Lyric-Coloratura Jeanette LaVoy, returns as the soprano in this year’s Sarasota Choral Society performance of Handel’s Messiah. She has reveled as featured soloist of the FWCO, Sarasota Pops, the Sarasota Opera, the Jacobites Pipe & Drum Band, Venice Symphony and the Sarasota Concert Band. . A former vocal soloist of the US Navy Band, in Washington, D.C., Jeanette sang for Presidents of the U.S., and twice, while living in New York City, for then, mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.
Well known as an area voice teacher, LaVoy served as vocal coach to the “Von Trapps” great-grandchildren of Maria and Georg before their world tour!
Amy Connours, alto, one of Sarasota’s own, has recently moved back to our community after a 20 year hiatus. Raised in Sarasota, graduate of Riverview High School, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Florida State University. After moving to Minnesota she took a career in Advertising before launching two successful businesses of her own. Along with being a wife and mother of two she has served as Music Minister at Buffalo Assembly of God, MN and currently is the Music Minister at Meadowland Worship Center in Sarasota. In addition, she is performing with The Florida Voices and is also serving as their president.
Tenor Robert Lischetti graduated from the Crane School of Music at the State University College at Potsdam, New York in 1974. In the summer of 1974 and in the following summer, he was engaged as an apprentice artist with the Lake George Opera Festival in upstate New York. From 1975 until 1981 he was a member of the resident company and training program at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, New York, where he studied with Carmen Savoca and Peyton Hibbitt, and sang many of the roles which would later become the staples of his repertoire, including Tamino, Ferrando, Count Almaviva, Edgardo, Pinkerton, Faust, and Rodolfo.
Between 1981 and 1987, Mr. Lischetti lived in New York City, where he studied primarily with Franco Iglesias, a well known baritone from Mexico and a teacher of Placido Domingo. During this time, he expanded his sacred and oratorio repertoire as tenor soloist at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church under music director William Whitehead. He also sang with the New York Choral Artists in concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall. He was active with the Opera Northeast touring company out of New York City, and added the Virginia Opera, the Syracuse Opera, the Indianapolis Opera, Opera Delaware, and the Syracuse Symphony and Long Island Philharmonic Orchestras to his list of credits.
In 1987, Mr. Lischetti traveled to Germany, where he would spend ten years singing as a guest artist in numerous opera houses, and also touring throughout Switzerland, Austria, and Holland. He was a regular soloist at the Staatsoperette Dresden, and the Landestheater Dessau, among others, performing much of his standard repertoire, and addingLenski/Eugen Onegin, The Prince/Rusalka (Dvorak), Graf Elemer/Arabella and Jaquino/Fidelio to his list of operatic roles. It was also in Germany that he became well versed in the classical operettas of Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar.
Since returning to the United States in 1997, Mr. Lischetti has sung with the Sarasota Opera, the Sylvan Opera of Philadelphia, and the Gold Coast Opera Company of Ft. Lauderdale. In concert he has appeared as a featured soloist with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne FL, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in Fort Myers, the Venice Symphony, and the Anna Maria Community Chorus and Orchestra. He presently resides in Sarasota, and teaches voice at his private home studio, and on the voice faculty at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, where he has also served as director of the Concert and Chamber Choirs. Mr. Lischetti sings regularly as a soloist at Temple Sinai in Sarasota, as well as at several area churches, and in solo recitals.
Celebrated Korean-Canadian Bass baritone Won Cho is known for the unique range and beauty of his voice as well as his outstanding acting ability. Thanks to his energetic voice and stage presence, Korean-Canadian bass-baritone Won Cho is in demand in both concert and operatic repertoire, appearing with many of the opera houses and orchestras of the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mid East, and his native Korea. His voice is described as “possesses the voice and presence to make himself instantly known on stage”.
He recently made his Mexico debut as Sprecher in Die Zauberjlote with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra during Carlos Miguel Prieto’s final performance as music director with that orchestra and his other recent engagements during 2006-2007 season were Osmin in Die Entfiihrung aus dem Serail with Mercury Opera of Rochester, Melchior in Amahl & the Night Visitors and Bach’s b-minor Mass with The Western New York Chamber Orchestra in Buffalo, Leporello in Don Giovanni at Southern Illinois Music Festival, Messiah in Toronto and Buffalo, Lord Nelson Mass in Toronto, Durufle’s Requiem at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasie, Mass in C Major, and the World Premiere of Randol Bass’ “Passage Into Spirit” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus/Orchestra .
He was the 3rd prize winner of The 31st Vincenzo Bellini International Opera Competition in Italy where Dame. Joan Sutherland was the chair adjudicator, 1st prize winner of The Artist International Music Competition in Toronto, Canada, and a Regional Finalist at The Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Audition. Additional honors and awards he has received include prizes from The Amici Vocal Competition, Operafest! of New Hampshire competition, voice scholarship from Boston University, and The University of Memphis where he was a Hohenberg-Scheidt Opera Fellow.
Mr. Cho has sung with such companies as Opera Memphis, East Slovak State Opera, Mississippi Opera, Operafest! of New Hampshire, Dicapo Opera of NYC, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Ocean State Opera, New Jersey Verismo Opera, Longwood Opera, Washington Concert Opera, and Utah Festival Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Sarastro in Magic Flute, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Don Basilio in II Barbiere di Siviglia, Bonzo in Madama Butterjly, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor only to name the major roles. He currently is on the roster of Thea Dispeker Artist Management in New York City.
Won Cho received his degrees from Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, and University of Memphis. He has served at University of Northern Iowa (Assistant Professor of Voice), State University of New York in Fredonia (Assistant Professor of Voice / Coordinator of Opera Program) and currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Voice / Coordinator of Opera Program at University of South Florida.