Mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata recently completed a North American and European tour with New York City Opera in the title role of Carmen. Quagliata has sung Sister Helen Prejean in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with Des Moines Metro Opera, Union Avenue Opera, DePaul University, the Modern American Music Project and will reprise the role in 2017 with Pensacola Opera. Career highlights include Olga (Eugene Onegin) and the Muse/Nicklausse (Les contes d’Hoffmann) at Des Moines Metro Opera, Jo (Little Women), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), and the title role of Carmen with Pensacola Opera, and Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) with Florida Grand Opera. Quagliata often sings new work and has created several roles for American Lyric Theater, including Joan Clarke in Chen’s The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing and Candy Mallow in Ash’s The Golden Ticket. Quagliata is also a frequent symphonic soloist and recital singer. Upcoming engagements include Sister James in Douglas J. Cuomo's Doubt with Union Avenue Opera and the title role of Carmen with Utah Opera.
Justin Ryan has appeared in opera and concert with companies across the United States, earning critical acclaim for his “commanding presence” (Opera News) and singing of “tremendous sympathy and charisma” (New York Classical Review). Appearances this season include debuts with the Helena Symphony, in a concert of works by Britten and Vaughan Williams, and Connecticut Lyric Opera, as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. Spring engagements include the title role in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul with the orchestra and singers of the Greenwich Choral Society, and he returns to Martha’s Vineyard in the title role in Wendy Taucher’s new production of The Barber of Seville. Last season, Ryan made debuts with Opera Columbus, Opera Lancaster, and Mississippi Opera, he appeared in concert with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Greenwich Choral Society, and he returned to New York and critical acclaim in the title role of Chelsea Opera’s new production of The Emperor Norton. A successful interpreter of roles ranging from Mozart’s leading men to the romantic roles of Donizetti, Verdi, and Puccini, Ryan has also performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Toledo Opera, and the Little Orchestra Society of New York, and he toured in the title role of Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino in educational outreach with the Metropolitan Opera.
As a recording artist, Ryan appears on the Capstone and Albany record labels, and his voice has been broadcast on New York City radio in the New York Lottery Mega Millions ‘Modern Major General’ campaign.
Hailed a “standout” by the New York Post, “easily switch- hitting from high coloratura to Broadway belt.” and praised by Opera News Magazine for her “comic perfection”, striking young mezzo-soprano Melanie Long is steadily achieving international recognition for her vocal prowess and powerful stage command.
This 2015-2016 season Melanie performs the role of Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel at the Oslo Opera House for the LidalNorth Workshop in Norway, as well as Musetta with British Magnetic Opera’s Production of La Boheme at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. She recently rounded out the 2014-2015 season in the title role of Maria Stuarda at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, opening last autumn as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with NY Opera Exchange. Past seasons include Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Welsh company Opera’s Ddraig as well as Rosina in The Barber of Seville at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Stewart Wallace ( Composer )
Stewart Wallace’s most recent opera The Bonesetter’s Daughter, with a libretto by Amy Tan, based on her novel, was commissioned and premiered at the San Francisco Opera. In addition to Hopper’s Wife, Wallace has collaborated with librettist Michael Korie on four operas, including Kabbalah, Where’s Dick?, and Harvey Milk, a commission of Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and New York City Opera. Over the last thirty years, Wallace has works with a diverse group of artists including Richard Foreman, Christopher Alden, Evelyn Glennie, Marc Ribot, as well as Amy Tan and Michael Korie. Wallace's compositions include works for orchestra, chamber music, as well as vocal and choral music, and scores for film and ballet. Stewart Wallace was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and was named Music Alive Composer–in– Residence at the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Opera America, Meet the Composer, Mary Flagler Carey Trust, among others. Stewart Wallace is a Director Member of the Board of the Corporation of Yaddo, located in Saratoga Spring, New York.
Michael Korie ( Librettist )
Michael Korie is the recipient of this year’s Marc Blitzstein Award for Musical Theater conferred by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His librettos to operas composed by Stewart Wallace include Where’s Dick?, Kabbalah, Hopper’s Wife, Harvey Milk, and Super Max, to premiere in 2018. He adapted Steinbeck’s novel for the libretto to The Grapes of Wrath by Ricky Ian Gordon. Upcoming collaborations include an opera with composer Michael Torke. His works for the operatic stage have been produced by the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For musical theater, Korie has created the lyrics to Scott Frankel’s music for Grey Gardens, Far from Heaven, and Doll, Happiness, Meet Mister Future, and War Paint, which premieres this summer at Chicago’s Goodman Theater. Their scores have been nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards, received the Outer Critics Circle Award, and have been produced on Broadway, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, and throughout the United States. Michael Korie teaches lyric writing at Yale University.
Andreas Mitisek ( Stage Director )
Andreas Mitisek serves both as general director of Chicago Opera Theater and artistic and general director of Long Beach Opera. For Chicago Opera Theater, he has staged and designed Lucio Silla, La Voix Humaine, and Gianni Schicchi, and Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon. Recent productions at Long Beach Opera include Macbeth, The Paper Nautilus by Gavin Byars, and Golijov’s Ainadamar. A native of Austria, he served as artistic and music director of the Wiener Operntheater, the foremost contemporary opera company in Austria, from 1990 to 1997. Mr. Mitisek has conducted performances at the Wiener Volksoper, the Komische Oper in Berlin, the festival “Wien Modern,” the Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein, among others. He is also highly sought after as a guest conductor in North America, leading productions for companies such as the Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Vancouver Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Mitisek makes his NYCO debut with this production of Hopper’s Wife.
James Lowe ( Conductor )
A leading conductor of Opera and Musical Theater, Grammy nominated musician James Lowe is currently the Music Director of the Broadway production of Les Misérables. He recently made is San Francisco Opera debut with Sweeney Todd, a production he also conducted at Houston Grand Opera. This season he will lead Catán’s Il Postino at Opera Saratoga, and Candide at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse.
Mr. Lowe has appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Oklahoma!), Glimmerglass Opera (Camelot), and Utah Opera (Florencia en el Amazonas, Of Mice and Men). At Houston Grand Opera he conducted Portman’s The Little Prince, Carmen, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Heggie’s The End of the Affair. He has led the Pittsburgh Opera Center, Wolf Trap Opera, Houston Symphony, and Houston Ballet.
Mr. Lowe was the Music Director of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Anything Goes. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on the cast album, which he conducted and co-produced. He also led performances of the recent Broadway revival of Gypsy, and conducted the First National Tour of The Light in the Piazza. He has appeared in concert with Elton John, Randy Newman and Booker T. Jones.