Giuseppe Verdi was born in Italy in 1813, prior to Italian unification. Verdi produced many successful operas, including La Traviata, Falstaff and Aida, and became known for his skill in creating melody and his profound use of theatrical effect. Additionally, his rejection of the traditional Italian opera for integrated scenes and unified acts earned him fame. Verdi died on January 27, 1901, in Milan, Italy.
Famed composer Giuseppe Verdi was born Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi on October 9 or 10, 1813, in the community of Le Roncole, near Busseto in the province of Parma, Italy. His mother, Luigia Uttini, worked as a spinner, and his father, Carlo Giuseppe Verdi, made a living as a local inkeeper.
Verdi first developed musical talents at a young age, after moving with his family from Le Roncole to the neighboring town of Busseto. There, he began studying musical composition. In 1832, Verdi applied for admission at the Milan Conservatory, but was rejected due to his age. Subsequently, he began studying under Vincenzo Lavigna, a famous composer from Milan.
Verdi got his start in Italy's music industry in 1833, when he was hired as a conductor at the Philharmonic Society in Busseto. In addition to composing, he made a living as an organist around this time. Three years later, in 1836, Verdi wed Margherita Barezzi, the daughter of a friend, Antonio Barezzi.
In 1838, at age 25, Verdi returned to Milan, where he completed his first opera, Oberto, in 1839, with the help of fellow musician Giulio Ricordi; the opera's debut production was held at La Scala, an opera house in Milan. While working on Oberto, the composer suffered what would be the first of many personal tragedies: His and Margherita's first child, daughter Virginia Maria Luigia Verdi (born in March 1837), died in infancy on August 12, 1838; just one year later, in October 1839, the couple's second child, son Verdi Icilio Romano Verdi (born in July 1838), died, also as an infant.
Verdi followed Oberto with the comic opera Un giorno di regno, which premiered in Milan in September 1840, at Teatro alla Scala. Unlike Oberto, Verdi's second opera was not well-received by audiences or critics. Making the experience worse for the young musician, Un giorno di regno's debut was painfully overshadowed by the death of his wife, Margherita, on June 18, 1840, at age 26.
Dispirited by the loss of his family, Verdi entered the 1840s disheartened, struggling to find inspiration to continue creating music. He soon found solace in his work, however, by composing two new, fourt-part operas in 1842 and '43, Nabucco and I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata (best known simply as I Lombardi), respectively. Both pieces earned the composer a great amount of success. Subsequently, Verdi held a prominent reputation in Italy's operatic theater scene and, later, in the country's political scene as well. He became known for his skill in creating melody and his profound use of theatrical effect. His rejection of the traditional Italian opera for integrated scenes and unified acts only added to his fame.
For the rest of the 1840s, and through the 1850s, '60s and '70s, Verdi continued to garner success and fame. Comprising a popular operatic series throughout the decades were Rigoletto (1851), Il trovatore (1853), La traviata (1853), Don Carlos (1867) and Aida, which premiered at the Cairo Opera House in 1871. Four years later, in 1874, Verdi completed Messa da Requiem (best known simply as Requiem), which was meant to be his final composition. He retired shortly thereafter.
Despite his retirement plans, in the mid-1880s, through a connection initiated by longtime friend Giulio Ricordi, Verdi collaborated with composer and novelist Arrigo Boito (also known as Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito) to complete Otello. Completed in 1886, the four-act opera was performed for the first time at Milan's Teatro alla Scala on February 5, 1887. Initially meeting with incredible acclaim throughout Europe, the opera—based on William Shakespeare's play Othello—continues to be regarded as one of the greatest operas of all time.
Never one to rest on his laurels, even in his old age, Verdi followed Otello's success with Falstaff, another collaboration with Boito. Completed in 1890, when Verdi was in his late 70s, Falstaff—a comedic adaptation of the Shakespearean plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, and consisting of three acts—debuted at Milan's La Scala on February 9, 1893. Like Othello, early reactions to Falstaff were, by and large, tremendously positive, and the opera continues to earn great renown today.
Giuseppe Verdi died on January 27, 1901, in Milan, Italy.
Italian librettist Francesco Maria Piave (1810–76) is best known for his long-standing association with Verdi, for whom he wrote the librettos of operas including Macbeth, Rigoletto, La traviata, Simon Boccanegra and La forza del destino.
Piave was born in Murano, the son of a glassmaker. He studied for the church and then found employment as a proofreader. He moved to Rome and joined the literary circle that included the librettist Jacopo Ferretti. He returned to Venice in 1838 and in 1842 wrote his first libretto, Don Marzio for Levi (never performed), and completed Giovanni Peruzzini’s libretto Il duca d’Alba for Pacini. His first worked with Verdi in 1844 on Ernani; over the next 18 years they collaborated on I due Foscari, Macbeth, Il corsaro, Stiffelio, Rigoletto, La traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Aroldo and La forza del destino in 1862. During this period he also worked as a poet and as a stage director for La Fenice. In 1859 he moved to Milan to work as stage director at La Scala. A stroke in 1867 left him unable to speak or move; at his death he left an unfinished libretto for Ponchielli.
Throughout his career Piave wrote librettos for several composers, but he achieved his greatest works with Verdi.
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.
Winner of the 2014 Adelaide Bishop award for artistic quality and 2013 winner of the Opera America Director-Designer Showcase, Stephanie Havey has directed for Opera Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Omaha, North Carolina Opera, Syracuse Opera, and Shreveport Opera. Ms. Havey's new productions have been featured at The Curtis Institute of Music, Tulsa Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera North, Opera NEO, Opera Fayetteville, and Opera in the Heights. Recently she joined the staging staff at San Francisco Opera for Olivier Tambosi's production of Jenůfa and The Santa Fe Opera for a new production of Salome directed by Daniel Slater.
This season Ms. Havey directs Rigoletto for Opera Grand Rapids and a new production of Il matrimonio segreto for Carnegie Mellon University. She also assists on a new co-production of Eugene Onegin that will make its debut at Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Hawaii Opera Theatre. In addition to directing, Ms. Havey also completed a residency at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music as the Visiting Instructor of Opera Theater.
During her two seasons as the first Resident Artist Stage Director for the Pittsburgh Opera, she received rave reviews for her new production of Il matrimonio segreto and directed numerous productions and a staged recital series in the Opera Studio. She has also worked on the Artistic or Production Staff at opera companies such as Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera, Nashville Opera, Orlando Opera, Opera New Jersey, and the Lyrique en Mer Festival in Belle Ile France.
Ms. Havey has worked extensively with Young Artist training programs including Pittsburgh Opera, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera North, OperaNEO, University of Delaware, and the Florida State Opera. From 2007-2009, she was the Director of Opera Workshop at Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.
|January 25, January 27, & February 2|
Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez, winner of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, is currently a fourth-year Resident Artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where she has been heard as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Roles performed at AVA in previous seasons include Mimì in La bohème, Gilda in Rigoletto, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Giorgetta in Il tabarro. In future seasons, she will debut with opera companies across the country, singing her first performances of Micaela in Carmen and Violetta in La traviata.
She made her professional opera debut in summer 2017 as Liù in Turandot with Des Moines Metro Opera. With Oberlin in Italy, she performed Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and with the Astoria Music Festival, she sang the role of Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s cantata Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich and with the New York Choral Society in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. She was a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the Academy of Music 160th Anniversary Concert and Ball.
Ms. Vasquez is the recipient of a 2017 Sara Tucker Study Grant, First Prize in the 2017 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, First Prize in the 2016 Licia Albanese Competition, First Prize in the 2016 Giulio Gari Competition, First Prize in the 2016 Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition, and First Prize and Audience Award in the Phoenix Opera Southwest Vocal Competition, among others.
As she pursued her Master of Music degree at UCLA, Ms. Vasquez performed Susanna in Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and First Soprano in Handel’s L’Allegro. She earned her Bachelor of Music at the Catholic University of America. While there she performed Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Vasquez is a native of Scottsdale, Arizona
|January 26 & February 3|
A native of St. Paul Minnesota, Sara Gartland earned favorable notices this season as Curley's Wife in Utah Opera's production of Carlyle Floyd's Of Mice and Men, for which Opera News said, "Floyd, in Salt Lake City to observe final preparations and attend opening night, made some minor revisions to the score, including the addition of string glissandos when Curley's wife, played with glittering coloratura and astute restraint by soprano Sara Gartland, allowed Lennie to stroke her hair. The compositional tweak gave an added layer of creepiness to the scene, which is capped by the woman's startlingly realistic death."
Other engagements include two years in the Adler Fellow program with San Francisco Opera as Micaëla in Carmen, Pat/Ann in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier, Barbarina in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Gerhilde in Die Walkure, Merola Opera Program as Suzel in Pietro Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, Utah Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera as Alexandra in Regina, Opera Iowa as Norina in Don Pasquale, The Ohio Light Opera as Elisabeth Bennet in the world premiere of Pride and Prejudice, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, and as Marianne in The New Moon.
She has appeared on the concert stage with the Elmhurst Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Cheyenne Symphony in Carmina Burana, Central City Opera, and Colorado University’s Boulder Wind Symphony in Four Maryland Songs.
Ms. Gartland earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin Madison. In 2008, she was a Finalist in the Eastern Region at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
|January 25, January 27, & February 2|
A graduate of San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellow Program, American Daniel Montenegro is recognised for a flexible and distinctive tenor voice and a varied repertoire of bel canto, verismo and contemporary roles.
Recent seasons have seen Daniel make his European opera debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Mario in Daniel Catán’s Il Postino alongside Plácido Domingo, as well as a number of significant role and company debuts including Roderigo (Otello) with San Francisco Opera under Nicola Luisotti, Alfredo (La traviata) with Minnesota Opera, Nemorino (Elixer of Love) with Washington National Opera, Pang (Turandot) at the Hollywood Bowl conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and most recently Romeo (Roméo et Juliette) for Tulsa Opera and at the Castleton Festival. This season Daniel makes his role and company debut reprising the role of Mario in Il Postino with Opera Saratoga.
As a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and former Resident Artist of the Minnesota Opera, Daniel has sung a wealth of roles including Liverotto and Rustighello (Lucrezia Borgia), Pong (Turandot), Remendado (Carmen), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Nick (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Flavio (Norma). He has also sung Steuermann (The Flying Dutchman) with both Portland and Arizona Operas and the Shepherd in Peter Sellars’ production of Oedipus Rex at the Sydney Festival under Joana Carneiro. An ongoing collaboration with Los Angeles Opera has brought appearances in several productions including the world premiere of Lee Holdridge’s Concierto para Mendez, La traviata (released on DVD), Carmen, Luisa Fernanda and Il tabarro.
Daniel features on ‘Great Voices Sing John Denver’ alongside Plácido Domingo and many other key operatic names; produced by legendary arranger and music producer Milt Okun, the disc was released on the MRI Associated label in June 2013.
|January 26 & February 3|
American tenor David Blalock is becoming widely known for his beautiful lyric voice and widely ranging repertoire. This summer, David joins Skylark Opera Theatre for their performances of Don Giovanni, and returns to the Minnesota Orchestra as the Second Jew in Salome. Upcoming engagements include a debut with Opera San Jose as Ferrando in Così fan tutte, a concert of arias and opera highlights with the San Francisco Symphony, a role debut as the title character in La Clemenza di Tito with the Maryland Opera Studio, a return to Virginia Opera as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Messiah with Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Symphony. He recently made his debut with Washington National Opera, performing the Ring Announcer in Champion. Other performances in the 16-17 season include Roderigo in Otello with the Minnesota Orchestra, Nikolaus Sprink in Silent Night with Atlanta Opera, Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and Count Almaviva in the North American premiere of Portugal's The Marriage of Figaro with On Site Opera. David spent the summer of 2015 as Ricky in the world premiere of Jeremy Howard Beck's The Long Walk at Opera Saratoga. His busy 15-16 season included both Handel's Messiah and Pong (Turandot) with the Pacific Symphony, Toby in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera, a Viennese Operetta concert with the Richmond Symphony, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy at UN Assembley Hall with the Shanghai Symphony, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well in Paris with Performance Santa Fe, and a return to Virginia Opera as the Steersman in The Flying Dutchman.
In the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Blalock sang Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Madison Opera, Don Ottavio in North Carolina Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, Jonathan Dale in Silent Night with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Toby in Sweeney Todd at Virginia Opera, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville (Paisiello) with On Site Opera, and debuted as Rodolfo in La Bohème with Greenville Lyric Opera. As a Virginia Opera Emerging Artist during the 2013-2014 season, David Blalock was seen as First Priest in The Magic Flute, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and Le Remendado in Carmen. David has also recently completed his second summer as an apprentice with The Santa Fe Opera, singing Bertram in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, and singing Infirmary Patient in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar. In the spring of 2013, David made his Fort Worth Opera debut as Young Thompson in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, while also covering Rodolfo in La bohème. As a first-year apprentice with Santa Fe Opera in 2012, David covered the roles of Welko and Jankel in Strauss’ Arabella. David spent the summer of 2011 as a studio artist with Central City Opera, singing Morales in their family performance of Carmen.
From 2009-2011, David was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio in College Park, MD, as a baritone. He sang several roles with the Studio, including Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Riolobo in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and The Ring Announcer in the world premiere of Shadowboxer, an opera detailing the life of boxer Joe Louis. David has performed as a young artist with the Seagle Music Colony and Ash Lawn Opera, singing roles in La Cenerentola, La bohème, The Magic Flute, and Brigadoon. He received his undergraduate degree from UNC Greensboro in 2009, where his credits include roles in La Vida Breve, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and The Tender Land.
Baritone Daniel Sutin recently performed as Biterof in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Tannhauser with Maestro Sir Andrew Davis and the role of Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera when asked to step in at the last minute. Other recent performances are with the Savonlinna Opera Festival as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Austin Lyric Opera as Tonio in their 2013-2014 season opening production of I Pagliacci and the role of Konrad Nachtigall in Die Meistersinger for Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Previous seasons featured Mr. Sutin's return to Lyric Opera of Chicago in the role of Sonora in La Fanciulla del West and a return the Metropolitan Opera for Wozzeck and Boris Godunov. In the Fall of 2011, he debuted the role of Verdi’s Macbeth with the Boston Lyric Opera. In the 2009-2010 season, he joined the cast of Hänsel und Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera, made his L’Opéra de Montréal debut as Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra, sang the title role of Rigoletto with San Antonio Opera and Nashville Opera, and he debuted the role of Iago with Palm Beach Opera. In the summer of 2009, he made his debut at the Savonlinna Opera Festival as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. In 2008-2009 Daniel Sutin also made his debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, followed by Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Michigan Opera Theater, and his return to the Canadian Opera Company as Paolo in Simon Boccanegra.
In 2007-2008 Mr. Sutin began his seventh season at the Metropolitan Opera as Paris in Roméo et Juliette, followed by his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as the One Eyed Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Belcore in Elexir of Love at the San Antonio Opera, and Germont in La Traviata at the Reisopera in the Netherlands. Following a Verdi Gala for the Santa Barbara Opera to open the 2006-2007 season, Mr. Sutin was heard at the Metropolitan Opera in the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, made his role debut as Orest in Elektra with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, ending his season at the Caramoor Festival as Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore.
In 2005-2006 Mr. Sutin returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2005-2006 for Falstaff and Wozzeck, and sang Paris in their new production of Romeo et Juliette, followed by Silvio in I Pagliacci at Toledo Opera, Ford in Falstaff for the New Jersey Opera Theater, his debut as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro with the Connecticut Grand Opera and was the Bass Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Long Island Symphony. Mr. Sutin’s engagements in the 2004-2005 season included his début at the Canadian Opera Company as Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore, his return to the Metropolitan Opera for Turandot, Tonio in I Pagliacci and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana for the Bohème Opera in New Jersey, and the roles of the King, the Ambassador and the Woodcutter in the Spoleto Festival USA’s production of Respighi’s Sleeping Beauty, which was also performed at the Lincoln Center Festival. Mr Sutin began the season with the Johnstown Symphony in their annual Opera Gala and joined the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.
Upcoming roles include a return to the Lyric covering the title role of Wozzeck, Johanahan in Salome with The Detroit Symphony conducted by Maestro Leonard Slatkin and the role cover, Alberich in Washington National Opera’s new Ring Cycle by Wagner.
Bille Bruley, tenor, hails from Montgomery, Texas and is currently in his first year in the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio. He is a graduate of the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Carol Vaness, and Baylor University, where he studied with Robert Best. He was recently awarded the Richard Tucker Memorial Award from the Santa Fe Opera, and was selected as a semi-finalist for the Sullivan Foundation.
This season, Bille sings his first War Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony, and with Arizona Opera, Bille will sing Gastone in La Traviata, Jonathan Dale in Silent Night, Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Marriage of Figaro, and cover Nikolaus Sprink in Silent Night. He also sings Ferrando in Così fan tutte alongside fellow studio singers in April. In May, Bille will be performing Mozart Opera Arias with the Phoenix Symphony.
The 2017/18 season saw Bille as an Apprentice Singer with the Santa Fe Opera where he covered the roles of Captain Nolan in Doctor Atomic, and Governor/Vanderdendur/Captain in Candide. He also returned to Virginia Opera to sing First Philistine in Samson et Dalila, Trin in La fanciulla del West, Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Bille also joined Baltimore Choral Arts as tenor soloist for Handel's Dixit Dominus under the baton of newly appointed Music Director, Anthony Blake Clark.
The 2016/17 season found Bille singing the Father in The Seven Deadly Sins with Virginia Opera, singing the title role in Britten's Peter Grimes with Indiana University Opera Theater, and as tenor soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass under the baton of Joseph Flummerfelt. He was also the tenor soloist in another Haydn work, Schopfungmesse, in Indianapolis before he joined the Winona Oratorio Chorus and Orchestra for a performance of Operatic and Oratorio favorites. Bille traveled to Michigan to be a Guest Artist with the Pine Mountain Music Festival right before returning to Central City Opera for performances as King Nebuchadnezzar in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace.
The 2015/16 season found Bille singing Ferrando in Indiana University's Così fan tutte, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus also at IU, an appearance at the American Choral Director’s Association Regional Conference in Chicago with Indiana University's contemporary new music choral ensemble, NOTUS, and sang a solo recital representing Indiana University at The John F. Kennedy Center. In the summer of 2016, he joined the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival singing Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd and Giles Corey in The Crucible, while covering the role of Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd.
In the 2015 summer season, Bille was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, singing The Tempter in Britten's The Prodigal Son, Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata, and covering the role of Sancho in Leigh's Man of La Mancha. He was awarded the Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award by the Central City Opera House Association.
Bille was also named Grand Prize Winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Houston, TX, and was a Regional Finalist and Winner at the MONC Gulf Coast Regional Finals in 2014. He also won the Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence from the Baylor University School of Music. Bille was privileged to be a Finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition where he sang on the stage of the Winspear Opera House, and also a Finalist and Winner in the Lois Alba Aria Competition. He has also been a featured Soloist or Performer with many orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles, including The Waco Symphony, The Fort Worth Baroque Society, The Texas Baroque Ensemble, and The South Dakota Chorale.
American baritone, Jarrett Logan Porter, is second year Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, and in the 2018/19 season will appear as Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, as Father Palmer in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night, as Antonio and the cover to il Conte Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Baron Douphol in La Traviata. In the 2017/18 season, he was seen as the title role in Hercules vs Vampires, as Sciarrone in Tosca, as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville, and as Maximilian/Captain in Candide. He joins The Santa Fe Opera in 2018 as a member of the company's Apprentice Program, singing Der Perückenmacher in Ariadne auf Naxos, and covering Maximilian/Captain in Candide. In Spring of 2018, he joins pianist Taylor Hutchinson in recital to present the duo's first full length Winterreise at Katzin Hall: Arizona State University. Jarrett has recently appeared as a Young Artist with The Glimmerglass Festival as Sam in Oklahoma!, and in Francesca Zambello's new production of Donizetti's rarely performed opera, The Siege of Calais.
As a passionate interpreter of new music, Porter was seen as Joses in San Francisco Opera's World Premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo, and in 2016 as The Narcisisstic Ogre in the American Premiere of Philip Glass' The Witches of Venice at Opera Saratoga, where Opera News lauded him for his "imposing baritone." Later that season, Porter worked as part of the workshop premiere of Mason Bates' The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs for The Santa Fe Opera, and later he went on to make his American Lyric Theatre debut, creating the role of Tom in Theo Popov's and Tony Asaro’s concert premiere of The Halloween Tree at Merkin Hall in New York City. In 2017, he was the recipient of the inaugural Pankonin Art Song Award for his collaboration with composer Matthew Boehler and librettist Tony Asaro to create the new song-cycle: Passed, and has appeared in performance with Jake Heggie at the German Consulate of San Francisco in a program of Heggie’s newest endeavors, including selections from his chamber opera, Out of Darkness.
In January of 2017, Jarrett was a fellow at SongFest at the Hidden Valley Music Festival under the mentorship of Sir Thomas Allen and Graham Johnson. Alongside narration from Mr. Allen and Mr. Johnson, he made his National Public Radio debut with selections from Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise.
He is the 2017 Winner of the Pacific Music Society Competition, the Ellie Silver Award Winner at the 2017 Holt Competition, and the First Prize Winner of the inaugural Esther C. Weill Competition. Other role engagements have included the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, Le Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon, Sid in Albert Herring, Harry Easter in Street Scene, and Morales in Carmen. Porter is an Alumni of Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy (2014), and holds a BM from the Eastman School of Music (2015), and an MM from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2017) where he was a James Schwabacher Fellow. He is a student of César Ulloa.
The Romanian born bass-baritone, Daniel Prunaru Reagan, made his professional opera debut in the role of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera Nationala Bucuresti, Romania (1998-1999). Other operatic roles include Ferrando in Verdi’s Il Trovatore (1999), Samuel in Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera (2000) with Cluj National Opera, Romania, Don Basilio in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with Santa Fe Opera (Young Artists Program in 1998), Constanta Opera (2000), and Lyric Theatre of Craiova (Romania), Doctor Bartolo in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1999), Gian Francesco in Halevy’s La Jouvie with Lyric Theatre of Craiova (Romania, 1999) and Opera Iasi (1999), Count Rodolpho in Bellini’s La Sonnambula and Jacopo Fiesco in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra with Lyric Theatre of Craiova (2000).
He made his Arizona Opera debut with the role of Officer in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (2018).
Still early in his graduate studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Mr. Prunaru has enhanced his abilities as a professional singer with Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus for few seasons under Maestro Donald Palumbo (Faust, Aida, Fidelio, Göterdämmerung), Chicago Symphony Chorus, and from 2008 - 2015 in numerous opera productions with Houston Grand Opera Chorus under Maestro Richard Bado.
He has studied with Armen Boyajian, Mignon Dunn, Hector Vasquez, Lois Alba, and Norman Gulbrandsen, Alumnus of the 1998 Santa Fe Opera the Apprentice Singer Program, and 1996 The Piatra Neamt Young Artist Program in Romania, Mr. Prunaru has received many awards and honors, The Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist (Chicago, 1998,) Boris Christoff International Opera Competition (Bulgaria, 2000,) Union League Vocal Competition (Chicago, 1996,) George London Foundation Vocal Competition (New York, 1998,) Hariclea Darclée International Opera Competition (Romania, 2000.)
He was also a music professor in Texas, serving as a professor of voice and music fundamentals at Lone Star College, Tomball, TX. (2009 – 2012.)
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.
Originally from Vermont, Mezzo-Soprano Katherine Beck has been recognized for her unique timbre and honest performances throughout the east and west coasts in opera, concert, recital work and more. She has been applauded for her “Frederica von Stade-like shimmer” and “florid musicality” (The Daily Trojan) throughout her education and professional careers.
Having recently won Third Prize in the Met Council Audition's Western Region on January 14th 2018, Beck is continuing her work as a young artist with Opera Colorado in Denver, Colorado. During her time throughout the 2017/18 season, she will perform the title role in Cinderella in Opera Colorado’s outreach production. On the mainstage, she will premiere the role of Lisette in Gerald Cohen’s Steal A Pencil For Me. She will also perform the role of Meg Page in Falstaff in May.
Last June, Beck made her debut at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra in the world premiere of James Lapine’s Sondheim on Sondheim for symphony orchestra alongside four Tony-nominated artists, conducted by Keith Lockhart. She spent the remainder of the summer in Lenox, Massachusetts as a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Following Tanglewood, Beck returned to Los Angeles to perform the role of Mercedes in Carmen alongside Kelley O’Connor, Charles Castronovo and Rod Gilfry, conducted by Brent McMunn.
Favorite recent opera credits include the title role in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict and Sesto in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, both at USC Thornton. Beck also received applause in the Pittsburgh media for another “Sesto” in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Pittsburgh Festival Opera in 2016.
Some of Beck’s most memorable concert work includes singing in recital alongside Stephanie Blythe and a performance of Respighi’s Il tramonto both at the Tanglewood Music Center, the mezzo solos Mozart’s Requiem with Scripps College and Orchestra in Claremont CA, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Williams College in Williamstown Massachusetts, and multiple solo performances in Los Angeles with USC Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and more. Other favorite recital work includes two recitals with dear friend, pianist and repiteteur, Jasper Jimenez.
Beck received her MM in Vocal Arts at USC Thornton with a Teaching Assistantship, during which she gained invaluable experience in private vocal instruction. She received her BM in Vocal Performance at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in upstate New York.
Cadie Jordan, Soprano is native to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Vocal Performance at Indiana University in the studio of Heidi Grant Murphy. Her roles on the IU stage include Clara in their premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life, Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Marian Paroo in The Music Man. She spent the summer of 2017 as part of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and she covered the role of Anne Egerman in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music as an Apprentice Artist in Des Moines Metro Opera.
Jordan’s concert performances include soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Georgina Joshi Foundation’s Handel Project, Handel’s Salve Regina, Mozart Mass in C Minor, and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. In 2014, she made her international debut performing the role of Lisette in Puccini's La Rondine as part of the La Musica Lirica training program in Novafeltria, Italy and sang under the baton of Joseph Rescigno. In the same summer, Ms. Jordan toured as a soprano soloist with the C. S. Lewis Choral Institute Choir through Oxford and Cambridge, England. Ms. Jordan is a graduate of Louisiana State University where she began her operatic pursuit under the tutelage of baritone, Dennis Jesse. There, she made her role debut as Despina in Così fan tutte as well as Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Sylviane in Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow.
Jordan currently works as an assistant instructor of voice at the Jacobs School of Music.