currently serves as a lecturer of voice at Texas State University after terms at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of the Incarnate Word. Originally from Southern California, she received her doctorate in vocal pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin under Darlene Wiley and Ruth Ann Swenson. She also has a master’s in Opera Performance from UT Austin under the direction of Dr. Robert DeSimone. Dr. Cates began teaching in 2007 and specializes in vocal health, age-appropriate material, musical interpretation and applying classical vocal technique to many genres, including opera, classical, pop, folk and musical theater. An active soloist with many orchestras and ensembles, she has most recently performed with the Inland Master Chorale, Missouri Symphony, Riverside Opera, and the Texas Music Educators Association. She has performed operatic roles in , , and and has extensive experience in performing musical theater.
Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas joins the School of Music faculty in the Fall 2018 semester as an assistant professor of voice. She been hailed for her “capacious power” and “a voice lustrous and exciting.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
In the 2018-2019 season, Daveda Karanas will perform Liese in The Passenger, this time with a house debut at the Israeli Opera. In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Karanas returned to Arizona Opera in her role debut as Fricka in Das Rheingold and also made her New Orleans Opera debut as Hasbeena in the Burlesque Opera of Tabasco. Last season, Ms. Karanas made her role debut as Ježibaba in Rusalka with Arizona Opera. Recently, she was seen as Liese in The Passenger at both Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theater following her successful role debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the same role. She made a major role debut as Kundry in Parsifal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago under Sir Andrew Davis. She then debuted at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites and with the Auckland Philharmonia as Brangäne in concert performances of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
Ms. Karanas made her German debut at Oper Frankfurt as Marfa in Khovanshchina and debuted at the Canadian Opera Company as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde conducted by Johannes Debus and directed by Peter Sellars. She also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their production of the Berlioz masterpiece Les Troyens covering the role of Cassandre in La prise de Troie. Ms. Karanas made an acclaimed European debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as Judit in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle under Zsolt Hamar in the festival’s 75th Anniversary. She also covered the role of Judit in the same production at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan and on tour in China under Seiji Ozawa. She was then seen at Opera Grand Rapids for her role debut as Azucena in Il trovatore. Ms. Karanas sang her first performances of Amneris in Aida at Arizona Opera, followed by Vancouver Opera, Glimmerglass Festival in a new production by Francesca Zambello, and covered the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The summer of 2011 saw Ms. Karanas in her first complete Ring Cycle at San Francisco Opera under Donald Runnicles. In Francesca Zambello’s staging, she sang both Waltraute and the 2nd Norn in the new production of Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre. Ms. Karanas also sang Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and covered Amneris in Aida, both under Nicola Luisotti at the San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons, Ms. Karanas sang performances of Waltraute and covered Fricka in San Francisco Opera’s Die Walküre conducted by Donald Runnicles. She also covered Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde with Seattle Opera. With the Arizona Opera, she performed in “A Concert of Signature Arias” along with Christine Brewer, Richard Margison, and Gordon Hawkins featuring arias and duets from Don Carlo, Macbeth, and Norma. She concluded her San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellowship in performances of the Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica with Patrick Summers conducting, as well as covering Azucena in Il trovatore with new music director Nicola Luisotti.
As an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Karanas has performed in scenes as Amneris in Aida and Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, as well as covering the role of Fricka in Das Rheingold conducted by Donald Runnicles. She made her San Francisco Opera debut as Mamka in Boris Godunov as a first year Adler Fellow.
Prior to her residency at San Francisco Opera, she made debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine in Schönberg’s Moses und Aron as Vierte nackte Jungfrau and the Chicago Opera Theater as Ericlea in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria conducted by Jane Glover. She also performed the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola with the Merola Opera Program, conducted by Martin Katz.
Ms. Karanas holds a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University. While earning her degree, she performed such roles as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. She was also a member of the Boston University Opera Institute where she performed the role of Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and the Lady with a Hat Box in Postcard from Morocco.
Daveda Karanas is a winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has also received an encouragement award from the George London Foundation in 2009. She was an international semi-finalist in the 2007 Neue Stimmen Competition, a recipient of the 2006 Encouragement Award at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and grand prizewinner of the 2005 Arizona Opera League Competition.
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.
Suzanne Ramo joins the School of Music faculty in Fall 2018 as an assistant professor of voice. Lauded by the San Francisco Chronicle for an ease with coloratura that one hears “blazing forth brightly” as well as her “lyrical phrasing sweetly rendered,” soprano Suzanne Ramo has appeared several times in Amarillo, most recently during the 2017-2018 season with Chamber Music Amarillo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony, and with Amarillo Opera as Violetta in La traviata, a performance that was broadcast on Panhandle PBS. A frequent performer in the state of Texas, she has brought her crystalline soprano to Orff’s Carmina Burana with Ballet Austin, and returned to the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra for the title role of Donizetti’s Rita. As Constance in Les dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Opera, she earned a nomination for an Austin Critics’ Table Award as best singer of the 2008-09 season. Declared “always a highlight of any Austin Opera production she joins” by the Austin American-Statesman, she has previously joined the company as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She received a second nomination from the Austin Critics’ Table Awards for her performance in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Texas Choral Consort in the 2013-14 season. She also added the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 to her repertoire with a performance with the Laredo Phil.
Other roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Berkshire Opera; Musetta in La bohème; Violetta in La traviata, Micaela in Carmen, Madame Mao in Adams’ Nixon in China; and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. With the San Francisco Opera, she sang the title role of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Der Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, Woglinde in both Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, Der Waldvogel in Siegfried in addition to joining the company for its productions of Rigoletto, Falstaff, Der Rosenkavalier, and Semele. Also under the auspices of San Francisco Opera, she sang title role of La Calisto, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, and Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri in California as well as Violetta in La traviata on tour with the Western Opera Theater.
A prolific interpreter of oratorio repertoire, she has joined the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas McGegan for Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge, Modesto Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Stanford University as guest soloist for Mozart’s Mass in C minor, another Carmina Burana with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá at the Alfredo Saint-Malo Music Festival, as well as the Strata Trio for Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen at Concerts at the Point in Massachusetts. Especially sought after for concert performances in her home of Texas, she has sung acclaimed performances of Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder and Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Victoria Symphony, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Brazos Valley Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with Musica Ecclesiae in Austin, and University of Texas Wind Ensemble, in addition to concerts of Broadway favorites with the San Antonio Symphony and Victoria Symphony. With the Southeastern Festival of Song, she has presented recital programs that included “Dio cor mio” from Handel’s Alcina along with the works of Berlioz, Poulenc, Heggie, Musto, and Porter.
In addition to performing, Dr. Ramo has been an Attaway Scholar at the Centenary College of Lousiana, where she presented her research on the Father-Daughter Relationship in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Rigoletto and La traviata.
Ramo holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. Her previous teaching was as Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Workshop at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
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.
Marc Reynolds has accepted an appointment at Texas State University as Assistant Professor and the new Director of the Texas State Opera Theater. A native of Los Angeles, Reynolds received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University, Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing at The University of Texas at Austin. He has held administrative positions including Associate Administrative Director and Resident Stage Director for Utah Lyric Opera, and founding associate director for The University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.
Dr. Reynolds has taught for Westminster College, Utah Valley University, The University of Texas at Austin, The Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Sparkling City Light Opera’s Vocal Arts workshop, Utah Vocal Arts Academy Workshop, and the Cornish-American Song Institute. He has also given master classes and workshops across the United States and abroad.
As a stage director Marc Reynolds has enjoyed success in directing including The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat for Austin Lyric Opera, Carmen, Falstaff, Die Fledermaus, and The Merry Widow for Utah Lyric Opera, The Mikado, The Old Maid and the Thief, La Cenerentola, The Magic Flute, and Amahl And The Night Visitors for Sparkling City Light Opera, La Serva Padrona for La Follia Austin Baroque, as well as La Curandera, Albert Herring, and Cosi Fan Tutte for the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center. His work has received awards, nominations, and acclaim from the press and critics.
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.
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.
This GIA position works with both the Voice Area as a whole and the Opera Program in a support position.
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.
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.