by Ricky Ian Gordon
FRIDAY SOLD OUT
February 9 & 10, 2024 | 7:30 PM
Betty Van Andel Opera Center
FRIDAY SOLD OUT
Julia Mintzer | Director
An alum of the Royal Opera House’s Mentorship Programme, Julia Mintzer has been nominated for two Off West End Awards for Best Opera Production for Bluebeard’s Castle and Der Vampyr with Gothic Opera.
A 2017 National Opera Association Directing Fellow, her interactive theater piece Pizza Parlance was listed in Nombre Art Magazine’s “5 Must-Sees of Venice Biennale” and revived for NWR-Forum Düsseldorf and the Toronto Museum of Contemporary Art.
Julia’s participation in Dutch National Opera’s Towards a New Dramaturgy workshop was sponsored by Britten Pears Arts, and she recently directed a festival of American opera at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. She revived East West Street for Nova Touring at the Alliance Francaise in Washington DC, starring Katja Riemann and Laurent Naouri. Currently, she is developing Bread and Circuses: The Wrestling Opera with the support of a Bogliasco Fellowship and Arts Council England, and leading Hooran Studios, a team of Tehran-based animators, on Zal and the Phoenix, a multimedia show for children.
Her production of Savitri for Hampstead Garden Opera was the first fully staged opera in London since the start of the pandemic, hailed as “dignified and rewarding” by Opera Magazine and for its ‘“sensitive direction that traded in closeness and distance” by The Times. Julia led an all-female cast of La Bohème for MassOpera, hailed by The Theater Times as “a fascinating, high-energy production.” With the support of the Bogliasco Foundation, she co-created On Behalf of a Madman, premiered by Grand Harmonie and revived for The Maltings Theatre on US Election Day, praised by The Stage as “an inventive mashup.”
She directed the first full staging of Fidelio with historical instruments in America, with period orchestra Grand Harmonie at Princeton University. Julia was sponsored by the European Network of Opera Academies to direct excerpts from Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Opera Academy of Verona, and invited back by ENOA to direct and develop new work at the Helsinki Festival.
Julia has led seminars on the integration of technique and interpretation at the University of Cologne’s Institute for Art and Art Theory, and has been a guest lecturer at University of Liverpool, Catholic University, and New England Conservatory. Julia is a graduate of The Juilliard School with additional studies at Columbia University.
Julia holds a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in the United Kingdom. In the 2023/24 season, she will direct The Threepenny Opera for OVO Theatre Company at the Roman Theatre Festival in St Albans, with further performances at The Minack Theatre (Cornwall) and the Cockpit Theatre (London), co-directing with OVO’s artistic director Adam Nichols. Subsequent productions include Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Tibetan Book of the Dead for Opera Grand Rapids, Tosca for Devon Opera, and L’Elisir d’amore for Catholic University.
Tyson Deaton | Conductor
Known for his broad range of repertoire and versatility of style, American conductor Tyson Deaton has established a reputation for leading energetic and inventive performances.
With his musical roots firmly planted in the traditions of the standard operatic repertoire from the Baroque Era to Puccini and beyond, his affinity for contemporary works is also acclaimed by audiences and critics.
Deaton is frequently entrusted with the development and premieres of new works as a musical authority, specifically with vocal and orchestral writing. He led workshops for The Falling and the Rising, by Zach Redler and Jerre Dye, co-commissioned by the United States Army Soldiers’ Chorus and Field Band, and conducted the premiere of this work along with subsequent performances in New York City earlier this season. He has also worked on Matthew Peterson’s Voir Dire and Libby Larsen’s technologically innovative operatic version of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Other recent premieres include The Companion and Safe Word from Robert Paterson and David Cote’s opera triptych, Three Way, and Tarik O’Regan and Anna Rabinowitz’s The Wanton Sublime, both with American Opera Projects at Roulette in New York City.
Additional highlights include Hal Prince’s production of Candide with New York City Opera, American Modern Ensemble’s productions of Robert Paterson and Mark Campbell’s The Whole Truth, and Stewart Copeland and David Bamberger’s version of The Cask of Amontillado. Deaton has opened the Anchorage Opera season conducting Lucia di Lammermoor with the Anchorage Symphony while two other pinnacles of the Bel Canto canon, Norma, and Guillaume Tell, rounded out his season.
He joined San Francisco Opera for their production of Sweeney Todd, soon followed by his debut at Opera Birmingham with L’elixir d’amore. As guest conductor, he also played continuo for Le Nozze di Figaro at The Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center. He reprised this opera for his Kentucky Opera debut in 2020, following soon after the initial workshop of The Snowy Day for Houston Grand Opera.
Tyson Deaton made his Fort Worth Opera debut in the inaugural production of the “Opera Unbound” series with Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, and is heard conducting the premiere recording of this work on the Albany label. Lauded as “Best of 2013” in the Washington Post, it was also rated among the “12 Best Full-Length Opera Recordings of 2014” by OperaNews. Other digital releases include the Offenbach rarity L’île de Tulipatan (Albany), and with Julia Kogan, “In Jest,” (First Hand Records – UK) recorded at Champs Hill.
Adept on the concert stage as well as in the orchestra pit, Tyson Deaton has worked with musical forces ranging from intimate to those including the Louisville Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Anchorage Symphony, and The American Modern Orchestra. He has partnered with artists including Denyce Graves, Michael Norsworthy, Talise Trevigne, Linda Wang, Judith Kellock, Julie Landsman, Victoria Livengood, Craig Mumm, Othalie Graham, and Sherrill Milnes, among many others. Along with Steven LaBrie, he collaborated with the Jessica Lang Dance Company on a staged version of Die Schöne Müllerin at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “render[ing] the score with compelling artistry,” according to the New York Times.
Deaton has been presented in recital alongside Matthew Grills at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which included Benjamin Britten’s Canticle I, one of the featured events celebrating that composer’s centenary. He performs regularly with baritone Matthew Worth: their most recent program touches three centuries of the American musical heritage. A fervent advocate for the music of our time, Deaton has commissioned a number of works including David T. Little’s setting of To a Stranger, co-commissioned by The Walt Whitman Project of New York.
Deaton’s academic appointments have included those at the University of the Pacific and Lawrence Conservatory, and as an Artist-in-Residence at McGill University in Montreal. He has been a guest at Yale, Rice, and Carnegie-Mellon Universities, and others. The singers he has coached occupy the rosters of The Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Houston Grand Opera, Liceu-Barcelona, Paris Opera, The Barbican, Oper Frankfurt, La Scala and other major venues throughout the world.
As a clinician for both pianists and singers, he is often invited to give masterclasses and lectures on collaborative and operatic literature. For Opera America he has served as a panelist for Making Connections and Career Blueprints workshops, commissioning grants, and is a featured contributor to their ArtistLink publication. Included among Deaton’s adjudication activity, are the ASCAP Plus Composer Awards, the HGO Bauer Family Competition, Opera at Florham, and Sam Houston State Song Festival. He was a primary interviewee for an article centered around post-secondary classical vocal music education for ClassicalSinger magazine in the September 2013 issue.
Deaton’s extensive experience as a pianist, coach, recitalist, chamber musician, and his training and work as a singer, give him a unique perspective in understanding the demands of the whole performance as a conductor: above all, encouraging individual artistry at the highest level.
Tyson Deaton maintains his primary residence in New York City.
Erica Monroe | Costume Coordinator
Erica Monroe attended Kootenay School of the Arts in British Columbia for coursework in pattern drafting, tailoring, and advanced garment detailing.
She received her undergraduate degree in Literature from Calvin University and her masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from Grand Valley State University. She has worked for The House Theater Company and The Albany Park Theatre Project in Chicago, Illinois and Calvin University’s theater department as the costume shop manager. She has assisted as costume coordinator and head of wardrobe at OGR during productions of Aida, Cosi fan Tutti, Don Giovanni, Turandot, The Pirates of Penzance, and costume designer for Stinney: An American Execution and The Last American Hammer. Additionally, she has served as the costume designer for Grand Valley State University’s productions of A Minister’s Wife and The Importance of Being Earnest as well as the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s musical, Once on This Island.
Lauren Lenz | Stage Manager
Lauren Lenz (she/her) works as an opera director based in Detroit, MI.
Passionate about creating provocative and unique productions that are accessible to audiences of all kinds, her background has led to an appreciation for contemporary opera and modern reconstructions of classic works.
As part of working toward an inclusive process, she is also a trained intimacy choreographer and approaches directing as a collaborative, consent-based practice.
Nathan Gunn | The Reader
Nathan Gunn is widely acclaimed for his diverse performing career bridging the genres of opera, musical theatre, and recital.
Gunn grew up in South Bend, Indiana doing what most Midwestern boys do: playing sports, working hard at school, and spending time with his family. His interest in music became a passion during his junior year of high school when he was introduced to Mozart’s opera, Die Zauberflöte. Consumed by a desire to learn more,Nathan attended the University of Illinois (the third generation in his family to attend the school) to study music.
As a performer, Nathan is respected as an artist, musician, and singing actor. He has performed many of opera and musical theater’s greatest roles on the world’s most prestigious stages. Nathan has also been seen and heard on television, radio, video, and live simulcast performances, including the first ever Met in HD broadcast (The Magic Flute), in which he sang Papageno, one of his signature roles. In addition to Papageno, Nathan has reinterpreted classic roles such as Billy Budd, Figaro, and Don Giovanni, garnering many awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording (Billy Budd) and the Metropolitan Opera’s first ever Beverly Sills Award. Additionally, Nathan has been widely acclaimed for his ability to cross over into musical theater, including performances with the New York Philharmonic in Carousel and Camelot, as well as a televised celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday. Nathan has frequently collaborated with many stars of musical theater, including Mandy Patinkin, Kelli O’Hara, Audra McDonald, and Kristin Chenoweth.
Nathan believes that music is a living art form and must be nurtured to remain relevant. He has championed dozens of new songs, operas, and sung theater in a multitude of venues. His most recent project is a one-man autobiographical show produced and written by Hershey Felder, entitled Flying Solo, which has been lauded as a “riveting autobiographical musical [that] is a stunner both with its touching, relatable, family-centric narrative and Gunn’s entertaining, charismatic performing style (Broadway World review).” This coming year, Nathan and Julie Gunn will launch their new production company, Shot in the Dark, producing and performing cabaret shows which entertain the public and give young artists and hometown celebrities a platform to showcase their talents. Nathan and Julie are also often seen in recital and cabaret settings where they enjoy creating programs uniquely tailored to the special event.
Nathan is a professor and Swandlund Chair at the University of Illinois where he is co-director of Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, a comprehensive program embracing a broad continuum of opera and musical theatre, as well as the development of new works. At the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Nathan developed and founded the first ever Bachelor of Musical Arts in Lyric Theatre curriculum in the nation. The program is part of the School of Music at the University of Illinois and housed in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition to life as a performer, educator, and arts advocate, Nathan is an avid patron of the arts. Nathan and Julie Gunn consistently support pre-college music education and sponsor local cultural events in order to secure the future of the art form. Nathan and his family reside in Champaign, Illinois.
Jennifer Zetlan | Soprano
Soprano Jennifer Zetlan is internationally recognized for her artistry and captivating stage presence.
She has been seen and heard on opera and concert stages worldwide, as well as on Broadway. In the current season, she is seen as Eurydice in the deaf opera project Orpheus & Erica with Victory Hall Opera. Additionally, she will give the world premiere of Tribute to the Angels, a piece written for her by Louis Karchin with the Talea Ensemble and sing the role of Trujamán in Manuel de Falla’s El retablo del maese Pedro at the Kennedy Center with PostClassical Ensemble. Ms. Zetlan will also make an appearance with BASS (Brooklyn Art Song Society), singing contemporary art songs, and the Riverside Orchestra, singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Between March 2020 and this current season, Ms. Zetlan took part in numerous pandemic-based projects, including a multi-continent live Zoom production of Noor Inayat Khan’s Aède of the Ocean and Land presented by the Center for Contemporary Opera and a phone-opera-for-one production of To My Distant Beloved with On Site Opera. She was also covering on the Metropolitan Opera roster in productions of Matt Aucoin’s Eurydice and Glass’ Akhnaten.
The 2019-2020 season included the reprise of her role as Ellen in Ellen West (Ricky Ian Gordon/Frank Bidart) with the Prototype Festival, and a reprise of her role as Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg (Derrick Wang) with Opera Carolina and Opera Grand Rapids, and she was the cover of Queen Tye in Akhnaten (Glass) with the Metropolitan Opera. Other recent season highlights include joining the San Francisco Symphony as Xenia in Boris Godunov with Michael Tilson Thomas, appearing as soprano soloist in Carmina burana with the Kansas City Symphony (Ryan McAdams, cond.), Fauré’s Requiem at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Kent Tritle, cond.), and Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera Delaware.
Ms. Zetlan made her European debut at the Staatstheater Stuttgart in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, created the title role in the world premiere of Jane Eyre by Louis Karchin with Center for Contemporary Opera, (studio recorded for Naxos), and concluded a run of Fiddler on the Roof (directed by Bartlett Sher) on Broadway. On the concert stage, she performed Kaija Saariaho’s Lonh with the New York Philharmonic at the Park Avenue Armory, sang Woglinde in Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic, sang the soprano solos in Bruckner’s Te Deum and Mozart’s Mass in c minor with Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall and on tour in Uruguay, and was heard at Carnegie Hall as a celebrated alumna of Mannes College of Music in their Centennial Celebration concert. She has also been heard in recital with pianist David Shimoni and composer Ricky Ian Gordon.
Known for her passion for contemporary music, Ms. Zetlan has been featured in the premieres of numerous American operas including Ellen West (Opera Saratoga), Ned Rorem’s Our Town (Aspen Music Festival and Juilliard Opera Center), Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt (On Site Opera), Crossing (Matt Aucoin, ART in Boston and at BAM in New York), Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style (Ojai Festival and Carnegie Hall), Morning Star (by Ricky Ian Gordon, Cincinnati Opera and On Site Opera), Nico Muhly’s Two Boys (The Metropolitan Opera), Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters (Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Philadelphia), Daron Hagen’s Amelia (Seattle Opera), arias from The Noblest Game (by David Diamond, Seattle Symphony), and Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre. Other contemporary works include The Tempest Songbook (Purcell-Saariaho) with Gotham Chamber Opera, Ligeti’s Requiem (American Symphony Orchestra), Golijov’s 3 Songs for Soprano (Lexington Philharmonic), Tavener’s Requiem (St. Ignatius Loyola with Kent Tritle conducting), and Richard Ayres’ In The Alps with Alarm Will Sound for which the New York Times called her “flawless.”
At the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Zetlan has been seen in productions of War and Peace (2nd French actress), Boris Godunov (Xenia), Le nozze di Figaro (bridesmaid), Macbeth (bloody child), and Two Boys (Rebecca). Favorite notable roles elsewhere include Gilda in Rigoletto (Seattle Opera and Crested Butte), Musetta in La bohème (Princeton Festival, Seattle Opera), Woglinde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and The Forest Bird in Siegfried (Seattle Opera), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Charlottesville Opera, Nashville Opera), Sardula in Menotti’s The Last Savage (Santa Fe Opera), Madeline in The Fall of the House of Usher(Nashville Opera), Laoula in L’étoile (New York City Opera), and Nannetta in Falstaff (Juilliard Opera Center), among others.
Ms. Zetlan is a committed performer of orchestral works, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, American Composers’ Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, National Chorale, and has been heard at Carnegie Hall with Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra, Alarm Will Sound, American Symphony Orchestra, MasterVoices, and the New York Youth Symphony. Recognized as a unique recitalist, Ms. Zetlan was selected as a Marilyn Horne Foundation artist; she was heard in recital with her husband, pianist David Shimoni at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church in New York City as well as at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. Ms. Zetlan was awarded The Juilliard School Vocal Arts Honors Recital in Alice Tully Hall in 2012 also with Dr. Shimoni. The duo has given recitals for the Golandsky Institute, Foothills Music Festival, and the Artist Series of Sarasota. Ms. Zetlan has also given recitals with pianists Martin Katz and Ricky Ian Gordon and has released her first solo album in collaboration with Mr. Gordon at the piano. Ms. Zetlan is on the voice faculty of the Mannes College of Music.
Indira Mahajan | The Dying
Marian Anderson Award-winning soprano Indira Mahajan is in demand by opera companies, orchestras, and recital presenters worldwide.
Praised for her “strongly centered, richly textured soprano” by New York Magazine and her “poignant soprano” for her moving portrayals by The New York Times, the versatile soprano has appeared in venues from Brazil to Malta, Russia to Austria in addition to performing in her native New York City.
One of the finest interpreters of the role of Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Indira Mahajan has received international acclaim for her many performances. Of her most recent performance with Fort Worth Opera, Opera News wrote, “the incandescent Indira Mahajan as Bess performed an unforgettable performance. Mahajan’s experience shows, not only in her detailed acting, but also in the exquisite way she shapes her vocal lines. It is a wonderful instrument with a sexy throbbing lower register and a thrilling top.” Performances at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg, The Tageblatt wrote, “Thanks to her virtuosity in the soaring, vibrant, distinctive striking timbre, Indira Mahajan was absolutely radiant as a graceful, seductive but also vulnerable Bess.”
During the 2020-21 Season Ms. Mahajan adds two new roles to her repertoire: Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni in a 90-minte adaptation of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci with the New Camerata Opera, New York and Verdi’s heroine Elena in I Vespri Siciliani with New Amsterdam Opera, New York. She will also be presented as a Guest Artis in a virtual Master class series with CAAPA, Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts providing free Master Class for HBCU students. Upcoming performances also include Porgy and Bess with Greensboro Opera, North Carolina and performances of Porgy and Bess with St, Galen Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland as well as a return to Greensboro Opera in performances of Puccini’s La bohéme.
The 2018-2019 season Ms.Mahajan returned to Fort Worth Opera to reprise the role of Bess in Francesca Zambello’s production of Porgy and Bess which she premiered with Washington National Opera. She also performed the role in concert in the Czech Republic with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Wroclaw Festival in Poland. Ms. Mahajan returned to the United Nations in New York City where she was invited to perform at the 2019 International Woman’s Day Celebration. In concert, she performed Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor, K. 626, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80 and Mass in C major, Op. 86 at St. Bartholomew’s in New York City. She performed a Benefit Concert for Lincoln Center hosted by the Ambassador of Liechtenstein and the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture. Performances this season also included a concert appearance hosted by the Ambassador of Tunisia, guest soloist with the Morgan Park Summer Festival in New York, soprano soloist in a 9/11 Memorial Concert in New York City and soprano soloist in the complete work of Handel’s Messiah, HWV 56.
The 2016-17 season included a return to Carnegie Hall performing excepts from Verdi’s Aida, as well as perform the title role Madama Butterfly with Mid-Atlantic Opera. In concert Miss Mahajan performed Mozart’s Requiem in a televised performance at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph’s Beethoven’s Mass in C, and Handel’s Messiah with the Schiller Institute in New York City. During the 2014-15 season Indira Mahajan performed the role Bess in Porgy in Bess in a series of performances in Russia in the cities of Moscow, Perm and Ekaterinburg. She continued singing the role in performances at The Grand Théâtre de Geneva, Switzerland, The Chassè Theater, Breda, Netherlands and Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France. Ms. Mahajan joined the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production Porgy and Bess for the role of Bess. Miss Mahajan added the title role of Verdi’s Aida to her repertoire performing with the Dayton Opera where she previously performed the title roles of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mimi in La Bohéme and Nedda in I Pagliacci. She also performed the role of Bess in a staged production at the Landestheater Linz in Austria and at the Festival de Wiltz in Luxembourg. Concert engagements during the 2014-15 season for Indira Mahajan included appearances as a guest artist with the Klangvokal Musikfestival Dortmund in a concert entitled, “American Nights” at the Konzerthaus Dortmund as well as performing in a Benefit Concert in Watertown, New York, entitled, “A Night of Broadway and Opera” performing the works of Verdi, Puccini, and American Broadway composers.
The 2012-13 season, Miss Mahajan performed the role of Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Teatro di San Carlo in Italy, in concert at the Malta Arts Festival as well as performances of the role for the first time in South America when she joined conductor Marin Alsop, in her inaugural season as Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, for performances of the Porgy and Bess Suite. She was also heard in recital at Kentucky State University with pianist Cliff Jackson. The Washington Post reviewed her first performances of the role as “sung with brilliance and ardor,” in the Francesca Zambello production at the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera. Of her appearance in the Dallas Opera production, Opera News wrote “Bess, Indira Mahajan, looked sassy and sexy in her red dress and hit high notes with accuracy and daring.” As Bess, she has also received international acclaim travelling to Europe for performances in France at the Opéra Comique in Paris and the Théâtre de Caen; to Germany for performances at the Staatsoper Hannover, Opera Frankfurt, Deutsches Theater München, Oper Leipzig, Kölner Philharmonie, Komische Oper Berlin, and the Congress Centrum in Hamburg; to the Benelux countries for appearances at the Koninklijk Theater Carré in Amsterdam and at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg, as well as festivals in the Canary Islands, Granada, Romania and Tokyo, Japan. The soprano has appeared in the title role at theaters throughout Italy including the Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, Teatro Lirio in Cagliari, Teatro Messimo Bellini in Catania and the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples.
She has also performed the title role in concert with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. The soprano has performed Gershwin concerts with the Baltimore Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and with Bobby McFerrin in her debut with the New York Philharmonic. She also joined Sir Willard White in a New Year’s Eve Gala at the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Bernstein and Gershwin program was conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
George Gershwin was influenced by the music of ragtime composer Scott Joplin. Indira Mahajan was featured in Opera News for her performances of the title role in Joplin’s full-length work Treemonisha. Having first performed Treemonisha in Costa Rica, she also appeared in the role with The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra at both the Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco and at the Carlsen Center in Kansas.
Miss Mahajan’s orchestral repertoire extends from works in the Baroque and Classical periods to the foremost composers of today. Her recent performances of Steven Stucky and Gene Scheer’s riveting oratorio August 4, 1964, with the Dallas Symphony, at Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas and at Carnegie Hall as part of the inaugural Spring For Music Festival, were memorable. A recording of the work, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, was just released and is being distributed by Naxos. In demand as a concert artist by internationally celebrated orchestras, she performed Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel’s Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in Caracas and with the Korean Broadcast Symphony Orchestra at the United Nations, and Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica.
The soprano performed repertoire ranging from Handel’s Messiah to an all-Gershwin program in performances with the Colorado Symphony. The Sioux City Symphony also engaged her for the Messiah, with a re-engagement for a chamber concert including Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, op. 52. New York audiences have enjoyed her performances of Bach’s B minor Mass (BWV 232) and the Magnificat (BWV 243), the Brahms and Fauré Requiems, Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass in C (K.317) and Exsultate, jubilate (K. 165), as well as Orff’s fiery Carmina Burana. She was invited to be the featured guest artist in the Alabama Symphony’s festive New Year’s Eve Gala. With the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, the soprano gave her first performances of Harbison’s The Flight into Egypt and Previn’s Honey and Rue, a work that she repeated in a piano-version as part of her debut recital at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Indira Mahajan has also appeared in recital at Kentucky State University and in a benefit recital for Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS in New York.
Indira Mahajan’s operatic repertoire spans an equally wide range; from Italian chestnuts to contemporary American opera. Puccini heroines have played a significant role in the soprano’s career. Miss Mahajan was named both the New York City Opera Debut Artist of the year and the Maria Callas Debut Award recipient from the Dallas Opera for her portrayal of Musetta in La bohéme. As a result, the soprano was also invited to sing; ‘Quando me’n vo’ in the prestigious Richard Tucker Gala at Lincoln Center. She also performed the role in staged productions at Orlando Opera, Opera Omaha, with Houston’s Opera Ebony and on a national tour under the auspices of the New York City Opera’s National Company. Miss Mahajan was invited to perform the role at Royal Albert Hall in the United Kingdom. The production of La bohème was directed by three-time Olivier Award-winning director Francesca Zambello and conducted by David Parry. The soprano has also performed the title roles in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Arizona Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera where it was recorded live in HD by Iowa Public Television and Suor Angelica in Jay Lesenger’s production at Chautauqua Opera. Opera audiences also enjoyed a New York City performance of Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
Critics reported that as Lucia di Lammermoor, “Indira Mahajan, was no ordinary singer at all, but one of those extraordinary performers who, as they say, have ‘got it all together’…Most impressive, Mahajan has that rare ability to make each vocal flourish, each musical embellishment seem an extension, even a revelation, of Lucia’s poetic, tormented character. Moreover, the lady sings from her heart.” She performed Verdi’s Violetta in La traviata for the first time at the Ash Lawn Festival and repeated the role with the Bridgeport Symphony conducted by the distinguished conductor Gustav Meier.
Indira Mahajan, a native of New York City, began violin studies at the age of five. Creating and performing leading roles in contemporary operas has drawn upon her extensive musical studies. The soprano created the featured role of Mordeen in the first fully staged production of Frank Lewin’s opera Burning Bright in Princeton, New Jersey. She performed excerpts of Richard Strauss’ Capriccio and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Colorado Music Festival, roles that she anticipates performing in their entirety in future seasons. Early in her career she performed Teresa I in Virgil Thompson’s Four Saints in Three Acts and performed leading roles in two Metropolitan Opera Guild productions in New York: Different Fields by Mike Reid and First Up Opera.While an apprentice, she was cast as Moppet in the Glimmerglass production of Paul Bunyan. The Britten opera was eventually mounted by the New York City Opera and telecast nationwide “Live from Lincoln Center.”
Miss Mahajan first came to public attention as a graduate student at Mannes College of Music in New York City performing Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera. The New York Post reported that she handled “Mozart’s vehement demands confidently.” She later performed Mozart’s Donna Elvira at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, at Virginia Opera, and at Dallas Opera in Don Giovanni performances conducted by Music Director Graeme Jenkins. Additionally, she performed Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at both Virginia Opera and Opera Carolina. In the Baroque repertoire, she has portrayed the title role of Esther in New York performances of the rarely performed Handel opera, and appeared in Semele in performances conducted by the late Joel Revzen.
Indira Mahajan was born in New York City to a South Asian father born in Dalhousie, India. and African American mother born in Raleigh, North Carolina. She first began her musical studies at the age of 5 as a violinist and later continued her musical studies with her mother and first voice teacher, Barbara Mahajan.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, Master of Music degree and Advanced Professional Studies degree from Mannes College of Music, and a diploma from the Accademia Musicale Ottorino Respighi.
Winner of the prestigious Marian Anderson Award Miss Mahajan performed in recital at the Kennedy Center. She dedicated the Award to her mother, mezzo-soprano Barbara Mahajan, and her mentor the late Betty Allen, opera singer and President of The Harlem School for the Arts. She is also the recipient of the New York City Opera Debut Artist of the Year Award, Dallas Opera’s Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award, Richard F. Gold Award, winner of the Eastern Division of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Jensen Foundation Award, as well as a Van Lier Fellow. She is listed in Who’s Who in Black American-Classical Singers, and Who’s Who is South Asian Women’s Network.
Lisa Chavez | Mezzo 1
Lisa Chavez, Mezzo Soprano, has been described by her “plush storm of a voice” and “graceful stage presence”.
In the 22/23 season she made 4 role debuts. She started the fall with Cimarosa’s comedy Il matrimonio segreto singing Fidalma with Sarasota Opera. Then in February Lisa made her company debut with Opera Tampa singing Adalgisa in Norma. Lisa returned to Sarasota Opera to sing the title role in Massenet’s rarely performed Thérèse, and finally in April she returned to Knoxville Opera as Marcellina in their production of Le nozze di Figaro.
23/24 Chavez began with a role debut as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus with Opera in Williamsburg and joined Opera San José as Cherubino for the reading of the new opera Zheng by Shinji Eshima. Lisa was also the Mezzo Soloist for Shreveport Opera’s 75th Anniversary gala concert. In May she will be joining the Savannah Philharmonic as the Mezzo Soloist in Verdi’s Requiem.
Her first performance post pandemic was her debut as Dido Queen of Carthage in Sarasota Opera’s Dido and Aeneas in the Spring of 2021, then over the summer was featured in a series of concerts with New York City Opera in Bryant Park. She sang the title role in Carmen, was Mezzo Soloist in the concert Now That’s What I Call Opera, and Maddalena in Rigoletto which was also performed at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice. The 18/19 season ended with her originating the role of Maggie in the World Premiere of Iain Bell’s Stonewall with New York City Opera. “Heading a superb cast was Lisa Chavez as the tough Maggie, flinging out compact mezzo tone(s) like fists.” the Observer. Lisa began that season with a role debut singing Rosina in Sarasota Opera’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. “By far the most impressive singing of the evening came from Lisa Chavez, who enchanted everyone as last season’s Carmen …. In describing her sound, “honeyed chocolate” is about as close as one can get.” She then returned to Sarasota for the ‘19 Winter Festival in another role debut, Fenena, of Verdi’s Nabucco. Chavez also made an anticipated return to Washington Opera Society in another Verdi debut as Amneris in Aida.
The 17/18 season included many performances of the title role in Carmen which is looking to become a signature role for her. She returned to Sarasota Opera for all 11 sold out performances of Carmen in their Winter 2018 season. She immediately followed Sarasota with Carmen performances with Opera in Williamsburg as well as with Washington Opera Society in D.C. Past season Carmen productions include performances as Guest Artist with Opera San José, and performances with New York City Opera.
In addition to Stonewall, Lisa has been seen in multiple American operas. She was recently seen singing the title role in the New York premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne with New York City Opera. This was the opera’s first performance since its debut at SFO. Other English language operas performed include, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Secretary in The Consul, and Madame Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons. In November 2008 Ms. Chavez was a finalist in the worldwide Opera Competition with Mezzo TV, and was seen via live telecast performing the role of Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward’s The Crucible in over 40 European countries. She was invited to return to the festival in November 2009 to sing the role of Mrs. Bass for the European premiere of Tobias Picker’s dramatic work Emmeline, also televised on Mezzo TV.
Ms. Chavez made her debut with Sarasota Opera in the iconic role of Madame de Croissy of Dialogues of the Carmelites as part of their 2017 Winter season. In June of 2016 she made her Carnegie Hall debut as Alto Soloist in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo. In 2016 Chavez sang the role of Paula in New York City Opera’s production of Florencia en el Amazonas to great acclaim and was the Alto Soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2with Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale.
For the 13/14 and 14/15 season she was a principal resident artist with Opera San José. While there she debuted 7 new roles. Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri was the crowning jewel to her tenure at OSJ. Georgia Rowe from Opera News wrote, “Lisa Chavez … glided through Isabella’s arias with assurance; her buttery, richly colored mezzo was evenly produced throughout her range, sounding shapely in Act I’s “Cruda sorte!” registering with luxuriant ease and beauty in her Act II invocation of Venus, “Per lui che adoro,” and emerging with bright, forward tone in the ensembles. Chavez is a graceful stage presence, and there was no doubting her character’s intelligence and resourcefulness. “Pensa alla patria” was her most convincing moment.” Other roles sung during tenure with Opera San Jose were; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Harriet Herriton in the professional premiere of Where Angels Fear to Tread,Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte.
In 2013 Chavez won First Place and Audience Choice awards in the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition with Opera Columbus, and also placed Third in the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition in San Jose. In 2014 she placed 2nd in the Shreveport Singer of the Year Competition, and was also a grant recipient from the Giulio Gari Foundation. In 2015 she was a Finalist in the renowned Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. Chavez has also received Encouragement Awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation in 2009 and 2011.
Lisa is a graduate of the Master’s Degree Program at the Manhattan School of Music and was a founding member of Opera Collective, an independent opera company making Operatic repertoire accessible to all of the New York City metro area. Chavez is a California Bay Area native, born in Oakland, and attended California State University Hayward (East Bay) where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music.
Michael Boley | Tenor 2
American tenor Michael Boley is rapidly climbing the operatic ranks.
A native of Ohio, Michael began his career with Columbus Opera. Mr. Boley appeared there in productions of La bohème, Aida, Rigoletto, Tosca, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Susannah and Camelot. Of his Columbus Opera performances, the Columbus Dispatch extolled, “tenor Michael Boley sings with operatic power and resonance—a true find!”
An exponent of the romantic French and Italian repertoire, recent performance highlights for the tenor include Hermann in Pique Dame, Calaf in Turandot, Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Rodolfo in La bohème. Career highlights include twice performing at Carnegie Hall as the tenor soloist, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, tenor soloist with the Helena Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Anton Coppola’s La Coupe et les Lèvres at the Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City with Inter-Cities Performing Arts and The Crucible at the National Theatre of Pécs and the Szeged National Theater in Hungary with performances telecast internationally.
With Dicapo Opera in New York City and on tour with National Lyric Opera, Mr. Boley created a significant impression in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. Reviewing his performance, the Cape Cod Times was effusive in praise of his craft, “Outstanding among these, was tenor Michael Boley. Mr. Boley’s firm ringing tenor and suave stage demeanor augur well for a rewarding career in opera.” Further successes include his turn as the Chevalier de Danceny in Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, and the Beast in Giannini’s Beauty and the Beastwith Dicapo Opera, of which the New York Times commented, “Michael Boley sang the Beast ardently.”
The 2011/2012 season included Scriabin’s Symphony No. 1 with Helena Symphony Orchestra, Eurofest with Opera Naples and Carmen with Denyce Graves in a critically acclaimed production for Opera Charleston. The 2012/2013 season featured the tenor as Cléon in Gluck’s rarely performed The Reformed Drunkard for Little Opera Theater of New York, Lenski in Eugene Onegin for Opera Company of Middlebury and Rodolfo in La bohème with Staten Island Philharmonic among others. In the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, Michael was a Resident Artist with Opera San Jose, where he assumed principal assignments in Verdi’s Rigoletto,Weiser’s Where Angels Fear to Tread, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Puccini’s Tosca, Bizet’s Carmen, and Previn’s Streetcar Named Desire. In 2017, Mr. Boley returned to New York to be a part of New York City Opera’s critically acclaimed Candide directed by Hal Prince and again in the fall to sing the part of Nick while covering Dick Johnson in New York City Opera’s production of La Fanciulla del West. The 2018 season not only brought the tenor his Carnegie Hall soloist debut but in his portrayal of Calaf with Mississippi Opera’s Turandot “…he (Michael Boley) brought the house down with his rendition of ‘Nessun Dorma’ in the third act.” (Northside Sun/Jackson, MS). In the 2019 season Michael performed Rodolfo in La bohème with New York City Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. He also that season premiered the role of Hennessey in Ian Bell‘s Stonewall with New York City Opera. 2020 included the world premier of Vincent to Theo: The life of an artist by Sue T. Klausmeyer (a song cycle with poetry taken from the letters of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo). 2022 has kept Michael busy as he has been the tenor swing cover in Ricky Ian Gordan’s Garden of the Finzi-Contini with New York City Opera, Hoffmann(c) in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Opera Tampa, tenor soloist in Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music performed at Carnegie Hall, and debuts of Hermann in Pique Dame with West Bay Opera and Genaro in Maddalena with Berkley Chamber Opera.
Upcoming performances for Michael include All is Calm: The Christmas truce of 1914 by Peter Rothstein with New York City Opera and as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Carolina Ballet.
Allison Gish | Mezzo 2
Allison Gish is a contralto based in New York.
Praised for her “full-flavored mezzo,” (Parterre Box), “substantial instrument and stage presence” (Voce di Meche) and “plushy instrument of vast range” (Oberon’s Grove), she is the 1st Place winner of the 2021 Rochester International Vocal Competition. This season, in addition to a busy schedule as a professional choral singer, she appeared as Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos (BARN Opera), and she will make debuts as alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio with Hudson Chorale. Last season, Allison made her Wagnerian debut as Grimgerde in Die Walküre with TUNDI Productions, performed Mrs. Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde(Church of the Transfiguration NYC), joined BARN Opera for their filmed productions of Il tabarro and Cavalleria Rusicana last season as La Frugola and Mamma Lucia, and returned to Teatro Nuovo as a principal artist to perform Teresa in a production of La sonnambula that was sadly cancelled due to Covid, in addition to concert appearances as alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Magnificat. Other recent roles include Leonora Goosling in Felix Jarrar’s Mother Goose, Athena in Kaley Lane Eaton’s Psychographics, Apollo in Handel’s Terpsicore (American Bach Soloists Academy), Lucia in La gazza ladra (Teatro Nuovo), The Mother in The Consul (Bronx Opera), Lisotta in Salieri’s La cifra (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), Giunone in Cavalli’s La Calisto (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble) and Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (New Camerata Opera), a performance deemed a “knockout” (Reaction, Operawire).
John Park | Tenor 1
John will be starting off his 23/24 season with Opera Grand Rapids, reviving Ricky Ian Gordon’s composition The Tibetan Book of the Dead, as the Tenor 1 soloist, then will be making his company and role debut with Opera Modesto as the iconic Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca.
After his successful debut as Erik in Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer, with West Bay Opera, John traveled to Berlin and debuted as Bacchus in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Berlin Opera Academy. He had also debuted as Rick in John Adams’ I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky, with InSeries Opera right before, covering the title role Canio,I Pagliacci, with Opera Tampa in March 2023.
John began 2022 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic covering the role of Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio for their collaboration with Deaf West Theatre. Then John joined the Chautauqua Opera’s summer season where he covered the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca, and sang the role of John Adams in Gertrude Stein & Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of us All.
The 2021 season began digitally for John, with being placed as a semi-finalist for the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He also participated in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, where he was placed as a finalist and received an Encouragement Award. John’s postponed contract with Des Moines Metro Opera was fulfilled and spent the summer performing in their summer season where he covered both Adolfo Pirelli and Beadle Bamford in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. In October, John joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic to workshop Beethoven’s Fidelio in collaboration with Deaf West Theater, and will be returning to workshop the role of Florestan in March 2022.
John has performed with various companies and various prestigious young artist programs, debuting roles such as Don Jose Carmen, Faust Faust, Ismaele wNabucco, Siegmund Die Walküre, and performing as a feature soloist with companies such as the LA Philharmonic, Des Moines Metro Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and West Bay Opera.
Suchan Kim | Bass
Suchan Kim (Baritone), a native of Busan, South Korea, recently sang the role of Escamillo in Tacoma Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen.
He has performed as a resident in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program as well as with The Metropolitan Opera Education, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Atlanta Opera, Carnegie Hall, Mannes Opera, Dallas Opera’s The Hart Institute for Women Conductors, Sarasota Opera, The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice, Opera in Williamsburg, Tacoma Opera, First Look Sonoma, Paul Dresher Ensemble, Presidio Theater, Bare Opera, Opera Vezimra, New Rochelle Opera, Teatro Grattacielo, New Amsterdam Opera, Decameron Opera Coalition, Light Opera of New Jersey, Loft Opera, Opera Ithaca, Barn Opera, Teatro Lirico D’Europa, The Palmetto Opera, Amore Opera, Boardwalk Opera, Sinfonietta of Riverdale, The New York Concert Opera, New York Grand Opera, New York Lyric Opera, Jamestown Concert Association, Fairfield County Chorale, Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, Sign & Sing, NYU IMPACT Conference, MidAmerica Productions, National Theater of Korea, Seoul Arts Center and several opera companies in South Korea.
His role credits include Don Giovanni and Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Count and Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Hoël in Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, Enrico in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’amore,Marcello and Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohéme, Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, Alfonso in Donizetti’s La Favorita,Silvio in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, David in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, Roberto in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani,Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Giorgio Germont and Barone Douphol in Verdi’s La Traviata, Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Dandini in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Germano in Rossini’s La Scala di Seta, Tobia Mill in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, Yamadori and Bonzo in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Escamillo and Dancaïre in Bizet’s Carmen, Le Marquis de la Force and Jailer in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Salieri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, Paquiro in Granados’ Goyescas, Fiorello and L’Ufficiale in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le chat and L’horlage comtoise in Ravel’s L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges, Simeon from Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue, Payador from Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires, Father in Kamala Sankaram’s Thumbprint, King Solomon in Dina Pruzhansky’s Hebrew opera Shulamit, Jinzo Matsumoto in Max Giteck Duykers and Philip Kan Gotanda’s Both Eyes Open, Lum May in Gregory Youtz and Zhang Er’s Tacoma Method, the Critic in John Gilbert’s multimedia opera Rotation, Strange Man in Faye Chiao’s Island of the Moon and Leonitis in 5th Grader of St. David’s School and Thomas Cabaniss’ A Hero’s Journey.
He was an Eastern District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2011 and he received the Opera Award from Mannes Opera in 2013. Mr. Kim holds a Bachelor of Music from Korea National University of Arts and a Master’s Degree and a Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College, the New School for Music. He studies with Arthur Levy.