GUSTAVO AHUALLI - Baritone
Mr. Ahualli made his operatic debut in 1996 as Papageno in Die Zauberflote in his native city of Tucuman, Argentina. Since then, he has sung in South America, US, France and Italy in leading baritone roles such La Traviata, Don Carlo, Il trovatore, Un ballo in maschera Lucia di Lammermoor, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni,La boheme, Turandot, Eugene Onegin, I pagliacci, Carmen, etc.
He began his musical training at age of seven. In 1998 he obtained his Master in voce from the ISA-Teatro Colón. In 2006, he was named first-prize winner of the NJAVO.
Mr. Ahualli is happy to return to OCB, this time as Michele.
OCB Appearances: Michele (Il Tabarro)
LAUREN ALFANO – Soprano
Soprano Lauren Alfano has performed extensively as an oratorio soloist. She was a Resident Artist with the Underworld Productions Opera Ensemble, and sings with the Satori Opera Company, New York Lyric Opera Company, and the Opera Company of Brooklyn. Ms. Alfano premieres works by composers from the U.S., Europe, and Russia and performed at the 2011 “Music With a View” Festival in NYC. Recent and upcoming performances include Cosi fan tutte (Despina),La Sonnambula (Lisa),Alcina (Morgana), Don Giovanni (Zerlina), two operatic premieres, and Alessandro Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater with ARTEK Early Music Ensemble. She is a graduate student in Voice at Hunter College.
OCB Appearances: Voce di Sopranino, Due Amanti (Il Tabarro), Le Novizie (Suor Angelica)
AUBREY ALLICOCK – Baritone
Aubrey Allicock was a recent artist with the Metropolitan opera for the 2010-2011 season. There he covered the roles of Astarotte in Arimda, and Marullo in Rigoletto. Mr. Allicock has also appeared with Opera theatre of Saint Louis, the Wexford festival opera, the Phoenix symphony orchestra, and the South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic. Mr. Allicock has also shared the stage with Academy Award winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr. in Chamber music PLUS’s production of Dvorák’s A New world: Portrait of H.T. Burliegh. This season Mr. Allicock will appear with the Juilliard school in the American premiere of Kommilitonen, and with Opera theatre of Saint Louis in the American premiere of Alice in Wonderland.
OCB Appearances: Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas)
PHILIP ALONGI – Tenor
New Jersey native, Philip Alongi, is an exciting young tenor whose powerful voice matches his stature. He has performed over a dozen operatic roles throughout the country, including Cavaradossi in Tosca, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Canio in Pagliacci, Radames in Aida, Alfredo in La Traviata, Sam in Street Scene, and as Absolom in the Yiddish operetta Shulamith. His solo oratorio work includes Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, and Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ.
Mr. Alongi has five nationally televised solo performances to his credit, including two live appearances on the TODAY show from the NBC studios in New York. Last year marked the release of his debut albums, ‘Heritage’ and ‘New Life.’
OCB Appearances: Luigi (Il Tabarro)
RACHEL ARKY, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Arky’s recent roles include Vitellia (BASOTI), Donna Elvira (La Musica Lirica), Cendrillon (New York Lyric Opera), and Cherubino (Manhattan School of Music). Ms. Arky was the Third Place Winner in the NJ Association of Verismo Opera’s 2011 Vocal Competition, a Semi-Finalist in the 2011 Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper Competition, and Third Place Winner in The 2010 Liederkranz Voice Competition’s Art Song Division. The New York-born mezzo completed her M.M. at Manhattan School of Music and her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Upcoming engagements include Siébel with New York Opera Forum and Emmy (Der Vampyr) with Liederkranz Opera Theater. Ms. Arky resides in New York City where she studies with Fredrick Martell.
OCB Appearances: Dido -cover (Dido and Aeneas)
JAVIER BERNARDO – Lyric tenor
Described as “a lead with powerhouse singing” by The Four Walsh, Javier Bernardo is a lyric tenor with a growing demand. He has performed two solos at the Symphony Center in Chicago this past summer, and has been professionally affiliated with the Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Folks Operetta, Palm Beach Opera and the Juilliard Opera Theatre. Recent roles include: Achmed/The Rose of Stambul with Chicago Folks Operetta; Il postiglione/La Fanciulla del West, First Noble/Wagner’s Lohengrin with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Der Offizier/Ariadne auf Naxos with Tanglewood Music Festival; L’Aumônier/Dialogues des Carmélites, Don Basilio/Le Nozze di Figaro with Juilliard Opera Theatre; Ferrando/Cosi Fan Tutte with the Janiec Opera Company.
OCB Appearances: Il Tinca (Il Tabarro)
NATASHA BHATIA, Soprano – BELINDA (Cover)
Natasha Bhatia, soprano, is a sophomore at Columbia University studying Financial Economics. Her passion for music developed early on, beginning with piano lessons at age five and choral performances at age eight. In high school, Natasha had the opportunity to be a three time member of the Texas All-State Choir, and she also played the role of Marian in her high school’s production of Music Man in 2009. Natasha is currently under the instruction of Harolyn Blackwell of Barnard College, and she is excited for her first opportunity to perform in an opera.
OCB Appearances: Belinda – cover (Dido and Aeneas)
AARON BLANKFIELD – Tenor
A Tennesse native, Aaron Blankfield was most recently an apprentice artist for Sarasota Opera’s winter season covering the role of Judge Danforth, The Crucible. In 2009, Mr. Blankfield was a studio artist with Florentine Opera where he performed Borsa, Rigoletto and Bully and Dr. Binch, Elmer Gantry. While participating in the Caramoor Music Festival, he performed the roles of Trabuco, La Forza del Destino and covered Count Almaviva, Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Other roles include: Messaggiero, Aida (Riverfront Opera), Normanno and Arturo, Lucia di Lammermoor (NY Opera Forum), and Gastone, La Traviata (Boheme Opera NJ).
OCB Appearances: Il Venditore di Canzonette, Voce di Tenorino, Due Amanti, (Il Tabarro), Pedrillo (Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail)
JILL DEWSNUP, Soprano – FIRST WITCH
Known for her “eloquent and moving” singing (Deseret News), Jill Dewsnup possesses the rare type of voice that has both power and agility.
Operatic roles Miss Dewsnup has performed include: Königin der Nacht from Die Zauberflöte , Countess from Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role of Anna Bolena, Giada di Lauria in Bergman’s Piazza Navona , the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, and Mimi from Puccini’s La Bohème, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Angelica in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Matilda in William Tell.
Her concert performances include: the soprano soloist in Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Handel’s Messiah. She also appeared as a guest soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
OCB Appearances: First Witch (Dido and Aeneas), Konstanza (Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail)
JENNIFER FURST – Soprano
Jennifer Furst recently debuted with the New York Lyric Opera Company as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel and covered the role of Micaela in Carmen with the Opera Company of Brooklyn. Other recent engagements include the soprano solo in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer with renowned French pianist, Pascal Roge at the Trail Mix Concert Series, Suor Angelica and Amahl and the Night Visitors with Chelsea Opera and the title role in Madama Butterfly at NY Summer Opera Scenes. She has also sung Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza), Il Trovatore (Leonora) and Cosi fan Tutte (Fiordiligi) with Amato Opera.
OCB Appearances: Le Converse (Suor Angelica)
SARAH HEISLER – Soprano
Sarah Heisler, soprano, began the 2011 season debuting with Bel Cantanti Opera (Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri) and Opera Company of Brooklyn (covering the Countess Ceprano and Micaela in Rigoletto and Carmen and singing the title role in Suor Angelica). She next sang at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, covering La Princesse in L’enfant et les sortileges. Upcoming engagements include Mimi in Hillhouse Opera Company’s production of La Boheme. Ms. Heisler holds a BM from James Madison University, where she sang the title role in Carmen, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas. Additional credits include three seasons with the Caramoor International Music Festival (La Forza del Destino, L’Elisir d’Amore, Semiramide, and Norma).
OCB Appearances: Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica)
DEVON HUHN – Lyric Soprano
Ms. Huhn graduated from The Boston Conservatory in 2010 with her M.M. in vocal performance. She is also an alumna of Hofstra University. Ms. Huhn is currently studying under the tutelage of the Australian soprano Donna Balson after completing her studies in Boston. She debuted as a concert soloist with the Long Island Choral Society in May of 2011, as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana. This summer, Ms. Huhn sang the role of Erste Dame in the Midwest Institute of Opera’s inaugural season’s Die Zauberflöte.
OCB Appearances: Suor Genovieffa, Suor Osmina (Suor Angelica), First Sailor (Dido and Aeneas)
KRISTIN JENSEN, Soprano
Kristin Jensen makes her debut with Opera Company of Brooklyn. Kristin’s most recent operatic appearance was with New York Lyric Opera Theater as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. Kristin’s opera credits include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Adina in L’elisir d’amore; Pamina, First Lady, and First Spirit in Die Zauberflöte; Atalanta in Xerxes; Vespetta in Pimpinone; Nora in Riders to the Sea; and the Shepherd Boy in Tosca. Kristin has sung with Phoenix Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theater, and Loveland Opera Theater. Ms. Jensen is an avid concert artist, having delighted audiences across the United States, Europe, and Canada.
OCB Appearances: Spirit (Dido and Aeneas)
KURT KANAZAWA – Baritone – AENEAS (Cover)
This summer, Kurt Kanazawa (Baritone) made his Chinese debut at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, performing with the NCPA Orchestra as part of ISINGBEIJING Program, sponsored by the Chinese government’s Hanban Institute. He is currently in his first-year MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Marlena Malas, and is a recipient of the MSM President’s Award. He also received his BA degree in Visual Arts from Columbia University. His past performances include Gugliemo in Cosi Fan Tutte, the title role in Elijah, Angelotti in Tosca, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro and Chou-En Lai in Nixon in China. He made his debut with Opera Company of Brooklyn as Angelotti in Tosca and returns again this season as Talpa in Il Tabarro.
OCB Appearances: Il Talpa (Il Tabarro), Aeneas -cover (Dido and Aeneas)
SARAH KRAUS, Soprano – SORCERESS
This season, Sarah Kraus joins OCB for Dido and Aeneas (Sorceress), and sings Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) with Opera Lancaster and Messiah with Hanson Place Orchestra. In 2011, she created Lisa (The Tin Angel) for the Center for Contemporary Opera Development Series and performed Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Maddalena (Rigoletto) and the title role in Carmen. Previous engagements include performances with Connecticut Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Green Mountain Opera Festival. Sarah has won multiple awards in international competition, including prizes from Metropolitan Opera National Council, and currently works with the Playwrights Theater of New York Eugene O’Neill Studio.
OCB Appearances: Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas)
MING KWONG – Pianist / Coach
Pianist/Coach Ming Kwong is actively involved in the opera industry. He is regularly engaged to play NYC auditions for many programs including Portland Opera. He was engaged as a faculty coach at the New Jersey CoOPERAtive program this past summer. Ming is regularly engaged by the Metropolitan Opera Guild to accompany their master class series. His past credits include an assistant coach position at Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood Music Center (assisting Maestro James Levine on Don Giovanni), and an apprenticeship with Florida Grand Opera for their 2008-2009 season. He held a fellowship coach position at the Aspen Summer Music Festival and was a vocal pianist at the prestigious Music Academy of the West, where Marilyn Horne chairs the program. Mr. Kwong was the Music Director of the Undergraduate Opera Theater at Manhattan School of Music and has also worked with Maestro Jay Meetze in the past on Barber of Seville.
AMELIA LAKE, soprano
Engagements for 2011 include Le Cercatrici 1in Suor Angelica, Countess Ceprano (cover) & Page (cover) with Opera Brooklyn, Barbarina (cover) & Artist-in-Residence for New York Lyric Opera Theater, Concert festival of New York at the Lincoln center as well as the semi-finals for the International New York Lyric Opera Competition in April.
Distictions; 2nd prize in the 2011 International Barry Alexander Voice Competition, Office Franco-Quebecois Grant, Society of Singers Award, Margaret Rice Music Fund, Bev Sellers Scholarship, Provincial finalist Canadian Music Competition, and 2nd prize St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition.
OCB Appearances: Le Cercatrici (Suor Angelica)
KRISTEN LEICH, Mezzo-Soprano - DIDO
Ms.Leich completed her preparatory studies at The Colorado Springs Conservatory and received her B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She attended the Academy of Vocal arts as the recipient of the American Business Fellowship and Giardiniera Fellowship. Ms. Leich was awarded the Barbara Stanley Richman Memorial Award by The Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Violette G. McCarthy Study Award as a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Ms.Leich made her New York City Opera debut in the roll of Dorabella in Cosí fan tutteunder the direction of Julius Rudel. She has appeared with the Deutsche Oper am RheinLe nozze di Figaro (Cherubino), Hänsel und Gretel (Hänsel) , Giulio Cesare (Sesto), The Cunning little Vixen (The Fox). le Grand Théâtre de Genève Il Satirino in La Calistoand Bourbon Baroque as Ruggiero in Händel’s Alcina.
OCB Appearances: Dido (Dido and Aeneas)
VICTORIA LOTKOWICTZV – Soprano
Soprano Victoria Lotkowictz has appeared as the Countess and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Micaëla(Carmen), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Dalinda (Ariodante), Druhá Žínka (Rusalka), Zweite Dame and Zweite Knabe (Die Zauberflöte), Edith (Pirates of Penzance), La Badessa (Suor Angelica), Gerhilde (Die Walküre), and Emmie (Albert Herring). She has performed with Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, Opera Slavica, Opera Company of Brooklyn, OperaOggiNY, Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Chester County, New York Opera Forum, Opera at Rutgers and Westminster Opera Theatre. Future roles include Atlanta (Serse)and Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore) with the New York Opera Forum.
OCB Appearances: La Badessa, La Suor Zelatrice (Suor Angelica)
MAGGIE MALONE – Soprano
Maggie Malone, a native of Talladega, Alabama, received her Master’s in Music from the University of Memphis. Her operatic roles include: Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Rosmira (Partenope), Mum (Albert Herring), Giorgetta (Il Tabarro), Mrs. Nolan (The Medium) and Don Ramiro (Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe). In the summer of 2010, she attended IVAI and under the direction of their faculty she made the transition to soprano. In 2011 she has performed Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with New York Opera Studio, First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) with Festival South’s YAP and Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) at San Francisco’s BASOTI.
OCB Appearances: Giorgetta -cover (Il Tabarro)
MARYANN MOOTOS – Soprano
Soprano, Maryann Mootos recently interpreted the roles of Tosca with Opera Company of Brooklyn and Madama Butterfly with Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire spans many other roles, including Andtonia, Micaela, Donna Anna, Marguerite, Nedda, Tatyana, Violetta, Pamina and Suor Angelica. She has appeared with Bel Cantanti Opera, Regina Opera, Chelsea Opera, Long Island Opera, Miami Lyric Opera, Northwest Florida Symphony Opera, Chorus Pro Music and Reading Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Mootos holds a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from Temple Unviersity and a Bachelor’s degree in Voice from the Eastman School of Music.
OCB Appearances: Giorgetta (Il Tabarro)
Winnie Nieh, First Prize winner in the 2012 St. Andrews Arts Council International Aria Competition, will be making her Canadian debut this summer. A Resident Artist with Opera Company of Brooklyn, she made her opera debut as Susanna while at Harvard and has since sung Pamina, Blondchen, Olympia, La Fée, Romilda, Galatea, Gilda, Sophie, Violetta, Mélisande, Juliette and Giannetta. Upcoming roles include Voce dal cielo (Don Carlo) at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Amor (Orfeo ed Euridice) and Papagena. An all-round musician with Associate of Trinity College London diplomas in voice, violin and piano, she has also performed extensively as an oratorio and concert soloist, and continually captivates her audiences with her “fantastic facility” and exquisite “clarity of tone”.
OCB Appearances: Blondchen (Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail)
BARBARA PATERSON, Soprano
Barbara Paterson’s operatic roles include Elle (La Voix Humaine), Mademoiselle Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor), Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), Cathleen (Riders to the Sea), Despina, Donna Elvira, Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), Fox Goldenstripe (The Cunning Little Vixen), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief) and Musetta. She was a featured artist at Westminster Choir College’s 2011 French Art Song Festival and has attended SongFest and the CoOPERAtive Program. She has a MM (Hons) from Westminster Choir College and undergraduate degrees in music and German from Victoria University of Wellington. Barbara is a diction instructor at Westminster Choir College and is on the coaching staff at the CoOPERAtive Program.
OCB Appearances: Second Witch (Dido and Aeneas)
JODY SHEINBAUM, Soprano – BELINDA
Jody Sheinbaum, Soprano, has appeared with New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater, Opera Festival of New Jersey, the Bard Music Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the New York Pops. Roles include Susanna, Despina, Zerlina, Pamina, Servilia, Adina, Sophie and Musetta. Contemporary roles include Beth in Little Women, Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Monica in The Medium, Sybil in Lowell Liebermann’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Young Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied. Her recording of Russell Platt’s From Noon To Starry Night – A Walt Whitman Cantata with The Mirror Visions Ensemble is available on Albany Records.
OCB Appearances: Belinda (Dido and Aeneas)
LAURA SMITH – Mezzo-Soprano
Recent performances: Mme de la Haltiere Katisha in New York Lyric Opera’s concert performance of The Mikado, The voice of Antonia’s mother (cover) in Les Contes d’Hoffman with Regina Opera; The Gingerbread Witch inHansel and Gretel with NY Lyric Opera; “Divas and Divos to die for” with Riverside Opera Company. Laura is also an experienced choral singer, having sung in the chorus for several Regina Opera and Opera Company of Brooklyn productions, as well as participating in the debut recording of the Oratorio Society of Queens, “Holiday Voices”. Ms. Smith lives in Patchogue, NY with her husband Charlie.
OCB Appearances: La Suor Infermiera, Le Novizie -cover, Le Converse -cover (Suor Angelica)
BARBARA STAFFEN - Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Barbara Staffen is pleased to be returning to OCB as Frugola ( Il tabarro) and in Suor Angelica. In July 2011 Barbara performed Fricka (Die Walküre) and Erste Norn (Götterdämmerung) at the inaugural Wagner Intensive program at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea Ohio, working with Jane Eaglen, Nancy Maultsby, Tim Mussard, and Eric Weimer. Of her portrayal of the Countess (Pikovaya dama) with West Bay Opera, Keith Kreitman of the San Mateo County Times raved of her “rich and lyrical mezzo-soprano… (and)… ability to dominate the stage with her well-paced dramatic presence.” Selected previous roles with OCB include Madame Flora (The Medium), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro).
OCB Appearances: La Zia Principessa, La Maestra (Suor Angelica), La Frugola (Il Tabarro)
ASUKA UCHIDA, Soprano
Asuka Uchida, Soprano has performed the role of Alice (Le comte Ory), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Gilda (Rigoletto), Novice (Suor Angelica), The third spirit (Die Zauberflöte) and also appeared in performances of Idomeneo, L’Elisir d’Amore, Fidelio, Carmen, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Der Rosenkavalier and Gianni Schicchi.
She has sung in Italy, France, Israel, and Japan. In Israel, Asuka was selected to sing for the Japanese ambassador plenipotentiary at the International Vocal Arts Institute. She will sing the role of Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Clorinda (La Cenerentola) with Capitol Heights Lyric Opera and in the Arkadi Opera Idol Competition Final in the fall of 2011.
OCB Appearances: Le Cercatrici -cover (Suor Angelica)