by Giuseppe Verdi
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Maestro James Meena | Conductor
James Meena consistently earns critical acclaim for his artistic vision and dynamic presence on the podium in concert, opera and ballet. Mo. Meena serves as Artistic Director for Opera Carolina (Charlotte) and Artistic Director for Opera Grand Rapids.
Recent engagements include acclaimed performances of Tosca at the Luglio Festivale Trapani in Sicilia, a double-bill of Rachmaninoff’s rarely-performed Aleko paired with Pagliacci as well as La fanciulla del West,both with the restored New York City Opera; Le nozze di Figaro for Teatro Sociale Rovigo Italy, La fanciulla del West for five prestigious Italian theaters: Teatro del Giglio, Lucca Italy, Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Teatro Alighieri di Ravenna, Teatro Pavarotti di Modena and Teatro Goldoni di Livorno, plus Rigoletto, The Magic Flute, Carmen and Yvgeny Onegin with Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids, plus a Gala concert with Renee Fleming and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra; Porgy & Bess with Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest for their Summer Festival, and La bohème with the prestigious Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, La bohème with Opéra de Montréal, Masterworks Concerts with Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Il barbiere di Siviglia , La fanciulla del West, and La traviata with Opera Carolina. Next season, Mo. Meena makes his debut with the Shanghai Opera.
A guest conductor, Maestro Meena has lead performances in opera houses throughout North America, including Madama Butterfly , Pagliacci/Gianni Schicchi , Le nozze di Figaro, and La traviata for L’Opera de Montreal; Michigan Opera Theatre for Die Zauberflöte; Edmonton Opera for Falstaff , Otello, Macbeth and Yvgeny Onegin; and Manitoba Opera, where he conducted the première of Transit of Venus by the Canadian team of composer Victor Davies and librettist Maureen Hunter, recorded for national broadcast on the CBC. His Opera Carolina performances of Faust, Eugene Onegin, and Il trovatore are captured on recording for NPR World of Opera.
With extensive experience in opera, ballet, and symphonic music, Maestro Meena held principal and resident conducting posts with the Cleveland Ballet, Toledo Symphony, and Toledo Opera in addition to guest conducting appearances that include a nationally televised Thanksgiving concert for the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony; performances of Stravinsky’s tour de force La Sacre du printemps with the National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan; concerts with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in the new Cairo Opera House; and symphony concerts with the orchestra of the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, the Orchestra della Toscana in Italy.
Mo. Meena was has been engaged as guest conductor with orchestras and opera companies in the United States, Italy, Taipei, Korea, Canada and Mexico including the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Washington Opera, Opera Pacific, Portland Opera and the Utah Opera. On opera stages, he has conducted legendary singers including Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, James McCracken, Mignon Dunn, Marilyn Horne, Jerome Hines, Diana Soviero, Jerry Hadley, Mark Delavan and Marcello Giordani.
From Voix des Arts of Mo. Meena’s most recent performances of Turandot: “Under the baton of James Meena the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra delivered an awe-inspiring performance of the score. Maestro Meena’s conducting was notable for the manner in which, like the great past interpreters of the operas of Richard Strauss, he coaxed sounds from the orchestra that compellingly fulfilled the lush late-Romantic promise of the melodic lines while also always sounding like an opera composed in 1924. The influence of Debussy has almost never been more discernible than in Maestro Meena’s handling of the score. His work in Charlotte has been consistently perceptive, but he found in Turandot—a score by which many conductors have been defeated—an ideal outlet for the controlled ecstasy of which he is a master.”
Since 2001, Mo. Meena has presented six regional premières in Charlotte, including Cold Sassy Tree and Susannah by Carlisle Floyd, the company’s first productions of Der Rosenkavalier, Nabucco, Macbeth, and Les pêcheurs des perles, and the regional premiere of Richard Danielpour’s new American opera, Margaret Garner, starring Denyce Graves in April 2006. Mo. Meena is the lead producer for Douglas Tappin’s new work I Dream, created for the 50th commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
James Meena is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. His principal conducting teachers include Thomas Mihalak (New Jersey Symphony), Robert Page (Cleveland Orchestra), Rudolph Fellner (Pittsburgh Opera), and Boris Halip (Bolshoi Ballet), with whom he also studied violin.
Mr. Meena has served as Assistant Conductor to Andre Previn, Gunther Schuller, Michael Tilson Thomas, Anton Guadagno, and Anton Coppola. For several seasons, he was Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Opera, where he made his operatic début conducting Die Zauberflöte. He made his professional début with the Pittsburgh Symphony conducting Haydn’s monumental oratorio The Creation. Mo. Meena was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by his undergraduate alma mater in 1997 for his commitment to visionary excellence and growth of cultural institutions.
Guy Montavon | Director
Guy Montavon was born in Geneva, where he gained a diploma as a bassoon player at the Conservatoire and worked as Assistant Director at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
He then studied Musical Theatre Direction with Götz Friedrich at the Hamburg College of Music and the Performing Arts. As assistant to the director Gian-Carlo del Monaco, Guy Montavon worked at a number of opera houses including those in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Bregenz, Barcelona, and the New York Metropolitan Opera. After completing his studies in 1986, he directed at the Hamburg State Opera, in Livorno, Pisa, Lyon, Montpellier, and Saarbrücken opera houses among others.
From 1985 to 1988, he was Assistant Director and dramaturge at the Bremen Theatre. From 1992 to 1995, he was permanently employed as Main- Director and Deputy Opera Manager at the Opera House in the Federal City of Bonn, Germany. Guy Montavon staged Bizet’s Carmen for the opening of the new Finnish National Opera in December 1993 in Helsinki.
From 1996, Guy Montavon was both artistic and managing director of the Stadttheater Gießen. Guy Montavon is a member of the jury for a number of well-known singing competitions, including those in Paris, Barcelona, Verviers, Montreal, International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna among others. Guy Montavon is General Manager of the Theater Erfurt since August 2002.
He is a member of the Board of the German Stage Association, Thuringia Region, and General Secretary of the CPDO (European Theatre Directors’ Guild) in Paris since 2007.
Austin McWilliams | Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master
Austin McWilliams, conductor and countertenor, strives to present compelling, intriguing music that is directly relevant to the communities in which it is performed.
He is an Adjunct Professor at Western Michigan University, where he conducts the university operas and assists the choral division. Austin is the Co-Artistic Director of the Ad Astra Music Festival, a classical music festival in Russell, Kansas, known for its innovative and unique programming. In 2019 at Ad Astra, Austin conducted the outdoor premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s new opera Proving Up, and he will conduct the world premiere of Anna Pidgorna’s opera about the life of Trudy Furney in 2021. He is a faculty member at Missouri Scholars Academy, an annual, month-long governor’s school for gifted high school juniors. In 2019, Austin earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at WMU under Kimberly Dunn Adams. There he designed a recital on HIV/AIDS awareness in collaboration with several community organizations. Austin graduated in 2017 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering with highest honors. He hails from the illustrious micropolitan hub of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where he received his formative training from Rachael Bonk.
Alexandra LoBianco | Aida
American soprano Alexandra LoBianco, whom the Seattle Times exclaimed, “gave a subtle but impassioned performance” as the title role in Aida at Seattle Opera, has established herself as a dramatic soprano of unequaled versatility, musicality and consistency.
An international presence, Ms. LoBianco recently stepped in for an ailing colleague as Leonore in Fidelio for her debut with the Wiener Staatsoper while under contract for the title role in Turandot. Subsequent appearances with the Wiener Staatsoper included performances of Helmwige in Die Walküre, as well as the Brünnhilde, cover while on tour in Japan.
In the 2019/2020 season, Ms. LoBianco will make her house and role debut as Marianne Leitmetzerin in Die Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera. She will also return to the Santa Fe Opera, performing the Foreign Princess in Rusalka, a role she will join Canadian Opera Company for, and understudy the title role in Tristan und Isolde. She will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Wagner’s Ring Cycle, performing Helmwige and understudying Brünnhilde; she will also return to North Carolina Opera to sing Brünnhilde in Siegfried and debut with Palm Beach Opera as Turandot.
In the 2018/19 season, Alexandra LoBianco returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for three projects: the covers of Brünnhilde in Siegfried, Chrysothemis in Elektra, for which she went on in role, and performances of the Fourth Maid in Elektra. She also joined North Carolina Opera for the title role in Tosca. Symphonic projects included Senta in Der fliegende Holländer with Baltimore Concert Opera, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Madison Symphony, where she previously sang Rachmaninoff’s The Bells.
Operatic highlights of previous seasons have included the title roles of Aida and Tosca with Opera Colorado and Minnesota Opera, respectively, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Seattle Opera, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw with The Dallas Opera, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera with Florida Grand Opera, the prima donna in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera, and Helmwige with Lyric Opera of Chicago. At Des Moines Metro Opera, Ms. LoBianco has performed the title role in Turandot and Minnie in La fanciulla del West. Of her Turandot, Opera Today wrote, “Alexandra LoBianco is well remembered here for her feisty Minnie in a recent season. If Fanciulla is a Big Sing for the soprano, Princess Turandot is a Big Sing on Steroids… Ms. LoBianco is short of physical stature, but makes up for it with potent spinto vocalizing that has its own towering presence.”
Additional repertoire includes Sieglinde in Die Walküre, Leonora in Il trovatore, the title roles in Suor Angelica and Madama Butterfly, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mimi in La Bohème, Magda Sorel in The Consul and Brünnhilde in Jonathan Dove’s abridged Ring Cycle. A native of Saint Petersburg, Florida, Alexandra LoBianco received her education in voice, theater and clarinet, and currently resides in Chicago, where she trains the next generation of opera singers and advocates for music education.
Carl Tanner | Radames
American tenor Carl Tanner has established his international career performing regularly in the world’s most prestigious opera houses such as The Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris, Washington National Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Real, Madrid, New National Theatre of Tokyo and the Liceu de Barcelona amongst others.
In December 2018 Mr. Tanner performed the title role of Otello on opening night at the Metropolitan Opera to great acclaim. The occasion also marked Gustavo Dudamel’s house debut. Immediately prior to this, Carl performed the role at the Bolshoi Opera and Savonlinna. Upcoming performances include return to Grange Park Festival for Maid of Pskov , the San Diego Opera and Opera Carolina for Aida, a debut with the Gerencia Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro Prado del Rey (RTVE) in Madrid, Canio with Opera North Carolina, Turandot with The Pacific Symphony, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera.
His repertory also includes such roles as Radames (Aida), Chénier (Andrea Chénier), Moby Dick (Moby Dick), Hermann (Pique Dame), Don José (Carmen), Canio (I Pagliacci), Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana), Calaf (Turandot), Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut), Dick Johnson (La fanciulla del West), Cavaradossi (Tosca), and Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), just to name a few.
The 2017/18 season saw Carl’s return to the Washington National Opera as Radames in Aida, and the Metropolitan Opera for a new production of Tosca (cover) and Il Trovatore (cover) the role of Samson in Samson et Dalilah with Opera North Carolina and Turandot with San Diego Opera amongst other projects..
The 2016/17 season opened with performances of Otello with Opera Hong Kong, closely followed by Radames with Opera de Massy, a concert of Verdi and Puccini arias with the Dallas Symphony as well as a Christmas Concert with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center. He also made his Korean National Opera debut performing Il Tabbaro and I Pagliacci , in addition to performing in concert in the US.
In 2015/16 he performed Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton, followed by Aida at Colorado Opera, Otello (title role) at Liceu de Barcelona and Il Tabarro conducted by Antonio Pappano at ROH Covent Garden in London.
Other recent engagements include Verdi’s Aida at the Metropolitan Opera Opera, Tosca at Deutsche Oper, La fanciulla del West at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie de Liège, Madama Butterfly at the Opéra National de Paris, Il Trovatore at the Semperoper in Dresden and at the Staatsoper in Hamburg, Aida at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Turandot in Hamburg, Carmen at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the baton of Zubin Mehta, at the Teatro alla Scala and at the Teatro San Carlo, La Gioconda in Berlin and the Teatro Real de Madrid and Tosca in his Covent Garden debut.
On the concert stage he has performed diverse repertoire prestigious symphony orchestras including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto USA Festival and the Kasugai Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
Reginald Smith, Jr. | Amonasro
Baritone Reginald Smith, Jr. has been lauded as a “passionate performer” (New York Times) with an “electric, hall-filling” (The Baltimore Sun), and “thrillingly dramatic” (Opera News) voice that is “one of the most exciting baritone sounds to come along in years” (Opera News).
Reginald, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a Grand Finals winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Reginald Smith, Jr.
Baritone | 2019-2020
Reginald Smith, Jr.’s 2019-2020 season opens with his much-anticipated debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Jim in Porgy and Bess, followed by Amonasro in Aida with the Houston Grand Opera and the Cincinnati Opera and Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Atlanta Opera. His orchestral appearances include Christmas Pops Concerts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Oregon Symphony. Future engagements include stage debuts with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera.
Last season, Reginald Smith, Jr. appeared as Jake in Porgy and Bess with Cincinnati Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Memphis, Amonasro in Aida with Opera Idaho, and returned to the rosters of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. His orchestral engagements included the baritone solo in Carmina Burana for his return to the Houston Symphony and the bass solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at New Jersey Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, and Symphoria.
The 2017-2018 season included Mr. Smith’s company debuts with Opera Hong Kong as Amonasro in Aida, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Senator Charles Potter/General Airlie/Bartender in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers and Portland Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto. He returned to Opera Memphis to make his role debut as Taddeo in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. In conjunction with the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative’s research, Mr. Smith sang the role of Jake in a concert performance of the new, critical edition score of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Additionally, he made his concert debut with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as making his Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut as the guest soloist and narrator for the Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops.
This spring, he made his Lincoln Center debut as the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Chorale. Mr. Smith was thrilled to return to his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, to perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Lexington Singers and the University of Kentucky Chorale.
During the 2016 – 2017 season, Mr. Smith made company debuts with the San Francisco Opera, the Dallas Opera, Opera Memphis and Opera Carolina, as well as making his concert debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop.
Mr. Smith has appeared in operatic performances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Toledo Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. In concert, Mr. Smith has performed with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Lexington Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra (GA), North Carolina Symphony, Johnson City Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia. Previous operatic highlights include La Boheme (Marcello), Die Fledermaus (Falke), Madama Butterfly (Sharpless), La Traviata (Giorgio Germont), The Pirates of Penzance (The Pirate King), Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Capulet) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva). Mr. Smith’s previous concert engagements includes performances of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, the Fauré and Duruflé Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, Handel’s Messiah, and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette.
In addition to receiving recognition from the Dallas Opera Guild Competition, the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition, Mr. Smith has won first place in the National Opera Association Competition: Scholarship Division, Orpheus Vocal Competition: Young Artist Division, George London Vocal Competition: Top Prize (George London Award), Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition: Top Prize, received a 2015 Sarah Tucker Study Grant, and he has received a 2016 Career Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation.
Deborah Nansteel | Amneris
“A formidable display of vocal power and dramatic assurance,” mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel is posed for international stardom having already performed in almost all of the leading opera companies in the US.
She made her début with The Metropolitan Opera as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, her début with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette, her Carnegie Hall début in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and her New York Philharmonic début alongside Eric Owens in In Their Footsteps: Great African American Singers and Their Legacy.
Recently, Ms. Nansteel performed the role of Mother/Ensemble in the world première of Blind Injustice with Cincinnati Opera and the role of Brigitta in Bard Music Festival’s Die tote stadt in concert. In the last season she made a series of returns to the Washington National Opera as Emilia in Otello and Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. Upcoming, she makes her long awaited role début as Amneris in Aida with Toledo Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Opera Tampa, returns to The Metropolitan Opera for their production of The Fiery Angel, performs the role of Mother in Blue with Minnesota Opera, performs as a soloist in Mahler’sSymphony No. 2 with Spokane Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem with St. Ignatius Loyola.
Since her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she has returned for Nabucco, Il Trovatore, and as Siegrune in Die Walküre. She originated the role of Lucinda in the world première of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s adaptation of Charles Frazier’s thrilling novel Cold Mountain at Santa Fe Opera. Other notable engagements include Granma in The Grapes of Wrath with the Michigan Opera Theatre, a reprisal of the role of Lucinda in Cold Mountain with North Carolina Opera, the role of Grace in The Summer King with Michigan Opera Theatre, Second Lady in The Magic Flute with the Pacific Symphony, The Mother in The Consul with Opera Saratoga, Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand for the Mainly Mozart Festival, Nettie Fowler in Carousel and Elvira Griffiths in An American Tragedy and Mary in Der fliegende Holländer with Glimmerglass Opera Festival and Berta in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program.
Ms. Nansteel completed the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where she performed many roles including Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Curra (cover Preziosilla) in La forza del destino, Paula (cover) in Florencia en el Amazonas, as part of a world-première performance of Douglas Pew and Dara Weinberg’s new opera Penny, as well as The Cat in Tony Award winning composer Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me. As a mainstage artist, Nansteel returned there as Flora in La Traviata, Dame Marthe in Faust, which she also performed at Dayton Opera, and as the Marquise of Birkenfield in La fille du regiment with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, which is featured in the documentary film RBG.
Sought after for her performances on the concert stage, Ms. Nansteel has performed Händel’s Messiah with the Memphis Symphony and Charleston Symphony; John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs with the Oregon Mozart Players; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Seattle Symphony and Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro Sinfonico in Milan under the baton of Maestro Xian Zhang; gala concerts with Opera America, at the Smithsonian, and additional venues throughout New York; and various additional concerts including Stravinsky’s Les noces, Penderecki’s Credo, and Händel’s Israel and Egypt.
A house favorite of Seattle Opera, Ms. Nansteel made her main stage début as La suora infermiera in Suor Angelica, sang Juno and Ino in Händel’s Semele, Foreign Woman in The Consul and, as a former member of Seattle Opera’s young artist program, Giulietta in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno and Maddalena in a performance of Rigoletto.
Ms. Nansteel is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she earned an Artist Diploma in Opera and a Master of Music in Voice. At CCM, she performed the roles of Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Marguerite in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Mother Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia, and Mother Goose in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. She also received Bachelor of Music degrees in both Vocal Performance and Vocal Jazz Studies from East Carolina University and currently studies with Diana Soviero.
Recent awards include Second Place in the Sun Valley Opera competition in Seattle, the Andrew White Award and Seybold/Russel Award in the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition, and a Winner in the National Orpheus Vocal Competition. She also recently earned the highly-esteemed Betty Allen Award and a grant from the Sullivan Foundation.
Jordan Bisch | Ramfis
American Bass Jordan Bisch is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
Mr. Bisch made his main stage debut there as the Second Knight in Parsifal, and has since appeared in productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Sonnambula, Aida, Idomeneo, and Romeo et Juliette, and on tour in Japan in Don Carlos. He has appeared with many important opera companies in the US including the San Francisco Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Carolina and the Florida Grand Opera. In Europe he has appeared at the Théâtre du Capitol in Toulouse and at the Verbier Festival under the baton of James Levine. His many roles include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Kecel in The Bartered Bride. He also appeared in the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Amelia at the Seattle Opera.
In concert Mr. Bisch has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in a performance of Aida with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Tanglewood Festival in a performance of the Mozart Requiem with Michael Tilson Thomas, and the Tucson Desert Song Festival as Méphistophélès in Le Damnation de Faust. He also appears on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Shostakovich’s Orango (Deutsche Grammophon), conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonnen.
A native of Vancouver, Washington, Mr. Bisch won second place in the 2009 Operalia competition. Other awards include winner of the 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Final, recipient of the 2005 Sara Tucker Study Grant, and a recipient of the Richard Tucker Career Grant in both 2006 and 2009.
Zaikuan Song | King
Zaikuan Song, an operatic bass from China, received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in vocal performance from China Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China, and Performance Diploma at Michigan State University College of Music in 2016. He is completing his D.M.A in vocal performance at Michigan State University College of Music.
Mr. Song made his first New York debut as Zuniga (Carmen) with Martina Arroyo´s Prelude to Performance. He successfully performed the roles of Sarastro (The Magic Flute) with Opera Grand Rapid and Toledo Opera and Banco (Macbeth) with Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina. He has sung the roles as Germano (La Scala di Seta), Simone (Gianni Schicchi), Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Mr. Emerson( A Room with a View), Changwu Ye in the Chinese Opera(The Savage Land) and Ariodate (Xerxs)with MSU Opera Theater. He won the first place of the National NATS competition in advanced college /Independent Studio men division in Las Vegas, NV, June 2018. He won the Honors Competition at Michigan State University in 2019. He was the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions 2020 Midwest Region Finalist, third prize.
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