Austin Opera Teaching Artists
Austin Opera’s Teaching Artists are highly accomplished singers based in Austin. They bring music into schools, perform for Austin Opera events, and hold positions as covers and chorus members in our season productions. Read more about our 2023-2024 Teaching Artists below!
Cristina Flores, soprano
Cristina Flores is a Mexican-American soprano, film, commercial, and theater actress originally from the border town, Laredo, TX. Her performances have been featured in film festivals, audio books, voice-overs, and commercials in Texas, L.A., Tokyo, India, and Nicaragua. Some of her past roles include: Flora in Turn of the Screw, Greta Fiorentino in Street Scene, Maria in West Side Story, and Ben, in Matt and Ben. Most recently she was seen as Lily, in the short film, Pepito, on HBO Latino, and was nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Actress in her role as the bird, Delilah, with One Ounce Opera.
Cristina loves performing in central TX and has a deep background in education through her experience in AmeriCorps, as a Children’s Choir Director at Central Presbyterian Church, and as a Bilingual Early Childhood Music Instructor at Armstrong Community Music School. She has a strong passion for making opera accessible in the community, and currently sits on the board of One Ounce Opera and the Musicians Advisory Panel for Austin Texas Musicians.
Sandra Villwock, soprano
Sandra Villwock is a German-American soprano, praised for her “crystal clear coloratura,” “rich lyric timbre,” and emotive portrayals of the characters she embodies. She attained her Bachelor and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California and is the co-founder of non-profit organization, VOCA Music Association. She recently moved from San Diego, CA to Austin, TX and is excited to tap into the city’s dynamic music scene and continue to grow VOCA’s mission to bring classical music to a broader audience.
She has travelled internationally performing concert and operatic repertoire with companies including: Bologna International Opera Academy, L’Opera Piccola, Pacific Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Orange County, Austin Opera, Austin Symphonic Choir, USC Thornton University Chorus, and UCLA Chorale.
Recent notable roles have included Gilda (Verdi’s Rigoletto), Musetta (Puccini’s La boheme), Rosina (Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia), and Juliette (Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette). In the summer of 2024, she will debut the role of Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.
Sandra has performed as the soprano soloist in various oratorio works, including Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.
In addition to her passion for the vocal arts, Sandra is an accomplished classical pianist, having studied with renowned pianist Dr. Irina Bendetsky for over 15 years. She teaches piano and voice to students of all levels in the Austin area.
Yu-Hsin Teng, piano
A native of Taiwan, collaborative pianist Yu-Hsin Teng received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin under the tutelage of Colette Valentine. She served at the University of Texas as a Teaching Assistant, and was awarded the Butler Excellence Scholarship. She received her Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano at Boston University where she also served as a Teaching Assistant.
Yu-Hsin has served as rehearsal pianist for the William Lewis School of Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus and the Bulter Opera Center’s productions of L’elisir d’amore and Carmen. She premiered the song cycle Love, Loss and Exile by Juhi Basal at the San Francisco Conservatory.
Yu-Hsin has performed piano recitals, concerts, and competitions of vocal and instrumental collaboration in Taiwan, Italy, and the United States, and is currently on the faculty of Texas Lutheran University.