Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22nd, 1858 – November 29th, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas are counted among the important operas played as standards.
Puccini has been called "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi". While his early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, he successfully developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents.
Luigi Illica (1857 – 1919) was an Italian librettist who wrote for Giacomo Puccini (usually with Giuseppe Giacosa), Pietro Mascagni, Alfredo Catalani, Umberto Giordano, Baron Alberto Franchetti and other important Italian composers. His most famous opera libretti are those for La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Andrea Chénier.
Illica was born at Castell'Arquato. His personal life sometimes imitated his libretti. The reason he is always photographed with his head slightly turned is because he lost his right ear in a duel over a woman. When silent films based on Illica's operas were made, his name appeared in large letters on advertisements because distributors could only guarantee that his stories would be used, and not that they would be accompanied by the music of the appropriate composer.
As a playwright of considerable quality, he is today remembered through one of Italy's oldest awards, the Luigi Illica International Prize founded in 1961, which goes to world famous opera singers, opera conductors, directors and authors. The Award is now awarded every two years and alternates with the Illica Opera Stage International Competition, which offers prizes and debut opportunities to young singers.
Giuseppe Giacosa (1847 – 1906) was an Italian poet, playwright and librettist. He was born in Colleretto Parella, now Colleretto Giacosa, near Turin. His father was a magistrate. Giuseppe went to the University of Turin, studying in the University of Turin, Faculty of Law. Though he gained a degree in law, he did not pursue a legal career.
He gained initial fame for his play Una Partita a Scacchi ("A Game of Chess") in 1871. His main field was playwriting, which he accomplished with both insight and simplicity, using subjects set in Piedmont and themes addressing contemporary bourgeois values. He wrote La signora di Challant (La Dame de Challant, The Lady of Challand), based on a novella by Matteo Bandello, for noted French actress Sarah Bernhardt, produced in New York in 1891.
Giacosa wrote the final polished version of the libretto for Giacomo Puccini's Manon Lescaut, which had been begun by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, and Luigi Illica. He also wrote the librettos used by Puccini for La Bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly in conjunction with Luigi Illica. Illica supplied the plot and dialogue, and Giacosa polished the libretto into verses.
The recipient of The 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Christopher Allen has been featured in Opera News magazine as "one of the fastest-rising podium stars in North America." His conducting career was launched by the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant and has been fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as an Associate Conductor.
In the 2018/19 season, Allen makes several important debuts, leading Ne Quittez Pas at Opera Philadelphia, Candide at New England Conservatory, and The Barber of Seville at Michigan Opera Theatre. He returns to Opera Theatre of St. Louis to conduct The Marriage of Figaro and serves as music director of the Bel Canto Trio’s 70th anniversary tour, featuring rising young opera stars in the program originally toured by Mario Lanza, George London, and Frances Yeend. On the concert stage, Allen leads a program of Bernstein repertoire with the Atlanta Symphony, and will make his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut conducting the Rising Stars Concert in spring 2019.
Featured in Musical America’s “25 Stars Still Rising,” Allen has recently conducted a new production of La Traviata at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the North Carolina premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at North Carolina Opera, The Daughter of the Regiment at Atlanta Opera, Impressions de Pelléas at North Carolina School of the Arts, and The Barber of Seville at Aspen Music Festival. As The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Allen has joined the company for three consecutive seasons to conduct Barrie Kosky's production of The Magic Flute, a new production of Tosca, and the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star, in addition to leading the Cincinnati Symphony in the annual Washington Park Concert each summer.
Allen made his Washington National Opera debut in Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut in The Elixir of Love, and Florida Grand Opera debut in Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls. He led the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in a National Opera Association Award-winning production of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and debuted at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, named Opera of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Allen’s well-received Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut, conducting a program of Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven, led to an immediate re-engagement.
Nominated as a finalist in the International Opera Awards in the “Newcomer” category, Allen made his UK debut conducting The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera and his Asian debut conducting the same work at the Daegu Opera House. He made his Los Angeles Opera conducting debut in Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires, and returned to the company to lead musical preparation for The Ghosts of Versailles, which won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.
The recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Allen is also an award-winning pianist who has played at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently working on a writing and film project that explores the importance of the arts in modern American society.
David Paul is an award-winning director for opera, theater, and film. Born in Germany and based in Brooklyn, his work incorporates material spanning five centuries and all genres, and strives to make performance a medium for direct, human communication, regardless of the platform.
His work has been praised by the New York Times and Washington Post for its energy, humor, and emotional depth, and has been seen across four continents in five languages. As a director for opera, Paul is in high demand across the world. Recent credits include productions for LA Opera (Salome), the Metropolitan Opera / Juilliard (Iphigenie en Aulide), Washington National Opera (An American Soldier, The Marriage of Figaro), North Carolina Opera (Il trovatore, Aida), Wolf Trap Opera (The Marriage of Figaro), Opera Saratoga (The Marriage of Figaro), and Music Academy of the West (The Rake's Progress, The Magic Flute, Cinderella, Carmen, The Bartered Bride). On the theatrical stage, he has directed at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company (Julius Caesar, Hamlet), Alaska's Perseverance Theatre (Blood Wedding), Columbia University (The Seagull, Eurydice, The House of Blue Leaves), and served as Assistant Director on the Broadway production of Terrence McNally's Master Class. Driving innovation in the arts, Paul has been involved in several major genre-bending ventures. He developed, wrote, and directed the film Dichterliebe: POETLOVE, a cinematic adaptation of classical songs from the 19th Century by Robert Schumann, winning awards from the Hong Kong Art House Film Festival, Geneva Film Festival, and IndieFest, and screening at festivals around the world.
He also co-curated The Romeo and Juliet Project, a new retelling of the classic story through words, music, and dance, based on the various classic adaptations in different genres, which celebrated its triumphant premiere at the Chautauqua Institution during the 2013 season.
Upcoming ventures include Opera in VR, a set of short films featuring operatic scenes shot in 360-degree virtual reality; AfterWARds, a 90-minute, 4-character reinvention of Mozart's Idomeneo; The Baron, an adaptation of the life story of tennis legend Gottfried von Cramm; as well as various music-video related projects. Equally passionate about training the next generation of singing actors, Paul has rapidly gained recognition as one of his generation's most dynamic directors and acting teachers for young singers.
He is on the faculty at the Juilliard School and the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Development Program, with productions at educational institutions including Boston University's Opera Institute The Marriage of Figaro), Juilliard (Il cambiale di Matrimonio, La scala di seta), Berlin Opera Academy (The Marriage of Figaro), the Tel Aviv Summer Opera Festival (The Bear), and Westminster Choir College (Iolanta, The Tales of Hoffmann, Così fan tutte, Il re pastore, Il trionfo del tempo).
He has also given master classes in Japan, China, Israel, and the United States. David Paul studied acting and directing at Columbia University, and apprenticed with directors Robert Falls, Michael Kahn, and Stephen Wadsworth.
Highlights of the 2017/18 season include debuts with Pittsburgh Opera and the Houston Grand Opera's Young Artist Program.
|January 24, 26 and February 1|
Beloved by critics and audiences alike, American soprano Ellie Dehn has shared her exceptional skills with many of the world's finest opera houses and orchestras, including The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Cecilia, and the opera houses of Geneva, Rome, and Bologna. Hailed for her versatility, she revels in productions and oratorio work encompassing an exceptionally broad repertoire, and she has emerged as a specialist in works by Mozart.
In the 2018/2019 season, Dehn makes her role debut as the title role in Strauss’ Arabella with the San Francisco Opera, and returns to Opera Colorado in her signature portrayal of the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. On the concert stage, she will join the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as the soprano soloist in Kristopher Jon Anthony’s Requiem, When We No Longer Touch, commemorating the organization’s 40th anniversary, return to the Milwaukee Symphony for Handel’s Messiah, and will join the Boston Youth Symphony as Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème.
Last season, Dehn made her role debut as the title role in Massenet’s Manon at the San Francisco Opera opposite tenor Michael Fabiano and returned to the Grand Théâtre de Genève as the Countess in Figaro Gets a Divorce; a modern addition to the Figaro trilogy composed by Elena Langer. Concert appearances included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Dallas Symphony conducted by Jaap Van Zweden to conclude the Music Director’s farewell season with the company, Handel’s Messiah at Saint Thomas Church in New York City, with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and with the Florida Orchestra, as well as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Tuscon Symphony.
Dehn’s 2016/2017 season included her company debut at the Teatro di San Carlo as Musetta in La Bohème, and her return to San Francisco Opera in the same role. She also returned to San Diego Opera for her role debut as Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff conducted by Daniele Callegari. Dehn returned to the roster of The Metropolitan Opera and joined the Orchestra of St. Luke’s for Hadyn’s Creation as part of the St. Thomas music series.
|January 25 and February 2|
A winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2015 George London Award, 2015 Elizabeth Connell prize for aspiring dramatic sopranos, and recipient of a 2015 Sara Tucker Study Grant, soprano Julie Adams has been praised by the New York Times for possessing a voice that is “rich, full and slightly earthy in an expressive way.” The 2018/2019 season sees Adams’ house debut with Arizona Opera as Anna Sørensen in Silent Night by Kevin Puts, and her house debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as Mimì in La Bohème. Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9 with the Phoenix Symphony conducted by Tito Muñoz, and a concert version of West Side Story with the Oakland Symphony.
The 2017/2018 season saw Adams return to San Francisco Opera as a guest artist in Francesca Zambello’s production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, singing Freia in Das Rheingold and Gerhilde in Die Walküre. Additional engagements include her house and role debut as Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at Michigan Opera Theatre, conducted by Stephen Lord and her house debut at Opera Idaho as Blanche in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
In the 2016/2017 season Adams returned to San Francisco Opera as Mimi in La Bohème, conducted by Carlo Montanaro, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Kristina in Makropulos Case, and covering Princess Jia in the world premiere of Dream of the Red Chamber. She also appeared as both Mimi in La Bohème and Anna Sørensen in Silent Night with Opera San Jose, of which Opera Today exclaimed “her rich, creamy, agile soprano was of the highest quality, the kind that prompts excited “who-is-she?” intermission chatter (and beyond).”
Highlights at San Francisco Opera include covering both Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the title role in Jenůfa, and singing First Lady in the Jun Kanako production of The Magic Flute, and Cesira in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara. Highlights at other companies include her role debut as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire as part of the 2014 Merola Opera Program, Lia in Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Pamina in The Magic Flute at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat and Rose in Street Scene with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Additional roles include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmélites, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
On the recital stage Adams was featured as part of the Schwabacher Debut Recital series with John Churchwell, which the San Francisco Chronicle praised her “combination of plush tone and seeming effortless vocal power.”
Orchestral works include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Contra Costa Wind Symphony, and a chamber concert with San Francisco Opera musicians as part of SF Opera Lab’s Chamberworks Concerts, with repertoire including Morgen! by Strauss, Previn’s Vocalise, Eternamente by Ponchielli, and Chausson’s Chanson Perpetuelle. Haydn’s Mass in C Major with Oakland East Bay Symphony, Brahm's Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Ventura College Orchestra, and a set of five Joseph Marx Lieder with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra.
A native of Burbank, California, Adams holds both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she was awarded the Phyllis C Wattis Memorial Scholarship.
|January 24, 26 and February 1|
Winner of the 2014 Opealia Competition, Guatemalan tenor Mario Chang has been praised as a “born bel canto tenor” by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. In the 2018/2019 season, Chang will sing Alfredo in La Traviata, marking his debuts with both Washington National Opera and Atlanta Opera. He returns to Oper Frankfurt for his role debut as Corrado in concert performances of Il Corsaro, and returns to Santa Fe Opera to reprise the role of Rodolfo in a new production of La Bohème.
In the 2017/18 season, Chang returned to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and to Los Angeles Opera as Ismaele in Nabucco opposite Plácido Domingo. Additionally, Chang returned to Oper Frankfurt as the title roles in Werther and Roberto Devereux, as well as the Italian Tenor in a new production of Capriccio by Brigitte Fassbaender. On the concert stage, Chang made his Hollywood Bowl debut as Cassio in Otello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Operatic highlights from Chang’s previous seasons include the role of Nemorino in The Elixir of Love at The Metropolitan Opera –a role which Chang also sang with the Met and Juilliard scene program conducted by James Levine. With Oper Frankfurt, he sang Lenski in Yevgeny Onegin, Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, and Rodolfo in La Bohème. Chang sang the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier at the Met under the baton of Edward Gardner, and with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, opposite Renée Fleming.
Notable debuts from Chang’s previous seasons include his Los Angeles Opera debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Forth Squire in a new production of Parsifal, his Santa Fe Opera debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor conducted by Corrado Rovaris and his North Carolina Opera and role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata. Previous concert engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Guatemala and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orquesta Sinfónica Centroamericana in Nicaragua. Other highlights include a concert in Puerto Rico honoring Giuseppe Verdi with Teatro de la Opera, his participation in the Opera Studio at L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Romain Italy with Renata Scotto, his Carnegie Halldebut singing in a concert with the Musical Olympus Foundation, and his debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagnein Rennes, France. He was a guest soloist with theSaint Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestraat Festival Musical Olympus in Russia, and later returned to Carnegie Hall to appearin recital as part of the Marilyn Horne Song Foundation.
Honors and awards include First Prize, Zarzuela Prize, and audience favorite at the 2014 Opealia Competition, Top Prize in the 2014 Gerda Lissner Foundation competition, a Festival Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeotcareer grant in 2013, a2012 Hildegard Behrens Foundation Awardgrant for promising Young Classical Artists, the 2011 recipient of the overall First Prize, the Plácido Domingo Prize and the ‘Amigos de Sabadell’ Prizein the Francisco Viñas Competitionat Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona. He also received awards from the Concurso de Canto Lírico de Trujillo, Perú, and the Asociación Artista del Año and Asociación Dante Alighieri in Guatemala. Chang was a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera and the Advanced Diploma in Opera Studiesprogram at theJuilliard School. Chang and his wife, soprano Maria José Morales, co-founded Querido Arte: Compañía de Ópera de Guatemala–a young, fresh opera company whose goal is to make Guatemala abenchmark for opera in Latin America and throughout the world. Since the company was established, Ópera de Guatemala has producedfully-staged productions of Rigoletto, La Bohème and The Elixir of Love
|January 25 and February 2|
Yongzhao Yu, who won the Audience Choice Award and the Ana María Martínez Encouragement Award in HGO’s 2015 Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias, is currently in his third season in the HGO Studio. In the 2016/2017 season he made his HGO stage debut as a Winged Angel in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life. He has performed Flavio in Norma with the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Naulz in Visitors on the Icy Mountain with the Shanghai Grand Theater, and Alfredo in La Traviata in the concert hall of the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. He has performed in concert in the Grand Theatre of the Suzhou Culture and Arts Center and in an Eternal Verdi concert in Shanghai in honor of the bicentenary of Verdi’s birth. Further awards include first prize in Opera Concorso.
In summer 2016, he made his role debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème with Wolf Trap Opera. This past summer he sang Alfredo in La Traviata with Sacramento Philharmonic, the Aspen Opera Center, and in mainstage performances at Houston Grand Opera. He will also be heard at HGO as Flavio in Norma, as well as in recital at Houston’s Rienzi Museum. In the 2018/2019 season, Yu returns to HGO as Rodolfo and will join the roster of The Metropolitan Opera for the first time to cover Alfredo in the new production by Michael Mayer. Future engagements include debuts with Seattle Opera and Arizona Opera.
|January 24, 26 and February 1|
South Korean baritone Joo Won Kang continues to establish himself as one of the most talented baritones today, popular both with audience and critics.
As the 2017/18 season commences, Kang returns to San Francisco Opera, as Ping in the company’s opening-night production of Turandot. A member of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he was later an Adler Fellow and appeared onstage at SFO in various roles, including Captain Gardiner in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was televised nationally on PBS and released on DVD. Later this season will mark Mr. Kang’s company debuts with Arizona Opera (Figaro in The Barber of Seville) and Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Germont in La Traviata).
Highlights of Kang’s 2016/17 season included his debut at Ireland’s Wexford Festival, where he sang the leading role of Corrado in Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz, with great success. Opera News called his “the standout voice of this year’s festival.” He performed the role of Chou En-lai in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, and appeared with Opera Maine as Germont.
Kang sang the title role in Eugene Onegin with North Carolina Opera in 2015-2016, a season during which he also performed the Barbiere Figaro with Fort Worth Opera, and made his debut in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Seattle Opera. In addition, Mr. Kang returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with the National Symphony Orchestra.
He was the first-prize winner of Fort Worth Opera’s 2014 McCammon Voice Competition, which led to recital appearances both in Fort Worth and New York City. He has also garnered top prizes in such important vocal competitions as the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Opera Index Vocal Competition, Giulio Gari International Competition, Palm Beach International Competition, and the Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music, as well as a Semi-Finalist placement in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
|January 25 and February 2|
Houston Grand Opera Studio alumnus Octavio Moreno appeared at on the mainstage in Houston during the 2009/10 season as Sourin in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, Belcore in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore and as a Noble in Wagner's Lohengrin. During the 2008/09 season he sang Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto (and he jumped to the aid of a fellow singer in the title role at the last minute).
Originally from Hermosillo, Mexico, Moreno received his Bachelor's degree in Voice at the Universidad de Sonora (with teachers Jesus Li and Marybel Ferrales), then did the artist program at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia (with teacher Bill Schumann). He currently is under Dr. Stephen King´s wing.
The baritone won third place in the 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and represented Mexico in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and the 2010 Paris International competition, as well as third place in the Carlo Morelli competition in Mexico city.
Moreno made his Bellas Artes Debut (Mexico City) in June 2011 as Hortensius in The Daughter of the Regiment. In 2010. He created the role of Laurentino in the world premiere of the mariachi opera Cruzar la cara de la luna and then in the European premiere at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris in 2011. There followed a United States tour of the piece, with performances in San Diego, Houston and Chicago in 2013, culminating in Mr. Moreno's debut as Laurentino at Arizona Opera in 2014. His Opera in the Heights' debut was as Germont in La Traviata, followed by Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor in the 2013/14 season, and the title role of Verdi's Rigoletto in the 2014/15 season. He will create the role of Xihuitl in El Pasado Nunca se Termina at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015, and thereafter repeat the performances with San Diego Opera and Houston Grand Opera.
Moreno released his first solo album in 2013, entitled "Amar a esa mujer", including both mariachi themes and music of his own composition.
|January 24, 26 and February 1|
American Soprano Kaitlyn Johnson is a graduate student majoring in vocal performance and Associate Instructor of Voice at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Kaitlyn will make her professional mainstage debut in Spring 2018, performing the role of Frasquita in Atlanta Opera’s production of Carmen. She is lauded for her "powerful and dramatic soprano" (The Bloomington Herald-Times) on the operatic stage.
Kaitlyn most recently performed as Donna Anna in IU Opera’s production of Don Giovanni this September, commended for her "rich, dramatic voice that carries and then some" (NUVO Indianapolis). Kaitlyn graduated with her Master’s in Vocal Performance from Indiana University in May 2017, boasting a 4.0 GPA. During her Master's studies she 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." Kaitlyn spent summer 2016 as a young artist with the Prague Summer Nights Festival, performing Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni on the stage of the Estates Theatre in Prague.
She is a 2015 cum laude graduate of Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. Kaitlyn 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.
|January 25 and February 2|
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.
Ms. 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.
Brandon Morales, Bass-Baritone, has performed with opera companies all over the US - stretching from the Pacific northwest’s Portland Opera to Virginia Opera on the East coast. Morales has recently completed two years with Virginia Opera’s Heardon Foundation Emerging Artist’s Program with highlights including Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jose Castro/Billy Jackrabbit in La Fanciulla del West, and the Mother in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins.
A graduate of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, he has been highly active in the Ohio area performing with Dayton Opera, NANO Works, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Queen City Chamber Opera, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Cincinnati Opera, participated in Toledo Opera’s Resident Artist program, and performed the roles of Friedrich von Telramund in Lohengrin and the Dutchman in Die Fliegende Holländer in concert with the Wagner Society of Cincinnati, where he is a part of their blooming Wagner studio. A native of San Antonio, TX, Morales currently enjoys the vagabond life of performing, but misses his faithful cat, Elsie.
Baritone Rob McGinness has been praised by the Baltimore Sun for his “impressive singing … well-supported tone and supple phrasing.” This season McGinness is looking forward to his Kennedy Center solo debut with The Washington Chorus. His season will also include performances with New York’s PROTOTYPE Festival, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera.
Often featured portraying opera’s “bad boy,” McGinness’s operatic credits include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Marcello in La Bohème. He has also sung Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro,and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a performance lauded for a “bright baritone and winning jitteriness” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
As a featured soloist, McGinness has performed Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, the Duruflé Requiem with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and the Brahms Requiem with Portsmouth Pro Musica. Other concert credits include Carmina Burana with Columbia Pro Cantare and Schubert’s Mass in Gwith Concert Artists of Baltimore, where Rob’s performance was lauded by the Baltimore Sun’s Tim Smith for his “poetic warmth.”
McGinness is committed to promoting and performing new works. He regularly premieres new roles, notably Ed Wall in Frances Pollock’s award-winning opera Stinney, and Saul Hodkin/Price in The Ghost Train by Paul Crabtree. McGinness’s own compositions include vocal, theatrical and orchestral pieces premiered at IngenuityFest, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, and by the Windham Orchestra in Vermont.
McGinness has degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Institute, and was a young artist with Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Bel Canto at Caramoor. His awards and competitions include first place in the Sylvia Green Vocal Competition, second place in the Piccola Opera Competition, and finalist in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition.
Boasting a career of performances with major opera companies and orchestras worldwide, bass-baritone Jake Gardner remains one of the opera world’s most sought-after singing actors.
Having sung a decade as principal baritone with Oper der Stadt Köln under the baton of James Conlon, his long and distinguished career has included performances with such notable companies as Wiener Volksopera, Dresden’s Semper Oper, Glyndebourne Festival, De Nederlandse Opera, Edinburgh Festival as well as Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera and a host of excellent American regional companies.
Career highlights include a world tour and film of Peter Brook’s Le Tragédie de Carmen; a landmark production of Così fan Tutte with Trevor Nunn and Simon Rattle at the Glyndebourne Festival, and the world premier of William Bolcom’s A Wedding directed by Robert Altman commemorating Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 50th Anniversary season.
Equally at home in the operetta and musical theater traditions, Gardner has recently appeared in productions of Annie Get Your Gun (Buffalo Bill) and The Music Man (Mayor Shin) with the Glimmerglass Festival, Merry Widow (Baron Zeta) with Los Angeles Opera, A Little Night Music (Frederic) with Hawai’i Opera Theater, Die Fledermaus (Frank) and HMS Pinafore (Sir Joseph Porter) as well as a critically-acclaimed portrayal of Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd), all with Virginia Opera. He returned to the role of Judge Turpin in recent seasons with Houston Grand Opera, Mill City Summer Opera as well as Eugene Opera where he also made a triumphant debut in the role of Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin in the 2015/2016 season.
For the 2016/2017 season, Gardner made his Indianapolis Opera debut as Harold Ryan in the highly-anticipated world premiere production of Richard Auldon Clark’s and Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday Wanda June, celebrated his 100th role performance as the Hermit in Der Freischütz for Virginia Opera, made his debut with Anchorage Opera in the company’s 55th Anniversary Gala Concerts as well as Opera San Antonio in the role of Dr. Bartolo, and sang the role of Scarpia opposite his wife, soprano Jill Gardner’s Tosca, for Piedmont Opera and Opera Coeur d’Alene. During the 2017/2018 season, Gardner sings the role of Ashby in Virginia Opera’s La Fanciulla del West, returns to Eugene Opera for Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, debuts the role of Sulpice in The Daughter of the Regiment with Hawai’i Opera Theater and returns to Opera San Antonio for performances of Benoit/Alcindoro in Puccini’s La Bohème. For the upcoming 2018/2019, he will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for performances of Benoit/Alcindoro in Puccini’s La Bohème and will debut the role of Le Bailli in Werther for Florida Grand Opera. On the concert stage, he returns to the Binghamton Philharmonic for Wagner’s Ring Cycle in One Night, under the baton of Daniel Hege.