Our 2017-18 Soloists

Amy Beach Grand Mass in E-flat major


Dana Lynne Varga, Soprano

Praised for her "stunning voice", soprano Dana Lynne Varga was the first place winner in the 2016 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition. Dana continues to amass accolades for her numerous operatic roles that include Musetta in La bohème, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Alcina in Alcina, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, First Lady in The Magic Flute and Giannetta (/Adina cover) in L’elisir d’amore, the latter performed at the prestigious Caramoor Festival in New York. Ms. Varga sings regularly with Boston Lyric Opera, and has performed with Odyssey Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, the Aldeburgh (Britten-Pears) Festival, PORTopera, Opera Boston, Boston Opera Collaborative, PANopera, Commonwealth Opera and Boston Baroque, amongst others.

An avid concert soloist, highlights of Dana Lynne Varga’s recent concert and oratorio performances include the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass with Coro Allegro, the Fauré Requiem and Neilsen’s Symphony No. 3 with the Springfield Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Granite State Choral Society, Beethoven Mass in C in Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, Handel’s Messiah and the Bach B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra and Dubois’ Seven Last Words with Coro Allegro.  She has performed the Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony and Dona Nobis Pacem as well as the Brahms Requiem and the Dvořák Te Deum with the Metropolitan Chorale, Schubert’s Miriam Siegesgesang and Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Commonwealth Chorale, the Vivaldi Gloria and Handel’s Messiah with the New England Classical Singers and the Bach Magnificat, Mozart Requiem and Mendelssohn St. Paul with the Choral Art Society.

Upcoming performances include soprano solos in Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro (Sanders Theatre), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cantata Singers (Jordan Hall, NEC), and Rutter’s Requiem with the Andover Choral Society. To learn more please visit

Vera Savage, Mezzo-Soprano

Vera Savage recently performed the role of Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at Opera in the Heights to rave reviews. The Houston press said of her portrayal of Sesto, "...this was Savage's show. What a subtle powerhouse she is...  her singing is a dream: supple and powerful with a deep velvet shimmer.Whatever she sings, we believe."  And from, " Savage sings and acts brilliantly.  She has a handsomely glowing voice that soars on her arias and also embodies the great emotion of Sesto's torment with moving restraint."

Her recent performances in and around the Boston area include Judith in Bluebeard's Castle, Verdi's Requiem with the MIT concert chorus, and a complete performance of Dominick Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.  With the Opera Institute in Boston, Vera was seen as Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata, Almera in Nico Muhly's Dark Sisters, the Old Prioress in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and Madeline Mitchell in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. The Boston Music Intelligencer described her portrayal of Mitchell as playing “a convincing diva… able to sing powerfully both operatically and as a Broadway baby”, and from the Bostonist, “Vera Savage was… stunning – a radiant and solid sound that brazenly approached even the most challenging moments of Heggie’s score”.

Matthew Anderson, Tenor

Matthew Anderson has been praised for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to oratorio, opera, and musical theater. 

An accomplished interpreter of the music of Bach, Mr. Anderson sings regularly as a soloist in Boston’s renowned Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series.  He appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival as a soloist in the Saint Matthew Passion and spent several summers at the Carmel Bach Festival, where he was featured as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow and aria soloist in the Saint John Passion.  He has received particular acclaim for his portrayals of the Evangelists in Bach’s Passions, which he has performed throughout the United States.  Mr. Anderson is a two-time prizewinner in the American Bach Society Competition and winner of the second prize in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, in which he also won the Westenberg Award for 18th Century Stylistic Interpretation.

Recent performances from Mr. Anderson’s varied repertoire include Handel’s Acis and Galatea (Damon) with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach’s Coffee Cantata with Boston Baroque; Mozart’s Requiem with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall; Stravinsky’s Renard at Tanglewood and the Mostly Mozart Festival with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall; John Harbison’s Winter’s Tale with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Haydn’s Creation and Bach's Saint John Passion and Christmas Oratorio (Evangelist) with Emmanuel Music; Britten’s Serenade with Discovery Ensemble; Bach’s Saint John and Saint Matthew Passions (Evangelist) at Princeton University, Boston University, and the University of Chicago; A Little Night Music (Mr. Erlanson) with Emmanuel Music; and Britten’s Les Illuminations with The Orchestra of Indian Hill. 

He has sung with conductors Masaaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, Paul Goodwin, Harry Christophers, Martin Pearlman, John Harbison, Craig Smith, Julian Wachner, and Laurence Cummings and appeared as soloist with ensembles such as the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Cantata Singers, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Back Bay Chorale, the New Bedford Symphony, and the Handel Choir of Baltimore.  Also recognized as a gifted performer of the American songbook, Mr. Anderson won high praise for his performances with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in Carousel (as Mr Snow), A Richard Rodgers Celebration, and An Evening of Cole Porter.

Mr. Anderson spent two seasons as a vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and was a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music.  He also trained in the James Collier Apprentice Artist Program at Des Moines Metro Opera, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and the Cincinnati Opera Resident Ensemble. Mr. Anderson is a Kansas native and resides in Boston, where he studied Classics at Harvard and voice at the New England Conservatory.

Sean Galligan, Baritone

Sean Galligan, baritone, is a native of West Des Moines, Iowa. He holds a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Drake University and is currently studying at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee for his Masters of Music in Opera Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Rebecca Folsom. He has competed in both regional and state NATS competitions in the Midwest from 2009-2015 and has been a finalist all 6 years. Galligan most recently finished his second summer as a member of Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist program, covering the role of Mr. Redburn in their new production of Britten’s Billy Budd. Previous opera performance credits include: Herr Fluth (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor) with Boston Conservatory Opera, Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) with Drake University, Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte) with the International Lyric Academy, and the Mikado (The Mikado) with Drake University. Sean has also been a soloist for several large scale concert performances including: the Mozart Requiem (2015), John Rutter’s Mass of the Children (2015), Vaughan Williams’ Hodie (2014), and the Brahms Requiem (2014). Upcoming engagements include: Joeseph DeRocher in the Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.


Kim André Arnesen, The Wound in the Water

Susan Consoli, Soprano

Soprano SUSAN CONSOLI has led an active and versatile career throughout the United States and abroad with repertoire ranging from Bach to Harbison to Gershwin. She has worked under such notable conductors as Grant Llewellyn, Paul Goodwin, Harry Christophers, Bruno Weil, Laurence Cummings, Odaline (Chachi) de la Martinez, Craig Smith, John Finney, James David Christie, and Ryan Turner. Additional collaborations include director/choreographer Chen Shi-Zheng and Tero Saarinen as well as composers Peter Child, David Patterson, and John Harbison, with whom she premiered (Boston) his works A Clear Midnight and Vocalism. Festivals include Festival Classique au vert, Boston Early Music Festival, Movimentos Internationales TanzFestival, Laokoon Festival, Ribeauvillé Festival de Musique Ancienne, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Appearances with Boston Camerata and Tero Saarinen Dance Company include Borrowed Light in Paris (Théâtre National de Chaillot), Berlin, Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Oulu, and Tampere; An American Vocalist and Saw ye my hero in Paris; and Travellin’ Home in Ribeauvillé. This is Ms. Consoli’s 17th season as a soloist with Emmanuel Music. Highlights include Beethoven Ah perfido!, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, Handel Apollo e Dafne, Bach Mass in B minor, Handel Alexander's Feast, and over thirty Bach cantatas. Ms. Consoli was the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow for the 2010-2011 season. In fall 2015, she made her solo debut at Carnegie Hall singing Handel Messiah with Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey. Ms. Consoli’s recordings include Handel and Haydn Society All is Bright for Avie Records and David Patterson Loon’s Tail Flashing for Albany Records. She is a soloist with Voices of Hope, a non-profit organization supporting cancer research. 

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Commonwealth Chorale
P.O. Box 600122
Newtonville, MA 02460

Telephone: 617-527-SING (7464)

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