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Aria412 is led by co-founder Desirée Soteres who is joined by a team of dynamic leaders to support our ongoing operations and growth: Louise Van Mook and head accompanist, Matt Gillespie. Meet the Team! 

Aria412 started producing monthly shows at Wallace's Whiskey Room + Kitchen at Hotel Indigo in April 2017 and now has a growing list of followers and venues. Currently, Aria412 can be seen at Hop Farm Brewing. We feature a mix of established Pittsburgh singers and young local performers to stretch their repertoires and showcase their talents. We have successfully designed our concerts to bring in a mix of new audiences in addition to lovers of opera and the live performing arts. By performing in a relaxed setting, we have been able to bring in people who might not have gone to this type of show. The shows are all themed and rehearsed with music selected to surprise and delight our audience. We are especially proud of the innovative ways that we continued to operate via Zoom concerts, video performances, and outdoor venues, through the pandemic, giving paid opportunities for singers during a very difficult time for many performers.
Meet the Board!

meet the team


Desirée Soteres

Soprano Desirée Soteres is equally at home in concert, musical theater and on the operatic stage and has been praised for her superb characterization and powerful vocal ability. Desirée's love for music has taken her across the U.S. and around the world. She comes to Pittsburgh via Memphis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Portland, New York City, ports around the globe through Cunard Cruise Lines, San José, and Chattanooga.


She's played many venues both traditional and unorthodox. Currently, she can be seen performing once a month with Aria412 at Wallace's at Hop Farm Brewing Company.

Most recently, Desirée wrapped filming for the OperaDoc I Hear America Singing with composer Daron Hagen. The live version was produced on May 9, 10 & 11, 2024 at Richard E. Rauh Studio Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA during the filming of the documentary. On October 18 & 19, 2024, she will be seen as The Queen of Elfenland in Matthew Gillespie’s new chamber opera, Thomas the Rhymer. 


Desirée especially enjoys new music and has premiered new works with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Alia Musica and the New Dischord Festival. The most exciting premiere was the title role in Eve Apart by composer Tim Hinck and husband Kip Soteres, which was produced both in Chattanooga and Pittsburgh. Desirée's favorite operatic role is Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. She has had the pleasure. of singing it with Undercroft opera, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Stockton Opera, Pocket Opera and as a Resident Artist at Portland Opera.

In February 2020, Desirée originated the role of Rosella in the US premiere of The Mother of Fishes by composers Roger Dannenberg and Jorge Sartre conducted by Federico Garcia. She premiered the role of Flora Dart in A New Kind of Fallout by composer Gilda Lyons and playwright Tammy Ryan with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera. That same season she portrayed Joe Boyd in PFO's gender bending Damn Yankees. Other theatrical performances include Roselinda in Die Fledermaus with Undercroft Opera, Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Mission City Opera, Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio with Pocket Opera, Cunegonde in Candide with Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Chattanooga Theater Center. Desirée has appeared as Abigail in The Crucible, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Lucy in Threepenny Opera and Celeste #1 in Sunday in the Park with George.

Image by Codioful (Formerly Gradienta)

Louise van Mook

Mezzo soprano Louise van Mook has entertained audiences around the country in numerous opera and musical theatre productions and concerts, including Madame Flora (Baba) in The Medium, The Witch from Into the Woods, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Fantine in Les Misérables, Katisha in The Mikado, and the Monitor in Suor Angelica. She was a featured soloist in a recital series in England as part of the Cornish-American Song Institute in 2016.

Louise graduated magna cum laude and Pi Kappa Lambda with a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Hardin-Simmons University and cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Converse College. She is also an accomplished violinist and has performed with choirs at Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. She currently serves as the alto soloist and section leader at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church.

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Matthew Gillespie

Matt Gillespie is a composer and keyboardist originally from Asheville, NC, and moved to Pittsburgh in 2005. He studied at UNC-Greensboro, East Carolina University, and University of Pittsburgh, where he earned his PhD in composition and theory  in 2014. He plays piano with Aria412 and Alia Musica-Pittsburgh, and writes primarily vocal and chamber music, in a variety of styles. His first opera,Thomas the Rhymer, will be produced in October 2024.



Chair of the Board




Vice Chair of the Board





Co-Founder & Director


Season 7

Hop Farm Brewery

Green with Envy
Brady Collins, Eric Kochanowski, Betsy Lawrence, Katie Manukyan, Savannah Simeone, Desirée Soteres, Vinay Thomas, Louise van Mook, Corey Nile Wingard, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

Switched at Verse
Kevin Adamik, Robert Frankenberry, Jennifer LaRocco, Betsy Lawrence, Logan Newman, Savannah Simeone, Desirée Soteres, Louise van Mook, Corey Nile Wingard, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

Opera Caliente
William Andrews, Tanying Dong, Robert Frankenberry, Caryn Greco, Jennifer LaRocco, Kelly Lynch, Katie Manukyan, Desirée Soteres, Vinay Thomas, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

Double Vision
William Andrews, Katie Dufendach, Robert Frankenberry, Logan Newman, Savannah Simeone, Glenna Smiesko, Desirée Soteres, Louise van Mook, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

American Pie
William Andrews, Emily Gallagher, Anna Lahti, Kelly Lynch, Katie Manukyan, Logan Newman, Vinay Thomas, Louise van Mook, Matt Gillespie (accompanist), Logan Newman & Louise van Mook, guest emcees

Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Concerts
Loghan Bazan, Katie Dufendach, Robert Frankenberry, Eric Kochanowski, Sasha Piastro-Tedford, Savannah Simeone, Glenna Smiesko, Desirée Soteres, Vinay Thomas, Louise van Mook, Rich Williams, Corey Nile Wingard, Nanette Solomon (accompanist)

Loghan Bazan, Brady Collins, Caryn Greco, Jennifer LaRocco, Anthony Massetto, Desirée Soteres, Louise van Mook, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

Thomas the Rhymer Preview
Ray Blackwell, Anthony Massetto, Eugene Perry, Kelly Lynch, Tanying Dong, Desirée Soteres, Jenna Ziccardi, William Andrews, Benjamin Zaksek, Hyery Hwang (musical director)


Katie Dufendach, Jennifer LaRocco, Kelly Lynch, Logan Newman, Desirée Soteres, Vinay Thomas, Louise van Mook, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

Goldsinger II: For Your Ears Only
Rob Frankenberry, Eric Kochanowski, Kelly Lynch, Anthony Massetto, Savannah Simeone, Desirée Soteres, Zoe Soteres, Louise van Mook, Rich Williams, Corey Nile Wingard, Matt Gillespie (accompanist)

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