“In Indiana University’s Bicentennial year, it is truly fitting that our top-ranked IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater will stage Richard Wagner’s ‘Parsifal,’ a renowned work that was performed in the earliest years of IU Opera Theater and is part of IU’s glorious tradition of excellence in the arts.”
Indiana University President MICHAEL A. McROBBIE
The Legends Return
Based on the Arthurian knight Parsifal and his quest for the Holy Grail, this Game of Thrones-esque fantasy about redemption is full of magic and miracles, replete with enchanted castles, forests, spears, a magician, and a sorceress.
First performed by IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater in 1949, at the IU Auditorium. Last performed by Opera Theater in 1976, at the Musical Arts Center.
Twenty-three epic productions. A 43-year absence. Now, the legends are back. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience this monumental work of more than four hours from the master of epic himself.
In German with English supertitles.
Two intermissions, the first is 45 minutes, the second is 20 minutes.
Gurnemanz, an elder knight of the Holy Grail, awakens from sleep in a forest accompanied by his two squires. Two knights arrive to prepare a bath for their ailing king, Amfortas. They see Kundry, an ageless wild woman, rushing in to deliver a healing balsam from Arabia. Amfortas and his party arrive, accept Kundry’s gift, and proceed to a nearby lake. Then, Gurnemanz tells the gathered knights and squires the story of how a beautiful woman betrayed Amfortas to the sorcerer Klingsor, who stole the sacred spear from Amfortas and inflicted a wound that can only be healed by a pure fool. Klingsor had been denied membership by the Grail knights and swore to capture the Grail for himself. The knights and squires are interrupted by a swan shot by an arrow dropping from the sky. A young boy, Parsifal, is brought to the knights and admits to shooting the swan. Gurnemanz admonishes Parsifal for this action, and Parsifal breaks his bow in shame. When asked where he comes from, Parsifal can only answer, “I do not know.” The other knights leave to attend to Amfortas and Kundry explains that Parsifal’s father died in battle and that Parsifal’s mother, who raised him in the wilderness, is now dead as well. Kundry retires back into the brush and Gurnemanz leads Parsifal to the Grail Sanctuary in hopes that he is the pure fool arriving to save Amfortas.
In the Grail Sanctuary, the knights assemble at their tables, with Amfortas at their head. Squires bring in the Holy Grail, and the knights proceed with a Holy Communion ceremony. Amfortas, tormented by the pain of his endless wound and wishing to die instead, does not want to perform his duty in uncovering the Grail. Hearing the voice of his aged father, Titurel, he painfully uncovers the Grail, and a blinding ray of light shines on it. Amfortas does not partake in the meal, and his wound opens again. Parsifal stands unfazed by this proceeding, and Gurnemanz angrily expels him from the Sanctuary.
Klingsor, in his castle, summons Kundry to his chambers and commands her to seduce Parsifal, who is drawing near the castle to reclaim the sacred spear. Kundry is reluctant but is compelled by Klingsor’s magic.
The scene changes to a beautiful garden, where Parsifal has just arrived. Flower maidens appear in the garden and try to seduce Parsifal, who rejects their advances. Kundry appears, sending the flower maidens away, and calls Parsifal by name for the first time. Kundry tells Parsifal of his mother’s anguish at his departure and of her death. Parsifal is distraught at hearing Kundry’s tale, and Kundry gives Parsifal a deep kiss, saying it is his mother’s final gift to him. Parsifal recoils and feels the pain of Amfortas’s wound, remembering his mission. Trying to lure Parsifal through pity, Kundry asks for solace and a release from her curse, attained as she mocked Christ on the cross. Parsifal again denies her and offers love and redemption only if he is able to complete his mission. They arrive at the castle wall and Klingsor hurls the spear at Parsifal to deal his final blow. Instead, the spear is suspended in midair and Parsifal seizes it. Making the sign of the cross, Parsifal banishes Klingsor’s magic, and the castle crumbles to the ground.
Gurnemanz, now greatly aged and dressed as a hermit, steps out of a simple hut in the domain of the Grail. He finds Kundry in a thicket and awakens her to find her strangely different than before. Parsifal enters, dressed in full armor and carrying the spear. Gurnemanz does not recognize him and questions his arrival, explaining that it is Good Friday morning and that no one should enter this sacred ground with the arms of war. As Parsifal takes off his helmet, Gurnemanz and Kundry recognize him and his sacred spear. Parsifal tells them that he had been wandering for many years, fighting battles but never using the sacred spear, but now he has found his way to reunite the spear and the Grail. Gurnemanz explains that Amfortas, now deeply suffering, refuses to serve the Grail. Gurnemanz and Kundry wash Parsifal’s feet and head in the nearby spring then anoint him with oil. Parsifal, now refreshed, baptizes Kundry. Gurnemanz leads Parsifal and Kundry to the Grail Sanctuary as tolling bells announce Titurel’s funeral.
At the Grail Sanctuary, two processions arrive: one carrying Amfortas and the Grail, and the other Titurel’s coffin. Amfortas again refuses to uncover the Grail, wanting instead to end his anguish in death. Parsifal arrives and touches the spear to Amfortas’s side, absolving Amfortas of his sins and healing his wound. Parsifal ascends to the altar and uncovers the Grail as a dove descends over Parsifal’s head. Amfortas, Gurnemanz, and the knights kneel before Parsifal and the Grail, and Kundry sinks lifeless to the ground. Parsifal is the new king of the redeemed Grail knights.
by Matthew Van Vleet
Ph.D. Musicology Candidate
Richard Wagner’s Parsifal premiered on July 26, 1882, at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, the theater specially built to house his operas. Parsifal was Wagner’s thirteenth and final opera, as the aging composer would pass away six months after it opened. Although most of the work on the opera—or as Wagner called it, Bühnenweihfestspiel or “festival consecration of the stage”—was completed after 1877, its origins lie much earlier in Wagner’s career. Parsifal is based on Wolfram von Eschenbach’s thirteenth-century Grail epic Parzival, a work that Wagner read in 1845. Wagner twice began work on an opera based on Parzival, producing a prose sketch in 1857 (which does not survive) and a complete prose draft in 1865. As Wagner worked out the plot of Parsifal, he also developed his artistic ideal of Gesamkunstwerk (total artwork), unifying musical, dramatic, and visual arts to create a new kind of experience. These ideas shape Parsifal from the way is it constructed to the thematic content of the opera.
While there is no shortage of Wagner prose detailing his artistic philosophy, perhaps its most concise expression comes from the text of Parsifal. Near the midpoint of Act 1, the elder Grail Knight Gurnemanz addresses Parsifal, the pure fool: “You see, my son, that here time turns to space.” This line is delivered as Gurnemanz leads Parsifal to the Grail Sanctuary and is accompanied by an elaborate scene transformation. The idea of “time turns to space” metaphorically captures a key aspect of Wagner’s Gesamkunstwerk concept. Drama and music are defined by their unfolding through time, and by uniting them, Wagner attempts to create a new kind of aesthetic space for the contemplation of philosophical ideas.
While this line is a useful way of understanding Wagner’s aesthetic, it is more directly important within the drama of the scene itself. Gurnemanz’s statement, “here time turns to space,” lays out the essential mystery of the Grail Sanctuary and the knights who protect it. The forest where they reside and the sanctuary they protect are sacred and otherworldly, and their order is ancient, even timeless. The knights are sustained through the Grail but for Amfortas, their king, this means eternal suffering from his unhealing wound and tormenting reminders of his sin in losing the Holy Spear. There are obvious religious implications to the Grail Sanctuary and Holy Communion enacted in this scene, and Wagner approaches them through ruminations on the nature of time and space.
The concept “time turns to space” can also be extended to how Wagner’s score for Parsifal supports and complements the drama. But first, an essential consideration Wagner made in composing Parsifal was the specific venue the work would be performed in: the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. It was the only opera Wagner composed exclusively for the Festspielhaus, which was completed in 1876. The unique design elements of the Festspielhaus, notably the completely hidden orchestra pit, serve to heighten the effect of the drama by eliminating every possible distraction from what is happening on stage. This facilitates a total immersion into the opera’s dramatic space, and Wagner’s score capitalizes on this with long, slow builds and intensely sustained emotional passages.
Even when Parsifal is performed on stages other than Bayreuth, Wagner’s goal of a fully immersive aesthetic experience is still apparent in the music. Parsifal extends the musical form Wagner developed in his other mature operas in which there are no distinct arias, recitatives, or other numbers. The music flows continuously through the entirety of each act, sustaining the immersion in the drama. The idea is that there is nothing to remind the audience of the artifice of the stage, no formulaic arias, no applause, and no scene breaks. It is even traditional at Bayreuth performances to abstain from applause after the first act.
Another technique Wagner employs to immerse the audience in the opera space is the use of leitmotifs. A familiar Wagnerian device, leitmotifs are musical themes representing characters, objects, or concepts. This helps unite important thematic elements across the duration of the opera. Compared to earlier Wagner operas, the leitmotifs in Parsifal are often more thematic or conceptual than concrete. One important leitmotif to follow is the Grail motif, which quotes the distinctively rising, hymn-like Dresden Amen. Many of the leitmotifs in Parsifal are based on material introduced in the Act 1 prelude. Right away, the prelude draws the audience into the sonic world of Parsifal, and the motivic connections spanning the entire score are designed to keep them immersed in its musical space.
While each element of Parsifal—the music, the poetry, the sets and costuming—works toward the same artistic goal, ultimately, it is the combination of these elements that truly expresses Wagner’s ideal. The vision of Gesamkunstwerk is so fundamental to Parsifal that Wagner stipulated that no other theater but the Festspielhaus should ever perform the work. After he died, Wagner’s widow, Cosima, preserved that legacy. Until 1914, the only place to see an authorized performance of Parsifal was Bayreuth, and even after this monopoly ended, Bayreuth productions preserved Wagner’s original stage designs for decades. Parsifal performances became something like the Act 1 Grail Sanctuary: a ritualized space seemingly frozen in time. While Parsifal is performed all over the world today in creative new productions, part of its legacy will always be entrenched in Wagner’s artistic ideals.
Arthur Fagen has been professor of orchestral conducting at the 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 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 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. His Naxos recording of Martinů’s piano concertos was awarded an Editor’s Choice award in the March 2010 issue of Gramophone magazine. This season, Fagen will be recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, and Philharmonia Orchestra.
Chris Alexander, the son of a soprano and a baritone who sang professionally in the United States in the 1950s, started his career as an actor and director in Germany. Founder of the Bremer Shakespeare Company, he directed and acted in many Shakespeare dramas, which he also translated into German. He directed more than 60 plays in Germany and Switzerland. Alexander’s European opera productions include Rossini’s Viaggio a Reims, Wagner’s Tannhäuser, and Verdi’s Otello in Mannheim, Rossini’s Cenerentola in Munich, Ballo in Maschera in Wiesbaden, Battistelli’s Prova d’orchestra in Düsseldorf, Bizet’s Carmen and Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades in Bern, Wagner’s Fliegende Holländer in Linz, and Puccini’s La Bohème in Hannover. He made his U.S. debut at Seattle Opera directing Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov in 2000. He returned for Verdi’s Falstaff, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, a production that earned him the company’s Artist-of-the-Year award. He won this award again for Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Porgy and Bess. He directed Puccini’s Turandot, Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, and Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri in San Francisco and has worked as a director for the opera companies in Dallas, Washington, Vancouver, Montreal, Cincinnati, and Atlanta. Parsifal is Alexander’s fourth production for IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, after Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Peter Grimes.
Katy Tucker is a New York based video and projection designer. She began her career as a painter and video installation artist, exhibiting her work at a variety of galleries, such as the Corcoran Museum, Dupont Underground, The Dillon Gallery, and Artist Space in New York City. She has collaborated with musicians such as Paul McCartney, David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, Paola Prestini, Helga Davis, Amanda Gookin, and Jeffrey Ziegler. Tucker’s work in theater and opera has been seen around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, Sydney Opera House, Dutch National Opera, Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, Kennedy Center, BAM, and Park Avenue Armory, among others. Recent productions include Dmitri Tcherniakov’s Prince Igor at the Dutch National Opera and Metropolitan Opera, The Ring Cycle with Francesca Zambello at San Francisco Opera, Candide, Iron & Coal, and Lovestate with Kevin Newbury, The Flying Dutchman and Florencia en el Amazonas at Houston Grand Opera, and West Side Story at the Kennedy Center with Francesca Zambello. Upcoming productions include set and video design for Hansel and Gretel at the Canadian Opera Company, Don Giovanni and Samson and Delilah at Washington National Opera, and the world premiere of Castor and Patience with Kevin Newbury at Cincinnati Opera.
Linda Pisano designs for theater, dance, musical theater, ballet, and opera throughout the United States; her ballet designs have toured the U.K. and Canada. An award-winning designer, Pisano is the only U.S. costume designer to have her work selected for the World Stage Design Exhibition in Taipei 2017. Her work will be featured representing the United States for the second time at the Quadrennial World Exhibition in Prague in June. She is a four-time winner of the National Stage Expo for performance design and a four-time recipient of the Peggy Ezekiel Award for Excellence in Design. Her work was selected from top designers in the United States to be featured in a world design exhibition with the Bakhrushin Museum in Moscow and the China Institute of Stage Design in Beijing. Pisano currently serves as chair of the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance at IU and producer of Indiana University Summer Theatre. As professor of costume design, she also directs the Theatre & Drama study abroad program in London and is a co-author of the recent book The Art and Practice of Costume Design. Some of her work with Jacobs includes Giulio Cesare, West Side Story, L’Étoile, Akhnaten, Madama Butterfly, Vincent, and La Traviata. She also designs with Opera San Antonio, BalletMet, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Utah Festival Opera, and San Diego Opera, and is designing Candide at Des Moines Metro Opera in June. You can see her work on the upcoming production of IU’s Parsifal and Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Christmas Carol. She is a member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
Todd Hensley returns to the Jacobs School of Music after lighting Bernstein’s Mass, Florencia en al Amazonas, The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh, Akhnaten, Candide, and La Rondine. Other opera designs include Un Ballo in Maschera, Don Giovanni, and Cavalleria/Pagliacci for Florida Grand Opera, Carousel and From the Towers of the Moon for Minnesota Opera, and productions for Baltimore Opera, Cleveland Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, The Skylight, Wolf Trap Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater. Other design work includes the Noel Coward musical A Marvelous Party, with engagements in six cities; Eartha Kitt in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill; and The Hobbit for the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Hensley is a partner with Schuler Shook Theatre Planners, with projects including Chicago’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the Lookingglass Theatre, and major opera house renovations in Seattle, Chicago, and Sarasota.
Leraldo Anzaldua is a Houston, Texas-based actor and fight director with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) and choreographer with Stage Directors and Choreographers. Venues he has worked with include Indiana Repertory Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Alley Theatre, Cardinal Stage, and Bloomington Playwrights Project. He is a voiceover talent with Sentai Filmworks, with titles airing on Netflix, Hulu, and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim. He has been a motion-capture performer and fight director with Sony Pictures and Sola Digital in Tokyo, Japan. Anzaldua has been a motion- capture fight director and talent for video games in the U.S and Uppsala, Sweden. He has taught movement, stage combat, acting, and Shakespeare at the University of North Dakota, Rice University, University of Houston, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He earned a master’s degree in acting from the University of Houston. He is an SAFD mentor and a member of the SAFD Diversity Committee, as well as assistant professor of movement and stage combat at the IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance.
Walter Huff is professor of choral conducting and faculty director of opera choruses at the 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 IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater productions of The Merry Widow, Akhnaten, Lady Thi Kính, H.M.S. Pinafore, La Traviata, The Italian Girl in Algiers, La Bohème, The Last Savage, South Pacific, Die Zauberflöte, The Barber of Seville, Dead Man Walking, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Oklahoma!, The Daughter of the Regiment, Florencia en el Amazonas, Madama Butterfly, Peter Grimes, The Music Man, Don Giovanni, 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, and Le Nozze di Figaro. 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 David and Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits. Huff also maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta, and last summer, he returned for a second year to Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute.
Brent Gault is professor of music education at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has taught elementary and early childhood music courses in Texas, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. He specializes in elementary general music education, early childhood music education, and Kodály-inspired pedagogy. Gault also has training in both the Orff and Dalcroze approaches to music education. He has presented sessions and research at conferences of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Dalcroze Society of America, International Kodály Society, International Society for Music Education, Organization of American Kodály Educators, and NAfME: The National Association for Music Education. In addition, he has served as a presenter and guest lecturer for colleges and music education organizations in the United States, Canada, China, and Ireland. Articles by Gault have been published in various music education periodicals, including the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, General Music Today, Kodály Envoy, Orff Echo, and American Dalcroze Journal. He is the co-editor (with Carlos Abril) of Teaching General Music (2016, Oxford University Press) and author of Listen Up! Fostering Musicianship Through Active Listening (2016, Oxford University Press). In addition to his duties with the Jacobs School Music Education Department, Gault serves as the program director for the Indiana University Children’s Choir, where he conducts the Allegro Choir. He is a past president of the Organization of American Kodály Educators.
Conductor Walter Althammer completed his studies with distinction at the academy of music in Munich with Hermann Michael. Althammer participated in master classes with Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Celibidache, and Kurt Masur. As assistant, he worked regularly with Hartmut Haenchen, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, and Kent Nagano. Althammer’s engagements as coach and conductor have included the Bayerische Staatsoper, Stadttheater Dortmund, and Städtische Bühnen Münster. From 1992 until 1996, he was the chief conductor and music director of the Hoofdstad Operette Amsterdam. From 1997 until 2000, he was chief conductor and artistic advisor of the International Danube Opera, an opera company with which he performed operas by Bizet, Verdi, and Puccini. In 2001, he gave his debut in Italy, with the opera Il Matrimonio Segreto; in 2003, his debut in Los Angeles, with Orfeo ed Euridice by C. W. Gluck; in 2010, his debut in Toulouse, France, with Elektra by Richard Strauss; and, in 2014, his debut in Madrid, Spain, with Lohengrin by Richard Wagner. From October 2013 until October 2015, he was teaching as professor in the position of music director of the singing department at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main. Althammer has been engaged as a guest conductor at numerous opera houses, including Bayerischen Staatsoper München, Opernhaus Bonn, Muziektheater Amsterdam, Stadttheater St. Gallen, Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, and Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf. He has conducted symphonic concerts with Limburgs Symphonie Orkest, Noord Nederlands Orkest, and Nürnberger Symphoniker. Apart from directing the Stravinsky Ensemble, which he founded in 1996, he also regularly conducts concerts and produces CDs for contemporary music with the ASKO Ensemble and the Barton Workshop.
Guest Principal Cast
Mark Delavan, a singer of “incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity,” is sought after throughout the United States and Europe for the most demanding roles in his operatic repertoire. He regularly appears in the title roles of Der Fliegende Holländer, Falstaff, and Rigoletto, and as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, and Amonasro in Aida. In addition, as a strong character actor on stages throughout the country, he has proved himself a crossover artist of immense skill. Most recently, Delavan starred as Phil Arkin in Milk and Honey with York Theatre Company, to critical acclaim. Of his performance, critics hailed his “rich, resonant voice” with “impressively clear high notes.” At the Metropolitan Opera, Delavan took his interpretation of Wotan in cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen under Fabio Luisi to critical acclaim. He has also performed at the esteemed house the title roles of Simon Boccanegra and Nabucco, and has appeared as Scarpia in Tosca, Amonasro in Aida, Tomsky in Pique Dame, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Carlo in La Forza del Destino, Gianciotto in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, and Gerard in a major revival of Andrea Chénier. This season, Delavan also performs the role of Michele/Alfio in Tabbaro/Cavalleria Rusticana with Maryland Lyric Opera, Jocanaan in Salome with the Dallas Symphony, and Tonio in I Pagliacci with Michigan Opera Theater, and joins the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Tosca. Last season, he returned to the Met for its productions of La Fanciulla del West, Aida, and Falstaff, performed in a concert performance of La Fanciulla del West as Jack Rance in the Inaugural Season of Maryland Lyric Opera, and reprised the title role of Falstaff with Dallas Opera. He will return to Dallas Opera in 2020
Hailed for his “rich and deep sound, robust and regal” regarding his recent Carnegie Hall debut, John Robert Green is a versatile baritone with an exceptionally beautiful timbre. He returned to Teatro Grattacielo in New York City this fall with his menacing performance of Bardo in the American premiere of Cilea’s Gloria, his second American premiere with Teatro Grattacielo in as many years. Last year, he was praised for his endearing performance as Caleb Plummer in Zandonai’s Il Grillo del Focolare. Green recently had great success with his Wagnerian debut as Gunther in Götterdämmerung with LidalNorth. He previously enthralled Norwegian audiences with his Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and his enchanting Peter in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. He reprised the role of Peter with the Savannah Voice Festival last summer. He has been lauded for his performances as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Marcello in La Bohème, Dr. Rappaccini in La Hija de Rappaccini, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, and the title role in Don Giovanni. He received the Opera Performance of the Year Award from Illinois Opera Theatre for his performance of Germont in La Traviata. Earlier this year, Green received accolades for his performance as the baritone soloist in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Helena Symphony. He was equally praised for his recent performance as the bass soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Hunter College. For his performance with Distinguished Concerts International New York at Carnegie Hall, he sang with “an infectious energy, and imbued with such pure emotion, that a number of tissues were spotted being pulled from pockets and purses.” He has appeared as a featured soloist with the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana in performances of Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, and St. John Passion, as well as Handel’s Messiah and as the title character in Handel’s Saul.
Dominic Barberi graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with an M.Mus. Perf. (Distinction) under Stephen Robertson. Barberi was a member of the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden Opera Studio through the Liz Mohn Foundation from 2015 to 2018, where his roles included Pietro (Simon Boccanegra) and Barone Douphol (La Traviata) under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, Tom (Un Ballo inMaschera), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), and Colline (La Bohème). In 2017, he represented England in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and was a finalist in the International Vocal Competiton’s Hertogenbosch, receiving the Handel Award. He was invited to participate in the 2019 Operalia Competition in Prague and the Wigmore Hall Song Competition. Highlights include Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) and a recital at the Berlin Staatsoper, as well as successful role debuts as Alvise Badoero (Ponchielli’s La Giaconda, Tiroler Landestheater, Innsbruck), Publio (Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito), and Zuniga (Bizet’s Carmen, Staatstheater Braunschweig). In September 2018, he joined the ensemble of the Mannheim National Theatre, with roles including Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Titurel (Parsifal), Angelotti (Tosca), and his debut as Bottom in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Montpellier, directed by Ted Huffman. Barberi has appeared as a guest soloist throughout Europe in productions including Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Mozart’s Requiem, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and a world premiere of Luther Oratorio at the Berlin Philharmonic. Upcoming highlights include the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro in Mannheim, his debut at La Scala in a new production of Salome, and returning to France as Colatinus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.
Canadian tenor Chris Lysack brings a vast and unorthodox skillset to his craft. Having received his formal training at Indiana University in piano (D.M.‘09) and French literature (Ph.D.‘14) before completing his vocal studies at Manhattan School of Music, he is uniquely positioned to approach the most challenging repertoire with intellectual rigor and refined musicianship of the highest caliber. For nearly 10 years, the “intrepid, individual artist” (Opera Now) has performed as a leading tenor throughout Europe, including at the Hamburg State Opera, Salzburg State Theater, Linz State Theater, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Stadttheater Bern, Deutsches Nationaltheather Weimar, Opera på Skäret, and the Theater Bremen, site of his “sensational debut” (Das Opernglas) in the Wagnerian repertoire, as Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 2014. Lysack has performed a broad cross-section of the repertoire, ranging from the title roles in Lohengrin, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Peter Grimes, to such favorites as Florestan (Fidelio) and Cavaradossi (Tosca), and to lesser-known modern works, including York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita and Brett Dean’s Bliss. The versatile tenor also has a particular interest in Czech music, having achieved acclaim as the Prince (Rusalka) and Laca Klemeň (Jenůfa) at the Theater Aachen, as well as in Janáček’s masterpiece Zápisník zmizelého. Lysack was twice awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts for language study and role preparation in the Czech Republic. The sometime pianist made his German debut at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg in 2015, has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Aachen Symphony Orchestra and Bremen Philharmonic, and his piano discography includes recordings on the Capstone and Centaur labels. He began his singing career with young-artist engagements at Chautauqua Opera and Glimmerglass Opera in New York before joining the International Opera Studio, and later the ensemble, of the Hamburg State Opera. While at the IU Jacobs School of Music, he studied voice with Andreas Poulimenos and piano with André Watts.
Kevin Ray is praised by Opera News for his “commendable style” and abilities with “subtle coloristic nuance.” This season, he returns to the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Simon Boccanegra. Last season, he made his Met debut as the Messenger in Aida and also joined the company for its productions of La fanciulla del West and Das Rheingold. He recently sang his first performances of King Charles VII in Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans with Odyssey Opera, the Prince in Rusalka with Arizona Opera, Erik in Der fliegende Holländer with Estonian National Opera, and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Berkshire Opera Festival. He recently returned to Houston Grand Opera to sing performances of the company’s new commission of Iain Bell’s one-man opera, A Christmas Carol, in addition to returning to the company for Roderigo in Otello, Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, and both the First Armed Man and Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte. He is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Ray’s other recent engagements include his first performances of the title role in Peter Grimes with Chautauqua Opera; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos presented by his alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music, in association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; and Don José in Carmen with Wolf Trap Opera and the Lyrique-en-Mer/Festival de Belle-Île. While a Santa Fe apprentice artist, he created the role of the Second Clubman in the world premiere of Moravec’s The Letter. Also with the company, he sang the role of the Poet in Menotti’s The Last Savage, covered the Drum Major in Wozzeck, and performed scenes of the title role of Idomeneo. He is a 2016 second prizewinner in the Wagner division of the Gerda Lisnner Foundation’s International Vocal Competition and a 2015 winner of the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award.
Described by Das Opernglas as “a strong, rich and warm-colored voice with assured style,” Mark Schnaible also joins Arizona Opera as the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos and sings performances of the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle with the Columbus Symphony in the 2019-20 season. Last season, he joined Arizona Opera as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro. He recently returned to Oper Leipzig for reprise performances of Pere Joseph in the acclaimed production of Gounod’s Der Rebell des Königs (Cinq Mars) and Méphistophélès in Faust, and to the Metropolitan Opera for its new productions of Guillaume Tell and Lulu. He also performed at Palm Beach Opera as the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos and the Police Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance. Schnaible’s other recent performances include Friedrich in Das Liebesverbot and Méphistophélès in Faust with the Teatro Comunale Bolzano; Orest in Willy Decker’s production of Elektra with Polish National Opera; Der Wanderer in Siegfried with Kent Nagano conducting, and the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in a production directed by Nicholas Joel with Den Nye Opera. Others include Jochanaan in Salome with Edmonton Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater; Escamillo in Carmen with New Orleans Opera and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Pizarro in Fidelio, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, and the title role in Giulio Cesare with Utah Opera; Friedrich in the North American stage premiere of Das Liebesverbot, and the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro with Glimmerglass Opera. Additional appearances include Biterolf in Robert Carsen’s production of Tannhäuser conducted by Seiji Ozawa at Tokyo Opera Nomori; the title role in SweeneyTodd and Scarpia in Tosca with Portland Opera, Dayton Opera, and Shreveport Opera; and Méphistofélès in Faust with Shreveport Opera and El Paso Opera.
Mitch Gindlesperger, bass-baritone, is a regular member of the Atlanta Opera Chorus and has performed comprimario roles with the Atlanta Opera including Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Second Philistine in Samson et Dalilah, and the Old Gypsy in Il Trovotore. Gindlesperger also has prior experience with the Atlanta Opera Studio, presenting master classes and opera workshops for high schools across the state of Georgia. He earned his vocal performance degree from Clayton College and State University. Other roles he has performed include Figaro in the Atlanta Concert Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Adonis in Venus and Adonis, Lancelot du Lac in Camelot, and the Mother in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins.
Lauded for his portrayal of Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier that he “dealt in revelations,” the Financial Times further praised Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson, “His tone dark and his dynamic range broad, he exuded raw power, crusty lust and comic bravado, all reinforced by a trace of gravitas.” In the 2019-20 season, Sigmundsson returns to Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie as Ghost in Dusapin’s Macbeth Underworld and LA Opera as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro. Last season, Sigmundsson returned to Houston Grand Opera as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer and to San Francisco Opera for Vodnik in Rusalka, and sang Dansker in Billy Budd with Den Norske Opera. He also recently joined the Edinburgh International Festival for the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Atlanta Opera for Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer. Sigmundsson has sung nearly his entire repertoire with the Opéra National de Paris and the Metropolitan Opera, where he sang leading roles in Der Rosenkavalier, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Walküre, Fidelio, Roméo et Juliette, and Rusalka. He has sung leading roles regularly with the Staatsoper Wien, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Semperoper Dresden, where his most recent performances include La Damnation de Faust. Other recent engagements include The Barber of Seville, Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, and Le Nozze di Figaro (LA Opera); Don Giovanni (Munich, Berlin); Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Berlin); Der Fliegende Holländer (Strasbourg); Medea (Salzburg); Parsifal (Cologne, Florence); Nabucco (Copenhagen); Lohengin (Madrid, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Munich); Tristan und Isolde (Santiago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Berlin); Die Walküre (Naples, Venice, Köln); Tannhäuser (Geneva, Amsterdam, Tokyo); La Damnation de Faust, Tristan und Isolde, Der Fliegende Holländer, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier (San Francisco); Lohengrin, Lucia di Lammermoor (Munich); Die Zauberflöte (Houston, San Francisco, Toulouse, Santiago); and Luisa Miller (Cincinnati).
Noted for her “commanding and dramatic presence” (Opera News), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum is rapidly gaining critical acclaim on the most prestigious opera stages in the United States. Tatum begins the 2019-20 season as Flosshilde in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung with the National Theater in Taiwan, followed by her role debut as Kundry in Parsifal for IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater. She also returns to the Metropolitan Opera as the Third Lady in TheMagic Flute, makes her role debut as Amneris in Aida with Pensacola Opera, and joins Boston Lyric Opera for Giulio Cesare. On the concert stage, she joins the South Bend Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Masterworks Chorale for Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. In the 2018-19 season, Tatum returned to the Met for Nico Muhly’s Marnie and the Waltraute and Flosshilde in Robert LePage’s famed Der Ring des Nibelungen, and appeared with the Savannah Philharmonic for Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony and the Cecilia Chorus of New York in Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody. She has recently been heard as Flosshilde and Waltraute in San Francisco Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, Flosshilde in Das Rheingold at the Tanglewood Festival, Francisca in West Side Story at Grand Tetons Music Festival with Donald Runnicles, Jenny in Threepenny Opera for Boston Lyric Opera, and as a Flower Maiden in Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera with new music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Concert performances included Penderecki’s Credo with the Indianapolis Symphony, Durufle’s Requiem with Back Bay Chorale, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Cecilia Chorus. Tatum was also heard in concert with Warren Jones at Manchester Music Festival and in a concert presentation of Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic. Other recent performances include the role of Gabriele Bertolier for the Romanti Century’s production of Van Gogh’s Ear at the Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City and the concert “Opera Italiana Forever Young” for Central Park Summer Concerts.
Hailed by Opera magazine for her performances of Amneris as “most impressive” and “with a rich mezzo timbre,” Israeli mezzo-soprano Edna Prochnik’s 2019-20 season highlights include Erda in Siegfried at Staatstheater Kassel, Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin with Israeli Opera, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Last season, she sang Erda in Das Rheingold and Siegfried with Staatstheater Kassel, and Herodias in Salome with both Israeli Opera and Spoleto Festival USA. Recent performances include Olga in Die lustige Witwe (Paris), Klytämnestra in Elektra (Braunschweig), Kundry in Parsifal (Stuttgarter Philharmoniker), Die gute Hexe in Maxwell Davis’s The Hogboon (Luxembourg), and Kurt Weill’s Die Verheissung (MDR Sinfonieorchester). She also sang Panisello’s Le malentendu (Neue Oper Wien and Teatros de Canal in Madrid), Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Basilika Trier), and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Israel Philharmonic). Prochnik is a previous member of the ensemble at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, where her roles included Kundry in Parsifal, Carmen, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Eboli in Don Carlo, Klytämnestra in Elektra, Herodias in Salome, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Afra in La Wally, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Babulenka in The Gambler, Beroe in Henze’s The Bassarids, Neris in Cherubini’s Medea, Clarice in L’amour de trois oranges, and Die Alte in Shrecker’s Der ferne Klang. In Wagner’s The Ring Cycle, she sang Erda and Fricka in Das Rheingold, Erste Norn and Waltraute in Götterdammerung, and Erda in Siegfried with the company.
SonJin “John” Kim, a South Korean bass, is pursuing a Performer Diploma in Solo Performance at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. He is a winner of the Joshi Fellowship, one of the school’s most prestigious awards. He is a graduate of Seoul National University, where he was granted full scholarship under the tutelage of Yonghoon Lee. There, Kim was highly celebrated for his roles as Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, having performed them at both Seoul National University and the Seoul Metropolitan Opera House. This fall, he performed the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater and has performed as bass soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Louisville Orchestra. Kim’s choral experience includes works such as Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Britten’s War Requiem, and Bernstein’s Mass.
During the last year, Spencer Lawrence Boyd, a 25-year-old tenor from Canal Fulton, Ohio, has sung Henrik Egerman (A Little Night Music) with Aspen Opera Center, Nemorino (The Elixir of Love) at IU, the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Louisville Orchestra, and the tenor soloist in Haydn’s The Creation with Winona State University Orchestra (Minnesota). He has also sung several excerpts from leading roles such as Il duca di Mantua (Rigoletto), Faust (Faust), Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), and more. Other operatic performances include Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), and Arlecchino (Pagliacci) with Kent State Opera (Ohio), Vincent in Gounod’s Mireille in Périgeuex, France, Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Prince Yamadori (Madama Butterfly) with Cleveland Opera Theater, and Nika Magadoff (The Consul) with Nightingale Opera Theater (Ohio). Boyd earned a Master of Music degree from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Chapman University (California). He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Carol Vaness. He is an associate instructor of voice at Jacobs and has taught voice and music at two public school districts in addition to a number of private music organizations across the country. Boyd will also be seen in IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s production of Gianni Schicchi, as Gherardo, in February.
Bass-baritone Steele Fitzwater is a second-year master’s degree student studying with Peter Volpe. From Dawson, West Virginia, Fitzwater completed his undergraduate studies in vocal performance, and fashion and design at Miami University (Ohio). In the 2018-19 season, he made his Indiana University debut as Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Javelinot in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, and joined Central City Opera as a studio artist in its summer festival. A prominently featured performer during his undergraduate studies, Fitzwater was seen as Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Death (Savitri), Carl-Magnus Malcolm (A Little Night Music), Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), and Capt. Jonathan Williams in the world premiere of Daniel Levy’s The Martian Chronicles, with Miami University Opera. During two summers with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, he performed Doctor Bartolo (Le Nozze di Figaro), Carl Olsen (Street Scene), Snug (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Louis Cyphre in the world premiere of J. Mark Scearce’s Falling Angel. As a concert soloist, he has performed the bass solos in Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass No. 2, and DuBois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ. Later this season, Fitzwater will make his role debut as the title character in the IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
Soprano Kayla Eldridge is a native of Bentonville, Arkansas, pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. With IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, Eldridge has performed as an opera chorus member in La Bohème, Peter Grimes, Lucia di Lammermoor, and The Elixir of Love. Last year, she won the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Arkansas district. Eldridge performed the role of Sœur Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites with IU Jacobs Opera Theater, and, most recently, performed the role of Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Chicago Summer Opera. This spring, she will perform the role of Flora Bervoix in La Traviata with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater.
Mezzo-soprano Jing Zhang, from Beijing, China, is pursuing a Performance Diploma in Voice Performance with Carlos Montané. Zhang earned an M.M. in Voice Performance from Peking University. With IU Opera Workshop, she has appeared in scenes as Maddalena (Rigoletto). Her previous credits include Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, and the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte.
Tenor Carl Rosenthal is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance with Carol Vaness and Gary Arvin. He was last seen on the IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater stage as the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, a performance for which he was praised as “compelling” and “splendid” by The Herald-Times. Other appearances include Le Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Bernardo in West Side Story, and Mr. Martini in It’s a Wonderful Life. He will return in February as Gastone in La Traviata. A recipient of the Georgina Joshi International Fellowship, he debuted in 2018 at Prague’s historic Estates Theater as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with the Prague Summer Nights Festival. Other performances include Gonzalve in L’heure Espagnole (Carol Vaness Opera Workshop), Mr. Erlanson/Henrik cover in A Little Night Music (Aspen Music Festival), and tenor soloist in Erik Ransom’s Man and the Sea cantata (Jacobs School Recital Series). Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Rosenthal earned a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and worked as a mathematics teacher in New York City before coming to Jacobs. In addition to his musical studies, he currently works as an associate instructor in math at the IU School of Education.
American tenor Gregory McClelland is a Performer Diploma candidate at the Jacobs School of Music studying with Jane Dutton and Gary Arvin. This past summer, McClelland traveled to Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy, to participate in the International Opera Performance Experience program, performing Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff under the baton of James Caraher. McClelland was last seen on the Musical Arts Center stage in the collegiate premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Steve Wozniak) under the baton of Michael Christi. Other IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater performances include Dead Man Walking (Howard Boucher) and the ensembles of Oklahoma! and Bernstein’s Mass. He has performed opera scenes from La Bohème (Rodolfo), Die Fledermaus (Eisenstein), Werther (Werther), Rigoletto (Duke), Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio), and Norma (Pollione). McClelland has sung with NOTUS under the direction of Dominick DiOrio as well as with the University Singers and University Chorale, both led by Betsy Burleigh. This past January, the Oratorio Chorus performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. McClelland earned his Master of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music. He is originally from northwest Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
Ahyoung Jeong is a soprano from Seoul, Korea, pursuing a Doctor of Music degree with Brian Horne. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University in 2013 and a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in 2015. Her competition awards include second place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Indiana Regional, first place in the NATS New England Regional, and third place in the NATS National Round. Jeong has performed roles including Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at Mozarteum Salzburg, Austria, Morgana in the Emerald City Opera production of Handel’s Alcina, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Prague Estates Theater, and Papagena in the New England Conservatory production of Puccini’s La Bohème. As a concert singer, Jeong has sung soprano solos of sacred music including Mozart’s Requiem and three Bach cantata concerts with Bloomington Chamber Singers.
Virginia Mims is a first-year master’s student studying with Alice Hopper. A native of West Palm Beach, Florida, Mims earned her bachelor’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music last May. She was seen as Cleopatra in IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s Giulio Cesare in February. She has sung the roles of Mary Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life) and Marian Paroo (The Music Man) as well as being in the choruses of Mass, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, and Oklahoma! during her undergraduate studies. Last summer, Mims sang scenes from Lucia di Lammermoor, Così fan tutte, and Falstaff in Lucca, Italy, with the Opera Lucca Program. Attending Brevard’s Janiec Opera Program in 2017, she sang the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and in the program’s “Opera’s Greatest Hits” and “Gilbert and Sullivan Showcase” concerts. She was soprano soloist for Bloomington’s Early Music Bach Cantata Project in October and will create a recital showcasing the joy of singing in spring 2020.
Mezzo-soprano/contralto Lauriane Tregan-Marcuz, a native of France, is in the second year of her Performer Diploma studies at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Carlos Montané. She studied violin and music theory for 10 years in the Conservatoire of Bordeaux. At the age of 21, she studied singing with Lionel Sarrazin in Bordeaux and Marie-Ange Todorovitch in Switzerland. In summer 2017 in Weimar, Germany, she met Montané and decided to join his studio at Jacobs in fall 2018. She performed Madame de Croissy in The Dialogue of Carmelites with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater in October 2018 and the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in summer 2017. During her musical training with Sarrazin, Todorovitch, and Salvatore Caputo in France, Tregan-Marcuz performed as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at Opera of Bordeaux. She was also in the ensemble of Candide with the Glimmerglass Festival and has sung in several opera houses in Europe.
Mary Catherine Wright-Beath is a first-year M.M. student studying with Heidi Grant Murphy and is also pursuing a master’s certificate in vocology. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.M. in Voice Performance and a certificate in musical theater. She is a Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Mid-South Region finalist and was the first-place winner of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. Most recently, Wright-Beath performed the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Savannah Voice Festival and covered the role of Sister Catherine in Kentucky Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking.
Hayley Abramowitz, soprano, is dually based in the DC-metro area and Bloomington, Indiana. She is pursuing her M.M. in voice, studying with Carol Vaness. Most recently at Jacobs, Abramowitz appeared as Clio in the second American performance of Handel’s little-known serenata, Parnasso in festa. She also gave her first master’s recital, featuring selections from Strauss’s Brentano Lieder and a world premiere for composer and friend William Kenlon. She is a passionate advocate of new music and has given numerous premieres in the last several years. This season, she will also appear as Nella in Gianni Schicchi with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater and will make her professional debut, singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This past summer, Abramowitz appeared as Erato in Handel’s Terpsicore with the American Bach Soloists Academy. Before coming to Jacobs, she studied with Delores Ziegler at the University of Maryland, where she earned a B.M. cum laude. While there, she enjoyed four seasons with OperaTerps, singing roles including The Defendant (Trial by Jury), Quiteria (Don Quichotte), Lucy (The Telephone), and Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor). She was also an active member of the University of Maryland choirs, both as a chorister and a featured soloist. Concert engagements include Mozart’s Krönugsmesse and the world premiere of the treble revoicing of Ešenvalds’s Only in Sleep.
Mezzo-soprano Tal Heller, from Boston, Massachusetts, is pursuing a Performer Diploma under the tutelage of Heidi Grant Murphy. Heller earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Mannes College of Music in New York City.
Alison Calhoun is associate professor of French/francophone studies and theater at Indiana University. Her research and teaching focus on early modern drama, Renaissance philosophy, Montaigne studies, and the history of emotions, with a particular interest in the history of French opera.