Baritone Andrew Garland has performed at Seattle Opera as Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas and Schaunard in La Bohème; at Opera Philadelphia as Dandini in La Cenerentola; at Minnesota Opera in the world première of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight; and at Cincinnati Opera as the title role in Phillip Glass’s Galileo Galilei and as Mercurio in La Calisto. He premiered The Conquest Requiem by Gabriela Lena Frank with the Houston Symphony, and has performed Carmina Burana; the Requiems of Brahms, Mozart, Faure and Duruflé; and works of Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Handel, and Bach with such groups as the Albany Symphony, Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Washington Master Chorale at the Kennedy Center, and National Chorale at Lincoln Center. Well-known as an American recitalist, he has performed programs of new American song in dozens of cities around the United States, Canada, and Europe including Carnegie Hall. Mr. Garland has five commercial recordings on the Naxos, Telarc, and Azica Labels.
Soprano Kirsten Chambers recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Salome. Other recent debuts include Salome at Opera Hong Kong and the Foreign Princess in Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In 2016 she joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera as a cover of Isolde in Tristan und Isolde. Her European debut was with Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland as Elsa in Lohengrin. She reprised the role of Elsa for the Hong Kong Arts Festival and at Opéra de Rennes. Her concert appearances include die Infantin in Der Zwerg with Odyssey Opera, Maria in Friedenstag with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, and Leonore in Fidelio for New Amsterdam Opera. Her performances of Wagnerian excerpts include Tristan und Isolde with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Lohengrin with the Oulu Symphony and Mikhailovsky Theatre, and Die Walküre with Orchestra Kentucky. Upcoming appearances include Erwartung with Orchestra Now and the title role in Salome with Florida Grand Opera.
Soprano Sarah Beckham-Turner returns to New York City Opera after making her debut with the company last season as Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas. A true singing actress, she has earned critical acclaim for being “soulful and affecting...with a bright and gorgeous controlled soprano.” Ms. Beckham-Turner has performed with opera companies throughout the United States including Opera New Jersey, Sarasota Opera, Amarillo Opera, Opera in the Heights, First Coast Opera, Lyric Opera Virginia, and Asheville Opera. For her performance as Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Opera Saratoga, Sarah was praised as being “soaring and lovely” and “stealing the stage.” She made her Off-Broadway debut in 2014 with Little Opera Theater of New York singing Sadie in Carlisle Floyd’s first opera Slow Dusk. Last season Beckham-Turner performed Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with First Coast Opera in St. Augustine, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with New York Opera Exchange, and Mabel in Amarillo Opera’s production of the Pirates of Penzance. When she isn’t on the opera stage, she enjoys performing with the band The Opera Cowgirls.
New Zealand-born mezzo-soprano Sarah Castle has been gaining attention for her committed and idiomatic performances of a wide-ranging repertoire spanning over three-and-a-half centuries of different styles and composers. Recent and upcoming engagements include a return to Opera New Zealand to sing the title role in La Cenerentola, Emilia in Otello with the Auckland Philharmonic, Waltraute in Die Walküre with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden, Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and Siegrune in Die Walküre for Opera North’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, and a return to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Flora La traviata. She performed the role of Portia in the posthumous Polish premiere of André Tchaikovsky's Merchant of Venice with the Polish National Opera; in autumn 2016 she reprised the role in the work's British premiere with Welsh National Opera, and will reprise it again in its ensuing premiere at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in summer 2017.
In the 2016-17 season, Wayne Tigges returns to the title role in Der fliegende Holländer at Austin Opera, sings Owen Hart in Dead Man Walking and Howie Albert in Champion at Washington National Opera, and the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at L.A. Opera and Hawaii Opera Theater. His future seasons include returns to Opera Theater of St. Louis, Atlanta Opera, Utah Opera, New Orleans Opera and Tulsa Opera. Last season, he sang Méphistophélès in Faust at Macau Music Festival, the title role in Falstaff at Des Moines Metro Opera, Assur in Semiramide at Washington Concert Opera, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd at San Francisco Opera, and the title role of Der fliegende Holländer at Virginia Opera. Other recent engagements include: Dolores Claiborne at San Francisco Opera; Giulio Cesare at both the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Le nozze di Figaro at the Ongaku-Juku Festival, Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival and San Diego Opera; The Makropolous Case at Opéra National de Paris; and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Alceste, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and La donna del lago at Santa Fe Opera.
2017 George London Award winner, tenor Aaron Blake, is recognized for his interpretive skills in a wide variety of repertoire. In 2016, Mr. Blake created the role of Timothy Laughlin in the world premiere of Gregory Spears’s Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera, garnering international acclaim. The New York Times wrote “Aaron Blake brings an appealingly vulnerable, clear-toned tenor to Tim’s early appearances that are exquisitely calibrated.” In the fall of 2016, he made his debut as Nadir in Tulsa Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers, praised by Tulsa World as “a robust, agile tenor, capable of exquisite tenderness... and ardent passion." Mr. Blake made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Verdi's La traviata as Gastone, and returned to Utah Opera as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He returns to Cincinnati Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. His upcoming engagements include a return to the Metropolitan Opera and debuts at theaters throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Blake will reprise his role as Timothy Laughlin with the Prototype Festival in New York and make his Atlanta Symphony debut in the title role of Bernstein’s Candide.
Countertenor Matthew Reese has garnered success at several competitions, most recently as 1st place winner of the 15th Annual Heafner-Williams Vocal Competition, the first countertenor winner of the S. Livingston Mather Competition for Male Vocalists sponsored by the Singer’s Club of Cleveland, the first countertenor winner of the North Carolina District biennial NATSAA, and as a semi-finalist in the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition sponsored by Opera Carolina. Other competition successes include second prize from the Partners for the Arts 3rd Annual Vocal Competition in Alexandria, VA; the Handel Award at the Orpheus National Vocal Competition; an award from the National Scholarship Competition for National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.; and the district award for the North Carolina District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, after which he advanced to the Southeastern Regional competition where received the Encouragement Award. Mr. Reese recently debuted as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Harrower Opera Workshop alongside internationally renowned countertenor David Daniels and stage director Carroll Freeman, and performed in the university premier of Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei as Cardinal #1/Father Sinceri/Oracle #1 at UNCG Opera Theatre. He received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in Columbus, GA and completed his Master of Music in Vocal Performance at UNC-Greensboro under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Bracey.
Baritone Michael Weyandt continues to engage audiences with his “virile, ardent” singing (New York Times) in a repertoire ranging from Handel’s earliest to living composers’ latest works. Notable recent appearances include La bohème with Hawaii Opera Theater, Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Talea Ensemble, and the premiere of a new work with his multidisciplinary troupe the Atelier at Brooklyn’s Resonant Bodies Festival. He has appeared across the US with companies such as Opera Tampa, Fresno Grand Opera, and Lyric Opera of Virginia, as well as at the Tanglewood, Castleton, and MATA Festivals, among others. A frequent performer of new chamber works, he has collaborated with the Talea Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. He is extremely active in developing new works, having collaborated with the American Lyric Theater, American Opera Projects, and several notable rising composers.
PACIEN MAZZAGATTI ( Conductor )
New York City Opera Principal Conductor Pacien Mazzagatti recently led the celebratory production of Tosca that re-opened the company, and will lead performances of the New York City premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Angels in America later this season. He has recently led performances at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Milhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, International House of Music in Moscow, and as guest conductor for the Polish National Opera in Warsaw. In New York, he served as conductor of the New York City Opera Orchestra for the Gala commemorating the legacy of Julius Rudel, performances of Turn of the Screw at Symphony Space, and productions of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street for Dicapo Opera Theatre.
SAM HELFRICH ( Stage Director )
Sam Helfrich is an opera and theater director based in New York. Recent opera highlights include the world premieres of Enemies: A Love Story, based on the novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer (composer: Ben Moore) at Palm Beach Opera, and Embedded, by composer Patrick Soluri, at Fargo-Moorhead Opera; Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos and Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire at Virginia Opera: Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking and John Adams’ Nixon in China at Eugene Opera; Philip Glass' Kepler (in its American premiere), Charpentier’s Louise, and Anthony Davis’ Amistad at Spoleto Festival/USA; Menotti’s The Consul and Poulenc’s La Voix Humane at Glimmerglass Opera; Rameau's Les Indes Galantes, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Handel’s Agrippina with Boston Baroque; Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn; a fully staged Handel Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony; the world premiere of Michael Dellaira's The Secret Agent at Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Armel Opera Festival in Hungary, and Opera Avignon in France; And Philip Glass' Orphée at Virginia Opera, Portland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera.
JOHN FARRELL ( Set Design )
Set Designer John Farrell has been the exclusive Set and Illusion Designer for magician Criss Angel since 1993. This includes several television specials, six seasons of Mindfreak for A&E, and Believe on Spike TV. He is Director of Illusions for Criss Angel Mindfreak Live produced by Cirque du Soleil, currently running at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. He has designed for regional theaters across in the US as well as multiple productions in Mexico City and Hungary. In New York, he was the resident designer for Dicapo Opera Theatre for twenty years. At Radio City Music Hall he was the scenic supervisor for the Spring Spectacular Easter Show and the Christmas Show. His television credits include Supervising Art Director for seasons 7-9 of America’s Got Talent, the final season of Gossip Girl, The Dream Team-1996 Olympic Special for NBC, the 1994 and 1995 Tony Awards, HBO’s Earthly Possessions and MTV’s Get Late with Kennedy and Squirt TV.
KAYE VOYCE ( Costumes )
Costume Designer Kaye Voyce’s Broadway credits include Significant Other, The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses, and Shining City. Her other recent work includes The Summer King at Pittsburgh Opera; The Antipodes at Signature Theatre; Endgame at Long Wharf; This Day Forward at Vineyard Theatre; Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again at Soho Rep; Signature Plays and The Wayside Motor Inn at Signature Theatre, Indian Summer and Detroit at Playwrights Horizons, The Mystery of Love and Sex and 4000 Miles at Lincoln Center Theater, Il Turco in Italia at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Opera Dijon, Teatro Regio Torino and Teatr Wielki, Warsaw; The Wreckers at Bard Summerscape; Trisha Brown's ffinal two dances, Rogues and Toss; and many shows with Richard Maxwell/NYCP including The Evening Parts 1 and 2 at Walker Arts Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Buenos Aires and on tour.
DEREK VAN HEEL ( Lighting )
Montana-born-and-reared, and now based in Brooklyn, Derek Van Heel's designs have been seen at The Metropolitan Museum, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Off-Broadway, and in the kinds of basements, bars, churches, and teeny-tiny rooms where New York theater is often forged. Recent work includes projects with Syracuse Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Curtis Institute of Music, Shreveport Opera, Red Fern Theatre, LeeSaar The Company, Shamel Pitts, Scandanavian American Theatre, Origin Theatre, and The Civilians. His award-winning designs for Butoh Medea for Ren Gyo Soh have been seen at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, United Solo Europe, and will travel to SoloFest in Izmir, Turkey this Summer. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Montana and a Master of Fine Arts from NYU Tisch. www.derekvanheel.com
MARK GREY ( Sound )
For nearly three decades, sound designer Mark Grey has collaborated on premieres of works of such artists as John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Peter Eötvös, Terry Riley, and many others. He designed and toured extensively with Kronos Quartet for nearly 15 years and has collaborated with John Adams for over 25 years. His operatic projects include six productions at the Metropolitan Opera since 2008—from John Adams's Doctor Atomic, to Kaija Saariaho’s L'Amour de Loin. Mr. Grey previously worked with the New York Philharmonic on the world premiere and resulting recording of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls in 2002, which went on to win both the Pulitzer Prize in Music and multiple Grammy Awards, including Best Recording. Mr. Grey’s association with Lyric Opera of Chicago has encompassed six productions since 2007, most recently The King and I, The Merry Widow, and Carousel. In 2016 designed the Park Avenue Armory production of St. Matthew Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and directed by Peter Sellars, and Circle Map with The New York Philharmonic. As a composer, Mr. Grey has recently undertaken commissions from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and others. His opera Frankenstein premieres at the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels during their 2018-2019 season.