Hailed by critics worldwide for her complete performances as both singer and actor, soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge is known for her sparkling vocal technique, her natural stage presence, and both her dramatic and comic acting ability. Lauded by Opera News for a voice that is “agile and beautifully projected, with a lavish bloom and a silvery edge,” Ms. Welch-Babidge has performed often under the baton of James Levine both in concert and on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. These roles include Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Marzelline in Fidelio, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, and Freia in Das Rheingold. Additional Metropolitan Opera performances include Gilda in Rigoletto, The Doll in Les Contes D’Hoffman and Chloe in Queen of Spades.
Other acclaimed operatic performances include the title role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor for New York City Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Greensboro Opera Company, Adele in Die Fledermaus at San Francisco Opera and with Seiji Ozawa at the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku Festival, and Violetta in La Traviata for Opera Pacific and Utah Opera. Ms. Welch-Babidge has also performed lead roles at Houston Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Carolina and Washington Concert Opera, and Intermountain Opera. These roles include Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Liu in Turandot, Leila in The Pearl Fishers, Micaela in Carmen, and Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica. She recently returned to the Intermountain Opera Company where she made her debut in the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
Ms. Welch-Babidge began her career in musical theatre and studied Drama and Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and HB Studios in New York City. In addition to performing the role of Cunegonde alongside Rita Moreno in Bernstein’s Candide, Ms. Welch-Babidge’s musical theatre roles include Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at UNCSA and Fiona in Brigadoon directed by Obie award winner Gerald Freedman. She also worked at the Monomoy Theatre in Cape Cod Massachusetts performing the role of Tuptim in King and I and at the Buck’s County Playhouse in Pennsylvania where she performed the roles of Laurie in Oklahoma and Carlotta in Yeston Coppit’s Phantom. Ms. Welch-Babidge performed Off-Off-Broadway in a musical revue of the music of Ivor Novello and was represented briefly by Brett Adams LTD agency before winning the Metropolitan Opera auditions and attending the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindeman Young Artist program.
Ms. Welch-Babidge’s concert appearances include a triumph singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Berg’s Lulu Suite with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also performed Poulenc’s Gloria and Mozart’s Requiem, with the Sydney Symphony. She has sung the Mater Gloriosa in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Francisco Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Virginia Arts Festival, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Nashville Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque, Verdi’s Requiem with Utah Festival Opera, Gorecki’s Symphony No. 2 with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Mansfield Symphony.
She has appeared at Carnegie Hall with the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble and James Levine singing song cycles of Anton Webern and Elliot Carter. Mrs. Welch-Babidge has collaborated with world renowned conductors including James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, Sir Charles Mackerras, and David Zinman, and has several recordings with the Naxos recording label.
Baritone Darrell Babidge graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in the U.K. where he was recognized with four major awards and performed lead roles. He also received his Master’s degree from Brigham Young University and his Professional degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, funded directly by Birgitt Nilsson. While he was still a student he performed the title role of Britten’s Owen Wingrave at Glyndebourne Festival Opera with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Babidge has performed with many European and US opera companies, and his concert work is extensive, working with the leading orchestras and conductors. In 2004 he made his Carnegie Hall debut, and returned the following year to sing in Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Conductors he has worked with include Kent Nagano, John Eliot Gardiner, James Levine, Sir Andrew Davis, Julius Rudell and Ivor Bolton.
He has recorded for CD, DVD and TV productions, most recently in the title role of The Redeemer with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Recent engagements include the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Salt Lake Choral Artists, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro for Utah Festival Opera, Simone in Gianni Schicchi for Intermountain Opera, and Gideon March in Little Women for Utah Opera.
Darrell has a private studio, and is also full-time faculty at Brigham Young University. He teaches the Utah Opera Resident Artists, as well as the Arizona Opera Studio Artists, and is a vocal coach with Dolora Zajick at the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. He also recently taught at the international vocal program, VOICExperience. His students sing in major opera houses throughout the world, including the Royal Opera House, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsch Oper Berlin, Teatro Real in Madrid, Opera di Genova in Italy, Vienna State Opera and San Francisco Opera. Students have also been accepted into Young Artist and summer programs, including the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass, Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, Santa Fe, Aspen, Academy of the West and Ravinia. He has been employed by the Metropolitan Opera to teach in their Lindemann Young Artists program, and two of his students recently won the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition. Students have recorded for Decca and Deutsche Grammaphon, with a recent recording nominated for a GRAMMY award.
Cantus Youth Choirs is also proud to present husband-wife duo and guest artists Dallin Baldwin and Treasure-Valley native Carlee Panlilio-Baldwin.
Dallin has loved making music since he was a young boy. He began playing the piano at the age of seven. In high school he was involved in his high school choir, where he would sing and accompany. He also began taking organ lessons and fell in love with the instrument.
Dallin started studying Organ Performance at Brigham Young University in the Fall of 2014. He has performed in many locations including BYU Devotionals, Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior recitals at BYU, the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and St. John’s Cathedral in Boise, Idaho.
He is currently the organist and choirmaster at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Provo, Utah, a position that he has held since October 2016. This year he was appointed organ scholar at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with working at these two churches, Dallin teaches a beginning organ class at BYU and is a research assistant to the organ department. Dallin has also participated in the choral program at BYU, being part of the Men’s Chorus and Concert Choir. After graduating in April, he plans to pursue a graduate degree in Choral Conducting.
Carlee Baldwin is a trained actress, singer, and performer. She is currently a full-time student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is in the Theatre Arts program emphasizing in musical theatre performance, theatrical design, and theatre for youth. She worked at the UVU Noorda Theatre Youth Summer Camp, where she was the assistant director for The Lion King and Into the Woods. She was also the musical director for a Noorda Theatre touring show, Jack and the Beanstalk. This fall she performed in Payson Community Theatre’s production of A Nightmare on Broadway, where she played Mary from the popular movie, Hocus Pocus. She is currently the production dramaturg for the UVU Platform Series production, Tribes. Carlee has recently been cast in a special production of The Oresteia, directed by Dr. Christopher Clark, which will premier in the spring 2018.
Carlee has nearly seven years of American Sign Language experience. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where she spoke American Sign Language. She also took several ASL courses at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She has a deep respect for the Deaf culture and history, and greatly values the friendships she has made within the Deaf community.