Wilhelm Richard Wagner was born on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany, and went on to become one of the world's most influential—and controversial—composers.
Richard Wagner was famous for both his complex operas, such as the four-part, 18-hour Ring Cycle, as well as for his anti-semitic writings, which, posthumously, made him a favorite of Adolf Hitler. There is evidence that Wagner's music was played at the Dachau concentration camp to "re-educate" the prisoners.
Wagner's parentage is uncertain: He is either the son of police actuary Friedrich Wagner, who died soon after Richard was born, or the son of the man he called his stepfather, the painter, actor and poet Ludwig Geyer (whom his mother married in August 1814).
As a young boy, Wagner attended school in Dresden, Germany. He did not show aptitude in music and, in fact, his teacher said he would "torture the piano in a most abominable fashion." But he was ambitious from a young age. When he was 11 years old, he wrote his first drama. By age 16, he was writing musical compositions. Young Wagner was so confident that some people considered him conceited.
Wagner attended Leipzig University in 1831, and his first symphony was performed in 1833. He was inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven and, in particular, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which Wagner called "that mystic source of my highest ecstasies." The following year, in 1834, Wagner joined the Würzburg Theater as chorus master, and wrote the text and music of his first opera, Die Feen (The Fairies), which was not staged.
In 1836, Wagner married the singer and actress Minna Planer. The couple soon moved to Königsberg, where Wagner took the position of musical director at the Magdeburg Theatre. There, also in 1836, Das Liebesverbot was produced, with Wagner writing both the lyrics and the music. He called his concept "Gesamtunkstwerk" (total work of art)—a method, which he frequently used, of weaving German myths with larger themes about love and redemption.
After moving to Riga, Russia, in 1837, Wagner became the first musical director of the theater and began work on his next opera, Rienzi. Before finishing Rienzi, Wagner and Minna left Riga, fleeing creditors, in 1839. They hopped on a ship to London and then made their way to Paris, where Wagner was forced to take whatever work he could find, including writing vaudeville music for small theaters. Wagner was part of the quasi-revolutionary "Young Germany" movement, and his leftist politics were reflected in Rienzi; unable to produce Rienzi in Paris, he sent the score to the Court Theatre in Dresden, Germany, where it was accepted. In 1842, Wagner's Rienzi, a political opera set in imperial Rome, premiered in Dresden to great acclaim.
The following year, The Flying Dutchman was produced to critical acclaim. Considered a great talent by this time, Wagner was given the Prussian order of the Red Eagle and appointed director of the Dresden Opera. In 1845, Wagner completed Tannhäuser and began working on Lohengrin. In 1848, while preparing for a production of Lohengrin in Dresden, the revolutionary outbreak in Saxony occurred and Wagner, who had always been politically vocal, fled to Zurich.
Unable to enter Germany for the next 11 years due to his political stances, Wagner wrote the notoriously anti-semitic Jewishness in Music, as well as other criticisms against Jews, composers, conductors, authors and critics. He also wrote Opera and Drama and began developing what would become his famous Ring Cycle, which consisted of four separate operas tied together by leitmotifs, or recurring musical themes which link plot elements.
The Ring Cycle was ahead of its time in that it combined literature, visual elements and music in a way that would anticipate the future of film. Film composers, including John Williams, were inspired by Wagner's use of leitmotifs. His work would later influence modern film scores, including those of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings film series.
After meeting and falling in love with Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of Otto Wesendonck, Wagner was inspired to write Tristan and Isolde. His interest in Wesendonck, coupled with other events in his life, eventually led to his separation with his wife, Minna.
In 1862, Wagner was finally able to return to Germany. King Ludwig II, a fan of Wagner's work, invited Wagner to settle in Bavaria, near Munich, and supported him financially. Wagner didn't stay long in Bavaria, once it was discovered that he was having an affair with Cosima, the wife of the conductor Hans van Bülow, and Franz Liszt's illegitimate daughter. Bülow, who apparently condoned the affair, directed Tristan and Isolde in 1865. Wagner and Cosima had two children together before finally marrying in 1870.
The first two operas of The Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, were presented in Munich in 1869 and 1870. The Ring Cycle was finally performed in its entirely—all 18 hours—in 1876. Wagner completed his last opera, Parsifal, in January 1882, and it was performed at the Bayreuth Festival that same year.
Wagner died of a heart attack on February 13, 1883, at age 69, while vacationing in Venice, Italy for the winter. His body was shipped by gondola and train back to Bayreuth, where he was buried.
Since 1981, Joseph Rescigno has served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee (WI), where he has conducted some of the company’s most challenging repertory. He also has been Music Director of La Musica Lirica, a summer program for singers in Northern Italy, since 2005. In addition, he served as Artistic Director of Metropolitan Orchestra of Greater Montreal, Quebec, for four seasons.
In permanent and guest engagements with more than 50 companies on four continents. Rescigno has traversed the repertory from rarities like Rossini’s 1816 La Gazzetta, the Brescia version of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, to world premieres like Minoru Miki’s Jōruri and Don Davis’s Río de Sangre and neglected contemporary works like Barber’s Vanessa, all while regularly revisiting the Italian, German, and French standard repertory. In addition, Maestro Rescigno has conducted masterworks of the choral literature as well as symphonies and concertos from the baroque to the contemporary (sometimes from the keyboard in works from earlier eras). He also frequently delights music-lovers with engaging talks before performances and participates in chamber music recitals for select groups.
Rescigno’s discography includes the aforementioned Río de Sangre (Albany Records) and Jōruri (Dreamlife) and five discs for Analekta of Canada: Beethoven (Eroica symphony and Egmont overture and arias), Brahms (piano concertos with Anton Kuerti), Mendelssohn (violin concertos with Angèle Dubeau), and the solo operatic anthologies Mozart (Lyne Fortin) and Verismo (Diana Soviero).
As a guest artist, this peripatetic conductor has led the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera, Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, Arizona Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Vancouver Opera, Teatro Bellini, l’Opéra de Marseille, and l’Opéra de Montréal among others. The symphony orchestras he has conducted include the Montreal Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony, both of which he has led in their regular subscription series as well as in opera productions. In addition, he won Quebec’s Prix Opus for a program of all five Beethoven piano concertos with Anton Kuerti and the Metropolitan Orchestra of Greater Montreal.
Maestro Rescigno has further been privileged to collaborate with prominent musicians of three generations including instrumentalists Brigitte Engerer, Ida Haendel, Elmar Oliveira, and Pieter Wispelwey, and singers June Anderson, Angela Brown, Ghena Dimitrova, Giuseppe DiStefano, Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Eva Marton, Johanna Meier, Erie Mills, Andrea Rost, Erika Sunnegårdh, Ruth Ann Swenson, Tatiana Troyanos, Ramón Vargas, and Deborah Voigt.
A born teacher, Rescigno derives tremendous satisfaction from working with young musicians and singers in guest engagements at universities and conservatories in addition to imparting his knowledge and experience at La Musica Lirica, in master classes, and in private coaching. He is also honored to serve on the advisory committee of the Olga Forrai Foundation as it supports the training, education, and career development of singers and conductors. Further, in recognition of the high musical standards Maestro Rescigno and The Florentine Opera Company maintain, they have been chosen to mentor Solti Foundation U.S. Award recipients as part of the Foundation’s residency project (newly expanded to opera).
This native New Yorker comes from a long line of musicians on both sides of his family. He trained as a pianist and has been studying and performing music since childhood. His uncle was the prominent conductor Nicola Rescigno, a founder of both the Dallas Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He holds a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music and studied with composer Nicolas Flagello and other distinguished teachers in the United States and Europe, including privately at l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Maestro Rescigno made his New York recital debut with a program of four Beethoven piano sonatas. He went on to work with such influential conductors as Laszlo Halasz (founder of the New York City Opera), Bruno Maderna, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Carlo Moresco (the first director of the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company), and his uncle. Powerful influences also included pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, conductors Herbert von Karajan and Erich Leinsdorf, and Roberto Benaglio, the legendary chorus master of La Scala. Each one personally taught him something unforgettable.
Joseph Rescigno married his wife Jeanne in 1971, and they live in Manhattan.
Photo credit: Christian Steiner.
Brian Staufenbiel has been the creative director and stage director for Opera Parallèle where he has directed and spearheaded the conceptual designs of the companies’ productions since it was founded in 2010. Specializing in multimedia, immersive, and interdisciplinary productions, he actively works across a wide range of artistic disciplines collaborating with film and media designers, choreographers and dancers, circus and fabric artists, and designer fabricators. His progressive approach to stagecraft has garnered critical acclaim for many of the company’s productions, including Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, Glass’ Orphée and Les Enfant Terribles, Golijov’s Ainadamar, Gorb’s Anya 17, Berg’s Wozzeck, Davies’ The Lighthouse, Blanchard’s Champion and Dove’s Flight. This last season, Staufenbiel lead two new productions for Opera Parallèle, Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus. Next season he will be directing, and is dramaturge for, the world premiere of Today it Rains by Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed.
Staufenbiel is currently working on a new production design of Thomas Ades’ The Tempest and recently created a new production of Das Rheingold for Minnesota Opera in Fall 2016. Other recent projects include a new production of Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Canterville Ghost for the Center of Contemporary Opera in NY and LA Opera. He directed and was dramaturge for the world premiere production of Sophia’s Forest by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch performed in Philadelphia in Fall 2017.
Staufenbiel directed the World Premiere of Angel Heart by Luna Pearl Woolf which was performed at Cal Performances in Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and Festival del Sole in Sonoma. In addition to opera, Staufenbiel also brings his unique brand of experimental staging to theater, and has shared a residency at Banff with composer Luna Pearl Woolf to create an original theater piece - Mélange à Trois- premiered in Montréal.
Staufenbiel enjoys working as a dramaturge for dance companies and will be working with Chorographer KT Nelson for the ODC Dance Company in Winter 2018 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He has curated and created several art installations to accompany and enhance his productions with audience immersive experiences. Staufenbiel holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music and currently resides in San Francisco.
A crossover artist of immense skill, Mark Delavan has proved himself a strong character actor on stages throughout the country. Most recently, Delavan starred as Phil Arkin in Milk and Honey with York Theatre Company, to critical acclaim. Of his performance, critics hailed his “rich, resonant voice,” with “impressively clear high notes.” Also a singer of “incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity,” he is sought after throughout the United States and Europe for the most demanding roles in his operatic repertoire. He regularly appears in the title roles of Der fliegende Holländer, Falstaff, and Rigoletto, and as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, and Amonasro in Aida. This season, Delavan sings Scarpia in Tosca with Pittsburgh Opera, Jochannan in Salome with Florida Grand Opera, and Wotan in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera and Samson et Delilah with North Carolina Opera.
In recent seasons, Mark Delavan sang Amonasro in Aida at The Metropolitan Opera and Jack Rance in La faniculla del West at Michigan Opera Theatre; returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Jupiter in Die liebe der Danae and Alfio/Tonio in the double-bill of Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci; returned to Pittsburgh Opera in the title role of Nabucco and débuted as Jochanaan in Salome at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova under Fabio Luisi; sang Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West at Santa Fe Opera; returned to San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Scarpia; created the role of Giovanni in the world première of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (La Ciociara) at San Francisco Opera; and was heard in Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall and with the New York Choral Society in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul.
Additionally, Mr. Delavan took his interpretation of Wotan to the Deutsche Oper Berlin after successful performances at The Metropolitan Opera under Fabio Luisi in cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen. He was seen as Don Carlo in La forza del destino at Washington National Opera, as well as the Dutchman with Arizona Opera and the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann at Palm Beach Opera. Other highlights include performances of Gianciotto in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini at The Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Rigoletto for Pittsburgh Opera, Scarpia in Tosca for San Francisco Opera, the Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer at the Princeton Music Festival, and Amonasro in Aida at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under James Conlon.
Mr. Delavan was heard as Wotan for Deutsche Oper Berlin, in performances of Das Rheingold and Siegfried with Donald Runnicles. He was heard as Scarpia in performances for the Canadian Opera Company and Pittsburgh Opera, and returned to Santa Fe Opera as Mandryka in a new production of Arabella. Mr. Delavan expanded his repertoire, adding the roles of Jupiter in Die Liebe der Danae for Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Renato in Un ballo in Maschera for Lyric Opera of Chicago. He was also heard as Iago for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opera Company of Philadelphia, Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West for Den Jyske Opera, Jochanaan for Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Falstaff for Pittsburgh Opera, Amonasro for Atlanta Opera, Wotan in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, and as Scarpia, both with Deutsche Oper Berlin, as Jochanaan in concert for the Prague State Opera, and in his first performances as Wotan in Die Walküre for San Francisco Opera.
At The Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Delavan has earned public and critical acclaim for his company début as Amonasro in Aida. He has also sung the title roles of Simon Boccanegra and Nabucco, and has appeared as Scarpia, Tomsky in Pique Dame, Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana, Carlo in La forza del destino and as Gerard in a major revival of Andrea Chénier.
The press has praised Mark Delavan’s performances as Amfortas in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Parsifal, and his creation of the role of Snooks Brenner in the world première of William Bolcom’s A Wedding, directed by Robert Altman and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies. With Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mr. Delavan has appeared as Alfio/Tonio in Cavalleria rusticana/I pagliacci, and as as Germont in La traviata. He has also appeared in new productions by Robert Carsen of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (Louis Langrèe conducting) and by David McVicar of Verdi’s Il trovatore (Bruno Bartoletti conducting).
A popular performer with the New York City Opera, Mr. Delavan has sung in numerous productions with the company, including the title roles in Der fliegende Holländer, Rigoletto, Macbeth, and Falstaff, as well as starring in the title role of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd to great critical acclaim. Mr. Delavan’s NYCO credits also include the roles of the four villains in The Tales of Hoffman, Scarpia (telecast live on PBS for ‘Live From Lincoln Center’), Ezio in Attila, Escamillo in Carmen, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux and in new productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe as Horace Tabor, Il trittico as Michele and Gianni Schicchi, and Salome.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Mr. Delavan earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Oral Roberts University. He was a national finalist of The Metropolitan Opera auditions and an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera.
Rodell Rosel is a guest of the major opera companies in the U.S. Following his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Remendado in Carmen, he has appeared on their stage as the Prince and Man Servant in Lulu, Spoletta in Tosca, the First Priest in The Magic Flute, Borsa in Rigoletto and as Faninal’s Major-domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Altoum in Turandot and the Second Jew in Salome, Bardolph in Falstaff, Ruiz in Il Trovatore, Benvoglio in Roméo et Juliette, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, the Four Servants in The Tales of Hoffman and Monastatos in The Magic Flute.
For The Metropolitan Opera, he has appeared as Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier conducted by James Levine and as Nathaniel and Franz in their new production of The Tales of Hoffmann.
Elsewhere, he has appeared with Los Angeles Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Tulsa Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly, Houston Grand Opera as Squeak in Billy Budd, Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Goro, Wolf Trap Opera as the Governor in Candide and the Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, the Florentine Opera as Monastatos in The Magic Flute, Little Bat in Susannah, and in the title role of Albert Herring, Santa Fe Opera in the world premiere of The Letter, the Ravinia Festival as Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, Spoletta in Tosca and Arbace in Idomeneo, The Dallas Opera as Anthony Candolino in the world premiere of Heggie’s Great Scott, and the Cleveland Orchestra as the 1st Jew in Salome.
In recent seasons, he has appeared with Los Angeles Opera as Spoletta, Monastatos, and Bardolph, and with Houston Grand Opera as Mime in Das Rheingold and Siegfried. Future seasons see him back in Chicago as Valzacchi and Monastatos, Los Angeles as the 1st Jew in Salome and as Spalanzani in Les Contes d’Hoffman, and debut apprearances with Seattle Opera as Monastatos and Goro
Formerly a member of the Ryan Opera Center (formerly Lyric Opera Center for American Artists), the Manila native studied at the University of California in Los Angeles, where he sang the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring and leading roles in Mozart, Rossini and Ravel, also appearing as tenor soloist in The Creation, Messiah and the Mozart Requiem. He has sung Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, as well as Monostatos in The Magic Flute, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Tinca in Il Tabarro, all with Opera Nova-Santa Monica.
In addition to his award from the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Rosel has received a third-place award from the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, a second-place award at the Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition, and was a finalist at the Loren Zachary National Vocal Competition. He is the recipient of scholarships from, among others, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Grammy-award winning dramatic baritone, Richard Paul Fink, has been acclaimed internationally in appearances with theaters that include The Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin State Opera, Opera National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, and Sydney Opera as well as at the Bregenz and Ravinia Festivals.
Upcoming performances include Appomattox with Washington National Opera, Rusalka with Houston Grand Opera and Samson and Delilah with Dallas Opera.
His repertoire comprises some of the most challenging roles of the baritone canon: the title role in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Telramund in Wagner's Lohengrin, Pizarro in Beethoven's Fidelio, the title roles in Verdi's Nabucco and Rigoletto, as well as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Gerard in Giordano's Andrea Chenier, and Escamillo in Carmen among others. One of his signature roles, Alberich in Wagner's Ring cycle, he has sung at the Metropolitan Opera under James Levine as well as Ring cycles in Vienna, Los Angeles, Berlin, Dallas, Toronto, Seattle, and Vienna.
He’s also sung Klingsor in Wagner's Parsifal under the baton of James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Christoph Eschenbach, James Conlon and Valery Gergiev.
Mr. Fink sang multiple world premieres including John Harbison's The Great Gatsby at the Metropolitan Opera under James Levine and John Adam's Dr. Atomic at the San Francisco Opera under Donald Runnicles, and he starred in the European and Chicago premieres of the same work.
He sang The Metropolitan Opera's premiere of Adam's Nixon in China and the title role of Alban Berg's Wozzeck at the Santa Fe Opera Festival. He also sang Amonasro in Aida at the Seattle Opera before returning to the Metropolitan Opera as Teller in Dr. Atomic. For Canadian Opera Company, he sang the Water Sprite in Dvorak's Rusalka, a role he also sang in Naples and in Houston.
Another Wagner role is Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera. His Chicago Lyric Opera debut was Teller in Dr. Atomic before and returning to San Francisco as Alberich in Francesca Zambello's production of Das Rheingold, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
Mr. Fink debuted at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress under Daniele Gatti and at the Netherlands Opera in the European premiere of Dr. Atomic.
Richard Paul Fink began his professional career with the Houston Grand Opera where he performed in twelve productions and won particular acclaim as Telramund in Wagner's Lohengrin, Jokanaan in Salome, the Water Sprite in Dvorak's Rusalka and Klingsor in a production of Parsifal staged by Robert Wilson.
He has been a frequently invited guest in many other theaters throughout North America: Dallas Opera, Miami Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Portland Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Boston Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Omaha, L'Opera de Montreal and many others. He made his Washington Opera debut in a revival of a rarely heard work, d'Albert's Tiefland, and returned subsequently as Orest in Elektra and Johanaan in Salome.
In addition to the Wagner roles, he has sung performances in North America that are cornerstones of the Italian repertoire: Gerard in Andrea Chenier for Seattle Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia, Scarpia for Dallas, Milwaukee and Opera Pacific and Barnaba in La Gioconda in Miami and Montreal.
Mr. Fink sang Macbeth for Opera Pacific and repeated the role for New York City Opera, along with Iago in Verdi's Otello at the Miami Opera and Rigoletto for L'Opera de Montreal, Kansas City Lyric and Welsh National Opera. He also sang Eugene Onegin for the Atlanta Opera.
In the 2004/05 season, Mr. Fink made his debut at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Telramund in Lohengrin and at the Teatro Regio in Trieste in his first Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. He sang was also heard at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, in the title role of The Flying Dutchman, as the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann for Opera Tel Aviv and New Orleans Opera, as well as Alfio and Tonio in Tulsa Opera's production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.
Richard Paul Fink's first international appearances included productions at the Welsh National Opera of Tristan und Isolde, Der Freischütz, Carmen and Rigoletto. He appeared in Toulouse in Il Trovatore, at the Bregenz Festival as Don Pizarro and at the Spoleto Festival in Die Tote Stadt. He starred in the title role in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman for his debuts at the Canadian Opera, the Sydney Opera and the Palacio de las Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
He was also heard in this role in 2001 with the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado followed by performances at the Salzburg Festival in 2002 again under James Levine. He made his Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2003 in The Flying Dutchman.
In concerts, he has also appeared frequently in concert with the Houston Symphony under Christoph Eschenbach and made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in concert performances of Fidelio. He also sang with the Houston Symphony in the War Requiem by Britten. He sang Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex for the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz, Orff's Carmina Burana at the Cincinnati May Festival under James Conlon and Verdi's Requiem in Houston under Robert Shaw.
Hailed by The Chicago Tribune as a “Wonderfully natural singing actor,” through his innate sense of style, command of languages, and superior acting abilities, tenor Dennis Petersen is sought after for a variety of operatic roles. More recently he is being noted for his foray into some of the most eminent dramatic tenor roles in the repertoire, such as Tristan in Tristan und Isolde, Florestan in Fidelio, the Captain in Wozzeck, Aegisth in Elektra, Canio in Pagliacci, and the title role in Peter Grimes.
His début with the Seattle Opera as Mime in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried brought the highest accolades from Ring fans and critics alike. He returned in 2013 and was once again praised by Opera News for his superb “tone, technique, expressivity [and] diction.” He also performed in Der Ring des Nibelungen with Washington National Opera. This season, Mr. Petersen performs his signature role of Herod in Salome with Minnesota Orchestra, Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking with Kentucky Opera and Minnesota Opera, and Mime in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera and Fort Worth Opera.
Last season’s engagements include the role of Beadle in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera, Mime in Das Rheingold with Minnesota Opera, Spoletta in Tosca with Opera Tampa, and Grandpa Joad/Muley Graves/Endicott 1/Contractor/ Patrol Guard in The Grapes of Wrath with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Since making his Metropolitan Opera début as The Drunken Lout in Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Petersen has been seen at the coveted house on a regular basis in such roles as Bob Boles in Peter Grimes, The Detective in the world première of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, Monostatos in The Magic Flute, Mime in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, Nathanael/Spalanzani in The Tales of Hoffman, and in their productions of The Barber of Seville, The Rake’s Progress, The Merry Widow, The Gambler, War and Peace, Boris Godunóv, Andrea Chénier, The Nose, Tosca and Tchaikovsky’s Mazepa.
Of his performance in one of his signature roles of Herod in Minnesota Opera’s production of Salome, critics wrote “…Petersen as Herod was not just excitingly sung but was also the evening’s strongest characterization: a depraved, superstitious borderline psychotic whose frenzy and lust became barely manageable as the story unfolded.” He has also portrayed the role with Boston Lyric Opera and Winnipeg Opera.
Notable engagements have also included a tour to Japan singing the School Master in The Cunning Little Vixen under Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival; Dead Man Walking with Michigan Opera Theatre and in the New York première with New York City Opera; the U.S. première of The Handmaid’s Tale with Minnesota Opera; The Wreckers at Bard SummerScape; Das Lied von der Erde with St. Croix Valley Orchestra; and The Magic Flute with the Israeli Opera.
In his prolific career, Mr. Petersen has developed a strong relationship with San Francisco Opera, performing in a variety of operas including Pique Dame, Der Rosenkavalier, Salome, Tosca, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Andrea Chénier, Die Fledermaus, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Don Quichotte, Capriccio, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Pagliacci, The Marriage of Figaro, Die Meistersinger, Roméo et Juliette, Boris Godunóv, Lulu, L'incoronazione di Poppea, Prince Igor, Anna Bolena, Wozzeck, War and Peace, The Cunning Little Vixen, Doktor Faust and a new production of La forza del destino.
Also a house favorite at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he has performed in The Cunning Little Vixen, Das Rheingold, Die Fledermaus, Dialogues des carmélites, and most recently The Magic Flute. With the Spoleto Festival USA, he has appeared in new productions of Weill’s political-satirical opera, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Amistad and as Tichon in Káťa Kabanová. With the New York City Opera, he performed in Lizzie Borden, Intermezzo, and Roberto Devereux.
Orchestral appearances have included Bach’s Magnificat with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the symphonies of Eugene and Columbus; Händel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and Mozart’s Requiem with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with Cedar Rapids Symphony and St. Cloud Symphony; Haydn’s Theresienmesse at both Spoleto Festivals; Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Times with New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall; as well as various performances with the New Jersey Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic.
Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas has been hailed for her “capacious power” and “a voice lustrous and exciting.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
In the 2015/16 season, Daveda Karanas will be seen as Lise in The Passenger at both Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theater following her successful role debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the same role. Recently, she made a major role debut as Kundry in Parsifal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago under Andrew Davis. She then debuted at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites and with the Auckland Philharmonia as Brangäne in concert performances of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
Ms. Karanas made her German debut at Oper Frankfurt as Marfa in Khovanshchina and debuted at the Canadian Opera Company as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde conducted by Johannes Debus and directed by Peter Sellars. She also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their production of the Berlioz masterpiece Les Troyens covering the role of Cassandre in La prise de Troie. Ms. Karanas made an acclaimed European debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as Judit in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle under Zsolt Hamar in the festival’s 75th Anniversary. She also covered the role of Judit in the same production at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan and on tour in China under Seiji Ozawa. She was then seen at Opera Grand Rapids for her role debut as Azucena in Il trovatore. Ms. Karanas sang her first performances of Amneris in Aida at Arizona Opera, followed by Vancouver Opera, Glimmerglass Festival in a new production by Francesca Zambello, and covered the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The summer of 2011 saw Ms. Karanas in her first complete Ring Cycle at San Francisco Opera under Donald Runnicles. In Francesca Zambello’s staging, she sang both Waltraute and the 2nd Norn in the new production of Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre. Ms. Karanas also sang Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and covered Amneris in Aida, both under Nicola Luisotti at the San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons, Ms. Karanas sang performances of Waltraute and covered Fricka in San Francisco Opera’s Die Walküre conducted by Donald Runnicles. She also covered Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde with Seattle Opera. With the Arizona Opera, she performed in “A Concert of Signature Arias” along with Christine Brewer, Richard Margison, and Gordon Hawkins featuring arias and duets from Don Carlo, Macbeth, and Norma. She concluded her San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellowship in performances of the Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica with Patrick Summers conducting, as well as covering Azucena in Il trovatore with new music director Nicola Luisotti.
As an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Karanas has performed in scenes as Amneris in Aida and Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, as well as covering the role of Fricka in Das Rheingold conducted by Donald Runnicles. She made her San Francisco Opera debut as Mamka in Boris Godunov as a first year Adler Fellow.
Prior to her residency at San Francisco Opera, she made debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine in Schönberg’s Moses und Aron as Vierte nackte Jungfrau and the Chicago Opera Theater as Ericlea in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria conducted by Jane Glover. She also performed the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola with the Merola Opera Program, conducted by Martin Katz.
Ms. Karanas holds a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University. While earning her degree, she performed such roles as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. She was also a member of the Boston University Opera Institute where she performed the role of Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and the Lady with a Hat Box in Postcard from Morocco.
Daveda Karanas is a winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has also received an encouragement award from the George London Foundation in 2009. She was an international semi-finalist in the 2007 Neue Stimmen Competition, a recipient of the 2006 Encouragement Award at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and grand prizewinner of the 2005 Arizona Opera League Competition.
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.
Harold Wilson begins his 2016/17 season in a return to Opera Colorado, singing Ashby in La fanciulla del West. He continues the season debuting the role of Mustafa in L’italiana in Algieri with Sarasota Opera.
Last season included returns to several companies for the bass: covering Timur in Turandot with the Metropolitan Opera, Ramfis in Aida with Opera Colorado, and the roles of Rocco and Marcovaldo in productions of Fidelio and La battaglia di Legnano, respectively, with Sarasota Opera. Additionally, he debuted the role of Polonio in Opera Delaware’s anticipated production of Amleto. In concert, he made a company debut with the Grand Junction Symphony as the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, and as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Wilson’s 2014/15 season began with the Dayton Opera singing works by Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky in a Gala Concert. Subsequently, the American bass debuted with Opera Memphis, as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, joined the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and made appearances with Tulsa Opera, for Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Opera Colorado, for Sarastro in The Magic Flute.
Mr. Wilson’s 2013/14 calendar featured debuts with Hawaii Opera, as Timur in Turandot, Sarasota Opera as Daland in The Flying Dutchman, and Dayton Opera for Ramphis in Aida, as well as a return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover the Police Commissioner in Der Rosenkavalier.
Mr. Wilson’s 2012/13 season included his debut with Portland Opera as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni; The French General in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia; and returns to The Metropolitan Opera, to cover Panthus in Les Troyens, Opera Birmingham, for Sarastro in The Magic Flute, and Tulsa Opera for Ramphis in Aida. During the summer of 2013, he sang Emile de Becque in South Pacific with New Hampshire’s Opera North.
Mr. Wilson began the 2011/12 season as Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin) with Madison Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera to cover Angelotti in Tosca and sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Greensboro Symphony, as well as Verdi’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Wilson spent much of the 2010/11 season with The Metropolitan Opera, participating in productions of Tosca, Armida, Roméo et Juliette, Boris Godunov and Don Carlos. Additionally, he sang with Tulsa Opera (Oroveso in Norma), Palm Beach Opera (High Priest of Baal in Nabucco), Chautauqua Opera (Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte) and made his debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York (High Priest of Brahma in L’Africaine). The 2009/10 season saw his debuts with Tulsa Opera (Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor), Madison Opera (Zuniga in Carmen), and Birmingham Opera (Ramphis in Aida), as well as returns to Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Monterone in Rigoletto) and Santa Fe Opera (Luther and Crespel in The Tales of Hoffmann and the Bonze in Madama Butterfly).
As a member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin for five seasons, he sang over 30 roles with the company, including: Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Zuniga in Carmen, and the Hermit in Der Freischutz. The bass also participated in La traviata, Il trittico, Tannhäuser, La fanciulla del West, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Un ballo in maschera, Tosca, Boris Godounov, Lohengrin, Idomeneo, Salome, Andrea Chenier, and Germania.
Mr. Wilson joined the Opernhaus Halle in the 2007/08 season for performances of Pogner in Die Meistersinger, Oroveso in Norma, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Gremin in Eugene Onegin and The King of Scotland in Ariodante. He was heard on a new recording of Kurt Weill’s Eternal Road, and also sang Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Brandenburgische Philharmonie Frankfurt. Other European credits include his debut at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona singing in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (available on DVD from Decca), Tannhäuser at the Staatsoper Berlin, Salome at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, and Aufstieg und Fall des Stadt Mahagonny in Basel (Switzerland).
Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Mr. Wilson recently sang the bass solo in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Tulsa Symphony. Among the orchestras he has performed with in concert are Indianapolis Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Deutsche Oper Orchester, Hallesche Philharmonie, Brandenburgische Philharmonie Frankfurt, Seattle Symphony and Staatskappelle Orchester Berlin.
Previous US engagements have included contracts with Santa Fe Opera (Don Giovanni, La Traviata), Opera Carolina (Nabucco and Lucia di Lammermoor), Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Lucia di Lammermoor), Florentine Opera (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Palm Beach Opera (Tannhäuser), Minnesota Opera (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein and Miss Havisham’s Fire), and Glimmerglass Opera (Salome).
Mr. Wilson earned his Masters Degree from Indiana University, where he studied with renowned bass Giorgio Tozzi.
Zachary James, bass, is an international opera singer and Broadway actor. He created the role of Lurch in The Addams Family on Broadway, Hassinger in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, and sang Handel’s Messiah in the 2007 Broadway play, Coram Boy. In addition to originating in three Broadway shows, Zach played Off-Broadway as Pasquale in The Most Happy Fella and Jo-Jo in Irma la Douce both with Encores! at New York City Center.
Known for his “huge, robust bass” which “resonates with force” (Bach Track), “tremendous power and presence” (The Arts Desk, London) and “vocal oomph and range” (Opera News), he created the role of Abraham Lincoln in the world premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Perfect American at the Teatro Real in Madrid, a role he reprised for London’s English National Opera and Australia’s Opera Queensland. A winner of the 2009 Lotte Lenya Competition, Zach has been engaged by opera companies including London’s English National Opera (The Scribe in Akhnaten, Abraham Lincoln in The Perfect American), Spain’s Teatro Real and Australia’s Opera Queensland (Abraham Lincoln in The Perfect American), Opera Roanaoke (Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Alidoro in Cinderella, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd), Opera Ithaca (Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni), Shreveport Opera (Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance), Anchorage Opera (Pooh-Bah in The Mikado), Union Avenue Opera (The Mikado in The Mikado), Schlossoper Haldenstein, Switzerland (Sparafucile in Rigoletto), Teatro Citta della Pieve (Oberon in the world premiere of Il Sogno), Central City Opera (Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni), Ash Lawn Opera (Il Bonzo in Madama Butterfly) and Knoxville Opera (Il Bonzo in Madama Butterfly, Gideon March in Little Women, Joe in The Most Happy Fella), Phoenicia International Festival of Voice (Howard in Do Not Go Gentle), Prototype Festival NYC (Señor del Norte in La Reina), Metropolis Opera Project (Oberon in Il Sogno), Chutzpah Festival (Rebbe in A Blessing on the Moon), American Lyric Theatre (Mr. Beauregard in The Golden Ticket) and Illuminarts Miami (Bass Soloist in The Little Matchgirl Passion). Concert engagements include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra (Bernstein’s Mass), The New York Philharmonic (Sweeney Todd), NYC Ballet (Brahms' Liebeslieder Walzer), American Symphony Orchestra (Kurt Weill Celebration), Symphony of the Mountains (Colline in La bohème), MasterVoices NYC (Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance) and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (Buff in The Impresario). He created the operatic roles of Oberon in the world premiere of Kristin Hevner’s Il Sogno, at the Teatro Citta della Pieve in Umbria, Thomas Jefferson in Dana Wilson’s new opera, The Wolf by the Ears and Rebbe in Andy Teirstein’s new opera A Blessing on the Moon at Vancouver’s Chutzpah Festival, accompanied by the Grammy-winning Warsaw Village Band from Poland.
He has performed with theatre companies throughout the United States in roles including Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Billy in Carousel, Rapunzel’s Prince in Into The Woods, Abner in Li’l Abner, Squash in Victor, Victoria, Petr in The Toymaker, and The Major General in The Pirates of Penzance at theatres including The Bucks County Playhouse, The York Theatre, Theatre By The Sea, Pocono Playhouse, The Kitchen Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Zach has appeared on TV as Carl on 30 Rock opposite Steve Martin and Tina Fey, on the 2010 Tony Awards live from Radio City Music Hall, PBS Great Performances, Live from Lincoln Center, the Late Show with David Letterman and on film as Ballion in The Gift.
A Florida native, Zach is a graduate of the Musical Theatre program at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he was recently awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award. Additional studies include Florida State University, University of Tennessee Knoxville and the Goethe Institut in Berlin. 2016/17 season engagements include creating the role of Terry in the world premiere of Breaking the Waves with Opera Philadelphia, reprising the role of The Scribe in Akhnaten with Los Angeles Opera, John Claggart in Billy Budd with Des Moines Metro Opera, Olin Blitch in Susannah with Opera Roanoke and more. Next season Zach will make his role and company debut as Fafner in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera. In 2019 Zach will return to English National Opera as well as make his Metropolitan Opera debut.
Follow Zach's on social media: @_zachary_james_
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.
John Lindsey, whose voice has been described as "a blazing tenor" by Opera News, has gained a reputation as a budding dramatic tenor with a connection to German, English and new works repertoire.
In the 2017/18 season, John Lindsey makes his Canadian debut with Pacific Opera Victoria as Steva in Jenůfa, followed by role debuts as Froh in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera, Nicias in Thaïs with Minnesota Opera, and Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera on the Avalon.
Recent engagements include Narraboth in Salome with the Minnesota Orchestra, Jonathan Dale in Silent Night with Michigan Opera Theater, Ben Marco in The Manchurian Candidate with Austin Opera, Lloyd in the world premiere of Paul Moravec's The Shining, and Don José in Carmen with Opera San Jose, and on the concert stage, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, conducted by Sebastian Lang Lessing. During his time as a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera, he performed Malcolm in Macbeth, Graf Elemer in Arabella, and Ismaele in Nabucco. While an Apprentice at Des Moines Metro Opera, he covered Steva in Jenufa and Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West. A passionate performer and proponent of new works, John Lindsey has participated in workshops at Minnesota Opera and elsewhere in Sister Carrie, Parables, and Elmer Gantry by Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein, The Dream of Valentino by Dominick Argento, and Silent Night. Equally at home on the concert stage, he has performed with orchestra Verdi's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor, and Handel's Messiah.
Mr. Lindsey was an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera in 2015, a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera from, and a studio artist with Central City Opera in 2011. He received his Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Colorado State University in his hometown of Fort Collins. In 2015, he was invited to participate in the International Competition for Wagnerian Voices at Bayreuth. He currently resides outside Houston, Texas, with his wife Nicole.
American soprano Laura Wilde, winner of a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, as well as the 2016 Luminarts Women’s Voice Fellowship, has been praised by Opera News as having, “a ravishingly beautiful sound, [and] a fine sense of style and character.” For the 2016/17 season, Ms. Wilde will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a role debut as Freia in David Pountney’s new production of Das Rheingold, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Other operatic engagements include the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage at Arizona Opera, where Ms. Wilde will portray the role of Jane Withersteen, Michaela in Carmen with Nashville Opera and a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a principal artist as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito. Additionally, she will present a solo recital and masterclass at South Dakota State University with pianist Craig Terry.
A recent graduate of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in the 2015/16 season, Ms. Wilde performed Marianne Leitmetzer in Der Rosenkavalier and covered Marschallin. She also covered the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Hanna in The Merry Widow and sang the role of Anna in Nabucco. In summer, 2016 she made her European debut as the title role in Janáček’s Jenůfa, with English National Opera.
In previous seasons at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Laura Wilde covered Renée Fleming in Capriccio and the role of Marta in The Passenger. She also appeared on the mainstage as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. Additionally, she covered the roles of Berta in The Barber of Seville, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka, and Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito. In the fall, 2014, she shared the stage with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and baritone Quinn Kelsey in the inaugural season of Beyond the Aria recital series at Chicago’s Harris Theater, accompanied by Craig Terry. In the summer of 2015, Wilde sang the role of Lucy in Grant Park Music Festival’s concert performance of Menotti’s The Telephone.
Before her transition from mezzo to soprano, Ms. Wilde spent two seasons as a Marion Roose Pullin Artist in Residence with Arizona Opera. While there, she created the role of Jane in the workshop of Craig Bohmler’s new opera, The Riders of the Purple Sage. She also performed with the Phoenix Symphony in their 2011 Holiday Concert.
Other training programs include a season as a Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist for the 2012 season, and three seasons as a Gerdine Young Artist with The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she is a two-time recipient of The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Elihu Hyndman Memorial Award. Ms. Wilde was a 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semi-Finalist and was awarded Third Place in the 2011 Palm Beach Opera Competition.
Originally from Watertown, South Dakota, Wilde’s love of music began with the trumpet. While attending the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp as a trumpet player, she discovered her classical voice and was encouraged to also pursue that musical avenue as well. She attended St. Olaf College for her undergraduate degree, focusing at first on trumpet performance. Singing, however, became her true musical passion and she graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Ms. Wilde earned her Master of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied with Costanza Cuccaro. She currently resides in Chicago and studies with Julia Faulkner.
Katrina Galka is a second year Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist and will appear in Candide as Cunegonde, The Barber of Seville as Rosina, Das Rheingold as Woglinde, Hercules vs Vampires as Medea, Zarathusa, Chained Woman, & Helena, and in Tosca as The Shepherd Boy. Last season Katrina was seen on the Arizona Opera stage singing Clorinda in Cinderella and First Wood Sprite in Rusalka. Katrina has also participated in studio programs with the Glimmerglass Festival singing the role of Atalanta in Xerxes, and Portland Opera where she performed Adina in The Elixir of Love, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Elvira in L'italiana in Algeri, Papagena in The Magic Flute, and Frasquita in Carmen, as well as spending two seasons with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where she also sang Papagena. Katrina has also appeared as a principal artist with The Atlanta Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Odyssey Opera.
Ms. Galka spent a year with the Boston University Opera Institute as a soprano-in-residence where she sang the roles of Diana in Jonathan Dove's Siren Song and Rosalba in Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazons. Additional stage roles include Marie (The Daughter of the Regiment), Eurydice (Orpheus in the Underworld), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Mrs. Julian (Owen Wingrave), Aurore (Le portrait de Manon), Carolina (Il matrimonio segreto), Elisa (Il Re Pastore), and Serpina (La serva padrona).
In concert, Ms. Galka has performed with the Oregon Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony (Portland, OR). Ms. Galka performed and recorded the role of "the Cat" from Gunther Schuller's The Fisherman and His Wife with BMOP under the baton of Gil Rose.
Ms. Galka’s competition experience includes prizes from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Eastern, New England, & Northwest regions), Jensen Foundation, Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition (1st place), Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition, Dallas Opera Guild Competition, and National Opera Association Vocal Competition.
American soprano, Lacy Sauter, is quickly becoming known for her vocal and dramatic versatility. She returns to Arizona Opera for the 2017/18 season as Dianara, Hesperide 1, City Woman and Peasant Woman in Hercules vs Vampires and Welgunde in Das Rheingold.
In the 2016/17 season, she made her company debut with Arizona Opera as the Second Woodsprite in Rusalka and also created the role of Julia Lowell in a workshop performance of Borzoni’s The Copper Queen. She bowed as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for her company debut with the Livermore Valley Opera. Lacy Sauter also returned to the Missouri Symphony as a Resident Artist for various concert performances and as Violetta in La Traviata.
The 2015/16 season brought role and company debuts as Micaela in Carmen with Heartland Opera Theatre and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Nashville Opera. She spent the summer as a Resident Artist performing with the Missouri Symphony as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and as a soloist in both the POPS and Classical Concert Series.
In the fall of 2014 she completed her graduate studies at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of world-renowned soprano, Carol Vaness. While at IU, she sang Mimi in La Bohème, Violetta in La Traviata, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Lacy Sauter started 2015 with a 1st Place win in Phoenix Opera’s Southwest Vocal Competition competing in the final round with orchestra at the Orpheum Theater. In February 2015, she covered Nadine Sierra as Gilda and sang Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto with The Atlanta Opera. She returned to Union Avenue Opera as Gilda in Rigoletto after having made her company debut as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire the previous summer.
Ms. Sauter finished her tenure as a Young Artist at the Florida Grand Opera in the spring of 2013. During her time at FGO she sang 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Flora in La Traviata, and Bianca in La Rondine. In addition, she covered the roles of Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème, Violetta in La Traviata, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Magda in La Rondine, Gilda in Rigoletto and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. She spent two summers as an Apprentice Singer with The Santa Fe Opera where she performed the role of Albina in La Donna del Lago starring Joyce DiDonato and conducted by Stephen Lord. Ms. Sauter also served as the cover for Wanda in the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein and Violetta in La Traviata. In addition, she was featured as Magda in La Rondine, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and the Overseer in Elektra for the Apprentice Scenes Showcase.
As a Young Artist at the 2011 Glimmerglass Festival, she sang the role of Valentina Scarcella in Later the Same Evening and covered the roles of Frasquita in Carmen and the Young Woman in the world premiere of A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck. She was a Festival Artist at Utah Festival Opera in 2009, where she covered the roles of Frasquita in Carmen and Peep-Bo in The Mikado. As a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera, in 2008 and 2010, she played the roles of the Baby Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen and the Second Graduate in Street Scene.
Lacy Sauter hails from Scottsdale, Arizona and completed her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University. She was a winner of the Arizona and the Middle-East Tennessee Districts of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008 and 2011 and the 2nd Place Winner of the Orpheus Vocal Competition in 2014. She was also honored to be nominated for a Sara Tucker Study Grant in 2011.
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.