Julia Bentley

"Ear Taxi Festival is inspired by Chicago, created by dynamos that embrace Chicago as a home with no boundaries; music designed to be both in this moment, in this place, and to ring, ring, ring out. Yeah!"

Since completing apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and the Chicago Lyric Opera, mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley has appeared in leading operatic roles (Carmen, Rosina, Dorbella, Despina, and both Rossini and Massenet Cinderellas) from Anchorage to New York, and has been featured as a soloist with orchestras led by George Manahan, Raymond Leppard, Oliver Knussen, Robert Shaw and Pierre Boulez. She performs frequently with Chicago's many fine ensembles, including Contempo, the New Budapest Orpheum Society, the Rembrandt Chamber Players, Fulcrum Point, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Opera Theater, the Newberry Consort, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera and the MusicNOW series at Symphony Center with conductor Cliff Colnot. She has appeared to critical acclaim at Weill Hall with Pierre Boulez as the soloist in Le Marteau Sans Maître, and recorded on the Albany, Cedille and Tintagel labels. Recent engagements have included performances of La Damnation de Faust with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Pierrot Lunaire with eighth blackbird, La Cenerentola with Sacramento Opera, Berg's Lyric Suite with the Emerson String Quartet, and the Bach B Minor Mass with the Apollo Chorus as well as chamber music series in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. After leading the Composer Focus project at the DePaul University School of Music for six years, she is currently teaching voice at Concordia University, and the graduate Art Song Seminar at North Park University. She coaches privately, specializing in audition preparation and advanced vocal literature. This season includes concerts of music from her new CD As Dreams Fall Apart (just released by Cedille), a return to the WFMT studio for her eighth live broadcast, as well as continuing escapades with pianist Kuang-Hao Huang.