Because of the scandal she has caused by having an illegitimate child, Sister Angelica has done penance in a convent for seven years. The Princess, Sister Angelica’s aunt, arrives unexpectedly and demands that Sister Angelica sign a document renouncing her right to any inheritance and turning it over to her sister, who is about to be married. The Princess refuses to forgive Sister Angelica, who inquires about the fate of her son. The Princess coldly tells her that the child has been dead for two years. Devastated by the news and the coldness of her aunt, Sister Angelica takes poison. She then realizes, too late, that she has committed a mortal sin and asks the Virgin Mary to forgive her and give her a sign her prayer has been answered. In a vision, the Virgin appears, leading a small child, who she sends towards Sister Angelica, while a heavenly choir sings of her salvation.
Setting: The bedchamber of Buoso Donato’s home in Florence.
Buoso Donato has died and left his considerable estate to charity. His ravenously greedy relatives, in desperation, decide to accept the advice of Rinuccio and ask the help of Gianni Schicchi, a well-known local rogue and the father of Lauretta, Rinuccio’s love. Schicchi loses no time. The body of the dead Donato is removed, and Schicchi takes his place in bed. Even the doctor is fooled as he pronounces Buoso Donato much improved. The relatives are delighted and call in a notary to make a new will. But delight soon turns to rage, as Schicchi wills the bulk of the estate to himself! He chases them all out of what is now his home—all, except, of course, his future son-in-law, Rinuccio, and his daughter Lauretta, who both remain in their future home.
by Matthew Van Vleet
Ph.D. Musicology Candidate
Giacomo Puccini’s one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi lead double lives. As individual works, they each have a place in the repertoire as short, accessible operas that can be staged with limited sets and casts. But together, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are the second and third operas in Il Trittico, Puccini’s “triptych” of one-acts that premiered in December 1918. With Il Trittico, Puccini sought to create a diverse evening of entertainment with three works in differing dramatic styles. This joint context gives rise to interpretations beyond what the operas mean individually. Although Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are thematically distinct, both showcase Puccini’s musical style, placing the emotions of characters above formal conventions. Together, they create an effective study in dramatic contrast.
Puccini had suggested the idea of composing a trio of operas to his publisher as early as 1904 but could not find the right subjects until later. The first opera of Il Trittico that Puccini composed was Il Tabarro, an adaptation by Giuseppe Adami of Didier Gold’s 1912 play La Houppelande (The Cloak). Il Tabarro tells a story of infidelity and murder in modern-day Paris. Puccini completed the score in 1916 before he had any plans for what its companions would be. In January 1917, librettist Giovacchino Forzano showed Puccini a sketch for an original play that was set in a convent. Puccini was impressed and Suor Angelica was born from this sketch. Two months later, Forzano pitched Gianni Schicchi, based on a brief passage in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Puccini finally had his subjects for Il Trittico in hand. After quickly composing Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi in 1917 and early 1918, Puccini settled on New York’s Metropolitan Opera for the premiere—in part because of Italy’s involvement in World War I. While the early performances of Il Trittico were well received, opera houses soon started producing the operas separately to suit local tastes and to fill shorter playbills.
Of the three operas, Gianni Schicchi was the first to find success as a standalone, and Suor Angelica is arguably its most natural companion in terms of dramatic effect. The gritty realism of Il Tabarro is compelling with its bleak outlook and violent conclusion, but Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi offer the traditional pairing of tragedy and comedy. Suor Angelica tells the tragic story of the titular nun as she learns of the death of her son, who was taken from her at birth. In the mold of Puccini’s 1904 Madama Butterfly, Suor Angelica is an emotional character study of a betrayed heroine who ultimately commits suicide. Unlike Butterfly, Suor Angelica concludes with the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary and Angelica’s son leading Angelica into Heaven. Some less-forgiving early critics found this conclusion overly sappy. In some recent productions, this religiosity is undercut by staging the finale as a hallucination rather than genuine miracle. In its original form, however, it is a thoroughly sentimental work, which falls into sharp contrast to the acerbic comedy of Gianni Schicchi.
Like Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi deals with a familial death, although in a more comedic manner. Buoso Donati, a Florentine nobleman during the Renaissance, has died, and to the shock of his gathered relatives, has left his estate to the local monastery. Only one of his relatives, Rinuccio, is not interested in the money. Instead, he wants to use this situation to force his family to allow him to marry his beloved Lauretta, daughter of the roguish newcomer Gianni Schicchi. When Schicchi arrives to the scene, the family reluctantly accepts his help in “correcting” Buoso’s will. He impersonates the deceased and dictates a new will before “dying” once more. In the end, the family must hold their tongues as Schicchi leaves the best of Buoso’s estate to himself as a dowry for Rinuccio and Lauretta. In the mock operatic moral, Schicchi confesses that though he may have condemned his eternal soul (per Dante) with his deceit, it couldn’t be for a better cause than young love. The religious sentiment of Suor Angelica has all but evaporated at the end of the evening.
Musically, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi both have strong moments of ensemble writing and few solo numbers. The standout aria in Suor Angelica is “Senza mamma,” which follows the dynamic confrontation between Angelica and her devastatingly cold aunt, the Princess. The aria is an emotional apex for Angelica as she grieves over the loss of her child, but it does not follow the typical pattern for show-stopping Puccini aria. Rather than building to a moment of cathartic release, Puccini instead diverts the second half of the aria into quiet restraint.
Lauretta’s aria in Gianni Schicchi, “O mio babbino caro,” is one of Puccini’s most well-known arias and the only set-piece in the opera. It is a sweetly simple tune conveying Lauretta’s innocent love for Rinuccio. On the surface, this aria is plainly sentimental. However, throughout Gianni Schicchi, this kind of melodramatic emotion is depicted as insincere. The grieving over Buoso in the opening is just an act, and the real grieving only comes when the relatives find out they’re not getting any of his money. In this context, Lauretta’s aria is partly a relief from the other characters’ cynicism, but her threat to throw herself into the river is similarly hyperbolic. Gianni Schicchi just can’t say no to his daughter’s pleas, and thus the emotional aria as an operatic convention is framed in this scene as inherently manipulative.
Of course, Gianni Schicchi’s parody of the emotional trappings of opera and Suor Angelica’s sincerity can each work on their own. There is no overlap in plot, nor are there any overt thematic connections between them. But there is still something to be gained by looking at them as a pair. Between the sentimentality of Suor Angelica and the satire of Gianni Schicchi, Puccini can have it both ways when it comes to exaggerated emotions. This tonal contrast is what ultimately links these two disparate operas into a unified double feature.
Grammy Award-winning conductor Michael Christie, newly appointed music director of the New West Symphony, is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. Christie won a 2019 Grammy Award (Best Opera Recording) for the world premiere recording of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with the Santa Fe Opera (PENTATONE) and was featured in Opera News in August 2012 as one of 25 people believed to “break out and become major forces in the field in the coming decade.” At Minnesota Opera, he led 24 productions over eight years, six seasons as its first-ever music director (2012-18). Christie’s first full season as music director of the New West Symphony is 2019-20, during which he leads operas with IU Jacobs Opera and Ballet Theater, San Francisco Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Recent world premiere performances include An American Soldier by Huang Ruo with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2018 and The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates with the Santa Fe Opera in 2017. Christie’s conducting career, spanning more than 20 years, has included serving as music director of the Phoenix Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic, and as chief conductor of the Queensland Orchestra in Australia, as well as guest appearances leading top orchestras around the world. He also served as music director of the Colorado Music Festival from 2000 to 2013. He first came to international attention in 1995, when he was awarded a special prize for Outstanding Potential at the First International Sibelius Conductors’ Competition in Helsinki. Following the competition, he was invited to become an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he subsequently worked with Daniel Barenboim, as well as at the Berlin State Opera. Christie earned a bachelor’s degree in trumpet from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Alexis, a physician, and their two children.
Internationally acclaimed stage director James Marvel is thrilled to be returning to Indiana University, where he has directed Lucia di Lammermoor, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Albert Herring, Don Giovanni, and Ariadne auf Naxos. He made his Lincoln Center debut in 2008 for the Juilliard Opera Center and directed the U.S. premiere of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo for the Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City. Since his professional directing debut in 1996, Marvel has directed more than 100 productions and was named Classical Singer magazine’s 2008 Stage Director of the Year. Career highlights include groundbreaking new productions for the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, New Orleans Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Boston, Opera Santa Barbara, Syracuse Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Austin Lyric Opera, San Antonio Opera, Kentucky Opera, Virginia Opera, North Carolina Opera, Toledo Opera, Sacramento Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. International credits include a new production of Carmen for Opera Africa in Johannesburg, which was hailed as “stupendous” by the local press and a new production of Die Zauberflote for the Seoul International Opera in South Korea. European credits include productions of La Bohème, Suor Angelica, The Elixir of Love, and Così fan tutte in Sulmona, Italy. Marvel made his Paris debut with the The Man of La Mancha at the Theatre des Varietes and returned to Paris a year later to direct The Beggar’s Holiday at Espace Pierre Cardin. Other international credits include work in Canada, Scotland, England, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Marvel earned his M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Tennessee and his B.A. in World Literature from Sarah Lawrence College and Oxford University, England. He conducted additional studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He currently serves as director of opera for the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, and raised not two blocks from campus, C. David Higgins started his theatrical studies at IU intent on becoming an actor/dancer before he discovered his love for scenic design. He studied with the famous C. Mario Cristini and became proficient in the Romantic-Realist style of scenic design and painting. After earning a master’s degree, he joined the staff of Indiana University Opera Theater and worked there as master scenic artist from the time the Musical Arts Center opened in 1971 until his retirement in December 2011. He was appointed to the faculty in 1976 and served as chair of the Opera Studies Department and principal designer for Opera Theater. His design credits throughout the United States include the San Antonio Festival, Memphis Opera, Norfolk Opera, Louisville Opera, Detroit Symphony, Canton Ballet, and Sarasota Ballet as well as many other venues. His Indiana University productions have been seen throughout North America as rentals by major regional opera companies. His many international credits include the Icelandic National Theater; Ballet San Juan de Puerto Rico; Korean National Opera; Seoul City Opera; Korean National Ballet; Dorset Opera (England); Teatro la Paz de Belém, Brazil; and the Teatro National de São Paulo, Brazil. He has designed the scenery for the world premiere of Our Town (Ned Rorem), the American premieres of Jeppe (Sandström) and The Devils of Loudun (Penderecki), and the collegiate premieres of Nixon in China (Adams) and The Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano) as well as many other operas and ballets. Opera News magazine has referred to Higgins, who is known for his Italianate painting style, as one of the finest American scenic artists today.
Ken Phillips is lighting supervisor at the IU Jacobs School of Music. His debut production with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater was this year’s fall ballet, Dark Meets Light. He earned an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of Arizona and previously worked freelance around the country. Most of his previous designs have been for musical theater, and samples may be seen at KGPhillips.com.
Walter 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 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, and Parsifal. 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. This summer, he will return to Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute and has been appointed chorus master for the Opera Theater of Saint Louis 2020 season.
Daniela Siena brings many years of experience in teaching Italian diction and language to singers. She was introduced to operatic diction by Boris Goldovsky, who was seeking a native speaker without teaching experience to work with singers according to his own pedagogical principles. Siena went on to teach in a number of operatic settings (among them, the Curtis Institute of Music, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and Seattle Opera). She has worked with a number of well-known singers, including Samuel Ramey, Justino Díaz, Carol Vaness, Wolfgang Brendel, June Anderson, Gianna Rolandi, and Jerry Hadley. The conductors, coaches, and stage directors with whom she has worked include Otto Guth, Max Rudolf, Edoardo Müller, David Effron, Arthur Fagen, Anthony Pappano, Anthony Manoli, Terry Lusk, Dino Yannopoulos, Tito Capobianco, Andrei Șerban, John Cox, and John Copley. At New York City Opera, Siena worked closely with Beverly Sills—as her executive assistant, as a diction coach, and as the creator of English supertitles for a dozen operas. More recently, Siena worked for two years as a coach for the Young Artists Program of the Los Angeles Opera and, for the past six years, she has taught in Dolora Zajick’s summer Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. Born in Florence, Italy, to an Italian mother and a Russian émigré father, she arrived in the United States at age seven. She earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and, in her twenties, worked for two years in Italy as secretary to the president of the Olivetti Company. Many years later, she continued her education, earned a master’s degree, and became licensed as a psychotherapist by the state of California, where she practiced for 15 years. The mother of two grown children, she moved to Bloomington to be near her son, who lives here with his wife and two young daughters.
Suor Angelica Cast
American-Italian soprano Rose-Antoinette Bellino, praised as a “vocal powerhouse” (Woburn Patch) and known for her “brilliant vocal acrobatics” (The Herald-Times), began performing in operas at age 10 and has been making a name for herself performing ever since. Her most notable engagements with IU Jacobs Opera Theater include Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Soprano Angel in Jake Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life. This past summer, she made her professional debut, singing the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Utah Festival Opera, and will return to Utah this summer to perform the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute. Other recent notable roles also include Adina in The Elixir of Love with Summer Opera Tel Aviv in Israel. Bellino was recently both the first-place and Audience Favorite winner in the 2019 Utah Festival International Opera Competition, and she won second place in the 2017 Partners for the Arts Promising Young Artist Competition. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and is in the third year of her Master of Music degree, under the tutelage of Heidi Grant Murphy.
This season, Japanese-American soprano Emily Michiko Jensen makes her role debut at IU Jacobs Opera Theater as Suor Angelica and appears as a guest soprano soloist with the Pioneer Valley Symphony. She performed Samuel Barber’s song cycle Despite and Still with Daniel Overly earlier last fall. She most recently appeared as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Boston Opera Collaborative, where she made her company debut as Marguerite (Faust) in 2016. Jensen was an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera and a studio artist with Chautauqua Opera. During her time at Chautauqua, she sang the role of Second Soprano in Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar and covered Annina in La Traviata with Maestro Steven Osgood. She returned the following season to cover the role of Soprano 2 in Hydrogen Jukebox. Previous roles include Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Foreign Woman in The Consul, Suzel in L’amico Fritz, Governess in The Turn of the Screw, and Tiny in Paul Bunyan. Other engagements include selections as Ilia in Idomeneo, Mimi in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Zdenka in Arabella, Alma in Summer and Smoke, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. Originally from San Diego, California, Jensen earned a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music. She is pursuing a Performance Diploma at Jacobs as an associate instructor scholarship recipient and studies with Timothy Noble.
Mezzo-soprano Liz Culpepper hails from Austin, Texas. She is a doctoral student in Patricia Havranek’s studio and has appeared in a number of IU Jacobs Opera Theater productions in principal roles, including Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Mrs. Sedley (Peter Grimes), and Madame de Croissy (Dialogues of the Carmelites). She has also performed the roles of Mercedes in Carmen (Bay View Music Festival), Suzuki in Madama Butterfly (Janiec Opera Company), and First Secretary in Nixon in China (The Princeton Festival). She is a frequent soloist at the Jacobs School with NOTUS and the New Music Ensemble, with which she will be appearing in March as the mezzo-soprano soloist for the Georgina Joshi Composition Commission “The Harvest of the Amulet of the Deer” by Jacobs student Patrick Holcomb. She will also be traveling to New Zealand in July with NOTUS as a featured soloist at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music. Culpepper will also be featured on recordings of both of these exciting new works.
Eleni Taluzek is a lyric mezzo-soprano from Chicago, Illinois. Her previous performances at Indiana University include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos. She is pursuing a Doctor of Music in Voice Performance degree under the tutelage of Timothy Noble.
Mezzo-soprano Tal Heller is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She previously earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at Mannes College of Music in New York City and was a vocal fellow at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute in 2018. She was last seen as one of the six featured Blumenmädchen in the Jacobs production of Parsifal in November 2019. Heller is currently pursuing a Performer Diploma under the tutelage of Heidi Grant Murphy.
Soprano Kandace Wyatt, from Channelview, Texas, is entering her final semester of the Master of Music in Voice Performance degree, studying under the tutelage of Alice Hopper. Wyatt graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Baylor University. In the spring of 2019, she performed as a Street Singer in the IU Jacobs Opera Theater production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. This summer, she will be performing with NOTUS at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand.
Russian-American mezzo-soprano Elizaveta Agladze is a third-year graduate student under the tutelage of Carlos Montané. She was a participant in the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition and a prizewinner in the 2018 Dr. Luis Sigall International Voice Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile, and in the 2019 American International Czech and Slovak Competition. She was most recently seen with IU Jacobs Opera Theater as Mère Marie in last season’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. Other performance credits include Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with IU Jacobs Opera Theater, Angelina in La Cenerentola and Third Lady/Spirit in The Magic Flute with the Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar, Olga in Eugene Onegin with Hudson Opera Theatre, Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with the New York Lyric Opera Theatre, and Lame Prostitute in OperaWorks’ Advanced Artist Program’s opera-pastiche Exposure. In addition to operatic roles, Agladze regularly performs as a recitalist in Bloomington and in her hometown of Pushchino, Russia, and has performed at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Her other performances this season include the roles of Aniele Jukniene and Bartender in John William Griffith II’s newly composed opera The Jungle with New Voices Opera and a solo recital with The Americas Chamber Orchestra. She earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in music and psychology from Emory University and a master’s degree in organizational sciences from George Washington University.
Kate Sorrells is a mezzo-soprano from Asheville, North Carolina. In 2015, she made her operatic debut as The Mother in the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute’s production of The Consul. She has been seen on the stage at Indiana University as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s The Music Man), Jane (University Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s Patience), Nurse (Don Freund’s Romeo & Juliet), and Marcellina (IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s Le Nozze di Figaro). She was recently awarded a Georgina Joshi International Fellowship, which she used to live and study voice in Salzburg, Austria, at the Mozarteum during the summer. Sorrells is the recipient of the Bain Scholarship in Opera for the 2019-20 school year and is currently pursuing a master’s degree under the tutelage of Patricia Havranek.
Sara Dailey is a senior mezzo-soprano from Portage, Indiana, studying voice performance under Wolfgang Brendel. She has appeared on the IU Jacobs Opera Theater stage as a chorister in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Bernstein’s Mass, and Wagner’s Parsifal (in which she also performed the prophetic Voice from Above.) She is a violist and a devoted Musical Arts Center stage electrician. After graduating in 2020, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in voice performance.
Shannon Richards is a first-year master’s student in voice performance at the Jacobs School of Music. She currently studies under Carol Vaness and has previously been a pupil of Esther Jane Hardenbergh, Sandra Lopez-Neill, and Elizabeth Futral. Richards is originally from Arlington Heights, Illinois, and completed her undergradute degree at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Previous roles include Clara in The Light in the Piazza, Noémie in Cendrillon, and Geraldine in Hand of Bridge. She has also performed roles in scenes programs as Tytania and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Musetta in La Bohème, and Violetta in La Traviata, among others.
Savanna Webber started her M.M. in Voice Performance studies under the tutelage of Heidi Grant Murphy in fall 2019. A native of Stuart, Florida, Webber has appeared on the Musical Arts Center stage as Giannetta in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (2019), Echo in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (2018), and in six opera choruses. She earned a B.M. in Voice Performance from Jacobs in 2019 under the tutelage of Brian Horne. She will be performing her first master’s recital in March.
Soprano Alexandra Taylor, is from Naples, Florida, where she began her musical training at age 12 with Opera Naples. She has performed in numerous Opera Naples productions and was a soloist in many of its concerts. She is a third-year undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance degree under the tutelage of Patricia Stiles. Taylor has been a member of the Jacobs School of Music’s University Chorale and made her IU Jacobs Opera Theater role debut as a Street Singer in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Last summer, she performed the role of Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in the historic Estates Theater with the Prague Summer Nights Music Festival. In March, she will attend the Opera Naples Academy training program and work with the likes of Sherrill Milnes and Bruce Ford. She is a member of Indiana University’s Hutton Honors College and a Jacobs Premier Young Artist Scholarship recipient.
A native of Queens, New York, mezzo-soprano Annmarie Errico is in her second year of graduate studies at the Jacobs School of Music. Last summer, she performed the role of Marcellina in Miami Music Festival’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Steven Gathman and direction of J. J. Hudson. She reprised the role last fall on the IU Opera Theater mainstage. Also at IU, she has performed as Mama McCourt in The Ballad of Baby Doe and Suzy in La Rondine in Carol Vaness’s Graduate Opera Workshop. Errico has also appeared as a soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the University Chorale and Debussy’s Trois Chansons with the University Singers. Last spring, she was a soloist in Bach’s Cantata 114 with the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project. Past roles include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Manhattan Opera Studio), Mother Jeanne in Dialogues of the Carmelites (Queens College Opera Studio), covering Mercédès in Carmen (Prelude to Performance), and many opera chorus engagements with the IU Historical Performance Institute, Bronx Opera, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and MasterVoices. She is a student of Patricia Stiles.
Soprano Denique Isaac is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Patricia Stiles. Isaac is from Baltimore, Maryland, and earned a bachelor’s degree in voice performance at Washington Adventist University. During her undergraduate studies, she performed the roles of Clara in Porgy and Bess, Eponine in Les Misérables, the Counsel from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, and Cinderella from Warren Martin’s The True Story of Cinderella. She also performed many sacred works and was featured as the soprano soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, the Rutter Requiem, and the Bach Magnificat in D. During her time at Indiana University, she has performed Maria Stuarda in Maria Stuarda, Adriana in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette in Carol Vaness’s Opera Workshop. She has also performed as Fiordiligi in the Act One finale of Così fan tutte in Heidi Grant Murphy’s Opera Workshop. Isaac made her debut with IU Jacobs Opera Theater in The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs as a chorus member. She also performed as a Street Singer in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. She is a member of NOTUS, with which she will perform as a featured soloist in the World Symposium on Choral Music this summer in Auckland, New Zealand.
Nicole Melissas is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. There, she earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Georgia State University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music, where she is under the tutelage of Alice Hopper. This is her role debut with IU Jacobs Opera Theater. Last summer, Melissas performed in a semi-staged production of Stephen Paulus’ The Three Hermits, under the baton of Walter Huff. In the fall, she performed in IU’s production of Parsifal as one of the chorus’s Blumenmädchen. Future plans include performing Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Fio Italia in Urbania, Italy.
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.
Soprano Madeline Coffey is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree under the instruction of Jane Dutton and Gary Arvin. Her previous opera and musical theater credits include Helen Bailey in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Sandman in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Lady Angela in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Most recently, she sang the role of Blumenmädchen in IU Opera Theater’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal. Coffey earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Jacobs School.
Soprano Shannon Barry has interests spanning historical performance, vocology, and choral singing in addition to her roles on the operatic and concert stage. Most recently, she was seen as the Bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro with IU Opera Theater. This spring, she will perform in the North American premiere of Scarlatti’s La Santissima Trinitá as Teologia, along with being a featured soloist in the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project’s performance of Bach’s Cantata 38 and Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo. This is her third IU Opera Theater production, following her appearances in the choruses of The Elixir of Love and Le Nozze di Figaro. She has also appeared in the IU Summer Chorus production of The Three Hermits, directed by Walter Huff. She has been a member of Conductors Chorus and Columbus Philharmonic Chorus, and currently sings with the all-professional choir at Christ Church Cathedral. Last fall, Barry earned a Graduate Certificate in Vocology and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in voice performance with Mary Ann Hart.
Elise Hurwitz is a soprano from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree under the tutelage Alice Hopper at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Jacobs in 2019. She has performed in several IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater productions, including named roles in The Elixer of Love (Giannetta) and Ariadne auf Naxos (Naiad). She has also appeared in the opera choruses of Parsifal, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, L’Étoile, The Music Man, and Florencia en el Amazonas. This March, she will perform the role of Papagena in the upcoming Bloomington Chamber Opera production of The Magic Flute.
Hailing from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Ginny Lafean is a sophomore pursuing dual bachelor’s degrees in voice performance and in accounting. During the past two years, she has studied voice with Wolfgang Brendel. Her previous IU Jacobs Opera Theater performances include Dialogues of the Carmelites (chorus), Bernstein’s Mass (chorus), and Le Nozze di Figaro (Bridesmaid).
Gianni Schicchi Cast
Bass-baritone Steele Fitzwater is a second-year master’s degree student studying voice with Peter Volpe. Originally from Dawson, West Virginia, Fitzwater completed his undergraduate studies at Miami University (Ohio) in vocal performance and fashion and design. In the 2018-19 season, he made his Indiana University debut as Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and as Javelinot in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, as well as joining Central City Opera as a studio artist in its summer festival. A prominently featured performer during his undergraduate studies, Fitzwater was seen on stage as Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Death (Savitri), Carl-Magnus Malcolm (A Little Night Music), Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), and as Capt. Jonathan Williams in the world premiere of Daniel Levy’s The Martian Chronicles with Miami University Opera. Having spent 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 as Louis Cyphre in the world premiere of J. Mark Scearce’s Falling Angel. As a concert soloist, he has performed the bass solos in The Creation (Haydn), Messiah (Handel), Mass in G (Schubert), and The Seven Last Words of Christ (DuBois). Earlier this season, Fitzwater was seen as Zweiter Gralsritter in IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal.
Brandan Sanchez, from Gilroy, California, earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance degree from San José State University (SJSU), where he performed roles in Postcard from Morocco and Orpheus in the Underworld. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree studying privately with Julia Bentley. Performances with IU include The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and Dialogues of the Carmelites. He performed the role of the Celebrant in Bernstein’s Mass with IU and with SJSU. He has participated in the Opera San José (OSJ) Young Artist Program and in the OSJ chorus for numerous seasons. Concert performances include the Fauré Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music with the Symphony Silicon Valley, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Ireland Limerick Sinfonia. Sanchez joined Peninsula Cantare as the baritone soloist for Carmina Burana and the Mozart Vespers. Most recently, he performed with the Cairo Festival Symphony in Egypt.
Mezzo-soprano Deepa Johnny, from Muscat, Oman, is a first-year master’s student in the voice performance program at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Carlos Montané. The role of Lauretta is her debut with IU Jacobs Opera Theater. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Burman University in Alberta, Canada, where she studied with Wendolin Pazitka Munroe, a Jacobs School alumnus. Johnny has performed the roles of Carmen in Peter Brook’s TheTragedy of Carmen and Belle in The Beauty and the Beast, and was a chorus member in IU’s 2019 production of Le Nozze Di Figaro. She has performed in scenes from Manon by Jules Massenet and sang the role of Hermia in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Carol Vaness’s Opera Workshop. This summer, Johnny will attend the Lyric Opera Studio in Weimar, Germany, to sing the title role of Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola.
Grace Lerew is a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Music in both Voice Performance and Bassoon Performance, under the tutelage of Heidi Grant Murphy and William Ludwig, respectively. Most recently, she has appeared as a Street Singer in IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s production of Bernstein’s Mass, and in the chorus of Parsifal. She has also been seen on stage at the Jacobs School of Music in Britten’s War Requiem, Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, and Mahler’s second symphony with The Cleveland Orchestra. The past two summers, Lerew sang Papagena in The Magic Flute with the Berlin Opera Academy and Spirit in Cendrillon with Summer Opera Tel Aviv.
Isabella Ivy is making her IU Jacobs Opera Theater role debut as Zita. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Honors College with a bachelor’s degree in music performance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree with Patricia Havranek. Ivy made her professional debut in 2014 as a resident artist at Opera San José in the role of Gilda in Rigoletto. Her roles there included Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, Lillia Herriton in the world premiere of Where Angels Fear to Tread by Mark Weiser, Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. Other roles include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Adina in The Elixir of Love, and Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor (UNLV); Titania in The Fairy Queen and Laetitia and Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief (E&F Opera); Zita in Gianni Schicchi (Opera Unleashed); Second Lady (The Magic Flute), Carmen, Frasquita, and Mercedes (Carmen), Kate Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), and Hansel (Hansel and Gretel). Upcoming performances include Die Erste Dame in The Magic Flute with Bloomington Chamber Opera and Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor in her hometown of Las Vegas. Ivy was a semi-finalist in the Houston Grand Opera Competition, semi-finalist at the first National Association of Teachers of Singing National Student Auditions, and won third place at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Colorado/Wyoming region in 2013. She previously performed in the IU Jacobs Opera Theater chorus.
Kate Sorrells is a mezzo-soprano from Asheville, North Carolina. In 2015, she made her operatic debut as The Mother in the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute’s production of The Consul. She has been seen on the stage at Indiana University as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s The Music Man), Jane (University Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s Patience), the Nurse (Don Freund’s Romeo & Juliet), and, most recently, as Marcellina (IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s Le Nozze di Figaro). She was recently awarded a Georgina Joshi International Fellowship, which she used to live and study voice in Salzburg, Austria, at the Mozarteum during the summer. Sorrells is the recipient of the Bain Scholarship in Opera for the 2019-20 school year and is pursuing a master’s degree under the tutelage of Patricia Havranek.
Tenor Sam Mathis, a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, is a first-year master’s student pursuing a degree in voice performance as a student of Carlos Montané. Mathis earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, where he performed the roles of Don José in La Tragédie de Carmen, Carlson in Of Mice and Men, and others. This is his first production with the Jacobs School of Music.
Originally from Hockessin, Delaware, Ethan Udovich is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance. He is a student of Brian Horne and an assistant instructor of secondary voice, where he leads and cultivates an active voice studio. Udovich was recently featured as a soloist with IU Jacobs Opera Theater as a Street Singer in last year’s production of Bernstein’s Mass. In addition, he has sung in the choruses of IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Elixir of Love, and, most recently, in the Ritter Chor in Parsifal. He will sing Tamino with Bloomington Chamber Opera’s production of The Magic Flute in March and perform his final degree recital in April.
This past year, tenor Spencer Lawrence Boyd, 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 (MN). He also sang 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). This summer, he will be covering the role of Tamino and singing First Armored Knight in The Magic Flute at the newly titled Aspen Opera Theater and Vocal Arts Program, codirected by Renée Fleming and Patrick Summers. Boyd earned a Master of Music degree from Kent State University (Ohio) and a Bachelor of Music degree from Chapman University (California). He is currently working on his Doctor of Music degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Carol Vaness. Boyd is an associate instructor of voice at Jacobs and has taught voice and music at two public school districts in addition to several private music organizations across the country. He performed Gherardo in 2016 with Opera Chapman (California).
From Rochester, New York, tenor Victor Knight DiNitto earned a B.M. in Vocal Performance and Opera Studies magna cum laude from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College in 2016. He is currently pursuing an M.M. at the Jacobs School of Music with Julia Bentley. He has studied privately with Joshua Benevento, Joan Krueger, Hugh Murphy, Jacque Trussel, and Sherry Overholt. His performance credits include Hansel and Gretel (Die Hexe), The Crucible (Reverend Parris), Der Freischütz (Max), and Susannah (Sam), among others. At IU, DiNitto has been seen in the choruses of Bernstein’s Mass and Wagner’s Parsifal, as well as in opera workshop performances of Oberto (Riccardo), Rigoletto (Duke), and La Rondine (Prunier). He will be making his directorial debut with the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society in March.
Hayley Abramowitz, soprano, is dually based in the D.C.-metro area and Bloomington, Indiana. She is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance, 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. Abramowitz is a passionate advocate of new music and has given numerous world premieres in the last several years. In the 2019-20 season, she has appeared as a Flowermaiden in Parsifal with IU Jacobs Opera Theater. She will also make her professional debut singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This past summer, she appeared as Erato in Handel’s Terpsicore with the American Bach Soloists Academy. Previously, she participated in the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy, Songfest, and Oberlin in Italy. She studied with Delores Ziegler at the University of Maryland (UMD), where she earned a B.M. cum laude. While at UMD, she enjoyed four seasons with OperaTerps, singing such roles as 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.
Jennifer Kreider, a soprano from Morgantown, West Virginia, is pursuing a Performer Diploma under the guidance of Jane Dutton. This is Kreider’s first production with IU Jacobs Opera Theater. She previously attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Some of her past roles include 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 has been 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, she won first place in her division at the National Association of Teachers of Singing national competition. In 2016, she was named a Clifton Emerging Young Artist Award Winner and placed first in her division at the National Artist Concert Series of Sarasota Voice Competition. In January 2020, Kreider performed as a finalist for the National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition.
Helena Tzvetkova is a seventh grader at Jackson Creek Middle School. She is a member of her school’s choir as well as the Indiana University Children’s Choir. She is also a talented classical guitarist. This will be her fourth production with the IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, having performed in Peter Grimes, Bernstein’s Mass, and Parsifal.
Originally from Naples, Florida, baritone Conner Allison is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Brian Horne. Allison appeared as the Jailer in the IU Jacobs Opera Theater production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, performed excerpts from Tate’s Standing Bear with the IU Chamber Orchestra, and sang in the choruses of the recent IU Jacobs Opera Theater productions of Wagner’s Parsifal, Bernstein’s Mass, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and Chabrier’s L’Étoile.
Quinn Galyan of Bloomington, Indiana, is a second-year master’s student studying voice as a bass-baritone at the Jacobs School of Music under Brian Horne. At Jacobs, Galyan has performed the roles of The Captain in The Three Hermits, Curio in Giulio Cesare, Doc in West Side Story, Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos, Siroco in L’Étoile, Charlie Cowell in The Music Man, and Hortensius in TheDaughter of the Regiment. Additionally, he has performed solos in Dead Man Walking and South Pacific, along with chorus work in Parsifal, The Elixir of Love, Dialogue of the Carmelites, Peter Grimes, H.M.S. Pinafore, La Bohème, and Carmen. He has also performed in IU’s University Chorale as well as the Jacobs School’s summer rendition of King David, conducted by Walter Huff. Outside of the School of Music, Galyan has performed with the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and Cardinal Stage Company. In Graz, he performed solo work in AIMS’ musical theater concert and in the final orchestra concert of its summer season. The University Gilbert & Sullivan Society performed The Gondoliers, where he took on the role of Don Alhambra. With Cardinal, he was the bass of the Cockney Quartet in My Fair Lady, and performed in Annie, Big River, and The Wizard of Oz.
Considered one of the emerging talents from the Americas with a “deep and beautiful resonance” and praised for his “magnificent menacing voice” (Operawire), Mexican bass Ricardo Ceballos’s upcoming performances include the role of Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust and Dottore Grenvil in La Traviata in Guadalajara, Mexico, as part of Beckman Opera Studio. Ceballos will be joining the Barbara and Halsey Sandford Studio Artist Program at Kentucky Opera next season. He has been featured in performances as Dulcamara (The Elixir of Love) and Bartolo (Le Nozze di Figaro) with IU Jacobs Opera Theater, Colline (La Bohème), Friar Laurence (Romeo and Juliet), Melisso (Alcina), Zuniga (Carmen), and Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni). He recently won third place at the Central Regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, after being one of the winners from in the Indiana District. He sang in two performances of Donizetti and Co. at Dallas Opera and was a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera Company, where he sang the role of Caronte in L’Orfeo by Monteverdi. He is currently pursuing a Performer Diploma with Peter Volpe at the Jacobs School of Music, where he is an associate instructor. He has also studied with Barbara Hill-Moore and conductor Enrique Patron. Ceballos was born in Colima, Mexico, and received training at Instituto Universitario de Bellas Artes (Mexico), Centro Morelense de las Artes (Mexico), and Southern Methodist University (USA). He was part of the young artist program at the International Society of Mexican Artistic Values in Mexico.
Ron Dukes is a graduate student from Indianapolis, Indiana, and an associate instructor of voice at the Jacobs School of Music, studying under Peter Volpe. In his most recent project, Duke was featured as a studio artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where he performed as Truffaldin in Ariadne auf Naxos and covered the role of Don Iñigo Gomez in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole. He has also been involved with Indianapolis Opera, where he made his professional debut as the Commissioner in its 2017 production of La Traviata. His next appearance will be as Sarastro in Bloomington Chamber Opera’s premiere production of The Magic Flute in March. Dukes has been accepted into Cincinnati Opera’s Young Artist Program for summer 2020, where he will perform a role in the premiere African American production of Castor and Patience as well as in Martha, and covering Ramphis in Aida, celebrating the company’s one-hundredth anniversary. Dukes is an award-winning finalist of the George London Foundation for Singers competition and a recipient of multiple Metropolitan Opera National Council Encouragement Awards.
A native of Brownsburg, Indiana, bass Drew Comer is a first-year master’s student studying under the tutelage of Jane Dutton and Gary Arvin. He is a recent graduate of the Jacobs School, having completed his bachelor’s degree in voice performance under the instruction of Patricia Stiles. In March, he will perform the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the newly founded Bloomington Chamber Opera company. During his time at IU, he performed the roles of Antonio in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Curio in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, and was seen 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, and The Three Hermits. Internationally, he has performed in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Masetto) and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Seneca) with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, where he was praised for his “clear enunciation and powerful steady voice” by Opera Canada. 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). Comer has also sung in master classes with soprano Caroline Worra and tenor Matthias Klink.
Steven Warnock is a 26-year-old Scottish lyric baritone in his first year of master’s study at the Jacobs School of Music, under the tutelage of Timothy Noble. His operatic roles include chorus member of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s (RCS) productions of Johann Strausss’s Die Flederamaus, Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, and Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave, in addition to the speaking role of Steve Sankey in RCS’s production of Weill’s Street Scene. Warnock also featured in Scottish Opera’s concert performance of Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel and performed alongside John Eliot Gardiner, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and the Monteverdi Choir as a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland in the proms performance of Berlioz’s La Damnation du Faust and Lelio at Carnegie Hall.
Soprano Denique Isaac is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Patricia Stiles. Isaac is from Baltimore, Maryland, and earned her bachelor’s degree in voice performance at Washington Adventist University. During her undergraduate studies, she performed the roles of Clara in Porgy and Bess, Eponine in Les Misérables, the Counsel from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, and Cinderella from Warren Martin’s The True Story of Cinderella. She also performed many sacred works and featured as the soprano soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, the Rutter Requiem, and the Bach Magnificat in D. During her time at Indiana University, she has performed Maria Stuarda in Maria Stuarda, Adriana in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette in Carol Vaness’s Opera Workshop. Isaac has also performed as Fiordiligi in the Act One finale of Così fan tutte in Heidi Grant Murphy’s Opera Workshop. Isaac made her debut with IU Jacobs Opera Theater in The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs as a chorus member. She also performed as a Street Singer in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. She is a member of NOTUS, with which she will perform as a featured soloist in the World Symposium on Choral Music this summer in Auckland, New Zealand.
Soprano Kandace Wyatt, from Channelview, Texas, is entering her final semester of the Master of Music in Voice Performance degree, studying under the tutelage of Alice Hopper. Wyatt graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Baylor University. In the spring of 2019, she performed as a Street Singer in IU Jacobs Opera Theater’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. This summer, she will be performing with NOTUS at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand.
Baritone Izaya Perrier is from Bellingham, Washington. He is currently in his fourth year of undergraduate studies at the Jacobs School of Music, under the tutelage of Timothy Noble. During his time at Jacobs, Perrier has been seen in the roles of Jailer in Dialogues of the Carmelites and A-Rab in West Side Story. He has also been in the chorus for IU Jacobs Opera Theater productions of Don Giovanni, The Elixir of Love, and Parsifal. Later this year, he will be performing the roles of Sprecher and Armored Guard in Bloomington Chamber Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, then Dede in New Voices Opera’s world premiere of The Jungle.
Joseph Andreola, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is making his IU Jacobs Opera Theater role debut. He performed in its chorus during the 2018-19 season in Poulenc’s The Dialogues of the Carmelites and Bernstein’s Mass. His past opera credits include Onegin (cover) and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, and Rambaldo Fernandez in La Rondine with Undercroft Opera in Pittsburgh. Last spring, he performed the role of Horace Tabor in a performance of the first act from The Ballad of Baby Doe in the Carol Vaness Opera Workshop. Andreola is a second-year master’s student studying with Carol Vaness.
Hailing from Richmond Virginia, baritone Alonza Lawrence earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Norfolk State University in 2008. He then taught music/chorus for six years for Norfolk Public Schools, continued his role as artistic director of the Boys Choir of Hampton Roads, and served as minister of music for the historic Zion Baptist Church of Portsmouth, Virginia. He often performed with the city of Norfolk, city of Richmond, Virginia Symphony, I. Sherman Greene Chorale, andVirginia Opera. In 2014, he continued his studies in voice performance at the Jacobs School of Music. Under the tutelage of Wolfgang Brendel, he earned a Master of Music in Voice Performance degree in 2017. Since 2014, he has performed the roles of The Protestant Preacher in Menotti’s The Last Savage, Dr. Bartolo in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. He also served as assistant director for the IU Summer G.R.O.U.P.S. Musical Theater workshop for two years. He is currently an associate instructor for the African-American Choral Ensemble of Indiana University, minister of music for Second Baptist Church Bloomington, and a private instructor of voice and piano. Lawrence is completing his third year as a doctoral student at Jacobs.
From Ottawa, Canada, bass Matthew Li is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Timothy Noble. Recent operatic highlights include Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Masetto and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Simone in Gianni Schicchi. An ardent choral singer, Li has appeared as a soloist and chorister with some of the finest ensembles in Canada, including Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Elora Singers, Toronto Consort, and Theatre of Early Music. Concert highlights include the role of Jesus in Schütz’s Johannes-Passion and the bass solos in Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Charpentier’s Messe des Morts and Missa Assumpta est Maria, Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Fauré’s Requiem. This season, he is looking forward to singing with NOTUS at Jacobs, as well as joining the Theatre of Early Music and the acclaimed Clarion Choir in Toronto for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil.
Baritone Duncan Holzhall is a third-year undergraduate from Wilmette, Illinois. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Music (Voice) with an Outside Field in Arts Management under the tutelage of Peter Volpe. This is his role debut with IU Jacobs Opera Theater. He has previously appeared with Opera Theater in the choruses of Parsifal, The Elixir of Love, and West Side Story, in addition to appearances with the Oratorio Chorus in performances of Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion and Britten’s War Requiem. He has appeared in scenes from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience (Grosvenor) and Offenbach’s Orpheus Enters the Underworld (Pluto) in Katherine Jolly’s Undergraduate Opera Workshop. In addition, Holzhall has extensive experience as an artistic producer and administrator. He previously worked as an artistic intern with Cincinnati Opera and currently serves as executive director of New Voices Opera following his tenure as artistic director. His independent project synthesis, an interdisciplinary artist collective examining the intersections of visual and musical art, will be presented at Project Jumpstart’s upcoming Innovation Competition. Future engagements include serving as assistant production manager at Opera Lucca and completing a production and management as well as a film and media apprenticeship with Berlin Opera Academy this summer.