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Bienen School announces 2019-20 Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series

Michael Fabiano, Stephanie Blythe and Matthew Polenzani to coach Bienen students

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe appears Jan. 27, 2020. Photo by Kevin Yatarola
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe appears Jan. 27, 2020. Photo by Kevin Yatarola

Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music announces its newly renamed 2019-20 Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series, featuring vocal master classes led by three of America’s brightest opera stars.

Tenor Michael Fabiano opens the series Oct. 9, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe appears Jan. 27, 2020, following a Jan. 26 Winter Chamber Music Festival concert, and tenor Matthew Polenzani concludes the series on May 12, 2020.

Tichio-Finnie master classes invite opera lovers to encounter artists from the opera world sharing performance insights with top students from Bienen School’s voice and opera program.

The series is made possible by a joint gift from the Tichio Family and Shaun and Selme Finnie.

All performances take place in the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, located in the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus.

The 2019-20 Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series includes:

Michael Fabiano

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, 7 p.m.

Tenor Michael Fabiano was the recipient of both the Beverly Sills Artist Award and the Richard Tucker Award in 2014. He has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Australia, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Opéra National de Paris, La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Glyndebourne Festival. Last season he made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La bohème.” His 2019-20 season engagements include Massenet’s “Manon” at the Metropolitan Opera; Verdi’s “Don Carlo” and Offenbach’s “Les contes d’Hoffmann” at Opéra Bastille; and Verdi’s “La traviata” at Teatro Real.

Stephanie Blythe

Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, 7 p.m.

Named Musical America’s 2009 Vocalist of the Year, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is the recipient of the 1999 Richard Tucker Award and the 2007 Opera News Award. She has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Metropolitan Opera, where last season she was seen in Donizetti’s “La fille du régiment” and Puccini’s “Il trittico.” She has performed the title roles in Bizet’s “Carmen,” Saint-Saëns’s “Samson et Dalila,” Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice,” Rossini’s “Tancredi” and Handel’s “Giulio Cesare.” On Sunday, Jan. 26, Blythe will appear with the American String Quartet in the final concert of the Bienen School’s 2020 Winter Chamber Music Festival, performing a selection of Schubert lieder, including “Der Tod und das Mädchen” (Death and the Maiden).

Matthew Polenzani

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 7 p.m.

Tenor Matthew Polenzani’s 2018-19 season included Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La bohème” at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago for his signature title role in Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” and his role debuts as Vaudémont in Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” at the Metropolitan Opera and Don José in Bizet’s “Carmen” at the San Francisco Opera. Polenzani’s 2019-20 engagements include “Carmen” at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Beethoven’s “Fidelio” at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Verdi’s “La traviata” at Madrid’s Teatro Real and Verdi’s “Macbeth,” Puccini’s “La bohème” and Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Tickets for Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Classes are $10 for the general public and $5 for full-time students with valid ID.

For tickets visit or call the Bienen School of Music ticket office at 847-467-4000.  

The Bienen School is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts. 

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