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Opera is Lit


…literature, that is!

Musicologist Camellia Adams curates an event that aims to explore the connection between music and English-language text. From the early Baroque in England to contemporary African American poetry, Opera Grand Rapids artists will showcase pieces of literature superbly set to song.


Venue

Sweet House

254 Fulton Street E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Join us in the Hazel Vandenberg Auditorium in this charming, historic home.


Performers

Avalon Cutts-Jones | Soprano

Avalon Cutts-Jones is a Grand Rapids, MI native who comes from two musical families.

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Her predecessors made their mark in the gospel music industry through quartet groups such as The Wings of Faith Jrs, The Pilgrim Wonders, The Pilgrim Angels, and the Wonder Boyz. Under their influence her love for music was birthed. Avalon is known for her vocal versatility, performing different genres such as R&B, gospel, neo-soul, and classical. Earning her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at Grand Valley State University, she has had the opportunity to be the special music for the 2019 commencement ceremony at Van Andel Arena as well as the Inauguration of GVSU’s first female President Philomena V. Mantella. Avalon had her first role with Opera Grand Rapids in Matthew Aucoin’s opera Second Nature. She has also played the role of Rosa Parks in Douglass Tappin’s opera I Dream with Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina. Avalon can be found performing throughout the Midwest. “A choir girl with quartet roots who loves jazz harmonies while performing classical with a neo-soul vibe. Meet Avalon.”

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Alexandra Galla | Mezzo-soprano

Alexandra Galla, mezzo-soprano, is thrilled to be singing with Opera Grand Rapids for the 2021-22 season.

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A native of Traverse City, Alexandra has been performing with Opera Grand Rapids for three seasons as a chorus member in Don Giovanni (2021), La Traviata (2019), and The Magic Flute (2018). In 2019 she made her debut as Pitti-Sing in the company’s production of The Mikado and in 2018 was the winner of Opera Grand Rapids’ Collegiate Vocal Competition. Alexandra is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s School of Music (2018), and with the university performed roles in a variety of operatic productions including Le Nozze di Figaro, The Beautiful Bridegroom, and An Embarrassing Position. Alexandra also has solo experience in sacred works including Verdi’s Magnificat and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and cantatas 4 & 112. Alexandra now works full-time on the Opera Grand Rapids staff as the Box Office and Development Manager.

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Jon Lovegrove | Tenor

Jon Lovegrove, tenor, has been with Opera Grand Rapids since 2007.

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He’s performed such roles as the 2nd Priest/2nd Man in Armor (The Magic Flute), tenor soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Shem (Noah’s Flood), and Remendado (Carmen), along with numerous productions as a member of the chorus. In recent years, Jon has performed with West Michigan Opera Project as Sam (Susannah) and the Baroque on Beaver music festival as the tenor soloist for Mozart’s Requiem. Other performances have been with GVSU Opera Theatre as Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Kent Philharmonic Orchestra as Rodolfo (La Bohème), 2nd Act Opera as Timothy (Help, Help, the Globolinks!), and Shadblow Theatre as Mr. Bumble (Oliver! In Concert) and Ewart Dunlop (The Music Man). His upcoming performances are with West Michigan Opera Project as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) and the Holland Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

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Kohl Weisman | Bass-baritone

Kohl Weisman is bass-baritone, multi-instrumentalist, and composer living in Jenison.

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There, he performs; offers voice, piano, and guitar lessons at the Jenison Academy of Music; and makes music for video games and film. Kohl graduated from Yale College studying Chinese and Literary Translation, and he got his start in opera with Yale Baroque Opera Project’s restorations of works by Cavalli with credits including the title role in L’Egisto, Arsamene in Xerse, and Plutone in Orfeo. He is currently working on music and story for the mobile game Kryptomon and is collaborating with neoclassical Chinese poet Lizi on a song cycle.

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Tina Gorter | Accompanist

Tina Gorter, collaborative pianist, serves as a staff accompanist at Western Michigan University.

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She is the pianist for the University Chorale and Collegiate Singers and collaborates with faculty members, guest artists, and numerous students for performances. In addition to her positions at WMU and KMC, she currently serves as the pianist for the Southwest Michigan Vocal Festival and frequently substitutes for the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Tina is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at Michigan State University. She holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance with an emphasis in collaborative performance from Western Michigan University under the direction of Lori Sims and Dr. Silvia Roederer and an undergraduate degree from the University of Montana where she studied with Steven Hesla.

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