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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

Ana María Martínez will lead a Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Feb. 15. Photo by Tom Specht
Ana María Martínez will lead a Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Feb. 15. Photo by Tom Specht

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.

Updated Jan. 30, 2020: A Feb. 15 master class with soprano Ana María Martínez has been added to schedule. We regret to inform you that due to illness, Stephanie Blythe's Jan. 27 appearance on the Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series has been canceled. 

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.

Ana María Martínez

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, 7 p.m.

Grammy Award-winning soprano Ana María Martínez has performed title roles at Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, and Opéra National de Paris. She also voiced the role of opera singer Alessandra in the third season of Amazon’s "Mozart in the Jungle." During the 2019-20 season, she appears as Cio-Cio San in "Madama Butterfly" with Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera, and performs in concert with the Houston Symphony for Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López’s "Dreamers" Oratorio. She has recently taken on the role of artistic advisor for Houston Grand Opera and is currently serving as artist-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

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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