Bold. Brave. Brilliant.
Music by Daron Hagen, Libretto by Paul Muldoon

Shining Brow

Daron Hagen

Composer

Daron Hagen is a prolific composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music for the concert hall and stage. He is also a stage director, conductor, librettist, essayist, clinician, and collaborative pianist. Described as a “composer born to write operas” (Chicago Tribune) whose music is “dazzling, unsettling, exuberant, and heroic” (The New Yorker), his opera Amelia was described as “one of the 20 best operas of the 21st century” by Opera News.

He has been commissioned by such renowned organizations as the American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Curtis Institute of Music, Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the Sarasota and Seattle Operas, and his work has been championed by such world-renowned conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Leon Botstein, Michael Christie, John DeMain, JoAnn Falletta, Lukas Foss, Kelly Kuo, Joseph Mechavich, Michael Morgan, Kenneth Schermerhorn, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Spano.

Hagen is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Academy Award (2015) and the Charles Ives Fellowship (1983) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the Guggenheim Prize; the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize; the Columbia University Bearns Prize; the ASCAP-Nissim Prize, and both the ASCAP Samuel Barber and Irving Berlin Scholarships; two Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residencies; the Camargo Foundation Residency; the Barlow Endowment Prize & Commission: the Gelin Tanglewood Fellowship; and development awards from ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the Readers Digest Fund, and Opera America.

Recent highlights include his own productions of A Woman in Morocco for Kentucky Opera, and I Hear America Singing for the Skylight Music Theater; Symphony No. 5 for the Phoenix Symphony. He is currently developing Orson Rehearsed, a broadly elastic, multi-media musico-dramatic "prestidigitation" featuring Fifth House Ensemble and the New Mercury Collective at the Chicago College of Performing Arts; and The Art of Song, an evening-long song-cycle for four singers and piano co-commissioned by Philadelphia's Lyric Fest and the Brooklyn Art Song Society.

Hagen is a passionate teacher whose masterclasses in vocal performance, composition, and acting are universally-admired for their exhilarating combination of unpretentious practical advice, commitment to social activism through art, and resolute eschewing of orthodoxies. He taught for a decade at Bard College, and served on the faculties of the Curtis Institute, New York University, and the Princeton Atelier, among others. He has served as Artist-in-Residence for the Princeton Atelier, Miami University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the University of Pittsburgh, Baylor University, and as Composer-in-Residence for the Ohio Opera Theater and Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. Hagen is currently a member of the Artist Faculty of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts and chairs the composition program at the Wintergreen Music Festival.

Hagen has served as president of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, for five years as artistic director and chair of faculty for the Seasons Music Festival, as a board member (CRI, Joy in Singing), as a trustee (Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera), and is a Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo. Formerly a Composer Mentor for American Opera Projects, he is currently a Distinguished Mentor for Composers Now and founding artistic director of the New Mercury Collective. 

Born in Wisconsin, Hagen studied composition with Ned Rorem at the Curtis Institute and David Diamond at the Juilliard School, then worked privately with Leonard Bernstein and Lukas Foss. During the 80s-90s, he was a copyist and editor for numerous concert composers and Broadway shows, including Elliot Carter, Virgil Thomson, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Disney. His music is recorded on Naxos, Sony Classical, Albany, CRI, and Bridge, among others. A Manhattanite for 28 years, he and his wife, composer Gilda Lyons, moved Upstate in 2011 to raise their sons.

He is managed by Scott Levine as a stage director; and his music is published by Peermusic Classical, Burning Sled, Carl Fischer, and E.C. Schirmer.

Paul Muldoon

Librettist

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet and professor of poetry, as well as an editor, critic, playwright, lyricist and translator.

Born in 1951 in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, to Patrick Muldoon, a farm labourer and market gardener, and Brigid Regan, a schoolteacher, Paul Muldoon was brought up near a village called The Moy on the border of Counties Armagh and Tyrone. He is the oldest of three children. After studying at Queen’s University, Belfast, he published his first book, New Weather (Faber) in 1973, at the age of 21. From 1973 he worked as a producer for the BBC in Belfast until, in the mid-1980’s, he gave up his job to become a freelance writer and moved to the United States with his second wife, the American novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz. He now lives in New York City and Sharon Springs, New York. He is the father of two children.

Muldoon is the author of twelve major collections of poetry, including One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Maggot (2010), Horse Latitudes (2006), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Hay (1998), The Annals of Chile (1994), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), Meeting the British (1987), Quoof (1983), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Mules (1977) and New Weather (1973). He has also published innumerable smaller collections, works of criticism, opera libretti, books for children, song lyrics and radio and television drama. His poetry has been translated into twenty languages.

Muldoon served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004 and as poetry editor of The New Yorker from 2007 to 2017. He has taught at Princeton University since 1987 and currently occupies the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 chair in the Humanities. In addition to being much in demand as a reader and lecturer, he occasionally appears with a spoken word music group, Rogue Oliphant. With his wife, American novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz, he adapted James Joyce's "The Dead" as an immersive, site-specific play, "The Dead, 1904," which was produced by the Irish Repertory Theatre and Dot Dot Productions, LLC, for seven-week runs in 2016 and 2017.

Paul Muldoon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, the 1972 Eric Gregory Award, the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2006 European Prize for Poetry, the 2015 Pigott Poetry Prize, the 2017 Spirit of Ireland Award from the Irish Arts Center (NYC), the 2017 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the 2018 Seamus Heaney Award for Arts & Letters. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from ten universities.

Paul Muldoon has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War." Roger Rosenblatt, writing in The New York Times Book Review, described Paul Muldoon as "one of the great poets of the past hundred years, who can be everything in his poems - word-playful, lyrical, hilarious, melancholy. And angry. Only Yeats before him could write with such measured fury."

Lidiya Yankovskaya

Conductor

Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya is a champion of Russian masterpieces, operatic rarities, and contemporary works on the leading edge of classical music. As Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater, Lidiya is the only woman to hold that title in a multimillion-dollar opera company in the United States.

In the 2019/20 season, Yankovskaya leads the world premiere of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride and the Chicago premieres of Joby Talbot’s Everest, Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, and David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Chicago Opera Theater. She conducts Ricky Ian Gordon’s Ellen West at New York’s critically acclaimed Prototype Festival, and makes house debuts leading Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow at Arizona Opera and the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera. In standard repertoire, she leads performances of Stravinsky’s The Firebird at Illinois Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with Savannah Philharmonic, Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in C minor at Chicago Philharmonic, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni in her Glimmerglass Festival debut.

Yankovskaya is Founder and Artistic Director of the Refugee Orchestra Project, which proclaims the cultural and societal relevance of refugees through music, and has brought that message to hundreds of thousands of listeners around the world. In addition to a National Sawdust residency in Brooklyn, ROP has performed in Boston, Washington, D.C., and the United Nations, and will make its UK debut in London in an upcoming season. Yankovskaya served as Artistic Director of the Boston New Music Festival and Juventas New Music Ensemble, where she led operatic experiments with puppetry, circus acts, and robotic instruments, as well as premieres by more than two dozen composers. Her commitment to exploring the breadth of symphonic and operatic repertoire has been demonstrated in performances of Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, the U.S. Russian-language premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden and the American premieres of Donizetti’s , Rubinshteyn’s The Demon, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchej The Immortal and Symphony No. 1.

An alumna of the Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship, Yankovskaya has also served as assistant conductor to Lorin Maazel and Vladimir Jurowski, chorus master of Boston Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has been featured in the League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview and Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, and is a recipient of a 2018 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award.

Chas Rader-Shieber

Stage Director

Known both for his bold and inventive productions and for his acute musical instincts, Chas Rader-Shieber has established himself as one of the most innovative opera directors of his generation. Reviewing his staging of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen Toronto’s Classical 96.3 FM praised Rader-Shieber’s “daring and visionary approach to staging” and declared him “a force to be reckoned with in the opera world.” Rader-Shieber’s repertoire encompasses a broad range of works from Monteverdi to Benjamin Britten, but he has made a particular specialty of Baroque opera.

In the 2018/2019 season Rader-Shieber returns to Pinchgut Opera to direct Hasse’s Artaserse, as well as Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. He also makes a return to Portland Opera for La finta giardiniera. Last season included debuts with Kentucky Opera for Ariadne auf Naxos and returns to Des Moines Metro Opera for Rusalka and Portland Opera for Gluck’s Orfeo.

Rader-Shieber’s 2016/2017 season included a debut with Pittsburgh Opera for La Traviata and a return to Des Moines Metro Opera for Gluck’s Orfeo. Previously, he continued his association with the Curtis Insitute of Music, directing Capriccio. On the international stage, Rader-Shieber directed Faust with the Macau Festival, and made a return to Pinchgut Opera in Australia for their production of L’amant jaloux.

During the 2014/2015 season, Rader-Shieber debuted with Boston Lyric Opera for a new production of La Traviata, Des Moines Metro Opera for Die Entführung as dem Serail, and Indiana University directing Alcina. He also returned to Portland Opera for Die Fledermaus, and also Curtis Institute of Music for Ariadne auf Naxos.

During the 2013/2014 season, he returned to Sydney, Australia with Pinchgut Opera for Giasone (Cavalli), and revived his acclaimed production of Orlando for Hobart Baroque, which was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Direction of an Opera in Australia. He also debuted with Utah Opera for Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and joined Wolf Trap Opera for Giulio Cesare.

Rader-Shieber began the 2012/2013 season with The Magic Flute at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he has directed over 26 operas. Other notable recent productions with Curtis include: Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers; Idomeneo and Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims. The 2012/2013 season also found Rader-Shieber debuting with Portland Opera directing Handel’s Rinaldo.

Of his production of Handel’s Orlando at the New York City Opera in 2004, The New York Times stated that Rader-Shieber had given audiences a production “at once contemporary, fanciful and true to the original.” In addition to Orlando, Rader-Shieber’s work at the New York City Operahas included a critically acclaimed production of Handel’s Flavio in 2003. The 2011/12 season included a debut with the Staatstheater Darmstadt for Léhar’s Die lustige Witwe. In the 2010/2011 season, Rader-Shieber’s engagements included La clemenza di Tito for Vancouver Opera, as well as Don Giovanni with Music Academy of the West.

Rader-Shieber opened the 2009/2010 season directing his production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail with San Francsico Opera and followed by a revival of his Tamerlano for Los Angeles Opera. He concluded the season directing Antony and Cleopatra for the Curtis Institute of Music and Handel’s Tolomeo for Glimmerglass Opera.

In the 2008/2009 season, Rader-Shieber made his debut in Australia presenting Charpentier’s David et Jonathas for Pinchgut Opera. He presented a new production Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Lyric Opera of Chicago and directed Il Viaggio a Reims at Curtis. He finished the season with a new production of Il re pastore for Opera Theatre of St. Louis and directed his production of Don Giovanni for Santa Fe Opera. During the 2007/2008 season Rader-Shieber directed Una Cosa Rara for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Handel’s Tamerlano at Washington National Opera, Bolcom’s A Wedding for Music Academy of the West, as well as direction and production of Aindamar by Osvaldo Golijov with Curtis Opera Theater.

In 2006/2007, Rader-Shieber brought his Don Giovanni to Opera Pacific and also made his return to New York City Opera directing Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, which he also directed at Minnesota Opera. Rounding out his season were engagements to direct L’Ormindo at Pittsburgh Opera, The Cunning Little Vixen at Houston Grand Opera and Bellini’s I Puritani at Opera Theater of St. Louis.

Among his many other Handel credits, he directed lavish and modern stagings of Semele for the Arizona Opera and the Skylight Opera Theatre, Alcina at the Curtis Institute of Music, Giulio Cesare at the Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Edmonton Operas, and Tamerlano at the Spoleto Festival USA. He has also directed other Baroque operas, including Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Pittsburgh Opera Center and the Curtis Institute, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Curtis Institute.

Rader-Shieber has also become well known for his interpretations of Mozart operas. Among others, he has directed The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte at companies including Opera Pacific, Opera de Montreal, Santa Fe Opera and the Juilliard Opera Center. The Toronto Globe and Mail said of his La clemenza di Tito: “Rader-Shieber is a talent to watch, given his brilliant, economical illumination of Metastasio’s text, which focused on character revelation like a psychological thriller.”

Rader-Shieber’s work also includes repertoire ranging from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Skylight Opera Theatre, to Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Music Academy of the West, and the operas of Britten, Giancarlo Menotti and Ned Rorem at the Curtis Institute of Music. Rader-Shieber has served as Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera Theatre, and on the faculty of The Juilliard School and the Music Academy of the West.

Jacob A. Climer

Scenic/Costume Designer

Jacob A. Climer is a Scenic and Costume Designer for opera and theater. Originally from Dallas, Texas.

His opera work includes scenic and costume for Rusalka (Des Moines Metro Opera), The Flying Dutchman (Atlanta Opera/Cincinatti Opera/Houston Grand Opera), Orphee (Des Moines Metro Opera/Portland Opera), Ariadne auf Naxos (The Curtis Institute), Abduction from the Seraglio (Des Moines Metro Opera, Atlanta Opera) La Traviata (Boston Lyric Opera), and many more. Shining Brow marks his 14th collaboration with director Chas Rader-Shieber. His work has been called "playfully meticulously" and executed with "endless creativity" by the Portland Monthly, "visually stunning" by Opera News, and of his Rusalka, Opera Today stated, "If anything might upstage Mr. Climer’s opulent scenery it would be Mr. Climer’s equally eye-popping costumes."

Climer's theatrical work includes Relevance (MCC), Uncommon Sense (Tectonic Theater), Kid Victory (Vineyard), Fondly, Colette Richland (NYTW), Informed Consent (Primary Stages), Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center), and several more shows in NYC and around the country. Jacob studied design and received a BFA from University of Evansville and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Nathan Troup

Assistant Stage Director

Nathan Troup maintains a body of work spanning standard operatic repertoire, new work premieres, uniquely curated site-specific projects, and distinct collaborations with multidisciplinary artists. He made his international directorial debut in October 2017 at Ireland’s Wexford Festival with his acclaimed production of Rossini’s La scala di seta described as “neatly dramatised” (Opera Today UK) and “especially well-crafted” (OperaWire). 2018/19 season highlights include Eugene Onegin for Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Hydrogen Jukebox for the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Bon Appétit! starring Joyce Castle for Des Moines Metro Opera. Future projects include the premiere of Eurydice with LA Opera and The Firebrand of Florence at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Career highlights include collaborations with Jessica Lang Dance on Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater for Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival and The Wanderer for BAM’s NextWave Festival; Missy Mazzoli’s new opera Proving Up, serving as associate director on James Darrah’s production for the inaugural Opera Omaha ONE Festival and stage director for the New York premiere presented by the Miller Theater; Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Ragnar Kjartansson’s Songfor the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Troup’s work has garnered Best of Boston accolades (2009, 2014) and he was named Boston Lyric Opera’s Emerging Artist for the 2015-16; 2016-17 seasons. Other notable engagements include Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Castleton Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera.. Troup currently serves on the faculties of Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Boston University and has spent the past decade as outreach artist with Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble’s award-winning Outreach Program (“Outstanding Merit and Contribution” by Early Music America), accessing classical music to neglected and incarcerated youth. nathantroup.com.

John Moore

Frank Lloyd Wright September 27, 29, and October 5

A frequent performer in both Europe and the United States, John Moore is garnering praise for his energetic performances and burnished baritone in both operatic and concert repertoire. A graduate of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, his 2017/2018 season includes a return to Seattle Opera as Figaro in The Barber of Seville and role debuts of Hannah Before in As One with Des Moines Metro Opera and Johannes “Pa” Zegner in Proving Up with Opera Omaha. He also returns to The Metropolitan Opera to cover Papageno in The Magic Flute and Belcore in The Elixir of Love. He finishes the season by joining the Glyndebourne Festival as Achilla in Giulio Cesare. Future seasons include performances with Seattle Opera and Dallas Opera.

Last season saw the baritone in the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves with Opera Philadelphia, singing the role of Jan, a role he reprised with Beth Morrison Projects. He also returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Moralès in Carmen, Seattle Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, and the Santa Cruz Symphony as Figaro in The Barber of Seville. In concert he appeared with the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center featuring works of Vaughan Williams and Weber.

The previous season saw several significant company debuts for the baritone including: Seattle Opera, as Count Almavivia in The Marriage of Figaro; the Bayerische Staatsoper, Adario in Les indes galantes; Florida Grand Opera, Tadeusz in The Passenger; Portland Opera, as Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Opera Omaha, as Figaro in The Barber of Seville. On the concert stage, he appeared at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of NY under the direction of Kent Tritle, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

The 2014/2015 season saw Moore return to The Metropolitan Opera stage as Moralès in Carmen, as well as Nachtigal in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and he appeared with their annual Opera in the Parks summer concert series. Additionally, he debuted at the Atlanta Opera as the Conte Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and covered the role of Tadeusz in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of The Passenger.

During the 2013/2014 season, Moore appeared as Papageno in The Magic Flute and as Fléville in Andrea Chénier with The Metropolitan Opera, Donald in Billy Budd with Glyndebourne at BAM, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Japan. He also toured Russia with members of The Metropolitan Opera.

In the 2012/2013 season, the baritone returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Curio in Giulio Cesare and Simonetto in Francesca di Rimini, and also returned to the role of Donald in Billy Budd with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

Moore’s 2011/12 season featured a return to The Metropolitan Opera as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, and Donald in Billy Budd. He was the baritone soloist in the American premiere of Juraj Filas’s Oratorio Spei with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola under the baton of Kent Tritle. In addition to his recital with Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Moore also gave recitals at his alma mater, Simpson College, and at People’s Symphony Concerts in NY. In the summer, he returned to the Des Moines Metro Opera in a role debut as the titular character in Tchaikovksy’s Eugene Onegin. Moore concluded the season as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro with Glyndebourne Opera’s touring ensemble in the United Kingdom.

In the 2010/2011 season, Moore appeared as Papageno in The Metropolitan Opera’s English production of The Magic Flute, toured with Musicians from Marlboro, performed in recital with the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music, and returned to the Des Moines Metro Opera as Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. In addition, Moore took part in a studio recording of Peter Lieberson’s The Coming of Light with CCM.

During the 2009/10 season Moore premiered Lieberson’s The Coming of Light with Chicago Chamber Musicians, sang Abbé Lorenzo in a new production of Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming at Minnesota Opera, sang Fiorello at The Metropolitan Opera, appeared in concert at the Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, Iowa and for the Des Moines Opera Guild, and made his debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in England singing Donald in Britten’s Billy Budd. In 2007, he made his debut at The Metropolitan Opera singing Fiorello in The Barber of Seville. Moore made his international debut at Welsh National Opera in 2008 singing Figaro in WNO’s acclaimed English Barber of Seville.

Rob McGinness

Frank Lloyd Wright September 28 and October 6

Recognized for his “impressive singing … well-supported tone and supple phrasing,” (Baltimore Sun) baritone Rob McGinness‘ recent venue debuts include Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. This season Rob joins Arizona Opera as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, performing multiple roles including Schaunard in La Bohème, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos and the lead role in Shining Brow, Darren Hagen’s opera about Frank Lloyd Wright. Other highlights this season include Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

Often featured portraying opera’s “bad boy,” Rob’s operatic credits include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Marcello in La Bohème. Rob has made a specialty in Russian repertoire, performing leading roles in Rimski-Krosakov’s Tsar’s Bride, Mozart and SalieriSnow Maiden, Sadko as well as Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Other famous roles include Enrico in Lucia, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a performance lauded for a “bright baritone and winning jitteriness” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

As a featured soloist, Rob performed Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, the Duruflé Requiem with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and the Brahms Requiem with Portsmouth Pro Musica. Other concert credits include Carmina Burana with Columbia Pro Cantare and Brahms’s Requiem with The Washington Chorus, where Rob’s performance was lauded by the Washington Post for his “warm baritone.”

Committed to promoting and performing new works, Rob regularly premieres new roles, including Ed Wall in Frances Pollock’s award-winning opera Stinney, and Saul Hodkin/Price in The Ghost Train by Paul Crabtree. Rob’s own compositions include vocal, theatrical and orchestral pieces premiered at IngenuityFest, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, and by the Windham Orchestra in Vermont.

Rob holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Institute, and was a young artist with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Teatro Nuovo, and Bel Canto at Caramoor. His awards include first place in the Sylvia Greene Vocal Competition, second place in the Piccola Opera Competition, and the Patricia A. Edwards Award in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition. 

Laura Wilde

Mamah Cheney

A 2019 Richard Tucker Foundation career grant recipient, American soprano Laura Wilde has been praised by Opera News as having, “a ravishingly beautiful sound, [and] a fine sense of style and character.” In the 2019/20 season, Wilde will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Sieglinde in The Valkyrie, as well as Freia, Ortlinde and the Third Norn for the full Ring Cycle with Sir Andrew Davis,Staatstheater Stuttgart as Agathe in Der Freischütz and a role debut as Marguerite in Faust, Arizona Opera as Mamah Cheney in the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow, a snapshot of Frank Lloyd Wright’s life in the early 20th century, and a role debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Berkshire Opera Festival. Concert and recital appearances include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Sir Andrew Davis with the Melbourne Symphony for her Australian debut, and a solo recital with Craig Terry at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee.

Highlights of recent seasons include the title role in Janáček’s Jenůfa with the Santa Fe Opera and English National Opera, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Agathe at Staatstheater Stuttgart, the title role of Katya Kábanová with Scottish Opera, Freia, Ortlinde and the cover of Sieglinde in Das Rheingold and The Valkyrie, respectively, part of David Pountney’s new Ring Cycle conducted by Sir Andrew Davis at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Gretel with Sir Andrew Davis at the Edinburgh Festival, The Dallas Opera as Laura in Korngold’s rarely performed one-act opera Der Ring des Polykrates, Micaëla in Carmen with Nashville Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Jane Withersteen in the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage at Arizona Opera as well as Freia, and the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Des Moines Metro Opera.

In concert, Wilde has shared the stage with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and baritone Quinn Kelsey in the inaugural season of Beyond the Aria recital series at Chicago’s Harris Theater, accompanied by Craig Terry, as well as presented a recital a solo recital and masterclass at South Dakota State University, also with Craig Terry, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Charlotte Symphony and the Elgin Symphony in Illinois for Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder.

As a member of the The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wilde covered Renée Fleming in Capriccio and the role of Marta in The Passenger, performed Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier and covered Marschallin. She also covered the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Hanna in The Merry Widow and sang the role of Anna in Nabucco. She also appeared on the mainstage as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. Additionally, she covered the roles of Berta in The Barber of Seville, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka, and Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito. In the summer of 2015, Wilde sang the role of Lucy in Grant Park Music Festival’s concert performance of Menotti’s The Telephone.

Originally from Watertown, South Dakota, Wilde’s love of music began with the trumpet. While attending the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp as a trumpet player, she discovered her classical voice and was encouraged to pursue that musical avenue as well. She attended St. Olaf College for her undergraduate degree, focusing first on trumpet performance. Singing, however, became her true musical passion, and she graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Wilde earned her Master of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied with Costanza Cuccaro. She is a winner of a 2018 Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Award from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 2017 Sullivan Grant award winner, 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, the 2016 Luminarts Women’s Voice Fellowship, the 2015 Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Award, and the 2015 Musicians Club of Women Eleanor Pearce Sherwin Award from the American Opera Society of Chicago. She currently resides in Chicago.

Michael Adams

Edwin Cheney

Praised by Opera News for “brandishing a beautiful, evenly produced, nicely ripe sound,” Michael Adams makes role and company debuts as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at the Grand Teatro del Liceu, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Knoxville Opera, and Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat at The Glimmerglass Festival in the 2018/19 season. He also returns to Washington National Opera as Lieutenant Audebert in Puts’ Silent Night. Future seasons include returns to Seattle Opera and Washington National Opera in role debuts. Last season he joined Seattle Opera for the first time as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He also debuted with Utah Opera as Marcello in La Bohème and returned later in the season for his first performances of Silvio in Pagliacci and Betto in Gianni Schicchi. He returned to Washington National Opera to reprise Melisso in Alcina and for the Pilot in Portman’s The Little Prince, the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Masetto in Don Giovanni, and on the concert stage, the Fort Worth Symphony for an all-Bernstein concert under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya. 

The baritone made company debuts and subsequent returns with the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Melisso in Alcina and Marcello in La Bohème and Des Moines Metro Opera as Lescaut in Manon followed by Ping in Turandot and Donald in Billy Budd. He recently joined the Deutsche Oper Berlin for a season, singing a number of roles including Ping in Turandot, the Marquis in La Traviata, Harašta in The Cunning Little Vixen, in addition to covering Neluso in L’Africaine. He is a former member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist of Washington National Opera at which he sang the title role of Don Giovanni directed by Francesca Zambello, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, and the Motorcycle Cop and Prison Guard #1 in Dead Man Walking.

Adams completed two years as a Resident Artist at the acclaimed Academy of Vocal Arts, where his performances included Valentin in Faust, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Lescaut in Manon, Tomsky in Pique Dame, Schaunard in La Bohème, Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri, and the Marquis in La Traviata. He is a former Resident Artist of the Santa Fe Opera, having joined the company for its productions of Rigoletto, The Daughter of the Regiment, and the world premiere of Higdon’s Cold Mountain. His previous performances include the Lackey in Ariadne auf Naxos, Corporal in The Daughter of the Regiment, as well the covers of Conte Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and Bion in Adamo’s Lysistrata with Fort Worth Opera; Presto in Les mamelles de Tirésias as well as scenes of the title role of Don Giovanni and Escamillo in Carmen with Wolf Trap Opera while a member of its studio program; and the title roles of both Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni and the First Gangster in Kiss Me, Kate at the Seagle Music Colony. He has previously joined the Fort Worth Symphony for Bach’s Cantata No. 29 and Handel’s Te Deum.

He was a 2015 winner of first place in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition, and the Mario Lanza Competition; the namesake award from the Nelson Eddy Foundation; third place in the Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition, and fifth place in the Loren L. Zachary Competition, an encouragement award winner of the Opera Index Competition. Additionally, he was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions semi-finalist in 2015.

Adams holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Christian University, where he sang his first performances of Don Giovanni, and has also been a member of the Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center.

Bille Bruley

Louis Sullivan

Praised by the Huffington Post for his “ringing high notes,” Texas-born tenor Bille Bruley has garnered attention for his strength and versatility in operatic repertoire from baroque to contemporary. A 2018/19 William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award and Career Grant winner, Bille is currently engaged in his second year with the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, where his upcoming role assignments include Louis Sullivan in Shining Brow, Bern Venters in Riders of the Purple Sage, and Brighella and Bacchus (cover) in Ariadne auf Naxos.

In the 2019/20 season, Bruley makes a number of exciting house debuts, including engagements with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Sam Polk in a new production of Floyd’s Susannah and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he will cover Father Grenville and Howard Boucher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. He will also make his New York recital debut singing Janacek’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared at the 92nd Street Yalongside Jennifer Johnson Cano. This summer, Bruley performs with the Phoenix Symphony in a program of Mozart arias and makes his return to the Santa Fe Opera, where he will create the role of Benjamin in the world premiere of Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child and cover the role of Laca Klemen in Janacek’s Jenufa.

Highlights of Bruley’s 2018/19 season included his first War Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony as well as several engagements with Arizona Opera—as Gastone in La Traviata, Jonathan Dale in Silent Night, Don Basilio and Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, and as Ferrando in their studio production of Così fan tutte. In the 2017/18 season, Bruley was engaged as an Apprentice Singer with the Santa Fe Opera, where he covered the roles of Captain Nolan in Doctor Atomic and and Governor/Vanderdendur/Captain in Candide. He returned to Virginia Opera for a number of role debuts, including 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. He also joined Baltimore Choral Arts as a tenor soloist in Handel’s Dixit Dominus under the baton of newly-appointed director Anthony Blake Clark.

Bruley has received special acclaim for his interpretation of the works of Benjamin Britten, including the title role in Peter Grimes, King Nebuchadnezzar in The Burning Fiery Furnace, The Tempter in The Prodigal Son, and as the tenor soloist in Britten’s War Requiem. Of his performance as King Nebuchadnezzar with Central City Opera, The Daily Camera wrote, “His voice is radiant, his enunciation impeccable. Every word he sings is easily understood and every note is precise in pitch.”

An alumnus of young artist programs at The Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Central City Opera, Bruley has received recognition through a number of young artist awards, including the Richard Tucker Memorial Award from the Santa Fe Opera and the Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award from the Central City Opera House Association. In 2018, Bruley was a finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. He has taken home prizes from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as a winner of the Gulf Coast Regional Finals and as a finalist and winner in the Lois Alba Aria Competition. Most recently, he was named a 2018/19 winner of The William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award and Career Grant.

Bruley received his undergraduate training at Baylor University, where he studied under Robert Best, and completed his graduate work at Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. A native of Montgomery, Texas, Bruley is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Katherine Beck

Catherine Wright

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.

Cadie Jordan

The Maid

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.

Ian Christiansen

Waiter / Chef

Ian Christiansen is excited to join Arizona Opera again. Noteworthy Arizona engagements include Sons of the Prophet (Stray Cat Theatre), The Light in the Piazza (Phoenix Theatre), City of Angels (TheaterWorks) and others. He was recently in Don Pasquale with Pittsburgh Opera, and will soon appear in Shining Brow this fall with Arizona Opera. Ian holds a BFA in acting from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, and studied movement and acting at NIDA in Sydney. Endless thanks to his mom for unparalleled support. For Addy.