Variant 6 is a virtuosic vocal sextet that explores and advances the art of chamber music in the twenty-first century. The ensemble's work includes concertizing throughout the United States, commissioning substantial new works, collaborating closely with other ensembles, and educating a new generation of singers and composers.
Variant 6 believes that the process of compromise achieved from the diversity of opinion and specialty of its six individual artists can create deeply impactful experiences for its audiences, collaborators, and students.
Jessica beebe, soprano
Lauded for her “honey-colored tone” and “the most radiant solo singing” by Opera News, Soprano Jessica Beebe is steadily gaining international attention as an affecting interpreter of repertoire spanning from the early renaissance to contemporary American opera. Ms. Beebe has performed as a guest soloist with the The New York Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Princeton Festival Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and more. Ms. Beebe has an extensive concert repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Handel and Bach, to Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Britten, Delius and more. Highlights of her operatic activity include covering the role of Lila in the 2016 East Coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain, joining Norway's Bergen National Opera to cover the role of the Angel in Netia Jones' hi-tech staged production of Messiah, and most recently making her Opera Philadelphia role debut as Luna in David Hertzberg’s The Wake World. Ms. Beebe is an avid choral singer, performing with the GRAMMY-winning ensemble The Crossing, GRAMMY-nominated ensemble Clarion, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Cathedra, and more.Ms. Beebe's 2018-19 season includes covering Winnie in Lembit Beecher's opera Sky on Swings with Opera Philadelphia in their O18 festival, return solo appearances with Bach in Baltimore, an international tour with Clarion, a west coast tour with Piffaro, and more. www.jessicabeebesoprano.com
Rebecca Myers, soprano
Rebecca Myers, hailed for her “vulnerability and grace” by the San Francisco Chronicle performs a wide variety of repertoire across North America.
Last year’s solo performances included singing the role of Parthenope in the world premiere of David Hertzberg’s The Wake World with Opera Philadelphia as a part of the inaugural O17 Festival. She also performed in a joint recital with composer Benjamin C.S. Boyle with Opus Opera at the Opera Guild Home in New Orleans. Rebecca returned as soprano soloist with Philadelphia’s Prometheus Chamber Orchestra to sing Britten’s seldom performed masterpiece, Les Illuminations and sang on a program of the music of Debussy with the Philadelphia art song series, Lyric Fest. Equally at home as an ensemble singer Rebecca sings regularly with The Crossing, the GRAMMY winning vocal ensemble fully dedicated to the performance of new music under the direction of Donald Nally. In 2015 she was one of three featured female soloists on the GRAMMY nominated recording of Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer sung the The Crossing. An avid lover of early music as well, Rebecca is a soprano soloist with Choral Arts Philadelphia for the monthly Bach @ 7 series. Rebecca appears regularly with Seraphic Fire, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Apollo's Fire, True Concord , and The Santa Fe Desert Chorale. rebeccamyerssoprano.com
James reese, tenor
James Reese is an avid ensemble, chamber, and solo musician whose singing has been praised for its “intensity and sensitivity...spirituality and eloquence.” (Chestnut Hill Local) James' 2018-19 sees debuts with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, TENET Vocal Artists, Gallicantus, Bourbon Baroque Orchestra, and the Sun Valley Symphony, as well as return performances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Lyric Fest, Philadelphia's Bach @ 7 series, and Bach Vespers @ Holy Trinity Lutheran NYC.
In May 2018, he made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Bach's B Minor Mass with the New York Choral Society, directed by David Hayes. Of that performance, the New York Classical Review wrote, "the high, easy tenor of James Reese...floated beautifully on its own over the long, gentle lines of the Benedictus." He sings on The Crossing's release of Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century, which won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2018. He also sang on 2016 Grammy-Nominated Bonhoeffer, released by the Crossing. James is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Kurt R. Hansen, Alan Darling, and Donald Nally. He is a recent graduate of Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied with James Taylor as part of the Yale Voxtet. jamesreesemusic.com
Elisa SUtherland, mezzo-soprano
Elisa Sutherland is a mezzo-soprano known for her detailed, stylistic interpretations of both early and new music. This upcoming season, she will perform with Philadelphia's The Crossing, New York ensembles Ekmeles and TENET, New Chamber Ballet, Cleveland's Apollo's Fire, Miami’s Seraphic Fire, and Brooklyn Art Song Society.
Elisa has performed as a soloist with the American Bach Soloists, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and Quicksilver Baroque, singing Bach's Mass in b minor, Handel's Messiah, and Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri. She premiered a song cycle by Michael Djupstrom with LyricFest, Philadelphia's premiere art song concert series. In addition to winning the Philadelphia District of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 2015, Elisa is the 2014 winner of the Lynne Harvey Cooper Award, and was the first-place winner of the inaugural Handel Aria Competition at the Madison Early Music Festival in 2013. Recent opera roles include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Meg in Little Women, Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Nancy in Albert Herring. Elisa graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. She lives in Brooklyn. elisasutherland.com
daniel schwartz, bass-baritone
While obtaining his bachelors degree in percussion performance and masters in choral conducting at Temple University, Daniel studied voice with retired Metropolitan Opera baritone David Arnold. Since graduating, he has sung with the Opera Philadelphia chorus, where he has performed a number of roles, including The Foreman in the east coast premiere of Oscar. Daniel also sings with The Crossing, a Grammy winning new music choir, and has been featured as a soloist on their radio broadcasts. In 2014 he traveled to California to perform Louis Andriessen's De Materie with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and seven other singers from The Crossing,. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with that ensemble in the same year.
Daniel has performed with many distinguished ensembles such as Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare, and is a founding member of Variant 6. He has appeared as a Bach soloist with The Choristers and Choral Arts Philadelphia. He recently performed the role of Captain Belville with Brandywine Baroque in William Shield’s opera Rosina. Last year he made his debut as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra for Pat Metheny and the American Beat. In addition to singing, he holds several conducting positions, including Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Voices of Pride.
steven bradshaw, tenor
A graduate of The University of the Arts, Steven Bradshaw is a professional vocalist and visual artist based in Philadelphia. He has appeared as a soloist with The Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, Tempesta Di Mare, Bang on a Can, The Bach Collegium of Philadelphia, and Network for New Music. In 2019 he will be a soloist with the LA Philharmonic for the premiere of Pulitzer finalist Ted Hearne’s PLACE.
In addition to recording and performing all over the country with Roomful of Teeth, Steven performs regularly with Seraphic Fire, Trinity Wall Street, Ekmeles, Spire, Blue Heron, Yale Choral Artists, and Apollo’s Fire. He is a founding member of The Crossing: winner of the 2018 Grammy for Best Choral Performance. Steven premiered Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang’s work “Lifespan" for three whistlers and a four billion year-old fossil, and gave over 300 performances of the work.
In addition to his singing career, Steven is a dedicated visual artist. His artwork has been featured at Arch Enemy Arts, Stephen Romano Gallery, Gristle Gallery (NYC), GrindcoreHouse, Philamoca (Philadelphia), Baker-Hezeldenz (Tucson AZ) , and La Luz De Jesus gallery in Los Angeles California.