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About Us

Joel Ayau
(Posted Tracks)

A graduate of the Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera, Joel Ayau has assisted on ten productions at WNO, including Carmen, Aida, and Eugene Onegin. He has also worked on the music staffs of North Carolina Opera (Madama Butterfly; Siegfried Act 3), Portland Opera (La Traviata, La Cenerentola), Opera Memphis, and Wolf Trap Opera. During his three seasons on the music staff of the Castleton Festival, he prepared choruses for Roméo et Juliette under Rafael Payarre, and Lorin Maazel's productions of Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly.

Since 2018, Ayau has assisted in the preparation of operas, musicals, and oratorio at the National Symphony Orchestra. He has served as cover conductor for over 20 concerts from the Pops and Declassified series, and served as a rehearsal and performance pianist for diverse repertoire ranging from Tristan und Isolde (Act 2) to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He holds the Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Michigan in Collaborative Piano, having studied under renowned pedagogue Martin Katz. He earned a Masters in Collaborative Piano from The Juilliard School, and bachelors degrees from New York University in Computer Science and Piano Performance.

César Cañón
(Posted Tracks)

César Cañón alternates his activities as a pianist and conductor with teaching and vocal coaching. He has performed and collaborated on many stages in his native Colombia, as well as in Brazil, Canada, Italy, Mexico and across the United States. Cañón holds degrees in piano performance from the National University of Colombia and in Collaborative Piano from the University of Michigan, where he obtained a Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees under the mentorship of celebrated pianist Martin Katz. He is also an alum of the Aspen Opera Theatre Center, the Merola Opera Program and San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship. 

  He has been a guest lecturer and performer in several universities in Colombia and across the United States, including residencies at Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Emory University. Recently, he has been a member of the teaching staff of the voice and opera departments at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and in the music staff of the San Francisco Opera. While in the bay area, he has been music director for Pocket Opera’s 2019 production of The Elixir of Love and 2020 production of Don Giovanni. In the fall of 2020, he will join the Norwegian National Opera as opera repetiteur and assistant chorus master.

Jessica Hall
(Posted Tracks)

Oregon native Jessica Hall has served as music staff on over sixty opera productions, most notably with Seattle Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Minnesota Opera, Portland Opera, and Opera Memphis. She has played under noted conductors David Agler, Michele Spotti, Michael Sakir, George Manahan, Andreas Mitisek, Osmo Vänskä, Michael Christie, Joseph Colaneri, Steven Osgood, Anne Manson, and Robert Spano, and worked within the vocal departments of USC, UCLA, Chapman University, Pasadena City College, and Scripps College. Previous faculty positions include the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and OperaWorks in Los Angeles. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in the field of Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Dr. Alan L. Smith. 

Kathy Kelly
(Posted Tracks)

Kathleen Kelly is a pianist, conductor, educator, and writer - and like many classical musicians, a recent experimenter with digital content. She has appeared internationally as a recital pianist, including appearances at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Vienna’s Musikverein. She is a published poet and essayist, and has written several English adaptations of operas as well as several librettos. She was most closely associated with the San Francisco, Metropolitan, Houston Grand, and Vienna State Operas before joining the faculty of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2018.

http://www.kathleenkellymusic.com/

Kirill Kuzmin
(Posted Tracks)

Kirill Kuzmin is currently an assistant conductor at Houston Grand Opera. In the 2019-20 season, Mr. Kuzmin continued working on the HGO music staff for productions of Handel's Saul, Aida and Salome.  He is also a music staff member at The Glimmerglass Festival. Recital appearances included the Schwabacher Debut Recital in San Francisco (with baritone Sol Jin), as well as performances at Opera America in New York, Balliol College in Oxford, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. A Russian native, Mr. Kuzmin spent three years with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, first as a young artist and then as a full-time member of the music staff.  During his time with the company, he served as a coach and accompanist on a number of Russian operas, as well as works from the standard operatic repertoire. While in Moscow, he also served as pianist and coach for operatic undertakings by the acclaimed Moscow Philharmonic. Mr. Kuzmin holds degrees in piano performance from the Moscow Conservatory and in collaborative piano from the Moscow Conservatory and the University of Michigan, where he studied with renowned collaborative pianist Martin Katz. 

  http://kirillkuzmin.com/

 

Blair Salter
(Posted Tracks)

Canadian collaborative pianist Blair Salter is a versatile performer and music director who has worked at prestigious opera companies and young artist programs throughout the United States and Canada. A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Young Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival, Blair is currently based in Houston and is a member of the music staff at Santa Fe Opera. She has worked on staff at Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theatre, and the CoOPERAtive Program. Blair is an advocate of art song and contemporary music; she has worked on several operatic world premieres including The Phoenix, El Milagro del Recuerdo, and The Thirteenth Child. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Martin Katz. Previously, she attended the University of Western Ontario for her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and Master of Music degree in collaborative piano, studying with John Hess and Stéphan Sylvestre.

Michael Sherman
(Posted Tracks)

A native of Los Angeles, pianist and collaborator Michael Sherman is the principal pianist and coach for Michigan Opera Theatre’s Studio Artist Program. During MOT’s 2019/2020 season, Michael assisted in productions of Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost, in addition to performing regularly with Studio Artists in various concerts, recitals and community events. In addition to his work with MOT, Michael regularly serves on the music staff at Washington National Opera. Michael has also been associated with Fort Worth Opera, where he served as the head of music staff, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Memphis, Virginia Opera, Opera NEO, and The Miami Music Festival. Equally passionate about art song, Michael has performed in recitals around the world- most recently, at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. He holds a master's degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Michigan, a bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from Boston University, and is a graduate of the Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera.

Andrew Stewart
(Posted Tracks)

Hailed as “a singer’s dream” by Gramophone magazine, pianist Andrew Stewart has performed across the United States and in Italy, including several world premieres and frequent collaborations with notable singers and instrumentalists. He is on the faculty at Goucher College and is a longstanding accompanist for Maryland Opera and Baltimore Musicales. He has also served as the musical director for upwards of fifty productions. Andrew is featured on the albums Katherine Keem Sings Songs and Arias by Garth Baxter (Centaur Records, 2014), Ask the Moon (Navona, 2018) and Resistance (Navona, 2019). He lives in Maryland with his family. http://andrewstewartpiano.com/

Carol Wong
(Posted Tracks)

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Ms. Wong made her concerto debut at age 11 with the Vancouver Philharmonic. Noted for her collaborations with renowned singers internationally, she was invited by Marilyn Horne to perform with Sasha Cooke and Nadine Sierra in Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. She served as both pianist and producer for a recital in Santa Fe with Metropolitan Opera artists Susanna Philips, Isabel Leonard, Joseph Kaiser and Luca Pisaroni, hosted by Susan Graham. Ms. Wong has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Music Festival; the Sarasota Music Festival; the Banff Festival; the Britten-Pears Festival in England; the Beaux Arts Festival in Fontainebleau, France (where she won the Distinction Award in Piano), and the Music Academy of the West (where she won the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award). Her recent performance venues include Carnegie’s Zankel and Weill Halls, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, & live broadcasts on WXQR and NPR’s Performance Today.

Ms. Wong holds the Master of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University, under the tutelage of Menahem Pressler; the Doctor of Music Arts in Piano Performance from Rutgers University; and the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.

Operatracks.com is part of The Collaborative Collective

The goals of the Collaborative Collective:

  • Provide tools for singers to learn repertoire and grow as artists

  • Provide a revenue stream for collaborative pianists and share the workload. Everyone is making tracks right now, and almost no one is able to take the time and effort to make good ones.

"Opera tracks", i.e., videos of arias, are the future of recordings for singers

  • Many arias cannot be performed along with a recording without some sort of visual element attached to the product
  • Sound files are easily stolen and pirated. The market is currently saturated with cheap, low-quality product.
  • Videos are personalized and readily identifiable.

Come work with us

We're looking for high-quality accompaniment tracks, but also high-quality coaches looking to collaborate and help singers reach their maximum potential

OperaTracks sells MP3s and movies at different price points, based on the difficulty of the piece and the quality of the recording. As a point of comparison, here are four recordings of "Ich schwebe" by Strauss:

****Yamaha G2 baby grand (slightly out of tune), 2 Audio Technica AT4040 mics

****Yamaha P-35 electronic keyboard, sound going directly into a MacBook with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

**Yamaha G2 baby grand, recorded using GarageBand on a MacBook

**Yamaha G2, recorded using Voice Memos on a MacBook

You should make recordings using GarageBand or a similar software as much as possible, not Voice Memos. (So, no auto-gain.) Is it better to record into an electronic piano, or using a real piano? The jury is still out.

Videos are enormously time-consuming and difficult to make. But that's what makes them valuable and helpful. Better that all the opera coaches of the world make one video a week, instead of 10 sound recordings. 

Some tracks listed on the website are of pieces that are under copyright; the price is free, but the hope is that singers will like your work and want a coaching with you, or set up a coaching in order to create a custom version of the track. It IS legal to have an online coaching with a singer, and then give them a recording of their track for free.

Questions? info@operatracks.com