Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Tom Cipullo’s After Life & Josephine
- 28 Mar
- 01 2019
INTIMATE WORKS IN AN INTIMATE SETTING
Opera Colorado transforms one of the galleries of the new Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art into a 100-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.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Estimated Length: One hour and forty minutes, including one 20-minute intermission
Performed in English
Please Note: All performances of After Life & Josephine are sold out. To add your name to the waitlist for tickets, please call 303.468.2030. There is a limit of two tickets per patron.
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, and Opéra Comique in Paris, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, among many others. This season, she performs 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. She will also sing the role of Josephine Baker in Tom Cipullo’s Josephine for Opera Colorado.
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 role of 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 at Opera Colorado, she will perform the mainstage roles of Annina in La Traviata, Girl in After Life, and Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro. She will also cover Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, in addition to singing the 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 that displays “inexhaustible imagination, wit, expressive range and originality,” composer Tom Cipullo’s works are performed regularly throughout the United States and with increasing frequency internationally. The winner of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2013 Sylvia Goldstein Award from Copland House, and the 2013 Arts & Letters Award from the American Academy, Mr. Cipullo has received commissions from Music of Remembrance, SongFest, Joy in Singing, the Cecilia Chorus, the New York Festival of Song, the Mirror Visions Ensemble, Sequitur, Cantori New York, tenor Paul Sperry, mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Hart, the Five Boroughs Music Festival, pianist Jeanne Golan, soprano Martha Guth, soprano Hope Hudson, the Walt Whitman Project, baritone Jesse Blumberg, and many others. He has received multiple fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and awards from the Liguria Study Center (Bogliasco, Italy), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Bavaria), and ASCAP. 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.” Other honors include the Minneapolis Pops New Orchestral Repertoire Award (2009) for Sparkler, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Art Song Award (2008) for the song-cycle Of a Certain Age, and the Phyllis Wattis Prize for song composition from the San Francisco Song Festival for Drifts & Shadows (2006).
Maestro Andrew Altenbach brings an energetic ingenuity to his symphonic and operatic conducting that continues to garner him national attention as a musical leader of his generation. Critically acclaimed for his deep sense of musical style and nuance, with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works, Altenbach has conducted for such companies as Minnesota Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Birmingham, Opera Africa, Milwaukee Opera Theater, Opera on the James, and MetroWest Opera.
Upcoming 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 in the summer of 2018.
Altenbach is Music Director of Opera at the Boston Conservatory and serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble as well as Music Director of the Brookline Symphony Orchestra. He recently served as Artistic Director of the Boston Opera Collaborative and has held coaching and conducting staff positions with several prestigious American opera companies, including the Santa Fe Opera, Music Academy of the West, Cincinnati Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Merola Program.
Native Israeli stage director Omer Ben Seadia has quickly established herself as one of the fresh new voices in opera to watch. With a varied repertoire spanning from theater to opera, and from classic to modern repertoire, her work is continuously committed to telling human stories; Surviving the Amazing Opera Race at Dayton Opera; and Così fan tutte at the University of Michigan. Recently she has directed Gounod’s Faust at Tulsa Opera and made her debut at Santa Fe Opera.
Ms. Ben Seadia’s various directing credits include the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me at Opera Colorado; a revival production of Tosca at Houston Grand Opera; an original production of L’italiana in Algeri and a revival production of A Streetcar Named Desire at Opera Santa Barbara; the regional premiere of Considering Matthew Shephard, a fusion oratorio by Grammy nominee Craig Hella Johnson, produced by Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble; Pursuing the Dream and Let’s Cook Up an Opera at Cincinnati.