Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
Experience the triumphant return of this hit production, coproduced with The Atlanta Opera! This classic tale about the struggle between good and evil— represented by the High Priest Sarastro and the nasty Queen of the Night— follows the trials of would-be newlyweds Pamina and Tamino. As they journey along their path to enlightenment, the two encounter a fascinating cast of characters, including the beloved bird catcher Papageno and a very interesting dragon! You’ll love this enchanting production that incorporates “pop-up book” set elements and an array of colorful puppets. A delightfully fresh take on one of opera’s most beloved works.
As the story begins, Prince Tamino is fleeing from a giant serpent when Three Ladies, the servants of the Queen of the Night, appear and save him. They are immediately taken by the handsome young prince. When they leave to bring word to their mistress, Papageno, a bird catcher, shows up. After introducing himself, he lies to Tamino that he is the one who rescued him. When the Three Ladies return, they first punish Papageno for lying and then show Tamino a portrait of Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Tamino immediately falls in love with the girl in the picture. When the Queen of the Night appears, she promises Pamina will be his if he will undertake to free her from the evil Sarastro. Tamino agrees to set off on the quest along with Papageno. The Ladies give Tamino a magic flute and Papageno a set of magic bells to aid them in their journey. Then, led by three genies, the two men set off to find Sarastro’s kingdom.
When they arrive, they are separated. Papageno finds Pamina, and Tamino is faced with a temple that is looked after by the Speaker. In fact, he finds out from the Speaker that Sarastro is not the evil man whom the Queen of the Night described, but is a high priest who is protecting Pamina from her mother, who is filled with ambition to dominate the world.
Meanwhile, Pamina and Papageno are captured by the evil servant Monostatos. When Tamino is brought into the presence of Sarastro, Monostatos enters with his “prisoners,” Pamina and Papageno. Tamino sees Pamina for the first time, and they immediately fall in love. Monostatos, on the other hand, is punished for his presumption. As the act ends, Tamino agrees to undergo a set of trials in order to gain admission to Sarastro’s order and to win Pamina for his own.
The trials that Sarastro has imposed begin. The first test is “Silence.” Tamino and Papageno are forbidden to speak. Even though Tamino is tempted by luscious food and threatened by the Queen’s Three Ladies, he resists through the power of his flute. Finally, Tamino is taken to face Pamina but is required to remain silent even though, in desperation, Pamina begs him to speak to her. On the other hand, Papageno is not so strong, and when he meets an old woman, he fails to recognize that it is Papagena—the girl of his dreams. As she is chased away, Papageno runs off, trying in vain to catch her. Meanwhile, Pamina is forlorn when her mother, the Queen of the Night appears and orders her to kill Sarastro. Monostatos, seeing Pamina’s dilemma, attempts to use her troubles as a means of seducing her. Sarastro arrives in time to drive Monostatos away. Then, knowing what Pamina has been asked to do, he explains to her that in his kingdom there is no room for hate or revenge. Pamina, unable to carry out her mother’s order, is left more depressed than before and considers killing herself. She is stopped just in time by the three genies, who explain that Tamino needs her.
Tamino is now ready to face the last two tests—”Fire” and “Water.” Just as he is about to begin, Pamina arrives, and together they pass through the trials to be welcomed into the temple by Sarastro and his followers.
Papageno, however, is totally downhearted at having lost his Papagena and is considering suicide, when the three genies show up once again and remind him to use magic bells. Papagena appears, and the two love birds are united with visions of happy marriage and many children.
The Queen of the Night arrives at Sarastro’s temple, furious at having been thwarted by him. She attempts to attack the temple aided by the Three Ladies and her new ally, Monostatos. In the end, they are defeated by Sarastro’s magic. Finally, with peace restored, Sarastro blesses Tamino and Pamina before the gathered crowd, and all celebrate their triumph.
“The Contrasting Characters of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)”
by Nik Taylor
Many eighteenth-century operas have plots that revolve around conflicts and divisions of class. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, for example, both feature characters of various backgrounds and social standing who intermingle in ways that create interesting stories for the stage. Such plots were especially appealing to Mozart and other composers of the period because the different character types allowed them to compose in a variety of musical styles. This is especially true in the fantasy world of Mozart and Schikaneder’s Die Zauberflöte, where there is an exceptionally wide array of characters. In setting this libretto, Mozart not only composed in a variety of styles to match these different characters, he also created clear musical contrasts between pairs of characters that heighten the musical and dramatic effect of the story.
One of the most obvious contrasts is in the musical depiction of Sarastro and the Queen of the Night. These two characters never interact on stage, but Mozart describes the brutal conflict between them by giving them completely different styles of music. Sarastro receives two solo arias, “O Isis und Osiris” and “In diesen Heil’gen Hallen,” both of which maintain a slow tempo and hymn-like style, and often sink to deep notes, depicting Sarastro’s prominent position and his profound thoughts. As Sarastro’s counterpart, both in terms of plot and music, the Queen of the Night is given arias with much faster sections and extremely high pitches. Like Sarastro, the Queen of the Night is also given two arias. The first, “Zum Leiden bin ich auserkoren,” begins with a slow, sorrowful section that recalls her daughter’s abduction and ends with blazing virtuosity that features long runs, the last of which climaxes to the F above high C. In her second aria, the famous “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,” the Queen is again given many high notes at a quick tempo. Mozart’s decision to write these two virtuosic arias indeed helps to form a clear contrast between the Queen of the Night and her nemesis, Sarastro.
Mozart also creates musical contrast between two other important characters: the prince Tamino and his bird-catching sidekick, Papageno. Tamino’s solo aria at the beginning of Act I, “Die Bildniss ist bezaubernd schön,” contains many notes near the top of the tenor’s range, and the subdued accompaniment features the singer’s emotions and words; indeed, the orchestration is sparse while the soloist is singing and only responds in dialogue with his lovesick praise of Pamina’s image. While Papageno’s music is very different from Tamino’s, the bird catcher’s two arias, “Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja” and “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen,” are similar. In both, the singer’s simple melodies are restricted to a limited range. Plus, the melodies are presented by both the singer and first violins, guiding the soloist along. Mozart’s choice to set Papageno’s tunes in this way is very different from the melodic liberty and range Tamino receives in his solo number. Another point of comparison between Papageno’s and Tamino’s music is in the use of melody and text. Papageno’s two arias repeat the same music for several stanzas of text, which is more like a song than opera aria. This is much simpler than in Tamino’s aria, which presents developing melodies and multiple moods. In all, Mozart shows the differences between the courageous prince and his timid companion by composing very different music for them.
The opera contains yet another pair of characters with stark contrasts of musical styles: Pamina and her captor, Monostatos, the Moor. Pamina’s aria “Ach, ich fühl’s,” along with her many other solo moments in the opera, give her much melodic freedom (as in Tamino’s aria), and they also showcase her wide range, which frequently ascends to high soaring notes. Monostatos’s music could not be more different. His Act II aria, “Alles fühlt der Liebe Freude,” uses a fast tempo, simple harmonies, piccolo, and fast-repeated notes in the strings that all contribute to an exotic sound, the so-called “Turkish style” that Mozart often used in other operas and instrumental works. These Turkish features imply a view of Monostatos as an exotic outsider, which carried particular connotations to the opera’s original audience. During the eighteenth century, the Viennese public viewed the Turks as threatening the cultural and social order. Monostatos does just this in the story; he terrorizes Pamina and breaks the moral codes of Sarastro’s temple. Monostatos’s music, therefore, reflects the Moor’s role in the opera, and it also works to form a clear musical separation from Pamina.
The conflicts between characters in Die Zauberflöte and the dramatic contrasts they provide suited a composer like Mozart perfectly because his versatile musical language easily fit many different characters in the opera. In addition, the composer’s variety of musical styles has the ability to suggest the characters’ relationships with each other. Indeed, Mozart’s music is able to depict characters as different as night and day, contributing a great deal to the dramatic interactions and contrasts in Schikaneder’s text.
Conductor David Effron’s 50-year-career has included appearances with major symphonies and opera companies around the globe. He has conducted 105 operas and most of the standard symphonic works. For 18 years, he was on the conducting staff of the New York City Opera, where he conducted many performances, not only in New York, but also with the City Opera residencies in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. He has been the music director of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and the artistic director of the Central City (Colo.) Opera and the Brevard Music Center (N.C). For 10 years, he was the general music director of the Heidelberg (Germany) Castle Festival. After his tenure as music director of the Music School Festival Orchestra in Chautauqua, N.Y., the David Effron Fellowship was established. Effron taught at the Curtis Institute of Music and for 21 years, was head of the orchestral program at the Eastman School of Music. Since 1998, he has been an active conductor at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he is a professor of music in the Orchestral Conducting Department. Effron was the conductor of the Grammy Award-winning recording of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait narrated by William Warfield. His discography also includes a Pantheon recording with soprano Benita Valente, which won the German Record Critics’ Award.
Effron holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University. He was an assistant to Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch at the Cologne (Germany) Opera House. He has been a Fulbright scholar and a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Grant. He was named Musician of the Year by the National Federation of Music Clubs and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from North Carolina State University.
Arthur Fagen has been professor of orchestral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2008, where he is currently chair of the Orchestral Conducting Department. Additionally, he has been music director of the Atlanta Opera since 2010.
Fagen was born in New York, where he began his conducting studies with Laszlo Halasz. Further studies continued at the Curtis Institute, under the guidance of Max Rudolf, at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and with Hans Swarowsky. A former assistant of both Christoph von Dohnányi (Frankfurt Opera) and James Levine (Metropolitan Opera), Fagen’s career has been marked by a string of notable appearances. He has conducted opera productions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Munich State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, New York City Opera, Theatre Capitole de Toulouse, Bordeaux Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Staatstheater Stuttgart, New Israeli Opera, Baltimore Opera, Edmonton Opera, Spoleto Festival, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and Stadttheater Bozen. From 1998 to 2001, he was invited regularly as guest conductor at the Vienna State Opera. On the concert podium, Fagen has appeared with internationally known orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, the Czech Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, RAI Orchestras (Torino, Naples, Milano, Roma), the Bergen Philharmonic, Prague Spring Festival, the Dutch Radio Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Fagen has an opera repertory of more than 75 works. He has served as principal conductor in Kassel and Brunswick, as chief conductor of the Flanders Opera of Antwerp and Ghent, as music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, and as a member of the conducting staff of the Chicago Lyric Opera.
From 2002 to 2007, he was music director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dortmund Opera. Following his successful concerts with the Dortmund Philharmonic at the Grosse Festspielhaus in Salzburg, Fagen and the Dortmund Philharmonic were invited to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais de Beaux Arts in Brussels, and to Salzburg, Beijing, and Shanghai. He conducted in that period, among others, new opera productions of Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, and two Ring Cycles.
Fagen conducted a new production of Turandot at the Atlanta Opera in 2007, opening the season with enormous success and inaugurating the new opera house, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Soon afterward in Atlanta, he conducted the contemporary opera Cold Sassy Tree by Carlisle Floyd.
He was first-prize winner of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conductors Competition, as well as a prize winner of the Gino Marinuzzi International Conductors’ Competition in Italy.
Fagen has recorded for BMG, Bayerischer Rundfunk, SFB, and WDR Cologne. He records regularly for Naxos, for which he has completed the six symphonies of Bohuslav Martinů. The recent Naxos recording of Martinů’s piano concertos has been awarded an Editor’s Choice award in the March 2010 issue of Gramophone magazine.
A theatre professional for over 30 years, Helena Binder was an actor and director of plays and musicals before focusing her career on opera, allowing her to bring her wit and warmth to many of the finest opera companies in the United States. Known for her masterful sense of timing and for fostering natural, genuine, and moving performances, her innovative and imaginative productions have been seen at New York City Opera, Dallas, Minnesota, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Portland operas, and at Opera Saratoga, Omaha, Chattanooga, Toledo, Roanoke, and Wolf Trap, among others. Her productions of Ermione and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria garnered high praise from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and her Barber of Seville was named one of Dallas’s top-10 classical performances of 2006. Of her L’italiana in Algeri for Minnesota Opera, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said, “In an evening of captivating performances, she steals the show.”
A choreographer as well, Binder has collaborated with such notable directors as Frank Corsaro, Simon Callow, and Christopher Alden, and has created dances for New York City Opera, The Dallas Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival, where she also went on for an ailing countertenor. She has directed the Legislative Correspondents Association Show at the New York State capitol, the oldest political satire revue in the country, since 1985. For her distinguished career in the arts, she was named a union notable by her alma mater, Union College, where she earned her B.A. She holds a Master of Arts from New York University and studied acting at Circle in the Square. As an actor, she has performed in regional theatre in the United States and abroad in roles ranging from Peter Pan to Shakespeare’s Juliet and was a member of the band Blotto, which recorded the hit I Wanna Be A Lifeguard.
A committed acting teacher and coach, Binder has been on the faculty of Union College, the Opera Institute of Boston University’s School of Music, and the New England Conservatory, and is a guest teacher in improvisation at Dartmouth College.
Born in Bloomington, Ind., and raised not two blocks from campus, C. David Higgins started his theatrical studies at IU intent on becoming an actor/dancer before he discovered his love for scenic design. He studied with the famous C. Mario Cristini and became proficient in the Romantic-Realist style of scenic design and painting. After earning his master’s degree, he joined the staff of Indiana University Opera Theater and worked there as master scenic artist from the time the Musical Arts Center opened in 1971 until his retirement in December 2011. He was appointed to the faculty in 1976 and served as chair of the Opera Studies Department and principal designer for Opera Theater. His design credits throughout the United States include the San Antonio Festival, Memphis Opera, Norfolk Opera, Louisville Opera, Detroit Symphony, Canton Ballet, and Sarasota Ballet, as well as many other venues. His Indiana University productions have been seen throughout North America as rentals by major regional opera companies. His many international credits include the Icelandic National Theater; Ballet San Juan de Puerto Rico; Korean National Opera; Seoul City Opera; Korean National Ballet; Dorset Opera (England); Teatro la Paz de Belém, Brazil; and the Teatro National de São Paulo, Brazil. He has designed the scenery for the world premiere of Our Town (Ned Rorem), the American premieres of Jeppe (Sandström) and The Devils of Loudun (Penderecki), and the collegiate premières of Nixon in China (Adams) and The Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano), as well as many other operas and ballets. Known for his Italianate painting style, Opera News magazine has referred to Higgins as one of the finest American scenic artists today.
Marie Barrett is happy to be returning to IU Opera Theater after doing the light design for its productions of The Merry Widow in 2012-13, Der Rosenkavalier 2011-12, and Die Zauberflöte 2009-10. She has worked for many companies in her 30-plus years of lighting opera, including Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Tokyo Nikikai Opera, San Francisco Opera, Netherlands Opera, L’Opera National de Paris, The Dallas Opera, Canadian Opera company, and San Diego Opera. Highlights include Lucia Di Lammermoor, Tosca, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Barber of Seville, Salome, Macbeth, Turandot, and The Flying Dutchman with The Dallas Opera; Un Ballo in Maschera and Die Fledermaus with San Francisco Opera; Tannhauser, The Magic Flute, Katya Kabanova, Vanessa, and Don Quichotte with San Diego Opera; and Roméo et Juliette, La Cenerentola, Peter Grimes, and La Traviata with Houston Grand Opera. Barrett looks forward to lighting an upcoming production of Tosca with old friends at Dallas Opera and resuming her production management job with the Riverdance 20 Years in 2015-16.
Along with his responsibilities as professor of choral conducting and faculty director of opera choruses at the Jacobs School of Music, Walter Huff continues his duties as Atlanta Opera chorus master. He has been chorus master for The Atlanta Opera since 1988, preparing the chorus in more than 100 productions, receiving critical acclaim in the United States and abroad. Huff received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and his Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins). He studied piano with Sarah Martin, Peter Takacs, and Lillian Freundlich, and voice with Flore Wend. After serving as a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, he received Tanglewood’s C. D. Jackson Master Award for Excellence. Huff served as coach with the Peabody Opera Theatre and Washington Opera, and has been musical director for The Atlanta Opera Studio, Georgia State University Opera, and Actor’s Express (Atlanta, Ga.). He also has worked as chorus master with San Diego Opera. He served on the faculty at Georgia State University for four years as assistant professor, guest lecturer, and conductor for the Georgia State University Choral Society. Recently, he was one of four Atlanta artists chosen for the first Loridans Arts Awards, given to Atlanta artists who have made exceptional contributions to the arts life of Atlanta over a long period of time. While serving as chorus master for The Atlanta Opera, Huff has been the music director for The Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute, a nine-month training program for talented, classically trained high school singers. He has served as chorus master for the IU Opera Theater productions of Don Giovanni, The Merry Widow, Akhnaten, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lady Thi Kính, H.M.S. Pinafore, La Traviata, The Italian Girl in Algiers, La Bohème, The Last Savage, and South Pacific. This past June, Huff served as choral instructor and conductor for the Sacred Music Intensive, a workshop inaugurated by the Organ and Choral departments at the Jacobs School. In addition, he maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta.
Julia Hoffmann Lawson earned her B.A. in German from the University of Wisconsin and her M.A. and Ph.D. in German Literature from Indiana University, completing the latter in 1980. She started teaching as a graduate student and never stopped. She has lived and studied in Germany and Switzerland. After 18 years teaching German and English as a Second Language (ESL) in the Washington, D.C., area, she and her husband returned to Bloomington in 2002. Since 2004, she has taught as a part-time lecturer in the IU Department of Germanic Studies, and in April 2010, she received Indiana University’s Distinguished Teaching Award for part-time faculty. She has been working as German diction coach for IU Opera Theater since the The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2008. Her work since then has included coaching for Die Zauberflöte in 2009, Die Fledermaus in 2010, and The Merry Widow in 2012. For Der Rosenkavalier in 2012, she coached and wrote the English supertitles.
Stage director Vincent Liotta has been both a professional stage director and a dedicated educator for more than 40 years. He is currently chair of the Opera Studies Department in the Jacobs School of Music, where he teaches stage directing, acting, and operatic literature. As a stage director, he has been involved in creating many world premiere productions. Most recently, he conceived and directed the much-acclaimed premiere of Vincent by composer Bernard Rands and librettist J. D. McClatchy for IU Opera Theater. Among other notable premieres in which he has taken a creative lead are Coyote Tales by Henry Mollicone and Too Many Sopranos by Jacobs composer Edwin Penhorwood. His professional projects have been seen on four continents—including Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Puccini’s La Bohème in Seoul, Korea; the eastern-European premiere of Bernstein’s Candide for the Romanian National Opera in Cluj-Napoca; Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and La fanciulla del West at the Canadian National Opera in Toronto. Liotta’s operatic repertory covers the entire history of opera, from Cavalli to John Corigliano. In 1993, he co-founded the Utah Festival Opera. In addition to directing, he has authored and translated works for the musical theater, including a new libretto for Victor Herbert’s operetta, Naughty Marietta, and Viva Verdi, an original biographical evening about the life and work of Giuseppe Verdi. He has done new English translations for The Merry Wives of Windsor and Orlando Paladino in addition to a new libretto for The Merry Widow. For many years, Liotta has collaborated with Harold Prince on productions of Turandot and Don Giovanni, as well as on the world premiere of Willie Stark.
Soprano Yuji Bae, a native of South Korea, is a Performer Diploma student. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Seoul National University (SNU), where she studied with Philip Kang. After earning her B.M. degree from SNU, she studied at Rimini Academia, including the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. She also studied at the Rossini Conservatorio in Pesaro, Italy. Bae performed as a new rising star in Seoul, South Korea, and in a gala concert in Pesaro, Italy. She is a first-place winner of the international music competition Citta di Pesaro in the summer of 2014, first-place winner of the Korea Herald music competition, third-place winner of the Music Education News competition, special-prize winner of the National Teenager music competition, and second-place winner of the Bucheon Teenager music competition. Bae is a student of Costanza Cuccaro.
Soprano Tabitha Burchett is a second-year master’s student at the Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Heidi Grant Murphy. She made her Indiana University Opera Theater debut last season as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore. Other solo credits include Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, and Libby Larsen’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. Recently, Burchett received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A frequent collaborator with composers, she looks forward to premiering American Composition Prize-winner Dominick DiOrio’s Stravinsky Refracted with IU’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, NOTUS. She will spend the summer in Virginia, enjoying performances with the Ash Lawn Opera. Burchett earned her Bachelor of Music cum laude from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (Wheaton, Ill). During her undergraduate work, she performed a number of roles, including Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Lily (The Secret Garden), and Mabel (The Pirates of Penance). She is from Terre Haute, Ind.
Tenor Michael Day is in his first-year of graduate studies at Jacobs, after receiving undergraduate degrees in voice and music education, also from the Jacobs School of Music. The Magic Flute marks his second appearance on the MAC stage, having sung the role of Schmidt in last year’s production of Werther. He has performed solos in multiple oratorios, including Mozart’s Requiem with St. Paul’s Episcopal Choir and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Bloomington Chamber Singers. This summer, Day will be performing at Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, where he will be a festival artist and play the role of Padre in Man of LaMancha. He is a student of Scharmal Schrock.
Trey Smagur is a 24-year-old tenor hailing from Clarkesville, Ga. He currently studies voice performance with Carlos Montané at the Jacobs School of Music in pursuit of an M.M. degree. Smagur has recently sung the roles of Tamino in OK Mozart’s production of The Magic Flute last summer as well as of the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Last year, he played Ralph Rackstraw in IU Opera’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore. He recently received an Encouragement Award at the Southeastern Regional Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, after being selected as a winner at the district level. This summer, Smagur will be an apprentice artist at the Des Moines Metro Opera Company. He also enjoys a capella music and basketball.
Baritone Heeseung Chae, from South Korea, completed his master’s degree at Seoul National University and is in the first year of his Performance Diploma studies at Jacobs. He has performed in La Boheme (2012) and Rigoletto (2008). He also performed in the Verdi gala concert in 2011. As an IU student, he performed Haly in Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers (2014). Chae received his Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University and is currently a student of Andreas Poulimenos.
Ryan Kieran, baritone, is a senior pursuing a B.M. in Voice Performance at Indiana University. He has performed the role of Le Roi in IU Opera’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon. This past summer, he was a featured winner of the Franco Gentilesca Young Artist Program at Opera of the Hamptons. During Manhattan School of Music’s Summer Voice Festival 2014, he sang in the Irving Berlin revue Coming to America (Michael). Favorite past shows include Ezra Donner’s Ile (Second Mate) and Wright and Forrest’s Kismet (the Poet). Kieran is a winner of the Cole and Kate Porter Memorial Scholarship and the Christ and Marchant Friends of Music Guarantor Scholarship. He is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y. and is a student of Timothy Noble.
A native of Maryland, soprano Simran Arora Afsah is currently in her fifth year at Indiana University, where she is simultaneously pursuing undergraduate degrees in music and public affairs—at the Jacobs School of Music and the School of Policy and Environmental Affairs, respectively. With IU Opera Theater, she has performed the roles of Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Sylviane (The Merry Widow). Last summer, she attended the Castleton Festival. Afsah is a student of Costanza Cuccaro.
Soprano Gloria Bangiola, a native of Morristown, N.J., is a senior graduating this May with honors in choral music education and a minor in ethnomusicology. This is her debut performance with Indiana University Opera Theater. She comes to the MAC stage fresh from her student teaching experiences with Kathy Gorr at St. Charles Elementary in Bloomington, Ind., in addition to Pavia, Italy, where she taught Italian high school students choir, American history, and conversational English. Under the instruction of Teresa Kubiak, Bangiola has performed the role of Second Woman in the IU Summer Festival Chorus’s production of Dido and Aeneas and sung the soprano solo in the University Singers’ performance of Paukenmesse by Josef Haydn under the direction of Betsy Burleigh. In addition to her solo performance experience, she has assistant-directed the Indiana University Children’s Chorus, directed by Brent Gault and Lauren Home, and the All-Campus Chorus, directed by William Gray. In 2013, Bangiola was awarded Best Arrangement at the national Jewish a Capella competition Kool Halim for her arrangement of “Michaela” by Machinima Nine and Gil Dor. Bangiola is the composer of two full-length folk albums, Past the Willow and the Well (available on Spotify and iTunes) and Fool’s Gold (available this April).
Soprano Emma Donahue is a native of the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. At age eight, she created the role of the Migratory Bird in William Bolcom’s The Wind in the Willows, and at 12, she appeared as a soloist in the musical Islands on Broadway. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where her operatic credits included Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore), and Violetta (Act I of La Traviata). Donahue debuted internationally as Ismene in Mozart’s Mitridate under the direction of Maestro David Kram in Melbourne, Australia, and covered Musetta in La Bohème at Opera on the Avalon in Newfoundland. With the Carol Vaness Opera Workshop, she performed Suor Genevieffa (Suor Angelica) and covered Nella (Gianni Schicchi), and with IU Opera Theater, she has been seen in Menotti’s The Last Savage and the world premiere of P. Q. Phan’s The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh. She appeared most recently as Soprano I soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the University Singers. Upcoming engagements include Lisette (La Rondine) with IU Opera Workshop and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for the IU Summer Music Series 2015. She is thrilled to have the honor this year of making the premier recording of Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Antarctica,” a setting of Harper’s monologue from Kushner’s Angels in America, at the request of the composer. An IU Artistic Excellence Award recipient, Donahue is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in the studio of Carol Vaness.
Soprano Shin-Yeong Noh, a native of Seoul, South Korea, is currently in her second year of her Doctor of Music degree. Her opera credits include the role of Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with IU Opera Theater, Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea with New York Lyric Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff with the Bay View Summer Festival in Petoskey, Mich., and Nella in Gianni Schicchi with the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute in San Francisco, Calif. She has also sung major roles from Intoxication: America’s Love Affair with Oil by C. Kingsland with New Voices Opera in Bloomington, Ind. Noh has won second prize at the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in 2014, first prize at the New Hampshire Opera Idol competition in 2010, and the Tribute Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters competition in 2010. She was heard as a finalist at the Verismo Opera Competition in 2015. She earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Voice Performance degrees at the Jacobs School studying under Teresa Kubiak and is currently a student of Patricia Stiles.
Brazilian bass-baritone Rafael Porto most recently performed the male lead role of Mustafa in Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers last fall with IU Opera Theater and Dulcamara in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. He made his Indiana University Opera Theater debut as Bartolo in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and performed the lead male role of Su Cu in the world premiere production of The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh with the company last February. A second-year master’s student, Porto studies with Timothy Noble and has previously studied with Thomas Studebaker, François Loup, and Mark Gilgallon in addition to receiving guidance from Mary Anne Spangler Scott. Combining his undergraduate work at Butler University and music festival productions in Italy, Porto has sung 17 different roles in the past five years. With Indianapolis Opera, he has been seen as Jose Castro and Billy Jackrabbit in La Fanciulla del West, the Imperial Commissioner in Madame Butterfly, and other comprimario roles. He has worked with artists including conductors Alberto Zedda, Joseph Rescigno, Emanuele Andrizzi, Arthur Fagen, Marzio Conti, and David Effron; stage directors Candace Evans, Chris Alexander, and Julia Pevzner; and coaches Mark Phelps, Daniela Siena, Ubaldo Fabbri, and Kevin Murphy. Porto is the winner of a Georgina Joshi International Fellowship and is currently the recipient of the Wilfred C. Bain Opera Fellowship. Upcoming engagements include being the bass-baritone soloist for the world premiere performance of P. Q. Phan’s A Vietnamese Requiem with IU’s acclaimed vocal ensemble NOTUS.
Tenor Barry Greene, hailing from Newport News, Va., is making his debut performance with IU Opera Theater. Greene has performed the role of Lawyer Frazier in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Princeton Festival in Princeton, N.J. He has appeared as a guest soloist in the Voices Concert Series with the Virginia Symphony, Symphonicity: Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach, the Chesapeake Civic Chorus, and the I. Sherman Greene Chorale. He has also appeared in a number of operas with Virginia Opera, including Madame Butterfly, Aida, and Rigoletto. Greene is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Robert Harrison.
Connor Hakes, tenor, is a native of Decatur, Ind., and is making his IU Opera Theater debut as Monostatos. He has previously appeared in the choruses of The Merry Widow, Le Nozze di Figaro, H.M.S. Pinafore, and La Bohème at IU. This past fall, he was part of a new student group, the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society, at Indiana University. The group’s first production was Iolanthe, in which he sang the role of Mountararat. He is the recipient of the Bruce Hubbard and K. Robert Ehrman Memorial Scholarships. Currently, he is a junior pursuing his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance as a student of Alice Hopper.
Soprano Mathilda Edge, a native of Chandlerville, Ill., is currently pursuing her Doctor of Music degree. This is her fourth role on the IU Opera stage, with her other roles consisting of the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), Romilda in Xerxes (Händel), and The Milliner in Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss). Edge has appeared as a soloist at a number of colleges and universities, including Indiana University, Indiana State University, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and Illinois College. She recently won first place in the Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization Vocal Competition and has won both the Illinois and Indiana State Chapters of National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions. She has also won Grand Prize, Adult Division, and People’s Choice in the Jacksonville (Ill.) Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Among Us Competition. Most recently, she was awarded a Georgina Joshi International Fellowship through the Jacobs School of Music, which will allow her to study in Germany during the summer of 2015. Edge earned her Master of Music in Voice Performance from the Jacobs School of Music and her Bachelor of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership and Music from Illinois College, where she studied with Addie Gramelspacher. While there, she sang the role of Lily (The Secret Garden). Edge currently studies under Costanza Cuccaro and Brian Horne.
Lesley Anne Friend’s performance as First Lady in this production of The Magic Flute marks her debut with IU Opera Theater. In addition to being a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semi-Finalist, she is a winner of awards from the Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition, Connecticut Concert Opera, International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and the Orpheus Competition. Friend has been a young artist with the Seagle Music Colony and Sugar Creek Opera, and an apprentice artist with Sarasota Opera. Most recently, she was the soprano artist- in-residence with Opera Memphis, from 2012 to 2014. Her roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Alma in Summer & Smoke, Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, Miss Jessel in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Helmwige in Wagner’s Die Walküre, Female Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, Ariadne in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Myra Foster in Stephen Schwartz’s Seance on Suor Angelica, and Magda Sorel in Menotti’s masterpiece, The Consul. Friend sang her first Verdi Requiem with Boston’s Chorus Pro Musica and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Hartt School of Music Choirs and Orchestra and the New Haven Chorale. She received her B.M. in Vocal Performance cum laude from Montclair State University and her M.M. in Opera from The Boston Conservatory. Currently, she is in her first year of doctoral studies at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Carol Vaness.
Soprano Emily Baker is a second-year master’s student at the Jacobs School of Music studying under the tutelage of Teresa Kubiak. A native of Feeding Hills, Mass., Baker completed her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education at Boston University. This past summer, she performed the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and sang Nella in Gianni Schicci as an apprentice artist at Opera in the Ozarks. Most recently, she won the Encouragement Award at the Indiana District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Krista Rose Wilhelmsen recently premiered Larry Delinger’s new opera, Talk to Me Like the Rain, in October 2014 with Marble City Opera. At Indiana University, she has performed Lady Billows in Albert Herring (2012), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (2012), and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro (2013). As a young artist, she has performed with Utah Opera Festival and Music Theatre, Opera New Jersey, Natchez Music Festival, Opera for the Young, Augusta Opera, and Opera Carolina. Her awards include Heafner-Williams Vocal Competition second place, Metropolitan Opera National Auditions District Winner and Regional Finalist, Long Leaf Opera Competition second place, Charlotte Opera Guild third place, and Bel Canto Foundation Bella Voce prize. Under the direction of Carol Vaness, she sang the role of Zemfira in Rachmaninov’s opera Aleko (2012) and the title role in Suor Angelica (2014). For the past two summers, Wilhelmsen joined Opera Experience Southeast as a young artist, singing the roles of Mimi in La Bohème (2014) and Nedda in Pagliacci (2013).
Mezzo-soprano Meghan Folkerts, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., is a third-year master’s student of Mary Ann Hart pursuing her degree in voice performance. Her IU credits include the Maharanee (The Last Savage), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Dido and First Witch (Dido and Aeneas), and Fifth Fairy (Cendrillion). This past fall, she sang the title role in the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s inaugural production of Iolanthe. Upcoming performances include the role of Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) in a scenes program under the direction of Heidi Grant Murphy, and the role of Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) with Opera in the Ozarks this summer. She has performed opera scenes with IU Opera Workshops and Northwestern University under the direction of Heidi Grant Murphy, Patricia Stiles, and W. Stephen Smith. Favorite roles include Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito), Cherubino and Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Maddalena (Rigoletto), and Mallika (Lakmé). She received her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) and studied with Carolyn Fons. While at WLC, she performed roles in many theater productions, including Mopsa (The Winter’s Tale), the Doctor (New York), Lady Jedburgh (Lady Windermere’s Fan), and Anita (West Side Story). Folkerts frequently appeared as a concert soloist at WLC, including in Mass in G Minor by Vaughan Williams, Liebeslieder, Op. 52 by Brahms, and Te Lucis Ante Terminum by McDermid.
Contralto/mezzo-soprano Olivia Thompson is a first-year voice performance graduate student studying with Patricia Stiles. She earned her undergraduate degree in voice performance from the University of Michigan. While there, she performed Tisbe in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. She also performed opera scenes from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Verdi’s Aida, Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance and Patience. In addition, she performed in opera choruses in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. Last semester, Thompson performed the role of the Maharanee in Menotti’s The Last Savage with IU Opera Theater. She also performed the roles of L’Amica in Menotti’s Amelia al ballo and Auntie in Britten’s Peter Grimes under the direction of Carol Vaness in her opera workshop. This month, Thompson will perform the role of Suzy in Puccini’s La Rondine in Vaness’s workshop.
Soprano Caroline Jamsa, a native of Wayzata, Minn., is in the first year of her master’s degree at Indiana University, where she also recently earned her Bachelor of Music with high distinction. She has been seen in the choruses of IU Opera Theater’s productions of La Bohème, La Traviata, Falstaff, and Cendrillon. This summer, she will be singing the role of Clorinda in Opera in the Ozark’s production of La Cenerentola. Other operatic credits include Second Lady and a cover for Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and the role of soprano soloist in a fully staged adaptation of Handel’s L’Allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato. She is a student of Andreas Poulimenos.
Mikaela Schneider, soprano, is currently a sophomore pursuing a voice performance degree with Timothy Noble at the Jacobs School of Music. A native of Milwaukee, Wis., she made her solo debut with the Milwaukee Symphony at age 13 singing the child solo in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms conducted by Andreas Delfs. That same year, she sang the child solo in the world premiere of Ryan Carter’s Quando consurgam conducted by Kevin Stahlheim with Milwaukee’s Present Music Ensemble. A few years later, under the baton of the late Marvin Hamlisch, Schneider sang Schubert’s Ave Maria as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and the National Symphony at the John F. Kennedy Center for each of its holiday pops concert series. She has also performed with the Florentine Opera in the role of Emmie in Britten’s Albert Herring and with the Skylight Music Theatre as a nun postulant in The Sound of Music. She has sung as a chorister with Music by the Lake in Die Fledermaus, Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Brigadoon, and Music in the Air. At IU, Schneider sang the role of Elizabeth in scenes from Ron Grainer’s Robert and Elizabeth last year in the Opera Chorus concert directed by Walter Huff, has appeared in the choruses of the world premiere The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh, and The Last Savage, and was most recently a soprano soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the University Singers directed by Betsy Burleigh.
Soprano Abbey Curzon, from Calgary, Canada, received her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Rice University. In 2010, she appeared as Frederika in the Shepherd School of Music’s production of A Little Night Music and was Amore in its fall production of L’incoronazione di Poppea. With the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, she performed Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore and Nannetta in Falstaff and covered Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Valencienne in The Merry Widow. She has performed the roles of Noémi in Cendrillon and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Indiana University Opera Theater. She is a member of Reimagining Opera for Kids in Bloomington and has performed the roles of Ana in Ana y su Sombra and Rainbow Crow, Human, and Moon Woman in The Firebringers.
Soprano Jordan Goodmon is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in voice performance at Jacobs with an outside field in English literature. A native of Bloomington, Ind., she made her IU Opera Theater debut as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden at the age of 10. More recently at IU, she performed in the choruses of The Last Savage, H.M.S. Pinafore, Le Nozze di Figaro, and The Merry Widow under the direction of Walter Huff. Last summer, she sang the role of Cosette in Cardinal Stage Company’s production of Les Misérables. Goodmon also sang the role of Papagena in scenes from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte through IU’s Summer Opera Workshop in 2013. Favorite past roles include Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel, Fiona MacLaren in Brigadoon, and Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She is a recipient of Carmack Music and William S. Armstrong scholarships and was recently named the winner of the Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity in the category of Arts and Humanities. She is a student of Mary Ann Hart.
Mezzo-soprano Annie Chester completed her undergraduate studies at the Jacobs School of Music in 2014 under the tutelage of Scharmal Schrock. She is currently a first-year M.M. student under the instruction of Patricia Havranek. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she now calls San Francisco home. She performed the roles of Olga is Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Amastre in Handel’s Xerxes, and Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with IU Opera, as well as being a member of the choruses of La Bohème, Falstaff, and Candide. She was a soloist in the Indiana University Oratorio Christmas Concert in 2013—as Gabriel in Shutz’s “Sei gegrüßet, Maria”—and was the alto soloist in Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb” in 2014. This past summer, she was the alto soloist for the IU Summer Chorus in the Mozart Requiem. Chester performed Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutti with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop in May and Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Blooming Voce Summer Opera Workshop in June. She is an active member of Reimagining Opera for Kids, performing the title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas weekly for school children in the Bloomington area. She is also a member of New Voices Opera, where she performed roles and arias from new works of current IU students. Under the direction of Wolfgang Brendel, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Patricia Stiles, Chester performed scenes as Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), and Orpheus (Orpheus and Euridice).
Soprano Joelle Tucker, a native of the Greater Cincinnati area, is in her fourth and final year of undergraduate studies at Indiana University. She is a voice performance major with an outside field in arts administration. As a chorus member for IU Opera Theater, she has performed in La Bohème (2011, 2014), Candide, The Merry Widow, and La Traviata. She has performed scenes from A Little Night Music (Anne Egerman), Company (Jenny), and Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett) in the Vocal Performance Workshop taught by Sylvia McNair. Tucker is a student of Andreas Poulimenos.
Jianan Andy Huang, from Fuzhou, China, recently made his New York City debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. In 2013, he participated in the Manhattan School of Music Summer Opera Program and sang the role of Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea. Huang has participated in the Opera Breve Vocal Intensive in Wichita Falls, Texas, for the past two summers. There, he sang the roles of Antonio and the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Marco in Gianni Schicchi. Huang, a recent graduate of Adelphi University, was a finalist in the Classical Singer competition and a winner of the New York City National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in 2013.
A senior bass-baritone from Avon, Ind., Christopher Seefeldt is finishing undergraduate degrees in voice performance and Germanic studies. As a chorus member with IU Opera Theatre, he has appeared in La Bohème, Candide, Don Giovanni, Cendrillon, Xerxes, Le nozze di Figaro, and La Traviata. As a principal soloist for IU Opera, Seefeldt has performed the roles of Benoît and Alcindoro (La Bohème), Sir Joseph Porter (H.M.S. Pinafore), and The Composer (The Last Savage). In addition to his work with IU Opera, he has also performed as bass soloist in Michael Haydn’s Missa Sancti Gabrielis for the Jacobs Symphonic Choir and in Mozart’s Requiem: once as part of the Jacobs Summer Music series and again with the Vincennes University chorus. With the Blooming Voce Summer Opera Workshop, he performed the role of Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) and previously premiered the role of Joseph in Kevin Garza’s What We Learn in Between with New Voices Opera. Seefeldt is a student of Timothy Noble.
Andrew Richardson, bass baritone, is a second-year doctoral student studying with Andreas Poulimenos. Richardson completed his master’s degree at Indiana University in 2012 and his bachelor’s degree at DePauw University in 2010. Past roles at IU include the Father in Hansel and Gretel, Ariodate in Xerxes, Benoit and Alcindoro in La Bohème, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Notary in Der Rosenkavalier, and Wagner in Faust. Roles outside of IU include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Colline in La Bohème, and Zuniga in Carmen. Richardson performed Winterreise with pianist Tony Weinstein during the Greencastle Music Festival. He is from South Bend, Ind.
A native of Slidell, La., tenor Brandon Scott Wear is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the Jacobs School under the tutelage of Wolfgang Brendel. Wear has most recently been seen on the MAC stage as Giuseppe in La Traviata (as well as in the chorus) and in the choruses of IU Opera Theater’s Don Giovanni and Xerxes. In 2013, he covered the title role in IU Opera’s Werther. His previous stage credits include Die Fledermaus (Eisenstein), Too Many Sopranos (Nelson Deadly), The Face on the Barroom Floor (Matt/Larry), Le Nozze di Figaro (Don Basilio/Don Curzio), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Senex). He was a finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Southern Region auditions. Wear received his Bachelor of Music degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he studied with Joy Ratliff and David Bernard.
Sylvester Makobi, from Nairobi, Kenya, is in the first year of his Performer Diploma studies at the Jacobs School of Music. This is his second appearance with IU Opera Theater, having performed in The Last Savage chorus. He has been a soloist and conductor with the Kenyan Boys Choir, is the co-founder of the all-male a cappella choir Taifa Mziki, and has performed in several countries, including the U.K., France, China, and the United States. He has appeared as a featured soloist in concerts including Nairobi Voices of The Hospice, Music for Peace and Togetherness with the Tunaweza Kimuziki project, and the celebration of the conclusion of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Makobi has appeared as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Requiem Mass, and Coronation Mass; Haydn’s Creation; and Handel’s Messiah several times. His opera roles include Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart’s L’Nozze di Figaro, Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and Elder/Villager in F. Chandler’s Ondieki the Fisherman. He is currently performing the tenor roles in Chappell Kingsland’s newly commissioned opera, The Firebringers, for the Reimagining Opera for Kids outreach program at IU. Now a student of Marietta Simpson, Makobi studied singing with Duncan Wambugu at Kenyatta University and has worked with IU coaches Kimberly Carballo and Kevin Murphy.
Mitchell Jones, baritone, is a third-year undergraduate student in the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a degree in voice performance. He has performed with the Atlanta Opera Chorus in productions of Tosca, L’Italiana in Algeri, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Carmen. He studies with Timothy Noble.