Coloratura soprano Sharleen Joynt has been praised for her “silvery, sparkling, substantial and resonant soprano” (Die Deutsche Bühne), her “scintillating high range, reminiscent of the most beautiful moments of Mady Mesplé” (Opernwelt), and “an artistic command that leaves the listener breathless” (Deutschland Radio). Most recently, Sharleen reprised the role of the Controller in Jonathan Dove’s Flight for Seattle Opera, which was filmed and released for streaming in April of 2021, critics exclaiming, “We know we’re in for an acting treat when we see Sharleen Joynt’s overpoweringly supercilious, impeccably turned out Controller, prowling her control tower and pulling the strings; we see her arched eyebrows and penetrating stare in close-up as she delivers stratospheric coloratura.” (Bachtrack).
Sharleen returned to Seattle Opera in 2022 as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo, and sang Gilda in Rigoletto for Florida Grand Opera. Future engagements include another turn as Gilda in Rigoletto with Colorado Opera and as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice with Edmonton Opera.
2020 engagements were to include a reprisal of her signature role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Calgary Opera. In the previous season, she made a role and company début as Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera, performed in New Year’s Galas with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and sang the Controller in Jonathan Dove’s Flightwith Pacific Opera Victoria. Prior engagements included performing the role of Winnie in Lembit Beecher’s Sky on Swings, a new opera about Alzheimers starring Frederica von Stade, with Opera Philadelphia, Musetta in La Bohème with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, and Cunegonde in Candide with Anchorage Opera, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Ravinia Music Festival, and the Orlando Philharmonic. At home with contemporary music, Sharleen also performed Christine in the North American Premiere of Belgian composer Philippe Boesmans’ Julie, based on the 1888 Strindberg play, “Miss Julie”, in a co-production with Canadian Stage and Soundstreams. In concert, highlights include Glière’s Concerto for Coloratura, Op. 82 (Guelph Symphony), as well as the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah (Charleston Symphony), Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light requiem (Bach Society of St. Louis), and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (Thunder Bay Symphony).
Sharleen made her European début when she joined the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau ensemble to sing Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte. With the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, she sang Marie in La Fille du Régiment and Adele in Die Fledermaus. She performed her signature role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Theater St. Gallen, Theater und Orchester Heidelberg, and in the Chinese premiere of the opera, produced by Oper Leipzig. As part of the Theater und Orchester Heidelberg ensemble, Sharleen sang Frasquita in Carmen, Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Fausta in the German premiere of Scarlatti’s Marco Attilio Regolo in the Winter in Schwetzingen Baroque Festival, and Soprano 1/Ariadne in Wolfgang Rihm’s Dionysos.
Honors include nominations for Nachwunschsängerin (Singer of the Year), awarded by Opernwelt magazine, and the prestigious “Der Faust” prize, awarded by the German Stage Association. Her fearless onstage presence in German Regietheater led to a 3-page feature in Deutsche Bühne magazine. Sharleen has been a prizewinner in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, the George London Foundation Competition, the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Licia Albanese Foundation Competition, the Canadian Music Competition’s International Stepping Stone, and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition.
Takesha Meshé Kizart-Thomas is “blasting star quality all over the stage with her stunning voice and sensational good looks” (Opera News). The New York Times describes her singing as “powerful, lustrous, silky, caramel-hued, wielding impressive ease and elegant control,” and critics worldwide have praised her visually and vocally compelling performances. Kizart-Thomas’ versatile body of work includes leading operatic heroines of the bel canto, verismo, and contemporary eras.
Mrs. Kizart-Thomas’ musical roots run deep. A performer since the age of two, the Chicago native, Washington D.C. transplant, U.S. Coast Guard wife, new mother, marriage and family advocate, and radical holistic self-care champion is an alumnae of the lauded University of North Texas and Philadelphia’s renowned Academy of Vocal Arts, and counts music legends McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield and Tina Turner among her relations. She made her professional debut in 2006 as The Dutchess in Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face with Musikfest Bremen and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. Her American professional debut occurred in 2008 in the title role of Tosca with The Dallas Opera. Both of these important debuts took place while she was still a resident artist at AVA.
Her exceptionally vivid portrayals include the title role of Tosca (Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Oper Köln, Opera Australia, Opera North-UK, and The Dallas Opera); the title role of Respighi’s Marie Victoire (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Clitennestra in Gnecchi’s Cassandra led by Maestro Donald Runnicles (Deutsche Oper Berlin); the title role of Madama Butterfly (Deutsche Oper Berlin and Slovenian National Opera); Mimì in La bohème (Opera Australia and Deutsche Oper Berlin); a rare feat of performing both Margherita and Elena in Mefistofele (Opéra National de Montpellier); Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle (Oper Köln); Donna Leonora in Il trovatore (Staatsoper Stuttgart); Donna Leonora in La forza del destino (Caramoor International Music Festival and The Academy of Vocal Arts); Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari (Opera Orchestra of New York); Costanza in L’isola disabitata (Gotham Chamber Opera); The Duchess in Powder Her Face (Musikfest Bremen); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra); Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (The Fort Worth Symphony) and Elijah (AVA); Wagner’s Liebestod (Symphony in C); Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, the title role of Vanessa, Anna in Le Villi, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater (AVA); Desdemona in Otello; Violetta La traviata; Giorgetta in Il tabarro; the title roles of Suor Angelica, Manon Lescaut, and Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte; Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro; Hanna in The Merry Widow; Lià in L’enfant prodigue; Händel’s Messiah; Dubois’ Seven Last Words; and Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio. Further appearances include Chicago Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestra della Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, WDR Broadcast Orchestra of Cologne, Kölner Philharmonie, Fort Worth Opera, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Alte Oper Frankfurt, La Orquestra Filharmonica de Pilsen, Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Duisberg Philharmonic Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, WRTI Radio, NPR Performance Today, PBS, NBC’s Today Show, and Broadway in Chicago. Professional collaborations of note have included Yo-Yo Ma (with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and Wynton Marsalis (with Jazz at Lincoln Center).
For two years in a row, she received nominations for Germany’s Opernwelt Award for Female Singer of the Year: for Marie Victoire (2009) and Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle (2010), as well as Live Performance Australia’s Helpmann Award 2010 for Best Female Performer in an Opera (Tosca). She has received top awards from The Marian Anderson Historical Society, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Classical Singer Magazine’s Young Artist Competition, Opera Index, The Caruso International Voice Competition, Guilds of The Dallas Opera, Connecticut Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, The Oratorio Society of New York, Competizione dell’Opera, Neue Stimmen; and the Foundations of William Matheus Sullivan, Gerda Lissner, Liederkranz, Mario Lanza, Giulio Gari, Sergio Franchi, and Albanese-Puccini. Kizart-Thomas was honored with the Grand Prize at the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballé by the luminous Caballé herself. In the film The Verdian Voice, she was lauded by jury, media and the public as Grand Prize Winner of the prestigious Concorso Internazionale Voci Verdiane “Città di Busseto” as the next great Verdian Voice of her generation.
Fresh from her debut with The Colorado Symphony under the baton of Maestro Andrew Litton in the title role of Tosca, Mrs. Kizart-Thomas joined the Metropolitan Opera and The Lincoln Center Theater’s Opera Commissioning Program in the starring role of Esther Mills for Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel. Of her 2010 debut with the Metropolitan Opera in La bohème, the New York Post pronounced, “The most intriguing of the new faces was Takesha Meshé Kizart. With her exotic and voluptuous soprano, her megawatt presence automatically drew the eye.”
Most recently, Kizart-Thomas appeared in Corsair from “Tales from a Safe Distance” with Chicago Fringe Opera and the Decameron Opera Coalition (which won Chicago Reader‘s “Best Opera of 2020” award) and sang the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Fargo Moorehead Opera in 2021 (“The soprano wields a bright, crystalline voice that she seems to deliver effortlessly, making her as compelling to watch as she is to hear…Kizart outshined everyone on the stage,” reported Inforum.com in their review of the production).
The current season will include concert performances in Pittsburgh, PA of “The Phenomenal Woman” with Resonance Works (including the premiere of a work commissioned by the artist), “Mahogany Chamber Performances: A Night of Song” with Crosstown Theater in Memphis, TN, and a recital tour with Anima Mundi Productions (in collaboration with Southern Oregon University, Seattle Opera, the Northwest African American Museum, the Portland State University School of Music & Theater, and Opera in the Park Portland) in performances of “Maternitá,” a program that explores motherhood through the standard operatic heroine and a contemporary portrayal with the commissioning of world premieres by Black, First Nation Indigenous, and Latina women composers in which she also serves as Co-Producer and Librettist.
USA Today has named Cecilia Violetta López one of “Idaho’s Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Century” and has been named one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars” by Opera News. The singing actress is constantly praised for her “alluring voice and incredible range” (Washington Post).
She has received accolades for her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, which she has performed countless times throughout North America. Critic, James Jorden, exclaimed “she is a Violetta fully-formed and, I think, ready for the great stages of the world.” She has now performed the role with, Opera Orlando, Pacific Symphony, Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Tampa, Opera Idaho, Ash Lawn Opera, The Northern Lights Music Festival, Madison Opera and Virginia Opera. Ms. López made her European début as Norina in Don Pasquale with Zomeropera in Belgium, for which Klassiek Centraal exclaimed: “She turns out to be the revelation of the show and wins over the audience with her funny rendition, irresistible charm, and [she is] natural in the different vocals.”
From her performance as Adina in The Elixir of Love with Virginia Opera, The Virginian- Pilot hailed, “Cecilia Violetta López is showing local audiences why Opera News named her one of its ’25 Rising Stars.’ In the lead role of Adina, she hit the highest notes with ringing clarity, performed the vocal runs with precision and grace and showed a particular charm and humanity in the softest passages and lowest ranges.” In her recent performance as Marguerite in Faust with Opera Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald claimed “…López sang Marguerite’s seduction, madness and salvation with an other wordly wisdom and artistry.”
Ms. López’ 2021-2022 season includes several engagements ranging from opera performances to keynote speaking. Appearances include: Hanna Glawari in Opera Idaho’s production of The Merry Widow; soprano soloist in Opera Idaho’s “Opera in the Park” concert and Handel’s Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic; Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Utah Symphony, and a return to the Zomeropera in Belgium singing Cio-Cio San in their production of Madama Butterfly. Cecilia also returns to Opera Orlando, where she reprises Violetta in their production of La traviata and Virginia Opera, where she will début the role of Beatrice in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. Additionally, Ms. López will be an Artist in Residence at the University of Central Arkansas and will present recitals for Opera Orlando, Sun Valley Opera, Opera Idaho, New Mexico Performing Arts Society, JUMP Center in Boise, Idaho and Chamber Music Silicon Valley. Cecilia will also be a keynote speaker for the Migrant Student Leadership Institute as well as the 9th Annual Women and Leadership Conference, where previous speakers have included Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor and Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell. Upcoming engagements for the 2022-2023 season include “Celebrando a Mexico” with Opera Idaho, a Violetta cover assignment and concert appearances with Houston Grand Opera, and a role début of the title role in Rusalka with Opera Idaho.
Despite the halting effects of COVID-19 in the opera industry, Ms. López’ 2020-2021 season included both virtual and live recitals with Opera Idaho, Opera Las Vegas, Austin Opera, Opera Southwest, Chatter ABQ, Opera America, Madison Opera and Opera Colorado. Ms. López was also a featured soprano soloist in the world premier of Mi Camino, a virtual project with Opera Cultura, and made her company début with Pacific Symphony singing Violetta in their virtual production of La traviata. Ms. López also presented virtual Masterclasses with UC Boulder and The University of Montana.
In past seasons, Ms. López has made several role débuts including her now critically acclaimed role of Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Idaho, Virginia Opera and Opera Las Vegas, the title role in Massenet’s Manon with Opera Idaho, Nedda in I pagliacci with Opera Colorado, Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello with LoftOpera, Maria in West Side Story with Opera Idaho, Marguerite in Faust with Opera Omaha, Mimì in La bohème with Opera Orlando, Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas with Florida Grand Opera, Beatrice Russo in Il Postino with Opera Southwest and Opera Saratoga, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Tampa, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow with Opera Saratoga, Lucy in Fellow Travelers with Prototype Opera Festival, the title role of Suor Angelica with Opera San Luis Obispo, Magda in La rondine with Skylark Opera Theatre, Gilda in Rigoletto with Opera Idaho, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera Tampa and Opera Las Vegas. In addition to these débuts, she reprised the role of Micaëla in Carmen with Madison Opera and joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their 2015 production of The Merry Widow.
Solo concert performances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, and Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society. Additionally, Ms. López has performed as a soloist at the reopening of the Idaho Museum of Natural History gala, various Christmas concerts with Madison Symphony, and as a featured soloist in concerts with the Boise Philharmonic, Austin Opera, and the prestigious Bard SummerScape Music Festival.
Ms. López also completed a two-year-tenure as a Soprano Resident Artist at Opera San José where she performed Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Leonora in Il trovatore, the title role in Suor Angelica, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Nannetta in Falstaff, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly.
Additionally, Ms. López is an alum of the Caramoor Music Festival where she covered the role of Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes. She is also an alum of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival where she sang the title role in their production of L’incoronazione di Poppea. Her début of the role of Violetta in La traviata, was with Martina Arroyo Foundation’s prestigious summer festival, Prelude to Performance.
In January 2021, Opera Idaho appointed Ms. López as the company’s first Artistic Advisor. “Known to Opera Idaho audiences primarily through her appearances in operas over the last six-plus years, Cecilia takes on added responsibilities to advise and advocate for expanded repertoire, provide insights on diversity in artistic practices and community initiatives, and collaborate with senior management in identifying and securing financial support for the company. Cecilia will work closely with General Director Mark Junkert in helping shape the future of Opera Idaho,” the company reported on their website.
‘When I think of someone, active in the field as a performer who both knows what’s happening in the field nationally and internationally and knows our state, Cecilia is the perfect fit for the position. Many opera companies have similar positions, and it is a sign of Opera Idaho’s growth that we’re able at this point in our history to add an Artistic Advisor.’ —Mark Junkert, General Director, Opera Idaho
Recently, Ms. López became the recipient of an Idaho State Concurrent Resolution honoring her life as an Idahoan and her work in the world of opera.
“We should be so very proud of Cecilia Violetta López. She exemplifies all that is what America is about: apply yourself, work hard, dream big, and you can achieve those dreams. She tells every Idaho girl and boy that they, too, can succeed … no matter where they came from, no matter how small they may start out, no matter how long their journey may appear to be. Idaho should be so very proud of this young lady and should hold her up as an example of what all Idaho children might achieve.” —Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb.
Ms. López, “The Daughter of Idaho,” a Mexican-American native of Rupert, Idaho, is featured in two Idaho state museums and got her musical start at a young age singing mariachi music that she learned from her mother.
Soprano Meechot Marrero has been called, “a revelation…a young Puerto Rican star with a great career ahead” (El Nuevo Día). A member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin ensemble, the 2021-2022 season (Ms. Marrero’s sixth with the company) brings three role debuts: Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Woglinde in Götterdämmerung, and Musetta in La Bohème. The season will also include repeat performances of Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. Additional season engagements include Ms. Marrero’s debuts in Spain and Portugal as Gretel in a concert version of Hänsel und Gretel with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain, and Adina in L’elisir d’Amore with Plateia Protagonista in Portugal. She also reprises Carmina Burana in the 2022 Gala Concert at Sun Valley Music Festival and returns to the Grand Teton Music Festival to sing Musetta in La Bohème with Sir Donald Runnicles conducting.
Ms. Marrero’s 2020-2021 season included several role debuts at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: Nannetta in Falstaff, Biancofiore in a new production of Francesca da Rimini by Christof Loy (recorded on DVD for Naxos), and Tebaldo in Don Carlo. Other engagements included a recital with Joel Prieto and the role of Rosaura in the zarzuela Los Gavilanes with CulturArte de Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.
Roles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin during the 2019-2020 season included Liù in Turandot, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, a role debut of Micäela in Carmen, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Jano in Jenůfa. In the same season, Ms. Marrero reprised Cunegonde in Candide at the Komische Oper Berlin and Carmina Burana under the baton of Sir Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Music Festival.
During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Marrero made her role and house debut as Cunegonde in Candide at the Komische Oper Berlin in a new production by Barrie Kosky, and also performed the role at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. She also appeared as Maria in West Side Story, first with Sir Donald Runnicles and the Grand Teton Music Festival (where the score was performed in its entirety), followed by a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story Suite No. 1 with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Ms. Marrero reprised the roles of Adele in Die Fledermaus and Bianca in La Rondine, and debuted the roles of Liù in Turandot, the Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Micäela in Carmen and Xenia in Boris Godunov, among others.
In previous seasons at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Ms. Marrero also performed Adele, Frasquita in Carmen, Woglinde in Das Rheingold, Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, Papagena, Princess Nicoletta in The Love for Three Oranges, the Page in Rigoletto, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Modestina in Il viaggio a Reims, First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Bianca and Gabriela in La Rondine. She is also a frequent guest at the Savannah Voice Festival, where her roles have included Juliette in Roméo et Juliette and Lucy England in Menotti’s The Telephone.
Ms. Marrero has enjoyed many engagements in Puerto Rico, performing with the Festival Casals as Trujamán in de Falla’s El retablo del Maese Pedro, Despina in Così fan tutte with the Teatro de la Opera, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Concepción in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, and Rafaela in Vásquez’ La Mina de Oro with the Teatro Repertorio, UPRRP. Concert engagements have included soprano soloist with the Festival Casals in Menotti’s Muero porque no muero, de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Coro de Niños de San Juan and Haydn’s Creation with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Bayamón.
During her education at Yale School of Music and in the early years of her career, Ms. Marrero performed Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Yale Opera, Despina in Così fan tutte with Teatro de la Opera in Puerto Rico, Rosina in Barbiere si Siviglia and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Savannah Voice Festival, and Norina in Don Pasquale at Opera in Williamsburg in Virginia. Concert appearances included Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Messiah with the Hartford Chorale in Connecticut.
A native of Corozal, Puerto Rico, Ms. Marrero is the recipient of the Career Bridges grant from the Schuyler Foundation, and the Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize from the Yale School of Music. She began her musical studies with the San Juan Children’s Choir, and, after studying molecular biology at the University of Puerto Rico, completed a Bachelor of Music from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory (where she graduated as the Valedictorian of her class) and a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music at Yale University. In addition to her vocal training, Ms. Marrero has trained in ballet for 10 years, jazz dance for 13 years and Latin dance since birth.
Soprano Melody Moore is enjoying a thriving career on the world’s leading stages, prompting Opera News to label her “a revelation,” and of her sold-out appearance at Carnegie Hall to rave, “As I left the auditorium, I could only think: more of Moore, please.”
Ms. Moore enjoyed a triumphant return to LA Opera during the 2021-2022 season, repeating her tremendous success in the role of Amneris in Verdi’s Aida opposite Latonia Moore in the title role and tenor Russell Thomas as Radames. Concert highlights of the season included Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Juraj Valčuha and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, with Sir Donald Runnicles at the helm. The season also saw the release of Moore’s interpretation of the title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (available on Pentatone), and the recording of a critically acclaimed concert of Puccini’s Tosca, captured live in Berlin, Germany. Ms. Moore continued to remain active in the recording studio throughout the season, marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary soprano Renata Tebaldi with an album featuring selections from the Italian repertoire for which she was most famous (to be released in 2023), and singing Kathie/Linford in the world premiere recording of Gordon Getty’s opera, Goodbye, Mr. Chips. In the fall of 2022, Moore will make a much-anticipated return to San Francisco Opera as Mère Marie in the Olivier Py production of Dialogues des Carmélites.
Despite a number of postponements and cancelled productions due to COVID closures, the 2020-2021 season offered Ms. Moore an opportunity to focus on recording projects, and that season’s resulting releases of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West (both released on the Pentatone label) have been widely praised by reviewers and consumers alike.
Highlights of the 2019-2020 season included her debut as Amneris in a new production of Aida at the Houston Grand Opera. Concert highlights included her debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Das klagende Lied under the baton of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Moore returned to Houston Grand Opera to reprise the roles of Senta in the season opening production of Die fliegende Holländer led by Music Director Patrick Summers, and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in a new production by Kasper Holten, and returned to LA Opera for a role debut as Gertrude in Hänsel and Gretel under the baton of Music Director James Conlon. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Dresdner Philharmonie in the roles of Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, both of which were recorded for commercial release by Pentatone. Ms. Moore also sang Senta with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Edo de Waart, enjoyed a debut with the Grant Park Music Festival for Delius’ A Mass of Life, and sang the title role in Salome in Daegu, South Korea. In the 2017-2018 season, Moore made three major role debuts: Elisabetta in Don Carlo at Washington National Opera; the title role in Salome at Florida Grand Opera; and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre, as well as singing her signature roles of Tosca in a return to Opéra de Montréal and Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer in a new production by Tomer Zvulun at The Atlanta Opera. Her portrayal of Desdemona in a full recording of Verdi’s Otello was also released by Pentatone.
Other recent career highlights include a house and role debut at Seattle Opera in the title role of Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová; appearances with San Francisco Opera in the title role of Tosca, Susan Rescorla in Heart of a Soldier, Mimì in La bohème, and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro; Houston Grand Opera as Julie in Show Boat, Marta in the American premiere of Weinberg’s The Passenger, the title role in Carmen, Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Washington National Opera as the title role of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Phillip Glass’ Appomatox, and in Francesca Zambello’s highly acclaimed production of Wagner’s full Ring cycle; LA Opera as Tosca, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and in productions of Der Zwerg and Der Zerbrochene Krug; Opéra de Montréal as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly; Glimmerglass Festival as Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth and Senta in Der fliegende Hollände; Lincoln Center Festival in The Passenger; English National Opera as Mimi and as Marguerite in Faust; New York City Opera as Rita Clayton in the New York premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and as Regine St. Laurent in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna; and Austin Lyric Opera as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer. Additional performances include the title roles of Manon Lescaut at New Orleans Opera, Tosca with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Opéra de Bordeaux; and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with The Atlanta Opera and Opera Colorado. On the concert stage, Ms. Moore has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for Bruckner’s Te Deum led by Music Director Donald Runnicles; Bard SummerScape Festival as the title role in Turandot; Bavarian Radio Symphony in performances and a recording of excerpts of Gordon Getty’s opera, Plump Jack, conducted by Ulf Shirmer and with the New Century Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. She has joined Rufus Wainwright for gala concerts at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.
A Masters of Music graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Melody Moore is a former Adler Fellow of San Francisco Opera and an alumni of the prestigious Merola program.
Of Amber Wagner’s last-minute July 2022 Hollywood Bowl debut in Act 3 of Wagner’s DIE WALKÜRE (lead by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic), Opera News reported, “Perhaps the finest vocal moment of the evening was Sieglinde’s outburst of praise for Brünnhilde, sung with spellbinding radiance by Amber Wagner.” Additionally, The New York Times has described her as possessing a “powerful, gleaming and richly expressive voice [which] was ideal for the music” (in their review of Wagner’s DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at The Metropolitan Opera).
Recent and forthcoming engagements include a rare opportunity for Ms. Wagner to show her considerable comedic talents as Ruth in Cincinnati Opera’s THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE in the summer of 2022, a return to her Wagnerian roots as Brangäne in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with Seattle Opera in the fall of 2022, and the role of Elisabeth in a concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Andris Nelsons featuring Act 3 of TANNHÄUSER (winter 2022) and a semi-staged production of TANNHÄUSER with Opera Australia (spring 2023).
2018-2019 season highlights included Giorgetta in Puccini’s IL TABARRO at The Metropolitan Opera, Turandot with Opera Australia, Sieglinde in DIE WALKÜRE with Oper Frankfurt and a Tanglewood concert performance of the same under the baton of Andris Nelsons (which garnered universal praise, including this observation from Operatoday.com: “The most memorable performance came from…Oregonian Amber Wagner. Not since the great Austrian soprano Leonie Rysanek retired the role of Sieglinde thirty-five years ago have I heard anyone approach the character with such a combination of power and emotion…Her command ranges from a girlish yet perfectly focused tone to a massive all-enveloping forte that effortlessly surrounds thousands in a sprawling open-air venue. And, just when one thinks she has reached her limit, she expands the voice further and soars rapturously through musical climaxes.”)
In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Wagner reprised the role of Sieglinde in Wagner’s DIE WALKÜRE in concert with Sir Andrew Davis at the Edinburgh Festival in summer 2017. Again under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, she returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of TURANDOT, a role she debuted with Vancouver Opera earlier in the season. She also made her debut in the title role of AIDA with Opera Australia and reprised Senta in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER in Rome with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Mikko Franck conducting, as well as in Turin with the National RAI Symphony Orchestra with James Conlon. In addition, she returned to the Oregon Symphony to sing Verdi’s REQUIEM under the baton of Carlos Kalmar. In the 2016-2017 season, Wagner made her Australian debut with Opera Australia as Sieglinde and returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Senta, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin to great critical acclaim. Ms. Wagner also made her New York recital debut with the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library.
Ms. Wagner’s 2015-2016 season included a debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in the title role of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, opposite Jonas Kaufmann and conducted by Kirill Petrenko, a role she later reprised in the season for her company debuts with Minnesota Opera and Palm Beach Opera. She also returned to Oper Frankfurt for Senta and Sieglinde. On the concert stage, Ms. Wagner performed Verdi’s REQUIEM with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Asher Fisch, as well as a concert of select Wagner works with the Minnesota Orchestra, also conducted by Asher Fisch. With the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, she performed several Strauss Lieder and Mahler’s SYMPHONY NO. 4, and appeared in recital with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton under the auspices of the Tucson Desert Song Festival and Arizona Opera.
In the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Wagner returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for role debuts as Leonora in Verdi’s IL TROVATORE conducted by Asher Fisch, and as Elisabeth in Wagner’s TANNHÄUSER conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Orchestral engagements included Verdi’s REQUIEM, her debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice conducted by Philippe Auguin, and the Houston Symphony conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada; an all-Wagner program with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Beethoven’s SYMPHONY NO. 9 with the Russian National Orchestra at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole, and Senta in a concert performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, conducted by James Conlon.
Other operatic engagements of note include her European debut with the Prague State Opera as Brangäne in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE; appearances as Elsa in LOHENGRIN with Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; Elsa and Senta with the Savonlinna Opera Festival; Leonora in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO at Washington National Opera in a new production directed by Francesca Zambello, and her return as Amelia in Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA conducted by Fabio Luisi; the title role in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS at Lyric Opera of Chicago and in concert performances at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, both conducted by Mo. Davis, as well as with the Canadian Opera Company, and Sieglinde at Oper Frankfurt conducted by Sebastian Weigle. Symphonic highlights include Verdi’s REQUIEM with the Melbourne Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis, as well as with the Taipei Symphony, Pacific Chorale, Kansas City Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and Grant Park Music Festival; Strauss’ VIER LETZTE LIEDER with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Spokane Symphony, and Oregon Symphony; a concert of Strauss songs with L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice; Mahler’s SYMPHONY NO. 8 with the Aspen Music Festival conducted by Robert Spano; Sieglinde in Act 1 in concert performances of DIE WALKÜRE with the Colorado Symphony; and Beethoven’s SYMPHONY NO. 9 with the Grant Park Music Festival and Rossini’s STABAT MATER with the Oregon Symphony. Ms. Wagner also participated in The Metropolitan Opera’s summer concert series in Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City, and in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Millennium Park concert, where she sang excerpts from CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA.
Amber Wagner is a winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Grand Finals, Liederkranz Foundation Competition, and recipient of a Richard Tucker Career Grant Award, Kirsten Flagstad Award from the George London Foundation, and Sullivan Foundation Career Grant. She was also the first place winner of the Palm Beach Opera and Palm Springs Opera Guild Competitions, winner of the Lynne Harvey Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women, and winner of the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition. As part of her participation in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Wagner was also featured in the documentary The Audition. She is a native of California.
Recently a winner of the 2022 Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition and District/Regional Winner in the Laffont Competition, Korean-American mezzo-soprano Alice Chung is rapidly being recognized for her “operatic tonal glamour” (Parterre) and being “a force of nature with a sound both powerful and appealing” (San Francisco Classical Voice).
In the Spring of 2022, Ms. Chung made her company and role debut at Hawaii Opera Theatre as Suzukiin Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. She also covered the role of Granny Jiain Dream of the Red Chamber in San Francisco Opera’s co-production with the Hong Kong Arts Festival and was invited to return and cover the role of Suzuki with San Francisco Opera in the summer of 2023. She will also enjoy a debut with Arizona Opera as the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte during the 2022-2023 season.
A graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts, Ms. Chung has performed with Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. A few role credits include La zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Ježibaba (Rusalka), Die Hexe (Hänsel und Gretel), Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), Larina (Eugene Onegin), Eduige (Rodelinda), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), and Mariana (Luisa Fernanda). On the concert stage, she has sung with the Kansas City Symphony, Bucks County Symphony and, most recently, the Naples Philharmonic at Artis-Naples. Concert credits include Duruflé’s Requiem, Op. 9, Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky Op. 78, and Beethoven’s Fantasia, Op. 8 and Mass in C Major, Op. 86.
As a 2017 and 2019 alumnus, Ms. Chung has garnered attention from the San Francisco audience through the prestigious Merola Opera Program, during which she was acclaimed for her excerpted portrayals of Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Augusta Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Azucena (Il trovatore) for her “riveting dramatic intensity” by Parterre, and a “ringing, magisterial” Gertrude (Hamlet) by the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2020, she returned for her Schwabacher Debut Recital, presented by the Merola Opera Program in conjunction with the San Francisco Opera. A lover of collaboration and recital and chamber music, Ms. Chung has worked with several contemporary composers, premiering new works as well as performing well-loved pieces such as Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, Brahms’s Zwei Gesänge, Op.91 and Bridge’s Three Songs with Viola and Piano.
Ms. Chung has been an honored recipient of numerous grants as well as a winner of various competitions. During 2020 and 2021, she was awarded the Richard F. Gold Career Grantby the Shoshana Foundation, won First Place in the Cooper-Bing Competition, placed Third in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition and was a winner of the 2021 William Matheus Sullivan Foundation Audition Awards. She has also won awards through the Orpheus Vocal Competition (2020), Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition (2018), the Metropolitan National Council Auditions (2018 Second Prize Midwest Regionals), Chautauqua Opera Guild (2015), and Pasadena Opera Guild (2014).
During her time offstage, Ms. Chung works with several nonprofit organizations in the industry. She is a founder of Wear Yellow Proudly, an arts and advocacy initiative devoted to bringing awareness to Asian culture by showcasing and celebrating Asian art and artists worldwide. Ms Chung also collaborates with The OmniARTS Foundation Inc., an organization dedicated to the cultivation of interdisciplinary art through new work commissions, arts education, and performance events.
One of the most celebrated artists of our time, in a career spanning over 45 years, Rosalind Plowright has sung at the major international theatres such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the Bavarian State Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Real, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest spinto sopranos, her colleagues included Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. Conductors with whom she has worked include Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sylvain Cambreling, Mark Elder, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Michael Gielen, Carlo Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Gustav Kuhn, Charles Mackerras, Riccardo Muti, Roger Norrington, Kazushi Ono, Seiji Ozawa, Giuseppe Patané, Antonio Pappano, David Parry, Jérémie Rhorer, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Ulf Schirmer, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Jeffrey Tate.
In 1999, she entered the mezzo-soprano repertoire, and has since sung roles such as Principessa di Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur, La Madre in Il Prigioniero, Kostelnicka in Jenufa, Mila’s Mother in Osud, Marfa in Khovanschina, Mme de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Adelaide in Arabella, Klytämnestra in Elektra, Amneris in Aïda and Fricka in Das Rheingold / Die Walküre.
Ms. Plowright’s recordings include Il trovatore, La forza del destino, and Mahler Symphony No. 2, for Deutsche Grammophon, Mary Stuart, Hansel and Gretel, Elijah, Aïda and Otello for Chandos, Les contes d’Hoffmann for EMI and La vestale for Orfeo. Her solo recital disc La Belle Dame Sans Merci, a program which she performed at the Buxton Festival, is also available on Romeo Records. Performances available on DVD include Andrea Chénier from both the Bregenz Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Hänsel und Gretel from The Metropolitan Opera, Dialogues des Carmélites from the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Suor Angelica from Teatro Alla Scala, Il trovatore from the Arena di Verona and Not the Messiah with the Monty Python team.
Ms. Plowright made her Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2018 as The Old Baroness in Vanessa. Engagements during the 2018-2019 season included Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, Mila’s Mother in Osud and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera North, Mamma Lucia for Gothenburg Opera, Mme de la Haltière in Cendrillon for Angers Nantes Opera and Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera for Opera Holland Park. During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Plowright appeared as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, which she also sings on Lise Davidsen’s recital for Universal Classics and at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. Engagements during the 2021-2022 season include Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes at both Teatro La Fenice and the Theater an der Wien, her debut with Norwegian National Opera as Grandmother Burjovka in Jenufa, and appearances with the Festival Castel Artès as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas and a recital of Kurt Weill songs.
Her current repertoire includes Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes, The Old Baroness in Vanessa, La contessa di Coigny – Madelon in Andea Chénier, Kabanicha in Kát’a Kabanova, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon, Mme de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites, La zia principessa in Suor Angelica, Klytämnestra in Elektra, The Countess in The Queen of Spades and Mme Arvidson in Un ballo in maschera.
Additional recent engagements have included Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes at the Theater an der Wien and the Opéra National de Lyon, Contessa di Coigny / Madelon in Andrea Chénier at the Bregenz Festival, Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica for Opera Holland Park and Seattle Opera, Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites at the Dutch National Opera and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Herodias in Salome for Portland Opera, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera for the Dorset Opera Festival and Mary in Der fliegende Holländer at Teatro Alla Scala, The Baroness in Vanessa for Wexford Festival Opera, Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chénier at the Bayrerische Staatsoper, Mila’s Mother in Osud and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera North, Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova at the Staatsoper Berlin, Klytämnestra in Elektra at the National Theatre, Prague, and The Countess in The Queen of Spades for Opera Holland Park.
In 2007, Ms. Plowright was granted the order of Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to music.
QAM proudly represents Ms. Plowright in North America.
Tenor Nathan Granner has enjoyed a unique and diverse performing career which has allowed him to leverage his distinctive timbre and impressive range in a multitude of projects and productions.
Granner’s early studies included training with Utah Festival Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera Center. Granner was also a semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City. During one whirlwind period which showcased his varied interests and versatility, Nathan was singing on the stage of the Met, played his first rock performance in a popular Orlando bar, and was signed to a recording contract by Sony Classical. Between it all, he sang Camille in The Merry Widow at Light Opera Oklahoma and Beppe in I Pagliacci with Opera Tampa under the baton of Anton Coppola.
Other early career engagements for Mr. Granner included Nemorino at Lyric Opera Kansas City and Remus at Opera Theater Saint Louis. He also sang with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Irish Radio Orchestra, the Handel/Haydn Society, and Kansas City Symphony performing the tenor parts in the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Elijah, Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah and a number of Bach Cantatas (collaborating regularly with the Bach Aria Soloists).
In the early 2000s, Nathan was a founding member of The American Tenors, whose Sony Masterworks Classical album reached top five in the classical crossover charts. He has also toured extensively with classical guitarist Beau Bledsoe, singing new arrangements of lieder and chanson, authentic Flamenco, Tango, Turkish music and new compositions.
Granner’s unique versatility and easy command of varying styles of compositions has lead to engagements creating numerous new opera roles for an extensive range of works including Kanye West in Fair Looks and True Obedience, to Aubrey Wells in Today it Rains and the Pulitzer prize-winning Korey Wise in The Central Park Five.
Most recently, Mr. Granner has achieved critical success in a challenging and unique mix of roles and works including a debut of Verdi’s Alfredo with both Fort Worth Opera and Opera Santa Barbara, an on-film and studio soundtrack recording of the title role in Gordon Getty’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and Rob Hall in the award-winning animated film Everest, produced by Opera Parallèle and presented by The Dallas Opera.
New roles for the upcoming season will include Don Ottavio, Don José, Cavaradossi, and Bill Watson in Paul Moravec’s The Shining.
Mr. Granner is fiercely devoted to various philanthropic efforts, and has performed at dozens of charitable fundraisers with David Foster and Friends. In the process, he has helped to raise tens of millions of dollars to fund the researching of cures for Parkinson’s disease and cancer, and for aid in the areas of children’s health, wildlife conservation and substance abuse.
Nathan is also an avid karaoke devotee and a certified Bohemian.
GRAMMY winner and Author Jay Hunter Morris first stepped into the national spotlight when he created the role of Tony in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play Master Class on Broadway in 1995. And then, as documented in Susan Froemke’s Wagner’s Dream, he made shockwaves throughout the opera world in 2011 after stepping in at the eleventh hour to sing the title role in Siegfried at The Metropolitan Opera as part of their new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, directed by Robert Lepage. That production was broadcast live to cinemas worldwide and earned a GRAMMY award for Best Opera Recording.
Firmly established as one of the world’s leading heldentenors, Jay went on to sing Siegfried in Budapest at the Wagner Days Festival, and again with Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera(with Sir Donald Runnicles conducting). Ensuing successes included his first Tristan in Valencia (under the baton of Zubin Mehta), and Schoenberg’s Guerre-Lieder at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Kent Nagano. His portrayal of Teague in Higdon’s Cold Mountain has also earned him an additional two GRAMMY nominations, and he has created roles in eight world premiere operas.
Other notable roles and appearances for Mr. Morris have included a PBS Great Performances broadcast of Ahab in Moby Dick (a role that he also repeated with both Dallas Opera and LA Opera); performances of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony (at Carnegie Hall), and in Rome with the composer conducting; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Taiwan Philharmonic; Tristan under the direction of Mariusz Treliński in Beijing; Erik in Der fliegende Holländer with the Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera and Atlanta Opera, and Aegisth in Elektra with The Metropolitan Opera. Most recently, he was seen as Macheath in Atlanta Opera’s production of The Threepenny Opera (2021) and a role that has become his calling card—Herod in Strauss’ Salome—at Bard Conservatory’s Fisher Center (2022) and with Tulsa Opera (2022).