Passionate Voices of the Upper Cape

2016/2017 Season Concerts

Mozart 260
October 22, 2016, 4 p.m.
October 23, 2016, 4 p.m.
John Wesley United Methodist Church, Falmouth, MA 

Mozart’s birth 260 years ago is the inspiration for this magical program featuring Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), the “Sparrow” Mass and scenes from The Magic Flute.  Said to come from “a light, but happy pen,” Mozart’s most popular composition, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which the composer himself called “a little serenade,” will feature a chamber orchestra. The “Sparrow” Mass, officially penned as Mass in C Major, featuring the Chorale and four soloists, refers to the music played by the violins as they mimic the sounds of chirping birds. Select scenes from the Opera The Magic Flute capture the fanciful tale of Tamino and Pamina as they seek to gain freedom from their oppressors.


Rachel Schmiege has been praised for her “incredibly crystalline voice” and “absolutely thrilling” portrayals. This season, she appears as Anne Truelove in Rakes Progress with Pacific Opera Project and Mimi in La femme Boheme with MetroWest Opera. On the concert stage, Ms. Schmiege will be singing Soprano solos in Mendelsohn’s Elijah (Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus) and Mozart’s Requiem (Falmouth Chorale). Recent appearances include: Lucette, Cendrillon (Resonance Works); Soprano II, Hydrogen Jukebox (Nashville Opera); Elle, La Voix Humaine and Amy, Little Women (Opera on the James); Violetta, La Traviata (Hubbard Hall Opera Theater); Gilda, Rigoletto (Cape Cod Opera Outreach); Valencienne, The Merry Widow (Opera Providence); Dortchen Wilde, The Brother’s Grimm (Nashville Opera, US premiere). Recent concert appearances include: Soprano soloist, Requiem, Verdi (Cape Cod Symphony, MidCoast Symphony and Pioneer Valley Symphony); Ein Deutsches Requiem, Brahms (Chatham Chorale); Mass in C minor, Mozart (Newburyport Chorale Society); Magnificat, Bach (Akron Symphony Chorus); Requiem and Exultate Jubilate, Mozart (Chatham Chorale); new work in collaboration with composer Mohammad Fairouz. Recently, Rachele placed second in the 2016 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition, Young Artist/Emerging Professional Division. For more information, please visit:


Meredith Ziegler has impressed critics and audiences alike with her warm lyric mezzo-soprano voice and her engaging characterizations. Of Ms. Ziegler’s debut as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Granite State Opera, Seen and Heard Opera Review praised her “very beautiful voice and delightful portrayal of the flighty Dorabella”. For her role as Meg Page in Falstaff with Opera North, Opera News commended her “game, well sung Meg.” 
Some of Ms. Ziegler's leading roles include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera Theater of Conecticut), Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte (Granite State Opera, Cape Cod Opera), Dido in Dido & Aeneas (Connecticut Lyric Opera), Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti (Connecticut Concert Opera), Hänsel in Hänsel & Gretel (Opera Theater of Connecticut), and Meg Page in Falstaff for Opera North. As a Resident Artist with Connecticut Opera, Ms. Ziegler performed the roles of Mercedes in Carmen, Zulma in L'Italiana in Algeri, and Inez in Il Trovatore
Internationally, Ms. Ziegler’s work has taken her to Graz, Austria where, she was a soloist with the AIMS Festival Orchestra for performances of Bernstein’s Arias & Barcarolles. Closer to home she appeared as a soloist in Rutter's Magnificat and Handel's Messiah with the Falmouth Chorale, Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été with the Holyoke Civic Symphony, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the New Haven Oratorio Choir. Upcoming engagements for the 2016-2017 season include a Guest Artist Recital and Masterclass at Allegheny College in PA. 
Ms. Ziegler holds a Master of Music in voice from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Connecticut. She has been a young artist with Opera North, Connecticut Opera, and AIMS in Graz and has been an award winner in competitions with The Metropolitan Opera National Council, Sullivan Foundation, Connecticut Opera Guild, Palm Beach Opera, and Opera Theater of Connecticut. 
In addition to performing, Ms. Ziegler is passionate about teaching voice and is an Adjunct Professor of Voice at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. She resides in Connecticut with her husband and two sons, Samuel and Jacob, ages 4 and 3. For more information, please visit:


Stefan Barner is a “vocal standout, with a vibrancy of tone and an exciting delivery that serve notice that he is a gifted lyric tenor with a big future ahead.” Recently finishing his second year as a Studio Artist with Tulsa Opera, Mr. Barner played both leading and comprimario roles in Tulsa’s mainstage productions including a“marvelous, heartbreaking” portrayal of Frank Shallard in Aldridge's Elmer Gantry. Mr. Barner also sang the title role of Jay Gatsby in Tulsa Opera Studio’s production of Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. Highlights for 2015 include a return to Tulsa Opera as Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette and a role and company debut as Monostatos in Salt Marsh Opera's touring production of The Magic Flute. Always a proponent for contemporary works, Mr. Barner returned to Nashville Opera in a production of Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox. In 2016 Mr. Barner will sing Steve Hubbel in A Streetcar Named Desire with Tulsa Opera, Rudolph in Evangeline, or The Belle of Arcadia with The Longfellow Chorus, two title roles with Boston Opera Collaborative in Faust and Idomeneo, and make a company debut with with Virgina Opera singing Beppe in I Pagliacci and Brother in Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins. 
Mr. Barner has previously performed with a number of opera companies across the United States and abroad including Nashville Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Columbus, Glimmerglass Opera, Greater Worcester Opera, Boston Midsummer Opera, Monadnock Music Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera. Notable international performances include a return to the Glimmerglass Festival in 2012 as Jacey Squires in the company’s touring production of Meredith Wilson's The Music Man performing at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. Mr. Barner made his international debut in 2009 singing B. F. Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.
Mr. Barner also enjoys being active on the oratorio stage. Recent performances include Handel’s Messiah with Bartlesville Choral Society and the Signature Strings where he was last seen as the tenor soloist in Orff's Carmina Burana; tenor soloist with the New Bedford Choral Society performing Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicoali, All Saint's Parish in Mozart's Missa Brevis, and in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Back Bay Chorale. In the fall of 2016, Mr. Barner will be the tenor soloist for Mozart’s Sparrow Mass and sing Tamino in excerpts of Die Zauberflöte with The Falmouth Chorale and Orchestra.
A native of Oskaloosa, Iowa, Mr. Barner has been selected numerous times as a finalist in both the NATS and MTNA Iowa competitions. Mr. Barner was awarded second place in the Baru Atlanta Competition in 2009 and in 2010 was a winner at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, East Tennessee district.  He currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and studies with Dr. Rebecca Folsom. For more information, please visit:


Mr. McGrath is delighted to perform, once again, with the Falmouth Chorale, with whom he performed the Brahms’ Requiem in 2014. Mark has collaborated with Maestro Yankee in several other musical endeavors, as well as many athletic pursuits.
Years ago, Mark drove John to the hospital after the conductor had torn an Achilles tendon in a basketball tournament. (Mark believes this factored greatly in his selection as the baritone soloist for this musical program).
Mr. McGrath has performed with some of the premier arts organizations in the Mid-Atlantic area, soloing in Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, DC.
He has soloed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in many productions, including Carmina Burana, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, and the Holiday Pops.
Mark has also performed Brahms’ Requiem with the Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Eastminster Chorale in Atlanta. 
In Telluride, CO, Mark played the part of Noah in Benjamin Britten’s “Noyes Fludde” and appeared onstage with Maestro Yankee in the musical “Forever Plaid.”
He has performed in Carnegie Hall twice, with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Chorale. He soloed with the Annapolis group in the oh, so serious, PDQ Bach oratorio, “The Seasonings.”
For 20 years, Mr. McGrath performed the lead baritone role in the Young Victorian Theatre Company’s productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. He performs regularly with an a cappella group, “Some of the Parts,” noting that he was an aficionado of the genre before it became cool.
His day job involves dispensing financial information as an investment advisor for Stifel Nicolaus. He serves on the boards of three arts organizations in Maryland and lives in Baltimore with his wife, Mary Beth, and their three children. 

Thank You For Coming