The Department of Music welcomes two new faculty members, Dr. Olga Perez Flora and Mr. James Flora
Dr. Olga Perez Flora
Cuban-American mezzo-soprano, Olga Perez Flora, has been lauded by Opera News for her “smoky tones” and “firm, pleasant voice, and lively poise.” Flora has performed with opera companies and symphonies both across the country and internationally.
Some of her recent engagements include performances with the Akron Symphony in deFalla’s El amor brujo, Opera Columbus as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Duraflé Requiem, Bach’sCantata 147 and Respighi’s Il Tramonto with the St. Vincent Cammerata, Verdi’s Requiem with the Hollywood Concert Series, Manuel de Falla’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro with the Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, the Duruflé Requiem and Hayden’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Idyllwild Arts Festival, and Messiah with the Mississippi Symphony Chorus as well as a recording of Stephen Colantti’s children’s opera The Selfish Giant with the Erie Chamber Orchestra.
Flora also has performed Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Operafestival di Roma, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera in the Heights, and the role of Olga in Eugene Onegin with Opera Company Middlebury to wide acclaim. Known for her sultry Carmen, Flora has performed this signature role numerous times, including her debut with Amarillo Opera. She has enjoyed being a recitalist for both Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Song Collaborative and will perform a Cuban song recital series for Otterbein and Muskingum Universities as a community outreach event this Spring. Additional upcoming engagements include Hayden’s Lord Nelson Mass and Bach’s Cantata BWV 4 with the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra.
Academic degrees include the Doctorate in Musical Arts from The Ohio State University, the master’s degree in Opera Theater from Arizona State University, as well as the bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University. Flora is involved in several young artist programs including the Idyllwild Festival of the Arts where she has served as a vocal coach and opera scenes director for 12 years and the Flora Italian Summer Studio which she and her husband, James Flora, launched in the summer of 2016 in Rome, Italy with the Tito Gobbi Association where she serves as the artistic director.
Dr. Flora is represented by Berger Artists Management.
American tenor James Flora hailed for his “resonant, impeccably-trained voice and fearlessness to his singing”, has received acclaim in repertoire ranging from Verdi and Wagner to works by Carlisle Floyd and Daron Hagen where he sang Louis Sullivan from Hagen’s Shining Brow at Frank Lloyd Wright’s 20th-century masterpiece: Fallingwater. He made his Pittsburgh Opera debut as Fenton in Falstaff and has since returned for seven productions, including Carmen, Turandot, Lucia di Lammermoor, and most recently as 2nd Jew alongside the Salome of Patricia Racette. James has performed leading roles in opera companies across the United States, including Alfredo (La Traviata), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Don José (Carmen), appearing with companies including Washington Concert Opera, Arizona Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company Middlebury, Opera Columbus, and others. Equally, at home on the symphonic stage, he has sung with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic, and recently debuted with the La Voz Humana: Lenguajes Múltiples festival in Cuba with Maestro Leo Brouwer and guitar virtuoso Joaquin Clerch.
James’ upcoming performances include a debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera Company Middlebury, where has previously been seen as Nicias (Thaïs) and Mitch (A Streetcar Named Desire). He will also sing a recital in Lake Tahoe with the Tahoe Chamber Music Society this summer. James has sung with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus under Maestro Donald Palumbo in their most recent productions of Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg and Fidelio.
James was a Young American Artist with Glimmerglass Opera, a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera, and a Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist with Arizona Opera where he made his operatic debut as Malcolm in Verdi’s Macbeth. In 2010, James was a Richard Tucker finalist. He holds voice degrees from The Ohio State University (B.M. in Vocal Performance, Summa cum laude) and Florida State University (M.M. in Vocal Performance).
He has served on the voice faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno, Central Michigan University, Otterbein University, and Point Park University and is a member of NATS and AGMA. James has students performing on and off-Broadway in productions of Hamilton, Urinetown, Shrek the Musical, and Rent and has students in Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. He is the Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Tito Gobbi Italian Summer Program on the grounds of the Gobbi Villa in Rome, Italy.
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