Founder, Artistic Director, Soprano
Cynthia Cole, a full lyric soprano, is the founder and artistic director of the 7 Sopranos®.
Cynthia has performed in opera, musical theater, recitals and oratorio in the Virginia/DC area as well as Fairbanks, Alaska; North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia and Italy. In 2005 – 2007, she was a finalist in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Voice Achievement / Adult Division Award. After graduating with a music degree from Mars Hill College, NC., she attended Sessionie senese per la musica e l' Arte, Siene, Italia, the University of Washington, WN, and Kent State University, Ohio for graduate study. Cynthia has also attended and performed with the Fairbanks Fine Arts Festival; Crittenden Opera Workshop Company; Opera International, DC.; and George Washington University Opera Theater, DC.
In 2007, Cynthia created the 7 Sopranos® ensemble to perform classical programs which weave arias and songs together into a kaleidoscope of sight and sound. We draw inspiration from comedy and drama, secular and religious music. The result is a powerful performance and uniquely engaging experience. Our passion is for the audience to enjoy and have as much fun listening as we have performing.
Adrienne D. Neal
Soprano, Adrienne D. Neal, is among the new genre of artists from the Washington, DC area. She has delighted audiences with her appearances with the Aria Club of Greater Washington from the 2002 to present seasons including her most recent role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. In the 2005 season, Ms. Neal debuted with Bel Cantanti as the Sandman in Hänsel and Gretel. She has also appeared as a guest artist with the Maryland Opera Society in their Annual Christmas Gala for the 2001 and 2002 seasons and has been presented in recital at the Charles Sumner School Museum. Through her affiliations with the Crittenden Opera Studio, she performed scenes from Don Giovanni (Zerlina), The Dialogues of the Carmelites (Sister Constance), La Rondine (Lisette), and The Old Maid and the Thief (Leticia). She is a former member of The Master Chorale of Washington (formerly The Paul Hill Chorale); she was a soloist at Luther Place Lutheran Church, Washington, DC and is currently on the musical staff of Asbury United Methodist Church of Washington, DC.
Ms. Neal's vocal abilities have been recognized by a number of organizations. In 2005 she was a finalist in the Paul Robeson Vocal Competition sponsored by the Urban Philharmonic. In 1997 she won second place in the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition sponsored by the Washington Chapter of the Century Club, in 2003 she was awarded the third place in the Gretchen M. Hood Vocal Competition, and in 2004 she was a semi-finalist in the Maryland Opera Society's Marie Crump Vocal Competition.
A graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, Ms. Neal has studied with Jane White, Dr. Kay Song, and Nelda Ormond. She is currently studying under the auspices of Shirley Taylor-Moore.
Nicole Lamm, soprano, received her Masters of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Catholic University of America and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at Sweet Briar College. Over the years she has performed with companies and summer festivals such as Opera Roanoke, Maryland Opera Society, New York Opera Society, Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Summer Opera Theatre, La Fabbrica and more. Nicole has performed operas and recitals throughout US as well as internationally including France, Italy, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Her operatic experience consists of full roles such as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Mimì (La Bohème) Laurie (The Tender Land), Monica (The Medium), and Rosasharn (The Grapes of Wrath Suite) among others. As an active singer in the DC metropolitan area, Nicole enjoys singing concerts and recitals both as a soloist and as a member of the 7 Sopranos®. In the fall of 2013, Nicole will have her singing debut with the 7 Sopranos® at Carnegie Hall in New York as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) 2012-2013 Artists Series.
Nicole also has extensive teaching experience and is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She teaches both private voice lessons as well as group musical theatre classes including those at the Levine School of Music Summer Camp. Her private vocal studio consists of some very impressive singers of all ages and levels of experience. Nicole’s students have won principal roles in both community and school productions. Her students have also been accepted into competitive summer programs including the Crittenden Opera Workshop as well as college music programs at universities including Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and James Madison University (JMU). Nicole thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing her knowledge of singing and performance practices with her students.
In addition to her musical career, Nicole also teaches group fitness. This keeps her in shape and her energy up to handle those difficult opera roles. Her fitness background also assists her in teaching voice lessons. Understanding the mechanics of the body allows her to utilize the body with more finesse when singing or instructing voice students. Nicole is able to incorporate her working knowledge of physical fitness into vocal exercises to increase breath support and well balanced posture. These exercises help stimulate muscles that aid in the production of sound and the freedom of movement on stage.
To learn more about Nicole Lamm or to book an event/schedule a voice lesson, visit www.nicolelamm.com.
Virginia native, Bharati Soman, recently returned to the East Coast after six years in Northern California. Described as having a "lovely, ornamented soprano" and praised for her "silken renderings of Mozart's legato arias," she performed leading roles with companies throughout Northern California. Repertoire includes Mimì (La Bohème), and the title roles in Madame Butterfly and Semele with Pocket Opera, Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow) with Livermore Valley Opera, Diana in (Emperor Norton) with California Chamber Opera, the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro) with Cinnabar Theater, and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Sacramento Opera. Other repertoire includes Léïla (Les pêcheurs de perles), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), and Yum-Yum (The Mikado).
Also active as a concert soloist, Bharati has performed works with the UC Davis Symphony, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Camellia Symphony Orchestra, and given recitals for Oakland Lyric Opera. In addition to performing, Bharati was on the voice faculty at UC Davis for three years, and currently maintains a private studio in Falls Church, VA. She holds a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University, and a Master of Music and Performer Diploma from Indiana University. You can learn more about Bharati at www.bharatisoman.com.
Eriko Tokura Murray
Japan-born Eriko started her singing career at the age of 10, performing with Kurashiki City Children Choir as a soloist.
At age 15 she won first prize for singing at the Sanyo Music Competition, Japan. While living in Sri Lanka, she had voice training and singing. Eriko was the soloist in the world premiere of a work, Beyond The Horizon for Voice and Orchestra by late Dr. Premasiri Khemadasa, a Sri Lankan composer. This was sung at Temple Tree (the presidential mansion) in Colombo (2007). Eriko also sang solo in another world premier work, Paths in The Forest for Eight Solo Strings and Voice by Stephen Allen (2008). Eriko sang the ending theme song of an award winning Sri Lankan movie Akasa Kusum (2008).
She has variety of repertoires including Sri Lankan and Japanese songs. Eriko studied with Ms. Menaka Sahabandu (Sri Lanka), Noriko Kimura (Weimar, Germany) and Barbara Segal (England). She had her debut in Colombo with the Sri Lanka Symphony Orchestra (2004) and sang with the Chamber Music Society of Colombo(2007).
Eriko has performed regularly in Colombo,Tokyo, Osaka and Okayama.
Laura E. Bass
The Washington Post recently heralded the voice of emerging artist Laura E. Bass as “fresh and agile” while “powerfully” portraying Micaela in Carmen; and having “Lit up the Stage” as a “passionate” Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in principal roles with notable Washington, D.C. area opera companies – Bel Cantanti Opera, HUB Opera Ensemble, and Repertory Opera Theater of Washington.
Laura holds her Master of Music degree in Voice from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with famed opera veterans Timothy Noble, Carol Vaness, and Sylvia McNair. Laura completed her undergraduate work at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where she was invited back to share the stage with fellow Wheaton Alumni: two time Grammy Award Winner – Sylvia McNair, and resident mezzo-soprano of the Metropolitan Opera – Wendy White, as part of the 2010 Wheaton College Conservatory Artist Series.
Laura’s singing career has taken her all over the world, including cities such as Rome, Verona, Paris, London, Vienna, Moscow, Prague, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Her operatic performance repertoire includes: Pamina, First Lady, and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte; Yum-Yum in The Mikado; Suor Genovieffa and Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica; Princess Ninetta in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges; Helen in Ned Rorem's We are Three Sisters, Who are not Sisters; and Lia in Debussy’s L‘Enfant Prodigue. Laura has also been featured as the Soprano Soloist with several orchestras in works such as: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Brahms Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G Major, and the Poulenc Gloria. Laura is currently studying drama with the Crittenten Opera Studio. Recent area engagements include: Cabaret performances with Capitol Opera Richmond, and a Washington, D.C. salon concert series entitled, “Chopin at the Opera.”
West Virginia native Jessica Adkins is an emerging young artist in the Washington, D. C. Metropolitan area. As a recent graduate of Shepherd University, Jessica has performed in several opera and musical theater productions on Shepherd's Frank Center stage. Her favorite roles include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and Le Rossingnol in L'Enfant et les SortilÃ¨ges. In concert, Jessica was featured with the Shepherd University Masterworks Chorale as the soprano soloist for Haydn's Mass in D Minor and Handel's Coronation Anthems.
Jessica's most recent appearances include performances as Papagena in Mozart's Die ZauberflÃ¶te at the American Singers' Opera Project in Winston-Salem, NC, and as Ilia in Mozart's Idomeneo at the Opera Studio Summer Program at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
In the summer of 2013, Jessica was a participant in the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival at Manhattan School of Music where she performed the role of Fortuna in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, and appeared as Yum-Yum from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado and Susan from Sondheim's Company in the opera scenes production. Also in 2013, Jessica participated in the Shepherd University Music Department's concert tour of France, singing as a soloist and ensemble member with the Chamber Singers in several cities and venues including the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
This fall, Jessica will begin her first concert season as a member of the 7 Sopranos®. In December 2014, Jessica will perform with Hagerstown Choral Arts as the soprano soloist for Vivaldi's Gloria.
Award winning pianist Ruth Locker made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 13. The Pittsburgh Concert Society, Carnegine Awards, Passamaneck Award, Garrigues Award, and Obenshain Award are but few of the honors she has Received. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Ruth began a career of diverse perfomances including solo recitals, concertos, and chamber music. As a collaborative pianist, Ruth continues working frequently with both vocalists and instrumentalists.
Ms. Locker's multifaceted career remains quite active. Most recently, she has concertized in Boston, Washington State, and Oregon. She has been fortunate to have worked regularly in the voice studios of Todd Duncan and George Gibson, and as a frequent performer with The Potomac Valley Opera Company.
As a much sought after free-lance pianist and teacher, Ruth is honored to work with all of the people who want to collaborate with her.
Ms. Locker has recorded on the Amerimusic, Incorporated recording label.
Sophia Kim Cook
Sophia Kim Cook is thrilled to have joined 7 Sopranos®. Born in Montréal, Québec, Sophia began studying piano at age 6 at École de musique Vincent d'Indy and quickly defined her talent, winning the Canadian Music Competition just one year later. As her ability continued to grow, she decided to pursue piano studies first at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, and finishing at McGill University. Ms. Kim Cook excelled in competition including, as a soloist, winning the McGill Symphony Orchestra Competition and as an accompanist, the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition.
Sophia has since relocated to the United States with her husband. Ms. Kim Cook is a sought out pianist having played for the Mid-Atlantic Flute Competition, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, and many more. She had accompanied soloists and ensembles, including the Washington Concert Opera, National Gallery of Arts Orchestra, members of San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and the United States Army Band. She has played in such venues as the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Arts, and the Lyceum.