Baritone Andrew D. Whitfield enjoys a vibrant career as a performer, teacher, and stage director. In addition to appearances with Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Southwest, and Pensacola Opera, Andrew has also been a resident artist with Portland Opera Works. His most recent performance highlights include engagements with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and the Peoria Bach Festival. Also, his recording of Brooke Joyce’s Three Iowa Ballads, recently released on the Innova label, has received notable praise.
Originally from Shelbyville, Indiana, Andrew received the Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University, the Master of Music degree from Wichita State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Music (voice, opera) at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. During the summer Andrew enjoys teaching and performing at Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival, a four-week residential training program for talented high school musicians.
With his colleague Jessica Paul, Andrew performed Schubert’s Winterreise in Colorado, Iowa, and Wisconsin during February and March of 2011. In April 2011 he was the baritone soloist in the Brahms Requiem at Grinnell College. As part of Luther College's sesquicentennial celebration, Andrew also sang the baritone solos in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, both at Luther and in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, on April 16 and 17, 2011.
To see and hear excerpts of Andrew's performances, or for further information, please visit his website: andrewdwhitfield.com
Jessica Paul, a native of Chicago, holds the Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Northwestern University where she studied with pianist and vocal coach Laurence Davis. She earned both the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in vocal accompanying and coaching from the University of Illinois as a student of the internationally renowned pianist and vocal coach, John Wustman. Her initial training in opera was as assistant to conductor Tonu Kalam. She studied conducting under Paul Vermel, harpsichord performance with William Heiles, and solo piano with Ian Hobson. Specialized language instruction in Chicago was under tutelage of Lola Rand (German, French), Nell Schaenen (Italian), and Dorothy Uris (English).
She has played in studios of such teachers and coaches as Allen Stone (Artistic Director, Chicago Opera Theatre); Ryan Edwards; Norman Gulbrandsen, Richard Alderson, and Patricia O'Neill (Northwestern University); and William Warfield, Frances Crawford, Mignon Dunn, Nicolas di Virgiglio, Sylvia Stone, and Ronald Hedlund (University of Illinois). Instrumental collaborations were in studios of Chicago Sympohony members, including Vincent Cichowicz, Dale Clevenger, Fred Hemke, Ray Still, Walfrid Kujala, Edgar Muenzer, Dudley Powers, and Robert Marcellus, as well as Howard Klug, Sherban Lupu, David Harris, Laurian Laufmann, and Debra Richtmeyer (University of Illinois), and renowned cellist Raya Garbousova. She has frequently performed in master classes with artists such as Sherrill Milnes and Kurt Adler. During the summers of 1984 and1985, she was a member of the International Institute for Chamber Music Studies in Munich where she studied with collaborative pianist Rudolf Jansen and participated in master classes with pianist Jorg Demus and vocal artists Walter Berry and Elly Ameling.
Ms. Paul has served as vocal coach/assistant conductor with opera companies such as the Chicago Opera Theatre, Opera Theatre of Illinois, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, National Opera Company, Cleveland Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera Association, Lake George Opera Festival, and the Cedar Rapids Opera. Conductors include Daniel Kleinknecht, Tonu Kalam, Harold Evans, and Peter Mark, and stage directors Richard Hudson, John Haber, Nicolas Muni, Cynthia Auerbach, Dorothy Danner, Robert Lloyd, William Shomos, and Robert Larsen.
Ms. Paul is frequently engaged as a collaborative pianist for both vocalists and instrumentalists, and as a guest clinician and adjudicator. Among her collaborators are violinist Sherban Lupu, Chicago Symphony cellist David Sanders and oboist Ray Still, and sopranos Christine Seitz and Beverly O’Reagan Thiele. She has conducted productions at the Pine Mountain Music Festival, The City Opera of the Quad Cities, and Dorian Opera Theater. Ms. Paul came to the Luther College campus in 1985 as vocal coach for the initial season of the Dorian Opera Theatre and Apprentice Artist Program, ultimately becoming Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the company. She has recently completed a second tour with baritone Andrew Whitfield, performing Franz Schubert's master song cycle, Winterreise.
Ms. Paul is currently Professor of Music at Luther College as vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and teacher of the collaborative arts. On-going research projects include the study of the art song of Lithuania and the vocal works of women composers. She is the founder and director of the successful Art SONG JAMboree, a twice-yearly concert series on the Luther College campus featuring art songs by female composers.