Joseph Mechavich, Conductor | Daniel Witzke, Director
Maureen McKay, Pamina | Jonathan Boyd, Tamino
Daniel Belcher, Papageno | So Young Park, Queen of the Night
Camille Jasensky, Papagena |Harold Wilson, Sarastro
Joseph Gaines, Monostatos
Handsome Tamino is coerced into killing the high priest Sarastro while rescuing Pamina, the beautiful daughter of the Queen of the Night. He journeys far and wide to find her and along the way he meets a cast of unusual characters, many in the service of the evil Queen. This new Opera Colorado production focuses on the triumph of good over evil and what we do when faced with difficult decisions.
“Armed with a silvery, precisely aimed voice, natural stage presence and the kind of beautifully detailed acting you don’t see often enough on the operatic stage, McKay turned in a smart, sexy and thoroughly charming performance.” – WASHINGTON POST
Sung in German with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat.
The 2014-2015 Season is sponsored by Ken and Donna Barrow.
Meet The Artists
Joseph Mechavich | Conductor
Regarded as a conductor of authority and warmth, Joseph Mechavich is known for the exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance, as well as the personal and career-defining relationships he has forged with a number of opera companies and orchestras. Mechavich presided over Jake Heggie’s highly acclaimed opera, Moby Dick, for both San Diego Opera and Calgary Opera, as well as productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Washington National Opera, Porgy and Bess for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Roméo et Juliette for Florida Grand Opera. Engagements for the 2013-14 season include La bohème for Kentucky Opera and L’Incoronazione di Poppea for New England Conservatory of Music, among others. Additional upcoming engagements for 2014 and beyond include the Calgary Opera, Kentucky Opera, San Diego Opera. In 2010, Mechavich was named Principal Conductor of Kentucky Opera. Previously, he held the position of Principal Conductor for Opera Birmingham from 2004-2010, Director of Music for Orlando Opera from 1998-2000 and Cover Conductor for The Santa Fe Opera from 2004-2007.
Daniel Witzke | Director
German stage director Daniel J Witzke works extensively in both opera and musical theatre in Europe and the United States. He was originally trained as a professional singer and actor in Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg, pursuing a career onstage. As staff director at the Wiener Staatsoper he was responsible for directing, reviving and assisting on more than twenty productions including Nabucco, Tristan und Isolde, Tosca, Aida and Roméo et Juliette. Daniel J Witzke was appointed artistic director for the original German production of Elton John’s Broadway-Hit Musical Aida. He has worked as an audition, acting and career coach for nearly 20 years and has directed, conceived and written charity galas, fundraiser, cruise ship shows and major special events for stage and television in the US, Europe and North Africa. Daniel J Witzke was appointed resident director for Seattle Opera’s 2012/13 season. In the season 2013/14 he collaborated with renowned Scottish stage director Paul Curran on Baden-Baden 1927 for Gotham Chamber Opera in NYC. Daniel J Witzke currently directed new productions of Don Giovanni for Opera San Jose and The Magic Flute for West Bay Opera in Palo Alto. More projects for 2014 include Aida for Opera San Luis Obispo and Cole Porter’s Something for the Boys with 42nd Street Moon at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco. In the summer of 2014 he will direct Lee Hoiby’s one-woman opera Bon Appétit! for the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival in Mountainhome, PA. He is a member of AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists).
Maureen McKay* | Pamina
Following performances of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, the Washington Post hailed soprano Maureen McKay as the “undisputed star of the show,” and further exclaimed, “Armed with a silvery, precisely aimed voice, natural stage presence and the kind of beautifully detailed acting you don’t see often enough on the operatic stage, McKay turned in a smart, sexy and thoroughly charming performance.” In the 2013-14 season, she makes debuts with the Bayerische Staatsoper in one of her most frequently performed roles, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Cleveland Orchestra for Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Saito Kinen Festival as Nannetta in Falstaff, both under the baton of Fabio Luisi, and Washington National Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She also returns to the Metropolitan Opera roster for the company’s production of Der Rosenkavalier. Other future engagements include her return as a guest to the Komische Oper Berlin, a return to Portland Opera and debuts with San Diego Opera and Opera Colorado. Last season, she returned to the Komische Oper Berlin for Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, both new productions, as well as for Mozart’s Requiem conducted by Henrik Nánási and further performances of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and Musetta in La bohème in addition to joining Washington Concert Opera for Lisa in La sonnambula.
Jonathan Boyd | Tamino
Returning to Opera Colorado following his 2013 appearance as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, tenor Jonathan Boyd continually performs to great acclaim throughout Europe, North America and South America. This past season, he made his Scottish National Opera debut as the title role in Werther, reprised his signature role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Portland Opera, and sang the title role in Faust with Austin Lyric Opera. Next up, Jonathan appears in concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, and with the Fort Worth Symphony in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He also performs the role of Anatol in Vanessa with Opera Metz, as well as makes his debut with the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Peter Quint/Prologue in Turn of the Screw. Other recent engagements included his San Diego Opera debut in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick as Ishmael, his Atlanta Opera debut as Edgardo in Lucia Di Lammermoor, the title role of Candide at the Portland Opera, Sam in Susannah with Florentine Opera and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with Mid America Productions at Carnegie Hall. Noted North American engagements from the past few seasons include his debut with Seattle Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, a role he also performed with Portland Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Daniel Belcher | Papageno
Winner of a 2010 Grammy Award, baritone Daniel Belcher has performed in many of the world’s music capitals and returns to Opera Colorado following his appearance in 2013 as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. With a 50-role repertoire, Belcher has championed roles from the Baroque to those composed expressly for him. He came to international attention in 2004 creating the role of Prior Walter in Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Belcher most recently created the role of Robert Kennedy in Robin de Raaff’s Waiting for Miss Monroe for his debut at The Netherlands Opera and Holland Festival. In the 2013-14 season, Belcher makes his debut with the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, Sweden in Kaija Saariaho’s Sombre. He will also return to Lyric Opera of Kansas City in the role of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, to Opera Omaha as Dandini in La Cenerentola and to Utah Opera as Ping in Turandot, and he will perform in recital at Houston’s Zilkha Hall, among other venues. He received a Robert Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation for his work with Wolf Trap Opera and the Sullivan Foundation Award. He received the Apprentice Artist Award from the Santa Fe Opera and the Young Artist Award and Outstanding Studio Artist Award from Central City Opera.
So Young Park* | Queen of the Night
A native of Pusan, South Korea, So Young Park currently is a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist with the Los Angeles Opera, where she performed the role of Gossip in The Ghosts of Versailles and will perform Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro and Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. This season, she also had the opportunity to make her debut with Los Angeles Philharmonic as a Soprano Soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy under the baton of Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. She has performed the Queen of the Night with Boston Lyric Opera, Aspen Music Festival, New England Conservatory and will perform the role with the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera (Miller Theater), the Glimmerglass Festival, and Opera Colorado. Ms. Park earned her Artist Diploma and Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory, where she performed the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Zerbinetta in the Prologue of Ariadne auf Naxos, Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice, Lisetta in the world premiere of the critical edition of Rossini’s La Gazzetta, and Adele in Die Fledermaus. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Seoul National University, where she graduated first in her class and performed the roles of Violetta in La Traviata and Gilda in Rigoletto. She performed the Queen of the Night in 2012 and the roles of Virtu and Damigella in The Coronation of Poppea in 2013 at Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Park has been honored as the 1st place recipient from the Y. A. Competition of Philharmonic Society of Arlington, the Forte International Music Competition in 2013, the NOA Caroline and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, and the Metropolitan International Music Festival Competition. Also, she won the 4th prize and Audience prize at Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, was a finalist at The Eleanor McCollum Competition by Houston Grand Opera, and a Quarter Finalist at the Competition in 2014. Future seasons bring Ms. Park to Opera Theatre of St. Louis in a major role.
Camille Jasensky* | Papagena
Camille Jasensky is excited to make her professional debut with Opera Colorado. A native of Tucson, AZ, Camille won first place in the Southwest Regional Classical Singer Competition, The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and The Wieck’s Handel Competition as well as performing the role of Esther in Handel’s Esther. Camille attended the Lamont School of Music at The University of Denver, under the instruction of Kenneth Cox and Sara Bardill. She performed the roles of Zerlina in Don Giovanni in 2014 and Laurie in Oklahoma! in 2013, as well as the soprano solo in Faure’s Requiem, Anne in The Merry Wives of Windsor scenes and Adele in Die Fledermaus scenes. Camille studied abroad in Vienna, Austria at the International Education of Students (IES) in 2012. Through the program, she worked with soprano Elizabeth Bice and performed Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and the role of Anne in A Little Night Music scenes in the IES Music Workshop. After graduating Cum Laude from the University of Denver, Camille performed the role of Rapunzel from Into the Woods with Ignite Theater, the soprano solo in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Evans Choir and the soprano solo in Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Kevin Padworski. Camille is a rising young performer who is thrilled to perform alongside the talented cast of The Magic Flute with Opera Colorado.
Harold Wilson* | Sarastro
American bass Harold Wilson’s 2013-2014 calendar features debuts with Hawaii Opera, as Timur in Turandot, Sarasota Opera as Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer and Dayton Opera for Ramphis in Aida and a return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover the Police Commissioner in Der Rosenkavalier. Wilson’s 2012-2013 season included his debut with Portland Opera as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, The French General in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia and returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Panthus in Les Troyens. He performed with Opera Birmingham as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Tulsa Opera for Ramphis in Aida. During the summer of 2013, he sang Emile de Becque in South Pacific with New Hampshire’s Opera North. As a member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin for five seasons, he sang over 30 roles with the company, including Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Zuniga in Carmen and the Hermit in Der Freischutz. He was heard on a new recording of Kurt Weill’s Eternal Road and also sang Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Brandenburgische Philharmonie Frankfurt.
Joseph Gaines* | Monostatos
Making his debut with Opera Colorado, Joseph Gaines is a versatile artist who has attracted the attention of opera companies and orchestras, and been recognized by audiences and critics for his beautifully sung, well-acted interpretations of character roles. He has appeared with the Pittsburgh Opera as Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Caius in Falstaff and Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, and with Central City Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly. On the concert stage he performed with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as Sellem in The Rake’s Progress, as tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah at St. Thomas Church in New York and with Teatro Grattacielo in their production of The Jewels of Madonna. This past spring, he appeared with Opera Philadelphia as Monastatos, returned to Pittsburgh Opera as Goro, and sang the four servants in an adaptation of The Tales of Hoffman and Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera for Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh. The current season includes appearances with Utah Opera as Pong in Turandot. He also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for their production of Falstaff. He will return to Central City Opera as Basilio and as Howard Boucher in Dead Man Walking.
*Opera Colorado Debut