Charlie Parker’s Yardbird
The Swiss American composer Daniel was born 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland and lives in New York City.
Among his credits as a composer are commissions to write new works for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York, the Tonkuenstler Orchestra in Vienna, the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Berlin, The Norrlands Operan in Sweden, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Vienna Art Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Opera of Bern, the NDR Orchestra in Hannover, the NDR Big Band in Germany, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the New York based new music group Absolute Ensemble under the direction of Kristjan Jaervi, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Postclassical Ensemble in Washington, DC, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia besides many others.
The Album Absolution (Enja Nova) featuring Daniel Schnyder's Trombone Concerto received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Small Ensemble Recording in 2002.
He frequently performs with his special chamber music project for saxophone and string quartet, combining composition and improvisation, jazz and traditional chamber music, a format also featured at the Gaia Festival 2015.
The extended catalogue of his chamber music works gets performed and recorded all around the globe.
As an arranger/composer he produced albums for jazz artists Abdullah Ibrahim (African Suite), Lee Konitz (Tribute to Billie Holiday) and Paquito D'Rivera (Habañera, Enja Records). He also worked with Simon Shaheen, Peter Herbert, Burhan Öcal, Bassam Saba, Jing Jang, Marcel Kalife and Jamey Haddad on a variety of projects, merging Arab music and Chinese music elements with jazz and classical music.
Daniel Schnyder's new Opera Abraham was premiered in Duesseldorf in November 2014. Charlie Parker's Yardbird, a commission by Opera Philadelphia, will be premiered in June 2015 with Laurence Brownlee as Charlie Parker. The New York premiere of the work will take place at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater in June 2016 with the New York Philharmonic.
Two concerti for ethnic instruments, his Pipa Concerto and his Alphorn Concerto, were premiered in the 2005/06 season to great acclaim. Daniel Schnyder wrote also a concerto for the Libanese Nay virtuoso Bassam Saba, that became the centerpiece of his special festival program: Arabian Night.
His symphonic work Sundiata Keita for Large Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and 4 soloists from Mali playing traditional instruments was successfully premiered at the Berlin Philharmony during his stay as composer in residence with the RSO in Berlin.
He also tours with the program Around the World featuring the Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Stefan Schulz and worked closely with the the Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble as composer and chamber musician.
The new album, showing his collaboration with the eminent bass trombonist Stefan Schulz is entitled Händel in Harlem, a reinvention of Händels Trio Sonatas.
A new album, entitled Art of the Duo, will be released in 2015, featuring legendary bass trombone virtuoso David Taylor and Schnyder on saxophone.
Daniel Schnyder won first prize at the 1996 International Trumpet Guild's Composition Contest. His Trumpet Sonata was selected as one of the official pieces for the Concours Maurice André pour Trompette 2003 (Paris). He won also numerous awards for his chamber music by the International Flute Association, the International Clarinet Association, the City of Zurich, Pro Helvetia, the National Art Council of Switzerland, the American Symphony League and Meet the Composer.
He holds master classes in composition, chamber music, improvisation and saxophone at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, the Baltic Youth Philharmonic and the Bruckner University in Linz.
He also works as a consultant with major festivals, promoters and ensembles, trying to bridge the worlds of classical music, jazz and ethnic music in innovative ways.
The new works for the 2014/5 season include, besides the two operas Charlie Parker's Yardbird and Abraham, a work for the Artemis String Quartet called Impetus (a Concerto for full Orchestra and String Quartet), a Bassoon Concerto for the Dresden Philharmony, a Pipa Concerto for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, a Double Concerto for Trombone and Saxophone played at the Musikverein in Vienna, and his orchestral work Drakool, played at Carnegie Hall in February 2015 by the ACO.
2014 he also 'recomposed' the lost opera Alceste by Händel for the Händel Festival 2014 in Halle (Germany) featuring Kristjan Jaervi, the MDR Orchestra, Thomas Dobler on vibes and himself on saxophone.
Daniel Schnyder toured 2014 with the Absolute Ensemble and Sara Chang in Korea, playing his new work Hn Moo, based on traditional Chinese folk songs.
Absolute Ensemble released a CD in 2014 on Sony Classical with Daniel Schnyder's ToopART Reinventions, a new work reflecting on Bach's Two Part Inventions, featuring Simone Dinnerstein on piano and himself on sax.
Bridgette Wimberly is an award winning poet, playwright, and librettist who has been commissioned and produced by a number of prominent theaters Off-Broadway and across the U. S. Among them are Hackney Empire-London, Opera Philadelphia, Apollo Theatre, Madison Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago (Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD); Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, The Cherry Lane Theatre, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, and The Women’s Project (Saint Lucy’s Eyes, starring Ruby Dee, directed by Billie Allen); Kuntu Repertory Theatre (The Separation of Blood); New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she is a lifetime member (Rally, Modern Romance, Mail, Pluto, and a commissioned reading of The Separation of Blood with James Earl Jones, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Roger Robinson, Linda Powell and Olivia Ford); Cleveland Play House (Forest City), Manhattan Theater Club (The Mark), Karamu Theatre (From Breast Cancer to Broadway); and The Dance Theatre of Harlem (Cool).
Her celebrated plays have been published by Samuel French and included in the anthologies of “Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project, volume One” 2014; Smith and Kraus “Best 10 Minute Plays 2010” and “Best Plays by Women 2001”; and the Women’s Project and Productions “A Theatre for Women’s Voices” 2003. Her poems are published in six anthologies of poetry by the poetry group Cave Canem from 1999 to 2008. Her article, "The Bird in my hand: my journey to Charlie Parker" was published by The Guardian, June 2017. She has been on the Board of Directors at Cherry Lane Theatre, the longest running Off-Broadway Theatre, for ten years. She is a lifetime member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre, was a New York Foundation for the Arts Artspire Artist, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild.
Bridgette first play Saint Lucy’s Eyes starring Ruby Dee received three AUDELCO Awards, a Kesslering nomination for best new play, and a Lucille Lortel nomination for best actress. Originally part of Cherry Lane Theatre's Mentor Project, she was mentored by playwright Wendy Wasserstein. For Forest City, commissioned and produced by the Cleveland Play House, she received a Proclamation from the City of Cleveland honoring her for capturing part of the city’s history. The Separation of Blood, commissioned by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Science Foundation, production by Kuntu Repertory Theatre in 2007 received the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health’s ‘Healthy Black Family Award’. On April 14, 2011, Tony Award winning actors James Earl Jones, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Roger Robinson with Linda Powell and Olivia Ford performed a reading of The Separation of Blood at The Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York as part of their First Light Festival. It was work shopped at Arena Stage (where Drew's 90+ year-old sisters attended), Cleveland Play House, Karamu House, and Saint Louis Black Repertory Theatre also presented readings of this play.
Bridgette received an Appreciation Award in 2009 from Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Going to the River. This award recognized her contribution, continued support and efforts to serve women playwrights. The River Crosses Rivers festival produced fourteen short plays including a new play by Ruby Dee. Bridgette’s short play Rally, part of this production, is published in “The Best 10 Minute Plays of 2010” by Smith and Kraus. Bridgette’s commissioned libretto Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD about Jazz giant Charlie Parker, Jr., for Opera Philadelphia had its World Premiere in June 2015 to critical acclaim starring world renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee and soprano Angela Brown. It opened in New York, Chicago, Madison, and London thus far. A Radio broadcast of this opera can be heard at http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/charlie-parkers-yardbird-apollo/
Bridgette was part of the 2006/08 Women’s Project Producers’ Lab; a member of Lincoln Center Theatre’s Directors Lab where she produced four satellite productions in collaboration with the Lab; Manhattan Theatre Club Fellow; Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project fellow with Wendy Wasserstein as her mentor; and a member of the poetry group Cave Canem. She is also the recipient of Fellowships/Awards from The New York Foundation for the Arts (Poetry), The New York Urban Arts Initiative, and the Harlem Arts Alliance.
Clinton Smith's 2018/19 season includes debuts at Atlanta and Arizona Opera conducting Charlie Parker's Yardbird as well as Pagliacci/Pulcinella for Opera Orlando. He joins Atlanta Opera's music staff for Dead Man Walking and will cover Dr. Atomic at Santa Fe Opera.
Clinton’s recent conducting credits include The Barber of Seville at Dayton Opera and the University of Michigan, The Marriage of Figaro at Tacoma Opera, Alcina at Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Turandot, Norma, and Hansel und Gretel with Pacific Northwest Opera, The Mikado for Kentucky Opera, and Noah's Flood with Opera Las Vegas. He has served on the music staff of Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atltanta Opera, Portland Opera, Kentucky Opera and Ash Lawn Opera.
Clinton recently concluded a collective nine years as music and artistic director of Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers and the St. Cloud Symphony, conducting over 60 orchestral, oratorio, chamber, pops, educational and holiday concert performances.
For four seasons, Minnesota Opera engaged Clinton as cover conductor and chorus master, where he led mainstage performances of La Traviata and Madama Butterfly and covered the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Opera Orchestra in over 20 productions. During 2011, Clinton conducted a workshop and prepared the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ opera Silent Night, which subsequently won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. For Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative, and as an avid fan of new music, Clinton prepared workshops of Douglas J. Cuomo’s Doubt, Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and the North American premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, as well as Dominick Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming and Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights. Previous positions include assistant conductor and chorus master for San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, assistant conductor for Glimmerglass Opera, music director of Western Ontario University’s Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, guest coach at the National University of Taiwan, music director and conductor of the Franco-American Vocal Academy in France, the Austrian-American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, and the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra.
Opera News called Fenlon Lamb “moving and convincing” and Seen and Heard International complemented her “well-honed theatrical sensibility.” Lamb brings these qualities of experience and perspective as an outstanding singing actress to her work as a stage director.
Lamb directed the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage with Arizona Opera in a production that BroadwayWorld.com called “epic” and “memorable…literally and figuratively blazing trails.” She returned to Finger Lakes Opera for her first Tosca in a new prodution created with her artistic partner, Jeff Ridenour. They continued their collaboration this past fall for a “lovingly crafted” Hänsel und Gretel at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. Fenlon returned to Palm Beach Opera for her 5th season to direct Tosca with “lively stage direction [which] provided a stream of effective touches that spiced up the drama.” (South Florida Classical Review)
In the past few seasons, Lamb led Dayton Opera’s Carmen and directed the oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn (Stephen Paulus) with the Lexington Philharmonic. She created a unique production of The Juliet Letters with the Resident Artists of Lyric Opera Kansas City which the Kansas City Star hailed as “a successful, intimate show [that] delighted the audience in a noteworthy production.” In another new production and collaboration with Jeff Ridenour, she debuted with Finger Lakes Opera directing La Traviata. Lamb made her company debut with Opera Santa Barbara directing a double-bill of Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi and returned to Palm Beach Operafor her fourth season to direct a “delightful, energetic” Don Pasquale.
Currently, Lamb is the Director of Opera and Vocal Programming at Bar Harbor Music Festival. She has designed and directed engaging productions of Carmen, L’Elisir d’Amore, Madama Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, La Bohème, Cinderella, and Don Giovanni while she continues to program innovative recitals and pops concerts each summer. This summer she brought her production of Hänsel und Gretel to the Criterion theater in a collaboration with Papermoon Opera Productions. As the Director of Opera at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance Ms. Lamb directed The Magic Flute,The Turn of the Screw, Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi, Hänsel und Gretel, La voix humaine/L’enfant et les Sortièges along with Cendrillon and Little Women.
Previously, Lamb made her debut at Dayton Opera directing The Pearl Fishers, joined Mobile Opera for Werther with Gran Wilson in the title role and returned to Arizona Opera as stage director for a “grand and gripping” Rigoletto. She directed the young artists of the Crested Butte Music Festival in a production of Don Pasqualeand a new production of Hansel and Gretel for Nightingale Opera Theatre that was hailed as “fresh and alluring from curtain to curtain.” For Palm Beach Opera‘s 2013 International season Fenlon directed a “fizzing and delightful” The Barber of Seville “displaying theatrical ingenuity and artistic taste.” Lamb also directed Our Townand Alcina with the young artists of that company to critical acclaim. She returned to Opera Carolina as Stage Director for The Flying Dutchman with Greer Grimsley in a production lauded for its “intriguing visuals, startling set contexts and projections…balancing operatic polish, romantic beauty and feminist critique.”
Upcoming, Fenlon leads a new production of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird for Arizona Opera and two productions of Carmen with North Carolina and Annapolis Opera companies along with a new production of Scalia/Ginsburgfor Opera Delaware.
Du’Bois A’Keen, a true renaissance spirit and Georgia-Native residing in NYC, is a choreographer, dancer, singer and performer with the renowned performance ensemble and contemporary dance company Urban Bush Women. A’Keen has been with UBW since December 2014. During his time with the company he has toured both nationally and internationally; developing and performing in 3 world premier shows and is now UBW’s branding and marketing strategist. Aside from working with UBW, A’Keen has produced and premiered his own work on the Kennedy Center stages, been featured in the New York Times and Dance Magazines and jazz clubs throughout New York. When he is not performing A’Keen works as the CEO & Creative Director of A’KEEN BRAND, LLC a Creative Agency with an attached lifestyle blog and brand platform: ‘KEEN Thinking.
He has had much success working across the industries of film, fashion, dance and music. A’Keen is an IFP Screen Forward Lab Fellow for the 2017 cohort and 2018 NYTV Featured Artist. While he works across many genres and industries as a producer, consultant and artist one of his main passions is dance. He is joining the Arizona Opera with his Operatic Debut as choreographer and guest artists of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. With this new venture A’Keen looks forward to continued growth and success nationally and internationally, alongside his beautiful wife and life partner Camry Vonyae' A'Keen.
|November 9, 11 & 17|
American tenor Joshua Stewart, “strikingly good” (The Guardian), has been praised for his “big, warm, confident” voice (Palm Beach Arts Paper) and “interpretive conviction” (Philadelphia City Paper). Displaying compelling artistry and versatility, he is quickly making a name for himself in the world of opera without losing touch with his jazz roots. In the 2016-17 season, Joshua Stewart made his Madison Opera debut in the title role in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a role which he
subsequently covered at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and he also performed several jazz concerts with the „Bourbon Street Stompers“ brass band in Spain.
The tenor appeared in August 2017 as the Shepherd in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Peter Sellars at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm with the Royal Opera Orchestra of Stockholm. Later in the season 2017-18 he takes over the role of the Narrator in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the directional team of Gustavo Dudamel and Peter Sellars. Recent debuts include Trin in La Fanciulla del West at the Hamburg State Opera, Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Opera de Lausanne and Opera de Fribourg, Don Ottavio in
Don Giovanni with Toledo Opera, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Carolina, Abdallo in Nabucco at the Oberammergau Passionstheater, as the tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Toledo Symphony, and as the Erzengel in Das Spiel von der Auferstehung des Herrn by Walter Braunfels with the Muenchner Rundfunkorchester. He also performed the Shepherd in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and at the Royal Festival Hall in London under the musical direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen. As a member of the Bavarian State Opera’s studio, Joshua Stewart made his debut in 2012 as the
Priester in the world premiere of Babylon by Jörg Widmann. Additional roles as a studio member include Conte d’Albafloria in Mirandolina, Joe in Gershwin’s Blue Monday, Jeppo Liverotto in Lucrezia Borgia, Albazar in Il Turco in Italia, and Capitano in Simon Boccanegra. Other notable roles in his repertoire include Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, Nemorino in Elexir of Love, Prunier in La Rondine, Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Toni Reischmann in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers and the title role in Idomeneo. Joshua Stewart has performed at numerous festivals including Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (France), Rossini Opera Festival (Italy), Marlboro Music Festival (USA), Boyne Music Festival (Ireland), New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (USA), and Saint Bart’s Music Festival
(Caribbean). He has worked with renown conductors including Paolo Carignani, Bertrand de Billy, Paolo Arrivabeni, Marco Armiliato, Maurizio Benini, Constantin Trinks, Kent Nagano, Corrado Rovaris, Andrea Battistoni, George Manahan, and James Meena, He has had the honor of performing for several world leaders, including Ex-President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Ex-President George H.W. Bush. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Joshua Stewart is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Opera. He was a prize winner in the 2013 Internationaler Voice Competition „Vokal genial“ in addition to other awards.
|November 10 & 18|
Praised by Opera News as a "vocally charismatic" performer with a "golden tenor", Martin Bakari continues to distinguish himself as a dynamic artist in a wide array of musical and theatrical genres. A 2018 George London Competition award winner, Mr. Bakari's 2017/18 season included debuts with Opéra Louisiane as Tamino in The Magic Flute, Cincinnati Opera as Gastone in La traviata, On Site Opera as Prince in the NY premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star, Michigan Opera Theatre as Scribe/Trash-Talker in Daniel Sonenberg's The Summer King, and a return to Pittsburgh Opera as Castleman in Jeremy Howard Beck's The Long Walk. The 2018/19 season brings debuts with Atlanta Opera and Arizona Opera as Charlie Parker in Daniel Schnyder's Charlie Parker's Yardbird, Seattle Opera and Fort Worth Opera as Peter the Honeyman in Porgy & Bess, and a return to Portland Opera as the Visitor in Philip Glass' In the Penal Colony.
In the 2016/17 season, Mr. Bakari debuted with Utah Opera as Ricky in The Long Walk and Pittsburgh Opera as Scribe/Trash-Talker in the premiere of The Summer King, covered the leading tenor roles in Charlie Parker's Yardbird with Madison Opera and Ted Hearne's The Source with LA Opera/Beth Morrison Projects, and returned to Portland Opera to sing the leading tenor roles in David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion and The Difficulty of Crossing a Field. Mr. Bakari also premiered and recorded Grigory Smirnov's song cycle Dowson Songs (Naxos Records) which was featured by Opera News as a "Critic's Choice" recording.
Since 2016, Mr. Bakari has joined NY Harlem Productions for tours of Porgy & Bess as both Sportin' Life and Mingo which have marked his German debuts at Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsches Theater München, Alte Oper Frankfurt, and the Kölner Philharmonie, his Israeli debuts in Haifa and Tel Aviv, and his Italian debut at Bari's Teatro Petruzzelli.
As an Emerging Artist with Virginia Opera from 2014 to 2016, Mr. Bakari sang in productions of HMS Pinafore, Salome, Orpheus in the Underworld, La bohème, Roméo et Juliette, and Der fliegende Holländer. Additional 2016 performances included his debuts with Opera Carolina as Benvolio in Roméo et Juliette, the New Hampshire Philharmonic as the tenor soloist in Carmina Burana, Opera Noire of NY as Mingo in Porgy & Bess, and Opera Saratoga as Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, Father in Daniel Catán's Il postino, and the King cover in Philip Glass' The Witches of Venice.
Other notable new music credits include the leading tenor roles of Wissam in Tobin Stokes' Fallujah at the Kennedy Center, Hazel Motes in the premiere of Anthony Gatto's Wise Blood with Walker Art Center, and Lorenzo in the staged premiere of William Bolcom's Lucrezia, Grivet in Tobias Picker's Thérèse Raquin, Katz in Stephen Paulus' The Postman Always Rings Twice, and a national tour of Wynton Marsalis' Abyssinian Mass with Mr. Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Chorale Le Chateau which was recorded and released on Blue Engine Records (Sony).
Mr. Bakari spent two summers as a Tanglewood Fellow during which he also performed the leading tenor roles in John Harbison's Full Moon in March under Stefan Asbury and Milhaud's L'enlèvement d'Europe and L'abandon d'Ariane directed by Mark Morris while appearing in several recitals. Of his performance in Full Moon in March, The New York Times wrote, "Bakari mastered completely the high-tension and occasionally melodic vocal writing".
In addition to the George London Competition, Mr. Bakari has received major awards from the Orpheus Vocal Competition, Tanglewood, the Juilliard School, Boston University, and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition. He has since been engaged by Palm Beach Opera and has also appeared with Opera North, Opera Ebony, Little Opera Theatre of NY, Pine Mountain Music Festival, and American Opera Projects.
Mr. Bakari is an alumnus of the master's degree program at Juilliard, the B.M. and Opera Institute programs at Boston University, and the study-abroad program at London's Royal College of Music. In addition to the numerous opera and musical theatre roles he performed while in Boston, he was an active concert soloist with performances including Mendelssohn's Elijah at Symphony Hall and a solo concert of Italian songs and arias with the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra.
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. 9 with 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 Garner with 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’s Ninth 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 madécasses with 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 of La 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 The Marriage of 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.
Lauded by The New York Times as a “terrific singer” with a “deep, rich timbre” and the San Francisco Chronicle as an “opera powerhouse” with a “weighty and forthright” sound, Sidney Outlaw was the Grand Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballe in 2010 and continues to delight audiences in the U.S. and abroad with his rich and versatile baritone and engaging stage presence! This rising American baritone from Brevard, North Carolina recently added a Grammy nomination to his list of accomplishments for the Naxos Records recording of Darius Milhaud’s 1922 opera trilogy, L’Orestie d’Eschyle in which he sang the role of Apollo.
Last season for Mr. Outlaw included his Dandini in La Cenerentola with Greensboro Opera, appearances with the Charlotte Symphony, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music and Colour of Music Festivals, his Spoleto Festival debut as Jake in Porgy and Bess, and Madison Opera’s Opera in the Park. The 2016/17 season included Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Madison Opera, Vaugh Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, a recital with Warren Jones, and a return to the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Outlaw has been a featured recitalist with Warren Jones at Carnegie Hall and performed Elijah with the New York Choral Society. He traveled to Guinea as an Arts Envoy with the U.S. State Department, where he performed a program of American music in honor of Black History Month and in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Mr. Outlaw made his English National Opera debut in the 2011/12 season as Rambo in The Death of Klinghoffer and joined the Metropolitan Opera roster in 2014/15 also for The Death of Klinghoffer. Recent engagements include Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero with the New York Philharmonic, Schaunard in La bohème with the Ash Lawn Festival, and Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with North Carolina Opera. Other mainstage roles include Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Atlanta Opera, the title role in Moses with the American Symphony Orchestra, Malcolm in Malcolm X at New York City Opera, Prince Yamadori in Madame Butterfly at Opera on the James, the cover of Dandini in La Cenerentola with Florida Grand Opera, Ariodante in Handel’s Xerxes and Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the International Vocal Arts Institute, Papageno in The Magic Flute and a sensational international debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, in both Germany and Israel.
A sought-after concert singer and recitalist, Mr. Outlaw made his Schwabacher Recital debut at the San Francisco Opera center with pianist John Churchwell and collaborates regularly with renowned pianists Warren Jones, Carol Wong, Steven Blier, and Michael Barrett. His concert and recital appearances include debuts of renowned works at major concert halls: Haydn’s The Creation and Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Avery Fisher Hall, Mahler’s Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen with Music Academy of the West and Wednesday At One at Alice Tully Hall, John Stevens in the world premiere concert of H. Leslie Adam’s opera Blake at the prestigious Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, and the world premiere of Wayne Oquin’s A Time to Break Silence: Songs inspired by the Words and Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., commissioned by The Juilliard School.
Mr. Outlaw won 2nd Prize in the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s International Competition, 2nd Prize in the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation Awards, National semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, semi- finalist in the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, finalist in both Concours International Musical de Montreal and George London Foundation, and grand prize in the Florida Grand Opera/YPO Vocal Competition. He holds a Bachelor in Music Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Vocal Performance from The Julliard School.
Louisiana-born soprano, Cadie Jordan, joins Arizona Opera for the 2018/2019 season as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist Program where she sings Despina in Così fan tutte and makes three role debuts as Chan Parker in Charlie Parker's Yardbird, Annina in La traviata, and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro.
The summer of 2018 brought a return to Des Moines Metro Opera where Jordan sang Second Wood Sprite in Rusalka and covered Laurie Moss in The Tender Land, as well as a return to Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. Previously this season, she made her debut as Clara in the second premier of Jake Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life with Indiana University Opera Theatre.
In 2017, she joined the Apprentice Artists of Des Moines Metro Opera where she covered Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music. She was a singer fellow of Ravinia's Steans Music Institute for a series of recitals and masterclasses. She received her Master's Degree from Indiana University in the studio of Heidi Grant Murphy from which her roles include Marian Paroo in The Music Man, and Despina in Così fan tutte. In the summer of 2014, Jordan made her international and role debut with Lisette in La rondine as part of the La Music Lirica Young Artist Training Program in Novafeltria, Italy. In the same summer, she toured as a soprano soloist with the C.S. Lewis Choral Institute through Oxford and Cambridge, England. Other concert performances include Handel's Messiah and Salve Regina during her time at Indiana University.
Jordan received her Bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University where she began her musical pursuit under the tutelage of baritone Dennis Jesse. There, she made her role debut as Despina in Così fan tutte and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
Praised for her “full voiced sound,” Stephanie Sanchez is quickly creating a name for herself as an exciting young mezzo soprano. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner as well as premiers of contemporary American works. This summer Ms. Sanchez made debuts with St Petersburg Opera as Flora in La Traviata and also at the inaugural season of Will Crutchfield's Teatro Nuovo in New York City as Roggero in Tancredi. In the spring of 2018, Ms Sanchez was chosen as the sole recipient of the prestigious 2018 Igor Gorin Memorial Competition, an award given yearly to a promising singer at the start of their careers.
Ms. Sanchez joined Arizona Opera as a Marion Roose Pullin studio artist for the 2017-2018 season. There she performed the roles of Persephone in Hercules vs. Vampires, Paquette in Candide, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia and, closed out the season as Flosshilde in Wagner’s Das Rheingold. The fall of 2018 will mark Ms. Sanchez' return to Arizona Opera to cover Maria in Maria de Buenos Aires and sing Baroness Nica in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird.
Ms. Sanchez was a member of the Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Artist programs at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for three consecutive seasons (2014, 2015, 2016). Mostly recently, she performed the role of Dryad in Ariadne on Naxos and covered the role of Composer in the same production. Other roles at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis include Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Sister Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and A Young Girl in La rondine.
Some of Ms. Sanchez' other roles and engagements include the role of Yesi in the world premier of “hip-hopera", Stomping Grounds at the Glimmerglass Festival, Amastre (cover) in Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival, Isabella (cover) in L’italiana in Algeri at Sarasota Opera, Mere Marie (cover) in Dialogues des Carmelites at Sarasota Opera, Zita in Gianni Schicchi at Opera Maine, Abuela in En mis palabras at Atlanta Opera, and performances of the title role in Carmen at both Emerald City Opera and Opera Breve. Ms. Sanchez also won first place in the 2016 Young Texas Artist Music Competition in Houston, TX and second place in Opera Connecticut’s 2016 Opera Idol Competition.
Ms. Sanchez completed her artist diploma at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in 2017. Her roles at the Shepherd School include 'Rosina' in Il barbiere di Siviglia, the mezzo soloist in Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen, and selections from Norma, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Dialogues des Carmélites. Ms. Sanchez was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico and earned her masters degree in vocal performance from New Mexico State University in 2012. In 2009, Ms. Sanchez graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in Biology and Biochemistry and a minor in music.
American soprano Kaitlyn Johnson is quickly becoming an artist to watch in operatic repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary. Johnson returns as a Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artist in 2019/20, which brings four exciting role debuts. Johnson will perform Miss Lightfoot in Fellow Travelers, Musetta in La Bohème, Jane Withersteen in Riders of the Purple Sage, and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos in her second season with the company.
In her first season with Arizona Opera, Johnson performed the role of Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, “an energetic Doris who charmed Parker with her sweet lyric tones” (Operawire), and Fiordiligi in the studio production of Così fan Tutte. Johnson also made her debut with The Phoenix Symphony in a chamber music series featuring the works of Schubert and Mozart.
Spring 2018 saw an exciting debut in her hometown of Atlanta, as Frasquita in the Atlanta Opera’s Carmen. Celebrated on the operatic stage for her "powerful and dramatic soprano," (The Bloomington Herald-Times), Johnson has appeared as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with both Indiana University Opera Theater and onstage at the Estates Theatre in Prague as part of the Prague Summer Nights Festival. As Donna Anna, Johnson was commended for her "rich, dramatic voice that carries and then some" (NUVO Indianapolis).
A passionate advocate for Spanish repertoire, Johnson performed the title role in IU Opera Theater’s production of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas to great acclaim. The Bloomington Herald- Times raved "Johnson carried herself like a diva and produced a voice of range and strength." Johnson is the recipient of the Handel Award from the Orpheus Vocal Competition (2018), an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2017), the Georgina Joshi International Fellowship from Indiana University (2016) and the Farb Family Outstanding Graduate Award from Rice University (2015). She is a graduate of Indiana University (MM) and Rice University (BM, cum laude), and is an alumnus of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, Aspen Opera Center and Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy.
She is a 2015 cum laude graduate of Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. Johnson is the recipient of a 2017 Encouragement Award from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the 2016 Georgina Joshi International Fellowship (Indiana University), and the 2015 Farb Family Outstanding Graduate Award (Rice University). She is a proud alumnus of the Aspen Opera Center, Oberlin in Italy, and Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy. Johnson is from Atlanta, Georgia.
Mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams has been described by leading critics as “strong and so assured”, “lithely negotiating the coloratura demands before descending into a robust low register”, and “poised, polished, in complete command of the vocal calisthenics”. She is a winner of Astral Artist, Inc’s 2014 National Auditions.
Recent and upcoming: Ms. Williams was soloist in Nach Dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150, with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting; soloist with the Lancaster Symphony, Mozart's Requiem; soloist with OperaDelaware in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle; revisited her role as Rebecca in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in a co-production with Hackney Empire and English National Opera; and sang Olga in Eugene Onegin with Northern Lights Music Festival for the summer of 2017. This season’s engagements include Charlotte in Werther with Baltimore Concert Opera and OperaDelaware; Pearl/Mary O'Fallen in Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star; concerts with Annapolis Opera; soloist with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Verdi's Requiem; and Rosina with Northern Lights Music Festival summer 2018. Next season includes Charlie Parker's Yardbird with Atlanta Opera and Arizona Opera; returns to Birmingham Opera Company UK in 2019 as Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and sings under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK). Ms Williams will make her Merkin Concert Hall debut May 2019.
Past season included the role of Publia and covered the role of Arsace in Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira at Caramoor; soloist in Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with Boston Modern Orchestra Projects; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Springfield Symphony; concert with the North Carolina Philharmonic; Bach’s Magnificat with the New Jersey MasterChorale; concerts with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden; debuted with Washington National Opera as Elizabeth Keckley/Coretta Scott King in Philip Glass’s Appomattox; was reëngaged with Birmingham Opera Company (UK) as Dido in Dido and Aeneas; presented in recital with Portsmouth Community Concerts; guest soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with Smith College; reprised Rebecca in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at the Apollo Theater under the auspices of Opera Philadelphia; and, sang a role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel with Knoxville Opera.