About North Carolina Summer Opera

The North Carolina Summer Opera is the newest opera non-profit organization incorporated in 2018 in North Carolina, located in Cary, NC. 


Our mission is to provide a nurturing learning environment for performers and to educate, inspire and involve the audience by making opera accessible and portable.

2019 Personnel

Shelley Livingston

Shelley Livingston has long pursued a wide-ranging and successful musical career as conductor, violinist, chamber music coach, and master teacher.  Now in her twentieth year as Principal Second Violin of the Durham Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Livingston has also been appointed its Assistant Conductor.  In addition, she is employed by the Duke University String School (DUSS), as Artistic Manager of Orchestras, where she also conducts the DUSS Youth Symphony, teaches violin, and coaches chamber music in collaboration with the members of the Ciompi Quartet.

Ms. Livingston attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of North Texas, where she received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Performance.  She has studied conducting with Prof. Tonu Kalam at UNC-Chapel Hill with the assistance of a grant from Duke University, and she has served as Assistant Conductor of the UNC Symphony Orchestra.


Rachel Snapp, soprano, is a multi-faceted artist with international experience ranging from performance and production design to education and administration. She is currently an Instructor of Voice at Randall University in Moore, Oklahoma and is the stage director for the spring 2019 production of "Godspell" at McFarlin UMC. During her time at the University of Oklahoma, where she achieved a Master of Music in Opera Performance, Rachel performed the roles of Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and Norina (Don Pasquale). Rachel also directed for OU’s Undergraduate Opera Scenes, including scenes from Cosi fan tutte. Originally from Georgia, Rachel worked as the Assistant to the Artistic Director for Peach State Opera (2015-2016) on their touring production of Don Giovanni. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Voice and Theatre from Mercer University, where she had the opportunity to perform roles such as Morgana (Alcina) and Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief) and developed her production skills as the lighting designer for Mercer Opera's production of Alcina


Rachel has studied languages, music, and acting in Verona, Italy (2017), Salzburg, Austria (2014), and Perigueux, France (2013). Her international production credits include Der Schauspieldirektor (Madame Herz), L'elisir d'amore (Adina), and La Périchole (Berginella). She is excited to work with the North Carolina Summer Opera to bring Don Giovanni to life!

Rachel Snapp
Stage Director
Barbara Ann Peters
Vocal/Diction Coach

Barbara Ann Peters, Soprano and Vocal Coach, enjoys a varied career as performer, vocal pedagogue, arts administrator, collaborative pianist and mentor to many professional singers.  Currently on faculty at UNC School of the Arts and at High Point University, Peters has served on local faculties of UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Chapel Hill, Elon University, Greensboro College and has presented as Clinician for Guilford College and Meredith College, among many others along the eastern seaboard.  No stranger to the choral repertoire, Peters served on the Berkshire Choral International faculty for 25 years.  The soprano has sung recitals, symphonic and oratorio concerts, opera, operetta, and music theater extensively throughout her career in the US and abroad.  Four years in Rome, Italy coaching and performing the Italian operatic repertoire under the guidance of Walter Cataldi-Tassoni, and a year in Paris, France, coaching and performing les mélodies Françaises with Pierre Bernac have provided a solid grasp of these repertoires and their languages.  A Diction maven, Peters has taught French, German, Italian, English at the university level for decades.  Collaboratively, Peters enthusiastically accompanies and coaches singers and instrumentalists of all ages and skills.  She is delighted to be a part of NC Summer Opera.

PG HAZARD is currently on staff at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a graduate of UNCSA (MM, 2018) and the Florida State University (BA, 2013). Most recently, Ms. Hazard musically prepared Fletcher vocal fellows and performed in Massenet’s Werther and Handel’s Rodelinda with UNCSA. She was assistant conductor for Piedmont Opera’s 2018 production of La Bohème with Maestro James Allbritten. She has appeared in masterclasses with Marilyn Horne, Speranza Scappucci, William Bolcom, Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, Warren Jones, Wu Han, Jeanne-Michelle Charbonnet, Harolyn Blackwell, and Renée Fleming. Ms. Hazard has attended the summer opera festivals Music Academy International, Music Academy of the West, Si Parla Si Canta, and Miami Music Festival. While at Music Academy of the West she was the recipient of the 2017 Shirley and Seymour Lehrer Full Scholarship. Ms. Hazard was the répétiteur for the Charleston Opera's production of La Bohème and for Gianni Schicchi and The Crucible at the Miami Music Festival. She has also attended SongFest at the Colburn School and Si Parla, Si Canta. PG recieved her BA degree at FSU where she collaborated with The University Singers accompanying concerts in the U.S. and Europe and was given the opportunity to music direct the Student Opera Society's productions of A Little Night Music as well as their educational tour of The Magic Flute

PG Hazard
Kent Lyman

KENT LYMAN is a Steinway Artist, and has distinguished himself as a soloist and chamber musician throughout much of the United States, in South Korea, China, Italy, and Brazil.  He has performed and/or lectured in many venues, including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the National Conference of the Sonneck Society for American Music in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, among many others.  For the last several summers, he has worked as the principal rehearsal pianist for the International Young Artists Project, based in Monte San Savino, Italy.  This program provides opportunities for young singers to study and perform Italian opera and art song in Italy, under the tutelage of native speakers.  He has made a number of trips to South Korea where he has taught master classes and performed as a soloist at universities and schools throughout the country, including Seoul National University, Sejong University, and many others.  In May of 2018, he was invited to give a keynote lecture on using technology in piano teaching at the National Conference of the Korean Piano Pedagogy Association.  He delivered the lecture in Korean, which he speaks fluently.  During a concert tour of Asia in the fall of 2007, he added China to his list of international venues, with concerts and master classes at conservatories of music in Shenyang and Guangzhou.  He has toured Brazil, where he performed at the University of Campinas, and served as the opening concert artist and as a judge for the 22nd annual Paulo Giovanini National Piano Competition in Araçatuba, Brazil.

He has appeared with a number of orchestras, including the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Raleigh Civic Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle (Raleigh, NC), the Broward Symphony Orchestra (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and the Florence Symphony Orchestra (South Carolina).  As one of twelve nationally selected finalists, he has performed at the Chicago Symphony’s Ravinia Festival in master classes with Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher, and Misha Dichter.  He has toured the East coast with the Piedmont Trio in performances of a program commemorating the centenary of the death of Clara Schumann.  Mr. Lyman has recorded for the Centaur label, and can be heard on a CD performing chamber works of the late American composer Virgil Thomson.  There are also a number of professionally produced videos that are available to view on Youtube, including one of the only known recordings of Korean piano music by Bang-ja Hurh, her suite entitled Pieces of Arirang.

Kent Lyman is currently Professor of Music and Coordinator of Piano Studies at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.  A native of Utah, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he studied with James Tocco.

Glenn Mehrbach (Pianist) is currently Music Director at the Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist and Staff Associate in the music, dance and theatre departments at Duke University. He worked with Carolina Ballet from 1997-2003, arranging and orchestrating the ballets “Carmen,” “Great Scott” and “Cabaret.” From 1986-2001 Glenn was pianist and musical director for cabaret chanteuse Andrea Marcovicci, and produced and arranged her first 11 CDs. As a composer, he’s released the songbook “Fragile Heart,” and written music & lyrics for the musicals “Yearbook” (Dramatic Publishing) and “Bum’s Rush,” as well as incidental music for numerous theaters in Los Angeles and the Triangle area of North Carolina. Glenn is also pianist for Transactors and Fatmouth improv companies.

Glenn Mehrbach
Dr.  James Esterline

Pianist and composer Dr. James Esterline makes frequent appearances as a solo recitalist in the Piedmont Triad and Research Triangle. As a soloist with the Philharmonia of Greensboro, he gave the premiere of the Five Concert Waltzes with piano and orchestra by North Carolina composer Jack Jarrett in 2016. He collaborates with local musicians in performing chamber music and accompanies singers in art song and operatic repertory.


Dr. Esterline currently serves as music director at Browns Summit United Methodist Church in Guilford County, as well as the corresponding secretary for the Philharmonia of Greensboro.  A finalist in the 1997 Peter Perret Youth Talent Search and an alumnus of the Eastern Music Festival, Dr. Esterline obtained his bachelor's degree in music, mathematics, and physics at Guilford College in Greensboro (while studying piano under George Kiorpes at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) before proceeding to complete doctoral study in nuclear physics at Duke University.


Dr. Esterline has a strong interest in precollegiate education in music, to which end he teaches piano privately as well as at Harmony Music School, a free lesson program for underprivileged youth in southwestern Greensboro.

© 2018 - 2019 by North Carolina Summer Opera

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