Meet The Artists
Chad Armstrong (Baritone): A native of Saskatchewan, Canada, baritone Chad Armstrong won acclaim for his outstanding performances as Rigoletto with Annapolis Opera and as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West with Dicapo Opera Theater. Since his breakout debut as John Donne in Vita, Armstrong has garnered critical and audience favor for his captivating vocal abilities and strong stage presence, which marks his style on stage and also won him the 2009 Mezzo TV Festival and Competition in Szeged, Hungary. His impressive list of roles and concerts includes performances in I Pagliacci, La Boheme, The Crucible, Turnadot and in Carnegie Hall as a soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, mezzo soprano Sara Louise Petrocelli.
Cody Austin (Tenor): American tenor Cody Austin made his professional debut was with the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Roderigo in Otello in 2009, where he was invited to return the following season to perform Edmondo in Manon Lescaut. Earmarked by opera critics as a rare voice and one to watch, Austin graduated from the Academy of Vocal Arts and has landed roles in La Traviata, Kat’a Kabanova, The Merry Widow, Anna Bolena and as Romeo in Romeo et Juliette. Last year he debuted with Opera Grand Rapids and performed in concert engagements with the New Jersey Master Chorale, the Ambler Symphony, Jupiter Symphony of New York, Ocean City Pops, and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. Most recently, he starred in Verdi’s Requiem.
Claire Coolen (Soprano): Dramatic, impressive and radiant, soprano Claire Coolen debuted with Opera Tampa in last season’s The Magic Flute. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Coolen’s roles span winning turns in Rigoletto, Die Zauberflote, Falstaff, and as the Royal Bank of Canada Award in Excellence winner for her role as Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw. Coolen, a standout performer, recently filmed The Bohemians, where she portrayed Musetta in a cinematic adaptation of Puccini’s La Boheme.
Lauren Segal (Mezzo-soprano): South African-Canadian mezzo-soprano Lauren Segal’s career includes several seasons in standout performances as The Muse/Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, a role Opera News recognized as “her lustrous voice and fine acting ability … provided moral grounding for the entire performance.” Paula Citron pronounces Segal’s operatic interpretations as “absolutely sensational” and The Toronto Star hails Segal as “spectacular.” Segal’s turn in classic operatic roles such as Carmen, Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) among others launched her into an adoring public eye season after season. Her concert resume also includes performances with Orchestra Toronto, Grand Philharmonic Choir, Windsor Symphony and other international orchestras and symphonies. Segal appears in the film DESIRE: An Operatic Triology, and she gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Peter Paul Charitable Foundation.