September 16, 2023
Betty Van Andel Opera Center
Kick off the 2023-24 Season with Opera Grand Rapids. Spend a beautiful mid-morning among friends enjoying Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle while dining on brunch fare and imbibing in a mimosa bar. Proceeds will ensure Opera Grand Rapids starts the 2023/24 Season on strong financial footing.
Georges Bizet’s romantic, one-act operetta about love and omelets was composed for a music competition when the composer was just 18 years old. A youthful vitality permeates this story set in 19th century Padua, Italy, in the home of the Mayor, his wife Veronica, and his love-struck daughter, Laurette. She’s enamored of the ever-resourceful Silvio, an army captain, who dons one disguise after another to infiltrate the household, in order to win the hand of the girl he adores.
Performance in English.
Buy tickets online or by calling the Box Office at 616.451.2741.
Jennie Judd Reyes | Laurette
Soprano, Jennie Judd Reyes is thrilled to be back with Opera Grand Rapids after singing Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with the company this past year.
This spring, Reyes will be a featured soloist in Craig Hella Johnson’s, Considering Matthew Shepard under the direction of Austin McWilliams at Fountain Street Church. You can also find her in Vox GR, a professional choir ensemble based in Grand Rapids.
Past performances include soprano soloist in Bach’s “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” with the Holland Bach Society, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (Opera Grand Rapids), Cunegonde in Berstein’s Candide, and Maria in The Sound of Music (Shadblow Theatre).
Ms. Reyes is a proud alumna of The University of Michigan (M.M. In Vocal Performance) and Wheaton College (B.M. In Vocal Performance) where she studied with Carmen Pelton, David Daniels, and Carolyn Hart. She resides in Holland, Michigan where she is the Operations Manager for the Holland Chorale and teaches voice lessons to young singers.
Rachel Mills | Veronica
Praised for her “comedic timing and sense of theatrical flair” (Near North Now) as well as her “lovely, clear voice” (The Rapidian), Rachel Mills is a soprano from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who has performed in operatic performances in the United States, Europe, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
Rachel has performed in several recent seasons with Opera Grand Rapids, appearing as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Papagena in The Magic Flute and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Rachel also sang Zerlina with Opera Carolina in 2022 and Papagena with Toledo Opera in 2018. Other roles include First Boy in The Magic Flute (Welsh National Opera), Anne in A Little Night Music (Castleton Music Festival) and Polly in Beggar’s Opera (Opera’r Dddraig).
Rachel recently appeared as a soloist in Handel’s The Messiah at Dubai Opera. She is a passionate recitalist and has performed a series of recitals with pianist Katalin Zsubrits in Budapest, Sopron, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Grand Rapids, MI and Fairfield, CT. She has performed Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras with members of the Welsh National Opera Orchestra in 2015, and a year later as a guest soloist at New York University Abu Dhabi with French cellist Yan Levionnois. Rachel enjoys contemporary and experimental music and has worked with students at the Art Institute of Chicago in a light and noise installation called within IMMITANCE. She sang Elliott Carter’s Of Challenge and Of Love as well as Joseph Schwantner’s Two Poems of Agueda Pizarro in recital at Lutkin Hall in Evanston, Illinois.
Rachel holds a Master of Arts in Opera Performance from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a Master of Music in Voice and Opera Literature from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from Arizona State University.
Jon Lovegrove | Captain Silvio / Pasquin / Doctor Miracle
Jon Lovegrove, Tenor, has performed with opera companies and ensembles for several years.
He has performed such roles as Cavaradossi (Tosca) with the Hawaii International Music Festival; B. F. Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Father (Hansel and Gretel), Sam (Susannah) with West Michigan Opera Project and Kalamazoo Philharmonia; 2nd Priest/Man in Armor (The Magic Flute), Shem (Noah’s Flood), Remendado (Carmen) with Opera Grand Rapids, along with numerous productions as a member of the OGR chorus; Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) with GVSU Opera Theatre; Rodolfo (La Bohème) with the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra; Timothy (Help, Help, the Globolinks!) with 2nd Act Opera; Mr. Bumble (Oliver! In Concert) and Ewart Dunlop (The Music Man) with Shadblow Theatre. He has also performed as the tenor soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, the Elkhart County Symphony, and the Holland Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the Zeeland Civic Chorus; Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Grand Rapids Community College Choirs and Percussion Ensemble; Mozart’s Requiem with the Baroque on Beaver music festival; Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Opera Grand Rapids.
Kohl Weisman | The Mayor
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. Kohl also played the role of Bill Martin in the world premier production of Stinney: An American Execution with Opera Grand Rapids.