The Daughter of the Regiment
Conductor Keitaro Harada continues to be recognized at the highest levels for his artistic abilities and passion for musical excellence. As a recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2014 and 2015), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival, Harada’s credentials are exemplary.
Currently in his first season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, Harada regularly assists Music Director Louis Langrée and conducts the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and World Piano Competition, as well as assists James Conlon for the May Festival. Keitaro also holds the positions of Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera and Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony.
With a growing schedule as a guest conductor, the coming season holds several high profile engagements for Keitaro. He starts the summer at the 2016 Pacific Music Festival by invitation of Valery Gergiev, makes his conducting debut with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall, and leads the world premiere performances of Riders of the Purple Sage for Arizona Opera in 2017. He also makes his conducting debut with Boise Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony and South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
Most recently, Harada made his conducting debut in Japan with the New Japan Philharmonic in a sold out performance as well as his debut with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He led performances of Carmen for Arizona Opera and conducted concerts with Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora.
In 2013, Harada was selected by the League of American Orchestras as one of only six conductors for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, a prestigious showcase that occurs biennially in an effort to promote gifted, emerging conductors to orchestra industry leaders. In 2012, Harada was a semi-finalist at the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. In 2011, Harada was one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition and he made his professional opera conducting debut with North Carolina Opera.
Early in his career, Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization’s profile, expanded their season; added challenging repertoire, and took the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic.
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Harada is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Mercer University. He completed his formal conducting training at University of Arizona with Thomas Cockrell and Charles Bontrager. He has also studied under Christoph von Dohnányi, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Herbert Blomstedt, Vladimir Ponkin, Adrian Gnam and Stefan Asbury. Harada champions creative programming, development of the orchestra as a part of a community’s cultural fabric, advancement of each musician he encounters, and responsibility as an artistic and civic leader.
Very early in his career, he was selected as a guest artist for National Public Radio’s From the Top and is featured as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on the bright career of Keitaro titled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013.
Director and choreographer John de los Santos has been called a “brilliant combination of literary insight and choreographic creativity.” He has staged a range of productions that include opera, musicals, plays, ballet, concerts, variety shows, and workshop readings.
His extensive background as an actor and dancer has given him an incisive dramatic perspective that has yielded stagings hailed as “vivid theatre”, “stark and unflinching”, and “imaginative, very humorous, and sophisticated”. John’s productions across the United States include The Music Man for Utah Festival Opera, Carmina Burana for Minnesota’s Northern Lights Music Festival, Cendrillon for Kentucky Opera, María de Buenos Aires for Lexington Philharmonic, and Green Sneakers for the Southside Theatre at San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason Center. His choreography has also been seen at the Washington National, Florida Grand, Philadelphia, Des Moines Metro and Austin Lyric Opera Companies.
In 2003, he became the resident choreographer for the Fort Worth Opera, where his choreography has been seen in Rigoletto, Salome, La Traviata, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and the world premieres of Frau Margot and Before Night Falls. John then made his directing debut with the company with a 2009 production of Carmen, followed in 2011 by The Mikado. In 2010 he made his choreographic debut for the Dallas Opera with Don Giovanni. John has served on the directing faculty of the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY since 2005. In addition to his work as choreographer and a dramatic/movement coach, his productions at the Seagle Colony have included Anything Goes, Crazy for You, The Medium, The Fantasticks, The Mikado, LaBoheme, Guys & Dolls, and Brigadoon. John has also coached young artists with the Washington National, Fort Worth, and Des Moines Metro Opera Companies, directed theatre for Fort Worth Academy, held dance workshops with Kids Who Care, and served on the faculty of the KD Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts in Dallas. John is also the co-librettist for the new opera When Adonis Calls, currently being composed by Clint Borzoni.
John has directed and choreographed for a variety of acting companies and music ensembles across the Metroplex. These productions have included Ricky Ian Gordan’s Orpheus & Euridice for Voices of Change, Italienisches Liederbuch for Voces Intimae, The Tenderland and Cosi Fan Tutte for The Living Opera, Seussical for Kids Who Care, Spring Awakening for WaterTower Theatre, andMadonna/Madonna for the Turtle Creek Chorale. For the Dallas-based theatre company Uptown Players, choreographed the American premiere of the Pet Shop Boys musical Closer to Heaven, the regional premiere of Altar Boyz (for which John was awarded the DFW Critics Forum Award for Best Choreography), and directed and choreographed the regional premiere of Hello Again. John is originally from San Antonio, Texas, where he performed as a principal member of the Alamo City Dance Company, dancing in leading roles.
He then relocated to Fort Worth, Texas and received his BFA in Theatre/Film Performance & Direction from Texas Christian University.
In addition to his directing and choreography, John has also performed with various production companies in the DFW Metroplex including Lyric Stage, Casa Manana, Uptown Players, Theatre Three, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Theatre Britain, the Turtle Creek Chorale, and AMS Productions.
|April 10, 12, 18 & 19|
Susannah Biller, a former Adler Fellow, has appeared at the San Francisco Opera as Kristina (The Makropulos Case); Frasquita (Carmen); Despina (Così fan tutte); in addition to creating the roles of Lolita and a Bridesmaid in Heart of a Soldier. As a participant in the 2009 Merola Opera Program, she sang Caterina (L’Amico Fritz) and performed scenes as Eurydice (Orfeo ed Eurydice), Musetta (La Bohème), Elvira (L’Italiana in Algeri), and Monica (The Medium). Other recent engagements include Daisy (Harbison’s The Great Gatsby) and Eurydice (Glass’s Orphée) with San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle, her New York debut as Fortuna (Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione) and Eritea (Cavalli’s Eliogabalo) with Gotham Chamber Opera, Serpina (La Serva Padrona) with Opera Santa Barbara, and Nannetta (Falstaff) with Portland Opera. Upcoming engagements include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Opera Idaho, Garcias (Don Quichotte), and Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Andrea Shokery is a dynamic young performer quickly garnering attention for her “magnetic stage presence” and “tangy soprano… [that is] simply delicious” (The Arts Louisville, The Arizona Republic). In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Shokery makes her role and company debut as Violetta (La traviata) with Opera Columbus, returns to Arizona Opera for a debut as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), and performs as the
Soprano Soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Phoenix Symphony. In the 2014-2015 season, she returned to Phoenix for her last year of residency in the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio. She made exciting debuts as Gilda (Rigoletto), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), and Marie (La fille du régiment). She also returned as the Featured Soloist on the Phoenix Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Celebration Concert. Beginning her tenure with the Studio in 2013, she made company debuts that season as Musetta (La bohème) and Norina (Don Pasquale). She also sang the role of Bess in Craig Bohmler’s Rider’s of the Purple Sage in workshop performances and made her debut with the Phoenix Symphony. Ms. Shokery completed two seasons as an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera in 2011 and 2012. Her scene concert performances included Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Semiramide (Semiramide), Alma Winemiller (Summer and Smoke), La Comtesse Adèle (Le comte Ory), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), and Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor).
In the 2010-2011 season, she was a member of the Studio at Kentucky Opera, covering Adina in L'elisir d'amore and making her mainstage debut as Giannetta. While in Louisville, Ms. Shokery performed in a Composer Workshop with Daron Hagen, singing Pamela in Broken Pieces, one of three one-act operas entitled New York Stories. She then made a return to Wolf Trap, creating the role of Bobachina in the World Premiere of Musto's The Inspector with the Wolf Trap Foundation.
The 2008-2009 season saw Ms. Shokery in the title role of Pasatieri’s La Divina with the Wolf Trap Opera Studio and making her European debut as Musetta in La bohème with The Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy. Ms. Shokery has received prizes from multiple competitions, including the Opera Birmingham Competition, Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, Tri-State Vocal Competition, Irma Cooper/Opera Columbus Vocal Competition. She is also a threetime District Winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Originally from Gahanna, Ohio, she received both her Master's and Bachelor's Degrees from The University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
Texas tenor David Portillo has established a reputation as an accomplished vocalist with “honeyed, perfectly focused singing” (Chicago Tribune). The 2012-2013 season brings David’s return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as David inDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the premiere ofJean-Jacques Rousseau with Grand Theatre Geneve in Switzerland, his role and house debut as Percy in Anna Bolena with Minnesota Opera, and Tonio in The Daughter of Regiment at Fort Worth Opera Festival followed by Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Central City Opera. The upcoming 2013-2014 season and beyond brings Gonzalve in L’heure Espagnole with the Seito-Kinen Festival in Japan, Ralph in HMS Pinafore with Arizona Opera, Narciso in Il Turco in Italia with both Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and Opera Angers –Nantes, a reprise of his Almaviva for his Palm Beach Opera debut, his return to Opera Company of Philadelphia as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and to the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in The Dialogues of the Carmelites, and in 2015 David will make his Washington National Opera debut.
David is also an alumnus of both the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and Wolf Trap Opera in Washington, D.C. where his performances were met with public and critical acclaim. Other roles to his credit include Albert Herring, Alfredo in La Traviata, Sam Kaplan in Street Scene and the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites.
A versatile recitalist, David has appeared with Steven Blier and also performed a Schwabacher Debut Recital under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera Center. In response, the San Francisco Chronicle found that “His tenor rang out clearly and brightly, his diction was exemplary, and he moved with easy assurance from the 17th century to the 20th and through realms in between.”
David is the recipient of numerous prizes for his artistry, including a 2009 Shoshana Foundation Grant, 2009 American Opera Society of Chicago Award, 2009 Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Award, 2008 Winner of the Men’s Prize of the Union League of Chicago Young Adult’s Music Competition, and 2009 Winner of the Bel Canto Scholarship Foundation Competition. He is also a two-time recipient of a Shouse Career Development Grant from the Wolf Trap Foundation
Stefano de Peppo is one of opera’s busiest singing actors sought after for the Italian character bass parts in operas by Donizetti, Rossini, and Mozart such as the title role in Don Pasquale, Dulcamara in Elixer of Love, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Leporello in Don Giovanni, title role in The Marriage of Figaro, and Alphonso in Così fan tutte. Other notable roles include the Sacristan in Tosca, Schaunard in La bohème, and Geronte in Manon Lescaut.
Notable theaters in which he has appeared include the Finnish National Opera, Estates Theater in Prague, Teatro Argentina in Rome, Italy, Jerez de la Frontiera and Gran Teatro de Cordoba in Spain, and Tenerife, Spain (all as Leporello), Teatro Colon in Bogota, Colombia (Bartolo), Teatro Bellas Artes in Mexico City (Leporello, Don Magnifico, Dulcamara, Publio, Bartolo, the King in Aïda and Schaunard), Teatro Aquascalientes in Mexico (Dulcamara), New Israeli Opera (Alphonso), Opera Hamilton in Canada (Mustafa), and Sarasota Opera (Kelbar in Un Giorno di Regno).
Notable engagements include The Atlanta Opera as Bartolo in The Barbe of Seville, Inter Mountain Opera as Don Magnifico, Monterrey, Mexico in the title role of Don Pasquale, and Royal Albert Hall (London) as Schaunard in La bohème.
In the U.S.A., he has appeared with Opera Memphis (Don Pasquale), Connecticut Grand Opera (Don Pasquale and Leporello), Los Angeles Opera (Betto in Gianni Schicchi), Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Leporello, Sacristan, and Alcindoro & Benoit in La bohème), Minnesota Opera (Bartolo), Opera Company of North Carolina (Don Pasquale, Don Magnifico), Palm Beach Opera (Bartolo, Dulcamara, Geronte), Portland (Maine) Opera Repertory Theater (Figaro), Sarasota Opera (Bartolo and Magnifico), Washington National Opera (Betto in Gianni Schicchi), and Wichita Grand Opera (Leporello, Papageno, and Bartolo). In addition, he has toured the U.S.A. with the Mozart Festival Opera as Don Giovanni, Figaro, and Leporello.
On the concert stage, Mr. de Peppo has appeared as Tio Salvador with the BBC Orchestra in a concert version of La Vida Breve at Royal Festival Hall in London, in Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico and of Mexico City, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico.
A native Italian, Mr. de Peppo began his musical career as a member of the Children’s Chorus of Teatro alla Scala of Milan for seven years, after which he undertook vocal studies at Civic School of Music in Milan.
Calvin Griffin, a native of Columbus, Ohio, joined the Florida Grand Opera studio in the 2016-2017 season. Mr. Griffin made his debut with the company stepping in as a cover to sing the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. In addition, he sang Zaretsky and covered Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Victor in Before Night Falls, and Samuel in Un ballo in mascherawith the company. Mr. Griffin recently finished a stint with the Arizona Opera Studio where he performed the roles of the Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas, Zuniga in Carmen, Pistola in Falstaff, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, Hortensius in La fille du régiment, Colline in La bohème, and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. In 2016, he made his Opera Columbus debut as Colline in La bohème.
In a busy 2017 -2018 season, Mr. Griffin makes exciting debuts with Atlanta Opera as Mother in The Seven Deadly Sins and Morales in Carmen, Opera Birmingham singing Escamillo in Carmen, Opera on the James as Leporello in Don Govanni, Opera Orlando singing Alidoro in La cenerentola, and will return to Arizona Opera to sing Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In concert, he sings Handel’s Messiah with the Richmond Symphony and Bach’s Mass in B minor with Gloria Musicae in Sarasota, Florida.
Margaret Gawrysiak, mezzo-soprano, recently performed Baba the Turk and Mother Goose inThe Rake’s Progress; Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd; and La Mère d’Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Wolf Trap Opera; Gertrude/Witch in Hansel and Gretel,Eunice in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Marzelline in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera; and Frugola in Il tabarro, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi with Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival.
Recent engagements for Margaret have included Frugola in Il tabarro with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and a return to Wolf Trap Opera for Dame Quickly in Falstaff. Future engagements include a return to Seattle Opera for Vera Boronel in The Consul; Ježibaba in Rusalka with North Carolina Opera; and Mistress Hibbons in the world premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter with Opera Colorado.
Margaret’s engagements have also included Giovanna in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera; and a workshop of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys with the Metropolitan Opera. As a graduate of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program she was featured as Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program she covered Beppe in L’amico Fritz, and performed Isabella in scenes from L’italiana in Algeri on the Schwabacher Concert Program. Margaret was twice a member of the Young American Artists Program at Glimmerglass Opera where she performed as Juno in Orpheus in the Underworld,and covered the roles of the Grandmother and Aunt in Jenůfa. Other performances have included Madame de la Haultiere in Cendrillon with Aspen Opera Theatre; a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and L’enfant et les Sortileges with the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Eugene Opera; the Witch inHansel and Gretel with the Buffalo Philharmonic; Berta in Il barbiere di Sivigliawith Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Mother Marie in the Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Eastman School of Music; and Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore with Opera Illinois.
In concert, she has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Lorin Maazel, and the Saginaw Bay Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem with the Springfield Symphony; Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel with the Seattle Symphony; and Dessau’s Haggadah shel Pesach with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall.
In 2009 Margaret was a winner of the Sullivan Foundation Award and received second place in the Lotte Lenya Competition. She has received awards from the Jensen Foundation, Portland Opera’s Lieber Awards, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Awards. Geneseo, IL is her hometown.
Actress and comedienne Didi Conn is best known for her starring role as Frenchy, the beauty school drop-out in the films Grease and Grease II. She recently commemorated the twenty fifth anniversary of Grease by writing Frenchy's Grease Scrapbook: We'll Always be Together which was published by Hyperion. She also starred in the films You Light Up My Life, The Magic Show, Almost Summer, and was the voice of Raggedy Ann in the animated musical The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy. She played the title role in the Academy Award-winning short film Violet.
On television, Ms. Conn was a regular on The Practice with Danny Thomas and played for three seasons on the hit series Benson. She is loved by children of all ages for her 10-year run as Station Mistress Stacy Jones on the award winning PBS series Shining Time Station. Ms. Conn can also be seen in the feature film Thomas and the Magic Railroad, starring Alec Baldwin, and in Frida, Shooting Vegetarians, Helen at Risk and Oh Baby!
Ms. Conn made her Broadway debut starring as Bella in Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play Lost in Yonkers. Ms. Conn can be heard as the voice of Gracie Allen in the National tour of Say Goodnight, Gracie! She played Smeraldina in Julie Taymor’s production of The Green Bird at the Cort Theater and appeared as The Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol starring Tony Roberts. Ms. Conn most recently performed off-Broadway with John Turturro in Souls of Naples at the Duke Theatre and in January 2006 at the Mercandante Theatre in Naples, Italy.
Didi Conn starred off- Broadway in Israel Horovitz’s comedy The Primary English Class at the Minetta Lane Theater. She appeared with Polly Bergen and Michele Shay at the Westside Theater in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Ms. Conn starred in Tina Howe’s new play Disorderly Conduct at Town Hall. Other New York credits include: The Lesson, Hello, I Love You and Consequence. She also toured for two years with the National Theatre Company’s Mimika Pantomime Troupe.
Raised in the small town of Quasqueton, IA, Mr. Carr has performed roles with Arizona Opera, Merola Opera Program, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. He made his company debut with Arizona Opera last season as a Studio Artist singing several roles including Schaunard in La bohème and Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, as well as John Lassiter in the workshop of The Riders of the Purple Sage, a new opera by composer Craig Bohmler. This season, Mr. Carr returns as a Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artist to sing Marullo in Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin in Eugene Onegin, the Corporal in The Daughter of the Regiment, and cover Papageno in The Magic Flute.
Mr. Carr spent his summer at the Glimmerglass Festival where he made his debut as Billy Bigelow in Carousel. In December of this year, he will also make his Kennedy Center debut with Washington National Opera as The Pilot in their production of The Little Prince. Mr. Carr won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Arizona District in October and in February Mr. Carr was announced the recipient of the 2014 Igor Gorin Memorial Award in February.
Mr. Carr was featured in San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program as Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia in the summer of 2013. The opening of the 2012/13 season marked Mr. Carr’s mainstage debut with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City where he performed Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and later Pish-Tush in The Mikado. Mr. Carr spent two seasons with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Resident Artist beginning in 2011, while he was also at the University of Missouri Kansas City. During this time, he sang the title role in Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Carr made his debut as Schaunard in La bohème at Central City Opera where he also received the John Moriarty Award. Also that year, Mr. Carr was a District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and received a Career Development Award from The Sullivan Foundation.
Mr. Carr participated in the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Program in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he made his debut with The Cedar Rapids Opera Theater as the Sacristan in Tosca. Mr. Carr was also a District Winner in Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the winner of the Vocal Division of the NAFTZGER competition.
Mr. Carr’s concert performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Faure’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. This year, he will sing The Narrator in The Polar Express with the Phoenix Symphony. He has also sung recitals with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater and Kansas City’s Bach Aria Soloists. Mr. Carr graduated with a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City and a Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College in Indianola, IA.
Ian Christiansen is excited to join Arizona Opera again. Noteworthy Arizona engagements include Sons of the Prophet (Stray Cat Theatre), The Light in the Piazza (Phoenix Theatre), City of Angels (TheaterWorks) and others. He was recently in Don Pasquale with Pittsburgh Opera, and will soon appear in Shining Brow this fall with Arizona Opera. Ian holds a BFA in acting from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, and studied movement and acting at NIDA in Sydney. Endless thanks to his mom for unparalleled support. For Addy.