Revenge Is a Fool’s Game
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Premiered March 11, 1851, La Fenice (Venice, Italy)
Verdi’s Italian masterpiece opens Opera Colorado’s 40th Anniversary Season, featuring unforgettable music, including the effervescent “La donna è mobile.” The jaded jester Rigoletto serves the reckless Duke of Mantua and his hedonistic court. Little does Rigoletto know the womanizing duke has seduced his naive daughter, Gilda. How far will Rigoletto go to protect his only family?
November 5, 8, 11, 13 | 2022
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Performing Arts Complex
Performed in Italian, with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat and English Supertitles above the stage.
Estimated Length: 2 hours, and 40 minutes
Content Warning: Rigoletto contains sexual content and depictions of violence.
*Join us one hour prior to each performance at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for a free and insightful pre-performance.
Costumes provided by Sarasota Opera Association, Inc.
Sets provided by the New Orleans Opera Association.
The 40th Anniversary Season is generously sponsored by Marcia & Dick Robinson.
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Stephen Powell enters his fourth decade as a leading baritone in opera companies and orchestras around the globe. With USA performances in San Diego, Detroit, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Nashville, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Miami, as well as international credits in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Wexford, Ireland; Amsterdam, Paris, Singapore, Zurich, London, Hong Kong, Montreal, Toronto, Rome, and Leipzig, Mr. Powell maintains a busy performance schedule.
He has been a member of the voice faculty at Mannes School of Music in The New School in New York City for the past six years, teaches privately out of his home outside of Philadelphia, and is a recurring guest instructor at the Potomac Vocal Institute in Washington, DC. He is also in demand for Master Classes on college campuses and young artist programs around the country. In addition to Jonathan Leshnoff’s Third Symphony, he will appear on two other new releases in 2020; his first solo CD, American Composers At Play (Acis), and Odyssey Opera’s world premiere recording of Norman Dello Joio’s The Trial at Rouen (BMOPsound).
Mr. Powell earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition (piano emphasis) from Northwestern University, his Master of Music and Certificate in Performance from DePaul University in Vocal Performance, and spent two years as a young artist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s apprentice program. He is a member of NATS, AFTRA, AGMA and NARAS.
Mr. Powell was born and raised in West Chester, PA, and currently resides near his hometown in beautiful Chester County with his wife, soprano Barbara Shirvis, and their two sons, Benjamin and Zachary, both of whom are pursuing careers as singers and jazz musicians.
Coloratura soprano Sharleen Joynt has been praised for her “silvery, sparkling, substantial and resonant soprano” (Die Deutsche Bühne), her “scintillating high range, reminiscent of the most beautiful moments of Mady Mesplé” (Opernwelt), and “an artistic command that leaves the listener breathless” (Deutschland Radio). She will perform the role of Gilda in Rigoletto with the Florida Grand Opera in the spring of 2022. Recently, Sharleen reprised the role of the Controller Jonathan Dove’s Flight for Seattle Opera, which was filmed and released for streaming in April of 2021. Early in the 2019-20 season, she made a role and company début as Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera. Prior engagements include performing the role of Winnie in Lembit Beecher’s Sky on Swings, a new opera about Alzheimer’s starring Frederica von Stade with Opera Philadelphia, and Musetta in La Bohème with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria. She also sang Glière’s Concerto for Coloratura, Op. 82 with the Guelph Symphony, performed as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Charleston Symphony, and as Cunegonde in Candide with the Ravinia Music Festival. She graduated from Mannes College of Music in New York with her Master’s in Vocal Performance and made her Carnegie Hall debut singing the soprano solo in Schubert’s Mass in G. She has been a prizewinner in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, the George London Foundation Competition, the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Licia-Albanese Foundation Competition, the Canadian Music Competition’s International Stepping Stone, and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition.
Known for his “voluptuous elegant tone,” and a “robust tenor with baritonal heft,” American lyric tenor Joshua Dennis is a star on the rise. Mr. Dennis, a champion of new works, had the honor of originating two roles: Minnesota Opera’s world premiere production of The Fix (“Shoeless” Joe Jackson) and Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child (Prince Frederic) with the Santa Fe Opera. Additionally, he was heard in Huang Rou’s Paradise Interrupted at the MGM Grand in Macau and was the host of Santa Fe Opera’s virtual event Songs from the Santa Fe Opera. Additionally, he performed in the world premiere of Nadia Boulanger’s La ville morte (Leonard) with Catapult Opera. In the 2022-23 Season, he performed in Opera Colorado’s Rigoletto (Duke of Mantua) and as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with both the Santa Fe Symphony and Pacific Symphony.
French-American bass Christian Zaremba, hailed for “stealing the evening” (The Washington Post) and being “ideally cast as the assassin Sparafucile, emerging from the shadows with his seething bass-baritone,” is equally at home under the lights of an operatic drama as on a concert stage. In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Zaremba made his role debut in the title role of Le nozze di Figaro with Austin Opera and his company debut with L’Opéra de Montréal as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. In Europe, he sang Sarastro with the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and performed Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra. Other previous engagements include as Lesbo in an HD Broadcast of Sir David McVicar’s Agrippina with the Metropolitan Opera; Colline in La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Portland Opera and Opera Omaha; French General in Silent Night at Austin Opera, Nourabad in Les pêcheurs des perles at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sparafucile in Rigoletto at Opera Theatre of St. Louis; The King of Egypt in Aïda with the National Symphony Orchestra; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Passagallo in L’Opera Seria, and Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera; Sarastro and Ashby in La fanciulla del West with Minnesota Opera; and the bass soloist in staged productions of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion with the Glimmerglass Festival and Portland Opera.
American mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy is a former New England Regional Winner of the 2000 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2001. Her roles there include Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lola in Cavalleria rusticana, Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri, Rosette in Manon, Mercedes in Carmen, Third Handmaiden in Sly, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, Third Naked Virgin in Moses und Aron, Flower Maiden in Parsifal, Dragonfly in L’Enfant et les sortileges, and Olga in The Merry Widow. Her long association with The Met continued with more recently roles as she sung Fiona in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, the Novice and Abbess in Suor Angelica, and covered the roles of Sycorax in The Enchanted Island, The Pilgrim in L’amour de Loin, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Maddalena in Rigoletto. Eddy returns to Opera Colorado after her role debut as Meg Page in Falstaff in 2018. Other recent successes include role debuts such as, the title role in Orfeo ed Euridice at Portland Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Inland Northwest Opera, Paula in Florencia en al Amazonas at Pittsburgh Opera, Adalgisa in Norma at Boston Lyric Opera, and Mistress Revels in Prince of Players at Florentine Opera.
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.
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.
Christopher Mattaliano has directed productions at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Dallas Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater, among many others. He has also worked internationally at L’Opera de Nice, L’Opera de Montreal, Spoleto’s Festival dei Due Mondi, Norwegian National Opera and New National Theatre of Japan.
A dual citizen of Italy and the United States, Mr Mattaliano has enjoyed a long career in the US as General Director at Portland Opera and Artistic Director at Pine Mountain Music Festival, and was a member of Opera America’s Board of Directors for many years. He is a teacher of renown, with credits at Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, Princeton University, the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program and Mannes College of Music.
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
- 13 2022