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ROSTER

SUMMER 2015 Eric Melear & Louisa Muller Return to The Trap as a Team page 13 2015 Artist in Residence Michelle DeYoung Looks Forward to Mentoring a New Generation page 10 Former Studio Artists Return to WTO as Headliners page 11


INSIDE THE ROSTER PERFORMANCES and EVENTS Madama Butterfly....................3 The Marriage of Figaro.........5 The Count’s Most Awkward Moment...............6 The Ghosts of Versailles....... 7 Setting a Marriage with Ghosts.............................8 Verdi’s Aida in Concert.........9 Recitals & More........................12 Master Class & Artist Panel.........Back Cover

THE PEOPLE OF WTO Alumni Report...........................11 He Said / She Said.................13 Studio Artists Return as Headliners!....................... 14 Filene Young Artists............. 16 Studio Artists..........................20 Community Voices................22 Donors & Housing Hosts... 23

CALENDAR...............................21

The Things We Do For Love The true unifying theme of a Wolf Trap Opera season is always the same: showcasing the exciting emerging professional singers we discover on our nationwide audition tour. We select our seasonal operas in response to their individual talents, and they themselves are the most important thread running through each summer. But occasionally, after we’ve identified those artists, a secondary theme emerges. When we sat back to contemplate this summer’s repertoire, we realized that the protagonists of the 2015 season operas have something in common: they will do anything for love. For the sake of his Susanna, Figaro defies authority in a way that foreshadows an entire revolution. Beaumarchais rewrites history to save a woman who doesn’t return his love. Aida makes the ultimate sacrifice for her condemned Radamès. And Cio-Cio San renounces her family and her culture for the dashing American who brings her a glimmer of hope. We can talk a little about real-life love this summer (as opposed to showmances, which I’m sure never happen here!), for our Ghosts of Versailles. Director Louisa Muller and conductor Eric Melear were members of Wolf Trap Opera in 2006 and 2007. They return to the Trap to bring to life an epic tale of love across generations and planes of existence, and will also, coincidentally, celebrate the fourth anniversary of their marriage. New love, love lost, love bartered and stolen, unrequited and found anew—we have a flavor for every taste. And we’d love to see you at the opera this summer! Kim Pensinger Witman Senior Director Wolf Trap Opera & Classical Programming

wolftrap.org/opera • opera.wolftrap.org

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Special thanks to Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, 2015 Wolf Trap Opera Season Underwriters.


OPERA

GIACOMO PUCCINI

MADAMA BUTTERFLY Friday, August 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm National Symphony Orchestra Choral Arts New Operascape Production Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts In Italian with English supertitles in-house Approximate running time: 3 hours including one intermission Pre-Performance Discussion on the Old Farmhouse Lawn at 7:15 pm

There are several simultaneous layers of storytelling that make Madama Butterfly a tricky opera, for the producer and the audience alike. The tragic love story between Cio-Cio San and Pinkerton forms the opera’s center, and it is influenced by the actions of the West, the East, and by the cultural mores that complicate the story from both American and Japanese perspectives. This tale of a young woman, who walks away from her family and traditions into the arms of a handsome American Lieutenant, is at once an intimate portrayal of two lovers and a symbolic representation of the West’s effects on Eastern culture and tradition. In 1854 the Treaty of Kanagawa was signed, ending Japanese isolationism. (Other things happening in 1854: The Crimean War began and Florence Nightingale was sent to serve; territories of Kansas and Nebraska were created; Smith and Wesson patented metal bullet cartridges; and Thoreau published Walden.) Commodore Perry of the U.S. Navy opened up the island nation’s culture and commerce to Western nations. For the United States, it was simply a step towards manifest destiny, but for the Japanese it was a sign that they had fallen behind; they couldn’t compete with the American warships, as their military consisted of samurai and swords.

In the years following the opening of Japan, Japanese handicrafts and art objects started to spread to the Western world, and the influence can’t be overstated. Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh, and Degas all referenced Japanese culture; literature was not far behind in assimilating cultural elements. In 1898, a Philadelphia lawyer named John Luther Long wrote a serial short story about an innocent geisha girl, Cho-Cho-San, who was a “temporary wife” to American Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. (Long’s story was likely influenced by Madama Chrysanthème by Pierre Loti.) It was adapted for the stage—some of the dialogue verbatim—by playwright David Belasco. Puccini saw Belasco’s play in London and brought it to the attention of his librettists, Giacosa and Illica. At its heart, the story is a perfect foil for Puccini’s warm, highly emotional music. In short, an American soldier takes a young Japanese woman as his wife. For him, it is a temporary arrangement. For her, the arrangement is permanent. She is forced to leave her family behind, and in turn, they disown

Special thanks to Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, 2015 Wolf Trap Opera Season Underwriters, and Virginia McGehee Friend and Ed and Andy Smith, Performance Sponsors.

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OPERA her. The soldier leaves, the geisha bears his son and waits faithfully for him. When he returns, married to an American woman, the young geisha is placed in an untenable situation. (Spoiler alert: the ending is not terribly happy.) In setting Madama Butterfly, Puccini relied heavily on the exotic sounds of pentatonic (five tone) and whole tone scales, and used transcriptions of Japanese melodies. He spent time with the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to Rome, to solidify details of the music and Japanese culture. The Japanese national anthem, “Kimigayo,” accompanies the wedding scene; in contrast, the opening melody of the Star-Spangled Banner, by Francis Scott Key, accompanies Pinkerton in the first act and throughout the opera.

CAST Cio-Cio San...................................... Alexandra Loutsion Lt. B.F. Pinkerton....................................Robert Watson Sharpless.................................................... Joo Won Kang Suzuki.............................................................. J’nai Bridges Goro............................................................. David Margulis The Bonze......................................................... Evan Boyer Kate Pinkerton.................................... Grace Newberry* Commissario............................................... Brandon Bell* Yakuside............................................W. Clay Thompson* Ufficiale............................................................Alex Rosen* Zia.................................................................... Nadia Fayad* Madre.................................................. Kaitlyn McMonigle* Cugina....................................................... Nicolette Book* Yamadori.......................................................... Ian Koziara* *Studio Artist

PRODUCTION STAFF Conductor...................................................Grant Gershon Director..........................................................Tara Faircloth Scenic Designer......................................Zane Pihlstrom Costume Designer.................................. Rooth Varland Video & Projection Designer.............. S. Katy Tucker Lighting Designer....................................... Mark Stanley Wig & Makeup Designer....................... Anne Nesmith Language Coach...................................... Franca Gorraz Musical Preparation...................................... Justina Lee Scenic design by Zane Pihlstrom

Joseph Li Josephine Riggs Production Stage Manager............... Michael Janney

There are reasons many of Puccini’s pieces are in the operatic canon—the melodies soar with grace, and the stories he chooses are intimate vignettes of lovers in difficult circumstances—for example, Rodolfo and Mimí, Tosca and Cavaradossi, Calaf and both Princess Turandot and Liù. Pinkerton and Butterfly seem very much in love (even if he is a bit domineering) and are forced to separate as Pinkerton is called back to duty. If the story had ended with him sailing into the distance, we could still imagine that there would be room for a happy ending. Madama Butterfly is a love story informed by a diplomatic action, the end of Japanese

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Supertitle Coordinator...............................Edward Kim

isolationism. Aside from music that is exceptionally easy on the ears, it’s a difficult tale for modern audiences—myself included. Unconditional love, honor, and duty seem to have somehow been replaced by Twitter and Facebook, impatience and immediate gratification, and all-consuming vanity. But a few short hours in the theatre with this noble young woman and Puccini’s soaring score reaffirms that both goodness and strength still exist. Lee Anne Myslewski


OPERA

W.A. MOZART

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO) Friday, June 12 at 7:30 pm Sunday, June 14 at 3 pm Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30 pm Saturday, June 20 at 7:30 pm New production at The Barns at Wolf Trap In Italian with English supertitles Approximate running time: 3 hours including one intermission Inside the Opera preshow talk begins one hour before curtain at the Center for Education

Can you believe that it’s been 29 years since Figaro got married at The Barns? Wolf Trap’s repertoire at The Barns is known for its embrace of undiscovered gems. But occasionally, we seize an opportunity to create a new production of a beloved opera from the standard repertoire. During our audition tour, we realized that we had at our fingertips the cast for a beautiful Figaro, and we challenged our design team to create a fresh new production in a traditional vein. Figaro is a true ensemble opera, requiring a cast of musical equals that is a perfect match for our young artist residency program. And the intimate nature of The Barns will reveal all of the secrets of the Almaviva household, during that one crazy day which culminates in a double wedding!

Costume design by Stephanie Cluggish

Kim Witman

CAST Figaro..................................................... Thomas Richards Susanna................................................... Talya Lieberman Count Almaviva................................Reginald Smith, Jr. Countess Almaviva............................... Kerriann Otaño Cherubino...................................................... Abigail Levis Bartolo.................................................Christian Zaremba Marcellina.......................................................... Jenni Bank Barbarina.........................................................Amy Owens Basilio............................................ Anthony Ciaramitaro* Curzio.......................................................Joshua Sanders* Antonio.............................................................Alex Rosen* *Studio Artist

PRODUCTION STAFF Conductor................................................... Kathleen Kelly Director................................................................David Paul Scenic Designer............................................ Wilson Chin Costume Designer........................ Stephanie Cluggish Lighting Designer.............................. Robert H. Grimes Wig & Makeup Designer....................... Anne Nesmith Language Coach...................................... Franca Gorraz Chorusmaster............................................ Grant Loehnig Musical Preparation..........................................Joseph Li

Edward Kim

Production Stage Manager............... Michael Janney Supertitle Coordinator...............................Peter Walsh

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OPERA

THE COUNT’S MOST AWKWARD MOMENT Kathleen Kelly conducts The Marriage of Figaro at The Barns A philandering man is face-to-face with his betrayed wife. We have watched him grope the servants and heard his aria (whose loose translation could be “if daddy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”). At the opera’s conclusion, out of options, out of bravado, he does the unthinkable: he kneels before his wife and asks forgiveness in a phrase of aching simplicity. No fireworks, no faking. “Contessa, perdono.” The sentence and the setting have inspired a thousand tributes. And every time we sing it, the audience...chuckles. Every. Time. It makes the folks who run opera companies crazy! We try and stage-manage worshipful silence: we change the supertitles, the blocking, the musical timing. Nothing works. And I think I know the reason why. Because it’s ridiculous. I mean, we’re not talking forgiveness for scratching the car! This is about the big betrayals. Truth: if the Contessa was my friend, I’d advise her to kick il Conte to the curb. Figaro and Susanna will cheer you on, I’d say. You deserve better. Once I was working on a production of Così fan tutte, the last great collaboration of Da Ponte and Mozart. The action concerns two couples who basically switch partners through a dare and a series of deceptions. When everything is revealed, the four young people are hurt and full of excuses. The instigator of it all offers up a bombshell: “Forgive! Get married!” But it’s not clear in the text at any point whether he means the couples pre- or post-switch. Our director wanted the original pairings, and the singers mutinied. They just couldn’t play something so unthinkable. “If someone betrayed me like this, I could never go back,” said the baritone, to vigorous agreement. Except, in real life? Every single one of those people had experienced betrayal, and every single one had forgiven.

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We come to the theatre for many reasons. One is to see what’s possible, to see a better version of ourselves. Another is to see ourselves unvarnished. Mozart wrote The Marriage of Figaro during a period of estrangement from his father. Where do we start in the catalogue aria of that relationship? On one side: a man drags his tiny son across Europe, forcing him to perform. On the other: a 21-year-old hides his mother’s death in Paris, lies that she lives, finally admits her death in a letter filled with chatter and gossip about his career. How do you ask forgiveness when it’s impossible? How do you give it? Truth: I laugh at “Contessa, perdono,” because I know instant forgiveness is impossible—but I have both given and received it. So, I suspect, have you all. Sometimes our only choice is to kneel, or to extend our hand, in humility, simplicity, and in faith that the action itself can make things new. The Count and Countess humble themselves utterly in public, and we laugh in recognition of what we have done in private. Our laughing isn’t all one color—there are shades of embarrassment, bitterness, joy, gratitude, surprise, and denial. But it’s all human, an understandable and even logical reaction to the improbable gift of grace. If there’s laughter tonight, I’ll know that this most optimistic of operas has worked its magic once again and that we marvel together at this moment’s exquisite vulnerability. We sit together not in worshipful silence, but in doubt and wonder and hope in the magic of forgiveness. Kathleen Kelly


OPERA

JOHN CORIGLIANO

THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES Friday, July 10 at 7:30 pm Sunday, July 12 at 3 pm Wednesday, July 15 at 7:30 pm Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 pm New production at The Barns at Wolf Trap In English with supertitles Approximate running time: 3 hours and 15 minutes including one intermission Inside the Opera preshow talk begins one hour before curtain at the Center for Education

The playwright Beaumarchais wrote three “Figaro” plays, and the first two are familiar to most opera lovers through their operatic adaptions by Rossini (The Barber of Seville) and Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro). In Barber, Figaro helps Count Almaviva woo the beautiful young Rosina. In Figaro (which takes place four years later), The Count and Rosina are in a loveless marriage, and Figaro is about to marry the love of his life, Susanna. The final play in the trilogy is much less well-known. The Guilty Mother takes place 20 years after Figaro and introduces a new generation of Almavivas. Florestine is the child of Count Almaviva and an unnamed Duchess, and Léon is the son of the Countess and the former pageboy Cherubino. There’s an important new character in the final play—the villain Bégearss, who is trying to steal the Almavivas’ fortune. The Ghosts of Versailles incorporates the characters and basic plot setup from The Guilty Mother as a play-within-a-play. In addition, there is a cast of ghosts from the Palace of Versailles, including the playwright Beaumarchais, whose intention is to rewrite history with the help of his fictional characters and save the life of Marie Antoinette. Composer John Corigliano matches his music to the various “worlds” of the story. The contrast helps delineate the story lines, which come into focus even more vividly with the juxtaposition of musical styles. Whenever Figaro

CAST Marie Antoinette ........................Melinda Whittington Beaumarchais ............................................Will Liverman Bégearss ...................................................Robert Watson Figaro.......................................................... Morgan Pearse Susanna ......................................................... Sarah Larsen Rosina .......................................................D’Ana Lombard Count Almaviva ...........................Frederick Ballentine Florestine.........................................................Amy Owens Léon............................................................. David Margulis Samira................................................................. Jenni Bank Louis XVI.................................................... Timothy Bruno Cherubino...................................................... Abigail Levis Suleyman Pasha.............................W. Clay Thompson* Woman with Hat........................................ Nadia Fayad* Marquis............................................................. Ian Koziara* Jaded Aristocrats at the Opera (Ghost Quartet)...................................... Christine Price* Grace Newberry*

Michael Anderson*

Thomas Glass*

Gossips..................................................... Nicolette Book*

Annalise Dzwonczyk*

Rebecca Claborn*

Wilhelm...................................................Joshua Sanders* English Ambassador............................... Brandon Bell* Ensemble.................................Alexandra Nowakowski*

Kaitlyn McMonigle*

Anthony Ciaramitaro*

Alex Rosen*

*Studio Artist

PRODUCTION STAFF Conductor..........................................................Eric Melear Director...........................................................Louisa Muller Scenic Designer............................................ Wilson Chin Costume Designer................................. David Woolard Lighting Designer.............................. Robert H. Grimes Wig & Makeup Designer....................... Anne Nesmith Chorusmaster.............................................. David Hanlon Musical Preparation................................Emily Senturia David Hanlon Peter Walsh Production Stage Manager............... Courtney Rizzo Supertitle Coordinator...............................Edward Kim

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OPERA

and his fictional friends are onstage, the music is neoclassical and Mozart-inspired, with some touches of 19th-century Romanticism. Rosina and Cherubino sing a duet that is reminiscent of the Susanna/Countess duet in Figaro and the “Soave sia il vento” trio in Così fan tutte. Figaro sings an entrance aria that feels like a mash-up of the Barber “Largo” and several of his arias from Figaro. And just for fun, he peppers these scenes with snippets of quotations from Rossini and Mozart arias, as well as the beginning of The Marriage of Figaro overture. When the ghosts themselves (Beaumarchais, Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and other members of the Versailles court) are singing, the musical language is

adventurous, atmospheric, and modern. Corigliano makes good use of the many expressive colors in his orchestration—strings, winds, extensive percussion, piano, harp, and synthesizer. I’ve been preparing feverishly for this production, and I found that Antonia Fraser’s biography of Marie Antoinette and Harlow Giles Unger’s “secret history” of Beaumarchais (Improbable Patriot) were particularly helpful. Visit the Ghosts web page on wolftrap.org/opera for some informative video podcasts, and don’t forget to come to my preshow talk! Kim Witman

SETTING A MARRIAGE WITH GHOSTS Wilson Chin Designs for Two Operas When I was approached about designing these shows, I primarily felt excitement! I love The Marriage of Figaro—it’s one of my favorite operas. I only knew of The Ghosts of Versailles through reputation. I hadn’t heard or seen it, so I felt a certain excitement about learning a new show, and designing something that still felt rare and new. The first opera I ever saw wasn’t Figaro, though. Not even close—it was an Alden brothers production of The Mother of Us All, so it was very avant-garde, very edgy. I remember thinking to myself “Is this what opera is like? Is ALL opera this crazy?” It allowed me an entrée into the art form that wasn’t steeped in tradition, which has allowed me to keep my designs feeling fresh and new, relevant. And while Figaro’s music really speaks to me—it’s so beautiful—the atmospheric elements of the Corigliano score give me a specific vocabulary that translates well into visual terms. When I start learning a piece, a big part of what I do is pull visual research—it allows

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me to have a conversation with the director about our respective visions more easily. I have a huge file of research. Whenever I see an image that speaks to me, in a magazine or book or on the street, I collect that page or take a photo and add it to my files. In looking into Ghosts, I relied heavily on a photography book that I own—Versailles by Valérie Bajou—that shows the palace being renovated. Seeing the history of the palace being stripped away and looking at these grand historical rooms in a modern context is the way I’ve approached the piece. I’m most excited about creating two productions that speak to each other, so that visually and musically they recall things. We’re going back to the source material for Figaro and placing it in a gritty Seville, but we’re framing it with a French proscenium to tie the piece in to Beaumarchais and the French aristocracy. When the audience comes back to see Ghosts, they’ll recognize that proscenium—it may look a little different, as the story and characters have aged 20 years in the space between our productions—but it’ll be recognizable. And they’ll feel like they’ve wandered into this very otherworldly sequel.

Wilson Chin


OPERA

GIUSEPPE VERDI

AIDA IN CONCERT Friday, July 24, 2015 at 8:15 pm Wolf Trap Opera Alumni National Symphony Orchestra The Washington Chorus Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Michelle DeYoung

Scott Hendricks

Marjorie Owens

Carl Tanner

In Italian with English supertitles in-house Approximate running time: 2 hours 45 minutes including one intermission Pre-Performance Discussion on the Farmhouse Lawn at 7:15 pm

There’s nothing better than making music with friends. Because Wolf Trap Opera is a small company that makes such a difference in young singers’ careers, there are bonds formed here that last a lifetime. So it’s probably no surprise that alumni of our summer program are overwhelmingly eager to return to “The Trap.” Our relatively new Artist in Residence program is one manifestation of the esteem in which our former young artists hold this company, and in summer 2015, we will embrace another kind of homecoming with Verdi’s Aida in Concert. This is my 30th anniversary summer at WTO (the first 12 as a pianist/coach, the last 18 as an administrator), and I have had the pleasure of working personally with three of the singers featured in our concert Aida. 2015 Artist in Residence Michelle DeYoung (more on the next page) was a Filene Young Artist in 1995, appearing as Cornelia in a stunning Giulio Cesare (conducted by Houston Grand Opera’s Patrick Summers and featuring a young Stephanie Blythe!). She came to us right on the heels of her three-season residency with the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program.

CAST Aida.............................................................Marjorie Owens Amneris................................................ Michelle DeYoung Radamès............................................................ Carl Tanner Amonasro................................................Scott Hendricks Ramfis.............................................................. Evan Boyer* Il Re..................................................... Christian Zaremba* High Priestess........................................Kerriann Otaño* Messenger..................................Anthony Ciaramitaro** *Filene Young Artist **Studio Artist

PRODUCTION STAFF Conductor.............................................. Daniele Callegari Musical Preparation...................................... Justina Lee Supertitle Coordinator...............................Peter Walsh Production Stage Manager............... Courtney Rizzo

The next season (1996), baritone Scott Hendricks took on his first Ford in Falstaff

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OPERA

at the Filene Center, and the following summer, a stunning Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro. (The latter of which was sung with a broken nose, resulting from a young artist touch football game outside Mrs. Shouse’s house! But I digress…) Then in 2005, soprano Marjorie Owens came to Wolf Trap after her residency with Houston Grand Opera Studio, to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at The Barns. That fall, she went into the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which rendered her unavailable for the next two summers. We were fortunate to welcome her back in 2008 though, for the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role that she has already sung multiple times in her career. This past winter, Marjorie sang her Aida debut at the Met and her Radamès was our own Carl Tanner. Carl was at Wolf Trap the summer before I arrived (1984), as a student apprentice (an early, brief precursor of what is now the Studio Artist program). He is an Arlington, VA native who was a bounty hunter and truck driver before embarking on an international opera career! Our Aida will be in concert, as the schedules of our busy alumni typically don’t allow the month-long residency required for a staged production. Although there is a tendency for some people to view concert opera in terms of what it omits (sets, costumes, props), those of us who love the glory of the human voice and the power of a good sung story understand the beauty of focusing only on the music. The power of the National Symphony Orchestra and The Washington Chorus, led by conductor Daniele Callegari in his Wolf Trap debut, will combine with the voices of our alumni quartet and a supporting cast of young artists. It shall be a magical and memorable night, and our imaginations will soar along with Verdi’s melodies!

Kim Witman

2015 Artist in Residence American mezzo-soprano and Wolf Trap Opera alumna Michelle DeYoung (1995) returns to Wolf Trap Opera as our 2015 Artist in Residence. She has already established herself as one of the most exciting artists of her generation. Equally at home on the operatic and concert stage, Michelle has multiple Grammy Awards to her credit. This season, Michelle makes her role debut as Herodias in Salome at Opera San Antonio and her house debut at Opera Philadelphia as Eboli in Don Carlo, and appears in concert with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Hong Kong and Seoul Philharmonics. “I wish people knew just how exceptional Wolf Trap Opera is. It’s a huge stepping stone for emerging singers and is such a special experience. It was an honor to be chosen as a Filene Young Artist! I only auditioned once, and was selected to perform Cornelia in Handel’s Julius Caesar with Mary Ann McCormick, Jorge Garza, Eric Owens, Gustav Andreassen, Emily Pulley, Christine Goerke, and Stephanie Blythe. I was there with an incredible group, and we had great fun putting the show together. It still ranks as one of my favorite productions. I learned a lot about stagecraft that summer, but perhaps more importantly, I learned that I had to work on my confidence—that what I had was unique and special. It’s so difficult to be true to yourself and your values, and not be influenced by others’ choices in this crazy business, but I started learning that lesson at Wolf Trap, and it’s served me well. I’d extend that advice to this year’s singers, as well—believe in yourself. You will never be perfect, but allow yourself to be the best you can. It’s a huge honor to be asked to return to Wolf Trap and mentor the 2015 Filene Young Artists. I love working with young artists that are hungry and willing. I’m very excited!” Michelle DeYoung

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Special thanks to Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, 2015 Wolf Trap Opera Season Underwriters, and the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation, 2015 Artist in Residence Program Underwriter.


ALUMNI

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? ALUMNI REPORT Wolf Trap Opera’s alumni have been busy this year! We have singers on the roster of every major American opera company, with many making important debuts.

Lost in In the The Stars Stars

2014 Artist in Residence Eric Owens (1994, 1995) won raves for his performances of the St. Matthew Passion with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. (We tried to see his performance at New York’s Park Avenue Armory when we were on the fall audition tour, but couldn’t get in—I can’t remember the last time I couldn’t get a ticket to an oratorio performance! It was a sad but wonderful thing.)

We had 17 alums in big roles at the Metropolitan Opera in 2014-2015, including mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (1995) as Baba the Turk and tenor Paul Appleby (2009, 2010) as Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Sopranos Tamara Wilson (2008) and Marjorie Owens (2005, 2008) both performed the title role in Verdi’s Aida. (Marjorie will reprise her role at the Filene Center with 2015 Artist in Residence Michelle DeYoung and the National Symphony Orchestra on July 24—don’t miss it!). Ailyn Pérez (2006) debuted her Micaëla in Carmen. Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey (2005, 2007) and soprano Erin Morley (2007, 2008) performed together as Nicklausse and Olympia in Tales of Hoffmann—you Kate Kate Lindsey Lindsey saw them together at The Barns as Lazuli and Laoula in Chabrier’s L’Etoile in 2007. And Nathan Gunn (1994, 1995) helmed the recent production of The Merry Widow. Coming up at the Met in the 2015–2016 season, tenor David Portillo (2009, 2010) will debut his Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville and tenor Benjamin Bliss (2013) will debut as Belmonte in Abduction from the Seraglio.

Want to catch some of our alums this upcoming season? You’ll have plenty of opportunities! In 2015-2016, tenor Lawrence Brownlee (2001) will sing Prince Ramiro in Lyric Opera Chicago’s production of La cenerentola (see page 19 for more on Larry!). Also in Chicago, sopranos Elizabeth Futral (1991) and Heidi Stober (2006) will sing Hanna Glawari and Valencienne, respectively, in The Merry Widow; mezzo Elizabeth DeShong (2008) will sing Fenena in Nabucco; and Eric Cutler (2000, 2001) will sing Romeo in Roméo et Juliette. Seattle Opera will stage Nabucco with alums Gordon Hawkins (1985,

Alumna Christine Goerke (1995) was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year. Among this season’s engagements are her first fully-staged performances of Die Walküre at both the Canadian Opera Company and Houston Grand Opera, and full Ring Cycles at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Houston Grand Opera. (We recently caught her downtown for the Washington National Opera production of Florencia en el Amazonas.)

1986) and Weston Hurt (2005, 2006) sharing the title role, with Jamie Barton (2009) as Fenena. Also at Seattle Opera, Keith Phares (2000, 2001), Maureen McKay (2005, 2006), and Joo Won Kang (2014, 2015) will appear in The Pearl Fishers, and Margaret Gawrysiak (2011, 2012) and Luretta Bybee (1985) will appear in The Marriage of Figaro and The Flying Dutchman, respectively. Scott Hendricks (1995, 1996) sings the title role in Eugene Onegin for Houston Grand Opera. Also at HGO, Heidi Stober and Ailyn Pérez sing Susanna and the Countess in Figaro.

There are so many more that we simply don’t have room to include, but suffice it to say that Wolf Trap Opera alumni are keeping very, very busy!

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RECITALS AND MORE Wolf Trap program. Then, during the audition tour, we match these ideas with the talents and sensibilities of the singers available for his recital cast. By the spring, we have a brand new concert tailored for our audience at The Barns!

THE RODGERS FAMILY—A CENTURY OF MUSICALS Saturday, August 1 at 3 pm Sunday, August 2 at 3 pm The Barns at Wolf Trap Approximate running time: 90 minutes with no intermission

One of the best parts of our partnership with Steve Blier is the opportunity to witness his creative process. Barely before the applause from each summer’s concert has died, we begin brainstorming his next

ARIA JUKEBOX Saturday, June 13 at 3 pm The Barns at Wolf Trap Complimentary wine & cheese reception and voting begins at 2 pm Approximate running time: 2 hours including one intermission

Opera meets Las Vegas…in all the best ways! Pierrot’s “Tanzlied” from Die tote Stadt by Erich Korngold is one of my very favorite arias. But aside from cueing up my iPod (or, truth be told, the occasional presentation on the audition tour) I don’t have frequent opportunity to hear it. There is, however, one day when I can stack the deck in my favor; this year, that day is June 13, the day of Aria Jukebox! As in years past, we’ll host a pre-performance reception for all

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This summer, Steve and a sextet of artists will explore the ongoing legacy of the musical Rodgers family. Patriarch Richard Rodgers began writing musicals almost 100 years ago (1920), and our August concert will include songs from his collaborations with Oscar Hammerstein II (Oklahoma!) and Lorenz Hart (The Boys from Syracuse). His daughter, Mary Rodgers, was a successful composer in her own right, and we’ll be treated to music from her bestknown musical, Once Upon a Mattress. The Rodgers family will bring us into the 21st century with Mary’s son, Adam Guettel, the composer of contemporary musicals like the Tony Award‑winning The Light in the Piazza. As is our new custom with Steve’s ticket holders in the Center for Education, where you can enjoy some refreshments, mingle with the singers, and peruse the repertoire available for the afternoon’s performance. Each singer will offer four selections for you to choose from; you’ll be given tokens to vote for your favorites, and you can stack the deck with spare change from your pockets or checks from your checkbook! Voting will conclude about 15 minutes prior to the start of the performance. We’ll let the singers and Kim Pensinger Witman— who leads the proceedings from the piano—know the winners just seconds before they perform.It’s an afternoon filled with adrenaline, laughter, and your favorite arias. I hope to see you at the reception—look for me wherever a baritone is offering Pierrot’s “Tanzlied”! Lee Anne Myslewski

concerts, he and the singers will perform from the floor level of The Barns, making for a particularly intimate and immersive afternoon. Kim Witman

STUDIO SPOTLIGHT An Evening of Opera Scenes Sunday, July 26 at 7:30 pm The Barns at Wolf Trap Approximate running time: 2 hours including one intermission

Directed by George Cederquist and conducted by Robert Mollicone, this scenes smorgasbord of operatic proportions has been selected in the same manner as the mainstage shows: by showcasing the unique talents of this year’s group of artists. Mozart, Rossini, and Puccini will be represented, as will some French repertoire, 20th and 21st-century masterworks, and even some operetta. The competition for the Studio was particularly fierce this year, and these young performers are ready to tackle some of the major repertoire they’ll be singing in a few years. Don’t miss the chance to be the first to hear these exciting young talents!

VOCAL COLORS Thursday, June 25 at 6:30 pm Thursday, July 30 at 6:30 pm The Phillips Collection

Filene Young Artists craft a personal soundtrack to visual art from The Phillips Collection, in a creative exploration that bridges musical genres and styles. This one-of-a-kind show is a feast for the senses!

Special thanks to the Reva and David Logan Foundation, Wolf Trap Opera Young Artist Showcase Sponsor.


ARTISTS

HE SAID / SHE SAID Ghosts Director Louisa Muller and Conductor Eric Melear both came through Wolf Trap’s training programs; she as a directing fellow, he as a coaching fellow. They’ve had individual successes at Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Wiener Staatsoper in the intervening years, and they now return to The Barns as a formidable artistic team. We had a little Q&A session with them both to talk about their return to the Trap.

How did you get to know one another? Louisa Muller: We worked together at Wolf Trap in 2006 and 2007. We became good friends in 2007 while working on Carmen with the National Symphony Orchestra. Eric Melear: I conducted most of the rehearsals while Louisa directed the likes of Denyce Graves and Simon O’Neill, and we had to find a good rhythm in the room. That began a professional friendship that later turned not-so-professional. We’ll have been married four years on July 9, the day before The Ghosts of Versailles opens. We got both engaged and married in the OTHER Vienna—Austria, that is.

What’s it like preparing a crazy show like Ghosts together? EM: It’s amazing to be tackling a piece like this together and to do it with a company we know (and who knows us) so well. LM: Ghosts is on both of our minds so much right now as we form our ideas about the piece, so it makes its way into most of our daily conversations. Directors and conductors often meet for the first time on the first day of rehearsal and then spend the whole rehearsal process getting on the same page and learning how to collaborate with each other. By the time we get to our first day of Ghosts’ rehearsal, Eric and I will have already made a hundred decisions together about what we want to create onstage. Preparing an opera to work on together is turning out to be a totally unique process. I feel incredibly fortunate to get to tackle

this challenging piece with someone I trust and know so well by my side.

What are the challenges in this piece? EM: What’s not a challenge in this piece? I’ve started looking forward to all the things that make this piece unique—big cast, grand ideas, and an imaginative use of the singers and orchestra. It’s rare in the operatic repertoire that an orchestra gets to play aleatoric music, and John Corigliano has created a palate of colors that will be different every night. LM: Ghosts is an enormous beast of a show. I firmly believe that constraints breed creativity. Doing this huge show in an intimate setting like The Barns is a challenge that’s encouraging me to think creatively about how we use space and how best to tell this complicated story clearly and beautifully.

What did Wolf Trap mean to you professionally the first time around? LM: Wolf Trap was the beginning of just about everything for me professionally. In my first season (and in one of my very first assisting jobs), I assisted Robin Guarino on Le nozze di Figaro at the Filene Center, which led to my joining the directing staff at the Met two seasons later. Wolf Trap was also the first company to give me actual directing opportunities, with Carmen and the inaugural

Studio scenes program. I love how often I encounter the singers I’ve worked with at Wolf Trap out in the world now, both professionally and socially—I just directed Kate Lindsey in Don Giovanni at the Met, and Eric and I both worked on Carmen in Houston with Ryan McKinny last season. It’s amazing as a young opera professional to be surrounded by other young artists in Wolf Trap’s inspiring environment, forging relationships that will last for years. EM: For me, Wolf Trap will always feel like my summer home, having spent eight summers here in almost every musical capacity you can imagine. I got to try on so many different hats, and it’s those skills that I carry with me everywhere I go and in whatever I do. I owe a lot to the environment here that allowed me to be curious and to explore. The sentence that begins with “The first time I...” almost always ends with “Wolf Trap.”

What does it mean for you to return together? LM: It feels like coming home. We are over the moon to be coming back.

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STUDIO ARTISTS

STUDIO ARTISTS RETURN AS HEADLINERS! Since its inception in 2007, the Studio Artist program has given more than 100 young artists a glimpse into the realities of a professional freelance performing career. This summer we are fortunate to have not one, but three, former Studio Artists return to Wolf Trap Opera as Filene Young Artists. We asked them about their experiences in the Studio and what it feels like to return as one of the “big kids.” Sarah Larsen was a Studio Artist in 2008, when she was a graduate student at Rice University, and also created the role of The Mayor’s Wife in The Inspector, which was commissioned by, and premiered at, Wolf Trap. She returns as a Filene Young Artist to sing Susanna in The Ghosts of Versailles.

while now and I can’t believe that I get to be a part of this rarely-produced show.

My first summer at Wolf Trap was the first time I was really treated as a professional. I found that when I was treated with respect as an adult, I wanted to try much harder than when I was treated as a student. (It was difficult for me to transition back to school for the last year of my master’s degree!) It was also the first time that I was singing without my voice teacher around; I learned to trust the skill set I was given and trust my own instincts. That experience unknowingly prepared me for the real world as a freelance musician.

Amy Owens was a Studio Artist in 2010 and 2011. (We can still hear her in that fantastic Sweeney Todd ensemble, her high C floating over the music like a dream!) She returns to sing Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro and Florestine in The Ghosts of Versailles.

I role studied Ruggerio in Alcina, and performed in scenes from Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Rape of Lucretia. My brain practically exploded with all the knowledge and things I experienced! I learned so much about how to act in rehearsal, create a role, and how to be a good colleague. I’m still in touch with my classmates from 2008 and I run into them everywhere. When I was a Studio Artist, I looked up to the Filene Young Artists as extremely talented individuals who were on the cusp of exciting careers. To call myself one now is an honor, and I can only hope to live up to the artists that I looked up to so reverently. The Ghosts of Versailles has been on my bucket list for a 14

On a personal note, it’s hard to be a traveling artist in this business, and I’m happy to say that this will be the first summer that my boyfriend and I will be able to spend in the same place in our three years together. Production Stage Manager Mike Janney will be stage managing two shows at Wolf Trap and it will be a dream come true to work at one of my favorite companies together.

I initially came into the Studio Artist program while recovering from a serious health crisis, and I couldn’t believe how compassionate and helpful everyone at the company was. I really got a sense that Wolf Trap Opera cared for young artists and were interested in helping them develop as people and singers. It was the first time I realized that there were people who were sincerely invested in this art form and its future. I remember studying a role in Il turco in Italia, and it was a very difficult one. Observing the Filene Young Artists tackle the repertoire was far more educational than studying the roles themselves. (Angela Mannino was my hero!) I was very young and I have a light voice, and I was trying so hard to sound fuller and to have my voice “grow up” and match the quality that


STUDIO ARTISTS

I was hearing from the Filene Young Artists. I learned an important lesson that summer, which was to accept myself where I was at and let time and focus direct my growth. Perhaps this leads to advice for this summer’s Studio Artists: The only way to grow as an artist is to be where you are right now and love yourself and your art. Don’t force anything. Force is the opposite of art. Wolf Trap Opera made a huge difference for me. Suddenly I had connections. I had a company to back me up. If Kim Witman thinks you’re worth something, then the rest of the opera world starts paying attention! I started receiving auditions that I couldn’t get before. I had a certain confidence that helped me every single day, because I knew that there were people who cared about my career and thought I was worth an investment. That kind of confidence manifests itself in sound production and stage presence. More than anything, it means that I’ve grown as an artist since I was in the Studio, and the initial investment that Wolf Trap made in me has yielded some return. I would like to think that I am giving back to the company in some way, but I am still on the receiving end. It’s a kind of debt that can only be paid forward. Frederick Ballentine was a Studio Artist in 2011 (singing baritone) and 2012 (singing tenor!). My first summer I was terrified. Over the years, I had seen people from my school join the Studio and I felt that they were much further along in their development upon admittance than I was. Because of that, I feared that Kim and Lee Anne would quickly realize their mistake and correct it upon my arrival. Thankfully, that’s not what happened. However, the expectation that I would be surrounded by the best young talent and creative minds in the business was proven true right away. The Trap was my first

engagement with professionals outside singing in the chorus for Virginia Opera when I was in high school. I’d heard so many negative things about opera singers being divas; which was true, but only in the most positive ways. They knew their stuff and carried themselves proudly, however; they were also wonderful colleagues. Everyone from directors to coaches were the type of people you’d want to befriend. The most memorable moment of my first summer occurred during the “first day of school” for Sweeney Todd: the principal I was covering overslept and the Head of the Studio told the conductor that I was prepared to sing the role until the principal arrived. It was my first time covering a role, and I was sure I was going to fall flat on my face as I rushed to sit among the principals for the first sing-through. But it went well! The principal returned eventually and was totally cool with me. I actually impressed everyone with my (totally fake) ability to “keep my cool.” (The second summer, learning and singing Tom Rakewell was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. Stravinsky is just rude.) When I attended the Studio, only one person had ever been invited back as a Filene Artist, and that was the amazing Catherine Martin. In the opinions of the Studio members, Catherine had “made it”; the administration could look past the young woman whom they were just helping to shape a few summers prior, and accept her as a top notch singer. For her then, and for me now, it’s a confirmation that the work we have put in since the Trap has indeed paid off! THEY TRUST ME! It’s similar to how you can’t really feel like you’re an adult until your parents treat you as such. And as excited as I am to do this role, I’m way more excited to come home. I hold this company so close to my heart. It was such a safe and nurturing environment, and was also the first place that I actually performed as a tenor, which was a huge deal for me. I made such special and lasting relationships while at the Trap—I’m excited to do it all over again.

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FILENE YOUNG ARTISTS

Marcellina (The Marriage of Figaro), Samira (The Ghosts of Versailles)

Frederick Ballentine, tenor Hometown: Norfolk, VA Training: Los Angeles Opera, Lake George Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Highlights: 2013 Houston Grand Opera McCollum Competition Semi-Finalist, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Los Angeles Philharmonic | WTO 2015: Count Almaviva (The Ghosts of Versailles), The Rodgers Family recital “One day my mom woke me up and told me that I had an audition for the local performing arts high school. I told her that I wouldn’t be attending said audition. She replied, ‘Did you just talk back to me?’ Needless to say, I had to do that audition for the opera department and completely fell in love with the art. Mothers sometimes know best. Outside of opera, I love dancing and I’m also in the cult of Crossfit.”

Jenni Bank, mezzo-soprano Hometown: Binghamton, NY & Johannesburg, South Africa | Training: Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera New Jersey | Highlights: 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Semi-Finalist, Duchess in Alice in Wonderland with the Los Angeles Philharmonic | WTO 2015:

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“I normally wear glasses. I love reading and have an ongoing ‘to-read’ list that never seems to get shorter. I love coffee and travel with my own espresso maker. I love being near the water and I would love to move to the beach one day. When I’m not singing, I can be found listening to music, wearing glasses while reading a book, with coffee in hand, by the nearest ocean, lake, river, or swimming pool.”

Evan Boyer, bass Hometown: Louisville, KY | Training: Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera Center | Highlights: Colline in La bohème (Palm Beach Opera), Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (LA Opera) WTO 2015: Bonze (Madama Butterfly), Ramfis (Aida) “I love reading, cycling, and fancy coffee. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, but don’t really consider myself a southerner, though I do enjoy bourbon on the rocks and a day at the races now and again. I’m a fan of anything by Cormac McCarthy (especially The Border Trilogy), bad action films, Venezuelan arepas, and the World Cup.”

J’nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano Hometown: Lakewood, WA | Training: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glimmerglass Festival, Opera North Highlights: Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Lyric Opera of Chicago), 2012 Recipient of the Marian Anderson Award | WTO 2015: Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) “I love sports! Before I started singing, I was a passionate athlete. I was accepted into many universities on basketball and track scholarships. As it turned out, I pursued a completely different career and I know I made the right decision. I also enjoy traveling and experiencing the local scene, in particular different cuisine. I love to dance, especially with my family. We get together during holidays and have dance-offs for hours.”

Timothy Bruno, bass Hometown: Toledo, OH Training: Central City Opera, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music | Highlights: Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera Columbus), Kromov in The Merry Widow (Michigan Opera Theater) WTO 2015: Louis XVI (The Ghosts of Versailles)

“I originally got into music to be a professional barbershop quartet singer. My wife and I were born two days apart and have been together since we were 18 years old. I get excited every time I get a grey hair (so I can more convincingly play older roles). Recently, I started eating a paleo diet and have lost 50 pounds and counting. I also research DC Comics in my spare time and am something of a Legend of Zelda historian.”

Joo Won Kang, baritone Hometown: Seoul, Korea Training: Wolf Trap Opera, San Francisco Opera, Florida Grand Opera | Highlights: Germont in La traviata (Florida Grand Opera), 2014 First Prize Winner of Dallas Opera’s McCammon Voice Competition | WTO 2015: Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Vocal Colors “My family makes me happy and they are the reason for my life. I love to cook for them, and my kids enjoy cooking with me even though our kitchen gets messed up all the time. When I am not an opera singer in real life, I do many things; I love traveling and photography. My biggest plan this year is to buy a bike and make myself healthier.”


FILENE YOUNG ARTISTS

Sarah Larsen, mezzo-soprano Hometown: Roseville, MN Training: Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Virginia Opera, Sarasota Opera | Highlights: Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos (Seattle Opera), Mércèdes in Carmen (Santa Fe Opera) | WTO 2015: Susanna (The Ghosts of Versailles), The Rodgers Family recital “I am extremely proud of my Scandinavian heritage and am happy to call Seattle my new home. My greatest passion in life is trying foods that I’ve never tried before. I pickle as many vegetables as I can and love to create living food such as shrubs or kimchi. If I wasn’t an opera singer, I would be a dramaturge. I think there is very little in life that cake, The West Wing, or Star Trek: The Next Generation can’t solve.”

Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano Hometown: Portland, ME Training: Utah Opera, Crested Butte, Opera New Jersey | Highlights: Despina in Così fan tutte (Utah Opera), Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea (Aldeburgh Festival Opera) WTO 2015: Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro, The Ghosts of Versailles), The Rodgers Family recital

“Known to some as ‘the tessitourist,’ I love to travel. Whether it is to a different continent or a new restaurant, I am always looking for something else to discover. I am the proud member of a New England family with thick accents and big hearts (GO RED SOX!). I would love to one day open a coffee shop/brew pub. When I’m not singing, I am likely cooking, sewing, reading, or wandering around looking at things.”

Talya Lieberman, soprano Hometown: Forest Hills, NY Training: San Francisco Opera Center, University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music | Highlights: 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition Finalist, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (CCM) WTO 2015: Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro), The Rodgers Family recital “I got my first flavor for opera during the summers of my childhood at Chautauqua, where I sang in the children’s chorus (my parents—a cellist and bassist—play in the Chautauqua Symphony). I didn’t actually take my first voice lesson until I was 25, after obtaining a master’s degree in trumpet performance and a B.A. in linguistics. I found my voice again in graduate school, by exploring non-classical music and becoming a singer/songwriter.”

Will Liverman, baritone Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA | Training: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Festival Highlights: Premiere of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird (Opera Philadelphia), Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Lyric Opera of Chicago) | WTO 2015: Beaumarchais (The Ghosts of Versailles) “I hail from the great city of Virginia Beach—the 757 as we like to call it. When I’m not jumping into a costume and singing, I really love to gig around on the piano; on the keys is where it all started for me! I began my path in the opera world when I joined the voice program at the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. Outside of music, I love pick-up games of basketball and I LOVE sweet potato pie!”

D’Ana Lombard, soprano Hometown: Garden City South, NY | Training: Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera | Highlights: Eva in An American Dream (Seattle Opera), First Lady in The Magic Flute (Houston Grand Opera) | WTO 2015: Rosina (The Ghosts of Versailles)

“I love to watch movies, especially old movies and movie-musicals because they remind me of home. My family and I would watch them while we ate dinner and we would sing along with the songs. When I get the chance to travel home, I love to cook with my mom. I also like to paint, sketch, and draw. I have a small dog, a Yorkshire Terrier by the name of Chewbacca or Chewy.”

Alexandra Loutsion, soprano Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA Training: Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, Central City Opera | Highlights: Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas (upcoming: Arizona Opera), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (North Carolina Opera) | WTO 2015: Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Vocal Colors “I come from a big, traditional Greek family. I’ve been Greek folk dancing since age three, and I danced competitively in high school! I grew up on a horse farm, but was too busy singing as a kid to actually learn how to ride a horse. My other passion in life is cooking—I love inventing recipes and trying new cuisines and techniques, using my family as guinea pigs.”

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FILENE YOUNG ARTISTS

Countess (The Marriage of Figaro), Priestess (Aida)

David Margulis, tenor Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL | Training: Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Steans Music Institute at Ravinia | Highlights:Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Arizona Opera) | WTO 2015: Léon (The Ghosts of Versailles), Goro (Madama Butterfly) “I’ve been doing crossfit for almost three years; lifting heavy things at a high rate of speed is relaxing to me. Fall is my favorite season because that’s the time when college football is starting and the playoffs are starting in baseball. If I wasn’t an opera singer, I’d be a sports writer. I love playing golf, even though I’m really bad at it. I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes, especially Asian cuisine.”

Kerriann Otaño, soprano Hometown: Long Island, NY | Training: Washington National Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Fort Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera Highlights: Despina in Così fan tutte (Fort Worth Opera Festival), Katherine in the premiere of Penny (Washington National Opera) | WTO 2015:

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“If I’m not onstage, I am probably knitting, cooking, or going wine tasting in my living room (I prefer a nice $15 bottle of Shiraz—classy). I also love reading anything suspenseful or scary, and despite my age, I have a particular affinity for Young Adult series and zombie books. I am Puerto Rican and Irish, which explains my freckles and giant hair. Before college, I lived in Italy for a year and studied at the conservatory in Milan. I am fantastically gifted at ordering pizza because of that life experience. If I wasn’t pursuing opera, I would chase my dream of watching every episode of Law and Order ever made.”

Amy Owens, soprano Hometown: Brookfield, WI | Training: Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Utah Symphony and Opera Ensemble | Highlights: Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Utah Opera), Despina in Così fan tutte (Opera Naples) WTO 2015: Barbarina (The Marriage of Figaro), Florestine (The Ghosts of Versailles), Vocal Colors “I am a closet poet, and my idea of a perfect home resembles camping in the woods. I am a wannabe illustrator, story-writer, dancer, composer, activist, healer...really I am a wannabe everything. I’ve been married seven years to the baritone of my dreams,

and we choreographed and performed a disco dance for our wedding reception. I think it sums up our life quite nicely: unexpected but awesome.”

Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro (San Francisco Opera Merola Program) | WTO 2015: Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), The Rodgers Family recital

Morgan Pearse, baritone

“I started singing totally by accident when my church youth group decided to put on a musical and I was cast as Judd in Oklahoma! because I ‘looked the part.’ Before starting to pursue music seriously, I studied political science as an undergraduate and interned in the U.S. Congress with hopes of getting a law degree. I’m still a politics and current affairs junkie and I consume news voraciously.”

Hometown: Sydney, Australia | Training: Houston Grand Opera, Royal College of Music, Sydney Conservatorium | Highlights: Anthony in Sweeney Todd (Houston Grand Opera), Title role in Owen Wingrave (Sydney Chamber Opera) WTO 2015: Figaro (The Ghosts of Versailles), Vocal Colors “Becoming a musician is about taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you. I am so lucky that I was the first person in my family to have such chances; without the music through my various schools in Australia and the Netherlands, I would never have become a singer! I buy a hat from every country I perform in, not a novelty one, but a nice one I can actually wear!”

Thomas Richards, bass-baritone Hometown: Burnsville, MN | Training: Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, San Francisco Opera Center | Highlights: Bonze in Madama Butterfly (Glimmerglass Festival),

Reginald Smith Jr, baritone Hometown: Atlanta, GA Training: Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis | Highlights: 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Winner, Speaker in The Magic Flute (Houston Grand Opera) | WTO 2015: Count (The Marriage of Figaro), The Rodgers Family recital “I love to cook and have friends over for a movie. Being from the south, soul food almost comes naturally to me, but I enjoy trying new recipes and dishes. I enjoy dancing, bowling, and making new adventures. Although I have a degree in Choral Music Education, as well as a Vocal Performance degree, I feel as though I would go into the real estate business if I were not singing.”


COACHING FELLOWS

Robert Watson, tenor Hometown: Kansas City, MO | Training: Wolf Trap Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, San Francisco Opera Highlights: Nissen in premiere of Enemies, A Love Story (Palm Beach Opera), Tenor Soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (National Symphony Orchestra) WTO 2015: Bégearss (The Ghosts of Versailles), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) “If I wasn’t a musician, I would want to produce public radio. I love shows like Radiolab and 99% Invisible. I’m also a huge history buff and have a specific love for art history. I got into opera after switching majors from musical theatre the second week of my freshman year, at my teacher’s persuasion. I also enjoy classic cinema and foreign films, literature, and a good cup of coffee.”

Melinda Whittington, soprano Hometown: Knoxville, TN Training: Wolf Trap Opera, San Francisco Opera, Green Mountain Opera, Academy of Vocal Arts | Highlights: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (upcoming, Arizona Opera), Marguerite in Faust (Academy of Vocal Arts) WTO 2015: Marie Antoinette (The Ghosts of Versailles)

“I’m thrilled to be back at Wolf Trap—a ‘dream gig’—for a second summer! I grew up in a musical family, playing drums and guitar in addition to singing musical theatre and jazz. I still enjoy getting out of opera-land from time to time, performing a Downton Abbey Cabaret with a ragtime pianist friend, featuring music from the jazz age in London. I also enjoy photography, cooking, and searching for my next vintage find!”

during the third act of Verdi’s Il trovatore. I had been working at the Met performing stage combat when I heard ‘Ah si ben mio,’ which instantly changed my life. I decided that, if I could, I must sing.”

Peter Walsh, pianist/coach Edward Kim, pianist/coach

Christian Zaremba, bass Hometown: Newark, NJ Training: Glimmerglass Festival, Minnesota Opera Highlights: Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Zuniga in Carmen (Minnesota Opera) WTO 2015: Bartolo (The Marriage of Figaro), Re (Aida) “After a childhood spent training in martial arts, a twist of fate kept me from pursuing a military or pugilistic career and I instead studied sociology and theatre at NYU. My journey into opera began four years ago,

landscape. In my spare time, I enjoy reading Russian literature, playing squash, the occasional Netflix binge, and a good glass of scotch (neat).”

Hometown: Bel Air, MD Training: The Juilliard School, University of Maryland, Dartmouth College, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival | Highlights: Fulbright Grant Recipient, Salzburg Landestheater Opera Studio (upcoming) WTO 2015: Pianist/coach for The Marriage of Figaro, Pianist for Studio Spotlight, Supertitle coordinator “I love hiking and being around water. I am slowly trying to become more of a morning person, and erase all of the lingering memories of late nights during college. My favorite parts of the day are spent eating. Before I got into opera, I lived and studied abroad in the Middle East, and I still love deserts more than any other

Hometown: San Diego, CA | Training: University of Southern California, Los Angeles Opera, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival Highlights: Los Angeles Ballet, Los Angeles Opera, Recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion | WTO 2015: Pianist/coach for The Ghosts of Versailles, Pianist for Studio Spotlight, Supertitle coordinator “Though I am actually a Bostonian, my family moved to San Diego when I was quite young, California has been home ever since! I love to spend time outdoors and I enjoy running and swimming (though I’m not particularly good at either). Some of my favorite activities are trying new restaurants, hiking, and driving.”

SAVE THE DATE WTO Alumnus Lawrence Brownlee, known as “one of the world’s most elegant, exciting, and acclaimed Rossini tenors” (NPR), returns to The Barns for an intimate recital appearance with pianist Kim Pensinger Witman. Friday, March 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm

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STUDIO ARTISTS

*Nicolette Book, soprano University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music, M.M. Oakland University, B.M.

*Annalise Dzwonczyk, soprano University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music, M.M. & B.M.

Nadia Fayad, mezzo-soprano Rice University, M.M. Eastman School of Music, B.M.

*Joshua Sanders, tenor Manhattan School of Music, M.M. University of Wisconsin, B.M.

Kaitlyn McMonigle, mezzo-soprano Indiana University, M.M. Florida State University, B.M.

Brandon Bell, baritone University of Cincinnati CollegeUniversity of Tennessee, M.M. Conservatory of Music, B.M.

Alexandra Nowakowski, soprano Academy of Vocal Arts, A.D. University of Illinois, B.M.

*Grace Newberry, mezzo-soprano University of Cincinatti CollegeConservatory of Music, M.M. Oberlin Conservatory, B.M.

Thomas Glass, baritone Rice University, M.M. University of St. Thomas, B.M. & B.A.

Christine Price, soprano The Juilliard School, M.M. Manhattan School of Music, B.M.

*Michael Anderson, tenor Manhattan School of Music, M.M. & B.M.

*Alex Rosen, bass Rice University, M.M. Peabody Institute, B.M.

Rebecca Claborn, mezzo-soprano University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music, M.M. Simpson College, B.M.

Anthony Ciaramitaro, tenor Florida State University, MM Rollins University, B.M.

William Clay Thompson, bass University of North Texas, B.M.

*Indicates returning Studio Artists

Ian Koziara, tenor Rice University, M.M. Lawrence University, B.M.

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JUNE JULY AUGUST

PLAN YOUR WOLF TRAP OPERA SUMMER

SUN

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

7

8

9

10

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● FIGARO

ARIA JUKEBOX

● FIGARO

15

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● FIGARO

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● FIGARO

MASTER CLASS

22

23

24

VOCAL COLORS

26

27

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30

1

2

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● GHOSTS

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● GHOSTS

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● GHOSTS

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● GHOSTS

RECITATIVE

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● AIDA

25

STUDIO SPOTLIGHT

27

28

29

VOCAL COLORS

31

BLIER RECITAL

BLIER RECITAL

3

4

5

6

● MADAMA BUTTERFLY

8

IN CONCERT

AT FILENE CENTER

LEARN MORE

● Inside

the Opera Preshow Talks

Center for Education at Wolf Trap Free, 1 hour before operas at The Barns

● Filene

Center Pre-performance Discussions

Old Farmhouse Lawn at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts Free, 1 hour before operas at the Filene Center

Special Performance for Wolf Trap Members Studio Spotlight Opera Scenes Program The Barns at Wolf Trap Sunday, July 26 at 7:30 pm

Tickets available to Wolf Trap Members at the Soloist level and above. Visit www.wolftrap.org/give for more information.

Blog, podcasts and more at opera.wolftrap.org


COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY VOICES “I find it fascinating that, every year, you wrestle excellent productions from 1,000 pieces of soundless paper!,” said volunteer Sandra Saydah. Sandra Saydah started her musical career as a student violist, and saw her first opera—a production of Madama Butterfly—from the last row of the Metropolitan Opera. She has been a Wolf Trap Opera volunteer since 2008, helping with auditions, library collections, and serving as a Housing Host. As a retired project manager, Sandra has an affinity for organization and systems, and initially began volunteering during our audition season. At that point, the majority of the approximately 1,000 applications that we received were submitted in hard copy, sometimes from multiple sources. Sandra was tasked with making sense of the pieces of paper, and was captivated by seeing the process of creating a season from its very start—the applications— through the final staged and sung performances. Creating organization from chaos seems to be a special gift of Sandra’s, and when WTO was generously gifted with the music library of Thomas Stewart and Evelyn Lear, Sandra combed through the pieces, found duplicates, saved their notes and personal study copies, and integrated the collection into our existing library. She did endless research to place the musical fragments she found. “The pieces, the research—I found it all fascinating,” Sandra said. Her biggest takeaways are the uniform excellence of the singers and productions. We are so grateful that Sandra donates her time and talents to Wolf Trap Opera! If you’re interested in helping, please send an inquiry to opera@wolftrap.org.

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Virginia McGehee Friend’s association with Wolf Trap is long-standing, and she feels very much like a member of the Wolf Trap Opera family. I spoke with Ginny over the phone back in February, shortly after she had been named to the Wolf Trap Foundation Board (she was previously Chairman of the Wolf Trap Associates Board, and in that capacity served as an ex-officio member of the Foundation Board in 2002-2003). When I asked her to recall her first operatic experience, she started to laugh. “I found a picture of myself in a group of children—it had to be when I was in elementary school—sitting in a row around a piano. Clara Mae Turner from the Metropolitan Opera was singing the title role in Carmen for Jackson Opera, and I was one of the children in the children’s choir! It was a wonderful experience, to have my first exposure to the art form be as a participant, rather than an observer—I still have a soft spot in my heart for that opera. When the street urchins appear, I always think ‘I was there! I did that!’” Ginny first started coming to Wolf Trap in 1979 and has seen many operas at The Barns and the Filene Center. She enjoys the informal setting. “It’s very accessible for people of all ages, and there’s something for every taste, Ginny said. “Wolf Trap Opera introduces us to rare works which we haven’t seen, and produces familiar works with a different twist to make them feel new. And Kim’s pre-performance talks are wonderful introductions both to the art form in general and to the season’s specific performances.” Ginny enjoys getting to know the singers during their residencies and looks forward to seeing them in Madama Butterfly, which she is supporting as a Performance Sponsor. She also enjoys following the artists throughout their careers and is excited to see WTO alums in the performance of Verdi’s Aida in Concert at the Filelene Center on July 24. Lee Anne Myslewski

IN MEMORIAM In December 2014 we lost a good friend: J. Frederic Mushinski. Fred worked for NCI’s Laboratory of Biology for 43 years prior to his retirement. In his spare time, he volunteered in our offices, helping to proctor auditions and wrestling supertitle texts and translations into cueing scores. His gentle demeanor, inquisitive nature, and love of opera made us look forward to his time in the office, and we’ve missed his presence this spring. Our thoughts are with his wife Betty, and we remember Fred with fondness and gratitude.


SUPPORT

WTO DONORS

HOUSING HOSTS

Wolf Trap Foundation thanks the following contributors for their support of Wolf Trap Opera (WTO) with a gift of $1,250 or more between April 15, 2014 and April 15, 2015.

We are grateful to the network of host families that make it possible for artists to call Wolf Trap Opera home each year.

Anonymous (2) Anonymous Foundation Dr. and Mrs. Duane A. Adams Edward J. Asher Mrs. Benjamin P. Astley The Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Inc. The Honorable and Mrs. James M. Beggs Mark and Nancy Burnette Alan and Louise Caldwell Doris M. Carter Family Foundation The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts Donald T. Cyr Dan and Gayle D’Aniello John and Linda Daniel Dimick Foundation Eddie Eitches/American Federation of Government Employees Local 476 (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation Virginia McGehee Friend Mr. and Mrs. James N. Glerum Glenda and Stephen Harvey Shelly and Jack Hazel Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Husson Ann Jones and John+ Dawson Terrence and Polly Jones Bruce Eugene Kardon Anne R. Kline and Geoffrey Pohanka Janet and Jerry Kohlenberger Ellen McVickar Layman The Reva and David Logan Foundation Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation, Inc. Mars Foundation Judith and Glenn Marshall Maud Mater Ann McPherson McKee, Gift in Remembrance of Burtt and

Tamao Albert Mary Astley John and Caren Backus Roland Blocksom David and Cathy Bobzien Jerry G. Bridges and Sally Turner Lee Corey Ellen Dykes and Alan McAdam Barbara Gardner Hank and Shelley Hatch Ann Jones Grace Jones Linda Kauss and Clark Hoyt Anna Lueje and Bill Wagner Carlos and Maureen Mariño Sue Martin Boofie and Joseph O’Gorman Ruth and Eugene Overton Cynthia Richmond Sandra Saydah Ed and Andy Smith Karen Sorenson and Peter Gaus Sarah Spicer Judith Stehling and Edgar Ariza-Niño Donna and Edward Stoker Stephanie and Fernando van Reigersberg Paul and Pat Ward Ron and Judy Wilgenbusch

Rebecca Gray McKee and Douglas and Ann McKee Seeley Barbara and Ward Morris Jason M. Nicholson Eric Owens, WTO 2014 Artist in Residence Alan J. Savada and Will Stevenson Susan Sawyer Joel Atlas Skirble: Equipo Atlas Ed and Andy Smith Theresa Thompson Rick R. Treviño and Larz Pearson Alton P. and Alice W. Tripp The Honorable Hans N. Tuch and Mrs. Tuch Karen Van Lare Darcy Lynn Walker Susan Weinsheimer Mary B. White, Esq. Mr. and Mrs. Earle C. Williams Dick and Maiju Wilson Deborah F. and David A. Winston Wolf Trap Opera is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. +

Deceased

Support for Wolf Trap Opera is also provided by the following Endowed Funds: Robert M. Coffelt, Jr. in honor of Annetta J. and Robert M. Coffelt, The Coffelt Fund for Wolf Trap Opera and Education Estate of Carol V. Harford, Carol V. Harford Fund for Wolf Trap Opera in memory of Catherine Filene Shouse The Paula A. Jameson Fund for Wolf Trap Opera Fund for Artistic Excellence in Honor of Audrey M. Mars John and Adrienne Mars/Jacqueline Badger Mars/Mars Foundation, Mars Fellowship Fund for Wolf Trap Opera

Ann McKee Fund for Opera National Endowment for the Arts David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Packard Fund Estate of Arthur Tracy, “The Street Singer,” Arthur Tracy Fund for Wolf Trap Opera The Trojanger Fund for Wolf Trap Your support makes a difference! To learn how you can support Wolf Trap Opera, please contact the Wolf Trap Foundation Development Office at 703.255.1927, give@wolftrap.org, or visit us at wolftrap.org/give.

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MICHELLE DeYOUNG OFFERS MASTER CLASS AND MODERATES ARTIST PANEL This summer’s Artist in Residence, Michelle DeYoung, will be your host for two exciting public events. Admission is free, and the location is the Center for Education at Wolf Trap, located near The Barns. Don’t miss these chances to learn about the artistic and business sides of opera from the perspective of an internationally known singer!

Master Class with Michelle DeYoung Sunday, June 21 at 3 pm Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung will work with several young artists on style, performance enhancement, language, stagecraft, and more!

Updates on these opportunities and more at wolftrap.org/opera

Recitative: Plain Talk About the Future of Opera Sunday, July 19 at 3pm Opera industry leaders, including stage director Jose Maria Condemi, conductor Grant Gershon, soprano Yvonne Gonzales Redman, and bassbaritone Alfred Walker, will join Michelle DeYoung to discuss hot topics in the field at large. Michelle will moderate an afternoon seminar on topics including artist management, new media, career development, competitions, and surviving life on the road.

Special Thanks to the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation, 2015 Artist in Residence Program Underwriter

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Oakton, VA Permit No. 76

Go Green with Wolf Trap! Printed on recycled paper. Wolf Trap Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Profile for Wolf Trap Foundation

2015 Wolf Trap Opera Roster  

2015 Wolf Trap Opera Roster  

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