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24th Season Announcement

August 22, 2022 • Download →

Celebrating
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An empty field under a dark and brooding sky.
Opera Las Vegas' poster for "Proving Up": A boy crouches over a window frame in a field below a dark and brooding sky, his mother worriedly standing in the background in front of their 19th century sod house.

Proving Up

Missy Mazzoli, libretto by Royce Vavrek after the short story by Karen Russell
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$25-$50

Part of the 2022 Women Composers Festival

📖 A digital program is now available for this production!

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Location

The Fine Arts, Alta Ham building at UNLV

Black Box Theatre, UNLV

Alta Ham Fine Arts building, UNLV Campus ∙ Las Vegas ∙ 89119

Run Time

1 hour 20 minutes

Intermission

No intermission

Language

Sung in English with English supertitles

Premiered

Washington National Opera, 2018

Dress Code

Casual, Come As You Are

In this haunting and harrowing tale, composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek compel you to discover the brooding heart of the American Dream. With a chilling investigation into the physical and emotional hardship of settling the West, this piece is a riveting counterpoint to the often overly glamorized backward glances.

The Homestead Act of 1862 — by which settlers, mainly west of the Mississippi River, could acquire public land they’d farmed, or “prove up” — contained an odd provision: To be considered for the land grant, the homesteads, among other requirements, had to include a glass window. Based on a true story, Ms. Mazzoli conjures aural bleakness with an uncanny, confident mixture of instrumental savagery and eerie lightness. The shadowy sound of guitars drifts through the music; chaotic refractions of hoedown fiddling occasionally explode within a landscape of jittery unease. Mazzoli’s colorful, fragmentary, and evocative contemporary score perfectly complements Vavrek’s terse, cogent texts.

Creators

  • 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.

  • 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.

Cast

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

    Dylan Morrongiello

    Tenor

    Miles Zegner

  • 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).

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

    Christina Mancheni

    Soprano

    Mrs. Johannes "Ma" Zegner

  • 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.

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

    Joseph Lodato

    Baritone

    Mr. Johannes "Pa" Zegner

  • 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.

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

    Kayla Wilkens

    Soprano

    Littler Zegner Sister

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

    Hilary Grace Taylor

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Taller Zegner Sister

  • 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.

  • William Meinert casually smiling in a dark suit.

    William Meinert

    Bass

    The Sodbuster

  • 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.

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

    Rafael Canizalez

    Actor

    Peter Zegner

  • 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.

Creative Team

  • 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.

  • 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.

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