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       Mercersburg,
Pennsylvania 17236
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Soloists
Alexandria ShinerAlexandria Shiner, soprano,  has been praised for her dramatic stage presence and powerful voice. A native of Michigan currently living in Knoxville, TN, she is a frequently sought-after young artist.

Ms. Shiner is a recent graduate student of the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Most recently, she received an encouragement award in the 2017 Middle East Tennessee District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She placed second in the young artist category of the 2016 Orpheus National Music Competition for Vocalists. In July 2016, she competed as the Mid-South Regional Winner in the NATS Artist Awards in Chicago. Ms. Shiner was honorably mentioned as one of Knoxville's Most Memorable Operatic Performances of 2015 for her portrayal of Magda Sorel and Queen of the Night with the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre.

Ms. Shiner has performed the roles of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Magda Sorel (The Consul), Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflote), Madame Kirsten (The Beautiful Bridegroom), and the title role in Amelia Goes to the Ball. She has performed with Knoxville Opera, Marble City Opera, and Opera Naples. In 2014, by invitation of Manhattan Concert Productions, Ms. Shiner performed on the Fourth Annual Collegiate Honors Recital in Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. She attended the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria in 2013.


Karen Nickell Karen Nickell, mezzo-soprano, “with a supple, pliant mezzo-soprano, wonderfully sensitive to the interplay of words and music” (Chicago Tribune) came to public attention with her professional debut in the title role in Peter Brook’s acclaimed Lincoln Center production of La Tragédie de Carmen.

Ms. Nickell has performed major roles with opera companies throughout the United States and abroad, including Vancouver Opera, Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy, New Orleans Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Michigan Opera Theater, Fort Worth Opera, Columbus Opera, Mobile Opera, Anchorage Opera and Knoxville Opera.

She has appeared on the concert stage with the Charleston SC, Richmond, Honolulu, West Virginia, Kingsport and Knoxville Symphonies. Ms. Nickell has also performed with the Yale Camerata, the University of Tennessee Symphony and City Musik in Chicago.

A native of Salina, Kansas, Ms. Nickell currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband bass-baritone Andrew Wentzel.


Gran WilsonGran Wilson, tenor, is a native of Bessemer, Alabama.  His career spans four decades and four continents as well.  He has sung the leading tenor repertoire with the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Australian Opera, Netherlands Opera, Opera de Nice, and Oper Frankfurt to name but a few.  He has performed with the Boston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and Trondheim Symphony.  He has appeared on CBS Morning News, PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center” and NPR’s “All things Considered.”  He has performed as tenor soloist in Messiah with the Pacific Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, and on a world-wide television broadcast with the Naval Academy orchestra and chorus for the United States Armed Services Television Network.  While maintaining an active performing schedule, Mr. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Maryland.


Andrew WentzelAndrew Wentzel, bass. Having made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1986, Mr. Wentzel went on to perform numerous roles at the MET for 10 seasons while maintaining a significant presence in opera houses and with symphony orchestras across North America. Included in that list are performances with Calgary Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal both in Montréal and Carnegie Hall with whom he recorded Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ .

Mr. Wentzel has recorded with the Montreal, Milwaukee and National Symphonies and with the Spoleto Festival in Italy as well as with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Glimmerglass Opera.

He has been at the University of Tennessee since January, 1996, where he revitalized the Knoxville Opera Studio, attracting talented young singers to gain on the job training in the professional setting. Mr. Wentzel joined the Janiec Opera Company as a part of the Brevard Music Center in the summer of 2012, He has also worked with young artists at many summer apprentice programs. Well known as an adjudicator, Mr. Wentzel has regularly served as a judge for Metropolitan Opera auditions throughout the country. At home in Knoxville, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Knoxville Opera for many years. He is also known to the Knoxville community as the official Anthem Man for the University of Tennessee, having performed the national anthem for over 10 million people since beginning that assignment in 2001.
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