The Margot Bos Stambler '84 Professional Development Award at
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music
The Margot Bos Stambler '84 Professional Development Award (the Award) is an endowed fund at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music established in 2005 by gifts from the Margot Music Fund and the family and friends of Margot Bos Stambler '84, in recognition of her passionate and courageous professional life in music.
The purpose of The Margot Bos Stambler '84 Professional Development Award is to provide an outstanding Oberlin Conservatory voice major of great promise with support during and beyond their last semester at Oberlin to enhance career opportunities in whatever form best suits the recipient's needs. Expenditures may include vocal and musical coaching, attendance at recitals and operatic performances, travel and audition funds, sheet music, and pedagogical materials.
The Award is presented annually to a voice student enrolled at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, completing their final semester of undergraduate study, or having in the previous fall completed their final semester of undergraduate study, who has chosen to defer a formalized graduate program while actively pursuing further vocal and career development.
2015: Daniel McGrew
Tenor Daniel McGrew is a native of Southern California and will soon graduate from the Oberlin Conservatory where he has spent four years studying with Salvatore Champagne. Throughout his time at Oberlin, Daniel has sung several major roles, including the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring with Oberlin Opera Theater and Orfeo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with the Oberlin in Italy Program. He has also spent two winter terms in Boston studying and performing Bach at Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute, and is passionately engaged with the chamber music and song repertoires. He recently performed Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin on his senior recital. Daniel has been involved with music for film and television as well, and can be heard on the soundtracks of Battlestar Galactica and Superman Returns, among others. In 2010 he earned the first prize in the Classical Singer Competition and in 2011 was honored at the White House as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Daniel plans to attend graduate school in the fall.
2014: Nicole Levesque
Praised as a “magnetic mezzo,” Nicole Levesque was most recently seen as La Chatte in the Maryland Opera Studio's Production of Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilèges (Cleveland Classical). Nicole's credits with the Oberlin Opera Theater department include Nancy in Britten's Albert Herring, Hänsel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, a "bone dry and alluring" Prince Alexander Orlofsky in Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus (Cleveland Classical), Ernesto in Haydn's Il mondo della luna, Dame Doleful in Edwin Penhorwood's Too Many Sopranos, La libellule and La tasse chinoise in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilièges, and a chorus member in Bolcom's A Wedding and Smetna's The Bartered Bride. Miss Levesque has also appeared in various roles with the Oberlin Opera Theater's scenes program including Charlotte in Massenet's Werther, Desdemona in Rossini's Otello, Susanna in Mozart's Il Nozze di Figaro, Poppea in Monteverdi’s Il coronazione di Poppea, and Der Komponist in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos.
Miss Levesque has been featured as a soloist in Saint-Saën’s Christmas Oratorio and Mozart's Laudate Dominum at the First Church in Oberlin and in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Oberlin Chamber Choir. As a chorister, she has had the opportunity to sing with the Oberlin Orchestra in Finney Chapel. Miss Levesque's choral repertoire includes Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony No. 2. This fall, she was featured as the alto soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria at the First Church in Oberlin. In 2012 she was invited to collaborate with Oberlin Conservatory composition professor Tom Lopez on creating a new piece, Lament pour Reja-vu, later performed as part of Oberlin Conservatory's Illumination Tour to New York, NY. Miss Levesque has also done voice-over work for the Oberlin College film department.
Miss Levesque studied with Associate Professor of Singing Lorraine Manz at Oberlin Conservatory. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Oberlin College and a B.M. in Classical Vocal Performance from the Conservatory. She is currently working on her M.M. in Opera Performance at the University of Maryland's Opera Studio as a Graduate Assistant under the tutelage of Professor Delores Ziegler.
2013: Robert McGinness
Lyric Baritone Rob McGinness is an enterprising musician, singing Mozart to Musto and creating works in collaboration with varied groups such as NASA and children’s theaters. Currently based in the Baltimore area, Rob performs with ensembles and opera companies in the United States and Europe. Rob performs regularly with local ensembles Concert Artists of Baltimore, Baltimore Musicales, and Bel Cantanti Opera.
Rob is known for his authentic and moving performances in both operatic and recital repertoire. His operatic roles include Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a role lauded for his “bright baritone and winning jitteriness.” Other recent performances include Le chat, and L'horloge comtoise in Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, Jules Goddard in A Wedding by William Bolcom and Don Quijote in De Falla’s puppet opera El retablo de maese Pedro. Rob’s concert credits include the baritone Solo in Durufle’s Requiem with Oberlin College’s Musical Union, and the bass solo in Schubert’s Mass in G, with Concert Artists of Baltimore, a performance praised by the Baltimore Sun’s Tim Smith for its “poetic warmth.”
Rob is deeply invested in bringing new and engaging music to audiences, premiering both his own and other new works. A composer himself, he created and premiered Apollo, an 11-part multimedia song cycle based on the Apollo 11 mission, in collaboration with NASA. Apollo was premiered at IngenuityFest 2013 in Cleveland OH. He has written vocal, orchestral, theatrical and choral works, including Dick Tracy for Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton NH, and The Tragedians, an orchestral work performed by the Windham Orchestra in Vermont.
Rob has had the honor of working in master classes with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, and John Musto. He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 2013, winning several awards including the Ruth Cogan Memorial Scholarship and the Margot Bos Stambler Award. Rob currently studies with Stanley Cornett in Baltimore.
2012: Brian Mextorf
Baritone Brian Mextorf is quickly gaining recognition as a dynamic performer and a sensitive musician. Brian was recently named a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, North Carolina District and the 2nd place winner of the Southeast Region, as well as a winner of the competitive 2014 Schuyler Career Bridges Grant. Most recently heard as an Emerging Artist with Virginia Opera, Brian has sung performances of Bill Bobstay and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore. Brian will return to VOA in 2015-16 to sing performances of John Styx (Jupiter cover) in Orpheus in the Underworld, Paris (Capulet cover) in Roméo et Juliette, and Doganiere (Marcello cover) in La bohème. He will also be performing the role of Marcello in an innovative and exciting abridged production of La bohème with VOA in the fall of 2015. Additional upcoming performances include a New York City recital debut under the auspices of the Operamission Artist Recital Series, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas with Opera Saratoga, and the title role in Handel's Saul in Russell, Kansas.
In January 2014, Brian was heard singing Lesbo in Operamission’s production of Handel’s Agrippina, staged in an Italian Renaissance library in Manhattan with period orchestra. He was also recently featured in the creation and first complete performances of two new operas with Operamission in 2013: Clint Borzoni’s Antinuous and Hadrian and Edward Ficklin’s Flash of Recognition. As a 2012 Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Brian was featured in three roles in the North American Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland, in which he “excelled” (Opera News).
In the academic sphere, Brian has enjoyed many diverse operatic experiences. Complete performed roles include Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Speaker (The Magic Flute), Keçal (The Bartered Bride) and Publio (La Clemenza di Tito) with Oberlin Opera Theatre, and Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Lindorf/Coppelius/Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi) with Westminster Choir College. He was also seen singing Masetto; Giovanni/Leporello cover (Don Giovanni) with The CoOPERAtive Program in 2013.
On the concert stage, Brian was recently heard singing Judas in Bach’s Mattäuspassion with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Since 2012, Brian has also sung in choirs under conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, and Daniel Barenboim at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. In recent years he has been featured as bass or baritone soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Monmouth Civic Chorus, Bach’s B Minor Mass and Magnificat with summer festival choirs of Westminster Choir College conductors Joe Miller and Ryan Brandau, Mozart’s Requiem (Oberlin Orchestra), and Fauré’s Requiem (Williamsport Choirs). Also an avid recitalist, Brian has given eight full recitals in the past five years.
Brian is a native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and is an alumnus of The Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M. 2012), Westminster Choir College (M.M. 2014), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Gerdine Young Artist Program (2012), The CoOPERAtive Program (Fellow 2012/13). Upcoming apprenticeships include Opera Saratoga and a second year in residence at Virginia Opera.
2011: Sydney Mancasola
A Grand Finals winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a recent graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, soprano Sydney Mancasola has been praised by the New York Times for her “lovely lyric soprano and radiant high notes.” The 2014 – 2015 season will see Ms. Mancasola’s company debuts with Palm Beach Opera as Marie in La fille du régiment and Florida Grand Opera as Leila in Les pêcheurs de perles, and she will return to Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Lisette in La Rondine. Concert work includes Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Sun Valley Symphony.
In the 2013 – 2014 season Ms. Mancasola will make her company debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as Comtesse Adèle in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory and role debut as the title character in Massenet’s Manon at AVA. Orchestral engagements included appearances with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung conducted by Danail Rachev, and Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Michael Rossi.
Operatic highlights include her professional debut as Young Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied with Fort Worth Opera; Adele in Die Fledermaus with the Brevard Music Center; Cunégonde in Candide and Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito with Oberlin Opera Theatre; Marie (cover) in La fille du régiment with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and Zdenka (cover) in Arabella with Santa Fe Opera. Roles at AVA included Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Despina in Così fan tutte, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Antonia and Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
The concert stage has seen Ms. Mancasola in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, and Strauss’ Brentano Lieder. She was also featured as a guest soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate with the 2012 international music festival Calí de Camara in Colombia.
Honors and awards include Top Prize Winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, 2nd Prize and Audience Favorite at the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and 1st Prize in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition. Ms. Mancasola is an alumna of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, where she received the Judith Raskin Memorial Award for Singers, as well as the Gerdine Young Artist program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Brevard Music Center.
Ms. Mancasola began her musical training as a classical violinist in her home state of California and went on to study voice at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in 2011 and was the recipient of the Margot Bos Standler Scholarship.
2010: Joseph Lattanzi
American baritone Joseph Lattanzi is gaining notice for his “robust vocalism,” “unmistakable charisma,” and “undeniable star potential.” Lattanzi will join the Arizona Opera in the 2015-2016 season for performances in Arizona Lady, Florencia en el Amazonas, Carmen, and Don Giovanni. The 2014-2015 season began with a return home to debut with The Atlanta Opera as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and included workshopping new operas by Jake Heggie (Great Scott) and Daniel Catán (Meet John Doe), revisiting Fellow Travelers at the Opera America National Opera Center, soloing in Carmina Burana with the Chicago Sinfonietta, and performing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. The 2013-2014 season included his return to Seattle Opera in The Consul, a debut season with Cincinnati Opera in three roles, and an exciting international debut in Benjamin Britten's War Requiemwith the Orchestra e Coro Sinfonica di Milano "Giuseppe Verdi". Recently, Lattanzi garnered much acclaim for his performances of Il Conte in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro led by Xian Zhang at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program. Equally at home in standard and new repertoire, Lattanzi created the role of Hawkins Fuller in the 2013 workshop of Gregory Spears' new opera Fellow Travelers. In the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Lattanzi was recognized by Opera News Magazine for his "fresh, bright baritone voice" as Moralès in Bizet’s Carmen with Seattle Opera. As a member of Seattle Opera's Young Artist Program, he also performed the roles of Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Albert in Massenet’s Werther. Other stage credits include the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), and Man With a Shoe Sample Kit (Postcard from Morocco). The Mableton, GA native has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). In addition to two summers at the Merola Opera Program, he has participated in programs at the Brevard Music Center and the Chautauqua Institute Voice Program.