Kristine Caswelch, soprano, grew up in a biracial family surrounded by black educators, activists, and trailblazers. Her favorite connection to Cleveland was learning that her grandparents traveled from Missouri to Cleveland in 1961 in order to get married, since it was still illegal for mixed-race couples to marry in Missouri. This fall, Kristine will begin graduate studies as a baroque soprano in Historical Performance at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston. Kristine plans to focus her studies on examining the past histories and present experiences of being a Passing Person of Color through historically informed performance.
Ashlee Foreman, soprano and AF’s MOSAIC Artist Fellow, has been hailed as “a real discovery… an important new singer. Her voice has a tremendous range and is deployed with theatrical assurance” (Seen & Heard International, UK). Her solo debut performance with Apollo’s Fire in 2020 was called “a tour-de-force” by ClevelandClassical.com. She is a Master’s candidate in vocal performance at the University of Akron, where she recently sang the lead in Menotti’s opera The Telephone. She received her Bachelor’s in music from Cleveland State University, where she studied voice with Amanda Powell.
While an undergrad, Ashlee served as AF’s first Artistic Outreach Intern, singing the role of Princess Pamina in AF’s in-school workshops and performances. She has performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Opera. In 2020 she joined AF’s professional chorus, Apollo’s Singers, with whom she has performed in Cleveland and New York City.
Reggie Mobley, countertenor and AF’s Visiting Artist for Outreach, is in demand as a soloist on both sides of the Atlantic. His European engagements include the Academy of Ancient Music, the English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir (John Elliot Gardiner), the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, BachAkademie Stuttgart, and Bachfest Leipzig. In North America, he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Calgary Philharmonic, and the Boston Early Music Festival, among others.
With roots in the Deep South and the struggles of the black community, Reggie is dedicated to helping the classical music industry overcome its inequality issues regarding race, gender, and sexuality. A strong devotion to social and political activism is part of Reggie’s everyday life, adding to his strength in reaching diverse communities. His outreach experience includes designing programs of music by 18th-century African composers who worked in Europe. A versatile artist, Reggie worked for two years as a singer/actor for Tokyo Disney in Japan. He has performed cabaret shows of gospel, jazz, and torch songs in jazz clubs. He serves as a programming consultant for the Handel & Haydn Society, where he directs the “Every Voice” program.
Jacob Perry Jr., tenor, based in the Washington Metro Area, receives praise for his “gorgeous and stylish” interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. He has been featured as a soloist with Apollo’s Fire, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Mountainside Baroque, Tempesta di Mare, The Thirteen, Washington Bach Consort, and The City Choir of Washington. Mr. Perry was selected as the tenor participant of the Virginia Best Adams Masterclass of the 2020 Carmel Bach Festival (postponed).
Deeply immersed in vocal chamber music, Mr. Perry enjoys playing with Les Canards Chantants, a soloist-ensemble based in Philadelphia, as well as engagements with ensembles such as The Thirteen, the Art of Early Keyboard, New Consort, and Cathedra. Additionally, he can be heard singing with larger choirs such as Yale Choral Artists, The Clarion Choir, Washington Bach Consort, and the Choir of Washington National Cathedral. He has explored vocal works by contemporary composers through engagements with Third Practice, hexaCollective, and Great Noise Ensemble. As Co-Artistic Director of Bridge, a genre-defying vocal ensemble based in Washington, he draws on his instincts for theatricality and story-telling, as the group explores the connections between early masterpieces and ground-breaking new works.
Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone and composer, has been praised as “charismatic” and “riveting” (New York Times). In addition to performing in two national tours with Apollo’s Fire – the Monteverdi Vespers in 2014 and Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in 2018 – he has appeared as soloist with period groups such as the Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik, Trinity Wall Street, New York Polyphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, and New York Baroque Incorporated. Festival appearances include the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), Carmel Bach Festival (as 2013 Adams Fellow), and the Oregon Bach Festival (as 2014 Vocal Fellow).
An avid performer of new music, Jonathan has premiered Ted Hearne’s The Source (2014), a seminal work on the subject of Chelsea Manning’s actions regarding the leak of classified U.S. documents. He is also featured on the cast recording of that work (New Amsterdam) and has reprised it in 2016 at LA Opera’s REDCAT and SF Opera Lab in 2017. Other recent premieres include works by Ellen Reid (p r i s m); the NYC premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves, and Du Yun’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Angel’s Bone. Jonathan can be heard on CD recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival, New York Polyphony, and Trinity Wall Street. As a composer, he has been commissioned for groups including the Handel & Haydn Society and the Uncommon Music Festival.