Bold. Brave. Brilliant.
Music by Zach Redler, Libretto by Jerre Dye

The Falling and the Rising

Zach Redler

Zach Redler


Zach Redler is an award winning music theater composer whose work has been performed in concert halls, opera houses, and theaters around the world. Some of his favorite works are: The Memory ShowLoving LeoWindowsA Song for Susan SmithADAMMovin’ Up In The World, and The Falling and the Rising. Zach is currently working on a one-woman theater piece for Tanya Bird Torres, a chamber opera for Houston Grand Opera, and a new piece with Jerre Dye for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Jerre Dye

Jerre Dye


Jerre Dye is a Chicago-based librettist and playwright. He is the recipient of the Award for Dramatic Literature from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Current opera commissions include: an upcoming commission for Opera Philadelphia with composer Jennifer Higdon ; Taking Up Serpents for Washington National Opera with composer Kamala Sankaram; The Falling and The Rising for the U.S. Army Field Band Chorus, Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera, San Diego Opera, Texas Christian University, and Opera M phis with composer Zachary Redler; Chautauqua Stories for Chautauqua Opera; BY/IN for Opera M phis with composers Kamala Sankaram, Sam Shoup, Zach Redler, and Robert G. Patterson; and The Parksville Murders, a filmed, episodic, virtual reality opera for Opera On Tap/New York with composer Kamala Sankaram. In 2014, Dye completed the libretto for Ghosts of Crosstown, a new short opera cycle in collaboration with Opera M phis; Movin Up in the World with composer Zachary Redler (subsequent performances at the National Civil Rights Museum and Missouri State University); Abandoned with composer Kamran Ince (featured at the Opera America Annual Conference in San Francisco as part of the New Works Sampler 2014); Ivonne with composer Nathaniel Stookey (featured at the Opera America Annual Conference in D.C. as part of the New Works Sampler 2015); and Mitch and the Moon with composer Jack Perla. Dye play, Cicada, had its Chicago premiere in 2014 with Route 66 Theatre Company while Distance, premiered in 2016 with Strawdog Theatre Company; both works were Jeff nominated. Other works for the stage include: Short/Stories, Threads, The New Adventures of Hansel and Gretel, Wild Swans, and Live Studio Audience. His adaptation of Stravinsky's A Soldier Tale with Iris Orchestra was praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for music that harnesses considerable expressive power.

Benjamin Hilgert Headshot

Benjamin Hilgert

The Falling and the Rising was conceived by Sergeant First Class Benjamin Hilgert.

Before joining the Soldiers’ Chorus in 2010, Sergeant First class Ben Hilgert most recently performed principal operatic roles with Theater Goerlitz (Germany), Lyric Opera Kansas City, Central City Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival. SFC Hilgert earned his Master of Music degree from Chicago College of Performing Arts and his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Indianapolis.

Tess Altiveros

Tess Altiveros


Noted for her “particularly soulful” interpretations (L.A. Times) and a "captivating combination of skilled singing and magnetic acting" (Pioneer Press), soprano Tess Altiveros is equally at home in a wide range of repertoire from the 17th century to the 21st.

Recent roles include Angela in In Real Life (Opera Memphis), Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Kentucky Opera), and Female Soldier in The Falling and the Rising (Seattle Opera), a portrayal described as “a triumph” by Classical Voice North America and “enthralling” by the Seattle Times. Other recent credits include E in Seattle Opera’s O + E, L'enfant in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (Pacific Symphony), Clorinda in Seattle Opera's acclaimed production of The Combat, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte (Skylark Opera Theatre), Hannah in The Merry Widow (Inland Northwest Opera), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Pacific Symphony), Maria in West Side Story (Central City Opera/Boulder Philharmonic), Musetta in La Bohème with Mo. Andrew Litton (Colorado Symphony), Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw (Eugene Opera), and Elle in La Voix Humaine (Vespertine Opera).

On the concert stage, her voice has been hailed as “darker, creamy, sensuous…sprezzatura personified” (Opera Today) and “pure gold” (Opera Magazine). Engagements have ranged from the American Prize-winning world premiere of Muehleisen’s Borders at Carnegie Hall to the critically acclaimed West Coast tour of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Grammy winning conductor Stephen Stubbs. Ms. Altiveros has been featured with the Colorado Symphony, Pacific Symphony, the Boulder Philharmonic, Portland Baroque, Early Music Vancouver, Shreveport Symphony, San Francisco Early Music Society and the Vancouver Bach Festival, to name a few.

During these unprecedented times, Ms. Altiveros has had the pleasure of singing for a number of virtual performances, including an at-home recital for Seattle Opera’s Songs of Summer series, an appearance on Long Beach Opera’s Artist Afternoons, Navidad with Pacific MusicWorks, and Rodas Recordada (Music of Remembrance), as well as virtual concerts with the Whidbey Island Music Festival and Opera on the James. Full digital productions include Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore (Seattle Opera), and the role of Rockstar in Resonance Works & Decameron Opera Coalition’s Tales from a Safe Distance, a project described by The Wall Street Journal as “ingenious” and ranked fifth on Operawire's "Best of 2020: Top 11 Industry-Defining Moments of the Year”.

Upcoming engagements include Le Nozze di Figaro (Intermountain Opera), the world premiere of Romeo (Orpheus Project), and appearances with Evansville Philharmonic, Opera on the Lake, Harmonia Orchestra, Symphony Tacoma, the Great Bend Center for Music and a recital of new compositions with The Aria Institute in Paris.

A native Seattleite, Ms. Altiveros has been a regular anthem singer for the Seattle Mariners for over a decade, and was proud to be among the first to sing the national anthem for Seattle’s Kraken in their inaugural NHL season this November.

Audrey Babcock

Audrey Babcock

Toledo/Doctor #1

Audrey Babcock is an award-winning mezzo-soprano who has gained notoriety for her commanding, powerful performances as Carmen and her dark, hypnotic portrayals of Maddalena in Rigoletto. Ms. Babcock made her French debut as Carmen with the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer and has performed the role with Florentine Opera, Nashville Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, San Antonio Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera, Anchorage Opera, Dayton Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, and Utah Festival Opera where The Salt Lake Tribune wrote “Audrey Babcock's performance as Carmen was a spellbinding tour de force...from the moment she took the stage her self-assured characterization was mesmerizing ...Babcock's caramel-hued mezzo was a pleasure…her supple tones caressed the notes, radiating earthy allure.”

Widely recognized as a choice singer for new works, Ms. Babcock has premiered several new operas including Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin (NY Premiere - Dicapo Opera), With Blood, With Ink (World Premiere - Fort Worth Opera), La Reina (American Lyric Theater, NY & Prototype Festival), The Poe Project (American Lyric Theater), and appeared as Mother in Winter’s Tale with Beth Morrison’s Prototype Festival in NYC in 2015. Last season’s engagements included the title role in The Tragedy of Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara as well as a cancelled concert with the Santa Barbara Symphony. Ms. Babcock’s engagements for the 2021-2022 season include Lily; her life, his music with Marble City Opera, Toledo in The Falling and the Rising with Opera Carolina, Verdi’s Requiem with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, and the title role in Carmen and Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha with Utah Festival Opera.

Recent engagements have included her Seattle Opera debut as Baroness Nica in Yardbird, bringing her show Beyond Carmen to Opera Delaware, Maddalena (Rigoletto) with Palm Beach Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Omaha, Tulsa Opera, Florentine Opera and Nashville Opera, where Broadway World wrote “Mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, as the manipulative and cunning Maddalena, very nearly steals the show in her third act appearance, giving audiences a mere glimpse of what we can expect from her Carmen. . . She gives a stunningly full-throated performance of the sexy and sensuous Maddalena and the senses reel in anticipation of her Carmen.” Ms. Babcock portrayed title role in Maria de Buenos Aires (San Diego Opera), Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible (Opera Santa Barbara) Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (New Orleans Opera), Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha (Utah Opera), Mrs. Mister in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock (Opera Saratoga), Erika in Vanessa (Sarasota Opera), Suzuki in Madama Butterfly (Opera Santa Barbara and Tulsa Opera), and Jo in Little Women with Utah Opera and Syracuse Opera, where she won Artist of the Year. She played the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Spoleto Festival, USA, and the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul (Long Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, and New Jersey Opera). She has also sung Dorabella in Così fan tutte (Opera Idaho), Lola in Cavalleria rusticana (Utah Festival Opera and Washington Concert Opera), The Third Lady in The Magic Flute (Opera Pacific), Flora in La traviata (Cincinnati Opera), and Carmen in The Tragedy of Carmen (Opera Delaware, Opera on the James, and Florida Grand Opera). She has performed with New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and The New World Symphony and was also featured in a televised concert of Russian music with world-renowned singer, Regina Resnik.

Her concert and recital engagements include Verdi’s Requiem (Dayton Symphony, Charleston Symphony and West Virginia Symphony), Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Eugene Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica), Viva Verdi! (Mobile Opera), Murder and other Operatic Mayhem (National Symphony Orchestra), and Where the Boys Are with musical director, Steven Blier. Musical Theater works include Aldonza/Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha with Shreveport Opera, Lyric Opera of San Diego and Utah Festival Opera, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Wolf Trap Opera) and the music of Kurt Weill with the World Premier of Lily; her life, his music (Dicapo Opera), a one-woman fictional melodrama written and produced by Ms. Babcock. She is the recipient numerous awards including “Artist of the Year” for her portrayal of Jo in Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Syracuse Opera), the George London Award, the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation award, and the Opera Index and Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Award. Recording under the name Aviva, Ms. Babcock has released an album of Ladino pieces called Songs for Carmen, a collection of works sung in Ladino and Arabic, inspired by the character Carmen.

Headshot of opera tenor singer Brad Bickhardt with Arizona Opera

Brad Bickhardt

Jumper/Doctor #2

Praised for his “healthy and soaring tenor voice” (The Herald Times), Korean American Brad Bickhardt is a vibrant and versatile performer in both the operatic and musical theatre canon. Highlight performances have included Nemorino (The Elixir of Love), Tony (West Side Story), and Alfredo (La Traviata), as well as originating the role of Colin in We Wear the Sea Like a Coat. Additional 2021/22 appearances have included filming Stone Soup for Tri-Cities Opera, appearing in recital with Chelsea Opera and Maryland Opera, and as a guest artist at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. Bickhardt has previously appeared with Opera Saratoga in their critically acclaimed production of Man of La Mancha under the baton of Broadway conductor, Laura Bergquist, as well as in Opera Naples’ productions of West Side Story and La Traviata.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bickhardt was on the roster of The Glimmerglass Festival in productions of Wagner’s Die Feen as well as The Sound of Music, and in 2019, was a member of the prestigious Wolf Trap Opera Studio in which he covered and performed principal roles in L’heure espagnole, Lîle de Merlin, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Ariadne auf Naxos. On the concert stage, he has appeared as the tenor soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and Mozart’s Miss Brevis in Bb.

Bickhardt received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he appeared in 13 productions with IU Opera Theater as well as serving as an Associate Instructor of Voice. Bickhardt's graduate thesis consisted of compiling an anthology of musical theatre repertoire for undergraduate tenors and their pedagogical applications, and he was named an Encouragement Award from the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council. Bickhardt is a proud alumnus of the rosters of Tri-Cities Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Naples, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Charlottesville Opera. Bickhardt's primary vocal instruction has been under renowned baritone Andreas Poulimenos and husband and wife team Kevin and Heidi Grant Murphy.

Headshot of opera baritone singer Schyler Vargas with Arizona Opera

Schyler Vargas

Homecoming Soldier/Doctor #3

Schyler Vargas, Mexican-American baritone, is establishing himself as a versatile young talent, bringing interdisciplinary performances to the operatic, theatrical, and concert stage. Noted as a “distinguished” (Washington Classical Review) and “powerful baritone,” (Washington Post), Vargas' recent work in the new dramatic song cycle UNKNOWN by Shawn Okpebholo and commissioned by UrbanArias has been featured on PBS News Hour and NPR, among other publications.

In 2021, Vargas made his Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Opera Edwardsville debut as Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and a baritone soloist, respectively. Previously, Vargas has been seen in main stage roles at The Atlanta Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Dayton Opera, and the Château de Versailles Spectacles in France. Vargas’ notable roles include: Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro by W. A. Mozart, Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus by Richard Strauss, Maximilian in Candide, and Riff, Diesel, and Chino in West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein with original Jerome Robbins choreography, and Frank Schultz in Show Boat by Jerome Kern, among others. On the concert stage, Vargas has performed as the baritone soloist for Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Schubert’s Mass in Ab, and Mark Hayes’ Requiem.

An award winning performer, Vargas has seen success in competitions with notable awards including: 1st place in Tri-Cities Opera’s first Virtual Vocal Competition, Rocky Mountain District Winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2nd place and Audience Favorite in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, and 2nd place at the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Aria Competition, and District Winner in the Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Voice Competition.

Prioritizing new music in his career, Vargas has worked with Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion, workshopping new operas including Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian and Tobias Picker’s Awakenings. At The Glimmerglass Festival, Vargas sang the title role of Nicholas Benavides’ Gilberto and while at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he had the opportunity to take part in the New Works Bold Voices Lab which presented three world premieres.

Vargas received his Master of Music degree from the renowned University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of William McGraw and his Bachelor of Music with a minor in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

Headshot of opera baritone singer Thomas Cannon with Arizona Opera

Thomas Cannon

Colonel/Doctor #4

Thomas Cannon has been acclaimed for his “focused tone, keen dramatic sense and vocal powerhouse”. Skilled across diverse genres, he has performed works by Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Gounod, John Corigliano, Meredith Wilson and George Gershwin.

Recent: Thomas Cannon was Scarpia at Opera Roanoke; sang the role of Figaro in Ghost of Versailles with the Miami Music Festival; was Senator Potter and General Arlie in George Spears’ Fellow Travelers with Arizona Opera; Porgy in Porgy and Bess at Fort Worth Opera; and was guest soloist with The Lied Society of Minneapolis. This season: Sharpless with Indianapolis Opera; Germont with Orlando Opera; Porgy to Rhiannon Gideons’ Bess with Greensboro Opera with symphony engagements with the Colorado Symphony and Walla Walla Symphony. He is the Colonel and the Doctor in Arizona Opera’s The Rising and the Falling next season.

He has been heard as Albert in Werther at Merkin Hall and has sung the role of Escamillo with Music Academy of the West. Among the roles in his repertoire include; Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Count di Luna (Il trovatore) Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Ford (Falstaff), Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte) and Nettuno (Idomeneo). Mr. Cannon has sung extensively with Arizona Opera where he was engaged as a young artist. In addition, he has been a member of The Glimmerglass Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera and Music Academy of the West young artist programs.

Thomas Cannon regularly appears on the concert stage. In 2019 he performed Haydn’s Harmonie Messe at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna and Mozart’s Requiem at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria; was soloist with the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt in Die Schöphfung (The Creation) under the baton of Richard Zielinsky and sang Messe des Lebens by Frederick Delius with the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein. Additional concert repertoire includes; Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Messiah.

Cannon has been honored for his artistry by The Dallas Opera Guild, Chautauqua Opera, The Anna Sosenko Foundation, West Palm Beach Opera, Opera Birmingham, and The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

He is a graduate of Baylor University where he earned a Bachelor of Music; The Juilliard School, Master of Music in Voice; and most recently a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Oklahoma University. Notable teachers including Nico Castel, Mignon Dunn, Marlena Malas, Dr. John Van Cura and Marilyn Horne and Kim Josephson of the Metropolitan Opera.

Dennis Whitehead Darling

Dennis Whitehead Darling

Stage Director

Dennis Whitehead Darling is an award-winning Stage Director working in both opera and theatre in the Unites States and Europe. In 2018, he was selected by Opera Memphis as their Inaugural McCleave Fellow in Directing, a fellowship dedicated to fostering the careers of Stage Directors and Music Directors of color.

His recent directing credits include: World Premiere of Paul Moravec/Mark Campbell’s Grammy nominated oratorio Sanctuary Road (North Carolina Opera), Die Zauberflöte (Pensacola Opera), World Premiere of The Secret River (Opera Orlando), La Bohème (Opera Columbus), World Premiere of Marian’s Song (Houston Grand Opera), Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Carnegie Mellon University), The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Red Mountain Theatre), Independence Eve (Opera Birmingham), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Hattiloo Theatre/Spazio Teatro No’hma – Milan), Jelly’s Last Jam (Hattiloo Theatre), The Parchman Hour (Hattiloo Theatre), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Spazio Teatro No’hma – Milan), Intimate Apparel (University of Memphis), Movin’ Up in the World (Opera Memphis), Sunset Baby (Hattiloo Theatre), James and the Giant Peach (Circuit Playhouse), Blue Viola (Opera Memphis), Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting (Hattiloo Theatre), Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet (Hattiloo Theatre). Associate Directing credits include: AITAF on Broadway (Studio 54), The Last of the Love Letters (Atlantic Theatre), Light’s Out: Nat “King” Cole (Geffen Playhouse), Skeleton Crew (Geffen Playhouse).

Upcoming productions include: World Premiere of Why I Live at the P.O. (UrbanArias), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Hattiloo Theatre), The Falling and the Rising (Arizona Opera), and a TBD opera with Manhattan School of Music.

Throughout his career, Dennis has expressed one major goal, "to tell emotionally engaging and provocative stories that challenge the viewer to see the world from a different perspective." For more information, please visit his website at

Michael Sakir Headshot

Michael Sakir


Conductor Michael Sakir has been praised for his "artistic authority," "fluidity of expression," and "great delicacy of feeling." He serves as the Artistic Director of Intermountain Opera Bozeman which was recently praised by the London-based Opera Now magazine as "a small but thriving opera company that it not restrained by convention." He recently completed his fourth and final season as Music Director of Opera Memphis with whom, in addition to conducting nearly two dozen production, he was deeply involved in the company's groundbreaking civic practice programs, community partnerships, and commissioning projects.

In the 2021/22 Season, Sakir conducted The Barber of Seville and Le nozze di Figaro with Intermountain Opera Bozeman and Tchaikovsky's rarely-heard masterpiece The Maid of Orleans with the Opera Company of Middlebury. He made his guest debut with Opera Idaho conducting Carmen and with Temple University conducting Le nozze di Figaro.

In the 2019/20 Season, Sakir made his Seattle Opera debut conducting Jerre Dye and Zachary Redler's The Falling and the Rising - a new opera co-commissioned with the United States Department of Defense and based on interviews with wounded American veterans.

Other recent conducting engagements include the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Bernstein's Candide, Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, and Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Opera Company of Middlebury in Bernstein's Candide, Massenet's Cendrillon, Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Puccini's Il tritti-co, Des Moines Metro Opera in Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei and Mark Campbell, Kimberly Reed, and Laura Kaminsky's As One, Opera Orlando in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Mozart’s The Impresario, and Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, Shreveport Opera in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Eugene Opera in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Northwestern University for Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, American Opera Projects for As One, Opera in the Ozarks for Rossini's La Cenerentola, and Opera North (NH) for Copland's The Tender Land.

Sakir has held chorus master, assistant conductor, and coach positions for nearly three dozen productions with Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pensacola Opera, and Opera Boston.

Sakir holds bachelor degrees in Piano Performance and Music History from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a graduate degree in Orchestral Conducting from The Boston Conservatory. He was a participant in the 2017 OPERA America Leadership Intensive. He is a native of Northern California.

Emily Stovall Headshot

Emily Stovall

Costume Coordinator

Emily Stovall is the Costume Coordinator for The Falling and the Rising, and is the Costume Workroom Assistant and Rentals Coordinator for the Marlu Allan and Scott Stallard Costume Artisan Workshop. Stovall has been with Arizona Opera since 2020. She has earned her MFA in Costume Design at University of Missouri - Kansas City, and is originally from Texas. Recent design credits include: Carmen for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, A Christmas Carol for Kansas City Rep, and A Moon for the Misbegotten for Kansas City Actors Theatre.

Gregory Allen Hirsch Headshot

Gregory Allen Hirsch

Lighting Designer & Scenery Coordinator

Gregory Allen Hirsch is a Lighting Designer who works extensively in the worlds of Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, and Opera. He's won two Drama-logue Awards, a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, and an Emmy Award for his lighting designs. He has lit such luminaries as Richard Kiley, Robert Goulet, Yul Brynner, Joan Diener, John Cullum, Raul Julia, Tommy Chong, Sammy Davis, Jr., Beverly Sills, The Kids in the Hall, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Julius LaRosa, and Theodore Bikel. For Arizona Opera he has designed Carmen, A Little Night Music, Riders of the Purple Sage, La Bohème, La Traviata, Tosca, Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and Madame Butterfly.

Dr. Philip A. Woodmore Headshot

Dr. Philip A. Woodmore

Chorus Master and Outreach Specialist

Saint Louis native, Dr. Philip A. Woodmore has been an active member of the St. Louis music community for many years. Dr. Woodmore received his bachelors from Saint Louis University in Business Marketing and Music Vocal Performance, his masters from Webster University in Music Education, and his PhD in Music Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research interests are the changing voice, voice pedagogy, and the transformative power of music. His dissertation is on the transformative power of music in the choral setting using the auditioned choir in the Off-Broadway run of Antigone in Ferguson. Dr. Woodmore taught choir one year at Ferguson and Berkley Middle Schools in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and then became the choir director at Crestview Middle School in the Rockwood School District where he taught for 12 years. Along with his work in Rockwood, Dr. Woodmore was the Coordinator of the Voice Program at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and the artist director of the Allegro Music Company from 2008-2017, the director of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department Choir since 2009-2017, the director of the Northern Arizona University Gospel Choir from 2014-2017, Artist in Residency for the State of Arizona for a two year term 2016-2018, minister of music at Trinity Community Church from 1992-2018, and vocal coach for adults and children in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Phoenix and New York. In August 2016, Dr. Woodmore was asked to compose an original score of a version of Antigone translated by Bryan Doerries called Antigone in Ferguson which has been traveling the country for the past five years including a national university tour, Off-Broadway premiere, and international premiere in Athens, Greece. Since the success of Antigone in Ferguson, Dr. Woodmore has written an original score for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s last sermon The Drum Major Instinct and also for a speech by Frederick Douglass both premiered in New York. The Drum Major Instinct was also presented at several universities across the United States and was performed virtually on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020 during the pandemic with two representatives from congress playing Dr. King. Dr. Woodmore joined the Muny family for the 2020 summer season and he is looking forward to a great partnership as the Music Director for Muny Kids for many seasons to come. During the pandemic Dr. Woodmore took the opportunity to document his journey through Antigone in Ferguson in his first book, “Antigone in Ferguson: A Journey Through the Transformative Power of Music,” available on Amazon and his website. This summer Dr. Woodmore was named as one of the newest board members for Prison Performing Arts. Dr. Woodmore is excited to join this team and share his passion for music with a new community in St. Louis, MO. In effort to create a space for our St. Louis community to mourn the loss of life during the pandemic, Dr. Woodmore collaborated with Washington University Professor, Rebecca Messbarger on an event in St. Louis called Requiem of Light. Dr. Woodmore was named the artistic director of the event and has written several original compositions that will premiere during this historic event in October 2021. This fall, Dr. Woodmore will take on another passion and begin a masters in psychology at Arizona State University.

Joshua Reid Headshot

Joshua D. Reid

Sound Designer

Joshua Reid is a sound & systems designer based in New York City, with extensive work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, International Productions, & Sound Installations. Design selections include A Christmas Carol (Broadway, Geffen Playhouse, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, LA Ovation Award), Ragtime (Calgary Philharmonic), Million Dollar Quartet (Theatre Calgary), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Tour), Girlfriend (TheatreWorks Hartford, Connecticut Critics Circle Award), A Time Like This (Carnegie Hall). Additional Broadway credit selections include: Flying Over Sunset, The Ferryman, The Iceman Cometh, Falsettos, American Psycho, The Visit, & Act One.

Mario Pacheco

Mario Pacheco

Assistant Stage Director

Mario Pacheco is an emerging Canadian stage director hailing from Hamilton, Ontario. He is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program and is currently pursuing the University of Toronto’s Artist Diploma in Operatic Stage Direction under the mentorship of Michael Albano. Assistant directing credits include This is Prophetic with Against the Grain Theatre/UofT Opera, La bohème with Brott Opera, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera NUOVA, and Le nozze di Figaro with Western University Opera. Most recently, Pacheco directed Il segreto di SusannaThe Bear, and Bon Appétit! for the University of Toronto Opera Division. Future engagements include directing the student composer collective, Disobedience, as well as assisting on Il barbiere di Siviglia and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land, directed by Tim Albery for The University of Toronto Opera Division.