Scenes in the Wittcoff
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.
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.
American Soprano Kaitlyn Johnson, 2nd year member of the Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist Program, is a graduate student majoring in vocal performance and Associate Instructor of Voice at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Johnson 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.
Johnson 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). Johnson 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. Johnson 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.
Applauded for her “florid musicality” and “von Stade-like shimmer,” mezzo Katherine Beck has been recognized for her unique sound and honest performances throughout the United States. In 2018, Beck took First Prize at the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition and Third Place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council’s Western Regionals.
A current member of the Marion Roose Pullin Studio at Arizona Opera, 2019 highlights for Beck this year include performances of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro this spring and Mary Johnson in Fellow Travelers in the fall. Beck recently created the role of Lisette in the world premiere of Gerald Cohen’s Steal a Pencil for Me at Opera Colorado in January 2018. Equally at home in recital and chamber music, she is a two-time alumna of the Tanglewood Music Center as a Vocal Arts fellow. Beck has shared the stage with the likes of Stephanie Blythe in recital at Tanglewood, as well as with Charles Castronovo, Kelley O’Connor and Rod Gilfry in Carmen in the summer of 2017 in Los Angeles.
This summer finds Beck at Santa Fe Opera, performing the role of Karolka in Jenufa and covering Ms. Emily D’Angelo as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte.
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 named a 2018/19 winner of The William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award and Career Grant.
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 The 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. During the Summer of 2019, Bille will create the role of Benjamin in the world premiere of Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child at the Santa Fe Opera, and cover the role of Laca Klemen in Janacek’s Jenufa.
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.
Brandon Morales, Bass-Baritone and 2nd year member of the Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist Program, 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.
Michael Lewis is a second year Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist and is the Studio Pianist for the 2018/19 season. Prior to joining Arizona Opera, he attended Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ where he studied with Russel Ryan and received his Master's degree in Collaborative Piano. Before his time in Arizona, Michael was the Assistant Music Director and Chorus Master at Tri-Cities Opera of Binghamton, NY where he served as principal coach and head pianist on Carmen, Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus, Rigoletto, l'Italiana in Algeri, and Faust. While holding this position, he also was on staff as Adjunct Lecturer at Binghamton University. As a vocal coach, Michael has worked with The Glimmerglass Festival, Aspen Summer Music Festival, International Vocal Arts Institute, Mill City Summer Opera, CoOPERAtive Program, and Ithaca College School of Music. During his undergraduate studies in vocal performance at Ithaca College, Michael assisted in the creation of the first student-run opera company at the college in which he served as Assistant Music Director and vocal coach. Along with performing, Michael is also a composer whose works have been performed throughout the United States and Australia.
Dale Dreyfoos (Professor of Opera/Music Theater at Arizona State University and Resident Stage Director for Lyric Opera Theatre) has had a multi-faceted career as a Stage Director, Character Tenor, Actor, Educator, and Arts Administrator. Mr. Dreyfoos made his Arizona Opera debut in 2000 in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in the role of Ambrogio and has returned to perform the roles of the Duchess of Krackenthorp in La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti), Njegus in The Merry Widow (Lehar) and Pelligreen in Arizona Lady (Kalman). Mr. Dreyfoos has also been an active participant in Arizona Opera’s Education and Outreach Program, having served as the Stage Director for the first Arizona Opera Outreach production of Rossini’s Cinderella. The company’s Opera Dell’Arte Series was created for his unique blend of talents as an actor, singer, and writer, for which he presented previews of operas from the perspective of a character in the opera. His preview for Hansel and Gretel, as told from the perspective of the Witch, was one of his most memorable.
Mr. Dreyfoos began his performing career at the age of 10 as the Boy Soprano soloist with the Atlanta Boy Choir, during which time he appeared as a soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore with Robert Shaw & the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as well as appearing in the French, Spanish, and Moroccan premieres of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera The Golden Vanity. For his performance in Paris, he received special accolades from the musical icon, Mlle. Nadia Boulanger (the protégé of Faure and teacher of Bernstein and Copland) and Mme. Khachaturian (the wife of the famous composer).
Since that time, Mr. Dreyfoos has made a specialty of appearing in a wide variety of character roles including Vespone in La Serva Padrona, Ambrogio in The Barber of Seville, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Frosch & Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, The Old Prisoner in La Perichole, Senex in A Funny Thing That Happened On The Way To The Forum, Henry in The Fantasticks, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, King Sextimus in Once Upon A Matress, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Voltaire/Dr. Pangloss/Governor/Host and Sage in Candide, Frisellino in Le Pescatrice, Njegus in The Merry Widow, Mozart in A Visit with Amadeus, Ben in The Telephone, the Duchess of Krackenthorp in The Daughter of the Regiment, Edna in Bye,Bye, Birdie and Queen Elizabeth II in Hms Pinafore with such companies as the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Arizona Opera, Opera Carolina, Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, Birmingham Civic Opera, Mississippi Opera, Newberry Opera, Charleston Opera Company, Shakespeare Sedona, and ASU’s Lyric Opera Theatre. He has also appeared as the “Bargain Countertenor soloist” in P.D.Q. Bach’s The Seasonings with the Alabama Symphony under the direction of Peter Schickele. He has also made special guest appearances for television and public radio stations in Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC, Phoenix, AZ, and Atlanta, GA, and is a featured performer on two educational compact discs, Bible Times I & III, and a cd-rom Opera-Ha Ha, produced by Arizona Opera. A specialist in “character voices”, Mr. Dreyfoos’s voice can be heard on several historical audio tours including the State of Georgia’s commemorative audio tours for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Edgar Allan Poe House in Richmond, Virginia and on a Civil War Tour of Lexington, Kentucky.
Mr. Dreyfoos is also the author of two highly acclaimed educational music dramas, A Visit With Amadeus and A Visit With Mr. & Mrs. Bach, which have received over 2,000 performances throughout the eastern United States. He has also recently served as a the author of two narration scripts for the 50th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Opera and an Opera Gala for Arizona Opera, which were narrated by Frederica Von Stade and Hugh Downs, respectively. Mr. Dreyfoos has been on the faculty of Arizona State University since 1994, where he received the “Distinguished Professor Award” for the College of Fine Arts in 1996.
As a Stage Director, Mr. Dreyfoos has directed productions ofThe Marriage of Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Cosi Fan Tutte, Elixir of Love, Oklahoma, Giulio Cesare, Xerxes, Ariadne auf Naxos, Hms Pinafore, La Perichole, The Secret Garden, the Turn of the Screw, Dido and Aeneas, Amahl and the night visitors, the Coronation of Poppea, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Nunsense, Susannah, La Serva Padrona, Hansel and Gretel, Don Pasquale, The Impresario, The Bartered bride, Riders to the Sea, The Barber of Seville, The Daughter of the Regiment, Albert Herring, Gallantry, Die Fledermaus, La Cenerentola and the world premiere of the Ransom of Red Chief for such companies as Opera Carolina, Piccolo Spoleto festival, Charleston Opera Company, Birmingham Civic Opera, Arizona Opera Education Tour, Milton Center Series, and Arizona State University’s Lyric Opera Theater. He has also served as an assistant director for productions of La Cenerentola, The Mikado, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, and Don Pasquale with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists, Opera Carolina, Des Moines Metro Opera, Birmingham Civic Opera and the Mississippi Opera. Since 1996, he has served as a Stage Artistry Instructor for the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
A seasoned recitalist and orchestra soloist, pianist Christopher Cano has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Civic Orchestra, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Recital appearances have been in Europe, across the US, Mexico, Israel and the Far East.
Mr. Cano has won numerous awards including the Green Valley Scholarship Competition, Emilio Osta Scholarship Competition, Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and is a recipient of the Theodore Presser Scholarship. He is also a two-time winner of the University of Arizona President’s Concert Concerto Competition. Mr. Cano made his recording debut with The Catalina Chamber Orchestra in an acclaimed performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1, Op.35.
As a collaborative artist, he has played in the Master Classes of the late Fedora Barbieri, the late Anna Moffo, Lauren Flannigan, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, and Suzanne Mentzer. Mr. Cano has also played for the master classes of Marilyn Horne in New York City at Carnegie Hall. As a studio pianist, Mr. Cano has had the distinct privilege of working with some of the great artists and teachers of singing including Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Luciano Pavarotti, Marni Nixon, Patricia McCaffrey, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Rita Shane and Diana Soviero.
Mr. Cano has performed as a guest soloist and chamber musician at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont, the Alamos Music Festival of Sonora, Mexico, and has participated as a pianist at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel and Blacksburg, Virginia.
Mr. Cano has been a member of the music staff at the Festival Lyrique en Mer in Belle Isle, France, Toledo Opera, San Diego Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Company of North Carolina, Florida Grand Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Mr. Cano has also served on the faculties of The Intermezzo Music Festival, Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Institute, the CoOPERAtive Program of Westminster College for the Arts and V.O.I.C.Experience, a summer program for promising young singers in New York City, Orlando and Savannah under the Artistic Direction of acclaimed baritone, Sherrill Milnes.
Recent recital appearances include collaborations with some of today’s most promising young vocal talent including, Jennifer Welch-Babidge, Jossie Perez, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Elaine Alvarez, Timothy Mix and Young Concert Artists Winners Jeanine DeBique and Jennifer Johnson Cano.
Currently, Mr. Cano maintains his private studio in New York City where he has prepared singers for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, and orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic among others.
A native of Southern Arizona, Mr. Cano holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona where his teachers included the late Ozan Marsh, Nicholas Zumbro, Dr. Paula Fan and Rex Woods.
Mr. Cano and his wife, Mezzo-Soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano currently reside in New York City where he was a full-scholarship student in the Professional Studies Program of Vocal Accompanying at the Manhattan School of Music. He currently serves on the vocal coaching faculty of that institution where he was a student of renowned pianist, Warren Jones.
Henri Venanzi, Chorus Master at Arizona Opera, is in demand today as an accompanist, vocal coach and lecturer throughout the United States and Europe. Venanzi has served as Chorus Master of the Cincinnati Opera since 1974 and is currently Music Director of the Cincinnati American Arts Program. Venanzi has accompanied Metropolitan Opera stars Martina Arroyo, Jerry Hadley, Mignon Dunn, Kathleen Battle, Italo Tajo and Sandra Radvanovsky in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and The Châtelet (Paris), among others.