Bold. Brave. Brilliant.
By Emmerich Kálmán

Arizona Lady

Emmerich Kálmán was born Imre Koppstein in Siófok, then in Austria-Hungary, on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, in a Jewish family.

Kálmán initially intended to become a concert pianist, but because of early-onset arthritis, he focused on composition instead. He studied music theory and composition at the National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music (then the Budapest Academy of Music), where he was a fellow student of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály under Hans Kössler. His early symphonic poems Saturnalia and Endre es Johanna were well-received, although he failed to achieve publication. He also composed piano music and wrote many songs: a song cycle on poems by Ludwig Jacobowski and a song collection published under the title Dalai.

However, the popularity of his humorous cabaret songs led him towards the composition of operettas. His first great success was Tatárjárás, meaning Autumn Maneuver, although the English title is The Gay Hussars, which was first staged at the Lustspieltheater in Budapest, on 22 February 1908. Thereafter he moved to Viennawhere he achieved worldwide fame through his operettas Der ZigeunerprimasDie CsárdásfürstinGräfin Mariza, and Die Zirkusprinzessin.

Kálmán and Franz Lehár were the leading composers of what has been called the "Silver Age" of Viennese operetta during the first quarter of the 20th century. He became well known for his fusion of Viennese waltz with Hungarian csárdás. Even so, polyphonically and melodically, Kálmán was a devoted follower of Giacomo Puccini, while in his orchestration methods he employed principles characteristic of Tchaikovsky's music.

Despite his Jewish origins he was one of Adolf Hitler's favorite composers. After the Anschluss, he rejected Hitler's offer to become an 'honorary Aryan' and was forced to move first to Paris, then to the United States, settling in California in 1940. Following his emigration, performances of his works were prohibited in Nazi Germany. He emigrated back to Vienna from New York in 1949 before moving in 1951 to Paris, where he died.

Kathleen Kelly


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. She reenters American musical life at full speed, conducting Ariadne on Naxos at the 2014 Glimmerglass Festival, as well as the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, starring Frederica von Stade. She continues her other musical pursuits as well, accompanying recitals, giving master classes, and training aspiring opera professionals across the country.

Kathleen joins the Domingo-Cafritz program at the Washington National Opera as a regular guest coach, and also works with the young artists at the Los Angeles Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. At UT Austin, she is the principal teacher of the graduate opera coaches, and works with the graduate singers of the Butler Opera Center in addition to conducting part of the Opera Center’s season. Recitals in 2014 include a program of American works with baritone David Small and a German program with the prominent soprano Christine Goerke.

Kathleen Kelly was trained in the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera, after which she joined the house music staff as pianist, rehearsal conductor, and prompter. She was an assistant to James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera from 1997-2006, specializing in the works of Wagner, Strauss, and Berg. During that time, due to her success as a prompter and musical assistant, she was the focus of a Wall Street Journal article and a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast feature. From 2003-2008 Kathleen was also the Music Director of the Berkshire Opera, conducting two productions each summer and overseeing the young artist program.

Kathleen moved on at the invitation of Maestro Patrick Summers to become the music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio as well as that company’s Head of Music Staff from 2006-2010. Highlights of these years include conducting her own chamber music arrangement of Hansel und Gretel in remarkable production by Basil Twist, serving as pianist each year for the Eleanor McCollum competition, and curating the HGOS recital series at Rienzi.

At the Vienna State opera from 2010-2013, Kathleen oversaw the daily musical life of more the fifty ensemble singers in more than fifty operas, the world’s biggest and busiest season. At the Staatsoper she also curated a recital series in the house’s famous Mahlersaal, and served as the series’ principal pianist. She was the recitative accompanist for new productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, and assisted Maestro Franz Welser-Möst on new productions of Kat’a Kabanova and Z mrtvého domu.

Kathleen Kelly has also been notably associated with the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young American Artist Program, the CoOperative Training Program at Westminster Choir College, the Seattle Opera, Opera Australia, and the Moscow Conservatory. As a recital pianist she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Vienna’s Musikverein. She has given master classes at universities and conservatories around the country.

Kathleen makes her home with her husband, Paul Chuey, in the Texas Hill Country.

Matthew Ozawa

Stage Director

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. Additionally, Ozawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mozawa, a performing arts company that generates creative and cultural hybrid works of art with the aim to break down barriers that exist between differing artistic media and cultures. 

His most recent acclaimed productions include: Romeo and Juliet (Minnesota Opera), L'Opera Seria (American Premiere - Wolf Trap Opera), After The Storm (World Premiere - Houston Grand Opera), Nabucco (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Hand Eye (Eighth Blackbird / Carnegie Hall), Arizona Lady (American Premiere - Arizona Opera), Second Nature (World Premiere - Lyric Unlimited – Lyric Opera of Chicago), Y Portraits: Awakening (World Premiere – Mozawa), Snow Dragon (Opera Siam), Tsuru (World Premiere – Houston Ballet / Asia Society), Porcelain (Prologue Theater Company), Snow Dragon (World Premiere- Skylight Music Theater), Fallen (World Premiere - Mozawa), Les Mamelles de Tiresias / Le Pauvre Matelot (New Production - Wolf Trap Opera), Don Giovanni (Lyric Opera of Chicago – Ryan Opera Center), Canciones y arias (Lyric Unlimited), A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera), The Barber of Seville (Lyric Opera of Chicago - Ryan Opera Center), and the world premiere of The Memory Stone (Houston Grand Opera - HGOco). Other directing and choreography credits include scenes for the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Scenes, a site specific Act III of Crowded House: The Winter's Tale for The State Theater, The Pride for Prologue Theater Company, the electro-theatre piece Radio Ghosts for New Leaf Theater, La boheme for Opera North, several student matinee performances and second casts for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Falstaff for Opera in the Heights in Houston, and A Son at the Front at the Athenaeum Theater in Chicago. Ozawa made his New York directorial debut, directing/ choreographing, writing, conceiving and producing Bound Shadow. In addition, he has directed numerous theater and opera productions for Oberlin College and Conservatory, including Tales from OvidSuddenly Last Summer, and The Crane Wife (world premiere opera) among others.

As an Associate and Assistant Director, Ozawa has worked for Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Opera Colorado, Macau International Festival, Indianapolis Opera, and Off-Broadway. He has worked with world-renowned directors including Peter Sellars, Francesca Zambello, David Alden, Bob Falls, Rob Ashford, Gary Griffin, Francisco Negrin and James Robinson. 

Besides working professionally in opera and theater, Ozawa is equally comfortable in the world of music and dance having studied with world-renowned composer/ director/ choreographer Meredith Monk as well as dancer Simone Forti. 

A proponent of arts education, Ozawa has acted as Lecturer for the School of Music at DePaul University and Lecturer / Stage Director of Opera for the School of Music at North Park University. As an acting and movement coach, Ozawa has worked with young singers at the Santa Fe Opera, Ryan Opera Center (Lyric Opera of Chicago), DePaul University, Rider University and North Park University. 

Ozawa has received numerous awards, honors and fellowships. In 2012 Ozawa was the Judges' Winner of the 24hr Opera Competition for Atlanta Opera. In 2011, he studied with Anne Bogart during the SITI Summer Theater Training Program at Skidmore College. In 2010 he was a Charles MacKay Career Development Honoree at Opera Theatre of St Louis. He was awarded a directing fellowship with Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2007, followed by a dramaturgy fellowship in 2008. Ozawa was also awarded the James S. McLaughlin Memorial Prize in Theater for his work at Oberlin (BA in Musicology and Music Theory), as well as being honored Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Lambda.

Upcoming Directing Engagements Include: Don Quichotte (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Madama Butterfly (Arizona Opera), The Marriage of Figaro (North Carolina Opera), Sweeney Todd (Skylight Music Theater), and A Little Night Music (Des Moines Metro Opera).

Alberto Ríos

Alberto Ríos


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.  

Born and raised in Nogales, Arizona, Alberto Álvaro Ríos earned his BA and MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and holds the esteemed position of Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University. His poetry, stories and autobiographical work have been extensively published for nearly 4 decades. Among many other honors, Ríos has received the Walt Whitman Award in Poetry, the Western States Book Award for Fiction, and the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award. In 2014, Ríos was elected to the prestigious position of Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

His books of poems include, most recently, The Dangerous Shirt, preceded by The Theater of Night, winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, along with The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a finalist for the National Book Award, Teodoro Luna’s Two KissesThe Lime Orchard WomanThe Warrington PoemsFive Indiscretions, and Whispering to Fool the Wind.  His three collections of short stories are, most recently, The Curtain of Trees, along with Pig Cookies, and The Iguana Killer.  His memoir about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border—called Capirotada—won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award and, most recently, was designated as the One Book Arizona choice for 2009.

Ríos is the recipient of the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Walt Whitman Award, the Western States Book Award for Fiction, six Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and fiction, and inclusion in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, as well as over 250 other national and international literary anthologies.  His work is regularly taught and translated, and has been adapted to dance and both classical and popular music.

Ríos is a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he has taught for over 30 years and where he holds the further distinction of the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English.

Angela Fout

Angela Fout

Lona Farrell

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.

After seven busy and exciting seasons living and working in Europe, Ms. Fout has recently returned to the United States, appearing with North Carolina Opera and Opera Memphis as Mimi in their productions of La boheme, as well as with Portland Symphony (opening their 90th season) and the Arizona Musicfest for performances of Janacek’s seldom-heard Glagolitic Mass. Since her return, she has also been invited to sing in recital and concert with Arizona Opera and with Gotham Chamber Opera, where she was hailed by the New York Times for her presentation of Pat Nixon’s aria from Nixon in China as “eloquent, simultaneously grand and hushed….It will be hard to hear the word ‘inviolate’ in the same way after her steely, implacable delivery.” 

Ms. Fout’s dramatic appearances have included turns with New York City Opera, Spoleto Festival, Vancouver Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera, and Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar where she has acquired roles in her repertoire such as Mozart ladies Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Elettra in Idomeneo, as well as the title roles in Susannah, La traviata, and Alcina.  Other leading roles she has brought to the stage include Mimi in La boheme, Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, the Governess in Turn of the Screw, Micaela in Carmen, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Romilda in Serse, and Rose in Street Scene.

Ms. Fout joined Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland in 2006, where she appeared in the premieres of Don Giovanni as Donna Anna, Wiener Blut as the Countess Zedlau, and in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor as Frau Fluth. She remained on the full time roster for the next six seasons, for nearly twenty leading roles in all-new productions, including title roles in Arabella, Verdi’s Giovanna D’Arco, Madama Butterfly, Mayr’s Medea in Corinto, Violetta in La traviata and Die lustige Witwe. Other career highlights include performances as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Liza in Pique Dame, and Agathe in Der Freischutz.

After her recital with Spoleto USA, Charleston’s Post and Courier enthused: “Enter Angela Fout, as fine a vocalist as Spoleto has seen in many a year…her personality lent the set dramatic truth, and her voice subtle beauty.” Other concert engagements for Ms. Fout include a solo recital at the renowned Musical Instrument Museum in Arizona, Beethoven's Egmont, Op. 84 with Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, solo appearances with Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Annapolis Opera Orchestra, Baucis in Philemon and Baucis with Orchestra of St. Luke's, a Gilbert and Sullivan Concert with the National Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Wheeling Symphony, Killer B's and South of the Border recitals with Stephen Blier at Wolf Trap. Ms. Fout has appeared as a soloist in An Evening of Chamber Music, The Wednesday at One series, and the prestigious Juilliard Honors Recital at Alice Tully Hall.

Angela Fout was a recipient of the Schaenen Foundation Career Grant, the First Prize winner of the Connecticut Opera Competition, a Finalist in the Eleanor Mc Collum Competition with Houston Grand Opera, a National Semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a first prize winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition, as well as the grand prize and audience choice winner of the Annapolis Opera Competition. She is also a two-time recipient of a Shouse Grant from the Wolf Trap Opera Company, as well as an awardee of the Zachary competition, Opera Index, The Rosa Ponselle International Competition, The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and The Schloss Leopoldskron Lieder Competition in Salzburg, Austria.

Baltimore native Angela Fout completed her Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School, where she received a full merit scholarship, and then moved directly into the Juilliard Opera Center. Upon completion of her studies, Juilliard Opera Center awarded her their most prestigious prize, the DeRosa Career Grant.

Ms. Fout is thrilled to debut in the leading role of Lona Farrell with Arizona Opera as they become the first major U.S. opera house to premiere Emmerich Kálmán’s musical treasure, the German operetta Arizona Lady to open their 2015/16 season.

Robert Orth

Sheriff Harry Sullivan

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. New York City Opera also gave him the Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., in repertoire ranging from Brahms' Requiem to Broadway pops to his most repeated symphonic piece, Carmina Burana.

Performing new American operas has brought Mr. Orth great pleasure and acclaim. He was John Buchanan, Jr., in Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke (based on the Tennessee Williams play), which was broadcast nationally on Public Television. At the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, he was Count Almaviva in the premiere ofRosina. In Milwaukee he was Fantomas in Stanley Silverman's Hotel for Criminals. He played the Lodger in Dominic Argento's The Aspen Papers in its east coast premiere at the Kennedy Center; and he was the Lecturer in Argento's one-man opera A Waterbird Talk in Chicago. Also in Chicago, he sang the central role of the Father in Hugo Weissgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author in its second professional production. He created the title role in the world premiere of Harvey Milk by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie in Houston, New York and San Francisco. In 1997 he portrayed Frank Lloyd Wright in Shining Brow, a new opera by Daron Aric Hagen, based on the life of the great American architect. In 2000 he played Owen Hart in San Francisco in the world premiere of Dead Man Walking, with music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Terrence McNally. In 2001 he premiered Michael John Lachiusa's Lovers and Friends (Chataqua Variations) in Chicago. In 2002 he premiered Garrison Keillor's new opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson in St. Paul. In 2004 he was Mr. Parkis in the premiere of Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair. That same year he first portrayed Richard Nixon in John Adams' Nixon in China in St. Louis, and subsequently in Portland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Vancouver, Toronto, London and Berlin. In 2007 he was Uncle John in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath, and Capt. Compson in Midnight Angel by David Carlson. In 2008 he premiered Sinners in San Jose, a song cycle written for him by Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler. That fall he was LBJ in Dallas in the world premier of Steven Stucky and Gene Scheer's  August 4,1964. He was Albert Godby in the world premiere of Andre Previn's Brief Encounter in 2009. And in 2010, he created the role of Mr. Stubb in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's Moby Dick. In 2011 he sang two world premieres. He was Mayor Fazzobaldi in the world premiere of John Musto and Mark Campbell's The Inspector with Wolf Trap Opera, and Sir Anthony Absolute in Kirke Mechem's The Rivals with The Milwaukee Skylight Opera. He played Blazes in Peter Maxwell Davies The Lighthouse in 2012, in Dallas. In 2013 in St. Louis, Mr. Orth created the role of Howie Albert in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard's Champion. And in 2014, he was Simon Powers in Tod Machover's Death and the Powers. His recordings include The Telephone  by Giancarlo Menotti, Nixon in China, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Harvey Milk, Dead Man Walking, Hansel and Gretel, Shining Brow, The Grapes of Wrath, Brief Encounter and The Inspector.

Mr. Orth also enjoys performing the most popular and familiar operas and operettas. Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus have been his most repeated roles. He has often appeared as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Germont in La Traviata, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.

Robert Orth began his career in summer stock doing plays and musicals and continues to do them whenever possible. He has been Billy Bigelow in Carousel, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Fredrik in A Little Night Music, and, most often, Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha.

Future engagements include Dead Man Walking  for Opera Parallel in San Francisco and Santa Monica, Man of La Mancha for Central City Opera, and the world premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life in Houston.

Joshua Dennis

Joshua Dennis

Roy Dexter

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.”

This season he makes his company debut as Alfredo in Konwitschny’s acclaimed production of La Traviata with Seattle Opera. He also makes role and company debuts with Minnesota Opera as Roméo in Roméo et Juliette and Kentucky Opera as Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio. He joins the Houston Symphony as Jaquino in Fidelio and returns to Arizona Opera to create the role of Bern Venters in the world premiere of Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage, Opera Idaho for his first performances of the title role of Werther, and the Santa Fe Symphony for further performances of Handel’s Messiah.

Last season, he sang Tamino in The Magic Flure with Michigan Opera Theater, Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera Columbus and Opera Idaho, Roy Dexter in the American premiere of Arizona Lady with Arizona Opera, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Ash Lawn Opera. Additionally, he joined Dallas Opera for its production of Heggie’s Great Scott and the Santa Fe Symphony for Handel’s Messiah

Mr. Dennis recently returned to the Santa Fe Opera as Jacquino in Fidelio as well as for its production of Rigoletto. Previously as an Apprentice Artist with the company, he sang Serano in La donna de lago, scenes of Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Ruggiero in La rondine in addition to joining the company for its productions of ArabellaLa Traviata, and the world premiere of Morrison’s Oscar. He also recently sang Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Opera Naples, Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with Eugene Opera, a concert of opera favorites with the Santa Fe Symphony, and Dubois’ Les sept paroles du Christ at Lufkin Presbyterian Church (Texas).

The tenor is also a previous Apprentice Artist of Des Moines Metro Opera. He was a district winner and finalist in the northeastern region of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the National Association of Teachers of Singing Singer of the Year in 2011 and first place winner of the graduate division in 2010. 

He holds a Bachelor of Music from Stephen F. Austin State University, at which his performances included Handel’s Messiah, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Sam in Susannah.

Arizona Opera Studio's Andrew Penning

Andrew Penning

Chester Kingsbury

Andrew Penning, originally from St. Paul, MN, is a tenor in the Arizona Opera Studio. During the 2015-16 season he returned to the Arizona Opera Studio to make leading role debuts as Arcadio (Florencia en el Amazonas) and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni). He will also sing the supporting roles of Remendado (Carmen), Chester Kingsbury (Arizona Lady), and Bardolfo (Falstaff). Assignments from the 2014-15 season with Arizona Opera included Triquet (Eugene Onegin), Borsa (Rigoletto), and 1st Armored Man/Second Priest (Die Zauberflöte).

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 ashow-stealer, singing at times with richly nuanced vibrato and at other times with such ringing clarity that you just couldn’t take your eyes off him.” Other concert repertoire includes: Arvo Pärt’s Passio, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, J.S. Bach’s

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:College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and his Bachelor of Music at Lawrence University.

Sarah Tucker - a stand-out young soprano

Sarah Tucker

Nelly Nettleton

Noted for her intelligent musicality and warm vocal color, Sarah Tucker is gaining momentum as a stand-out young soprano.

As a first year Studio Artist with Arizona Opera, Ms. Tucker will sing Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She will also perform Countess Ceprano/Paggio in Rigoletto and cover Tatiana in Eugene Onegin.

This year, Ms. Tucker competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Semifinals on the Met stage in New York City.  Ms. Tucker was a finalist in the 2014Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Voice Competition. She debuted with Gotham Chamber Opera singing the role of Memory I in the well-received world premiere of Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You andjoined Crested Butte Music Festival as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist, singing Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Suor Dolcina in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. 

Ms. Tucker was a Finalist and Encouragement Award winner in the 2013 Licia Albanese Puccini competition as well as a Semifinalist in the 2013 Loren L. Zachary Competition.  She is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Arizona Spark »

Octavio Moreno

Lopez Ibanez

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. During the 2008/09 season he sang Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto (and he jumped to the aid of a fellow singer in the title role at the last minute).

Originally from Hermosillo, Mexico, Moreno received his Bachelor's degree in Voice at the Universidad de Sonora (with teachers Jesus Li and Marybel Ferrales), then did the artist program at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia (with teacher Bill Schumann). He currently is under Dr. Stephen King´s wing.

The baritone won third place in the 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and represented Mexico in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and the 2010 Paris International competition, as well as third place in the Carlo Morelli competition in Mexico city.

Moreno made his Bellas Artes Debut (Mexico City) in June 2011 as Hortensius in The Daughter of the Regiment. In 2010. He created the role of Laurentino in the world premiere of the mariachi opera Cruzar la cara de la luna and then in the European premiere at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris in 2011. There followed a United States tour of the piece, with performances in San Diego, Houston and Chicago in 2013, culminating in Mr. Moreno's debut as Laurentino at Arizona Opera in 2014. His Opera in the Heights' debut was as Germont in La Traviata, followed by Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor in the 2013/14 season, and the title role of Verdi's Rigoletto in the 2014/15 season. He will create the role of Xihuitl in El Pasado Nunca se Termina at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015, and thereafter repeat the performances with San Diego Opera and Houston Grand Opera.

Moreno released his first solo album in 2013, entitled "Amar a esa mujer", including both mariachi themes and music of his own composition.

Ian Christiansen

Jim Slaughter

Ian Christiansen is excited to join Arizona Opera again. Noteworthy Arizona engagements include Sons of the Prophet (Stray Cat Theatre), The Light in the Piazza (Phoenix Theatre), City of Angels (TheaterWorks) and others. He was recently in Don Pasquale with Pittsburgh Opera, and will soon appear in Shining Brow this fall with Arizona Opera. Ian holds a BFA in acting from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, and studied movement and acting at NIDA in Sydney. Endless thanks to his mom for unparalleled support. For Addy.

Joseph Lattanzi

Bill Sanders

Baritone Joseph Lattanzi is gaining notice for his “robust vocalism,” “unmistakable charisma,” and “undeniable star potential.” ​A 2017 recipient of a top prize from the Sullivan Foundation, Joseph Lattanzi established himself as a singer to watch with his portrayal of Hawkins Fuller in the world premiere of Greg Spears’ Fellow Travelers with Cincinnati Opera, followed by further performances for his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Praise for his performances included The New York Times saying “Joseph Lattanzi was splendid as Hawk, his buttery baritone luxuriant and robust.” and Opera News described him as a “confident, handsome presence, and a resonant baritone suggesting wells of feeling that the character might prefer to leave untapped.” In the 2018/2019 season, Lattanzi joins the roster of The Metropolitan Opera for the first time for their production of Nico Muhly’s Marnie and returns to Arizona Opera for the central role of Lt. Auderbert in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. He makes his Jacksonville Symphony debut in the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, sings Carmina Burana with the Rochester Philharmonic, sings a concert celebrating the music of Bernstein with Atlanta Symphony, and returns to Cincinnati Opera as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Recent performances include his New York debut as Hawkins Fuller at PROTOTYPE Festival; his debut with Virginia Opera as Sonora in La fanciulla del West followed by performances of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; performances with Atlanta Opera as Le Dancaïre in Carmen and Anthony in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd; and West Side Story at Grand Tetons Music Festival with Donald Runnicles.

From 2015 – 2017, Lattanzi was a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio. During his time with the company, he was heard in the title role of Don Giovanni, as Dandini in Cinderella, Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, and was featured in the company’s Sapphire Celebration with Frederica von Stade. Additional performances included Moralès and Dancaïre in Carmen, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, and as the Gamekeeper in Rusalka. During this period, he also returned to Seattle Opera as Kuligin in Katya Kabanová and joined San Francisco Opera for their production of Don Giovanni.

Previously, Lattanzi appeared with Jake Heggie in OPERA America’s Creators in Concert series, previewing Fellow Travelers at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and in Carmina Burana with the Reno Philharmonic and at the Christ (Crystal) Cathedral. Lattanzi’s 2014/2015 season began with a return home to debut with The Atlanta Opera as Yamadori and included workshopping Jake Heggie’s new opera Great Scott, revisiting Fellow Travelers at The National Opera Center, Carmina Burana with the Chicago Sinfonietta, and performing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. The 2013/2014 season included his return to Seattle Opera in The Consul, a debut season with Cincinnati Opera in three roles, and an exciting international debut in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Orchestra e Coro Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi”. Mr. Lattanzi also garnered acclaim for his performances of Il Conte in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro led by Xian Zhang at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. ​ Equally at home in standard and new repertoire, Lattanzi has created roles in workshops of operas by Matthew Aucoin (Eurydice), Gregory Spears (Fellow Travelers), Jake Heggie (Great Scott), Daniel Catán (Meet John Doe), and Clint Borzoni (The Copper Queen). In the 2011/2012 season, Lattanzi was recognized by Opera News Magazine for his “fresh, bright baritone voice” as Moralès with Seattle Opera. As a member of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program, he also performed the roles of Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Albert in Massenet’s Werther. The Mableton, GA native has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). In addition to two summers at the Merola Opera Program, he has participated in programs at the Brevard Music Center and the Chautauqua Institute Voice Program. Joseph can be heard on the World Premiere audio recording of Fellow Travelers, available for purchase digitally and on CD, and on all major streaming audio platforms.

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. 

Paul Nicosia


Paul Nicosia, an American tenor, most recently appeared at Opera Theater of Montclair singing the role of Acis in their production of Acis and Galatea. Following that he performed the role of Danny in Arizona Opera’s premiere of Arizona lady by composer Emmerich Kálmán. Previously at Utah Festival Opera he covered the roles of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème and Enoch Snow in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. During the 2014/15 season, Paul finished his second year as a Resident Artist at Sarasota Opera. While there, he sang the 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). Paul has also appeared on the stages of Opera New Jersey as Normanno in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and at Des Moines Metro Opera where he covered Howard Bucher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.

Paul received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University where he performed the roles of Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Count Tassilo in Emmerich Kálmán’s Gräfin Mariza and Mayor Upfold in Britten’s Albert Herring.  Paul received his Master’s degree from Arizona State University where he performed the roles of Ramiro in Rossini’s Cinderella, Prologue in Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Pirelli in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

Calvin Griffin

Calvin Griffin

Algernon Galahed Bentschley

Calvin Griffin, a native of Columbus, Ohio, joined the Florida Grand Opera studio in the 2016-2017 season. Mr. Griffin made his debut with the company stepping in as a cover to sing the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. In addition, he sang Zaretsky and covered Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Victor in Before Night Falls, and Samuel in Un ballo in mascherawith the company. Mr. Griffin recently finished a stint 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 Die Zauberflöte, Hortensius in La fille du régiment, Colline in La bohème, and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. In 2016, he made his Opera Columbus debut as Colline in La bohème

In a busy 2017 -2018 season, Mr. Griffin makes exciting debuts with Atlanta Opera as Mother in The Seven Deadly Sins and Morales in Carmen, Opera Birmingham singing Escamillo in Carmen, Opera on the James as Leporello in Don Govanni, Opera Orlando singing Alidoro in La cenerentola, and will return to Arizona Opera to sing Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In concert, he sings Handel’s Messiah with the Richmond Symphony and Bach’s Mass in B minor with Gloria Musicae in Sarasota, Florida.

Dale Dreyfoos


Dale Dreyfoos (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.  Mr. Dreyfoos made his Arizona Opera debut in 2000 in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in the role of Ambrogio and has returned to perform the roles of the Duchess of Krackenthorp in La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti), Njegus in The Merry Widow (Lehar) and Pelligreen in Arizona Lady (Kalman). Mr. Dreyfoos has also been an active participant in Arizona Opera’s Education and Outreach Program, having served as the Stage Director for the first Arizona Opera Outreach production of Rossini’s Cinderella. The company’s Opera Dell’Arte Series was created for his unique blend of talents as an actor, singer, and writer, for which he presented previews of operas from the perspective of a character in the opera. His preview for Hansel and Gretel, as told from the perspective of the Witch, was one of his most memorable.

Mr. Dreyfoos began his performing career at the age of 10 as the Boy Soprano soloist with the Atlanta Boy Choir, during which time he appeared as a soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore with Robert Shaw & the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as well as appearing in the French, Spanish, and Moroccan premieres of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera The Golden Vanity. For his performance in Paris, he received special accolades from the musical icon, Mlle. Nadia Boulanger (the protégé of Faure and teacher of Bernstein and Copland) and Mme. Khachaturian (the wife of the famous composer).

Since that time, Mr. Dreyfoos has made a specialty of appearing in a wide variety of character roles including Vespone in La Serva Padrona, Ambrogio in The Barber of Seville, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Frosch & Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, The Old Prisoner in La Perichole, Senex in A Funny Thing That Happened On The Way To The Forum, Henry in The Fantasticks, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, King Sextimus in Once Upon A Matress, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Voltaire/Dr. Pangloss/Governor/Host and Sage in Candide, Frisellino in Le Pescatrice, Njegus in The Merry Widow, Mozart in A Visit with Amadeus, Ben in The Telephone, the Duchess of Krackenthorp in The Daughter of the Regiment, Edna in Bye,Bye, Birdie and Queen Elizabeth II in Hms Pinafore with such companies as the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Arizona Opera, Opera Carolina, Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, Birmingham Civic Opera, Mississippi Opera, Newberry Opera, Charleston Opera Company, Shakespeare Sedona, and ASU’s Lyric Opera Theatre. He has also appeared as the “Bargain Countertenor soloist” in P.D.Q. Bach’s The Seasonings with the Alabama Symphony under the direction of Peter Schickele. He has also made special guest appearances for television and public radio stations in Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC, Phoenix, AZ, and Atlanta, GA, and is a featured performer on two educational compact discs, Bible Times I & III, and a cd-rom Opera-Ha Ha, produced by Arizona Opera. A specialist in “character voices”, Mr. Dreyfoos’s voice can be heard on several historical audio tours including the State of Georgia’s commemorative audio tours for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Edgar Allan Poe House in Richmond, Virginia and on a Civil War Tour of Lexington, Kentucky.

Mr. Dreyfoos is also the author of two highly acclaimed educational music dramas, A Visit With Amadeus and A Visit With Mr. & Mrs. Bach, which have received over 2,000 performances throughout the eastern United States. He has also recently served as a the author of two narration scripts for the 50th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Opera and an Opera Gala for Arizona Opera, which were narrated by Frederica Von Stade and Hugh Downs, respectively. Mr. Dreyfoos has been on the faculty of Arizona State University since 1994, where he received the “Distinguished Professor Award” for the College of Fine Arts in 1996.

As a Stage Director, Mr. Dreyfoos has directed productions ofThe Marriage of Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Cosi Fan Tutte, Elixir of Love, Oklahoma, Giulio Cesare, Xerxes, Ariadne auf Naxos, Hms Pinafore, La Perichole, The Secret Garden, the Turn of the Screw, Dido and Aeneas, Amahl and the night visitors, the Coronation of Poppea, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Nunsense, Susannah, La Serva Padrona, Hansel and Gretel, Don Pasquale, The Impresario, The Bartered bride, Riders to the Sea, The Barber of Seville, The Daughter of the Regiment, Albert Herring, Gallantry, Die Fledermaus, La Cenerentola and the world premiere of the Ransom of Red Chief for such companies as Opera Carolina, Piccolo Spoleto festival, Charleston Opera Company, Birmingham Civic Opera, Arizona Opera Education Tour, Milton Center Series, and Arizona State University’s Lyric Opera Theater. He has also served as an assistant director for productions of La Cenerentola, The Mikado, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, and Don Pasquale with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists, Opera Carolina, Des Moines Metro Opera, Birmingham Civic Opera and the Mississippi Opera. Since 1996, he has served as a Stage Artistry Instructor for the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

young standout singer Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin


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.

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. Lopez sang the world premiere of Maryam Khoury’s Breathless Sun and the Arizona premier of Dr. Judith Cloud’s A Secret History of Water, and has garnered esteem as a concert soloist, performing works including Honegger’s King David, Handel’s Messiah and the Mozart Requiem Mass. Ms. Lopez appeared as the Artist in Residence for the Scottsdale Philharmonic in the 2013-14 season and performed with Houston Grand Opera: Opera to Go! during the fall of 2014 as La Madrina/La Madrastra in  Mary Carol Warwick’s Cinderella in Spain. In 2015, Ms. Lopez made her mainstage debut with Arizona Opera as Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Upcoming performances include Vaughn Williams’ Magnificat with The Phoenix Symphony, de Falla’s El Amor Brujo with Resonance Works Pittsburgh, and a return to Arizona Opera as Bonita in the US premiere of Kalman’s Arizona Lady. Ms. Lopez holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University.