GALLIPOLIS — The Ariel Opera House lives up to its name at the season opener on Sept. 14 when “Opera Gala-polis” kicks off the season with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Katherine Rohrer under the direction of Maestro Steven Huang.
Maestro Huang has conducted orchestras and operas across the country and throughout the world. At the age of 21, he served as music director of the Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard University, where he received his undergraduate degree. While at Harvard, Huang also directed the Lowell House Opera (the oldest continuously running opera company in New England), in a critically acclaimed production of Kurt Weill’s “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”
Huang has worked with musicians around the world, including California, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, Haiti, and Romania. He has held the position of music director of the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Central Illinois Youth Symphony, the Gilbert and Sullivan Players of Chicago, and the Bradley University Orchestra. In America, he has guest conducted professional ensembles such as the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Shore Symphony, and the Four Seasons Symphony. Abroad, he has led the National Philharmonic and “Organ Hall” Chamber Orchestra of the Republic of Moldova; the Pitesti Philharmonic of Romania; the Tiraspol Philharmonic; the New Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria; the Attergau Kultursommer Orchestra in Austria, where he conducted for their twentieth anniversary concert; the Jeunesses Musicales Festival Orchestra in Romania; and L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Sainte Trinité, Haiti, where he has volunteered since 2000.
Huang has studied conducting in Europe as well as the United States with such teachers as Dumitru Goia, Michael Jinbo, Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, and Rossen Milanov. He earned the Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan, where he was the recipient of the Marian W. and Ernest A. Jones Conducting Scholarship.
Rohrer has collaborated with many of the world’s leading directors and conductors including Michail Jurowski, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Daniel Oren, Steven Lord, David Agler, Dimitri Jurowski, Jakub Hrůša, Marco Armiliato, David McVicar, John Copley, David and Christopher Alden, Stephen Langridge, John Cox, Roy Rallo, Ian Judge and James Robinson. Recipient of Central City Opera’s John Moriarty Apprentice Encouragement Award, her other credits include first place in the Rose Palmer Mobile Opera Competition, finalist in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at Houston Grand Opera, and finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Rohrer was an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera from 2004-2006. She has a BM in music education from Stetson University as well as a MM in performance from New England Conservatory and a Ph.D from Ohio University. In autumn 2013, she joined the faculty at The Ohio State University as an assistant professor of voice.