Soprano and actor Jessica Fishenfeld “triumphed” (New York Observer) in her New York City Opera debut as Leah in the world premiere of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall, with “clean coloratura,” (Opera News) and “spunky personality” (OperaWire); made her off-Broadway debut as Brünnhilde in Das Barbecü; and sang Gilda in an immersive Rigoletto at THE BOX Theatre just before the mass pandemic closures of 2020. She then produced and performed in Grateful: The Songs of John Bucchino, 20th Anniversary Virtual Concert, “one of the slickest, best-produced virtual concerts to come out of the last ten months” (BroadwayWorld), alongside Stephen Schwartz, Leslie Odom Jr. and Toni Tennille, among other Broadway and cabaret luminaries. She also appeared virtually with New York Festival of Song, Dallas Opera Network, OmniArts Foundation, Opera Carolina, Center for Contemporary Opera, Teatro Grattacielo, and Savannah VOICE Festival. She recently starred in world and New York premieres at Circle in the Square and National Sawdust, and won semifinalist prizes in the 2021 American Traditions Competition and 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition. Other highlights include a residency with Palm Beach Opera and soloist appearances at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, Helena Symphony, St. Bart’s Music Festival, Orquesta Filarmonía de Xalapa, Festival de Órgano de Morelia, and Birdland Jazz Club.
Lauren Hoffmeier was raised in the heart of New York City with a performance background in opera and musical theatre, being hailed as "a throwback to brass-lunged divas like Ethel Merman, with an alto belt that can stun at 20 paces,” (NY Post) for her performance of Cleo in The Most Happy Fella. She is the author of “Mula and the Fly,” a picture book series that provides parents and teachers with a soft introduction to yoga. The fun characters and engaging stories promote a happy and healthy lifestyle to encourage positive mental wellbeing during early development. In this brilliant world of oddballs and misfits, she aims to inspire positivity by encouraging an international mindset of joy and uniqueness.
Melanie Long’s unique vocal prowess has been described as “easily switch- hitting from high coloratura to Broadway belt” (New York Post). In high demand as a soloist and for her and powerfully interpretive stagecraft, Ms. Long has been featured in several premieres including the East Coast premiere of Stewart Wallace’s Hopper's Wife with New York City Opera. Ms. Long recently starred as Anna in Encompass New Opera Theatre's world premiere of Anna Christie by Edward Thomas, and was featured on the cast album which was up for Grammy Nomination in 2020. She recently made her Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre debut, creating several complex characters in the company's commission of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius, by Michael Ching and Jean-Francois Charles. Ms. Long performed in the ensemble cast of New York City Opera's Stonewall by Iain Bell and is frequently featured in New York City’s annual PROTOTYPE Festival with Beth Morrison Projects. She will make her Arizona Opera debut next season as Petra in Steve Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.
Jordan Weatherston Pitts
Tenor Jordan Weatherston Pitts made his principal artist debut to critical acclaim as the drag queen Renata in Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s world premiere of Stonewall with New York City Opera and continues an active performance schedule of romantic and lyric repertoire. His most recent roles include the cover of Romeo in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with the Hawaii Opera Theatre, a cover of The Magician (Nika Magadoff) in Menotti’s The Consul with Opera Saratoga, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Achille in La Belle Helene, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Alfredo in La traviata, Younger Thompson (Cover) in Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied, Goro in Madama Butterfly, and MacDuff in Verdi's Macbeth.
Brian James Myer
Praised for his “robust-voiced” and “buttery baritone” (the New York Times), baritone Brian James Myer is an emerging artist on prominent opera and symphony stages in the US and beyond. A Puerto Rican native of Las Vegas, Mr. Myer has been establishing himself in the world of new works with companies such as New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, American Lyric Theatre, Opera San Jose, and Opera Las Vegas. Most notably, he created roles in two world premieres with New York City Opera in 2019, Young Erich (Dear Erich) and Carlos (Stonewall). In 2020 he made his debuts as Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette) with Knoxville Opera and as a soloist with the Aula Simfonia Jakarta in Jakarta, Indonesia. Other slated performances in 2020 included Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with Opera on the James, the bass soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Moralès/Le Dancaïre (Carmen) with Festival Opera, Masetto (Don Giovanni) with the Berkshire Festival Opera, and his European debut as Squibby in Iain Bell’s Women of Whitechapel: Jack the Ripper with Opera North in the UK, all of which were canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. Mr. Myer holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Romance Languages from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Peter Kendall Clark
Baritone Peter Kendall Clark has created roles in numerous world premieres, including the title role in Ted Rosenthal’s jazz opera Dear Erich at New York City Opera, for which the New York Times praised his “gravity and earthy sound.” He has also sung leading operatic and musical theatre roles with Caramoor Opera, Anchorage Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Opera on the James, Charlottesville Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Chelsea Opera, Syracuse Opera and Skylight Music Theatre. Recent roles include Sweeney Todd, Older Thompson, Henry Higgins, Fredrik Eggerman, King Arthur, MacHeath, Count Almaviva and Eugene Onegin. A regular performer with New York City Opera, he was featured in Harold Prince’s production of Candide, Peter Eötvös' Angels in America, La Fanciulla del West, and Charles Wuorinen's Brokeback Mountain, and the premiere of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s Stonewall. Since May of 2020 he has given nearly 200 outdoor concerts in Brooklyn Heights in the series "Songs From The Ledge” which the New York Post has called “the hottest ticket in town.” As the “Brownstone Baritone” he has been profiled on ABC News, CBS Inside Edition, Only Good Heroes for OGTV, Voice Of America, the New York Post, Japan Public Television’s (NHK) Catch! World Top News, and WQXR’s New York in Concert.
Michael Capasso ( Director )
Michael Capasso is the General Director of the New York City Opera. He has produced, directed, and toured opera and musical theater productions in the U.S. and abroad for over 30 years. In June of 2014, he led the successful effort to bring the New York City Opera out of bankruptcy. The revitalized New York City Opera returned to the stage in January 2016 with a celebratory production of Tosca. In 1981, he, along with Diane Martindale, founded New York’s Dicapo Opera Theatre. Over the 30 years of his leadership, Dicapo Opera Theater presented a diverse programming to the New York public. In addition to his work with the Dicapo Opera Theatre, Mr. Capasso has directed operas at l’Opéra de Montréal; Mallorca Opera; Toledo Opera; Connecticut Opera; New Jersey State Opera; Opera Carolina; and Orlando Opera among others. Mr. Capasso founded the National Lyric Opera in 1991, a touring company that has brought fully staged operas to communities in the American Northeast.
Kathryn Olander ( Music Director and Pianist )
Recently hailed by Opera News for her “impressive playing,” Kathryn Olander is a frequent assistant conductor/pianist with New York City Opera as well as many regional opera houses. In addition to coaching privately she has held coaching positions with the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Chautauqua Institute. An avid recitalist, highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and Zankel Hall, The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bryant Park's concert series, the Hungarian Consulate of New York and the Polish Consulate of New York, and Bechstein Hall. Ms. Olander is a regular pianist with Reaching for the Arts and Opportunity Music Project, specializing in bringing music to underserved communities and Creative Stage. Ms. Olander began teaching piano at Northeastern University while earning her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at New England Conservatory and has since maintained a studio of private piano students.