Mark Ensley (M.F.A.)
About Mark Ensley
Mark Ensley, Director of Opera Studies, has served on the artistic staffs of Des Moines Metro Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Opera Memphis, where he was for four seasons the Associate Conductor and Chorus Master. University of Memphis conducting credits include the world premiere of John Baur's The Promise (an opera based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Idomeneo, Werther, The Crucible, Partenope, La bohème, Hansel and Gretel (winner of the 2008-09 NOA Opera Production Competition), and Raphael Lucas' Confession as part the 2012 NATS/NOA National Convention. In 2009 he made his conducting debut with the Israel Chamber Orchestra at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Mr. Ensley served on the conducting and coaching faculty of the International Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel and Casalmaggiore, Italy, from 2000-2010, having conducted The Barber of Seville (Paisiello) Don Pasquale, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, and The Tales of Hoffmann. He served as music director for the US premiere of Bent Lorentzen's Pergolesi's Home Service with the Chamber Opera of Memphis. An accomplished pianist, he has been heard in solo and chamber music recitals across the United States and Austria. He currently serves as Chairman for the Mid-South Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Mr. Ensley holds an undergraduate degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduate degrees in piano and vocal coaching/conducting from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is also a magna cum laude graduate of the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien,Austria, where he received a diploma in German Art Song Interpretation, having studied with Elly Ameling, Walter Berry, Jorg Demus, Hans Hotter and Ernst Haefliger. Former students of Mr. Ensley have sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Deutche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, Opera Memphis, Nashville Opera and at prominent summer festivals and apprentice programs, including Chautaqua, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Festival di Roma, the International Vocal Arts Institute, and Florida Grand Opera, among others.
He can be heard in recordings with Lecolion Washington, bassoon, in "Legacy", works by African-American composers (Albany Records) and with Susan Owen-Leinert, soprano in "From the Treasure Chest of German Leid" (Highwater Classics).