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.
American Conductor Craig Kier maintains an active performance calendar while serving as the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at The University of Maryland School of Music in College Park, Maryland.
In the 2015/16 season, Maestro Kier lends his baton to performances with Maryland Opera Studio of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Blitzstein's Regina. He also returns to Houston Ballet for performances of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker and to Opera Birmingham for Verdi’s La traviata.
In the 2014/15 season, Maestro Kier, in his inaugural season of Directorship, lead the Maryland Opera Studio in well received performances of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, and Rossini's L'occasione fa il ladro. DC Metro Arts wrote of Maestro Kier’s Così fan tutte performances: “Such skillful singing throughout the show, backed up by the delightful chamber orchestra under the baton of conductor Craig Kier was charming." He made his debut with Opera Birmingham conducting Thomas’ Hamlet and Opera Santa Barbara for Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri. Maestro Kier was praised for his debut performances by Casa Magazine which reported “Craig Kier, another brilliant first-timer at OSB, transfixed the ear with his Tesla-like kinetic energy and comprehensive understanding of Rossini's penchant for manic action and mellifluous melody...Outstanding professional leadership distinguished this production, beginning with conductor Kier's extraordinary leadership which gave the orchestra leeway to execute with tremendous finesse and color.” He also continued his tenure with Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet.
Maestro Kier's 2013/14 season included with his company debut with Lyric Opera of Kansas City leading Puccini’s La bohème. Regarding his performances, the KC Metropolis expressed that “The Lyric Opera of Kansas City offered up Puccini’s La bohème in a stylish production that featured brilliant singing, impeccable orchestral support, smart choreography, and lavish visual effects. In charge of some these pertinent components were newcomers to the Lyric, like lighting designer Steve Ross and conductor Craig Kier, and each contributed their personal stamp to the show". He returned to Atlanta Opera conducting Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, made his company debut with the Maryland Opera Studio conducting Britten’s Albert Herring and with Central City Opera leading Rodgers’ The Sound of Music. With Houston Grand Opera, he lead performances of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, the world premiere of the East + West chamber opera Bound, and served as their Cover Conductor. Maestro Kier returned to the Houston Ballet for his third season as a Guest Conductor leading performances of The Nutcracker.
Highlights in Maestro Kier's 2012-13 season included his Glimmerglass Festival debut conducting Weill's Lost in the Stars, his company debut at the Royal Opera House, Muscat, Oman leading performances of Willson’s The Music Man, and appearances with the Houston Ballet conducting The Nutcracker and Peter Pan. He also returned to Houston Grand Opera for his third season as Associate Conductor and Assistant Chorus Master, where he served as Cover Conductor and a member of the coaching faculty of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Previous season highlights included Maestro Kier’s conducting debut with the Houston Grand Opera leading performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Rossini’s The Barbe of Seville, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in a joint project between Seattle Opera and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and debuts with Atlanta Ballet and Houston Ballet. Maestro Kier returned to Santa Fe Opera to serve as the Assistant Conductor for La donna del lago starring Joyce DiDonato and Lawrence Brownlee and to The Atlanta Opera to conduct performances of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Prior to joining Houston Grand Opera, Maestro Kier spent six seasons as Resident Assistant Conductor and Principal Coach/Accompanist for The Atlanta Opera. He began his career as part of Seattle Opera’s music staff, serving in a variety of roles including Assistant Conductor, Coach/Accompanist, and Chorus Master. He has since served on the music staff of Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Colorado, Berkshire Opera, Opera New Jersey, Opera Birmingham and Des Moines Metro Opera. Maestro Kier also spent six years on the faculty of the Opera Theater of the Rockies Vocal Arts Symposium. He earned his Master of Music degree in Accompanying from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and his Bachelor of Music Education from the State University of New York College at Fredonia.
American Stage Director Matthew Ozawa has an international career spanning all artistic disciplines having worked for prestigious companies worldwide including Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Siam, Macau International Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, Ozawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mozawa, a performing arts company that generates creative and cultural hybrid works of art with the aim to break down barriers that exist between differing artistic media and cultures.
His most recent acclaimed productions include: Romeo and Juliet (Minnesota Opera), L'Opera Seria (American Premiere - Wolf Trap Opera), After The Storm (World Premiere - Houston Grand Opera), Nabucco (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Hand Eye (Eighth Blackbird / Carnegie Hall), Arizona Lady (American Premiere - Arizona Opera), Second Nature (World Premiere - Lyric Unlimited – Lyric Opera of Chicago), Y Portraits: Awakening (World Premiere – Mozawa), Snow Dragon (Opera Siam), Tsuru (World Premiere – Houston Ballet / Asia Society), Porcelain (Prologue Theater Company), Snow Dragon (World Premiere- Skylight Music Theater), Fallen (World Premiere - Mozawa), Les Mamelles de Tiresias / Le Pauvre Matelot (New Production - Wolf Trap Opera), Don Giovanni (Lyric Opera of Chicago – Ryan Opera Center), Canciones y arias (Lyric Unlimited), A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera), The Barber of Seville (Lyric Opera of Chicago - Ryan Opera Center), and the world premiere of The Memory Stone (Houston Grand Opera - HGOco). Other directing and choreography credits include scenes for the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Scenes, a site specific Act III of Crowded House: The Winter's Tale for The State Theater, The Pride for Prologue Theater Company, the electro-theatre piece Radio Ghosts for New Leaf Theater, La boheme for Opera North, several student matinee performances and second casts for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Falstaff for Opera in the Heights in Houston, and A Son at the Front at the Athenaeum Theater in Chicago. Ozawa made his New York directorial debut, directing/ choreographing, writing, conceiving and producing Bound Shadow. In addition, he has directed numerous theater and opera productions for Oberlin College and Conservatory, including Tales from Ovid, Suddenly Last Summer, and The Crane Wife (world premiere opera) among others.
As an Associate and Assistant Director, Ozawa has worked for Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Opera Colorado, Macau International Festival, Indianapolis Opera, and Off-Broadway. He has worked with world-renowned directors including Peter Sellars, Francesca Zambello, David Alden, Bob Falls, Rob Ashford, Gary Griffin, Francisco Negrin and James Robinson.
Besides working professionally in opera and theater, Ozawa is equally comfortable in the world of music and dance having studied with world-renowned composer/ director/ choreographer Meredith Monk as well as dancer Simone Forti.
A proponent of arts education, Ozawa has acted as Lecturer for the School of Music at DePaul University and Lecturer / Stage Director of Opera for the School of Music at North Park University. As an acting and movement coach, Ozawa has worked with young singers at the Santa Fe Opera, Ryan Opera Center (Lyric Opera of Chicago), DePaul University, Rider University and North Park University.
Ozawa has received numerous awards, honors and fellowships. In 2012 Ozawa was the Judges' Winner of the 24hr Opera Competition for Atlanta Opera. In 2011, he studied with Anne Bogart during the SITI Summer Theater Training Program at Skidmore College. In 2010 he was a Charles MacKay Career Development Honoree at Opera Theatre of St Louis. He was awarded a directing fellowship with Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2007, followed by a dramaturgy fellowship in 2008. Ozawa was also awarded the James S. McLaughlin Memorial Prize in Theater for his work at Oberlin (BA in Musicology and Music Theory), as well as being honored Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Lambda.
Upcoming Directing Engagements Include: Don Quichotte (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Madama Butterfly (Arizona Opera), The Marriage of Figaro (North Carolina Opera), Sweeney Todd (Skylight Music Theater), and A Little Night Music (Des Moines Metro Opera).
|January 28, February 3 & 5|
Upcoming engagements during the 2016-17 season for Sandra Lopez include performances as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the Arizona Opera, her company and role debut as Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmelites for the Sarasota Opera, and the title role in Catan’s La Hija de Rappaccini for Alamo City Opera.
Recent engagements in the 2015-16 season for Ms Lopez included the title role of Tosca for Opera North, for which Opera News raved: “petite, handsome Sandra Lopez was an admirably responsive actress, an experienced Puccini professional with a dark-hued lyric instrument capable of considerable emotional power”. She also appeared as Matilde Neruda in Il Postino for Opera Saratoga, as well as a role and company debut as the title role in Catan’s FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS with Arizona Opera.
Ms. Lopez has performed on the world’s great stages including recent performances with Finnish National Opera as Elisabetta in DON CARLO, Opera de Oviedo and Opera på Skäret in Sweden singing the title role in TOSCA, Venice’s Gran Teatro la Fenice, Opera Carolina, Florida Grand Opera and Fort Worth Opera as Mimi in LA BOHEME, Opera de Massy, Virginia Opera, Berkshire Opera, Opera de Fribourg in Switzerland, Festival de St-Cèrè, and Opera Eclatè, singing the title role in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Opera Carolina as Desdemona in OTELLO, Cincinnati Opera, Forth Worth Opera, San Antonio Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, PORT Opera in Maine, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera and Opera North as Micaela in CARMEN, San Antonio Opera singing the title role in SUOR ANGELICA, Nedda in I PAGLIACCI and Micaela in CARMEN, the Salzburg Festival, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Tanglewood Festival and The Metropolitan Opera as the 4th Maid in ELEKTRA, PORT OPERA in Maine and Nashville Opera for Nedda in PAGLIACCI, and finally with Fort Worth Symphony in a Semi Staged performance as Tatiana in EUGENE ONEGIN which she also sang at The Metropolitan Opera for it’s YOUNG ARTISTS GALA CONCERT conducted by James Levine in which she appeared singing the entire final scene as Tatiana.
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, she has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in numerous roles which include Catherine in Bolcom's VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, Frasquita in CARMEN, 4th Maid in ELEKTRA, Tebaldo in DON CARLO, Flower Maiden in PARSIFAL, covers including Liu/TURANDOT, Marguerite/FAUST, Nedda/I PAGLIACCI, and Roberta Alden for the world premiere of AMERICAN TRAGEDY, among others.
Ms. Lopez is also known for her performances in new works, and has participated in several world premieres, most recently in the 2014 premiere of Crozier/Krask's 'With Blood, With Ink' with the Fort Worth Opera which was released in 2015 on Albany Records.
Ms. Lopez has collaborated with many conductors including James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Daniele Callegari, Valery Gergiev, Eduardo Muller, Julius Rudel, Dennis Russell Davies, Donald Runnicles, Yves Abel, Anton Guadagno, among others. Ms. Lopez was selected for the acoustical testing of the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Opera House at the Arscht Center in Miami, Florida, and also performed the role of Mimi in their Opening Night Gala Celebration.
As comfortable in concert as on the operatic stage, Ms. Lopez recently appeared with the Lithuanian Opera and the Nürnberg Symphony for solo operatic galas with the orchestras, as well as numerous solo recitals throughout the US and France.
Ms. Lopez has toured with Andrea Bocelli to critical acclaim and has performed a wide variety of repertoire, including the Verdi Requiem, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Gounod's Saint Cecilia mass, and Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, as well as many Opera Galas and recitals with various festival and symphonies, including the Nürnberg Symphoniker, Orquesta Nacional de Puerto Rico, Fort Worth Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Greensboro Symphony, Manchester Festival Orchestra, Miami Chamber Society, among others.
Ms. Lopez has been the recipient of numerous prizes, awards, and grants, including Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition, and subsequently a Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist, the Grand Prize Winner of the Florida Grand Opera Young Patroness Association, First Prize at the Palm Beach Opera Competition, Career Grant Recipient from the George London Foundation and the Beau Bogan Foundation, and World Finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti Competition.
Ms. Lopez is also a lover of Spanish song repertoire and Zarzuela, and regularly performs concerts, recitals, galas, and fully-staged performances of this unique repertoire.
|January 29 & February 4|
Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for a “winningly liquid” voice as well as for her “dramatic vividness and vocal flourish,” soprano Rena Harms returns to English National Opera to sing her first performances of Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, makes her French debut at Opera National de Bordeaux as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, returns to Florentine Opera in her role debut as Beatrice in Three Decembers and performs one of her signature roles, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Santa Barbara during the 2015/16 season.
She joined the Seattle Symphony as the soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and Opera America for their New Works Sampler last season. Ms. Harms appeared with the Grand Théâtre de Genèveas Helmwige in Die Walküre, made her role debut as Desdemona in Otello with the Oldenburgishes Staatstheater and sang the title role in Sigfried Matthus’ Judith with Staatstheater Braunschweig and Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg in the 2013-2014 season. Recently, she joined the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus to cover Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and returned to Florentine Opera for Micaëla in Carmen and to Staatstheater Braunschweig for Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte. During the 2011/12 season, she sang the title role of Fibich’s Sarka, Marenka in Bartered Bride, and Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, all in new productions, with Staatstheater Braunschweig and Lìu in Turandot with Florentine Opera.
The soprano made her English National Opera debut as Amelia in a new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov of Simon Boccanegra and joined Theater Basel for Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the High Priestess in Aida, and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. In the US, her other recent performances include Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara and Opera Southwest as well as first performances of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Ericlea in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Wolf Trap Opera. She sang Mimì in La bohème with Los Angeles Opera, where she recently completed her tenure as a member of the company’s prestigious Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. Also with the company, she sang Barena in Jenufa, Erste Magd in Der zerbrochene Krug, along with Zweite Magd in Der Zwerg in a double bill conducted by James Conlon, and Sylvaine in The Merry Widow, in addition to joining the company for its Grammy Award-winning production of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. She also sang Nedda in Pagliacci in performances featuring the resident artists as well as Antonia in excerpts of Les contes d’Hoffmann. Ms. Harms is also former participant in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program where she sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the title role in excerpts of Arabella in concert. As an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, she sang Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro and Barena in Jenufa in the company’s scenes program.
She made her international debut recently in a concert with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica Simón Bolívar in Mexico and has sung Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Burbank Philharmonic and Santa Fe Community Orchestra. She has also twice joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a series of children’s concerts and the Music Academy of the West Orchestra for Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Harms is a 2010 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and in the finals concert, sang arias of Nedda in Pagliacci and Lìu in Turandot with Marco Armiliato conducting. She also won the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition and second prize in the Marcello Viotti International Vocal Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, in addition to receiving an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music and attended the Music Academy of the West, where she was awarded a merit fellowship.
|January 28, February 3 & 5|
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 29 & February 4|
Marco Cammarota, tenor, is currently a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia under the tutelage of William Schuman. Recent roles of note include Nemorino in Elixir of Love at Opera Santa Barbara, Avito in Italo Montemezzi's rarely performed gem: L'amore dei tre Re with the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Alfredo in La Traviata with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Cammarota is experienced in english and American repertoire, having sung: Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, and Carlson in Floyd's Of Mice and Men to mention a few. He has had particular success in the Italian and French repertoire singing Macduff and Malcolm respectively in the Glimmerglass Festival's production of Verdi's Macbeth, as well as B.F. Pinkerton and Rodolfo in the Puccini classics: Madama Butterfly and La bohème. Most recently, Cammarota had the privilege of making his Kennedy Center debut in a one hour special performance of Bizet's Carmen designed for children.
|January 28, February 3 & 5|
“A formidable display of vocal power and dramatic assurance,” mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel recently completed the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where she performed many roles including Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Curra (cover Preziosilla) in La forza del destino, Paula (cover) in Florencia en el Amazonas, as well as The Cat in Tony Award winning composer Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me. She was just presented with the highly esteemed Betty Allen Award and grant from the Sullivan Foundation.
Last season’s engagements also included Juno and Ino in Händel’s Semele in a return to Seattle Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Charleston Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, a world-première performance of Douglas Pew and Dara Weinberg’s new opera Penny with Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, as well as Gala concerts with Opera America, at the Smithsonian, and additional venues throughout New York.
This season, she creates the role of Lucinda in the highly-anticipated world première of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s adaptation of Charles Frazier’s thrilling novel Cold Mountain at Santa Fe Opera; makes her New York Philharmonic début alongside Eric Owens this fall in In Their Footsteps: Great African American Singers and Their Legacy; will sing the role of Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette and cover Fenena in Nabucco in her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago; and will return to Washington National Opera for The Ring Cycle.
Other notable recent engagements include Nettie Fowler in Carousel and Elvira Griffiths in An American Tragedy with Glimmerglass Opera Festival; Foreign Woman in The Consul at Seattle Opera; and the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro Sinfonico in Milan under the baton of Maestro Xian Zhang.
With the Seattle Opera she has also performed La suora infermiera in Suor Angelica (main stage début), Dame Marthe in Faust, Mary in The Flying Dutchman, and as a former member of Seattle Opera’s young artist program, Giulietta in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno and Maddalena in a performance of Rigoletto. She also sang Berta in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program.
Also sought after for her performances on the concert stage, Ms. Nansteel has performed Händel’s Messiah with the Memphis Symphony; the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs with the Oregon Mozart Players; plus various concerts including Stravinsky’s Les noces, Penderecki’s Credo, and Händel’s Israel and Egypt.
Other roles in her repertoire include Adalgisa in Norma, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Eboli in Don Carlo, Amneris in Aïda, and Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde.
Ms. Nansteel is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she earned an Artist Diploma in Opera and a Master of Music in Voice. At CCM, she performed the roles of Berta in The Barber of Seville, Marguerite in Berlioz’s Ladamnation de Faust, Mother Marie in Dialogues des carmélites, Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia, and Mother Goose in Stravinsky’sThe Rake’s Progress. She also received Bachelor of Music degrees in both Vocal Performance and Vocal Jazz Studies from East Carolina University and currently studies with Barbara Paver.
Recent awards include Second Place in the Sun Valley Opera competition in Seattle; the Andrew White Award and Seybold/Russel Award in the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition; and a Winner in the National Orpheus Vocal Competition
|January 29 & February 4|
Mariya joined the Santa Fe Opera as a member of the Apprentice Singer Program in Summer 2016, and Arizona Opera as a Studio Artist in the 2016-2017 Season. Upcoming roles include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Tisbe in La Cenerentola.
A 2015 San Francisco District Winner and Western Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Russian-American Mezzo-Soprano Mariya Kaganskaya makes several role debuts in the 2015-2016 Season, including La Nourrice in Milhaud’sMédée at Mills College, Marta in Iolanta and Hostess in Boris Godunov with New Opera NYC, and Teacher in the workshop of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs for the Santa Fe Opera, as well as Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Julia Bertram in the West Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is currently a postgraduate student in the studio of Catherine Cook.
Engagements in the 2014-2015 Season included performing Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti and Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the San Francisco Conservatory. She also joined Opera Santa Barbara as a Mosher Studio Artist, performing Mexican Woman in A Streetcar Named Desire, premiered Will You, Won’t You?, a song cycle written for her by acclaimed composer Elinor Armer, and made debuts in Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai, China, performing with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonicas a Young Artist with the iSing International Festival.
Highlights of Mariya’s 2013-2014 Season included performing the title role of Handel’s Serse at the San Francisco Conservatory and Olga in Eugene Onegin with the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and covering the role of Elena in the American premiere of Adam Gorb’s Anya17 for Opera Parallèle, as well as performances with the SFCM New Music Ensemble, SFCM Opera Workshop, and the San Francisco Opera educational outreach program.
Mariya has also performed full roles including Cornelia in Giulio Cesare and Volupia in L’Egisto, partial roles including Charlotte (Werther), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Idamante (Idomeneo), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Angelina (La Cenerentola), The Fox (The Little Prince), and Mme Pernelle (Tartuffe), and various scenes, with favorites including Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Polina (The Queen of Spades), Mallika (Lakmé), Auntie (Peter Grimes), Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), and the Third Lady and Third Spirit (The Magic Flute). Her chorus work includes John Adams’ A Flowering Tree with Riverside Lyric Opera, and Les pêcheurs de perles, Die Fledermaus, and Il Trovatore with Opera San José.
In addition to opera, Mariya is a frequent concert soloist and chamber music collaborator. She was recently the Alto soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Santa Clara Chorale and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the San Francisco Master Chorale, and has performed both Alto and Soprano soli in Fauré’s Requiem, Duruﬂé’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Handel’s Messiah with the UC San Diego Chamber Singers. She was featured in the late János Négyesy‘s Soirée for Music Lovers series, collaborating with Négyesy and Päivikki Nykter; other notable collaborations have been with Professors John Fonville and Philip Larson.
Mariya is equally passionate about contemporary classical music, and enjoys collaborating with living composers. She has worked in master classes with composers Lembit Beecher and Tobias Picker, and premiered works by Elinor Armer, Ilya Demutsky, Philip Skaller, Diarmid Flatley, Samara Rice, and Frank S. Li.
Recognized as a leader among her peers, Mariya currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the SF Conservatory Student Council. At UC San Diego, she was the recipient of the Bertram Turetzky Award for exceptional participation within the music department and community by an undergraduate performer, as well as a founding member of the Treble Singers and the founding Artistic Director of Undergrads for Opera. Previously, she held the prestigious role of Chorissima Section Leader in the Grammy-winning San Francisco Girls Chorus, with which she toured nationally and internationally and performed with the San Francisco Symphony.
Mariya is currently a postgraduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Master’s in 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s in three years, magna cum laude, at UC San Diego, where she studied with Philip Larson.
With a velvety tone and a stage presence which exudes confidence and charm, baritone Levi Hernandez is gaining momentum as a sought after artist on the operatic stage. Mark Thomson Ketterson of Opera News declared of his principal debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dandini in La Cenerentola,“Young baritone Levi Hernandez’s intelligent Dandini displayed a most impressive knack for subtle text-‐ painting within a pristinely negotiated coloratura line…”
Recently, the El Paso native made his Houston Grand Opera debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly next to Ana Maria Martinez and Joseph Calleja. He also joined the rosters of San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in their productions of Puccini’s Il trittico and Fanciulla del West. His 2014/15 season includes a return to the Metropolitan opera to cover the title role in The Death of Klinghoffer and Dancaïre in Carmen, his Opera Roanoke debut as Dandini in La Cenerentola, the title role in Gianni Schicchi with Intermountain Opera, and Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in his debut with Pine Mountain Music Festival. Future seasons will see his return to Opera Omaha and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
The 2013/14 season featured returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Die Frau ohne Schatten, Opera Omaha as Don Magnifico in La cenerentola, Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Papageno, the Philadelphia Ballet for Carmina Burana, and Intermountain Opera Bozeman for Germont in La traviata. In the 2012/13 season, Mr. Hernandez returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Carmen, revisited Sharpless with Nashville Opera, appeared with Opera Memphis as Marcello in La bohème, sang Handel’s Messiah with the El Paso Symphony, and performed the role of Guglielmo in Puccini’s Le Villi with the Spoleto Festival, USA.
Other recent engagements include his European debut with Komische Oper Berlin’s Pique Dame in the role of Tomski, Tobias Mill in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio with Opera Omaha, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Minnesota Opera, Intermountain Opera, Virginia Opera, Lake George Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera, his debut with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Dandini in La Cenerentola with Opera North, Marcello in San Antonio Opera’s La bohème, Schaunard in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s La bohème, Valentin in Faust with The Kalamazoo Symphony, and Don Lucas in Luisa Fernanda, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Crébillon in La rondine with Los Angeles Opera.
An alumnus of the Lyric Opera center for American Artists, Mr. Hernandez made his Lyric Opera main stage debut during the 2004/05 season. During his tenure at Lyric he was also seen as Marullo in Rigoletto, Sciarrone in Tosca, the Innkeeper in Manon Lescaut and the Bartender in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding. A versatile actor as well as a fine singer, Hernandez portrayed the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the 2004 Grant Park Music Festival. Other career highlights include Marcello La bohème for El Paso Opera, Papageno with Madison Opera in their The Magic Flute, performances in Boston Lyric Opera’s productions of Carmen and The Barber of Seville, and Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Moralès in Carmen, and Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, all with Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Mr. Hernandez has been seen on the concert stage as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Charlotte Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Cheyenne Symphony and in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Pennsylvania Ballet. A 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards finalist, his many awards include a Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation grant as well as being a 2002 OPERALIA competition finalist. After receiving his undergraduate degree at Westminster Choir College, Mr. Hernandez attended the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he performed a number of leading roles including Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Marcello in La bohème, Ford in Falstaff, Gugliemo in Così fan tutte, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Vicar in Albert Herring and Falke in Die Fledermaus.
Opera News praises tenor Jason Ferrante for “singing up a stylish storm” and for getting “the gold star for trills” and The Berkshire Eagle says he “seems to brighten every stage he mounts” This season, Ferrante debuts with North Carolina Opera as Triquet in Eugene Onegin, returns to the Sarasota Choral Society as the Tenor Soloist in Handel’s Messiah, joins the Traverse Symphony as the tenor soloist in Haydn's Mass in C. Major and tours to several Young Artists Programs and Universities to give masterclasses and vocal instruction. Future engagements include a return to the stage at Arizona Opera in his most frequently performed role, Goro in Madama Butterfly.
In the 2014/15 season, Ferrante debuted at Atlanta Opera as Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro and Goro in Madama Butterfly, returned to Florida Grand Opera as The Magician in The Consul and debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia under the baton of James Conlon as the Fourth Jew in Salome, a role he sang earlier that year for his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Andris Nelsons and which led the Boston Classical Review to single him out as “a humorous standout”.
On the international stage, Ferrante made his European debut at Teatro Comunale di Bologna as Beadle Bamford in Sweeny Todd. The production also appeared at Teatro Pavarotti in Modena, Teatro Rossini in Lugo, and Teatro Municipale in Piacenza. He was the Tenor Ghost in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with the Wexford Festival, and sang Pong in Turandot under the baton of Lorin Maazel in the grand opening of the Zaha Hadid-designed opera house in Guangzhou, China .
Other operatic career highlights include King Ouf in L’étolie at New York City Opera; Tavannes in Les Huguenots and Basile in Le roi malegré lui at Bard Summerscape (both commercially recorded and available on iTunes); Jacquino in Fidelio with Opera Boston; Borsa in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera and Opera New Jersey; Spoletta in Tosca with Florida Grand Opera, Goro in Madama Butterfly with Kentucky Opera, Syracuse Opera, Opera Omaha, Madison Opera, Orlando Opera, Berkshire Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Annapolis Opera; The Magician in The Consul with Opera New Jersey; Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro directed by Sir Thomas Allen, The Magician in The Consul , Monostatos in The Magic Flute, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, all with Arizona Opera; the Fourth Jew in Salome with Palm Beach Opera; Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw with Sideshow Opera in Charlottesville, VA ; Rooster in the musical Annie with Ashlawn Opera; Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, Beadle Bamford in Sweeny Todd, and the creation of the role of Cornaccio in the world premiere of Musto’s Volpone, all at Wolf Trap; Bardolfo in Falstaff and Torquemada in L'heure espagnole under the baton of Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood; Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro with Berkshire Opera, Dayton Opera, Eugene Opera; Paolino Il matrimonio segreto with Berkshire Opera; Eumete in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with the Greenwich Music Festival; Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and Dr. Caius in Falstaff, both under the baton of Julius Rudel at the Aspen Music Festival.
On the concert stage, Ferrante has appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic, The Tucson Symphony, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, The Key Chorale of Sarasota and the Juilliard Orchestra in operas in concert and in masterpieces including Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Mass in C. Major, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Bach’s Magnificat.
Ferrante is quickly becoming a sought-out voice teacher. His students sing around the world with opera companies including the Met, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Glimmerglass and Wolf Trap. They have been winners in competitions including Operalia, Met National Council, Zachary Foundation, Sullivan Awards, the George London Foundation and are members of young artists programs throughout the United States and Europe. He currently serves as a vocal consultant to the young artists programs at Wolf Trap Opera, Arizona Opera, Nashville Opera, and Pensacola Opera and is on the faculty of the UBC Summer Vocal Workshop in Vancouver, BC. He is a national panelist and master teacher for YoungArts. YoungArts is the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, which recognizes and supports America's most talented high school artists in the visual, literary and performing arts and includes nominating future Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
Ferrante holds both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he held the Alice Tully Voice Scholarship and his professional training includes two summers at Wolf Trap where he was a two-time recipient of a Shouse Grant, three summers at the Aspen Music Festival, and two summers at Tanglewood. His primary vocal studies were with legendary vocal pedagogue Beverley Peck Johnson with additional studies with Rita Shane, Phyllis Curtin and Cynthia Hoffmann. The Baltimore native currently resides in Miami, FL.
Born and raised in Illinois, American bass-baritone Zachary Owen is quickly emerging as one of the most exciting young artists of his generation. He has performed with such companies as Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Opera North, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Opera Santa Barbara.
He has performed the roles of Ashby in La fanciulla del West, Don Fernando in Fidelio, Matouš in Smetana’s The Kiss, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Frank Maurrant in Street Scene, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, der Sprecher in The Magic Flute, Spencer Coyle in Owen Wingrave, and the title role in Don Pasquale.
A strong advocate for new music, he has participated in a composer’s workshop at Cincinnati Opera in which he worked alongside Jake Heggie, Jack O’Brien, and Terrence McNally to develop two characters for Heggie’s new Opera, Great Scott. In the 2016 season, Mr. Owen will be returning to Opera Santa Barbara for his debut in a leading role as Dulcamara in Elixer of Love as well as singing Francis Nurse in The Crucible at the Glimmerglass Festival, and performing as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera.
Mr. Owen is the recipient of numerous awards including the Grace Keagy Award at the Lotte Lenya Competition, the Brudos Family Prize for Opera Performance and was a national semifinalist at the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in Decorah Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Lauded for her vocal agility and dynamic stage presence, Alyssa Martin is quickly garnering attention as a standout young singer.
Ms. Martin is currently a first-year Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera. This season she will perform Mercédès in Carmen, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She will also appear as the mezzo soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony.
Upcoming engagements include a return to The Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, where she will perform the role of Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette and a return to Arizona Opera in the 2016/17 season singing Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and Angelinain La Cenerentola.
Ms. Martin’s 2014/15 season included her tenure as an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera where she covered Don Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. While at Santa Fe, Ms. Martin also performed scenes as Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello. Other recent engagements include covering Flora and Annina in La traviata and The Page in Salome as an Emerging Artist at Virginia Opera. Ms. Martin was also an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, where she covered Isolier in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
This season, Ms. Martin was named a winner in the Arizona District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where she went on to place 3rd in the Western Region Finals. In the 2014/15 season, she was awarded a Career Grant from the Seattle Opera Guild, an Encouragement Grant from the Career Bridges Grant Foundation, and also 2nd prize at the Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition at Florida Grand Opera. She has been the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as the Orpheus Vocal Competition, Young Patronesses of the Opera, Opera Guild of Dayton, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, and Utah Festival Opera.
Ms. Martin completed her studies at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree under the instruction of Patricia Stiles and world-renowned soprano, Carol Vaness. On the IU stage she performed roles such as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Cendrillon in Cendrillon, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Prinz Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. Ms. Martin is a native of Greensboro, NC.
Baritone Joseph Lattanzi is gaining notice for his “robust vocalism,” “unmistakable charisma,” and “undeniable star potential.” This summer, Mr. Lattanzi will lead the world premiere cast of Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera after appearing with Jake Heggie in Opera America’s Creators in Concert series, previewing Fellow Travelers at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and soloing in Carmina Burana with the Reno Philharmonic and at the Christ (Crystal) Cathedral.
During the 2015/16 season he joined Arizona Opera for performances as Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, Moralès and Dancaïre in Carmen, and Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni. Lattanzi’s 2014/15 season began with a return home to debut with The Atlanta Opera as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and included workshopping Jake Heggie’s new opera Great Scott, revisiting Fellow Travelers at the Opera America National Opera Center, soloing in Carmina Burana with the Chicago Sinfonietta, and performing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. The 2013/14 season included his return to Seattle Opera in The Consul, a debut season with Cincinnati Opera in three roles, and an exciting international debut in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem with the Orchestra e Coro Sinfonica di Milano "Giuseppe Verdi". Recently, Lattanzi garnered acclaim for his performances of Il Conte in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro led by Xian Zhang at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program.
Equally at home in standard and new repertoire, Lattanzi has created roles in workshops of operas by Gregory Spears (Fellow Travelers), Jake Heggie (Great Scott), Daniel Catán (Meet John Doe), and Clint Borzoni (The Copper Queen). In the 2011/12 season, Mr. Lattanzi was recognized by Opera News Magazine for his "fresh, bright baritone voice" as Moralès in Bizet’s Carmen with Seattle Opera. As a member of Seattle Opera's Young Artist Program, he also performed the roles of Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Albert in Massenet’s Werther.
Other stage credits include the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Papageno (The Magic Flute), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), and Man With a Shoe Sample Kit (Postcard from Morocco). The Mableton, GA native has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). In addition to two summers at the Merola Opera Program, he has participated in programs at the Brevard Music Center and the Chautauqua Institute Voice Program.