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Double the beauty, double the passion

The Opera Belles is an ensemble of vocal-duo-plus-piano, performing the most beautiful opera hits (“only the good parts!”) in a unique way. The ensemble consists of:Seattle Opera Belles at Kirkland Fair

  • Linda Rough, Mezzo-soprano
  • Vicky Oxley, Soprano
  • Hartwig Eichberg, Accompanist

Do you love opera? Then maybe you have already had the opportunity to enjoy the Opera Belles at a private event, a fundraiser, music festivals or a rotary function. If not, take a spin through our website and contact us about the opportunity to entertain you and your organization.

Many of our vocal arrangements – with more to come – are completely original, and there is good reason for that. Those of you who know opera are aware that not every voice type is suitable for every role.

An example: an appropriately heavy-voiced singer cast as Brunnhilde, who must create a wall of sound to be heard above the

orchestra in Wagner’s big-brassed Ring Cycle grand operas, would seem overbearing in the lyric roles of Cherubino or Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The gorgeous aria “Vissi D’arte” from the Puccini opera Tosca, which also requires a big dramatic sound, would not usually be sung by the same vocalist cast to play the lyric-voiced Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus.

And, while a bel canto soprano voice is considered too light for much of the gorgeous dramatic repertoire, the unfortunate mezzo soprano is excluded entirely from many of the loveliest arias ever written, because her range doesn’t fit (Is this fair?!).

For so much of opera’s most beautiful numbers, the market is simply cornered by the voice-type for which the role is written.

These and other problems had to be surmounted in order to sing “only the good parts.”Seattle Opera Belles sing opera hits

With the help of a couple of small key changes, some precise excision, and the creation of original harmonies, we founded our duo on the joy of singing the best female operatic arias, in duet form. After over a year of diligent study together, working on perfecting our exquisite blend, synchronizing our deliveries, and fine-tuning our repertoire, there are times during our concert where you will swear this is only one voice singing. Who is who?

Who we are

Vicky Oxley, lyric soprano, studied voice and concertized in the French Art Song genre under the tutelage of the prestigious voice teacher, Susan McBerry, while living in Portland. When she relocated, Vicky continued her singing as soprano for four years with the Bellevue Chamber Chorus. Vicky served on the Seattle Opera Board for ten years; her mother was an accomplished opera singer. Having grown up in a family of opera aficionados, when she resumed vocal studies recently, it was in opera. Her voice has grown under Marianne Weltmann’s teaching and with Opera Belles. Vicky also enjoys singing lighter fare with the “Rotary Rogues” where she is a soloist.

Linda Rough, mezzo-soprano, sang with Seattle Opera in chorus roles from peasant woman to royalty during her 15 years on Seattle Opera’s mainstage. Prior, while studying music at Willamette University, she was cast in lead musical roles, including playing “Mame” in MAME, and began formal opera studies after graduating. Her first opera teacher, Edmond Hurshell, an internationally-famous baritone, starred her as the lead in “Carmen” at his Studio. Linda also enjoys “standards,” having performed regularly at Canlis and today with the “Rotary Rogues” of Seattle Rotary. A group she formed called “Popera” opened the King FM Out-to-Lunch series and was selected as “Outstanding” by the King County Arts Commission for their classical roster. She continues vocal studies with Marianne Weltmann, Seattle’s icon voice teacher.

Hartwig Eichberg, pianist and conductor, grew up in Hamburg, Germany, where he was a prizewinner in the Steinway Piano Competition. He earned his PhD in Musicology with a dissertation on the piano works of Johann Sebastian Bach. He subsequently worked as a conductor and coach at several German opera houses as well as in Italy, France, Hawaii, and Brazil. He moved to Seattle, WA in 1992 where he performs as a freelance musician, accompanying singers and instrumentalists in concert, teaches piano and coaches singers and instrumentalists in his Seattle studio. He has served as music director at several churches in Seattle, and is currently organist/pianist at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church. He is the director of the Jubilee Singers, a chorus devoted to the tradition of a capella singing of the African-American Spirituals. For 4 years he was Music Director of Riverside Little Opera in Riverside, CA. In the Seattle area he has participated in numerous opera projects.

 

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