MIRA J. SPEKTOR composer

Composer Mira J. Spektor was born in Europe, graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, and then studied at Mannes and Juilliard. In 1975, she founded the acclaimed Aviva Players, dedicated to presenting the rich repertoire of chamber music and songs by women composers from the 12th to 21st Centuries. The New York Times has hailed Spektor’s work as “attractive... tonal... passionate... and sprightly.”


Spektor’s compositions include chamber opera Villa Diodati (about Mary Shelley, with lyrics by Colette Inez, Byron, Spektor, and Shelley); folk-opera Giovanni The Fearless (with a libretto by Carolyn Balducci); chamber opera Lady of the Castle based on Lea Goldberg’s Israeli play about the hidden children of the Holocaust; chamber opera The Passion of Lizzie Borden (on poems by Ruth Whitman) and the feminist off-broadway musical The Housewives’ Cantata (with lyrics by June Siegel). Film scores include DOUBLE EDGE with Faye Dunaway and music for the PBS-TV documentaries ART IN ITS SOUL and SERIOUS COMICS, as well as the new opera-film VILLA DIODATI from Bank Street Films, released by Albany Records.


Spektor has written many English, French, and German songs heard in the United States, Europe, and Israel, and she has recorded on Westminster, Concert Hall Records, Guilde Internationale du Disque, Original Cast Records, Capstone, and AirPlay. Her memberships include BMI, Dramatists Guild, Opera America, League of Professional Theater Women, and NYWC, and she is on the Board of the Musicians’ Club of New York. Her poetry has been published in numerous small presses as well as two collections of her work, From Seaside Houses and The Road to November. Spektor resides in New York City. mirajspektor.com


photo: Chris Taggart



Maeve Höglund soprano

The New York Times praised Maeve Höglund as “a striking soprano,” and one who “stands out among singers.” Höglund made her Opera Philadelphia debut in the 2017-18 season as Lola in the world premiere of David Hertzberg’s opera The Wake World, which was named “Best New Opera of 2017” by the Music Critics Association of North America. She also made her Michigan Opera Theatre debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and was concert soloist in Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She returned to the role of Susanna later in the season with Opera Maine, and joined the Maryland Lyric Opera Studio in the summer of 2018.


Her engagements in the 2018-19 season include Leïla in The Pearl Fishers with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Maryland Lyric Opera.


Performances in the 2016-17 season included performing Musetta in La bohème with Charleston Opera, Margaret Hughes in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players with Little Opera Theatre of New York, and Arminda in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera’s co-production with Atlanta Opera. In the 2015-16 season, Maeve debuted with PORTOpera as Frasquita in Carmen, and with Long Beach Opera in Ter Veldhuis’ The News. She also sang Giunia in Mozart’s Lucio Sillafor, her Chicago Opera Theater debut, and was soloist in Carmina Burana with Tucson Symphony Orchestra.


photo: Andrew Bogard



Jean-Paul Björlin piano and tenor accompaniment

Jean-Paul Björlin is a singer, pianist, hornist, and teacher working in New York City, but is originally from Sweden. He teaches private voice, Vocal Repertoire, and the Worldmuse Ensemble at Barnard College of Columbia University. He also arranges and directs music at Circle in the Square Theater School. In the summers, Björlin has worked 9 years as a pianist, coach, and music director/chorus master at the vocal program of Marlena Malas at the Chautauqua Institution. The past two summers he has been on voice faculty as well as assisting the piano and dance departments at the Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Geneva Switzerland.


He completed his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the Juilliard School, studying voice. He has also completed his certification as a yoga instructor and incorporates yoga principles in his life and teaching.


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