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Hailed by Opera News for his “first-rate singing,” Bass-baritone Philip Cokorinos (Archibaldo) was winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1985, and went on to sing his debut during the Met’s 1987-88 season. Since then, he appeared in more than 400 performances of 40 operas at The Met, including Live from The Met telecasts of Don Giovanni; the world première of The Ghosts of Versailles; and The Met’s premieres of Sly, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Gambler, to name a few. This season, Mr. Cokorinos will perform as Zuniga in Carmen in a return to Los Angeles Opera, perform the title role of Don Pasquale with Anchorage Opera and return to The Metropolitan Opera for their productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Tosca, and La bohème, and as a soloist at The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s 83rd Annual Luncheon.
Avito (4/12 & 4/14)
Critically acclaimed for his vocal qualities “His vocal performance was agile, robust, mellifluous, heroic, tender, and musically sensitive—in short, he alone is reason enough to attend this production,” Raffaele Abete (Avito) will appear this season as Duca di Mantova in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina and will make his house debut at Teatro Regio di Parma as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata. As the winner of the competition “Una voce per l’Arena,” he debuted at the Arena di Verona as Ismaele in Nabucco in the summer of 2015. His other recent engagements include Romeo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette on opening night of Arena di Verona’s 93rd Lyric season, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro Gaetano Donizetti in Bergamo, and Rodolfo in La bohème at Teatro Filarmonico di Verona. In 2016 he made his American debut at the New York City Opera as Cavaradossi with colleague Latonia Moore in the celebratory production that re-opened the company. Mr. Abete’s past season included Rigoletto at Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and at Festival Verdi in Busseto. His 2017-18 season has already included Rodolfo in La bohème at the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago alternating with his colleague Piotr Beczala, and his return to United States in the role of Il Duca di Mantova at Opera Grand Rapids. Born in Naples, Mr. Abete studied at the Conservatorio di Musica Domenico Cimarosa in Avellino under the guidance of Maestro Pasquale Tizzani. He currently resides in Milan and studies with Maestro Federico Longhi.
Avito (4/13 & 4/15)
Tenor Giuseppe Varano (Avito) completed his musical studies at the Conservatorio “A. Corelli” in Messina in 2002 and obtained further training at the Fondazione “Arturo Toscanini” in Parma. He made his professional debut in July 2003 in La traviata in Busseto, in a production directed by Franco Zeffirelli. His recent operatic appearances include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Carlo Coccia in Novara, Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Rodolfo in La bohème at Teatro La Fenice, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, in Düsseldorf, and at Oper Leipzig; Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at Palma de Mallorca, Opera Colorado, Teatro Bellini in Catania; Alfredo in La traviata in Modena, Piacenza, Bolzano, Messina, at Madison Opera in Wisconsin, and in Graz; Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto in Montreal Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth on tour in China with the Savonlinna Opera Festival; and Cassio in Verdi’s Otello, directed by Giancarlo Del Monaco at Beijing Opera. His recent concert appearances include the tenor solo in Verdi’s Messa di Requiem in Messina and Bucarest and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater at the Auditorium RAI in Turin.
Joo Won Kang
South Korean baritone Joo Won Kang (Manfredo) began the 2017-18 season with a return to San Francisco Opera as Ping in the opening-night production of Turandot. A member of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he was an Adler Fellow appearing onstage at SFO in various roles, including Captain Gardiner in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was televised nationally and released on DVD. Later this season Mr. Kang makes company debuts with Arizona Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Germont in La traviata. His other recent engagements include his debut at Ireland’s Wexford Festival as Corrado in Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz; Chou En-lai in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer; Germont in La traviata with Opera Maine; the title role in Eugene Onegin with North Carolina Opera, Figaro in Barbiere di Siviglia with Fort Worth Opera, his Seattle Opera debut in Les Pêcheurs de perles and a return to Wolf Trap Opera as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with the National Symphony Orchestra. He has garnered top prizes in such important vocal competitions as Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Voice Competition, the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Opera Index Vocal Competition, Giulio Gari International Competition, Palm Beach International Competition, and the Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music.
Soprano Daria Masiero (Fiora) is one of the most important Italian singers currently performing on the international stage. Her 2018 engagements include a New Year’s Concert at Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, appearances as Norma at the National Theatre in Rijeka, Tosca at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, and her debut as Suor Angelica at Teatro del Giglio. Her recent appearances include Elisabetta in Don Carlo at La Scala in Milan; Lady Macbeth and Liù in Turandot at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari; and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera in Pavia, Cremona, Brescia, Bolzano and Como. She returned to Opera Australia as Aida at Handa’s Opera on the Harbour, Liù and Tosca at the Sydney Opera House, Manon in Manon Lescaut at Art Centre in Seoul, Odabella in Attila at Theatre Massimo in Palermo and National Theatre in Lubeck, the title role of Turandot in Handa’s Opera on the Harbour. She has also portrayed Leonora in La Forza del destino at Varna Festival and the title role in Norma. Ms. Masiero studied singing and cello, obtaining her diploma with honors at the Conservatorio Antonio Vivaldi in Alessandria. She also studied at l’Accademia at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, and with Mirella Freni at the Accademia di Belcanto di Modena. Ms Masiero was a finalist in the Cardiff Singer of the World in 2005. She has also won some of the most important competitions in Italy, including the Caruso competition in 2000.
Tenor Alex Richardson (Flaminio) made his Metropolitan Opera and HD broadcast debut last season as the Shepherd in Tristan und Isolde and later returned as the 2nd Jew in Salome. This year at the Met he participates in The Exterminating Angel and Parsifal; is heard in recital in Florida and performs Alfredo in La Traviata with the Philharmonia Orchestra in New York and on tour in Japan. Active roles in his repertoire include: the title roles of Peter Grimes and Werther; Cavaradossi, Tamino, Rodolfo, Roméo, Alfredo, the Duke, Rinuccio, Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, Alwa in Lulu, Váňa Kudrjaš in Káťa Kabanová, Molqi in The Death of Klinghoffer, Vaudémont in Iolanta and Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer. He has performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe Opera, Princeton Festival, Toledo Opera, Long Beach Opera, Festival de Belle-Île, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Oratorio Society of New York, Tanglewood, Orlando Philharmonic, The Cecilia Chorus, and Emmanuel Music. Mr. Richardson can be heard in the title role of Amleto by Franco Faccio recently released by Opera Southwest.