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Carmen Artists

Meet the Artists of Carmen

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Robert WoodRobert Wood, Conductor
Opera Colorado is pleased to welcome Robert Wood back to Denver after his debut conducting Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet in 2013. Engagements during the 2012-2013 season included Die Fledermaus for Hawaii Opera and The Magic Flute for The University of Maryland.  As Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera he led productions of L’italiana in AlgeriLe Nozze di FigaroLa donna del lagoRusalka, and, most recently, Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  Mr. Wood also recently conducted a concert featuring Stephanie Blythe and Lawrence Brownlee for San Francisco Opera, where he spent many years on the staff leading performances of La Traviata and L’italiana in Algeri, and assisting productions of La BohèmeIl Barbiere di SivigliaDon CarlosHansel and GretelThe Merry Widow, and Tosca.  Additional career highlights include L’italiana in Algeri at Vancouver Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Hawaii Opera Theater, The Love for Three Oranges at Indiana University Opera Theater, La Cenerentola at Opera New Jersey, Lakmé at Minnesota Opera, and The Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet.  In addition to his busy conducting schedule Mo. Woods is the founder and Executive Director of UrbanArias, a new opera company in the D.C. area dedicated to producing short, contemporary operas, and garnering much critical acclaim. More Information

Kathleen Belcher high resKathleen Smith Belcher, Director
Stage director Kathleen Smith Belcher is currently engaged in her 13th year as a member of the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera. Among others, she has worked extensively with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera and the San Diego Opera. Smith Belcher assisted Peter Sellars on the world premiere of John Adams’ Dr. Atomic in San Francisco and helped to remount the production for The Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam) and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Woody Allen, Michael Mayer (SMASH, Spring Awakening), Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, A Light in the Piazza) and Julie Taymor (Lion King) are a just a few of the many directors with whom Smith Belcher has worked. As a member of the Metropolitan Opera directing staff, she has collaborated on numerous “Live in HD” broadcasts, including the Emmy-winning production of Don Pasquale. The New York Times praised her recent Metropolitan Opera directing debut of Il Barbiere di Sivigila “a pitch-perfect interpretation of the dazzling display and abundant wit in Rossini’s work.” Her direction of the highly acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly for the San Francisco Opera was hailed as “exceptional, giving the audience a number of indelible moments” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “studded with imaginative and telling details” (San Francisco Chronicle). Smith Belcher also directed Woody Allen’s highly-praised Los Angeles Opera production of Gianni Schicchi for the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy to rave reviews. Belcher has also directed Rigoletto and La Traviata for Lyric Opera of Kansas City as well as Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicci for the Utah Opera. While serving as Artistic Director of Opera at the University of Kansas, Smith Belcher directed the National Opera Association award winning production of Werther, as well as productions of Hansel and Gretel, The Rake’s Progress, Cosí fan Tutte, Gianni Schicchi and L’enfant et les Sortileges. More Information

Sandra Piques EddySandra Piques Eddy, Carmen
Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Piques Eddy has been praised for her beautiful tone, artistic sensitivity, and superlative stagecraft, making her one of North America’s most highly acclaimed singing actresses. Recent performances include a return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Boston Lyric Opera, Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with Atlanta Opera as, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Portland Opera as, the title role in Carmen with Opera Coeur d’Alene, and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Crested Butte Music Festival. Since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2002, Ms. Eddy has returned to the legendary stage to perform such roles as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri, Rosette in Manon, and Mercédès in Carmen, among others. Ms. Eddy was the first place New England Regional Winner of the 2000 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a National Semifinalist and has won competitions at both Opera Lirica and at the Boston Conservatory. More Information

Janai Brugger high res cropped Janai Brugger, Micaela
2012 winner of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia vocal competition in Beijing and winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano, Janai Brugger, kicked off the 2012-13 season as Liu in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera. She appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at The May Festival under the baton of James Conlon, and traveled to China for a series of recitals.  She rounds out the season with Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel as High Priestess Aida in performances at the Hollywood Bowl. Recent successes include the artist’s appearance at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Conlon as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. In 2007, she appeared with Marilyn Horne at Carnegie Hall in “The Song Continues,” and in 2010, she participated in The Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera, performing scenes from Massenet’s Werther and Nicolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor. More Information

Jay Hunter Morris_colour_2013 cropped Jay Hunter Morris, Don José
Jay Hunter Morris began the 2012-2013 season with his appearance in the principal role of Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie’s celebrated opera, Moby-Dick, at San Francisco Opera.  Mr. Morris also returned to The Metropolitan Opera for revival performances of The Ring as Siegfried and the Glimmerglass Festival for Erik, as well as making his debut at Vienna Konzerthaus under the baton of Kent Nagano for performances of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder. Upcoming engagements include his debut as Calaf in Turandot and a special appearance in a gala performance inaugurating The Opera San Antonio. Originally a country and western music singer, Mr. Morris was first drawn into the opera spotlight in 1995, when he created the role of Tony in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class at the Philadelphia Theatre Company.  He continued in the role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and finally on Broadway, where he was nominated for a Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actor. Recent successes include his appearance in the role of Siegfried in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of the complete Ring Cycle which was broadcast worldwide. More Information

Ryan Kuster high res croppedRyan Kuster, Escamillo
Bass-baritone Ryan Kuster has gained vast attention on the west coast for his accolades in San Francisco, where he recently completed a two year residency and over 80 performances in the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program of San Francisco Opera. In 2012, Kuster made his symphonic debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing the role of Masetto in their highly acclaimed production of Don Giovanni, directed by Christopher Alden and led by Maestro Dudamel.  Mr. Kuster recently sang on the Metropolitan Opera stage as a National Council Semi-Finalist for the 2011 Competition. Recent performances include a return to Wolf Trap Opera to debut the title role of Don Giovanni and his National Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s Ninth SymphonyUpcoming engagements include Angelotti in Tosca with Madison Opera, Colline in La Bohème with Arizona Opera, Masetto in Don Giovanni with Cincinnati Opera, and Escamillo in Carmen with Virginia Opera. More Information

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