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Liz Cass, mezzo-soprano
Liz Cass enjoys a lively schedule of performing, teaching, and producing in collaboration with many arts organizations in Austin, TX and beyond. Liz Cass, is a founder and the Executive Producer of the award-winning LOLA, Local Opera Local Artists. LOLA is a professional opera company dedicated to keeping the art form alive by utilizing local talent in new and innovative productions. In addition to her work with LOLA, Ms. Cass teaches voice, and holds the position of Community Liaison with the Armstrong Community Music School where she has been on the faculty and staff since 2004. Liz recently premiered Graham Reynold's new opera, Pancho Villa; From a Safe Distance for which she garnered an Austin Critic's Table Award for Best Singer.
Ms. Cass's recent performance highlights also include Manchurian Candidate with Austin Opera, concerts with Salon Concerts, La Follia; Austin Baroque, Cabaret Nights I and II with A Room With a Few in Austin and a performance in South Padre Island, and concerts with LOLA.
Liz's upcoming schedule includes concerts in Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala, concerts in Austin with Austin Chamber Music Center and LOLA, and tours to Los Angeles and Seattle with Pancho Villa; From a Safe Distance. In the spring of 2018, Ms. Cass will be performing with Austin Opera in their production of La Traviata and in June of 2018, Liz will be performing in the Bernstein Mass at Texas Performing Arts.
Liz Cass is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She began studying with Inci Bashar at UMKC in 1997, and continues studying with her to this day.
Graham Yates, piano
Graham Yates entertains audiences from the west coast to the third coast. Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, Graham hit the ground running in Texas in 2014. He performs for operas, choirs, churches, and – most importantly – house concerts that he hosts in West Lake and Wells Branch.
As a collaborative pianist, Graham gives concerts alongside his esteemed colleagues who are vocalists, string players or other instrumentalists. Their performances range from profoundly moving (such as Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) to worthy of a stand-up comedy routine (his own Spam Songs). He can weave together a program that is traditional or contemporary and always entertaining, as in the words of one attendee: his concerts are “a truly magical experience that stay with you long after the concert is over.”
Graham Yates holds a BA in piano performance from Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, and a Master of Music with an emphasis in piano accompaniment from Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada. He owns North Austin Piano Studio and teaches upwards of 30 students per week, ranging from age 4 to senior citizen. He is highly in demand as a pianist for professionals and students alike. He has judged regional and provincial competitions in his native British Columbia, and has recently booked tours in South Texas and Louisiana.