The Marriage of Figaro
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
July 18, 2019 at 7:30 PM & July 20, 2019 at 7:30 PM
1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Stage Director: Margaret Jumonville
Conductor: Codrut Birsan
Assistant Conductor: Richard Latterell
Assistant Stage Director: Diane Machin
Musical Preparation: Jeeson Eun
The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) is set in Count Almaviva’s castle in Seville in the late 18th Century. It is based on Beaumarchais’s 1784 play La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro, a sequel to his earlier play, Le Barbier de Séville (The Barber of Seville), familiar to opera audiences through Rossini’s great opera (Mozart’s opera premiered in 1786; Rossini’s premiered in 1816). In Le Barbier, Count Almaviva, with substantial help from Figaro, wooed and won the lovely Rosine away from her crusty old ward and would-be husband, Dr. Bartholo. In The Marriage of Figaro, Beaumarchais continued their story. The Count has married Rosine but their marriage has gone sour because of his philandering. Figaro has quit barbering and is now the Count’s major-domo. He is engaged to Suzanne, who is Countess Rosine’s maid — and the Count’s intended conquest. Old Bartholo is back to seek revenge on Figaro for taking Rosine away from him, with the help of the slimy music-master, Don Bazile. Adding to the fun are an amorous teenager, a scheming old maid, a drunken gardener, and a silly young girl. Much happens on a single “folle journée” — a crazy day. Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, took this popular play, removed “political” content that would have offended the Viennese imperial censors (the French Revolution was only a few years away), and faithfully translated the rest into Italian — the customary opera language of the day. With Mozart’s masterpiece of a score, the result was a witty yet profound tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.
Running Time: 3 hours with intermission
Running Time: 3 hours with intermission
Carlos Suarez - Figaro
Student of the Bachelor of Singing at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, under the Chair of the teacher Minerva Hernández Gastélum. His repertoire as a Soloist includes works such as Bach's Cantatas 80 and 106, Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Gounod’s Mass of Saint Cecilia, Schubert’s Mass in G, Liszt’s Via Crucis, among others.In 2016, he debuted singing the role of Doctor Malatesta in the opera Don Pasquale by Donizetti. He has recently played Argenio in Imeneo by Händel, Il Poeta in Prima la musica e poi le parole by Sallieri, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni by Mozart. He is also part of the Baroque Workshop of Master Horacio Franco. He recently participated as a Soloist performing Carmina Burana accompanied by the Symphonic Orchestra of the University of the State of Hidalgo. He has sung in important venues in Mexico such as the Silvestre Revueltas Music Hall of the National Conservatory of Music, the Bicentennial Theater of the Mexiquense Cultural Center, the Ollin Yoliztli Hall, Manuel Doblado Theater, the Lago Forum, the National Museum of Art, the National Museum of the Viceroyalty, the Manuel M. Ponce Hall of the Palace of Fine Arts, among others.
Count - Andrew Hinnau
Andrew Hannau is a musician who has studied voice and piano for the past 16 years. He graduated from DePaul’s Undergrad Vocal Performance program in 2017, and is currently taking his second year off before Grad School. During that time, he has been fortunate to participate in many competitions and auditions, including Casa Italia, in which he won the Turano Family Vocal Scholarship. That same year, he placed 3rd in the Joseph P. Glimco Jr. Vocal competition here in Chicago. He’s performed in many opera’s during his time at DePaul, with roles such as Henry from Street Scene and Betto di Signa from Gianni Schicchi. Within the past 3 years, Andrew has also had the privilege to spend 5 weeks each summer in Italy performing in the Summer Arts program: Musica Nelle Marche. With this program he has performed roles such as Dandini, Gianni Schicchi, Rigoletto, and Marcello, and at the start of his third year he was promoted as an assistant to the program. Upcoming roles in Chicago are Count Almaviva with Chicago Summer Opera, and Marcello with MIOpera. As someone who comes from the small town of Simsbury, Connecticut, he is incredibly thankful for all of the opportunities that have come from pursuing a performance career. He would like to thank his parents for teaching him discipline and perseverance at a young age. Without it, his life would not be what it is today. He would also like to thank Allan Glassman, Jeff Ray, and Marc Embree. Each one of these Vocal Professors have provided Andrew with the talent and education he needs to move forward everyday in this difficult art. Andrew is proud to have earned a degree in something that he loves to do, and looks forward to hopefully one day show his talent to audiences all over the world.
Count - Seth Tack
Seth Tack, baritone, is making his role debut as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as a part of Chicago Summer Opera’s 2019 season. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Seth performed the role of Pistola in Verdi’s Falstaff with the Drake Opera Theatre in February 2019. In the fall of 2018, Seth was a finalist in the Iowa Chapter NATS Competition, placing 3rd. Last July, Seth participated in Oberlin in Italy’s festival in Arezzo, Tuscany, performing the roles of Guccio and ensemble in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and La Rondine, respectively, as well as the title character in a duet from Mozart’s Don Giovanni for an opera scenes recital. Earlier that summer, Seth played the role of Le Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen in a production by the outreach program the “Des Moines Opera Project,” which mounts full-scale opera productions that are free to the public. In the spring of 2018, Seth took his first venture into Mozart, performing Papageno in Drake Opera Theatre’s production of Die Zauberflöte. This fall, Seth will be starting his senior year at Drake University before graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance.
Countess - Katherine Petersen
Soprano, Katherine Petersen, specializes in the performance of Russian Art Song and is a frequent recitalist touring throughout the Midwest and neighboring states. Recently, she sang the role of Bessie Throckmorton in Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company’s production of Merrie England and was a soloist in the Folks Operetta program Operetta in Exile: The Music Silenced by the Third Reich. Other 2018/2019 highlights include the role of Brigitta in Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, the roles of the Counsel and the Lady of the Lake in Transgressive Theater-Opera’s double bill of Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and Masque at Kenilworth, and Lady Ella in the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company production Patience. Over the summer she sang the title role in the Folks Operetta production of The Csárdás Princess by Kalmán for which she was praised as “radiant” by the Chicago Tribune (7/9/18) and “immaculate” by Chicagoland Musical Theatre (7/11/18). Previous operatic highlights include the roles of Annina in La Traviata, Valencienne in The Merry Widow (Opera on the Edge), and Mimi in La bohème (Opera on the Edge), all with Opera Columbus. Prior concert performances include Schubert’s Mass in G, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer 1915, Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas brasileiras No.5, and Handel’s Messiah. She has appeared as Musetta in La bohème at the Bay View Music Festival and as the title roles in Rachmaninoff’s Francesca di Rimini and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet with the Russian Opera Workshop in Philadelphia. Her other roles include Pamina, Die Zauberflöte; Micaëla, Carmen; The Mother/Sandman, Hänsel und Gretel; Una Conversa, Suor Angelica.
Countess -Elizabeth Cohen
Soprano, Elizabeth Cohen, is an Albany New York native. Elizabeth began her musical career at age 9 as part of Celine Dion’s children's chorus for the Let’s Talk About Love Tour. She began formal training at 15 when she auditioned and was selected for the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Program after being dared to audition by her mother. Elizabeth has performed in numerous concert halls and theaters both here in the U.S. and in Europe. Elizabeth’s most recent roles include: (Miss Jessel) Turn of the Screw, (Donna Anna) Don Giovanni, (Antonia) Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and (Magda) La Rondine. Elizabeth’s concert experience includes: soloist in the Schubert Mass in E-flat, Beethoven Mass in C, Bard’s Winter Song Fest, Dawn Upshaw and Friends, and First Songs a concert world premiere. Elizabeth was the 2018 winner of the Raphael Bundage award in the National Orpheus vocal competition and was a semifinalist in the International Joy in Singing Competition, where she performed a recital at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center. Elizabeth has a deep love for art song and as a passion project performed the complete Clairieres dans le ciel by Lili Boulanger with Javier Arrebola while attending Indiana University. Elizabeth holds degrees in Vocal Performance and Political Science from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree from Bard College’s prestigious Vocal Arts Program under the artistic direction of Dawn Upshaw.
Countess Cover - Maria Servodidio
Maria Servodidio, American soprano, will cover Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and appear in scenes as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Chicago Summer Opera this season. This past season, she portrayed a street singer in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, under the baton of Marin Alsop. She also appeared as the Soldier in Zach Redler’s The Falling and The Rising with Peabody Opera Theatre. She made her Peabody Opera debut last season as Girl 1 in the outreach performances of Errollyn Wallen’s ANON. Her past roles include Meg March in Mark Adamo’s Little Women and Prince Orlofsky in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with Vanderbilt Opera Theatre. During the summer of 2018, Maria was a young artist with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble portraying Contessa Almaviva in a scenes performance of Le Nozze di Figaro and appearing in the ensemble of Don Giovanni.Maria, originally from New Jersey, recently received her Master in Music from Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Ah Young Hong. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from Vanderbilt University.
Susanna - Evangeline Ng
Hailed by The Straits Times for her “impressive voice”, Taiwanese-Singaporean Evangeline Ng is a promising young soprano “destined for great things.” Currently based in New York City, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music at the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. She has won many competitions, such as the First Prize at the ASEAN Vocal Competition, Second Place in the NAFA Vocal Competition, Gold Award at Asia Art Festival, among others. Trained in acting and dancing, Evangeline has appeared in numerous productions with Singapore Repertory Theatre, Singapore Lyric Opera, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and NAFA Orchestra. She made her professional operatic debut with the Orchestra of Music Makers as the Sandman (Hansel and Gretel) and subsequently performed as Damigella (L’incoronazione di Poppea) with New Opera Singapore. She trained in Urbania, Italy at Scuola di Belcanto in the summer of 2018, where she performed Servilia and Barbarina in scenes. She most recently performed Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Norina (Don Pasquale) in scenes, as well as being featured in a Liederabend at the Manhattan School of Music. Other roles/scenes include Gretel, Adina, Zerlina and Juliette. She also participated in Warren Jones’ Singers and Pianists’ Seminar this school year. Evangeline is thrilled to be making her role debut as Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) with the Chicago Summer Opera. She is a recipient of the MSM Merit Scholarship and has been kindly sponsored by The Trailblazer Foundation.
Susanna - Zyda Culpepper
Zyda Culpepper, soprano, made her role debut as Susanna in the Maryland Opera Studio’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, where she was praised for “demonstrating both the charm and hardness required for the contrivances at court.” Other roles with the Maryland Opera Studio include: Greta Fiorentino in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Jessie in Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, covering Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, and Sarah Palmer in the world premiere of Theo Popov’s Town Hall. Mrs. Culpepper earned her Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from The University of Alabama where she was seen as: Anna Reich in Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Caroline in the world premiere of Amir Zaheri’s Freedom and Fire! A Civil War Story, and Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In 2016, she was a young artist at Greensboro Light Opera and Song where she performed as Angelina in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. Mrs. Culpepper has been a featured soloist with the Bach Cantata Series at the University of Maryland College Park where she earned her M.M. in Opera Performance. She is looking forward to returning to the role of Susanna as an artist with Chicago Summer Opera.
Susanna Cover - Ava Brown
Ava Brown is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and has loved music and singing since she was a little girl. In February 2019 Ava performed with the Indianapolis Opera in Concert under the direction of Maestro John Schmid. In 2018 Ava earned 1st place in the National Schmidt Competition and was also awarded the American Choral Directors Association Award. Ava has won multiple gold medals and performed in competitions and concerts in the Midwest and East Coast. In 2016 she was invited to sing for President Obama’s Cabinet members. Ava is a Freshman at Oberlin Conservatory as a Classical Voice student. During Ava’s high school years she trained in Classical Voice at Indiana University with Jane Dutton and Butler University with Mary Anne Scott. Ava has participated in Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, Boston Conservatory’s Vocal Intensive Program, and Butler University’s Vocal Intensive.
Cherubino - Rachel DiBlasio
Rachel DiBlasio is a mezzo soprano from Philadelphia. Her most recent appearance was as Penelope in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria at Temple University. Past performances include Annio of La Clemenza di Tito and Armelinde of Viardot's Cendrillon. She holds a B.A. in Music from Westminster Choir College where she studied with Katherine Johnson. She is currently pursuing a M.M. in Vocal Performance at Boyer College of Music of Temple University while studying with Dr. Kathryn Leemhuis."
Cherubino - Jade Espina
An Arkansas native, mezzo-soprano Jade Espina is entering her second year of graduate studies at Boston University, pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance as a student of Penelope Bitzas. Last May, she earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Bachelor of Music Education-Choral Emphasis at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she was a conductor with the College of Music Middle School Ensemble program and a teaching assistant with Boulder Children’s Chorale. She sang in multiple productions with the Eklund Opera Program, such as The Merry Widow (Praskovia/Olga), Dialogues of the Carmelites (Sister Mathilde), and Red Hot and Cole (Irene Castle). She is currently in her first year as a teaching fellow for Boston Children’s Chorus. In April, Ms. Espina performed her first role with Boston University’s Opera Institute as Lapák in The Cunning Little Vixen. In March, she performed Robert Schumann’s song cycle Frauenliebe und-leben Op. 42 in collaboration with DMA collaborative pianist, Regan Siglin, as well as the mezzo-soprano solo in John Corgliano’s Fern Hill in collaboration with BU Singers and BU Chamber Orchestra at Boston University. This summer she will sing the role of Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Miami Music Festival; cover Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Chicago Summer Opera; and attend Aspen Music Festival’s Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute.
Marcellina - Jenna Sears
Jenna Sears is currently a sophomore at Indiana University studying vocal performance and choral education under the tutelage of Carlos Montane. Previous credits include Zweite Dame/Zweite Knabe in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar’s production of Die Zauberflöte, Duchess of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers, and chorus member in Dialogue of the Carmelites and Bernstein's Mass. Sears has also been a participant in Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion amongst other oratorios and chamber ensembles and has been a soloist with the Indiana Wind Symphony.
Marcellina - Christy Sze-pui Li
Mezzo soprano, Christy Sze-pui Li, has obtained MA Music in Vocal Performance with distinction at the University of York, and MA Music degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She had vocal lessons with Siu-kwan Chan, Chiara Angella, Silvio Zanon, and Yvonne Seymour. She is the First Place winner of the Australian Concerto & Vocal Competition in 2018, and the First Prize winner of Golden Classical Music Awards (New York) International Music Competition in 2017. Being selected as the Most Outstanding Singer in the 2nd International Opera Exchange Masterclass in 2016, she received a scholarship to study singing in Italy. She has performed in opera, musicals and recitals in Italy, Australia, the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen. She sang the role Maria in The Sound of Music, Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillon, Sorceress and Spirit roles in Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas. Christy also sang as the Alto soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Haydn's Nelson Mass and Bach’s St John Passion. Being invited twice by Nanshan Grand Theatre, Shenzhen, for holding her vocal recital in recent years, she achieved great success and was highly commended by local press.
Bartolo - Gabriel Shapiro
Gabriel Shapiro holds a master’s degree in cello performance from Boston University and has studied voice for the past ten years. He worked with Colette Boky and Marie-Annick Béliveau at the University of Quebec at Montreal before completing a graduate diploma at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, where he sang the role of Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone. In addition to musical performances, he took part in four student productions of the University of Montreal Theatre, where he was awarded the student engagement prize for his portrayal of Dr. Chemla in Yasmina Reza’s Heureux les heureux. In the summer of 2017 Gabriel sang the roles of Masetto and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy. In addition to musical studies, he holds certificates in German and Italian language and culture and a Ph.D. in public health from the University of Montreal.
Barbarina - Gwendolyn DeLaney
Gwendolyn DeLaney, soprano, grew up in Boise, Idaho before moving to Cleveland to pursue her Bachelors of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Dr. Mary Schiller. Most recently she appeared as a featured dancer and as une matelote in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie. This fall at CIM she was seen as La chauve-souris in L’enfant et les Sortileges and worked on the world premiere of The Electric Luchador with the composer, Kevin Krumenauer. She also recently made her professional debut in Speed Dating Tonight with Opera Idaho. She looks forward to the summer where she will be singing Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro with Chicago Summer Opera and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with Lah-sow Austin.
Barbarina - Kaori Iwasaki
Kaori Iwasaki is a soprano from Japan studied in Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes School of Music. During the 2017/2018 season, she sang one of bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro. While completing her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Senzoku Gakuen School of Music in Kawasaki, Japan, Ms. Iwasaki performed the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni,covered Musetta in La Boheme and sang as the soprano soloist of Beethoven's Symphony No.9. Kaori has also participated with International Masters Academy of Opera, performing the role of Le Feu in L’enfant et les sortilèges. She has also performed excerpts in scene performance the role of Gilda from Rigoletto with Opera in Park Slope based in Brooklyn, New York.
Basilio - Kameron Alston
Tenor, Kameron Alston is a senior vocal performance major at Baylor University, and is highly involved in the Baylor Opera Theater program. he has performed the role of Boy 1 in Bernstien’s Trouble in Tahiti, Mr. Erlanson in Sondheim’s a Little Night Music, Il Podesta in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera and has sung in numerous scenes. Kameron has also has performed the roles of Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance with Spotlight on Opera and Geppetto in Pinocchio the Opera with Opera in the Ozarks.
Basilio - Juan Tello
Juan Tello began his training in 2014 with the internationally recognized tenor Óscar Roa by private tutoring. Afterwards, he began his formal musical studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City in 2017 with the soprano Minerva Hernández as personal instructor. His repertoire as a chamber music soloist includes Händel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Schubert’s Mass in G Mayor, Charpentier’s Magnificat and Zelenka’s Omnium Sanctorum Mass. Recently, he was selected to join the barroque music workshops at the Conservatory lead by mezzo soprano, Nurani Huet and internationally recognized flautist Horacio Franco. In these workshops, his repertoire ranged from repertoire by Schütz to Bach cantatas. During his first year at the Conservatory, he sang the roles of Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart’s "Le Nozze di Figaro" and the title role of Händel’s "Imeneo".
Antonio - Steven Auster
Baritone Steven Auster, coming from Indianapolis, Indiana is currently in his third year of undergraduate studies at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He is currently under the tutelage of Professor Patricia Stiles. With Indiana University Opera Theater Steven has performed in Don Giovanni, L’etoile, Lucia Di Lammermoor, the Dialogue of the Carmelites, and The Elixir of Love. Steven is thrilled for his first debut as a principal this summer with Chicago Summer Opera.