Jennifer Hansen M.M. in Vocal Performance UW-Milwaukee Graduated 2016
"From the very first time I sang for Dr. Kruse in lessons, I knew she was exactly the right person to teach me. Her understanding of the physiology of the voice is unmatched. Before studying with Dr. Kruse, I had very little knowledge of what makes the voice work and what conditions I forced upon my voice that actually hindered my progress. Her knowledge of classical and contemporary repertoire is immense and her ability to teach both styles of singing effectively is something you don't always find in a teacher. Beyond pedagogy and repertoire, I know that she respects me as an individual and as an artist. She is my biggest cheerleader, my support during the hard times and my co-pilot as I explore new facets of my artistry. Dr. Kruse has never made me feel like I needed to fit inside of a certain box to be successful and she acknowledges that there is more than one way to learn singing. When I walk into her studio, I always know that I have permission to explore new things and she will give me her honest feedback. I can say with certainty that I sing with more clarity, resonance and authenticity since studying with Dr. Kruse. I can't thank her enough for what she has taught me.” -Jennifer Hansen
Biography Possessing a regal sound with precise, effortless coloratura, soprano Jennifer Hansen is a multi-faceted vocal artist, most recently appearing as Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with UWM Opera Theatre.
Highlights from 2015-16 include a recital performance with Grammy-winning contralto Meredith Arwady in Opera for All: A Celebration of Opera’s Astounding Variety; Opera Reimagined: Singed, an improvised opera, as part of the OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program in Los Angeles; Gwynnie Bradley in the workshop premiere of Thank You, Next… with Milwaukee Opera Theatre; and as a backup singer for the legendary Rolling Stones.
Past roles include appearances as Tina (Flight), Soprano 2 (Hydrogen Jukebox), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Celia (Iolanthe), The Girl (26), Mabel (Pirates of Penzance), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and Constance (The Sorcerer). Oratorio credits include Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, Bach’s Magnificat and Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen, and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate.
Ms. Hansen was previously an apprentice artist for Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s 2011-2012 season. She received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She maintains a private voice studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she resides.
Kathryn Henry M.M. in Vocal Performance The Juilliard School Expected Graduation 2018
"Tanya is by far one of the best teachers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She connects with all of the students she works with and it’s so easy, and fun, to learn with her. Having Tanya as my voice teacher helped me achieve so many things; I was able to learn an incredible technique, a way of preparing for concerts and operas, how to work in professional settings, and to just have fun with my repertoire. She taught me to enjoy every minute that I invest in all of my music. I’m so thankful to have had the time I did with Tanya and I would recommend her to any voice student. " -Kathryn Henry
Biography Kathryn Henry, a National Finalist in the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council competition, is a rising young soprano from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She recently won the UW-Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concerto and Aria Competition, and first place in the Upper College Women category at the national level of the NATS Student Auditions. Known for her “clean coloratura and silvery voice” (Richard Sasanow, BWWOperaWorld.com), Ms. Henry’s operatic credits include the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Clarina in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and the Squirrel in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges. She made her symphonic debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in November 2015. She has recently performed in recital with Craig Rutenberg and David Sytkowski. At the summer 2016 Chautauqua Institute, she performed Erste Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and perform in concert with the Chautauqua Symphony. Ms.Henry began her graduate degree at The Juilliard School as a Toulmin Scholar in September 2016 and studies with Marlena Malas there.
Shallece Peters M.M. in Vocal Performance Northwestern University Expected Graduation 2018
"My time with Tanya completely changed my life. She gave me an immense amount of understanding, knowledge, and patience for my instrument which helped me recognize its function, anatomy, development, and purpose. Not only did I learn about my own instrument, but she gave me the tools and ability to identify important characteristics in other singer’s voices like potential, hindrances, and intention, as well as solutions for their technical obstacles. She helped me build confidence and an understanding of the industry, while maintaining honesty and realistic expectations. I felt continuous encouragement and support, but more than that, Tanya re-inspired my passion for music and singing. Her excitement for progress, appreciation for dedication, and unwavering devotion to the art and her students is contagious. It’s no surprise everyone calls her Wonder Woman. She’s the real deal folks, and she is changing lives, one voice at a time." -Shallece Peters
Biography Shallece Peters Stewart, Soprano, is currently pursuing her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and Opera at Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University under the instruction of Stephen Smith. She is the recent 1st place winner of Wisconsin District NATS Competition in the Advanced Women's Division and a recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Vocal Performance.
Shallece was a chosen young artist for the 2016 OperaWorks Winter Intensive and performed in Arias in Motion. She was a backup singer for the celebrated Rolling Stones in their 2015 Zip Line Tour and was a finalist at the Wisconsin NATS Competition in the Senior Women’s Division, where she received third place. Currently active in art song and opera, Shallece was most recently seen as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Waukesha Choral Union and played the Queen of the Night in UWM Opera’s Die Zauberflöte. Other performance credits incude: Contessa/ Le nozze di Figaro (UWM opera scenes), La Bergère/ L'enfant et les Sortileges (UWM Opera & MOT), Amina/ La Sonnambula (Kalliope Vocal Arts) Violetta/ La Traviata (Kalliope Vocal Arts) and Dew Fairy/ Hansel and Gretel (UWM Opera). Upcoming performance include the Brahms Requiem, as the soprano soloist, in May 2017 with the Waukesha Choral Union.
Shallece was the President for UW-Milwaukee’s Chapter Student National Association of Teachers of Singing for two consecutive years and was chosen as the soloist for the 2015 Commencement Ceremonies at UWM. Shallece studied abroad at Academia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti in Lucca, Italy under the instruction of Barbara Paver in Summer 2014.