The Magic Flute
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria. His father, Leopold Mozart, a noted composer, instructor, and the author of famous writings on violin playing, was then in the service of the archbishop of Salzburg. Leopold and Anna Maria, his wife, stressed the importance of music to their children. Together with his sister, Nannerl, Wolfgang received such intensive musical training that by the age of six he was a budding composer and an accomplished keyboard performer. In 1762 Leopold presented his son as performer at the imperial court in Vienna, Austria, and from 1763 to 1766 he escorted both children on a continuous musical tour across Europe, which included long stays in Paris, France, and London, England, as well as visits to many other cities, with appearances before the French and English royal families.
Mozart was the most celebrated child prodigy (an unusually gifted child) of this time as a keyboard performer. He also made a great impression as a composer and improviser (one who arranges or creates). In London he won the admiration of musician Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782), and he was exposed from an early age to an unusual variety of musical styles and tastes across Europe.
From the age of ten to seventeen, Mozart's reputation as a composer grew to a degree of maturity equal to that of most older established musicians. He spent the years from 1766 to 1769 at Salzburg writing instrumental works and music for school dramas in German and Latin, and in 1768 he produced his first real operas: the German Singspiel (that is, with spoken dialogue) Bastien und Bastienne. Despite his growing reputation, Mozart found no suitable post open to him; and his father once more escorted Mozart, at age fourteen (1769), and set off for Italy to try to make his way as an opera composer.
In Italy, Mozart was well received: in Milan, Italy, he obtained a commission for an opera; in Rome he was made a member of an honorary knightly order by the Pope; and at Bologna, Italy, the Accademia Filarmonica awarded him membership despite a rule normally requiring candidates to be twenty years old. During these years of travel in Italy and returns to Salzburg between journeys, he produced his first large-scale settings of opera seria (that is, court opera on serious subjects): Mitridate (1770), Ascanio in Alba (1771), and Lucio Silla (1772), as well as his first string quartets. At Salzburg in late 1771 he renewed his writing of Symphonies (Nos. 14–21).
Paris was a vastly larger theater for Mozart's talents. His father urged him to go there, for "from Paris the fame of a man of great talent echoes through the whole world," he wrote his son. But after nine difficult months in Paris, from March 1778 to January 1779, Mozart returned once more to Salzburg, having been unable to secure a foothold and depressed by the entire experience, which had included the death of his mother in the midst of his stay in Paris. Unable to get hired for an opera, he wrote music to order in Paris, again mainly for wind instruments: the Sinfonia Concertante for four solo wind instruments and orchestra, the Concerto for flute and harp, other chamber music, and the ballet music Les Petits riens. In addition, he began giving lessons to make money.
Mozart's years in Vienna, from age twenty-five to his death at thirty-five, cover one of the greatest developments in a short span in the history of music. In these ten years Mozart's music grew rapidly beyond the realm of many of his contemporaries; it exhibited both ideas and methods of elaboration that few could follow, and to many the late Mozart seemed a difficult composer.
The major instrumental works of this period bring together all the fields of Mozart's earlier activity and some new ones: six symphonies, including the famous last three: no. 39 in E-flat Major, no. 40 in G Minor, and no. 41 in C Major (the Jupiter —a title unknown to Mozart). He finished these three works within six weeks during the summer of 1788, a remarkable feat even for him.
In the field of the string quartet Mozart produced two important groups of works that completely overshadowed any he had written before 1780: in 1785 he published the six Quartets (K. 387, 421, 428, 458, 464, and 465) and in 1786 added the single Hoffmeister Quartet (K. 499). In 1789 he wrote the last three Quartets (K. 575, 589, and 590), dedicated to King Frederick William (1688–1740) of Prussia, a noted cellist.
Mozart's development as an opera composer between 1781 and his death is even more remarkable, perhaps, since the problems of opera were more far-ranging than those of the larger instrumental forms and provided less adequate models. The first important result was the German Singspiel entitled Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782; Abduction from the Seraglio ). Mozart then turned to Italian opera. Mozart produced his three greatest Italian operas: Le nozze di Figaro (1786; The Marriage of Figaro ), Don Giovanni (1787, for Prague), and Cosi fan tutte (1790). In his last opera, The Magic Flute (1791), Mozart turned back to German opera, and he produced a work combining many strands of popular theater and including musical expressions ranging from folk to opera.
On concluding The Magic Flute, Mozart turned to work on what was to be his last project, the Requiem. This Mass had been commissioned by a benefactor (financial supporter) said to have been unknown to Mozart, and he is supposed to have become obsessed with the belief that he was, in effect, writing it for himself. Ill and exhausted, he managed to finish the first two movements and sketches for several more, but the last three sections were entirely lacking when he died. It was completed by his pupil Franz Süssmayer after his death, which occurred in Vienna, Austria, on December 5, 1791.
Emanuel Schikaneder, pseudonym of Johann Joseph Schikaneder, (1751—1812), was a prominent German actor, singer, playwright, and theatre manager now chiefly remembered as the librettist of Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).
Schikaneder began his career as an actor with a small traveling company performing the improvised farce and song then popular, but by age 22 he had written and starred in his first operetta. Five years later he was the manager of his own company. His repertoire included plays by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, J.W. von Goethe, and Pedro Calderón. His Shakespearean roles, especially, were widely admired, and he was particularly notable as Hamlet. The company also performed farces and Singspiele (operettas), and Schikaneder’s growing interest in the musical theatre led in 1780 to his acquaintance with the Mozart family.
By 1784 the Schikaneder company had received the favorable notice of the emperor, Joseph II, and had settled in Vienna. There Schikaneder turned his attention to opera, commissioning from contemporary composers the musical scores to fit his own libretti. His libretto for The Magic Flute, set to music by his friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and his superb performance in the role of Papageno at the premiere in 1791 raised him to the peak of his popularity. His productions grew increasingly sumptuous, and by the time he opened the Theater an der Wien (1801), built especially for him, the costs were becoming ruinous. Schikaneder retained management of the theatre for less than four years, a period marked by an abortive attempt at collaboration on an opera with Ludwig van Beethoven. Schikaneder left Vienna to manage theatres in Brno and Pest, but he eventually returned to the Austrian capital, where he died impoverished and insane.
Equally at home in Opera and Musical Theater, Grammy nominated conductor James Lowe continues to garner praise for “beautifully sculpted” (Opera News) performances. Recent engagements include a return to Houston Grand Opera to lead John Caird's production of La bohème, Lyric Opera of Chicago (West Side Story), Washington National Opera (Jeanine Tesori's The Lion, The Unicorn and Me), The Glimmerglass Festival (Show Boat), Utah Opera (The Little Prince), and Tulsa Opera (Madama Butterfly). He made his European debut conducting Candide in Francesca Zambello's production at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and Opéra National de Bordeaux, and he recently conducted Turandot at Tulsa Opera. He has also appeared at San Francisco Opera and New York City Opera, as well as on Broadway. Upcoming engagements include a return to The Glimmerglass Festival for Songbird (La Périchole) and a debut with Arizona Opera.
Lowe has had a long relationship with Houston Grand Opera, where he has led Carmen, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Sweeney Todd, Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair (world premiere production), as well as the HGO Studio production of Copland’s The Tender Land. At HGO he also conducted the world premiere production of The Little Prince, and he led Jonathan Dove’s Flight at the Pittsburgh Opera Center. He has appeared at Utah Opera leading Daniel Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, and he conducted Mark Adamo’s Little Women at Lyric Opera Cleveland in a production directed by the composer. He has also led the Houston Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Wolf Trap Opera, and the American Composers Orchestra, as well as The Nutcracker with the Houston Ballet.
On Broadway, James Lowe was the Music Director and Conductor of the recent revival of Les Misérables, as well as the Tony Award-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, starring Sutton Foster and Joel Grey. He also served as the Music Supervisor for the First National Tour of this production. Lowe made his Broadway debut conducting performances of Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone.
Lowe was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on the Anything Goes cast album released on Ghostlight Records, which he conducted and co-produced. With members of the cast he has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, the CBS Early Show and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He toured the United States as Music Director and Conductor of the acclaimed Cameron Mackintosh/National Theatre production of My Fair Lady, and conducted the First National Tour of Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza. He is currently the US Music Supervisor of the North American Tour of The Phantom of the Opera.
As Associate Conductor at Houston Grand Opera for several seasons he served as cover conductor, principal pianist and coach on many productions, including the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata. Lowe assisted on the world premieres of Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree and Tod Machover’s Resurrection, playing keyboards on the recordings of those operas. He can also be heard as keyboardist on HGO’s popular recording of Adamo’s Little Women. He has been on the music staff of New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Virginia Opera and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and served as Resident Conductor and Chorus Master at the Ash Lawn Opera Festival. He has been the Music Director of the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas, and he appeared onstage as the Tavern Pianist in Santa Fe Opera’s 2001 production of Wozzeck.
Lowe has appeared in concert with Sir Elton John, conducting his own orchestrations and choral arrangements of Elton’s classic songs, as well as with singer-songwriter Randy Newman and the legendary Booker T. Jones. He accompanied lyricist and writer Betty Comden in a performance featuring his own arrangements of Comden and Green songs, and his arrangements of Gershwin songs have been performed by renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in recitals at Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall.
Lowe has played in several rock, jazz, blues and country bands. He was the keyboardist, rhythm guitarist, lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Backwash for five years, recording and touring the Eastern United States. He co-produced the band’s compact disc, Goin’ to the Mall, released in 1995 on Transit Records.
As a pianist, Lowe performed as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has given recitals, including several world premieres, at such venues as the Aspen Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, the University of Texas San Antonio New Music Festival, and the University of Colorado Artsweek Festival in Boulder. He taught Keyboard Literature and piano at Syracuse University, and he served on the piano and musical theater faculty at the Hochstein Music School in Rochester. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, with additional studies at the Aspen Music School and the Aspen Opera Theater Center.
Stage director Tara Faircloth’s work has been seen in opera houses around the nation. Critics hailed her recent directorial debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago: a “wickedly funny, elegantly sung, cleverly directed production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.” In recent seasons, she created new productions of The Little Prince (Utah Opera), Ariadne auf Naxos (Wolf Trap Opera), Il re pastore (Merola Opera), Agrippina (Ars Lyrica Houston), and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Boston Baroque).
The 2021-2022 season finds Ms. Faircloth working on several new productions, including Emmeline with Tulsa Opera, La Traviata at Opera Santa Barbara and The Merry Wives of Windsor with The Juilliard School, as well as a program with Ars Lyrica Houston entitled “Eternity and the Underworld” which pairs Jonathan Dove’s The Other Euridice and Bach’s Ich habe genug. In addition, she revisits old favorite The Barber of Seville in a debut at The Dallas Opera.
Faircloth has a thriving career in regional houses such as Utah Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera and Atlanta Opera (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte, Hänsel & Gretel, etc.). The baroque repertoire is of special interest to Ms. Faircloth, who made her directorial debut with Ars Lyrica Houston’s production of Cain: Il primo omicidio in 2003 and has since designed and directed a number of shows for the company including Charpentier’s Actéon and La descente d’Orphée aux enfers. She created productions of Dido & Aeneas for Ars Lyrica at the Festival di Musica Barroca in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and for Mercury Baroque in collaboration with the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater.
Recent seasons for Ms. Faircloth have included new productions of Il re pastore with Merola Opera, Agrippina with Ars Lyrica Houston, The Little Prince with Utah Opera, The Coronation of Poppea with Boston Baroque, Eugene Onegin with Arizona Opera, and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Boston University. Additionally, she has directed new productions of Madama Butterfly with Wolf Trap Opera, L’enfant et les sortileges with Utah Symphony & Opera, Don Giovanni with Arizona Opera, and a reconfiguration of her 2014 Wolf Trap Carmen for Arizona Opera.
Ms. Faircloth has worked extensively on the 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 HGO's Young Artists’ Vocal Academy and has served as a guest coach at Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Des Moines Metro Opera, University of Michigan, and Rice University. She splits her time between Austin and Houston, Texas, where she enjoys restoring her 1935 Craftsman Bungalow.
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 Susanna, The 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.
|April 7, 9, & 15|
Terrence is an artist who strives to infuse his work with honesty and simplicity. With his "richly colored voice" (Seen and Heard International), he pairs passionate performance with a full, sweet sound. Terrence opens the 2021-2022 season in his solo debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up In My Bones. Thereafter, he returns to Arizona Opera for his second season as a Marion Roose Pullin Resident Artist where he will sing Henrik Egerman in A Little Night Music and Ferrando in Così fan tutte.
In the 2020-2021 season, Terrence sang a series of concerts with Arizona Opera as a member of the Studio, and in the summer of that season he premiered a new piece by Daniel Bernard Roumain at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival about the shooting of Philando Castile as well as appeared in William Grant Still's Highway 1 as a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre St. Louis. The 2019-2020 saw Terrence in his first engagement at the Metropolitan Opera as Mingo (Cover) in The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and making a debut with the New York Festival of Song as a part of the Vocal Rising Stars series at Caramoor. Terrence's favorite roles include Idomeneo in Idomeneo: afterWARds (Pittsburgh Opera), director David Paul's retelling of Mozart's masterpiece with the composer's original music, Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Indiana University), Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos (Santa Fe Opera), and Younger Thompson in Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied (Pittsburgh Opera, Penn Square Music Festival). He was happy to make his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel's Messiah in the 2018-2019 season.
Terrence is a graduate of Indiana University, where he received a Performer Diploma. He also holds degrees from Mannes College and Yale University. At Mannes, he performed the roles of Laurie in Mark Adamo's Little Women and Bill in the New York premiere of Jonathan Dove's Flight with Mannes Opera while a Master of Music candidate, and received the Michael Sisca Opera Award, the school's top prize for an opera singer. Terrence holds a BA in Music from Yale University, where he concentrated his studies on Music Theory and Musicology. While at Yale, Terrence was also a frequent performer with the Yale Baroque Opera Project, with which he performed major roles in La Calisto (Cavalli), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi) and Scipione affricano (Cavalli). He is a 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Semifinalist.
|April 8 & 16|
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 (L’elisir d’amore), 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, he 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. His 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. His primary vocal instruction has been under renowned baritone Andreas Poulimenos and husband and wife team Kevin and Heidi Grant Murphy.
|April 7, 9, & 15|
Soprano, Tiffany Choe is a Korean American soprano born and raised in Southern California. She has received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in vocal performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is currently pursuing her Performer’s Diploma at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Kevin and Heidi Grant Murphy. She is the recipient of the Georgina Joshi Fellowship for the 2021-2022 school year. With the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she was an Encouragement Award winner in the Western Region earlier this year, winner of the district region in Indianapolis in 2020, and an Encouragement Award winner in the Southeast Region in 2019. Choe attended the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute as a fellow this past summer and as an apprentice in the summer of 2019. With IU Opera Theater, she has been in 11 productions. Most recently, Choe was seen as Mimì in the IU Opera Theater production of La Bohème. She was also seen as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Rosalia in West Side Story, and Laoula in L’Étoile. In the Spring, she will be performing as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine.
|April 8 & 16|
French-American soprano Véronique Filloux has been noted for her “expressive, lovingly shaded soprano” and for using her “dazzling coloratura and lithe stage presence to piquant comedic effect” (Opera News). A current Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist, she sings Papagena (The Magic Flute), The Girl/Luna (The Rose Elf), and Frasquita (Carmen) in her second year. Previously, she sang Despina (Così fan tutte), Chan (Charlie Parker’s Yardbird), and the title role in Semele in the opera’s 2020/21 season. Having spent summer 2021 with Des Moines Metro Opera as L’Amour/La Folie (cover) in Rameau’s Platée, she returns to the company this summer as Peaseblossom/Tytania (cover) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other recent engagements include a recital with Musicians Club of Women and her scheduled debut with Raylynmor Opera as Nannetta (Falstaff; canceled due to COVID-19).
In the 2019/20 season, Véronique was seen as Shepherdess/Soloist (Venus and Adonis) with Opera Lafayette, with whom she made her Kennedy Center debut as Tigrane (Radamisto) the previous season. She returned to solos in Carmina Burana, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, and Messiah with organizations including the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and Bach Collegium San Diego, and she rejoined Music of the Baroque as Pales in Bach’s “Hunt Cantata.” Prior to COVID-19, she was scheduled to debut with Salt Marsh Opera as Clorinda (La Cenerentola) and to sing Jeannie in Opera Lafayette’s modern premiere of Philidor’s The Blacksmith. In light of COVID-19, she was a soloist in Des Moines Metro Opera’s Virtual Festival.
Spending two summers with Central City Opera, Véronique sang Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) and the title role in Debussy’s La damoiselle élue, earning the 2019 Opera Guild Artist Sponsorship and winning both the company’s Young Artist Award and Apprentice Artist Award. Other recent highlights include her work with Chicago Opera Theatre, covering Brigitta (Iolanta) and Doodle (The Scarlet Ibis), and solo work in Handel’s Dixit Dominus and baroque opera excerpts with Music of the Baroque. With the Maryland Opera Studio, her roles included Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Mae Jones (Street Scene), Amore (Orfeo ed Euridice), Lucia (The Rape of Lucretia), and Lily (The Young King - world premiere). Other roles include Olympia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Silberklang (The Impresario), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Annina (La traviata), and Isifile (Il Giasone). On the concert stage, she has also performed solos in Poulenc’s Gloria, Gordon/Lang/Wolfe’s lost objects, Whitacre’s Goodnight Moon, and several Bach cantatas.
Véronique is a Pittsburgh District MONC Winner, Jensen Competition Finalist, 1st Place Winner in the Camille Coloratura Awards, Orpheus Competition Handel Award winner, Annapolis Competition Encouragement Award Winner and Audience Favorite, 2nd Place Winner in the Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Vocal Competition, and Musicians Club of Women Lynne Harvey Foundation/Virginia Cooper Maier Award winner. She earned her B.M. in Voice/Opera Performance and Operatic Languages at Northwestern University and her M.M. in Opera Performance at the University of Maryland Opera Studio, where she was awarded the Pomeroy Prize in 17th and 18th Century Music.
|April 7, 9, & 15|
The Oregonian praises soprano Katrina Galka for her recent performances of Adina in L’elisir d’amore, exclaiming that she “looked like a young Glenn Close, projecting power over Nemorino as she thrilled with fine coloratura filigree and pure high notes.” In the 2020/21 Season, she makes her role and company debut as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Opernhaus Zürich as well as sings a solo digital recital for Portland Opera. Her San Francisco Opera debut as Janine (Ofwarren) in Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale was unfortunately cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, as were the roles she added to her repertoire last season: Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and the Charmeuse in Thais for performances at Arizona Opera and Utah Opera. In the first half of last season, she returned to the Wiener Staatsoper to reprise Fritzi in Staud’s Die Weiden following her debut with the company in the work’s world premiere in the season prior. She sang her first performances of the Controller in Dove’s Flight with Minnesota Opera and returned to the Las Vegas Philharmonic for Handel’s Messiah.
Galka recently role and company debuts as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera—followed by reprisals at New Orleans Opera and Opera San Jose, Atalanta in Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival, and Serpetta in La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera at the Caramoor International Music Festival, and Aithra in Die ägyptische Helena with Odyssey Opera. She sang her first performances of Gilda in Rigoletto in a return to Portland Opera, where she was previously a resident artist and host of role debuts that include Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and Frasquita in Carmen. With Arizona Opera Opera, she sang Cunegonde in Candide, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Woglinde in Das Rheingold, and a quartet of roles in Morganelli’s Hercules vs Vampires, the First Wood Nymph in Rusalka and Clorinda in La cenerentola as a resident artist. She joined the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy as a guest artist for Frasquita in Carmen and sang prior performances of Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis at which she has been both a Festival Artist and a Gerdine Young Artist. She joined the CoOperative Program as Marie in La fille du régiment and sang the Cat in Schuller’s The Fisherman and his Wife with Odyssey Opera and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She also joined Dallas Opera as Voice I in Cuomo's Arjuna's Dilemma, presented as the company hosted the annual Opera America conference.
On the concert stage, she has joined the Rhode Island Civic Chorale for the Angel in Respighi's Laude to the Nativity and Handel's Messiah and returned to the latter previously with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. With the Florida Orchestra, she sang Bernstein favorites in a concert celebrating his work on Broadway. She sang Elvira in excerpts of L’italiana in Algeri with the Oregon Symphony and Violetta in excerpts of La traviata with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. With various Dallas-based chamber ensembles and orchestras, she has sung Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, and Bach’s St. John Passion. In 2011, Katrina performed in the east coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s Pieces of 9/11 as the Girl Soprano, with Mr. Heggie at the piano.
Galka is a three-time regional award winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is the first-place winner of the Mario Lanza Scholarship and has received further awards from the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, and the Heida Hermanns International Vocal Competition.
She holds a Master of Music from Boston University, at which she sang Servilia in La clemenza di Tito, Carolina in Il matrimonio segreto, and Rosalba in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University, from which she graduated summa cum laude.
|April 8 & 16|
Emily Misch has been praised by Opera News for her "stratospheric coloratura with scintillating precision" while the Times Argus has called her soprano voice “brilliant and virtuosic.” In 2021 Misch returned to the Glimmerglass Festival to sing in The Magic Flute; The New York Times called her performance “impressive” and “fearsome,” and The Wall Street Journal said her “capable, bright-voice...ably navigated the Queen of the Night’s coloratura.” While there, she also performed the role of Berginella in Songbird, a new adaptation of Offenbach’s La Périchole created by Eric Sean Fogel, James Lowe and Kelley Rourke. Other performances in the 2021-22 season have included Madame Goldentrill in The Impresario with Syracuse Opera and Handel’s Messiah with Naples Philharmonic. She also performs as a soloist in Berg’s Wozzeck with Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 2020, Misch “unleashed sparkling coloratura while displaying complete command of her voice every second she was singing as Madame Zamira” (Parterre Box) in American Lyric Theater's workshop of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant. Prior to the pandemic, Misch had been scheduled to sing Lora in Die Feen with the Glimmerglass Festival and Lucy in Menotti's The Telephone at the Newport Music Festival, the soprano solos in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem (Altoona Symphony Orchestra) and Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Mass in F Major (Berkshire Choral International), and to appear in concert with the Mirror Visions Ensemble.
Misch made her Glimmerglass Festival debut in 2019 as Florestine in The Ghosts of Versailles, a role she reprised with Château de Versailles Spectacles in France for her European debut. Other recent roles include Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera North; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera in Williamsburg; Le feu, La princesse and Le rossignol in L'enfant et les sortilèges with Opera on the Avalon; and Leah in Joel Mandelbaum's The Dybbuk at Queens College. During her graduate studies at Mannes College of Music, she was heard as the Controller in the New York premiere of Jonathan Dove's Flight and as Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia.
On the concert stage, Misch has performed as soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Paukenmesse with Huntington Choral Society, in Carmina Burana with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and the Westchester Choral Society, in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (Mater Gloriosa) with Berkshire Choral International, and in Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165 with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.
A 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Finalist, Misch has also been awarded prizes from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Mannes College, and Yale University. She has been a vocal fellow at the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute and has participated in young artist training programs at Wolf Trap Opera Company, Sarasota Opera, Opera North (NH), and Opera on the Avalon. She received a BA in Music from Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Bass Matthew Anchel, called "a voice to watch" by the Wall Street Journal, has performed with many of the world’s leading companies and orchestras. During both the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 seasons, Mr. Anchel has joined the ensemble of Oper Stuttgart for a number of roles, including Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Benoit in La Boheme, Crespel/Luther in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, The Cook in Love of Three Oranges, and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro. He spent the summer of 2019 at the Glyndebourne Festival, covering Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. In recent seasons, Mr. Anchel has returned to the Metropolitan Opera, covering in new productions of The Exterminating Angel and Cendrillon. He also joined Santa Fe Opera to cover Tsar Dodon in their production of The Golden Cockerel, made his company debut with St. Petersburg Opera as Sarastro, returned to Spoleto Festival USA as Lamberto in Pia de' Tolomei, and performed the Bass Solo in Mahler’s 8th Symphony at Carnegie Hall. In the fall of 2020, Mr. Anchel joined Stadttheater Giessen as Banquo in Macbeth and was slated to join Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck in 2021 as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (COVID-19). In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Anchel will perform as the bass soloist in Mozart Requiem with Stiftsmusik Stuttgart, make his On Site Opera debut as Claggart in What Lies Beneath, returns to the Metropolitan Opera by making his debut singing Master of Ceremonies in Cinderella, Jailer in Tosca and covering Schwarz in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Un moine in Don Carlos and makes his role and house debut as Vanuzzi in Die Schweigsame Frau at Bard Summerscape. During the 2022-2023, Mr. Anchel will make his Lyric Opera of Chicago and Arizona Opera debuts TBA.
Previous seasons have included Mr. Anchel’s debut with Anchorage Opera as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, his Carnegie Hall/Stern Auditorium debut as a soloist in Haydn's Mass in Time of War with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Dvorak's Stabat Mater with the St. George's Choral Society, and his return to the Metropolitan Opera, covering the role of Trojan Man in Idomeneo, 2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, and Waiter #3 in Der Rosenkavalier. During the 2015-16 season, Mr. Anchel performed the role of #8 in Conrad Susa's Transformations with the Merola Opera Program, was a soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C with Spoleto Festival USA, and completed engagements with Annapolis Chorale, Savannah Voice Festival, Canterbury Chorale and American Lyric Theater. In the 2014-15 season, Mr. Anchel returned to the Metropolitan Opera for their productions of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Die Zauberflöte, and Die Meistersinger von Nurnburg, and made debuts with Opera San Antonio as First Soldier in Salome, with LOFTOpera as Don Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia, and with the Annapolis Chorale as a soloist in Bach's St. John Passion.
In the 2013-14 season, Mr. Anchel joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of The Nose and Die Zauberflöte, made multiple appearance at Opera San Jose as both the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Ferrando in Il Trovatore. He performed the bass solo in Mozart’s Requiem with Allentown Symphony, and returned to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Sarastro, a production directed and designed by Isaac Mizrahi.
In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Anchel was a member of the Ensemble of Oper Leipzig, where his performances included Zaretski in Eugene Onegin, Alaska Wolf Joe in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Marquis D'Obigny in La Traviata, and The Police Inspector in Der Rosenkavalier, among others. Previously, he was a member of the Los Angeles Opera’s Young Artist Program, where he performed the roles of Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, and Fourth Noble in Lohengrin, both under the baton of James Conlon. He also joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Dr. Chausable in the world premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Other performance highlights include Haraste in Troilus and Cressida and First Soldier in Salome with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Familiare in Maria di Rohan with the Caramoor Festival, and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro in his international debut with the Intermezzo Festival in Brugge, Belgium.
An accomplished veteran of the competition circuit, Mr. Anchel was a Grand Finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, won 3rd Place in the Palm Beach Opera Competition, the Judges Award from the Opera Index Competition, an Encouragement Award from the George London Foundation, and was a Finalist and an Encouragement Award winner in the Loren L. Zachary Competition. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Anchel earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
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) his 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, Schyler made his Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Opera Edwardsville debut as Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and a baritone soloist, respectively. Previously, he 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. Schyler’s notable roles include: Count Almaviva in Le nozze di 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, Schyler 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, Schyler 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, Schyler 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, he 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.
Schyler 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.
American soprano and Phoenix resident Kaitlyn Sabrowsky (nee Johnson) is at home in operatic repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary. Mrs. Sabrowsky completed two seasons as a Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artist from 2018-20, highlighted by back-to-back mainstage leading roles as Musetta in La bohème and Jane Withersteen in Riders of the Purple Sage in the company’s 2020 season. Her Jane garnered praise for her “strong dramatic voice and the kind of acting skills that showed her character’s growth from one scene to the next” (Operawire). Other Arizona Opera role highlights include Miss Lightfoot in Fellow Travelers and Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. Additional notable engagements include her debut with The Phoenix Symphony and as Frasquita in the Atlanta Opera’s Carmen. Often celebrated on the operatic stage for her "powerful and dramatic soprano," (The Bloomington Herald-Times), Kaitlyn has appeared in such roles as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the title role in Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Mrs. Sabrowsky is the recipient of awards from the Orpheus Vocal Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Georgina Joshi International Fellowship from Indiana University and the Farb Family Outstanding Graduate Award from Rice University. She is a graduate of Indiana University (MM) and Rice University (BM, cum laude), and is an alumnus of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, Aspen Opera Center and Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy. During the pandemic, Mrs. Sabrowsky began an appointment as a Teaching Assistant for the Arizona State University Voice Department, where she is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance. When not onstage, she spends her time teaching students in the voice studio, writing her dissertation, and cheering on local Arizona sports teams with her husband.
Praised for her captivating stage presence, “full bodied" (Indie Opera) and "nuanced voice” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), mezzo-soprano Lauren Cook is quickly establishing a name for herself in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Mazzoli. During the 2021 season, Cook made her company debuts with Painted Sky Opera performing Hannah After in the Oklahoma Premiere of Laura Kaminsky’s As One, Opera Saratoga performing Antonia in Man of La Mancha, and Virginia Opera performing Wellgunde in Das Rheingold. Cook was most recently seen performing Edwin the Avatar/Eddie in the film version of Frances Pollock’s Earth to Kenzie.
Other notable stage credits include Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Scalia-Ginsburg), Blanche de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Mélisande (Impressions de Pelléas), and Tisbe (La Cenerentola). Cook has appeared with Opera Philadelphia, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Naples, Opera Iowa, Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera Louisiane, Guérilla Opera, Odyssey Opera, Seagle Festival, and the Louisiana Opera Outreach Program, and has performed as a soloist in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Cook was also a featured soloist in Boston Symphony Hall at a gala hosted by Alan Cumming.
As a contemporary repertoire advocate, Cook premiered Evan Mack's Roscoe, and was most recently seen workshopping the role of LeAnn in Missy Mazzoli's upcoming opera: The Listeners, with Opera Philadelphia. Cook was also featured in a collaborative project with Guerilla Opera, where she premiered excerpts from The Desert, Lazy Citizen, War is a Racket, and Malice in the Palace. Other notable projects include the workshop and premiere recording of The Leopard (Dellaira) as the role of Angelica with American Opera Projects, the premiere recording of The Wake World (Hertzberg) with Opera Philadelphia, a recording of Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Wuorinen) with Boston Modern Orchestra Projects, and a pre-workshop of Permadeath (Visconti) as Aphrodite in association with Friends of Madame White Snake. Prior to the pandemic, Cook was also scheduled to perform Elder #2 in the NY Premiere of Lembit Beecher’s Sky on Swings with Opera Saratoga.
Cook will close out 2021 with the World Premiere of Molly Joyce’s Our Way of Being Small in the World with Fresh Squeezed Opera in NYC, followed by a recording with Opera Philadelphia of Daniel Belquer’s piece Religare Resonare, composed specifically for use with Vibrotextile wearable technology by Music: Not Impossible Labs. Starting the 2022 season, she will return to Virginia Opera to perform Cherubino in their mainstage production of Le nozze di Figaro.
Known for his “agile character tenor” and “over-the-top committed” portrayals, tenor Dylan Anthony Morrongiello is an emerging force in the highly sought-after supporting repertoire of the operatic canon. During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Morrongiello will join the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago covering Monostatos in The Magic Flute, and the Metropolitan Opera making his debut singing the Dean in Cinderella and covering Don Curzio and Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, Player 2 in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and Sellem in The Rake’s Progress.
Mr. Morrongiello’s recent scheduled engagements included his debut with the prestigious Opera Theater of Saint Louis, where he was scheduled to perform the role of Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus (COVID19) and cover the roles of Elder Hayes and Little Bat in Carlyle Floyd’s Susannah (COVID19). In the 2019-20 season, he made his debut in the roles of St. Brioche in The Merry Widow and Borsa in Rigoletto with St. Petersburg Opera, made a company debut with Cincinnati Song Initiative, performing songs of John Musto at Ithaca College, and was scheduled to make his role and company debut at First Coast Opera, singing various roles in The Little Prince (COVID19). In the summer of 2021, Mr. Morrongiello returned to St. Petersburg Opera as Beppe in Pagliacci.
In the summer of 2019, Mr. Morrongiello made his company debut as an apprentice artist with Central City Opera, where he made his role debut as Goro in Madama Butterfly at the Odescalchi Kelly Family Matinee and covered Red Whiskers in Billy Budd. Having recently completed a residency in the Florida Grand Opera studio, Mr. Morrongiello performed Don Basilio/Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro and Mr. Ford in Frida on the FGO main stage. While in Miami, Mr. Morrongiello also frequently performed in local concerts and as part of the SongFest recital series. Other recent credits include Il Podestà in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, the Jazz Trio in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Shepherd School Opera, and a return to the Glimmerglass Festival to perform the combined roles of the Schoolmaster and the Mosquito in a new English-language production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and covering the role of the Kronprinz in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night.
In 2017 Mr. Morrongiello made his debut as a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival where he performed the role of Ali Hakim in Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and sang in numerous concert and ancillary events, including a special appearance with Stephen Schwartz. The contract also included covering the role of Edmondo in Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais. Mr. Morrongiello has also made repeat engagements with Opera Saratoga as a young artist, appearing as Don Curzio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and covering roles in Daniel Catan’s Il Postino and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
In concert, Mr. Morrongiello was recently featured as tenor soloist in Bach’s St. John’s Passion and Magnificat with the Bach Society Houston, Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion with the Rice University Chorale, under the direction of Thomas I. Jaber, and in a coproduction with Da Camera of Houston and the Moody Center for the Arts of Sarah Rothenberg’s multimedia production “A Proust Sonata.”
A skilled musician and sought after for new works, Mr. Morrongiello has frequently been enlisted by modern auteurs to premier their compositions. Most recently, Mr. Morrongiello created the role of The Voice He in Franklin Piland’s Rose Made Man, an opera focusing on transgender issues, in collaboration with the Cohen New Works Festival at the University of Texas at Austin School of Theatre and Dance. Also, while at the University of Texas at Austin, Dylan appeared in the orchestral premiere of David Hanlon’s Past the Checkpoints, a piece telling the stories of undocumented immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley.
An avid supporter of the art song repertory, Mr. Morrongiello is a seasoned recitalist and interpreter of American art song. An alumni of the SongFest Institute in Los Angeles, California, Mr. Morrongiello was the recipient of a Schubert Fellowship to study and perform art song repertoire. With this honor came the privilege of performing numerous public master classes and concerts, including a special program celebrating the songs and poetry of California, featuring poet laureate and former NEA chairman Dana Gioia.
Mr. Morrongiello is a past winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Houston district, and an Encouragement Award winner in the Gulf Coast Region. Mr. Morrongiello holds a Masters of Voice from the prestigious Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he was a recipient of the Elva Kalb Dumas Prize in Music, and holds a Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music.
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.
New York City native soprano Grace Kahl is an artist quickly emerging on the opera and concert stages throughout the United States. Grace recently finished her tenure as Resident Artist at Utah Opera from 2018-2020, where notable performances included The Rose (The Little Prince), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), and Annina (La Traviata). Grace was a member of the prestigious Apprentice Artist program at Santa Fe Opera for their 2019 season, where she covered the role of Lyra and was featured in the world premiere of Poul Ruder’s The Thirteenth Child. After the COVID-19 pandemic put live performances on pause, Grace made a triumphant return to the stage at Des Moines Metro Opera where she sang the roles of Johanna (Sweeney Todd) and Mary Johnson (Fellow Travelers) in their 49th season. Most recently she premiered the role of Isabel Cummings Haskell in Dayton Opera’s World Premiere of Finding Wright by Laura Kaminsky. Grace was the first prize winner of the 2017 American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition, with a distinction for best interpretation of a French work. Grace has also been awarded prizes in the Palm Springs Opera Competition, Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. This summer Grace will return to Des Moines Metro Opera to sing the role of Caroline in their World Premiere of an adaptation of the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, A Thousand Acres. Grace holds a Bachelor’s of Music from CUNY Queens College and a Masters of Music/Artist Diploma from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and her dog. You can find out more information about Grace on her website: gracekahlsoprano.com or follow her on Instagram @gracekahlsoprano.