This audience favorite takes the idea ofhairdresser-as-confidant to comic extremes!
Before he was a married man, Figaro was the go-to guy for fixing just about any problem associated with love.
It seems that sooner or later everyone in town enlists the covert assistance of this intrepid barber, whose razor-sharp maneuverings prompt him to sing one of—if not the—most famous arias of all time.
Will he be able to help Count Almaviva earnthe love of his cherished Rosina?
Join us. Let your hair down, and kick upyour heels for this Rossini toe tapper!
Pianist Kevin Murphy is professor of music in collaborative piano and director of coaching and music administration for Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater at the IU Jacobs School of Music. A leading figure in the world of classical vocal music, he has served as Jacobs faculty since 2011. He recently joined Professor Anne Epperson at the Jacobs School in creating a new collaborative piano program. In 2011, he was appointed director of the program for singers at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and 2013-14 marked his first season as artistic consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Previously, he was director of music administration and casting advisor at the New York City Opera (2008-12) and director of musical studies at the Opéra National de Paris (2006-08). Murphy was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by Maestro James Levine to join the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and from 1993 to 2006 Murphy was an assistant conductor at the Met. In addition to his on- and off-stage partnership with his wife, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, Murphy has collaborated in concert and recital with numerous world-renowned artists. He is sought after and respected for his work as a private vocal coach and teacher and has guest taught at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel and Italy, Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and the Juilliard School. In addition to playing and teaching, Murphy has added conducting to his musical activities and is a frequent adjudicator for competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where he has also served as official accompanist on stage at the Met. A native of Syracuse, New York, Murphy earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree from Indiana University and a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. He resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife, Heidi, and their four children.
Michael Shell’s “visionary” and “masterful storytelling” (OperaNews) is steadily leading him to be one of the most sought-after directors in the United States. His “thoughtful and detailed score study” (OperaToday) is shown in character development and relationships onstage as well as the complete visual world he creates. Shell has directed productions for Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, Opera San José, Opera Tampa, Opera North, Virginia Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and recently made his directorial debut at Houston Grand Opera. He made his international directing debut at the Wexford Festival Opera in 2010 with a production of Winners by American composer Richard Wargo and returned the next fall to direct Double Trouble – Trouble in Tahiti & The Telephone. He has written and directed three cabarets, including All About Love and The Glamorous Life – A group therapy session for Opera Singers, both for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Shell earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in Music/Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He was a Corbett Scholar at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as well as studying acting and scene study on a school-awarded scholarship at H. B. Studios in New York City. He has been guest faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida State University, and Webster University, St. Louis, teaching Opera Workshop and directing Undergraduate Opera Workshop performances. In addition, he has been guest director at the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute, Oklahoma University, and was a frequent guest director at Indiana University. Shell joined the faculty of the Summer Opera Program at the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute in 2018. Last fall, he joined the faculty at the Jacobs School of Music, teaching classes in acting. Recent engagements include Silent Night for Arizona Opera and a new production of Candide for Des Moines Metro Opera.
A Bloomington-based designer and scenic artist, Mark Frederic Smith is also the director of scenic painting and properties for Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater, where he has worked on over 100 productions during the past 22 years. Design work for Jacobs School projects includes 2016’s Florencia en el Amazonas, last season’s Don Giovanni and Ariadne auf Naxos, and this season’s upcoming production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. His design for Florencia en el Amazonas was featured in San Diego Opera’s 2017-18 season. In addition to work for Indianapolis Civic Theater, Butler Ballet, and Indianapolis Ballet’s company premiere production of TheFirebird, area theatergoers will recognize Mark’s designs for more than a dozen Cardinal Stage Company shows, including Les Miserables, A Streetcar Named Desire, MyFair Lady, Big River, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Smith earned a Master of Fine Art in Scenic Design from the Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama and was a student of Jacobs professors emeriti C. David Higgins and Robert O’Hearn.
Ken Phillips is lighting supervisor at the IU Jacobs School of Music. His debut production with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater was this year’s fall ballet, Dark Meets Light. He earned an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of Arizona and previously worked freelance around the country. Most of his previous designs have been for musical theater, and samples may be seen at KGPhillips.com.
Walter Huffis professor of choral conducting and faculty director of opera choruses at the IU Jacobs School of Music. He served as chorus master for the Atlanta Opera for more than two decades, leading the renowned ensemble in more than 125 productions, with critical acclaim in the United States and abroad. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins). He studied piano with Sarah Martin, Peter Takács, 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). 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. He has served as chorus master for many IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater productions, most recently, L’Étoile, It’s a Wonderful Life, Lucia di Lammermoor, West Side Story, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Elixir of Love, Bernstein’s Mass, Le Nozze di Figaro, Parsifal, Suor Angelica, and La Traviata. For four years, Huff has served as choral instructor and conductor for the Jacobs School’s Sacred Music Intensive. He has conducted the Jacobs Summer Music series productions of Arthur Honegger’s King Davidand Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits. In 2019, he returned for a second year to Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute and has been appointed chorus master for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 2020 season. Huff also maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta. Huff and Jacobs faculty choral colleague Chris Albanese have been invited to be presenters at the ACDA National Virtual Convention, in March 2021.
Pianist and vocal coach Allan Armstrong is assistant professor of music in voice at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he specializes in art song literature and opera coaching. He is also the official accompanist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for both the Colorado/Wyoming District and the Rocky Mountain Region. From 2017 to 2020, he was a postdoctoral scholar and visiting assistant professor in chamber and collaborative music at the Jacobs School. He was previously a member of the applied piano faculty at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he codirected the nationally award-winning Bravo Opera Company. Armstrong has been a principal production pianist and coach at Eugene Opera, Opera Colorado, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera on the Avalon, Sugar Creek Opera, Tel Aviv Summer Opera Program, and Opera Tampa. He has taught on the faculty of the Sherrill Milnes Savannah Voice Festival and the International Vocal Arts Institute, in Blacksburg, Virginia. In 2005, he coached and recorded the newly revised version of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle under the direction of the composer’s son, Peter Bartók. In 2010, Armstrong was a featured solo pianist in a recital of the complete solo piano works of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici at New York University Steinhardt. Armstrong earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. He also earned a Master of Music degree in Chamber Music and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida, where he studied with Svetozar Ivanov and Robert Helps. Armstrong holds professional memberships in the College Music Society and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). In 2019, he was chosen to participate in the acclaimed NATS Intern Program at the New England Conservatory.
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 apsychotherapist 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.