IMFA Vocal Studio

Beth Ray Westlund

Mezzo-soprano

    Mezzo-soprano Beth Ray Westlund is an active performer, teacher, clinician, and scholar. Featured solo performances with professional orchestra include:  the Angel in Sir Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Rahab in Jesse Ayer’s Rahab, J. S. Bach Magnificat, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B minor; Beethoven Mass in C and Symphony no. 9; Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Handel Messiah and Belshazzar; Haydn Missa Sanctae Caecilae, Missa in tempore belli, Missa in Angustiis and Heligmesse; Mozart Requiem and Vesperae Solennes; Duruflé Requiem, Vaughan Williams Mass in g minor, and Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, performed with Anonymous 4.

    Operatic credits include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Così fan tutti, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw. Dr. Ray is associate professor of music at her alma mater Luther College, where she teaches studio voice, diction, and serves as Associate Department Head. Previous to this, she was assistant professor of voice at Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York. She earned the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Rose Taylor and Terry Lusk. An article based on her doctoral treatise, “Dominick Argento’s Casa Guidi:  A Character and Musical Study” appeared in Journal of Singing. Dr. Ray has given multiple presentations of her 2010 sabbatical research on the dramatic context surrounding operatic arias of G.F. Handel. Her current research focus is Body Mapping for musicians, a method for improving the quality of movement in music making for enhanced performance and injury prevention. She is pursuing licensure as an Andover Educator, the professional organization for Body Mapping.

    Nicholas Shaneyfelt

    Vocal Coach and Director

      Nicholas Shaneyfelt is Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in Collaborative Piano at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  He completed his doctoral studies in the Collaborative Piano studio of Martin Katz at the University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan, he served as Staff Accompanist for the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with regular involvements at the Northampton Community Music Center, Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, and the UMass Newman Center.  He currently accompanies Luther College’s Nordic Choir, and has accompanied the Chamber Choir and Chorale at UMass under the direction of Tony Thornton, the UMass Conducting Institute, the South Hadley Chorale, and regional honor choirs and choral societies in western Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine.

      Originally from Knightstown, Indiana, Dr. Shaneyfelt received Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Computer Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Music degree from UMass with a dual focus in Solo and Collaborative Piano. At UMass, he was the recipient of the 2011 Eugenie May Piano Award. While at Notre Dame, he was the winner of the university’s concerto competition. His piano trio, “The Nora Trio,” was the first Notre Dame chamber ensemble to be selected as a finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Notable recent performances include the premiere of David Amram’s Greenwich Village Portraits with saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, recital tours with soprano Katie Calcamuggio-Donner, engagements in Los Angeles, New York City, and the Kennedy Center through the University of Michigan’s Gershwin Initiative, and Winterreise with tenor William Hite.

      Nicholas has studied with John Blacklow, Nadine Shank, Estela Olevsky, and Gilles Vonsattel.

      Laura Antonaz

      Soprano, Master Class Clinician

        The Italian soprano Laura Antonaz obtained her diploma in singing at the Trieste Conservatory while studying literature at the University. She then devoted herself mostly to Baroque and chamber music. Her teachers include Jessica Cash, Serge Wilfart, Alan Curtis, Nigel Rogers, and Joshua Rifkin; she focused on Lieder repertoire while working with Ada and Erik Werba and Christa Ludwig. She attended the International Summer Academy of Early Music in Innsbruck several times, as well as the Handel-Akademie in Karlsruhe. She was awarded the International Lieder Competition prize in Bardolino, Italy, the Pergolesi prize in Rome and La Società dell’Opera Buffa prize in Milan.

        Laura Antonaz has performed in Italy and abroad with several ensembles, such as I Barocchisti (RSI-Switzerland), La Risonanza, Concerto Italiano, Accademia Bizantina, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Ensemble La Fenice (France), Les Nations, and Odhecaton.

        In 1993 Laura Antonaz made her operatic debut in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, followed by Cavalli (the first performance in modern times of Orione), Paisiello, Jommelli, Weber, Offenbach, Gluck, and the role of Poppea in George Frideric Handel’s Agrippina in Buenos Aires (first performance in South America). She has often sang on radio and television in Italy, Swizerland, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, France, Belgium, Israel.

        Laura Antonaz has been a guest of important festivals, such as Festival van Vlanderen in Bruges, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Festival de Beaune, MiTo, Musica en Canarias, Budapest, Birmingham Early Music Festival, Music for the Stage in London, Rio de Janeiro, 'Mostly Mozart' at New York's Lincoln Centre, and Graz Styriarte.

        Laura Antonaz has recorded more than 30 CDs for several labels, including Stradivarius, Tactus, Amadeus, La Bottega Discantica, Nuova Era, and Rivo Alto.