DavidMichael Schuster, Amocanti Director

DavidMichael Schuster, tenor, originally from Indianapolis, has a career which spans 30 years, from his debut with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1981, to the stages of Spoleto, Italy and the Bavarian State Theater in Munich, Germany, where he was a lead tenor from 1989-1995 singing Radames (Aida), The King (Love of Three Oranges) and the world premiere of Ubu Rex by Panderewcki where he was double-cast with Robert Tear as King Ubu. Mr. Schuster was tenor soloist with the RTSI Orchestra in Lugano, Switzerland and also toured throughout Europe with Manrico (Il Trovatore) and Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly). The Westfalische Rundschau commented on his portrayal of Manrico, saying “Herr Schuster was an equal to all the Italians on stage and has a resonantly strong voice ... full of temperament and solid on stage.” The French press Liberation noted on the performance of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, “[t]he last tenor who could negotiate the tricky tessitura of this role (Raoul) was Franco Corelli. David Schuster follows quite unhindered in his footsteps.”

Timothy Linwood, Amocanti Director

Le Figaro writes of counter-tenor Timothy Linwood, “[h]is voice filled the hall with great ease . . . and with great flexibility.” Best known for his recitals and concerts throughout France, Germany, England and the United States, Mr. Linwood is, according to the classical music magazine, Music & Vision, “a truly astonishing countertenor, an intellectual among singers.” Equally at home performing art songs by Fauré and Ravel, he has given recitals at the Château de la Muette, the Trocadero, and the Théâtre Mirabeau and concert versions of Scarlatti’s La principessa fedele and Purcell’s Dido and Aneas at the Château de Milon. Purcell’s love poems invoked from Le Monde de la Musique that “the sweet and velvety quality of Mr. Linwood’s voice left the audience spellbound.” Mr. Linwood appeared as a guest artist at the first gala fundraiser for the reconstruction of the Dresdener Frauenkirche in the vaulted chambers of the French Historic Society, as well as numerous oratorios and cantatas at the American Cathedral in Paris, including Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and works by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, and Schütz. Operatic roles include the lead in Gluck’s Orfeo, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazzione de Poppea, Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, and Anténor in Rameau’s Dardanus.

While Amocanti is not a performing group, per se, the following have participated in various Amocanti Events and Projects.

Marilyn Vondra

Marilyn Vondra, soprano, is a frequent visitor to the concert stage. Her Alice Tully Hall debut recital was called “An Impressive Debut” by The New York Times. She recently made her concert debut at Weil Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) and has performed on the concert series of Trinity Church, Rockefeller University, Carleton College and the University of Bridgeport’s Tuesday Evening Series. Ms. Vondra founded and produced “Celebration of Song,” a classical art song series at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan. Ms. Vondra is equally at home on the operatic stage. She has performed leading roles with regional and Manhattan opera companies. These performances have been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, New York Magazine and Opera News. Ms. Vondra recently completed a mid-western recital tour, performing an original program titled “Edvard Grieg in Story and Song,” consisting of 17 songs sung in the original Norwegian.           

Debra Patchell

Known for her “powerful, yet warm sound,” Debra Patchell possesses a “rare grand voice remarkable for its seamless transitions, perfectly controlled fortes and pianissimos, and a stage presence that stills her audiences into spellbound silence.” Performing with opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, Ms. Patchell specializes in dramatic mezzo roles such as Amneris, Azucena, and Adalgisa. She has sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Hamburg Camarata in Germany, Mario Lavista’s Hacia El Comienzo and Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas and El Amor Brujo with New York City’s Prism Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Jeannine Wagar, and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Riders to the Sea with conductor John Moriarty. In January 2005, she appeared in concert at the Ortiz Tirado Music Festival in Mexico as one of the “Three American Sopranos” -- garnering superlative reviews. An original cast member of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award winning La Bohème both on Broadway and in Los Angeles, Ms. Patchell won the Los Angeles Stage Alliance’s Ovation Award for her performance. Ms. Patchell has made solo appearances with the Dallas Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the Minnesota Bach Society, and has performed roles with the Opera Company of Boston, the Boston Lyric Opera, the New Jersey State Opera, and the West End Opera.

Carla Thelen Hanson

American soprano Carla Thelen Hanson is garnering attention for exciting and vocally thrilling performances of opera's leading heroines throughout the country.  Of her New York City Opera debut as Puccini's Tosca, The New York Times noted, "Ms. Hanson made a strong debut as Tosca, by turns fiery and vulnerable, her voice agreeably dark in its middle range and sufficiently full on top" and the New Yorker exclaims "her dark-grained, strongly felt "Vissi d'arte" sailed right up to the uppermost balcony." She received equal praise for portrayals of Maddalena de Coigny in Andrea Chenier for Mobile Opera, as well as the title roles of Ariadne auf Naxos and Norma, both with Union Ave Opera Theatre. Other roles in her repertoire include Verdi's Aida, Leonora (Il Trovatore and Beethoven's Fidelio), and Amelia (Simon Boccanegra and Un Ballo in Maschera), as well as the recent additions of Strauss' Salome, Puccini's Turandot, Wagner's Senta and Sieglinde.

Joost Van Berge

A native of the Netherlands, Joost Van Berge has appeared with regional opera companies  in the United States and throughout Europe.  He is a much-loved recitalist both here and abroad.  Amocanti's recent Lieder concert marks his first appearance as an Amocanti artist. 

Douglas Martin

Douglas Martin has brought his vibrant conducting style to Virginia Opera, Ashlawn Opera, Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony, Di Capo Theater, and most notably with Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme on Broadway” in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. He has also enjoyed serving as assisting pianist with major companies throughout the US and Europe including New York, Santa Fe, Mexico City, Ireland, and most recently Los Angeles. Mr. Martin has also served as a Fellowship Instructor at Indiana University, and the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School and has coached singers for 25 years in New York City.                   

Igor Naimark

We are glad to welcome Maestro Igor Naimark to the growing number of Artists who participate in Amocanti Events. Igor Naimark is an outstanding pianist whose repertoire ranges from Baroque, Classical, and Romantic works to contemporary and jazz music. Born in Kharkov (Ukraine) in 1955, Maestro Naimark began his piano studies at the age of five. He continued his studies in the Musical High School of the State Moscow Conservatory and later in the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory where he participated in master-classes with Y. Malinin, L. Naumov and V. Merzhanov. Amongst his teachers at the Kharkov State Academy was, among others, R. Horovitz, the sister of the renowned Vladimir Horovitz.

After graduation in 1979, Maestro Naimark joined the faculty of the Kharkov State Academy teaching piano performance and appearing as soloist with the State Ukrainian Ukrconcert. In that same year he was awarded First Prize at the Lysenko International Piano Competition, Lvov, Ukraine. Maestro Naimark performed regularly throughout the former Soviet Union and has regularly appeared with the Byelorussian State Philharmonic Society. Settling in Israel in 1991, Maestro Naimark teaches at the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music and performs concerts throughout Israel, Europe and North America.