Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22nd, 1858 – November 29th, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas are counted among the important operas played as standards.
Puccini has been called "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi". While his early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, he successfully developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents.
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.
|11/11, 11/17 & 11/19|
Dramatic soprano, Kara Shay Thomson continues to build her expansive stage career by creating characters that push the limits both musically and dramatically and this year is no exception.
In the 2017-18 season Ms. Thomson will debut 3 new roles beginning with Marta in the rarely performed work, Tiefland, by Eugene d’Albert for Sarasota Opera, the title role in Cherubini’s Medea for Opera Omaha and Turandot for Dayton Opera. She will make her company debut as Tosca for Arizona Opera and return to Dayton Opera again as Magda Sorel in The Consul.
Ms. Thomson’s 2016-17 engagements included joining Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Berlioz’ Les Troyens, Agäthe in Virginia Opera’s production of Der Freishütz and Tosca with Intermountain Opera.
Recent engagements include Tosca with Sarasota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Dayton Opera, Atlanta Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera and Utah Opera. She has performed Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio and the role of Santuzza with Kentucky Opera and Sarasota Opera, Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle with New Millenium Orchestra of Chicago and Opera Omaha. Ms. Thomson gained critical acclaim for her portrayal of Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul for Florida Grand Opera.
Other recent successes include performing The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung with New York City Opera; the title role in Barber’s Vanessa with Sarasota Opera; Tosca with Central City Opera and Santa Fe Opera; Zemfira in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Cincinnati May Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera North; Marietta in Die tote Stadt with Washington, DC’s Summer Opera Theatre Company and both the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia and Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw with Chicago Opera Theater.
Concert highlights include Soprano Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with National Chorale at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall; Dvořák’s Te Deum with Cincinnati May Festival; Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with Amherst Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells at Ravinia Festival.
|11/12 & 11/18|
Marcy Stonikas is a graduate of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at Seattle Opera, she performed the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos, whilst a member of the program. She was First Prize winner in the Wagner Division of the 2013 Gerda Lissner Foundational Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in Seattle Opera’s 2014 International Wagner Competition.
Ms. Stonikas’ 2016/17 season holds anticipated role and company returns, and company debuts. She begins the season as Gertrude in Seattle Opera’s Hansel and Gretel, then sings the titular Turandot in debuts with Atlanta Opera and Opera Naples. During the summer of 2017, she essays a title role with the Berkshire Opera Festival.
Last season’s performances included a significant company debut with Washington National Opera in their critically praised Ring Cycle, singing Gerhilde in Die Walküre and Third Norn in Götterdämmerung. The 2015-2016 season also included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the San Antonio Symphony, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Santa Barbara.
Ms. Stonikas’ 2014/15 season, showed performances with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Asher Fisch. She then returns to the Volksoper Vienna, for Leonore in Fidelio, and to Seattle Opera for the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos. She concludes the season with Cincinnati Opera, as the title role in Turandot.
During the 2013/14 season, Ms. Stonikas appeared with Utah Opera in a role debut as Salome; Opera Santa Barbara as Tosca; in a return to Seattle Opera as Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul; and the Vienna Volksoper for Fidelio.
During the 2012/13 season, Ms. Stonikas debuted the title roles in productions of Turandot and Fidelio at Seattle Opera, to great acclaim. Additionally this season, she performed a recital under the auspices of the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
Over two summers, the soprano performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, and Rosaura in Wolf-Ferrari’s rarely performed Le donne curiose, with Wolf Trap Opera Company. Additionally, Ms. Stonikas had the unique opportunity to perform the roles of Irene and Mary in the American premiere of Jerry Springer – the Opera (Thomas) at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in Chicago. On the concert stage, highlights include Blumenmädchen in Parsifal (Wagner) with the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez
Ms. Stonikas is a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, winner of the 2009 Elgin Opera Vocal Competition, and was a winner of the 2006 International Meistersinger Competition.
|11/11, 11/17 & 11/19|
Tenor Rafael Davila has quickly risen to be one of the most sought-after tenors of his generation. With more than 60 roles already under his belt, he has been invited by Maestro Placido Domingo to sing the operas Norma and La Forza del Destino for Washington National Opera, Tosca for Los Angeles Opera and Manon Lescaut for Opera de Valencia in Spain under Mo Domingo's conducting.
This year marked his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Don Jose in Carmen with great critical acclaim followed by invitations by the company to be part of the roster for the next two seasons. Other engagements during the past season included La Fanciulla del West with Michigan Opera Theater, Carmen and Un Ballo in Maschera for Florida Grand Opera, as well as the title role in Verdi's Otello with Teatro de la Opera in PR.
This upcoming season finds Mr Davila singing the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca for Opera de Puerto Rico and Arizona Opera, Turandot for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, his debut as Verdi's Don Carlo with Washington National Opera and his debut in the prestigious Liceu de Barcelona in Spain as Des Grieux in Puccini's Manon Lescaut.
Other recent engagements include La Fanciulla del West and Carmen for Minnesota Opera, Tosca in Leipzig, Germany, his return to Washington Opera as Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly opposite soprano Ana María Martínez for Opera de Puerto Rico, his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the world premiere of the opera Bel Canto, return to Valencia as Radames in Verdi’s Aida, appeared at the historic Macerata Festival in Italy as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and as Canio in Pagliacci and returned to Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Don Jose in Carmen after previously appearing with the company in the operas Tosca, Norma and Il Trovatore.
The 2014-15 season marked the tenor’s return to the historic Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy as Canio in I Pagliacci and as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana after his debut with the company in 2004 in the title role of Verdi’s Gustavo III (Riccardo in Un ballo in Maschera). That same season also marked his debut with Florida Grand Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca. Prior to that Mr. Dávila made his debut as Radames in Aida for Manitoba Opera in Canada.
In 2012, he made his debut in the title role of Verdi’s Otello for Sarasota Opera and as Manrico in Il Trovatore for Opera New Jersey and Kansas City Opera.
Abroad Mr Davila made his debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme for the Netherlands Reisopera, and for the New Zealand Opera as Don Jose in Carmen and as Alfredo in La Traviata. He made his debut as Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot for Connecticut Grand Opera, a role he also sang for the National Lyric Opera of New York, and Opera de Puerto Rico, and sang the premiere of the opera Time and Again Barelas with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
His concert experience includes Verdi’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Magnificat, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (for the prestigious Casals’ Festival), Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem and Estevez’ Cantata Criolla with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra. His recordings of Ariel Ramírez’ Misa Criolla as well as another recording of the operetta Cofresí by Rafael Hernández were both nominated for a Grammy Award.
|11/12 & 11/18|
Marco Cammarota, tenor, is currently a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia under the tutelage of William Schuman. Recent roles of note include Nemorino in Elixir of Love at Opera Santa Barbara, Avito in Italo Montemezzi's rarely performed gem: L'amore dei tre Re with the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Alfredo in La Traviata with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Cammarota is experienced in english and American repertoire, having sung: Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, and Carlson in Floyd's Of Mice and Men to mention a few. He has had particular success in the Italian and French repertoire singing Macduff and Malcolm respectively in the Glimmerglass Festival's production of Verdi's Macbeth, as well as B.F. Pinkerton and Rodolfo in the Puccini classics: Madama Butterfly and La bohème. Most recently, Cammarota had the privilege of making his Kennedy Center debut in a one hour special performance of Bizet's Carmen designed for children.
|11/11, 11/17 & 11/19|
Beginning his career singing the bel canto roles of Italian opera, Gordon Hawkins drew early praise from critics like Lon Tuck of The Washington Post, who pronounced him to be “one of the most promising young singers of the decade.”
Since then, Gordon Hawkins has been critically acclaimed throughout the world for his in-depth interpretations and luxuriant baritone voice. A winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the George London Grant recipient, he has been praised for his rich lyricism as well as his dramatic instinct. He is a winner of the Luciano Pavarotti Competition and in 2006 was honored as the Washington National Opera “Artist of the Year.”
Gordon Hawkins has shared the operatic and concert stage with such distinguished artists as Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti. Today, throughout the world, he is associated with a broad range of dramatic roles and characters of the German, Italian and American operatic repertoire, from Wagner to Verdi and Gershwin.
In the current season and beyond, engagements include Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Alberich in Siegfried at Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville; Telramund in Lohengrin at Deutsche Oper Berlin; Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera at the New Orleans Opera; Crown in Porgy and Bess at Cincinnati Opera; and Amonasro in Aida at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Considered the leading Alberich in the world, Gordon Hawkins has appeared with the Washington National Opera, the BBC Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro Maestranza in Seville.
Most recently Gordon Hawkins made a triumphant company debut with the San Francisco Opera in Francesca Zambello’s highly acclaimed and groundbreaking American Ring: “As the malign dwarf, Gordon Hawkins was a most impressive Alberich, singing with robust power and making the villain’s dark emotions – longing, pain, greed, shame, and unadulterated hatred – chillingly manifest.” (Classical Review).
Over the past two seasons, noted engagements have included Thoas in Iphigénie en Tauride at The Metropolitan Opera; Caspar in Der Freischütz at Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville; the title role in Rigoletto and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Washington National Opera; Tonio in I Pagliacci and Count di Luna in Il Trovatore with the Seattle Opera; Porgy in Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera and San Francisco Symphony; Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera with L’Opera de Montreal; and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony.
Recent engagements include Amonasro in Aida with Houston Grand Opera and Cincinnati Opera; a gala concert for the Supreme Court Justices in Washington, D.C.; the title role in Macbeth with Seattle Opera; Tonio in I Pagliacci with Atlanta Opera; Porgy in Porgy and Bess with Washington National Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre; High Priest in Samson et Dalila with Opera Ontario; Villains in The Tales of Hoffman in Tokyo, and Tonio/Alfio in Manitoba Opera’s double bill of I Pagliacci/Cavalleria Rusticana.
Gordon Hawkins’ orchestral engagements include Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center; the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s A Great Hope Fell with the EOS Orchestra of New York; Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the St. Louis Symphony; concert selections from American musicals with Deutsche Welle WDR 4 in Cologne, Germany, and additional engagements with the Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, The Cincinnati Orchestra, the National Theatre Orchestra of Prague, and the Vienna Symphony.
Gordon Hawkins has been heard on the Live BBC Radio broadcast as Alberich in Götterdämmerung with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, and Live from The Metropolitan Opera broadcasts earlier in his career as Marcello in La bohème with Placido Domingo and Mirella Freni, and Silvano in Un Ballo in Maschera with Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo.
He can be heard as George Milton on the first recording of Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera on Albany Records, and on the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts recording of Simon Boccanegra in the title role.
|11/12 & 11/18|
Aleksey Bogdanov has been praised as "a baritone to watch" by the Washington Post, with “distinctive color and affability.”
During the 2017-2018, Mr. Bogdanov will make debuts with Arizona Opera as Scarpia in Tosca and Sarasota Opera as Sebastiano in d'Albert's rarely-heard Tiefland. Additionally, he will be seen as Lionel in The Maid of Orleans with Odyssey Opera in Boston and will cover the title role in Anton Rubinstein’s The Demon with Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
Last season, he sang his first performances of Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West at Opera Carolina and The Demon in Boston. He also sang Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen with Colorado Music Festival, Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles with Tulsa Opera, and Vitellius in Hérodiade with Washington Concert Opera. Previously he was seen at Washington National Opera as Escamillo in Carmen, Peter in Hansel and Gretel, as well as General John A. Rawlins and Governor George Wallace in the premiere of the revised version of Appomattox by Phillip Glass. Additionally at WNO, he covered Donner and Gunther in Francesca Zambello's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Other recent credits include Doctor and Boilermaker in the American premiere of Tarik O'Regan's Heart of Darkness with Opera Parallèle, and a return to The Glimmerglass Festival for Madama Butterfly, where he New York Times praised his “firm-voiced Sharpless, dignified even in despair.”
A graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, his many roles with the company include Mozart’s Figaro, Guglielmo, Don Giovanni, and Masetto, Sharpless and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Sergeant Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Cristiano in Un ballo in maschera, the Jailer in Dialogues of the Carmelites, a Gravedigger in Hamlet, a Cappadocian in Salome, and a Wigmaker in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Mr. Bogdanov has performed Escamillo in Carmen with the Atlanta Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Columbus Symphony. He made his Canadian debut as Eugene Onegin with Edmonton Opera and his Carnegie Hall debut as the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah. He has appeared in concert at La Scala, Seoul Arts Center, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, and with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Post-Classical Ensemble, and I Musici de Montréal. He made his professional operatic debut at age 25 in 2008 with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in William Walton's Troilus and Cressida.
Mr. Bogdanov's diverse credits include Marcello in La bohème, Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana, Rabbi David in L'amico Fritz, Four Villains in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and Blitch in Susannah. He has been featured as a soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces, Poulenc's Le bal masqué, Bach's Kaffekantate, Dvorák's Te Deum, Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass, Handel's Messiah and Jeptha, and the Requiems of Mozart, Fauré, and Duruflé. He created Bernard De Voto in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori's A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck and Samuel Griffiths in an updated version of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy which was broadcast on NPR, both at the Glimmerglass Festival. He has also appeared on the radio shows A Prairie Home Companion and Classical Conversations.
Born in 1983 in Odessa, Ukraine, Mr. Bogdanov immigrated to San Francisco, California, in 1992. After studying voice at the University of California Santa Cruz and Indiana University, he received additional training as a young artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Glimmerglass Festival, San Francisco Opera Merola Program, and Washington National Opera. He is a two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Awards, a two-time winner of the Florida Grand Opera YPO competition, and a Career Grant recipient from the Sullivan Musical Foundation, the Shoshana Foundation, San Francisco Opera Merola Program, and Pasadena Opera Guild.
Born and raised in Illinois, American bass-baritone Zachary Owen has performed with such companies as the Glimmerglass Festival, Arizona Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Opera North, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Opera Santa Barbara.
He has performed the roles of Dulcamara in Elixir of Love, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Ashby in La fanciulla del West, Don Fernando in Fidelio, Matouš in Smetana’s The Kiss, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Frank Maurrant in Street Scene, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, der Sprecher in The Magic Flute, Spencer Coyle in Owen Wingrave, and the title role in Don Pasquale. A strong advocate for new music, he has participated in a composer’s workshop at Cincinnati Opera in which he worked alongside Jake Heggie, Jack O’Brien, and Terrence McNally to develop two characters for Heggie’s new Opera, Great Scott. In the 2017/18 season, Mr. Owen will be returning to the Marion Roose Pullin Studio at Arizona Opera and performing several roles including Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, Angelotti in Tosca, and Lycos in Hercules vs Vampires.
Mr. Owen is the recipient of numerous awards including the Grace Keagy Award at the Lotte Lenya Competition, the Brudos Family Prize for Opera Performance and was a national semifinalist at the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in Decorah Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
With a “resonant” bass sound Puerto Rican bass Ricardo Lugo is a versatile international artist in demand on the operatic and concert scene. Having made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Un Barnabotto in La Gioconda, Ricardo has since been involved in multiple productions with the company including Shostakovich’s The Nose, Ariadne auf Naxos, Khovanshchina, Billy Budd, La fanciulla del West, Adriana Lecouvreur, Macbeth, The Gambler, and Salome. In recent seasons, Mr. Lugo has joined Michigan Opera Theater as Timur in Turandot, Alfieri in Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge, and Don Fernando in Fidelio and has sung Dulcamara in Elixir of Love with Opera Memphis, Mr. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor with Boston Midsummer Opera, the Sacristan in Tosca and Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro with Sarasota Opera, and Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro with the Princeton Festival.
Last season saw Mr. Lugo’s return to The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Otello, Tannhäuser, Tosca, Turandot, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly. In the 2016/17 season, he will debut with the America Symphony Orchestra as Wachtmeister/Der Holsteiner in Richard Strauss’ Friedenstag, return to Michigan Opera Theater as the French General in Silent Night, debut with Virginia Opera as Timur in Turandot, and return to The Metropolitan Opera for Salome.
Tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro, a Florida native, is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Florida State University under David Okerlund, and has recently performed the role of Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Florida State Opera.
Mr. Ciaramitaro had the privilege to perform as a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera during their 2015 season as Basilio from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, The Messenger from Verdi's Aida, and among the ensemble of Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.
In previous seasons, Mr. Ciaramitaro made his professional debut with Florida Opera Theater as Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte, the 2nd trio member in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, Piquillo from Jacques Offenbach's La Perichole with the Franco-American Vocal Academy in Perigueux, France, and scenes from Verdi's La forza del destino, La Traviata and Mozart's Don Giovanni in Oberaudorf, Germany with Music Theater Bavaria.
Mr. Ciaramitaro graduated in 2014 with his Bachelor's in music from Rollins College, where he studied under Richard Owens, who has been a great inspiration to the advancement of his career. Mr. Ciaramitaro has been a concert soloist for The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, The Messiah Choral Society, and The Villages Philharmonic.
Mr. Ciaramitaro has an avid love of the stage and is eager to one day have an illustrious career as a singer of opera, oratorio, and concert repertoire.
Praised for his “imposing baritone” and “supple vibrant baritone that he deploys with unaffected lyricism and manifest honesty” by Opera News, American baritone Jarrett Porter is quickly making a name for himself with a fearless talent and commanding intellect. Porter is currently a member of the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at The Juilliard School.
In the 2020/21 Season, Jarrett makes his professional debut at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Neil Armstrong in the world premiere of Steve Mackey’s Moon Tea, and as the Adjudicator in the world premiere of Damien Sneed’s The Tongue & The Lash. He joins Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Neumart, Germany where he will make appearances on Bavaria Radiofunk, as well as with the Nürnburg Symphony. At Juilliard, he appears in their Liederabend series, with New York Festival of Song@Juilliard, and as Polyphemus in Händel’s Acis & Galatea with Juilliard415.
In the 2021/22 Season he looks forward to making his professional debut at Arizona Opera as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He will return to Opera Theater of Saint Louis to create the role of Oliver Sacks in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings, based on the memoir of the same name.
Porter’s 2019/20 Season included his principal debut at Tulsa Opera as Dancaïre in Carmen. At the Santa Fe Opera in his second year as an Apprentice, he sang the Sergeant in La boheme, covered Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, appeared in scenes as the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and joined Renée Fleming and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra under the baton of Harry Bicket as a soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music.
In the 2018/19 Season he finished his second and final year as a Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, where he performed as Antonio and the cover of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Father Palmer in Silent Night, and Baron Douphol in La traviata. In the 2017/18 Season at Arizona Opera, he was seen as the title role in Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires, Maximilian in Candide, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He joined Santa Fe Opera in 2018 as a member of the company’s Apprentice Program, singing Der Perückenmacher in Ariadne auf Naxos, and covering Maximilian in Candide. Role engagements elsewhere have included the title role of Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, Le Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet’s Le portrait de Manon, Sid in Albert Herring, Harry Easter in Weill’s Street Scene, and Morales in Carmen. Other programs include Opera Saratoga (2016) and The Glimmerglass Festival (2017), as well as Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy (2014).
As a sought after recitalist, Porter has held fellowships at the Ravinia Stean’s Music Institute at The Ravinia Festival, and at SongFest at the Hidden Valley Music Festival under the mentorship of Sir Thomas Allen and Graham Johnson. Accompanied by narration from Allen and Johnson, he made his National Public Radio debut with selections from Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, and in the spring of 2018 joined pianist Taylor Hutchinson in recital to present Winterreise in Katzin Hall at Arizona State University.
Awards include: winner of The Sullivan Foundation (2019), winner of the 2019 St. Louis District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Lisa and Bernie Kalvelage Award at the 2018 Holt Competition, the 2017 Grand Prize Winner of the Pacific Music Society Competition, the Ellie Silver Award Winner at the 2017 Holt Competition, and the First Prize of the inaugural Esther C. Weill Competition. A native of coastal New Jersey, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music (2015) and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2017), where he was a James Schwabacher Fellow. He can be seen in the June 2020 issue of Opera News, where he was the magazine’s Soundbite. A student of Darrell Babidge, Porter resides on the Upper East Side in New York City.
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.