Mezzo-soprano Edna Garabedian studied singing with William Vennard at the University of Southern California, Lotte Lehmann at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Anna Hamlin in New York City, and Rosa Ponselle in Baltimore. In 1961 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She made her professional opera debut in 1965 as Santuzza in Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana with the New York City Opera. She went on to sing leading roles with the Baltimore Opera Company, the Bavarian State Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Diego Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Staatsoper Stuttgart, the Staatstheater Kassel, and Theater Bonn among others. In 2000 Garabedian founded the California Opera Association of which she currently remains Artistic Director. She is a former faculty member of the voice departments at American University, California State University, Fresno, Northern Illinois University, and the University of San Francisco. She has been teaching CU’s Senior Competition Team, focusing on vocal technique and stage skills, since 2015.
Lyric coloratura soprano Nikki Einfeld has been widely recognized for her performances across the United States and Canada. A former Adler Fellow and Merola alumna with the San Francisco Opera, this Canadian soprano received acclaim as a Grand Finalist in the 2006 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won first prize in the internationally recognized Eckhardt-Gramatee National Music Competition. Ms. Einfeld’s affinity for recital and concert repertoire, including many 20th and 21st century work Premieres, has led to guest appearances with major symphonies across North America. She has been working with CU’s Senior Competition Team, focusing on acting and choreography, since 2014.
Amyrose McCue Gill
Dramatic soprano Amyrose McCue Gill was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and began her singing career in Victoria, British Columbia. She holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Holy Names University and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. McCue Gill has recorded and performed in recital and on the operatic stage in North America and Italy, specializing in unusual 19th and 20th century art song and opera; her most recent role was as Judit in Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. In 2014, she won first prize as “Singer of the Year” in the 2014 Cal-Western National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. Dr. McCue Gill teaches at Santa Clara University and in her private voice studio, Black Rose Studio, in Sunnyvale. She has been working with CU directors, teachers, and students to develop and implement innovative and proven curricula since 2014.
CU founder and executive director Lin Pan completed her first degree at the top of her class in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she received a Master of Music degree in 2006. As a young pianist, Ms. Pan won one of the most prestigious piano performance awards in China, the National Pearl River Piano Competition; she has appeared on stage in many of the world’s leading concert halls, from Shanghai to Salzburg. A recognized instructor of performance piano, music theory, and music artistry, she taught for a decade at the Zhou Xiao Yan Opera Center, where she served on the piano teacher certification committee. She is currently the co-Chair and Director of MTAC, Branch Honor Council, and is an American Certified Piano Performance Evaluator. Ms. Pan’s students have won national young artist piano competitions in China and the United States, and are admitted to top American conservatories. For her outstanding achievements in music education, Ms. Pan won Kathy C. Burke Memorial Educational Scholarship Awards in 2012 and 2013. She founded CU in 2013, and continues to work with local music communities, including educators and parents, to expand the school’s offerings for current and future students.
Soprano Angelique Zuluaga began her singing career in Cali, Colombia, South America, where she received her teaching degree in music from the Universidad del Valle. An advocate for educating young audiences in music, she has developed music outreach programs and is co-founder of Early Music in Motion, an arts organization that serves rural and underserved audiences. With over twenty years of performance and teaching experience, she is frequently invited to universities, festivals, and workshops to teach vocal technique. Ms. Zuluaga completed two master degrees in voice performance and early music at the Jacobs School of Music and Early Music Institute at Indiana University. She resides in San Jose where she teaches at Sage Vista School, an elementary school specializing in education for gifted children, and in her private studio. Ms. Zuluaga has been working with CU’s Junior Troupe, focusing on vocal technique and music literacy, since 2014.