LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM

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Executive Producers: Mr. & Mrs. William G. Brown
For a full list of Co-Producers, please visit our Co-Producer page.

In Mozart’s tuneful and infectious masterpiece, Figaro is planning to marry his bride-to-be, Susanna, but the wedding day goes off-script thanks to the Count’s lusty desires. Recruiting the aid of the Countess and a lovesick youth to thwart the Count’s schemes, Susanna outsmarts them all in a crazy day of disguise, duplicity, and merry mix ups that occur all the way to the altar.

The Marriage of Figaro is a new co-production with Opera Philadelphia, San Diego Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

  • Antonino Fogliani
    Antonino Fogliani
    Conductor
  • Stephen Lawless
    Stephen Lawless
    Stage Director
  • Eric Sean Fogel*
    Eric Sean Fogel*
    Associate Director and Choreographer
  • Leslie Travers
    Leslie Travers
    Scenic and Costume Designer
  • Thomas C. Hase*
    Thomas C. Hase*
    Lighting Designer
  • David Adam Moore
    David Adam Moore
    Count (3/23 & 3/25)
  • Brett Polegato*
    Brett Polegato*
    Count (3/24)
  • Caitlin Lynch
    Caitlin Lynch
    Countess (3/23 & 3/25)
  • Sarah-Jane Brandon*
    Sarah-Jane Brandon*
    Countess (3/24)
  • Marko Mimica*
    Marko Mimica*
    Figaro
  • Federico De Michelis*
    Federico De Michelis*
    Figaro (3/24)
  • Janai Brugger
    Janai Brugger
    Susanna
  • Lauren Michelle*
    Lauren Michelle*
    Susanna (3/24)
  • Irene Roberts+
    Irene Roberts+
    Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)
  • Danielle MacMillan+
    Danielle MacMillan+
    Cherubino (3/24)
  • Valeriano Lanchas*
    Valeriano Lanchas*
    Dr. Bartolo
  • Elizabeth Bishop*
    Elizabeth Bishop*
    Marcellina
  • Matthew DiBattista
    Matthew DiBattista
    Don Basilio / Don Curzio
  • Chelsea Bonagura*^
    Chelsea Bonagura*^
    Barbarina
  • Andrew Simpson^
    Andrew Simpson^
    Antonio

*Palm Beach Opera Debut
^Benenson Young Artist
+Former Young Artist

Additional cast information will be listed as it becomes available.
Cast subject to change.

ACT I

Figaro and Susanna, servants of Count Almaviva, are preparing to celebrate their wedding which is to be held later that day. Susanna, however, is concerned that the Count has been making advances toward her. She believes their bedroom is too close to the Count’s, allowing the Count to visit Susanna easily when Figaro is attending to their master’s needs. This shakes Figaro’s confidence, but he leaves determined to confront the Count.

As Figaro leaves, Marcellina, a housekeeper, arrives with Dr. Bartolo, her legal counselor. Marcellina is furious with Figaro, as he had promised to marry her if he could not repay his loan. Bartolo, meanwhile, has his own score to settle, as Figaro thwarted his plan to marry the Countess. Susanna scolds Marcellina and she leaves shamed.

Cherubino, a young pageboy, enters and confesses that he is in love with the Countess. At that very moment Susanna hears the Count coming and hides Cherubino. The Count enters and confesses his love for Susanna, requesting they be alone. Before Susanna can answer, footsteps are heard outside the door, forcing the Count to hide. Don Basilio enters Susanna’s room to speak with her about Cherubino’s desire for both Susanna and the Countess. Hearing this, the Count becomes enraged and reveals himself and Cherubino in the process.

ACT II

The Countess and Susanna are in the Countess’ chambers. The Countess is distraught over the Count’s suspected infidelity and prays for his affections to be restored. Susanna tells her of the scheme to catch the Count – Cherubino will dress as a girl and attempt to seduce him. As Susanna is dressing Cherubino, he tells the Countess he loves her, and eventually wears her down. Just as he is about to win her over, the Count knocks on the chamber door, claiming an anonymous letter informed him of his wife’s affair with Cherubino.

The Countess hastily shoves Cherubino into the closet to hide him from the Count. The Count begins questioning the Countess about who may be in her room. As he interrogates her, a voice calls out from the closet. The Countess tells him it is Susanna. Susanna, meanwhile, has secretly entered the room and is eavesdropping on the conversation. The Count leaves with the Countess to find tools to open the closet door. Susanna opens the door,  removes Cherubino, sends him out the window and takes his place in the closet.

The Count and Countess return to the chamber. The Countess, sure she will be caught, confesses that it is actually Cherubino in the closet. The Count vows to kill Cherubino, but is shocked to discover that it is in fact Susanna in the closet. Thinking quickly, the Countess tells the Count it is a practical joke designed to test his trust in her. Feeling ashamed, he begs for forgiveness but wonders about the anonymous letter. Susanna and the Countess claim it was written by Figaro, who enters at that moment. The Count interrogates him about the letter, but Figaro satisfactorily answers all of his questions. Just as the Count’s suspicions begin to dissipate, the gardener, Antonio, enters. He is angry about his flower beds, which were destroyed by Cherubino when he climbed out the window. Figaro claims he jumped out the window, but Antonio shows a piece of paper that the man dropped.  Figaro is unaware that the paper is actually the Count’s appointment of Cherubino to the army. The Count, suspicious, asks Figaro about the document. With help from Susanna and the Countess, he correctly answers the Count’s questions. At that moment Marcellina, Bartolo, and Basilio enter and accuse Figaro of not honoring the marriage contract. The Count, eager to dispatch Figaro, happily obliges their plea for a trial.

ACT III

At his hearing, Figaro is ordered to honor the marriage contract. Figaro claims he needs his parent’s permission to marry, but he does not know who they are. They eventually determine that Figaro is the long-lost son of Marcellina and Bartolo. In celebration, Figaro embraces Marcellina. Susanna, seeing this embrace, believes that Figaro has chosen Marcellina over her and slaps him. Marcellina explains that she is Figaro’s mother. Susanna joins them in celebration before agreeing to a double wedding with Marcellina and Bartolo.

Before the wedding, Susanna tells the Countess of her plan to catch the Count. The Countess dictates a letter to Susanna to confirm their meeting. She tells her to seal it with a pin and take it to the Count, so that the Count will bring it with him to their meeting under the pines.

ACT IV

The Count gives Barbarina the pin to return to Susanna. Barbarina, however, loses the pin. Figaro finds Barbarina searching and asks what she is looking for. She tells him, and, feeling betrayed, Figaro vows revenge.

Figaro hides as Susanna and the Countess arrive, dressed as each other in order to deceive the Count. In the dark, Cherubino enters and flirts with the Countess, who is dressed as Susanna. The Count arrives and dispatches Cherubino. The darkness leads to confusion as the Count seduces the Countess, believing she is Susanna. The real Countess enters and reveals herself. The Count, realizing his error, begs for forgiveness. The Countess, being kinder and gentler than her husband, forgives him and all assembled celebrate.

CAST
  • Antonino Fogliani
    Antonino Fogliani
    Conductor
  • Stephen Lawless
    Stephen Lawless
    Stage Director
  • Eric Sean Fogel*
    Eric Sean Fogel*
    Associate Director and Choreographer
  • Leslie Travers
    Leslie Travers
    Scenic and Costume Designer
  • Thomas C. Hase*
    Thomas C. Hase*
    Lighting Designer
  • David Adam Moore
    David Adam Moore
    Count (3/23 & 3/25)
  • Brett Polegato*
    Brett Polegato*
    Count (3/24)
  • Caitlin Lynch
    Caitlin Lynch
    Countess (3/23 & 3/25)
  • Sarah-Jane Brandon*
    Sarah-Jane Brandon*
    Countess (3/24)
  • Marko Mimica*
    Marko Mimica*
    Figaro
  • Federico De Michelis*
    Federico De Michelis*
    Figaro (3/24)
  • Janai Brugger
    Janai Brugger
    Susanna
  • Lauren Michelle*
    Lauren Michelle*
    Susanna (3/24)
  • Irene Roberts+
    Irene Roberts+
    Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)
  • Danielle MacMillan+
    Danielle MacMillan+
    Cherubino (3/24)
  • Valeriano Lanchas*
    Valeriano Lanchas*
    Dr. Bartolo
  • Elizabeth Bishop*
    Elizabeth Bishop*
    Marcellina
  • Matthew DiBattista
    Matthew DiBattista
    Don Basilio / Don Curzio
  • Chelsea Bonagura*^
    Chelsea Bonagura*^
    Barbarina
  • Andrew Simpson^
    Andrew Simpson^
    Antonio

*Palm Beach Opera Debut
^Benenson Young Artist
+Former Young Artist

Additional cast information will be listed as it becomes available.
Cast subject to change.

SYNOPSIS

ACT I

Figaro and Susanna, servants of Count Almaviva, are preparing to celebrate their wedding which is to be held later that day. Susanna, however, is concerned that the Count has been making advances toward her. She believes their bedroom is too close to the Count’s, allowing the Count to visit Susanna easily when Figaro is attending to their master’s needs. This shakes Figaro’s confidence, but he leaves determined to confront the Count.

As Figaro leaves, Marcellina, a housekeeper, arrives with Dr. Bartolo, her legal counselor. Marcellina is furious with Figaro, as he had promised to marry her if he could not repay his loan. Bartolo, meanwhile, has his own score to settle, as Figaro thwarted his plan to marry the Countess. Susanna scolds Marcellina and she leaves shamed.

Cherubino, a young pageboy, enters and confesses that he is in love with the Countess. At that very moment Susanna hears the Count coming and hides Cherubino. The Count enters and confesses his love for Susanna, requesting they be alone. Before Susanna can answer, footsteps are heard outside the door, forcing the Count to hide. Don Basilio enters Susanna’s room to speak with her about Cherubino’s desire for both Susanna and the Countess. Hearing this, the Count becomes enraged and reveals himself and Cherubino in the process.

ACT II

The Countess and Susanna are in the Countess’ chambers. The Countess is distraught over the Count’s suspected infidelity and prays for his affections to be restored. Susanna tells her of the scheme to catch the Count – Cherubino will dress as a girl and attempt to seduce him. As Susanna is dressing Cherubino, he tells the Countess he loves her, and eventually wears her down. Just as he is about to win her over, the Count knocks on the chamber door, claiming an anonymous letter informed him of his wife’s affair with Cherubino.

The Countess hastily shoves Cherubino into the closet to hide him from the Count. The Count begins questioning the Countess about who may be in her room. As he interrogates her, a voice calls out from the closet. The Countess tells him it is Susanna. Susanna, meanwhile, has secretly entered the room and is eavesdropping on the conversation. The Count leaves with the Countess to find tools to open the closet door. Susanna opens the door,  removes Cherubino, sends him out the window and takes his place in the closet.

The Count and Countess return to the chamber. The Countess, sure she will be caught, confesses that it is actually Cherubino in the closet. The Count vows to kill Cherubino, but is shocked to discover that it is in fact Susanna in the closet. Thinking quickly, the Countess tells the Count it is a practical joke designed to test his trust in her. Feeling ashamed, he begs for forgiveness but wonders about the anonymous letter. Susanna and the Countess claim it was written by Figaro, who enters at that moment. The Count interrogates him about the letter, but Figaro satisfactorily answers all of his questions. Just as the Count’s suspicions begin to dissipate, the gardener, Antonio, enters. He is angry about his flower beds, which were destroyed by Cherubino when he climbed out the window. Figaro claims he jumped out the window, but Antonio shows a piece of paper that the man dropped.  Figaro is unaware that the paper is actually the Count’s appointment of Cherubino to the army. The Count, suspicious, asks Figaro about the document. With help from Susanna and the Countess, he correctly answers the Count’s questions. At that moment Marcellina, Bartolo, and Basilio enter and accuse Figaro of not honoring the marriage contract. The Count, eager to dispatch Figaro, happily obliges their plea for a trial.

ACT III

At his hearing, Figaro is ordered to honor the marriage contract. Figaro claims he needs his parent’s permission to marry, but he does not know who they are. They eventually determine that Figaro is the long-lost son of Marcellina and Bartolo. In celebration, Figaro embraces Marcellina. Susanna, seeing this embrace, believes that Figaro has chosen Marcellina over her and slaps him. Marcellina explains that she is Figaro’s mother. Susanna joins them in celebration before agreeing to a double wedding with Marcellina and Bartolo.

Before the wedding, Susanna tells the Countess of her plan to catch the Count. The Countess dictates a letter to Susanna to confirm their meeting. She tells her to seal it with a pin and take it to the Count, so that the Count will bring it with him to their meeting under the pines.

ACT IV

The Count gives Barbarina the pin to return to Susanna. Barbarina, however, loses the pin. Figaro finds Barbarina searching and asks what she is looking for. She tells him, and, feeling betrayed, Figaro vows revenge.

Figaro hides as Susanna and the Countess arrive, dressed as each other in order to deceive the Count. In the dark, Cherubino enters and flirts with the Countess, who is dressed as Susanna. The Count arrives and dispatches Cherubino. The darkness leads to confusion as the Count seduces the Countess, believing she is Susanna. The real Countess enters and reveals herself. The Count, realizing his error, begs for forgiveness. The Countess, being kinder and gentler than her husband, forgives him and all assembled celebrate.

Header Photo: Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

Antonino Fogliani
Conductor

Antonino Fogliani studied composition at the Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” in Bologna with Francesco Carluccio and graduated with honors in orchestral conducting at the Milan Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi”, under Vittorio Parisi. He has a degree in musicology at Bolonia University with Lorenzo Bianconi, Roberto Leydi and Marco Beghelli. He then furthered his musical training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he studied composition with Franco Donatoni and Ennio Morricone and conducting with Gianluigi Gelmetti.

His debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 2001 with Il viaggio a Reims was the beginning of a remarkable international career. Since then he conducted productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and at the Teatro Calderón de Valladolid.

In 2011 he was appointed Musical Director of Rossini in Wildbad Festival. Fogliani made his American debut in 2011 conducting Lucia di Lammermoor at the Houston Grand Opera.

In the symphonic field he has conducted many orchestras such as the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma, the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione Toscanini di Parma, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, and the Orchestra Filarmonica of Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Fogliani has recorded for Arthaus Musik, Bongiovanni, Dynamic and Naxos.
From 2011 he has taught orchestral conducting at the Conservatory G. Tartini in Trieste. He lives in Bologna.

Stephen Lawless
Stage Director

Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of ‘Death in Venice’, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing ‘Boris Godunov’ which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the UK. He has directed throughout the world including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Glyndebourne Festival; the Vienna State Opera; La Fenice, Venice; the Berlin Staatsoper; The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Chicago; New York City Opera, Los Angeles; San Francisco; Washington, the Hong Kong and New Zealand Festivals and the complete ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ for the Nürnberg Opera.

Eric Sean Fogel*
Associate Director and Choreographer

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by The Spoleto Festival, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age.  After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre, Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years.  He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at Lincoln Center, BAM, The Joyce Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop.  Other companies include NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Mark Dendy, and Donald Byrd / The Group.

Eric also performed in the National Tours of Evita!Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: European Tour, La Scala Opera, and an International Tour.

Throughout his career Eric has been fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors while being an Associate on Broadway, National Tours, and Encores at City Center.  This led to the debut of his own Choreography in 2007.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling on new productions and World Premieres.  Eric’s choreography has now been featured on Television, Theatre, and in Opera houses around the world.

 

Leslie Travers
Scenic and Costume Designer

Award winning designer Leslie Travers trained at the Wimbledon School of Art‚ and is now recognized as one of the leading stage designers of his generation.

Current projects include Francesca da Rimini (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Werther (Opéra National de Lorraine)‚ Le Baron Tzigane (Grand Théâtre de Genève)‚ Billy Budd(Opera North/Nederlandse Reisopera)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (Kansas City Opera/Opera Philadelphia/San Diego Opera)‚ Fiddler on the Roof (Malmö Opera)‚ Clemenza di Tito (Opera Theatre of St Louis)‚ Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre).

His designs for opera include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera)‚ Pleasure (Opera North)‚ I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera)‚ Elysium (Den Norske Opera)‚ The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera‚ Teatr Wielki)‚ Salome (Santa Fe Opera)‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park and OHP @ The Linbury‚ ROH)‚ La Bohème (Malmö Opera)‚ Grimes on the Beach (Opera North/Aldeburgh Music)‚ Albert Herring (Opera North)‚  Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera)‚ Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North)‚ Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera)‚ Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Jenufa (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North)‚ Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Malmö Opera‚ Sweden)‚ Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland)‚ L’arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia‚ Valencia)‚ The Children’s Crusade (Luminato Festival‚ Toronto)‚ Véronique (Buxton)‚ I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia)‚ The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera)‚ Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi(RAM)‚ Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera – Ring Award 2005)‚ Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin – European Opera Prize).

Theatre designs include: Rebecca (Kneehigh/David Pugh Ltd)‚ Twelfth Night(Chichester Festival Theatre)‚ The Duchess of Malfi‚ Streets of Rage‚ Silent Cry(West Yorkshire Playhouse)‚ The Persian Revolution (Lyric Hammersmith)‚ The Man with Two Gaffers (York Theatre Royal)‚ Veriete (Lindsay Kemp Company‚ World Tour).

Dance and ballet designs include: Cinderella‚ Le Corsaire‚ The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (K-ballet‚ Japan – Asahi Award 2006 for Nutcracker‚ and 2005 for Swan Lake)‚ Some? (Space 211‚ Paris)‚ Cinderella (National Ballet of Portugal)‚ The Lark Ascending (English National Ballet).

Leslie has been nominated for countless theatre awards‚ which have led to wins for Grimes on the Beach-Opera North/Aldeburgh Music (Best Anniversary Production – International Opera Awards 2014 and What’s On Stage – Opera Event of The Year)‚ for Otello-Scottish Opera and Opera North (Manchester Theatre Awards 2014 – Best Opera)‚ for The Children’s Crusade– Luminato Festival‚ Toronto (Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Opera Production 2010) and for Vurt Contact Theatre (Arthur Peter Design Award).

Thomas C. Hase*
Lighting Designer

Thomas C. Hase (Lighting Designer) was born in the United States and educated in the US and Germany. His work has
earned him both national and international recognition as a lighting designer who is known for dynamic designs in opera, new
theatrical productions and avant-garde dance. His design for the Tony-Award winning revival of Company on Broadway
received critical acclaim. Mr. Hase’s work has been described as “spectacular” and “a work of art.” The New York Times
called his lighting for Company “superb.”

Thomas Hase has worked at many of the major opera houses in the United States including: LA Opera; New York City
Opera; BAM Next Wave; Seattle Opera; The Minnesota Opera; Dallas Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Goodspeed Opera;
The Portland Opera; New Orleans Opera; and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also worked extensively at the regional theaters in
the United States. Mr. Hase’s designs have lit the stages at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Center Stage Theatre;
Alliance Theatre; The Dallas Theater Center; The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Maine
State Music Theater; Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre. As lighting designer with Ping Chong + Company his work was
seen worldwide.

Internationally, Mr. Hase has worked at theaters and opera houses in Europe, Canada, South America and Asia, including:
The Barbican in London; The Abbey Theatre in Ireland; The Finnish, Columbian, Dutch National Operas; Opera North, UK;
The Canadian Opera Company; Malmö Opera in Sweden; The Luminato Festival, Toronto; Opera de Marseille; Staatstheater
Kassel; Theater Erfurt; The Bavarian State Opera; The Vancouver Opera; The Singapore Arts Festival; and Tokyo Metro Arts
Center. In 2010, he was on the original design team for the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna at
Sadler’s Wells in London, which was later produced by New York City Opera and at The Luminato Festival in Toronto. In
addition, he was the lighting designer for the world premiere of Riverdance’s Magik Macabre in Dublin and the European
revival of The Wiz for Stage Holdings in Holland. As resident lighting designer for Stadttheater Giessen in Germany, Mr.
Hase produced over one hundred designs for theater, opera and ballet.

Thomas Hase’s work can been seen in several productions recorded for broadcast and distribution. Recordings of Company
on Broadway and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at LA Opera have been released on DVD. The 2012
production of Jenůfa at Malmö Opera, released on DVD for European distribution.

Concurrent with his many freelance projects, Mr. Hase is the resident lighting designer & director for the Cincinnati Opera
Summer Festival. Among his upcoming productions are Dr. Zhivago (Malmö Opera), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep) and
Iolantha (Dallas Opera). More information about Mr. Hase is available at Haseltd.com.

David Adam Moore
Count (3/23 & 3/25)

With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Staatsoper Hannover, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has recorded for Innova, GPR, and BMG records, with broadcast credits including BBC, Arte, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands.

A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers, including Thomas Adès, Peter Eötvös, and David T. Little, while simultaneously garnering critical acclaim for his interpretations of classic works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, most notably Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Barbiere), Billy Budd, Count Almaviva, and Carmina Burana.

Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives – GLMMR and Choreo Teatro – with whom he has created music, video, and performance works in venues including the 92nd St. Y,  .NO Gallery, and The Cell. Most recently, his multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise, with visuals by GLMMR, was enthusiastically received at venues throughout the U.S. including National Sawdust (NYC), Atlanta Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Anchorage Opera.

Also with GLMMR and his artistic partner, the renowned stage/film designer Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world’s largest-scale production of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

​As a performance artist, David has collaborated with Holly Herndon in Blood Makes Noise at the Guggenheim Museum and Nick Hallett at NYC’s Town Hall.

Brett Polegato*
Count (3/24)

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics. He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Brett’s 2016/2017 season began when he created the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which he has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera. In the fall of 2010, he journeyed to Moscow to sing the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre. Another one of his signature roles is Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles.

Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 and is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. Mr. Polegato appears frequently throughout North America and Europe, and is particularly noted for his programming choices and wide range of repertoire.

He finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Mr. Polegato is represented exclusively by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica Artists.

Caitlin Lynch
Countess (3/23 & 3/25)

Declared “luminous” by the New York Times and “eloquent” by the Wall Street Journal, soprano Caitlin Lynch is captivating audiences with her portrayals of iconic leading ladies. With a repertoire that encompasses Mozart to Verdi and Handel to Heggie, Ms. Lynch brings her dynamic portrayals of both classic and contemporary operas to stages around the world.

The 2016-2017 season brings two major debuts with English National Opera for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and The Garsington Festival for the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as an appearance with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Micaela in Carmen. In concert she joins the St. Louis Symphony and music director David Robertson for Mozart’s Requiem. Future seasons include a debut with San Diego Opera.

​Last season, Ms. Lynch appeared as The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and sang Violetta in La traviata with Chautauqua Opera. On the concert stage she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Seattle Symphony, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Omaha Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society.

​Additional recent engagements include: the role of Yadwiga in the world première of Ben Moore’s Enemies, a Love Story at Palm Beach Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Michigan Opera Theatre, and Violetta in La traviata with Arizona Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

​In her signature role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, which she has performed with the Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Michigan Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, critics touted “Time stands still when Caitlin Lynch sings. Her honeyed tone and sweetness of expression as Countess Almaviva goes straight to the heart.”

​She was awarded first-place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Competition, and subsequently made her main-stage début as Hero in Beatrice et Benedict, Female Soloist in the American première of Chorus!, and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional awards include a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Competition, the encouragement award from Opera Index and the Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, and 2nd place winner of the Palm Beach Opera Competition.

Ms. Lynch completed the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she performed Micaëla in Carmen and Alice Ford in Falstaff. As part of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, she sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for their Gala Concert at the Morgan Library. Other performances included Oasis in L’étoile with the Cincinnati Opera, and several roles at the University of Cincinnati CCM: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ginevra in Ariodante, and Philippa in Babette’s Feast.

Sarah-Jane Brandon*
Countess (3/24)

Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Award, South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon studied at the Royal
College of Music, and was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project.
In the 2017/18 season, Sarah-Jane Brandon will return to the Semperoper Dresden as Antonia Les contes
d’Hoffmann, and as Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, and she will make her operatic debut in the United States as
Contessa for Palm Beach Opera, Florida. On the concert platform, she will perform the Brahms’ Requiem
with the RSNO and Peter Oudjian; Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Orchestra National de Lyon and Omer
Meir Wellber and Britten’s War Requiem on a tour of the Netherlands with the Bochum Symphoniker and
Rotterdam Symphony Chorus.

Sarah-Jane Brandon has enjoyed particular success with the role of Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, performing
the role in new productions for the Semperoper Dresden and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as for
Glyndebourne; English National Opera; Opéra de Dijon; Opéra-Theatre de Saint-Etienne, Cape Town Opera
and the National Theatre of Bahrain – on tour for the Aix en Provence Festival.

Further appearances on the operatic stage include Micäela Carmen for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Teatro
Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Pamina in a new production of Die Zauberflöte for the Opéra de Nice; Donna Clara Der
Zwerg in a new production for the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon; Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro
dell’Opera di Roma; Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi for the Buxton Festival; Desdemona Otello for Cape
Town Opera and she made her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in performances of Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group conducted by Jane Glover – this production
was filmed and released on DVD.

Her recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a tour of the Netherlands with the BBCSO and Martyn Brabbins, performing
Howell’s Hymns Paradisi; Mahler’s 8 Symphony conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at the Dresden Music
Festival; Viennese Gala Concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Rösner; Beethoven’s
Missa Solemnis with Sir Roger Norrington and with Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO; and her debut at the
Concertgebouw with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

Further concert highlights include Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sylvain
Cambreling, and appearances at the Edinburgh Festival with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir
Andrew Davis; the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton; the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Kurt
Masur; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Bernard Haitink.

Sarah-Jane’s recent recital appearances include her debut recital at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu;
Trinity College Cambridge and the Leeds Lieder Festival with Malcolm Martineau; the Musée d’Orsay and
Birmingham’s Barber Institute with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall and the Buxton, Hay-on-Wye,
Chester and Oxford Lieder Festivals with Gary Matthewman. She has recorded Poulenc with Graham
Johnson and Wolf Lieder with Sholto Kynoch.

Marko Mimica*
Figaro

Croatian Bass-Baritone Marko Mimica participated in the Accademia Rossiniana in 2014 where he sang Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims. He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro in Summer 2015 as the Podesta La Gazza Ladra and in 2016 as Duglas La donna del lago in a new production directed by Damiano Michieletto conducted by Michele Mariotti, alongside Juan Diego Florez.

This season Marko’s engagements include Frère Laurent in Sasha Waltz’s production of Roméo et Juliette and Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; and he will debut at Bilbao ABAO as Alfonso d’Este Lucrezia Borgia; at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Escamillo Carmen, returning for Banquo Macbeth in a new production; at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman as Mustafa L’italiana in Algeri; at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia as Alfonso d’Este, in a new production of Lucrezia Borgia alongside Mariella Devia in the title role; at the Teatro FIlarmonico di Verona as Oroveso Norma and Lord Sidney Il viaggio a Reims and  at the Teatro Regio, Torino as Banquo Macbeth.

In the 2015/16 season Marko’s guest engagements included his debuts for the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen as Banquo Macbeth; the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Alidoro in a new production of La Cenerentola; and for Opera di Firenze as Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri.

As a member of the Ensemble at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (2011-2016) his roles included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Sivigilia; Talbot Maria Stuarda; Escamillo Carmen; Pater Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Tschelio The Love for Three Oranges; Colline La bohème; Pistola Falstaff; Banquo Macbeth; Oroveso Norma and Ferrando Il Trovatore.

Marko made his Italian operatic debut at Teatro Mario del Monaco, Treviso performing the title role in Il turco in Italia, a role he later reprised for the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara. He also made his South American debut as Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival International de Opera Alejandro Granda in Lima, Peru in April 2015.

In 2008 Marko made his professional debut at the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb as Papageno Die Zauberflöte. He continued to perform regularly in Zagreb until 2011, and his engagements included Leporello Don Giovanni; Dandini La Cenerentola; Kochubey Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino.

On the concert platform, Marko made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2014 in a performance of Salome. Further appearances have included the Verdi Requiem with the Rundfunk Choir, Berlin and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Creon Oedipus Rex with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai in Torino, Modena, Ferrara and in Napoli with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo; Dvořák Stabat Mater with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Donald Runnicles and BBC National Orchestra of Scotland and with the RTV Croatian Symphony Orchestra and Choir he has performed the Mozart Requiem and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette.

In future seasons, Marko’s engagements include his return to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona and the Rossini Opera Festival; he also looks forward to debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Las Palmas and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Marko is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a participant in the 2011 Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, and reached the final of Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013.

Federico De Michelis*
Figaro (3/24)

Argentinian bass-baritone Federico De Michelis, who “sings with a deep-voiced authority” (Opera News) is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was previously a member of the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

In the 2017/18 season, Federico De Michelis makes his principal artist debut at Houston Grand Opera as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. Concert highlights include a series of concerts in Key West, Florida. In the 2016/17 season, Mr. De Michelis performed Dr. Dulcamara in Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover, in performances at the Wortham Center and Miller Outdoor Theater. Other performances included Colline in La Bohème with Aspen Music Festival in 2016, and Brander in La Damnation de Faust in 2017. He also joined Des Moines Metro Opera, singing Mr. Flint in Billy Budd, and Timur in Turandot.

In previous seasons, Mr. De Michelis performed the role of Thomas Betterton in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players conducted by Patrick Summers, Angelotti in Tosca, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, the King in The Little Prince, the cover of the title role and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and selected scenes as Tiridate in Radamisto and Figaro, all at Houston Grand Opera. At the Auditorio Sony Madrid, the artist performed the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Don Pasquale and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. While at the Opera Studio of Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Mr. De Michelis performed Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, El Hombre Mayor in Gandini’s contemporary opera La ciudad ausente, Johann in Werther, Narrator in Rota’s I due timidi, Plutone in Il ballo dell’ingrate, and Tempo in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

On the concert and recital stage, Federico De Michelis has performed in a concert tour of Spain, organized by the Fundación Albéniz, a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid, as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf.

Born in Buenos Aires, Federico De MIchelis received 3rd prize in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera, and was named “Outstanding Student” by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

Janai Brugger
Susanna

A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Bruggeris identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” (October 2015 issue). Janai joins the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and makes several US concert appearances during the season, along with various recital performances.

Recent highlights include the role of Pamina Die Zauberflote in which she made her UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to great acclaim, and formely sang at Los Angeles Opera in a new production by Barrie Kosky; Liu in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera of New York where she also sang the role of Helena in The Enchanted Island.

In previous seasons, the artist made her debut as Michaela in Carmen with Opera Colorado; she sang High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera, and, as a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto, and Musetta in La Bohème.

Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival’s Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance.

Additionally, she appeared in New York’s Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett.  She won her Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.

Lauren Michelle*
Susanna (3/24)

Lauren Michelle, soprano, is honored to be a prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy.

Most recently, she performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bobby McFerrin at The Ravinia Festival. She was awarded First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition. She was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, and a prize winner of The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, Palm Spring Opera Guild, and Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competitions.

This season, Ms. Michelle returns to Carnegie Hall as a soloist, and will make her debut with several houses including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Welsh National Opera, and Royal Opera House. She made her US debut to critical acclaim in the role of Irina with Washington National Opera’s Lost in the Stars, starring Eric Owens. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.

 

Irene Roberts+
Cherubino (3/23 & 3/25)

A former Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, American Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts continues to enjoy international acclaim as a singer of exceptional versatility and vocal suppleness. Following her “stunning and dramatically compelling” (SF Classical Voice) performances as Carmen at the San Francisco Opera in June, Roberts begins the 2016/2017 season in San Francisco as Bao Chai in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Currently in her second season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, her upcoming assignments include four role debuts, beginning in November with her debut as Urbain in David Alden’s new production of Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti. She performs in her first Ring cycle in 2017 singing Waltraute in Die Walküre and the Second Norn in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Music Director Donald Runnicles, who also conducts her role debut as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Additional roles for Roberts this season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenena in Nabucco, Siebel in Faust, and the title role of Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert stage, Roberts embarks on a five-city tour of France in May of 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France as soloist for Rossini’s Stabat Mater under the Baton of Enrique Mazzola. Roberts made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 2016 in recital with tenor Bryan Hymel and pianist Julius Drake. Previous concert engagements include performances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Miami’s New World Symphony led by Joshua Gersen, and at the US Naval Academy for its annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Recent seasons for Roberts have included several career milestones. She made her debut with the San Francisco Opera in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2013, and returned in 2016 as the title role in Calixto Bieto’s US debut production of Carmen. She has performed in Le nozze di Figaro and Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyLes Contes d’Hoffmann, and Ariadne auf Naxos at Palm Beach Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marschner’s Der Vampyr at New Orleans Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, and Gounod’s Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore. Roberts enjoyed numerous successes in her first season with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Fenena in Nabucco.

Roberts studied at the University of the Pacific and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera. She won 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and was a finalist for the 2014 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Danielle MacMillan+
Cherubino (3/24)

Former Benenson Young Artist Danielle MacMillan is known for her “deep plumy sound” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm and “a good foil” Opera in Review, Opera Canada. Toronto native Danielle MacMillan was a member of the COCs Ensemble Studio. Ms. MacMillan made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a BFA honors in classical vocal performance from York University with additional training at IVAI Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Véronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (GGS). During the 2014 season at the COC Ms. MacMillan also appeared as Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Cosí fan Tutte: “Act 2’s Danielle MacMillan has a bright sound and beautiful legato phrasing with spinto qualities that speak to heavier roles in the future. It is a surprisingly big voice at this early stage of a career” Paula Citron. Ms. MacMillan recently completed her second year as a Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera.

Valeriano Lanchas*
Dr. Bartolo

Valeriano Lanchas was born in Bogota. He’s the winner of four prestigious international contests of singing: Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1995, Operalia in 2001, Licia Albanese-Puccini Fundation, of New York 2001, and the Toto Dal Monte in Treviso, Italy 2004.

He studied in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Thanks to Plácido Domingo’s invitation, Valeriano was member of the program of young singers of Washington Opera. During his time in the program he sung Un Ballo in Maschera, IdomeneoLa Cenerentola as Don Magnifico, and Don Giovanni as Leporello conducted by Plácido Domingo.

He made his début in 1994 as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bogota with the Opera of Colombia, and his international début in Tosca (role of “Carceriere”) together with Luciano Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1996. He also sung in Philadelphia Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.

He has sung at Caramoor’s festival in New York, in New Jersey’s Opera Festival, and in the Teresa Carreño Opera House in Caracas. He made his European debut in the Opera of Treviso singing the role of “Don Bartolo” in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Future commitments include:; Le Nozze di Figaro (“Bartolo”, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Washington Opera), Don Giovanni (“Masetto” in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu), and Le Nozze di Figaro (“Dr. Bartolo”, Metropolitan Opera).

Elizabeth Bishop*
Marcellina

American mezzo Elizabeth Bishop begins the 2016-17 season in an appearance with her home company, Washington National Opera, in a role she sings there often, Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for the role of Kostelnicka (cover)/Mayor’s Wife Jenufa alongside Karita Mattila in her role debut as the stepmother, then joins Portland Symphony for the role of Judith Bluebeard’s Castle.  Further appearances during the season include Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne with Memphis Symphony, and Berlioz’s Te Deum with Winston Salem Symphony.

Recent successes include Mere Marie Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Washington National Opera; concert performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Symphony and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and her debut as Herodias Salome at Cincinnati Conservatoire.

Other highlights include her journey to Scotland for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, and her Brangäne to Jay Hunter Morris and Heidi Melton’s Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.

Miss Bishop continues to enjoy a long relationship with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which began with her win at the National Council Auditions in 1993; since then, she has returned many times, most recently last season as Teresa La sonnambula and Enrichetta  I Puritani, and prior to that in such roles as Fenena Nabucco, Venus Tannhäuser, Mère Marie, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, in the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride and for its productions of War and Peace.  She also appeared as Didon Les Troyens and Fricka Das Rheingold.

At home in Washington DC, Miss Bishop has many appearances to her credit, both with Washington Concert Opera, where she sang Principessa Adriana Lecouvreur, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana and Sara Roberto Devereux, and at Washington National Opera where she has a regular presence and appeared as Mère Marie, Sieglinde Die Walküre,  Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Second Norn Götterdämmerung, Meg Page Falstaff, Gertrude Hamlet, Fricka Das Rheingold, Eboli Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, and Emilia Otello, among other appearances.

Matthew DiBattista
Don Basilio / Don Curzio

Described as “brilliant” by Opera News, tenor Matthew DiBattista is continually in demand on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, having performed opera and concert works throughout the United States and Europe. He has sung with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw. Known for an exceptionally varied repertoire, Mr. DiBattista has performed over 60 different roles to date, spanning the entire operatic repertoire.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. DiBattista makes debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre as Matteo Borsa in Rigoletto, with the Santa Fe Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly and as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos in the summer of 2018. His engagements in the 2016-17 season included a debut with Minnesota Orchestra as the First Jew in Salome, Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day with Masterworks Chorale. In the 2015-16 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as The Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and he was soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. DiBattista performed the past four seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago (Parsifal, Cappriccio, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor). Other successes include performanceswith the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Die Meistersinger, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Norma), Glimmerglass Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff, The Mother of Us All, Of Mice and Men, Central Park), Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera (Pagliacci), Opera Omaha (The Tender Land), Tulsa Opera (Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men), Opera Boston (Angels in America, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Madam White Snake, The Nose, Tippett’s Midsummer’s Dream), Virginia Opera (A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Tosca), Tanglewood Music Center, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater (Thérèse Raquin, The Good Soldier Schweik – “Matthew DiBattista portrayed the title character with a Chaplin-esque blend of whimsy and pathos. The luminous quality of DiBattista’s tenor was suited to both the mischevious, animated scenes as well as the poignant, affecting arias.” – Culture Spot LA), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly, Midsummer Night’s Dream) and has appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Pagliacci, Il tabarro, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice in Wonderland, The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles– “as the villain Bégearss, the mega-talented Matthew DiBattista was appropriately showy…” – Opera News).

He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette) and has won great acclaim in a tour de force assignment — the four servants in Les contes D’Hoffmann (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Palm Beach Opera).

On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem at the 100 Day Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony), Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Cincinatti May Festival), Britten’s Nocturne (Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra), as well as many performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Mass in B-Minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in time of War, and Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with various orchestras and choruses around the country.

Mr. DiBattista can be heard as soloist in Samuel’s Hyacinth from Apollo (Vienna Modern Masters) and as the title role in Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas (Albany Records).

Chelsea Bonagura*^
Barbarina

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

American Soprano Chelsea Bonagura has been praised for her “beautifully warm and rich” voice (Classical Voice of North Carolina). This season, Chelsea was a featured dancer and ensemble member in Alekko/Paggliaci and La Campana Somersa (New York City Opera), and most recently made her role debut as Water in the North American premiere of Los Elementos (New York City Opera). This summer, she will sing the title role of Rebecca Manchester in a new opera by Kevin Wilt Prix Fixe (Fresh Squeezed Opera Company), and will cover the role of Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance). Next season, Ms. Bonagura joins Palm Beach Opera as a Benenson Young Artist and will cover the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sing Barbarina in their mainstage productions. She will then return to Opera Roanoke to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème. An avid performer of new operatic works, Chelsea created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Operaby Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, as well as the role of Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. Additional roles include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge.

During the 2015-16 season, Ms. Bonagura appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony in their performance of Messiah, where she was hailed as “a star in the making” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Of Bruckner’s Psalm 150 the previous season, the Winston-Salem Journal noted “the soaring dramatic soprano voice of Ms. Bonagura added brilliance to the work.” In 2011, Chelsea made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green singing selections from The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. Other solo appearances with orchestra include Bach’s Magnificat in D, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Pergolesi’s Magnificat in C Major, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard.

Ms. Bonagura is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2011). She currently a student of Diana Soviero.

Andrew Simpson^
Antonio

Sponsored by Drs. Henry & Marsha Laufer

Andrew Simpsonbass-baritone, is in his second year of residency with Palm Beach Opera where he will be singing the Jailor in Tosca, Barkeeper in Candide, and covering Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He has recently completed his young artist residency with the Chicago Opera Theater, and the Santa Fe Opera where he sang The Footman in Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, as well as covering Sid in La Fanciulla del West, and Masetto in Don Giovanni. Recent work includes productions with COT singing chorus in Lucio Silla, covering Macduff in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seagle Music Colony, Angelotti in Tosca with the Wichita Grand Opera, and young artist work with the Central City Opera, singing chorus in Deadman Walking and Le nozze di Figaro. Andrew received his Masters of Music from Wichita State where he performed principle roles in Susannah, Il campanello di notte, Pirates of Penzance, Il viaggio a Reims, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. Other work includes productions of Il TrovatoreDon Pasquale, and Guillaume Tell with the Wichita Grand Opera as well as Il Trovatore with the Fort Worth Opera. Other upcoming work: Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera in the Rock, in Little Rock, AR.

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