2012 Spring Concert:
Meet the Soloists
Caroline Worra, Soprano
Caroline Worra has sung over 50 different operatic roles including 15 World and American Premieres and several demo recordings. She was internationally acclaimed for her performances of Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur (Grammy nominated CD for Best Opera Recording) and as the title role for The Greater Good; Passion of Boule de Suif (Opera News and New York Times pick for one of the top classical CDs of the year).
Ms. Worra has worked with over 20 opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and six seasons at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. Caroline performed on two U.S. National Tours singing Violetta in LaTraviata and Rosalinda in DieFledermaus. She gave a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) and performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Carmina Burana. Overseas, she has performed as Anne True Love in The Rake's Progress at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily and Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur at The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (winner of The 2009 Best Opera of Ireland Award).
Caroline is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation/Richard F. Gold Career Grant and has a Doctor of Music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University.
UPCOMING ENGAGEMENTS: Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Memphis; Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with El Paso Opera; Mozart's Requiem with Susquehanna Valley Chorale and Orchestra; Before Breakfast with Urban Arias, Arlington, VA; Daron Hagen WORLD PREMIERE Song Cycle at Virginia Tech; Liebeslieder Waltzes with New York City Ballet; Francesca in Francesca da Rimini with The Princeton Festival; Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte with Boston Lyric Opera.
Kristen Dubenion-Smith, Mezzo-soprano
Praised for her “warm alto sound” and voice of “sweet clarity,” mezzo-soprano Kristen Dubenion-Smith enjoys an active performing career in oratorio, opera and recital, particularly specializing in music of the medieval, renaissance and baroque eras. Recent engagements include performances with Cathedra, NYS Baroque, the Bach Sinfonia, Chantry, The Evolution Contemporary Music Series, Vivre Musicale, Eya Medieval Ensemble, the Catacoustic Consort of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Magnificat of San Francisco, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Exhibition, the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, the Washington Early Music Festival, the Bach and Baroque Ensemble of Pittsburgh, the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble and the Peabody Consort.
Ms. Dubenion-Smith’s operatic career spans more than a dozen opera roles performed throughout the United States. Some of her more notable roles have included Endimione in La Calisto, Hecuba in La Didone and Cupid in Venus and Adonis with American Opera Theater, Humility in Ordo Virtutum with the Peabody Early Music Department, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Peabody Opera Outreach and La Baronne in Chérubin with New Jersey Opera Theater.
Ms. Dubenion-Smith also has a keen interest in contemporary music. She has had the privilege to work with The Evolution Contemporary Music Series and perform David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning piece The Little Match Girl Passion under the direction of Judah Adashi. Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun wrote of the performance: “The performance, effectively conducted by Adashi, featured soprano Elizabeth Hungerford, alto Kristen Dubenion-Smith, tenor Lee Mills and bass Michael Droettboom. These were not typical classical-sounding singers; they had a wonderfully natural sound and style, which enabled them to communicate the texts all the more compellingly.” Tim Smith subsequently named this mesmerizing performance as one of his top ten favorite performances of 2010 in The Baltimore Sun.
Originally from Michigan, Ms. Dubenion-Smith graduated from Alma College before moving to Baltimore to complete her studies in voice at the Peabody Institute. Still residing in Baltimore, in 2010, Kristen co-founded the new medieval trio, Eya, alongside sopranos Allison Mondel and Elizabeth Hungerford. Eya is a unique ensemble seeking to refresh and invigorate the interpretation and performance of medieval music for women. You can learn more about Eya at
Future engagements for the 2011-2012 season include concerts with the Washington Bach Consort, Countertop Ensemble, The Folger Consort, Eya Medieval Ensemble, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Cathedra of theWashington National Cathedral and with the new baroque ensemble, Concerto delle Donne, founded and directed by Ms. Dubenion-Smith.
James Barbato, Tenor
Tenor James Barbato is a former member of the SVC Children’s Chorus and High School Chamber Ensemble. A graduate of Lewisburg High School, he represented the region at two All-State festivals and the MENC All-Eastern Festival at Carnegie Hall. He went on to study voice at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He was also awarded a Performance Certificate from Boston University after further studies as a member of their Opera Institute. In addition to his musical training, Mr. Barbato is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Rochester, having earned a BA summa cum laude in economics.
Mr. Barbato’s operatic credits have included appearances with Florida Grand Opera, Opera New Jersey, Central City Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Ohio Light Opera, and Tri-Cities Opera. He has performed the leading tenor roles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, and Die Zauberflöte, as well as supporting roles in Turandot, Roméo et Juliette, and Lucia di Lammermoor. He has also worked with some of today’s leading American opera composers, having sung in productions of Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin, William Bolcom’s Lucrezia, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Jorge Martín’s Tobermory, David DiChiera’s Cyrano, and the world premieres of Sasha Matson’s Cooperstown and Robert Ward’s A Friend of Napoleon.
As a concert soloist, his engagements have included Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Boston University, Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Southwest Florida Symphony, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Marlboro Music Festival, and Handel’s Messiah with Boston’s Trinity Church. An avid chamber musician, he has been privileged to perform many Lieder recitals with Sezi Seskir as a guest of Cornell University under the guidance of fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, building a repertoire that includes Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Schubert’s Schwanengesang, and Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Liederkreis von Eichendorff, among many other works. Their partnership has also been featured in guest recitals at Rutgers University, and in preparation for the 2012 International Schumann Competition they will present a recital at Bucknell University on March 21st.
Mr. Barbato was recently a finalist in the 2012 Liederkranz Song Competition, and is a former winner of the Boston NATS Competition. Later this summer, Mr. Barbato joins the Tanglewood Music Festival as a Vocal Fellow. His previous festival appearances have included participation in the Académie européenne of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Britten-Pears Programme of the Aldeburgh Festival, the Chautauqua School of Music, and the Marlboro Music Festival.
Timothy LeFebvre, Baritone
Nationally-acclaimed baritone Timothy LeFebvre has wide-ranging experience, from the operatic stage to the concert hall. 2010-2011 appearances include Elijah with the Berkshire Choral Festival, Opera Arias and Copland’s Old American Songs with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Brahms’ Requiem with Syracuse Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Williamsport Symphony, and a Czech Vocal Recital with Mary Burgess and Timothy Cheek at Binghamton University.
Mr. LeFebvre has appeared in concert with the Jacksonville Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Symphony, Minnesota Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Rochester Bach Festival, Berkshire Choral Festival, New Dominion Chorale, Williamsport Symphony, Syracuse Chamber Music Society, the Skaneateles Festival and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also appeared in concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. His operatic experience includes leading roles with Central City Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Sarasota Opera, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Syracuse Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Delaware, and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
Mr. LeFebvre is a winner of the New York Liederkranz Vocal Competition, and other awards include the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, an Opera Fellowship at Binghamton University and Regional Finalist in several Metropolitan Opera Competitions. Mr. LeFebvre is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and Binghamton University. After twelve years of teaching at Binghamton University, Tim is now Associate Professor of Singing at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. Future performances include Mozart’s Requiem with the Susquehanna Valley Chorale, Brahms’ Requiem with Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the New Dominion Chorale.