Ryan Wolfe is a native of Arlington Heights having graduated from Our Lady of the Wayside (’10) and Saint Viator High School (’14). He is currently studying at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he will graduate with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance in May 2020. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from DePaul University in June 2018. Ryan has been seen in a variety of operatic roles at DePaul University, The Chautauqua Institution, and CCM. In addition to the operatic stage, Mr. Wolfe has been seen performing with the CCM Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the DePaul University Symphony Orchestra. In competition, Ryan has received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council (2017), Top Prize in the DePaul University Sid Kleinman Competition (2018), and was a Grand Finalist in the Classical Singer National Voice Competition (2019). In February of 2020, Mr. Wolfe will make his professional debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Maurice Ravel’s opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges conducted by Louis Langrée.
In addition to singing, Ryan enjoys being a super fan of the Cubs and Bears, playing golf, and performing at Hey Nonny!
Acclaimed by the Chicago Daily Herald, “brilliant Japanese pianist” Saori Chiba is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for her superb keyboard artistry. Her five current albums are regularly featured on nationally prominent radio stations, WFMT, WFIU, KING, and KUAT, with two recordings capturing the Daily Heraldʼs coveted Top Ten Classical CDs of The Year Award, and the Grammy Award Entry List for Best Chamber Music Performance. Ms. Chibaʼs masterclass associations include such names as Joyce DiDonato, Dalton Baldwin, Martin Katz, David Schrader, Denyce Graves, and Samuel Ramey, and she recently collaborated with globally recognized artists, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg at the Ravinia Festival. She has also appeared on renowned radio broadcasts including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and the PianoForte Salon Series. Highly sought after as a répétiteur and coach, Ms. Chiba frequently assists with Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Santa Barbara, and Italian summer festivals, Orvieto Musica, and Musica nelle Marche.
Ryan will perform a very unique and beautiful set of songs entitled Letters to Santa. They are classically set by a composer named Logan Skelton and they are texts of either children writing to Santa, messages from children, or aphorisms on childhood. Some are hysterical and some are truly beautiful; all centered around the innocence and importance of children! In addition, he’ll be singing some Cole Porter tunes and then some Christmas classics. It will be an eclectic, fun, and entertaining set!