Bourbon Baroque

P.O. Box 406734

Louisville, Kentucky 40204


Bourbon Baroque, Inc. is registered as a tax-deductible 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization.

© 2019 by Bourbon Baroque

  • facebook-square
  • Twitter Square
  • Instagram Basic Black
  • youtube-square

Messiah Cast

Described as a “sleek and glistening vocal talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), soprano Emily Yocum Black is quickly emerging as a versatile and accomplished performer of many genres of music. Known for her sparkling, clear tone and particular gifts as a communicator, Emily feels at home in oratorio, chamber music, art song, opera, and musical theatre. Emily has performed major works with orchestras and chamber ensembles across the U.S. including the Savannah Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the Jackson Symphony, American Bach Soloists, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Spire Chamber Ensemble, Madison Bach Musicians, and Bourbon Baroque. Competitions include Silver Medal in the 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition, First Place in the American Prize for Art Song-Professional Division, 2nd Place in the 7th Annual Handel Aria Competition, and 1st Place in the Kentucky Bach Choir Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition. A graduate of the University of Louisville, Emily currently resides in her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky. When she isn’t traveling and performing, she teaches private voice at her own studio and in Paducah Middle School and Paducah Tilghman High School. She is also co-founder of the choral ensemble, the Paducah Singers along with her husband, Fowler. For upcoming performances, visit

Paulina Francisco is a doctoral student at Indiana University, where she is working toward a DM in Early Music and Graduate Certificate in Vocology. Before attending IU, she received a Master of Arts in Early Music from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Public Relations from Carroll University. Paulina has performed with Alchymy Viols, Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, Las Aves, Ensemble Lipzodes, Los Angeles Camerata, and the American Bach Soloist Academy. Most recently she has sung the role of Calliope in Handel’s serenata Parnasso in Festa under the direction of Jeffrey Thomas, served as soprano soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion under the direction of John Butt, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the IU Baroque Orchestra, and as soprano and music director for BWV 49 with the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project. Paulina has also been featured as a soloist on new research concert presentations for Robert Ketterer (University of Iowa), Donald Burrows (The Open University), Ayana Smith (Indiana University) and Michael Bane (Indiana University). In 2018, Paulina was the recipient of Bourbon Baroque’s Nicholas Fortin Summer Workshop Scholarship. In addition to performing, Paulina is also an active arts administrator; she serves as General Manager of Bloomington Early Music and Associate Instructor of Early Voice at IU. Paulina’s research is centered on 17th century virtuosic repertoire for soprano, early voice training, the education of early modern women, and most recently, sacred monody. 

Nashville, Tennessee-based soprano Alissa Ruth Suver enjoys performing a wide variety of repertoire across the United States, both as a soloist and ensemble singer. She can be heard with such professional ensembles as the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Skylark, Conspirare, The Crossing, and True Concord, and her most recent solo credits include Scarliatti's 7 Arie con Sola Tromba, Bach's Mass in B minor, and Couperin's Leçons de ténèbres. She has worked frequently with the studio choir at Aire Born Recording Studio for Beckenhorst Press, and also enjoys collaborating regularly with the instrumental ensembles at Capital University.


In addition to her performance work, Alissa is an active teacher and conductor, and this season she has taken a faculty position at Brentwood Academy, where she teaches middle and upper school chorus. She also teaches private voice and works as a section leader at Westminster Presbyterian in Nashville. Alissa holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. 

Recognized by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross for her “refined, restrained” singing, American mezzo-soprano Laura C. Atkinson has found a home on both the concert and opera stage in the United States and Europe. She has debuted with numerous American and German orchestras, has collaborated with various professional choirs, and has performed operatic roles in several German opera houses. She enjoys recurrent collaborations with various groups and festivals, including the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, the Bach Akademie of Charlotte with Scott Allen Jarrett and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem with Greg Funfgeld. This season she will perform Handel’s Messiah with Bourbon Baroque and at Maryville College in Tennessee, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Louisville Chorus, Mozart’s Requiem with the Lehigh Philharmonic and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Bach Akademie Charlotte. Recent highlights include Dvorak’s Requiem at the Konzerthaus Berlin, Messiah with the Portland Oratorio Chorale of Maine, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and a program of Handel Duets at the Steglitz Early Music Festival.She received her masters degree from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, where she studied with James R. Taylor and Simon Carrington; upon graduation from Yale, she was awarded the inaugural Margot Fassler Award for Excellence in Performance of Sacred Music. She completed additional studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig, Germany as a Fulbright Grantee.

Praised for her “full-flavored mezzo,” (Parterre Box), “substantial instrument and stage presence” (Voce di Meche) and “plushy instrument of vast range” (Oberon’s Grove), Allison Gish is a mezzo-soprano based in NYC and is thrilled to be returning for her second Messiah with Bourbon Baroque.  Recent roles include Apollo in Handel's Terpiscore (American Bach Soloists Academy), Lucia in La gazza ladra (Teatro Nuovo), The Mother in The Consul (Bronx Opera), Lisotta in Salieri's La cifra (dell'Arte Opera Ensemble), Giunone in Cavalli's La Calisto (dell'Arte Opera Ensemble) and Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (New Camerata Opera), a performance deemed a “knockout” (ReactionOperawire). This fall, she creates the roles of Leonora Goosling in Felix Jarrar's Mother Goose and Athena in Kaley Lane Eaton's Psychographics.  On the concert stage, Allison has been alto soloist in Bach's Mass in B Minor (American Bach Soloists Academy, Ars Musica), Mozart's Requiem (Ars Musica) as well as numerous solo cantatas.  Allison resides in NYC with her husband and two perfect orange cats.

Countertenor Andrew Rader has been called the “purest and most vibrant [countertenor]…in memory, recent or otherwise” (, known for his “accurate, powerful, indeed thrilling” (John Gilks, operaramblings) interpretations of Baroque and Modern repertoire. For over a decade, Mr. Rader has been an active soloist in the major Baroque and modern oratorio repertoire. Performance highlights include St. John Passion with Music City Baroque, Indianapolis Baroque, and Madison Bach Musicians, Messiah with Bourbon Baroque, New Mexico Philharmonic, and numerous other ensembles, BWV 182 with South Carolina Bach Society, BWV 180 with the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, Orff’s Carmina Burana, DiOrio’s Stabat Mater, and Carissimi’s Historia di Job with Magnificat Baroque, in which his voice was said to be “as solid as his character’s faith” (San Francisco Classical Voice). In addition to working as a soloist, he has a deep love of chamber music, having worked with Seraphic Fire, The Rose Ensemble, LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music, and Echoing Air in recent seasons. His tandem passion is to be on the “other side” of the piano, coaching singers and playing collaborative recitals. Not only at home in Baroque and Modern music, he specializes in a varied repertoire, including jazz, bel canto, and stealing a few of the trouser roles from women. When not on the stage, he splits his time between coaching fellow singers and spoiling his overweight cat, Brunhilde, and her younger, lithesome brother, Fafner.

Tenor Dylon Crain is currently studying at the University of Louisville, formerly under the tutelage of professor David Adams and currently with professor Emily Albrink. A Louisville native, he attended the Youth Performing Arts School, during which time he began his performance career with an internship at the Kentucky Opera, performing in the chorus. Since then he has sung the roles ofPostiglione in La fanciulla del West, the Newspaper Collector in A Streetcar Named Desire, the tenor chorus soloist in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and The Younger Brother in Dead Man Walking.  At UofL he has performed the role of Tamino in The Magic Flute Martin in The Tender Landand Doctor Miracle in Le Docteur Miracle. Dylon was recently seen at CCM in their summer workshop production of Don Pasqule, singing the role or Ernesto.He is one of two people to win the first place prize in both divisions of the KANM Spiritual Competition, has placed second at the regional NATS Competition, and was co-winner of the UofL Aria Competition. Dylon has a strong love for choral music, and during his time at UofL, he has been a member of University Chorus, Chorale, and Cardinal Singers. Dylon recently performed with Bourbon Baroque at his high school alma mater, as the tenor soloist in J. S. Bach’s Magnificat.

Nathan Dougherty, tenor, is currently pursuing a PhD in Musicology with an emphasis in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University, where he studies voice with Ellen Hargis and Dina Kuznetsova. As a soloist and chamber singer, he has performed with numerous early music ensembles, including Apollo’s Fire, Les Délices, Atlanta Baroque, The Newberry Consort, Trobàr, and L’Académie du Roi Soleil. This season, he will make his debut with Bourbon Baroque and The Thirteen. His operatic roles include Hippolyte in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, Acis in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Le Soleil in Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Don Curzio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. His research explores performance cultures and practices in 19th-century Paris, with an especial focus on the romance and early mélodie.    

Zackery Morris, tenor, is thrilled to return for his third year in Bourbon Baroque's performance of Handel's Messiah! Zackery has been a featured performer through the United States and Europe in oratorio, opera and musical theatre. Stage roles that Zackery has portrayed include Ernesto (Don Pasquale), Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviliga), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), The Four Servants (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Anthony Hope (Sweeney Todd), Tateh (Ragtime) and Jonathon Dale (Silent Night). Most recently, Zackery performed the role of Mozart in Rimsky Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri.  He has been a collaborating artist in training programs such as The Ohio Light Opera, Bayview Music Festival, Opera Maine and most recently Opera Saratoga for the past two summers. Zackery has performed with other companies and ensembles including Gulfshore Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Carolina, the Kentucky Bach Choir and the North Carolina Master Chorale. Zackery holds degrees from Wingate University, and the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in the spring of 2019. Zackery is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Murray State University.

Daniel Fridley, bass, is a third year doctoral student in the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Historical Performance Practice program, studying with Ellen Hargis and Dean Southern. His "wide palette of colors" (Parterre Box) and "spotless, resonant bass" (Cleveland Classical) lends itself well to a wide variety of genres and styles. He obtained his Masters of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in 2017. This summer he was a Studio Artist with Teatro Nuovo, singing Pretore in Rossini's La gazza ladra, and the previous summer he was a Studio Artist with Central City Opera. Recent performances include Bach’s Coffee Cantata (Wyoming Baroque); Masetto and Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Universal Artists Festival); Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri (L'Académie du Roi Soleil); Thésée in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie (CIM and CWRU joint production); “What’s Old is New,” a program featuring the music of the Leuven Chansonnier (Les Délices and the Newberry Consort); Fiorello in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia (Cleveland Opera Theater); "Dangerous Love," a program of fiery 17th-century Italian music (Newberry Consort); Dottore Grenvil in Verdi's La traviata (The Cleveland Opera); Jesus in Bach's St. John Passion (Atlanta Baroque); Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni (La Musica Lirica); and Polyphemus in Handel'a Acis and Galatea (CWRU).

With a voice praised for its “dark-hued splendor” (San Francisco Gate), baritone David Rugger is establishing a career as in oratorio, early music, and ensemble singing. Highlights of the 2019-2020 season include appearances with the St. Louis Bach Society, Conspirare, Dayton Bach Society, Vocal Arts Ensemble (Cincinnati), and Seraphic Fire. A scholar as well as a performer, he earned his PhD in musicology from Indiana University, where he also studied voice and was active in the Historical Performance Institute. In his scholarship, David explores the relationship between vocal sound, the body, and identity in the long twentieth century, especially in England and America. He currently teaches at University of Indianapolis and Butler University.

Jason Steigerwalt is an American baritone with an active career in both Germany and the United States. As a concert singer, he has recently been heard in Handel’s Messiah and Saul, Saint-Saens Oratorio de Noel and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut singing under the direction of Ton Koopman in Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum, and was heard again the following year performing Faure’s Reqiuem. As an ensemble member, he has worked with the RIAS Kammerchor and Rundfunkchor in Berlin, the Gächinger Kantorei in Stuttgart, Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland and Musica Sacra in New York. Since 2013, he has been employed as a full-time member of the Komische Oper Berlin, where he has sung in over one hundred performances each season. Notable productions during this time were Prokofiev’s Der feurige Engel, Shostakovich’s Die Nase, Mozart’s Figaro, and Barrie Kosky’s highly celebrated productions of Berstein’s West Side Story, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Schönberg’sMoses und Aron, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Handel’s Semele, and Bock’s Anatevka. He is a graduate of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, as well as Susquehanna University, with additional studies at Temple University. He was selected for vocal fellowships at both the Carmel and Oregon Bach Festivals.