2013 Soloists

Robyn Rocklein
Robyn Rocklein – Soprano

Nebraska native Robyn Rocklein is known for her vibrant and flexible zwischen-fach voice. She has appeared as a soloist in England, Austria, Germany, and throughout the USA. Her roles include Musetta (La Bohême), Périchole (La Périchole), Iphigénie (Iphigénie en Tauride), Dejanira (Hercules), Carmen(Carmen), Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Marian Paroo (The Music Man), among others. Robyn has sung under the batons of international conductors Richard Buckley, Daniel Lipton, Edoardo Mueller, David Stahl, and Anthony Walker.

On the concert stage, Robyn has sung Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’sMagnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Dvořák’s Mass in D, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Honegger‘s Le Roi David, Mendelssohn’s Psalm No. 42, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Coronation Mass and Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and Vivaldi’s Gloria, among others. Robyn has performed with companies such as Arizona Opera, Opera Tampa, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Scottsdale Musical Artists, and St. Andrew’s Bach Society. She has also performed with the Kronos Quartet, Barry Manilow, Dick Hyman, John William’sStar Wars in Concert with Anthony Daniels, and Columbia Artists’ Lord of the Rings Symphony as the mezzo-soprano soloist at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall.

Robyn was a finalist in the Meistersinger Competition (2009) in Austria and the Charles A. Lynam International Vocal Competition (2008), and has won numerous competitions in the USA to include NATS Auditions (2012 & 2009) and the UA President’s Concerto Competition (2009). She holds a B.M. and M.M. from the University of Arizona and a D.M.A. in vocal performance from Arizona State University.

This season she will be appearing as a returning soloist in Mozart’s C Minor Mass with the Tucson Chamber Artists in Arizona, as “Mrs Ott” in Susannah with St. Petersburg Opera in Florida, and as a soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Sarasota, Florida, with members of the Sarasota Orchestra.


Rachel Assi - Alto
Rachel Assi – Alto

Originally from New Jersey, Rachel earned her Bachelor’s of Music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she studied with Frederick Urrey. Roles include Mercedes (cover) in the St. Petersburg Opera production of Carmen, Indiana Elliott and Anna Hope in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All and Mrs. Jones in Kurt Weill’sStreet Scene. She has also appeared in numerous opera choruses, including Cosi fan Tutte with the St. Petersburg Opera, La Traviata with the Rutgers Opera, Genoveva and Der Zwerg at the Bard Summerscape Festival, Il Trovatore with New Jersey Opera Theater, and Idomeneo with Coro Lyrico Opera. During the 2010 season, she sang with the Oregon Bach Festival under the baton of Helmuth Rilling. In the Sarasota area, Rachel is the executive director of Gloria Musicae, and is the alto section leader at St. Boniface Church and at Temple Emanu-El. This season, she will be performing as a soloist with the Charlotte Symphony, the Artist Series of Sarasota, and SILL. Rachel is currently working towards a Master’s degree in arts administration from Drexel University.


Mark Lubas – Tenor

MARK LUBAS, tenor, made his debut in 1996 with the Nashville Symphony as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah. Soon thereafter, he moved to Boston and earned two Master of Music degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (Vocal Performance, Opera). Mr. Lubas has performed with opera companies across the U.S., including Aspen Opera Theatre Company, Boston Lyric Opera, and many others. Major role highlights include many in the lyric tenor repertoire; a few of Mr. Lubas’ performed favorites are Rodolfo, Edgardo, and Don José. Concert engagements have included tenor solos in oratorios and masses by Verdi, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Bach, and Mendelssohn. Most recently, Mr. Lubas performed the tenor solo (Lincoln) in Alan Gershwin’s “The Gettysburg Address” with Gloria Musicae on the 4th of July.

In addition to the stage, Mr. Lubas is an experienced voice teacher and acting coach. His teaching style operates on a simple principle, learned over 20 years of teaching: helping you achieve your own unique, healthy, consistent technique will make performing both easier for you and more deeply felt by your audience.

Mr. Lubas moved to Sarasota, FL in 2004 from Boston, MA. From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Lubas created and built the college-prep theatre training program at The Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota, FL, and has since returned to do something he loves doing – running and teaching in his vocal studio.


Joseph Ryan - Bass
Joseph Ryan – Bass

Joseph Ryan, baritone, is pleased to be singing again with the Sarasota Choral Society this December.  He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Masters in Vocal Performance in 2006, and has performed with Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy, as a member of their young artist programs.  In his hometown, he sang with the Cincinnati May Festival under Maestro James Conlon, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with Maestro Eric Kunzel, and sang for eight seasons with the Cincinnati Opera.

Recent credits include the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in Punta Gorda, soloist in the Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer with the Encore Chamber Music Series at the Palladium Theater, and Monterone in Rigoletto with St. Petersburg Opera.  In past productions with St. Petersburg, he covered the roles of Germont in La traviata and Escamillo in Carmen, and performed Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods. This summer he appeared with Opera Naples in their Eurofest concert and with the Opera Tampa Vocal Arts Festival in their presentation of A Composer’s Symposium: Carlisle Floyd, a concert staged and presented by the composer.

Joe currently cantors at Temple Beth Israel on Longboat Key, as well as First United Methodist and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sarasota.  He is a member of Gloria Musicae, and this fall became the bass section leader of Key Chorale. Locally, he has performed with the Sarasota Music Archive (Kurt Weill recital, November 2010), the Anna Maria Island Community Chorus and Orchestra (Frank in Die Fledermaus, March 20th 2011), the Artist Series of Sarasota (highlights from The Student Prince, May 2011), and has sung the solos in Handel’s Messiah with the Brandon Choral Society as well.