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. In 2015-16 he is thrilled to return to Japan to share conducting performances of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges with Seiji Ozawa as part of the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival. He also returns to Wolf Trap Opera to conduct Gassmann’s L’opera seria and makes his debut with Arizona Opera leading Verdi’s Falstaff. Based in Vienna, Austria, he serves on the music staff of the Vienna State Opera, where he assists on numerous productions, helps prepare the world-class ensemble, and shares conducting responsibilities for the stage music.
Melear’s 2014-15 season began with conducting the San Francisco Opera Merola Program’s Schwabacher Concerts in July 2014, a diverse collection of extended, staged scenes that inspired the SF Classical Music Examiner to remark that it “was a performance in which no aspect of craft was ever overlooked or bypassed.” After spending the fall as a guest staff member of the Vienna State Opera, assisting conductors such as Semyon Bychkov and Christoph Eschenbach, he then served as Musical Advisor to Maestro Seiji Ozawa in Japan for multiple performances of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. He finished the season with the artistic highlight of conducting John Corgliano’s Ghosts of Versailles at Wolf Trap Opera, “drawing highly-charged playing from the orchestra in a performance that felt like a new artistic milestone for Wolf Trap” (Opera Magazine), and with his wife, Louisa Muller, directing.
In his three seasons as HGO’s Associate Music Director, Eric Melear oversaw the HGO music staff and worked closely with Artistic Director Patrick Summers in overseeing the musical activities of Houston Grand Opera. He served as music director of the renowned HGO Studio, auditioning singers, guiding their musical development on a daily and seasonal basis, and programming their role assignments, recitals, Studio Showcase, and major concerts. As a member of the Artistic Planning committee, he was active in casting and choosing future repertoire and helped lead the company to its celebrated performances of The Passenger at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. He also conducted performances of A Little Night Music and La bohème and collaborated in recital with Susan Graham, Brandon Jovanovich, Ryan McKinny, and Tamara Wilson.
In 2010-11 Mr. Melear was on staff at the Vienna State Opera, where he conducted performances of Iván Eröd’s Pünktchen und Anton and Wilfried Hiller’s Das Traumfresserchen. He assisted on over 14 productions and worked closely with some of the world’s best conductors, guest artists, and the State Opera’s ensemble singers. He was also featured on continuo for Don Giovanni, L’italiana in Algeri, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and L’elisir d’amore.
During Mr. Melear’s previous eight seasons with Houston Grand Opera, he conducted performances of Tosca, L’elisir d’amore, Rigoletto, Beatrice and Benedict, Aida, Carmen, and Le nozze di Figaro. He assisted Patrick Summers, Carlo Rizzi, and Edoardo Müller and led the workshop of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, in addition to preparing two other world premieres. As Assistant Chorusmaster, he worked closely with the HGO Chorus on many productions, including Lohengrin, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci, and Chorus! In addition to working regularly with the celebrated HGO Studio, he also performed in recital with Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Ana María Martínez, and Chad Shelton.
Mr. Melear made his conducting debut in 2005 with Oregon Lyric Opera’s La traviata and subsequently served as their Resident Conductor. In 2006 the Sir Georg Solti Foundation honored him at a gala event in Chicago featuring Renee Fleming and Lady Solti and presented him with the prestigious award for young conductors. Consequently, he traveled to London as a guest of the late Sir Charles Mackerras, to Ann Arbor to study privately with Gustav Meier, to San Francisco to shadow Patrick Summers on Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, and to Siena to intensively study Italian. In 2008 he conducted a gala performance with the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Thornton Young Artists. At Wolf Trap Opera he led new productions of Alcina in 2008 and Il turco in Italia in 2010, for which he received praise in Opera News: “Conductor Eric Melear always allowed room for lyrical phrases to bloom…But above all, he emphasized momentum and sparkle. The performance went by in a flash.”
As Head of Music Staff and Studio Manager at Wolf Trap Opera, Mr. Melear assisted Director Kim Witman in auditioning singers and determining the season’s repertoire, and was instrumental in developing the Studio Program for young singers. In his eight seasons there, he served as chorusmaster for nine productions, assisted Stephen Lord on Carmen and La bohème with the National Symphony Orchestra, and prepared regular season productions.
An accomplished amateur photographer, his work can be seen on the covers of HGO’s commercial recordings of André Previn’s Brief Encounter and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Observer, and in numerous promotional materials for HGO, Wolf Trap Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Arizona Opera.
A native of Moline, Illinois, Mr. Melear was a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. His studies also included graduate work with esteemed pianist Martin Katz at the University of Michigan and a double major in music and math from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
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. He has directed award winning theatre productions in New York and regionally, including The Pearl Theatre, The Chester Theater, Cape May Stage, The Children’s Theatre Festival of Houston, New City Theatre, and Chicago’s Fox Valley Shakespeare Festival. Upcoming productions include La bohème at Hawaii Opera Theater and Don Pasquale at Atlanta Opera. Chuck’s work as a director was mentioned in the January 2011 Edition of American Theatre Magazine and the Summer 2015 Opera America Magazine.
In addition to directing professional artists, Chuck continues to focus on his work with artists in training. He was a co-creator of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program where he directed productions as well as created and instructed specialized classes on Acting and Movement for singers. Chuck has directed productions at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program, Florida Grand Opera’s Resident Artist Program, IU Opera Theatre, CCM Opera Theatre, AVA Opera Theater, BU Opera Institute, USC-Thornton Opera, Music Academy of the West, Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, Carnegie-Mellon Opera Theatre, and Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. He was guest professor of Advanced Acting at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, professor at the University of Houston School of Theatre, at Cornish College of the Arts, and was an annual Adjunct Faculty Artist at North Carolina School of the Arts Theatre Department and Fletcher Opera Institute, at Westminster Choir College and, was a Schmidbauer Guest Artist–Stage Director at Stephen F Austin University’s Theater Department. Chuck also uses his enormous experience as a performer, director, and coach in his many Master Classes and private coachings at various International Professional Artist Training Programs for singers and actors. He is also in great demand as a private audition coach in New York City, coaching both opera and musical theater performers.
For 7 years Chuck was Artistic Director of The Immediate Theatre in Seattle: a physically based company committed to the creation of visually exciting dramatic works. Chuck’s specialty in movement comes from a background in gymnastics as well as being one of three Americans to have received a diploma from the Marcel Marceau International School of Mimedrama in Paris. He is the only American to be appointed to teach at Marceau’s School, and he performed with Marceau on his 1991 European Tour and in Klaus Kinski’s film Paganini. Chuck also studied at the Paris School for Theatrical Fencing and was awarded an Honorary Diploma from the French Academy of Arms.
Acting roles include Orsino in Twelfth Night, Brutus in Julius Caesar, and Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew with the Seattle Shakespeare Festival, and Caliban in The Tempest with his own Immediate Theatre.
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.
The autumn of 2016 finds Craig Colclough’s return to London for Scarpia in Tosca with English National Opera, a role which serves as his debut at Canadian Opera Company later in the season. He also joins the Minnesota Opera for Doristo in L’arbore di Diana, and spends the summer singing the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Opera Saratoga.
Last season Mr. Colclough’s performances included appearances with Arizona Opera as the title role in Falstaff and Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, for Timur in Turandot, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Additionally, he returned to English National Opera for his role debut of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, and Los Angeles Opera for Simone in Gianni Schicchi. On the concert stage, he debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Dottore Grenvil in La traviata.
In the 2014/15 season, Craig Colclough made his European debut with English National Opera as Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West, returned to Los Angeles Opera for concert performances of Hercules vs Vampires (roles of God of Evil and Procrustes), and also debuted with Atlanta Opera as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, as well as Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Lieutenant Gordon in Silent Night.
During the 2013/14 season, the bass-baritone essayed the title role in Don Pasquale at the Arizona Opera, covered the title role in Falstaff for both San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and appeared as Bosun in Billy Budd at the Los Angeles Opera. In concert, Mr. Colcough appeared with the Orange County Philharmonic Society for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Past leading roles include Falstaff in Verdi’s Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Leporello and Il Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Collatinus in Brittain’s The Rape of Lucretia, Oroveso in Bellini’s Norma, Rambaldo in Puccini’s La Rondine, Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Friar Laurence in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Elijah in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Additional credits include the Israeli Symphony Orchestra, California Philharmonic, Capitol Records, Abbey Road Studios and the soundtrack of the film Rolled.
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 in a return to Utah Opera and returns to Des Moines Metro Opera as Rappacini in Catán’s La hija de Rappacini. In New York, he sings Melisso in Alcina in special performances at the Whitebox Art Center. His future engagements include a leading role in a world premiere with the Salzburger Festpiele that he will repeat in his Metropolitan Opera debut. Last season, he made his debut at the Neue Oper Wien as he creates the role of Lucifer in the world premiere of Eötvös’ Paradise Reloaded (Lilith) in his debut at the Neue Oper Wien. He also returned to San Diego Opera for Silvio in Pagliacci and New Israeli Opera for his first performances of Malatesta in Don Pasquale and joined Des Moines Metro Opera for Joseph DeRocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. He sang Schubert’s Winterreise in a new solo, multimedia production for Anchorage Opera and reprised David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at the Atlas Theater in Washington D.C.
Sought after on international stages, the Texas native has also joined the Teatro alla Scala for Demetrius in A Midsummer Nights Dream and Cascada in Die lustige Witwe after first joining the company for Maximilian in Robert Carsen’s production Candide, which he also sang at the Théâtre du Châtelet as well as in Hyogo and Tokyo, Japan. He has sung the title role in Francesca Zambello’s production of Billy Budd with the New Israeli Opera in. Also with the company, he has sung Mercutio and Littore in David Alden’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea as well as Ned Keene in Peter Grimes. He made his German debut at Staatsoper Hannover as Figaro in Il barbiere di siviglia that was followed by the title role of Don Giovanni, a role that he also sang at the Kiel Oper. Additionally, he sang the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Carmina Burana at the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer in Belle-Ile, France and Escamillo in Carmen in the inaugural season of the Lismore Music Festival in Ireland.
He recently made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in a performance of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire and subsequently sang Jud Fry in the company’s premiere and new production of Oklahoma! A frequent presence at Seattle Opera, his previous roles with the company include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West. He recently joined Pittsburgh Opera for the title role in Billy Budd and Marcello in La bohème, Glimmerglass Opera for Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera for further performances of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in addition to joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the same title. He joined New Orleans Opera for Silvio in Pagliacci paired with Orff’s Carmina Burana in a double bill. His other noted performances on American stages include his New York City Opera debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte as well as subsequent performances of the role with Austin Lyric Opera; Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and Utah Opera; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Grand Rapids; Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia with the Opera Festival of New Jersey. With Gotham Chamber Opera, he sang the title roles of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphée.
The baritone made his Avery Fischer Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra in Schumann’s Manfred followed by performances of Rabbi Joshua in Dessau’s Hagadah shel Pessach, Don Carlos in Dargomizhsky’s The Stone Guest, and Janacek's From the House of the Dead with the same orchestra. He has also appeared with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson for Orff’s Carmina Burana and later joines the conductor with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall for the same piece, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra as Jesus in Elgar’s The Apostles, Orquestra Real de Sevilla singing Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Vesperae Solemnae, Utah Symphony for Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, and the Yakima Symphony in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem. Other appearances include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Cleveland Red Orchestra as well as with the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra at the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon. Mr. Moore has sung performances of Schubert’s Winterreise as a guest artist at Houston Community College and Hesston College.
A staunch advocate of contemporary music, Moore has received great critical acclaim for previous performances of Prior Walter in Eötvös' Angels in America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and at Fort Worth Opera and also sang Catesby and Rivers in Batistelli’s Richard III in his debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He sang previous performances of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire with Virginia Opera, the Pilot in Portman’s Little Prince with Tulsa Opera and Laurent in Picker’s Thérèse Raquin at Dicapo Opera. He created the role of Vincent Van Gogh in Rands’ Vincent as a guest artist with Indiana University’s Opera Theatre. He recently sang the premiere David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Le Poisson Rouge in New York. With the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, he sang Lieberson’s King Gesar at the Rubin Museum of Art. He has also premiered a number of works by the American composers Martin Hennessy and Stephen Louis Bayne, most notably, 9/11/01 at Guggenheim Art Museum. He performed Bertha by Ned Rorem; The Gold Standard by Scott Wheeler as part of the Kenneth Koch Tribute, which was co-sponsored by the New York Festival of Song; the world premiere of Hell, a new opera by Michael Webster and Eileen Myles; and the title role in Jonathan Eaton’s microtonal opera, Traveling With Gulliver with the New York New Music Ensemble in the work’s New York premiere. Also an accomplished composer, his recent work, Kronos, was featured in a performance by the Oxymoros Dance Ensemble.
Moore is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
|April 9 & 10|
American baritone Norman Garrett, a native of Lubbock, Texas, is a recent alumnus of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera.
Highlights of Norman Garrett’s 2015-2016 season feature his European debut with the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland as the title role in a new production of Delius’ Koanga by Michael Gieleta, conducted by Stephen Barlow.
Highlights of Mr. Garrett’s 2014-2015 season included his return to WNO as Ríolobo in Daniel Catán'sFlorencia in the Amazon and his Lyric Opera of Chicago company debut as Jake in Porgy and Bess, both directed by Francesca Zambello, as well as his return to Cincinnati Opera as Mandarino in Turandotunder the baton of Ramón Tebar. Mr. Garrett also made his debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra in a Gershwin program conducted by Cristian Măcelaru, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl as the Marchese in La Traviata conducted by Diego Matheuz, the National Philharmonic at the Music Center at Strathmore in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and the Lubbock Symphony as Escamillo in a concert performance of Carmen.
Mr. Garrett made his Washington National Opera debut in the 2012-2013 season, where he was seen as Masetto in Don Giovanni (Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance), in the premiere of the American Opera Initiative, and as the Father in Hansel and Gretel. He has recently appeared at WNO as Papageno in The Magic Flute, a Steersman in Tristan und Isolde, Captain Gardiner in Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick, and in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, the Unicorn and Me. He made his Wolf Trap Opera debut in 2013 as a Filene Young Artist, performing the roles of Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff and Il Barone di Trombonok in Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to Wolf Trap Opera in the 2014 season to reprise the role of Escamillo in Carmen and to portray the role of Son Ami in a new production of Milhaud’s rarely-performed Le pauvre matelot. In 2012, he made his Glimmerglass Festival debut covering La Haine in Armide and Amonasro in Aida, a role he reprised at Opera Santa Barbara in the following season.
A former resident artist of the Academy of Vocal Arts, he has been seen on stage with Kentucky Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater, where he performed Marcello in La bohème, Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. Previous concert work includes appearances with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony in Ft. Myers, and the Penn Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with the Dolce Suono Ensemble in recital.
Mr. Garrett is a winner of the 2014 George London Foundation Competition. In the past three years, he has garnered top prizes in more than a dozen international vocal competitions, including the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, the Jensen Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Texas Tech University.
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. 9with Alabama Symphony, and as Aida with West Bay Opera. Other recent engagements include the role of Violetta in La traviata with both Sacramento Opera and West Bay Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with both Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera, Verdi Requiem with Madison Symphony and Sacramento Choral Society, Mimi in La bohème with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, the role of Cilla in Richard Danielpour’s American opera Margaret Garnerwith Michigan Opera Theater, and her featured role in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack “For Colored Girls” as the Opera Diva.
Ms. Slack made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, a role she also performed with the San Francisco Opera, and has sung the title role in Aida with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She made her Metropolitan Opera and international radio broadcast debuts in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller. She recently sang Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion and Handel’s Messiah with the Messiah Festival of the Arts in Kansas and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Sacramento Choral Society. Additionally, she appeared as Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Madison Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera. Engagements for the 2014-2015 season included company debuts as Serena in Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Quad City Symphony, and Tosca with the New Philharmonic. The 2015-2016 season sees her in the title role of Verdi’s Aïda with Austin Lyric Opera,singing Emelda Griffith in Champion with Opera Parallèle, and her role debut as Alice Ford in Falstaff with Arizona Opera as well as joining the Lexington Philharmonic for Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and the Back Bay Chorale for Beethoven’sNinth Symphony. Future seasons include her return to Lyric Opera of Kansas City and debuts with Scottish Opera, Nashville Opera, and the Canton Symphony.
Equally at home in the recital and concert repertoire, Ms. Slack has been seen in recital in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Gibraltar (Spain), Urbania, Italy, Munich, Germany, in concert as Desdemona in Otello with the Melbourne Symphony (Australia) and in New York’s Weill Recital Hall in Ravel’s Chanson madécasseswith Mid-America Productions. She is a frequent soloist and has debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Spokane and Albany Symphonies and most recently returned to the Cincinnati Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony in a July 4th Celebration.
A graduate of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, the Steans Institute of the Ravinia Festival and the Adler Fellowship at the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Slack was seen as Madame Arkadina in Pasatieri’s The Seagull, Die Gräfin in the final scene of Strauss’ Capriccio and awarded a Schwabacher Debut Recital. As a member of the Merola Program she was seen as Mimi in Western Opera Theater’s National Tour ofLa bohème. She is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea. The soprano has won numerous competitions and awards: most recently, the Montserrat Caballe International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Florida Grand Opera Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Award, Liederkranz Foundation Award and the Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice.
Most recently seen:
Emelda Griffith in Terance Blanchard's CHAMPION with San Francisco's Opera Parallèle
AIDA with Austin Opera
Mahler 2nd with Lexington Philharmonic
Highlights from last season:
Serena in Porgy and Bess with both Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Bergen Festival in Norway
Tosca with New Philharmonic
Beethoven 9th with Quad City Symphony
Beethoven Symphony 9 with New Bedford Symphony and Back Bay Chorale
Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera (Debut)
Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Anna in Puccini's Le Villi with Scottish Opera (Debut)
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Guest artist recital w/Julietta Curenton, flute
Verdi Requiem at the Canton Symphony
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."
Javier starts his 2014-15 season with a debut as Pirelli in Virginia Opera’s much anticipated production of Sweeney Todd. He returns to Nashville Opera as Arcadio in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, to Opera Santa Barbara as Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri, in addition to future contracts with Opera Saratoga, and with The Lismore Music Festival in Ireland. He debuts with the Louisville Orchestra in Carmina Burana, with Collegiate Chorale of New York at Town Hall in Handel's Susanna and returns to the Jacksonville Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem.
Mr. Abreu has garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of Rossini’s leading men over the past few seasons. He has portrayed Ramiro in La cenerentola for Nashville Opera, Lyrique en Mer, Wolf Trap Opera and New Jersey Opera, Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri for Theater Basel, Opera de Oviedo, Teatro Municipal de Chile, and Austin Lyric Opera, Count Libenskof in Il viaggio a Reims for New York City Opera and The New Israeli Opera, the title role in Le comte Ory for Wolf Trap Opera and Tacoma Opera, and Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Atlanta Opera, The New Israeli Opera, Lismore Music Festival, Central City Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera on the James, and the Stuttgart Staatsoper. Additionally, he debuted with Minnesota Opera as The Cat in the North American premier of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, Pepe in the world premier of Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera, Padre Ruffiano in the world premier of John Musto's The Inspector with Wolf Trap Opera, and as El Enano de Salnés in the world premier of Enric Palomar’s La cabeza del bautista at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona.
In recent seasons, he also performed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Opera de Oviedo, Valletto in L'incoronazione di Poppea with Opera de Oviedo, Teatro Valladolid, and Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, Ernesto in Don Pasquale for Opera Santa Barbara, and Anchorage Opera, Tonio in La fille du régiment with Madison Opera, and Sugar Creek Music Festival, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with Opera on the James, Telemaco in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria for the Greenwich Music Festival, Tobias in Sweeney Todd for Wolf Trap Opera, Alexis in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer for the Bard Summerscape, and Pedrillo in Die Entfhürung aus dem Serail for Opera Omaha and, Florida Grand Opera
Also an accomplished concert singer, the tenor sang Carmina Burana with the National Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony and the Pennsylvania Ballet, as well as Messiah with the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Lexington Philharmonic. He has been a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brazos Valley Symphony. He is the recipient of awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Macallister Awards in the same calendar year. He also received a 2003 Richard F. Gold Career Grant given by the Shoshana Foundation of New York, and Third Prize at the 2005 Liederkranz Foundation Competition. Also, he was awarded the Olsen Artist Debut Award by Florida Grand Opera. Mr. Abreu made his Alice Tully Hall debut as the tenor soloist in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle with the Juilliard Choral Union. He was a young artist at Seagle Music Colony, and Music Academy of the West, and an apprentice with Central City Opera. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami. After finishing a Master of Music degree at the University of Houston, he worked as a Young Artists with the Pittsburgh Opera Center for two seasons. Mr. Abreu is also an alumnus of the Juilliard Opera Center.
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.
This season, Heather Phillips will reprise her role of Katie in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at Opera Philadelphia, a role she recently created at the Santa Fe Opera. She also debuts at Arizona Opera as Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff and as a recitalist at the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Also at Santa Fe Opera she covered Gilda in Rigoletto and was a featured soloist in a lieder recital under the direction of Harry Bicket for the chamber music series Performance Santa Fe. She also covered Frasquita in Carmen as well as performing in the apprentice scenes showcase as Sardula (Menotti's The Last Savage) and as La Contessa (Rossini's Il Viaggio A Reims) at the Santa Fe Opera. Other recent performances include a return to Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Elvira in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri.
In 2015, Ms. Phillips was awarded 3rd place in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and was also awarded career grants from both the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition and the Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition. She is also the recipient of one of The Santa Fe Opera's 2014 outstanding apprentice singer awards. Ms Phillips advanced in the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winning the Connecticut district and receiving the 3rd place prize at the New England Regional Finals.
Ms. Phillips is also a two-time finalist and award recipient from prestigious Kurt Weill Foundation/Lotte Lenya Competition which recognizes singers based not only on vocal ability, but acting and versatility in the many different genres of sung theatre. In previous years, she has also received recognition and awards from the George London Foundation, Marcello Giordani Foundation, Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition, Schuyler Foundation Competition for Career Bridges, National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Orpheus Vocal Competition, Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and was a district winner and regional finalist in the 2009 and 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2013 she made her Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut as a finalist in the Nico Castel Master Singer Competition and in the same year was selected to represent the United States as a finalist in the Queen Sonja International Vocal Competition in Oslo, Norway.
Ms. Phillips received both her Master's and Bachelor's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and after her formal education, trained as a young artist with Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
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 promising and exciting dramatic mezzo-sopranos on the stage today. She has been engaged by the leading opera houses around the world including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Grand Théâtre Genève, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Cincinnati Opera, among many others.
Ms. Miller opens her 2015/16 season at the Grand Théâtre Genève as Anna in Les Troyens with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Charles Dutoit and as Hippolyta in a new production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She will join Florida Grand Opera as Adalgisa in Norma, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah, Tulsa Opera as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, and both Arizona Opera and the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe as Dame Quickly in new productions of Falstaff. In addition, she returns to Deutsche Oper Berlin for Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes and Azucena in Il Trovatore.
She began her 2014/15 season with the German premiere of Hans Krasa's Die Verlobung im Traum at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in the role of Marja Alexandrowna. She returned to Deutsche Oper Berlin as a guest artist in a reprise of her acclaimed Dame Quickly in the Christoph Loy production of Falstaff, Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, Sonyetka in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Erste Magd in Elektra, and Princess Clarissa in L'amour des Trois Oranges. Additionally in the United States, Ms. Miller joined the Washington National Opera for Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer and made her role debut as Azucena in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera.
From 2012 - 2014, Ms. Miller was a principal soloist and member of the prestigious ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Highlights included her first Erda in two complete Ring Cycles with both Sir Simon Rattle and Donald Runnicles, Dame Quickly in a new Falstaff directed by Christoph Loy, La Cieca in La Gioconda, Mrs. Sedley in David Alden's Peter Grimes from English National Opera, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera. Additional engagements during those two seasons included her return to Opera Colorado for Maddalena in Rigoletto, the alto soloist in Mahler’s Third Symphony with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Mary in The Flying Dutchman for her debut with both the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Princeton Festival, and Amneris in Aïda with Tulsa Opera.
The 2011 - 2012 season saw her as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Edmonton Opera, Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Deutsche Oper Berlin for her European operatic debut, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera, and Amneris in Aïda for Arizona Opera.
Highlights of earlier seasons include her first Carmen at Boston Lyric Opera, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka at Opera Colorado, Margared in Lalo's rarely performed opera, Le roi d'Ys, with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Pensacola Opera, Dulcinee in Massenet's Don Quichotte with Tulsa Opera, Maddalena in Rigoletto with San Antonio Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Chorus, both the Mother and Witch in Hansel and Gretel with Cleveland Opera and Tulsa Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Austin Symphony, Mere Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Lyric Opera, and the mezzo-soprano soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.
Ms. Miller won first place in both the 2006 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition and the 2004 Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, was awarded second prize and the Leonie Rysanek Award at the 2006 Elardo International Opera Competition, took third place in the 2003 Opera Index Career Grant Competition, the 2003 Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition and the 2004 Eleanor Lieber Awards at Portland Opera, and was a finalist in the 2005 and 2006 Richard Tucker Career Grant Competition. She has also won first place in the National Opera Association Competition, received Career Development Grants from both the Dallas Opera and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and has won several district and regional awards in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Miller holds a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas College of Music. She continued her education with Master of Music studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and post-graduate work at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
Lauded for her vocal agility and dynamic stage presence, Alyssa Martin is quickly garnering attention as a standout young singer.
Ms. Martin is currently a first-year Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera. This season she will perform Mercédès in Carmen, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She will also appear as the mezzo soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony.
Upcoming engagements include a return to The Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, where she will perform the role of Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette and a return to Arizona Opera in the 2016/17 season singing Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and Angelinain La Cenerentola.
Ms. Martin’s 2014/15 season included her tenure as an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera where she covered Don Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. While at Santa Fe, Ms. Martin also performed scenes as Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello. Other recent engagements include covering Flora and Annina in La traviata and The Page in Salome as an Emerging Artist at Virginia Opera. Ms. Martin was also an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, where she covered Isolier in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
This season, Ms. Martin was named a winner in the Arizona District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where she went on to place 3rd in the Western Region Finals. In the 2014/15 season, she was awarded a Career Grant from the Seattle Opera Guild, an Encouragement Grant from the Career Bridges Grant Foundation, and also 2nd prize at the Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition at Florida Grand Opera. She has been the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as the Orpheus Vocal Competition, Young Patronesses of the Opera, Opera Guild of Dayton, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, and Utah Festival Opera.
Ms. Martin completed her studies at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree under the instruction of Patricia Stiles and world-renowned soprano, Carol Vaness. On the IU stage she performed roles such as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Cendrillon in Cendrillon, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Prinz Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. Ms. Martin is a native of Greensboro, NC.
Andrew Penning, originally from St. Paul, MN, is a tenor in the Arizona Opera Studio. During the
Mr. Penning has been a Young Artist with some of the most prestigious companies and festivals in the United States. In the summer of 2015 he will cover the role of Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) at Des Moines Metro Opera. At the Glimmerglass Festival he performed the roles of Delmonte (King for a Day) and Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos). With Utah Opera as The Ballad Singer in Of Mice and Men, Opera News said, “cast standouts included … Andrew Penning as the Ballad Singer, whose sweet lyric tenor conveyed the workers’ conscience.” As a Fellow at the 2011 Tanglewood Music Festival, he sang the Second Tenor in performances of Stravinsky’s Renardwith the Mark Morris Dance Group and gave recital performances featuring works by Richard Strauss, Alberto Ginastera and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ chamber song cycle On Wenlock Edge. At CCM Spoleto in the summer of 2010, he performed the role of the Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia). As a young artist at Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York, he performed the roles of The Governor and Vanderdendur (Candide).
In addition to his work in opera, Mr. Penning is also an active concert soloist. In performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Tucson Symphony of 2014, the Arizona Daily Star said “Penning…was a
Cantata 12, Haydn’s Grosse Orgelmesse in E Flat, and Bruckner’s Te Deum.
Mr. Penning completed his Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati:
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.
He will also sing Zaretsky and cover Gremin in Eugene Onegin, sing Victor in Before Night Falls, and sing Samuel in Un ballo in maschera. Mr. Griffin just finished working with the Arizona Opera Studio where he performed the roles of the Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas, Zuniga in Carmen, Pistola in Falstaff, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in The Magic Flute, Hortensius in The Daughter of the Regiment, Colline in La bohème, and Dr. Grenville in La traviata.
Last March, he made his Opera Columbus debut as Colline in La bohème. In March of 2018, Mr. Griffin is very excited to return to Arizona Opera to sing Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville.
This summer, Mr. Griffin will return to the Glimmerglass Festival to sing Elviro in Xerxes, and Undertaker in Porgy and Bess. Last season at Glimmerglass, he sang the role of Fabrizio and covered Gottardo in La gazza ladra, and also covered the title role in Sweeney Todd.
In 2015, Mr. Griffin returned as an Apprentice Artist to Santa Fe Opera where his assignments included Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and Hortensius in The Daughter of the Regiment. Mr. Griffin sang the title role in Gianni Schicchi at the Aspen Music Festival, and he covered the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni as an Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera. He was a Studio Artist at The Wolf Trap Opera Company, as well as a participant at the Brevard Music Festival.
In concert, Mr. Griffin recently made his Richmond Symphony debut as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah. In 2013, he made his Houston Symphony debut as First Apprentice in Wozzeck. Mr. Griffin performed the baritone solos in Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem at The Ohio State University, as well as Worthington United Methodist Church. He was also the bass soloist in the Mozart Requiem at Terra Community College and the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Bluffton University.
In competition, Mr. Griffin was the 2015 winner of the Igor Gorin Memorial Award. He was awarded a Western Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award in 2014, 1st Place winner in the Tuesday Musical Club Competition in San Antonio in 2012, 1st Place winner in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in 2011, and was awarded a Central Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award in 2010. He was also a winner in the Cincinnati College-Conservatory’s Corbett Competition and was awarded the Linda Candler Award at the Brevard Music Center.
Mr. Griffin received his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen King. At The Shepherd School, he was seen in the title role of the Houston premier of John Musto’s Volpone. Additionally, he performed the roles of Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, and Polinesso in Ariodante. Mr. Griffin received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University where he performed the roles of Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring, Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, and Gustavo in Faramondo.
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. Newell recently performed in the world premier Absurdopera, two one-act operas at the 2013 Latino Music Festival, Words & Music and The Leader, both by composer Gustavo Leone. As Jonathan Dale in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer-Prize winning opera Silent Night in 2014 (Fort Worth Opera), Newell received great critical review.
Newell has participated in many prestigious young artist programs, including Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Syracuse Opera, where he performed in productions of Carmen, Amadigi di Gaula, Les mamelles de Tiresias, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Manon Lescaut. As a young artist at Seagle Music Colony, Newell sang Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Julliette and Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, among others.
As a performer of oratorio, Newell’s debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in Messiah was a triumph. The Third Coast Digest pointed out that Newell’s voice, “rose above it all like an angel’s annunciatory trumpet.” Newell has also performed the tenor solos in great choral works such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Messe in tempore belli, and Ariel Ramirez’s Missa Criolla.
Newell is also committed to education, investing himself in introducing young audiences to the joys of opera. Newell has toured Wisconsin with the Florentine Opera Outreach Program, and has lead many masterclasses for young students who are just beginning to explore classical music.
Kevin Newell received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and his master’s degree from The University of Michigan where he performed roles such as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, Laurie in Little Women, and Fenton in Falstaff. Additional opera roles include Albert in Albert Herring and Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas.
Newell currently resides in Phoenix, AZ, and studies voice with Connie Haas.
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. Ian holds a BFA in acting from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama and studied at NIDAin Sydney. Endless thanks to Chuck for the chance, and to his hearts: mom and the sisters. For Addy and dad.