Michael Alfera enjoys a multifaceted career as a solo pianist, accompanist, conductor, composer, arranger, musical director, and vocal coach. From 2009 to 2015, Michael served as the Principal Accompanist for the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. He has taught musical theater as a faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona and the USC School of Dramatic Arts, and he has served in the capacities of conductor, arranger, and accompanist for dozens of Southern California choral ensembles.In early 2014, Michael founded the L.A. Choral Lab (), a non-profit classical vocal ensemble dedicated to championing living composers by giving a voice to their musical work. In the two years since its inception, the L.A. Choral Lab has received critical acclaim and established itself firmly as a home for new choral music in Southern California
David Castillo is a Los Angeles-based singer, actor, and model known to deliver "impassioned," (LA Times) "beautifully sung and confidently acted" (Opera News) performances. His versatility as an artist opens himself to a vast repertoire ranging from baroque to experimental with new and upcoming collaborative projects focusing on and exploring cultural identity, technology, and fashion. The New Orleans native debuted world premieres with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Goethe in Andriessen's Theatre of the World, the Los Angeles Opera as Atzuko in¡Figaro! (90210), the Los Angeles Master Chorale as King David in Kirchner's Songs of Ascent, The Industry as Jameson in HOPSCOTCH, and the USC Fischer Museum as the Baritone Soloist in Parola's infinite self. He performed West Coast Premieres as the Title Role in Britten's Owen Wingrave and Ferdinand in Hoiby's The Tempest. He recently made his Off-Broadway and New York Debut for a run of¡Figaro! (90210) reprising his role of Atzuko. He made his European Debut in Paris performing Schubert's Winterreise with pianist Francois Chouchan in honor of Dr. Elsa Cayat, the only female killed in the Charlie Hebdo shootings.His concert appearances include performances with the Los Angeles Master Chorale as the Baritone Soloist in Alexander's Feast, the Messiah Sing-along, and in Bach's Matthäus-Passion all under the baton of Grant Gershon at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He performed other works of Bach, including Cantatas 73, 106, and 147, Jesus inJohannes-Passion (upcoming); Handel's Messiah; Schubert's Winterreise (Paris, Los Angeles and New Orleans); Brahm's Ein deutsches Requiem; Fauré Requiem; Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs andFantasia on Christmas Carols; and Ravel's Don Quichotte à Dulcinée and Histoires Naturelles. Other notable roles include Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride, Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Anthony inSweeney Todd, Papageno in The Magic Flute; Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Belcore in The Elixir of Love, Sid in Albert Herring, Des Grieux in Massenet’s Le portrait de Manon, L'horloge Comtoise inL'enfant et les Sortilèges, and Il Barone di Trombonok in Il Viaggio a Reims. David has been awarded as the 2010 Grand Prize Winner of the Steward Brady Competition, a 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist, a 2010 National Finalist in Classical Singer’s University Competition, the 2013 Runner-up and 2012 Encouragement Award Recipient from the Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition, and a multiple Opera Buffs, Inc. Grant Recipient. He received his Master of Music from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music under Rod Gilfry and his Bachelor of Music from Loyola University New Orleans under the late Philip Frohnmayer. Additionally, he trained at Killian's Commercial Workshop, Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Thriving Creating Artists, and the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Hayden Eberhart (soprano) is from Dallas, Texas, and received a Graduate Certificate in 2011 and a Master's degree in Music in 2009 from the University of Southern California. She received her BA in music in 2007 from Pomona College.Hayden is currently a member of the LA Master Chorale, where her solos include Messiahas well a Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Respighi’s Lauda per la Nativitá, Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor and Voices of Light by Richard Einhorn. She has also appeared as a guest artist with Pasadena Master Chorale, LA Daiku, South Pasadena Community Chorus, Hollywood Master Chorale and the Pomona College Choir and Orchestra. Hayden's operatic roles include Barbara Conti in ¡Figaro! (90210)! with LA Opera Off Grand, Rosina in Barber of Seville, Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment and Olympia inThe Tales of Hoffman with Orange County Opera, and Serpetta in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, Emmie in Albert Herring, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with USC Opera. She can be heard on such film soundtracks as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Hail Caesar! and Godzilla.
The career of Michele Hemmings has covered a wide range of classical styles and repertoire from Monteverdi to present day. She has performed traditional roles in such operas as Così fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, La Cenerentola, Giulio Cesare, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro and The Coronation of Poppea, as well as contemporary works such as Argento's Postcard from Morocco, Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, Richard Wargo's The Music Shop, Peter Westergaard's The Tempest and George Quincy's The Mummy. She has toured with the National Opera Company and Opera Northeast and has performed with the Florida Grand Opera, Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, Opera Français de New York and Chautauqua Opera among others. As an orchestral and oratorio soloist Michele has sung with several organizations such as the Claremont Chorale, Orchestra Nova, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Florida Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Delray Chorale and the Capital Hill Choral Society. Michele has sung recitals at many different venues in the U.S. including the Liederkranz Foundation and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.
Lucas / Luc Kleiner (b. 1991, Los Angeles) is a Baritone vocalist, versatile instrumentalist, and composer of music employing diverse styles and permeating genre boundaries. He received his Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance from California State University Long Beach, and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts in Composition at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Kleiner sings with myriad professional choirs, including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, First Congregational Church of LA, the Golden Bridge, LA Chamber Singers, and the Clarion Singers, with whom he appeared as a soloist in Canterbury Cathedral last summer. Luc is currently working on an experimental-pop recording project, composing works for chorus and ensembles, and eagerly preparing for his third season with the LA Master Chorale.
Tenor Arthur Rishi performs frequently in the Boston area in opera, oratorio, and concert. Recent appearances have included Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings at Harvard University, Handel’s Messiah at Eastern Nazarene College and with North End Music and Performing Arts Center; Beethoven’s Mass in C and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Assabet Valley Master Singers, Janáček's Diary of one who Vanished at Northeastern University, the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Sarasa Ensemble, the title role in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito with Prism Opera, and Anthony De Ritis’s American Songs for the annual Fulbright Concert at Harvard. He is also one of the few tenors to have performed the role of the Evangelist in Keiser’s St. Mark Passion, which is now thought to include music added by JS Bach He has performed Schubert’s song cycle Die schöne Müllerin more than twenty times in concert halls throughout the Northeast and Canada and as a featured concert for First Night Providence.Previous appearances with Pasadena Master Chorale have included Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 , and Handel’s Messiah. He has also premiered several works written for him by Jeffrey Bernstein. Arthur Rishi is also active as an arts administrator, working with organizations including the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Harvard Business School, the Center for the Arts at Northeastern University, the Handel & Haydn Society, and Emmanuel Music. He is Music Director of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Brookline Village, Massachusetts. Mr. Rishi holds degrees from Harvard College, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Boston University.
Shawn Kirchner (b.1970) is a composer and songwriter active in the musical circles of Los Angeles. In 2012, he was appointed Swan Family Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. His choral compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad in concert halls, churches, schools, and on radio, television (and YouTube!). He is best known for his arrangement of the Kenyan song Wana Baraka. The Los Angeles Master Choralehas often presented Kirchner's choral works in concerts at LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall, and commissioned his 2007 setting of the Pablo Neruda sonnet, Tu Voz and his most recent concert suite, Behold New Joy: Ancient Carols of Christmas. The Master Chorale's final concert of the 2009/2010 season featured a premiere of his "bluegrass triptych," Heavenly Home: Three American Songs,which received praise in the LA Times as "effectively" written works of "sophistication." Kirchner's pieces are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Oxford University Press, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Shawn Kirchner Publishing (available through this website.)
In addition to composing, songwriting has become a career focus for Kirchner in recent years. His songs combine emotional warmth with carefully crafted lyrics, and are written in a range of styles including bluegrass, folk, country, gospel and jazz. Kirchner's bluegrass and country songs can be heard on the CDMeet Me on the Mountain, and his original jazz tunes are featured in club and concert performances of the Shawn Kirchner Quartet.
Kirchner also maintains an active performing career as a singer and pianist. A tenor with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, he sings regularly with the Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl in collaborations with the world's leading conductors and composers. In 2013, he was part of the LA Philharmonic's tour to London, Lucerne, Paris, and New York that presented John Adams' staged oratorio "The Gospel According to the Other Mary," conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and directed by Peter Sellars. Under the Master Chorale’s music director Grant Gershon, he has sung in several Steve Reich projects, including two recordings for Nonesuch Records and a performance at Lincoln Center in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday. Kirchner's solo work with the Master Chorale include singing in a small ensemble with Meredith Monk, as well as solo work in Ariel Ramirez’ Missa Criolla, Arvo Part's Miserere and Perotin''s Sederunt principes. Kirchner's work as a pianist includes many appearances with the Master Chorale at Disney Hall and on tour as well as free-lance work in recitals, concerts, and studio sessions. Before moving to the Los Angeles area, he was a vocal coach/pianist in Chicago, and played for Neil Rosenshein’s studio at the Lyric Opera’s Center for American Artists. Initially trained in classical music, his improvisational skills now encompass many styles.
Kirchner's growing list of TV/Film credits includes his work as music director/arranger for the 2004 CBS Christmas Eve special Enter the Light of Life, and his singing on a number of recent feature film soundtracks, includingAvatar, Frozen, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, Lady in the Water, and License to Wed.
Long active as a church musician, Kirchner is pianist/organist/composer-in-residence at the La Verne Church of the Brethren in La Verne, CA where he shares music leadership of a thriving program with fellow LA Master Chorale singer, conductor, and music educator, Nike St. Clair. He has served as music coordinator for several National Youth Conferences as well as providing leadership for many other Church of the Brethren national and regional events.
Kirchner was raised with his triplet brother and sister in Cedar Falls, Iowa. His principal piano teachers were Joan Smalley and George Katz, and Susan Beasley and Graeme Cowen were his mentors in choral music. He studied at Manchester College, where he earned a BA in Peace Studies under Kenneth Brown, and was mentored in songwriting by the poet/songwriter Steve Kinzie. He spent his junior year abroad, studying Chinese language, literature, history and music at the Dalian Foreign Language Institute in Dalian, China. He earned an MA in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa, where he studied with William Hatcher and Richard Bloesch. In recent years, Kirchner has been mentored in choral arranging and music philosophy by Alice Parker.