Linda Hirt | Artistic Director, Vocal Coach

Linda Hirt, who made her New York Carnegie Recital Hall debut under the auspices of the Concert Artist Guild, has performed and taught and on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Among her professional achievements are live radio appearances in New York and Chicago and recordings for Vanguard Records and German national television.  As founder and artistic director of Musica nelle Marche LLC, she has shared her passion for Italian music and culture with hundreds of aspiring young artists. Ms. Hirt is a vocal coach and mentor at DePaul University School of Music where she also served as Vocal Coordinator for ten years.

Geoff Hirt | General Director

Geoffrey Hirt Ph.D. is an internationally known author of finance and business textbooks that have been translated into more than 13 languages. Dr. Hirt taught at DePaul University in the Department of Finance for 30 years and served as department chairman for 11 years. While at DePaul, he directed international MBA programs in Hong Kong, Bahrain and Prague. He has also taught in Italy, Poland, Germany and Thailand and has a great appreciation for international education. He is currently on the Dean’s advisory board and executive committee of DePaul’s School of Music. He also serves on the board of directors of the James C. Tyree Foundation, a Chicago based foundation that funds innovative educational programs in the Chicago area. Since 2007, Dr. Hirt has been the general director and business manager of Musica nelle Marche LLC.

Barbara Shirvis | Soprano Vocal Coach

Barbara (Babs) Shirvis, has been a professional singer for over three decades. She has performed with opera companies and symphonies around the US including New York City Opera, San Diego Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and many others. She teaches a classical (traditional) singing technique which is applicable to all styles of music. This includes a reliable breath/support method as well as a clean attack of tone and awareness of body sensations. These elements together insure healthy and safe singing, increase vocal stamina, range and agility, and facilitate expression and interpretation. In addition, she focuses on the fundamentals of professionalism such as preparation, presentation and what is expected of singers by conductors, directors, and other music professionals. She has an extensive knowledge of the classical vocal repertoire including diction in English and foreign languages (French, Italian and German). She has given master classes at Pine Mountain Music Festival, University of South Florida, Northeastern Illinois University and has also taught voice at the Toledo Opera and Chautauqua Opera. She holds a Master’s Degree in Music/Voice from the Manhattan School of Music. 

Stephen Powell | Baritone Vocal Coach

Two-time GRAMMY nominee Stephen Powell enters his fourth decade as a leading baritone with opera companies and orchestras around the globe. With USA performances in San Diego, Detroit, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Nashville, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Miami, as well as international credits in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Wexford, Ireland; Amsterdam, Paris, Singapore, Zurich, London, Hong Kong, Montreal, Toronto, Rome, and Leipzig, Mr. Powell maintains a busy performance schedule.

He has been a member of the voice faculty at Mannes School of Music at The New School in New York City for the past seven years, and teaches privately from his home. He is also in demand for Master Classes on college campuses and for young artist programs, and as an adjudicator for voice competitions. In addition to Jonathan Leshnoff’s Third Symphony, he appeared on two other new releases from 2020; his GRAMMY-nominated debut solo CD, American Composers At Play (Acis), and Odyssey Opera’s world premiere GRAMMY-nominated recording of Norman Dello Joio’s The Trial at Rouen (BMOPsound). Mr. Powell’s second solo album Why Do The Nations (Acis) was released in September of 2021.
Mr. Powell earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition (piano emphasis) from Northwestern University, his Master of Music and Certificate in Performance from DePaul University, both in Vocal Performance, and spent two years as a young artist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s apprentice program. He is a member of NATS, AFTRA, AGMA and The Recording Academy (GRAMMYS).
Mr. Powell was born and raised in West Chester, PA, and currently resides near his hometown  in beautiful Chester County with his wife, soprano and voice teacher Barbara Shirvis, and their two sons, Benjamin and Zachary, both of whom are pursuing careers as singers and jazz musicians.

Mia Tamburino | Diction and Translation

Mia Tamburino is a language enthusiast, traveler and singer of opera. She holds a Masters Degree in Vocal performance from DePaul University. Mia has performed in many classical performances around the US and Europe. As a teacher, Mia has worked with students of all ages and levels. She has taught a wide variety of subjects including: Italian, Spanish, English to foreign speakers, and Voice lessons. She considers herself to be a positive, kind and enthusiastic person. Mia is a lover of all things Italian, including the food, culture, music and language. She can’t wait to start working with everyone this summer, showing them the best parts of Italian culture and the beauty of Urbino.

Massimo Sabbatini | Conductor and Coach

Maestro Massimo Sabbatini is a well-known Italian conductor who has worked with Andrea Bocelli and Daniela Dessi as well as other international performers. He is an accomplished pianist and opera coach and Musica nelle Marche is delighted to have him on our faculty.

He received a diploma from the G. Rossini Conservatory of Music in Pesaro, Italy where he studied violin, composition and orchestral conducting. He is active as a violinist, pianist and conductor of orchestral and choral music. He has taught choral and orchestral conducting at various Italian conservatories. His choirs have performed throughout Europe and recently performed at the University of Paris where a standing room audience greeted his choir.

Michael McElvain | Coach/Accompanist

Our dear colleague Michael passed away on April 15, 2021 at the age of 35. He was a superb pianist and musician and a good friend to all who knew him. Michael was kind, curious and creative. He was a lover of wine, song, language and travel. Michael had a life well lived and full but much too short.

Saori Chiba | Vocal Coach

Acclaimed by the Chicago Daily Herald, “brilliant Japanese pianist” Saora Chiba is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for her superb keybord artistry. Her five current albums are regularly featured on nationally prominent radio stations. WFMT, WFIU, KING, and KUAT with two recordings capturing the Daily Herald’s coveted TopTen Classical CDs of The Year Award, and the Grammy Award Entry List for Best Chamer of Music Performance.

Ms. Chiba’s materclass associations include such names as Joyce DiDonato, Dalton Baldwin, Martin Katz, David Schrader, Denyce Graves, and Samuel Ramey, and she recently collaborated with globally recognized artists, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach and violinish Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg at the Ravinia Festival. She has also appeared on renowned radio broadcasts includingthe Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and the PianoForte Salon Series. Highly sought after as a répétiteur and coach, Ms. Chiba frequently assists with Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Santa Barbara, and Italian summer festivals, Orvieto Musica, and Musica nelle Marche.

Benjamin Liupaogo | Vocal Coach

Benjamin Liupaogo currently is on the faculty of the Stanford University Department of Music as a voice professor. He is an accomplished singer who has performed in Italy, Chicago and other cities throughout the U.S. While earning his Graduate Performance Certificate from DePaul University he was the assistant to the Director of the Musica nelle Marche summer program in Urbino, Italy and performed in many Italian cities. He is a Pacific Islander Samoan and a San Francisco Bay Area native tenor who is a well-versed classical musician. Benjamin has performed throughout a variety of professional companies and organizations in opera, musical theatre, concerts, recitals, chamber ensembles, and choral ensembles. Along with singing, Benjamin is a collaborative pianist, voice teacher, piano teacher, repetiteur, vocal coach and music director/conductor for musical theatre, opera, and choral ensembles. He holds degrees in vocal performance with a B.M., (vocal performance) San Francisco State University and a M.M., (vocal performance) Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts. He holds a master’s degree in sacred music from Notre Dame, a graduate performance certificate from DePaul University, Chicago and finishing his dissertation for a D.M.A. in voice performance with a minor in collaborative piano from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 Scott Ramsay | Vocal Coach

Praised by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times for his “stentorian, strong tenor”, Scott Ramsay is highly regarded by Opera companies and Symphony Orchestras across North America and abroad for his dynamic performances in varying repertoire.

Operatic engagements include leading roles with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dublin International Opera Festival, New Orleans Opera, Kentucky Opera, Anchorage Opera, Portland Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Madison Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera Boston, Virginia Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Arizona Opera, Opera New Jersey, Syracuse Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Dayton Opera, San Francisco Opera and Music Artes in Manilla, Philippines among others. 

Symphonic engagements include solo appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Grant Park and Ravinia Music Festivals and the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, to name a few.

 Steven Mosteller

Steven Mosteller made his New York City Opera debut at Lincoln Center in 1993 conducting the original 1904 version of MADAMA BUTTERFLY.  A conductor at City Opera for twenty seasons, he has conducted at both the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center and at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. While in New York he served as an assistant conductor for the Metropolitan Opera and a guest artist for the Lincoln Center Visitors Center.  He has also toured with the NYCO National Company throughout the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Mosteller has conducted  productions with major regional companies and conservatories including The Manhattan School of Music and The Wolf Trap Opera. He was the  Music Director of The New Jersey Opera and of the Depaul University Opera Theater. Most recently Mr. Mosteller was with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Academy of Vocal Arts. 

Eric McEnaney | Vocal Coach

Eric McEnaney enjoys a multifaceted career as one of America’s foremost opera pianists and vocal coaches, having assisted on the musical preparation of more than 100 productions for companies throughout the country. Dr. McEnaney served as Principal Production Pianist & Coach at Florentine Opera Company for four seasons, where he oversaw the musical preparation of a dozen shows and two world-premiere recordings, Sister Carrie (Aldridge/Garfein) and the Grammy-nominated Prince of Players (Carlisle Floyd). He is currently a Master Coach for Minnesota Opera and serves as Music Director for Opera Reading Project, a role-reading series for working and aspiring Twin Cities singers. Dr. McEnaney has worked as an orchestral keyboardist for Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Civic Symphony, and the orchestras of Minnesota Opera and Central City Opera, and also serves as an official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. As a recitalist, he has collaborated with singers from the rosters of the nation’s leading opera houses and has assisted many of the most renowned vocal artists of our time in masterclasses and private coaching sessions. Dr. McEnaney’s performances have been broadcast locally and nationally on PBS, Great Performances, American Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio, Colorado Public Radio, Twin Cities Public Television’s Almanac, KSTP-TV’s Twin Cities Live, and WCCO-TV’s Mid-Morning. He holds advanced degrees in piano performance and collaborative piano and maintains a private coaching studio in Minneapolis, where he also resides.