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November 12, 2022 | 7:30pm

Program

Entrance to the Hall of Song – Tannhäuser

Dich teure Halle - Tannhäuser

Music & Libretto by Richard Wagner

Juliette’s Waltz – Roméo et Juliette

Music by Charles Gounod | Libretto by Jules Barbier & Michel Carré

Preislied - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Music & Libretto by Richard Wagner

Largo al factotum – Il barbiere di Siviglia

Music by Gioacchino Rossini | Libretto by Cesare Sterbini

Non piu mesta – La Cenerentola

Music by Gioacchino Rossini | Libretto by Jacopo Ferretti

Ritorna vincitor – Aïda

Music by Giuseppe Verdi | Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni

Nessun dorma - Turandot

Music by Giacomo Puccini & Franco Alfano

Libretto by Giuseppe Adami & Renato Simoni

INTERMISSION

Die Fledermaus Act 2 Complete

Music by Johann Strauss II Libretto by Karl Haffner & Richard Genée

Translation by Ruth & Thomas Martin

CAST

Aida/Rosalinda - Amy Shoremount-Obra

Juliette/Adele - Kimberly Christie

Cenerentola/Orlovsky - Chrystal E. Williams

Walther/Calaf/Eisenstein - John Pickle

Figaro/Falke - Eric McKeever

Frank - Jim Williams

Dancers - Clare Lillig

                 Patrick Payne

Chorus - Ryan Alexander

                Nicholas Bavani

                Mercy Calhoun-Dion

                Erica Marie Ferguson

                Jason Gonzalez

                Rob McGinness

                Mimi Rinaldi

                Lynn Tallman

                Emma Webster

ORCHESTRA

Violin - Celaya Kirchner, Celeste Blase

Viola - Christof Huebner

Cello - Kristen Walsh

Flute - Sara Nichols

Piano - James Harp

PRODUCTION STAFF

Director - James Harp

Asst. Director/Choreographer - Erica Marie Ferguson

Stage Manager - Aaron Sherber

Costumer - April Forrer

Wigs & Make Up - Marisa Mysko

Set Design - Chuck Atwell, Jericho Stage

SPECIAL THANKS TO

The Church of the Redeemer

Costumes courtesy of Tri-Cities Opera Company, Inc.

St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Engagement of this event's opera performers is through the generosity of the Loretta Lee Ver Valen Endowment Fund for Leading Operatic Artists.

This performance is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org).

synopses

Entrance to the Hall of Song – Tannhäuser

Set in Medieval times, the Wartburg Castle is the scene of legendary song contests featuring troubadours and minnesingers. Landgraf Herrmann has invited the nobles to attend a glorious celebration of song and chivalry. The guests joyously greet the noble hall where Art and Peace reign supreme.

 

Dich teure Halle - Tannhäuser

The Princess Elisabeth makes her entrance into the Hall of Song, but she has been beset by sadness because of Tannhäuser’s absence. Knowing that he will be present to sing in the contest, she joyously anticipates their reunion.

 

Juliette’s Waltz – Roméo et Juliette

At a grand ball in her father’s palace in Verona, Juliette Capulet’s nurse tells her that she must marry. She responds that she wants to enjoy life and live in each glorious moment.

 

Preisleid – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

In 16th century Nuremburg there is another tradition of chivalric song contests. Eva and Walther love one another, but Eva is promised to the winner of the next contest. He offers this “Prize Song” as he weaves many themes together with all of them expressing his love for Eva.

 

Largo al factotum – Il barbiere di Siviglia

The gregarious and quick-witted Figaro is the jack-of-all-trades in Seville. Whether you need a shave or help in matchmaking, he is your man.

 

Non piu mesta – La Cenerentola

Cinderella has met her Prince Charming at last. She sings that she will no longer have to sit by the fireside in sadness, and that, like lightning, her life has been quickly transformed by love.

 

Ritorna vincitor – Aïda

Princess Aïda is in love with Radames, the Egyptian warrior who is sworn to combat her people. As the Egyptians acclaim their leader, Aida agonizes over the dual feelings she has between loyalty to her homeland and her love for Radames.

Nessun dorma – Turandot

The Unknown Prince has successfully answered Turandot’s three riddles and has won her hand. Knowing that she is against this, and wanting her real love, he proposes his own riddle: if she can find out his own name, he will die and she will be free.  She then issues an edict that no one in the city shall sleep until the name is discovered. He then looks forward to the day when he will gain her hand – through love.

Artist bios
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Top Prize Winner of the 2018 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition Wagner Division, Soprano AMY SHOREMOUNT-OBRA has garnered major attention for her work on the operatic and concert stage.  Ms. Shoremount-Obra made her much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera Debut in October 2014 as “First Lady” in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She recently returned to the Met for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons for the revival of the English version of the opera in the same role.  Ms. Shoremount-Obra’s other recent operatic appearances have included her debut in the title role of “Turandot” with Opera Grand Rapids, her debut in the title role of “Salome” with the Southern Illinois Music Festival, “Marchesa” in Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno with Odyssey Opera of Boston, the title role in Tosca with Maryland Opera,, “Musetta” in La Bohème with the Savannah Philharmonic, “Fiordiligi” in Così fan tutte with Annapolis Opera, and “Artemis” in the world premiere of Dan Visconti and Cerise Jacob’s “PermaDeath” video game opera in Boston.  Next year, Ms. Shoremount-Obra can be seen at the Hawaii International Music Festival in scenes from Tosca and at Varna International as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem.

Kimberly Christie, soprano

Hailed by The Washington Post as a singer with “uninhibited movement and shining vocal abilities that [stand] out from the rest”, soprano, KIMBERLY CHRISTIE, is a dynamic and versatile singer, equally skilled in opera, oratorio, recital and musical theater.  She is excited to make her debut on the Maryland Opera mainstage as Adele!  She performs primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region with a wide variety of companies including Washington National Opera, Maryland Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Live Arts Maryland, Columbia Orchestra, Central Maryland Chorale, Columbia ProCantare, Bel Cantanti Opera, IN Series, Harrisburg Choral Society, and the Maryland Choral Society. Next up you can hear Kimberly sing soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah this December in Annapolis with Live Arts Maryland.  Visit www.kimberlychristie.com to learn more about upcoming performances.  Kimberly completed her graduate work at the Peabody Conservatory and currently lives in Baltimore with her husband and fur babies, Linus & Lucy.

Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano

Acclaimed as “a singer of rare power and clarity” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), CHRYSTAL E. WILLIAMS is “a joy to listen to and watch – the complete package” (Bachtrack).  In the near future, she makes her role debut as Fricka in Das Rheingold with Birmingham Opera Company and is set to make her company and role debut as Carmen with Opera North, join Opera Delaware/Delaware Symphony Orchestra for a New Year’s Eve Gala (COVID19), join the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for the UK premiere of Dett’s The Ordering of Moses, and return to the Metropolitan Opera as Maketaten in Akhnaten, the roll of her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2019. 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.  

Eric McKeever, baritone

American operatic baritone ERIC MCKEEVER has won consistent praise for his voice of "power and brilliance" (Chicago Tribune) and "considerable flexibility and a communicative presence enhanced by expressive crystalline diction." (Opera News). The 2021-2022 season saw Mr. McKeever in several exciting projects including joining Indianapolis Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni, a role and house debut as Papa-Daddy in the world premiere of Why I Live at the P.O. with DC's Urban Arias, as well as covering Monforte in New Amsterdam Opera's I Vespri Siciliani.  He returns to Salt Marsh Opera for their "Opera in the Park" and will join Opera Delaware as an Artist-in-Residence performing a solo recital as part of the Sunday Spotlight Series.  This spring, he joined the roster of On Site Opera covering the title role in Gianni Schicchi and made his debut with Teatro Grattacielo as the Banditore (Tebaldo cover) in Zandonai's rarely-performed Giulietta e Romeo.  He also returned to Opera Columbus as Henry "Box" Brown in a new production of Vanqui by Leslie Savoy Burrs and made is Opera on the James debut in their summer park concert.

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Tenor John Pickle quickly has established himself as a strong tenor, most recently for his portrayals of Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, a role he débuted with Los Angeles Opera. Of a performance as the jilted hunter with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Kansas City Star raved, “Pickle’s emotionally wrought characterization drove this [performance] even harder home than usual.” In recent seasons, Mr. Pickle also enjoyed performances as Erik with Mobile Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Last season, Pickle joined the esteemed roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Norma.  This season, he performs Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Hawaii Opera Theatre, the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Louisiane, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Canton Symphony, as well as Mozart’s Requiem with Pacific Symphony.  Favorite engagements from recent seasons  include Canio in Pagliacci with Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Memphis, and Dayton Opera; Cavardossi in Tosca with Nashville Opera, Intermountain Opera Bozeman and Townsend Opera; Rodolfo in La bohème with Colorado Symphony; Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera and Don José in Carmen with Opera Tampa; Radamés in Aïda with Dayton Opera; and the title role in Candide with Fresno Grand Opera.

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Lyric bass Jim Williams is a D.C. Metro transplant born in New Orleans, LA and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. Before graduating from college, he participated as a young artist in New York Lyric Opera Theater’s summer program. While there, Jim appeared as Colas from Bastien und Bastienne, as Bartolo from Le Nozze di Figaro, and performed at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Opera America. After graduating from Oakwood University with a Bachelor of Music, emphasis in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, he relocated to Maryland where he now resides.  Jim currently sings with the choruses of Washington National Opera and Maryland Lyric Opera, and leads the bass section as soloist, quartet singer, and cantor at Christ Lutheran Church, Baltimore, MD. Most recently he appeared as the Sergeant of Police in Young Victorian Theater Company’s Pirates of Penzance. He started off the fall season as a soloist in a series of concerts with Opera Baltimore and continued by singing the role of Second Armored man and covering the role of Sarastro with the Washington Opera Society. He’s very grateful and excited to make his debut with Maryland Opera and looks forward to other engagements throughout the upcoming months.