Untitled Document
  • Robin Fisher, Soprano - Program Director & Voice Instructor (Sacramento State University, California)
  • Donna Loewy - Music Coordinator & Collaborative Piano Coach (Cincinnati College-Conservatory)
  • David Ward- Opera Director
  • LeAnn Overton - Collaborative Piano Coach (Manhattan School of Music & Director of Respiro Opera, NYC)
  • Hatem Nadim - Collaborative Piano Coach (California State University, Fresno)
  • Daniel Weeks, Tenor - Voice Instructor (Cincinnati College-Conservatory)
  • Eugene Villanueva, Baritone - Voice Instructor
  • Certified Teachers from the Scuola Italia, Sant' Angelo in Vado, Italy

Dr. Robin Fisher, Program Director

Robin Fisher, lyric coloratura soprano, has performed to critical acclaim in operas, oratorios and art song recitals in Vienna, Prague, Munich, Paris, Budapest, and throughout the U.S. Favorite roles include Susanna, Pamina, and Hanna Glawari, and she has soloed with major orchestras in such works as Mozart's C Minor Mass and Requiem, Haydn's Creation, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Faure's Requiem, Bach's Jauchzet Gott, and of course Messiah. (You all know who wrote that one.)

She has recorded chamber works for soprano and flute with Laurel Zucker, entitled The Nightingale Sings, and God Be in My Heart, a CD of sacred American songs with pianist Dalton Baldwin. National Public Radio has broadcast excerpts from her lecture/recital series "Poetry and Music in the American Art Song".

Dr. Fisher is the author, with Ruth Friedberg, of a new edition of American Art Song and American Poetry (2012), with a foreword by Thomas Hampson, as well as The Selected Writings of John Duke (2007) with a foreword by Ned Rorem.

Robin Fisher won both a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and a Rotary Foundation Award to pursue studies in Europe, and received the coveted Artist's Diploma cum laude from the University of Vienna. She holds a D.M.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and is Professor of Voice at Sacramento State University in California. Her students have won many competitions, and are active performers and teachers throughout the U.S.

Donna Loewy

Donna Hallen Loewy is Field Service Professor of Accompanying and Accompanist-in-Residence at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ms. Loewy has prepared and accompanied many top prize winners of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Competition, NATS Artist Awards, D'Angelo Competition and the Montreal Concours International de Musique. She is much in demand as a collaborative pianist and master class teacher, performing frequently throughout the United States.

Ms. Loewy is the official accompanist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Southern Ohio region, and has held similar positions with the International Clarinet Conference, the Congress of Strings, the International Double Reed Society, the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Winners Recital, Tubamania in Sydney, Australia, and the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference. Donna has worked as an opera coach with the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, Cincinnati Opera and Dayton Opera. Ms. Loewy coached vocal chamber music for the Grandin Festival in Cincinnati yearly and was Chamber Music Coordinator for the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy. She has also been a faculty coach and pianist at SongFest at Pepperdine in Malibu, CA, the Barcelona Festival of Song in Barcelona, Spain, and New Music on the Point in Lake Dunmore, Vermont

Ms. Loewy is the voice consultant and co-author of the Inner Game of Music Vocal Workbook, written with Barry Green, author of the Inner Game of Music.

David Ward, Stage Director

Mr. Ward just completed an appointment as Visiting Opera Director at the University of North Texas where he directed Le nozze di Figaro, A Little Night Music, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Don Giovanni, The Mother of Us All and a new critical edition of L’incoronazione di Poppea. He served as the Interim Director of the University of Arizona Opera Theater where he directed Die Fledermaus, Die Zauberflöte, An Evening of Intermezzi: La canterina, L’Ivrogne Corrigé and Der Schauspieldirektor and a Menotti double-bill of The Medium and The Old Maid and the Thief. In 2013 Mr. Ward received his Master of Music in Vocal Performance/Pedagogy and Opera Directing at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where he directed Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe and Le Nozze di Figaro. His Tartuffe won the American Prize, Second Place for Opera Production. He directed a critically-acclaimed Falstaff and La Cenerentola for Houston’s Opera in the Heights, and The Pirates of Penzance, Cinderella, Cosi fan tutte, and La Cenerentola for Opera in the Ozarks in Eureka Springs. Mr. Ward also created and directed a touring, family production, The Opera Games: May the Music be Forever in Your Favor. In 2014 he joined the directing staff at College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, MA, where he directed H.M.S. Pinafore, Hello, Dolly!, The Gondoliers, The Merry Widow, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He returns this summer to direct The Desert Song.

In his previous life, Mr. Ward was one of America's leading basso buffos for 25 years, singing Dr. Bartolo in over 25 productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Dr. Dulcamara in L’Elisir d'amore, Sulpice in La Fille du Regiment, Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, Gianni Schicchi and numerous comic roles in operetta and G&S. A regular at New York City Opera, he made his debut as Dr. Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro and has been heard in Tokyo, Hong Kong and at the Opening Night of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

Lingua e Canto, 2017

Daniel Weeks, tenor

Daniel Weeks is an American Tenor - Artist/Professor. In Fall 2015, he joined the voice faculty in Cincinnati at the College-Conservatory of Music, and maintains a performance career encompassing opera, concert, solo recitals, and recordings. Praised for his Italianate voice and sensitive musicianship, Mr. Weeks is also a highly sought-after teacher and master clinician. From 1998-2015, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Louisville.

As a concert artist, he has appeared with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Memphis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony, the South Dakota Symphony, the Symphony of Silicon Valley, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Winter Park Bach Festival, the Bozeman Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Symphony of Mexico, the National Symphony of Costa Rica, the Xalapa Symphony (Mexico), and the National Youth Orchestra of Caracas (Venezuela).

On the operatic stage, he has performed with the Florentine Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Mercury Opera, Nevada Opera, and in 2001 toured the U.S.A. in Mozart’s Cosě fan tutte with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater. Conductors with whom he has performed include; Steuart Bedford, Christoph Campestrini, Hal France, Stefan Lano, Jane Glover, Christopher Larken, Hans Graf, Gustav Meier, Junkchi Hirokami, Vladimir Spivakov, Alessandro Siciliani, John Keenan, John Rutter, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Eduardo Müller, Gregory Vajda, Stefan Sanderling, Delta David Gier, Ari Pelto, Lyndon Woodside, Uriel Segal, Robin Stamper, Mark Gibson, and Joe Mechavich. Stage directors with whom he has worked include; Linda Brovsky, Michael Cavanaugh, Leonard Foglia, David Gately, Casey Stangl, Nicholas Muni, Donald Westwood, and John Davies. In 2009, Mr. Weeks was honored by his alma mater, Belmont University, in Nashville, TN, with their Second Annual ENCORE ALUMNI AWARD for excellence in the field of classical music.

In 1999, Mr. Weeks was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions and was also named Young Artist by the National Federation of Music Clubs. In October 1999, he made his New York Recital Debut with pianist, Donna Loewy on the Judith Raskin Memorial Concert Series. In February 2000, Mr. Weeks was the Marilyn Horne Foundation ON WINGS OF SONG recitalist with Donna Loewy, in a radio broadcast recital at the Kosciusko Foundation in New York. For the next three years, he and Ms. Loewy presented recitals and school presentations for the Horne Foundation across the country.

While maintaining his collaboration with Donna Loewy at CCM, Mr. Weeks has also collaborated with such notable pianists as Valerie Trujillo, Timothy Cheek, Douglas Fisher, and Naomi Oliphant. He has given recitals and master classes at universities throughout the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

In 2009, Mr. Weeks released his CD entitled: Women of Firsts: A Recording of Art Songs by Lili Boulanger, Amy Beach, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Vítězslava Kaprálová, (Centaur Records) with pianist, Naomi Oliphant. Critically acclaimed in the US and Europe, this recording showcases art songs by women who were the first in their respective countries to achieve national and international recognition for composition. He and Dr. Oliphant recorded their second CD entitled: The Lieder of Franz Liszt, which was released with Centaur Records in 2015.

Mr. Weeks’ recent performances include Rachmaninoff's The Bells, Dvořák's Stabat Mater, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Handel's Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music, Schubert's Mass in E-Flat, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and the WORLD PREMIERE of Gregory Vajda's opera, Georgia Bottoms: A Modern Opera of the South,

Mr. Weeks is represented by DISPEKER ARTISTS MGT, NYC.

Eugene Villanueva, baritone

American baritone Eugene Villanueva is establishing himself as one of the most promising talents of his generation. Critics have praised him for his "richly sonorous voice", "flowing legato line", "gorgeous vocalism allied to passionate declamation" and "exemplary diction". The San Francisco native has performed with many prestigious international companies & festivals including the San Francisco Opera (USA), Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (France), Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy), Theater Basel (Switzerland), Festival Puccini (Italy), Opera Theater of St. Louis (USA), Michigan Opera Theater (USA), Bunkamura Orchard Hall (Japan) and the Shanghai National Grand Theater (China) in repertoire that includes the title roles of Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lescaut (Manon), Il conte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Danilo (The Merry Widow), Prince Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades), Dandini (La Cenerentola), Marcello & Schaunard (La bohčme), Ping (Turandot), Albert (Werther), among others. Future engagements include role debuts as Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo and as Sasha in Shostakovich's operetta Moscow, Cheryomushki with the Staatstheater Braunschweig (Germany) in addition to an appearance with the Dallas Opera in Michel Van der Aa's contemporary opera, Sunken Garden.

An avid recitalist, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2008 and returned again in 2011 & 2017. He was a member of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, which presented him in recital in New York and Pennsylvania. He has also presented concerts for San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Schwabacher Debut Recital Series, the New York Festival of Song and was featured in the prestigious Podium der Jungen series in Hannover, Hamburg & Frankfurt (Germany). Mr. Villanueva is also the first American ever to have been awarded the coveted Tosti song prize from the Istituto Nazionale Tostiano in Ortona, Italy.

He has been featured as soloist with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Toscanini Orchestra of Parma, the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Philharmonie and the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande in repertoire that includes Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Fauré and Brahms Requiem, Copland’s Old American Songs, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, the Dvorák Te Deum, and Ligeti’s Aventures & Nouvelle Aventures.

Mr. Villanueva is a graduate of Music Academy of the West, the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program.

LeAnn Overton

Performer and pedagogue LeAnn Overton currently serves on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Ms. Overton has also taught on the faculties of Long Island University Post Campus, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the New York Actor's Studio and the Mannes School of Music. As music director/coach Ms. Overton has worked for several summer programs and opera companies including Oberlin in Italy, Midsummermusiquebec Songe D'été, Vocal Arts Symposium of Colorado Springs, Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, Tulsa Opera and Cincinnati Opera.

Ms. Overton has been the stage director for several opera workshops. At Montclair State University she has designed a semester course for the voice and music education major which introduces the basic skill set needed for today's singing actor. In her capacity as "Artistic Director" of Oberlin in Italy's Concert Group, Ms. Overton coached and staged many recital programs exclusively featuring the bel canto repertoire. Ms. Overton was opera workshop co-director alongside Professor Ruth Golden during her tenure at LIU Post Campus.

In addition to performing opera, Ms. Overton has enjoyed listening to the world's best singers via her position as title caller at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City.

Ms. Overton earned her Masters of Music degree in "Vocal Coaching/Accompanying" at the University of Illinois under the tutelage of world renowned accompanist John Wustman.

Hatem Nadim

Hatem Nadim was born in Cairo (Egypt). At the age of ten, he attended the Cairo Conservatoire, where he studied solo piano with R. Yassa, V. Fedorovtzew and V. Samaliotow, graduating with honors. As a scholarship winner at the University at Frankfurt (Germany), he continued his post-graduate studies in chamber music and vocal accompaniment with Professors Joachim Volkmann and Rainer Hoffmann, where he earned his Masters Degree. Subsequently, he was appointed to the Gutenberg University in Mainz to teach solo piano. He then accepted a coveted faculty position at the University of Music in Mannheim, where his teaching responsibilities included those of collaborative pianist and chamber music coach. Currently, Mr. Nadim is the appointed staff accompanist at California State University, Fresno––a position he has held since September 2006. In 2012, he also joined the faculty of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. He is a guest artist annually at the Vielsaitig Festival in Füssen, Germany and teaches each summer at the Opera Academy of California in San Francisco.