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. Upcoming engagements in the 2018-19 season include Mother Bailey in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life with San Francisco Opera, and Death in the world premiere of Tom Cipullo’s The Parting with Music of Remembrance (Seattle).

At San Francisco Opera, Ms. Cook has given more than 300 performances in over 50 roles since her debut. Company highlights include the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne; La Frugola in Il tabarro; Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah; Marcellina; Arlene Kamen and Wang Tai Tai in Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, and Jade Boucher in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Ms. Cook also is a Professor of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she holds the Frederica Von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice.


Suzanna Guzmán MEZZO-SOPRANO
Suzanna Guzmán

Suzanna Guzmán – MEZZO-SOPRANO

Actor, tv/radio host and mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán has appeared as a principal soloist with orchestras and opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and of course her home company Los Angeles Opera. Known for her portrayal of the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, she is also a champion of new music and has premiered lead roles in works by Michael Nyman, Daniel Catán, Giancarlo Menotti, Ian Krouse, Hector Armienta, and Mark Lowenstein, to name a few.

A member of the acclaimed experimental opera company, The Industry, she received a Grammy nod for the 2006 Best Classical Recording; a Helen Hayes Award Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors directed by Giancarlo Menotti; an Honorary Ph.D. from Occidental College; and the 2015 Edwin Lester Lifetime Achievement Award for service to Art and the Community.

Visit for more.

Katarzyna Sądej MEZZO-SOPRANO
Katarzyna Sądej

Katarzyna Sądej – MEZZO-SOPRANO

Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sądej was born in Wrocław, Poland. Recent opera performances include her L.A. Opera debut as the Page of Herodias in Strauss’ Salome, her SOPAC Ottawa debut as Le Prince Charmant in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and the title role of Bizet’s Carmen for the Palm Springs Opera Guild. She just made her Walt Disney Hall debut singing the alto solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and she will debut with the Chicago Philharmonic as the alto soloist in Kilar’s Missa Pro Pace. In 2019, she will debut at Opera Chengdu (China) as Giannetta in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and will perform with the NAC Orchestra as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.

Other notable highlights include Industry Opera, Carnegie Hall, Festival Mozaic, the National Theater Taipei, the Nuits Blanches Festival Toronto, San Diego Opera, the Ravinia Festival, the 2012 London Olympics, the Ojai International Music Festival, the Montenegrin National Theater, the Lviv (Ukraine) and Banatul (Romania) Philharmonics, the Music Biennale Zagreb, the Bard Summerscape Festival, and the Cartagena International Music Festival.


Laura Virella

Laura Virella – MEZZO-SOPRANO

Of her Long Beach Opera debut last June as the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in the eponymous opera by Robert Xavier Rodríguez, the LA Times called Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella an “instantly believable Frida, a capable singer, and actor, compelling on stage.” Ms. Virella has established herself as a leading singer-actor of her generation. She has been described as “powerful, compelling and exceptional,” captivating audiences in Spain with what the press there called her “fabulous and excellent Carmen”; charming Austrian audiences with her “impressive, fervent Octavian”; and gaining effusive East Coast applause with performances of Rossini’s Rosina and Cenerentola, Moreno Torroba’s Luisa Fernanda and as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto.

To her wide repertoire of operatic roles, Ms. Virella adds mastery of and passion for Puerto Rican art song, of which she is one of the world’s principal proponents. This summer she joined the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice as Mercedes in Carmen.


<center><strong> Hugo Castillo <br />TENOR</strong></center>
Hugo Castillo

Hugo Castillo – TENOR

BIO Coming Soon.

Daniel Rodríguez TENOR
Daniel Rodríguez

Daniel Rodríguez – TENOR

Daniel Rodríguez, the Brooklyn born, now-retired police officer, helped bring the country an uplifting spirit of promise and hope with his stirring rendition of “God Bless America” after the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack.

Formal voice training began early, with Daniel’s first recital in Carnegie Hall at age 16. Singing has been his lifelong passion, however, it didn’t always pay the bills. He worked at a series of jobs until joining the NYPD at age 30, where he became known as “The Singing Policeman”.

September 11, 2001, Officer Rodríguez was driving to work when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Arriving at the site as a first-responder, he witnessed the destruction of both towers, nearly losing his own life. At “Prayer for America” in Yankee Stadium his inspirational voice gave hope and strength to a grieving nation. His music career had turned into a calling.

Daniel’s philanthropic and patriotic efforts have been recognized with numerous honors, such as the USO Lifetime Achievement Award, the DAR Medal of Patriotism and others. Now known as “America’s Beloved Tenor”, he continues to uplift and inspire in performances for his chosen charities, at high profile events, and concert halls around the world.

For more information about Daniel, visit:

Gregorio González BARITONE
Gregorio González

Gregorio González – BARITONE

Critically-acclaimed singer, Gregorio González has forged a versatile career on opera and concert stages throughout the world. Since his beginnings as an artist with the Los Angeles Opera, Gregorio has sung at venues such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; The Dutch National Opera; Theater an der Wien; Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico; Teatro Nacional de Panamá, Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Connecticut Opera; Des Moines Metro Opera; San Diego Opera; The Ojai International Festival; and The Festival International Cervantino, among others.

Gregorio has interpreted over 60 roles, of which he has created many in world premieres. He has collaborated with personalities such as Robert Wilson, Willie Decker, Colin Graham, Mstslav Rostropovic, Emilio Sagi, Plácido Domingo, and many distinguished colleague singers. He has been recognized in competitions such as Operalia, the Met National Council Auditions; and the Francisco Viñas, Gerda Lissner, Violetta Dupont, Palm Springs, and Licia Albanese Puccini competitions.


Patrick Blackwell BASS-BARITONE
Patrick Blackwell

Patrick Blackwell – BASS-BARITONE

Bass-baritone Patrick Blackwell is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. He made his LA Opera Debut singing the role of Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd. Other roles include the Imperial Commissioner in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Aye in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, Opera Box Ghost in John Corigliano’s Ghosts of Versailles (for which he won a Grammy Award), and the Second Soldier in Richard Strauss’s Salome. Mr. Blackwell returns to LA Opera this season to sing the role of Krishna in Philip Glass’s Satyagraha. Acclaimed performances with other companies including both Baron Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca and Father Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with Pacific Opera Project.

He recently made his European debut at L’Opéra National du Rhin, in Strasbourg, France, performing both Jimmy in Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and the Bass in that composer’s Seven Deadly Sins. He is a frequent concert and recital artist, and has performed in recital with Maestra Catherine Miller for African-Americans for LA Opera.


Vagarsh Martirosyan BASS-BARITONE
Vagarsh Martirosyan

Vagarsh Martirosyan – BASS-BARITONE

Armenian bass-baritone Vagarsh Martirosyan received his early training in Yerevan, Armenia, and continued his studies at the Maimonides State Jewish Classical Academy. He began his professional career at the Opera House in Yerevan in 2006 but moved to Nuremberg, Germany in 2009 to continue his vocal studies at the Hochschule für Musik. Also in 2006, he made his professional debut in the title role of Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in Nuremberg.

Other performances include Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Rostock Opera House. Other roles include Zuniga in Carmen at the Chiemgauer Opera Festival (Germany), Fasolt in Das Rheingold (Nuremberg), Oroveso in Norma (Yerevan State Opera), Rene in Iolanta (Yerevan State Opera), Gremin in Eugene Onegin (Moscow) and numerous roles in Armenian operas. In late 2015, Mr. Martirosyan emigrated to the United States and now resides in Southern California. He made his debut with Opera San Jose in the roles of Alcindoro and Benoit in their production of La Bohème in the 2016-17 season.

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