Dr. Maria Briggs

Dr. Maria Briggs

Dr. Briggs-Okunev is a Russian-born, Australian soprano. She has a Bachelor degree in piano performance, Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Masters in vocal performance, Newcastle Conservatorium and DMA in opera, Sydney University and Northern College of Music, UK. Dr. Briggs’ research is focused on training of young opera singers tertiary opera training. Dr. Briggs has sung with Opera Australia, Pacific Opera and Glyndebourne Opera Festival, UK. She joined Fresno State in 2016 as Assistant Professor of Voice. www.okunevmusic.com


Soprano Nicole Cabell Continues to Shine On and Off Stage

Nicole Cabell shares her experiences as a singer vaulted to international fame through competition success. Now, as a voice teacher, she encourages her students to find the most fulfilling path forward for their musical career while balancing performing work.

Carving Her Own Path: Kelley O’Connor’s Extraordinary Career

Mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor is one of the most exciting and versatile artists in the world of classical music. She is a quadruple threat at least, in that she is a phenomenal singer, actress, pedagogue and is simply “drop dead” gorgeous! Her repertoire is as wide as you can imagine, ranging from highly acclaimed performances of such dramatic heavyweights as Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with Boston Lyric Opera, 2019 and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde  with both BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, 2019, to a string of world premieres by international composers, including her Grammy winning portrayal of Federico García Lorca in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. 

Opera after COVID: A Conversation with Gerald Finley

Gerald Finley is one of the most accomplished and celebrated baritones of our time. His track record is impressive: Grammy for Best Opera Recording 2012 (Dr. Atomic), multiple award-winning performances on CD and DVD and a wide-ranging repertoire of roles performed in major opera houses. Finley is equally at ease performing Handel, Wagner, Tchaikowsky, Verdi or Adams. His mark on the art song and Lieder repertoire has been equally profound with several iconic recordings that now set the standard for the genre. It seems as though everything he touches turns to gold.

Voice Students Win During Covid

We are now more than six months into the global pandemic, and we can see various patterns emerging. Some are frightening, some are positive and some may be setting trends for our future beyond this crisis.

I Will Survive : Why Opera Singers Will Thrive and Survive COVID 19

COVID 19 is having a profound effect on our daily lives. Simplest things we only recently took for granted are now completely impossible: taking a walk in the park, visiting

All I Want for Christmas is… an Opera Career!

Can a college opera program give one all the necessary skills needed for a successful opera career in today’s opera industry? We all know what it’s like to want it

#MeToo and Opera

San Francisco Opera’s La Boheme, photo by Cory Weaver   Since Harvey Weinstein’s exposé in 2017, the #MeToo movement has become a major social force that condemned and exposed sexual