John Callison

John Callison is thrilled to be joining Rhymes With Opera by playing Don for their production of Heartbreak Express. Mr. Callison’s performances in the last year include Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), Hortensius in La fille du regiment (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance), Moralès in Carmen (New York Opera Exchange), Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (Opera at USC), Falstaff in At the Boar’s Head (Opera at USC), Tom/John in The Face on the Barroom Floor (Chelsea Opera), The Drunken Poet in The Fairy Queen (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), and Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata (M. Arroyo P. to P.) John recently received his Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he performed Donald Gallup in The Mother of Us All, and was in Thaïs and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny as well. John is a student of Mark Oswald.


Karen Hayden

Karen Hayden is a versatile performer with a passion for new chamber music.  She premiered chamber works with Rhymes With Opera’s Pocket Opera Workshop in the summers of 2014 and 2015.  She also performed excerpts from George Lam’s Heartbreak Express with RWO in November 2014, and is thrilled to return now for the full opera’s premiere.  As an advocate for new American song, Karen produced a concert of art songs composed by Philip Hayden at The National Opera Center in January 2015.  Operatic roles performed include Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief, Mrs. Nolan in The Medium, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Lisetta in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, and Madama Rosa in Donzetti’s Il campanello di notte.  She also participated in the southeast premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, as well as the Act I workshop premiere of Kirke Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice.  Karen has performed with Piedmont Opera, Greensboro Opera, Capitol Opera Raleigh, the Eastern Music Festival, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival.  She received an MM from UNC Greensboro and a BM from UNC School of the Arts.

Peter Thoresen


Peter Thoresen a countertenor, voice teacher and writer. His recent New York performances in The Fairy Queen were described by Broadwayworld.com as ‘Spellbinding’ and Opera Magazine stated ‘Peter Thoresen’s countertenor proved beguiling at the top, capable of serious expression.’ He is committed to the creation and performance of new music, and Opera News praised him for his ‘delightful portrayal’ of Lautrec in the world premiere of Vincent. Additional credits include roles with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble and the American Opera Theater. Solo concert and oratorio performances include engagements with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Musicians, Winter Harbor Music Festival, Monterey Symphony, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and Handel Choir of Baltimore. His articles have been featured in Classical Singer Magazine and he previously served as a visiting faculty member at Indiana University. His students regularly appear in productions on and off Broadway and in national tours. www.peterthoresen.com