Janai Brugger, soprano
A 2012 winner of Operalia and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Janai Brugger recently performed Ilia in Idomeneo with Lyric Opera of Chicago and Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Metropolitan Opera, Dutch National Opera, and Cincinnati Opera, where she also performed Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. At her artistic home of LA Opera, she made her debut as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro (2010), with subsequent roles including Musetta in La Bohème (2012, 2016), Pamina in The Magic Flute (2013) and Servilia in The Clemency of Titus (2019)
A native of Chicago, the Brugger obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett, after earning her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University as a student of Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went on to become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.
Will Liverman, baritone
Praised by The New York Times as “mellow-voiced and charismatic” and identified as a baritone to watch by Opera News, Will Liverman is quickly gaining a reputation for his compelling performances while making significant debuts at opera houses across the country. He is the recipient of a 2017 George London Award, as well as a 2017 3Arts Award, given to exceptional Chicago-based artists. Liverman’s 2017–2018 season included a return to the Seattle Opera and a debut with Kentucky Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, plus performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Tommy McIntire in Fellow Travelers, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Florentine Opera and Central City Opera. Future seasons include anticipated appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Dallas Opera.
An alumnus of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at Lyric, Will holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois.
Kathleen Felty, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty, from Lubbock, Texas, is a second-year member of the Ryan Opera Center. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Business Administration from Texas Tech University and a Master of Music from the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her Fletcher performances include Charlotte/Werther, Angelina/La Cenerentola, Unulfo/Rodelinda, Miss Jessell/Turn of the Screw, Geneviève/Impressions de Pelléas, Dinah/Trouble in Tahiti, Komponist/Ariadne auf Naxos, and Paula/Florencia en el Amazonas.
Felty is a former apprentice artist of The Santa Fe Opera, where she received the Katharine Mayer Award and covered Composer/Ariadne auf Naxos. She also participated in Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Program for Singers. Felty made her North Carolina Opera concert debut in the role of Clotilde/Norma and her Dayton Opera debut in the role of Maddalena/Rigoletto.
Felty is a four-time District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a winner of the Charlotte Opera Guild Vocal Competition (2018) and the Heafner Williams Vocal Competition (2019).
Craig Terry, series artistic director and pianist
American pianist Craig Terry has an international performance career and recently won a GRAMMY Award for “Best Classical Solo Vocal Album” for the recording he made with Joyce DiDonato, “Songplay.”
He has served as the Jannotta Family Endowed Chair music director of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center since 2013, after having previously spent 11 seasons with the company as an assistant conductor. Before coming to Lyric, he was an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera after joining its Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
Terry has performed extensively with such esteemed artists such as Jamie Barton, Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Brian Jagde, Joseph Kaiser, Quinn Kelsey, Kate Lindsey, Ana María Martínez, Susanna Phillips, Luca Pisaroni, and Patricia Racette, among others. He has collaborated as a chamber musician with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchester, and the Pro Arte String Quartet. Terry's discography includes “Diva on Detour” with Patricia Racette, “As Long As There Are Songs” with Stephanie Blythe, and “Chanson d’Avril” with Nicole Cabell.
About the Ryan Opera Center
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is Lyric's preeminent artist-development program that nurtures the talents of some of the most promising operatic singers and pianists of each generation. The program’s Ensemble members earn their coveted spot by successfully auditioning among more than 400 artists worldwide. Its alumni are among the dominant names in opera today. Donor generosity ensures continued unparalleled training, performance experience, and professional readiness of Ensemble members. This highly competitive program, established in 1974, is honored to enjoy the support of acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming as Advisor, along with full-time staff Director Dan Novak, Music Director Craig Terry, and Director of Vocal Studies Julia Faulkner. For more information, visit lyricopera.org/ryanoperacenter.