Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
All women are fickle: that sums up this opera’s theme—and that’s exactly what the cynical bachelor Don Alfonso sets out to prove. He’s willing to bet big bucks that no woman can stay true to her man for more than one day.
His victims? Two gullible young soldiers who are ready to wager that their fiancées—who are sisters—are paragons of virtue. These guys are positive that their girls will pass any “fidelity test” with flying colors. But they don’t!
So what happens when the sisters end up unwittingly “swapping” fiancés because the men’s tricky deceptions work only too well? Is it reconciliation or emotional devastation? Find out as you enjoy this multi-layered Mozartian confection that dazzles with brilliant arias and ensembles.
The entire opera takes place over a 24-hour period in Naples, Italy.
Offended by the misogynistic remarks of their philosophical friend Don Alfonso, Ferrando and Guglielmo lay bets on the outcome of a game designed to test the fidelity of their respective sweethearts, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, who are on holiday in Naples with their maid, Despina.
The two young men agree to obey the instructions of Don Alfonso; they feign a heartbroken departure to the front, only to return a few hours later disguised as a couple of dashing young Albanians, eager to win the favors of the bereaved sisters. The young ladies put up an outraged defense of their virtue, but before long they are yielding to the exotic advances of the Balkan strangers.
As the action proceeds, the young conspirators become enmeshed by their own plot and are dismayed to find that they are just as confused about their feelings of fidelity as their young fiancées are. As the plot unravels, culminating in an ironic double wedding, the quartet of lovers discovers that no one is exempt from the secret inconsistencies of love and that they are not the people they thought they were just 24 hours ago.
by Michael Shell
In 2011, I attended a performance of Sleep No More, an immersive theater installation in which while following various characters through a silent, movement-based presentation, the audience was required to wear Carnival-style masks. Concealed behind the mask, I began to perceive subtle changes in my state of being: I fluctuated from mere observer of horrifying events to part action-hero, chasing after characters as they ascended up flights of stairs to their next destination. A few days later, while thinking about Così fan tutte, I remembered my time behind the mask. I realized that by wearing the mask, unknown facets of my personality were revealed and, in subtle ways, changed my identity. It was then that the connection to Così became apparent.
Most people believe that Così is solely about fidelity. While a test of fidelity is implicit in the text and setup of the opera, I believe there is something far more personal and dangerous going on. Così is about identity. It is about the risks of deciding to pretend to be someone else and discovering that you are someone else. The disguise and concealment that occurs in the story actually reveals unsuspected aspects of each of the characters’ identities.
As in The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, this Mozart and Da Ponte collaboration fluctuates between comedy and tragedy, with a crisis of identity at its core. The genius of Così’s humor lies in the outrageousness of the disguises and the way they initially inform behavior and fuel the fight between the characters. But as the piece goes on, the battle goes inward and becomes a struggle between reason and emotion. Reason, synonymous with structure and rules of propriety, is tossed aside as emotion and nature begin to take control. So when the disguises are removed, and the truth is revealed, reason is invoked as a way to cover the bruise:
“Blessed is the man who lives his life with reason and good humor. For in trial and tribulation common sense shows us the way. Let the world be drowned in misery, all our troubles will turn to laughter. If we smile at life’s adversity, peace and love will win the day.”
But is reason just the final disguise? Can these lovers reunite and return to who they think they are, or have they discovered that they are someone else entirely?
“Musical Truths and Illusions in Così fan tutte”
by Christopher Burrus Musicology M.A. student
While Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni are widely regarded as monuments of the operatic repertoire, the reputation of Così fan tutte is more complicated. The opera was well received in Vienna, despite an unexpected cut to the first run of performances due to the death of Joseph II. At its premiere, the opera was heralded as a success, though things changed in later performances. In Germany and France, critical reception of Così was mixed. As the opera gained popularity, a general ambivalence towards the work set in, and this would follow the opera well into the nineteenth century. Beethoven and Wagner both found the opera peculiar, united in the opinion that Mozart’s music, deeply passionate and with moments of genuine emotion, was tarnished by the trivial comedy of Da Ponte’s libretto. Alternately, critics argued that the comedy and farcical hijinx of the libretto were spoiled by the sincerity of the music.
Convinced that Da Ponte expected Mozart to compose music to match the comedic tone of his libretto, several productions in the nineteenth century tried to pair the score with a story that reflected the gravitas of Mozart’s music. Among these were a French attempt that paired the music of Così with Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour Lost, as well as an English production that modified the original plot so that Fiordiligi and Dorabella were aware of the trick played against them by their lovers and prepared to seek revenge.
Not until recently have productions of Così fan tutte in its original form become commonplace. The perceived distance between the music and the libretto that nineteenth century audiences found off-putting is now a curious attraction for the modern audience. Current productions have embraced the likelihood that Mozart fully intended for his music to warp the humor of Da Ponte’s libretto into something slightly unsettling. In this way, Così is unique among the Mozart/Da Ponte operas. While Mozart often mixed features of opera seria and buffa in his music to add psychological depth to his characters, in this composition the music at times works directly against the characters.
The conflicting relationship between music and stage action is particularly noticeable in the crafty philosopher Don Alfonso, whose ideological persona in the opera evokes the Enlightenment philosopher Rousseau. Don Alfonso believes that all truths are proven only by experience. Thus the four lovers in the opera have no choice but to endure a traumatic test of devotion if they are to learn anything about love. Don Alfonso’s deep cynicism towards love is at the core of the libretto, manifesting itself both in the ironic comedy produced by his wager with Guglielmo and Ferrando and in the ambiguity of the opera’s finale. While Don Alfonso explains that certain truths have been revealed as the four lovers reunite, it is not clear that their love has been strengthened nor that the original couples are still suited to each other. Rather, they proclaim as a group that it is best to approach life through reason and to look on the bright side of all things.
Da Ponte fashions Don Alfonso as the steadfast cynic of the opera, but Mozart subverts this cynicism. In the farewell scene in which Dorabella and Fiordiligi see their disguised lovers off to war, Don Alfonso’s plotting is interrupted by a musical moment of pure and genuine emotion. The music of this scene starts as expected: Don Alfonso leads the trio “Soave sia il vento” with a rolling bass line, pushing the music forward and not allowing the women to dwell long on their misery. In the second farewell quintet, “Di scrivermi,” the women break away from Don Alfonso’s lead, singing lines of expressive lyricism while Don Alfonso interjects with mocking commentary, sustaining a humorous tone over the sadness that has crept into the ensemble.
In the last moments of the scene, a final trio is performed by the women and Don Alfonso as the soldiers depart. The music suggests nothing less than an honest, emotional moment from all gathered on stage. The sotto voce quality of the voices recalls a technique used in opera seria for moments of intense sensitivity. Mozart also employs muted violins that give the trio a subtle and tender quality. This cannot be mistaken for comedy. Rather, the music expresses vulnerability and heartbreak, the genuine emotions that one would feel if a lover had left with no certainty of return. More importantly, Don Alfonso is a willing participant in this final farewell trio. This is in stark contrast to his earlier involvement in the scene, in which he managed to null the women’s emotional outpourings with sardonic asides. Mozart was thus able to undermine the cynicism of the libretto and complicate the character of Don Alfonso, perhaps as an artistic choice to question the true nature of love, reason, and human emotion.
The farewell trio at the end of Scene 1 is one of several moments in the opera in which Mozart’s music blurred the boundary between truth and illusion. He created a comedic opera in which the audience is not always sure when they should be laughing. This sets Così fan tutte apart from Figaro, Don Giovanni, and many other operas. It is a masterpiece that has been simultaneously described as Mozart’s most beautiful, enigmatic, disturbing, and expressive opera.
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 a regular guest conductor at the Vienna State Opera. On the concert podium, Fagen has appeared with internationally known orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Orchèstre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, RAI Orchestras (Torino, Naples, Milano, Rome), Bergen Philharmonic, Prague Spring Festival, Dutch Radio Orchestra, and 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 Naxos recording of Martinů’s piano concertos was awarded an Editor’s Choice award in the March 2010 issue of Gramophone magazine.
Michael Shell made his Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater debut with H.M.S. Pinafore in 2014. His recent engagements include his new production of The Barber of Seville at Opera Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Opera Omaha, and a new production of L’italiana in Algieri with Opera San Jose. He directed the Apprentice Showcase Scenes at Santa Fe Opera in 2013 and 2014 as well as acting as associate director of the world premiere of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. Shell made his international debut in 2010 at the Wexford Festival Opera with Richard Wargo’s Winners. Other career highlights include directing a double bill of The Telephone and Trouble in Tahiti at the Wexford Festival Opera, Joshua’s Boots and Così fan tutte with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Golden Ticket with Atlanta Opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio with Pittsburgh Opera, The Magic Flute with Virginia Opera, and Fidelio with Opera Omaha. He recently won the Best Director/Best Opera Wilde Award for Giulio Cesare at Michigan Opera Theater. Upcoming engagements include a new production of A Little Night Music for Piedmont Opera, Don Giovanni for Florida Opera Festival, a new production of the musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off for The Princeton Festival, his Almadovar-inspired Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Virginia Opera, and a new production of Kevin Puts’s Silent Night for Opera San José in 2017.
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 Jacobs School of Music 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.
Patrick Mero is the head of lighting for IU Opera and Ballet Theater. He has designed the lighting for La Traviata, H.M.S Pinafore, Le Nozze di Figaro, Werther, Falstaff, Xerxes, Don Giovanni, Albert Herring, La Bohème, Tosca, L’Italiana in Algeri, West Side Story, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, and Alcina. He has also done extensive design work for the Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department, the IU African American Art Institute’s Dance Ensemble, and Cardinal Stage Company. In addition to his work in Bloomington, he has worked at Spoleto Festival USA. Mero originally hails from Charleston, S.C., but calls Bloomington home.
Jaeeun Kim, a native of South Korea, is currently pursuing her Doctor of Music degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she has served as an associate instructor for the Choral Department and the Music Theory Department. After studying musicology in Korea, she earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the Jacobs School. At IU, she has studied with Betsy Burleigh, Dominick DiOrio, Walter Huff, Jan Harrington, Steve Zegree, William Gray, Carmen Téllez, and Richard Tang Yuk. Her bachelor’s degree in choral conducting is from Korea National University of Arts, where she studied with Martin Behrmann and graduated summa cum laude. Most recently, she was selected as a conducting fellow to attend the prestigious Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Ore., and worked with Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, and Edward Maclary. During her studies, Kim has served as conductor of University Chorale, Symphonic Choir, and IUKUMC Choir, and as assistant conductor of Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, University Singers, NOTUS, Oratorio Chorus, and IU Summer Festival Chorus. This production of Così fan tutte is her first opera as the chorus master. She has held the position of assistant chorus master in South Pacific (2015), The Last Savage (2014), H.M.S. Pinafore (2014), Cendrillon (2013), and Così fan tutte (2011) with the IU Opera Theater.
Daniela Siena brings many years of experience in teaching Italian diction and language to singers. She was introduced to operatic diction by Boris Goldovsky, who was seeking a native speaker without teaching experience to work with singers according to his own pedagogical principles. Siena went on to teach in a number of operatic settings (among them, the Curtis Institute of Music, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and Seattle Opera). Over the years, she worked with a number of well-known singers, including Samuel Ramey, Justino Díaz, Carol Vaness, Wolfgang Brendel, June Anderson, Gianna Rolandi, and Jerry Hadley. The conductors, coaches, and stage directors with whom she has worked include Otto Guth, Max Rudolf, Edoardo Müller, David Effron, Arthur Fagen, Anthony Pappano, Anthony Manoli, Terry Lusk, Dino Yannopoulos, Tito Capobianco, Andrei Șerban, John Cox, and John Copley. At New York City Opera, Siena worked closely with Beverly Sills—as her executive assistant, as a diction coach, and as the creator of English supertitles for a dozen operas. More recently, she worked for two years as a coach for the Young Artists Program of the Los Angeles Opera and, for the past six years, she has taught in Dolora Zajick’s summer Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. Born in Florence, Italy, to an Italian mother and a Russian émigré father, Siena arrived in the United States at age seven. She received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and, in her twenties, worked for two years in Italy as secretary to the president of the Olivetti Company. Many years later, she continued her education, earned a master’s degree, and became licensed as a psychotherapist by the state of California, where she practiced for 15 years. The mother of two grown children, she moved to Bloomington to be near her son, who lives here with his wife and two young daughters.
Baritone Zachary Coates earned his master’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and is currently in the second year of his doctoral studies here. He has appeared with IU Opera Theater as Frank in Die Fledermaus, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Sid in Albert Herring, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. Last year, he was a young artist with Michigan Opera Theater, singing small roles in its productions of Elektra, Madama Butterfly, Frida, The Merry Widow, and Faust. As a concert soloist, he has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War with the American Classical Orchestra, and multiple works with ensembles at the Jacobs School of Music. This past summer, Coates won third place at the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria. He is a student of Andreas Poulimenos.
Icelandic bass-baritone Jóhann Schram Reed is a second-year master’s student at the Jacobs School of Music studying under Wolfgang Brendel. He was most recently seen as Owen Hart in IU Opera Theater’s 2015 production of Dead Man Walking. Other recent engagements include Emile de Becque (South Pacific), Pistola in Opera San José’s 2013 production of Falstaff, Inspector Javert (Les Misérables), Jupiter (Orphée aux Enfer), Mr. Ford (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor), and the title role in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. In summer 2012, Schram Reed took part in the Arias in Motion performance project with OperaWorks Young Artists Program in Northridge, Calif. This summer, he will be a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif., studying under the tutelage of Marilyn Horne. Before commencing his undergraduate studies in 2010, he was awarded the Most Promising Young Artist award by his hometown of Reykjavík, Iceland, for his studies and performances there. Since then, he has been well received both in competitions and performances across California, Virginia, and New York, including private recitals, opera productions, and choral engagements.
Tenor Bille Bruley is a second-year graduate student in the Jacobs School of Music studying with Carol Vaness. A Montgomery, Texas, native, he completed his studies at Baylor University in 2014, where he studied with Robert Best. Most recently, he was an apprentice artist with Central City Opera, where he performed the roles of The Tempter (The Prodigal Son), Gastone (La Traviata), and Sancho (Man of La Mancha). This summer, he will be a young artist with The Glimmerglass Festival, singing Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, while covering Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd and Giles Corey in The Crucible. His awards include the Central City Opera Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award, Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence from the Baylor University School of Music, winner in the 2015 Lois Alba Aria Competition, finalist in the 2014 Dallas Opera Guild Competition, and third-place winner in the Music Teachers National Association National Young Artist Competition. He was also the Houston district first-prize winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2014. Bruley has performed with many orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles across the nation, including the Waco Symphony, Fort Worth Baroque Society, Texas Baroque Ensemble, and South Dakota Chorale. He is the tenor soloist on a recently released album produced by Grammy Award-winner Blanton Alspaugh featuring the solo and choral works of Giovanni Felice Sances, performing with the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Mallarmé Chamber Players, and Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble. Bruley was recently accepted into the resident artist programs at Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Virginia Opera.
Tenor Paul Han, a native of South Korea, is pursuing his Doctor of Music degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Costanza Cuccaro. He has sung roles in numerous opera productions, such as Alfredo in La Traviata, Gérald in Lakmé, Acis in Acis and Galatea, Fenton in Falstaff, Rinnuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni as well as Lun Tha in The King and I. This past summer, Han sang the role of Ferrando with the Aspen Music Festival, where he will return this summer to sing the role of Bénédict in Béatrice et Bénédict by Hector Berlioz. He has been a young artist in many programs, such as the Aspen Music Festival, Prelude to Performance–Martina Arroyo Foundation, Bel Canto at Caramoor Young Artist Program, and Opera North. He was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Eastern Region District in 2013. His other awards include second prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation and fifth prize at the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School and his master’s degree and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College.
Baritone Brayton Arvin is in his second year of doctoral studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He earned his Master of Music from Jacobs and his Bachelor of Music cum laude from Ball State University. He has previously appeared with IU Opera Theater as Le Balli in Werther, Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, and Maximilian in Candide. Other roles have included David in L’amico Fritz, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Notary/Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, Le Dancaïre in Carmen, Jack Scott in the premiere of The King in Yellow, Tommy Djilas in The Music Man, and Isaachar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He has been a young artist with Cedar Rapids Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, and Ash Lawn Opera. As a concert artist, Arvin has been a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Duruflé’s Messe “Cum jubilo,” Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and dozens of premieres of vocal-orchestral and chamber music. He is the administrative assistant for IU Opera and Ballet Theater, vice-president of the IU Student National Association of Teachers of Singing chapter, and director of marketing for New Voices Opera. Later this year, he will be a soloist in John Stainer’s The Crucifixion and perform the role of Andrew Carnes in IU Opera’s production of Oklahoma! Arvin is a student of Heidi Grant Murphy.
Jonathan Bryan, baritone, earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) and is in the first year of his master’s studies at the Jacobs School of Music. During his time at LSU, he performed many roles, including The New Moon (Besac), The Cradle Will Rock (Dick/Scoot), Così fan tutte (Guglielmo), and The Merry Widow (Danilo) as well as the title role in Don Giovanni. Outside of school, he has performed with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, where he appeared in its productions of La Rondine (Rambaldo) and L’impresario in angustie (Don Crisobolo). Bryan has also performed with Castleton Festival, in Castleton, Va., where he covered the role of Paris in its production of Roméo et Juliette and with the Festival of International Opera of the Americas, in Campinas, Brazil, where he appeared in its production of The Merry Widow
(Danilo). He has appeared on the concert stage as a soloist in many choral works, including Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with the LSU A Cappella Choir, and Finzi’s Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice, in which he was the baritone soloist with the C. S. Lewis Choral Institute in Oxford and Cambridge, England. This summer, Bryan will be covering Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Wolf Trap Opera. He is a student of Wolfgang Brendel.
Soprano Mathilda Edge, a native of Chandlerville, Ill., is pursuing her Doctor of Music in Voice Performance degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She previously completed her Master of Music degree at Jacobs. She has performed such roles as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Sandman in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), Romilda in Xerxes (Handel), and The Milliner in Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss) with IU Opera Theater. Edge has appeared as a soloist at several other colleges and universities, including Indiana State University, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and Illinois College. She has won the Illinois and Indiana state chapters of National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions, as well as winning Grand Prize, Adult Division, and People’s Choice in the Jacksonville (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Among Us competition. Most recently, she won the Indiana District’s Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Auditions. She then won second place at the Central Region MONC Auditions in November 2015. She was awarded the Georgina Joshi International Fellowship through the Jacobs School, which allowed her to study in Germany during summer 2015. In the previous year, she won first place in the Southern Illinois Young Artist Vocal Competition. She has a graduate assistantship for her doctoral studies and is in her second year in the elected officer position of treasurer for IU’s chapter of the Student National Association of Teachers of Singing. She earned a dual Bachelor of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership and Music from Illinois College, where she studied with Addie Gramelspacher. While there, Edge sang the role of Lily (The Secret Garden). She currently studies with Brian Horne.
Soprano Shannon Love is in her final year of doctoral study at the Jacobs School of Music, where she earned her master’s degree as a Barbara and David Jacobs Fellow. She most recently performed the title role in Alcina in February 2015 with IU Opera Theater as well as previously performing the roles of Violetta (La Traviata), Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Cunégonde (Candide), and Queen Tye (Ahknaten). A native of Ponca City, Okla., she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. In November 2013, she was a participant in the American Voices Festival and Master Class Series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., hosted by Renée Fleming. In 2014, Love won first place at the Tulsa District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performed as a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, and competed as a Ryan Opera Center finalist. In summer 2015, she reprised the role of Violetta with Arbor Opera Theater. Other recent performances include three performances of “Der Hölle Rache” as a part of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Cosmos Music Festival under the baton of Krzysztof Urbanski in January. Love is a student of Costanza Cuccaro.
Mezzo-soprano Courtney Jameson is in the second year of her master’s in voice performance degree at the Jacobs School of Music. From Frankfort, Ind., she graduated from Taylor University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice degree. She was last seen as Jade Boucher in Indiana University Opera Theater’s production of Dead Man Walking in October. Other opera roles and scenes include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen, and the Third Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. While at IU, Jameson has been a part of NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Conductors’ Chorus, and Apollo’s Voice (a professional Bloomington-based choir). She has been a soloist for IU’s Summer Chorus, singing as an alto soloist for John Corigliano’s Fern Hill and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and for IU’s New Music Ensemble, featuring repertoire of Bernard Rands. She has traveled as a performer and conductor to Ecuador, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary. Jameson is currently a student of Mary Ann Hart.
Rachel Mikol, soprano, is a first-year master’s student at the Jacobs School of Music studying with Mary Ann Hart. Mikol has performed the role of First Lay Sister and covered the role of Sister Genevieve in Suor Angelica, and performed the role of Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. She has been seen in opera scenes as Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Andrews Sister (Transformations), Armida (Rinaldo), and Johanna (Sweeney Todd). In 2014, she was a young artist at the International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany, where she was a winner of the aria competition and seen as Beth (Little Women) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). She was a finalist in the Classical Singer magazine vocal competition that year. This summer, Mikol will be an apprentice artist at Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville, Va. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., she earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and music education from Ithaca College. This role marks her IU Opera Theater debut.
Soprano Cadie Jordan is in her first year of the master’s degree program at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Heidi Grant Murphy. Born in Baton Rouge, La., she earned her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, where she performed the roles of Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In 2014, she made her international debut in San Marino, Italy, with the role of Lisette in Puccini’s La Rondine under the baton of Joseph Rescigno. She then toured Oxford and Cambridge, England, as a soloist with the C. S. Lewis Choral Institute. She performed in the chorus of IU Opera Theater’s fall production of Dead Man Walking. Despina marks her solo debut on the Musical Arts Center stage.
A native of Atlanta, Ga., soprano Kellie Motter is a second-year master’s student at the Jacobs School of Music. She was last seen on the Musical Arts Center stage as Morgana in IU Opera Theater’s spring 2015 production of Alcina. Other opera credits include the roles of Galatea (Acis and Galatea), La Fée (Cendrillon), and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). As a concert soloist, Motter has been featured in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Steve Reich’s Tehillim, and numerous works by J. S. Bach. At IU, she teaches voice as an associate instructor and enjoys performing with NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She earned her B.M. in Voice at the University of Maryland, where she studied with Delores Ziegler. This summer, she will study and cover the role of Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Motter is a student of Carol Vaness.