Our Team

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Leah Crowne

Founding Director, Voice Teacher, Stage Director

About Leah as a teacher ...

With a love for pedagogy, career cultivation and mentoring, emerging dramatic soprano Leah Crowne has founded Opera Susquehanna as a way to assist singers at the beginning of their careers. The curriculum uses a supportive, holistic, and intensive approach to performance and career enhancement. Singers can expect to work hard, but a cut-throat environment has no place at OS. Each singer is seen as an individual on an equally valid path. Our goals do not stop at teaching you a an opera role. Rather we want to build you a foundation that will support you through all the ups and downs of being an opera singer. 

About Leah as a singer ....

Leah Crowne is known for her powerful voice with a “metallic edge and rich color” (Classima Blog, Beziers, France), “house-shaking power,” (The Rutland Herald, Middlebury, Vermont), and “impressive stage presence” (The Coloradan, Ft. Collins, Colorado). She delivers “fine artistry with legato, Italianate vocalism and musical precision” (Maestro Emmanuel Plasson), as well as a “good mix of strength and vulnerability in her characterizations” (Director Doug Anderson).  

Leah’s operatic engagements span across the United States as well as Europe and include Puccini’s Turandot (Opera Bergen, Norway; Opera Company of Middlebury, Vermont; Opera Ft. Collins, Colorado; Opera Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, The Mediterranean Opera Studio; Caltagirone, Italy), Fidelio (Susquehanna Symphony, Pennsylvania; New York Opera Forum, NYC), Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal (The Metropolitan Opera Guild), Salome (Opera Fort Collins, Colorado); Tosca (Sarasota Opera, Florida); Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlos (Sarasota Opera, Florida); Ariadne in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (Hub Opera Ensemble, Maryland; Bay Area Opera Theater, San Francisco), Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Hub Opera Ensemble, Maryland; Towson University, Maryland).

Her concert and oratorio work has included Requiem (Brahms, Duruflé, Mozart, Verdi); Messiah (Handel); Symphony no.9 and Choral Fantasy (Beethoven); Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater (Rossini), and Coronation Mass (Mozart). Her recital work has included cycles and individual songs by Samuel Barber, Alban Berg, Richard Strauss, and Richard Wagner, among others. She has performed as a soloist with The New Dominion Chorale in Washington DC, Choirs of America at Carnegie Hall, NYC, The Baltimore Basilica, and The National Basilica in Washington DC.

Leah is the recipient of The Max Kade Fellowship in Middlebury, Vermont; The Wagner Society of New York Scholarship Prize; The Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Artist Scholarship; The Dolora Zajick Institute for Young Dramatic Voices Professional Scholarship; The Ryan Center at The Lyric Opera of Chicago Stars of Tomorrow Finalists concert, Opera New Jersey Fellowship, and Sarasota Opera Young Artist Fellowship.

A lover of vocal technique and teaching, Leah Crowne maintains an active studio of young professional singers from the Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York regions. She is based in the Harrisburg, PA area where she lives with her husband, their two children.

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Scott Crowne

Head of Music Staff, Vocsl Coach, Pianist

Scott Crowne enjoys a diverse and active career as a pianist, conductor, coach, and teacher. This is especially so in the realm of opera, where is in high demand as a coach and music director. He is currently the head vocal coach, head of music staff and accompanist coordinator at Opera Susquehanna in Pennsylvania. In the past he served as principal conductor and music director for the Hub Opera Ensemble and the American Singer's Opera Project. He has also served as faculty at such institutions as Bel Canto in Tuscany (Florence). the Mediterranean Opera Studio (Sicily), the Middlebury German for Singers Program, the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater, the University of Miami Festival in Salzburg, the Washington National Opera's Family Opera and Opera Institute, the voice department of Towson University, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Center. 

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Michelle Rice

Head of Operations, Voice Teacher, Acting Coach

With “tones of pure gold” (Washington Post), Michelle Rice brings to her work a rich voice and performance intensity. She has performed the roles of Herodias (Salome), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Carmen and Mercedes (Carmen), the Witch and the Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Antonia’s Mother (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Lola (Cavalleria rusticana), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), Irene (Tamburlaine), Serse and Arsamene (Serse), among many others, with companies including West Bay Opera, Opera San José, Fresno Grand Opera, Opera Cleveland, Annapolis Opera, Pasadena Opera, the Monterey Symphony, New Orleans Opera, and other organizations throughout the United States, bringing her “vocal and theatrical impact” (San Francisco Chronicle) to the standard repertoire.
 

Her roles in modern repertoire include earlier 20th-century works such as Respighi’s Il tramonto and the title role in Holst’s Savitri; roles in seminal 20th-century operas such as the Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), Mrs. Olsen (Street Scene), the Secretary (The Consul), and Mère Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites); and 21st-century roles including Anna (Tobias and the Angel), Jade Boucher (Dead Man Walking), and the role of Kathy Hagen in Terence Blanchard’s first opera, Champion: An Opera in Jazz. Rice created the title role in Clara, an opera by Robert Convery about Clara Schumann. Of that performance, the Washington Post declared, “Rice was…reflective and confident in both her singing and acting…[she] excelled at dramatic subtleties and pierced scenes with her presence and clarity of voice—especially compelling during revelatory biographical moments.” She frequently performs 20th- and 21st-century song cycles, such as Mohammed Fairouz’ Jeder Mensch with texts from the diary of Alma Mahler; Ned Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen; and Dominick Argento’s Pulitzer Prize- winning monodrama, From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. Her 2012 performance of Virginia Woolf was regarded as
“magnificent” by the composer himself. Rice’s performance of Mrs. Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at the Kennedy Center, conducted by Maestro Lorin Maazel, was described as “nuanced and sensitive” (Washington Post), “dramatically charged and vocally superlative” (dcist.com), and having a “firm, warm vocalism [that] made every phrase speak” (Baltimore Sun).


From Elgar’s The Music Makers to Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri to Schubert’s Mass No. 5, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde to Fonseca’s Missa Afro-Brasileira, Rice excels in a wide spectrum
of oratorio and symphonic repertoire. She has appeared with the Washington Concert Opera (Albina, La donna del lago), MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall (Mozart’s Coronation Mass), and many other organizations performing works such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Händel’s Messiah, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and several performances of the Verdi Requiem, including a lauded performance with Sharon Sweet and James Morris. Rice holds degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Maryland Opera Studio.

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