AZO Cast Members & Creatives
Puerto Rican soprano Abigail Santos Villalobos continues to thrill audiences with her pure, satiny and lustrous sound delivered with penetrating and emotional performances in both operatic and concert appearances.
Adam Diegel rapidly is establishing international notoriety for an impassioned dramatic sense, powerful voice, and for his classic leading looks in the lyric tenor repertoire.
Mezzo soprano Adriana Zabala enjoys a vibrant career that spans performance and recording of new opera, song, and concert works, as well beloved operatic roles, traditional concert and oratorio works, German Lieder, French Mélodie, and American and Spanish song.
Alberto Álvaro Ríos, born in 1952 in Nogales, Arizona, is the author of ten books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.
The brilliant lyric tenor Alek Shrader continues to impress audiences with the “luxury of his phrasing, the clarity of his diction and the sensitivity and expressiveness of his characterizations”.
Russian-American baritone Aleksey Bogdanov "commands a handsome dark quality wedded to a solid baritone" (Opera Today) that "rumbles rivetingly from top to bottom" (Opera News). Recent highlights include Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at The Glimmerglass Festival, Escamillo in Carmen with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and The Atlanta Opera, Eugene Onegin with Edmonton Opera, and Bass Soloist in Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall.
Hailed as "a singer to watch" (The Washington Post) with a voice that is “powerful and projecting" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Alexandra Loutsion continues to be recognized for her passionate performances and vocal versatility as a rising star on the operatic stage.
Dramatic Mezzo-soprano Alexis Davis Hazell is a teaching artist and active performer on the international opera stage. Her appearances have earned accolades for the size and quality of her instrument and the dramatic intensity she brings to the development of character.
American Soprano Alicia Gianni, whose performances have been described as “charming, impressive” and “powerfully real,” has enjoyed successes on both operatic and concert stages, including nominations for Houston’s Best Jazz Vocalist by the Houston Press 2011 Music Awards. Such nominations have followed concerts in Las Vegas for T-Mobile, Magic Johnson, and The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson.
Allen Perriello is entering his fifth season at Arizona Opera as Head of Music and Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio.
Lauded for her vocal agility and dynamic stage presence, Alyssa Martin is quickly garnering attention as a standout young singer.
Hailed for her “luscious”, “powerful” voice and “dazzling technical facility”, Amanda Opuszynski has established herself as a versatile lyric soprano to watch.
American soprano Amber Wagner is a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals and was featured in the documentary film “The Audition,” which opened to audiences nationwide in 2009.
Amy Mahoney was featured as Mary in worldwide television broadcasts of The Birth of Christ by Andrew T. Miller filmed at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, and narrated by Liam Neeson. She reprised the role at Christmastime 2013 at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria.
Andrea Shokery is a dynamic young performer quickly garnering attention for her “magnetic stage presence” and “tangy soprano… [that is] simply delicious” (The Arts Louisville, The Arizona Republic). In the 2015-2016 season, Ms.
Tenor Andrew Bidlack, a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship, begins the 2014-15 season with a return to San Francisco Opera covering both Don Ramiro in La cenerentola and Emilio in Händel’s Partenope. Following this he will head to Dallas Opera to create the role of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot’s Everest, a new opera depicting the tragic disaste
Winner of the Zarzuela prize at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, American tenor Andrew Owens has quickly built a reputation as one of the most promising singers of his generation, exhibiting a beautiful Italianate timbre, soaring top notes, and effortless agility.
Andrew Penning, originally from St. Paul, MN, is a tenor in the Arizona Opera Studio.
Andrew Stenson is quickly building a reputation as one of the United States’ most exciting young tenors, with a brilliant tone, artistic intellect, and superb portrayals of a variety of roles. He is the first prize winner in both the 2015 Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition and 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition.
Celebrated for her Fiordiligi at Spoleto USA as “Blonde and vivacious, with a soaring spinto voice that takes a high C easily, trills beautifully, and handles coloratura like a dream,” (Post and Courier) American soprano Angela Fout’s operatic repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary, and she is an avid concert and festival performer on the national and international stage.
Tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro, a Florida native, is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Florida State University under David Okerlund, and has recently performed the role of Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Florida State Opera.
Praised by the New York Times as an “excellent tenor” with a voice that has “ping and richness,” American tenor Anthony Kalil is currently a member of the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera.
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia (then parts of the Austrian Empire and now constituting the Czech Republic).
With performances that have been called poetic, earthy, vigorous and highly individual, Ari Pelto is in demand in opera houses and with symphony orchestras throughout the United States.
American mezzo-soprano Beth Lytwynec most recently returned to The Glimmerglass Festival, singing the role of Dryad in Francesca Zambello's new production of Ariadne in Naxos. Following her first season as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera, Ms.
Acclaimed by Opera News as a "standout," the young American bass, Brent Michael Smith, is a rising star whose rich voice and charming persona have attracted the attention of companies across the United States.
San Antonio native Brian Shircliffe has performed with numerous opera companies including Houston Grand Opera, Dayton Opera, Lake George Opera, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Opera Vista, and Opera in the Heights.
As the creative director and stage director for Opera Parallèle since 2007, Brian Staufenbiel actively works across a wide range of artistic disciplines.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Brittany Wheeler earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She participated in the Young American Artist Program at Glimmerglass Opera, where she sang Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Calvin Griffin, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is excited to begin his first season with the Florida Grand Opera young artist program this Fall. Mr. Griffin made his debut with the company stepping in as a cover to sing the role of Escamillo in the second performance of Carmen.
Owner of a "wonderful creamy chocolate voice" Cassandra Zoe Velasco is considered one of Mexico’s rising stars of opera. A recent graduate of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at the Los Angeles Opera, Cassandra was a semi- finalist of the 2012 edition of Operalia.
American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook has excelled in a wide range of roles with leading companies throughout the United States. Opera Today wrote that “to say that Ms. Cook was a revelation is an understatement, since she stamped the part as her own, and experienced a triumph for her sensational performance.... Ms.
Cecilia Duarte is a native of Chihuahua, Mexico. Besides her work for HGOco and Opera to Go!, she has also participated in musical theater productions in Mexico with composer and director Alberto Espino, performing leading roles in several of his world premieres. She lives in Houston, where she performs and collaborates with various ensembles and composers of the area.
American baritone Chad Sloan is recognized as much for his warm, elegant vocalism as he is for deft interpretations of diverse characters.
Cheryl Cellon Lindquist pianist and coach, is a renowned collaborator who has worked with an array of singers, instrumentalists, choirs, chamber ensembles, and symphony orchestras. Dr.
Raised in the small town of Quasqueton, IA, Mr. Carr has performed roles with Arizona Opera, Merola Opera Program, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. He made his company debut with Arizona Opera last season as a Studio Artist singing several roles including Schaunard in La bohème and Dr.
Previous to his appointment as Portland Opera’s general director, Mr. Mattaliano was the Artistic Director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, in addition to his very successful career as a stage director.
Based in New York City, Chuck has directed opera productions at international companies including Cape Town Opera (South Africa), Cincinnati Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sacramento Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Cleveland, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera Center, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, among others.
Clint Borzoni has written over seventy pieces, including two full-length operas, two one-act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, work for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra and over forty art songs. His music reflects his passion for lyricism and functional harmony.
Cody Martin is quickly becoming known as an important talent in the world of opera. He joined Des Moines Metro Opera for the 2016 season, coaching members of the Apprentice Artist Program and working on productions of Falstaff and Orphée et Eurydice. He returns to Arizona Opera in the fall for his second season as a Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist, where he will work on the music staff for productions of Rusalka, Madama Butterfly, Riders of the Purple Sage (world premiere), and Cinderella.
Cody Martin is an emerging young artist in the field of opera coaching and collaborative piano.
Acclaimed by The New York Times as “an outstanding actress, as well as a singer of extraordinary grace and finesse”, soprano Corinne Winters is a recent nominee in the International Opera Awards Young Singer category.
Based in Phoenix, Craig Bohmler is a devoted composer for the stage whose works have been widely performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. In addition to four operas and ten musicals, he has written numerous concerti, wind ensemble, choral, and symphonic works. He is currently the Composer in Residence for Arizona Opera.
Bass-Baritone Craig Colclough began his career at the Los Angeles Opera. After two seasons appearing with the company in various roles, Mr. Colclough joined Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio, and in 2012, became a Filene Young Artist at the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
American Conductor Craig Kier maintains an active performance calendar while serving as the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at The University of Maryland School of Music in College Park, Maryland.
Craig Verm is praised for his “resonant, expressive baritone voice” (Denver Post) and riveting dramatic portrayals. In the 2016/17 season, he makes his Seattle Opera debut as Papageno in The Magic Flute and returns to Des Moines Metro Opera for the title role of Billy Budd. He also returns to Pittsburgh Opera as Ping in Turandot, joins Knoxville Opera as Ma
Crystal Manich, international director, has been called “masterly in presenting the dramatic confrontation” and for her “nuanced”, “imaginative” and “lively staging” by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal among other publications.
With an active career in both opera and musical theatre, baritone Curt Olds has been seen in productions ranging from Don Pasquale and The Magic Flute to musicals such as Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, The Threepenny Opera, Broadway’s Riverdance and CATS.
Dale Dreyfoos (Interim Director, Opera and Music Theatre Programs, Professor of Opera/Music Theater at Arizona State University and Resident Stage Director for Lyric Opera Theatre) has had a multi-faceted career as a Stage Director, Character Tenor, Actor, Educator, and Arts Administrator. As a Stage Director, Mr.
Stage Director Dan Rigazzi is delighted to be making his debut at Arizona Opera. Recent projects include The Beggar’s Opera at Carnegie Mellon University, Lucia di Lammermoor at the Winter Opera of St. Louis, and La bohème for Ash Lawn Opera. In 2014 Dan made his La Scala debut, assisting Mary Zimmerman with her production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "the evening's biggest find," and praised by both the New York Times for "wielding a rich, substantial voice, along with a winning stage presence," and the Boston Globe for having a "voice full of alluringly dark colorings," Dana Beth Miller is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most p
A graduate of San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellow Program, American Daniel Montenegro is recognised for a flexible and distinctive tenor voice and a varied repertoire of bel canto, verismo and contemporary roles.
Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack has been acclaimed for her “caramel timbre, flickering vibrato, and crisp articulation” (Opernwelt) as she “hurls fast notes like a Teresa Berganza or a Frederica von Stade” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Praised by Opera News as having “a lovely demeanor and irresistible creamy timbre”, American soprano Danielle Pastin continues to gain critical acclaim for her engagements across the country. Ms. Pastin made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Masha in The Queen of Spades in 2011.
Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas has been hailed for her “capacious power” and “a voice lustrous and exciting.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer lauds baritone David Adam Moore for his “enviable swagger coupled with a subtle musicality and big, handsome voice.” In the 2014-15 season, he makes his role debut as Eugene Onegin in a return to Arizona Opera. He reprises Prior Walter in Eötvös’ Angels in America with Opera Wrocławska and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte
"A Danish tenor of beautiful tone and elegantly polished phrasing” (Seattle Times), David Danholt won a First Prize at the 2014 Seattle Opera International Wagner Competition and a 2009 Reumert Talent Award. Born in Funen, he trained at the Royal Academy of the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen, and then in the soloist class of the Royal Academy of Music, Copenhagen.
David Guzmán began his professional singing career performing zarzuela at Teatro Colon in Bogota, Colombia, winning numerous awards in Colombian folk music festivals and operatic competitions. He now sings opera, oratorio, and zarzuela internationally. Recent credits include Haydn’s St.
David Hanlon is a composer, conductor, and pianist praised by Maestro Patrick Summers as “one of the major compositional voices of the young generation.” Hanlon recently conducted the premiere of his second chamber opera After the Storm at Houston Grand Opera. The Houston Chronicle lauded the score as “haunting” and “stirringly successful.” He makes his Carnegie Hall
A native of Plantation, Florida, tenor David Margulis is a former member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera.
Internationally acclaimed for his rich voice with thrilling top notes, Canadian tenor David Pomeroy is enjoying a career that is placing him in the spotlight on some of the world's most important stages.
Texas tenor David Portillo has established a reputation as an accomplished vocalist with “honeyed, perfectly focused singing” (Chicago Tribune).
Dean Williamson, music director of Nashville Opera, is widely known for his perceptive and commanding conducting. He was artistic director of Opera Cleveland and was the founder and music director of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program.
“A formidable display of vocal power and dramatic assurance,” mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel recently completed the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where she performed many roles including Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Curra (cover Preziosilla) in La forza del destino, Paula (cover) in Florencia en el Amazonas, as well as The Cat in Tony Award winning composer Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me. She was just presented with the highly esteemed Betty Allen Award and grant from the Sullivan Foundation.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “Wonderfully natural singing actor,” through his innate sense of style, command of languages, and superior acting abilities, tenor Dennis Petersen is sought after for a variety of operatic roles. More recently he is being noted for his foray into some of the most eminent dramatic tenor roles in the repertoire, such as Tristan in Tristan und Isold
Actress and comedienne Didi Conn is best known for her starring role as Frenchy, the beauty school drop-out in the films Grease and Grease II. She recently commemorated the twenty fifth anniversary of Grease by writing Frenchy's Grease Scrapbook: We'll Always be Together which was published by Hyperion.
Born in 1942, Ed Mell spent an idyllic childhood in what was then the small western city of Phoenix, Arizona. He began drawing at a very early age, inspired by the automobiles and futuristic design of the late ‘40s and ‘50s. A burgeoning interest in advertising and illustration led him to attend Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
Emmerich Kálmán was born Imre Koppstein in Siófok, then in Austria-Hungary, on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, in a Jewish family.
Conductor and pianist Eric Melear has carved out an operatic career as a versatile performer and administrator, dividing his time between conducting, coaching and playing, and having overseen the musical activities of both Houston Grand Opera and Wolf Trap Opera.
Opera News called Fenlon Lamb “moving and convincing” and Seen and Heard International complemented her “well-honed theatrical sensibility.” Ms. Lamb brings these qualities of experience and perspective as an outstanding singing actress to her work as a stage director.
A rising star in the younger generation of conductors, Francesco Milioto is forging a unique career as a versatile interpreter of both the operatic and orchestral repertoire. Praised for his energy and integrity on the podium, The Chicago Tribune has said, “Milioto presided with Bernsteinesque bravura”.
Described by the New York Times as “one of America’s finest artists and singers,” Frederica von Stade continues to be extolled as one of the music world’s most beloved figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname “Flicka,” the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of classical music for three decades.
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22nd, 1858 – November 29th, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas are counted among the important operas played as standards.
Gioachino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies The Barber of Seville and La cenerentola and the French-language epics Moïse et Pharaon and William Tell. A tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, which led to the nickname "The Italian Mozart." Until his retirement in 1829, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history.
Beginning his career singing the bel canto roles of Italian opera, Gordon Hawkins drew early praise from critics like Lon Tuck of The Washington Post, who pronounced him to be “one of the most promising young singers of the decade.”
Mezzo-soprano Grace Newberry, a native of California, is attending the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) for her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance, where she studies with Bill McGraw. This season at CCM, Grace worked closely with William Bolcom in a Cabaret show featuring his works and performed the role of Olga in the Merry Widow by Lehár.
Gregory Hirsch's multifaceted career has included nearly 400 productions divided between opera, theatre and television. Opera company production credits include Director of Production at Palm Beach Opera, Portland Opera and San Diego Opera, Production Manager and Technical Director at Dallas Opera and Tulsa Opera.
Harold Wilson begins his 2016/17 season in a return to Opera Colorado, singing Ashby in La fanciulla del West. He continues the season debuting the role of Mustafa in L’italiana in Algieri with Sarasota Opera.
Soprano Heather Phillips has been praised for a voice that is “simply glorious” and “glistening.” As a recent fellow at the Aspen Music Festival she sang the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Aspen Opera Theatre under the baton of Jane Glover.
Stunning audiences with her sterling lyric soprano voice and incisive stage personality, American soprano Heidi Stober has established herself as a house favorite at leading companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
A native Texan, the young tenor Hugo Vera is described as possessing a “truly heroic voice” that is both “beautiful and brilliant.” Increasingly in demand and a recent addition to The Metropolitan Opera artist roster, Mr. Vera has performed 34 roles and 20 choral orchestral works with distinguished companies in the US as part of his musical and artistic development of the full lyric and spinto tenor repertoire.
Ian is ecstatic to join Arizona Opera again! Noteworthy Arizona engagements include Sons of the Prophet (Stray Cat Theatre), The Light in the Piazza (Phoenix Theatre) and Love's Labour's Lost (Southwest Shakespeare Co.). He will soon appear in My Fair Lady with Phoenix Theatre and Phoenix Symphony.
Young tenor Ian McEuen has been praised for his versatility as a performer, impressing audiences with his “sweet lyric tone” and “gravitas on the stage,“ as well as his ability to evoke laughter “just for walking across the stage.” In November 2013, he created the roles of the Hippo and Holy Man in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori and J.D.
Jake Pinholster is the Associate Dean for Policy and Initiatives in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University and head of graduate programs in interdisciplinary digital media and performance design. As a designer, Jake’s efforts have centered on projection and media design and technology for performance.
The winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award, the winner of both the Main and the Song Prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Grammy nominee, American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has been described by The Guardian as “a great artist, no question, with an imperturbable steadiness of tone, and
California native baritone Jared Bybee is a fourth-year resident artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts under the direction of maestro Christopher Macatsoris and voice teacher Bill Schuman, where he has performed such roles as Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, Prince Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Germont in La traviata, Marcello in La bohème, Valentin in Faust, the title role of Don Giovanni, Manfredo in L'Amore Dei Tre Re, Michele in Il Tabarro, the title role of Rigoletto, has covered the roles Lescaut in Manon and the title role of The Demon, and is currently preparing to perform as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Baritone Jarrett Porter joins Arizona Opera in their 2017/18 season as a Marion Roose Studio Artist, where he will make his Arizona Opera debut as the title role in Patrick Morganelli’s film-opera collaboration Hercules vs Vampires. Further, he sings Sciarrone in Tosca, Maximilian in Candide, and Fiorello in The Barber of Seville.
Opera News praises tenor Jason Ferrante for “singing up a stylish storm” and for getting “the gold star for trills” and The Berkshire Eagle says he “seems to brighten every stage he mounts” This season, Ferrante debuts with North Carolina Opera as Triquet in Eugene Onegin, returns to the Sarasota Choral Society as the Tenor Soloist in Handel’s Messiah, joins
Winner of a 2012-13 Sullivan Career Grant, tenor Jason Slayden has been celebrated for the warmth and beauty of his voice, as well as demonstrating “considerable subtlety as an actor.”
Puerto Rican tenor Javier Abreu has been described as a commanding force on stage, incorporating a rich, sweet and agile voice, with ample dramatic skills. Opera News described him as "…a natural Rossini singer," and The Washington Times stated that "his high, supple lyric voice possesses great conviction."
Soprano, Jenina Gallaway, has performed internationally and throughout the United States. Operatic repertoire includes: Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito, the title role in Suor Angelica, Serena in Porgy and Bess, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Mrs.
A naturally gifted singer noted for her profound musicianship, meticulous work ethic and warm personality, Jennifer Johnson Cano is a 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant and George London Winner who joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera in 2008 and made her Met debut in 2009-2010.
A native of Bolivar, New York, soprano Joélle Harvey is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most promising young talents of her generation. She is the recipient of a 2011 First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a 2009 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and a 2010 Encouragement Award (in honor of Norma Newton) from the George London Foundation.
Director and choreographer John de los Santos has been called a “brilliant combination of literary insight and choreographic creativity.” He has staged a range of productions that include opera, musicals, plays, ballet, concerts, variety shows, and workshop readings.
American tenor John Robert Lindsey, whom the Wall Street Journal called "potently nasty" for his snarling portrayal of the bartender Lloyd in the world-premiere of Paul Moravec's The Shining at Minnesota Opera, has gained a reputation as a budding dramatic tenor with a connection to German, English and new works repertoire.
Joo Won Kang, baritone, a native of South Korea, is the first prize winner of Fort Worth Opera’s 2014 MacCammon Vocal Competition, as well as the Audience Favorite Prize. As a result of this success, Mr. Kang was invited to present recitals both in Fort Worth, and, New York City in September 2014.
Jose Maria Condemi’s directorial work, which has been presented by companies in North America and abroad, encompasses an eclectic range of styles and repertoire and has been consistently praised for its creatively theatrical and innovative approach.
José “Pepe” Martínez was born in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, and joined his first mariachi band as a violinist at the age of twelve. He began writing music when he was nineteen years old, and in 1966 formed his own mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán.
Hailed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times as “vocally robust” and “lyrically malevolent”, American Bass-Baritone Joseph Barron was a winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Awards. In the 2013-2014 season, Mr.
Conductor of opera, oratorio and symphonic works, and educator, Joseph Colaneri’s achievements are outstanding in each of the areas in his multi-faceted career. After fifteen seasons as a member of the conducting roster of the Metropolitan Opera, Maestro Colaneri is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera in Perth and concurrently serves as Artistic Director of Oper
Baritone Joseph Lattanzi is gaining notice for his “robust vocalism,” “unmistakable charisma,” and “undeniable star potential.” This summer, Mr. Lattanzi will lead the world premiere cast of Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera after appearing with Jake Heggie in Opera America’s Creators in Concert series, previewing Fellow Travelers at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and soloing in Carmina Burana with the Reno Philharmonic and at the Christ (Crystal) Cathedral.
Regarded as a conductor of authority and warmth, Joseph Mechavich is known for his exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance as well as the personal and career-defining relationships he has forged with a number of opera companies and orchestras.
Since 1981, Joseph Rescigno has served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee (WI), where he has conducted some of the company’s most challenging repertory. He also has been Music Director of La Musica Lirica, a summer program for singers in Northern Italy, since 2005.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, director/writer Joshua Borths is known for his innovative and thought-provoking productions.
Borths is currently on the staff of Arizona Opera where he stage directs, serves as house dramaturg, and runs the department of education and community engagement.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune praises tenor Joshua Dennis’ performances, exclaiming, “he made his sincerity believable, and his voice, a robust tenor with baritonal heft, rose to the high climaxes with ringing, ardent bravado.”
Skilled across many genres, Joshua Jeremiah began last season with engagements with LoftOpera in a concert of Verdi duets; appearances in concerts with the New Haven Symphony and Toledo Symphony; he joined Beth Morrison Projects in the role of The Man in the world-première of Persona by Keeril Makan; added Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Hawai'i Opera Theater; reprised the role of Gianni Schicchi with Mobile Opera; Petite Messe Solennelle with Smith College; and, a Rodgers and Hammerstein Concert with Toledo Symphony.
Juan Mejia’s local theater credits include Angels and Demons, The Samaritan Woman, and everything at Rice University. He studied acting at Talento Bilingüe de Houston (TBH), and has gone on to perform a variety of roles with TBH, including Miguel in Bocon (Big Mouth) and Otto in Houston Speaks.
D. Justin Carpenter currently teaches voice at Grand Canyon University and Scottsdale Community College. He has been a Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist with Central City Opera where he covered the role of Joe Crowell in Ned Rorem’s Our Town. He has also been a Regional Finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
Recognized for the natural beauty of her voice and her sense of dramatic insight, American soprano Kara Shay Thomson is proving herself a versatile and essential artist on the operatic and concert stages. Opera News wrote, “Kara Shay Thomson gave an elegant performance as Leonore in Fidelio, a welcome foray into Beethoven’s only opera.
Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato and great dramatic depth, young American soprano Karen Slack was most recently heard in the title role of Tosca and as Leonora in Il trovatore with Arizona Opera, Mahler Symphony No. 2 with The Latvian National Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No.
Soprano Karin Wolverton has been described by Opera News as “a young soprano to watch” having “a lovely warm tone, easy agility and winning musicality”.
Kathleen Kelly enjoys a wide-ranging and dynamic musical life as a pianist, opera coach, conductor, and master teacher. The first woman and first American named as Director of Musical Studies at the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen recently returned to the United States to join the faculty at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.
Katrina Galka, lyric coloratura soprano, joins Arizona Opera this season as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio. She will be singing First Sprite in Rusalka and Clorinda in La Cenerentola, and covering the role of Bess in the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage.
Conductor Keitaro Harada continues to be recognized at the highest levels for his artistic abilities and passion for musical excellence. As a recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S.
A noted interpreter of Mozart and bel canto repertoire as well as Benjamin Britten and many of today’s living composers, Opera News has hailed Keith Phares "as an authentic contemporary-American-opera divo" with "an impressive gallery of finely-drawn character portraits".
Arizona Opera audiences will remember Choreographer Keturah Stickann from Orfeo ed Euridice in 2012. Ms. Stickann has served as choreographer for Cruzar la Cara de la Luna at the Houston Grand Opera, Le Théâtre du Châtelet, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A stage director in her own right, Ms. Stickann will direct Don Quichotte for the San Diego Opera in March 2014.
As a growing specialist in contemporary opera, Kevin Newell made his mainstage debut at Fort Worth Opera in 2012 as Maron in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata. This summer, Opera Today proclaimed that Newell is an artist “whose stock is no doubt on the rise,” as he performed the role of Simon Stimson in Our Town at Central City Opera.
Rising American tenor Kevin Ray joins the Phoenix Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Florida Orchestra for Rachmaninov’s The Bells, and the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem. Future engagements include the debut of a leading role with Arizona Opera.
Khachatur Badalyan was born on the 9th of May 1982 in Orjonikidze (Vladikavkaz, Northern Osetia).
In 2004 he graduated with a red diploma from Don State Technical University (Department of International Economic Relations). And studied in Rostov State Conservatory of Music by S. Rachmaninov (professor Petrova N.)
Kristin Atwell Ford collaborated with Arizona Opera to bring Riders of the Purple Sage to the operatic stage. As an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Kristin produced and wrote Fire & Water for Salt River Project, which recently aired on PBS/Channel Eight. Kristin co-produced and wrote, Protecting the Source, which also explores the relationship between fire, forest health, and water in the West and won the 2016 Emmy Award for Best Environmental Special.
A Grammy Nominated artist who has performed in all 50 states and throughout Canada, Bass-Baritone Kristopher Irmiter is one of the most sought after low voices in the U.S. He has appeared with San Francisco Opera, Opera de Montreal, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Baltimore Opera, Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Arizona Opera, and Florida Grand Opera among many others.
American soprano, Lacy Sauter, is quickly becoming known for her vocal and dramatic versatility. She recently completed her graduate studies at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of world-renowned soprano, Carol Vaness. In 2015, she made her debut with The Atlanta Opera as Countess Ceprano/ Gilda cover in Rigoletto.
American soprano, Lacy Sauter, is quickly becoming known for her vocal and dramatic versatility. She recently completed her graduate studies at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of world-renowned soprano, Carol Vaness. In 2015, she made her debut with The Atlanta Opera as Countess Ceprano/ Gilda cover in Rigoletto.
Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim on eminent international opera and concert stages, leading performances with Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, and Opéra Comique in Paris, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, among many others.
Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim in eminent opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Already in her young career, she has led performances with the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris, among many others.
American soprano Laura Wilde, winner of a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, as well as the 2016 Luminarts Women’s Voice Fellowship, has been praised by Opera News as having, “a ravishingly beautiful sound, [and] a fine sense of style and character.” For the 2016/17 season, Ms.
Leonard Foglia is a theater and opera director, as well as a librettist. His work has been seen on Broadway, across the country, and internationally.
Praised as “radiant and authentic” by Opera News and an artist with a “gracious tone” by The New York Times, American soprano Lindsay Russell is quickly gaining recognition in the operatic world.
Loren Battieste currently lives in Phoenix area after completing an Artist's Diploma with the Chicago College of Performing Arts. While at CCPA Loren performed many roles, including Papageno in The Magic Flute and Paul in Daron Hagen's Amelia.
In 2017, Loren performed the role of Imperial Commissioner in Arizona Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly.
Mexican American baritone, Luis Alejandro Orozco was born in El Paso Texas, but raised in Juarez Chihuahua Mexico for most of his life. Orozco is as graduate of the artist diploma program at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He has performed with such companies as Lake George Opera (Saratoga Opera), Opera Santa Barbara, Des Moines Metro Opera, and El Paso Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Syracuse Opera, and Florida Grand Opera and Opera Theater of St Louis.
Luis Ledesma frequently portrays the heroes and villains of Puccini and Verdi in addition to performing the important bel canto roles of Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini. His growing repertoire includes many roles in the French repertoire and has extended to the verismo composers as well.
Marcela Fuentes-Berain mujer de letras, maestra y emprendedora incansable de ideas para la pantalla. Es licenciada en Filosofía por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México y en Cuba en la Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisón de San Antonio de los Baños donde estudió Guionismo, donde fue asistente de curso y colaboradora cercana por más de una década de Gabriel García Márquez. La también discípula de Syd Field, durante el taller que impartió en México, formó parte del taller permanente de dramaturgia del maestro Hugo Argüelles.
Marco Cammarota, tenor, is currently a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia under the tutelage of William Schuman. Recent roles of note include Nemorino in Elixir of Love at Opera Santa Barbara, Avito in Italo Montemezzi's rarely performed gem: L'amore dei tre Re with the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Alfredo in La Traviata with the Rochester Philh
Marcy Stonikas is a graduate of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at Seattle Opera, she performed the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos, whilst a member of the program.
Margaret Gawrysiak, mezzo-soprano, recently performed Baba the Turk and Mother Goose inThe Rake’s Progress; Mrs.
Praised for “a vocal instrument of exceptional beauty, range, and flexibility” and “innate artistry”, mezzo soprano Maria Dominique Lopez, has sung operatic roles both in the United States and Europe, and represented Arizona as a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms.
In 2010, french mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand received the "Grand Prix de la Critique, Revelation Musicale of the 2009-2010 season" for her interpretation of Mignon, by Ambroise Thomas, in a widely acclaimed revival of the piece at the Opéra comique in Paris (the very theater where Mignon had been created), with stage director Jean-Louis Benoit and conductor François-Xavier Roth.
Mark Delavan is known as an international opera star with critically acclaimed performances in Sweeney Todd at The David Koch Theater and throughout the world. With his charismatic personality, versatile voices, and incredible guitar skills, this character actor is now in demand on screen and television!
Matthew Burns is a dynamic performer known for his unique portrayals of opera’s most acclaimed bass-baritone roles spanning the repertoire from dramatic roles to buffo roles, and everything in between. Career highlights include Paolo in Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten with Los Angeles Opera; Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Florida Grand Opera; Leporello in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric O
American Stage Director Matthew Ozawa has an international career spanning all artistic disciplines having worked for prestigious companies worldwide including Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Siam, Macau International Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The Philadelphia Inquirer hails Melinda Whittington as "especially marvelous in handling the rapturous jail scene music” in recent performances of Marguerite in Faust.
Mr. Corvino began his operatic career in 1997, singing the role of Sharpless with Opera Northeast’s production ofMadama Butterfly. Since then, his career has continued to grow and flourish, taking him to Europe and Asia, as well as to many houses in the United States.
I am from White Plains, New York, the son of a Presbyterian boy from Nashville and a Jewish girl from Manhattan. I am the third of four children, and was fortunate to have had a cello thrust in my hands at age 5. My family represented my first band, my first audience, my first collaborators.
A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, accomplished young bass Nicholas Masters was the First Prize and Audience Choice winner in the 2013 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition.
American baritone Norman Garrett, a native of Lubbock, Texas, is a recent alumnus of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera.
Houston Grand Opera Studio alumnus Octavio Moreno appeared at on the mainstage in Houston during the 2009-10 season as Sourin in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, Belcore in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore and as a Noble in Wagner's Lohengrin.
Composer Patrick Morganelli holds degrees in music from both California State University Northridge and the USC Thornton School of Music where he studied Piano with Daniel Pollack and Composition with Frederick Lesemann and Tamar Diesendruck, graduating with distinction.
Paul Nicosia, tenor from Phoenix, Arizona, returns to Arizona Opera after spending two years as a Resident Artist at Sarasota Opera. During his time in Sarasota, Paul sang the roles of Ufficiale in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Villager in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, and 1st Boyar in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Zolotoy petushok (The Golden Cockerel). Durin
Recent highlights of Mr.
Rachele Gilmore has established herself as one of America’s most sought after coloratura sopranos, and continues to thrill audiences around the globe combining what Opera News describes as a “silvery soprano…with an effortlessness that thrills her audience.” A regular performer in America, Europe and Asia, Ms.
Tenor Rafael Davila has quickly risen to be one of the most sought after tenors of his generation.
Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for a “winningly liquid” voice as well as for her “dramatic vividness and vocal flourish,” soprano Rena Harms returns to English National Opera to sing her first performances of Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, makes her French debut at Opera National de Bordeaux as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, returns to Florentine Opera in her role debut as Beatrice in Three Decembers and performs one of her signature roles, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Santa Barbara during the 2015/16 season.
Tenor René Barbera, a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, has swiftly established himself as a dominant presence in the opera world. In Placido Domingo’s Operalia 2011, he was awarded First Prize for Opera, First Prize for Zarzuela, and the Audience Prize.
Rhea Miller was the Soprano Teaching Artist for Arizona Opera’s 2013 and 2014 OperaTunity Outreach Program. She also had the opportunity cover-study the roles of Lucia, Susanna, Josephine, Musetta, Violetta, and Norina in Arizona Opera’s productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, Le nozze di Figaro, H.M.S.
With a “resonant” bass sound Puerto Rican bass Ricardo Lugo is a versatile international artist in demand on the operatic and concert scene.
In the spring of 2015, baritone Ricardo Rivera — who was a semi-finalist in the Met Opera National Council Auditions — made major debuts at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Diego Opera in the world premiere of El Pasado Nunca Se Termina, directed by Broadway and opera director Leonard Foglia, in the leading role of Acalán.
Grammy-award winning dramatic baritone, Richard Paul Fink, has been acclaimed internationally in appearances with theaters that include The Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin State Opera, Opera National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Theatr
Robert Orth has performed 134 roles in opera and musicals in scores of cities including London, Berlin, Rome, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Portland, Washington D.C., and Denver. He was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera.
American mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon has firmly established herself as one of the greatest leading ladies of this generation. Ms. Redmon is renowned the world over for her “glorious singing, intense acting, excellent phrasing, ardent tone, splendid shading, solid coloratura and excellent artistic sense”.
Rodell Rosel is a guest of the major opera companies in the U.S.
Bass-Baritone Ryan Kuster gained vast attention on the west coast for his accolades in San Francisco, where he recently completed a two-year residency and over 80 performances with the prestigious Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera.
Upcoming engagements during the 2016-17 season for Sandra Lopez include performances as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the Arizona Opera, her company and role debut as Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmelites for the Sarasota Opera, and the title role in Catan’s La Hija de Rappaccini for Alamo City Opera.
A native of St.
A native of St. Paul Minnesota, soprano Sara Gartland earned raves as Violetta in LA TRAVIATA with Utah Opera. The Daily Utah Chronicle exclaimed, “Sara Gartland…shines in every way possible…Her beautiful ability to transform the emotions this tragic story contains into her music leaves the audience clutching to every word.”
American soprano Sarah Coburn is captivating international audiences with her “precision placement, mercury speed, and a gorgeous liquid gold tone, gilded by a thrilling top and bottom register” (The Globe and Mail).
Praised as “sizzling,” “riveting” and possessing a “plummy, ripe mezzo,” mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen’s 2015/2016 season begins with a return to Wolf Trap Opera where she performs Susanna in The Ghosts of Versailles and in Steven Blier’s The Rodgers Family – A Century of Musicals.
Noted for her intelligent musicality and warm vocal color, Sarah Tucker is gaining momentum as a stand-out young soprano.
Saúl Ávalos was born in Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas, Mexico, and began singing at the age of six. His father taught him to play several string instruments, including the jarana, guitar, and violin. He studied music at the State University of Tamaulipas, which he entered at age fifteen.
Lauded by the Dallas News for a "clarion" voice, tenor Scott Quinn fills his 2014-15 season with role debuts. He joins the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for Alfredo in La traviata and Atlanta Opera for Duca in Rigoletto. He returns to Houston Grand Opera as Pirelli inSweeney Todd and Tamino in outdoor performances Die Zauberflöte as well as Dallas Opera fo
Conductor Scott Terrell was appointed Music Director of the Lexington Philharmonic in 2009. During his tenure, Mr.
Shawn Galvin is the Curator of New Music Raleigh (NMR), “the Southeast's most plugged-in musical collective devoted to the work of living composers” (Indy Week).
Described as “vocally superb” with an “ample” and “rich” baritone voice, Shea Owens is quickly establishing himself as an emerging artist. A versatile performer with “canny stage presence,” he is well-suited for a wide variety of music and roles.
Stefano de Peppo is one of opera’s busiest singing actors sought after for the Italian character bass parts in operas by Donizetti, Rossini, and Mozart such as the title role in Don Pasquale, Dulcamara in Elixer of Love, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Leporello in Don Giovanni, title role in The Marriage of Figaro, and Alphonso in Così fan tutte. Other notable roles include the Sacristan in Tosca, Schaunard in La bohème, and Geronte in Manon Lescaut.
During the 2016/17 season, Stephanie makes debuts with Seattle Opera, Madison Opera, Opéra National de Paris, El Paso Opera, and Opera Hong Kong. She will also return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for her role debut of Dorabella in Così fan tutte.
Praised for her “full, rich sound,” Stephanie Sanchez is quickly creating a name for herself as a rising young mezzo soprano. Though in the early stages of her career, Ms. Sanchez has already gained a variety of experiences through her education and work in many prestigious settings. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Strauss, Spanish art song to German orchestral lieder, and premiers of contemporary American works.
Steven Mark Kohn’s creative output as a composer, arranger, and writer spans the gamut from folk song arrangements premiered at Carnegie Hall to television jingles for Fortune 500 companies and Disney Channel film scores.
Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” Steven White is one of North America’s premiere conductors of both symphonic and operatic repertoire.
Susan Shafer has performed to great acclaim with opera companies throughout North America and Europe.
Susannah Biller, a former Adler Fellow, has appeared at the San Francisco Opera as Kristina (The Makropulos Case); Frasquita (Carmen); Despina (Così fan tutte); in addition to creating the roles of Lolita and a Bridesmaid in Heart of a Soldier.
Stage director Tara Faircloth’s work has been seen in opera houses around the nation. Critics hailed her “incisive, tightly meshed direction” (Opera News) for The Rake's Progress at Wolf Trap Opera, calling it “a simple and elegant production” (The Washington Post).
Taylor Stayton’s “laser-bright timbre” and “exceptional fluidity above the staff” (Opera News) continue to distinguish him as one of the most sought-after tenors in his repertoire. Stayton’s 2015/16 season begins with his debut at the Norwegian National Opera in his acclaimed interpretation of Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Thomas Cannon is attracting attention as an important young singer with a unique vocal timbre, exquisite musicianship, and sensitive artistic expression.
With a diverse and adventurous repertoire of symphonic works and more than 60 operas, conductor TIMOTHY MYERS is proving himself as an intrepid young maestro with his finger on the pulse of today’s musical world. His commanding performances of the core repertoire are enhanced by his passion for fusing genres and styles, and his personal warmth and approachability forge connections with audienc
Vanessa Alonzo began her training with the late Alfonso Guerra at Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA). She has been a featured performer with mariachi ensembles throughout Houston since 1998. In 1999, she was named the Best of Show Vocalist in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza vocal competition.
An outstanding graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Zach Borichevsky continues to impress all around the world, concluding an eventful season during which he made his critically acclaimed European operatic debut as Rodolfo in La bohème for Finnish National Opera under Michael Güttler, his role debut as Tamino in The Magic Flute with Boston Lyric Opera under D
Zachary James, bass, is an international opera singer and Broadway actor. He created the role of Lurch in The Addams Family on Broadway, Hassinger in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, and sang Handel’s Messiah in the 2007 Broadway play, Coram Boy.
Born and raised in Illinois, American bass-baritone Zachary Owen is quickly emerging as one of the most exciting young artists of his generation. He has performed with such companies as Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Opera North, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Opera Santa Barbara.
Pearl Zane Grey was born January 31, 1872, in Zanesville, Ohio. His birth name may have originated from newspaper descriptions of Queen Victoria's mourning clothes as "pearl gray". He was the fourth of five children born to Alice "Allie" Josephine Zane, whose English Quaker immigrant ancestor Robert Zane came to the North American colonies in 1673, and her husband, Lewis M. Gray, a dentist. His family changed the spelling of their last name to "Grey" after his birth. Later Grey dropped Pearl and used Zane as his first name. He grew up in Zanesville, a city founded by his maternal great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane, an American Revolutionary War patriot, and from an early age, he was intrigued by history. Grey developed interests in fishing, baseball, and writing, all of which contributed to his writing success. His first three novels recounted the heroism of ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War.