Broadway at 60th Street, New York
Audio credits: Houston Grand Opera, G. Schirmer and Albany Records.
Florencia in Bryant Park
Preview performance of New York City Opera's production of Florencia en el Amazonas in Bryant Park.
Rehearsal footage of New York City Opera's production of Florencia en el Amazonas.
Soprano Elizabeth Caballero (Florencia Grimaldi) debuted in the Metropolitan Opera's Met in the Park series as Musetta in La bohème after grabbing attention in the role at New York City Opera when the New York Times hailed her as "the evening’s most show-stopping performance offering a thrilling balance of pearly tone, exacting technique and brazen physicality." She returned to The Met in the new production of Carmen as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
This season she appears as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera Kansas City, Zemfira/Nedda in Aleko/Pagliacci at Opera Carolina, Liù in Turandot with Pacific Symphony, and in Verdi’s Requiem at Opera Grand Rapids. Recent engagements include Donna Elvira at Seattle Opera, Florencia en el Amazonas at Nashville Opera, and John Rutter’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall. A house favorite at Florida Grand Opera, she has dazzled Miami audiences as Contessa Almaviva, Liù, Mimì, Micaëla, and Magda.
Ms. Caballero made her European debut as Magda in La rondine at Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. This led to appearances including Cio Cio San at the Staatsoper Berlin, Anne Trulove with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and the title role in The Merry Widow at Teatro Nacional Santo Domingo.
A true singing actress, soprano Sarah Beckham-Turner (Rosalba) has earned critical acclaim for being “soulful and affecting. . . with a bright and gorgeous controlled soprano.” Ms. Beckham-Turner has performed with opera companies throughout the United States including Opera New Jersey, Sarasota Opera, Amarillo Opera, Opera in the Heights, First Coast Opera, Lyric Opera Virginia and Asheville Opera. In the summer of 2014, she performed Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Opera Saratoga where she was praised as being “soaring and lovely” and “stealing the stage.” In that same year she made her off-Broadway debut with Little Opera Theater of New York singing Sadie in Carlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk. Beckham-Turner’s 2015-2016 season included, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with First Coast Opera in St. Augustine, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor with New York Opera Exchange, the Verdi Requiem with West Texas A&M University and Mabel in Amarillo Opera’s production of Pirates of Penzance.
Mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez (Paula), recently hailed for "her buttery, richly colored mezzo" by Opera News, just made debuts as Carmen with Heartland Opera Theater, New York City Opera Renaissance, and Opera San Jose. In San Jose she was praised by Operaville, "Lisa Chavez was born to play Carmen, equipped with the classic Carmen look, vocal power and attitude" and San Jose Mercury News, "her singing is secure, unfettered and beautiful right up to the opera's tragic final scene.... Chavez's performance is something special." In April she will debut as the Alto soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with Billings Symphony.
Won Whi Choi
Currently a festival artist at Theater Erfurt in Germany, tenor Won Whi Choi (Arcadio) has been busy captivating and thrilling audiences worldwide with his lustrous and ringing voice, elegant musicianship, and sensitive artistry. Choi was praised for his portrayal of Rodolfo in La bohème and his "big, virile sound that rocketed fearlessly up to a high C, so secure he dared to run across the stage while holding the note" by the New York Observer. In Erfurt this season, he will sing Il Duca in Rigoletto, Don José in Carmen, and Prince Sou Chong in Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns. In addition to his assignments in Erfurt, this season Mr. Choi sings Alfredo in La traviata for Opera på Skäret in Sweden, and an opera gala in Shanghai, China.
Hailed by Opera News for his "comedic high jinks" and "first-rate singing," bass-baritone Philip Cokorinos (Riolobo) was the winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1985, and went on to sing his debut during the Met’s 1987-1988 season. Since then, he appeared in more than 375 performances of 35 operas at the Met, including "Live from The Met" telecasts of Don Giovanni; the world première of The Ghosts of Versailles; and The Met’s premieres of Sly, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Gambler, to name a few. He appeared many times in their productions of the standard repertoire including Tosca, La bohème, La fanciulla del West, La traviata, Adriana Lecouvreur, La rondine, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Macbeth, Manon, and Don Carlo. His recent appearances at this esteemed house include La bohème and several The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD broadcasts including Manon, La fanciulla del West, The Nose, Werther and most recently, Le nozze di Figaro and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
Baritone Luis Ledesma (Alvaro) is an established international singer with powerful, yet refined vocal and theatrical gifts. Born in Mexico City, his career advanced in Europe and in the United States after a young artist residency at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and winning several competitions, including the Pavarotti International Voice Competition and Julian Gayarre Competition in Spain. In recent seasons, Luis performed Escamillo in Carmen at Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico City; Tonio in Pagliacci and Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana with Hungarian State Opera in Budapest; Marcello in La bohème with Palm Beach Opera; Dvořák’s Te Deum at Carnegie Hall; and created the role of Augustino in the world première of Pepe Martinez’s newly commissioned mariachi opera El Pasado nunca se termina which will have performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and on tour in San Diego with San Diego Opera. This season’s engagements include an appearance as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Opera San Antonio. In future seasons, Ledesma will return to Palm Beach Opera.
American Bass, Kevin Thompson, (Capitán) possesses a voice with extraordinary range, depth and color combined with a commanding stage presence. San Francisco Classical Voice praised him as "A mountain of a voice, with resonance from the Escorial of Philip II, the throne of Boris Godunov, and the majestic court of Sarastro. Thompson delivered all the goods." Mr. Thompson began the 2014-2015 season singing the role of Ahmed Sumani in the world premiere of Qadar at the Kennedy Center, followed by a return engagement with Opera Santa Barbara as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Chorus, and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Mephistopheles in Faust with West Bay Opera. This season he debuts at Opera Carolina as Zemfira’s father in Aleko, joins Opera Santa Barbara as Commendatore in Don Giovanni, performs Verdi’s Requiem with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, and joins the National Philharmonic for Handel’s Messiah and Wagner’s Rienzi at the Kennedy Center. This summer he performs Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Walnut Creek Festival.
Dean Williamson ( Conductor )
Dean Williamson is widely known throughout the United States for his perceptive and commanding conducting. His ambitious and versatile career in standard and contemporary repertoire earns the conductor worldwide acclaim. The Seattle Times says "Williamson keeps a sure, steady hand on the singers and the orchestra...realizing the shimmering and otherworldly textures of the score." This season Maestro Williamson returned to Nashville Opera in his first season as Music Director conducting Hydrogen Jukebox, Così fan tutte, and Die Fledermaus. He also lead Don Pasquale for Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Faure’s Penelope for Philharmonia Northwest, and Florencia en el Amazonas with New York City Opera. The production of Le comte Ory that he conducted for Des Moines Metro Opera was nominated for a 2015 Emmy Award. Next season, Williamson conducts Don Giovanni, and the world première of Three Way at Nashville Opera, La Cenerentola at Arizona Opera, and Tosca at Intermountain Opera Bozeman.
John Hoomes ( Director )
Nashville Opera’s Artistic Director since 1995, John Hoomes, has directed over 150 productions of opera and musical theater in the US, South America, and Canada. A June 2010 Opera News feature article acknowledged, "Hoomes has proved himself one of the most interesting stage directors in the regional market today with a seemingly limitless knowledge of repertoire." In Nashville, he has directed the company’s greatest successes including productions of Turandot, La traviata, Salome, The Pearl Fishers, Pagliacci, La fanciulla del West, Andrea Chenier, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Tosca, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni, La bohème, Prince, Samson et Dalilah, Il Trovatore, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Madama Butterfly, La Cenerentola, The Magic Flute and Otello among many others. The 2014-2015 season saw Mr. Hoomes direct La fanciulla del West for Kentucky Opera, La bohème for Opera Birmingham, and La bohème, Carly Simon’s Romulus Hunt, and Florencia en el Amazonas for Nashville Opera. The 2015-2016 season will see his return to Florentine Opera to direct Die Fledermaus as well as Turandot, Hydrogen Jukebox, Così fan tutte, and Die Fledermaus with Nashville Opera.
© 2015 Reed Hummell for Nashville Opera