Before the Wicked Witch of the West, Snow White’s Evil Queen, or Maleficent, there was the Queen of the Night.
Soar into the soprano stratosphere as her vocal pyrotechnics explode in the notorious gravity-defying rage aria in this magical tale of giant serpents, tricky trials, and daring rescues on a fantastical quest for truth and enlightenment.
Steeped in symbolism, this masterpiece of good vs. evil and logic vs. emotion premiered just two months before Mozart’s death.
In German with English supertitles and dialogue. New production.
Sept. 17, 18, 24, 25 Musical Arts Center 7:30 PM
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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 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 the Queen of the Night described, but 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 win Pamina for his own.
Sarastro meets with The Order in a secret meeting room within the temple. There, he and his followers instruct Tamino and Papageno about tests they will face on their journey toward enlightenment. The first test is “Silence.” Tamino and Papageno are forbidden to speak. Tamino is taken to face Pamina but is required to remain silent, even though, in desperation, Pamina begs him to speak to her. Tamino is tempted by luscious food and threatened by the Queen’s Three Ladies, yet he resists. 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 confronts him but to no avail. Unable to carry out her mother’s order, Pamina 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.” Unsure of how to begin, Pamina arrives, and with her leading, they pass through the trials. Their victory causes a cosmic shift, which will have ripple effects throughout the land.
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, an eclipse occurs, and Sarastro and his Order of Men along with the Queen and her followers realize that something has changed. Tamino and Pamina lead them toward a new state of enlightenment that embraces equity and equality among all people!
by Mingfei Li Ph.D. Musicology Student
The Magic Flute premiered on September 30, 1791, at a Viennese suburban theater, Theater auf der Wieden, with a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder and music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The theater was built in 1787 and was used for opera performances until 1801. As a librettist, a comic actor, and the theater’s impresario, Schikaneder wrote librettos and created original roles on stage for several German singspiels (“plays with music”) premiered at Theater auf der Wieden. Adapted from Lulu, oder die Zauberflöte (“Lulu, or the Magic Flute”) from Christoph Martin Wieland’s fairy-tale collection Dschinnistan, Schikaneder and Mozart’s The Magic Flute belonged to Theater auf der Wieden’s fairy-tale-singspiel tradition, which usually featured a fairy-tale world with non-human characters, objects with magical powers, and a quest completed by a noble hero and his travel companion.
There are traditionally two pairs of main characters in late-eighteenth-century operas, a serious noble couple and a comic peasant couple. In The Magic Flute, Tamino and Pamina are the noble couple; Papageno and Papagena are the comic peasants. Tamino’s and Pamina’s arias are about absent lovers and unrequited love. Early in Act I, in his aria “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön,” Tamino sings of his affection for Pamina when looking at her portrait. Late in Act II, in her aria “Ach, ich fühl’s,” Pamina expresses grief, believing that Tamino has abandoned her. Juxtaposed with Tamino and Pamina’s profound love story, the one between Papageno and Papagena is comical, with Papagena first appearing in disguise as an old lady. In their short duet “Pa, pa, pa” in the Act II finale, Mozart set the music with patter declamation to provide comical effects suitable for the couple.
Schikaneder often created magical objects in his fairy-tale librettos. In The Magic Flute, they are the flute and the glockenspiel. When Tamino and Papageno play these magical instruments, the music is part of the story, heard not only by audience members in the theater, but also by characters on stage. Schikaneder also wrote non-human characters for his fairy-tale worlds, usually consisting of an animal role, genies, and opposing personages with godly or magical powers.
A Papagei (German for “parrot”) who does not stop chattering, Papageno is both a bird-catcher and bird like, making him the “animal character” of The Magic Flute. This is a type often associated with the travel companion in Schikaneder’s fairy-tale quests. Papageno’s association with animals heightens the differences in social status and character between him and Tamino. Throughout The Magic Flute, the two display contrasting wishes and desires. Tamino longs for love and seeks truth from the Initiates, whereas Papageno only wants food, drink, and a wife. Tamino’s high-minded wishes and Papageno’s corporeal desires reflect their respective roles and status. Unlike Tamino, a prince, Papageno has to work as a bird-catcher for the Queen in exchange for sustenance. As a peasant for whom starvation and thirst can be of considerable concern, Papageno’s proletarian identity becomes a reason for his desires during his quest with Tamino.
Mozart wrote distinct musical styles for the genies and godly characters in The Magic Flute. The three boys are the genies in this opera. When they appear in the Act I finale, Act II trio, and Act II finale, their simple and tuneful melodies feature dotted rhythms in moderate tempi and are accompanied by combinations of flutes, clarinets, and bassoons, a type of instrumentation for the genies also seen in other fairy-tale singspiels such as Der Stein der Weisen. The godly characters with ruling powers in The Magic Flute are the Queen of the Night and Sarastro, the leader of the Initiates and priest to the gods Osiris and Isis. For Sarastro, Mozart wrote music that sounds devotional. Sarastro’s aria with chorus at the beginning of Act II depicts a religious ceremony. In this scene, Mozart included trombones in the orchestration, instruments typically used in late-eighteenth-century operas for otherworldly beings, to signify the presence of the gods Osiris and Isis. Mozart set Sarastro’s other aria, “In diesen heiligen Hallen,” as a strophic hymn, assigning the same music to two stanzas of text, in slow tempo and with simple phrase structures.
The Queen of the Night’s arias are about her divine status as the sovereign of her realm. During the Queen’s recitative and aria in Act I, no other character on stage speaks or sings. Her singular vocal presence shows her dominion. Her famous aria in Act II, “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,” is an expression of her fury. In both arias, Mozart wrote long coloratura flourishes in the highest range of the soprano voice to display the extremes of vocal timbre and highlight the Queen’s ruling power as a female sovereign.
Monostatos’s music is in the stilo alla turca, a style meant to evoke Janissary band music, the music of the Turkish military and state ceremonies. Catered to the audience’s fondness for the “exotic” but with little connection to the actual Ottoman Empire, “Turkish” characters were portrayed in a distorted fashion as violent and sexually driven. Yet they were also comic roles. Mozart combined drums, piccolos, and cymbals with simple harmonies, rhythms, and textures for the stilo alla turca. The deliberately loud, simplified, and even absurd sounds of “Turkish” music made the Ottomans appear less threatening to an Austrian audience, who feared the military threat of the Ottoman Empire.
In The Magic Flute, representations of social classes, genders, and ethnicities were products of eighteenth-century views distant from twenty-first-century values. The characters and music display conventional traits of late-eighteenth-century operas and Theater auf der Wieden’s fairy-tale singspiels. However, these conventionalities did not undermine the spectacle of The Magic Flute, but rather demonstrated Mozart’s subtle and extraordinary command of musical styles for character portrayals.
Arthur Fagen has been professor of orchestral conducting at the IU Jacobs School of Music since 2008. Additionally, he has been music director of The Atlanta Opera since 2010. He has conducted opera productions at the world’s most prestigious opera houses and music festivals. From 1998 to 2001, he was invited regularly as guest conductor at the Vienna State Opera, in addition to performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Staatsoper Berlin Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich State Opera, and many more. On the concert podium, he has appeared with numerous internationally known orchestras. Fagen has an opera repertoire 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 Lyric Opera of Chicago. From 2002 to 2007, he was music director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dortmund Opera. He and the Dortmund Philharmonic were invited to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais de Beaux Arts in Brussels, and to Salzburg, Beijing, and Shanghai. Fagen conducted a new production of Turandot at The Atlanta Opera in 2007, opening the season and inaugurating the new opera house, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. He was a regular guest conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra and guest conducted the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and many others. He was first-prize winner of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conductors Competition as well as a prizewinner 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. Fagen’s Naxos recording of Martinů’s piano concertos was awarded an Editor’s Choice award in the March 2010 issue of Gramophone magazine.
Michael Shell is associate professor of voice at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he teaches acting and opera workshops, and directs mainstage productions. His philosophy is to inform, excite, and empower his students to be the most authentic singing actors possible. Over the past two years, he has created the new core of Jacobs dramatic training courses. His productions have been praised by critics across the nation. A Broadway World reviewer recently commented on Shell’s new production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide: “This production was one I could watch over and over again.” 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, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and 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 following fall to direct Double Trouble–Trouble in Tahiti and 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 a B.M. and an M.M. 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 and studied acting and scene study at H. B. Studios on an H. B. Studios merit scholarship. Shell has been guest faculty and director at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida State University, Oklahoma University, A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute, and Webster University–St. Louis, teaching opera workshops and directing full productions and workshop performances. He is also on faculty at the International Vocal Arts Institute Summer Opera Program in Tel Aviv.
A Bloomington-based designer and scenic artist, Mark F. Smith is director of scenic painting and properties for IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater, where he has worked on more than 100 hundred productions during the past 25 years. Design work for Jacobs School projects includes Florencia en el Amazonas, Don Giovanni, Ariadne auf Naxos, Hansel and Gretel, Bernstein’s Mass, and La Bohème. His design for 2016’s 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 The Firebird, area theatergoers will recognize his designs for more than a dozen Cardinal Stage Company shows, including Les Misérables, A Streetcar Named Desire, My Fair Lady, Big River, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Smith earned a Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design from the IU Department of Theatre and Drama and was a student of former Jacobs faculty C. David Higgins and Robert O’Hearn. Upcoming productions include Swan Lake for Indianapolis Ballet.
Dana Tzvetkov designs and constructs costumes for opera, ballet, and theater. Her work has recently been featured in Central City Opera’s Tosca (2016) and Carmen (2017), and the National Opera Association’s Hagar (2016). Her designs have appeared on Indiana University’s Musical Arts Center stage in Saudade, Carmen, Peter Grimes, Le Nozze di Figaro, and La Bohème. She has designed rentals for Ball State Opera Theater, Mississippi Opera, DePauw University, and Butler University. Tzvetkov worked alongside Linda Pisano for Opera San Antonio to build costumes for a cast including Patricia Racette and Michelle DeYoung. She has been commissioned to create concert gowns for DeYoung and Sylvia McNair. Tzvetkov served as the costume shop supervisor for IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater from 2013 until recently, when she was promoted to shop manager. She returned to Central City Opera in summer 2018 to coordinate its production of Il Trovatore.
Indianapolis-based Andrew Elliot is a makeup artist, stylist, wig designer, and cellist. His design and music work can be seen and heard with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, Actors Theatre of Indiana, Phoenix Theatre, Zach & Zack Productions, Summer Stock Stage, and more. As a makeup artist and stylist, his work can be seen locally and nationally in various publications, commercials, billboards, industrials, and editorials. He spent 2020 recreating icons of film, fashion, and theater, which gained national attention, with features in New York Times, NowThis News, The Indianapolis Star, and Indianapolis Monthly.
Ken Phillips served as lighting specialist for the IU Jacobs School of Music from 2019 to 2021, where he designed the lighting and helped engineer the projections for almost a dozen productions. He currently works at the University of Wisconsin–Parkside, teaching lighting and projection design. Phillips earned an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of Arizona and has freelanced around the country, working in mostly opera and musical theater. Samples of his work may be seen at KGPhillips.com.
Walter Huff is 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, La Traviata, Little Women, The Barber of Seville, Xerxes, and La Bohème. For four years, Huff has served as choral instructor and conductor for the Jacobs School’s Sacred Music Intensive. He conducted the Jacobs Summer Music series productions of Arthur Honegger’s King David and Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits. This past summer, Huff returned for his third year as a faculty member at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. He also maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta. Huff and Jacobs faculty choral colleague Chris Albanese were invited to present at the American Choral Directors Association 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.
Charles Prestinari is senior lecturer in chamber music and collaborative piano at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Before joining the Jacobs School, he served as chorus master and music administrator of the San Diego Opera. From 2004 to 2011, he was associated with New York City Opera—first as assistant chorus master and from 2007 as chorus master—working on more than 40 different productions covering the full operatic repertoire, from the baroque period to the twentieth century. Highlights include an Emmy-winning Live from Lincoln Center telecast of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and the New York stage premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place. He has also been guest conductor of the National Chorale and guest chorus master at the New York City Ballet, Manhattan School of Music, and Aspen Music Festival. While earning master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting from the Jacobs School, he held the positions of chorus master (2001-03) and opera coach (2001-04) with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater. He was also director of the University Chorale and the Motet Choir. From 1998 to 2001, he was assistant director and accompanist with the Singing Hoosiers.
Pianist Shuichi Umeyama is assistant professor of music in opera studies and an opera coach at the IU Jacobs School of Music. A collaborator with internationally known vocalists since 1988, he has performed numerous concerts as a soloist and accompanist. His repertoire includes concertos by Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and others, and his recitals have been broadcast on Japan National Broadcasting (NHK). He has served as coach and accompanist for the Indianapolis Opera and Opera Memphis. In addition, he has served as an official accompanist for many competitions throughout the United States. He is a former music director of the Aoyama Theater and the Belvillage Opera Theater in Japan. Umeyama studied accompanying with violist William Primrose and earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
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. She has lived and studied in Germany and Switzerland and spends as much time there as she can. She taught German language and literature for many years at Indiana University, Northern Virginia Community College, and Georgetown University, as well as for private language contractors in the Washington, D.C., metro area. She and her husband returned to Bloomington in 2002, where, from 2004 until 2016, she worked as a lecturer in the IU Department of Germanic Studies and pursued her interest in literary translating. In 2010, she received IU’s Distinguished Teaching Award for part-time faculty. Her connection to the Jacobs School of Music deepened in 2018, when she designed and began teaching German for Musicians, a hybrid course for Jacobs graduate students. Lawson served as German diction coach for IU Opera Theater starting with The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2008 and, most recently, for Ariadne auf Naxos in 2018.
Sarah Rachel Bacani, a Filipino-American soprano hailing from Toms River, New Jersey, is making her IU Jacobs School of Music debut. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree as an associate instructor under the tutelage of Jane Dutton. Bacani recently earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Manhattan School of Music (MSM), where she studied with Cynthia Hoffmann. In her final season at MSM, she performed as the soprano soloist for Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations with the MSM String Chamber Orchestra under the baton of George Manahan and sang the roles of Sifare (Mitridate, re di ponto) and Miss Jessel (TheTurn of the Screw) in scenes with MSM Senior Opera Theater. Other scene work includes the roles of Ottavia (The Coronation of Poppea), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), and Susanna, Contessa, and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro). An alumna of Classic Lyric Arts La Lingua della Lirica and the Franz Schubert Institut, she has performed in master classes with Andreas Schmidt, Julius Drake, Helmut Deutsch, Rolando Panerai, Robert Holl, Roger Vignoles, Wolfram Rieger, and Donata D’Annunzio Lombardi.
Soprano Jennifer Kreider, from Morgantown, West Virginia, is pursuing a D.M. at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the guidance of Jane Dutton. In May 2021, Kreider earned her Artist Diploma from the Jacobs School. Previously, she attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. On the Musical Arts Center stage, she has performed the roles of Miss Jessel (TheTurn of the Screw) and Nella (Gianni Schicchi). She has also performed the roles of Musetta (La Bohème), Monica (The Medium), La Fée (Cendrillon), Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel), Iolanthe (Iolanthe), Ramiro (La finta giardiniera), and Linfea (La Calisto). She was a young artist at Opera in the Ozarks, the CoOPERAtive Program in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria. In 2015, Kreider won first place in her division in the National Association of Teachers of Singing national competition. In 2016, she was named a Clifton Emerging Young Artist Award Winner, as well as placing first in her division in the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota National Voice Competition, where she has been invited to return as a recitalist. In 2020, she performed as a finalist for the National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition.
Tenor Yuntong Han, a native of China, is a first-year master’s student and associate instructor of voice at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he studies with Heidi Grant Murphy. He recently earned his second bachelor’s degree, in vocal performance, at New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) under the tutelage of MaryAnn McCormick, with an already-in-hand bachelor’s degree in aircraft manufacturing from Northwestern Polytechnical University in China. In 2019, he made his opera debut as Lucano in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea in the undergraduate spring mainstage production at NEC. He later performed the roles of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème (2020) and Nemorino in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (2021). In addition to his work on the opera stage, he is also active as a concert and oratorio soloist. Highlights include Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, and the NEC Song and Verse art song series.
Tenor Gavin Hughes is a 24-year-old native of Jackson, Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education at Jackson State University. There, he marched in the Sonic Boom of The South as the head drum major and became a proud member of the Pi Nu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia of America, Inc. In 2017, Hughes sang the role Cephus with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in a semi-staged production of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha. In 2018, he was granted the Aspiring Artist Award from the Mississippi Jazz Foundation. In 2020, he released his first single, “You Always Win.” He is a Master of Music in Voice Performance student at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he studies with Russell Thomas.
Bass Noah Lauer is in his first year of the Master of Music in Voice Performance program at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he studies with Peter Volpe. The Magic Flute is Lauer’s first production at Jacobs. He has previously performed with Chamber Opera Chicago as a sailor and soloist in a new musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which toured the United Kingdom and Canada; as Charlie in the children’s opera Miracle!; and with the ensemble in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other performances include Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Grandpa Moss in The Tender Land, DonAlfonso in Così fan tutte, and The Gondoliers at Luther College and the title role in The King and I, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Captain Von Trapp in Sound of Music, Captain Keller in The Miracle Worker, Warner in Legally Blonde, and Les Misérables at Theatre Cedar Rapids. He placed second at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Central Regional Competition.
Ben Strong, from Indiana, Pennsylvania, is a second-year master’s student at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he studies with Peter Volpe.
Elise Hurwitz is a soprano from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is in her final semester of the Master of Music in Voice Performance program at the IU Jacobs School of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Jacobs in 2019. She studies under the tutelage of Alice Hopper. Hurwitz has performed in several productions with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, including The Turn of the Screw (Flora), The Elixir of Love (Giannetta), and Ariadne auf Naxos (Naiad). She has also appeared in the opera choruses of Suor Angelica, Parsifal, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, L’Étoile, and Florencia en el Amazonas. This is her third production of The Magic Flute (Papagena with Bloomington Chamber Opera and First Spirit with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra) and her first time performing The Queen of the Night.
Soprano Maggie Kinabrew is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in vocal performance and mathematics. She is currently in her second year of the master’s degree program at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Carol Vaness. This production of The Magic Flutemarks her role debut. In 2020, she was named a Fulbright finalist and was awarded the Louis and Marguerite Bloomberg Greenwood Prize for excellence in voice. She was a finalist in the 2019 Oberlin Conservatory Concerto Competition and a participant in Oberlin’s annual Marilyn Horne residency. Operatic credits include Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cunegonde in a centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein at Oberlin Conservatory, the title role in Handel’s Teseo at the Miami Music Festival, and Fortuna in The Coronation of Poppea at Oberlin in Italy. An avid performer of contemporary opera and song, she has also performed Taller Daughter in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up, Nuria in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, and ensemble in Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone. She has premiered many of composer Kari Watson’s works, including Let Me Count the Signs and Black is the Color..., and gave the world premiere of Sarah Ann Marze’s Two Sewing Songs in April 2021.
Giuliana Bozza is a soprano from Rochester, New York, finishing her master’s degree studying under Jane Dutton. Bozza was last seen on the Musical Arts Center stage as Musetta in the spring production of La Bohème. She will sing her master’s recital at the end of fall 2021.
Malinda Wagstaff is a first-year graduate student at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Carol Vaness. Wagstaff earned her bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Ruth Hennessy. In spring 2020, Wagstaff performed the role of Angel More in The Mother of Us All with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She was awarded first place for her division in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony’s Young Artist Competition. She works as a teaching artist for What is Opera Anyway?, which works to bring opera education to a variety of platforms.
Soprano Jessica Bittner, from Appleton, Wisconsin, is a senior at the IU Jacobs School of Music, majoring in voice performance with an outside field in musical theatre under the tutelage of Jane Dutton and Ray Fellman. Bittner is making her role debut with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater as Second Lady and was last seen on the MAC stage in the Parsifal Blumenmädchen chorus. She most recently performed with IU Summer Theatre in the cast of Maltby and Shire’s Closer than Ever. Other IU Theatre credits include Little Women (Marmie), Bonnets (ensemble and understudy for Mrs. Wolcott and Prudence), and an IU independent production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Madam, ensemble). She has been a member of NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and is looking forward to music directing IU’s University Players production of Lizzie the Musical this semester.
A native of Washington State, Lindsay Webber is pursuing a Doctor of Music degree while studying under Heidi Grant Murphy. This is Webber’s second production with IU Jacob School of Music Opera Theater, having performed the role of Miss Jessel in Britten’s TheTurn of the Screw last season. No stranger to the stage, she earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2020 and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Baylor University in 2017. In 2020, she won the Washington District for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and placed third in the Emerging Professional Division of the MIOpera Vocal Competition.
Mezzo-soprano Arienne Fort Cannock, from Lima, Perú, began her vocal training at Interlochen Arts Camp in 2014, where she performed the role of Gingerbread Witch in Hansel and Gretel. She continued her formal study at Florida Gulf Coast University, taking applied voice with Jeanie Darnell and earning a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Music Education with Honors in 2020. As an undergraduate, she performed the roles of Ms. Todd from The Old Maid and the Thief, The Monitor from Suor Angelica, and Cherubino from Le Nozze di Figaro. She has participated in several summer programs, including Opera Viva! in Verona, Italy, performing the roles of Dorabella from Così fan tutte and scenes from Falstaff, as Dame Quickly. She also worked as a professional chorister with Opera Naples (Florida) for three years and performed the role of Katisha from The Mikado in its 2019 Gilbert and Sullivan Summer Youth Program. She was one of 12 international emerging artists to be selected to participate in the Opera Naples Fall Opera Academy in 2019, singing under the baton of renowned opera conductor Ramón Tebar. She is a first-semester master’s student at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Peter Volpe.
Mezzo-soprano Catarine Hancock is a first-year master’s student from Lexington, Kentucky, studying with Julia Bentley. Hancock earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Kentucky, and this is her first production with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater. Past roles include Zita in Gianni Schicchi (University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, UKOT), Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible (UKOT), and Esprit in Cendrillon (Opera in the Ozarks, OITO). She also performed in the choruses for Lucia di Lammermoor (OITO), Suor Angelica (UKOT), and Madame Butterfly (UKOT). Hancock is the second-place undergraduate winner of the 2017 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, first-place winner of the 2016 Schmidt Vocal Competition, and a semi-finalist in the 2020 and 2021 Orpheus Vocal Competition.
Anthony Josep is a baritone in his junior year at the IU Jacobs School of Music in the studio of Timothy Noble. Last year, Josep debuted with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater as Elviro in Xerxes. He has also been featured in the chorus for the IU Jacobs Opera productions of The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, and Le Nozze di Figaro. He has recently attended such summer programs as the AAMS Summer Music Institute in Tampere, Finland, and the Schmidt Vocal Institute, where he studied with Nathan Gunn, Sylvia McNair, and Brian Zeger. Described as having a sound “with velvet in it, and with a natural gift for expressiveness,” he has been successful in vocal competitions such as the National YoungArts Foundation Competition, where he was named a finalist. Josep recently won first place in the Classical Singer International Competition College Division. He was also given an Encouragement Award in the Schmidt Vocal Undergraduate Awards Voice Competition. In addition to his work as a singer, he is also an active pianist and composer, often collaborating with organizations and singers at the Jacobs School in an effort to push new works into the modern opera repertoire. He was recently appointed artistic director of New Voices Opera.
Ian Rucker is a baritone from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. He is returning to the IU Jacobs School of Music for a Performer Diploma in Voice Performance after earning a Master of Music in Voice Performance last spring. This follows a summer as a Renée Fleming Artist at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where he was featured in weekly master classes, concerts, and recitals. At the Jacobs School, Rucker has appeared as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in 2019 and Figaro in The Barber of Seville in 2020. At the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, under the instruction of Kenneth Pereira, he performed the title roles in Don Giovanni and Sweeney Todd, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown, and Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret. In the past year, Rucker was awarded an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Wisconsin District and took first place in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.
A Chicagoland native, soprano Brianna Murray is currently working toward a doctoral degree while studying with Brian Gill. With IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, she has appeared as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Street Singer in Bernstein’s Mass. She also sang the role of Angelica in The Three Hermits. In 2019, she performed the role of Juliet in Don Freund’s Star-Cross’d Lovers. She sang the soprano solos in Schubert’s Mass in G Major in Bloomington, Indiana, and in Harry Potter 8 in concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, earning degrees in voice and psychology. At Oberlin, Murray was soprano soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Handel’s Messiah. She spent two summers at the Bay View Music Festival, where she performed the roles of Clorinda in La Cenerentola and Frasquita in Carmen.
Soprano Adriana N. Torres Díaz is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the guidance of Carol Vaness. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Torres Díaz earned undergraduate degrees in voice at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and in biology at the University of Puerto Rico. Before coming to IU, she studied with Zoraida López and Diana Alvarado. Torres Díaz has been part of the cast of Suor Angelica(Cercatrice) under the direction of Antonio Barasorda and Roselín Pabón, Così fan tutte (Despina) in the Third San Luis Opera Festival under the baton of Linus Lerner, and Xerxes (Atalanta) with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater under the direction of Kevin Murphy and Michael Shell. She has also participated with WIUX in a project called Song for Skeptics and in master classes with Justino Díaz, Kristin Dauphinais, Joel Prieto, Taylor Stilson, and Marilyn Taylor.
Tenor Jason Edelstein, from Paramus, New Jersey, is a senior at the IU Jacobs School of Music pursuing a B.M. in Voice Performance under Timothy Noble. Edelstein recently appeared as a member of the chorus in IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater productions of La Bohème (Officer), The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, and Le Nozze di Figaro. This production of The Magic Flute marks his IU Jacobs Opera role debut. Previous Jacobs performances range from the Oratorio Chorus collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra to work with student composers. He has participated in summer programs including Opera Lucca, where he studied with Peter Volpe and Cynthia Lawrence. Prior to attending IU, Edelstein studied with tenor Eduardo Valdes.
Baritone Lucas Newman-Johnson is a central Illinois native and a cum laude graduate of Amherst College. A lifelong student of music, he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Russell Thomas.
Marvin Allen is a baritone from Woodbine, Maryland. In May 2020, he graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music. A student of Rusell Thomas, he has appeared on the Musical Arts Center stage three times previously. In the 2020-21 season, Sprecher sang the role of Mr. Dashwood in Little Women, as well as singing in the choruses of The Barber of Seville and Xerxes.
Bass-baritone Edmund Brown is a second-year master’s student under the tutelage of Brian Horne. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the Lionel Hampton School of Music (LHSoM) at the University of Idaho, where he appeared on the stage in such roles as Escamillo in Carmen and Simone in Gianni Schicchi. He has also performed the roles of Sarastro (The Magic Flute) for the Aquilon Music Festival and Aaron Blunder (The Toy Shop) for the Inland Northwest Opera, and as a young artist for Respiro Opera in New York. In concert, he has performed as bass soloist in Durufle’s Requiem with the Palouse Choral Society and was featured in the 2018 LHSoM Bach Festival faculty concert. Most recently, he made his debut with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater as Ariodate in the spring 2021 production of Xerxes.
Cody Boling, tenor, is a second-year Master of Music in Voice Performance student in Brian Horne’s studio. In his first year at the IU Jacobs School of Music, Boling sang Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw. Prior to attending Jacobs, Cody was an active performer in his hometown as a frequent chorus member with the Knoxville Opera and performed in several productions at the Clarence Brown Theater with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Tennessee Valley Players. Notable roles include Herr Vanderdendur in Candide, Mr. Thenardier in Les Misérables, and the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance. He has also enjoyed professional solo opportunities in oratorios, such as Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Messiah with the Knoxville Handel Society and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Jon Marc Olivier (M.M.’23) is a student of Peter Volpe at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Olivier earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Loyola University New Orleans (LUNO), where he studied with Luretta Bybee, Irini Kyriakidou, and Bryan Hymel. The Magic Flute marks his IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater debut. He sang the role of First Man in Arms in 2017 at Northwestern University. Previous roles include the Father-Confessor in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Le Rainette in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Le Doyen in Massenet’s Cendrillon, all on the mainstage of LUNO Opera Theatre.
Praised for his “clear enunciation and powerful steady voice” by Opera Canada, bass Drew Comer is a second-year master’s student studying under the tutelage of Jane Dutton and Gary Arvin. Most recently, Comer performed the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Bloomington Chamber Opera. During his time at IU, he has performed the roles of Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Antonio in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Curio in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. He appeared in the choruses of The Barber of Seville, Oklahoma!, Florencia en el Amazonas, The Music Man, Lucia di Lammermoor, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Bernstein’s Mass, The Three Hermits, and Suor Angelica. In 2018, he made his Canadian debut with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, where he brought to life the roles of Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Seneca in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea. With Katherine Jolly’s Opera Workshop, he performed in scenes from The Mikado (Pooh-Bah), La Clemenza di Tito (Publio), The Magic Flute (Sarastro), and Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Osmin). He has also sung in master classes with soprano Caroline Worra and tenor Matthias Klink. An Indiana native, Comer earned a bachelor’s in voice performance degree from the IU Jacobs School of Music in 2019 as a student of Patricia Stiles, graduating magna cum laude.
Bass Theo Harrah is in his sophomore year at the IU Jacobs School of Music, studying voice performance with Jane Dutton. This is his first opera with IU Jacobs Opera Theater. Previous credits include The Armed Man as a soloist, first place in the Traditional Spiritual Performance, GSA, and numerous lead roles in musicals.
Soprano Alex Branton, from Seoul, South Korea, is in the fourth year of pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance degree at the IU Jacobs School of Music, studying with Brian Horne. This production marks her IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater debut. She has previously performed with Opera Theater as a chorus member for The Elixir of Love (2019) and La Traviata (2020). After her senior recital next spring, she plans to pursue a Master of Music in Voice Performance.
Soprano Victoria Schemenauer is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree at the IU Jacobs School of Music, studying with Julia Bentley. A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Schemenauer earned her bachelor’s degree in performance from IU South Bend. She has appeared in several productions with the South Bend Lyric Opera company, including the role of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Paggio and cover for Gilda in Rigoletto, and ensemble in Lucia di Lammermoor. She previously sang with the Bay View Musical Festival SOARS program.
Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Caroline Goodwin is a soprano and first-year master’s student under the tutelage Brian Horne. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Voice with an Outside Field in History from the IU Jacobs School of Music in 2021. She most recently appeared on the Musical Arts Center stage in the chorus of IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s Xerxes. Past roles (with various organizations) include Maria in West Side Story, Liesl in The Sound of Music, and Lou Ann in Hairspray. Her other opera chorus experiences include Bernstein’s Mass with IU Jacobs Opera Theater and The Jungle with New Voices Opera. At Jacobs, she has also been deeply involved with the children’s opera outreach program ROK: Reimagining Opera for Kids. She has sung roles in four ROK productions: Ami in Dominick DiOrio’s The World is One, Ana in Gabriela Ortiz’s Ana y su Sombra, Unicorn in Lauren Bernofsky’s Mooch the Magnificent, and Rosie in The Lunchbox Project.
Rachel Mauney is a B.M. student from West Bend, Wisconsin, studying voice performance under Julia Bentley. Mauney has previously performed with the Latin American Music Center and the Singing Hoosiers.
Evrithiki Bailey, a native of Dallas, Texas, started her singing career at the Interlochen Arts Academy in freshman year of high school. She performed in her first opera scenes in 2016 as the Second Lady in The Magic Flute. In 2017, she also performed scenes from The Old Maid and The Thief as Miss Pinkerton. After attending public school for two years, she won many choir competitions, including Texas Music Educators Association Allstate, as well as University Interscholastic League Solo and Ensemble sweepstakes. She also won the Denton Bach Society Competition in 2018. In 2019, she entered her senior year at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she performed scenes from Hansel and Gretel as Gretel and Fellow Travelers as Mary Johnson. This performance marks her debut in a full-length opera.
Mezzo-soprano Regan Poarch, from Kennesaw, Georgia, is a first-year master’s student studying under the tutelage of Jane Dutton. Poarch completed her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, earning a dual degree in voice and international studies. She was last seen in Handel’s Xerxes and Adamo’s Little Women as a member of the chorus. Previous performances include Third Sprit (The Magic Flute) with Bloomington Chamber Opera and the main chorus of Bernstein’s Mass. The Magic Flute marks her role debut with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater.