Named by TIME Magazine as "the thinking man's diva" and awarded by ASCAP and the Center for Contemporary Opera for her commitment to performing the works of living composers, soprano Lauren Flanigan has firmly established herself as a unique musical presence in the world today. She has been featured on the telecast "Live from Lincoln Center" in performances of I Lombardi (opposite Luciano Pavarotti), The Richard Tucker Gala, Lizzie Borden and Central Park which was written for her. She has performed at many of the world’s leading opera houses including La Scala, Teatro San Carlo, Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera. With American Opera Projects, she created the starring role in the premiere of Marina: A Captive Spirit by Deborah Drattell, and a workshops of Best Friends, by Mrs. Drattell with a libretto by Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang. Most recently, Lauren performed the role of Myra (written for her by Stephen Schwartz in his first opera) in Seance on a Wet Afternoon, which was developed by American Opera Projects, premiered at Santa Barbara Opera, and debuted at New York City Opera.
Closer to home and maybe to her heart is Lauren’s Music & Mentoring House. She has brought this not-for-profit program to life to mentor students whose primary goal is to be successful in opera.
Scott Barnes was trained at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and went on to perform on and off Broadway and around the country, sing on several of the Disney animated films, "act" in forty television commercials between 1977 and 1990, twice won the MAC award for NYC cabaret director of the year (5 nominations), put acts together for Bette Midler, Kathie Lee Gifford, Rita Moreno and scores of other wonderful singers. By a wonderful fluke, liner notes that Scott wrote for a CD were read by Opera New's features editor, and in the last four years Scott has written several features, including three cover articles! He rejoices that he is now friendly with the very singers he has admired for decades. Scott loves singers of all kinds, and has found his unique ability to help them strategize for and enjoy auditions, and to broaden their imaginations to better inhabit songs, arias, and roles. Scott has judged several of opera’s top singing competitions.
Brian Kellow is the features editor of Opera News Magazine, where his popular column, “On the Beat,” appears in each issue. He has written profiles of many leading opera celebrities, including Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt, Ricky Ian Gordon, Dolora Zajick, Simon Keenlyside, Marcello Giordani, Natalie Dessay, Joan Sutherland, Régine Crespin, Tobias Picker, James Conlon, and David Daniels. Kellow has contributed articles to Opera, BBC Music Magazine, Playbill, Travel & Leisure, Publishers Weekly, Newsday, Stereophile, Irish America, and other publications. He is the author of three biographies: Ethel Merman: A Life (Viking, 2007) The Bennetts: An Acting Family (University Press of Kentucky, 2004) and Can’t Help Singing: The Life of Eileen Farrell (Northeastern University Press, 1999).
His latest book, Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, will be published by Viking in October 2011.