Co-Founder of MIO
Soprano Patricia Sheridan is a New York Singing Teachers’ Association Distinguished Voice Professional, having completed the Oren L Brown Professional Development Program. She is the co-founder of ACTING OPERA and the Midwest Institute of Opera and has thriving studios in Manhattan and upstate New York. Her students have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and in concerts, oratorios, recitals, as well as NYC theatres on and off Broadway.
Artistic Director & Co-Founder of MIO
John Michael Koch, baritone, is Vocal Arts Coordinator and is now in his 19th year teaching voice and vocal pedagogy at Illinois State University’s College of Fine Arts. He, along with his wife Tracy, are Artistic Directors and co-founders of the Midwest Institute of Opera. He has performed over 75 operatic and oratorio roles internationally and has released several world premiere recordings on three recording labels. He is a Metropolitan Audition winner, laureate of the 1989 Montreal Competition and recipient of an Eleanor Steber Foundation award.
Co-Founder of MIO
Tracy Marie Koch, spinto soprano and stage director, made her New York City operatic debut as the title role in Madama Butterfly in Martina Arroyo''s Prelude to Performance Program. She performed excerpts this past July as Tosca in New York Summer Opera Scenes with Joshua Greene and Carol Yahr. She is also co-founder of the Midwest Institute of Opera and runs one of central Illinois'' most successful voice and piano studios.
Cuban born conductor LUCY ARNER brings to the podium a special affinity for Italian and French opera that is enhanced by her vast experience working in some of the world’s greatest opera houses such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Metropolitan Opera.
Lucy Arner was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff from 1994 through the 2007-08 season. Specializing in Italian repertory, she was featured as the recitative accompanist in productions of Rossini’sIl Barbiere di Siviglia, Handel’s Guilio Cesare and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore as well as preparing several Met telecasts such as Giordano’s Fedora with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo, the spectacular production by the late Anthony Minghella of Madama Butterfly, Verdi’s Macbeth, and Bellini’s I Puritani with Anna Netrebko. She has worked with many prominent singers in operatic productions including Alfredo Kraus, Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Aprile Millo, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Mignon Dunn, José Carreras, Juan Pons, Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo, Giuseppe Giacomini, Sharon Sweet, June Anderson, Jane Eaglen, Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, Ben Heppner, Jennifer Larmore, Juan Diego Florez, Rockwell Blake, Paul Plishka, Olga Borodina, Dolora Zajick, Deborah Voigt, Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson. Ms. Arner was quoted extensively about her experiences with Montserrat Caballé in the November 2002 Opera News cover article about the great Spanish soprano.
Known as “a true singer’s conductor,” Lucy Arner made her professional debut in 1996 conducting Puccini’s Suor Angelicaand Menotti’s The Telephone at the Teatro Mancinelli in Orvieto, Italy. Ms. Arner has conducted opera and concerts all over the world, and was the first woman to conduct opera in Mexico City’s historic Palacio de Bellas Artes, making her debut with Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. She was the Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Opera from 2000-2005 and was the interim Music Director of the University of Houston’s Opera Center in 2008-2009 season, conducting Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and critically acclaimed performances of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Her extensive conducting experience includes Ned Rorem’s Our Town, Pagliacci and Suor Angelica for New Zealand’s Canterbury Opera, Die Zauberflöte for the Festival Internacional Tamaulipas (Mexico), Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Ischia, Cosí fan tutte for Opera Naples, and a double bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi for the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Ecuador, and Madame Butterfly, Tosca, and Il Trovatore in Lima, Perú. Ms. Arner conducted a nationally televised performance of the Verdi Requiemin Santo Domingo with the Cathedral Choir and the Orquesta Nacional. She made a sensational debut with Florida Grand Opera as the first Cuban woman to conduct an opera with the company and received the Henry C. Clark Distinguished Conductor Award for her work on Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
As a pianist and coach, Ms. Arner has worked with singers of all levels. She has taught young singers in vocal arts programs all over the world, frequently presenting master classes in schools and conservatories. During the summer of 2015 she co-founded Canto Vocal Programs with Metropolitan Opera assistant conductor Liora Maurer. After a successful debut in Zagreb, Croatia, Canto will return to Zagreb and add a program in Toulouse, France in 2016.
She is the new Music Director/Conductor of New Jersey Verismo Opera. Currently she is a member of the vocal coaching faculty of Mannes College-The New School for Music and coaches privately in New York City in addition to her busy conducting schedule. Her personal web site is www.lucyarner.com
Liora Maurer, born in Tel Aviv, joined the Metropolitan Opera as an Assistant Conductor during the 2008-2009 season. She has prepared a wide variety of repertoire at the Met, from the new productions ofL’elisir d’amore, Rigoletto and La Donna del Lago to Satyagraha by Phillip Glass, the American premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys and The Death of Klinghoffer by John Adams.
Prior to joining the Met, Ms. Maurer was an Assistant Conductor at New York City Opera, beginning with the 1997-98 season. She was the recitative accompanist for several productions, including Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore, Le Nozze di Figaro and Viaggio a Reims. Opera Magazine’s review stated that “Liora Maurer furnished fine harpsichord continuo” and the New Yorker praised her playing and “witty adornments.”
Ms. Maurer has also worked with Seattle Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Opera Omaha and the New Israeli Opera. She was invited to the 1999 Spoleto Festival U.S.A. to prepare and perform in the American premiere of Kurt Weill’s Die Bürgshaft under the musical direction of Julius Rudel. The critical and popular success of the production resulted in the first commercial recording of the work, released in the summer of 2000 on the EMI label, featuring Ms. Maurer playing the piano as part of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. The following year she was invited by Maestro Rudel to prepare Pittsburgh Opera Theater’s production of the same work. In 2014 she was the official pianist for the George London Foundation competition.
Ms. Maurer is on the faculty of the International Vocal Arts Institute and Canto Vocal Programs, and has taught and performed all over the world, including the US, Israel, Germany, Spain, Romania, Japan, Italy, Perú and Puerto Rico. She is a graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv and received a Master of Music degree in Accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music. She has won numerous awards, including a merit scholarship from the America - Israel Cultural Foundation.
Lauren Koszyk is currently a piano performance and German double major at Illinois State University where she studies piano with Dr. Tuyen Tonnu. She is an active solo and collaborative musician in the Bloomington-Normal area, performing in a multitude of concerts and recitals both in conjunction with the Illinois State University School of Music and independently. An aspiring opera coach, Lauren has been a part of the Midwest Institute of Opera since its inception in 2011 as a pianist, being a part of productions of Dan Shore’s new opera The Beautiful Bridegroom,Carmen, Suor Angelica, Aïda, The Pirates of Penzance, and several opera scenes concerts. In summer 2014, Lauren had her European debut in Salzburg, Austria as both a solo and collaborative pianist, collaborating with students from the Mozarteum. An academic, Lauren is an Honors student and has earned numerous awards and scholarships for her scholastic achievements, including the Mary Jo Brown Memorial Endowed Scholarship, the German Alumni-New Student Scholarship, and many more. She is actively involved with the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), serving as the president of Illinois State University’s Collegiate Chapter. Recent engagements include a solo piano recital at Illinois State University, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Illinois Festival Opera and Ravel’s The bewitched child with the Midwest Institute of Opera 2015.
Molly Scanlon graduated from Illinois State with a B.S. Music in 2007. During her time at ISU she studied voice with both John and Tracy Koch and sang with Concert Choir and the Madrigal singers. After graduation Molly returned to her love of theater and became one of the founding members of ensemble113, an ensemble based theater group in the Chicago suburbs. Molly was the Marketing Director and Prop Designer for Election Day, The Best Medicine and Reefer Madness! The Musical and served as Production Manager for Brought to Life. She currently works at Northwestern University and is learning American Sign Language in her spare time.