Rachelle Jonck • Co-Founder
Rachelle Jonck is a South Africa-born coach/pianist/conductor based in New York City. She is the Music Director of Baltimore Concert Opera, Principal Coach of Teatro Nuovo, and teaches at Westminster Choir College. Above all these her first love is her private coaching studio. While her main field of study is bel canto, she often explores the wider applications of its principles in other styles and languages. Last summer she led Rossini’s La gazza ladra at the Rose Theater from the fortepiano as part of Teatro Nuovo’s 2019 season. She received an honorable mention in the Conducting Category of the Annual Excellence in Opera Awards (aka a Freddie). She was amazed that she made it onto quite the illustrious list of conductors while sitting down and not conducting. She is technologically challenged so this entire endeavor is basically a miracle brought about by an amazing team of people – she can take no credit for anything making it all the way from her brain to computer and phone screens around the globe! If she is not busy with Bel Canto Boot Camp she is doing Kinstretch® or cooking her way through her favorite cookbooks. www.rachellejonck.com
Derrick Goff • Co-Founder
Derrick Goff is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and will return to the MET music staff as an Assistant Chorusmaster next season. Derrick has recently accompanied art song recitals at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in New York and at Caramoor. He has enjoyed many years of collaboration with Rachelle and Will Crutchfield at Teatro Nuovo, a continuation of the young artist program of Bel Canto at Caramoor, where he is resident as a coach, chorusmaster, and Italian teacher. Despite mostly now being paid to play the piano, he holds degrees in organ and voice from Westminster Choir College. Derrick is always looking for something new to learn about a foreign language (сейчас он хочет говорить по-русски) and can often be found with an alarmingly large iced coffee struggling to finish the NYTimes crossword.
Steven Tharp • Guided by Voices
Missouri-born tenor Steven Tharp’s operatic credits include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Netherlands Opera, among many other houses. Handel and Mozart are well represented in Mr. Tharp’s repertoire of more than 60 operatic parts, and his keen interest in 18th- and early 19th-century opera has led to many roles in operas of Gluck, Haydn, Scarlatti, Conti, and others. In concert, Mr. Tharp has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, among others. His concert repertoire includes the Bach, Mozart, Handel, and Haydn masterpieces of the 18th and 19th century and extends to Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, the Verdi Requiem, and Britten’s War Requiem. A dedicated song recitalist, Mr. Tharp has appeared at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, venues in Europe, Japan, and South America. His interest in musical theater and cabaret led to his appearance in 3 Tenors in Search of an Act in a sold-out run at Don’t Tell Mama in New York. Steven has recorded for Decca, Delos, Newport, Albany and Naxos, earning a Grammy Award nomination. He has also served as stage director for the Manhattan School of Music and for Caramoor. He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his adorable Westie, Hector, and is Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Missouri.
Timothy Cheung • Mentor
Timothy Cheung is a pianist/coach based in Toronto, especially during the quarantine. He is currently the Principal Coach of Palm Beach Opera. He is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, the Merola Opera Program, Music Academy of the West, and holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario. He has been on music staff at Houston Grand Opera, and served as the music director for the Opera on the Go! outreach program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. While at Palm Beach Opera, Timothy attended Rachelle’s brilliant classes and subsequently beganworking with her and Derrick at Caramoor/Teatro Nuovo. Aside from coaching, he also did the daily schedule, which might actually be harder than playing the piano. It appears he managed to get put some of his high school mathematics and video gaming skills to good use.During this quarantine, he has been learning more about history around the world and its tendency to repeat itself, which is always so very uplifting.
Andrew Garland • Mentor
Andrew Garland has performed numerous recitals at illustrious venues including Carnegie Hall, the New York Festival of Song, the Ravinia festival, college campuses around North America, and internationally in Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. A champion of American composers, he has premiered new works by Jake Heggie, William Bolcom, Stephen Paulus, Steven Mark Kohn, Eric Nathan, Edie Hill, and Gerald Cohen, and had works written for him by Lee Hoiby, Tom Cipullo, Thomas Pasatieri, and Gabriela Frank. He is a sought-after concert artist, having performed with the orchestras of Atlanta, Washington, Colorado, Nashville, Boston, and Houston, and the Takács, Dover, Amernet, and Deadalus String Quartets. He has sung leading roles at the Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric, the Bard Festival, and Opera Saratoga, among others. Garland is a member of the voice faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Andy bicycles year round and for the past 28 years has raised funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through the Pan Mass Challenge. andrewgarland.com/
Madeleine Gray • Mentor
Mezzo-soprano Madeleine Gray was born in New York, but was educated and for many years made her home in the United Kingdom. Her 25-year singing career encompasses a wide range of roles across a spectrum of repertoire in opera, oratorio, and recital, with performances across Europe and the US at companies including Washington National Opera, The Caramoor Festival, Scottish Opera, Baltimore Opera, and many others. She has always sustained a concurrent career as a music educator, and is currently the Voice Department Chair at the Peabody Preparatory Institute, the pre-college and community division of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Madeleine and her broadcaster/musician/educator husband have a daughter studying theater and dramaturgy in Canada, and they have spent much of the 2020 quarantine trying to keep their Bearded Collies Cooper and Adele from contributing their enthusiastic and robust voices to Zoom calls. www.madeleinegray.com/
Melanie Helton • Mentor
Melanie Helton is professor of voice (soprano) and director of the Michigan State University Opera Theatre. She made her international debut as Marietta/Marie in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt at the Brisbane (Australia) Biennial. Her successes include the title roles in Lucrezia Borgia at the Caramoor International Music Festival and Aida with Opera Carolina, as well as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Caramoor, Opera Carolina, and Lake George Opera Festival. Other roles included Alice Ford, Maddalena, Elsa, Leonora in Il trovatore, and Norma for Teatro Colón, Bogotá. She recorded Ricky Ian Gordon’s orchestral song cycle and flowers pick themselves plus 14 songs with the composer at the piano and “Anxiety Attack: Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Kahane’s Craigslistlieder.” Both are available on Spotify and from Blue Griffin Recording. She holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of Houston. She has spent many happy hours with most of the Vaccai Mentors sharing an occasional adult beverage. This quarantine summer will find her on her back deck obsessing about all things bel canto.