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Faculty

 

American bass-baritone Michael Dean is in demand worldwide both in concert and operatic repertoire, appearing with the leading opera companies and orchestras of the U.S. and Europe. His powerful voice and commanding stage presence have garnered him wide acclaim from audiences and critics alike, in repertoire ranging from early to contemporary music.

Mr. Dean has made frequent appearances at New York City Opera, where he has performed the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, George in Of Mice and Men, Don Alvaro in Il Viaggio a Reims, and Papageno in The Magic Flute.

Recent appearances have also included Le nozze di Figaro and La Fanciulla del West at de Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, the title role in Don Giovanni and Silva in Ernani at the Landestheater in Linz, Austria; Of Mice and Men at Arizona Opera and Opera Grand Rapids; Frank Maurrant in Street Scene at the Pittsburgh Opera; and Colline in La Bohème at Opera du Rhin (Strasbourg), Orlando Opera, and the Komische Oper Berlin.

In addition to his work in the mainstream repertoire, Mr. Dean has also gained an international reputation as a gifted interpreter of early music. He is much sought after as bass soloist in Handel's Messiah, as well as Bach's St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Magnificat and Mass in B minor. He has made frequent appearances at the Göttingen Handel Festival, and has received critical praise for his numerous recordings of baroque opera, including Agrippina, Ottone, Radamisto, Giustino, and Serse. His recording of Dido and Aeneas was hailed as a "one of the most beautifully sung Aeneases on disc" (London Daily Telegraph).

Equally at home in contemporary music, he recently made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in the world premiere of Aaron Kernis' Garden Of Light, conducted by Kurt Masur, and returned the following season for Weill's Street Scene, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Mr. Dean was also featured as Jason MacFarlane in the Live from Lincoln Center broadcast of Beeson's Lizzie Borden. In addition, he is featured on the premiere recording of Francis Burt's Und Gott Der Herr Sprach, which he also performed in concert at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Other appearances have included his New York debut recital sponsored by The Marilyn Horne Foundation, with pianist/composer John Musto; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Handel's Messiah in Boston; Verdi's Requiem with the Singapore Symphony; Mozart's Requiem in Vienna, The Rake's Progress in Kansas City; Beethoven's Mass in C with the Houston Symphony; and Figaro with Glimmerglass Opera.

In recent seasons, Mr. Dean's engagements include Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall, as well as in Boston, Houston and Kansas City; Haydn's Creation at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Bach Magnificat with the Toronto Symphony; the St. Matthew Passion with the Phoenix Symphony; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in Lansing, MI; an evening of Bach Cantatas at Disney Hall with Helmut Rilling conducting the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Handel's Alexander's Feast at the Kennedy Center, Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as numerous performances at the Carmel Bach Festival.

This season, Mr. Dean will appear in the Verdi Requiem in Denver; Haydn's Creation in Mexico City; Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah in New Orleans; Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass in Huntsville; Handel's L'allegro,il penseroso in Montreal; Purcell's The Fairy Queen with Musica Angelica in Los Angeles; and Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Richmond.

Juliana GondekProfessor Juliana Gondek
Voice Faculty

Contact: (310) 794-9269

Juliana Gondek, distinguished Professor of Voice, has performed with over 150 orchestras and opera companies worldwide, and has collaborated with such musical luminaries as Aaron Copland, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Serkin, James Levine, Carlos Kleiber, and Robert Shaw. Her performances at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, the operas of San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis, San Diego, at Milan's La Scala, at the Scottish and Netherlands Operas, and at the Kennedy Center have earned her critical and audience acclaim. Festival appearances include the Göttingen and Halle (Germany) Handel Festivals, the Edinburgh Festival, the Salzburg Easter Festival, Antibe's Bel Canto Festival, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart, and the Avignon, Aldeburgh, Marlboro, Caramoor, Bard, Newport (Rhode Is.), and Santa Fe Festivals.

Professor Gondek has sung recitals in such famed venues as Venice's Teatro La Fenice, Berlin's National Library, Lucerne's Festival Hall, Geneva's Grand Theatre, Japan's Kitara Concert Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, Boston's Jordan Hall, and Los Angeles' Ambassador Auditorium. Hailed as one of America's leading interpreters of Baroque and contemporary music, Gondek has twenty Handel roles and dozens of world premieres to her credit. She has taken on the lead roles in premieres of Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place, David Diamond's The Noblest Game, Hugo Weisgall's Esther, John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, Bright Sheng's The Song of Majnun, David Carlson's Dreamkeepers, Anthony Davis' Under the Double Moon, Jonathan Sheffer's Blood on the Dining Room Floor, and Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk (recorded on Teldec) and Hopper's Wife. Her discography also includes vocal chamber music on Orion (winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation Prize for a debut recording), Handel operas Ottone, Giustino, Radamisto, and Ariodante (Gramophone's Record of the Year) on Harmonia Mundi, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte on DGG's Live from the Met videodisc, Bright Sheng's Songs from the Sung Dynasty on Naxos (following performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and 2003 Gramophone Magazine's Top Ten selection), The Complete Songs of Karol Szymanowski on Channel Classics (winner of the 2004 Fryderick Prize [Polish "Grammy"] for Best Recording of Polish Music), and her most recent release, a recording with the Seattle Symphony and conductor Gerard Schwarz entitled "American Classics: Jewish Operas II" on Naxos for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music (2006).

Professor Gondek's extensive operatic experience includes roles as varied as Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda, Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco and Marquesa del Poggio (Un Giorno di Regno), Bizet's Carmen, Rossini's Bianca (Bianca e Falliero), Handel's Alcina, Theodora, Rodelinda, and Ginevra, Puccini's Mimi, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Mozart's Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Vitellia, Countess Almaviva, Pamina, and Aspasia (Mitridate), the four heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann, and Pat Nixon (Nixon in China). More unusual engagements have included soloist in Handel's L'Allegro on tour with the Mark Morris Dance Group, vocal soloist with the American Ballet Theater, her portrayal of Vera Stravinsky alongside three stars of the Star Trek television series for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and her feature film debut as "The Opera Diva" in ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre's "The Song of the Lark." Among the 100+ symphonies in her solo performance credits are the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphonies of San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, the Spanish National Orchestra of Madrid, and the Philharmonia Baroque and Freiburger Baroque Orchestras.

Juliana Gondek is highly sought-after as a master teacher. She has lectured and taught master classes at America's top music schools and conservatories, as well as for the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, at Summer Songfest in Malibu and Leavenworth, WA, at the Idyllwild Summer Academy, and in Geneva, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. Professor Gondek heads the voice faculty at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Vocal Training programs, and has served as Master Teacher and judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the NATS Competition, Classical Singer National High School Singing Competition, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She has also judged numerous international competitions, including the Geneva, Spoleto, and Jose Iturbi International Singing Competitions. She has frequently taught and performed as Visiting Artist at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and at the Shanghai Conservatory. She is active as panelist and consultant for OperaAMERICA's national conferences and workshops for professional singers, and was appointed by the U.S. State Department as a Fulbright Foundation Reviewer in Music.

Juliana Gondek graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California, began professional life as a free-lance violinist and musical theater singer-dancer, then apprenticed with San Diego Opera. She studied singing under Kathleen Darragh in Los Angeles, Marlena Malas in New York, and Sir Peter Pears in Aldeburgh. Her international career was launched after winning back-to-back Gold Medals in the Geneva International Singing Competition and the Barcelona Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition.

Visit her web site at www.julianagondek.com.

Vladimir Chernov

Professor Vladimir Chernov
Voice Faculty

Contact: (310) 794-9501

Internationally renowned Russian baritone Vladimir Chernov joined the Music Department faculty at UCLA in January 2007 as a Professor of Voice. He has sung over 40 leading roles and has appeared at nearly every major international theater including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, Teatro Colon, Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Vienna State Opera, under many of today's great conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, James Levine and Seiji Ozawa.

His U.S. debut was at Los Angeles Opera in the 1989-90 season as Posa in Verdi's Don Carlo, opposite Plácido Domingo. Mr Chernov's most requested roles include Germont in La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Eugene Onegin, Miller in Luisa Miller, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Prince Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades.

Recent appearances include Eugene Onegin in Seattle and at the Paris Opera, Barbiere in Los Angeles, Il Trovatore at Covent Garden, The Queen of Spades in Dallas and Lyon, Vespri Siciliani in Athens and Eugene Onegin at Opera Australia. Upcoming engagements include Prince Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades at the Met and Tebaldo in Zandonai's Giuletta e Romeo in Munich. Mr Chernov's recordings include Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller and Don Carlo for Sony Classical, Rigoletto for Deutsche Grammophon, Un Ballo in Maschera for Teldec, Pique Dame for Philips as well as a video recordings of Simon Boccanegra and Stiffelio for Deutsche Grammophon.

Peter Kazaras

Professor Peter Kazaras
Director of Opera Studies
Contact: 310) 206-2994

Peter Kazaras joined UCLA as Director of Opera Studies in 2007. He has been Artistic Director of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program since 2006. As an operatic tenor, he has performed worldwide, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Vienna State Opera, L'Opéra National de Paris, L'Opéra de Nice, Grand Théâtre de Genève, New Israeli Opera, Wellington International Festival of the Arts (New Zealand), Canadian Opera Company and others. He has premiered several new works, including Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles (Metropolitan Opera), Bernstein's A Quiet Place and Tippett's New Year (Houston Grand Opera) and Picker's Thérèse Raquin (Dallas Opera, L'Opéra de Montréal, San Diego Opera.) Conductors he has worked with include Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, John Nelson, Armin Jordan, Asher Fisch and Robert Spano.

Over the past fifteen years, he also worked with great success as a stage director, with productions including Norma, Tristan und Isolde, The Barber of Seville, Falstaff and Le nozze di Figaro for Seattle Opera, as well the company's first-ever HD simulcast, Madama Butterfly. For the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, he has also directed Le nozze di Figaro, The Turn of the Screw, Ariadne auf Naxos, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Falstaff (in the reduced Jonathan Dove orchestration), Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni, and a double bill of L'enfant et les sortilèges and Gianni Schicchi. He has directed black-box touring productions of The Tragedy of Carmen and La Serva Padrona, Rita and Trouble in Tahiti, Tatyana's Letter (an adaptation of Eugene Onegin) and Werther. He has also directed Trouble in Tahiti for the Caramoor Festival; Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi for Opera UCLA and for Hartt College of Music; Iolanta for the Academy of Vocal Arts; The Medium and Angélique for San Francisco Opera Center's Merola Program; Der Vampyr for Florida State University; Little Women at the Cabrillo Festival; Die Fledermaus for Madison Opera; and Acis and Galatea with the Santa Fe Pro Musica. In 2007 he made his Wolf Trap debut directing a revival of Musto's Volpone prior to reprising Falstaff for the Intermezzo program in Tampa.

Other recent productions include Albert Herring for the San Francisco Opera Center's Merola Program, Le nozze di Figaro and Falstaff for Opera Cleveland, Postcard from Morocco and The Rape of Lucretia for the Merola Program, and the Schwabacher Scenes Program at Merola in 2011. In 2008, he returned to the stage as a performer in the role of Abe Kaplan in Weill's Street Scene at the Chautauqua Opera. He also sang Emperor Altoum in Turandot in 2012 at Seattle Opera, where he undertakes the role of The Duchess of Crakentorp in The Daughter of the Regiment in 2013. Other upcoming stage directing assignments include The Consul for Seattle and a new adaptation of Cendrillon for The Juilliard School.

Since coming to UCLA, he has directed Falstaff and 3pennyopera (with both productions winning praise in 2008 for Best Opera Direction in Los Angeles in OperaOnline,) Le nozze di Figaro, a semi-staged production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, the West Coast premiere of Cavalli’s Giasone, the world premiere of the chamber version of Jonathan Sheffer's Blood on the Dining Room Floor (A Gertrude Stein mystery,) which production was invited to perform at the Classical Singer Convention in LA in 2011. He has also directed Dialogues des Carmélites, Orpheus in the Underworld and a recent double bill of L’enfant et les sortilèges and Il segreto di Susanna. He also produced The Medium, Dido and Aeneas, Agrippina, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, The Coronation of Poppea, and the West Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Flight.

A frequent panelist on the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera Quiz, Mr. Kazaras is also in demand as a judge for international competitions. He has adjudicated the first and second International Wagner Competitions at Seattle Opera and will be a judge in summer 2014 for the next round of this prestigious event. He has judged the first Elardo International Competition in New York, Marilyn Horne’s competition at Music Academy of the West, the Les Azuriales Festival in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat in France and has adjudicated twice at The Juilliard School. He served as a judge for the José Iturbi Competition (Vocal Division) at UCLA. He has also served as a judge for the District and Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

He has been a faculty member at the Voice Institute of the Chautauqua School of Music, and he has also given Master Classes at Chautauqua Opera and at Glimmerglass Opera.

A native New Yorker, Peter Kazaras is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law.

Rakefet Hak

Professor Rakefet Hak
Director of Opera Studio

Contact: (310) 206-2994

Rakefet Hak, one of the youngest pianists ever to join the Metropolitan Opera's musical staff, and the first Israeli in history to do so, has coached and/or performed in recital with such notable singers as Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Cecilia Bartoli, Rene Fleming, Kurt Moll, Suzanne Mentzer, Carol Vaness, Heidi Grant Murphy, Philip Langridge, Patricia Racette, Simon Keenleyside, Deborah Voigt, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

After graduating with excellence in piano performance from conservatory in her native Israel, Ms. Hak was coach/accompanist for the New Israeli Opera. She pursued further study at the Hartt School of Music and Manhattan School of Music, and in 1997 she attracted the attention of the Metropolitan Opera administration. She began her tenure at the Met as coach for the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, soon joining the main company as assistant conductor and coach on a variety of productions, including Die Zauberflote, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, Aida, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia under Maestros James Levine, Jun Markl, Sebastian Weigl, Placido Domingo, Bruno Campanella, Carlo Rizzi, Paul Nadler, Patrick Summers, Edo de Waart, and Julius Rudel, among others.

Ms. Hak was recruited in 2000 by Placido Domingo to join Los Angeles Opera's music staff. First working with Maestro Domingo as assistant conductor for Aida, she later assisted Maestros Kent Nagano, John DeMain, Richard Armstrong, and traveled with the company for Don Giovanni, conducted by Roderick Brydon in Finland. In recent summers, she has coached and performed at the Spoleto Festival and San Francisco Opera's Merola Young Artist Program. Other performances include recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York's Town Hall, the Tilles Center of Long Island, and the Lincoln Theater of Miami. Ms. Hak has also performed for National Public Radio, WQXR (for the Marilyn Horne Foundation), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy.