Lecturer Michelle Haché moved to Austin after completing her graduate degree at the Juilliard School. While at Juilliard she was awarded the Bori Prize grant for language study and performed the title role in Cavalli’s La Calisto. Ms. Haché has appeared in leading roles in both opera and music theatre in the United States and abroad. Since arriving in Austin, she has received five B. Iden Payne award nominations, winning for Performer of the Year in 2010 and 2013 and as Director of the Year in 2016 for The Gondoliers. Additionally, Ms. Haché is a reviewer for The Austin Chronicle and Broadway World, and a national adjudicator for the NATS and Hal Leonard Vocal Competitions. Continuing the legacy of vocal pedagogy passed on by mentors Marlena Malas, Ellen Faull and Florence Birdwell, Ms. Haché has been an award-winning instructor in voice for over 14 years. Her students have achieved top placements in the country’s largest vocal competitions, earned spots in leading conservatories and young artist programs, and have been awarded roles in Broadway productions. She is an active member of The Juilliard Teacher Directory, The National Association of Teachers of Singing, TMEA, and The Educational Theatre Association. Ms. Haché holds a Graduate Diploma from The Juilliard School.
Youna Jang Hartgraves
Lecturer Youna Jang Hartgraves has sung leading operatic soprano roles throughout the United States, including the title role of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which she sang when she was 23 years old at Opera Delaware. She was then invited to sing Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème as well as many recitals and concerts. At Temple University, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s in Voice and Opera Performance, she performed Natalia Petrovna in Hoiby’s A Month in the Country, Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mimì in La Bohème, Climene in L'Egisto, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. At The University of North Texas, she sang the role of Susan B. Anthony in Thomson's The Mother of Us All and Liù in Turandot. In two seasons at Opera Saratoga, she sang the role of Louise in La Vie Parisiènne and covered the title role of Madama Butterfly. She participated in the apprentice and studio programs at Sarasota Opera and sang the title role of Madama Butterfly at the Sarasota Chalk festival. As a resident artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts, she sung the roles of Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. She has participated and won awards from the Fritz & Lavinia Jensen Foundation, The Annapolis Opera Competition, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Gerda Lissner International Competition, New Jersey State Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition, Compositione dell’opera in Germany and Hariclea Darclée Competition in Romania.
Richard Novak has established a national reputation as a professional tenor, voice teacher, opera director, and church musician. Dr. Novak has performed with Washington Concert Opera, Opera Carolina, San Antonio Opera, Annapolis Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, The Living Opera, Wagner Society of Washington, D.C., San Antonio Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Prince William Symphony, the Monroe Symphony, and the Institute of Culture in Culiacan and Mazatlan (Mexico). Among Dr. Novak’s operatic credits are Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Alfredo, Don José, Nemorino, Eisenstein, Tamino, Lippo, Roméo, and Tybalt. Training programs include the Chautauqua Opera Apprentice Program, Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Program, the Wichita Grand Opera Resident Artist Program, the Wesley Balk Singing/Acting Institute, and the Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program (at the request of Evelyn Lear). In 2005 and 2006, Mr. Novak won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Tulsa District). Dr. Novak holds a BM and MM in Vocal Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas. Richard is the Director of Music at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels, TX, and teaches the ‘School of Logic’ choir elective at SPP Catholic School. In addition, Dr. Novak teaches voice at the University of the Incarnate Word. Prior to teaching at UIW, Dr. Novak taught at Trinity University, George Mason University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Richard’s favorite role is as husband and father. He resides in New Braunfels with his wife and two children, and has another baby boy due in March.
Soprano Cheryl Parrish, a member of the voice faculty of Texas State University in San Marcos since 2002, made her Houston Grand Opera debut in the 2011 production of Dead Man Walking as Kitty Hart. She has sung performances on opera stages around the world. Her career began at San Francisco Opera, where she appeared in such roles as Sophie in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, Blondchen in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, Susanna in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and Marzelline in Beethoven's Fidelio. She made her European debut as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with the Zurich Opera and performer Sophie with the Cologne Opera, in Florence, Italy at the Maggio Musicale, the Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company and the Portland Opera.
She has appeared in concert with such ensembles as the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra. She also appeared on Live From Lincoln Center's Pavarotti Plus! Ms. Parrish's recent credits include Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Cunegonde in Bernstein's Candide with Austin Lyric Opera, and Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Austin Lyric Opera; and the title role of Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe at New Orleans Opera and Austin Lyric Opera. She has also sung Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto at Vancouver Opera, and Denver Opera; Norina in Don Pasquale with the San Diego Opera and Tulsa Opera.
Ron Ulen, Coordinator
The American baritone, Ron Ulen, made his professional debut as Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with the National Opera Company. This led to appearances throughout United States, for example as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Count Eberbach in Der Wildschütz, Mr. Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Marcello in La bohème.
Mr. Ulen made his European debut in Il Trovatore at the renowned Opera House in Zürich, Switzerland. As a resident leading artist in Coburg, Germany, he sang the title roles in Verdi´s Falstaff, Tschaikowky´s Eugen Onegin, Bartok´s Bluebeards Castle, Zar Peter I. in Lortzing´s Zar und Zimmermann as well as Sharpless in Puccini´s Madame Butterfly and Tarquinius in Britten´s The Rape of Lucretia.
He was also engaged as the resident leading baritone at the Staatstheater in Schwerin, the Staatstheater in Mainz and the Opera House of Augsburg. His roles included Germont in Verdi´s La Traviata, Belcore in L´Elisir d´Amore, Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Valentin in Faust, Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann, and Miller in Luisa Miller.
An active and versatile performer who feels equally at home on the opera, concert, or recital stage, Mr. Ulen has performed over 90 roles in nearly 2000 performances. His career has taken him to opera stages and concert halls around the world including those of Vienna, Rome, London, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, New York, Munich, Paris, Chicago, and Berlin.
He has enjoyed great success as Nabucco in Verdi’s opera of the same name in numerous venues. Additional productions have included Ariadne auf Naxos, La Finta Giardinieri, Aida, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tannhäuser, Der Fliegende Holländer, and La Forza del Destino.
In addition to his teaching, Mr. Ulen continues to maintain an active performing schedule. He has conducted master classes at various universities and conservatories in Europe and the United States as well as being in demand as an adjudicator and jury member of various voice competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
He earned his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Minnesota State University Mankato followed by Masters Degrees from Florida State University, in Vocal Performance and Opera Production. Further studies led him to Vienna, Austria and the Metropolitan Opera.
Mr. Ulen's current and former students are represented on the rosters of numerous European and American opera houses.
Lecturer Myra Vassian grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, where some of her earliest musical influences were Appalachian folk music, jazz standards and opera. After receiving degrees in vocal performance from Baylor University and Western Carolina University, she was awarded an International Rotary Scholarship to attend the Conservatory of Music in Zürich, Switzerland. She remained in Switzerland for five years, earning a Performing Artist Diploma from the Biel Opera Studio. She made her European debut in the role of “Lauretta” from Gianni Schicchi and continued to sing the roles of “Norina” from Don Pasquale, “Zerlina” from Don Giovanni and “Madeleine” from Le postillon du Lonjeumeau in opera theaters throughout Switzerland. Upon returning to the United States, she performed the role of “Susanna” in The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Carolina and taught voice at Davidson College. From 1997 to 2007 she was Director of Music at The City Church, New York, and most recently served on the voice faculty of the Evening Division of the Juilliard School of Music for 10 years. Ms. Vassian has maintained a studio of private voice students in Manhattan since 1996 and in recent years enjoyed performing cabaret shows at the Metropolitan Room and the Duplex and Laurie Beechman theaters.
- Michelle Haché
Joshua Miller, Director
Lecturer Josh Miller has served on the directing staffs of the Glimmerglass Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera San Antonio, ZACH Scott Theatre, and Austin Shakespeare. His most recent directing credits include Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi (Portland State Opera), Le nozze di Figaro (Virginia Tech & University of Texas at Austin), a double-bill of The Italian Lesson & Trouble in Tahiti (Alamo City Opera), Sweeney Todd (UT Austin), and The Rape of Lucretia (Spotlight on Opera). His production of Three Decembers was a winner of Opera America’s Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase. He and his design team presented their production concept to artistic directors and industry professionals during a special session of the National Opera Conference in Washington, DC. Dr. Miller received his DMA in Opera Directing from UT Austin, a master’s in Conducting from Ohio State University and a BA in Music Education from Marshall University.
Kristin Roach, Coach
A native of San Antonio, Kristin Roach is in demand across the nation as a pianist, organist, vocal coach, and conductor. In performances that encompass twenty states, Canada, Japan, and the former Soviet Union, she has collaborated with many of the world’s finest artists including Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Jerry Hadley, and Rosalind Elias. She has prepared productions for the San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, San Antonio Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Brevard Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival, Breckenridge Music Institute, Opera Theatre of Rochester, Eastman Opera Theater, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Texas Tech University, and Texas Lutheran University. Conducting credits include La Boheme, Liszt’s Christus, and the Artpace choral world premier of Gold Space City of God. She is currently the Music Director of Opera Piccola of San Antonio and on the opera faculty at Texas State University.
Reviews of Kristin’s performances with South Texas musicians include phrases like “revelatory” and “infectious high-spirits.” She has appeared as piano soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, San Antonio Wind Symphony, and Eastman Philharmonia, and as chamber musician with Camerata San Antonio, Chamber Music Amarillo, Olmos Ensemble, Musical Offerings, and Cactus Pear Music Festival. She has toured Europe with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, performing on the historic organs of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Church of the Madeleine, Ely Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral and York University. Her recordings include the Trinity Jazz Project, a self-produced collection of her original arrangements of hymn tunes, and classical works with the New World Symphony for Decca Records and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble for Sony Classical Records. Her recording of chamber works by Miguel del Aguila with Camerata San Antonio, Salon Buenos Aires, has been nominated for two Latin Grammy® awards.
Ms. Roach maintains a private coaching studio, whose members include performers with numerous opera companies and apprentice programs, university faculty and students, chamber music groups, and church musicians. She received her education at the Eastman School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music (Piano), a Performer’s Certificate in Piano, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance/Literature and Piano Accompanying/Chamber Music.
- Joshua Miller, Director
Opera Graduate Instructional Assistant
This assistantship is responsible for working closely with the opera program. It offers a 25% FTE load, while is an average of 10 hours a week of instructional program support work.
Program Graduate Instructional Assistant
This GIA position works with both the Voice Area as a whole and the Opera Program in a support position.
Voice Graduate Teaching Assistantship
This GTA position is a teaching position where the Graduate Student is the Teacher of Record for the Voice Class course and Applied Voice for non-majors. It is roughly 37% FTE, or 13 hours a week of work depending on the semester.
Only graduate students with 18 credit hours are eligible to apply.
- Opera Graduate Instructional Assistant
Curricula Vitae and Course Evaluations
To see certain music department faculty CV's, what they teach, and their course reviews/syllabi, click here for the TxState HB2504 Web Site, Note: not all courses or faculty are listed, only those necessitated to be compliant with HB2504.