Vocal Faculty Directory

Vocal Faculty Profiles 

Lisa Actor, Adjunct Professor, Voice

actor.jpgMezzo-soprano Lisa Actor-Leslie earned her Master's of Music in vocal performance from the Yale School of Music. An Oregon native, she received her BFA from Portland State University after returning from studying abroad in Vienna, Austria with renowned Viennese Staatsoper basso, Otto Edelmann. Ms. Actor-Leslie has appeared as an artist with Glimmerglass Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Yale Opera and has been a guest soloist with Columbia Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Sinfonia Concertante, Cape Cod Bach Concerts, Norwalk Music Festival, New Haven Masterworks Chorale, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Willamette University-Salem Chamber Orchestra, Oregon State University Symphony, Trinity Consort Music Series, Friends of New Music in NYC and the Alamos Music Festival in Sonora, Mexico.

An avid singer and promoter of art song and chamber music repertoire, Ms. Actor-Leslie has sung on many art song series and festivals, including New Music New Haven, Trinity Episcopal Treasury of Art Song, and the St. Mary's Cathedral Sacred Recital Series. Ms. Actor-Leslie is President of the NW Cascade Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, a member of The College Society and The Bach Society and is an active clinician and adjudicator in the NW. She taught at Pacific University, Oregon State University, Portland State University prior to joining the voice faculty at the University of Portland.

Nicole Hanig, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Vocal Studies

nicole-leupp-hanig.jpgSoprano Nicole Leupp Hanig is dedicated to the singing voice in all its forms but has expertise in the teaching of opera, music theater and jazz. She has appeared as a soloist with L'Atelier Lyrique concert series in Paris, Jussi Björling Festival in Sweden, the Maggio Musicale Festival in Italy and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. She has performed a solo recital at St. Martin’s in the Field in London, Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder at Durham Cathedral in Durham, England and was a soloist in Opera Galas for Amnesty International at St. James’ Picadilly in London and for the Cairo Opera in Egypt which was recorded for Egyptian television. Opera roles include Die Feldmarschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. The Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw, and the role of Sian in development workshops of James McMillan’s opera The Sacrifice which was commissioned for Welsh National Opera.

Dr. Hanig holds degrees from The University of Colorado, and The University of Illinois as well as a Post Graduate Diploma from The Royal Academy of Music in London where she was awarded the Diploma of the Royal Academy for distinction in performance. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Professor of music at the University of Portland, she served on the voice, music theater and opera faculty at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois where she taught classical and music theater majors. In addition to heading the voice department at University of Portland, Dr. Hanig is an artist faculty member at Music in the Marche, an Italian opera training program in Mondvaio, Italy.

Sarah Maines, Adjunct Professor, Voice

maines-pic.jpgMezzo-soprano Sarah Maines is a versatile performer experienced in musical theatre, classical, and choral styles. As an active singing voice specialist, she also administers voice rehabilitation to injured singers referred by Portland laryngologists. Dr. Maines is the Cascade National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions Co-Chair and President-Elect. Dr. Maines is a member of the Portland Opera Chorus, voice faculty at the University of Portland, and serves as Past President of the Cascade Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.She holds a BA in music from Berea College as well as MM and DMA degrees in voice pedagogy from Shenandoah Conservatory.

Hailed as a “natural, most charming” performer, mezzo-soprano Sarah Maines’ favorite roles include Margaret in The Light in the Piazza, Claudia in Nine and Maurya in Riders to the Sea.   She lives in Portland with Jasper, her faithful four-legged hiking companion.



Daniel Mobbs, Adjunct Professor, Voice

mobbs-pic.jpegBass-baritone, Daniel Mobbs, has won praise for his "solid, resonant voice and boundless energy...his stage presence virtually ensured that he was the focal point of nearly every scene in which he appeared," as written in the New York Times. Mr. Mobbs has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Boston Lyric Opera Minnesota Opera, Portland Opera and many others. He is sought after as both a performer and teacher, teaching young artists at the Caramoor International Music Festival, Portland Opera and at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Mobb’s awards include first place in both the College Division of the MacAllister Awards and the Mario Lanza Scholarship. He is a winner of the Sullivan Foundation Award and also a recipient of a grant from the Puccini Foundation. In 2008, New York City Opera awarded him the Kolozsvar Award, recognizing his "memorable performance of multiple roles in Purcell's King Arthur." He is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Rebecca Robbins, Adjunct Professor, Alexander Technique

robbinsphoto.jpgRebecca has a background in the Biological and Domestic Sciences, as well as Dance and Theater. She held an assistantship with the Director of the Living/Learning Program from 1973-75 at Southern Oregon State College and performed during that time for the Oregon Shakespearean Festival under dance historian Judy Kennedy.  She graduated from the Drama Studio of London Theater Conservatory program in 1981 and performed in theater and educational film for more than a decade.  

She later trained with Linda and Ed Avak to become a teacher, and gained the only recognized certification at that time given by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique - STAT - in the United Kingdom.  Rebecca is also certified by the U.S. affiliate of that organization, The American Society for the Alexander Technique - AmSAT.  She has 38 years of experience in the field, have taught the public for 28 years, and have trained teachers for 18 years. She has served on AmSAT's Board of Directors and its Credential Review Committee, and has been appointed by the Board to review training course application and re-application processes.  


Jill Soltero, Adjunct Professor, Voice

soltero.jpgLyric soprano, Jill Soltero, has performed a wide variety of roles with regional opera companies including Arkansas Opera Theatre, Berkshire Opera, Sarasota Opera and Connecticut Opera. Opera roles include Anna in NABUCCO, Mimi in LA BOHEME, Barbarina in the MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, and Papagena in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Nedda in I PAGLIACCI, Micaela in CARMEN, Adina in ELIXIR OF LOVE, and Gretel in HANSEL AND GRETEL. Jill Soltero has served on the faculty of Oregon State University, Pacific University, Marylhurst University, Lewis and Clark College and is currently teaching at University of Portland. Soltero holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music degree from the Yale University School of Music. Her teachers include Ellen Faull, Martin Katz, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Evelyn Lear and Joan Dornemann.


Master of Music, Yale University
Bachelor of Music, Univ Southern California

Susan McDaniel, Lecturer, Collaborative Piano, Staff Accompanist

mcdaniel-picSusan McDaniel has appeared widely as a solo and collaborative pianist, including regional and national concert tours as well as appearances in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. She studied piano performance with Jill Timmons and vocal accompanying with Warren Jones, and afterwards worked as a member of the music staff at Seattle Opera and Utah Festival Opera. Since returning to her home state of Oregon, Susan has maintained an active performing career as a member of the Northwest Piano Trio and Northwest Art Song, and was the resident pianist of All Classical Portland’s live-performance radio show, Thursdays at Three. She was previously a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Portland and Linfield College, and spent five seasons as the head opera coach at the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, Maine. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cultivating her vegetable garden, cooking, and knitting.


Master of Music, Manhattan School of Music
Bachelor of Arts, Linfield College