The Students

As a partnership with the Royal College of Music, students from both the Jacobs School and the RCM are participating in this blog.


Olivia Savage, Performance Diploma student in Voice

Coloratura soprano Olivia Savage has been hailed as “fearless”, “graceful”, and “flexible” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Her role credits include Elle in La Voix humaine, Thisbe in Pyramus and Thisbe, Aminta in Il rè pastore, Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Muffin in the west coast premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding at the Music Academy of the West. She has collaborated with esteemed individuals including George Manahan, Carol Vaness, Marilyn Horne, Lotfi Mansouri, Warren Jones, and J.J. Penna. Ms. Savage was a chorus member for the 2010‐11 season at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, performing in Otello, Roméo et Juliette, and Tosca. She was a semi‐finalist in the 2010 Houston Grand Opera Studio Auditions and Eleanor McCullom Competition, as well as a recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Four Cities District in both the 2010 and 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She recently performed as a soloist at the 2011 Princeton Festival, and she will return to Music Academy of the West this summer. Ms. Savage is currently a student at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in pursuit of a Performer’s Diploma in Voice studying with Dr. Robert Harrison. Previously, she received her B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and her M.M. from Westminster Choir College.

Jessica Beebe, Master’s student in Early Music

Jessica Beebe, soprano, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pursuing her Master’s degree in Early Music Voice, studying with Paul Elliott and Costanza Cuccaro. Beebe started out as a chorister of the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City, Utah. There she received extensive training in chant, choral music and chamber music. With the choir school, she traveled to Italy, France, Germany and Belgium. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education from the University of Delaware in 2009. While there, she studied with Paul Head, Jay White and Melanie DeMent. In 2007, she competed in an international choral competition in Tallin, Estonia, winning overall in the Grand Prix. Ms. Beebe has appeared as a soloist in the Requiems of Mozart, Fauré, Rutter and Duruflé, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s St. John Passion, Magnificat and Mass in B minor, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, Handel’s Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Judas Maccabaeus, as well as many other Baroque and Classical works. In July 2010, she was a guest performer at the National AGO Conference in Washington, D.C. In February 2011, Ms. Beebe performed with the IU Baroque Orchestra as Dido, Queen of Carthage, in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In her performance of Dido and Aeneas, the Bloomington Herald Times said “Jessica Beebe poured her rich and expressive soprano all over the music Purcell gave….Beebe sang it radiantly and with heartrending passion”. (February, 2011). In June 2011, Ms. Beebe was a guest soloist in the Annual Philadelphia Bach Festival with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, under Matthew Glandorf. In July 2011, Beebe was the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, in the IU Summer Festival Choir under the direction of William Jon Gray. In September 2011, Beebe had her IU Opera Theatre premiere as Despina in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, directed by Arthur Fagen. She had the pleasure to perform Vivaldi’s In furore Iustissimae Irae with the IU Baroque Orchestra, under Stanley Ritchie. Most recently, Beebe was a guest soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as the soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah. Upcoming events include playing the role of Alceste in a project of Lully’s operas with the Early Music Institute. In Summer 2012, Beebe looks forward to being a guest soloist in the Philadelphia Bach festival. In addition to solo work, Ms. Beebe enjoys performing in multiple choral and chamber ensembles. She is a member of Concentus, Pro Arte ensemble under William Jon Gray; The Crossing, under Donald Nally and The Six, under Matthew Glandorf.

Michael Porter, Master’s student Voice

James Michael Porter, a native of Little Rock, AR, is a student of Scharmal Schrock at the Jacobs School of Music. Porter received his BM in Vocal Performance from the Jacobs School of Music, and is currently pursuing his Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Porter has played the roles of Laurie in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Benvolio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Mike in William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge while studying at IU. Porter has also been a featured soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion, Saint-Saën’s Christmas Oratorio, Beethoven’s C Major Mass, and Bach’s Magnificat. Porter was a young artist at the Seagle Music Colony where he performed Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, Benvolio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Enoch Snow in Carousel, and Jack in the children’s opera Jack and the Beanstalk. Michael will be a Gerdine Young Artist during the 2012 season at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where he will be covering Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte and performing the role of Mole in Unsuk Chin’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.


Abigail Mitchell

American soprano Abigail Mitchell recently came to international attention as the First Prize winner of the 2011 International Vokal Genial Competition sponsored by the Munich Konzertgesellschaft and the Munich Radio Orchestra. She is currently in her final year of training at the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music, where she is supported in full by the Georgina Joshi Foundation. She appeared last season with the IOS as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld. Further recent performances include Marzelline in Fidelio with Oxford Philomusica and Norina in Don Pasquale with Westminster Opera. She came to London via Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she earned a Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma in Voice. While at the Jacobs School, she performed Anna Reich in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Nuria in Ainadamar, and Javotte in Manon. Immediately following her studies at the Jacobs School she made her professional debut as Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Indianapolis Opera. A former student of Carol Vaness and Patricia Wise, she currently studies with Eiddwen Harrhy.

Simon Chalford Gilkes

Simon Chalford Gilkes is currently undertaking a Masters in Vocal Performance as a Richard Carne Scholar at the Royal College of Music, London. Previously Simon has completed his Bachelor of Music, studying with Maree Ryan, in 2007 and then an Advanced Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Opera School in 2010. Whilst studying, Simon has also had the opportunity to work with world renowned singers and coaches, such as Simon Kenway, Nicole Dorigo, Janice Chapman, Philip Langridge, Janis Kelly, Simon O’Neill, Yvonne Minton, John Pringle and Tony Legge. Recently, Simon was the Winner of the Joan Carden Award and the George and Margaret Henderson Travelling Scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Simon has featured as tenor soloist on numerous occasions with the Sydney Symphony Fellowship, Sydneian Bach Choir, Sydney University Graduate Choir, the Combined Churches Choir, Sydney Conservatorium of Music Choir and Chamber Choir, Willoughby Symphony Choir, Sydney Conservatorium Early Music Ensemble, Christ Church St Laurence, Bel A Cappella, Sutherland Choral Society, Coro Innominata, the Tavernor Consort, the Allegri Singers, the Mitchell Conservatorium Orchestra, Bathurst, and the Orange Regional Conservatorium Choir and Orchestra performing a variety of works such as Handel’s Messiah and Saul, Haydn’s Creation and Nelson Mass, Bach’s St John Passion, B Minor Mass, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio and Monteverdi Vespers, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass as well as Beethoven’s Mass in C and Brett Dean’s Winter Songs. In Opera, Simon has performed roles in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas), Ibert’s Angelique (L’Anglais), Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Frosch and Blind), Hindemith’s Hin und Zuruck (Husband), Handel’s Rodelinda (Grimoaldo), Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias (Le Mari) and Mr Upfold in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. Recently Simon performed the role of Bajazet in Handels Tamerlano, as Quint in The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten and as Fenton in the Merry Wives of Windsor and the Schoolmaster in the Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.