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25th Season Announcement

August 21, 2023 • Download →

Celebrating
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The Billy Goats Gruff

Dates and information to come soon!

Run Time

1 Hour

Language

Sung in English

Did you know that Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti wrote The Billy Goats Gruff? Neither did they! John Davies cleverly re-purposed music from world-famous operas to tell the story of three billy goat friends whose after-school games are spoiled when a bully blocks the bridge, preventing them from going home. Using what they learned about bullies from their moms, dads, and teachers, the trio prevails and even teaches a lesson about forgiveness and friendship. Free performances are being scheduled 2- 12 May 2024.

Image licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, creator unknown.

Cast

  • Athena Mertes

    Soprano

    Lucy

  • Athena Mertes

    Soprano

    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 is also the director of the OLV Youth Chorus.  Athena was Alice B. Toklas in OLV’s  West Coast premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s 27, portrayed Lilly in Sasha Matson's Cooperstown, and Zelda in Evan Mack and Joshua Snyder’s The Ghosts of Gatsby.

  • Lisa Elliott, close-up headshot.

    Lisa Elliott

    Soprano

    Ernesto

  • Lisa Elliott, close-up headshot.

    Lisa Elliott

    Soprano

    Vocalist Lisa Elliott performs in a wide variety of musical styles. From jazz standards on the Vegas Strip to coloratura soprano opera roles, Lisa enjoys many different genres of singing. She is also the Music Director at Grace Presbyterian Church Las Vegas, where she directs the Chancel Choir as well as the Grace Concert Choir and orchestra regularly in major works such as Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Durufle’s Requiem. Additionally, Lisa is dedicated to music education. She is an adjunct voice professor at UNLV, the director of the Grace Academy of Music Education (GAME), and teacher for her own private voice studio. In 2020, Lisa 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.

  • Norman Espinoza, dramatic studio photo in a dark turtleneck.

    Norman Espinoza

    Bass

    Osmin

  • Norman Espinoza, dramatic studio photo in a dark turtleneck.

    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, Livermore Valley Opera, Lyric Opera Orange County, Vegas City Opera and Opera Santa Barbara.

    Roles include: Colline, Alidoro, Mustafà, Reverend Hale, Il Commendatore, Sparafucile, Leporello, Bartolo, Seneca and Sarastro to name a few.

    For the 2021-2022 season Norman was Chrisman Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara and won 3rd place for the 2021 Classical Singer Competition’s Classical Young Artist/Emerging Professional category.

    “Tremendous voice! Love the color, especially in the lower part of his voice. Very good possibilities!!” - CS Music

    Norman now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and works closely with Opera Las Vegas. He also is a Gondolier Singer for The Venetian Resort and he would love take you on a ride on his gondola in Las Venice!

Creative Team

  • 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.

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