The Copper Queen Film
CLINT JOSEPH BORZONI is an award- winning composer whose “highly original yet lyrical music…[and] natural gift for melody and harmonic structure” (The Huffington Post) has resulted in international performances and premieres.
He has collaborated with librettist John de los Santos on the opera When Adonis Calls. The lyrical opera (fashioned entirely from the poetry of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard), was selected for inclusion by Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers and Opera America’s New Works Forum. The world premiere at the Asheville Lyric Opera sold out, and was followed by a collaborative new production in Chicago between Thompson Street Opera and Pride Films & Plays.
Their second collaboration, The Copper Queen, won the Arizona Spark competition, and was slated to open the McDougall RED Series in the 2020/21 Season— excerpts were recently performed at the American Lyric Theater’s Alumni concert, with a third sold-out workshop at Opera America. Arizona Opera is making an ambitious turn toward film by producing a motion picture adaptation of the company’s second world premiere commission, The Copper Queen. Arizona Opera—along with the opera’s creators and its all-female production team, led by director Crystal Manich—have joined forces with longtime video partner and creative agency Manley Films, to create a feature-length film of the opera.
Clint and John are currently in development with The American Opera Project on a new holiday opera, “The Christmas Spider”. Other operatic works include Margot Alone in the Light, an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s story All Summer in a Day (premiered by operamission and subsequently produced by Opera On Tap); and Antinous and Hadrian (commissioned by operamission). The orchestra suite based on Antinous and Hadrian won the Queer Urban Orchestra’s 2018 composition competition, and will be performed by the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra next season.
Borzoni has composed songs and song cycles for many leading vocalists. He won BARIHUNKS Best New Song (2015), Best New Solo Work for Baritone (2017), operamission’s cabaret song competition, and was a prize winner of Sparks & Wiry Cries Second and Fourth annual NYC songSLAM. Borzoni’s additional honors include the Morton Feldman Award, the Boston Metro Opera Festival Award, an artist residency with the American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program (2009), an artist residency with The American Opera Project’s Composers and the Voice Program (2010), and an associate producer credit for Patricia Racette’s CD “Diva on Detour”.
In addition to composing opera, art song, and concert music, his musical My Life as a Bald Soprano received an Off-Broadway run at the Midtown International Theater Festival. Borzoni has also scored three films for the production company JR VISION, which were featured at the Take Two Film Festival, the Miami Short Film Festival, SeriesFest, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, and Anthology Film Archives. His music has been presented by the Merola Opera Program, the Glimmerglass Festival, the Bay View Music Festival, the Wintergreen Festival, the Summer Street Festival, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the U.S. embassy in Switzerland, La MaMA, Symphony Space, Opera Grows in Brooklyn, the New York Youth Symphony, the Walt Whitman Project, the Jacobs School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music, the Mannes School of Music, and many more venues and universities.
He has recently been commissioned by Arizona Opera, the Delaware Art Museum, the Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band, and Barihunks. He studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici at the City University of New York where he received an MA in Music Composition. He recently finished a new oratorio, The Wife of Lot, which was commissioned by the Gavin Dillard Poetry Library & Archive, and made possible by a generous donation from Steven J. Schimmel. The Wife of Lot is part of the collection of the Senator John Heinz History Center, in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
He recently completed a chamber piece, Requiem Fragments, which was commissioned by tenor Mitchell Sturges. He has begun work on his six opera, Being in Love Alone, with librettist Dr. Judith G. Wolf. He currently resides in New York City and is the Resident Composer for Musica Marin, a nonprofit organization that presents, supports and inspires classical music throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
John de los SantosLibrettist
Librettist John de los Santos’ first collaboration with composer Clint Borzoni, When Adonis Calls, was selected for inclusion in both Opera America’s New Works Forum and Fort Worth Opera's Frontiers showcase, then premiered under John’s direction at Asheville Lyric Opera. His latest libretto with Borzoni, The Christmas Spider, will premiere with The American Opera Project in New York City. He was commissioned by Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative to create an original work with composer Christopher Weiss. The resulting piece, Service Provider, premiered at The Kennedy Center, and has since had over a dozen productions across the United States. Over the summer of 2020, John and composer Marc Migó were commissioned by UrbanArias to write an operatic film as part of Decameron Opera Project. The film, The Roost, was directed by John and was recently included in the archives of the Library of Congress. John has also collaborated with composers Robert Paterson, Tony Solitro, and Lingbo Ma.
As director/choreographer, John has staged the world premieres of Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun (Santa Fe Opera), Stardust (Helios Opera), Pure Country (Lyric Stage), and The Astronaut Love Show (Kraine Theater, NYC). Other productions include The Rose & the Knife, Le Comte Ory, and Otello for LoftOpera (NYC), La Cage Aux Folles for Skylight Music Theatre, La Fille du Regiment for Arizona Opera, Carousel for Ashlawn Opera, Trouble in Tahiti for Lexington Philharmonic, and Maria de Buenos Aires for San Diego and Arizona Opera. In 2015, he choreographed the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's Great Scott for the Dallas Opera. His choreography has also been seen at the Washington National, Florida Grand, Philadelphia, Des Moines Metro, Utah Festival, and Austin Lyric Opera Companies.
John was the resident choreographer at Fort Worth Opera for Rigoletto, Salome, La Traviata, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and the world premieres of Frau Margot and Before Night Falls. John then made his directing debut with the company with a 2009 production of Carmen, followed by The Mikado and The Pearl Fishers. John has served on the directing faculty of the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY, where his productions have included Anything Goes, Crazy for You, The Medium, The Fantasticks, The Mikado, La Boheme, Guys & Dolls, Brigadoon and L'Italiana in Algeri.
Other productions include Italienisches Liederbuch for Voces Intimae, The Golden Apple for Lyric Stage, Spring Awakening and Dogfight for WaterTower Theatre. For the Dallas-based theatre company Uptown Players, choreographed the American premiere of the Pet Shop Boys musical Closer to Heaven, the regional premiere of Altar Boyz (for which John was awarded the DFW Critics Forum Award for Best Choreography), and directed and choreographed the regional premiere of Hello Again and the American premiere of Soho Cinders.
Conductor Daniela Candillari, praised for her “confidence and apparently inexhaustible verve” (The New York Times), continues to be recognized for her dynamic and compelling performances at opera houses and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Equally at home leading contemporary and long-beloved repertoire, Candillari “finds equal inspiration in tradition and novelty” (Opera News). She is Principal Conductor of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Principal Opera Conductor of Music Academy of the West.
Candillari makes her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2021-2022 season conducting Aucoin’s Eurydice. She also leads a new production of Jeanine Tesori’s Blue with Detroit Opera and workshops the composer’s Grounded with Washington National Opera and The Met Opera, conducts Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Carmen at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and leads Eugene Onegin with Music Academy of the West. A film of Candillari leading the world premiere of Clint Borzoni’s The Copper Queen with Arizona Opera was released in late 2021 and she led a made-for-TV film of Ana Sokolović’s Svadba with Boston Lyric Opera out in January 2022.
Recent highlights include Candillari’s New York Philharmonic debut conducting Thomson’s The Mother of us All at The Metropolitan Museum of Art co-produced by The Juilliard School in early 2020; her 2021 debuts with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Saint Louis Symphony; acclaimed performances of Acquanetta with the PROTOTYPE Festival; her debuts with Los Angeles Opera for Ellen Reid’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, prism, and with Opera Philadelphia in a new production of Rene Orth’s Empty the House; leading Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at Music Academy of the West; her mainstage debut at Arizona Opera conducting Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers, which she led in previous seasons with both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Minnesota Opera; and her Asian debut in Hong Kong conducting Du Yun’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, Angel’s Bone. She appeared in concert with Trinity Wall Street’s NOVUS NY Festival to open their 2018 season in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s Centennial, and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2019 for Jack Perla’s An American Dream.
As a composer, Candillari has been commissioned by artists including instrumentalists from the Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh Symphonies, as well as the three resident orchestras of Lincoln Center: the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet. An avid educator, she spent the summer of 2019 conducting the West Coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at the Music Academy of the West.
Born in Serbia, Candillari grew up in Serbia and Slovenia. She holds a Doctorate in Musicology from the Universität für Musik in Vienna, a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Master of Music and Bachelor in Piano Performance from the Universität für Musik in Graz. She was a Fulbright Scholarship recipient and was subsequently awarded a TED Fellowship. Learn more at www.danielacandillari.com.
Crystal Manich is a Puerto Rican director with almost 70 credits of operas, plays, and musicals. Credits include several productions in Argentina and Australia. THEATER: Nashville Children’s Theatre: Return to Sender (world premiere); Theater Latté Da: Barnarda Alba (musical, based on the Spanish play); Charlottesville Opera: Fiddler on the Roof. OPERA: Pinchgut Opera, Australia: Armida, Rameau Triple Bill; Buenos Aires Lírica: Madama Butterfly, Adriana Lecouvreur, Werther, Ernani; Wolf Trap Opera: Rigoletto; two filmed scenes programs for streaming in 2020; Daniel Catán’s Spanish language opera Il Postino for Virginia Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Opera Southwest; Pittsburgh Opera: nine productions; Kennedy Center, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, American Opera Projects, Opera Omaha, Arizona Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Columbus, North Carolina Opera, Opera Delaware, Opera Roanoke, and Lyric Opera of Baltimore. POSITIONS: Former Artistic Director: Mill City Summer Opera in Minneapolis and Opera Omnia in New York; former Assistant Artistic Director Cirque du Soleil: Quidam in Brazil. FOR 2021: Catán's Hija de Rappaccini streaming live for Chicago Opera Theater; The Copper Queen world premiere film for Arizona Opera.
Haley StamatsAsst. 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.
Liliana Duque PiñeiroScenery Designer
With a background in sculpture, Liliana knows how to combine her artistic vision with the practicality of set design. Recent opera projects include Il Postino for Virginia Opera and the premieres of Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun for Santa Fe Opera, and If I Were You for Merola Opera Program. Additional titles include Madama Butterfly for Opera de Colombia; The Magic Flute for Teatro Nacional Sucre, Ecuador; Maria de Buenos Aires for San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera. Liliana is equally at home with theater and musical theater, having designed many titles around the San Francisco Bay Area where her designs have been nominated for several regional design awards.
Originally from Colombia, Duque Piñeiro came to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship. She holds MFAs in both Sculpture and Set Design from the University of Cincinnati.
Alice FredricksonCostume Designer
Alice Fredrickson is a Costume Designer for opera and theater, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Her opera work includes costumes for il Postino (Virginia Opera/Opera Southwest), Cosi fan tutte (Mil City Opera) and Diana’s Garden (Minnesota Opera). Her work has been called “eye-catching” by the Pioneer Press and “gorgeous” by Life in Revue.
Fredrickson’s theatrical work includes Sweeney Todd (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Bad News I Was There… (Guthrie Theater), Home for the Holidays (Minnesota Orchestra), Bernarda Alba, Chicago, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Assassins, Six Degrees of Separation, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Oliver! (Theater Latté Da) Hamlet (Park Square Theater) and many more.
Cindy LimauroLighting Designer
Cindy Limauro designs lighting for theatre, opera, dance, and architecture. She is a Design Partner in C & C Lighting and a Professor of Lighting Design at Carnegie Mellon University in the Schools of Drama and Architecture. She was recently given the title of University Professor, the highest designation a faculty member can receive at Carnegie Mellon, given for distinguished international recognition and contributions to education and artistic creativity. She is a member of United Scenic Artists (USA), International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and was named a Fellow of the Institute by USITT for Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre. She recently designed the world premiere of Savage Winter for Pittsburgh Opera and American Opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music which received a Knight of Illumination nomination. Past productions with Pittsburgh Opera include Hansel and Gretel, Marriage of Figaro, The Rake’s Progress, Aida, Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Falstaff, La boheme, Samson & Dalila, The Magic Flute, Tosca, Fidelio, Carmen, and Lucia di Lammermoor. Other professional companies include Baltimore Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Opera Columbus, City Theater, Quantum Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and the world premiere of Dracula Il Musical and Nunsense in Rome. Her design work has been featured in two international exhibits and in numerous magazines and books. Architectural Lighting Design projects include the Gulf Tower, the Koppers building, and the award-winning projects Hunt Library and Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge.
Vanessa BecerraJulia Lowell
Peruvian & Mexican-American soprano Vanessa Becerra is a recent graduate of LA Opera’s prestigious Young Artist Program praised for her “bold and bright” singing (Opera News), “full, beautifully focused” instrument (Wall Street Journal), and “charismatic and eloquent” presence (San Francisco Chronicle).
In the 2021-22 season Vanessa returns to Washington National Opera to create the role of Alicia Hernández in Kamala Sankaram’s RISE, part of the world premiere tetralogy Written in Stone, and debuts with Austin Opera as Marzelline in Fidelio, Opera Parallèle as Belle in Philip Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, Intermountain Opera Bozeman as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and Arizona Opera as the title character in the world premiere of The Copper Queen by Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos, adapted as a full-length motion picture. In concert she debuts with Minnesota Opera for Ópera Afuera, returns to Fort Worth Opera as a soloist and co-curator for Entre Amigos, joins Aural Compass Projects in their New Works, New Voices concert, and returns as a guest soloist with Opera Delaware and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in a special New Year’s Eve celebration featuring Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell. In previous seasons Vanessa has performed with Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Omaha, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Atlanta Opera, Opera Delaware, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera San Jose, the Glimmerglass Festival, her hometown company of Fort Worth Opera, and joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the productions of Die Zauberflöte and Iolanta. She has had the great privilege of singing under the batons of Gustavo Dudamel with the LA Phil, Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony, Mozart specialist Jane Glover, and James Conlon as a featured soloist on the GRAMMY Award-winning recording of The Ghosts of Versailles with LA Opera. Particularly noted for her portrayal of Maria in Bernstein’s West Side Story, Vanessa had her international debut in the iconic role with the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra in Cēsis, Latvia. Vanessa earned degrees from The Boston Conservatory and Texas Christian University and did further training with Wolf Trap Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Seagle Festival in upstate New York.
Sarah CoitAddison Moore
In 2018, mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit was a Vocal Fellow with Ravinia's Steans Music Institute and made several important role and house debuts. Opera News praised her performance as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre: “Sarah Coit’s burnished mezzo-soprano gave her Cherubino a seductive tinge. Her pure, lovely “Voi che sapete” confirmed her bright future, made all the more likely by her undeniable aptitude for physical comedy.”
In the 2019-20 season, Coit performed Mercédès in Carmen with Opera Tampa. Covering Daniela Mack as Rosmira in Handel’s Partenope with San Francisco Opera was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Sarah sang Addison Moore in the world premiere film of Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos’ The Copper Queen with Arizona Opera, Varvara in Katya Kabanova with West Edge Opera, Rosina in The Barber of Seville with Utah Opera, and Handel’s Messiah with Symphoria, Winston-Salem Symphony, American Bach Soloists, and Indianapolis Symphony. In 2022, she makes house and role debuts with Opera Santa Barbara as Juno in Handel’s Semele and San Diego Opera as Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, as well as returning to West Edge Opera as Sesto in Giulio Cesare and American Bach Soloists with Bach’s Missa in A Major and as Daniel in Handel’s Belshazzar.
In the 2018-19 season, Coit performed the role of Adonis in the world premiere of Dan Visconti and Cerise Jacobs' ‘Interactive video game opera’ PermaDeath with White Snake Projects in Boston. She makes her Seattle Opera debut as Mercédès in Carmen, performed at the Ravinia Festival as a soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest, joined West Edge Opera as Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera, sang her first Olga in Eugene Onegin with Livermore Valley Opera, sang the Vivaldi Gloria and Bach Magnificat with the Master Chorale of South Florida, and was heard in a special New Year’s Eve concert with American Bach Soloists joined by Hadleigh Adams.
Other roles in her repertoire include Nancy in Albert Herring, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, the title role in Giulio Cesare, and the Waitress in the world premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight.
In the summer of 2015, Coit was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis where she covered Richard in the American premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart. She spent two years as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera, where she sang the Shepherd, White Cat, and Squirrel in L’Enfant et les sortilèges with the Utah Symphony and performed the roles of Mercédès in Carmen and Zerlina in Don Giovanni on the mainstage. As an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera, she covered the roles of Erika in Barber's Vanessa, and Laurene Powell Jobs in the world premiere of Mason Bates' The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. As Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Classical Review remarked “...mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit distinguished herself as Alisa, especially in the gorgeous sextet."
Coit was a 2017 National Semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received prizes from the George London Foundation and the Handel Aria Competition.
A native of Spring Hill, FL, Coit holds degrees in Music Studies and Theatre Performance from the University of South Florida and a Masters degree from the University of Michigan.
Joshua DennisTheodore Billings
Known for his “voluptuous elegant tone,” and a “robust tenor with baritonal heft,” American lyric tenor Joshua Dennis is a star on the rise. This season, Dennis is slated to return to Arizona Opera in the second world premiere of Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos’s production, The Copper Queen, after a recent reprisal of the role of Bern Venters in the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage. Additionally, he sees performances as Leonard in the world premiere of Nadia Boulanger’s La Ville Morte with Neal Goren’s new opera company, Catapult Opera, and also make his role debut as Don José in Carmen in a return to Opera Idaho.
Last season Dennis, a champion of new works, had the honor of originating two roles: “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in Minnesota Opera’s world premiere production of The Fix, and Prince Frederic in Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child with the Santa Fe Opera. Additionally, he was heard in Huang Rou’s Paradise Interrupted at the MGM Grand in Macau, and as the host of Santa Fe Opera’s virtual event Songs from the Santa Fe Opera in place of their opening night event. In summer 2020, Dennis was scheduled to perform the role of Marc in the world premiere of Huang Ruo and David Henry Huang’s M. Butterfly, which was cancelled due to the global pandemic.
As Alfredo in La traviata in his recent role and house debut with Seattle Opera, the Seattle Times raved, “Joshua Dennis gave a vocally smooth and well-schooled performance….” Additional highlights of recent seasons include performances of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with Minnesota Opera and Utah Opera, where he was also heard as Greenhorn in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick; Alfredo in La traviata with Opera Columbus and Opera Idaho, where he also performed the title role of Werther; the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto with Minnesota Opera and Dayton Opera; Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Santa Fe Opera and the Houston Symphony; and title role of Faust with Opera San Antonio and Annapolis Opera. Additional performances include Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Charlottesville Opera and Opera Naples and Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Kentucky Opera and New Orleans Opera.
On the concert stage, Dennis has performed as soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Phoenix Symphony, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde as the first tenor soloist to sing at the XXI Festival International de Piano en Blanco & Negro in Mexico. Additionally, he was a soloist in Dubois’ Les Sept Paroles du Christ and performed the role of Tony in Opera Idaho’s concert version of West Side Story.
Dennis has held apprenticeships with the Des Moines Metro Opera as well as the Santa Fe Opera, where for two consecutive summers he performed the role of Serrano in La donna del Lago and covered the roles of Elemer in Arabella, Alfredo in La traviata, and Frank Harris in the world premiere of Oscar. In 2018, Dennis was the only tenor to represent the USA in Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in Astana, Kazakhstan. Additionally, he was a finalist of the Metropolitan Opera Competition at the regional level.
Dennis earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. While in attendance, he sang the roles of Alfredo in La traviata, Sam in Susannah, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus.
Keith PharesDaddy Lowell/ Mr. Floyd
A noted interpreter of Mozart and bel canto repertoire as well as many of today’s prominent composers, Opera News has recently hailed Keith Phares as a "mainstay of contemporary opera" and " an authentic contemporary-American-opera divo" with "an impressive gallery of finely-drawn character portraits.”
This season he workshops the role of Tom in Matthew Boehler's Fat Pig with Victory Hall Opera, and sings the roles of Daddy Lowell and Mr. Floyd in the premiere of Clint Borzoni's The Copper Queen, to be released on film and produced by Arizona Opera. Highlights from last season include Brahms' Requiem with the Bucks County Choral Society, Messiah with Toledo Symphony, a reprise of Elder Tull in Riders of the Purple Sage with Arizona Opera. Phares was slated to appear as Mountjoy in Gloriana with Arts Centre in Ottawa; however both engagements were cancelled due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Recently he appeared as Edward Kynaston in Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players with Florentine Opera (recorded live for Reference Records), Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with Lexington Philharmonic, the premiere of Paul Salerni's opera, The Haunted at Zoellner Arts Center, Carol of Words - a song recital with Lyric Fest featuring texts by Walt Whitman and a return to Opera Saratoga as Dr. Ludwig Binswanger in the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Ellen West.
In the 2017/18 Season he made debuts with Los Angeles Opera as Roderick Usher and Hiram Otis in Gordon Getty's SCARE PAIR: Usher House/Canterville Ghost, Chicago Opera Theater as Gasparo in Donizetti's Rita, Opera Omaha as Ford in Falstaff, and Opera Maine as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Other highlights from last season include Viva Opera! at Florentine and the recording of Gregory Spears' critically acclaimed Paul's Case as the Father, which he sang in the opera's premiere at UrbanArias and PROTOYPE festival remount.
In the 2016/17 Season he sang Hurstwood in the world premiere and live recording of Robert Aldridge's Sister Carrie with Florentine (released on Naxos in Sept '17), Escamillo in Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara, Maximilian in Candide with New York City Opera, Elder Tull in the world premiere of Craig Bohmler's Riders of the Purple Sage with Arizona Opera, Charlie in Three Decembers with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Albert in Werther with Manitoba Opera, the American premiere of Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton's The Trial with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Belcore in L'elisir d'Amore with Boston Midsummer Opera.
Other recent engagements have included Zurga in Les pêcheurs des perles with Seattle Opera, Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat with Kentucky Opera, Charlie in Three Decembers with Florentine Opera, Carmina Burana with Madison Symphony and Fort Wayne Philharmonic, John Sorel in The Consul and Orin Mannon in Mourning Becomes Electra with Florida Grand Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Seattle Opera and Manitoba Opera, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with New Orleans Opera and Opera Saratoga, Paul's Case with UrbanArias and the PROTOTYPE festival, Dandini in La cenerentola and the title role in Elmer Gantry with Tulsa Opera and Maximilian and the Captain in Candide with São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop. In previous seasons, the baritone sang the title role in Der Kaiser von Atlantis in a joint production with Central City Opera and Colorado Symphony, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Colorado, returned to Washington National Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, joined Opera Hamilton as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Portland Opera as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Central City Opera as Charlie in Jake Heggie's Three Decembers. His has also appeared as the baritone soloist with San Francisco Symphony, Virginia Symphony and Columbus Symphony for performances of Carmina Burana.
For his debut with Florentine Opera, he portrayed the title role in Elmer Gantry, prompting Opera News to write that “Keith Phares's scrupulously rendered Elmer Gantry appears a strong contender for iconographic recognition. Beautifully vocalized and bursting with charismatic smarm (think Burt Lancaster with buttery legato), Phares's achievement will prove a difficult act to follow.” A live recording of this performance is available from Naxos records. Alongside Grammy awards for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Engineering - Classical, it was named Opera News' #1 Opera Recording of 2011.
During the 2008/09 Season Phares made his San Francisco Opera debut in the company’s première of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, singing opposite Frederica von Stade. His performance was praised for his “rich, accurate voice; good looks; and fine acting ability to the part of Charlie, making his performance the highlight of the production.” (San Francisco Classical Voice) Additional house debuts that season included the Opera Company of Philadelphia where he played the role of Haly in L’italiana in Algeri and Glimmerglass Opera where he played Dandini in a new production of La Cenerentola. In addition, he sang Falke in Opera New Jersey’s presentation of Die Fledermaus, Kaiser Overall in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis at the Greenwich Music Festival, and Ned Keene in Peter Grimes with Washington National Opera. The Washington Post remarked of his performance that he “sang with a marvelous frank lyricism as Ned Keene.” He also offered a recital under the auspices of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Phares made his Houston Grand Opera debut during the 2007/08 Season under the direction of Patrick Summers in the world première of Jake Heggie’s Last Acts (Three Decembers) and returned to the stage of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in a new production of Martín y Soler’s Una cosa rara. Continuing his commitment to bring the works of living composers to the stage, he sang the title role in the première of Elmer Gantry, by Robert Aldridge, in a co-production with Nashville Opera and Montclair State University. Phares offered Five Movements for My Father in a program of chamber music by Susan Kander at Weill Hall in New York - his performance coinciding with the commercial release of this work on the Loose Cans Music label.
Phares made his Metropolitan Opera debut, under the baton of James Levine, in the French triple-bill Parade, sang The Pilot in the Francesca Zambello production of The Little Prince at New York City Opera and Boston Lyric Opera, Maurice Bendrix in Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Madison Opera, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Dallas Opera, Chou-En Lai in Portland Opera’s presentation of Nixon in China, Danilo in The Merry Widow in a return engagement at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Masetto in the acclaimed Günter Krämer production of Don Giovanni at the Spoleto Festival USA, and Sebastian in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest presented by the Santa Fe Opera in a new production by Jonathan Kent and conducted by Alan Gilbert.
Additional credits of note include Donald in Billy Budd at Washington National Opera; Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd, Telemaco in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, and Fritz in Die tote Stadt with New York City Opera; Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Dandini in La cenerentola, and Pish-Tush in The Mikado for Arizona Opera; Valentin in Faust and Clayton McCallister in Cold Sassy Tree with Utah Symphony & Opera; Claudio in Beatrice and Benedict at Santa Fe Opera; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Boston Lyric Opera; and Charles Lindbergh in the premiere of Loss of Eden by Cary John Franklin as well as Pip in the premiere of the revised Miss Havisham’s Fire by Dominick Argento.
Other concert highlights include Claudio in Béatrice et Bénédict with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, Maximilian in Candide with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Patrick Summers, Gerald Barry’s The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit with Thomas Adès and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a program of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He also has been honored to have been affiliated for many seasons with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, under whose auspices he appeared in numerous recitals and master classes throughout the United States.
A graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center, he was a national winner of the 1998 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a finalist in the 1999 Eleanor McCollum Competition of the Houston Grand Opera. He also has been recognized with a Richard Gaddes Grant from the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the 2000 and 2001 Shouse Grants from Wolf Trap and the 2000 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Juilliard School of Music.
Joseph LattanziPeter Ackerman/ Man #1
A 2017 recipient of a top prize from the Sullivan Foundation, Joseph Lattanzi established himself as a singer to watch with his portrayal of Hawkins Fuller in the world premiere of Greg Spears’ Fellow Travelers with Cincinnati Opera, followed by further performances for his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Praise for his performances included The New York Times saying “Joseph Lattanzi was splendid as Hawk, his buttery baritone luxuriant and robust.” and Opera News described him as a “confident, handsome presence, and a resonant baritone suggesting wells of feeling that the character might prefer to leave untapped.” Recent projects include Seattle Opera’s film of Jonathan Dove’s Flight and his role debut as Silvio in Pagliacci with Atlanta Opera. Other recent engagements include Dandini in La Cenerentola for Virginia Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni with Jacksonville Symphony, and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro for Cincinnati Opera. Lattanzi has been a regular at The Metropolitan Opera since the 2018/19 Season including productions of Der Rosenkavalier, Madama Butterfly, Marnie, and Kat'a Kabanova. A regular with Arizona Opera, Lattanzi was a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Studio from 2015 – 2017. Appearances with the company include Hawkins in Fellow Travelers, Lt. Audebert in Silent Night, the title role in Don Giovanni, Dandini, and Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas.
Peter MorganRichie "Sugar Dog"
Praised as a, “Shining and Powerful Bass-Baritone” (Opera Today), Peter Morgan has quickly developed a reputation as an enthralling and dynamic performer, amassing a steadily increasing repertoire performing across the United States and Europe. Signature roles include; Leporello in Don Giovanni, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, and Colline in La bohéme. Morgan has also made a name for himself as an interpreter of new music, with several premieres to his name including; Jason and the Argonauts by Gregory Spears with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Scorpions’ Sting by Dean Burry also with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lunch Encounter 1929 by Patrice Michaels with The Glimmerglass Festival, as well as the recent landmark production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with L’Opéra Royal de Versailles which is available now available on the Medici TV streaming app.
In the fall of 2020 Morgan had the pleasure of performing Der Tod in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Rice University in the very first opera filmed using Chromadepth-3D technology. Morgan is thrilled to be making his house debut with Arizona Opera. Following the filming of The Copper Queen, Morgan will be returning to The Glimmerglass Festival where he will be singing Don Pedro Hinyosa in La Perichole, and covering the legendary Eric Owens as Ferrando in Il Trovatore.
Morgan is currently the Brockman Endowed Scholarship in Voice recipient and Artist Diploma in Opera Studies Fellow at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas where he studies with Dr. Robin Rice.
Ian ChristiansenMan #2
Is excited to be joining Arizona Opera again for The Copper Queen. Previous engagements include Don Pasquale, Daughter of the Regiment, Falstaff, Arizona Lady and Shining Brow. He has also starred in many plays and musicals both here in the city and regionally. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, and was also a company member with the American Mime Theatre in New York. Many thanks to his mom and Addison.