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24th Season Announcement

August 22, 2022 • Download →

Celebrating
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Our Artists

Performers



  • Adelmo Guidarelli

    Adelmo Guidarelli

    Bass-Baritone

  • Adelmo Guidarelli

    Adelmo Guidarelli

    Bass-Baritone


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    Adelmo is excited to return to Opera Las Vegas for his fourth production! You saw him last season as Don Pasquale and since then he has portrayed various roles including Zuniga in Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Shreveport Opera, Don Alfonzo in Cosi Fan Tutte with Cedar Rapids Opera and Morales/Zuniga with Helena Symphony. He is a GRAMMY award winning soloist and in addition to opera landed two national TV commercials for SONY’s PS4 Pro “Opera Campaign,” one of which debuted during the 2018 Super Bowl game day coverage on NBC. He is a featured soloist on the GRAMMY award winning album “All The Sounds” by Lucy Kalantari and The Jazz Cats as “Mr. Opera Man” and has hosted a TV show called “Voices Among Us.” He won The MAC Award for “Best Comedy Performer” for the opera comedy show OPERATION OPERA, was invited by Ryan Seacrest to perform Mozart’s “Non più andrai” on his E! Channel series Bank of Hollywood, was heard on a national commercial for Lidia’s Italian Gourmet Kitchen, and is a featured soloist on a German Children’s CD called "Der Kleine Tanzbar Schubidu". He is also part of the SONY MBA (Music Business Association) catalog singing the seasonal hits “A Christmas Toast” and “Sing Your Song” (lyrics by Michael MacKenzie Wills). His debut solo album titled “Treasured Songs of Italy & Germany” spawned an International Association of Independent Recording Artists (IAIRA) certified International #1 hit for his dual language version of “Funiculi, Funicula”, and he won The Akademia Music Award for Best Gospel Song for his rendition of “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”. He is a voting member of The Recording Academy and an annual participant at the Grammy Awards.

  • Albert Rudolph Lee Photo

    Albert Rudolph Lee

    Tenor

  • Albert Rudolph Lee Photo

    Albert Rudolph Lee

    Tenor


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    Tenor, Albert Rudolph Lee’s performances have been described as “vocally sumptuous,” “musically distinctive” and even “acrobatically agile.” Having appeared with Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, and the Caramoor International Music Festival, Dr. Lee’s recent performances include the tenor solo in Bruckner Te Deum with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, a performance of George Walker’s Lilac’s for Tenor and Orchestra for the opening concert of the African American Art Song Alliance 20th Anniversary Conference, and performances with Cincinnati Opera. In his seventh year on the voice faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Lee’s upcoming activities include the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Jackson Symphony, an appearance with Opera Las Vegas in a tribute concert to African American Opera Legends, and a feature role in the world premiere of Douglas Buchanan’s opera Bessie and Ma.

  • Aldo Perrelli

    Aldo Perrelli

    Tenor

  • Aldo Perrelli

    Aldo Perrelli

    Tenor

    Tenor Aldo Perrelli is in the DMA program at UNLV, having received a Masters in Music from University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a Bachelor of Music from Northeastern Illinois University. For Opera Las Vegas, he performed Remendado in Carmen and was featured in Our Three Tenors and the One Amazing Evening concert at The Smith Center, celebrating the company’s Twentieth Anniversary celebration. Aldo has played the Rodolfo in La boheme and Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream for UNLV Opera Theater. Roles at the U. Wisconsin include Fritz (L’amico Fritz), and Giasone (Medea). For Northeastern, he was Frick (La Vie Parisienne). Concert performances include the Verdi, Saint-Saens, and Brahms Requiems, and Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass. Aldo most was most recently cheered by OLV audiences for his commanding performance as Justice Antonin Scalia in the West Coast Premiere of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg.

  • Alexandra Loutsion, posing in dark clothing.

    Alexandra Loutsion

    Soprano

  • Alexandra Loutsion, posing in dark clothing.

    Alexandra Loutsion

    Soprano


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    Hailed as "fearless" (Opera News) and “masterful” (Tulsa World) with a “commanding presence" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Alexandra Loutsion continues to be recognized for her passionate performances and vocal versatility as a rising star on the operatic stage.

    Ms. Loutsion begins the 21/22 season by joining the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover in Macbeth (Lady Macbeth) followed by a role/house debut at Austin Opera for Fidelio (Leonore) and a house debut at Opera Las Vegas for Tosca (title role). Last season she debuted at Chicago Opera Theater in Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents (Kayla) and Lyric Opera of Chicago in Twilight Gods (Brünnhilde) as well as a solo recital at Pittsburgh Festival Opera. She made her role/house debut with Minnesota Opera in Elektra (title role), followed by a return to Pittsburgh Opera for Florencia en el Amazonas (title role) and Palm Beach Opera for Tosca (title role). Alexandra made her international debut with the Canadian Opera Company in Elektra (Overseer), returned to Central City Opera for Il trovatore (Leonora), debuted with New Orleans Opera in Turandot (title role), and San Francisco Opera for Elektra (Overseer) and Turandot (title role cover).

    Puccini is a staple of Ms. Loutsion’s repertoire. In addition to singing Turandot with Pittsburgh Opera, Tulsa Opera, and New Orleans Opera, she has also brought her Tosca to Palm Beach Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Central City Opera, and Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly to Palm Beach Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Opera on the James. Additional credits include Rusalka (Foreign Princess) with Arizona Opera, Florencia en el Amazonas (title role) with Arizona Opera, Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) with North Carolina Opera, Macbeth (Lady Macbeth) with Raylynmor Opera, Hansel and Gretel (Gertrude) with Dayton Opera, Wagner's Das Liebesverbot (Isabella) with the Ring Festival LA, and Macbeth (Lady-in-Waiting) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti.

    On the concert stage, Ms. Loutsion has sung the soprano solos in the Verdi Messa da Requiem with the Santa Fe Symphony and the Academy Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Cathedral Choral Society, West Virginia Symphony, Syracuse Symphoria, Erie Philharmonic, and as a guest soloist with the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra. She recently debuted the soprano solos in the Hadyn Mass in Time of War with the Cathedral Choral Society of Washington D.C.

    An advocate for living composers and contemporary works, Ms. Loutsion has given performances of Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters (Almera) with Pittsburgh Opera, Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice (Euridice) at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Krausas' The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth (Witch 3) with Vera Ikon Productions, and in the West Coast Premiere of Lowell Liebermann's Miss Lonelyhearts (Fay Doyle). She can be heard as the soprano soloist on the soundtrack of the film Lucir y sombra.

  • André Chiang, baritone, smiling with hands clasped against a dark background, he is wearing a vibrant blue shirt.

    André Chiang

    Baritone

  • André Chiang, baritone, smiling with hands clasped against a dark background, he is wearing a vibrant blue shirt.

    André Chiang

    Baritone


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    Baritone André Chiang has been described as “vocally commanding” (Oregonian), “handsome of voice” (Opera News), and lauded with “let’s hear more from this singer” (Washington Post). Chiang’s recent engagements include Silvio in Pagliacci with Painted Sky Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with Mobile Opera, Dandini in La cenerentola and Masetto in Don Giovanni with Dayton Opera, the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, and Schaunard in La bohème with Mississippi Opera and the Natchez Festival of Music. Highlights include Falke in Die Fledermaus, Ford in Falstaff, Young Galileo/Salviati in Galileo Galilei, where he was commercially recorded, and Argante in Rinaldo with Portland Opera; Masetto in Don Giovanni, El Gallo in The Fantasticks with Shreveport Opera; Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Birmingham; Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd with Virginia Opera; Charlie in Three Decembers, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Older Thompson in Glory Denied with Painted Sky Opera; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with The Washington Idaho Symphony; Count Gil in Il segreto di Susanna and Schaunard in La bohème with Mobile Opera. Chiang is also a graduate of several apprenticeships, having spent summers as a Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and with the Glimmerglass Festival, covering Nathan Gunn as Lancelot in Camelot as well as performing the role in their Young Artist Matinee. Upcoming engagements include Gianni Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Mississippi, Marcello in La bohème with Opera Western Reserve, Baritone Soloist in The Seasons with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Yamadori/Commissioner in Madama Butterfly with New Orleans Opera, Captain Smith in the West Coast Premiere of A Capacity for Evil with Opera Las Vegas, and Father in Fearless (workshop) with Opera Delaware.

    Along with his stage work, he is equally comfortable in recital and concert. Highlights include being the Baritone soloist in Beethoven\'s Ninth Symphony with the Richmond Symphony, Featured soloist in Portland Opera’s “Big Night”, Featured soloist in Virginia Opera’s “Opera in the Park”, Featured Soloist in Mobile Opera’s “Winter Gala Concert”, Baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, who performed in the French Quarter Festival, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and the Canterbury Voices, Bass soloist in Haydn’s Mass in D minor with the Eastern Shore Choral Society and the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Paul in Mendelssohn’s Saint Paul and the Narrator in Dvořák’s The Spectre’s Bride with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, and Baritone soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem and Rutter’s Mass of the Children with Canterbury Voice. At Carnegie Hall, Chiang has appeared as the Young Priest in Dinos Constantinides’ opera Rosanna with DCINY Concerts in Weill Hall and the Baritone soloist in Martin Palmeri’s World Premiere of Gran Misa at Stern Auditorium in Carnegie Hall.

  • Ashley Stone Headshot

    Ashley Stone

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Ashley Stone Headshot

    Ashley Stone

    Mezzo-Soprano


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    Ashley Stone received her Doctorate of Music degree in Vocal Performance of Indiana University where she studied with Costanza Cuccaro. Her most recent performances include Dame Quickly in  Falstaff, The Old Lady in Candide, The Principessa in Suor Angelica, and Meg in Mark Adamo's  Little Women  with the IU Opera Theater. She received her masters degree in vocal performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Katherine Ciesinski. While in Rochester, NY, she performed as the Principessa in Eastman Opera Theater's  Suor Angelica   and was a soloist with the Voices Choral Ensemble, the Gregory Kunde Choral, and the Eastman Chorale. Stone completed her undergraduate studies at Texas State University in San Marcos, her hometown. While in Texas, she was a frequent finalist in the NATS regional and district competitions, a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions regional finalist, and performed as Kate in San Antonio Opera's production of The Pirates of Penzance. In 2006, she attended the Brevard Summer Music Festival, where she performed as Baroness Elsa Shraeder in The Sound of Music. The following summer at Opera in the Ozarks, she played the roles of Suzuki from Madama Butterfly  and Cherubino from  Le nozze di Figaro.

  • Athena Mertes, Soprano, against a blue background.

    Athena Mertes

    Soprano

  • Athena Mertes, Soprano, against a blue background.

    Athena Mertes

    Soprano


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    Athena Mertes is one of the Valley’s most celebrated sopranos, whose opera and concert credits include Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Lucy (The Telephone), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Gianetta (L’Elisir d’Amore), Morgana (Alcina), Musetta (La Bohème), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Abigail (The Crucible), Nella (Gianni Schicchi) and soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah and Honegger’s King David. She has performed as a guest soloist with the Burbank Philharmonic, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Henderson Symphony, Opera Las Vegas, Vegas City Opera and Lexington Opera Outreach. She has appeared with Opera Las Vegas on many occasions, in Holiday on Broadway, the Old Lady and the doll Olympia in Pinocchio, and Despina in The Three Little Pigs. She is also the director of the OLV Youth Chorus.  Most recently, Athena was Alice B. Toklas in the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s 27, sang in the Twentieth Anniversary Season Reveal, and portrayed Lilly in Sasha Matson’s Cooperstown. She was scheduled to sing the role of Papagena in June’s The Magic Flute, before it was canceled.

  • Brian James Myer, a handsome young man with short facial hair in a loosely tied tie and suit, against a white background.

    Brian James Myer

    Baritone

  • Brian James Myer, a handsome young man with short facial hair in a loosely tied tie and suit, against a white background.

    Brian James Myer

    Baritone


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    Baritone Brian James Myer has been praised as a stage animal of "both voice and character to make him stand out in the crowd" (Sarasota Observer). In the spring of 2021, Mr. Myer returned to New York City Opera as Alberto in their workshop of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Gordon/Korie) and in 2022, he reprised the role in the opera’s world premiere (a recording of the opera will also take place in 2023). Later in 2022, he joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera as the cover of Marcellus/Player 4 in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, made his Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera debuts as the title character in Il barbiere di Siviglia and joined the Bard Symphony Orchestra as Second Nazarene in Salome. Upcoming engagements include Mr. Myer making his debut with Berkshire Opera Festival debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni, covering Morbio in Strauss’ Die Schweigsame Frau with Bard Summerscape, joining Brooklyn Art Song Society for selections by Ivor Gurney and Gerald Finzi, returning to Opera Orlando as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, rejoins Opera Las Vegas as David Miller in Approaching Ali, joining Symphony San Jose as the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, and debuting the role of Count Almaviva with Tri-Cities Opera and Syracuse Opera.

  • Cadie Jordan Bryan, Headshot

    Cadie Jordan Bryan

    Soprano

  • Cadie Jordan Bryan, Headshot

    Cadie Jordan Bryan

    Soprano


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    Praised for her “beautiful sound,” “free spirit,” and “silver high notes,” Louisiana-born soprano Cadie J. Bryan is quickly emerging as a captivating and versatile performer in a variety of repertoire. She recently came out of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio where she performed mainstage leading and supporting roles including Musetta in La bohème, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Bess in Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage, Maid in the Taliesin West Premier of Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow, and Annina in La traviata. She spent three seasons with Des Moines Metro Opera during which which she made her mainstage debut as the Second Wood Sprite in the Emmy Award-winning production of Rusalka with director Chas Rader-Shieber. In the 2021 season at DMMO, she will appear as Clarine in Rameau's Platée and Chlöe in The Queen of Spades. An avid recitalist and lover of art song, Cadie is an alumna of Ravinia's Steans Music Institute for singers where she developed relationships with world-renowned coaches and collaborative pianists including Helmut Deutsch, Denise Massé, Cori Ellison, Stephen Blier, and JJ Penna.
    Dedicated to promoting new works, other career highlights include Chan Parker in Daniel Schnyder's and Bridgette Wimberly’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and Lucy in Fellow Travelers with Arizona Opera as well as Clara in Jake Heggie’s and Gene Scheer's It’s A Wonderful Life at Indiana University. She received a Masters and a Performance Diploma from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Heidi Grant Murphy and Kevin Murphy and her Bachelors from Louisiana State University.

  • Cecilia Violetta López, Opera Las Vegas Social Media Coordinator

    Cecilia Violetta López

    Soprano

  • Cecilia Violetta López, Opera Las Vegas Social Media Coordinator

    Cecilia Violetta López

    Soprano


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    Celebrated soprano, Cecilia Violetta López, has been named one of “Idaho’s Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Century” by USA Today and has been named one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars” by Opera News. The singing actress is constantly praised for her “alluring voice and incredible range” (Washington Post).

    She has received accolades for her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, which she has performed countless times throughout North America. Critic, James Jorden, exclaimed “she is a Violetta fully- formed and, I think, ready for the great stages of the world.” She has now performed the role with Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Tampa, Opera Idaho, Ash Lawn Opera, The Northern Lights Music Festival, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony and Virginia Opera. Ms. López made her European début as Norina in Don Pasquale with Zomeropera in Belgium, for which Klassiek Centraal exclaimed: “She turns out to be the revelation of the show and wins over the audience with her funny rendition, irresistible charm, and [she is] natural in the different vocals.”

    From her performance as Adina in The Elixir of Love with Virginia Opera, The Virginian- Pilot hailed, “Cecilia Violetta López is showing local audiences why Opera News named her one of its ’25 Rising Stars.’ In the lead role of Adina, she hit the highest notes with ringing clarity, performed the vocal runs with precision and grace and showed a particular charm and humanity in the softest passages and lowest ranges.” In her recent performance as Marguerite in Faust with Opera Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald claimed “...López sang Marguerite’s seduction, madness and salvation with an other wordly wisdom and artistry.”

    Despite the halting effects of COVID-19 in the opera industry, Ms. López’ 2020-2021 has included both virtual and live recitals with Opera Idaho, Opera Las Vegas, Austin Opera, Opera Southwest, Chatter ABQ, and Madison Opera. Ms. López made her company debut with Pacific Symphony as Violetta in their 90 minute version of La traviata, and Ms. López will also be the featured soprano soloist in the world premier of Mi Camino, a virtual project with Opera Cultura. Cecilia will also return to Opera Colorado as a soprano soloist in Canciones de Nuestras Tierras: a live, outdoor performance.

  • Chase Orlando Gutierrez

    Chase Gutierrez

    Baritone

  • Chase Orlando Gutierrez

    Chase Gutierrez

    Baritone

    Baritone, Chase Orlando Gutierrez, a Las Vegas native young artist whose personable and charismatic singing has taken him from Las Vegas to Spain. Mr. Gutierrez has performed in numerous operas throughout the years: Don Alfonso in Così fan Tutte, Jupiter in Orpheus in the Underworld (English), The Notary in Don Pasquale, The Notary/Buoso Donati in Gianni Schicchi, Thierry in Dialogues of the Carmelites (English), Quartet Chorus of Dido and Aenaeus, Chorus of Pirates of Penzance, and Chorus of La Cenerentola. In concert Chase has performed as the baritone soloist in Charpentier’s Te Deum, and has sung spirituals throughout Spain and Portugal. Chase is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at UNLV under the supervision of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. Outside of the world of opera Chase is a multimedia specialist as the onsite audio engineer and photographer in his studio.

  • Christina Mancheni, Soprano, smiling in a formal gown outside.

    Christina Mancheni

    Soprano

  • Christina Mancheni, Soprano, smiling in a formal gown outside.

    Christina Mancheni

    Soprano

    Christina Mancheni, soprano, is a current doctoral student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Christina was recently a featured artist in the 34th St.Bart’s Music Festival, under the direction of Maestro Steven Mercurio. Recent roles include Fanchette (The Sea Cadet), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Salomea (Frederica) and Nichette (Madeleine) all with the Concert Operetta Theater. She also was featured as the soprano soloist in the Brahms' Requiem, with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. During her studies at Miami University, she performed the roles of Sister Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Nella (Gianni Schicchi) and The Fairy God Mother (Cendrillon). Christina also performed the title role in Alcina, as well as Despina (Così Fan Tutte) and Papagena (The Magic Flute) with the UNLV Opera Theater. Christina won first place in the prestigious New Jersey State Opera Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition. She has also won awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation as well as from The National Association of Teachers Singing.

  • Christophe Kennedy in a bright shirt, suit, and tie.

    Christophe Kennedy

    Bass-Baritone

  • Christophe Kennedy in a bright shirt, suit, and tie.

    Christophe Kennedy

    Bass-Baritone

    Christophe Kennedy (Bass-Baritone) received his Masters of Arts at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Dr. Dean Southern. Prior to, he completed his undergraduate’s degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas under Dr. Alfonse Anderson. He began his career in the arts at Legacy high school where he performed roles such as Roat (Wait Until Dark), Snoopy (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) and the Cowardly Lion (The Wizard of Oz). At UNLV, he added various roles such as Figaro (Le nozze), Colline (La Boheme), Bottom (Midsummer’s), King Claudius (Hamlet), and Leporello (Don Giovanni). While at CIM he was casted as The Chamberlain (Le Rossignol), L’Ombre (L’Enfant et les sortilege), Thésée (Hippolyte e Ariciee), and The Father (The Juniper Tree). Currently he’s performing the role of Jonathan in Donte Miller’s The Rocking Chair and will soon star in Opera Las Vegas’s The Bremen Town Musicians as General Boom.

  • Christopher Bozeka, a friendly face with facial hair, he is smiling in a blue velvet tuxedo.

    Christopher Bozeka

    Tenor

  • Christopher Bozeka, a friendly face with facial hair, he is smiling in a blue velvet tuxedo.

    Christopher Bozeka

    Tenor


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    Tenor Christopher Bozeka is quickly becoming recognized for his “expressively captivating” performances, as well as his “beautiful, piercing tone” (San Francisco Chronicle). In 2021, Mr. Bozeka made his Opera Outdoors Houston debut as the tenor soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, was scheduled to make his Sarasota Opera debut as Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles (COVID19), returned to Houston Grand Opera for holiday concerts, and rejoined Opera Las Vegas as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He also made his Sarasota Opera debut as Bertrando in L’inganno felice and Florville in Il Signor Bruschino, both by Rossini. During the summer of 2021, Mr. Bozeka will return to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, Satyavan in Holst’s Savtiri, and Le Prince Charmant in Viardot’s Cendrillon. During the 2021-22 season, Mr. Bozeka will join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera covering Triquet in Eugene Onegin and Pit Singer – Tenor 1 and 2 in Dean’s Hamlet, perform as the tenor soloist in the world premiere of Two Streams with the Houston Chamber Choir and Kinetic Orchestra, sing the role of Dorville in Rossini’s La scala di seta at Sarasota Opera, reprise the role of Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Delaware/Baltimore Concert Opera, joins Opera Southwest for their NYE gala and in the fall of 2022, he will make his debut with Livermore Valley Opera as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore and in 2023, he returns to Houston Grand Opera, singing Fourth Jew in Salome.

    In the 2019-20 season, Mr. Bozeka performed with Houston Grand Opera as Don Gaspar in La favorite and the Messenger in Aida, sang Nadir in the American Premiere of Bottesini’s Ali Baba with Opera Southwest, and appeared in a virtual broadcast as a soloist in Bach repertoire with Ars Lyrica Houston. In the summer of 2020, he returned to Wolf Trap Opera where he appeared in a virtual broadcast as Tom Rakewell in scenes from Igor Stravinsky’s A Rake’s Progress.

    In the 2018-19 season, Mr. Bozeka debuted with Wolf Trap Opera as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and with Opera Las Vegas as Nemorino and sang as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with New Albany Symphony Orchestra. His 2017-18 engagements included Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd with Atlanta Opera, Evandro in Giovanni Simone Mayr's Medea in Corinto with Teatro Nuovo, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Project Columbus, and soloist in Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Kinetic Ensemble. In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Bozeka returned to Houston Grand Opera as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore and Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. He also debuted with Opera Columbus as Pedrillo, Albany Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Musical Bridges Around the World San Antonio as a soloist in a Mozart Opera Gala.

    During his association with the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio, Mr. Bozeka performed in Tosca as Spoletta, Carlisle Floyd’s new opera Prince of Players as Male Emilia, Le nozze di Figaro as Don Curzio, and The Little Prince as the Drunkard/Lamplight. He also performed Rinuccio with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program in their production of Gianni Schicchi for which Opera News praised his “handsome, open-throated rendering of Rinuccio's aria”, and joined Castleton Festival’s production of Madame Butterfly as Pinkerton.

    Mr. Bozeka is a previous first prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Ohio and Houston, and a second-place winner in Houston’s Eleanor McCollum Competition. He received his master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music where he appeared as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, and the Narrator in Owen Wingrave.

  • Claudia Affan, Headshot

    Claudia Affan

    Soprano

  • Claudia Affan, Headshot

    Claudia Affan

    Soprano

    Claudia Affan is a second-year master's student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she is pursuing an MM in vocal performance. She holds her BM in vocal performance from Auburn University, where she studied with Dr. Matthew Hoch. Her operatic roles and scenes include Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Norina in Don Pasquale, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, L'Eternità in La Calisto, Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore, Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Carolina in Il matrimonio segreto, Lady Saphir in Patience, Ānanda in Sherry Woods's MĀRA: A Chamber Opera on Good and Evil, and Rosie in Frank Pesci's Royal Flush. Affan has received awards and recognition at Alabama NATS, Southeastern Regional NATS, Las Vegas NATS, Cal-Western Regional NATS, the Vann Vocal Institute, Alabama MTNA, Southern Division MTNA, Nevada MTNA, Southwest Division MTNA, National MTNA, and Alabama Federation of Music Clubs. She has performed in master classes with David Cangelosi, Dr. Loraine Sims, Dr. Melanie Williams, Dr. Feryal Qudourah, Jennifer Larmore, Michael Sturm, Oresta Cybriwsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Dolora Zajick, and Barbara Dever. She has also performed at the International Music Festival at the American University of Sharjah and the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women. She studies voice with Dr. Linda Lister.

  • Courtney Schwalbe

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Courtney Schwalbe

    Mezzo-Soprano


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    Courtney G. Schwalbe, mezzo-soprano, is a Mississippi native whose versatility as a performer has led her to successfully sing leading roles and solos in opera, musical theatre, and major choral works. Ms. Schwalbe has performed operatic roles such as Delores in Frank Pesci’s Royal Flush, Carmen and Mercédès in Carmen, Ruggiero in Alcina, the Contralto in The Four Note Opera, Maestra Delle Novizie in Suor Angelica, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte. In concert, she has performed solos in Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and Bernstein’s Missa Brevis. Ms. Schwalbe holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Musical Arts under the instruction of Alfonse Anderson at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Ms. Schwalbe resides in Las Vegas with her husband and biggest fan, Michael, and her two dogs, Carmen and Romeo.

  • Dan Sutin

    Daniel Sutin

    Baritone

  • Dan Sutin

    Daniel Sutin

    Baritone


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    Baritone Daniel Sutin recently sang the role of the villainous police chief Baron Scarpia in the Northern Lights Music Festival’s critically acclaimed production of Tosca, the first North American opera production to be performed with social distancing. Upcoming engagements include Don Fernando in Fidelio with Polish National Opera, and the title role in Rigoletto with Opera North. In 2019-20, Mr. Sutin covered the title role in Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera. The 2018-19 season marked his debut with Arizona Opera as Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. In 2017-18, Mr. Sutin’s engagements included Baron Scarpia in Boston Lyric Opera’s new production of Tosca, Giacomo in Giovanna d’Arco with Odyssey Opera, and his return to Chicago to cover Alberich in Siegfried. He also debuted with San Francisco Opera to cover Alberich in their complete Ring Cycle.

    In 2015-16, Daniel debuted the role of Jokanaan in Salome with the Detroit Symphony, sang Don Fernando in Fidelio with Cincinnati Opera, Iago in Otello with the Phoenicia Festival of Voice, Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor with Boheme Opera of New Jersey, and covered the title role of Wozzeck and Alberich in Das Rheingold at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Alberich in the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen at Washington National Opera. In 2014, Daniel Sutin sang the title role of Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera, stepping in at the last moment for an indisposed Thomas Hampson, and was the One-Eyed Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten. Other engagements for the 2014-15 season included Biterolf in Tannhäuser (Lyric Opera of Chicago),and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Hawaii Opera Theatre). In 2013, he sang Giorgio Germont in La Traviata(Savonlinna Opera Festival, Finland), the title role of Rigoletto (Musica Viva, The Opera Society of Hong Kong), Konrad Nachtigall in Die Meistersinger von Nurmberg (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Tonio in I Pagliacci (Austin Lyric Opera), and Valentin in Faust (Boheme Opera of New Jersey). Highlights of the 2011-12 season include Mr. Sutin’s debut at Boston Lyric Opera in the title role of Macbeth, and Marcello in Opera Fairbanks’ production of La Boheme.

    In 2010-11, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, sang the role of Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra (L’Opéra de Montréal), Iago in Otello (Palm Beach Opera), and was at the Metropolitan Opera for Wozzeck and Boris Godunov. In addition he sang Baron Scarpia in Las Vegas Opera’s Production of Tosca. 2009-10 season highlights: Peter, the Father (cover) in Hänsel und Gretel (Metropolitan Opera), title role of Rigoletto (San Antonio Opera and Nashville Opera), and Paolo in Simon Boccanegra (Canadian Opera Company. 2008-09 marked Mr. Sutin’s debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West. In addition, he sang Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Savonlinna Opera Festival, Michigan Opera Theatre). 2007-08 was his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut, as the One-Eyed Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten. It also was his seventh season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was Paris in Roméo et Juliette. Other season highlights include Giorgio Germont in La Traviata (Reisoper Nederlandse), and Sergeant Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore (San Antonio Opera). Following a Verdi Gala for the Santa Barbara Opera to open the 2006-7 season, Mr. Sutin was heard at the Metropolitan in the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, and sang Orest in Elektra(Canadian Opera Company) and Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore (Caramoor Festival).

  • David Kravitz, baritone headshot, dramatically lit with an empty background.

    David Kravitz

    Baritone

  • David Kravitz, baritone headshot, dramatically lit with an empty background.

    David Kravitz

    Baritone


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    Hailed as “a charismatic baritone” by the New York Times, “magnificently stentorian and resonant” by Opera News, and “a first-rate actor” by Opera (UK), David Kravitz’s recent opera engagements include lead roles at Washington National Opera (Davis Miller in the world premiere of Approaching Ali), Chautauqua Opera (Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes), Skylight Music Theatre (Scarpia in Tosca), Opera Santa Barbara (The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen), Grand Harmonie (Don Pizarro in Fidelio), Opera Saratoga (Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola), Charlottesville (Ash Lawn) Opera (Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof), Boston Lyric Opera (Abraham in Clemency), Emmanuel Music (Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress and Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby), and the New England Philharmonic (Wozzeck in Wozzeck).  He recently created the lead role of De Sade in Nicola Moro’s Love Hurts at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, Italy, and at Symphony Space in New York.  His many concert appearances include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Emmanuel Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Boston Baroque.

  • Deseree Whitt, in a blue turtleneck, smiling against a light background.

    Deseree Whitt

    Actor

  • Deseree Whitt, in a blue turtleneck, smiling against a light background.

    Deseree Whitt

    Actor


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    Deseree Whitt is currently an MFA acting Candidate at UNLV. She was recently seen in Little Shop of Horrors, Ring Round the Moon, and The Beaux Stratagem at the Nevada Conservatory Theatre. She has been involved in acting since she was 12 years old. Deseree studied at California State University, Fresno. There she earned her B.A in Theater Arts and graduated with Cum Laude honors in 2014. While studying theater in her undergrad, she began teaching theater to elementary aged students. This led her to direct musicals and plays for young children. She began to develop a greater love for education after teaching abroad in Tokyo for a year and a half. After returning stateside, Deseree began teaching first grade where she excelled and became lead first grade teacher during her third year.

  • Dominick Chenes

    Dominick Chenes

    Tenor

  • Dominick Chenes

    Dominick Chenes

    Tenor


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    “…Dominick Chenes’ Rodolfo, whose remarkable stamina, vocal range, and dramatic capabilities pulled the show together into a compelling dramatic arc. His fragile relationship with Mimi was complex, and yet, by the end movingly simple…” -bachtrack, La Boheme, Welsh National Opera

    Reviewed in the Huffington Post as a “breakout star” and “powerhouse lyric tenor”, tenor Dominick Chenes’ many recent engagements include debuts with Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata for Tokyo New National Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago for Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Attila , Odyssey Opera for the Earl of Essex in Britten’s Gloriana, a debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in concert arias, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Flint Symphony OrchestraThis season Dominick debuts Oper Leipzig in Bellini’s Norma (Pollione), a role he will also perform in Hong Kong later this season... Other future engagements include a return to Seattle Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca and a return to Utah Opera for Nicias in Massenet’s Thaïs. Mr. Chenes also returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover Cavaradossi.

    Most recent performances include Seattle Opera as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Opera Colorado as Rodolfo in La Boheme, New Orleans Opera as Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana, Valencia as Carlo in I Masnadieri conducted by music director Roberto Abbado, Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Reading Symphony, Musica Viva Hong Kong, for Pinkerton and Rodolfo, and La Reine de Saba with Odyssey Opera.

    Dominick’s Lyric Opera of Chicago debut was in the role of Faust (cover). He has performed Don Jose in Carmen with Palm Beach Opera, Alfredo in La Traviata at the Pa Skaret Opera Festival in Sweden, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Austin Lyric Opera, debuted Grand Theatre de Genevre as Lopas in Les Troyens with Maestro Dutoit, Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Minnesota Opera, Pinkerton for Austin Lyric Opera, Don Jose with Utah Opera, and Rodolfo with the Welsh National Opera.

    Dominick is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts where he has performed Rodolfo in La Boheme conducted by Christofer Macatsoris. Other roles at AVA include Alfredo is La Traviata, Gherman in Pique Dame, and Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut with the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, as well as a concert for the Gerda Lissner Foundation in Zankel Hall.

    Dominick was awarded second prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, third prize from the Mario Lanza Competition and a Grant from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.  He was also a finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz Austria.

  • Douglas Carpenter, with a neutral expression in a light collard shirt.

    Douglas Carpenter

    Baritone

  • Douglas Carpenter, with a neutral expression in a light collard shirt.

    Douglas Carpenter

    Baritone


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    Doug, a native of Las Vegas, graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts and received a BM in Voice Performance from UNLV. He received a MM in Voice Performance from UCLA.  As a talented classical crossover performer, Doug has won both the American Traditions Competition (2011) and the Lotte Lenya Competition (2013). He has performed principal contracts on Equity National Tours, the Broadway Stage, and numerous regional equity theatres around the country. Currently, Doug teaches voice and musical theatre at UNLV, and has a cocktail jazz duo with his wife, Rachel.

    Broadway: Nick in Beautiful The Carole King Musical. National Tour: Billy in Dirty Dancing. Regional: Cable in South Pacific (Papermill Playhouse), Joey in Most Happy Fella (Goodspeed, Dallas Lyric), Lancelot in Camelot (Pasadena Playhouse), Curly in Oklahoma (Penn Shakes, FCLO), Tony in West Side Story (FCLO), Prince in Cinderella (CLOSBC), Chris in Miss Saigon (Moonlight), Gatsby in Baz(Venetian Hotel Casino), Billy in Carousel(Musical Theatre West).

  • Dylan Morrongiello headshot, casually neutral in a light floral shirt.

    Dylan Morrongiello

    Tenor

  • Dylan Morrongiello headshot, casually neutral in a light floral shirt.

    Dylan Morrongiello

    Tenor


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    Known for his “agile character tenor” and “over-the-top committed” portrayals, tenor Dylan Anthony Morrongiello will embark on an exciting 2021-2022 season as he joins the rosters 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. This fall, he will join Opera Las Vegas as Miles Zegner in Proving Up, and in the spring of 2023, he will make his company debut with Arizona Opera as Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Morrongiello’s recent scheduled engagements included his debut with 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 Floyd’s Susannah (COVID19).

  • Erin Gonzalez, Headshot

    Erin Gonzalez

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Erin Gonzalez, Headshot

    Erin Gonzalez

    Mezzo-Soprano


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    Erin Gonzalez has performed with UNLV Opera Theater, Pacific Symphony, Sin City Opera, Florentine Opera, Martina Arroyo Foundation, Opera Las Vegas, Nevada Opera Theatre, Eastman Opera Theatre, and Opera Chapman. Role highlights include Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Hermia (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice), Secretary (The Consul), Angelina (La Cenerentola), and Dorabella (Così fan tutte).

    Winner of the 2015 and 2016 Nevada District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition and Bramledge Opera Award and Robert Kuntz Scholarship, Erin received a Bachelor in Music from Chapman University Conservatory of Music and Master in Music from Eastman School of Music.

    In July and August of 2017, Erin was a member of the Opera Studio at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. While in attendance, she won first place in the elite Meistersinger Competition.

    In April 2019, Ms. Gonzalez was named the Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year for the College of Fine Arts.

    She graduated with her Doctorate in Musical Arts; Voice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in May 2019.

  • Eugene Richards, Bass-Baritone

    Eugene Richards

    Bass-Baritone

  • Eugene Richards, Bass-Baritone

    Eugene Richards

    Bass-Baritone

    Eugene Richards made his professional opera debut in Opera Las Vegas’ production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville as The Sergeant and has recently worked with the company again in their 2015 production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as The Bonze. Eugene was also recently selected to be a part of Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices in the American Wagner Project division. Born in South Carolina, Eugene was raised in southern California as the son of a San Diego Padres baseball player. An athlete himself, Eugene attended the University of Hawaii and played for the school’s baseball team. Working as a fashion model in Las Vegas & Los Angeles, he was only recently introduced to the world of opera and began studying with Luana Devol.

  • Francisco Corredor casually smiling in a light colored suit.

    Francisco Corredor

    Tenor

  • Francisco Corredor casually smiling in a light colored suit.

    Francisco Corredor

    Tenor

    Francisco Corredor is a Puerto Rican/Colombian tenor, composer, and director born and raised in New York City. His comedic and lively operatic interpretations have been praised by Opera News, The New York Times, El Diario, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and the Oklahoman. A former artist with Tony Bennett’s Exploring the Arts Foundation and Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, he’s performed in some of New York’s most prestigious venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall as well as abroad in France, Switzerland, Austria, and Israel. He’s also sung backup for Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, and Jennifer Hudson. As a singer songwriter, he’s performed throughout the New York piano bar scene and the famous Caveau de la Huchette in Paris, France. He is the composer and lyricist of “Happy Birthday David: The Musical!” which premiered at the People’s Improv Theater MainStage. His self produced EP, recorded in Paris as Frankie Amadeus, is currently available on music streaming platforms. Recently, he directed Vegas City Opera's The Ring Vegas! which won “Most Innovative Production” at the 360° of Opera 2020 Awards.

  • Gabriel Preisser, smiling in a tux with an untied bowtie hanging around his neck.

    Gabriel Preisser

    Baritone

  • Gabriel Preisser, smiling in a tux with an untied bowtie hanging around his neck.

    Gabriel Preisser

    Baritone


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    Grammy Award winning baritone Gabriel Preisser has been praised by Opera News for his “handsome voice, charismatic energy, and timbral allure” and The New York Times called his performance as Lt. Gordon wonderful.” His resume includes over 40 operatic and musical theater roles including Danilo in The Merry Widow with Utah Festival Opera, Billy Bigelow in Carousel with Minnesota Orchestra, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with St Petersburg Opera, Dandini in Cenerentola with Opera Tampa, Escamillo in Carmen with Lyric Opera of the North, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Shreveport Opera, Le Mari in LesMamelles de Tiresias with Opera Parallele, Albert in Werther with Minnesota Opera, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette with Opera Tampa and St. Petersburg Opera, Tommy in Brigadoon with Gulfshore Opera, Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera Naples, Harold Hill in The Music Man with Colorado Symphony, and Bob Baker in Wonderful Town with Skylark Opera to name a few.  He has been praised for having a “matinee idol’s charm and charisma,” “a beautiful, luscious baritone,” and “a compelling, commanding stage presence.”

  • Hilary Grace Taylor, a woman with red hair and red lipstick, standing outside wearing a dark blue formal gown.

    Hilary Grace Taylor

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Hilary Grace Taylor, a woman with red hair and red lipstick, standing outside wearing a dark blue formal gown.

    Hilary Grace Taylor

    Mezzo-Soprano


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    Hilary Grace Taylor, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Dallas and is becoming known for her versatility of repertoire and love of contemporary music. Most recently she was a Young Artist with Chautauqua Opera in their 2020 virtual season and this year is Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. This summer she will join Pittsburgh Festival Opera as a Young Artist.

    Hilary is the First Place Winner of the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Voice Competition, and a 2019 winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition. She has debuted a number of opera roles nationally and internationally including Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Principessa (Suor Angelica) with Maestro Gregory Buchalter from the Metropolitan Opera at the 2019 Varna International Opera Academy, Giovanna (Rigoletto) with the Sacramento Symphony and Opera, and appeared as the mezzo soloist in the Verdi Requiem at the Durham Cathedral in Durham, England with conductor Paul Leddington Wright at the Brass Band Festival.

    As an Education Outreach Artist with The Dallas Opera, Hilary was responsible for the role of Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne in the 2017-18 season and performed Veronica in Doctor Miracle in their 2019-20 season. With UNT Opera she debuted Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Desirée Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Martha (Faust), Mrs. Jones (Street Scene), Regina (Regina) and Gertrude Stein (After Life by Tom Cipullo). In 2018 Hilary was invited to direct UNT Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly as well as scenes from La traviata and Le nozze di Figaro. In addition, she directed The Night of Decayed Musicians with the Dallas-based ensemble Lumedia Music Works. At the invitation of Eugene Migliaro Corporon, director of the UNT Wind Symphony, she performed and recorded James M. Stephenson’s Symphony No. 2.

    Hilary maintains a local voice studio and is a cantor at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. She received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Opera from UNT and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently pursuing the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at UNT.

  • Jenelle Catherina Headshot

    Jenelle Catherina

    Soprano

  • Jenelle Catherina Headshot

    Jenelle Catherina

    Soprano

    Jenelle Catherina is a Canadian-born performer based in Vegas. She recently graduated with a BM in Vocal Performance and BS in Human Services from UNLV and was last seen as Bonnie Harper in The Craft: An Unauthorized Musical Parody. She was also a top 3 finalist in BroadwayWorld’s Next On Stage national competition. She can be seen as part of Vegas Valley Concerts, touring with the Swing It! Girls, caroling with the Tinseltones and various other performing groups and productions in Las Vegas and beyond.

  • Jennifer Mathews Headshot

    Jennifer Mathews

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Jennifer Mathews Headshot

    Jennifer Mathews

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Since 2007, Mezzo soprano Jennifer Mathews has sung with Washington National Opera Chorus where she also sang the roles of Cousin in Madame Butterfly (2017), 2nd Bridesmaid in the Marriage of Figaro (2010 and 2016), and Girl in Show Boat (2013).  In 2018, Ms. Mathews performed the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera NOVA in Virginia.  In 2010, she performed in Rigoletto (Madelenda) and The Merry Widow (Valencienne) with Opera Camerata. Before moving to Las Vegas in 2018, Ms. Mathews taught for 12 years.  Her last teaching position was at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology where she was the choral and theatre director and taught AP Music Theory. There, she directed and conducted musicals: Fiddler on the Roof, The Little Mermaid, Les Miserables, and Mary Poppins and directed plays: Connected, The Diary of Anne Frank and Peter and the Star Catcher.

  • John Riesen in a casual brown t-shirt.

    John Riesen

    Tenor

  • John Riesen in a casual brown t-shirt.

    John Riesen

    Tenor


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    Award-winning American tenor John Riesen’s growing career boasts a variety of roles in which he consistently excels and includes significant work in opera, musical theatre, studio recording and concert. In the COVID-affected 2020-2021 season John performed concerts, live streams, and productions with several companies including Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Shades of Pink Charity Foundation, The FAR Conservatory in Detroit, and Opera Las Vegas. He returned to the stage in 2021 as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore with Pensacola Opera, Martin in The Tender Land with The Hart School, Alfredo in La Traviata with the Pacific Symphony, and Younger Thompson in Glory Denied with Berkshire Opera Festival. The 2021-2022 season includes Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with Utah Opera, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with On Site Opera, Chris in the world-premiere of Favorite Son by Grammy award winning songwriter Marcus Hummons, as well as his Carnegie Hall debut as tenor soloist in the Messiah with Musica Sacra under the baton of Kent Tritle (postponed due to COVID-19).

  • Joseph Lodato, wearing a dark suit while sitting on a modern wooden bench.

    Joseph Lodato

    Baritone

  • Joseph Lodato, wearing a dark suit while sitting on a modern wooden bench.

    Joseph Lodato

    Baritone


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    Italian-American Baritone, Joe Lodato, “an artist the world is excited to see,” is a top contender for the Verdi Baritone repertoire in the international marketplace. Having sung the title role of Rigoletto, Amonasro in Aida, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, and Peter in Hansel und Gretel to great acclaim, he has diligently prepared many of the core roles in the fach with the world's top maestri. Upcoming engagements in 2022 include appearances with Boheme OperaNJ, Opera at Florham, and Dikson in New Amsterdam Opera’s production of Boïdelieu’s La Dame Blanche. His voice has been described as possessing a “stunningly beautiful timbre, Italianate snarl, mixed with a controlled passion and deep understanding of the repertoire”, proving further that this is an artist poised to breakthrough in a major way.

    Mr. Lodato was educated at Westminster Choir College, the University of Miami, and Salzburg College, and subsequently completed Young Artist training under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Aspen Music Festival. He has been awarded top prizes by the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Los Angeles Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Aspen Music Festival, and Premiere Opera Foundation. Equally adept and attuned to the musical theater and jazz idioms, Mr. Lodato has been seen in performance with world-renowned artists such as Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, jazz icon Lea DeLaria, and award-winning composer and pianist John Musto.

    An aggressive champion of song and new works, Joe has premiered many works including the cycle Dear Theo based on the letters of Vincent Van Gogh, composed by Ben Moore; he has also appeared in concert performance with composers Jake Heggie and Ricky Ian Gordon, presenting their works to great acclaim.

  • Joshua Hager, an auburn-haired gentleman with a long beard, wearing a light blue suit and a brown scarf in an autumn setting.

    Joshua Hager

    Tenor

  • Joshua Hager, an auburn-haired gentleman with a long beard, wearing a light blue suit and a brown scarf in an autumn setting.

    Joshua Hager

    Tenor

    Joshua Hager, Tenor, is a first-year M.M. student at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. A recent graduate from Mars Hill University in North Carolina (B.M. Music Education). Joshua plans on pursuing a career in music education and performance after his time at UNLV.

    Joshua grew up in Statesville, NC where he developed a passion for music and theatre as he was cast in local and high school productions such as Footloose, The Wizard of Oz, and Singin’ in the Rain. During his time at Mars Hill University, Joshua would perform repertoire from Britten and Haydn to Miles Goodman. He was regularly found singing with the Central United Methodist Chancel Choir in Asheville, NC in addition to the Civic Choral in Johnson City, TN under the direction of Dr. Rodney Caldwell. Joshua has also enjoyed his time serving with TEAMeffort Youth Missions, facilitating construction-based mission sites, directing, and leading in contemporary-style worship.

  • Kara Grover, Soprano, a dramatically-lit headshot.

    Kara Grover

    Soprano

  • Kara Grover, Soprano, a dramatically-lit headshot.

    Kara Grover

    Soprano

    Kara Grover is a Lyric Coloratura Soprano who has performed internationally and throughout the United States. She holds a Master of Music from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Colorado. In spring of this year, Mrs. Grover debuted as Queen of the Night with Opera Fort Collins. Other roles include Héro from Berlioz's Béatrice et Benédict, the title role in Offenbach's Bagtelle, Susan from Hilliard & Boresi's The Filthy Habit, Romilda from Handel's Xerxes, Zerlina from Mozart's Don Giovanni, Adina from Donizetti's Elisir d’Amore, Despina from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and Pousette in Massenet's Manon.

    In addition to her stage work, Mrs. Grover is a gifted recitalist; in fact she led a movement to reestablish salon-recital culture in the Rheingau region of Germany. To that end, she co-founded a performing troupe, Opera Et Cetera, with colleagues and artistic director, tenor star Keith IkaiaPurdy. Mrs. Grover has been featured on German television and has performed hundreds of concerts throughout central Germany, including notable invitations from the Wiesbaden Kurhaus, Theater Dolce-Bad Nauheim, the Johannisberg Schloss, the Biebrich Schloss, and the Rheingauer Dom; each among the region’s most prestigious concert locales.

    In the midst of the pandemic, Mrs. Grover became inspired to commission a vocal work that reflected her dedication to promoting women in music. As a Colorado native, her second inspirations was the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Music by composer, Lois Henry, and poetry by Colorado poet, Belle Turnbull (1881-1970), brought this vision to life, and BELLESONGS was born; a song cycle for high voice and piano. Mrs. Grover premiered the work at FSU on her masters recital. BELLESONGS was also featured at the Mississippi University for Women's Music by Women Festival. Mrs. Grover and Ms. Henry are honored to present this work with Opera Las Vegas and are steadfast in their passion for performing and promoting musical works by women.

  • Karsten Pudwill, Tenor, in grey against a dark background

    Karsten Pudwill

    Tenor

  • Karsten Pudwill, Tenor, in grey against a dark background

    Karsten Pudwill

    Tenor

    Karsten Pudwill is a Vegas-based tenor from North Dakota. Written as possessing a "warm lyric quality," (Callback News) his recent production credits include Paul in A Secret Sanctuary with Blue Gate Musicals, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel with Opera Las Vegas, and Parpignol in La BoDead with Vegas City Opera. Past credits include Tamino in The Princess and the Magic Flute, and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, all with Vegas City Opera. He also performed with Majestic Repertory Theatre in the new musical comedy, Bigfoot and sang the role of Jay Newman in the world premiere of the new opera, No Guarantees with UNLV Opera Theatre. He is thrilled to spread some holiday cheer with Opera Las Vegas!

  • Kayla Wilkens, Soprano, in black and leaning against a grey wall.

    Kayla Wilkens

    Soprano

  • Kayla Wilkens, Soprano, in black and leaning against a grey wall.

    Kayla Wilkens

    Soprano


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    With a passion for musical theatre and opera, soprano Kayla Wilkens is a versatile young artist originally from Salem, Oregon. An enthusiastic supporter of developing new works, she has performed leading roles in the ASCAP award-winning premiere readings of Persephone Unplugged (Persephone) and Jonathan Reid Gealt’s Dust and Shadow (Miss Monk), in the World Music Award-winning premiere of the opera O Pioneers! (Marie Shabata), John Muehleisen's Pietà (soprano soloist) and in Libby Larsen’s Moabit Sonnets (soprano soloist). Her featured roles in new works include Vía Láctea (Peggy cover/featured soloist) with OperaBend, the American debut of Robert Owen’s opera Culture, Culture! (featured coloratura) international live webcast, and the national prize-winning full orchestra premiere of Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of Bernstein’s Candide (Cunegonde cover).

    Other recent productions include performing as a featured soloist in concerts with Tony-winning composers Steven Lutvak and Stephen Bray. Her recent roles include Into the Woods (Rapunzel/Cinderella’s Mother) with Musical Theater Heritage, L’Etoile (Princess Laoula) with Sin City Opera, Sweeney Todd (Johanna) with OmniArts, and in the tour of The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van De Graaff) with the Stage Theater. Kayla has also performed as a featured soloist in the original historical revues Songs of the Great War at Musical Theater Heritage and in the Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration production of Civil War Voices. Other favorite roles include La Fée in Cendrillon, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, and Adele in A Man of No Importance.

    As a frequent recitalist and orchestral soloist, her recent performances include Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Faure’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bernstein’s Mass, and a duet recital series Glimpses premiering commissioned American art songs. Kayla has also toured and performed as a featured soloist with professional choral chamber ensembles including Sounding Light and First Plymouth Cantorei.

    Her honors include the Dorothy Kirsten-James Browning “Most Promising Young Artist” prize in the NATS National Artist Awards, the inaugural Bill Hayes Award in NATS National Musical Theater Competition, as well as awards in the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, the Lotte Lenya Competition, the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, and the Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento National Vocal Competition.

    Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Linfield College, she completed a Master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Nebraska. When not on stage, Kayla may be found blues dancing or concocting decadent desserts to reward her dearest friends.  ​​

    Recent highlights from the 2018 season include singing as the soprano soloist in Pietà: An Oratorio by John Muehleisen with the Abendmusik Orchestra at First Plymouth Church, premiering the songcycle April Twilights​ by Chris Miller (of Miller & Tysen), a children's adaptation of The Magic Flute  (Pamina/1st Spirit) with Sin City Opera, singing in educational outreach concerts with Opera Omaha, and The Pirates of Penzance (Mabel) with Sin City Opera and Super Summer Theater. Most recently, Kayla sang in Opera Omaha's Pagliacci, joined the Arts Across Nebraska tour of the musical Civil War Voices and then returned to Las Vegas to sing the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with Opera Las Vegas. She is currently performing in Stolen! The Musical at the Ohio Star Theater through August and upcoming appearances include performances with Sounding Light, Opera Omaha and  Vegas City Opera.

    ​Full resume and references available upon request.
  • Kenneth Stavert, Baritone

    Kenneth Stavert

    Baritone

  • Kenneth Stavert, Baritone

    Kenneth Stavert

    Baritone


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    Praised for his strong “sense of theatricality,” Baritone Kenneth Stavert has performed on operatic, concert and recital stages throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Some of his recent highlights include Silvio in Pagliacci, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Ping in Turandot (Dayton Opera), Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos (Palm Beach Opera), Yamadori in Madama (Santa Fe Opera), Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Scarpia in Tosca (Opera in the Heights) and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Pacific Opera Project). Kenneth’s orchestral credits include Berlioz’s Lélio, Fauré’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore. He has also been a featured recitalist throughout the United States specializing in less performed English art song. Upcoming performances include La Traviata, La boheme, Tosca and Into the Woods.

  • Kimberly Gratland James, Mezzo-Soprano, close up of face

    Kimberly Gratland James

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Kimberly Gratland James, Mezzo-Soprano, close up of face

    Kimberly Gratland James

    Mezzo-Soprano


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    Mezzo-soprano Kimberly Gratland James (Zelda 1948) joined the UNLV School of Music faculty in 2017 as an Assistant Professor with more than 20 years of professional performance and teaching experience in vocal music. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Montana, where she primarily taught applied voice, voice pedagogy, and diction for singers. Kimberly maintains an active performance career, particularly as a concert artist and recitalist. She has performed in concert with the London Sinfonietta, the New World Symphony, the Los Angeles Symphony, and on stage with New Orleans Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Las Vegas, among other organizations. Her performance repertoire is quite diverse, encompassing oratorio works by Bach, operatic repertoire from Purcell to Wagner, and concert works by Verdi, Mahler, Ravel, and contemporary composers. She is passionate about culturally-situated art and modern art music and recently garnered acclaim for her portrayal of the role of the literary icon, Gertrude Stein, in Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavreks’ opera, 27, with Opera Las Vegas. She will perform the Nevada and Montana premieres of Through the Guarded Gate, a 50-state project “Beyond the Guarded Gate” which is the virtual march of Juliana Hall’s song cycle featuring the powerful messages of poet Margaret Widdemer’s words.

  • Kourtney Holmes, Soprano

    Kourtney Holmes

    Soprano

  • Kourtney Holmes, Soprano

    Kourtney Holmes

    Soprano

    A native of New Orleans, LA, soprano, Kourtney Holmes is an emerging artist of opera, concert, and recital repertoire. Recently performed roles include Gertrude (Hänsel und Gretel) at the Vienna Summer Music Festival and Annie (Royal Flush) at UNLV Opera. Kourtney has performed roles at the Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at Louisiana State University which included Madame Larina (Eugene Onegin), Edka (Two Remain), Rosette (Manon), and Zita (Gianni Schicchi). Kourtney has also performed at regional opera houses and for community outreach events. She gained international experience in Italy, where she sang Mother (Madama Butterfly), La Badessa (Suor Angelica), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Flora (La Traviata). Kourtney holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mississippi State University, a Masters of Music degree from Louisiana State University and is currently a Doctoral candidate at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she studies with Dr. Alfonse Anderson. She is also a passionate, licensed music educator who works as a certified EMT in her spare time.

  • Lillian Channelle, Soprano

    Lillian Channelle

    Soprano

  • Lillian Channelle, Soprano

    Lillian Channelle

    Soprano

    American soprano, Lillian Channelle, is an International performing artist with a new pop-opera album, Tribute. This album is available on all streaming platforms including Itunes and Spotify. Lillian has performed in performances, concerts, and competitions throughout the world. Some notable performances include appearances as featured soloist in the National KET/PBS broadcast at the Singletary Center for the Arts; a broadcast on the Spanish National Radio at the Santander Festival in front of the King and Queen of Spain during her third Spain tour with the American Spiritual Ensemble; and a performance at the Oprah Winfrey Humanitarian Awards as a winner of the Marian Anderson Classical Artist Prize. Recently, Lillian presented a solo concert for the Arts Education of Chorus and Orchestras of Honduras organization in Honduras with plans to return this Fall. Lillian has won numerous high-profile competitions including the Metropolitan Opera Competition, the Meistersinger Competition in Austria, the Oreste A. Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, the George London Foundation Competition as a finalist in New York. In addition to performing, Lillian Channelle serves as a clinician and guest judge. Recently, Lillian provided a voice seminar for the Arts Education of Chorus and Orchestras of Honduras organization in Honduras and was a guest vocal clinician and lecturer for the Association of Panama festival at the National Conservatory of Music of Panamá and the University of Panamá. Some training includes the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA), Martina Arroyo Prelude to a Performance, Aldeburgh Music Festival in England, and the Aspen Music Festival. Lillian Channelle holds a Doctor of Music Degree in Vocal Music from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization Voccalis International.

  • Lisa Elliott, close-up headshot.

    Lisa Elliott

    Soprano

  • Lisa Elliott, close-up headshot.

    Lisa Elliott

    Soprano

    Vocalist Lisa Elliott performs in a wide variety of musical styles. From singing jazz standards on the Vegas Strip to coloratura soprano opera roles, Lisa enjoys many different genres of music.

    She is also the Music Director at Grace Presbyterian Church Las Vegas, where she directs the weekly services as well as the Grace Concert Choir and orchestra in many major works.

    Lisa loves music education. She is the Director of the Grace Academy of Music Education (GAME), directing the GAME Children’s Choir and all voice students. And she is an adjunct voice professor at UNLV.

    In 2020, Dr. Lisa Elliott completed her DMA degree in vocal performance through UNLV, having already earned a Master’s degree at San Diego State University in vocal performance, and a Bachelor’s degree in choral conducting at Scripps College in Claremont, CA.

  • Marcie Ley Headshot

    Marcie Ley

    Soprano

  • Marcie Ley Headshot

    Marcie Ley

    Soprano

    Soprano Marcie Ley has received critical acclaim for her performances across the United States and Europe.

    Notable roles performed include Violetta in La Traviata, Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Mimi in La Bohème, Liú in Turandot, Marguérite in Faust, and Nedda in Pagliacci, with numerous regional opera companies in the USA, and also in Europe at The Arena di Verona in Italy, Opéra National de Montpellier in France, and in Germany with Theater Dortmund, Oper Leipzig, and the Musiktheater im Revier.

    A native of Edinboro, PA, Marcie now calls Las Vegas home, and she is happily sharing her years of experience by teaching private voice lessons.

  • Marshall Morrow, Baritone, in black with a neutral expression.

    Marshall Morrow

    Baritone

  • Marshall Morrow, Baritone, in black with a neutral expression.

    Marshall Morrow

    Baritone

    Marshall Morrow has recently performed Schaunard in Vegas City Opera’s La Boheme, along with Tom/John (The Face on the Barroom Floor), The Pirate King (Pirate of Penzance), Corporal and Sulpice (Daughter of the Regiment), Escamillo (Carmen), Marcello (La Bohéme in Concert), Gamekeeper (Cunning Little Vixen), Father (Hansel and Gretel), and Papageno (The Magic Flute). Opera News stated Marshall Morrow “tall, thin and hilariously snooty, showed real comic skill” (Isouard’s Cendrillon). Previously Marshall performed the role of Rambaldo in La Rondine as a Young Artist at Lidal North in Oslo, Norway. His roles include Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Dandini in Isouard's Cendrillon and  the summer of 2017, Marshall performed the role of Le Surintendant des plaisirs in Massenet's Cendrillon the role title of Don Giovanni at Trentino Music Festival. Other performance credits include the role of Miton in the U.S. premiere of Delibes' Le Roi L'a Dit. Marshall performed/ created the role of Gregory in a workshop of Vera by Matthew Barnson in collaboration with American Opera Project. Marshall has sung with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

  • Norman Espinoza, Bass, smiling in a suit and tie.

    Norman Espinoza

    Bass

  • Norman Espinoza, Bass, smiling in a suit and tie.

    Norman Espinoza

    Bass


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    Norman Espinoza, a Bass originally from San José California, has performed internationally and with numerous opera companies in California. He is a graduate from San José State University where he obtained both his M.M. and B.M. in Vocal Performance.

    Recognized for his powerful low notes, he has sung for the Berlin Opera Academy, Montefeltro Music Festival in Italy, Opera San José, Lyric Opera Orange County, Vegas City Opera and Opera Santa Barbara. Roles include: Colline, Alidoro, Reverend Hale, Il Commendatore, Sparafucile, Leporello, Bartolo, Seneca and Sarastro to name a few.

    Norman is currently a Chrismas Studio Artist for the 2021-2022 season with Opera Santa Barbara and recently won 3rdplace for the 2021 Classical Singer Competition’s Classical Young Artist/Emerging Professional category.

    Norman now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and off stage they run a small business in financial services. They are a great team and have a passion for educating others about financial literacy/helping others reach their goals and dreams.

  • Olivia Yokers, shoulder-length brown hair with a pleasant neutral expression and a strapless top.

    Olivia Yokers

    Soprano

  • Olivia Yokers, shoulder-length brown hair with a pleasant neutral expression and a strapless top.

    Olivia Yokers

    Soprano


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    Praised for singing with “gorgeous vulnerability” (The Richmond Times). Olivia Yokers is well-regarded for her thrilling voice and versatility onstage. Ms. Yokers has performed pieces spanning from Mozart to Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as Philip Glass. Her most recent company engagements include Oklahoma Lyric Theater, Painted Sky Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Virginia Opera. Her most notable roles are Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Dayton Opera, Tulane Summer Lyric, Utah Festival Opera), Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Dayton Opera, Chance Opera Theatre), and Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Virginia Opera). As an advocate for new music Ms. Yokers was a part of the debut of Before the Night Sky presented by Opera America New Opera Showcase. She also performed with the Indianapolis Opera with the first staged production of Akhnaten. She has performed as a soloist in various concerts and oratorios including Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Ralph Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, and John Rutter’s Mass of the Children.

  • Paul Houghtaling, bass-baritone

    Paul Houghtaling

    Bass-Baritone

  • Paul Houghtaling, bass-baritone

    Paul Houghtaling

    Bass-Baritone


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    Bass-baritone Paul Houghtaling has sung a diverse repertoire throughout the U.S. and abroad. Career highlights include the Philip Glass soundtrack to Reggio’s film Naqoyqatsi for SONY, on which he is a feature vocalist; several Carnegie Hall solo appearances with Cecelia Chorus of New York, American Composers Orchestra, and others; U.S. tours with the Waverly Consort, including Kennedy Center appearances; and “Opera  Buffa: Comedy On Stage” on Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artists” series. Recent seasons included Ko-Ko in The Mikado with Anchorage Opera, Natchez Opera, and Opera Saratoga; Sir Joseph in H.M.S. Pinafore for Nashville Opera; a return to Mobile Opera as stage director and Angelotti in Tosca; and his debut with Opera Birmingham as Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore.  He has also appeared with the Central City, Baltimore, Boston Lyric, Knoxville, Long Beach, Natchez, Opera on the James, and Santa Fe Operas, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, among others, and has created roles in works by Philip Glass, Lee Hoiby, Michael Ching and others.

  • Rabuel Aviles, with formal makeup and a neutral expression in bright lighting.

    Rabuel Aviles

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Rabuel Aviles, with formal makeup and a neutral expression in bright lighting.

    Rabuel Aviles

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Rabuel Aviles is a Mexican American Mezzo Soprano from Las Vegas Nevada. She has studied at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and has performed the role of The Chinese Tea Cup in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, covered Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro, performed Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Mother Marie of the Incarnation in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. Apart from UNLV, she has performed with Opera Las Vegas in the choruses of Madama Butterfly, Carmen, and The Elixir of Love. She was the Page in Rigoletto, performed at the Liberace Gala and sang in their inaugural Latin Fiesta concert. Rabuel has also been a part of Vegas City Opera. She performed as the Father in their all women production of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, and has been a continuous artist in their seasonal concerts. In addition, she was a young artist with Vegas City Opera for their 2019-2020 season. As part of their outreach program she was Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Ruth in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, and Madame Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, Rabuel holds this new work close to her heart and she is excited and honored to be part of this debut.

  • Rachel Kay Miller Headshot, smiling in a flower-print dress.

    Rachel Kay Miller

    Mezzo-Soprano

  • Rachel Kay Miller Headshot, smiling in a flower-print dress.

    Rachel Kay Miller

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Rachel Kay Miller, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Streator, IL. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Alabama in 2016, and in 2019, she earned her Master of Music from Illinois State University, also in Vocal Performance. Her repertoire encompasses a variety of musical styles, including art song, musical theatre, oratorio, and operatic works. Miller's recent opera roles include Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Terentia in Dan Shore's The Beautiful Bridegroom, and Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Miller made her Opera Las Vegas debut in December of 2021 in "Holiday on Broadway." She has gained a considerable interest in American opera through her performances of American chamber operas and her independent graduate research. In addition to her opera performances, Miller has appeared as an alto soloist in J.S. Bach's Magnificat. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where she teaches private voice lessons through the Las Vegas Piano Music School and her own private studio.

  • Rafael Canizalez, with glasses and shaggy curly hair in a bold-patterned shirt, smiling against a plain background.

    Rafael Canizalez

    Actor

  • Rafael Canizalez, with glasses and shaggy curly hair in a bold-patterned shirt, smiling against a plain background.

    Rafael Canizalez

    Actor

    Rafael is a fourth-year student at UNLV majoring in Theatre Studies and Health Care Administration. Most recent credits include Hero in LVLT’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other recent works include the production of UNLV Second Stage’s 5th season, direction of Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon, and scenic design and construction for productions of Exit Laughing and Les Miserables. An all-around lover of theatre, Rafael is excited to join this cast and branch out into a new world of performance.

  • Rob McGinness, Baritone, smiling in formal wear in front of a brick wall.

    Rob McGinness

    Baritone

  • Rob McGinness, Baritone, smiling in formal wear in front of a brick wall.

    Rob McGinness

    Baritone


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    Employing his “impressive singing … well-supported tone and supple phrasing,” (Baltimore Sun) baritone Rob McGinness connects characters to ideas, and listeners to sounds. Often featured portraying opera’s “bad boy,” Rob’s operatic credits include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Marcello in La Bohème.

    Committed to promoting and performing new works, Rob premiered roles in Frances Pollock’s award-winning opera Stinney, The Ghost Train by Paul Crabtree, and the lead role in Shining Brow, Daron Hagen’s opera about Frank Lloyd Wright. Rob’s own compositions include vocal, theatrical, and orchestral pieces premiered at IngenuityFest, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, and by the Windham Orchestra in Vermont.

    As a featured soloist, Rob performed in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. Other concert credits include Carmina Burana with Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Brahms Requiem with The Washington Chorus, for which the Washington Post praised his “warm baritone.”

  • Robert Mellon with a sultry expression, a balding man with facial hair, standing with crossed arms against a concrete wall in a bright blue suit.

    Robert Mellon

    Baritone

  • Robert Mellon with a sultry expression, a balding man with facial hair, standing with crossed arms against a concrete wall in a bright blue suit.

    Robert Mellon

    Baritone


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    American baritone Robert Mellon was acclaimed by Opera News for having “excellent comic timing,” and a “domineering baritone, gleaming like polished copper.” During the 2022-2023 season, Mr. Mellon will be making his house debuts at Tulsa Opera in L’Italiana in Algeri as Taddeo and Opera Tampa as Tonio in Pagliacci; he will then return to Pensacola Opera to reprise the role of Marcello in La bohème; Syracuse Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro; and to debut the role of Germont in La Traviata at Opera Las Vegas. Mr. Mellon will also be appearing as a soloist with Opera Edwardsville in their free community concert series.

    During the 2021-2022 season Mr. Mellon debuted the roles of Marcello in La bohème and Gubetta in Lucrezia Borgia with Opera de Oviedo; and made his Pensacola Opera debut reprising the role of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Mellon will also debuted the role of Iago in a reimagined production of Verdi's Otello with InSeries Opera in Washington D.C.; he also reprised the role of Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto with Opera Philadelphia, and he debuted as the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Union Avenue Opera.

    In recent seasons, Mr. Mellon has performed the roles of Schaunard in La bohème with San Diego Opera; Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Opera Las Vegas; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Union Avenue Opera; Simone in Eine Florentinische Tragödie and Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera de Oviedo; and the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Simone in Eine Florentinische Tragödie with Livermore Valley Opera, about which the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Baritone Robert Mellon was both the musical star of the performance and its dramatic vertex…with a steely vocal edge that never interfered with the beauty and flexibility of his singing.”

    Other roles include Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Cosí fan tutte, Escamillo in Carmen, Pizarro in Fidelio, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, and Macbeth in the U.S. premiere of Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth. Concert work includes the Mozart and Duruflé Requiems, Dvorak’s Te Deum, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Christmas Oratorio, and Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death.

  • Shannon Jennings, Soprano, in a black outfit against a wood paneled wall.

    Shannon Jennings

    Soprano

  • Shannon Jennings, Soprano, in a black outfit against a wood paneled wall.

    Shannon Jennings

    Soprano


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    Praised by The Washington Post for her dramatic intensity and vocal ability, soprano Shannon Jennings continues to wow critics and audiences alike. Most recently. she joined Palm Beach Opera where she sang Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and covered Mimì in La bohème and Nedda in Pagliacci and returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 in recital, the title role in Viardot’s Cendrillon and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. Other recent credits include Micaëla in Carmen and the title role in Tosca with Annapolis Opera. In 2022, she looks forward to reprising the role of Tosca with Opera Las Vegas and performing Mimì in La bohème with Newport Classical and Kentucky Opera.

    A Capitol District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Jennings’ apprenticeships include Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program.

  • Sheronda McKee-Dollar, D.M.A., Opera Las Vegas Diversity Coordinator

    Sheronda McKee-Dollar

    Soprano

  • Sheronda McKee-Dollar, D.M.A., Opera Las Vegas Diversity Coordinator

    Sheronda McKee-Dollar

    Soprano

    Dr. Sheronda McKee, soprano, originally from Phoenix, Arizona has been appearing on stages in both the United States and Europe. Recently she finished her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas under the guidance of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. She is currently performing with Opera Las Vegas and Opera On Tap Las Vegas. Most recent roles performed with UNLV Opera include Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos). She has also performed the title role in Puccini’s "Suor Angelica" for the International Lyric Academy during the Tuscia Opera Festival. In concert and in scenes she has played Violetta (La Traviata), Nedda (I Pagliacci), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor) and others.

    Sheronda has been a featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah as well as Mozart’s Requiem. She has traveled to Viterbo and Tarquinia in Italy with the International Lyric Academy and Graz, with the AIMS Program (American Institute of Musical Studies) where she was an alternate in the 2010 Meistersinger Vocal Competition. Recent awards include the Pasadena Opera Guild Scholarship, the Encouragement Award from MONC (Metropolitan Opera National Council) as well as First place in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). She most recently appeared with Opera Las Vegas in Opera Legends in Black.

  • Solomon Howard, Bass, in semi-formal clothes and an overcoat.

    Soloman Howard

    Bass

  • Solomon Howard, Bass, in semi-formal clothes and an overcoat.

    Soloman Howard

    Bass


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    Winner of the Kennedy Center’s 2019 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, Soloman Howard is a graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and garners high praise from the press for his vivid performances on the great opera and concert stages of the world.  Soloman Howard’s voice is described as “sonorous” by The New York Times, “superhuman” by The Denver Post, and “a triumph” by The Guardian.

    Soloman Howard joins San Francisco Opera in the 2021-22 season for no less than three productions: Tosca, Fidelio, and Don Giovanni.  He appears with English National Opera in the role of The Commander in Poul Ruder's The Handmaid's Tale in a new production directed by the Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon, bows as Colline in La bohème at the Teatro Real in a production by Richard Jones conducted by Nicola Luisotti, and reprises the title role of Approaching Ali, by composer D.J. Sparr and librettists Mark Campbell and Davis Miller, in a site-specific boxing venue with Las Vegas Opera.  Concert appearances of the season include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Music Director Fabio Luisi and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as well as with Jakub Hrůša leading The Philharmonia and an all-Verdi Gala Concert at San Francisco Opera under the baton of Music Director Eun Sun Kim.

    Performances of 2019-20 included debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the company’s new production by Francesca Zambello of Luisa Miller conducted by Music Director Enrique Mazzola as well as at English National Opera in the same title in a new production by Barbora Horáková Joly conducted by Alexander Joel, and Sarastro in The Magic Flute in a return engagement with the Metropolitan Opera.

    Highlights of the recent past include Jacopo Fiesco in a new production of Simon Boccanegra at the Opéra national de Bordeaux conducted by Paul Daniel, Timur in Turandot at San Francisco Opera for his debut led by Nicola Luisotti, Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo at Los Angeles Opera under the baton of Music Director James Conlon, Il Re in Aida for a debut at the Teatro Real, and Santa Fe Opera performances as Commendatore in Don Giovanni conducted by John Nelson and Colline in La bohème conducted by Jader Bignamini.  He also achieved great success with the roles of Somnus and Cadmus during an international tour of Semele with Harry Bicket leading The English Concert.

    For the Washington National Opera, Soloman Howard has bowed as Fafner in Der Ring des Nibelungen directed by Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and conducted by Philippe Auguin as well as in leading roles in The Magic Flute, Show Boat, Approaching Ali, Don Giovanni, and Nabucco.  He was heralded for the roles of Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the world premiere of the revised edition of Appomattox composed by Philip Glass in a production by Tazwell Thompson and in the title role of The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me written by Jeanine Tesori and J.D. McClatchy.

    On the concert stage, he has given performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a European tour and with Christian Arming and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra on tour in Asia.  He has joined Harry Christophers and the Handel & Haydn Society for Mozart’s Requiem, Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society of New York in performances of Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht at Carnegie Hall, and with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra in a concert presentation of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.

    The Anti-Defamation League presented Soloman Howard with their “Making a Difference Award” in the summer of 2016 for raising awareness of voting rights though his performances of Appomattox at the Kennedy Center; and for bringing opera into the larger community.  Soloman Howard is a proud graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and of Morgan State University.

  • Taylor See

    Taylor See

    Soprano

  • Taylor See

    Taylor See

    Soprano


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    Taylor See, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, is recognized as the second place winner of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) Concerto Competition (2020), a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Voice Competition (2020), a finalist in the Classical Singer (CS MUSIC) Voice Competition (2020), and a finalist in the New York Lyric Opera Competition (2017). She began her musical studies at the age of six playing piano, and she began singing at the age of fourteen.

    Taylor will make her Opera Las Vegas debut in November 2021 singing the roles of Adelaide Mills/ Miss Thompson/ Helen Mills in the west coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The House Without a Christmas Tree. She has sung the roles of Contessa Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at SFCM (2019), Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone with Vegas City Opera (2021), Teofane in Handel's Ottone at SFCM (2020), Valencienne in Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow at the Utah Vocal Arts Academy Summer Opera Festival (2017), Lucy Brown in Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera at SFCM (2018), Julie in David Conte’s Firebird Motel at SFCM (2020), Novizia in Puccini's Suor Angelica at SFCM (2017), and Vixen (cover) in Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen at Opera Steamboat (2018).

    She was the soprano soloist in Faure’s Requiem at SFCM (2019), as well as the soprano soloist in Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ at Desert Spring United Methodist Church (2016).

    Taylor is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), earning her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance (2020) under the tutelage of César Ulloa. She will be pursuing her master’s at SFCM this Fall 2021.

  • Travis Leon, tenor, smiling in a light pink shirt in an outdoor setting.

    Travis Leon

    Tenor

  • Travis Leon, tenor, smiling in a light pink shirt in an outdoor setting.

    Travis Leon

    Tenor

    Travis is thrilled to be making his Opera Las Vegas debut this season. “Opera Legends in Black is a wonderful program to honor the many artists that paved the way for singers of color today.” A native of Lansing, Michigan, Travis holds degrees from Lansing Community College, Western Michigan University, and will be finishing his master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, this spring. He currently studies under the guidance of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. He would like to thank his teachers, friends, and family for their undying love and support. Travis will be seen later this season when he makes his professional role debut as Spoletta in Opera Las Vegas’s production of Tosca.

  • Tyler Urbano, a young woman with dark hair and a dark blouse, neutral expression with dramatic lighting.

    Tyler Urbano

  • Tyler Urbano, a young woman with dark hair and a dark blouse, neutral expression with dramatic lighting.

    Tyler Urbano

    Tyler Urbano, soprano, is a Las Vegas native currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at UNLV under the direction of Dr. Kimberly James. Her operatic roles and scenes include Don Ettore in La Canterina, Despina in Cosí fan tutte, and the First Witch in Dido and Aeneas. She was recently a soprano soloist for UNLV’s performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria. She has also been a chorus member in Puccini’s Tosca, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. Tyler recently attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria where she continued her studies in opera under the direction of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. During her time at AIMS, Tyler was selected to perform with the AIMS Festival Orchestra in their concert “O mia bella Napoli.” Her upcoming roles include Alida in Robert Ward’s Roman Fever.

  • Valentine Baron, Soprano

    Valentine Baron

    Soprano

  • Valentine Baron, Soprano

    Valentine Baron

    Soprano

    Valentine Baron, soprano, originally from France has been appearing on stages in both France and the United States. In 2014, she moved to New York to pursue a Master of Voice Performance and Pedagogy at New York University (NYU). While in New York, she made her operatic debuts as Second Lady (The Magic Flute) at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) at Opera America. Others performances include Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), La Fée (Cendrillon), Mlle Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor), Stella (La Fille du Tambour Major), Blanche de la Force (The Dialogues of the Carmelites), Eurydice (Orpheus in the Underworld) and the Vixen (The Little Cunning Vixen).

    In July 2019, she gave a recital in France raising funds for research on Epilepsy. In 2022, she will sing to help the research on breast cancer. Ms. Baron is currently finishing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance in the studio of the soprano Dr. Linda Lister.

  • William Meinert casually smiling in a dark suit.

    William Meinert

    Bass

  • William Meinert casually smiling in a dark suit.

    William Meinert

    Bass


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    Praised for his “rich vibrant bass” (Opera Today) and "charismatic [and] exhilarating comic flair" (Boston Musical Intelligencer), William Meinert recently made his European debut with Tiroler Festspiele Erl as Mordred in Le roi Arthus and joined the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt i.d.OPf., Germany. In 2021 he joined Atlanta Opera as a Studio Artist, debuting as Curio in Giulio Cesare, and returned to Santa Fe Opera, where he performed Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and covered Gremin in Eugene Onegin as an Apprentice Artist. He also debuted with Dallas Opera as the Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly and joined the National Symphony Orchestra as bass soloist for Handel’s Messiah, the NEC Philharmonia & Symphonic Choir for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar,” and the American Bach Soloists.

    First Prize Winner in the 2022 Shreveport Opera Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition and the 2019 Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, William is a recent graduate of the Cafritz Young Artist program at Washington National Opera, where he performed Sarastro in The Magic Flute and the Secret Police Agent in The Consul. He has sung Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni (Baltimore Concert Opera), Commentator in Derrick Wang's Scalia/Ginsburg (Opera North), Vodník in Rusalka (Madison Opera), and Le Duc in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Pensacola Opera). As a Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist, he covered Hjarne and Corbin in the world premiere of Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child. He was scheduled to return to the 2020 Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist program to sing Second Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte and cover Vodník in Dvořák's Rusalka. He has been featured in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with American Bach Soloists, and Handel’s Messiah with Washington Bach Consort.

    A Master of Music graduate of Peabody Institute, William is also co-founder of Parea Series—a digital performance series combining music, innovative theater, and lively discussion—in which he is not only a principal performer but also responsible for filming, video editing, and lighting design.



Instrumentalists



  • Darryl Cooper, Pianist

    Darryl Cooper

    Pianist

  • Darryl Cooper, Pianist

    Darryl Cooper

    Pianist

    Darryl Cooper is currently the Music Director and Vocal Coach for Opera Studies at UNLV. Before coming to Las Vegas, he was the Assistant Music Director of the Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he worked for over 20 years as a pianist, coach, and conductor. He is also on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and has previously been a member of the opera and coaching faculties of the Boston Conservatory, Boston University Theater Institute, Crittenden Opera Studio, Chautauqua Opera, Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, and an Artist-in-Residence at Brandeis University. Mr. Cooper has prepared numerous professional and workshop opera productions in the Bay Area, New England, and Italy. In addition, he prepared Jerome Robbin’s West Side Story Ballet for the San Francisco Ballet, and is a co-teacher of The Singer’s Gym.  He studied at The Florida State University College of Music,  Brevard Music Center, New England Conservatory, and holds a M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music He is an active recital partner, and has been heard on WGBH Radio, Boston.

  • Katie Leung, pianist, smiling in black formal clothing against a light background.

    Katie Leung

    Pianist

  • Katie Leung, pianist, smiling in black formal clothing against a light background.

    Katie Leung

    Pianist


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    Pianist Katie Leung is a dedicated collaborative artist and chamber musician. A two-time winner of the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, she joined the faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2015. Previously, she held positions at numerous renowned music and dance institutions in New York City, including Lucy Moses School, Ballet Academy East, Rutgers University, and Manhattan School of Music.

    Leung has worked with such artists as flutists Amy Porter, Demarre McGill, and Jasmine Choi, and cellist Raphael Wallfisch, as well as current and past members of major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony. She has been a collaborative pianist at The Banff Centre in Canada, the Castleman Quartet Program, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

    Leung attended the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music. She holds degrees in Piano Performance, Flute Performance, and Collaborative Piano.

  • Lois Henry, smiling in a blue jacket and white turtleneck.

    Lois Henry

    Pianist & Composer

  • Lois Henry, smiling in a blue jacket and white turtleneck.

    Lois Henry

    Pianist & Composer

    Lois Henry has an extensive background as a composer, pianist (solo and collaborative), organist, coach, and conductor. She is currently a staple in Florida’s classical music scene both as a performer and educator. As a long-time Professor of Music at Northwest Florida State College (until 2019), she conducted the Chorale and Belle Voci (the college’s select women’s ensemble), taught piano, voice, and music theory, and performed numerous solo piano recitals. As an orchestral conductor, she served as interim music director and conductor of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO), performed as solo pianist and organist with that group, and currently is its principal pianist.

    Ms. Henry is a sought-after collaborative pianist, working and performing with artists such as tenor Lawrence Brownlee (including a live-streamed performance on behalf of the Metropolitan Opera), soprano Kara Bishop-Grover as well as other operatic singers, various instrumentalists, and choirs. Since 2008 she has performed each year as pianist with one of the Florida all-state choirs, and also has appeared at the Southern Invitational Choral Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi. Ms. Henry is a frequent adjudicator for piano, vocal, and choral assessments.

    As a composer, Ms. Henry writes vocal, choral, and piano music. Her works are performed at colleges, high schools, churches, and concert halls. In 2019 she completed a commissioned song cycle for five opera singers and piano. This work, which premiered at the University of West Florida, is based on the historic story of Viola Edwards, a Black nurse who opened a hospital in Pensacola in 1922. Her next song cycle, BELLESONGS, is the brainchild of Kara Bishop-Grover, and is composed on texts of Colorado poet Belle Turnbull. Mrs. Grover and Ms. Henry premiered the work at Florida State University in 2021.

    Ms. Henry spent more than 20 years working in the Boston area, where she taught at Eastern Nazarene College, served as pianist, organist and frequently as chorus master for Chorus pro Musica, working with, among others, Donald Palumbo.

    Ms. Henry is delighted to be performing here in Las Vegas with soprano and women’s music advocate Kara Bishop-Grover.



Production Leaders



  • Andrew Nienaber, Stage Director, in a suit and tie with a plain background.

    Andrew Nienaber

    Director

  • Andrew Nienaber, Stage Director, in a suit and tie with a plain background.

    Andrew Nienaber

    Director


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    He/Him/His. Andrew Nienaber is an opera stage director and the Artistic Director of Permian Basin Opera. His productions of The Barber of Seville for Piedmont Opera and Hubbard Hall Opera have been called "a rousing success" by the Winston-Salem Journal, and “legitimately hilarious” by Berkshire Fine Arts, and his Elixir of Love for Resonance Works Pittsburgh, awarded the American Prize for "Best Opera Performance of the Year", was hailed as "utterly, fabulously engaging," and "...one of the most charming entertainment experiences you can have this season..." His other directing credits include Tosca for l'Opera de Montreal, Opera Idaho, Opera Birmingham and Permian Basin Opera; Rusalka for Resonance Works Pittsburgh; The Elixir of Love for Opera Idaho, Permian Basin Opera and Hubbard Hall Opera; Glory Denied for Penn Square Music Festival; and Don Giovanni and La Boheme for Opera Idaho.

  • Audrey Chait, Director

    Audrey Chait

    Director

  • Audrey Chait, Director

    Audrey Chait

    Director


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    Audrey Chait is a director, writer, and producer specializing in opera and multi-disciplinary performance art.

    In the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Chait directs the world premiere of Marie Begins for Westminster Opera Theater (online release), The Telephone for Parea Recital Series (online release), Gallantry for Northern Kentucky University, L’inganno felice for Opera Southwest, and Don Pasquale for Opera Las Vegas. In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Chait directed The Bartered Brideand the North American premiere of Dark Star Requiem, both at CCM, and La fille du regiment for Winter Opera St. Louis. In summer 2021, Ms. Chait joins the prestigious Merola Opera Program.

    Previous directing credits include Bolcom's Dinner at Eight, and the Bach St. John Passion, both at CCM, Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera North, The Magic Flute (Outreach Tour) at Kentucky Opera, and La cenerentola at Opera Las Vegas. Her production of L’elisir d’amore at Winter Opera St. Louis in 2018 was nominated for a St. Louis Theater Critics Circle Award. Ms. Chait’s assistant director credits include Santa Fe Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Carnegie Hall, Portland Opera, and Opera Colorado.

    In her prior career as a producer and stage manager, Ms. Chait specialized in large-scale site-specific theatrical projects, including several collaborations with On Site Opera: at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Cotton Club, and the Fabbri Mansion. She also oversaw a multi-venue TEDx conference produced at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As an administrator, she worked for two years at the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at the Juilliard School.

    Ms. Chait holds a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University, where she studied playwriting and performance art with Erik Ehn. While at Brown, she was selected to travel to Berlin to meet with students in Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. In 2009, she directed her first opera and never looked back.

    Her writing (fiction, poetry, and plays) tends toward magical realism, broad comedy, and often incorporates operatic elements in both style and content.

  • Clinton Smith, Conductor

    Clinton Smith

    Conductor

  • Clinton Smith, Conductor

    Clinton Smith

    Conductor


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    Clinton Smith spent his ninth summer on the music staff at Santa Fe Opera covering performances of the world premiere of John Corigiliano's Lord of Cries. His 2021/2022 season includes a return to Dayton Operato conduct L'elisir d'amore, a return to Opera Las Vegas to conduct Trouble In Tahiti Strawberry Fields, and he will join the music staff of Sarasota Opera as cover conductor for Attila and Tosca. 

    Recently, Clinton conducted Atlanta Opera's new productions of Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Threepenny Opera, and performed a virtual recital for Opera Orlando's Summer Concert Series. His 2019/20 season included debuts at Florentine Opera conducting Le nozze di Figaro and Opera Birmingham conducting Cendrillon. He returned to Dayton Opera to conduct Cenerentola, and Tacoma Opera to conduct L'elisir d'amore.

    Mr. Smith’s other recent conducting credits include Charlie Parker's Yardbird at Atlanta and Arizona OperasPagliacci/Pulcinella at Opera Orlando, Il barbiere di Siviglia at Dayton Opera and the University of MichiganLe nozze di Figaro at Tacoma OperaAlcina at Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Turandot, Norma,

    and Hansel und Gretel with Pacific Northwest Opera, The Mikado for Kentucky Opera, and Noah's Flood with Opera Las Vegas. He has served on the music staff of Santa Fe OperaJuilliard OperaMinnesota OperaAtlanta OperaPortland OperaKentucky OperaAsh Lawn Opera, and Skylark Operas and has included the preparation of over fifty operas in German, Italian, French, English, Czech, Russian, Latin, and Mandarin.

  • Darren ‘Daz’ Weller, Director, close up in a natural setting.

    Darren ‘Daz’ Weller

    Director

  • Darren ‘Daz’ Weller, Director, close up in a natural setting.

    Darren ‘Daz’ Weller

    Director

    Daz Weller (Director) moved from Australia to Las Vegas in 2010 and is the Executive Artstic Director of Vegas Theatre Company (VTC, formerly Cockroach Theatre Company).Daz graduated with a BA in Acting from the Queensland University of Technology in 1998 and has worked extensively with most of Australia’s major theatre companies including the Sydney Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Griffin Theatre Company, The Bell Shakespeare Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Theatre of Image, Melbourne Theatre Company, and The State Theatre Company of South Australia. His US directing credits include Macbeth, Good Kids and The Crucible at Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT); Spinning Into Butter, Seven Deadly Sins, The Father, and Gianni Schicchi at VTC; Piff the Magic Dragon Show at the Flamingo; Small Space Festival at Emergency Arts; The Motown Show at The Venetian Resort and Casino; and Spiegelworld’s Vegas Nocturne at the Cosmopolitan’s Rose.Rabbit.Lie. Since moving to Las Vegas, he has for VTC in The Christians, and Love Love Love; for NCT in The Hound of the Baskervilles, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Pippin; A Public Fit in The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Las Vegas Little Theatre in Doubt; and Las Vegas Shakespeare Company in The Wizard of Oz, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Daz has twice received the Valley Theatre Award as Best Director for The Father, and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat.

  • David Carl Toulson Headshot

    David Carl Toulson

    Director

  • David Carl Toulson Headshot

    David Carl Toulson

    Director


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    Stage Director David Carl Toulson is consistently praised for his clarity in storytelling and ability to transform an opera’s characters into living breathing people. He has a passion for taking a show from the score to the stage, creating fresh exciting productions that capture the imaginations of his audiences allowing them to be transported into the magical world of opera.

    Since 2016 Mr. Toulson has been the Resident Stage Director for the Miami Beach Classical Music Festival where he has directed exciting repertoire including Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Corligliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer, Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Massenet’s Cendrillon and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. His innovative production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible received considerable critical acclaim. The South Florida Classical Review stated that “…there was a naturalistic feeling to Toulson’s staging…that served the drama well. Toulson managed to imbue his staging with a vivid depiction of a community gripped by fear, hate and distrust…The Crucible is the finest offering to date of The Miami Music Festival…Those who care about opera as a living art form should not miss this opportunity to see this gripping work.”

    Regionally, Mr. Toulson has directed mainstage and education programs at companies such as North Carolina Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Opera Idaho, Toledo Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Winter Opera of St. Louis, Bel Cantanti Opera, Connecticut Opera, Ashville Lyric Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Piedmont Opera; nationally, he has worked for several seasons on the staging staffs of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Washington National Opera.

    Mr. Toulson is extremely proud of his work training the next generation of opera singers. At the university level, he is currently teaching, directing, and coaching opera at Binghamton University where this past year he developed techniques to keep the students learning and performing in a virtual environment during the pandemic. This culminated in a virtual scenes program of duets & arias and a full production of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera that was filmed individually and edited together to complete the final work. Past university teaching and directing includes work at Temple University, The Catholic University of America, Webster University, and The University of South Carolina.

    Upcoming projects include directing Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Kamala Sankaram’s Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers for Binghamton University, D.J. Sparr’s Approaching Ali for Opera Las Vegas, and working as the associate director on Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at Seattle Opera.

  • Jennifer Bellor, a young woman with auburn hair, sitting at a piano and resting her chin on her hand.

    Jennifer Bellor

    Composer & Conductor

  • Jennifer Bellor, a young woman with auburn hair, sitting at a piano and resting her chin on her hand.

    Jennifer Bellor

    Composer & Conductor


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    Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor has been described as “that rare composer whose music manages to be instantly listenable and emotionally resonant without any compromise to its sophistication.” (textura) Bellor’s music has been presented by Washington National Opera, American Composers Orchestra, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Clocks in Motion, Transient Canvas, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, UNLV Wind Orchestra, DCINY Series at Carnegie Hall, Eastman Saxophone Project, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and many other soloists and ensembles in the US and abroad. She was the resident Clock Shop Composer for the percussion quartet Clocks in Motion from 2018-2022, culminating in a new album released by Aerocade Music August 19, 2022, which features percussion quartet music written during her residency with Clocks.

    Bellor’s music draws on a variety of influences, evidenced in her self-released debut album Stay (2016), which is a melting pot of different music styles largely based on poetry. Stay was featured on NewMusicBox’s 2016 Staff picks, and was praised as having the ability to “maintain a highly individual identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos.” Her composition Chase the Stars featured on Stay received acclaim not only for its “dazzling eclecticism” combining opera, hip hop, and jazz, but also for her singing. It was awarded The American Prize (2016) in the orchestral category.

    Born and raised in Northern NY, Bellor earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. Her primary composition teachers included David Liptak, Bob Morris, Andrew Waggoner, Sally Lamb-McCune, and Steven Stucky. She is on the music composition faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and artistic director of the new music series, Nextet. Emily Clements was her composition student, and she is thrilled to see this beautiful work by Emily come to life by Opera Las Vegas.

    For more information, please visit www.jenniferbellor.com.

  • Joe Svendsen, smiling in a shirt and tie.

    Joe Svendsen

    Conductor

  • Joe Svendsen, smiling in a shirt and tie.

    Joe Svendsen

    Conductor


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    Joseph Svendsen an American conductor, tenor, and academic with experience in a diverse array of vocal music performance, study, and leadership. He serves as Co-Director of Choral Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Director of Choirs and Devotional Music at Faith Community Lutheran Church in Summerlin. He is in his fifth season as chorus master for Opera Las Vegas.

    Svendsen has performed or conducted professionally in Ireland, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czechia, South Korea, and Canada, as well as many of the finest performance venues across the United States. A leggero tenor, he specializes in Baroque repertoire and chamber choir, performing with various professional ensembles across the United States and Europe.

    Svendsen’s academic experiences are wide-ranging, teaching high school, college, church, and professional ensembles. He has presented at state, regional, national, and international professional conferences and symposia, with emphases in critical pedagogy in the choral rehearsal and sacred choral music. Svendsen specializes in repertoire from before 1800 and sacred music from a variety of faith and spiritual traditions, particularly Lutheranism.

    Svendsen holds a Doctor of Music in Conducting from Texas Tech University, a MM from the University of Illinois, and BAs from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

  • Joshua Horsch, posting with arms crossed in a dark suit and his conducting wand in one hand.

    Joshua Horsch

    Conductor

  • Joshua Horsch, posting with arms crossed in a dark suit and his conducting wand in one hand.

    Joshua Horsch

    Conductor


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    Praised for conducting with “steady acumen and considerable aplomb” and “awesome control” (Opera Today), Joshua Horsch is an extremely versatile operatic and symphonic conductor.  A two-time winner of the American Prize in Opera Conducting Joshua serves as Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Las Vegas. Joshua’s recent and upcoming conducting engagements include appearances with Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Orlando, Mobile Opera, Pacific Opera Project, Opera Las Vegas, Tri-Cities Opera, and Chicago Summer Opera.

    With a diverse repertoire of over fifty operas and a broad spectrum of orchestral and choral works, Joshua has recently held positions as a conductor/coach/chorus master on the music staff of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florida Grand Opera, North Carolina Opera, Opera Saratoga, Pensacola Opera, Fort Worth Opera, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival.  Joshua’s guest and workshop conducting includes work with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Filharmonia de Chihuahua, the Lyatoshinsky Chamber Orchestra, the Newport Music Festival, the Colorado New Music Ensemble, the PENDULUM New Music Ensemble, the Boston Opera Collaborative, and the Boulder Bach Festival.

    As a dedicated interpreter of new works, Joshua has enjoyed a number of collaborations with many of today’s leading composers including Tom CipulloJennifer Higdon, and Libby Larsen.  For two seasons, Joshua served as Music Director/Conductor of the CU New Opera Workshop where he collaborated with composers Libby Larsen and Alberto Caruso as well as author Colm Tóibín and stage director Ron Daniels.  At Seagle Music Colony’s American Center for New Works Development, Joshua has conducted and played workshops for new works by Libby Larsen and Scott Eyerly.  For four seasons, Joshua served as conductor/co-founder of the Colorado New Music Ensemble where he programmed and conducted works ranging from John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 2 to Susan Botti’s chamber opera Telaio: Desdemona.  While a Festival Artist/Conductor at the Newport Music Festival, Joshua conducted members of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Providence Singers in a series of contemporary choral/orchestral masterworks.

  • Kate St-Pierre, Director

    Kate St-Pierre

    Director

  • Kate St-Pierre, Director

    Kate St-Pierre

    Director

    Interdisciplinary artist, director, producer and experiential designer Kate St-Pierre has a long history of creating award winning work.

    Nominated in 2004 for a NY Drama Desk Award for Music, Kate was the original singer for Le Reve and lead vocal soloist in Ka, Cirque du Soleil. As a soloist Kate’s voice can be heard in numerous film score, recordings and soundtracks including legendary film trailer composer, Thomas Bergersen.

    An alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors’ Lab and the Artistic Director of The LAB LV. Kate has worked and trained extensively with Anne Bogart and SITI Company and co-directed their workshop of their new translation of Euripides’ Bacchae (which premiered at the Getty Villa, followed by performances at BAM and Guthrie Theater). Selected directing credits; (Pulitzer) The Royale, Dance Nation, She Kills Monsters, Anne Carson's Antigonick, Schoenberg’s Erwartung, Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and The Wolves. Kate’s 2019 rock concert adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream was nominated 11x and won 9 awards by Broadway World including Best Director, Best Musical, Best Actor and Best Ensemble. In the last 2 years, Kate and her productions have been nominated over 19 times and won 12 awards.

    Kate is on the National Endowment for the Arts advisory board for Shakespeare in American Communities, Kate was nominated for the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union’s Zelda Fichandler Award, Roster Artist with the Nevada Arts Council, Roger’s Art Loft Founding Board Member and StateraArts Ambassador, Adjunct Professor of directing at UNLV and the President of the Producers Alliance of Southern Nevada. Mom to Alex and Eden.

  • Linda Lister, close-up headshot, smiling.

    Linda Lister

    Director

  • Linda Lister, close-up headshot, smiling.

    Linda Lister

    Director


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    Linda Lister (Director) is Professor of Music and Director of Opera at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Winner of the 2014 American Prize for Directing, she is a graduate of Vassar College, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She has led UNLV Opera to two first place wins in the 2015 National Opera Association Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition and a second place win in NOA’s 2016 Opera Production Competition. She is author of So You Want to Sing Light Opera and Yoga for Singers: Freeing Your Voice and Spirit through Yoga, and co-author of So You Want to Sing Music by Women and Voice Secrets: 100 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Singer. Also a composer, she has written three one-act operas: Body of Art, State of Grace, and How Clear She Shines! She sings her own compositions on the Albany Records release Pleas to Famous Fairies.

  • Marc Callahan, a handsome brown-haired man formally dressed outside in front of a weathered brick wall.

    Marc Callahan

    Director

  • Marc Callahan, a handsome brown-haired man formally dressed outside in front of a weathered brick wall.

    Marc Callahan

    Director

    Award-winning stage director and designer Marc Callahan has worked on productions at the Royal Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Holland Festival, Scottish Opera, Miami Music Festival, the New World Center, Théâtre du Châtelet, and the Théâtre du Capitole. Particularly known for his “fringe” productions, Callahan received critical acclaim for Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes, saying it was “designed and directed with jaw-dropping invention” (Michael White, The Guardian) and was awarded first prize for his production of Kurt Weill’s Der Jasager from the National Opera Association and was a two-time winner of a Charles C. Reilly Director’s Prize. Recent productions include: The Marriage of Figaro, Cendrillon, and The Blue Forest, Help, Help, the Globolinks!, Der Jasager, Lohengrin, Alcina, ATLAS, Die Walküre, Il sogno di Scipione, Albert Herring, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ordo Virtutum, and L’incoronazione di Poppea (“…devising a brilliant production of remarkable dramatic intimacy.”).

  • Octavio Cardenas, smiling casually in a black button-down shirt.

    Octavio Cardenas

    Director

  • Octavio Cardenas, smiling casually in a black button-down shirt.

    Octavio Cardenas

    Director


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    Stage director Octavio Cardenas captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Opera News has praised him for creating “an immersive theater experience” while the Dallas Morning News hailed him for bringing “every character and situation to life.” Recent projects include Lohengrin by Salvatore Sciarrino as a pop-up digital opera installation: a site-specific opera for COVID times in collaboration with artist Lance McGoldrick and Opera Southwest, Cruzar la cara de la Luna with Opera Santa Barbara, and the World Premiere of Zorro with Fort Worth Opera, Barber of Seville with Opera Delaware, and Florencia en el Amazonas with Opera at Chapman.

    Mr. Cardenas’ recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include La boheme for Minnesota opera to which the Start Tribune acclaimed, “what makes the production a success, is Octavio Cardenas’ staging.” His production of As One for UrbanArias was acclaimed by MD Theater Guide, “Under the direction of Octavio Cardenas, the two stars playfully make great use of both stage and energetic space—it seemed the theatre condensed and expanded with Hannah’s journey.”

    He has served as the Director of Baylor Opera, Head of Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and has also been on the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera. Mr. Cardenas is currently the Visiting Director of Opera at Chapman University and will be joining the Faculty at Eastman School of Music this coming Fall.

  • Stephanie Council, Music Department, Mount Holyoke College Faculty & Staff, Fall 2018, Day 1

    Stephanie Council

    Conductor

  • Stephanie Council, Music Department, Mount Holyoke College Faculty & Staff, Fall 2018, Day 1

    Stephanie Council

    Conductor

    Conductor, educator, and singer Dr. Stephanie Council is Assistant Professor of Choral Music at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she conducts the University Chorale and Chamber Consort and teaches Choral Conducting, Choral Literature, and Choral Methods. She is a sought-after lecturer in choral music education and conductor of collegiate, high school, and youth honor choirs around the United States, and she was a graduate finalist in the American Choral Directors Association National Conducting Competition. A strong proponent of new music, Council is an active commissioner and performer of new works. She sings professionally with mirabai and the San Antonio Chamber Choir and has been engaged in the past to sing with the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir and at the Spoleto Festival USA. Council received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting and a graduate certificate in early music performance practice from Texas Tech University. She holds a Master of Music with distinction in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College and Bachelor of Music degrees in vocal music education and vocal music performance from Oklahoma State University.



Production Staff





Composers & Librettists



  • No image

    A.R. Gurney

    Librettist/Playwright

  • No image

    A.R. Gurney

    Librettist/Playwright


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    Albert Ramsdell Gurney Jr. (November 1, 1930 – June 13, 2017) (sometimes credited as Pete Gurney) was an American playwrightnovelist and academic.[1][2][3] He is known for works including The Dining Room (1982), Sweet Sue (1986/7), and The Cocktail Hour (1988), and for his Pulitzer Prize nominated play Love Letters. His series of plays about upper-class WASP life in contemporary America have been called "penetratingly witty studies of the WASP ascendancy in retreat."[4]

    (Wikipedia)

  • Alex Clements, posing at a grand piano.

    Alex Clements

    Jazz Pianist & Composer

  • Alex Clements, posing at a grand piano.

    Alex Clements

    Jazz Pianist & Composer


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    Vibrant, rhythmic, captivating, and lyrical are just a few of the many adjectives that can be used to describe the many facets of this talented and creative Canadian jazz pianist and composer. Clements', who was a child prodigy at the age of four, won numerous piano competitions in Canada and quickly became an internationally recognized artist, performing in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. One of Clements’ highest accomplishments is an Alberta Achievement Award, which was presented to him by the Government of Canada. He is currently in his twelfth year teaching music at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He also performs nightly in Cirque du Soleil’s water show ‘O’.

    Clements holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California. Clements skills and versatility as a composer are recognized by a series of commissions for Canada’s nationally known Montreal Jazz Big Band, including a 60-minute suite entitled “Jazz Images” portraying the history of jazz. His most recent work is a collaboration with award-winning choreographer Ana Cuellar featuring his music score for her work EnMi. His daughter Emily Clements performs in this work.

  • DJ Sparr

    D.J. Sparr

    Composer

  • DJ Sparr

    D.J. Sparr

    Composer


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    Composer and electric guitar soloist D. J. SPARR (b. 1975, Westminster, MD), who Gramophone recently hailed as “exemplary,” is one of the preeminent composer-performers of his generation. His eclectic composition style has been described as “pop-Romantic… iridescent and wondrous” (Mercury News) and “suits the boundary-erasing spirit of today’s new-music world” (New York Times). The Los Angeles Times praises him as “an excellent soloist” and the Santa Cruz Sentinel says that he “wowed an enthusiastic audience…Sparr’s guitar sang in a near-human voice.” In 2011, Sparr was named one of NPR listener’s favorite 100 composers under the age 40.
    D. J. was the Young American Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony from 2011-14 and was Composer-in-Residence with the Richmond Symphony from 2009-11. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by organizations such as the Houston Grand Opera, North Carolina Opera, and Eighth Blackbird. Recent/upcoming works include Katrina: Concerto for Jazz Guitar and Orchestra (Arkansas Symphony) …To me from the earth… (CAM Raleigh, NC Symphony), & On Behalf: Metaphor Fourty-four (Tribeca New Music Festival).

    Of the premiere of Approaching Ali (Washington National Opera), the Baltimore Sun writes, “…Sparr knows how to send a vocal line soaring vividly and how to extract a great deal of color from a 10-member orchestra… It also demonstrates Sparr’s considerable potential; his first attempt in this tricky genre lands some very solid punches…like Ali in his prime, the score is nimble on its feet.”

    As an electric guitar soloist, D. J. has appeared with Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini (Parma, Italy), the New World, Alabama, Dayton, Fort Collins, Space Coast, and Winston-Salem Symphonies, and the Cabrillo Festival of Music under Marin Alsop. He maintains a busy calendar of solo performances from coast to coast, including appearances at the Hirschhorn Museum, Atlas Theater (Washington, DC), Spectrum, and the Flea Theater (NYC). He performed Kenneth Fuchs’s electric guitar concerto, Glacier, on the GRAMMY® award-winning album with the London Symphony under JoAnn Falletta recorded at Abbey Road Studios in August 2017. Glacier is the first electric guitar concerto to be part of a GRAMMY® award-winning project.

    A passion for musical performance grew from family encouragement at a young age. Three-year old D. J. stood in front of a television set holding his great-grandmother Violet Bond’s straw broom in hand pretending it was a guitar while Roy Clark and Buck Owens performed on the Television show Hee Haw. Noticing this, Violet gave him a toy Mickey Mouse guitar for his third birthday and a Ukulele for his fourth birthday. By age five, D. J. was taking guitar lessons and was soon performing original songs for a “captive” audience at his local music store, Coffey Music in Westminster, MD.

    In early high school, D. J. spent his late-night and weekend hours writing and recording music with a Fostex X-26 4-track recorder while attending Baltimore School for the Arts as a jazz guitar major. Surrounded by classical music he began to write compositions for a variety of instruments and attended summer composition programs at The Walden School and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. D. J. continued honing his compositional craft at the Eastman School of Music (BM) and the University of Michigan (MM, DMA) studying with composers William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, and Augusta Read Thomas.

    J. has recently been featured on the Grammy-Award winning all-Kenneth Fuchs recording as the electric guitar soloist. Additionally, his new album, Electric Bands, featuring some of his latest chamber works, is now available through Innova Recordings.

    Hailing from Baltimore, D. J. lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife Kimberly, son Harris, and their dogs Nanette and Bundini. Sparr is a faculty member at the Walden School’s famed Creative Musicians Retreat in Dublin, New Hampshire. D. J. Sparr’s music is published by Bill Holab Music.

  • Davis Miller

    Davis Miller

    Author

  • Davis Miller

    Davis Miller

    Author

    Davis Miller is the author of The Tao of Muhammad Ali and The Tao of Bruce Lee. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Esquire, Sport magazine, Sports Illustrated, and numerous other periodicals. His first published story, 'My Dinner with Ali' was voted by the Sunday Magazine Editors Association to be the best essay published in a newspaper magazine in the US in 1989.

  • Emily Clements, a young red-headed woman smiling while resting on her elbows and leaning forward.

    Emily Clements

    Composer & Librettist

  • Emily Clements, a young red-headed woman smiling while resting on her elbows and leaning forward.

    Emily Clements

    Composer & Librettist

    Clements is a University of Nevada, Las Vegas Alumni, graduating with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance and intensive compositional studies. Clements was born in Montreal, Quebec but has been a Las Vegas local for ten plus years. Clements began piano lessons at the age of five after watching her father, Alex Clements (award winning pianist and composer) growing up. She performed as a violinist in orchestras for eight years before switching to her true passion, voice. She began her studies in Opera and that led her to vocal writing, which she continued alongside performance throughout her second half of undergraduate studies. Clements studied with Dr. Linda Lister for voice and Dr. Jennifer Bellor for composition. She began writing her first act of her opera Letters to Lily in 2018 after being inspired by new music and singers from around the world at two young artists programs that summer. Clements always had interests in writing, storytelling, and theater growing up. In 2019, she workshopped her first opera scene from Letters in UNLV’s Opera Workshop’s scenes program. She then continued to write two more scenes, Sam’s aria and a love duet that were planned to be workshop premiered at UNLV before the pandemic hit.

    Clements is currently pursuing a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Mississippi. Some of Clements’ solo opera credits include Cupid in Orpheus in the Underworld, Second Lady in Dido and Aeneas, and Constance (cover) in Dialogues of the Carmelites at UNLV. Clements also performed in Pirates of Penzance with Vegas City Opera and Summer Super Theatre. Clements also originated the role ‘Felicity' in Linda Lister’s world premiere of State of Grace in the fall of 2018 as well as performed in Cynthia Wong’s workshop premiere of No Guarantees. Additionally, Clements has performed at the National Opera Association conference in Salt Lake City for State of Grace, played Elizabeth Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and was in the chorus in Little Women at Harrower’s Young Artist Program in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Clements future plans include completing Letters to Lily with Act two along with continuing to workshop scenes and new music. Clements is so honored to work with Opera Las Vegas and wants to thank her dear friends, cast and crew, mentors, and family for supporting her artistic journey.

  • Evan L. Snyder, standing casually in a dark green cashmere sweater and jeans. He has long dark hair, glasses, and facial hair.

    Evan L. Snyder

    Composer

  • Evan L. Snyder, standing casually in a dark green cashmere sweater and jeans. He has long dark hair, glasses, and facial hair.

    Evan L. Snyder

    Composer


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    Winner of the 2017 Frontiers Competition for A Capacity for Evil, Evan L. Snyder is unified in his dedication to storytelling. Best known for his works for the operatic stage, Evan has been praised for his “genuine understanding of the human voice” and his “unapologetically beautiful music,” but for him, bringing stories to life through music is the center of his work. A winner of the 2017 Fort Worth Opera Frontiers Competition, his first opera, A Capacity for Evil, broke with conventional opera genres, telling a Holmesian detective tale on the operatic stage. The opera premiered in fall 2018, with Detroit’s Opera MODO and was enthusiastically received by the run’s sold out audiences. Evan’s current operatic project, The Clef of the Universe, is a new science fiction opera, following a group of archeologist crash-landed on an alien world. An aria excerpted from the new work, “On the beach at night alone…” was previewed at Constellation Chicago as a part of the 2019 Fresh Inc Festival.

    Evan’s interest in novel storytelling carries over to his work outside of opera as well. His musical portrait of a friend, Theme Song for Dan Carty, was originally written for the 2018 Fresh Inc Festival, and since went on to win the 2018 Detroit REVIVAL Project, as well as receiving a performance by the esteemed Fifth House Ensemble at the 2019 Red Note Festival. He has also received chamber music commissions from both Fifth House and the Lansing-based ConTempus Initiative. The latter commission resulted in his Disappearing Landscapes, a children’s work for mixed quartet and narrator, exploring the impact of humanity on nature, which premiered as a part of the 2018-2019 Lansing Symphony’s Family Series.

    Storytelling on a more well-trodden road, Evan has also composed numerous songs, as well as two full-length song cycles. His first cycle, Ulysses, a setting of Tennyson’s famous dramatic monologue of the same name, was premiered by Richard Fracker at Michigan State University in March 2018. His second, Dynamic Roads, is an original work dealing with themes of moving and aging, was created in collaboration with poet Peter Faziani. The work was commissioned by bass-baritone Joe Baunoch, who premiered the cycle at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, May 2019. Upcoming in his work with song, Evan is very excited to be collaborating with internationally-renowned soprano Tamara Wilson on a commission for a new song cycle, which premieres May 2022.

    Evan is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, holding degrees in composition, music theory, and voice.

  • Evan Mack, in rehearsal

    Evan Mack

    Composer

  • Evan Mack, in rehearsal

    Evan Mack

    Composer


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    Believing that opera should be theater grounded in climatic expression that delivers larger-than-life stories and music that harnesses the full athletic thrill of singing, Evan Mack has devoted much of his compositional life to opera and song.  His first major operatic composition, where he served as both composer and librettist, was Angel of the Amazon.  “Angel” premiered in May of 2011 by Encompass New Opera Theatre at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City and was subsequently released on CD worldwide by Albany Records.  Two years later, Fresno State Opera Theater premiered The Secret of Luca. This was the first of several collaborations with librettist Joshua McGuire.  In August 2016, their American grand opera Roscoe premiered at Seagle Music Colony to rave reviews.  Roscoe received its orchestral world premiere with the Albany Symphony starring Metropolitan Opera star Deborah Voigt.  In between the two large scale projects, Mack & McGuire found time to write the first ever opera for Twitter #IsOperaDead – an opera in 5 acts lasting one minute and forty seconds.

    Their Christmas opera for children, Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena is quickly becoming a holiday standard with yearly productions by San Francisco Opera, Opera in the Heights and Fresno State Opera, who commissioned the opera.  The one-act opera The Ghosts of Gatsby premiered by Samford Opera in Birmingham, AL in 2019 and won the National Opera Association’s Argento Chamber Opera Competition. Mack & McGuire’s latest, Yeltsin in Texas! premiered in 2020 by TCU and Opera in the Heights. It’s now in development to become a musical comedy!

    Evan Mack has proven as deft at song writing as he is in opera.  His song A Little More Perfect is a setting of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s final paragraph of the Marriage Equality Decision by the Supreme Court in 2015.  Premiering at Seagle Music Colony in 2015, it has quickly become a favorite of many baritones including Michael Mayes, Daniel Okulich and Michael Miller to name a few.  The song had its professional premiere at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2016 and the orchestral premiere at the Fort Worth Opera Festival in 2017.  His new cycle If Only Lenny Were Here, which celebrates the life of Leonard Bernstein had its world premiere with the Schenectady Symphony in October of 2018.

  • Francesco Maria Piave portrait

    Francesco Maria Piave

    Librettist

  • Francesco Maria Piave portrait

    Francesco Maria Piave

    Librettist


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    Francesco Maria Piave (18 May 1810 – 5 March 1876) was an Italian opera librettist who was born in Murano in the lagoon of Venice, during the brief Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

    Piave's career spanned over twenty years working with many of the significant composers of his day, including Giovanni Pacini (four librettos), Saverio Mercadante (at least one), Federico Ricci, and even one for Michael Balfe. He is most well known as Giuseppe Verdi's librettist, for whom he was to write 10 librettos, the most well-known being those for Rigoletto and La traviata.

    But Piave was not only a librettist: he was a journalist and translator in addition to being the resident poet and stage manager at La Fenice in Venice where he first encountered Verdi. Later, Verdi was helpful in securing him the same position at La Scala in Milan.[1] His expertise as a stage manager and his tact as a negotiator served Verdi very well, but the composer bullied him mercilessly for his pains over many years.

    Like Verdi, Piave was an ardent Italian patriot, and in 1848, during Milan's "Cinque Giornate," when Radetzky's Austrian troops retreated from the city, Verdi wrote to Piave in Venice addressing him as "Citizen Piave."

    Together, they worked on ten operas between 1844 and 1862, and Piave would have also prepared the libretto for Aida when Verdi accepted the commission for it in 1870, had he not suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed and unable to speak. Verdi helped to support his wife and daughter, proposing that "an album of pieces by famous composers be compiled and sold for Piave's benefit".[2] The composer paid for his funeral when he died nine years later in Milan aged 65 and arranged for his burial at the Monumental Cemetery.

    Read more at Wikipedia.

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini

    Composer

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Public domain. Photo by A. Dupont.

    Giacomo Puccini

    Composer


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    Giacomo Puccini[n 1] (22 December 1858 – 29 November 1924) was an Italian composer known primarily for his operas. Regarded as the greatest[1] and most successful proponent of Italian opera after Verdi, he was descended from a long line of composers, stemming to the late-Baroque era. Though his early work was firmly rooted in traditional late-19th-century Romantic Italian opera he later developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents.

    His most renowned works are La bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (1924), all of which are among the most frequently performed and recorded of all operas.

    (Wikipedia)

  • Giacosa Giuseppe

    Giuseppe Giacosa

    Librettist

  • Giacosa Giuseppe

    Public domain.

    Giuseppe Giacosa

    Librettist


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    Giuseppe Giacosa was born in Colleretto Parella, now Colleretto Giacosa, near Turin. His father was a magistrate. Giuseppe went to the University of Turin, studying in the University of Turin, Faculty of Law. Though he gained a degree in law, he did not pursue a legal career.

    He gained initial fame for his play Una Partita a Scacchi ("A Game of Chess") in 1871. His main field was playwriting, which he accomplished with both insight and simplicity, using subjects set in Piedmont and themes addressing contemporary bourgeois values. He wrote La signora di Challant (La Dame de Challant, The Lady of Challand), based on a novella by Matteo Bandello, for noted French actress Sarah Bernhardt, produced in New York in 1891.

    Giacosa wrote the final polished version of the libretto for Giacomo Puccini's Manon Lescaut, which had been begun by Ruggero LeoncavalloMarco Praga, Domenico Oliva, and Luigi Illica. He also wrote the librettos used by Puccini for La bohèmeTosca and Madama Butterfly in conjunction with Luigi Illica. Illica supplied the plot and dialogue, and Giacosa polished the libretto into verses. Also well as the one Act play of The rights of the soul".

    (Wikipedia)

  • Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini, 1886

    Giuseppe Verdi

    Composer

  • Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini, 1886

    Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini, 1886

    Giuseppe Verdi

    Composer


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    Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian: [dʒuˈzɛppe ˈverdi]; 9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian composer best known for his operas. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, receiving a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Gioachino RossiniGaetano Donizetti, and Vincenzo Bellini, whose works significantly influenced him.

    In his early operas, Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy. He also participated briefly as an elected politician. The chorus "Va, pensiero" from his early opera Nabucco (1842), and similar choruses in later operas, were much in the spirit of the unification movement, and the composer himself became esteemed as a representative of these ideals. An intensely private person, Verdi did not seek to ingratiate himself with popular movements. As he became professionally successful, he was able to reduce his operatic workload and sought to establish himself as a landowner in his native region. He surprised the musical world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida (1871), with three late masterpieces: his Requiem (1874), and the operas Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).

    His operas remain extremely popular, especially the three peaks of his 'middle period': RigolettoIl trovatore and La traviata. The bicentenary of his birth in 2013 was widely celebrated in broadcasts and performances.

    Read more from Wikipedia.

  • Jennifer Bellor, a young woman with auburn hair, sitting at a piano and resting her chin on her hand.

    Jennifer Bellor

    Composer & Conductor

  • Jennifer Bellor, a young woman with auburn hair, sitting at a piano and resting her chin on her hand.

    Jennifer Bellor

    Composer & Conductor


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    Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor has been described as “that rare composer whose music manages to be instantly listenable and emotionally resonant without any compromise to its sophistication.” (textura) Bellor’s music has been presented by Washington National Opera, American Composers Orchestra, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Clocks in Motion, Transient Canvas, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, UNLV Wind Orchestra, DCINY Series at Carnegie Hall, Eastman Saxophone Project, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and many other soloists and ensembles in the US and abroad. She was the resident Clock Shop Composer for the percussion quartet Clocks in Motion from 2018-2022, culminating in a new album released by Aerocade Music August 19, 2022, which features percussion quartet music written during her residency with Clocks.

    Bellor’s music draws on a variety of influences, evidenced in her self-released debut album Stay (2016), which is a melting pot of different music styles largely based on poetry. Stay was featured on NewMusicBox’s 2016 Staff picks, and was praised as having the ability to “maintain a highly individual identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos.” Her composition Chase the Stars featured on Stay received acclaim not only for its “dazzling eclecticism” combining opera, hip hop, and jazz, but also for her singing. It was awarded The American Prize (2016) in the orchestral category.

    Born and raised in Northern NY, Bellor earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. Her primary composition teachers included David Liptak, Bob Morris, Andrew Waggoner, Sally Lamb-McCune, and Steven Stucky. She is on the music composition faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and artistic director of the new music series, Nextet. Emily Clements was her composition student, and she is thrilled to see this beautiful work by Emily come to life by Opera Las Vegas.

    For more information, please visit www.jenniferbellor.com.

  • John Riesen in a casual brown t-shirt.

    John Riesen

    Tenor

  • John Riesen in a casual brown t-shirt.

    John Riesen

    Tenor


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    Award-winning American tenor John Riesen’s growing career boasts a variety of roles in which he consistently excels and includes significant work in opera, musical theatre, studio recording and concert. In the COVID-affected 2020-2021 season John performed concerts, live streams, and productions with several companies including Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Shades of Pink Charity Foundation, The FAR Conservatory in Detroit, and Opera Las Vegas. He returned to the stage in 2021 as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore with Pensacola Opera, Martin in The Tender Land with The Hart School, Alfredo in La Traviata with the Pacific Symphony, and Younger Thompson in Glory Denied with Berkshire Opera Festival. The 2021-2022 season includes Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with Utah Opera, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with On Site Opera, Chris in the world-premiere of Favorite Son by Grammy award winning songwriter Marcus Hummons, as well as his Carnegie Hall debut as tenor soloist in the Messiah with Musica Sacra under the baton of Kent Tritle (postponed due to COVID-19).

  • Joshua McGuire, librettist

    Joshua McGuire

    Librettist

  • Joshua McGuire, librettist

    Joshua McGuire

    Librettist


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    JOSHUA McGUIRE has written librettos for The Secret of Luca, (based on the novel by Ignazio Silone) and Roscoe (based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize winner William Kennedy) with music by Evan Mack. In October 2016, Roscoe received a full performance by the Albany Symphony featuring soprano Deborah Voigt in the lead role of Veronica.  His collaboration with Mack also produced #isoperadead, the first-ever opera for Twitter, as well as Lucinda y Las Flores de la Nochebuena, a children's opera commissioned by the Fresno State Opera Theatre.  Since premiering in 2016, the opera has played for over 15,000 children, including annual performances by Opera in the Heights (Houston) and the San Francisco Opera Guild.  Mack & McGuire’s one-act opera The Ghosts of Gatsby, based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, was commissioned and premiered by Samford University in 2018.  They are currently fulfilling a multi-company commission for a new comedy entitled Yeltsin in Texas!

    In 2015, McGuire was commissioned to write a libretto for Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative, and the resulting one-act opera, Alexandra, with music by David Clay Mettens, was premiered at the Kennedy Center.  He is also the author of The Secret of Music: a look at the listening life, a book of essays on music and mindfulness.  McGuire is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, and from the Susan Shames Feinstein Librettist Fellowship at the American Center for New Works Development.

    McGuire currently teaches at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.  He studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he pursued Master’s work in both guitar and orchestral conducting, holding assistantships in both areas.  As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, he took the Bachelor of Music summa cum laude as well as High Honors in English Literature for his thesis on musical structures in the work of James Joyce.  He currently resides in Nashville with his wife, pianist and conductor Jennifer McGuire, their son Thomas, and a basset hound.

  • Leonard Bernstein, by Jack Mitchell (Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

    Leonard Bernstein

    Composer

  • Leonard Bernstein, by Jack Mitchell (Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

    Leonard Bernstein

    Composer


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    Leonard Bernstein (/ˈbɜːrnstn/ BURN-styne;[1] August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, pianist, music educator, author, and humanitarian. Among the most important conductors of his time, he was also the first American conductor to receive international acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history".[2] Bernstein was the recipient of many honors, including seven Emmy Awards,[3] two Tony Awards,[4] sixteen Grammy Awards,[5] including the Lifetime Achievement, and the Kennedy Center Honor.[6]

    As a composer he wrote in many styles, including symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and works for the piano. His best-known work is the Broadway musical West Side Story, which continues to be regularly performed worldwide, and has been adapted into two (1961 and 2021) feature films. His works include three symphonies, Chichester PsalmsSerenade after Plato's "Symposium", the original score for the film On the Waterfront, and theater works including On the TownWonderful TownCandide, and his MASS.

    (Wikipedia)

  • Lois Henry, smiling in a blue jacket and white turtleneck.

    Lois Henry

    Pianist & Composer

  • Lois Henry, smiling in a blue jacket and white turtleneck.

    Lois Henry

    Pianist & Composer

    Lois Henry has an extensive background as a composer, pianist (solo and collaborative), organist, coach, and conductor. She is currently a staple in Florida’s classical music scene both as a performer and educator. As a long-time Professor of Music at Northwest Florida State College (until 2019), she conducted the Chorale and Belle Voci (the college’s select women’s ensemble), taught piano, voice, and music theory, and performed numerous solo piano recitals. As an orchestral conductor, she served as interim music director and conductor of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO), performed as solo pianist and organist with that group, and currently is its principal pianist.

    Ms. Henry is a sought-after collaborative pianist, working and performing with artists such as tenor Lawrence Brownlee (including a live-streamed performance on behalf of the Metropolitan Opera), soprano Kara Bishop-Grover as well as other operatic singers, various instrumentalists, and choirs. Since 2008 she has performed each year as pianist with one of the Florida all-state choirs, and also has appeared at the Southern Invitational Choral Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi. Ms. Henry is a frequent adjudicator for piano, vocal, and choral assessments.

    As a composer, Ms. Henry writes vocal, choral, and piano music. Her works are performed at colleges, high schools, churches, and concert halls. In 2019 she completed a commissioned song cycle for five opera singers and piano. This work, which premiered at the University of West Florida, is based on the historic story of Viola Edwards, a Black nurse who opened a hospital in Pensacola in 1922. Her next song cycle, BELLESONGS, is the brainchild of Kara Bishop-Grover, and is composed on texts of Colorado poet Belle Turnbull. Mrs. Grover and Ms. Henry premiered the work at Florida State University in 2021.

    Ms. Henry spent more than 20 years working in the Boston area, where she taught at Eastern Nazarene College, served as pianist, organist and frequently as chorus master for Chorus pro Musica, working with, among others, Donald Palumbo.

    Ms. Henry is delighted to be performing here in Las Vegas with soprano and women’s music advocate Kara Bishop-Grover.

  • Luigi Illica (before 1919)

    Luigi Illica

    Librettist

  • Luigi Illica (before 1919)

    Archivio Storico Ricordi, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

    Luigi Illica

    Librettist


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    Luigi Illica (9 May 1857 – 16 December 1919) was an Italian librettist who wrote for Giacomo Puccini (usually with Giuseppe Giacosa), Pietro MascagniAlfredo CatalaniUmberto Giordano, Baron Alberto Franchetti and other important Italian composers. His most famous opera libretti are those for La BohèmeToscaMadama Butterfly and Andrea Chénier.

    Illica was born at Castell'Arquato. His personal life sometimes imitated his libretti. The reason he is always photographed with his head slightly turned is because he lost his right ear in a duel over a woman. When silent films based on Illica's operas were made, his name appeared in large letters on advertisements because distributors could only guarantee that his stories would be used, and not that they would be accompanied by the music of the appropriate composer.

    As a playwright of considerable quality, he is today remembered through one of Italy's oldest awards, the Luigi Illica International Prize founded in 1961, which goes to world famous opera singers, opera conductors, directors and authors. The Award is now awarded every two years and alternates with the Illica Opera Stage International Competition, which offers prizes and debut opportunities to young singers.

    (Wikipedia)

  • Mark Campbell

    Mark Campbell

    Librettist

  • Mark Campbell

    Mark Campbell

    Librettist


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    Mark Campbell’s work as a librettist is at the forefront of the contemporary opera scene in this country. A prolific writer, Mark has created 39 opera librettos, lyrics for 7 musicals, and the text for 6 song cycles and 2 oratorios. His works for the stage have been performed at more than 90 musical venues around the world and the names of his collaborators comprise a roster of the most eminent composers in classical music and include three Pulitzer Prize winners.

    Mark’s best-known work is Silent Night, which received a Pulitzer Prize in Music and is one of the most frequently produced operas in recent history. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, an audience favorite, received a 2018 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording. Mark's other successful operas include The Shining, Stonewall, Later the Same Evening, The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, The Manchurian Candidate, As One, The Other Room, Empty the House, Approaching Ali, A Letter to East 11th Street, Dinner at Eight, Volpone, Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World, Bernadette's Cozy Book Nook, Stone Soup, and Bastianello/Lucrezia.His musicals include Songs from an Unmade Bed, The Audience and Splendora. He has also created a successful new adaptation of  Stravinsky/ Ramuz's The Soldier's Story.

    Mark has received many other prestigious prizes for his work, including the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Recording, two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Drama Desk nominations, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, the first Dominic J. Pelliciotti Award, and a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts.

    Recordings of his works include: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Pentatone), Sanctuary Road (Naxos), Silent Night (Naxos), As One (Bright Shiny Things), Volpone (Wolf Trap Records), Bastianello/Lucrezia (Bridge), Rappahannock County (Naxos), Later the Same Evening (Albany) and Songs from an Unmade Bed (Ghostlight).

    Mark is also an advocate for contemporary American opera and serves as a mentor for future generations of writers through such organizations as American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theatre, and Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative. In 2020, he created and is funding the Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, the first and only award for opera librettists. The award is given annually and administered by OPERA America.

    Future premieres include The Secret River for Opera Orlando (Stella Sung, composer); A Nation of Others for the Oratorio Society of New York (Paul Moravec, composer); Edward Tulane for Minnesota Opera (Paola Prestini, composer); A Sweet Silence in Cremona for the Villa la Pietra–Continuum Theater, Florence (Roberto Scarcella Perino, composer); Supermax for Saratoga Opera (Stewart Wallace, composer; Michael Korie, co-librettist); A Thousand Acres for Des Moines Metro Opera (Kristin Kuster, composer) and the book for the musical Les Girls (Cole Porter, composer).

  • Michael Torke

    Michael Torke

    Composer

  • Michael Torke

    Michael Torke

    Composer


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    Michael Torke's music has been commissioned by such orchestras as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony; by such ballet companies as New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and the National Ballet of Canada; by such opera companies as the Metropolitan Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, and the English National Opera; by such large ensembles as the London Sinfonietta, Lontano, and De Volharding; and such small ensembles as the Smith, Ying, and Amstel Quartets.

    He has worked with such conductors as Simon Rattle, Kurt Mazur, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman; such choreographers as Christopher Wheeldon, James Kudelka, and Juri Kilian; and collaborated with such librettists as A. R. Gurney, Michael Korie, and Mark Campbell; and such directors as Des McAnuff, Bart Sher, and Michael Greif.

    He has been commissioned by entities such as the Walt Disney Company, and Absolute Vodka; worked with such soloists as Tessa Lark, Christopher O'Reilly, and Joyce Castle; and written incidental music to such companies as The Public Theater, The Old Globe Theater, and Classic Stage Company; and been composer in residence with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

    Beginning his career with exclusive contracts with Boosey and Hawkes, and Decca Records, he now controls his own copyrights and masters through his publishing company, Adjustable Music, and record company, Ecstatic Records.

    His music has been called "some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years" (Gramophone). Hailed as a "vitally inventive composer" (Financial Times) and "a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral palette makes him the Ravel of his generation" (New York Times), Torke has created a substantial body of works in virtually every genre.

     

  • Missy Mazzoli, looking straight at the camera with dramtic makeup and expression, auburn hair and a brown muslin top.

    Missy Mazzoli

    Composer

  • Missy Mazzoli, looking straight at the camera with dramtic makeup and expression, auburn hair and a brown muslin top.

    Missy Mazzoli

    Composer


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    Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli was recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (The New York Times) and “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out New York), and has been praised for her “apocalyptic imagination” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Mazzoli is the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and her music has been performed all over the world by the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, pianist Emanuel Ax, Opera Philadelphia, Scottish Opera, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Fringe Opera, the Detroit Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, JACK Quartet, cellist Maya Beiser, violinist Jennifer Koh, pianist Kathleen Supové, Dublin’s Crash Ensemble, the Sydney Symphony and many others. In 2018 she made history when she became one of the two first women (along with composer Jeanine Tesori) to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. That year she was also nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Classical Composition” for her work Vespers for Violin, recorded by violinist Olivia De Prato.

    Mazzoli has received considerable acclaim for her operatic compositions. Her third opera, Proving Up, written with longtime collaborator Royce Vavrek, was commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and New York’s Miller Theatre.  Based on a short story by Karen Russell, Proving Up offers a surreal and disquieting commentary on the American dream through the story of a Nebraskan family homesteading in the late 19th century. Proving Up premiered to critical acclaim in January 2018 at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, in April 2018 at Opera Omaha, and in September 2018 at Miller Theatre. The Washington Post called it “harrowing…powerful…a true opera of our time”. Mazzoli’s second opera, Breaking the Waves, a collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Beth Morrison Projects in 2016, was described as “among the best 21st-century operas yet” (Opera News), “savage, heartbreaking and thoroughly original” (Wall Street Journal), and “dark and daring” (New York Times). Earlier projects include the critically acclaimed sold-out premiere of Missy’s first opera, Song from the Uproar, in a Beth Morrison production at New York venue The Kitchen in March 2012. The Wall Street Journal called this work “powerful and new” and the New York Times claimed that “in the electric surge of Ms. Mazzoli’s score you felt the joy, risk, and limitless potential of free sprits unbound.” Time Out New York named Song from the Uproar Number 3 on its list of the top ten classical music events of 2012. In October 2012, Missy’s operatic work, SALT, a re-telling of the story of Lot’s Wife written for cellist Maya Beiser and vocalist Helga Davis, premiered as part of the BAM Next Wave Festival and at UNC Chapel Hill, directed by Robert Woodruff. This work, including text by Erin Cressida-Wilson, was deemed “a dynamic amalgamation that unapologetically pushes boundaries” by Time Out New York.

    Missy attended the Yale School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and Boston University.  She has studied with (in no particular order) David Lang, Louis Andriessen, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Martijn Padding, Richard Ayres, John Harbison, Charles Fussell, Martin Amlin, Marco Stroppa, Ladislav Kubik, Louis DeLise and Richard Cornell.

    Her music is published by G. Schirmer.

  • Ricky Ian Gordon

    Ricky Ian Gordon

    Composer

  • Ricky Ian Gordon

    Ricky Ian Gordon

    Composer


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    Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956 in Oceanside, NY) studied piano, composition and acting, at Carnegie Mellon University. After moving to New York City, he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater. Mr. Gordon’s songs have been performed and or recorded by such internationally renowned singers as Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Nathan Gunn, Nadine Sierra, Stephanie Blythe, Denyce Graves, Judy Collins, Kelli O’Hara, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Nicole Cabell, Frederica Von Stade, Andrea Marcovicci, Harolyn Blackwell, Betty Buckley, and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, among many others. Ricky Ian Gordon’s most recent premieres include:

    Ellen West (2019, libretto by Frank Bidart, commissioned and premiered by Opera Saratoga and Beth Morrison Projects for Prototype 2020) an opera based on a case study by a Dr. Ludwig Binswanger, about a woman in a Swiss hospital with an eating disorder, which The Wall Street Journal described as a “Riveting one-act opera,” and Opera News called “a fine haunting score by the chameleonic Ricky Ian Gordon.”

    The House Without A Christmas Tree (2017, libretto by Royce Vavrek, commissioned and premiered by Houston Grand Opera) a holiday opera for young audiences that The Wall Street Journal describes as “a charming, family-friendly piece,” “Houston Grand Opera offers a charming, family-friendly piece, in an alternative performance space, that manages to be heartwarming without being sappy … Mr. Gordon’s score employs accessible, Coplandesque tonality, which has its apex in Addie’s arias … they capture a young girl’s imagination and optimism….The text is clearly set, and well crafted ensembles vary the texture as do bigger choruses.”– Wall Street Journal

    “Not only does this opera have to find its place among the “Nutcrackers,” “Christmas Carols” and “Messiahs,” as a world premiere, it also has to bid for a permanent spot in the operatic canon. Gordon’s melodic, tonal score makes a strong bid for that spot, falling easily on the ears, often bringing to mind the late operas of Richard Strauss in its naturalistic setting of Vavrek’s dialogue to melodically compelling music. The pleasing score, congenial vocal demands and modest scale of “The House Without a Christmas Tree” give it a good shot at achieving staying power, attractive to professional opera companies of all sizes and to conservatories and universities. It was warmly received by the opening-night audience, some granting it a standing ovation.” – Houston Chronicle

    The Grapes of Wrath (2017 two-act version commissioned and premiered by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, consequently done in Detroit, and Aspen (summer 2020); “This is a great American opera to stand alongside earlier evocations of specifically American periods and subjects by George Gershwin, Carlisle Floyd, Robert Ward, John Adams and others.”- Chicago Tribune

  • Royce Vavrek

    Royce Vavrek

    Librettist

  • Royce Vavrek

    Royce Vavrek

    Librettist


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    Royce Vavrek is a Canada-born, Brooklyn-based librettist and lyricist who has been called “the indie Hofmannsthal” (The New Yorker) a “Metastasio of the downtown opera scene” (The Washington Post), “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times), and “one of the most celebrated and sought after librettists in the world” (CBC Radio).  His opera “Angel’s Bone” with composer Du Yun was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

    With composer Missy Mazzoli he wrote “Song from the Uproar,” premiered by Beth Morrison Projects in 2012, and subsequently seen in multiple presentations around the country. Their second opera, an adaptation of Lars von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves,” premiered at Opera Philadelphia, co-commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, and directed by James Darrah to critical acclaim in September of 2016. The work won the 2017 Music Critics Association of North America award for Best New Opera and was nominated for Best World Premiere at the 2017 International Opera Awards.  A new production premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in the summer of 2019, produced by Scottish Opera and Opera Ventures, helmed by Tony Award-winning director Tom Morris and earned star Sydney Mancasola a coveted Herald Angel Award for her performance.  Their next opera, an adaptation of Karen Russell’s short story “Proving Up,” was commissioned and presented by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and The Miller Theatre in 2018, was a finalist for the MCANA Best New Opera Award of that year.  They are currently developing a grand opera for Opera Philadelphia and the Norwegian National Opera based on an original story by two-time Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Jordan Tannahill, as well as an adaptation of George Saunders’ Booker Prize-winning novel “Lincoln in the Bardo” for The Metropolitan Opera.

    His collaboration with composer David T. Little led Heidi Waleson of the Wall Street Journal to proclaim them “one of the most exciting composer-librettist teams working in opera today.”  In April of 2016 they premiered their first grand opera, “JFK,” at Fort Worth Opera, a co-commission with American Lyric Theater and Opéra de Montréal that was called “ravishing” (Opera News), earning a ten-star review in Opera Now Magazine.  This followed the success of their first opera, “Dog Days,” which received its world premiere in September of 2012 at Peak Performances @ Montclair, in a production co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and directed by American maverick Robert Woodruff.  The work was celebrated as the Classical Music Event of the year by Time Out New York and a standout opera of recent decades by The New York Times.  They are currently developing an original work for the Metropolitan Opera through the Met/LCT commissioning program.

    Royce has also worked extensively with composer Paola Prestini, first on the song cycle "Yoani," inspired by the blog posts of Yoani Sanchez, and then on "The Hubble Cantata," a virtual reality oratorio produced by VisionIntoArt/National Sawdust in association with Beth Morrison Projects. They recently presented the workshop premiere of “Silent Light,” an opera based on the Cannes Jury Prize-winning film by Carlos Reygadas at the Banff Centre for Creativity, a collaboration with the director Thaddeus Strassberger, and are currently working on a new opera inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” They are also developing "Film Stills," a project for mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti that dramatizes four of Cindy Sherman's iconic photographs through musical monologues composed by Paola, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly and Ellen Reid, and directed by R.B. Schlather.  Royce and Paola's collaboration can be further heard on the AIDS Quilt Songbook: Sing for Hope recording, where their song "Union," as sung by Isabel Leonard, is featured.

    In 2014 Royce premiered “27,” his first collaboration with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.  Created for renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, the work brought to life Gertrude Stein’s famous salon at 27 rue de Fleurus in Paris.  Mark Ray Rinaldi of the Denver Post wrote that the opera “tells a great American story, about Gertrude Stein, as well as opera in the 21st century.”  The opera was subsequently presented by Pittsburgh Opera, MasterVoices at New York City Center, Michigan Opera Theater, Opéra de Montréal and Opera Las Vegas.  In 2017 their adaptation of Gail Rock’s Christmas classic “The House Without a Christmas Tree” for Houston Grand Opera was premiered to critical acclaim.

    Other recent and upcoming projects include “Strip Mall” with Matt Marks for the Los Angeles Philharmonic; “Epistle Mass” with Julian Wachner for Trinity Wall Street, “Midwestern Gothic” with Josh Schmidt for Signature Theatre, Virginia; “Naamah’s Ark” with Marisa Michelson for MasterVoices; “O Columbia” with Gregory Spears for HGOco; and “Knoxville: Summer of 2015” with Ellen Reid for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and National Sawdust; “Crypto” with Guillaume Coté and Mikael Karlsson; “The Wild Beast of the Bungalow” with Rachel Peters for Oberlin Conservatory; “Jacqueline” with Luna Pearl Woolf for Tapestry New Opera; “Adoration” (based on the film by Atom Egoyan) with Mary Kouyoumdjian for Beth Morrison Projects and “Agnes” with Daníel Bjarnason for the Icelandic Opera.

    Royce is co-Artistic Director of The Coterie, an opera-theater company founded with Tony-nominee Lauren Worsham.  He holds a BFA in Filmmaking and Creative Writing from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal and an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at New York University.  He is an alum of American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program.

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