December 20, 2019

Artist Biographies


Hailing from St. Louis, Soprano Julie Tabash Kelsheimer received her Master of Music in Voice and Opera Performance from Northwestern University. Julie has performed in various operatic and musical theatre productions and has been praised for her singing by the Chicago Tribune as a "Stand out," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as having "a gorgeous sound and tremendous facility" and by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as “perfectly cast in the title role” for her performance with Union Avenue Opera as 'Gretel' in "Hansel und Gretel.” Kelsheimer teaches at St. Louis University and maintains a private voice studio.

Generously sponsored by Busey Bank


Glasgow born, Penelope Cousland makes her US debut with Opera Edwardsville for this performance. Cousland trained at the National Opera Studio in London, where she performed with the Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, and in masterclass at the Royal Opera House. Cousland is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Royal Northern College of Music. Cousland has been praised for her “astonishing and wonderfully intense” performances (Planet Hugill) along with her “richly-tone voice” (The Herald).

Generously sponsored by Linda & Joseph Stevens


Edwardsville-native, Chase Hopkins was recently appointed the General Manager of Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago, while also serving as the Artistic Director of Opera Edwardsville. Hopkins is a graduate of Northwestern University, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Dutch National Opera Academy. On the operatic stage, Hopkins has been described as a “strong and convincing presence” (Opera Today) and praised for delivering “thoughtful and disciplined” performances (Operawire).

Generously sponsored by Stifel

Special guest feature:


Edwardsville-native, Brittney Yarbrough is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree at SIUE . Yarbrough trained with Marc Schapman as part of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ Artist in Training Program and won the top scholarship in 2018. She has also received multiple first-place awards in National Association Teachers of Singing competitions. Opera Edwardsville worked with Yarbrough in a masterclass at EHS in 2018 and is delighted to welcome Brittney as a special guest feature in tonight’s performance.

Generously sponsored by Marian & Mike Smithson


St. Louis-native, Caroline Robinson is currently completing her musical studies at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music where she is training as a classical harpist. Caroline has recently recorded with Focus, a smooth Jazz ensemble and performed with Union Avenue Opera.

Generously sponsored by Suzanne L. Wagner


Pianist and Vocal Coach, Dr. Joseph Welch earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano and Vocal Coaching at the University of Minnesota. Joseph is Visiting Professor of Music at Blackburn College. He also plays for the Artist-in-Training Program at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Holiday Festival Chorus at the St. Louis Symphony, and the Young Men's Choir at St. Louis Children's Choirs. He is the Assistant Music Director at Variety Theatre and the Director of Music at First Congregational Church in Bunker Hill, IL. Joseph is the Founder of St. Louis Art Song and on the board of the Southern Illinois Young Artists Organization.

Generously sponsored by Jill & Thomas Schardt

Steinway Concert Piano generously sponsored by Stifel


Hannah Frey, Violin

Jane Price, Violin

Eliana Haig, Viola

Stephanie Hunt, Cello

Formed in 2013, the Perseid String Quartet is dedicated to performing chamber music to the highest possible artistic standards, and to creating accessible and enjoyable concert experiences in the St. Louis community. The Perseids have previously appeared at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 560 Music Center, the Danforth University Center Concert Series, the Schmidt Art Gallery at Southwest Illinois College, the Kemper Art Museum, the Webster University Concert Series, and the Ladue Chapel Concert Series. Members of the quartet hold advanced degrees from the nation’s top music conservatories and are active performers and educators.

Sponsored by Betsy Meyer


Mary Weber, Trumpet, Director

Jason Harris, Trumpet

Petter Ulffers, French Horn

George Manning, Trombone

Wayne Coniglio, Bass Trombone

Founded in 1994, St. Louis’ premier brass quintet, Clarion Brass is led by trumpeter, Mary Weber, and features some of the finest brass players in the St. Louis ara. Clarion Brass has been heard in many St. Louis area venues including the Sheldon Concert Hall, as guests with the Alton Symphony, and have recorded several CDs.

Generously sponsored by Dr. Theresa Elofson & James Hopkins

Musical Program

Part I

Richard Wagner

Selections from Lohengrin

Vorspeil to Lohengrin (Overture)

Aria: "Einsam in truben tagen" (Elsa)

Act III: Prelude

Richard Wagner

Siegfried Idyll

Richard Wagner

Selections from the Wesendonck Lieder

No. 1 “Der Engel!” (The Angel)

No. 5 “Träume” (Dreams)

Richard Wagner

Selections from Die Walküre

Walkürenritt (Ride of the Valkyries)

Feuerzauber (Magic Fire Music)

Engelbert Humperdinck

Selections from Hänsel und Gretel

Aria: "Wo bin ich wach ich?” (Gretel)

Aria: "Hurr hopp hopp" (The Gingerbread Witch)

Hexenritt (The Witch’s Ride)

Aria: "Leid des Taumannchens" (The Dew Fairy)

Duet: "Abendsegen" (Hansel and Gretel)

Finale: "Juchhei! Nun ist die Hexe tot!"


Part II

Richard Wagner

Selections from Tannhäuser

Act II: Entrance of the Guests

Aria: "O du mein holder Abendstern"

Overture to Tannhäuser

Gioachino Rossini

Selections from Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Overture to Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Aria: "Una Voce Poco Fa" (Rosina)

Aria: "Il Vecchiotto cerca molgie" (Berta)

Duet: "Duetto buffo di due Gatti" (maybe Rossini…)

Aria: “Largo al factotum”

Richard Wagner

Der Tannenbaum (The Fir Tree)

German Christmas Carols

"O Tannenbaum" (O Fir Tree)

“Es ist ein rose, entsprungen” (Lo, how a rose ‘er blooming)

“Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (Silent Night, Holy Night)

Sponsorship and Gratitude

Opera Edwardsville would like to thank the generous sponsors who made this performance possible:

Presenting Sponsors:

Lewis Rice, LLC


Artist Sponsors:

Busey Bank

Dr. Theresa Elofson & James Hopkins

Betsy Meyer

Jill & Thomas Schardt

Marian & Mike Smithson

Linda & Joseph Stevens

Suzanne L. Wagner


Patron Sponsors:

In memory of Peter Fornof

Holiday Cleaners

Edwardsville Junior Service Club

Karen & John Hunt

Peggy Walsh Kinamore

Mary & Bob LaRose

Dodie Ladd Levi

Susan & Bill Lucco

Metro East Dental Lab

Miller & Maack General Contractors

The Pizzini Family

The Schuh & Pearson Family

Fredna Carlson Scroggins

Meg & Bart Solon

Margaret & Rod Vaught

Brenda Mainer & Bob Wetzel

Carol Wetzel


Dr. & Mrs. Joachim O. Bauer

Mollie & William Beatty

The Benham Family

Jan & John Busker

Maxine & Doug Callies

Patricia & David Cassens

Becky & Dale Claussen

Mrs. Cathy T. Crowder

In memory of Bob Diak

Mrs. & Mr. David Dietzel

Donco, LLC

First National Bank - Maryville Banking Center

The Gerdt & Harvey Family

Sherry & John Gibbons

Ann Gorman

Christine Head

The Hewlett Family

Debbie & John Higgins

Chelsie & Maurice Johnston

Janice Joplin

Mary Ruth Kettenbach

Barb & Tom Kinsella

Michael Lambert & Tim Hutchison

Kris & Scott Lollar

Betsy Mahoney

Lisa & Bill Markowitz

Maureen & Larry Meyers

Emily & SJ Morrison

Kate & John Motley

Cindy & Charles Schmidt

Edward M. Schroeder

Michelle & Jason Stacy

Amy & Bill Stapleton

Dr. & Mrs. John W. Tabash

Kathryn Tallerico & Larry Gallagher

Dr. Rachel V. Tompkins

Town & Country Bank

Missy & Rich Walker

Jennifer & Matt Warren

Jane & Jim Weingartner

Kay B. & David J. Werner

Belinda & Rick Wickham

S. LaVernn Wilson

Joan & Clark Wagner

William Bouvel and Fred Grier



Special Thanks:

Tom Atwood

Karen & Kim Brunssen

Burton Art Services

City of Edwardsville

Scott Evers

Jim Harper

Chris Head

Clayton Hopkins

Emily Ottwein

Rivers & Routes

Dr. Marc Schapman

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Wildey Theatre