229 West 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues
LaMarcus made his Kennedy Center debut singing the leading role of USMC Philip in a staged reading of the new opera Fallujah by Tobin Stokes & Heather Raffo. He was hailed for a performance that was “sensitive and vulnerable...His vocal command will have you hanging onto every note.” LaMarcus has appeared in leading operatic roles from Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus to Don Giovanni and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Alidoro in Cenerentola, soloist with Master Yao’s chorus in The Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai, and Raimondo in Lucia Di Lammermoor. LaMarcus has performed at Lincoln Center alongside Wynton Marsalis and was a featured recording artist on the jazz album, The Music Always Roumd Me by Gary Dial and Dick Oatts. A graduate from Manhattan School of Music, LaMarcus took First Place in the 2012 Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition at Carnegie Hall.
Tenor Todd Strange is excited to return to LBO as Taylor in Fallujah. Recent LBO appearances include the title role in Candide and the tenor in Hydrogen Jukebox. He has been praised as having a “glorious voice” that “is strong and clear and his acting is on point.” Feeling comfortable in both leading man or character roles, Todd sings a variety of different repertoire. Career highlights include Remendado, Carmen (Arizona Opera), Tobias, Sweeney Todd (Arizona Opera), Basilio/Curzio, OSB, Title Role, Lehar’s The Czarevitch (Ohio Light Opera), The Captain, Simon Boccanegra(LA Opera), Almaviva, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Bakersfield Symphony)
Critically-acclaimed singer Gregorio González began his operatic career in 2002 after being hired as a resident artist by Placido Domingo at the Los Angeles Opera. Since then, Gregorio has sung extensively throughout the United States, parts of Latin-America and Europe. He has sung at LAO in more than a dozen productions including appearances in two Placido Domingo and Friends Gala Concerts. Gregorio has sung at venues of international renown such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, De Nederlandse Opera, Theater an der Wien, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Connecticut Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, San Diego Opera, and The Ojai International Festival, to name a few. In the last three years, Gregorio has created roles in 4 new operas. His last collaboration with LBO was his portrayal of El Payador in the acclaimed production of Maria de Buenos Aires. gregoriogonzalez.co
Jason Switzer recently performed in Salome with Utah Opera, ##Les Contes d’Hoffmann## with Connecticut Lyric Opera, La Cenerentola with Lyrique en Mer, and ##Hänsel und Gretel## with Opera Memphis. Eager to explore contemporary works, he has been heard in The Death of Klinghoffer (Adams) and ##Tell-Tale Heart/Van Gogh## (Copeland/ Gordon) with Long Beach Opera as well as world premieres of The Always Present Present (Westergaard), Danse Russe (Moravec), and Slaying the Dragon (Ching). Jason is a graduate of CSU Long Beach where he studied with Marvellee Cariaga.
Arnold Livingston Geis
Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor, graduated in May 2014 with an MM in vocal arts from USC and immediately began working as a full time professional singer making a career singing in films, television, concert, and on the opera stage. Since graduating, Geis has debuted at the Walt Disney Concert Hall under the direction of Grant Gershon, Michael TilsonThomas, and Gustavo Dudamel. In 2015, Arnold made his mainstage debut with LA Opera under the baton of Placido Domingo and is further engaged to sing Parpignol in La bohéme under the baton of James Conlon and Gustavo Dudamel in May-June, 2016.
With LBO: Marilyn (Death of Klinghoffer), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth - also for Chicago Opera Theater), Madeline (Fall of the House of Usher - also for COT), Mrs. P (The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat), Margarita (Ainadamar), Medea (Medea), Mrs. Williamson (The Difficulty of Crossing a Field), Pat Nixon (Nixon in China), Brünnhilde (##Siegfried, Götterdämmerung##). Premiered works by Philip Glass, Rinde Eckert, Michel LeGrand, Henry Mollicone, Craig Bohmler... Other Opera companies: San Francisco, Arizona, Connecticut, Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh, Verona, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Spoleto, Florence… Theater companies: Old Globe, Denver Center, San Jose Rep… Recordings: The Tender Land (Koch), Coyote Tales (Newport Classics).
In March of 2016, Tenor Jonathan Lacayo will be making his American debut with Long Beach Opera as Wissam in the World Premiere of Heather Raffo & Tobin Stokes’ Fallujah, an opera inspired by the story of U.S. Marine Christian Ellis in the Iraq War. Last October Jonathan made his international debut with Opera de Tijuana in Gershwin’s Blue Monday, as the lead role Joe. During the summer, Jonathan took on the roles of Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen and Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with Opera of the Rockies in Colorado. Jonathan has also participated in many productions with Point Loma Opera Theatre including the roles of Prince Charming in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Parpignol in Puccini’s La Boheme, Beppe in Donizetti’s Rita, Giuseppe in Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and covered the role of Camille in Lehar’s Die Lustige Witwe.
American-Armenian Soprano Ani Maldjian has been described as “Sensational, radiant, elegant, commanding, brilliant, fresh and strong… finding talent like Maldjian is no easy feat.” – The Los Angeles Times Ms. Maldjian has performed over 35 major roles with companies such as Long Beach Opera, Seattle Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Atlanta Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Opera Theatre Ireland. Past roles with LBO include the title roles in Les Mamelles de Tiresias and The Cunning Little Vixen, along with Madame Mao in Nixon in China, Nuria in Ainadamar, Dirce in Medea, and Suzanne in Therese Raquin. She is best known for her critically acclaimed portrayal of Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, which brought her success all over the US, UK, Europe and Republic of Ireland. She was the First Place Winner of the Western Region Metropolitan Opera Competition in 2005. animaldjian.com
Zeffin Quinn Hollis
Zeffin Quinn Hollis headed the Live International broadcasts of the Ward opera rendition of Miller’s The Crucible & Tobias Picker’s Emmeline, both for MezzoTV. No stranger to world premieres, Hollis has taken part in many inaugural productions for composers like Jake Heggie, Thomas Pasatieri, & Tarik O’Regan. He has been heard at Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Palm Beach Opera, New Orleans Opera, Pécs & Szeged National Theaters Hungary, Lviv National Theatre Ukraine, this is his fourth production with Long Beach Opera. Recent roles include Sweeney Todd, Falstaff, & Scarpia. Zeffin’s performance is in tribute to his brother’s service: James Edward Elliott (Seargent, USMC). Find more at zeffin.com!
Kristof Van Grysperre ( Conductor )
Kristof Van Grysperre, a native of Belgium, most recently conducted for LBO Candide, Hydrogen Jukebox, ##An American Soldier’s Tale/Fiddler’s Tale and The Difficulty of Crossing a Field##. Hailed by the Orange County Register as “gifted and stylistically impeccable” and as “a conductor with pugilistic power and sensitivity” he has an international career as conductor pianist, chamber musician and vocal coach. With a repertoire of over fifty operas, Van Grysperre conducted performances for Opera Pacific, Baltimore Opera Studio, Intimate Opera Company, SongFest and USC Opera. He has collaborated with leading instrumentalists and singers, such as Angela Meade, Maria Newman, Philip Webb and Susan Mohini Kane, and is the artistic director of Angels Vocal Art. vangrysperre.com
Hana S. Kim ( Video Designer )
Recent Design Credits: Projection for Dogeaters directed by Loretta Greco at Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Projection for Subliminal with Theater Movement Bazzar at Getty Villa, Projection for I am My Own Wife directed by Amy Corcoran with Two Turns Theater Company, Video installation project Emille at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Set and Projection for Chinglish directed by Jeff Liu at East West Players, and Magic Flute directed by LeRoy Villanueva at CSULB Opera. Film Credit: Assistant Art Director on The Great Wall, directed by Zhang Yi Mou. Other Affiliates: Recipient of Princess Grace Award in Theater Design, Member of USA Local 829 hananow.co
Andreas Mitisek ( Director/Prod. Designer )
Since 2003, Mitisek has been LBO’s Artistic & General Director. Recent LBO directing credits: The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, King Gesar, Macbeth, ##Tell-Tale Heart##, Van Gogh, The Paper Nautilus, Ainadamar, and Maria de Buenos Aires. Recent LBO conducting credits: ##Thérèse Raquin##, I was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky, The Death of Klinghoffer, Camelia la Tejana, and The Fall of the House of Usher (co-production with COT). Other conducting credits: Joruri in Tokyo, Don Giovanni (Seattle Opera), Madama Butterfly (Orlando Opera), Jane Eyre (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) and Eugene Onegin (Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile). Mitisek has also conducted the Austrian and Italian premieres of Nixon in China. In 2012, Andreas joined Chicago Opera Theater as General Director.
Dan Weingarten ( Light Designer )
Dan Weingarten has designed Hydrogen Jukebox, Marilyn Forever, The Paper Nautilus, Ainadamar, Maria de Buenos Aires, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (2011), Akhnaten, Orpheus and Euridice, Nixon in China, The Good Soldier Schweik, The Cunning Little Vixen, Winterreise, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Macbeth for Long Beach Opera. He has designed numerous other plays, musicals, operas, and ballets around the country. He is the recipient of the LA Drama Critic’s Circle Angstrom Award, the LA Weekly Award, the Garland Award, and the Dramalogue Award. He is also on the faculty at California State University Northridge
Jon Harguindeguy ( Art Designer/Consultant )
Jon Harguindeguy is an United States Navy Veteran who served with VAQ-132 in Operation Iraq Freedom in Al Asad, Iraq. He is also an artist who has worked mainly in the Whittier and Los Angeles area. Taking inspiration from local graffiti and the surrounding tattoo culture from his days in the Navy, Jon developed his own style of illustration and painting. Mainly working with ink and watercolor, he is also known for his work with spray paint and acrylics. Using his talents and devotion to his community, Jon is currently the Veteran Liaison for Awaken Arts, a nonprofit that reaches out to both veterans and at-risk youth in the Long Beach area.
Michael Hebert ( Art Designer/Consultant )
Born and raised in Connecticut with a love for old school hip hop and art! Michael joined the Marine Corps on July 13, 2003 knowing the war on terror was going on in Iraq. Michael was an Anti Tank Assaultman 0351 in 3rd Battalion 1st Marines. 3 Deployments to Iraq. Finished Active Duty April 20, 2008.
Tobin Stokes ( Composer )
Former rock drummer, jazz pianist, and street performer (vibraphone) Tobin Stokes spent a few years of traveling and performing before settling into freelance composing. He’s written music for the 2010 Olympic Games and the XV Commonwealth Games, and has been composer in residence with the Victoria Symphony (Canada), the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival (Canada), the Urban Youth Choir Festival (Sweden), and the Pacific Region International Music Academy (Canada). His choir music is published in the U.S. and Canada and has been performed around the world. He has scored various films for BBC, Eden Channel, CBC, and ABC, and more.
Choral and orchestral writing, along with scoring ballet, and extensive theatre collaborations as performer, music director, sound designer, arranger and composer, have all led to a passion for creating opera. He has been commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation/Explore.Org and City Opera Vancouver, and is involved in a number of new opera and music theatre projects, some as composer, and others as composer/librettist. His chamber opera Pauline, a collaboration with author Margaret Atwood, premiered in 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. Current opera commissions include Rattenbury (music and libretto) about the true story of the murder of an architect in the 1930s, and Waterfront (music and libretto) set on a shuttle on its way to a colony on Mars.
Heather Raffo ( Librettist )
Heather Raffo is an award winning Iraqi-American playwright and actress who has spent the last two decades performing off Broadway, off West End in regional theater and in film. She is the author and solo performer of the play 9 Parts of Desire (Lucielle Lortel and Susan Smith Blackburn awards, Drama League, OCC, Helen Hayes and Ovation nominations), which The New Yorker called “an example of how art can remake the world”. The play ran off Broadway for nine months and has played across the U.S. and internationally over the last ten years. In 2009, Heather created a concert version of the play for The Kennedy Center with renowned Iraqi maqam musician, Amir ElSaffar.
Heather is currently in development with a new play, NOURA, a play that pushes back against Ibsen’s iconic Doll’s House told from inside the marriage of a refugee family living in New York. NOURA had it’s first work shop at the Davis Performing Arts Center in D.C. with Middle East and refugee policy experts, as well as with members of the State Department and Iraqi Embassy. This fast paced script highlights an acutely relevant awakening of identity and offers a unique insight into the interior crisis that’s lies behind the collapse of the modern Middle East.
Raffo is the recipient of two grants from the prestigious Doris Duke Foundation to use theater as a means of bridge-building between her Eastern and Western cultures. Through these grants she has developed a storytelling workshop, Places of Pilgrimage, focusing on personal narrative, which she has taken to universities and community centers both in America and in the Middle East. Her Places of Pilgrimage series and podcast have been launched on the web through the organization Bridges of Understanding as a means to connect the stories of young Arab women with their peers.
Heather wishes to thank some very special contributors to her research of the opera Fallujah: USMC Lalo Panyagua, General Steele, Maya Roth, Caitlin Cassidy, Alyaa Naser, Joanna Settle, Milos Repicky, Andrea Assaf, Barbara Mujica and Mujtaba.