Hilary Grace Taylor
Hilary Grace Taylor, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Dallas and the First Place Winner of the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Voice Competition. As a winner of the 2019 UNT Concerto Competition she performed the Composer’s Aria from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Maestro Clay Couturiaux and the UNT Symphony. She has debuted a number of opera roles nationally and internationally including Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Principessa (Suor Angelica) with Maestro Gregory Buchalter from the Metropolitan Opera at the 2019 Varna International Opera Academy, Giovanna (Rigoletto) with the Sacramento Symphony and Opera, and appeared as alto soloist in the Verdi Requiem at the Durham Cathedral in Durham, England with conductor Paul Leddington Wright. As a Young Artist in the 2018-19 Dallas Opera Outreach Program, Hilary was responsible for the role of Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne and will perform Veronica in Doctor Miracle in their 2019-20 season. She served as the Teaching Assistant for UNT Opera in 2017-18 and is currently a Teaching Fellow in the Division of Vocal Studies. With UNT Opera she debuted Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Desirée Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Martha (Faust), Mrs. Jones (Street Scene) and Gertrude Stein (After Life by Tom Cipullo). In 2018 Hilary was invited to direct UNT Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly as well as scenes from La traviata and Le nozze di Figaro. In addition, she directed The Night of Decayed Musicians with the Dallas-based ensemble Lumedia. At the invitation of Eugene Migliaro Corporon, director of the UNT Wind Symphony, she performed and recorded James M. Stephenson’s Symphony No. 2. Hilary received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Opera from UNT and the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Butler School of Music at University of Texas/Austin where she premiered the role Habiba in Daron Hagen’s A Woman in Morocco. She is currently pursuing the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the UNT under the tutelage of Professor Carol Wilson. In addition to a busy performing, teaching and directing schedule, Hilary continues to be an advocate for community arts programs, and serves as cantor and soloist at the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
Praised for her “innate artistry,” Dallas-based soprano Samantha Dapcic brings a “significant strength, beauty, and versatility” to the stage. Experienced in opera, musical theater, and art song repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Harbison, she is establishing herself as a dynamic and multifaceted performer.
Samantha’s operatic performances include the title roles of Suor Angelica and Dido as well as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Liù c.v. in Turandot, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Nora in Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea, and Geraldine in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge.
Recently on the concert stage, she made her debut with the McCall Music Society (McCall, ID); Chelsea Opera (New York, NY); Lewisville Lake Symphony Chamber Series (Lewisville, TX); and the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra (Abilene, TX). She has been a featured soloist in Harbison’s Mirabai Songs, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, Ticheli’s Angels in the Architecture, Vaughan Williams’s Hodie, as well as Bach’s Cantata 36, and Handel’s Messiah. Samantha was also featured soloist with Vox Peregrini in Dublin, Ireland.
Samantha’s affinity for 20th and 21st century American works has inspired collaboration with composers and chamber musicians on premieres of new works including: Benjamin Shirey’s Transient Delete, Ermir Bejo's Catullo Songs, Qi Shen’s Summer Moonlight, Brad Robin’s Limud, Larry Reed’s My Heart and I, Pan Xingzimin’s Three Sarcastic Songs, and Amber Zingler’s Particles. Recently she was invited to perform Thomas Kotcheff’s Cecila Speaks for UNT’s First Annual CollabFest.
Samantha is a 2019 winner of the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Voice Competition as well as a 2019 winner of Mobile Opera’s Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser Competition. In 2014, she was named a winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition, as well as the recipient of the Robert B. Toulouse Fellowship—a highly competitive university-wide program that was created to recruit the very best graduate students. This five-year fellowship provides full tuition, a generous stipend, as well as a teaching position while at UNT.
She is currently pursuing a DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at the University of North Texas, where she studies with Carol Wilson and was awarded a Teaching Fellow in Applied Voice. She earned her MM and BM in Voice Performance from the University of Northern Iowa, where she was also awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Voice. Samantha is a SVI-trained Vocologist. She received further stage experience and training at Opera NEO (San Diego, CA) and the Amalfi Coast Festival (Amalfi, Italy).