THE MOST BELOVED OF COMIC OPERAS
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
May 4, 7, 10, 12* | 2019
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Performing Arts Complex
Performed in Italian, with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Premiered May 1, 1786, Burgtheater (Vienna, Austria)
*Note: May 12 is a 2 pm matinee performance, and will be audio described.
All other performances take place at 7:30 pm.
Estimated Length: Three hours and 15 minutes, including one 25-minute intermission
Opera Colorado closes the 2018-19 season with Mozart’s comedic genius, in a production set among the courtly opulence of 18th century Seville and featuring a brilliant ensemble cast. The wily Figaro and his love, Susanna, are set to marry, but Count Almaviva is intent on seducing the bride-to-be—stoking not only the couple’s ire, but the frustrations of the long-suffering Countess. What unfolds is hilarious chaos set to a sparkling score.
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO IS SPONSORED BY
Richard King Brown, PhD
with additional support provided by Ellie Caulkins
Italian bass-baritone Simone Alberghini, 1994 Operalia Grand Prize winner, has appeared in opera houses at the highest level worldwide since the beginning of his career, singing at the Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro Regio, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Teatro di San Carlo, Teatro Comunale, the Bolshoi Theatre, and many others. Recent engagements include Guillaume Tell at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and in Bologna; Donizetti’s Il furioso all’ isola di San Domingo at the Donizetti Musica Festival in Bergamo and on tour in Italy; L’Elisir d’Amore in Washington; Anna Bolena at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow; Così fan tutte in Bologna and Firenze; Don Giovanni at the Perm State Opera under Teodor Currentzis; La Bohème in Tenerife and in Palermo; Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Toulon; La Cenerentola in Washington, Naples and Gothenburg; Mozart’s Requiem in Turin with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai; La Gazza Ladra at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro; Il Trovatore in Tenerife; Il Turco in Italia in Ravenna; Donizetti’s Requiem with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra; and Carmen in Bologna.
American soprano Ellie Dehn has been praised by critics as “a revelation” (Chicago Sun-Times), acclaimed for her “great stage presence and a voice combining metallic clarity and sensual richness” (Wall Street Journal). In the 2022-2023 Season, Ms. Dehn will perform Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony, Elijah with the Florida Orchestra, and return to the Metropolitan Opera in Falstaff (Alice Ford, cover). In the 2021-2022 Season, she made her debut at Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde) and returned to the Metropolitan Opera in La bohème (Musetta, cover) and Le nozze di Figaro (Countess). On the concert stage, she sang Britten’s Spring Symphony with the Grant Park Music Festival. Pandemic highlights included Albert Herring (Lady Billows) in a filmed version with Minnesota Opera.
Soprano Maureen McKay recently made her debut with The Metropolitan Opera as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and then was invited to return as Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Other recent and upcoming performances include appearances as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with The Mostly Mozart Festival; Despina in Così fan tutte and Susanna with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Rose Maurrant in Street Scene with Virginia Opera; and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance and Nannetta in Falstaff with San Diego Opera. As a previous member of the Komische Oper Berlin ensemble, McKay was featured as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Blanche in Dialogues des carmélites, Marzelline in Fidelio, Norina in Don Pasquale, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Musetta in La Bohéme, Eliza in Il re pastore, as well as Gretel and Susanna. McKay has also performed on the stages of Seattle Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Washington National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, The Bolshoi Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, Portland Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Saito Kinen Festival, and Washington Concert Opera, among others.
This season includes Carl Olsen in Street Scene (Virginia Opera), Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (First Coast Opera) and Montezuma in Vivaldi’s Montezuma (American Baroque Opera Company). Next season includes Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (Hawaii Opera Theater). Kuster has performed Escamillo in Carmen (Virginia Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Grand Rapids, Florida Grand Opera, Knoxville Opera); Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen (San Diego Opera); Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni (Memphis Opera,Wolf Trap Opera); Dr. Grenvil in La traviata (Dallas Opera); Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila (Dallas Opera); Angelotti in Tosca (Dallas Opera, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic); Alidoro in La Cenerentola (Nashville Opera, Opera Saratoga); Colline in La bohème (Arizona Opera, Charleston Opera); Masetto in Don Giovanni (San Franciso Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic; Mandarin in Turandot (Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera); St. Matthew’s Passion (Boulder Philharmonic); and Händel’s Messiah (Milwaukee Symphony).
Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala created the title role in the world premiere of Sister Carrie, as well as roles in the premieres of Doubt (which was recently broadcast on PBS’s Great Performances), Dinner at Eight, and The Manchurian Candidate, Volpone, and Steal a Pencil for Me. She recently debuted with San Diego Opera Florencia en el Amazonas, returned to Madison Opera for the same piece, performed in the new opera Fellow Travelers, reprised her signature role of Cherubino, and made her debut with the Berkshire Opera Festival as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. Ms. Zabala has been a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New Jersey, Jerusalem, Virginia, and Jacksonville Symphonies, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Wolf Trap, with the Source Song Festival, The New York Festival of Song, and the Salzburg Chamber Music Series, among many other organizations and venues. Recent and forthcoming recordings include Sister Carrie, Durey Rediscovered, Le Dernier Sorcier, and previously unrecorded song cycles of Dominick Argento. She is an alumna of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and is a proud member of the voice faculty at the University of Minnesota. Forthcoming appearances include On Site Opera in New York City, the world premiere of The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane with Minnesota Opera, and Fellow Travelers with Madison Opera.
Known for her powerful voice and galvanizing performances, mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak’s engagements this season include the Old Lady in Candide with The Knights at Tanglewood and Ravinia, Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro for her return to Opera Colorado, and Emma Jones in Street Scene with Virginia Opera. Next season includes a
debut with Dallas Opera as Berta in The Barber of Seville
and a return to Seattle Opera as Madame Larina in Eugene
Onegin. The 2017-2018 season saw a return to Seattle Opera
as Berta in The Barber of Seville, and appearances with the
Seattle Symphony for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and
New York City Ballet for Stravinsky’s Les noces.
On the concert stage, she has appeared with the Boston
Symphony Orchestra (Lorin Maazel conducting), American
Symphony Orchestra, and others. She is a graduate of the
young artists programs of the Seattle Opera, Merola, and
Glimmerglass Festival, and received degrees from Eastman
School of Music and Wester Illinois University.
Stefano de Peppo is one of opera’s busiest singing actors sought for Italian character bass parts. Notable roles include the title role in Don Pasquale, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore, Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Alphonso in Così fan tutte. Theaters in which he has appeared include the Finnish National Opera, Estates Theater in Prague, Teatro Argentina, Jerez de la Frontiera, Gran Teatro de Cordoba, and Tenerife, Teatro Colon, Teatro Bellas Artes, Teatro Aquascalientes, Monterrey, Mexico, National Theater of Costa Rica, New Israeli Opera, Royal Albert Hall (London), Opera Hamilton, Los Angeles Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Memphis, Minnesota Opera, Opera New Jersey, Palm Beach Opera, San Diego Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Tampa, and Washington National Opera. A native Italian, Mr. de Peppo began his musical career as a member of the Children’s Chorus of Teatro alla Scala of Milan for seven years, after which he undertook vocal studies at Civic School of Music in Milan.
Tenor Aaren Rivard originally hails from Portland, ME. During his 2018-19 season with Opera Colorado, Rivard has performed Gastone in La Traviata, Romeo in a touring production of Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet, and the Witch in the touring production of Hansel and Gretel. Additionally, he covered Alfredo in La Traviata. Upcoming engagements include joining Central City Opera as a 2019 Studio Artist, as well as premiering the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Wichita Grand Opera. Rivard has previously sung with companies and symphonies including Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Maine, Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Rivard received degrees from the University of Southern Maine and Wichita State University.
Sponsored by Donald K. Braden and Chris & Joy Murphy
Praised for her bell-like and crisp tone, native Houstonian soprano Rebekah Howell is making her mark as a versatile artist with “plenty of high notes” (The Herald Times). During the 2018-19 season with Opera Colorado, she performed Girl in After Life, and covers Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, in addition to singing that role in the Student Matinee performance. As part of the company’s touring productions, she performs Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. In August, she joins the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s 4th Symphony. In the summer of 2018, Howell debuted the roles of Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Cunegonde in Candide with Chautauqua Opera. During the 2017–18 season, Howell appeared as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with Opéra Louisiane and as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Howell holds degrees from Baylor University (BM) and Indiana University (MM) where she also served as an Associate Instructor of Voice.
Sponsored by Agatha Kessler & Curtis Fentress and Laurence & Cynthia Chan
Originally from Thornton, CO, Eric McConnell has trained as a young artist with Central City Opera, Opera Saratoga, Seagle Music Colony, and the Aspen Opera Center. McConnell made his debut with Opera Colorado this past fall
as Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata, and will sing Figaro in the Student Matinee performance of The Marriage of Figaro. With the company’s touring productions, he performs Sandman in Hansel and Gretel and Friar Laurence in Romeo & Juliet. Past roles for McConnell include Blitch (Susannah), Bartolo/Basilio (The Barber of Seville), Frank (Die Fledermaus), and Sarastro (The Magic Flute). Additional career highlights include singing Elisha Fitzgibbon in the orchestral premiere of Evan Mack’s Roscoe with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, in a performance featuring renowned soprano Deborah Voigt. This summer, he sings the Sodbuster in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up at the Aspen Music Festival and School. McConnell holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Miami.
Sponsored by Joyce de Roos and Marlis Smith
Appointed in 2015 as Opera Colorado’s first-ever music director, Ari Pelto’s “breathtaking wizardry in the pit” (The Denver Post) has been widely celebrated, with Pelto in demand at opera houses and concert halls throughout the United States. At the age of 24, Pelto was appointed Assistant Conductor at the Spoleto Festival and he has since gone on to conduct worldwide. International engagements include performances with Bochumer Philharmoniker and opera productions at New National Theatre of Tokyo and the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. In 2004 he made his highly-praised debut with New York City Opera, conducting La Traviata, after which he became a regular, returning for productions of Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and Carmen. Recent successes include Eugene Onegin at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lucia di Lammermoor at Virginia Opera, and La Voix Humaine at Chicago Opera Theater. Here in Denver, he has led many acclaimed performances, including this season’s La Traviata. Opera Colorado is pleased to announce an extension of Pelto’s contract through the 2023-24 season.
Matthew Ozawa has an international career spanning all artistic disciplines having worked for companies worldwide including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, the Macau International Festival, and Opera Siam. Ozawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mozawa, a Chicago-based incubator advancing collaborative art and artists. Additionally, Ozawa serves as Assistant Professor & Opera Director at The University of Michigan.
Acclaimed productions include: Celebrating Domingo, Don Quichotte, and Nabucco (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Madama Butterfly (The Santa Fe Opera), An American Soldier (Opera Theatre of St Louis), Hand Eye (world premiere, Eighth Blackbird/Carnegie Hall/Kennedy Center), Romeo & Juliet (Minnesota Opera/Cincinnati Opera), L’Opera Seria and Les mamelles de Tirésias/Le Pauvre Matelot (Wolf Trap Opera), A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera/Des Moines Metro Opera), Sweeney Todd and Snow Dragon (world premiere, Skylight Music Theater/Opera Siam), and Tsuru (world premiere, Houston Ballet/Asia Society).
Lucas Krech is a Berlin-based lighting and video designer working in opera and dance. Previous Opera Colorado work includes La Traviata, Falstaff, La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Aida, and Madama Butterfly; next season, he will design Pagliacci and Tosca.
Other opera collaborations include San Diego Opera, Florida Grand Opera, West Edge Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, West Bay Opera, Yale Arts and Ideas Festival, Whitesnake Productions, Firstlook Sonoma, and others. His dance work has appeared in more than 30 states, as well as in Norway, Holland, and Germany. Installations and video art has shown at galleries and festivals in New York, Virginia, Nevada, and California. Writing on design aesthetics has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, Parabasis Blog, On Stage Lighting, InDance Magazine, PLSN, and Stage Directions Magazine. Krech has an MFA
from New York University. For more: www.lucaskrech.com.
Iranian pianist and conductor, Sahar Nouri, returns to Opera Colorado for a sixth season, serving as the company’s chorus master, assistant conductor, and pianist coach. Ms. Nouri is the newly appointed music director of the Lamont Opera Theatre at Denver University. While being based in Denver, she continues to serve as guest coach/faculty with various organizations including San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Opera North Carolina, Opera Steamboat and more.
Previously, Ms. Nouri has been a member of the music staff at Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Utah Opera, Aspen Opera Center, Opera Parallèle, and Opera in the Heights. Her repertoire includes numerous classic operas as well as many world premieres such as: Prince of Players (Carlisle Floyd), O Columbia! (Gregory Spears), Steal a Pencil for Me (Gerald Cohen), and Today It Rains (Laura Kaminsky). A multi-lingual, Nouri has done studies in the Czech Republic, Italy, and Austria, and is frequently in demand as a language coach and recitalist.
Ronell Oliveri is happy to return to Opera Colorado for her 12th season as Wig & Makeup Designer. She has been designing for opera, theater, ballet, and film for the past 17 years for such companies as Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University. Currently she is the resident Wig & Makup Designer for Opera Colorado, Opera Omaha, and Central City Opera. In 2007, she was a Primetime Emmy Award nominee as key makeup artist for her work in television. As a wig and makeup artist her professional credits include engagements with Chicago Lyric Opera, LA Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and Boston Ballet. Her work can also be seen in several Broadway shows including Wicked, All the Way, and Waitress. Other recent engagements include Miller Theater’s Proving Up, Opera Omaha’s One Festival, and Central City Opera’s summer festival season.
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro
- 12 2019