Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” Steven White is one of North America’s premiere conductors of both symphonic and operatic repertoire. Among the many orchestras Maestro White has conducted are the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Madison Symphony Orchestra and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for a CHANDOS recording of arias featuring his wife, soprano Elizabeth Futral. Of his 2016 performances with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra the Omaha World-Herald declares that “it would be hard to imagine a more complete performance of the Symphonie Fantastique than the one presented Friday night. Highly nuanced, tightly controlled and crisp, Steven White asked everything from orchestra members and they were flawless. He led them out of serene beauty into disturbing dissonance and even to the terrifying point of musical madness without ever losing control. It was insanely good."
White made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2010, conducting performances of La Traviata starring Angela Gheorghiu. Since then he has conducted a number of Metropolitan Opera performances of La Traviata with such stars as Natalie Dessay, Hei-Kyung Hong, Placido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Dmitri Hvorostovksy and Matthew Polenzani. Over the past eight seasons he has participated in many Met productions, including critically fêted productions of The Rake’s Progress and Elektra, along with Billy Budd, Don Carlo, La sonnambula, Elixir of Love, Così fan tutte, Rigoletto, The Enchanted Island, The Magic Flute, Lucia di Lammermoor, Daughter of the Regiment and Iphigénie en Tauride.
This season he returns to The Metropolitan Opera to participate in productions of The Marriage of Figaro and The Merry Widow. Other operatic engagements include Tosca at Arizona Opera, Roméo et Juliette at Opera Birmingham and La Bohème at Opera Roanoke. The past two seasons have included returns to Arizona Opera for Rusalka and Don Giovanni, the Peabody Conservatory for Street Scene and The Marriage of Figaro, Opera Roanoke for Susannah and Opera Omaha for The Barber of Seville and Così fan tutte, about which Opera News wrote, “White is amazing: he consistently demands and gets the absolute best playing from the orchestra."
Maestro White’s 2014/15 season included Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Das Lied von der Erde at Kennesaw State University. He returned to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera Baltimore for Madama Butterfly, Arizona Opera for Eugene Onegin, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Opera Birmingham for La Bohème. He debuted with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Opera Columbus with La voix humaine and Pagliacci. With Opera Omaha he conducted Rigoletto.
In December 2013 Maestro White conducted the tribute to Martina Arroyo as part of the Kennedy Center Honors concert, broadcast nationally on CBS. Other highlights of that season include Tosca with Lyric Opera Baltimore and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Dialogues of the Carmelites with Peabody Conservatory, La Traviata with Arizona Opera, Rigoletto with Opera Birmingham, Aida at Bob Jones University and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 at Virginia Tech University. At Opera Roanoke he conducted a new production of The Magic Flute. He also led the Slovak State Philharmonic in concerts of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture. With that same orchestra he collaborated with acclaimed trumpeter Paul Neebe in a recording of 21st- century concertos.
In 2013 he made his debut with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in a tour-de-force gala concert at Tchaikovsky Hall with soprano Sarah Coburn. Other recent symphonic engagements include performances of the Strauss Four Last Songs with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Naples Philharmonic, internationally televised concerts with Rolando Villazon and the Greek National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the United Nations and Alice Tully Hall, an all-Wagner concert with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Opera Birmingham, the Festival Finale Concert at Spoleto Festival USA, a concert with Angela Gheorghiu and the Canadian Opera Company orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, and numerous concert performances with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Opera Roanoke.
In addition to his work with the Metropolitan Opera, White’s extensive operatic engagements have included La traviata, Don Giovanni, Carmen and La bohème at New York City Opera; Lucia di Lammermoor at L’Opera de Montréal; Lucia di Lammermoor, Daughter of the Regiment and I puritani with Vancouver Opera; La Traviata at Opera Colorado; Elixir of Love with Pittsburgh Opera; The Abduction from the Seraglio at Michigan Opera Theater; La Traviata, Roméo et Juliette, I puritani, La sonnambula and L’assedio di Corinto with Baltimore Opera; Lucia di Lammermoor with New Orleans Opera; Aida, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Merry Widow, Tosca and Don Pasquale at Arizona Opera; and La Bohème, Carmen, Rigoletto, Tosca and The Marriage of Figaro with the Naples Philharmonic.
Other performances include Hänsel und Gretel at Kentucky Opera, Pagliacci and Tosca at Nashville Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor with Fort Worth Opera, Don Giovanni, The Tales of Hoffmann, Macbeth and Lucia di Lammermoor at Syracuse Opera, Werther at Sarasota Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor with Wichita Grand Opera, Madama Butterfly with North Carolina Opera, Elixir of Love at Wolf Trap Opera, outdoor Gala Concerts with Madison Opera, and La Traviata at Indiana University Opera Theater.
As former Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, White conducted nearly all of that company’s productions from 1999 through 2010, including performances of Das Lied von der Erde, The Flying Dutchman, Fidelio, Falstaff, Otello, Macbeth, Aida, Hänsel und Gretel and many others. He has also served as Principal Conductor for Opera Birmingham and as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master for Florida Grand Opera.
White is in constant demand as a master-class clinician and competition adjudicator and is a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has a particular affinity for working with young musicians, and serves regularly as an artist-in-residence with a number of colleges and conservatories, including Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, University of Cincinnati—College-Conservatory of Music, Virginia Tech University and the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg. In May 2013 Maestro White received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Roanoke College.
Stage director Tara Faircloth’s work has been seen in opera houses around the nation. Critics hailed her recent The Marriage of Figaro, calling it "an unstoppable momentum of manipulation and misunderstandings. This production was so fresh that it had the ability to bridge yet another gap, entertaining the amateur and the opera aficionado alike” (Opera News). She has a thriving career in regional houses such as Wolf Trap Opera, Utah Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera and Atlanta Opera (The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin, Hänsel & Gretel,etc.).
This season finds Ms. Faircloth working on several new productions (Il Re Pastore with Merola Opera, Agrippina with Ars Lyrica Houston, The Little Prince with Utah Opera, The Coronation of Poppea with Boston Baroque, Ariadne auf Naxos with Wolf Trap Opera), and returning to some familiar favorites: The Marriage of Figaro and Rigoletto (for Arizona Opera and Austin Opera, respectively). Following last year’s season, which included new productions of Gianni Schicchi, Pagliacci, and Loving Clara, a mixed media collaboration exploring the life and loves of Clara Schumann with Mercury Orchestra, Ms. Faircloth is clearly in demand as an interpreter for familiar works and those that are more obscure.
Ms. Faircloth has worked extensively on directing staff of such companies as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Central City Opera, and Dallas Opera, and as such, has worked on some of the most complicated operas in the repertoire, assisting international directors and preparing cover casts of some of the best performers in our industry. Passionate about dramatic training for young singers, she is the Drama Instructor for the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and has served as a guest coach at HGO's Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Des Moines Metro Opera, University of Michigan, and Rice University. Her home is in Houston, Texas, where she enjoys restoring her 1935 Craftsman Bungalow.
|January 31, February 1, 6 & 8|
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer lauds baritone David Adam Moore for his “enviable swagger coupled with a subtle musicality and big, handsome voice.” In the 2014-15 season, he makes his role debut as Eugene Onegin in a return to Arizona Opera.
He reprises Prior Walter in Eötvös’ Angels in America with Opera Wrocławska and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in a return to Utah Opera and returns to Des Moines Metro Opera as Rappacini in Catán’s La hija de Rappacini. In New York, he sings Melisso in Alcina in special performances at the Whitebox Art Center. His future engagements include a leading role in a world premiere with the Salzburger Festpiele that he will repeat in his Metropolitan Opera debut. Last season, he made his debut at the Neue Oper Wien as he creates the role of Lucifer in the world premiere of Eötvös’ Paradise Reloaded (Lilith) in his debut at the Neue Oper Wien. He also returned to San Diego Opera for Silvio in Pagliacci and New Israeli Opera for his first performances of Malatesta in Don Pasquale and joined Des Moines Metro Opera for Joseph DeRocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. He sang Schubert’s Winterreise in a new solo, multimedia production for Anchorage Opera and reprised David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at the Atlas Theater in Washington D.C.
Sought after on international stages, the Texas native has also joined the Teatro alla Scala for Demetrius in A Midsummer Nights Dream and Cascada in Die lustige Witwe after first joining the company for Maximilian in Robert Carsen’s production Candide, which he also sang at the Théâtre du Châtelet as well as in Hyogo and Tokyo, Japan. He has sung the title role in Francesca Zambello’s production of Billy Budd with the New Israeli Opera in. Also with the company, he has sung Mercutio and Littore in David Alden’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea as well as Ned Keene in Peter Grimes. He made his German debut at Staatsoper Hannover as Figaro in Il barbiere di siviglia that was followed by the title role of Don Giovanni, a role that he also sang at the Kiel Oper. Additionally, he sang the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Carmina Burana at the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer in Belle-Ile, France and Escamillo in Carmen in the inaugural season of the Lismore Music Festival in Ireland.
He recently made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in a performance of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire and subsequently sang Jud Fry in the company’s premiere and new production of Oklahoma! A frequent presence at Seattle Opera, his previous roles with the company include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West. He recently joined Pittsburgh Opera for the title role in Billy Budd and Marcello in La bohème, Glimmerglass Opera for Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera for further performances of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in addition to joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the same title. He joined New Orleans Opera for Silvio in Pagliacci paired with Orff’s Carmina Burana in a double bill. His other noted performances on American stages include his New York City Opera debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte as well as subsequent performances of the role with Austin Lyric Opera; Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and Utah Opera; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Grand Rapids; Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia with the Opera Festival of New Jersey. With Gotham Chamber Opera, he sang the title roles of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphée.
The baritone made his Avery Fischer Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra in Schumann’s Manfred followed by performances of Rabbi Joshua in Dessau’s Hagadah shel Pessach, Don Carlos in Dargomizhsky’s The Stone Guest, and Janacek's From the House of the Dead with the same orchestra. He has also appeared with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson for Orff’s Carmina Burana and later joines the conductor with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall for the same piece, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra as Jesus in Elgar’s The Apostles, Orquestra Real de Sevilla singing Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Vesperae Solemnae, Utah Symphony for Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, and the Yakima Symphony in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem. Other appearances include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Cleveland Red Orchestra as well as with the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra at the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon. Mr. Moore has sung performances of Schubert’s Winterreise as a guest artist at Houston Community College and Hesston College.
A staunch advocate of contemporary music, Moore has received great critical acclaim for previous performances of Prior Walter in Eötvös' Angels in America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and at Fort Worth Opera and also sang Catesby and Rivers in Batistelli’s Richard III in his debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He sang previous performances of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire with Virginia Opera, the Pilot in Portman’s Little Prince with Tulsa Opera and Laurent in Picker’s Thérèse Raquin at Dicapo Opera. He created the role of Vincent Van Gogh in Rands’ Vincent as a guest artist with Indiana University’s Opera Theatre. He recently sang the premiere David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Le Poisson Rouge in New York. With the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, he sang Lieberson’s King Gesar at the Rubin Museum of Art. He has also premiered a number of works by the American composers Martin Hennessy and Stephen Louis Bayne, most notably, 9/11/01 at Guggenheim Art Museum. He performed Bertha by Ned Rorem; The Gold Standard by Scott Wheeler as part of the Kenneth Koch Tribute, which was co-sponsored by the New York Festival of Song; the world premiere of Hell, a new opera by Michael Webster and Eileen Myles; and the title role in Jonathan Eaton’s microtonal opera, Traveling With Gulliver with the New York New Music Ensemble in the work’s New York premiere. Also an accomplished composer, his recent work, Kronos, was featured in a performance by the Oxymoros Dance Ensemble.
Moore is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Raised in the small town of Quasqueton, IA, Mr. Carr has performed roles with Arizona Opera, Merola Opera Program, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. He made his company debut with Arizona Opera last season as a Studio Artist singing several roles including Schaunard in La bohème and Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, as well as John Lassiter in the workshop of The Riders of the Purple Sage, a new opera by composer Craig Bohmler. This season, Mr. Carr returns as a Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artist to sing Marullo in Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin in Eugene Onegin, the Corporal in The Daughter of the Regiment, and cover Papageno in The Magic Flute.
Mr. Carr spent his summer at the Glimmerglass Festival where he made his debut as Billy Bigelow in Carousel. In December of this year, he will also make his Kennedy Center debut with Washington National Opera as The Pilot in their production of The Little Prince. Mr. Carr won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Arizona District in October and in February Mr. Carr was announced the recipient of the 2014 Igor Gorin Memorial Award in February.
Mr. Carr was featured in San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program as Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia in the summer of 2013. The opening of the 2012/13 season marked Mr. Carr’s mainstage debut with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City where he performed Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and later Pish-Tush in The Mikado. Mr. Carr spent two seasons with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Resident Artist beginning in 2011, while he was also at the University of Missouri Kansas City. During this time, he sang the title role in Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Carr made his debut as Schaunard in La bohème at Central City Opera where he also received the John Moriarty Award. Also that year, Mr. Carr was a District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and received a Career Development Award from The Sullivan Foundation.
Mr. Carr participated in the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Program in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he made his debut with The Cedar Rapids Opera Theater as the Sacristan in Tosca. Mr. Carr was also a District Winner in Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the winner of the Vocal Division of the NAFTZGER competition.
Mr. Carr’s concert performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Faure’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. This year, he will sing The Narrator in The Polar Express with the Phoenix Symphony. He has also sung recitals with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater and Kansas City’s Bach Aria Soloists. Mr. Carr graduated with a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City and a Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College in Indianola, IA.
Acclaimed by The New York Times as “an outstanding actress, as well as a singer of extraordinary grace and finesse”, soprano Corinne Winters is a recent nominee in the International Opera Awards Young Singer category. Corinne’s 2014/2015 season includes debuts with Washington National Opera as Mimì in a new production of La bohème and Vlaamse Opera Antwerpen as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Return engagements include role debuts as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with Arizona Opera and Magda in La rondine with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In recital, Corinne performs with Steven Blier of the New York Festival of Song at the Tucson Desert Song Festival and Vocal Arts DC, showcasing Spanish song repertoire from her debut album Canción amorosa.
In the 2013/14 season, Corinne debuted with the Santa Fe Opera as Soon Ching-ling in the American premiere of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Kentucky Opera as Mimì, Michigan Opera Theatre as Violetta in La traviata, and Virginia Opera as Micaëla in Carmen. She joined tenor Matthew Polenzani in recital for the George London Foundation and was praised by Opera News as “a striking brunette who manages to be simultaneously gamine and seductress, reveal[ing] an arresting, uniquely plum-colored soprano that could pass for mezzo in the middle but explodes with vibrant color on top.”
Corinne also recently debuted as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Arizona Opera and Violetta with Opera Hong Kong, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and English National Opera, which BBC Music Magazine deemed “a performance of white-hot intensity and consummate control.” Immediate reengagements included Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini with English National Opera and Mimì with Arizona Opera, along with returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Vendulka in Smetana’s The Kiss, the National Symphony Orchestra as Violetta, and the Metropolitan Opera to cover Blanche de la Force in Les Dialogues des Carmélites.
Future seasons include debuts with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opernhaus Zürich, and Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Corinne has won prizes from Wolf Trap Opera’s Shouse Career Grant, the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation, Marcello Giordani Foundation (1st prize, Critics Choice Award, Vero Beach Prize), George London Foundation (George London/Leonie Rysanek Award), Sullivan Foundation (Career Grant), Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation (1st Prize), Palm Beach Opera Competition (1st Prize), Gerda Lissner Foundation (2nd Prize), and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (National Semifinalist, 1st place New England Region).
Originally from Frederick, MD, Corinne earned a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory and Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude from Towson University before appearing as a resident artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Currently, she studies with world-renowned soprano Diana Soviero.
An outstanding graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Zach Borichevsky continues to impress all around the world, concluding an eventful season during which he made his critically acclaimed European operatic debut as Rodolfo in La bohème for Finnish National Opera under Michael Güttler, his role debut as Tamino in The Magic Flute with Boston Lyric Opera under David Angus and Alfredo in La traviata with Michigan Opera. In concert Zach joined the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in Mexico under music director Carlos Miguel Prieto for Rachmaninov’s The Bells, a piece he will reprise this summer at Festival Radio France under Santtu-Matias Rouvali, and the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra for Das Lied von der Erde under Isin Metin.
The coming season features a number of significant debuts for Zach including his UK operatic debut as Alfredo in La traviata for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and his role debuts as Lensky in Eugene Onegin with Arizona Opera; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in a co-production with Opera Carolina and Toledo Opera under James Meena; and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Teatro Municpal Santiago de Chile.
Recent seasons have included Zach’s acclaimed debut at Santa Fe Opera as Matteo in Tim Albery’s production of Arabella under Sir Andrew Davis, Roméo in Roméo et Julliette with Teatro Municipal Santiago de Chile and Arizona Opera, Jonathan Dale in Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia and Ruggero in La rondine in Portland, Oregon. Past concert engagements have included John Adams’The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic under Markus Stenz, Britten’s Nocturne at the Aspen Music Festival under Nicholas McGegan and Britten’s War Requiem with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui. Zach also created the role of Nicholas Astor in Kirke Meachem’s The Rivals with Skylight Opera in Milwaukee, debuted Alfredo in La traviata with Knoxville Opera, and debuted Pelléas at the Academy of Vocal Arts. While still at AVA, he created the role of Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale in the world premiere of Margaret Garwood’s The Scarlet Letter and performed the roles of Rodolfo in La bohème, Flamand in Strauss’ Capriccio, and Manrico in the fourth act of Il trovatore. In past summers he has travelled to Vail, Colorado and Alba, Italy to present Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem respectively.
Zach has also performed with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, and at the Castleton Festival under the baton of Lorin Maazel. He holds degrees from The George Washington University and Yale School of Music.
Many organizations have honored Mr. Borichevsky with awards, including Operalia, the Loren L. Zachary Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Index, the Mario Lanza Foundation, Shreveport Opera, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.
American mezzo-soprano Beth Lytwynec most recently returned to The Glimmerglass Festival, singing the role of Dryad in Francesca Zambello's new production of Ariadne in Naxos. Following her first season as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera, Ms. Lytwynec returns to Arizona Opera for the 2014/15 season, singing the roles of Maddalena in Rigoletto, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and Second Lady in The Magic Flute. Later this season, Ms. Lytwynec debuts with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The 2013/14 season marked Ms. Lytwynec's debut performances with The Phoenix Symphony, singing excerpts from Bizet's Carmen, West Side Story, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
In previous seasons, Ms. Lytwynec has performed with Chautauqua Opera, Nashville Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera New Jersey, Lyric Opera Virginia, Boston Opera Collaborative and Seagle Music Colony. Roles include Jo March in Little Women, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, Wowkle in La fanciulla del West, the title role of Handel’s Serse, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas.
A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, accomplished young bass Nicholas Masters was the First Prize and Audience Choice winner in the 2013 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Recently with Houston Grand Opera, Masters performed Colline in La bohème, both at the Wortham Center and the Miller Outdoor Theater as well as the Old Gypsy in Il trovatore. He was a National Grand Finalist in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, second prize winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, and finalist and recipient of encouragement awards from the 2011 Opera Index, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and George London Foundation Awards.
Previous appearances in Houston include Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Dottore Grenvil in La traviata, as well as two unexpected performances of The Spirit of Charles V in Don Carlos when he filled in at the last moment for an indisposed colleague. Mr. Masters also has been seen as Robert in Les vêpres Siciliennes with the Caramoor Festival and Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Opera Theater of Connecticut. Engagements for the 2013-2014 season included Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Opera Philadelphia, his debut with English National Opera as Parsi Rustomji/Lord Krishna in Satyagraha, 5th Jew in Salome with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Castleton Festival. The 2014-2015 season includes his return to English National Opera for Ashby in Girl of the Golden West and singing the roles of Gremin in Eugene Onegin and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with Arizona Opera.
A graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Nicholas created the role of the Governor in the world premiere of Margaret Garwood’s The Scarlet Letter, and performed Leporello and Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, as well as Count Waldner in Richard Strauss’ Arabella. Other appearances at AVA include Colline in La bohème, La Roche in Capriccio, Pistola in Falstaff, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lord Rochefort in Anna Bolena, and Oroveso in excerpts of Norma. Nicholas has also appeared with the Caramoor Festival where he sang Bill Bobstay in HMS Pinafore and Walter in Guillaume Tell.
During his two consecutive seasons as a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap he was featured as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a role previously performed at the Banff Centre in Canada), Tempo and Nettuno in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Benoit and Alcindoro in La bohème, and in a recital entitled Latin Days, American Nights with Steven Blier. Nicholas was also guest artist on the Wolf Trap Foundation’s Discovery Series, where he performed Luciano in John Musto’s Bastianello and Chucho in William Bolcom’s Lucrezia. He is a two-time recipient of a Career Development Grant from the Shouse Education Fund from the Wolf Trap Foundation.
While pursuing his Master’s degree in the opera program at Yale University, he sang a variety of repertoire, including Baron Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle, Don Inigo Gomez in L’heure espagnole, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and Luka in The Bear. As a member of the Young American Artist Program at Glimmerglass Opera, he covered the role of Le Comte de Breville in the world premiere of The Greater Good by Stephen Hartke. With the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Nicholas sang both Rambaldo in Puccini’s La rondine, and Drebednyov in Shostakovich’s Moskva Cheremushki.
Nicholas has appeared at the Alba Music Festival, Italy as the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, a piece he had previously performed at St. Mary’s College in Maryland. He was also featured as bass soloist in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Greenwich Choral Society. Of mixed French and British heritage Nicholas holds dual American and French (European Union) citizenship. Nicholas lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Colleen.
American mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon has firmly established herself as one of the greatest leading ladies of this generation. Ms. Redmon is renowned the world over for her “glorious singing, intense acting, excellent phrasing, ardent tone, splendid shading, solid coloratura and excellent artistic sense”. (Das Opernglas) She has graced the world’s greatest stages including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsopera, Opéra de Marseilles, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Opéra Montréal, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Minnesota Opera. Ms. Redmon has not only made her indelible mark in the Italian dramatic and bel canto repertoire, but she has also been an ardent champion of new works as well, creating such roles as the eponymous role of Bright Sheng’s opera, Madame Mao.
A consummate veteran of the stage, Ms. Redmon continues to add new repertoire befitting the splendor of her magnificent instrument and stage gravitas. Recently, she has had phenomenal success in such roles as La Principessa in Pucinni’s Suor Angelica, and Verdi’s Amneris in Aida and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera. She has also assumed the mantle of several of Strauss’ greatest characters including Herodias in Salome and Klytemnestra in Elektra.
Always seeking to broaden her artistic horizons, Ms. Redmon has made it a point to lend her considerable talents to the great recital and orchestral stages of the world. Her large and varied concert repertoire has included Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (available on Naxos), Dvorak’sStabat Mater and Mahler’s great symphonies, Nos. 2, 3 and 8.
Susan Shafer has performed to great acclaim with opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Notable roles in her repertoire include: Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera for the Paris Opera(Bastille), Pittsburgh Opera, Teatro Comunale (Bologna), and Kentucky Opera; Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for the New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Baltimore Opera, Canadian Opera, Florentine Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Sarasota Opera; Azucena in Il Trovatore for Hawaii Opera Theater; Klytemnestra in Elektra for the San Francisco Opera and Canadian Opera, Erda in Das Rheingold for L’Opera de Montreal, the Nurse in Boris Godunov for the Paris Opera(Bastille), Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer for Baltimore Opera and Canadian Opera, and Teatro Comunale(Bologna), and Eboli in Don Carlo for Kentucky Opera.
Other opera companies with whom she has appeared include the Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Omaha, and The Washington Opera. She has also appeared with the National Symphony and at the Casals Festival in concert performances of Le Coq d’Or conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Cleveland Orchestra in concert performances of Die Walküre conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi.
Notable recent engagements included appearances with Pittsburgh Opera and the Florentine Opera as Quickly in Falstaff, Opera Colorado, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Opera, and Kentucky Opera as Filipeyvna in Eugene Onegin; The Atlanta Opera as Ulrica, the Canadian Opera as Genevieve in Pelleas and Melisande, L’Opera de Montreal as Erda in Das Rheingold, Florentine Opera as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Nashville Opera as Herodias in Salome; Pittsburgh Opera as Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer and as Marthe in Faust, Florida Grand Opera as Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette, Orlando Opera as Katisha in The Mikado, Virginia Opera as Mrs. McLean inSusannah, and Des Moines Metro Opera as Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette and as the Auntie in Peter Grimes.
As a concert artist, Ms. Shafer has earned special recognition as soloist in: Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival, and Greenville Symphony; Verdi Requiem for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Budapest Symphony, Berkshire Chorale Festival, Copenhagen, and Kentucky Opera; Handel’s Messiah for the Dallas Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Symphony, and Virginia Symphony; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for the Cracow Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, and Berkshire Choral Festival; and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 for the National Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, Hartford Symphony, Houston Symphony, Chautauqua Festival, Little Orchestra Society, and Pittsburgh Oratorio Society in works by Bach, Elgar, Mahler, Stravinsky, and Wagner.
Ms. Shafer is the winner of numerous awards and scholarships, most notably from the Pavarotti Competition, Shoshana Foundation, Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions, San Francisco Opera Regional Auditions, The Juilliard School, and Santa Fe Opera. She earned her B. S. and M.S. in Education with minors in music and German at Westminster College, took post-graduate study at Kent State University, and was a member of the American Opera Center at The Juilliard School. She currently resides in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania and is the artist-in -residence at Westminster College.
Andrew Penning, originally from St. Paul, MN, is a tenor in the Arizona Opera Studio. During the
Mr. Penning has been a Young Artist with some of the most prestigious companies and festivals in the United States. In the summer of 2015 he will cover the role of Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) at Des Moines Metro Opera. At the Glimmerglass Festival he performed the roles of Delmonte (King for a Day) and Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos). With Utah Opera as The Ballad Singer in Of Mice and Men, Opera News said, “cast standouts included … Andrew Penning as the Ballad Singer, whose sweet lyric tenor conveyed the workers’ conscience.” As a Fellow at the 2011 Tanglewood Music Festival, he sang the Second Tenor in performances of Stravinsky’s Renardwith the Mark Morris Dance Group and gave recital performances featuring works by Richard Strauss, Alberto Ginastera and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ chamber song cycle On Wenlock Edge. At CCM Spoleto in the summer of 2010, he performed the role of the Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia). As a young artist at Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York, he performed the roles of The Governor and Vanderdendur (Candide).
In addition to his work in opera, Mr. Penning is also an active concert soloist. In performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Tucson Symphony of 2014, the Arizona Daily Star said “Penning…was a
Cantata 12, Haydn’s Grosse Orgelmesse in E Flat, and Bruckner’s Te Deum.
Mr. Penning completed his Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati:
Calvin Griffin, a native of Columbus, Ohio, joined the Florida Grand Opera studio in the 2016-2017 season. Mr. Griffin made his debut with the company stepping in as a cover to sing the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. In addition, he sang Zaretsky and covered Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Victor in Before Night Falls, and Samuel in Un ballo in mascherawith the company. Mr. Griffin recently finished a stint with the Arizona Opera Studio where he performed the roles of the Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas, Zuniga in Carmen, Pistola in Falstaff, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, Hortensius in La fille du régiment, Colline in La bohème, and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. In 2016, he made his Opera Columbus debut as Colline in La bohème.
In a busy 2017 -2018 season, Mr. Griffin makes exciting debuts with Atlanta Opera as Mother in The Seven Deadly Sins and Morales in Carmen, Opera Birmingham singing Escamillo in Carmen, Opera on the James as Leporello in Don Govanni, Opera Orlando singing Alidoro in La cenerentola, and will return to Arizona Opera to sing Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In concert, he sings Handel’s Messiah with the Richmond Symphony and Bach’s Mass in B minor with Gloria Musicae in Sarasota, Florida.