Mezzo-Soprano Jennifer L. Barrett is proud to be a part of the Chicago music community, using her versatile, flexible instrument in a variety of settings. Highlights of the 2019-20 season include the United States debut of John Plant’s I will fly like a bird, with Thompson Street Opera. Her performance as Zofia, Robert’s mother, in this gripping work was highly acclaimed by Chicago Classical Review, Chicago Theater Review, and was given special end-of-year recognition from Vocal Arts Chicago. Jennifer was also honored to contribute her efforts to the benefit concert performance of The Consul by Transgressive Theater-Opera, playing the role of The Secretary.
As a company member of New Moon Opera in Chicago, Barrett has appeared in Gianni Schicchi (La Ciesca), Viardot’s Cendrillon (Maguelonne), Mesdames de la Halle (Madame Poiretapee), Trouble in Tahiti (Dinah), The Old Maid and the Thief (Miss Pinkerton), and Hansel and Gretel (Gingerbread Witch). Other area credits include Ruddigore (The Savoyaires), La Traviata (New Philharmonic Orchestra), With Blood, With Ink and Dark Sisters (Third Eye Theatre Ensemble), Der Freischutz (Opera on Tap Chicago), Cavalleria Rusticana and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Main Street Opera), Quantum Mechanic (The Floating Opera Company), and the world premiere of The Patriots.
Jennifer holds a BA in Vocal Music Education from North Central College, and a MA in Vocal Pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University. When not on stage, she is a professor of Applied Classical and Musical Theater Voice at North Central College. She serves as the Soprano/Alto section leader at First United Methodist Church of LaGrange, and a vocal health consultant through Chicago and the suburbs.
Chicago-based Costa Rican flutist Dalia Chin is a founding member of Fonema Consort and regular member for the Chicago Composers Orchestra, both of which are dedicated to performing music by living composers. She has appeared as a guest artist with Eighth Blackbird, Fulcrum Point and Unsupervised Ensembles. She has been in residence and given performances at institutions including New England Conservatory, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Oberlin Conservatory, Harvard University, Columbia University, the Universidad de Costa Rica, Scripps College, UNAM (Mexico City), the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the 113 Composers Collective and North Central College. She has performed in festival and at venues including Visiones Sonoras (Morelia), the Florida Flute Convention, Festival Interfaz (Monterrey), Omaha Under the Radar, the Ear Taxi Festival, the Festival Internacional de Chihuahua, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico City), the Teatro Sucre (Quito), the City of Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion, and National Sawdust.
As a soloist she has performed Pablo Chin’s flute concerto Inside the Shell with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Costa Rica Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia, and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Orchestra. She is featured on the recently released album Three Burials (New Focus Recordings) which compiles the flute works of composer Pablo Chin. She can also be heard on Fonema Consort’s albums Pasos en otra calle (New Focus Recordings) and FIFTH TABLEAU (Parlour Tapes+).
Dalia works in close collaboration with composers as a soloist, with Fonema Consort and with the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra. Recent commissions and premieres include works by Stratis Minakakis, Pablo Chin, Fernanda Aoki Navarro, Francisco Castillo Trigueros, Bethany Younge, Julio Estrada, Monte Weber, and Tiffany Skidmore.
Dalia earned a Post-Masters degree from DePaul University, her Masters in Music Performance at Florida State University, and her Bachelors Degree in Music Performance at the University of Costa Rica. Dalia is an active educator in the Chicago area teaching at the DePaul Community Division, Near North Montessori, and has a private flute studio.
Mary Lutz Govertsen
In November 2019, Mary premiered the role of Regan in Imogen, a new work by composer Elizabeth Rudolph, with New Moon Opera. Last fall, she sang in the production of Litany2020, all new vocal works by Ms Rudolph. Her roles in the Chicago area and beyond include Comtesse Adele/Le comte Ory; Donna Anna/Don Giovanni; Konstanze/Die Enthführung aus dem Serail; Four Heroines/Les Contes d'Hoffmann; and Fiordiligi/Cosi fan tutte. She is active in the modern opera community, having recently sung Soldier/The Falling and the Rising, Worker #2/Stitch, Almera/Dark Sisters, and Anna Eingold/Uncle Alex. When not singing, she teaches public school music, does aerial silks and hoop, and mucks about with her husband, 4-year-old son, and two bad kitties.
Sarah Jenks holds a B.A. in piano from Ohio Northern University, a M.M. in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from University of Illinois, and Professional Diploma in Opera from Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA). In addition to being a staff pianist at North Park University, CCPA, and Moody Bible Institute, she is resident Music Director at Transgressive Theatre-Opera, Vocal Coach for MIOpera, and Director of Music at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Evergreen Park. She also runs an active private teaching and coaching studio. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her 3 very energetic children.
Sarah Kropski is a soprano soloist and main stage performer in the Chicagoland area. She is a co-producer and soloist of a recital series designed to educate audiences on a variety of classical soprano traditions and styles. She also collaborates with libraries to create and perform in children's sing-a-long programs. From bars, to libraries, to outdoor theatre, Sarah seeks opportunities to bring a classical vocal style to all music genres and venues.
As a member of the original cast of Jane Austen’s Persuasion: A Musical Drama, Sarah Kropski spent the past seven summers on tour in England and Scotland with Chamber Opera Chicago, reprising the role of Henrietta Musgrove. Previously with Chamber Opera Chicago, she performed the role of Liesl in The Sound of Music and as Kitty in the Chicago premiere of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. As a studio artist with Chamber Opera Chicago, she has been a featured soloist in the Amahl and the Night Visitors pre-show concerts and appeared in numerous main stage ensemble roles including Hansel and Gretel, for which she covered the role of Gretel. Other credits include: Rapunzel in Into the Woods (Southland Area Theatre Ensemble), Phyllis in Iolanthe (Prairie Fire Theater), Annina in La Traviata (Elgin Opera), and the ensembles of Faust (da Corneto Opera) and La Traviata (Verismo Opera Theater).
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University and is the recipient of a Bella Voce Award from Chicago’s Bel Canto Foundation. She works during the school year as a project specialist for the Music and Theatre Department and Performing Arts Division of New Trier High School.
Violinist Rachelle Elizabeth Puccini is an active soloist, clinician and Eastman Artist. She has played with orchestras, and in venues throughout the country and abroad. A sought after clinician, her pedagogical ideas have been presented internationally in the Dominican Republic and this upcoming season in Canada. This past season she has presented nationwide at; ILMEC, DuPage County Music Educators Association Conference, and ECMEA in addition to a professional development day in New Jersey and a week long residency in Montana. This upcoming season she will be presenting at The Midwest Conference. She is frequently invited as a guest artist and clinician at schools and universities. As a soloist and recitalist Ms. Puccini frequently collaborates with pianist Paul Hamilton. Together they have recorded Kreisler’s Liebesfreud and Libeslied, and the work Fratres by Arvo Part, which will also become a film soon to be released. Orchestrally, she frequently plays with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Oistrakh Symphony, Northbrook Symphony, and Orchestra Nacional in the Dominican Republic. Past highlights have been joining the Munich Symphony on a five week tour throughout the USA in 2011, playing Carnegie Hall with the Oistrakh Symphony in 2018 and 2019, and featured as soloist and concertmaster for the Whiting Park Symphony Orchestra in 2017. As an Eastman artist, she teaches and performs all her educational engagements on an Eastman violin model VL928. In Chicago, she has built a successful violin studio, and is currently on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago. Ms. Puccini holds a Masters degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University where she studied with Gerardo Ribeiro, and a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from Grand Valley State University where she studied with international soloist, violinist Dylana Jenson. She has also studied with violinist and pedagog Olga Kaler. Ms. Puccini concertizes on a 2015 Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin made especially for her. In her spare time Rachelle enjoys painting, running, and the occasional triathlon.
French born violist Chloé Thominet has performed as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player across the United States in major halls such as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall as well as in her native France. Performance highlights include appearances in Alice Tully Hall as part of the Wednesdays at One series with the Elysian Quartet, at the Kennedy Center as part of the Conservatory Project in 2016, and in Carnegie Hall as co-principal of the Chamber Orchestra of New York and the Juilliard Orchestra. She has been fortunate to collaborate with many of her mentors and great artists such as violists Misha Amory, Victoria Chiang, Jeffrey Irvine, violinist Joseph Lin, pianist Robert McDonald, and violinist Itzhak Perlman. Ms. Thominet attended the Young Artists Program at CIM and subsequently earned a BM under the tutelage of Jeffrey Irvine. She received her Masters from the Juilliard School, studying with Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory as a Kovner Fellow. Currently she is a Doctoral candidate at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University studying with Helen Callus and serving as her Teaching Assistant.
Denielle Wilson is a cellist and music educator from Lithonia, Georgia. She has performed and taught privately in the metropolitan Atlanta and Chicago areas, and has been a string orchestra teacher and sectionals coach at elementary, middle, and high schools in Evanston and Skokie, Illinois. Her students have ranged from beginners to advanced players. She was a cello fellow with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and participated in various musical community service projects throughout the city. She completed her undergraduate degrees in music performance and education at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen. She and her two siblings form the Wilson Trio, a piano trio that has presented free community concerts over the years since 2007. She is now studying with Alan Rafferty for her master’s degree at the College-Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati.