INTIMATE WORKS IN AN INTIMATE SETTING
AFTER LIFE & JOSEPHINE
Music by Tom Cipullo
Librettos by David Mason (After Life) and Tom Cipullo (Josephine)
February 23, 25, 26, 28, March 1 | 2019
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Performed in English
Opera Colorado transforms one of the galleries of the new Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art into a 140-seat theater for this double-bill of one-act operas—the first an afterlife conversation between artistic giants Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein, the second a spotlight on jazz-age icon and civil rights activist Josephine Baker.
After Life was commissioned by Music of Remembrance and was premiered on May 11, 2015 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA.
Estimated Length: This double-bill of one-act operas will run approximately 90 minutes from start to finish.
• Josephine: 30 minutes
• Brief Pause: 10 minutes*
• After Life: 50 minutes
*Please be aware that, due to the intimate nature of the performance space, there will be no intermission between operas. A brief pause of approximately ten minutes will take place for a scenery change, but patrons are asked to please remain seated during this time.
There will be no late seating. Ticketholders are encouraged to arrive up to an hour prior to their performance start and enjoy exploring the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.
After Life & Josephine is Sponsored by
Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust
Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim on eminent international opera and concert stages, leading performances with Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, among many others. This season, she performed Violetta in La Traviata with Edmonton Opera and reprises the role of Bess in Porgy and Bess with Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Grange Park Opera in the UK. Upcoming engagements include a reprisal of her performance of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road, a piece she previously performed at its world-premiere at Carnegie Hall with Oratorio Society of New York, and a role debut as Aida in Aida.
Kira Dills-DeSurra is from Petaluma, CA, and earned her artist diploma and master of music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and her bachelor of music from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining Opera Colorado, Dills-DeSurra was a Central City Opera Apprentice Artist (and was award the Central City Opera Guild Award in 2017), as well as part of the Chicago Opera Theater Young Artist Program. This season with Opera Colorado, Dills-DeSurra will perform the mainstage roles of Flora Bervoix in La Traviata and Gertrude Stein in After Life, and cover Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, as well as sing that role for the Student Matinee performance. As part of the company’s touring productions, she performs Hansel in Hansel and Gretel; and Lady Capulet and Stephano in Romeo & Juliet. Other recent roles include an Actress in Sir David McVicar’s production of Elektra at Lyric Opera of Chicago; her debut as Vera Boronel in a co-production of The Consul by Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater; and the Second Lady in The Magic Flute at Central City Opera.
Sponsored by Gayle & Gary Landis
Originally from Lansing, MI, Nicholas Kreider obtained both his bachelor and master of music degrees from Michigan State University, under the tutelage of Professor Richard Fracker. Since graduating, he has been a Bel Canto at Caramoor apprentice artist and a Crested Butte Summer Music Festival young artist. This season will be his second as an Opera Colorado Artist in Residence; during the 2017-18 season, Kreider performed the role of Dandini in the touring production of Cinderella, as well as on the mainstage as Customs Sergeant in La Bohème and 1st Nazi/SS Officer in the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me. This season, he will perform the mainstage roles of the Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata and Pablo Picasso in After Life, as well as Antonio in the Student Matinee of The Marriage of Figaro. As part of the company’s touring productions, he performs the Father in Hansel and Gretel and Capulet/Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet.
Sponsored by Dr. Stephen L. Dilts
Praised for her bell-like and crisp tone, native Houstonian soprano Rebekah Howell is making her mark as a versatile stage artist with “plenty of high notes” (The Herald Times). During the 2018-19 season with Opera Colorado, she performed Girl in After Life, and will cover Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, in addition to singing that role for 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 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
Hailed by the American Academy of Art & Letters for music of “inexhaustible imagination, wit, expressive range and originality,” composer Tom Cipullo is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), the Arts & Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters (2013), the 2018 Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize (for his opera Mayo), and the 2016 Argento Chamber Opera Composition Award (for After Life). He has received commissions from dozens of performing ensembles, and he has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Liguria Study Center (Italy), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), and the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Bavaria). The New York Times has called his music “intriguing and unconventional,” and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has called him “an expert in writing for the voice.” Cipullo’s music is recorded on the Naxos, Albany, CRI, PGM, MSR, Centaur, and Capstone labels, and is published by E.C. Schirmer, Oxford University Press, and Classical Vocal Reprints. Cipullo’s critically-acclaimed opera, Glory Denied, is one of the most frequently performed 21st-century operas.
Born and raised in Bellingham, WA, David Mason’s award winning collections of poetry include The Buried Houses (1991), The Country I Remember (1996), Arrivals (2004), the verse novel Ludlow (2007), and Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade: 2004 – 2014. A children’s book, Davey McGravy, appeared in 2015. He has also published a memoir, two collections of essays, several anthologies, and a poetry textbook, Western Wind. His work appears in Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TLS, Poetry, The Hudson Review, and many other publications. As a librettist, Mason collaborated with Lori Laitman on her opera The Scarlet Letter, which had its world premiere with Opera Colorado in 2016; and on an opera adaptation of Ludlow, for which Mason received the 2009 Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize. He also wrote the libretto for her oratorio, Vedem. He has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Greece. Mason served as Colorado poet laureate from 2010 to 2014. He teaches at Colorado College.
Andrew Altenbach brings an energetic ingenuity to his symphonic and operatic conducting that garners him national attention as a musical leader of his generation. Critically acclaimed for his deep sense of musical style and nuance, Altenbach has conducted a vast repertoire with such companies as Minnesota Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Birmingham, Opera Africa, Milwaukee Opera Theater, Opera on the James, and MassOpera. Recent engagements include the Boston Conservatory Opera program in Valencia, Spain, debuts with the Miami Music Festival and Peninsula Music Festival, and a return to the Lakes Area Music Festival. Altenbach is is Music Director of Opera at the Boston Conservatory and the Brookline Symphony, and serves as Artistic Director of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble.
Israeli director Omer Ben Seadia has quickly established herself as one of the fresh new voices in opera to watch. Upcoming productions include Ariadne auf Naxos at Cincinnati Opera, The Barber of Seville at Opera Colorado, and Utah Opera’s short opera project. Previous productions include: Elektra at the Canadian Opera Company, Amahl and the Night Visitors with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Steal a Pencil for Me (world premiere) at Opera Colorado, Idomeneo at Wolf Trap Opera, Tosca at Houston Grand Opera (revival), Yardbird at Atlanta Opera, Faust at Tulsa Opera, La Bohème, L’italiana in Algeri, and A Streetcar Named Desire at Opera Santa Barbara, Considering Matthew Shepard with Cincinnati Opera, L’elisir d’amore at Naples Opera, Don Pasquale, St. John Passion at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Così fan tutte at the University of Michigan, and Roméo et Juliette at the International Vocal Arts Institute. Ms. Ben Seadia has also taught and directed scenes programs at Santa Fe Opera, Merola Opera Program, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Ann Piano is pleased to be designing for Opera Colorado’s mainstage. For the past 16 years, she has run the Opera Colorado costume department and designed costumes for the company’s educational touring productions. In 2012, she won a True West “Best Costume Design” Award for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at The Curious Theatre Company in Denver, Colorado. In 2009, she was nominated for a Henry Award for Enchanted April at Miner’s Alley Playhouse, Golden, Colorado. Piano received a BFA in Fashion Design from Stephens College in Columbia, MO.
Molly Tiede-Schroer is excited to design her first regional opera with Opera Colorado after serving as the associate this past year on Steal a Pencil for Me, Falstaff, and La Traviata, as well as the upcoming The Marriage of Figaro in May. Other associate credits include: Boston Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Signature Theater, Vineyard Theater, Two-River, George Street Playhouse, Roundabout Theater, The Alley and many others. Molly is also an assistant professor of lighting design at Ohio University. She thanks Opera Colorado for the opportunity to work with such an incredible team and outstanding artists. For more info: MollyTiedeDesign.com. For Susie Bee.
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.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Tom Cipullo’s After Life & Josephine
- 28 Mar
- 01 2019