November 11, 2023
Roméo et Juliette
Music by Charles Gounod | Libretto by Jules Barbier & Michel Carré
Les Contes d'Hoffmann
Music by Jacques Offenbach | Libretto by Jules Barbier
Music by Jules Massenet | Libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet, & Georges Hartmann
Music by Charles Gounod | Libretto by Jules Barbier & Michel Carré
Scene, Aria, Scene: "Attendez-moi la...Salut! Demeure chaste et pure...Alerte"
Scene, Aria: "Allons, n'y pensons plus!...Ah, je ris!"
Invocation to the Night
Chrystal E. Williams
Celaya Kirchner, Celeste Blase
The Church of the Redeemer
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
Costumes courtesy of Tri-Cities Opera Company, Inc.
Faust Costumes Designed by Stephen Dell'Aversaro
Roméo et Juliette Costumes Designed by Betty Fredrickson
Werther Costumes Designed by Tri-Cities Opera Costume Shop
Engagement of this event's opera performers is through the generosity of the Loretta Lee Ver Valen Endowment Fund for Leading Operatic Artists
Support for Maryland Opera also comes
from these generous organizations:
The Baltimore Opera Company Foundation Fund
The S. James Campbell Fund
The Kenneth S. Battye Charitable Trust
The PNC Foundation - Grow Up Great
The Philip A. Zaffere Foundation
The Maryland State Arts Council
Roméo et Juliette
Time: 14th century
Place: Verona, Italy
The Balcony Scene
Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen in love, even though their families are bitter enemies. Romeo comes to Juliet’s house and hears her speaking of him. They swear their eternal love, and as she is called away, promise to meet the following morning.
Les Contes D’Hoffmann
Time: Early 19th century
Place: Nuremberg, Germany
Nicklausse is consoling Hoffmann who despairs of ever finding love. Nicklausse evokes Hoffmann’s artistic soul that can find solace in art. He likens the shimmering sounds of the violin as the triumphant sound of Love.
Hoffmann is regaling his drinking buddies with an old student song about a malformed dwarf named Kleinzach. As he tells the flamboyant tale, he becomes overcome with memories of a beautiful woman whose voice will always echo in his heart.
Time: Within the period July to December, in an undefined year in the 1780s.
Place: Wetzlar, Germany
Portion of Act 3
The young poet Werther is in love with Charlotte, but she promised her mother on her deathbed that she would marry another, and she did, leaving Werther in despair.
Charlotte is at home alone on Christmas Eve. She spends time rereading the letters that she has received from Werther wondering how the young poet is surviving and how she had the strength to send him away. She prays to God for more fortitude to bear her sorrow. Suddenly Werther appears, and while he reads to her some poetry of Ossian, he realizes that she does indeed return his love.
Time: 16th century
The aged philosopher Faust has struck a deal with the devil; he will offer Méphistophélès his soul in exchange for youth and romance. The nefarious plan soon involves the innocent Marguerite.
Faust and the devil come to Marguerite’s garden where they find a simple floral bouquet left by one of Marguerite’s admirers. Faust sends Méphistophélès away in search of a gift for Marguerite and enraptured, idealizes Marguerite as a pure child of nature. Méphistophélès brings in a box containing jewelry and a hand mirror and leaves it on Marguerite's doorstep. The two leave and Marguerite enters pondering her earlier encounter with Faust. Marguerite tries on the jewels and is captivated by how they enhance her beauty. Méphistophélès enjoys seeing his handiwork and invokes the night to spur on the romance. Faust romances Marguerite, swearing eternal love. Faust begins to leave but watches her in the shadows, listening to her singing of her love for him. As Méphistophélès sardonically laughs, Faust runs into her arms.
The Prison Scene
Marguerite has borne Faust’s child and murdered it in her insanity; she has been imprisoned and will be executed. Méphistophélès and Faust enter the prison where they plan to spirit Marguerite away to safety. As the devil leaves to keep watch, Faust laments his complicity in Marguerite’s doom. She awakens, and recalls their early days of courtship. The devil appears, insisting that they leave immediately. Marguerite recognizes the demon and calls upon the angels to take her away to heaven.
Soprano ALEXANDRA RAZSKAZOFF was named a Grand Finals Winner in the 2022 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. She is acclaimed by The New York Times as a “richly faceted, slinky soprano,” whose “soprano [is] rich, distinctive of timbre, and penetrating, and possess[es] a lovely bloom on top” (Opera News). In the 2022-23 season, Alexandra made her house debut with The Atlanta Opera reprising Wellgunde (Das Rheingold) and will return to Teatro Municipal de Santiago to make her role debut as Micaëla (Carmen). She also will reprise the role of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) in a new production at the notable EL TEC de Monterrey, Mexico in September, 2023. Alexandra also appeared in a series of concerts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Opera, Washington Opera Society, Vero Beach Opera and Panama City Symphony. She reengaged with Palm Beach Opera for their 2023 season to cover Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) and Alice Ford (Falstaff). Alexandra made some notable house debuts in spring and summer of 2022, including Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Bozeman Symphony and Mimì (La bohème) at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile. She performed Violetta (La Traviata) with Out of the Box Opera, as well as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Teatro Grattacielo at the Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice.
Praised by Opera News as “fiery and gorgeous’, mezzo soprano CHRYSTAL E. WILLIAMS has been seen gracing the stage both nationally and internationally. In the 2022-2023 season, Ms. Williams continued her sought after recital work and made her Dayton Opera debut in a reprisal of Rebecca Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, made her role debut as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, returned to On Site Opera to sing the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, joined American Lyric Theater in a workshop of Jasmine Barnes’/Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton’s She Who Dared, returns to the English National Opera to make her mainstage debut as Helen in King Priam (COVID19) and Nefertiti in Akhnaten, and is featured with her duo, Forrópera, in the Black Heritage Day celebration in coproduction with Greensboro Opera and the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum Music Festival. March 2024 will mark Ms. Williams’ Carnegie Hall debut in a world premiere written for the duo and American Composers Orchestra by John Glover and Kelley Rourke.The Chrystal E. Williams Scholarship was founded by Ms. Williams in 2004 to help students wishing to pursue a career in the performing arts, and is funded in part by her annual concert, “An Evening with Chrystal E.,” held each June in Norfolk, Virginia. Chrystal E. Williams is an alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts. She holds a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Voice Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.
Tenor DEVIN EATMON from Ocala, Florida. His performance history includes work with the Central Florida Lyric Opera, Chelsea Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Aspen Music Festival, most recently Opera Colorado, and soon to be Opera Orlando. With both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Voice Performance from Florida State University, Devin studied under the tutelage of former San Francisco Opera staring baritone, David Okerlund. Some of Devin’s most notable collegiate roles include, George Villiers in the Scholastic Premier of Carlisle Floyd’s, Prince of Players, Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini's, La bohème, Curley in Floyd's, Of Mice and Men, and Edgar Aubrey in Heinrich Marschner’s German Romantic opera, Der Vampyr. Mr. Eatmon accepted a contract offer to be a member of the Apprentice Singer Program at The Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2020 however, it was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While at Opera Colorado, he was to cover the role of Don José in their production of Georges Bizet’s, Carmen however, the season was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, Mr. Eatmon is a member of the new operatic/pop fusion trio, The Serenad3, with America’s Got Talent finalist, Fernando Varela as well as internationally acclaimed OperaNews baritone, Craig Irvin. The group has already received critical acclaim having collaborated with some legendary artists, such as David Foster, Gloria Estefan, American Idol’s, Pia Toscano, and the A Capella sensation, Voctave. Devin is currently living in Orlando, Florida and is looking forward to future endeavors with The Serenad3 as well as Opera Orlando.
Praised for his "big, heroic voice" (LA Weekly) and "powerful emotions," tenor DANE SUAREZ (he/him) has developed an exciting and varied career. Last season, Dane made his Off-Broadway debut in Kate Tarker's world premiere play Montag at Soho Rep and joined OperaDelaware, The Carolina Philharmonic, Heartbeat Opera, Penn Square Opera, and Maryland Opera for concert and gala performances. He returned to New Jersey Festival Orchestra to sing Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), covered Apollo (Strauss's Daphne) with American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, sang Luigi (Il tabarro) with On Site Opera, sang Turiddu (Cavalleria rusticana) with Lyric Opera of the North, and reprises Don José in Carmen with Festival Opera. Upcoming performances include Scalia (Scalia/Ginsburg) with Anchorage Opera (debut), Don José in La tragédie de Carmen with Newport Classical, Canio in his return to Opera Birmingham. With Penn Square Opera he performs excerpts from Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana, and Tosca, and he covers Calaf at OperaDelaware. He will also be heard in concert with The Phoenix Symphony as tenor soloist for both a Pops Concert and Handel's Messiah in Spanish.
Bass-baritone CARL DUPONT has held center stage in performances at The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Carolina, Opera Columbus, First Coast Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera Saratoga, Sarasota Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, El Palacio de Bellas Artes, Opera Company of Brooklyn, the IN Series, Carnegie Hall, and Leipzig Opera. He has been invited to present research and recitals in Salzburg, Rome, Stockholm, New York, Portland, and Miami. He has also proudly toured as a soloist and ensemble member with the American Spiritual Ensemble, the only professional ensemble dedicated to the preservation of the Negro Spiritual. Recent roles include Hawkins Fuller in Fellow Travelers, Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, and Leporello in Don Giovanni. In concert, his recent highlights include performances with Bach in Baltimore in the title role of Elijah, in recital at The Kennedy Center, and in concert at the Anchorage Festival of Music in Alaska.
DuPont currently serves as an associate professor at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. There, he has developed a course on art song by African American composers, co-chairs the Culturally Inclusive Task Force, and serves on the Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee.