Tosca
July 15 - 29, 2022
About the Show

Music by: Giacomo Puccini

Libretto by: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

Puccini's glorious score brings to life one woman's struggle for lova, art, and freedom in a male-dominated world at the turn of the 19th Century. Religion, politics, and passion collide in this stirring work.

Chautauqua Opera Company's production is led by Sarah Ina Meyers (Director) and Steven Osgood (Conductor). 

2 hours 30 minutes, 2 intermissions 

This production is dedicated to Richard Moschel whose sudden passing in 2020 continues to sadden all those who knew him. Rich was one of Chautauqua Opera Company’s most dedicated and ardent supporters, and his presence with Lynn at performances throughout our season was steadfast. He was often a supernumerary in our productions, and Tosca is exactly the type of opera which would have enticed him to the stage.  

Rich—you are dearly missed, and your legacy will be celebrated for years and years by all of us at Chautauqua Opera. 

-Steven Osgood, General & Artistic Director

E non ho amato mai tanto la vita….

                        I have never loved life more.

As he awaits execution, Cavaradossi is consumed by one thought – his love for Floria Tosca. Of the many things he could be thinking about in his final moments – his legacy on earth, his work, the victory at Marengo – he chooses to focus on the passion he and Tosca have shared. In this realization, Act III Cavaradossi is quite different from the combative face he shows to Scarpia in Act II, and even more unlike the Cavaradossi of Sardou’s original play, who seems entirely unfazed by his own death, and does not think of Tosca until she appears on the scene. Even Puccini’s own librettists argued against Cavaradossi experiencing this moment of raw vulnerability, wanting him to instead present a more heroic political stance. But Puccini was certain of what the tenor should feel and express. Cavaradossi begins the aria in sensual nostalgia – the sight of the stars, the smells of the earth, the feel of her skin under his fingers… and he ends in simple honest despair. He is dying, and he has never loved life more. The music throbs with pulsing viscerality.

This aria encapsulates the emotional tension of the drama. Rome in 1800 would have been suffused with the atmosphere of death, as the city swung back and forth between the warring regimes of Neapolitan royalty and Napoleonic forces. Against this murky backdrop, the love between Tosca and Cavaradossi is like starlight – a brightness surrounded by depths of dark. In our production we chose to expose that chaotic atmosphere to highlight the courage and vulnerability of their love. The awareness of mortality is pervasive. The scenery is intentionally stripped back and skeletal, left raw at the edges. The main scenic element is a large scaffold unit that tracks through all three acts. Cavaradossi uses it for his art in the first act, but by the third it is revealed to be the gallows for hanging prisoners (as was the original plan for Cavaradossi). In Act II, it lurks in the shadows just outside Scarpia’s window while the snare drums beat out the last walk of the condemned.

Scarpia’s table at the Palazzo Farnese is littered with the iconography of death. It evokes a genre of painting known as Vanitas in which morbid images – rotting fruit, skulls, the smoke of a dying flame – are juxtaposed with symbols of wealth, power, and earthly pleasure, to demonstrate the folly of greed and vanity against the certainty of death. As Liliana and I explored this style of painting, we were struck by the parallels to our vision for this production. Many of the iconic images of this art were already integral to our own storytelling – extinguished candles, wilted flowers, shadows and angels. Of course, there is good reason for this – the opera is in many ways a kind of parade of death.  The politician, the artist, the lover – all share the same fate. Death is the ultimate equalizer. For this reason, many choose to view the opera as nihilistic– a story of futility, in which both good and evil receive the same reward.  Vanitas paintings can likewise be interpreted as the ultimate pessimism – if we are to die, then all human endeavor can seem meaningless. But there is an equally valid and diametrically opposed interpretation to these images – that it is only the presence of death that gives life any meaning. And the awareness of death ensures we choose to live life in the most valuable way possible.  This opera, like these paintings, can be seen as an exhortation to live for what truly matters. 

 

These paintings encourage the viewer to think on his or her immortal soul, and to prepare it for death, through religion. For Floria Tosca, love, art and religion are nearly indistinguishable. All three activities are ethereal, and therefore easily dismissed by the male characters. Scarpia lives only for lust and power. He manipulates love, as he manipulates religion and law, to satisfy his own desires, and laughs at those who take romantic love seriously. Even Cavaradossi speaks dismissively at times of Tosca’s faith and commitment. To a certain extent, history agrees with these men. Tosca’s love is fragile and short-lived. It is not a document to be read in the future, not law or policy, not a battle to be recorded for posterity, not a building that will endure. When it is gone, love leaves behind less physical trace than a candle blown out. At least when a flame dies there is smoke. And yet, the opera valorizes this most ephemeral of substances. It is Tosca’s love that gives her the power to fight for her lover, that gives her the strength to bring down the evil of Scarpia. And in his aria, Cavaradossi admits it is that love that has made his life meaningful.

 

In the pessimistic interpretation, Tosca’s suicide would be a rejection of life. But just as she leaps to her death, the music surges with the melody of Cavaradossi’s aria – I have never loved life more. This music, like her soul, soars upwards – still reaching, still ascending. We choose to view Tosca’s suicide as a validation, rather than a negation, of life. She dies as she has chosen always to live, with love and faith. Her last words are “before God.” Even in death, Tosca is still striving, still determining her own fate. And Puccini’s music elevates her choice, even as it mourns for her, and Cavaradossi, and their love.

Cast:

Tosca: Elaine Alvarez
Cavaradossi: Chauncey Packer
Scarpia: Alan Held
Sacristan: Jake Skipworth
Angelotti: James Eder
Spoletta: Eric Botto
Sciarrone: Bernardo Medeiros
Jailer: Luke Harnish
Shepherd: Megan Fleischmann

Chorus:

Megan Fleischmann
Luke Harnish
Nicole Heinen
Marcus Jefferson
Emily Michiko Jensen
Olivia Johnson
Phillip Lopez
Bernardo Medeiros
Talin Nalbandian
Nicola Santoro
John Kun Park
Max Potter
Jake Skipworth
Hilary Grace Taylor
Felix Aguilar Tomlinson

Supernumeraries:

Tim Mattocks 
Shawn Sprankle

Children's Choir:

Charlotte Dahlie
Celli Dinapoli
Helen Fischer
Rosie Fischer
Eliana Gefter
Eleanor Pender
Sunnhi Suber
Aren Suber
Leland Suber
Jaxon Wolcott

Creative: 

Stage Director: Sarah Ina Meyers
Conductor: Steven Osgood
Chorus Master: Carol Rausch
Assistant Director: Diane Machin
Scenic Designer: Liliana Duque Piñeiro
Fight Choreographer: Dale Girard
Lighting & Video Designer:
Michael Baumgarten
Costume Designer: B.G. FitzGerald
Wig & Makeup Designer: Martha Ruskai
Musical Preparation: Dottie Randall
Supertitles: Allison Voth
Artistic Assistant: Meilina Tsui

Chautauqua Opera Orchestra:

Violin 1:
Vahn Armstrong
Cheryl Bintz
Lenelle Morse
Olga Kaler
Amanda Gates
Adrienne Finet

Violin 2:
Diane Bruce
Simon Lapointe
Jonathan Richards
Anton Shelepov

Viola:
Chris Fischer
Karl Pedersen
Eva Stern

Cello:
Lars Kirvan
Daryl Goldberg
Igor Gefter

Bass:
PJ Cinque
Kieran Hanlon

Flute:
Richard Sherman
Kathy Levy

Oboe:
Alexis Porcaro

Clarinet:
Eli Eban
Dan Spitzer

Bassoon:
Sean Gordon

Horn:
William Bernatis
Donna Dolson

Trumpet:
Pete Lindblom
Les Linn

Trombone:
Eric Lindlom

Timpani:
Jeremy Levine

Percussion:
Tom Blanchard
Brian Kushmaui

Harp:
Beth Robinson

Organ/Celesta:
Dottie Randall

Production:

Technical Director: John P. Woodey
Production Stage Manager: Adam Fulmer
Assistant Stage Managers:
Hanna Atkinson
Hailey Delaney
Julie Welch
Props Director: Wendy Ann
Production Aid: Jaaven Middleton

 

 

General & Artistic Director: Steven Osgood
Music Administrator/Chorus Master: Carol Rausch
Director of Production & Resident Lighting Designer/Video Designer: Michael Baumgarten
Managing Director: Daniel Grambow
Arts Marketing Specialist: Makayla Santiago-Froebel
Company Managers:
Claudia Torres
Austin Terris
Diction Coach/Supertitles Operator: Allison Voth
Coach/Accompanists:
Miriam Charney
Dottie Randall
Emily Jarrell Urbanek
Kristin Roach
Arts Marketing Associate: Jessica Mack

 

Elaine Alvarez, Soprano
Tosca

During the 2021-2022 season, Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez joins Chautauqua Opera for her company debut in the title role in Puccini’s Tosca. She also makes back-to-back company debuts in Verdi masterpieces as Violetta Valéry in La traviata with Fort Worth Opera, Desdemona in Otello for Livermore Valley Opera and Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo for Maryland Lyric Opera. Additional engagements for the 21/22 season include performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Orchestra Miami and the Jacksonville Symphony, as well as a concert appearance celebrating Fort Worth Opera’s 75th anniversary season. Future seasons for Ms. Alvarez will include a debut for Opera Omaha in the title role in Suor Angelica and her first performances of the Verdi Requiem.  
Other notable engagements have featured Alvarez in numerous role and house debuts of iconic leading ladies, including the title role of Aïda for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti, Tosca with Chorégies d’Orange and Opera de Oviedo; Mimì in La bohème for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Teatro Carlo Felice and Oper Frankfurt, among others; La traviata for Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Oper Leipzig and Theater St. Gallen; Magda in La rondine for Oper Frankfurt; Kát’a Kabanová with Boston Lyric Opera; the title role in Florencia en el Amazonas for San Diego Opera; the title role in Cecilia Valdez for Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid; major Verdi debuts as Elvira in Ernani, Hélène in the rarely produced Jerusalem, and the title role of Aïda for Opera Royal de Wallonie, as well as her first foray into the bel canto repertoire as Donizetti’s infamous Tudor Queen, Anna Bolena, in Liège and on tour at the Royal Opera House Muscat. 

Ms. Alvarez made her New York recital debut in 2007 as a Grand Prize Winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition. She then appeared as a featured performer for the Horne Foundation’s Annual Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall in 2010, alongside longtime mentor Warren Jones. Other notable concert credits include Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; a debut recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for The Vocal Arts Society; and featured performances as a guest artist with the New World Symphony.   

 
http://www.elainealvarez.com/ 

Chauncey Packer, Tenor
Cavaradossi

Chauncey Packer recently appeared at The Metropolitan Opera as Spinner in Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a role he reprised in 2022 with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other recent and upcoming engagements include The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with New Orleans Opera,  Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Hamburg, Scalia in Scalia/Ginsburg at Chautauqua Opera, as well as postponed or cancelled performances as Robbins & Crab Man in Porgy and Bess with Greensboro Opera and Howard Boucher in Dead Man Walking with The Metropolitan Opera. 

Mr. Packer has performed with Nashville Opera, Mobile Opera, Pensacola Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Pacific, and New Orleans Opera. He has sung the roles of Rodolfo (La bohème), Alfredo (La traviata), Pong (Turandot), the title role in Werther, Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Sam (Susannah), Ruggero (La rondine), Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Amon (Akhnaten), and Sportin’ Life, Mingo, and Robbins (Porgy and Bess).   

Mr. Packer has performed in concert with Edmonton Opera, Baton Rouge Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Opera, Shreveport Opera, Grand Rapids Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, Louisiana Philharmonic, Signature Symphony, and Torun Symphony Orchestra. He was also featured in a concert at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with the Orchestre Symphonique de la Garde Républicaine benefiting the organization Women of Africa. 

https://www.ada-artists.com/tenor-chauncey-packer 

Alan Held, Bass-Baritone
Scarpia

Recognized as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, and the Munich State Opera. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Scarpia in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffman, Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, and Balstrode in Peter Grimes. 

Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and Berliner Philharmoniker. He has also appeared at the Salzburg, Tanglewood, and Saito Kinen festivals and at the BBC Proms.  

A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and at Wichita State University, where he was most recently named Associate Professor, The Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction.  He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance in an Opera, and is also a noted clinician who regularly gives master classes at Yale University. 

 Alanheld.com 

Jake Skipworth, Baritone
Sacristan

Baritone Jake Skipworth makes a return to Chautauqua this summer after being a 2016 Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera and attending the Voice School in 2015. His most recent performance was with the Butler Opera Center as Escamillo in Carmen. Jake has also performed with Sarasota Opera, St. Pete Opera, Tallahassee Bach Parley, Opera Kansas, Wichita Grand Opera, Heartland Opera Theatre, and the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra. Roles include Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Silvio in Pagliacci, the title role and Monterone in Rigoletto, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Filiberto in Il signor Bruschino, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Moralès and Zuniga in Carmen, Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, the Commissioner in La traviata, Schaunard in La bohème, Baron Grog in The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein, Rucker Lattimore in Cold Sassy Tree, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and King Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors. He completed his Master of Music degree in Opera Performance at Wichita State University, where he studied with world renowned bass-baritone Alan Held. Jake holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Oakland University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Opera Performance at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies voice with Donnie Ray Albert. 

James Eder, Bass
Angelotti

James Eder is a bass from Columbus, OH. His voice has been acclaimed as a “solid bass” that is “robust” and “resonant” and having “ample quality and quantity.” He has performed in a variety of concerts and in roles ranging throughout the operatic and theater repertoire. His dramatic interpretations have been hailed as “inspired,” “laugh-out-loud funny,” “a comic delight” and “marvelously sinister and threatening.” In the winter of 2021, James returned to Sarasota Opera to perform the roles of Vespone in Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Ormondo in Rossini’s L’inganno felice, and in the spring, James reprised Ormondo with Opera Southwest. In 2020, James was in Sarasota covering the roles of Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette and Alcindoro in La bohème when the season was brought to a halt by shutdowns across the world. Despite challenges surrounding the operatic community, James was fortunate enough to continue to make music, and during the summer of 2020 was a young artist with Chautauqua Opera, notably performing in the world premiere song cycle, In Our Silence. Other recent engagements include Colline in La bohème with Cleveland Opera Theater, Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos with Cincinnati Opera, The High Priest of Baal in Nabucco with Sarasota Opera and The Judge in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Another Brick in the Wall by composer Julien Bilodeau and librettist Roger Waters of Pink Floyd (based on the Pink Floyd album of the same name). James earned a M.M. in Vocal Performance degree from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.M. in Vocal Performance degree from The Ohio State University. Additionally, James has worked with opera companies including Sarasota Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Southwest, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Columbus, Knoxville Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Cleveland Opera Theater, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, Opera Project Columbus, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, and Brevard Music Center’s Janiec Opera Company. 

Eric Botto, Tenor
Spoletta

Tenor Eric Botto, a Houston native, is best known for his vocal and dramatic versatility onstage. He has triumphed in leading tenor roles such as Alfredo (La traviata), Rodolfo (La bohème), Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), and Nadir (Les pêcheurs de perles), but also thrives in comic and character roles such as Earl Tolloller (Iolanthe), the Magician (The Consul), and Le petit vieillard (L’enfant et les sortilèges). He has performed in Italy, as well as across the United States – in New York, California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. In the summer of 2020, Eric experienced his first season with Chautauqua Opera, and was honored to be part of the world premiere of In Our Silence, an a cappella song cycle composed by Frances Pollock with text by Jerre Dye, drawing on interviews with each of the company’s young artists about their experiences during the COVID-19 isolation. Eric equally enjoys performing concert repertoire, and has credits as a soloist in Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, and as the tenor soloist in Christopher Powell’s 2021 world premiere of Rest: A Requiem. Eric holds music degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Mobile, and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the University of Colorado Boulder under the tutelage of Dr. John Seesholtz. 

Bernardo Medeiros, Baritone
Sciarrone

Brazilian-American baritone Bernardo Medeiros holds a B.M. in Music Education from Oklahoma State University, as well as a master’s degree and, most recently, a Performance Certificate, from the University of Houston in May of 2020. During his time in Houston, Bernardo had the opportunity to perform several roles, most notably Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, David in L’amico Fritz, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro and Capulet in Roméo et Juliette. In 2017, Bernardo was an Apprentice Artist at Opera in the Ozarks, where he portrayed the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as Reverend Olin Blitch in Susannah. In the summer of 2019, he made his professional debut with the North Shore Music Festival, singing the role of Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Last summer Bernardo worked for Central City Opera, where he covered and performed his dream role, Rigoletto. This past season, Bernardo was a Resident Artist at Indianapolis Opera, where he portrayed the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni and Jigger Craigin in Carousel. 

Luke Harnish, Baritone
Jailer

Praised for his “luxuriant baritone,” Luke Harnish is quickly establishing himself as a nuanced performer of opera, oratorio, and recital repertoire. Recent roles include Dr. Chillingworth (The Scarlet Letter), Nardo (La finta giardiniera), and Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief), all with Wichita State Opera Theatre. Last summer, he made his Opera Kansas debut as Walter Beech and Roy McPhetridge in the world premiere of Staggerwing. Harnish was an apprentice artist with Opera NEO during the ‘19 and ‘20 summer seasons, where he most recently performed the role of Papageno in the company’s cinematic adaptation of Die Zauberflöte. The previous year he sang the title role in Eugene OneginMr. Harnish worked closely with Nashville Opera from ‘18 to ‘20, performing several roles with the company, including Professor Trixie and Gus (The Cradle Will Rock), The Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly), and The Page (Amahl and the Night Visitors). In concert, he has sung the role of Jesus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Vanderbilt University, the title role in Elijah with Wichita State University, and the Baritone Soloist for Serenade to Music with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. On the recital stage, he has presented full performances of Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Schubert’s Schwanengesang. During the ’22-‘23 season, Mr. Harnish will join Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Resident Artist. There, he will portray Zuniga (Carmen), Dottore Grenvil (La traviata), and King Balthazar (Amahl and the Night Visitors). Harnish is a district winner of the ‘22 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. 

Megan Fleischmann, Soprano
Shepherd

Megan Fleischmann is a soprano pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in the studio of Theresa Brancaccio. At Northwestern she had the opportunity to sing Adele in Die Fledermaus, Miles in The Turn of the Screw, and Phyllis in Iolanthe. Megan was most recently seen as an Emerging Artist with the Seagle Festival, where she sang the role of Susan Twichell in the world premiere of Harmony, an opera by Robert Carl and Russell Banks. In April 2021, Megan was named a finalist and recipient of the Friends of the Opera award in Opera Grand Rapids’ Collegiate Vocal Competition. In previous years she was an Apprentice Artist at Miami Beach Classical Music Festival, where she sang Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Born and raised in Northern California, Megan has had the pleasure of touring the San Francisco Bay Area with Lamplighters Music Theatre in a number of their productions, most recently singing the role of Rose Maybud in Ruddigore. In February 2022, Megan sang the role of Selena in Jake Heggie’s If I Were You at Northwestern University. Megan is thrilled to join Chautauqua Opera Company for their 2022 season. 

Nicole Heinen, Soprano
Chorus

Noted for her “golden-voiced” singing (Voix des Arts) and “deft hand at verbal and physical comedy” (The Isthmus), American soprano Nicole Heinen has dazzled audiences with her commanding stage presence. During the 2021-2022 season she was a featured concert soloist with the New Orleans Opera Association. Nicole has also been a finalist in the Opera Mississippi John Alexander Vocal Competition, semi-finalist in the Premiere Opera Foundation Competition and a Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. As a Baumgartner Studio Artist during the 2018-2019 season, Nicole made her debut with the Florentine Opera, portraying Miss Frayne and Margaret Hughes (cover) in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, Fortuna/Valletto in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and was soloist in Florentine Opera’s 85th anniversary gala. During this time she won the Wisconsin District as part of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the IAET Award in the Casa Italia Competition. During the 2017-2018 season Nicole made both her debut appearances as a summer concert artist-in-residence with the Florentine Opera and performer at the Ravinia Festival. In addition to her debuts, Nicole was a finalist in the 2017 International Handel Aria Competition, in part with the Madison Music Festival. Her repertoire includes, Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Gilda (Rigoletto), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), La Fée (Cendrillon), Marie (La fille du régiment) and Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare). 

Marcus Jefferson, Tenor
Chorus

Marcus Jefferson is originally from Wayne, NJ, and holds a M.M. degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a B.M. degree from the Eastman School of Music. He currently studies with Jonathan Beyer and Marlena Malas. Marcus’s stage credits include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Oswego Opera Theater, Elder Hayes and Little Bat (Susannah) and Benvolio (Roméo et Juliette) with the Janiec Opera Company, as well as Don Ottavio, Tenor 2 (Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Tibetan Book of the Dead), Nutrice (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Major-General Stanley (The Pirates of Penzance) with the Eastman Opera Theater. In scenes programs Marcus has sung the title character in Idomeneo, Giles Corey (The Crucible) and Dr. Caius (Falstaff) with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. In concert, he has performed as a soloist in major choral works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Bach. His recent recording projects include solo works by H. Leslie Adams in the New Muses Project with the Yale School of Music. 

Emily Michiko Jensen, Soprano
Chorus

Praised for her “theatrical instincts and intriguingly versatile instrument,” Japanese-American soprano Emily Michiko Jensen is thrilled to return to Chautauqua Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering the title role in Tosca, and singing Angel More in The Mother of Us All, while covering Susan B. Anthony. As a 2016 Studio Artist, Emily sang 2nd Soprano in Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar and covered Annina in La traviata. Again as a Studio Artist, she covered Soprano 2 in Hydrogen Jukebox in 2017. This season, Emily joined Pensacola Opera as an Artist-in-Residence, making her company debut as First Lady while covering Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She also covered Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Emily made her Florentine Opera debut as Jessie in Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel in May 2021 as a Baumgartner Studio Artist. She was scheduled to perform Maguelonne in Viardot’s Cendrillon and to cover the title role, as well as covering Mimì in La bohème, but the contracts were cancelled due to the pandemic. During the 2019-2020 season, Emily debuted the title role in Suor Angelica at the Indiana University Opera Theater. She sang Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Boston Opera Collaborative, where she made her company debut as Marguerite (Faust) in 2016.  Originally from San Diego, CA, Emily received a Graduate Diploma and M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. She holds a B.M. Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music.  Emily is currently pursuing a Performance Diploma at IU as an Associate Instructor scholarship recipient, studying with Timothy Noble.

Olivia Johnson, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

Mezzo-soprano Olivia Johnson was hailed by Opera News as a “standout… commanding and reassuring, with the timbre of a contralto and the astounding upper extension of a dramatic mezzo” in her recent portrayal of Girlfriend 3 in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera Blue 

Before this triumph, Ms. Johnson had completed a Fellowship at the Vocal Institute of Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, where she received an Encouragement Award in the Marilyn Horne Art Song Competition.  In December 2021, Ms. Johnson was selected as a winner of the Michigan District in the Metropolitan Opera’s Laffont Competition. Within the same month, she also made her debut in the lead role of Conchetta with Opera NexGen, in their virtual live stream of Carlos Simon and Sandra Seaton’s chamber opera Night Trip. After completing a young artist residency at Toledo Opera during the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Johnson became the new artist-in-residence for AEPEX Contemporary Ensemble for their 2021-2022 season. Ms. Johnson also appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre in the roles of Wellgunde (Twilight of the Gods), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost), and Girlfriend (Summer King). In addition, she has been a soloist or has done roles with Opera MODO, Rackham Choir, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has participated in summer festivals, including Martina Arroyo’s “Prelude to Performance” and the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS).   

Olivia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2014 from East Carolina University, and she completed her Master of Music degree in voice performance at the University of Michigan in 2017 under the tutelage of Professor George Shirley.

Phillip Lopez, Bass-Baritone
Chorus

Bass-baritone Phillip Lopez is from Avon, IL, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Music. He also holds degrees from Wichita State University and Millikin University. Recently performed roles include Monterone (Rigoletto), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), Sancho (Don Quichotte), and Riolobo (Florencia en el Amazonas). He was also featured in Schubert’s complete Winterreise cycle. With Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he has been seen as Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro), Major Rose/Spc. Austin Haldemann (An American Soldier), Traffic Cop/Peach Checker (The Grapes of Wrath), and the Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly). Other roles include the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore) and Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea). Phillip was a member of the Artist-in-Residence Program at Opera Colorado for the 2021-22 season, during which he performed in touring productions of The Barber of Seville as Don Bartolo, and in The Pirates of Penzance as the Sergeant of Police, as well as in roles for the company’s main stage productions – Angelotti (Tosca), Senator (The Shining) and Zuniga (Carmen). 

Talin Nalbandian, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

A native of Los Angeles, CA, Talin Nalbandian is an Armenian-American mezzo-soprano who is currently attending the University of Texas, Austin, for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. For the 2021-22 season, she sang Ravel’s Shéhérazade in concert, Der Trommler in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. She recently performed La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi with Livermore Valley Opera and was a Second-Place winner of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition. In 2019, she sang the roles of Hansel and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Opera San José. That summer she also returned to Music Academy of the West to sing the role of Ruby in the west coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. Additionally, Talin won first prize at the Henry and Maria Holt Vocal Competition and the Burbank Philharmonic Kennings-Fischer Competition, as well as being a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has also received awards from the Butler Opera International Competition and the Mentoris Project Vocal Competition. Her concert work includes a performance as the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Symphony Silicon Valley. Talin has worked with Virginia Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. Her roles include Maddalena (Rigoletto), 1st trio member (Trouble in Tahiti),  Caverna (L’Opera Seria), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), First Nursemaid (Street Scene), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Mallika and Mistress Bentson (Lakmé), as well as covering Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Mrs. Jones (Street Scene). Talin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Nicola Santoro, Soprano
Chorus

Soprano Nicola Santoro is quickly establishing herself as a foremost interpreter of contemporary music. This season she was an Artist-In-Residence with Promenade Opera Project and premiered the role of Zoo Director in The Bedbug in October 2021. Previously, she starred in the collegiate premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs as Chrisann Brennan. Additional role credits include Mrs. O’Malley (It’s a Wonderful Life), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte).  

In prior seasons, she received the Encouragement Award in the Boston District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards, was a prize winner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition two years in a row, a semifinalist in the Orpheus Competition, and  a recipient of the distinguished Georgina Joshi International Fellowship. She has had the opportunity to participate in young artist programs such as the Dandelion Opera Institute, SongFest and The CoOperative Program. Nicola was scheduled to be the soloist for Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo with the Columbus, IN, Philharmonic before the concert’s cancellation due to the pandemic. She has also sung as a soloist with the Thüringer Symphoniker in The Handel Project (Alexander’s Feast), and with euphoniumist Demondrae Thurman (A Summer’s Journey). Nicola earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College and her Master of Music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

John Kun Park, Tenor
Chorus

John Kun Park is a Korean-American tenor from Los Angeles, CA, whose instrument has been described as “a tenor voice that floats its high notes with ease and emotional fervor.” John is excited to be joining the summer 2022 season at Chautauqua Opera, where he will be covering the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca, and singing the role of John Adams in Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All. The 2021 season began with John being a semi-finalist in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition (digital auditions). He also participated in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, where he was a finalist and received an Encouragement Award. John joined Des Moines Metro Opera and spent the summer performing in their summer season where he covered both Adolfo Pirelli and Beadle Bamford in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. In October, John joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic to workshop the role of Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio in collaboration with Deaf West Theater, and will be returning again in 2022.  

John has appeared in the title role in Faust, Ismaele (Nabucco), and Don José (Carmen), and is making strides toward the dramatic and Wagnerian repertoire. He has appeared nationally with companies such as Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, West Bay Opera, and Long Beach Opera. 

Max Potter, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

Praised by Opera News for her “relish and energy,” mezzo-soprano Max Potter is an up-and-coming artist known for her warmth of tone and dramatic presence. The 2020-21 season featured her main stage debut with Opera Santa Barbara as Flosshilde in the Jonathan Dove reduction of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, for which she also covered the role of Fricka. Last season also featured her debut of an innovative staging of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été at Opera Santa Barbara, the world premiere recording of Constantine Carvasilis’ song cycle Epiphany for mezzo-soprano and cello, and a concert series with The Muse’s Creative Artistry Project in a gala performance at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion for Governor Asa Hutchinson. For the 2021-22 season she joined the American Opera Project as a resident singer for the company’s “Composers and the Voice” Fellowship, and makes her symphonic debut as the Alto Soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at The Washington National Cathedral. 

Highlights from Max’s previous engagements include covering the role of Ortrud in Wagner’s Lohengrin with Opera Southwest, making her main stage debut with Opera Southwest as Clarina in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, and covering the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s contemporary opera Dead Man Walking with Des Moines Metro Opera. Previous roles also include Charlotte (Werther), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), and Concepción (L’heure espagnole). Equally at home on the concert stage and in the recital hall, Max has shown her natural affinity for new works. Highlights include The Sacred Feminine, an innovative performance piece celebrating the work of Emily Dickinson through spoken word and art song, with New Camerata Opera, and Heggie’s The Breaking Waves with Des Moines Metro Opera, which she performed in recital for the composer. 

Hilary Grace Taylor, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

Hilary Grace Taylor, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Dallas and is in her third season as an Education Outreach Young Artist with The Dallas Opera. Most recently she was a Young Artist with Chautauqua Opera in their 2020 virtual season and recorded and filmed the role of Sappho in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata with Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Last season, Hilary was a Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Finalist in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and a Semifinalist in the TCO NEXT: Virtual Voice Competition. She is also the First Place Winner of the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Voice Competition and a winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition. Role credits include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Principessa (Suor Angelica), Giovanna (Rigoletto), and with the University of North Texas she has performed Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Desirée Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Marthe (Faust), Mrs. Jones (Street Scene), Regina (Regina) and Gertrude Stein (After Life by Tom Cipullo).

Felix Aguilar Tomlinson, Tenor
Chorus

Felix Aguilar Tomlinson is a Mexican-American lyric tenor from Minneapolis, MN, completing his Graduate Performance Diploma at the Boston Conservatory. Felix has performed extensively in Boston and Minnesota, excelling in roles that are colorful, sympathetic, and demanding — musically, dramatically, and vocally. At the Conservatory, Felix has performed the roles of Tito in La clemenza di Tito, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Younger Thompson in Glory Denied, The Magician in The Consul, and L’Aumônier in Dialogues des Carmélites, and has covered the roles of Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking and Lenski in Eugene Onegin. Active in the musical theater and opera scene in Minnesota, Felix has performed several roles, including Logan in The Frat Party (Really Spicy Opera), Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte (Lakes Area Music Festival), Lamar in Godspell (Theatre in the Round Players), Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore (The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra) and The Defendant in Trial by Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company). In Boston, Felix has been hired as a chorister for the Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, the Boston Pops with the Metropolitan Chorale, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Dedicated to the performance and production of new works, Felix is a founding member of Strange Trace – a fledgling opera company that commissions new digital works of opera from around the world. In addition to his duties as a performer, Felix has been able to explore his passion for directing, filming, and producing in the seven new works he has created with that organization since autumn 2020.

Sarah Ina Meyers
Stage Director

Sarah Ina Meyers is a stage director based in New York City, where she has been on the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera since 2006. Her diverse 20/21 season included a staging of Die Walküre for New Orleans Opera featuring a cinematic installation by filmmaker Samantha Aldana, and a new production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, which opened Berkshire Opera Festival to high acclaim. 

In 2018, she directed the premiere of Gregg Kallor’s Dramatic Sketches from Frankenstein as part of the performance series, The Angel’s Share, at Green-Wood Cemetery. The production received rave reviews and was declared one of WQXR’s standout performances of 2018. Operawire described the performance as “riveting … an extraordinary experience” and Limelight extolled Meyers’s direction as “perfectly finessed…. Powerful and meticulous.”  

In 2016, Meyers began working with Lesley Karsten and Stephen Wadsworth on That’s Not Tango, an unorthodox monodrama about Astor Piazzolla told through text and music. She directed performances of the show for Chamber Music Amarillo in 2021, and for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2019.  

Ms. Meyers made her directing debut in South Korea in 2019 with a new production of Rigoletto at the Seoul Arts Center. Additional highlights from her recent work include Hansel and Gretel for Washington National Opera, the world premiere of Gallo by Ken Ueno, and a unique production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde produced by the Music School of Lighthouse International. She is also the author of a new translation and adaptation of Die Fledermaus, most recently performed by MassOpera.   

Sarahinameyers.com 

Steven Osgood
Conductor

This is Steven Osgood’s seventh season as General and Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Opera Company.  During his tenure the company has reconfigured its season schedule to include longer runs of selected productions, chamber operas, and a Festival Week to allow audiences to see all three productions in one week.  Contemporary music has become a staple of Chautauqua Opera Company’s repertoire each season.  The Composer-in-Residence position was created in 2016, and in 2021 two Composer Fellowships were added.   

Steven has conducted the world premieres of over 20 operas, including, in recent seasons, Breaking the Waves at Opera Philadelphia, JFK at Fort Worth Opera, The Scarlet Ibis, Thumbprint, Blood Moon, and Sumeida’s Song for the PROTOTYPE festival, as well as Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar with Beth Morrison Projects.  He has been conductor mentor on two occasions for Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, leading the premieres of six new operas.  In January Steven conducted Lincoln Center Theater’s world premiere production Intimate Apparel by Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage, based on her play of the same name. The production received 60 performances at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater, and was filmed by PBS Great Performances for release this Fall.  

From 2001 to 2008 Steven was Artistic Director of American Opera Projects. He founded the company’s internationally recognized Composers and the Voice Fellowship and remains the program’s Artistic Director. He conducted the premieres of As One in its sold-out run at Brooklyn Academy of Music(BAM), and Paula Kimper’s Patience and Sarah at the 1998 Lincoln Center Festival.   

Steven has been an Assistant Conductor with the Metropolitan Opera since 2006, most recently working on the revival of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten.  His conducting appearances include New York City Opera, Edmonton Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Memphis, Atlanta Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  He has been a frequent guest conductor with The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.  The 2022/23 season will include productions at both The Juilliard School and Rice University. 

Carol Rausch
Chorus Master

Since 1995 Carol Rausch has served as Music Administrator/Chorus Master, overseeing the musical components of the company and the Young Artist Program. 

Carol is also the Chorus Master/Music Administrator for the New Orleans Opera. She has won awards for both choral direction and for the company’s success in arts education throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Carol has previously worked for Virginia Opera, Greater Miami Opera (now Florida Grand Opera), Ohio Light Opera and Opera Columbus. She has taught at The Ohio State University and has been on the staffs of Kenyon College and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Carol is currently head of the opera department at Loyola University New Orleans, where she has musically prepared and conducted numerous performances. In January 2018 the city of New Orleans hosted the National Opera Association conference, for which Loyola produced Tom Cipullo’s award-winning chamber opera After Life

Carol has performed as a member of the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and the Metamorphosis Chamber Ensemble. She has remained active as a coach and recital pianist, including concerts with Jennifer Rowley, Marquita Lister, Fabiana Bravo, Ned Barth, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Greer Grimsley, Luretta Bybee, Anthony Laciura, Melanie Helton, Brenda Harris and Bryan Hymel. Carol often accompanies the Gulf Coast regional auditions for the Metropolitan Opera National Council and has judged both the district and regional levels of competition throughout the U.S. 

Carol holds degrees from Indiana University and The Ohio State University, and she pursued a year of study at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels, Belgium, as a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow. Her piano teachers have included Jorge Bolet, Earl Wild, Richard Tetley-Kardos and Sonja Anschütz. 

Diane Machin
Assistant Stage Director

Diane Machin is a director/creator who works across the artistic mediums. Select credits include her modern adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's Bagatelle, a Christmas-themed Gianni Schicchi, and a new climate change opera A Storm We Call Progress which Machin directed, edited and created virtual sets for during the pandemic. Machin worked as an assistant director for Chautauqua Opera’s 2021 season. This spring she assistant directed The Magic Flute and the reimagined world premiere Harvey Milk at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Currently, Machin is a visiting professor and director at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

dianemachin.com

Liliana Duque Piñeiro
Scenic Dsigner

Scenic Designer, Tosca and Thumbprint 

Liliana Duque Piñeiro is both a sculptor and a scenic designer. Recent opera productions include a film of The Copper Queen, produced by Arizona Opera; Il Postino, co-produced by Virginia Opera, Opera Southwest and Chicago Opera Theater; the world premiere of Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun for Santa Fe Opera; the world premiere of If I Were You by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer for the Merola Opera Program; María de Buenos Aires for San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera; Madama Butterfly for Opera de Colombia; La Flauta Mágica de los Andes for Teatro Sucre in Quito, Ecuador; Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon for The Vermont Opera Project; and La Cage aux Folles and Powder Her Face for Skylight Opera Theatre. Upcoming productions include La traviata (Fort Worth Opera), Don Giovanni (Minnesota Opera) and The Elixir of Love (Opera de Colombia). 

lilianaduque.com

Michael Baungarten
Director of Production/Resident Lighting and Video Designer

Michael Baumgarten has been Director of Production and Resident Lighting and Video Designer for Opera Carolina since 2005. He has designed lighting, video and scenery for over 450 productions at regional and international opera companies including New York City Opera, Teatro del Giglio/Lucca, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Palm Beach Opera, Toledo Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Manitoba Opera. He has been with the Chautauqua Opera for over 60 operas since 1995. Michael has a MFA in Design and Production from the Yale School of Drama, 1982.

B.G. FitzGerald
Resident Costume Designer

Mr. FitzGerald has designed costumes for Sarasota Opera, Baltimore Opera, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre, Coastal Theatre Productions, Asolo Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Gateway Playhouse (Long Island), Burt Reynolds Theatre, Country Dinner Playhouse, Florida State Opera, Ice Capades, Barter Theatre (VA), Ocala Civic Theatre, and New York City Opera. For Chautauqua Opera Company, he worked as an Assistant Costume Supervisor-2003, Draper-2005, and has been the Costume Shop Supervisor since 2009. 

Martha Ruskai
Wig Supervisor

Wig and Makeup Designer/Opera Carolina, Atlanta Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Piedmont Opera Theater, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Louisiane, The Pearl Theater, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; North Carolina Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet; Founder/University of North Carolina School of the Arts Makeup and Wigs program; Guest Artist/Master Classes at Ohio University, University of Alabama, Michigan State University; Author/Wig Making and Styling (Focal Press); Chautauqua Opera/Macbeth-2002, Madam Butterfly and The Ballad of Baby Doe-2014, La traviata and The Mikado-2016, L’Orfeo, Don Pasquale, Hydrogen Jukebox-2017, Don Giovanni, Candide, and As One-2018, Il barbiere di Siviglia, ¡Figaro! (90210), and The Ghosts of Versailles-2019. 

Allison Voth
Coach/Accompanist & Diction/Supertitles

Allison Voth is the principal coach and an associate professor at Boston University’s Opera Institute. As répétiteur and diction coach, she has worked with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Providence, Opera Aperta, Verismo Opera of New Jersey, Boston Baroque, and Opera North. Festivals at which she has worked include Opera Unlimited, the Florence Vocal Seminar, and the Athens Music Festival. Ms. Voth, also in demand for her authoritative and eloquent supertitles, has developed titles for Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Washington National Opera, Barbican Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Palm Beach Opera. She also holds the post of Music Director for the Cantata Singers Chamber Recital Series. Ms. Voth joined Chautauqua Opera as a coach and pianist in 1996. Since 2001, she has also served as the company’s diction instructor, and supertitle creator/operator since 2010. 

Meilina Tsui
Artistic Assistant

Meilina Tsui is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, radio producer and presenter, and advocate for youth artistic development. Born in Kazakhstan and raised in Hong Kong, Meilina is a composer who "popularizes Kazakh music tradition (Kazakhstan International News Agency, Kazinform) and writes music that uniquely combines elements of Eurasian and Southeast Asian cultures. She is the first Chinese classical composer of Dungan descent (an underrepresented ethnic minority group from Central Asia) to have received international recognition. 

Tsui earned a B.A. in Music with First-Class Honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong under the “Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarship,” a M.Mus. in Composition with Distinction from King’s College London under the “Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme,” awarded by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government, and a D.M.A. in Composition with High Pass from the University of Michigan under the “Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund,” and the “Composers & Authors Society Hong Kong Scholarship.” At the University of Michigan, Tsui studied with Professors Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty and was a Graduate Student Instructor of Composition, Music Theory, and Aural Skills. 

Dottie Randall

Coach/Accompanist/ San Diego Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera San Antonio, Des Moines Metro Opera (chorus master), San Antonio Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Pacific, Orlando Opera, Arena di Verona, American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz), San Antonio Symphony, Ohio Wesleyan University; Chorus Master/ Opera San Antonio; Chautauqua Opera/ Coach/Accompanist since 2000.

J.P. Woodey
Technical Director

John has designed for numerous companies, including the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Olney Theatre Center, Imagination Stage, Shaker Mountain Opera, Theatre Charlotte, Gallery Players (Off Broadway), Access Theatre (Off Broadway), Chautauqua Opera and Charlotte Ballet. John has also designed lighting for broadcast including Netflix’s Fortune Feimster’s Sweet and Salty and the ACC Football Honors Program. John spent time in London designing for the Central St. Martins School of Art, where he designed lights for The Birds Project.  Other lighting credits include assisting at Baltimore’s Centerstage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Geva Theatre and the Alley Theatre. John was faculty and designer at DeSales and Catholic Universities. He is the Assistant Professor of Technical Theatre and Resident Designer at Johnson C. Smith University.  He completed his graduate work at Ohio University, where he received the regional Peggy Ezekiel Award of Outstanding Achievement in Design. He is a member and Vice President of the IATSE Local 322 in Charlotte, NC. 

http://www.johnpwoodey.com  

Adam Fulmer
Production Stage Manager

Stage Management/Kansas City Actors Theatre, Austin Opera, Starlight Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Tulsa Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Ballet, Opera on the James, Castleton Festival, Salt Marsh Opera, Millbrook Playhouse, The Santa Fe Opera, The Ohio Light Opera, Washington National Opera. 

The Chautauqua Institution and the Chautauqua Opera Company would like to acknowledge the continuing generosity of the Norton and Richards families through the Ralph and Elizabeth Norton Philanthropic Trust, and the following major donors who have created endowment funds for opera, and support the opera program through annual giving, and through major capital gifts:

The Peggy and Andy Anderson Family Fund for Opera

John E. Anderson Opera Endowment

A Chace & Josephine B Anderson Opera Endow Fund

The Cynthia Auerbach Fund for Opera

Bemus Endowment for Opera

Anne and John Burden Opera Fund

The Ralph E. Miller and Paul E. Cawein Fund for Opera

Chautauqua Opera Endowment Fund

The Chautauqua Opera Guild Endowment

Thomas and Kathleen Clingan Fund for Opera

The Connolly Family Fund For Opera

The John A. and Emily McKnight Corry Opera Fund

The Barbara Baldwin DeFrees Opera Fund

Eleanor C. Eisenmenger

The Walter F. Ferchen Opera Fund

The Eleanor B. Franks Fund for the Opera

Dr. and Mrs. Donald J. Furman

The James and Elisabeth Groninger Fund for Opera

The Jane A. Gross Opera Endowment

The Kay Frantz Israel Fund for Opera

The Mildred Lesenger Fund for Opera

The Kay H. Logan Opera Fund

The Annette Pickens Malvin Memorial Fund for Opera

The Christopher and Susan Martin Opera Fund

The Margaret Clark Mercer Fund for Opera

The Steve Z. and Mary G. Mitchell Family Fund

The Reverend Lloyd V. Moffett Opera Endowment Fund

New York State Council on the Arts

The Robert G. and Lillian Vitanza Ney Family Opera Fund

Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation

Hale and Judy Oliver

The Joseph A. and Anne T. Prezio Opera Endowment Fund

The Richards Family Opera Fund

Mrs. Bartlett Richards

The Molly Rinehart Fund for Opera

The Wadsworth Fund

Charles and Lois Weaver Fund for Opera

Dr. Fred R. Whaley and Helen A. Whaley Fund for Opera

The Robert and Virginia Young Opera Fund

Zemsky Endowment For Opera

Renowned throughout the United States, Chautauqua Opera Company's Young Artist program is among the most respected training opportunities available for developing singers who are on the threshold of full-time professional careers. This year, General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood and Music Administrator Carol Rausch selected 17 Young Artists from over 900 applications. The singers on this select roster receive intensive training in all facets of performing, including diction, movement, stage combat, career management, and musical and dramatic coaching. Young Artists make up the core of the company and perform in all mainstage Chautauqua Opera productions, in concert with the Chautauqua Symphony, in “Afternoon of Song” recitals in the Athenaeum Parlor and the Opera Invasion series. Chautauqua Opera Company's Young Artist program is proud to have been a training ground for many alumni who have become leading artists with opera companies throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Chautauqua Opera Guild serves as the advocacy group in support of the Chautauqua Opera Company. Memberships support our Young Artists, the Children’s Opera Education Program, and grant access to events all summer long. 

Join today! 

Opera Guild Members as of July 26, 2022:

Edith Benson

Jack Connolly and Peg Barrett

Virginia H. Cox

Paula Gierszal and Lisa Ann Gierszal

Cheryl Gorelick and Jake Zeigler

Nancy Langston

Jay Lesenger

Beth Madison

Chris and Sue Martin

Mary and Steve Mitchell

Hale and Judy Oliver

Rev. Richard and Mrs. Joreta Speck

Drs. Jane Stirniman and Jeanne Wiebenga

Linda Steckley and Pete Weitzel

Toni and Joe Goldfarb

Arlene Gottlieb and Chaz Miller

Arlene Hajinlian

Brad and Deanna Johnson

Patricia King

Jane and Jerry Lahey

Lynn Moschel

Rich Osborne

Kimberly Perry

Belinda and Matt Rogers

Rachel and Philip Rogers

Adele M. Thomas Charitable Foundation, Inc.

Kay Karslake White

Shirley Adams

Philip Allen

Richard and Marty Davis

Ted and Deborah First

Susan J. Grelick and John V. Heffron

Michael E. Hill and Peter M. Korns

Sallie L. Holder

Carol and Bob Hopper

Dr. F. Palmer Lindblom

Cynthia Norton

Mary and Bob Pickens

John P. Pless

Robin and Mark Robbins

Carol Schaal

Nancy Seel

Jana V. Stone and Raymond J. Galligan

Sue Tebor

Steve and Pat Telkins

Brenda and Larry Thompson

Angela Twist

Chris Anderson

Loretta Bower

John Burden

Judith Claire

Drs. Gilbert and Rona Eisner

Elliot and Judith Goldman

Judy and Al Goldman

Terrie Vaile Hauck

John and Jill Hopkins

Robert Ivers

Nancy M. Leininger

Mike and Nancy Lott

Narwhals and Georgina Mating

Mary Lou McFate

Judith D. Musser

Sanford and Margery Nobel

Melissa Orlov

Steve Peters

Sue Ann and John Power

Katy Smith

Rabbi Samuel and Lynn Stahl

Jenny and Tim Stitely

Margaret Viehe

Nancy Waasdorp

Elizabeth A. Welch and Stephen E. Glinick

Mary Louise Williamson

Mark Altschuler

William and Renee Andrews

Anna Antemann

Joyce and Scott Brasted

Carolyn Byham

Sally Craig and Mike McAvey

Christopher and Roslyn Dahlie

Roger Doebke

Jean and Sigo Falk

Marwin L. Feldman

Christopher Gibbs

Anonymous

Carole E. Gladstone

Samantha F. and Daniel Grambow

Don and Kathleen Greenhouse

Jane A. Gross

Carol and John Hardenburg

Ellen Harmon

Catherine Jarjisian

Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund

Phil and Livia Kades

Len and Judy Katz

Douglas Kreider and Dale Kennedy

Gary Landrus

Susan Laubach

Colleen Law and David Borden

Peter and Kate Letarte

Sharon and Dick Levick

Karin and Rich Lewis

Susan Rowan Masters

Casey and Marilyn Neuman

Michael Nolan

John and Esther Northman

Barbara Rait

Rodney Schlaffman and Lawrence Greenberg

Joan and Bob Spirtas

Margo Stuart

Matthew Swanson

Suzanne Taub

Sandi and Burt Zucker

Scenery constructed by Local #266 I.A.T.S.E.

Lighting provided by Advanced Production Group

Tosca
July 15 - 29, 2022
About the Show

Music by: Giacomo Puccini

Libretto by: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

Puccini's glorious score brings to life one woman's struggle for lova, art, and freedom in a male-dominated world at the turn of the 19th Century. Religion, politics, and passion collide in this stirring work.

Chautauqua Opera Company's production is led by Sarah Ina Meyers (Director) and Steven Osgood (Conductor). 

2 hours 30 minutes, 2 intermissions 

This production is dedicated to Richard Moschel whose sudden passing in 2020 continues to sadden all those who knew him. Rich was one of Chautauqua Opera Company’s most dedicated and ardent supporters, and his presence with Lynn at performances throughout our season was steadfast. He was often a supernumerary in our productions, and Tosca is exactly the type of opera which would have enticed him to the stage.  

Rich—you are dearly missed, and your legacy will be celebrated for years and years by all of us at Chautauqua Opera. 

-Steven Osgood, General & Artistic Director

E non ho amato mai tanto la vita….

                        I have never loved life more.

As he awaits execution, Cavaradossi is consumed by one thought – his love for Floria Tosca. Of the many things he could be thinking about in his final moments – his legacy on earth, his work, the victory at Marengo – he chooses to focus on the passion he and Tosca have shared. In this realization, Act III Cavaradossi is quite different from the combative face he shows to Scarpia in Act II, and even more unlike the Cavaradossi of Sardou’s original play, who seems entirely unfazed by his own death, and does not think of Tosca until she appears on the scene. Even Puccini’s own librettists argued against Cavaradossi experiencing this moment of raw vulnerability, wanting him to instead present a more heroic political stance. But Puccini was certain of what the tenor should feel and express. Cavaradossi begins the aria in sensual nostalgia – the sight of the stars, the smells of the earth, the feel of her skin under his fingers… and he ends in simple honest despair. He is dying, and he has never loved life more. The music throbs with pulsing viscerality.

This aria encapsulates the emotional tension of the drama. Rome in 1800 would have been suffused with the atmosphere of death, as the city swung back and forth between the warring regimes of Neapolitan royalty and Napoleonic forces. Against this murky backdrop, the love between Tosca and Cavaradossi is like starlight – a brightness surrounded by depths of dark. In our production we chose to expose that chaotic atmosphere to highlight the courage and vulnerability of their love. The awareness of mortality is pervasive. The scenery is intentionally stripped back and skeletal, left raw at the edges. The main scenic element is a large scaffold unit that tracks through all three acts. Cavaradossi uses it for his art in the first act, but by the third it is revealed to be the gallows for hanging prisoners (as was the original plan for Cavaradossi). In Act II, it lurks in the shadows just outside Scarpia’s window while the snare drums beat out the last walk of the condemned.

Scarpia’s table at the Palazzo Farnese is littered with the iconography of death. It evokes a genre of painting known as Vanitas in which morbid images – rotting fruit, skulls, the smoke of a dying flame – are juxtaposed with symbols of wealth, power, and earthly pleasure, to demonstrate the folly of greed and vanity against the certainty of death. As Liliana and I explored this style of painting, we were struck by the parallels to our vision for this production. Many of the iconic images of this art were already integral to our own storytelling – extinguished candles, wilted flowers, shadows and angels. Of course, there is good reason for this – the opera is in many ways a kind of parade of death.  The politician, the artist, the lover – all share the same fate. Death is the ultimate equalizer. For this reason, many choose to view the opera as nihilistic– a story of futility, in which both good and evil receive the same reward.  Vanitas paintings can likewise be interpreted as the ultimate pessimism – if we are to die, then all human endeavor can seem meaningless. But there is an equally valid and diametrically opposed interpretation to these images – that it is only the presence of death that gives life any meaning. And the awareness of death ensures we choose to live life in the most valuable way possible.  This opera, like these paintings, can be seen as an exhortation to live for what truly matters. 

 

These paintings encourage the viewer to think on his or her immortal soul, and to prepare it for death, through religion. For Floria Tosca, love, art and religion are nearly indistinguishable. All three activities are ethereal, and therefore easily dismissed by the male characters. Scarpia lives only for lust and power. He manipulates love, as he manipulates religion and law, to satisfy his own desires, and laughs at those who take romantic love seriously. Even Cavaradossi speaks dismissively at times of Tosca’s faith and commitment. To a certain extent, history agrees with these men. Tosca’s love is fragile and short-lived. It is not a document to be read in the future, not law or policy, not a battle to be recorded for posterity, not a building that will endure. When it is gone, love leaves behind less physical trace than a candle blown out. At least when a flame dies there is smoke. And yet, the opera valorizes this most ephemeral of substances. It is Tosca’s love that gives her the power to fight for her lover, that gives her the strength to bring down the evil of Scarpia. And in his aria, Cavaradossi admits it is that love that has made his life meaningful.

 

In the pessimistic interpretation, Tosca’s suicide would be a rejection of life. But just as she leaps to her death, the music surges with the melody of Cavaradossi’s aria – I have never loved life more. This music, like her soul, soars upwards – still reaching, still ascending. We choose to view Tosca’s suicide as a validation, rather than a negation, of life. She dies as she has chosen always to live, with love and faith. Her last words are “before God.” Even in death, Tosca is still striving, still determining her own fate. And Puccini’s music elevates her choice, even as it mourns for her, and Cavaradossi, and their love.

Cast:

Tosca: Elaine Alvarez
Cavaradossi: Chauncey Packer
Scarpia: Alan Held
Sacristan: Jake Skipworth
Angelotti: James Eder
Spoletta: Eric Botto
Sciarrone: Bernardo Medeiros
Jailer: Luke Harnish
Shepherd: Megan Fleischmann

Chorus:

Megan Fleischmann
Luke Harnish
Nicole Heinen
Marcus Jefferson
Emily Michiko Jensen
Olivia Johnson
Phillip Lopez
Bernardo Medeiros
Talin Nalbandian
Nicola Santoro
John Kun Park
Max Potter
Jake Skipworth
Hilary Grace Taylor
Felix Aguilar Tomlinson

Supernumeraries:

Tim Mattocks 
Shawn Sprankle

Children's Choir:

Charlotte Dahlie
Celli Dinapoli
Helen Fischer
Rosie Fischer
Eliana Gefter
Eleanor Pender
Sunnhi Suber
Aren Suber
Leland Suber
Jaxon Wolcott

Creative: 

Stage Director: Sarah Ina Meyers
Conductor: Steven Osgood
Chorus Master: Carol Rausch
Assistant Director: Diane Machin
Scenic Designer: Liliana Duque Piñeiro
Fight Choreographer: Dale Girard
Lighting & Video Designer:
Michael Baumgarten
Costume Designer: B.G. FitzGerald
Wig & Makeup Designer: Martha Ruskai
Musical Preparation: Dottie Randall
Supertitles: Allison Voth
Artistic Assistant: Meilina Tsui

Chautauqua Opera Orchestra:

Violin 1:
Vahn Armstrong
Cheryl Bintz
Lenelle Morse
Olga Kaler
Amanda Gates
Adrienne Finet

Violin 2:
Diane Bruce
Simon Lapointe
Jonathan Richards
Anton Shelepov

Viola:
Chris Fischer
Karl Pedersen
Eva Stern

Cello:
Lars Kirvan
Daryl Goldberg
Igor Gefter

Bass:
PJ Cinque
Kieran Hanlon

Flute:
Richard Sherman
Kathy Levy

Oboe:
Alexis Porcaro

Clarinet:
Eli Eban
Dan Spitzer

Bassoon:
Sean Gordon

Horn:
William Bernatis
Donna Dolson

Trumpet:
Pete Lindblom
Les Linn

Trombone:
Eric Lindlom

Timpani:
Jeremy Levine

Percussion:
Tom Blanchard
Brian Kushmaui

Harp:
Beth Robinson

Organ/Celesta:
Dottie Randall

Production:

Technical Director: John P. Woodey
Production Stage Manager: Adam Fulmer
Assistant Stage Managers:
Hanna Atkinson
Hailey Delaney
Julie Welch
Props Director: Wendy Ann
Production Aid: Jaaven Middleton

 

 

General & Artistic Director: Steven Osgood
Music Administrator/Chorus Master: Carol Rausch
Director of Production & Resident Lighting Designer/Video Designer: Michael Baumgarten
Managing Director: Daniel Grambow
Arts Marketing Specialist: Makayla Santiago-Froebel
Company Managers:
Claudia Torres
Austin Terris
Diction Coach/Supertitles Operator: Allison Voth
Coach/Accompanists:
Miriam Charney
Dottie Randall
Emily Jarrell Urbanek
Kristin Roach
Arts Marketing Associate: Jessica Mack

 

Elaine Alvarez, Soprano
Tosca

During the 2021-2022 season, Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez joins Chautauqua Opera for her company debut in the title role in Puccini’s Tosca. She also makes back-to-back company debuts in Verdi masterpieces as Violetta Valéry in La traviata with Fort Worth Opera, Desdemona in Otello for Livermore Valley Opera and Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo for Maryland Lyric Opera. Additional engagements for the 21/22 season include performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Orchestra Miami and the Jacksonville Symphony, as well as a concert appearance celebrating Fort Worth Opera’s 75th anniversary season. Future seasons for Ms. Alvarez will include a debut for Opera Omaha in the title role in Suor Angelica and her first performances of the Verdi Requiem.  
Other notable engagements have featured Alvarez in numerous role and house debuts of iconic leading ladies, including the title role of Aïda for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti, Tosca with Chorégies d’Orange and Opera de Oviedo; Mimì in La bohème for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Teatro Carlo Felice and Oper Frankfurt, among others; La traviata for Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Oper Leipzig and Theater St. Gallen; Magda in La rondine for Oper Frankfurt; Kát’a Kabanová with Boston Lyric Opera; the title role in Florencia en el Amazonas for San Diego Opera; the title role in Cecilia Valdez for Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid; major Verdi debuts as Elvira in Ernani, Hélène in the rarely produced Jerusalem, and the title role of Aïda for Opera Royal de Wallonie, as well as her first foray into the bel canto repertoire as Donizetti’s infamous Tudor Queen, Anna Bolena, in Liège and on tour at the Royal Opera House Muscat. 

Ms. Alvarez made her New York recital debut in 2007 as a Grand Prize Winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition. She then appeared as a featured performer for the Horne Foundation’s Annual Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall in 2010, alongside longtime mentor Warren Jones. Other notable concert credits include Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; a debut recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for The Vocal Arts Society; and featured performances as a guest artist with the New World Symphony.   

 
http://www.elainealvarez.com/ 

Chauncey Packer, Tenor
Cavaradossi

Chauncey Packer recently appeared at The Metropolitan Opera as Spinner in Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a role he reprised in 2022 with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other recent and upcoming engagements include The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with New Orleans Opera,  Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Hamburg, Scalia in Scalia/Ginsburg at Chautauqua Opera, as well as postponed or cancelled performances as Robbins & Crab Man in Porgy and Bess with Greensboro Opera and Howard Boucher in Dead Man Walking with The Metropolitan Opera. 

Mr. Packer has performed with Nashville Opera, Mobile Opera, Pensacola Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Pacific, and New Orleans Opera. He has sung the roles of Rodolfo (La bohème), Alfredo (La traviata), Pong (Turandot), the title role in Werther, Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Sam (Susannah), Ruggero (La rondine), Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Amon (Akhnaten), and Sportin’ Life, Mingo, and Robbins (Porgy and Bess).   

Mr. Packer has performed in concert with Edmonton Opera, Baton Rouge Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Opera, Shreveport Opera, Grand Rapids Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, Louisiana Philharmonic, Signature Symphony, and Torun Symphony Orchestra. He was also featured in a concert at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with the Orchestre Symphonique de la Garde Républicaine benefiting the organization Women of Africa. 

https://www.ada-artists.com/tenor-chauncey-packer 

Alan Held, Bass-Baritone
Scarpia

Recognized as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, and the Munich State Opera. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Scarpia in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffman, Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, and Balstrode in Peter Grimes. 

Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and Berliner Philharmoniker. He has also appeared at the Salzburg, Tanglewood, and Saito Kinen festivals and at the BBC Proms.  

A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and at Wichita State University, where he was most recently named Associate Professor, The Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction.  He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance in an Opera, and is also a noted clinician who regularly gives master classes at Yale University. 

 Alanheld.com 

Jake Skipworth, Baritone
Sacristan

Baritone Jake Skipworth makes a return to Chautauqua this summer after being a 2016 Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera and attending the Voice School in 2015. His most recent performance was with the Butler Opera Center as Escamillo in Carmen. Jake has also performed with Sarasota Opera, St. Pete Opera, Tallahassee Bach Parley, Opera Kansas, Wichita Grand Opera, Heartland Opera Theatre, and the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra. Roles include Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Silvio in Pagliacci, the title role and Monterone in Rigoletto, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Filiberto in Il signor Bruschino, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Moralès and Zuniga in Carmen, Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, the Commissioner in La traviata, Schaunard in La bohème, Baron Grog in The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein, Rucker Lattimore in Cold Sassy Tree, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and King Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors. He completed his Master of Music degree in Opera Performance at Wichita State University, where he studied with world renowned bass-baritone Alan Held. Jake holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Oakland University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Opera Performance at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies voice with Donnie Ray Albert. 

James Eder, Bass
Angelotti

James Eder is a bass from Columbus, OH. His voice has been acclaimed as a “solid bass” that is “robust” and “resonant” and having “ample quality and quantity.” He has performed in a variety of concerts and in roles ranging throughout the operatic and theater repertoire. His dramatic interpretations have been hailed as “inspired,” “laugh-out-loud funny,” “a comic delight” and “marvelously sinister and threatening.” In the winter of 2021, James returned to Sarasota Opera to perform the roles of Vespone in Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Ormondo in Rossini’s L’inganno felice, and in the spring, James reprised Ormondo with Opera Southwest. In 2020, James was in Sarasota covering the roles of Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette and Alcindoro in La bohème when the season was brought to a halt by shutdowns across the world. Despite challenges surrounding the operatic community, James was fortunate enough to continue to make music, and during the summer of 2020 was a young artist with Chautauqua Opera, notably performing in the world premiere song cycle, In Our Silence. Other recent engagements include Colline in La bohème with Cleveland Opera Theater, Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos with Cincinnati Opera, The High Priest of Baal in Nabucco with Sarasota Opera and The Judge in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Another Brick in the Wall by composer Julien Bilodeau and librettist Roger Waters of Pink Floyd (based on the Pink Floyd album of the same name). James earned a M.M. in Vocal Performance degree from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.M. in Vocal Performance degree from The Ohio State University. Additionally, James has worked with opera companies including Sarasota Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Southwest, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Columbus, Knoxville Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Cleveland Opera Theater, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, Opera Project Columbus, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, and Brevard Music Center’s Janiec Opera Company. 

Eric Botto, Tenor
Spoletta

Tenor Eric Botto, a Houston native, is best known for his vocal and dramatic versatility onstage. He has triumphed in leading tenor roles such as Alfredo (La traviata), Rodolfo (La bohème), Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), and Nadir (Les pêcheurs de perles), but also thrives in comic and character roles such as Earl Tolloller (Iolanthe), the Magician (The Consul), and Le petit vieillard (L’enfant et les sortilèges). He has performed in Italy, as well as across the United States – in New York, California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. In the summer of 2020, Eric experienced his first season with Chautauqua Opera, and was honored to be part of the world premiere of In Our Silence, an a cappella song cycle composed by Frances Pollock with text by Jerre Dye, drawing on interviews with each of the company’s young artists about their experiences during the COVID-19 isolation. Eric equally enjoys performing concert repertoire, and has credits as a soloist in Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, and as the tenor soloist in Christopher Powell’s 2021 world premiere of Rest: A Requiem. Eric holds music degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Mobile, and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the University of Colorado Boulder under the tutelage of Dr. John Seesholtz. 

Bernardo Medeiros, Baritone
Sciarrone

Brazilian-American baritone Bernardo Medeiros holds a B.M. in Music Education from Oklahoma State University, as well as a master’s degree and, most recently, a Performance Certificate, from the University of Houston in May of 2020. During his time in Houston, Bernardo had the opportunity to perform several roles, most notably Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, David in L’amico Fritz, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro and Capulet in Roméo et Juliette. In 2017, Bernardo was an Apprentice Artist at Opera in the Ozarks, where he portrayed the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as Reverend Olin Blitch in Susannah. In the summer of 2019, he made his professional debut with the North Shore Music Festival, singing the role of Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Last summer Bernardo worked for Central City Opera, where he covered and performed his dream role, Rigoletto. This past season, Bernardo was a Resident Artist at Indianapolis Opera, where he portrayed the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni and Jigger Craigin in Carousel. 

Luke Harnish, Baritone
Jailer

Praised for his “luxuriant baritone,” Luke Harnish is quickly establishing himself as a nuanced performer of opera, oratorio, and recital repertoire. Recent roles include Dr. Chillingworth (The Scarlet Letter), Nardo (La finta giardiniera), and Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief), all with Wichita State Opera Theatre. Last summer, he made his Opera Kansas debut as Walter Beech and Roy McPhetridge in the world premiere of Staggerwing. Harnish was an apprentice artist with Opera NEO during the ‘19 and ‘20 summer seasons, where he most recently performed the role of Papageno in the company’s cinematic adaptation of Die Zauberflöte. The previous year he sang the title role in Eugene OneginMr. Harnish worked closely with Nashville Opera from ‘18 to ‘20, performing several roles with the company, including Professor Trixie and Gus (The Cradle Will Rock), The Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly), and The Page (Amahl and the Night Visitors). In concert, he has sung the role of Jesus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Vanderbilt University, the title role in Elijah with Wichita State University, and the Baritone Soloist for Serenade to Music with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. On the recital stage, he has presented full performances of Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Schubert’s Schwanengesang. During the ’22-‘23 season, Mr. Harnish will join Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Resident Artist. There, he will portray Zuniga (Carmen), Dottore Grenvil (La traviata), and King Balthazar (Amahl and the Night Visitors). Harnish is a district winner of the ‘22 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. 

Megan Fleischmann, Soprano
Shepherd

Megan Fleischmann is a soprano pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in the studio of Theresa Brancaccio. At Northwestern she had the opportunity to sing Adele in Die Fledermaus, Miles in The Turn of the Screw, and Phyllis in Iolanthe. Megan was most recently seen as an Emerging Artist with the Seagle Festival, where she sang the role of Susan Twichell in the world premiere of Harmony, an opera by Robert Carl and Russell Banks. In April 2021, Megan was named a finalist and recipient of the Friends of the Opera award in Opera Grand Rapids’ Collegiate Vocal Competition. In previous years she was an Apprentice Artist at Miami Beach Classical Music Festival, where she sang Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Born and raised in Northern California, Megan has had the pleasure of touring the San Francisco Bay Area with Lamplighters Music Theatre in a number of their productions, most recently singing the role of Rose Maybud in Ruddigore. In February 2022, Megan sang the role of Selena in Jake Heggie’s If I Were You at Northwestern University. Megan is thrilled to join Chautauqua Opera Company for their 2022 season. 

Nicole Heinen, Soprano
Chorus

Noted for her “golden-voiced” singing (Voix des Arts) and “deft hand at verbal and physical comedy” (The Isthmus), American soprano Nicole Heinen has dazzled audiences with her commanding stage presence. During the 2021-2022 season she was a featured concert soloist with the New Orleans Opera Association. Nicole has also been a finalist in the Opera Mississippi John Alexander Vocal Competition, semi-finalist in the Premiere Opera Foundation Competition and a Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. As a Baumgartner Studio Artist during the 2018-2019 season, Nicole made her debut with the Florentine Opera, portraying Miss Frayne and Margaret Hughes (cover) in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, Fortuna/Valletto in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and was soloist in Florentine Opera’s 85th anniversary gala. During this time she won the Wisconsin District as part of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the IAET Award in the Casa Italia Competition. During the 2017-2018 season Nicole made both her debut appearances as a summer concert artist-in-residence with the Florentine Opera and performer at the Ravinia Festival. In addition to her debuts, Nicole was a finalist in the 2017 International Handel Aria Competition, in part with the Madison Music Festival. Her repertoire includes, Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Gilda (Rigoletto), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), La Fée (Cendrillon), Marie (La fille du régiment) and Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare). 

Marcus Jefferson, Tenor
Chorus

Marcus Jefferson is originally from Wayne, NJ, and holds a M.M. degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a B.M. degree from the Eastman School of Music. He currently studies with Jonathan Beyer and Marlena Malas. Marcus’s stage credits include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Oswego Opera Theater, Elder Hayes and Little Bat (Susannah) and Benvolio (Roméo et Juliette) with the Janiec Opera Company, as well as Don Ottavio, Tenor 2 (Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Tibetan Book of the Dead), Nutrice (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Major-General Stanley (The Pirates of Penzance) with the Eastman Opera Theater. In scenes programs Marcus has sung the title character in Idomeneo, Giles Corey (The Crucible) and Dr. Caius (Falstaff) with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. In concert, he has performed as a soloist in major choral works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Bach. His recent recording projects include solo works by H. Leslie Adams in the New Muses Project with the Yale School of Music. 

Emily Michiko Jensen, Soprano
Chorus

Praised for her “theatrical instincts and intriguingly versatile instrument,” Japanese-American soprano Emily Michiko Jensen is thrilled to return to Chautauqua Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering the title role in Tosca, and singing Angel More in The Mother of Us All, while covering Susan B. Anthony. As a 2016 Studio Artist, Emily sang 2nd Soprano in Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar and covered Annina in La traviata. Again as a Studio Artist, she covered Soprano 2 in Hydrogen Jukebox in 2017. This season, Emily joined Pensacola Opera as an Artist-in-Residence, making her company debut as First Lady while covering Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She also covered Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Emily made her Florentine Opera debut as Jessie in Weill’s Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel in May 2021 as a Baumgartner Studio Artist. She was scheduled to perform Maguelonne in Viardot’s Cendrillon and to cover the title role, as well as covering Mimì in La bohème, but the contracts were cancelled due to the pandemic. During the 2019-2020 season, Emily debuted the title role in Suor Angelica at the Indiana University Opera Theater. She sang Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Boston Opera Collaborative, where she made her company debut as Marguerite (Faust) in 2016.  Originally from San Diego, CA, Emily received a Graduate Diploma and M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. She holds a B.M. Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music.  Emily is currently pursuing a Performance Diploma at IU as an Associate Instructor scholarship recipient, studying with Timothy Noble.

Olivia Johnson, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

Mezzo-soprano Olivia Johnson was hailed by Opera News as a “standout… commanding and reassuring, with the timbre of a contralto and the astounding upper extension of a dramatic mezzo” in her recent portrayal of Girlfriend 3 in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera Blue 

Before this triumph, Ms. Johnson had completed a Fellowship at the Vocal Institute of Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, where she received an Encouragement Award in the Marilyn Horne Art Song Competition.  In December 2021, Ms. Johnson was selected as a winner of the Michigan District in the Metropolitan Opera’s Laffont Competition. Within the same month, she also made her debut in the lead role of Conchetta with Opera NexGen, in their virtual live stream of Carlos Simon and Sandra Seaton’s chamber opera Night Trip. After completing a young artist residency at Toledo Opera during the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Johnson became the new artist-in-residence for AEPEX Contemporary Ensemble for their 2021-2022 season. Ms. Johnson also appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre in the roles of Wellgunde (Twilight of the Gods), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost), and Girlfriend (Summer King). In addition, she has been a soloist or has done roles with Opera MODO, Rackham Choir, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has participated in summer festivals, including Martina Arroyo’s “Prelude to Performance” and the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS).   

Olivia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2014 from East Carolina University, and she completed her Master of Music degree in voice performance at the University of Michigan in 2017 under the tutelage of Professor George Shirley.

Phillip Lopez, Bass-Baritone
Chorus

Bass-baritone Phillip Lopez is from Avon, IL, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Music. He also holds degrees from Wichita State University and Millikin University. Recently performed roles include Monterone (Rigoletto), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), Sancho (Don Quichotte), and Riolobo (Florencia en el Amazonas). He was also featured in Schubert’s complete Winterreise cycle. With Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he has been seen as Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro), Major Rose/Spc. Austin Haldemann (An American Soldier), Traffic Cop/Peach Checker (The Grapes of Wrath), and the Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly). Other roles include the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore) and Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea). Phillip was a member of the Artist-in-Residence Program at Opera Colorado for the 2021-22 season, during which he performed in touring productions of The Barber of Seville as Don Bartolo, and in The Pirates of Penzance as the Sergeant of Police, as well as in roles for the company’s main stage productions – Angelotti (Tosca), Senator (The Shining) and Zuniga (Carmen). 

Talin Nalbandian, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

A native of Los Angeles, CA, Talin Nalbandian is an Armenian-American mezzo-soprano who is currently attending the University of Texas, Austin, for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. For the 2021-22 season, she sang Ravel’s Shéhérazade in concert, Der Trommler in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. She recently performed La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi with Livermore Valley Opera and was a Second-Place winner of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition. In 2019, she sang the roles of Hansel and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Opera San José. That summer she also returned to Music Academy of the West to sing the role of Ruby in the west coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. Additionally, Talin won first prize at the Henry and Maria Holt Vocal Competition and the Burbank Philharmonic Kennings-Fischer Competition, as well as being a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has also received awards from the Butler Opera International Competition and the Mentoris Project Vocal Competition. Her concert work includes a performance as the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Symphony Silicon Valley. Talin has worked with Virginia Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. Her roles include Maddalena (Rigoletto), 1st trio member (Trouble in Tahiti),  Caverna (L’Opera Seria), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), First Nursemaid (Street Scene), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Mallika and Mistress Bentson (Lakmé), as well as covering Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Mrs. Jones (Street Scene). Talin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Nicola Santoro, Soprano
Chorus

Soprano Nicola Santoro is quickly establishing herself as a foremost interpreter of contemporary music. This season she was an Artist-In-Residence with Promenade Opera Project and premiered the role of Zoo Director in The Bedbug in October 2021. Previously, she starred in the collegiate premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs as Chrisann Brennan. Additional role credits include Mrs. O’Malley (It’s a Wonderful Life), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte).  

In prior seasons, she received the Encouragement Award in the Boston District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards, was a prize winner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition two years in a row, a semifinalist in the Orpheus Competition, and  a recipient of the distinguished Georgina Joshi International Fellowship. She has had the opportunity to participate in young artist programs such as the Dandelion Opera Institute, SongFest and The CoOperative Program. Nicola was scheduled to be the soloist for Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo with the Columbus, IN, Philharmonic before the concert’s cancellation due to the pandemic. She has also sung as a soloist with the Thüringer Symphoniker in The Handel Project (Alexander’s Feast), and with euphoniumist Demondrae Thurman (A Summer’s Journey). Nicola earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College and her Master of Music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

John Kun Park, Tenor
Chorus

John Kun Park is a Korean-American tenor from Los Angeles, CA, whose instrument has been described as “a tenor voice that floats its high notes with ease and emotional fervor.” John is excited to be joining the summer 2022 season at Chautauqua Opera, where he will be covering the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca, and singing the role of John Adams in Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All. The 2021 season began with John being a semi-finalist in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition (digital auditions). He also participated in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, where he was a finalist and received an Encouragement Award. John joined Des Moines Metro Opera and spent the summer performing in their summer season where he covered both Adolfo Pirelli and Beadle Bamford in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. In October, John joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic to workshop the role of Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio in collaboration with Deaf West Theater, and will be returning again in 2022.  

John has appeared in the title role in Faust, Ismaele (Nabucco), and Don José (Carmen), and is making strides toward the dramatic and Wagnerian repertoire. He has appeared nationally with companies such as Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, West Bay Opera, and Long Beach Opera. 

Max Potter, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

Praised by Opera News for her “relish and energy,” mezzo-soprano Max Potter is an up-and-coming artist known for her warmth of tone and dramatic presence. The 2020-21 season featured her main stage debut with Opera Santa Barbara as Flosshilde in the Jonathan Dove reduction of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, for which she also covered the role of Fricka. Last season also featured her debut of an innovative staging of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été at Opera Santa Barbara, the world premiere recording of Constantine Carvasilis’ song cycle Epiphany for mezzo-soprano and cello, and a concert series with The Muse’s Creative Artistry Project in a gala performance at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion for Governor Asa Hutchinson. For the 2021-22 season she joined the American Opera Project as a resident singer for the company’s “Composers and the Voice” Fellowship, and makes her symphonic debut as the Alto Soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at The Washington National Cathedral. 

Highlights from Max’s previous engagements include covering the role of Ortrud in Wagner’s Lohengrin with Opera Southwest, making her main stage debut with Opera Southwest as Clarina in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, and covering the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s contemporary opera Dead Man Walking with Des Moines Metro Opera. Previous roles also include Charlotte (Werther), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), and Concepción (L’heure espagnole). Equally at home on the concert stage and in the recital hall, Max has shown her natural affinity for new works. Highlights include The Sacred Feminine, an innovative performance piece celebrating the work of Emily Dickinson through spoken word and art song, with New Camerata Opera, and Heggie’s The Breaking Waves with Des Moines Metro Opera, which she performed in recital for the composer. 

Hilary Grace Taylor, Mezzo-Soprano
Chorus

Hilary Grace Taylor, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Dallas and is in her third season as an Education Outreach Young Artist with The Dallas Opera. Most recently she was a Young Artist with Chautauqua Opera in their 2020 virtual season and recorded and filmed the role of Sappho in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata with Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Last season, Hilary was a Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Finalist in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and a Semifinalist in the TCO NEXT: Virtual Voice Competition. She is also the First Place Winner of the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Voice Competition and a winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition. Role credits include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Principessa (Suor Angelica), Giovanna (Rigoletto), and with the University of North Texas she has performed Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Desirée Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Marthe (Faust), Mrs. Jones (Street Scene), Regina (Regina) and Gertrude Stein (After Life by Tom Cipullo).

Felix Aguilar Tomlinson, Tenor
Chorus

Felix Aguilar Tomlinson is a Mexican-American lyric tenor from Minneapolis, MN, completing his Graduate Performance Diploma at the Boston Conservatory. Felix has performed extensively in Boston and Minnesota, excelling in roles that are colorful, sympathetic, and demanding — musically, dramatically, and vocally. At the Conservatory, Felix has performed the roles of Tito in La clemenza di Tito, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Younger Thompson in Glory Denied, The Magician in The Consul, and L’Aumônier in Dialogues des Carmélites, and has covered the roles of Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking and Lenski in Eugene Onegin. Active in the musical theater and opera scene in Minnesota, Felix has performed several roles, including Logan in The Frat Party (Really Spicy Opera), Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte (Lakes Area Music Festival), Lamar in Godspell (Theatre in the Round Players), Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore (The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra) and The Defendant in Trial by Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company). In Boston, Felix has been hired as a chorister for the Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, the Boston Pops with the Metropolitan Chorale, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Dedicated to the performance and production of new works, Felix is a founding member of Strange Trace – a fledgling opera company that commissions new digital works of opera from around the world. In addition to his duties as a performer, Felix has been able to explore his passion for directing, filming, and producing in the seven new works he has created with that organization since autumn 2020.

Sarah Ina Meyers
Stage Director

Sarah Ina Meyers is a stage director based in New York City, where she has been on the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera since 2006. Her diverse 20/21 season included a staging of Die Walküre for New Orleans Opera featuring a cinematic installation by filmmaker Samantha Aldana, and a new production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, which opened Berkshire Opera Festival to high acclaim. 

In 2018, she directed the premiere of Gregg Kallor’s Dramatic Sketches from Frankenstein as part of the performance series, The Angel’s Share, at Green-Wood Cemetery. The production received rave reviews and was declared one of WQXR’s standout performances of 2018. Operawire described the performance as “riveting … an extraordinary experience” and Limelight extolled Meyers’s direction as “perfectly finessed…. Powerful and meticulous.”  

In 2016, Meyers began working with Lesley Karsten and Stephen Wadsworth on That’s Not Tango, an unorthodox monodrama about Astor Piazzolla told through text and music. She directed performances of the show for Chamber Music Amarillo in 2021, and for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2019.  

Ms. Meyers made her directing debut in South Korea in 2019 with a new production of Rigoletto at the Seoul Arts Center. Additional highlights from her recent work include Hansel and Gretel for Washington National Opera, the world premiere of Gallo by Ken Ueno, and a unique production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde produced by the Music School of Lighthouse International. She is also the author of a new translation and adaptation of Die Fledermaus, most recently performed by MassOpera.   

Sarahinameyers.com 

Steven Osgood
Conductor

This is Steven Osgood’s seventh season as General and Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Opera Company.  During his tenure the company has reconfigured its season schedule to include longer runs of selected productions, chamber operas, and a Festival Week to allow audiences to see all three productions in one week.  Contemporary music has become a staple of Chautauqua Opera Company’s repertoire each season.  The Composer-in-Residence position was created in 2016, and in 2021 two Composer Fellowships were added.   

Steven has conducted the world premieres of over 20 operas, including, in recent seasons, Breaking the Waves at Opera Philadelphia, JFK at Fort Worth Opera, The Scarlet Ibis, Thumbprint, Blood Moon, and Sumeida’s Song for the PROTOTYPE festival, as well as Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar with Beth Morrison Projects.  He has been conductor mentor on two occasions for Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, leading the premieres of six new operas.  In January Steven conducted Lincoln Center Theater’s world premiere production Intimate Apparel by Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage, based on her play of the same name. The production received 60 performances at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater, and was filmed by PBS Great Performances for release this Fall.  

From 2001 to 2008 Steven was Artistic Director of American Opera Projects. He founded the company’s internationally recognized Composers and the Voice Fellowship and remains the program’s Artistic Director. He conducted the premieres of As One in its sold-out run at Brooklyn Academy of Music(BAM), and Paula Kimper’s Patience and Sarah at the 1998 Lincoln Center Festival.   

Steven has been an Assistant Conductor with the Metropolitan Opera since 2006, most recently working on the revival of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten.  His conducting appearances include New York City Opera, Edmonton Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Memphis, Atlanta Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  He has been a frequent guest conductor with The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.  The 2022/23 season will include productions at both The Juilliard School and Rice University. 

Carol Rausch
Chorus Master

Since 1995 Carol Rausch has served as Music Administrator/Chorus Master, overseeing the musical components of the company and the Young Artist Program. 

Carol is also the Chorus Master/Music Administrator for the New Orleans Opera. She has won awards for both choral direction and for the company’s success in arts education throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Carol has previously worked for Virginia Opera, Greater Miami Opera (now Florida Grand Opera), Ohio Light Opera and Opera Columbus. She has taught at The Ohio State University and has been on the staffs of Kenyon College and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Carol is currently head of the opera department at Loyola University New Orleans, where she has musically prepared and conducted numerous performances. In January 2018 the city of New Orleans hosted the National Opera Association conference, for which Loyola produced Tom Cipullo’s award-winning chamber opera After Life

Carol has performed as a member of the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and the Metamorphosis Chamber Ensemble. She has remained active as a coach and recital pianist, including concerts with Jennifer Rowley, Marquita Lister, Fabiana Bravo, Ned Barth, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Greer Grimsley, Luretta Bybee, Anthony Laciura, Melanie Helton, Brenda Harris and Bryan Hymel. Carol often accompanies the Gulf Coast regional auditions for the Metropolitan Opera National Council and has judged both the district and regional levels of competition throughout the U.S. 

Carol holds degrees from Indiana University and The Ohio State University, and she pursued a year of study at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels, Belgium, as a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow. Her piano teachers have included Jorge Bolet, Earl Wild, Richard Tetley-Kardos and Sonja Anschütz. 

Diane Machin
Assistant Stage Director

Diane Machin is a director/creator who works across the artistic mediums. Select credits include her modern adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's Bagatelle, a Christmas-themed Gianni Schicchi, and a new climate change opera A Storm We Call Progress which Machin directed, edited and created virtual sets for during the pandemic. Machin worked as an assistant director for Chautauqua Opera’s 2021 season. This spring she assistant directed The Magic Flute and the reimagined world premiere Harvey Milk at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Currently, Machin is a visiting professor and director at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

dianemachin.com

Liliana Duque Piñeiro
Scenic Dsigner

Scenic Designer, Tosca and Thumbprint 

Liliana Duque Piñeiro is both a sculptor and a scenic designer. Recent opera productions include a film of The Copper Queen, produced by Arizona Opera; Il Postino, co-produced by Virginia Opera, Opera Southwest and Chicago Opera Theater; the world premiere of Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun for Santa Fe Opera; the world premiere of If I Were You by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer for the Merola Opera Program; María de Buenos Aires for San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera; Madama Butterfly for Opera de Colombia; La Flauta Mágica de los Andes for Teatro Sucre in Quito, Ecuador; Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon for The Vermont Opera Project; and La Cage aux Folles and Powder Her Face for Skylight Opera Theatre. Upcoming productions include La traviata (Fort Worth Opera), Don Giovanni (Minnesota Opera) and The Elixir of Love (Opera de Colombia). 

lilianaduque.com

Michael Baungarten
Director of Production/Resident Lighting and Video Designer

Michael Baumgarten has been Director of Production and Resident Lighting and Video Designer for Opera Carolina since 2005. He has designed lighting, video and scenery for over 450 productions at regional and international opera companies including New York City Opera, Teatro del Giglio/Lucca, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Palm Beach Opera, Toledo Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Manitoba Opera. He has been with the Chautauqua Opera for over 60 operas since 1995. Michael has a MFA in Design and Production from the Yale School of Drama, 1982.

B.G. FitzGerald
Resident Costume Designer

Mr. FitzGerald has designed costumes for Sarasota Opera, Baltimore Opera, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre, Coastal Theatre Productions, Asolo Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Gateway Playhouse (Long Island), Burt Reynolds Theatre, Country Dinner Playhouse, Florida State Opera, Ice Capades, Barter Theatre (VA), Ocala Civic Theatre, and New York City Opera. For Chautauqua Opera Company, he worked as an Assistant Costume Supervisor-2003, Draper-2005, and has been the Costume Shop Supervisor since 2009. 

Martha Ruskai
Wig Supervisor

Wig and Makeup Designer/Opera Carolina, Atlanta Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Piedmont Opera Theater, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Louisiane, The Pearl Theater, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; North Carolina Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet; Founder/University of North Carolina School of the Arts Makeup and Wigs program; Guest Artist/Master Classes at Ohio University, University of Alabama, Michigan State University; Author/Wig Making and Styling (Focal Press); Chautauqua Opera/Macbeth-2002, Madam Butterfly and The Ballad of Baby Doe-2014, La traviata and The Mikado-2016, L’Orfeo, Don Pasquale, Hydrogen Jukebox-2017, Don Giovanni, Candide, and As One-2018, Il barbiere di Siviglia, ¡Figaro! (90210), and The Ghosts of Versailles-2019. 

Allison Voth
Coach/Accompanist & Diction/Supertitles

Allison Voth is the principal coach and an associate professor at Boston University’s Opera Institute. As répétiteur and diction coach, she has worked with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Providence, Opera Aperta, Verismo Opera of New Jersey, Boston Baroque, and Opera North. Festivals at which she has worked include Opera Unlimited, the Florence Vocal Seminar, and the Athens Music Festival. Ms. Voth, also in demand for her authoritative and eloquent supertitles, has developed titles for Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Washington National Opera, Barbican Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Palm Beach Opera. She also holds the post of Music Director for the Cantata Singers Chamber Recital Series. Ms. Voth joined Chautauqua Opera as a coach and pianist in 1996. Since 2001, she has also served as the company’s diction instructor, and supertitle creator/operator since 2010. 

Meilina Tsui
Artistic Assistant

Meilina Tsui is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, radio producer and presenter, and advocate for youth artistic development. Born in Kazakhstan and raised in Hong Kong, Meilina is a composer who "popularizes Kazakh music tradition (Kazakhstan International News Agency, Kazinform) and writes music that uniquely combines elements of Eurasian and Southeast Asian cultures. She is the first Chinese classical composer of Dungan descent (an underrepresented ethnic minority group from Central Asia) to have received international recognition. 

Tsui earned a B.A. in Music with First-Class Honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong under the “Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarship,” a M.Mus. in Composition with Distinction from King’s College London under the “Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme,” awarded by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government, and a D.M.A. in Composition with High Pass from the University of Michigan under the “Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund,” and the “Composers & Authors Society Hong Kong Scholarship.” At the University of Michigan, Tsui studied with Professors Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty and was a Graduate Student Instructor of Composition, Music Theory, and Aural Skills. 

Dottie Randall

Coach/Accompanist/ San Diego Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera San Antonio, Des Moines Metro Opera (chorus master), San Antonio Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Pacific, Orlando Opera, Arena di Verona, American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz), San Antonio Symphony, Ohio Wesleyan University; Chorus Master/ Opera San Antonio; Chautauqua Opera/ Coach/Accompanist since 2000.

J.P. Woodey
Technical Director

John has designed for numerous companies, including the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Olney Theatre Center, Imagination Stage, Shaker Mountain Opera, Theatre Charlotte, Gallery Players (Off Broadway), Access Theatre (Off Broadway), Chautauqua Opera and Charlotte Ballet. John has also designed lighting for broadcast including Netflix’s Fortune Feimster’s Sweet and Salty and the ACC Football Honors Program. John spent time in London designing for the Central St. Martins School of Art, where he designed lights for The Birds Project.  Other lighting credits include assisting at Baltimore’s Centerstage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Geva Theatre and the Alley Theatre. John was faculty and designer at DeSales and Catholic Universities. He is the Assistant Professor of Technical Theatre and Resident Designer at Johnson C. Smith University.  He completed his graduate work at Ohio University, where he received the regional Peggy Ezekiel Award of Outstanding Achievement in Design. He is a member and Vice President of the IATSE Local 322 in Charlotte, NC. 

http://www.johnpwoodey.com  

Adam Fulmer
Production Stage Manager

Stage Management/Kansas City Actors Theatre, Austin Opera, Starlight Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Tulsa Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Ballet, Opera on the James, Castleton Festival, Salt Marsh Opera, Millbrook Playhouse, The Santa Fe Opera, The Ohio Light Opera, Washington National Opera. 

The Chautauqua Institution and the Chautauqua Opera Company would like to acknowledge the continuing generosity of the Norton and Richards families through the Ralph and Elizabeth Norton Philanthropic Trust, and the following major donors who have created endowment funds for opera, and support the opera program through annual giving, and through major capital gifts:

The Peggy and Andy Anderson Family Fund for Opera

John E. Anderson Opera Endowment

A Chace & Josephine B Anderson Opera Endow Fund

The Cynthia Auerbach Fund for Opera

Bemus Endowment for Opera

Anne and John Burden Opera Fund

The Ralph E. Miller and Paul E. Cawein Fund for Opera

Chautauqua Opera Endowment Fund

The Chautauqua Opera Guild Endowment

Thomas and Kathleen Clingan Fund for Opera

The Connolly Family Fund For Opera

The John A. and Emily McKnight Corry Opera Fund

The Barbara Baldwin DeFrees Opera Fund

Eleanor C. Eisenmenger

The Walter F. Ferchen Opera Fund

The Eleanor B. Franks Fund for the Opera

Dr. and Mrs. Donald J. Furman

The James and Elisabeth Groninger Fund for Opera

The Jane A. Gross Opera Endowment

The Kay Frantz Israel Fund for Opera

The Mildred Lesenger Fund for Opera

The Kay H. Logan Opera Fund

The Annette Pickens Malvin Memorial Fund for Opera

The Christopher and Susan Martin Opera Fund

The Margaret Clark Mercer Fund for Opera

The Steve Z. and Mary G. Mitchell Family Fund

The Reverend Lloyd V. Moffett Opera Endowment Fund

New York State Council on the Arts

The Robert G. and Lillian Vitanza Ney Family Opera Fund

Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation

Hale and Judy Oliver

The Joseph A. and Anne T. Prezio Opera Endowment Fund

The Richards Family Opera Fund

Mrs. Bartlett Richards

The Molly Rinehart Fund for Opera

The Wadsworth Fund

Charles and Lois Weaver Fund for Opera

Dr. Fred R. Whaley and Helen A. Whaley Fund for Opera

The Robert and Virginia Young Opera Fund

Zemsky Endowment For Opera

Renowned throughout the United States, Chautauqua Opera Company's Young Artist program is among the most respected training opportunities available for developing singers who are on the threshold of full-time professional careers. This year, General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood and Music Administrator Carol Rausch selected 17 Young Artists from over 900 applications. The singers on this select roster receive intensive training in all facets of performing, including diction, movement, stage combat, career management, and musical and dramatic coaching. Young Artists make up the core of the company and perform in all mainstage Chautauqua Opera productions, in concert with the Chautauqua Symphony, in “Afternoon of Song” recitals in the Athenaeum Parlor and the Opera Invasion series. Chautauqua Opera Company's Young Artist program is proud to have been a training ground for many alumni who have become leading artists with opera companies throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Chautauqua Opera Guild serves as the advocacy group in support of the Chautauqua Opera Company. Memberships support our Young Artists, the Children’s Opera Education Program, and grant access to events all summer long. 

Join today! 

Opera Guild Members as of July 26, 2022:

Edith Benson

Jack Connolly and Peg Barrett

Virginia H. Cox

Paula Gierszal and Lisa Ann Gierszal

Cheryl Gorelick and Jake Zeigler

Nancy Langston

Jay Lesenger

Beth Madison

Chris and Sue Martin

Mary and Steve Mitchell

Hale and Judy Oliver

Rev. Richard and Mrs. Joreta Speck

Drs. Jane Stirniman and Jeanne Wiebenga

Linda Steckley and Pete Weitzel

Toni and Joe Goldfarb

Arlene Gottlieb and Chaz Miller

Arlene Hajinlian

Brad and Deanna Johnson

Patricia King

Jane and Jerry Lahey

Lynn Moschel

Rich Osborne

Kimberly Perry

Belinda and Matt Rogers

Rachel and Philip Rogers

Adele M. Thomas Charitable Foundation, Inc.

Kay Karslake White

Shirley Adams

Philip Allen

Richard and Marty Davis

Ted and Deborah First

Susan J. Grelick and John V. Heffron

Michael E. Hill and Peter M. Korns

Sallie L. Holder

Carol and Bob Hopper

Dr. F. Palmer Lindblom

Cynthia Norton

Mary and Bob Pickens

John P. Pless

Robin and Mark Robbins

Carol Schaal

Nancy Seel

Jana V. Stone and Raymond J. Galligan

Sue Tebor

Steve and Pat Telkins

Brenda and Larry Thompson

Angela Twist

Chris Anderson

Loretta Bower

John Burden

Judith Claire

Drs. Gilbert and Rona Eisner

Elliot and Judith Goldman

Judy and Al Goldman

Terrie Vaile Hauck

John and Jill Hopkins

Robert Ivers

Nancy M. Leininger

Mike and Nancy Lott

Narwhals and Georgina Mating

Mary Lou McFate

Judith D. Musser

Sanford and Margery Nobel

Melissa Orlov

Steve Peters

Sue Ann and John Power

Katy Smith

Rabbi Samuel and Lynn Stahl

Jenny and Tim Stitely

Margaret Viehe

Nancy Waasdorp

Elizabeth A. Welch and Stephen E. Glinick

Mary Louise Williamson

Mark Altschuler

William and Renee Andrews

Anna Antemann

Joyce and Scott Brasted

Carolyn Byham

Sally Craig and Mike McAvey

Christopher and Roslyn Dahlie

Roger Doebke

Jean and Sigo Falk

Marwin L. Feldman

Christopher Gibbs

Anonymous

Carole E. Gladstone

Samantha F. and Daniel Grambow

Don and Kathleen Greenhouse

Jane A. Gross

Carol and John Hardenburg

Ellen Harmon

Catherine Jarjisian

Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund

Phil and Livia Kades

Len and Judy Katz

Douglas Kreider and Dale Kennedy

Gary Landrus

Susan Laubach

Colleen Law and David Borden

Peter and Kate Letarte

Sharon and Dick Levick

Karin and Rich Lewis

Susan Rowan Masters

Casey and Marilyn Neuman

Michael Nolan

John and Esther Northman

Barbara Rait

Rodney Schlaffman and Lawrence Greenberg

Joan and Bob Spirtas

Margo Stuart

Matthew Swanson

Suzanne Taub

Sandi and Burt Zucker

Scenery constructed by Local #266 I.A.T.S.E.

Lighting provided by Advanced Production Group