Instructor in Music — Voice
Dale Kruse, tenor, is currently a doctor of musical arts (voice performance) student at the University of Minnesota. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Luther College and a master of music degree from Drake University. Previously, he taught choral music at Armstrong High School and Wayzata High School and served on the voice faculty of Gustavus Adolphus College. In 2011, he joined the faculty of Augsburg College to direct the Cedar Singers men’s choir. Since 2004, he has been the music director for the Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera education program, and for its summer camp and the chorus master for the Opera’s children’s chorus. He is currently serving as president of the Minnesota NATS chapter. A frequent performer in the Twin Cities, he has sung with the Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Prairie Home Companion, and Lyra Concert among others. With students, he has traveled twice to England, Scotland (American High School Theatre Festival) and Wales with music theater and opera productions.
Professor of Music — Voice and Lyric Theater
James McKeel, baritone, has sung over 70 roles with opera companies and festivals throughout the United States as well as England’s Aldeburgh Festival, Minnesota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Baltimore Opera, Muny Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Guthrie Theatre, Plymouth Music Series, Dale Warland Singers, Kennedy Center, New Works Ensemble, Midwest Opera Theatre, Dale Warland Singers, and the Minnesota & St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. Performances range from The Magic Flute & The Marriage of Figaro to La Boheme & Carmen to premieres ofCasanova’s Homecoming, The Juniper Tree, and the award-winning A Death in the Family. Other performances include Lady in the Dark, Sweeney Todd, and TheThreepenny Opera, the critically-acclaimed world-premiere of The Three Hermits, the award-winning Paul Bunyan with England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and As You Like It at the Guthrie Theatre with Val Kilmer and Patti Lapone. His recordings include The Mother of Us All, Voices from Lost Realms, PaulBunyan, The Three Hermits,Visions, and The Hero of Hamblett. Mr. McKeel’s artistic collaborators have included Philip Glass, David Hockney, Dominick Argento, Raymond Leppard, Wesley Balk, Philip Brunelle, Joan La Barbara, Morton Sobotnick, Stephen Paulus, William Mayer, and Salvatore Murdocca.An avid composer, Mr. McKeel has written over 60 operas, operettas, musicals, choral works, arts songs, and song cycles which have received commissions, grants, and premieres from the Kennedy Center, Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Composers Forum, Jerome & Blandin Foundations, Midwest Opera Theatre, Southern Theatre, Twin Cities Opera Guild, and Bel Canto Voices, among others. His premiered works include the Minnesota Opera children’s opera, Jargonauts Ahoy,which toured for two years, played to over 20,000 students, and was featured in a PBS special on reading, In Reference to a Child, a choral song cycle commissioned by the Bel Canto Voices, featured in the Kennedy Center’s “Year of the Child” concert, and toured throughout the South Pacific, and Reveille to Requiem, a Civil War opera funded by the Blandin Foundation , SEMAC, and St. Olaf College. His published works include the choral work ChristmasDawning (Shawnee Press) and Sherlock Holmes: Solitary Insect (Blackbird Books, Australia).Recent activities include A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein with Henry Charles Smith, the composition of two independent New York film scores Dan Ruff and Plague,stage direction of Christopher Columbus, La Finta Giardiniera, L’enfant et les Sortileges, and a grant from the Twin Cities Opera Guild to produce a touring version of his children’s opera The Hero of Hamblett written with critically-acclaimed New York author/illustrator Salvatore Murdocca. In 2007 he reprised his role as the Bishop in The Three Hermits with St. John’s University and premiered his jazz-age opera Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum with St. Olaf College. In 2008-09 he will play the role of Galileo directed by Gary Gisselman and will oversee the second production of Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum with St. John’s University.Mr. McKeel co-directs the Lyric Theatre Season and teaches Opera Workshop, Acting for the Lyric Stage, and Voice.