Sopranessence is “rebooting classical music” through innovative arrangements and programming of the classical repertoire.
Public performances awaken audiences from all walks of life to see classical music as an art form meant for everyone.

About Us


A fun take on classical music

Sopranessence is an ensemble unlike any other. The group will take you on a musical roller-coaster from operatic arias to Broadway show tunes and beloved songs from American culture. Not a fan of opera? You don’t have to be! After seeing one performance, you’ll be laughing, crying and held in suspense by the beautiful voices of these talented Divas!

Sopranessence, formerly 7 Sopranos®, was founded by Cynthia Cole in 2007. Mrs. Cole’s vision was to form an ensemble of seven professional female singers (sopranos) that would perform unique arrangements of opera, musical theater and other traditional American repertoire. The goal for the ensemble’s performances was to break the modern pop culture stereotype that this kind of music is stuffy and distant. The ensemble began with various performances in Northern Virginia throughout the calendar year. By 2013, the ensemble had expanded its reach to include performances throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.

In March of 2015, Mrs. Cole stepped down from her position as Director of the ensemble and granted the ensemble members permission to continue the group. The ensemble members chose to re-brand under the name, Sopranessence, with the intent of expanding Mrs. Cole’s vision to include educational and charitable programs. The ensemble provides opportunities for emerging local female artists who collaborate to create these engaging performances.

Sopranessence brings this music to life in new and joyous experiences for audiences of all ages and levels of musical sophistication. The performances are noteworthy for being fast-paced, fun and entertaining. Sopranessence envisions a world where teenagers, truck drivers and tax accountants alike, can relate to, enjoy and, yes, even have fun with some of the greatest musical compositions of all time. Public performances awaken audiences from all walks of life to see classical music as an art form meant for everyone, one that mirrors our joys, shortcomings, dilemmas, and passions – the shared experiences expressed by this wonderful art form!


Meet the Divas

adrienne neal

managing director

Washington, D.C. native, ADRIENNE D. NEAL, has delighted audiences through her appearances with the Aria Club of Greater Washington, Bel Cantanti, and the Maryland Opera Society.  Her operatic repertoire includes Pamina (Die Zauberflote), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Sister Constance (The Dialogues of the Carmelites) Lisette (La Rondine), and Leticia (The Old Maid and the Thief).  

She is a former member of The Master Chorale of Washington (formerly The Paul Hill Chorale); and is currently a soloist at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington, DC.  Adrienne has placed in the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition, the Gretchen M. Hood Vocal Competition, and been a finalist in the Paul Robeson Vocal Competition. 

A graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, Adrienne has studied with Jane White, Dr. Kay Song, and Nelda Ormond.  She is currently studying under the auspices of Shirley Taylor-Moore.

Bharati soman

co-artistic director

BHARATI SOMAN, has been praised for her “lovely, ornamented soprano” and “silken renderings of Mozart’s legato arias.”  Opera credits include Mimì (La Bohème), and the title roles in Semele and Madame Butterfly with Pocket Opera, Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow – Livermore Valley Opera), the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro – Cinnabar Theater), and Zerlina (Don Giovanni – Sacramento Opera. 

As a concert soloist, Bharati has performed works with Choralis, San Francisco Sinfonietta, the UC Davis Symphony, and given recitals for Oakland Lyric Opera.  She is a past winner of the San Francisco Sinfonietta Messiah Competition and the East Bay Opera League Young Artists Scholarship Awards Competition. 

In addition to performing, Bharati was on the voice faculty at UC Davis for three years, and currently teaches privately in Falls Church, VA.

nicole lamm

co-artistic director

NICOLE LAMM, soprano, received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Catholic University of America while studying with Sharon Christman.  She has performed throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, San Francisco, Hawaii, and New York City as well as internationally in Italy, France, Canada, and Puerto Rico with companies including Opera Roanoke, Maryland Opera Society, New York Opera Society, Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Summer Opera Theatre, and La Fabbrica. 

Nicole’s operatic repertoire includes Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Mimì (La Bohème) Laurie (The Tender Land), Monica (The Medium), and Rosasharn (The Grapes of Wrath Suite). 

Nicole has been in Sopranessence (formerly 7 Sopranos®) since its inception in 2007.  In addition to performing, Nicole teaches voice lessons and musical theatre workshops.

shanna balman


SHANNA BALMAN holds a Master’s degree in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Her training also includes Master Classes with famous performer, Nathan Gunn; the Pittsburgh Opera; and instruction in Alexander Technique.

Shanna is a versatile lyric soprano. She is at home in many varied styles, performing at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, in Baltimore, as a semi-finalist in the Billie Holiday Vocal Competition; with Dell’Arte Opera Company in New York City; the West Virginia Symphony singing Ralph Vaughn Williams’, Serenade to Music; and in the Thursday Afternoon Concert Series at the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall at Peabody Conservatory.

jade jeon


Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Dallas, TX JADE JEON received a B.M. from The University of North Texas and M.M. from Stony Brook University in voice performance. Major operatic roles includes Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro with Opera in the Ozarks, Sister Constance in The Dialogue of Carmelites, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with UNT,  Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea in SBU and as Chandra in the world premier of The Thief of Love by S. Silver in NY.  

In Alaska, she performed as a Nun in Rumpelstiltskin with Opera Fairbanks and also sang as Cunegonde in Candide with Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.  In celebrating Opera Fairbanks’ 10th anniversary, she was featured in Vivica Genaux & Friends Gala Concert conducted by Maestro Gregory Buchalter.  Jade was also a member of the Mae Z. Orvis Opera studio in Hawaii Opera Theatre and HOT Opera Express productions for two years and was featured as a soloist for Iolani Palace.  

Recently she moved to Maryland and sang as Anita in La Perichole with The Victorian Lyric Opera Company.  She is a proud Army wife and a mom of two wonderful children and a bunny.

maggie ramsey


MAGGIE RAMSEY, mezzo-soprano, most recently performed the role of Demetrius in Shakespeare Opera Theatre’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Previous principal roles include Woman #2 and the role of Liz (cover) in the professional premiere of “Sweets by Kate” with Marble City Opera, Sandman in “Hansel and Gretel,” Silver Dollar in “The Ballad of Baby Doe” and Giovanna in “Rigoletto,” Third Lady in “Die Zauberflöte” and Medea in the world premiere of Larry Delinger’s “Medea.” Maggie also enjoys singing with D.C. Metro Opera On Tap. She lives in Alexandria, VA.

erika rodden


Mezzo-soprano Erika Rodden has been praised for her “clear, dark” voice (Bachtrack) and her command of the bel canto style (Cleveland Classical). Locally she has been seen as Mrs. Nolan in The Medium with Bel Cantanti Opera.

Other credits include Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro) with Miami Music Festival, Dame Quickly (Falstaff) with The Midwest Institute of Opera, and Mrs. Segstrom (A Little Night Music) with Opera Theater Pittsburgh. She spent two seasons as a young artist with the Castleton Festival, performing the role of Gertrude (Roméo et Juliette). Erika had the privilege of stepping in for Denyce Graves to sing the alto solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Castleton Festival Orchestra under Maestro Rafael Payare in 2015.

Erika holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University and a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. While attending CIM, she sang the roles of Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), Bradamante (Alcina), Maurya (Riders to the Sea) and Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte).

juliana marin


JULIANA MARIN holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Towson University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Peabody Conservatory.

At Peabody, Juliana played Clorinda in the Opera Department’s Opera Potpourri, and had a featured role in the Opera Etudes program, which featured new works by student composers. Other credits include Opera credits include Pamina in Mozart’s, The Magic Flute at Towson University, the title role in Puccini’s, Suor Angelica with the Little Patuxent Opera Institute of Howard Community College, and La Fée (the Fairy Godmother) in Pauline Viardot’s, Cendrillon  (Cinderella) with the Baltimore Vocal Arts Foundation.

Awards include the Towson University Music Department Talent Award, 1st Place in the Dr. Sydney Lieberman Music Competition, a Peabody Career Development Grant, and the George Woodhead Prize in Voice. 

Juliana is a soprano soloist at Roland Park Presbyterian Church and teaches at Lutherville Music School, Roland Park Country School, and the Community College of Baltimore County.
When she is not singing, teaching or recording voice overs, Juliana can be found catching up on her favorite shows with her husband, cooking, or writing songs about her cat, Grayson. 

ruth locker


Award-winning pianist Ruth Locker made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 13.  The Pittsburgh Concert Society, Carnegie Awards, Passamaneck Award, Garrigues Award, and Obenshain Award are but few of the honors she has received.  After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Ruth began a career of diverse performances including solo recitals, concertos, and chamber music.  As a collaborative pianist, Ruth continues working frequently with both vocalists and instrumentalists.

Ruth’s multifaceted career remains quite active.  Most recently, she has concertized in Boston, Washington State, and Oregon.  She has been fortunate to have worked regularly in the voice studios of Todd Duncan and George Gibson, and as a frequent performer with The Potomac Valley Opera Company.  Ruth has recorded on the Amerimusic, Incorporated recording label.