Bold. Brave. Brilliant.
Music by Georges Bizet, Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

Carmen

Georges Bizet

Composer

Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875), registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857. He was recognized as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalize on this skill and rarely performed in public. Returning to Paris after almost three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers. His keyboard and orchestral compositions were likewise largely ignored; as a result, his career stalled, and he earned his living mainly by arranging and transcribing the music of others. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of his two operas that reached the stage in this time—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—were immediately successful.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, during which Bizet served in the National Guard, he had little success with his one-act opera Djamileh, though an orchestral suite derived from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne was instantly popular. The production of Bizet's final opera, Carmen, was delayed because of fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on March 3, 1875, Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure; he died of a heart attack three months later, unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success.

Bizet's marriage to Geneviève Halévy was intermittently happy and produced one son. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Manuscripts were given away or lost, and published versions of his works were frequently revised and adapted by other hands. He founded no school and had no obvious disciples or successors. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.

Henri Meilhac

Librettist

Henri Meilhac was born in the 1st arrondissement of Paris in 1830. As a young man, he began writing fanciful articles for Parisian newspapers and comédies en vaudevilles, in a vivacious boulevardier spirit which brought him to the forefront. Around 1860, he met Ludovic Halévy, and their collaboration for the stage lasted twenty years.

Their most famous collaboration is the libretto for Georges Bizet's Carmen. However, Meilhac's work is most closely tied to the music of Jacques Offenbach, for whom he wrote over a dozen librettos, most of them together with Halévy. The most successful collaborations with Offenbach are La belle Hélène (1864), Barbe-bleue (1866), La Vie parisienne (1866), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867), and La Périchole (1868).

Other librettos by Meilhac include Jules Massenet's Manon (with Philippe Gille) (1884), Hervé's Mam'zelle Nitouche (1883), and Rip, the French version of Robert Planquette's operetta Rip Van Winkle (also with Gille). Their vaudeville play Le réveillon was the basis of the operetta Die Fledermaus.

In 1888 he was elected to the Académie française. He died in Paris in 1897.

Ludovic Halévy

Librettist

Ludovic Halévy was born in Paris. His father, Léon Halévy (1802–1883), was a civil servant and a clever and versatile writer, who tried almost every branch of literature—prose and verse, vaudeville, drama, history—without, however, achieving decisive success in any. His uncle, Fromental Halévy, was a noted composer of opera; hence the double and early connection of Ludovic Halévy with the Parisian stage.

At eighteen he joined the ranks of the French administration and occupied various posts, the last being that of secrétaire-rédacteur to the Corps Législatif. In that capacity, he enjoyed the special favour and friendship of the famous duke of Morny, then president of that assembly.

In 1865, Ludovic Halévy's increasing popularity as an author enabled him to retire from the public service. Ten years earlier, he had become acquainted with composer Jacques Offenbach. Halévy wrote many productions for Offenbach's small theatre in the Champs-Élysées, all produced under the pseudonym of Jules Servières. The name of Ludovic Halévy appeared for the first time on the bills on January 1, 1856. Soon afterwards, the unprecedented run of Orphée aux enfers, a musical parody written in collaboration with Hector Crémieux, made his name famous. In the spring of 1860, he was commissioned to write a play for the manager of the Variétés in conjunction with another vaudevillist, Lambert-Thiboust.

The latter having abruptly retired from the collaboration, Halévy was at a loss how to carry out the contract, when on the steps of the theatre he met Henri Meilhac (1831–1897), then comparatively a stranger to him. He proposed to Meilhac the task rejected by Lambert Thiboust, and the proposal was immediately accepted. Thus began a connection which was to last over twenty years, and which proved most fruitful both for the reputation of the two authors and the prosperity of the minor Paris theatres. Amongst the most celebrated works of the joint authors were La belle Hélène (1864), Barbe-bleue (1866), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867), La Périchole (1868), and Le Réveillon, which became one of the sources of Johann Strauss' operetta Die Fledermaus.

Halévy remained an assiduous frequenter of the Académie française, the Conservatoire, the Comédie Française, and the Society of Dramatic Authors. Halévy died in Paris on May 7, 1908.

Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen

Conductor

Recipient of The 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Christopher Allen is featured in Opera News as “one of the fastest-rising podium stars in North America.” He has led acclaimed performances with the Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Philadelphia, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Washington National Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florida Grand Opera, Atlanta Opera, Daegu Opera House in South Korea and China National Opera Orchestra and Chorus. As The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Maestro Allen has joined the company for three consecutive seasons, in addition to leading the Cincinnati Symphony in the annual Washington Park Concert each summer. In the 2019/20 Season, Allen returned to Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre to conduct Mozart’s Don Giovanni. He conducted his debut at Arizona Opera in Puccini’s La bohème. In the beginning of the 2020 Season, Christopher toured the United States as music director of the Bel Canto Trio. Shortly thereafter, many debuts and performances at Opera Omaha’s One Festival, Opéra de Montréal, Oper Frankfurt, and Cincinnati Opera were canceled due to COVID-19.

Allen’s career was launched by the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant and has been fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as Associate Conductor. At LA Opera, Allen led the musical preparation for the acclaimed The Ghosts of Versailles, which won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. In addition to earning recognition as a Musical America Artist of the Month and one of their “25 Stars Still Rising,” Allen is a recipient of a Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award and an International Opera Awards nominee. He recently received the Young Alumni Award from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Allen’s artistic pursuits extend beyond his role as conductor. He demonstrates his commitment to education through his work with young artists at Los Angeles Opera, Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, New England Conservatory, A.J. Fletcher Institute at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Aspen Music Festival and School. Allen has been heard on NPR speaking about the importance of the arts in American society. As an award-winning pianist, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and mostly recently on film in La voix humaine, starring Patricia Racette and directed by James Darrah.

When not in rehearsal or onstage, Allen enjoys his work as a multimedia visual artist and playwright. His artistic short film NIOBE, that he wrote and directed during the COVID-19 lockdown, was selected by numerous film festivals. It has gone on to win awards for Best First Time Director, Best Screen Dance Short, and Best Dance Film. Allen is also the Creative Director of Shokat Projects, a production company dedicated to the creation of new, interdisciplinary works.

Stephanie Havey

Stephanie Havey

Stage Director

Winner of the Adelaide Bishop award for artistic quality and winner of the Opera America Director-Designer Showcase, Stephanie Havey has staged productions for Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Omaha, New York City Opera, North Carolina Opera, and Hawaii Opera Theatre, as well as new productions of La rondine for The Curtis Institute of Music, Tosca for the Lyrique-en-mer International Festival de Belle-Ile, The Crucible for Opera Santa Barbara, Shining Brow for Tulsa Opera, Il matrimonio segreto for Carnegie Mellon University, Rigoletto for Syracuse Opera, Falstaff for Resonance Works Pittsburgh, and Gluck’s Armide for OperaNeo. She also has been a member of the staging staff at San Francisco Opera and The Santa Fe Opera.

Engagements for the 2019/20 COVID-19 affected season included Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera de Montreal, a new production of Norma for Boston Lyric Opera, La Traviata with Hawaii Opera Theatre, returning to the Pittsburgh Opera for Norma and Florencia en el Amazonas, and La bohème for Charlottesville Opera. This season’s engagements include Il barbiere di Siviglia with Finger Lakes Opera as well as postponed or cancelled productions of Carmen with Arizona Opera, The Pirates of Penzance and Rigoletto with Virginia Opera, and Eugene Onegin with Minnesota Opera.

Havey was selected to participate in San Diego Opera’s theatre innovation project “Opera Hack,” a two-year project funded by an Opera America Innovation Grant to discover new ways for technology to be used in the production and presentation of opera. She also had the honor of hosting the 2019 Opera America Director-Designer Showcase at the National Conference in San Francisco as a returning alumna.

Havey is a frequent collaborator for the development of new opera, staging new works with Opera Philadelphia for their Double Exposure event, Opera America’s New Works Forum, and as the Resident Stage Director for North American New Opera Workshop.

During her two seasons as the first Resident Artist Stage Director for the Pittsburgh Opera, she received rave reviews for her new production of Il matrimonio segreto and directed numerous productions and a staged recital series in the Opera Studio. Other professional engagements include Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera, and Nashville Opera.

Havey has been a guest instructor for Young Artist training programs including Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, OperaNeo, Opera North, University of Delaware, and the Florida State Opera.

Haley Stamats

Haley Stamats

Asst. Stage Director

Haley Stamats is an opera and theater director based in the US. She enjoys directing new works, both conventional and experimental, as well as classical repertoire with numerous opera companies in the US and England.

Currently, she is working on the opera for feature film, The Copper Queen, which is a new work piece commissioned by Arizona Opera. She will serve as the script supervisor and 2nd Unit Film Director.

Her 2020/21 Season started with her residency at Arizona Opera with the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio as their first Resident Assistant Director. As a part of Arizona Opera’s reimagined season, she produced livestreams and recorded concerts with Manley Films.

Her 2019/20 Season began at Virginia Opera as the assistant director for their back-to-back productions of Tosca and Il Postino. She debuted at Resonance Works / Pittsburgh directing their annual Amahl and the Night Visitors as well as remounting Il Postino at Opera Southwest at the end of 2019. She returned to Virginia Opera to assistant direct their Aida and planned to make her directing debut with Scalia/Ginsburg but both productions were postponed due to COVID-19. In the summer, she planned on assistant directing Don Giovanni at The Glimmerglass Festival but the production was also postponed. Instead, she participated in their virtual YAP program.

Her 2018/19 Season began with directing two new work pieces, Between Constallations and Rain, as a part of the Mosiac Opera Showcase at Grimborn Opera Festival in London. She then returned to Virginia Opera to assistant direct their production of Don Giovanni. In 2019, she assistant directed Eugene Onegin at Opera Santa Barbara and ended her season making her directorial debut at Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre with their world premiere of The Grant Wood Opera: Strokes of Genius.

She holds a B.A. in Music and Public Relations from Simpson College.

Logan Pachciarz

Logan Pachciarz

Choreographer

Logan Pachciarz began his dance career with the guidance of Shelly Washington in Twyla Tharp’s Dance company Tharp! After extensive traveling, he continued his classical training at North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Ton Simons, Fernando Bujones, and Warren Conover. At age 18, he joined the Boston Ballet where he enjoyed performing works by such choreographers as Rudi van Dantzig, Christopher Wheeldon, and Ben Stevenson. In 2001, Logan joined the Kansas City Ballet. In his 15 years with the company he performed leading roles in a diverse repertoire, ranging from classical and neoclassical works such as Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and The Four Temperaments to contemporary and modern pieces including Jardi Tancat, Dark Elegies, The Catherine Wheel Suite and The Moor’s Pavane. He was recently recognized by Dance Magazine’s Wendy Perron as one of the best dancers of 2016. Pachciarz is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Moving Arts Kansas City and Cincinnati. As director, he has presented repertoire from the forefront of dance by Marco Goecke, Douglas Lee, Penny Saunders, Salvatore Aiello, Marina Kessler, Todd Bolender, Matthew Neenan, George Balanchine and Ma Cong. Pachciarz has choreographed for companies such as the Atlanta Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Seattle Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Logan currently is Artist in residence at Ballet Blake in Rochester, Minnesota.

Maya Lahyani

Maya Lahyani

Carmen January 28, 30, & February 5

Hailed as “a voice to die for [combined] with acting ability, beauty, and stage presence,” Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani is quickly becoming one of today’s most sought-after international singers.

This season, Lahyani was scheduled to make house debuts at Arizona Opera as the title role in Carmen and at Chicago Opera Theatre as Otrok in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, as well as return to Canadian Opera Company as one of the Flower Maidens in Parsifal.

In the 2019/20 Season, Lahyani returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Rosette in Laurent Pelly’s production of Manon and to Israeli Opera as Sister Helen in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. She was also scheduled to sing Tisbe in La Cenerentola at the Metropolitan Opera, and in concert, join the Philadelphia Orchestra as Second Maid in Elektra and the London Symphony Orchestra for Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

In the 2018/19 Season, Lahyani sang Charlotte in Israeli Opera’s new production of Werther. She also returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Grimgerde in Die Walküre, which was broadcast Live in HD, and as the cover for Maddalena in Michael Mayer’s famously vibrant, Las Vegas-themed production of Rigoletto.

Lahyani has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in numerous roles, including Lola in Sir David McVicar’s production of Cavalleria Rusticana, Omar in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer under the baton of David Robertson, Flora in Willy Decker’s production of La traviata, Dorothée in Laurent Pelly’s new production of Cendrillon, Kate Pinkerton in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly, Käthchen in Werther, Third Sprite in Rusalka, Altichiara in Francesca da Rimini, and Fiona in the company’s premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. She is the first Israeli-born singer to sing on the Metropolitan Opera stage.

Highlights of Lahyani’s past seasons include performances as Carmen at both Opera Las Vegas and PORTopera, the Page in Atom Egoyan’s production of Salome in her house debut at Canadian Opera Company, Maddalena at the Berkshire Opera Festival, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto at the Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Dallas Opera, and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel at Opera Fairbanks.

As an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, Lahyani performed Siegrune in Die Walküre, Sister Marta and The Duenna in Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac opposite Plácido Domingo, Beppe in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, and the title role in Carmen for Families – The Movie! Lahyani made her San Francisco Opera main stage debut in summer 2010 as Wowkle in La Fanciulla del West under the baton of Nicola Luisotti. In subsequent seasons, she returned to the company in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier under the baton of Patrick Summers and to cover Maffio Orsini in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia.

Prior to her time in San Francisco, Lahyani was a member of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she appeared as Dorabella in Così fan tutte. She has since returned to Seattle Opera on numerous occasions, including as Varvara in a new production of Káťa Kabanová, Flora in Peter Konwitschny’s production of La traviata, and Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Additionally, Lahyani regularly takes part in The International Vocal Art Institute in Tel Aviv, where she has sung Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, Rebecca Nurse in Robert Ward’s The Crucible, the title role in Mascagni’s Zanetto, and Charlotte in Werther.

Her concert work portfolio includes performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Nicola Luisotti, Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Jerusalem Symphony, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, the alto soloist in Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Kurt Masur, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and an arias concert with the Sun Valley Opera. Lahyani has also collaborated on multiple occasions with the Alonzo King LINES Ballet, including the world premiere of a piece entitled Wheel in the Middle of a Field, in which she was the featured vocal soloist.

Lahyani was a 2010 grand finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a 2008 finalist in the Joy in Singing Competition. She has been awarded scholarships by the San Francisco Foundation, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Ronen Foundation, and the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute. She received her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Music from the Mannes School of Music in New York.

Fleur Barron

Fleur Barron

Carmen January 29 & February 6

Hailed as a “charismatic star” by the Boston Globe and as “a knockout performer” by The Times, Singaporean-British mezzo Fleur Barron is a 2018 HSBC Laureate of the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the recipient of the 2016 Grace B. Jackson Prize from the Tanglewood Music Festival, awarded to one outstanding young singer each year. A passionate interpreter of chamber music, concert works and opera ranging from the baroque to the contemporary, Fleur is mentored by Barbara Hannigan.

Fleur is committed to the way music can facilitate cross-cultural dialogue and healing. She is passionate about curating inclusive chamber music programming that amplifies the voices of diverse communities. An active mentor, Fleur is a member of the Hope Collective, an artist-in-residence at Manhattan School of Music, and is currently mentoring young singers in partnership with Cape Town Opera, the Malaysian Philharmonic and Manhattan School of Music. Born in Northern Ireland to a Singaporean mother and British father, Fleur grew up in the Far East and later completed studies in New York and London.

In the 2020/21 Season, impacted by COVID, Fleur sings Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea at Opéra Royal de Versailles; Sasha Garner in the world Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Woman with Eyes Closed at Opera Philadelphia; Olga in Eugene Onegin for Garsington Opera, and Mercedes in Carmen at Monte-Carlo Opera. Orchestral engagements include Chausson’s Poème de l’Amour et de la Mer with Orchestre Symphonique de Toulon and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with Geneva’s Léman Lyriques Festival. On the recital platform, Fleur joins regular collaborator Julius Drake for recitals at Het Concertgebouw, Chamber Music Northwest, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in a duo recital with Eric Owens, and Oxford Lieder Festival in a duo recital with Ian Bostridge. She curates and performs a series of recitals at the Aix-en-Provence Festival on the theme of Empire/colonialism, curates a recital with pianist Myra Huang around Asian creators for Aural Compass Projects and Cincinnati Song Initiative, and performs a recital featuring Asian composers on the theme of “Homeland, Childhood and Belonging” at the Leeds Lieder Festival. Fleur has further recitals in France at Cannes Music Festival, and in the U.K. at Aldeburgh Festival and Blackheath Halls.

In the 2019/20 Season, also impacted by COVID, Fleur debuted with the Berlin Philharmoniker under Kirill Petrenko as La Zelatrice in a staged production of Suor Angelica, sang the title role in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with Cape Town Opera, and Suzuki with both the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder and at Opéra National de Montpellier. She was also scheduled to sing the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover. In concert, Fleur debuted with the Munich Philharmonic in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella under Barbara Hannigan and sang Berlioz arias with the Malaysian Philharmonic. She continued her partnership with Julius Drake in multiple recitals at Het Concertgebouw and in the U.K., joined regular collaborator Roger Vignoles in recital at Aldeburgh Festival, and performed one of the first livestreamed concerts in lockdown with pianist Myra Huang at the 92 Street Y, which was viewed by over 79,000 people.

In recent seasons, Fleur performed Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress to critical acclaim at both La Monnaie and Aldeburgh Festival with Barbara Hannigan; she also received plaudits for her portrayal of Anna I and Anna II in Kurt Weill’s die Siebentodsünden at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Further roles have included Fenena in Nabucco with Opéra National de Montpellier; Olga in Eugene Onegin with Opéra de Toulon; 1st Witch in Dido and Aeneas with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; and Balkis in Offenbach’s Barkouf with Opéra National du Rhin. Recent concert performances include an artistic residency at the Ojai Festival under the helm of Barbara Hannigan; alto soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Hall; Vaughn William’s Serenade to Music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Orchestre Régional de Normandie.

Viktor Antipenko

Viktor Antipenko

Don José January 28, 30, & February 5

Russian-born Viktor Antipenko, praised for his effortless, expansive sound, and excellent technique, continues to sing leading roles to great acclaim and has become a tenor to watch in the dramatic repertoire. During the 2020/21 Season, Antipenko was scheduled to sing the title role in Wagner’s Parsifal with Canadian Opera Company; Prince Vsevolod Yuryevich in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh with Chicago Opera Theater; and the role of Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with Arizona Opera a return to Theater Dortmund to sing Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Still in the calendar for spring will be Comte Vaudémont in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at the New National Theatre Tokyo of Japan. Last season he sang Prince Guidon in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel at Dallas Opera; the title role in Samson et Dalila at Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck; Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Theater Chemnitz; Gabriele Adorno in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra with Tiroler Landestheater; Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre for Theater Chemnitz; Don José in a semi-staged concert version at Lotte Concert Hall in South Korea; and he was scheduled to cover the role of Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera before the pandemic forced its cancellation.

Previous roles also include Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Hermann (Pique Dame), Andrey (Mazeppa), Enzo Grimaldo (La Gioconda), Luigi (Il Tabarro), Grigori (Boris Godunov), Riccardo (Oberto), Erik (Der fliegende Holländer), and the title roles in Wagner’s Parsifal and Lohengrin. Antipenko has sung at the Bolshoi Theatre, Ópera de Oviedo, Opéra de Rouen, Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Opéra de Lyon, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, and Hawaii Opera Theater. On the concert stage, he has appeared as the tenor soloist in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with The Philadelphia Orchestra; Shostakovich’s Jewish Folk Poetry at the Staatstheater Kassel; Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus with the New York Metamorphoses Orchestra; Stravinsky’s Les Noces at the Grand Philharmonie Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia; and at the Heidelberger Schlossfestspiele Musikfestival in an “Hommage a Sevilla” gala performance. Antipenko has worked with esteemed conductors Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Jurowski, Yuri Bashmet, John Neschling, Yuri Temirkanov, as well as with stage directors Peter Konwitschny and Tomer Zvulun.

Antipenko studied voice and choral conducting at the Glinka Choral College in St. Petersburg. After graduation he joined the Mariinsky Theatre, performing as a choral and solo artist. In 2007 he graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. From 2009-2012 he studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia with Bill Schuman.

Matthew White

Matthew White

Don José January 29 & February 6

Tenor Matthew White recently made critically acclaimed debuts as Roméo in Roméo et Juiliette at Cincinnati Opera and as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Tulsa Opera, prompting critics to proclaim him “an elegant tenor capable of exciting high notes. His famous cavatina, Ah! Lève-toi, soleil, was mesmerizing.”

In the 2020/21 Season, White returns to Tulsa Opera as the Duke in Rigoletto and makes his house and role debut at the Bard SummerScape Festival as Lancelot in Chausson’s rarely performed Le Roi Arthus. He was also scheduled to return to Cincinnati Opera as Pinkerton, and make house debuts at Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Alfredo in La Traviata, Arizona Opera as Don José in Carmen, and Michigan Opera Theatre as Roméo.

Highlights of the 2019/20 Season featured house debuts at Edmonton Opera as the Duke, Opera Naples as Rodolfo in La bohème, and Tulsa Opera as Pinkerton. He had also been scheduled to debut at Dallas Opera as the tenor soloist in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. On the concert stage, he joined the Florida Orchestra as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah and performed in a gala concert at Cincinnati Opera.

A recent graduate of Philadelphia’s prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts, White performed a variety of roles during his time in the program, including Roméo, the title role in Werther, Roberto in Puccini’s Le Villi, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Avito in Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re, and Faust in Lili Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène. He made his house debut at Opera Maine as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and has appeared at Palm Beach Opera and Vero Beach Opera. Concert credits include performances with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Ocean City Pops, and Longfellow Chorus Festival.

A favorite of competitions, White was selected to compete in the 2019 Operalia Competion in Prague. He has been awarded the Grand Prize of the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, 1st place in the Deborah Voigt International Vocal Competition, 2nd place in the Metropolitan Opera Mid-Atlantic region, the Grand Prize in the Mario Lanza Vocal Competition, an Encouragement Award from the George London Foundation, and the Alfonso Cavaliere Award. He has participated in the training programs of Bel Canto at Caramoor, PORTopera, and Seagle Music Colony.

A trained violinist, White is also an avid surfer and runs his own surfboard business, which currently has clients around the world.

Andrew Manea

Andrew Manea

Escamillo

Lauded for his “Charming…robust baritone…” rising Romanian-American baritone Andrew Manea is a recent graduate of the Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera. In the current season, Manea makes his house and role debuts with Palm Beach Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and this winter he joins the roster of Arizona Opera as Escamillio in Carmen.

With the San Francisco Opera, Manea made his role debut as the Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux and also sang the Huntsman/Gamekeeper in Rusalka and Sciarrone in Tosca. During his first year as an Adler, he was heard as Marullo in Rigoletto, as the Marchese d’Obigny in La traviata, and in the world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West. On the concert stage, he made his Schwabacher Recital debut with esteemed pianist Warren Jones.

Additional recent performances include Marcello in La bohème with Shreveport Opera, #7 in Transformations with the Merola Opera Program, and Escamillo in Carmen in Wuhan, China. With the College-Conservatory of Music at Cincinnati University, he has sung the Danilo in The Merry Widow, the Father in Hansel and Gretel and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen.

Andrew Manea was awarded First Place and Audience Favorite in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition with Shreveport Opera, was a Semifinalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, earned Second Place and Audience Favorite in the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition, was a Finalist in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, and was a Career Grant recipient in the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition.

A native of Troy, Michigan, Manea holds his Bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with the prolific Bill McGraw.

Vanessa Vasquez

Micaela January 28, 30, & February 5

Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez, winner of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, recently completed a four-year residency at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where she has been heard as Mimì in La bohème, Gilda in Rigoletto, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Violetta in La traviata.

This season Vasquez makes her debut at the Paris Opera singing Liu in Turandot. She also performs for the first time at Seattle Opera as Mimi in La bohème. She returns to The Santa Fe Opera to sing the Countess in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro. Her additional return engagements include Washington National Opera and Arizona Opera to sing her first performances of Micaëla in Carmen.

In the 2019/20 Season, Vanesa Vasquez made her debut with the Canadian Opera Company in the role of Liù in Turandot, and with Washington National Opera singing her first performances of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Previously, she debuted with Arizona Opera as Violetta in La traviata, and with The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia, both as Mimi in La bohème.

She made her professional opera debut in summer 2017 as Liù in Turandot with Des Moines Metro Opera. With Oberlin in Italy, she performed Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s cantata Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich and with the New York Choral Society in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. She made her debut with the New York Philharmonic as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and she was soprano soloist in Honneger’s King David and Poulenc’s Gloria with Voices of Ascension. She was a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the Academy of Music 160th Anniversary Concert and Ball.

Vasquez is the recipient of a 2017 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, First Prize in the 2017 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, First Prize in the 2016 Licia Albanese Competition, First Prize in the 2016 Giulio Gari Competition, First Prize in the 2016 Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition, and First Prize and Audience Award in the Phoenix Opera Southwest Vocal Competition, among others.

Vanessa Vasquez was graduated from The Catholic University of America with a Bachelor of Music degree. She went on to complete a Master of Music degree at UCLA, where she performed Susanna in Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Vasquez is a native of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Caitlin Gotimer

Micaela January 29 & February 6

Soprano Caitlin Gotimer, from Malverne, NY, is a second year Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera. For the 2019/20 Season, Caitlin performed Alcina/ Alcina, Tink Enraught/ The Last American Hammer, and covered Micaëla/ Carmen. Caitlin will make her debut at the Glimmerglass Festival this summer singing Armida/ Rinaldo, and covering Donna Elvira/ Don Giovanni. In the 2018/19 Season at Pittsburgh Opera, she performed the roles of the Sandman and Dew Fairy/ Hansel and Gretel, Elettra/ AfterWARds (Mozart's Idomeneo Reimagined,) and Older Alyce/ Glory Denied, and covered Mimì/ La Bohème.

Caitlin was a part of the Artist Diploma in Opera program at CCM from 2017-18, where she received a Masters of Music in Voice in 2017. At CCM, Caitlin sang Suor Angelica/ Suor Angelica, Dalinda/ Ariodante, and Anne Sexton/ Transformations. Caitlin spent two summers at the Crested Butte Opera Studio, where she sang Lauretta/ Gianni Schicchi and Musetta/ La Bohème. Caitlin received her Bachelors of Music from Binghamton University.

American Bass Wm. Clay Thompson has been praised by Opera News for his “mahogany-timbred” voice. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Thompson recently completed his second year as a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera, and is known for his "...strong, rich, and warm color, yet the ability to cross over into bass-baritone repertoire."

Thompson’s 2019/20 Season included reprising the role of Suleyman Pasha in The Ghosts of Versailles at the Chateau de Versailles Spectacles in France, Handel’s Messiah with Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, a series of Opera UNTRAPPED online concerts with Wolf Trap Opera, and his return the Minnesota Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni (cancelled). This season’s engagements include postponed or cancelled performances as Zuniga in Carmen with Arizona Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Thompson’s 2018/19 Season at Minnesota Opera included performances as Dottore Grenvil in La traviata, the French General in Silent Night, Crébillon in La rondine, and Charles Comiskey in the world premiere of Joel Puckett's The Fix. Additionally, he returned to The Glimmerglass Festival in the summer of 2019, where he performed as Suleyman Pasha in The Ghosts of Versailles, Dottore Grenvil in Francesca Zambello's La traviata, and the title role in Benjamin Britten's Noah's Flood. The 2017/18 Season saw Thompson in roles at Minnesota Opera including Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Second Prison Guard in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, and Palémon in Thaïs, as well as having covered Don Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Warden Benton (Dead Man Walking), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), and the title role in Don Pasquale. As a member of the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival, he was seen as The Poacher in E. Loren Meeker’s new production of The Cunning Little Vixen, Father Palmer in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, and Gladhand in Francesca Zambello’s production of West Side Story.

As a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera for their 2016 and 2017 seasons, Thompson sang Benoit and Alcindoro in La bohème, Suleyman Pasha in Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, Yakuside in Madama Butterfly, and covered the role of Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia. As a Young Artist at the Seagle Music Colony he performed the roles of Olin Blitch (Susannah), Mordred (Camelot), and the Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring).

Thompson sang the role of Zuniga in Carmen at Fort Worth Opera’s 2017 Festival, and in previous seasons has been seen as Colline in La bohème with SOO Opera Theatre, Raymond Buck in the world premiere of JFK with Fort Worth Opera, and Billy Jackrabbit in La fanciulla del West with Kentucky Opera.

Thompson was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Kentucky District in 2013, and was Encouragement Award Winner in New Orleans District in 2014, and the Tulsa District in 2016 and 2017.

A graduate of the University of North Texas, Thompson performed the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Daniel Webster in Birgal Thomson's The Mother of Us All, and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni. With the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre his roles included Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, and the Police Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance.

Rob McGinness

El Dancairo and Morales

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. 

Terrence Chin-Loy

Terrence Chin-Loy

El Remendado

Terrence is an artist who strives to infuse his work with honesty and simplicity. With his "richly colored voice" (Seen and Heard International), he pairs passionate performance with a full, sweet sound. Although the 2020/21 Season has brought so much hardship to the theater arts community, Terrence was fortunate to join the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera. Even though the mainstage season was canceled due to the pandemic, Terrence will sing in a series of outdoor concerts and recorded orchestral concerts curated by the company.

In the summer of 2021, he will premiere a new piece by Daniel Bernard Roumain at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival about the shooting of Philando Castile as well as appear in William Grant Still's Highway 1 as a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre St. Louis. The 2019/20 saw Terrence in his first engagement at the Metropolitan Opera as Mingo (Cover) in The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and making a debut with the New York Festival of Song as a part of the Vocal Rising Stars series at Caramoor. Terrence's favorite roles include Idomeneo in Idomeneo: afterWARds (Pittsburgh Opera), director David Paul's retelling of Mozart's masterpiece with the composer's original music, Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Indiana University), Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos (Santa Fe Opera), and Younger Thompson in Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied (Pittsburgh Opera, Penn Square Music Festival). He was happy to make his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel's Messiah in the 2018/19 Season.

Terrence is a graduate of Indiana University, where he received a Performer Diploma. He also holds degrees from Mannes College and Yale University. At Mannes, he performed the roles of Laurie in Mark Adamo's Little Women and Bill in the New York premiere of Jonathan Dove's Flight with Mannes Opera while a Master of Music candidate, and received the Michael Sisca Opera Award, the school's top prize for an opera singer. Terrence holds a BA in Music from Yale University, where he concentrated his studies on Music Theory and Musicology. While at Yale, Terrence was also a frequent performer with the Yale Baroque Opera Project, with which he performed major roles in La Calisto (Cavalli), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi) and Scipione affricano (Cavalli). He is a 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Semifinalist.

Cheyanne Coss

Frasquita

Cheyanne Coss is a soprano recently hailed for her performances as Pamina in The Magic Flute with Toledo Opera and her work in the title role of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride. Coss will make her debut with the Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2020 singing Berta in The Barber of Seville, and afterward will be joining Arizona Opera’s Marion Roose Pullin young artist program for an exciting 2020/21 Season, singing such roles as Adina in The Elixir of Love and Stella DuBois in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. She spent the 2018/19 Season as the resident soprano of the Michigan Opera Theatre studio, making her mainstage debut there as the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, among other assignments. Cheyanne has participated in multiple summer young artist programs, notably the Merola Opera Program (performing the title role in Mozart’s Il Re Pastore) as well as Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Chautauqua Opera. Coss recently made her concert debut with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, singing the soprano solo in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and in 2019 performed Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Flint Symphony. She is originally from Eaton Rapids, Michigan and is a proud alumna of Oakland University and the New England Conservatory.

Mack Wolz Headshot

Mack Wolz

Mercedes

Named a 2019 Grand Finals Winner by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, rising American mezzo-soprano Mack Wolz (they/them) joins Arizona Opera as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio for the 2020/21 Season. Praised by Opera News for their “keen sense of character,” Wolz will cover the role of Addison in the World Premiere of The Copper Queen and can be seen in their mainstage debut as Mercèdes in Carmen. On the concert stage, engagements include debuts with The Phoenix Symphony, performing Handel's Messiah and Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and Opera Edwardsville, presenting a program of Renaissance and Baroque motets with renowned harpsichordist Jory Vinikour.

Last season, Wolz joined pianist Steven Blier in the New York Festival of Song “Killer B’s” tour, performing the concert at the Tucson Desert Song Festival, the Century Club in New York City, and Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. They then returned to New York City to take part in the Opera America Emerging Artists Recital featuring Seagle Music Colony Alumni.

Wolz has spent the last three summers with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, taking part in their Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Artist programs. Their most recent performance in The Coronation of Poppea was highlighted by Opera News for their “creamy mezzo and mischievous spark as Amore.” At the company, they also covered Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Pvt. Stanton in An American Soldier, and Annio in La Clemenza di Tito. Outside of their mainstage season, Wolz has participated in concerts, workshops of new operas, and outreach, most notably portraying Angelina in a reduced version of La Cenerentola for children around the St. Louis area.

Wolz trained at The Boston Conservatory, where their numerous mainstage performances were lauded for their “immense skill in both solo and ensemble singing” and for their “radiant” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). While completing their studies in Boston, Wolz was seen as Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Mère Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, Presendia in Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters, Bradamante in Alcina, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, and Stewardess in Flight.

Last spring, Wolz was awarded first prize in the Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Classical Voice Competition through the National Society of Arts and Letters. They have also been recognized as a finalist in the international Getting to Carnegie Competition. As part of the competition, Wolz premiered Julian Gargiulo’s newly-composed cycle, “Songs from the Fork,” performing in the prestigious Weill Recital Hall.

Wolz’s training has included past resident artist apprenticeships with International Meistersinger Akademie (Neumarkt, Germany), Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Seagle Music Colony. Wolz holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where they were the recipient of the Gerry and Steve Ricci Scholarship.