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Watch Scenes From New York City Opera's STONEWALL
Interviews with librettist Mark Campbell, composer Iain Bell, and conductor Carolyn Kuan
A Sneak Peek of New York City Opera's World Premiere Production of STONEWALL
Performances featuring Lisa Chavez and Jordan Weatherston Pitts
Joseph Charles Beutel
“An imposing bass-baritone,” as reviewed by Opera News, Joseph Beutel, is often praised for his “deep, well-rounded tone” and versatility on stage. Making his career across the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America, Beutel enjoys performing the opera classics as much as originating roles in cutting edge new works. He appeared as “sir” in Mila, an opera about a family and their domestic helper in Hong Kong, shedding light on social issues facing many parts of Asia today. With Minnesota Opera, he originated the role of the “British Major” in Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell's Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night and received critical acclaim as the "Duke/Judge" in Adès’s Powder Her Face with Sklylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee. Musical theater credits include Carousel with the New York Philharmonic, and Most Happy Fella with ENCORES! at City Center. Last season, he debuted with New York City Ballet in Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Bernstein’s Dybbuk for the Robbins 100 Festival. www.josephbeutel.com
Featured by Opera News as one of their ‘top 25 brilliant young artists’ (October 2015), tenor Andrew Bidlack begins the 2018-19 Season at Lyric Opera of Kansas City in his role debut as Tony in West Side Story before traveling to Atlanta Opera to reprise the role. At Calgary Opera he recreates the role of Rob Hall in Everest a debut he originally made at Dallas Opera in 2015 and at Arizona Opera he appears as Nikolaus Sprink (Silent Night). The role of Greenhorn (Moby Dick) takes the artist to Chicago Opera Theatre before arriving at New York City Opera for Stonewall.
He recently appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in the role of Beppe (Pagliacci) and at Opera Santa Barbara as Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) followed by Arcadio (Florencia en el Amazonas) at Florida Grand Opera. He performed in highly lauded performances at Des Moines Metro Opera in the role of Bill (Flight).
Liz Bouk brings a “silky mezzo” (New York Times) to traditional opera roles including Lucretia, Carmen, Adalgisa, Octavian, and Orlofsky. Opera News praised his “impressive firmly-grounded contralto” as the cast-aside but merciful wife, Augusta Tabor in Utopia Opera’s 2017 production of The Ballad of Baby Doe. This season, Liz portrayed Hannah-after in the Texas premiere of As One with Alamo City Opera and makes his St. Petersburg Opera Company debut as The Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica. In August he returns to dell’Arte Opera Ensemble as Queen Anne in the World Premiere of Princess Maleine and in November will reprise the role of Hannah-after in New York City to celebrate Transgender Awareness Month. Offstage, Liz identifies as male and lives proudly as a trans man. Recently named one of the ‘100 Most Inspiring New Yorkers’ by Bumble, he has given numerous public appearances to talk about his career and his decision to transition without hormone therapy. His own coming of age story Mr. Liz’s One [wo] Man Show: [Living in the In-Between] premiered off-off-Broadway at The Tank Theater in February. Liz holds performance degrees from The University of Cincinnati, CCM and Westminster Choir College. He studies with Katherine Ciesinski. www.lizbouk.com
Lisa Chavez is excited to be returning to NYCO. She has been described as possessing a “plush storm of a voice” and for being “a powerhouse vocally and emotionally”. Other roles performed with the company include Dolores in Dolores Claiborne, Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas, Carmen in Carmen, and was also involved in the Hal Prince production of Candide. Recent performances include Carmen in Carmen, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Sevillia, Fenena in Nabucco, and Madame de Criossy in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Sarasota Opera. For the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 season she was a principal resident artist with Opera San Jose. Roles sung with Opera San Jose were; Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, 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, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Lisa returned in 2016 as a guest artist in the title role of Carmen. Memorable roles include; Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible (telecast live on Mezzo TV), Federico García Lorca in Ainadamar, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Secretary in The Consul, Madame Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons.
For his work as Tony Esposito in The Most Happy Fella, The New York Times exalted, “The baritone Michael Corvino brings a robust voice and disarming vulnerability to the role. Mr. Corvino brings both a Verdi baritone richness and a crisp articulation to the title song."
Michael Corvino has proven to be one of America’s leading verismo and Verdi baritones. With over 200 performances achieved of Verdi’s leading baritone roles, he continues to impress audiences and critics alike. The New York Times praised his performance of Germont as “splendid”. Paul Joseph Walkowski of opera-online.com raved of his Rigoletto, “Baritone Michael Corvino not only sang beautifully and with great passion, but his voice captured both the strength and vulnerability of the character. His performance was simply riveting and could easily become a signature role, he performed it so well.”
Recently Mr. Corvino had successes in Hong Kong singing Conte Di Luna in Il Trovatore, and New York City Opera’s Pagliacci singing Tonio. In the 2001 season, he joined the roster of York City Opera, where he made many returns in the years to follow.
In 2011-2012, Mr. Corvino spent the season at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Mr. Corvino continues to show his versatility, having completed a 10 month tour in 2016 of the Broadway musical Bullets Over Broadway (Nick Valenti) and Frost/Nixon last summer in Sag Harbor.
American Soprano Jessica Fishenfeld, hailed for her “engaging” performances (Opera News) and “soaring, glittering high notes” (EDGEftlauderdale), makes her New York City Opera debut this season in the World Premiere of Stonewall. She recently won a Semi-Finalist Prize in the 2019 Lotte Lenya Competition, starred in the World Premiere of Love Sick at National Sawdust, made a company debut with On Site Opera as Mrs. Mouse in Shostakovich’s The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse, and was a featured soloist at Carnegie/Zankel Hall. Since her residency with Palm Beach Opera, where she sang the roles of Norina (Don Pasquale), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Najade (Ariade auf Naxos), and covered Gilda (Rigoletto), she made her Carnegie/Zankel Hall debut as soloist with The Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, appeared with both the Helena Symphony and Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony in Bernstein 100!, sang with international orchestras at St. Bart’s Music Festival and Orquesta Filarmonía de Xalapa, created the role of Kim in Big Jim & the Small-Time Investors (Gramercy Opera), sang May Fielding in the North American premiere of Il grillo del focolare (Teatro Grattacielo), and was the recipient of the 2017 Career Bridges Encouragement Grant. www.jessicafishenfeld.com
Selected international appearances by tenor Marc Heller include:
Otello: *Festspielhaus Baden-Baden Easter Festival, April 2019 (Mo. Zubin Mehta; Dir. Robert Wilson), *Barcelona's Liceu (Mo. Philip Auguin), Hungarian National Opera - Budapest, Margit Island Summer Festival (Mo. Gergely Madaras); Radames (Aida): *R.A.I. Italian Television, from the Pyramids, with Cairo Opera, *Royal Symphony Orchestra (Mo. Andrew Greenwood; Dir Stephen Medcalf); Don Josè (Carmen): Bolshoi Theater - Moscow (Mo. Tugan Sokhiev; Dir. Alexei Borodin); Calaf (Turandot): *Pacific Symphony (Mo. Carl St.-Clair; Dir. Eric Einhorn), Bolshoi National Theater - Minsk, Belarus; Gao Jian-Li (The First Emperor): *The Metropolitan Opera (Mo. Tan-Dun; Dir. Zhang Yimou); Cavaradossi (Tosca): *Royal Swedish Opera – Stockholm; Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly): Dutch National Opera, *Komische Oper Berlin
Upcoming appearances include Heller's debut as Loge in Dallas Opera's production of Das Rheingold. As a recording artist, Heller appears on Naxos Records' Grammy-nominated recording of Adams' Nixon in China as Chairman Mao (Mo. Marin Alsop; Dir James Robinson)
*Indicates internationally simulcast performances
Brian James Myer
Baritone Brian James Myer has been praised as a stage animal of "both voice and character to make him stand out in the crowd" (Sarasota Observer). A Puerto Rican native of Las Vegas, Mr. Myer debuted in 2018 with Hawaii Symphony as baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, American Lyric Theater on their InsightALT: Opera in Eden concert at Merkin Hall, the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice as Moralès and Le Dancaïre in Carmen, and finally the Grand Teton Music Festival as Snowboy / Big Deal in West Side Story under the baton of Donald Runnicles. He also returned to Opera Las Vegas as Dandini in La Cenerentola and Hawaii Opera Theater as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette. In 2019, Mr. Myer joins New York City Opera as Young Erich in Dear Erich, returns to Opera Orlando to sing Fiorello and Bert (formally known as Berta) in their new production of The Barber of Seville and returns to NYCO for the world premiere of Stonewall. During the 2019-2020 season, Mr. Myer returns to Opera San Jose as Dr. Falke In Die Fledermaus, debuts at Knoxville Opera as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette and debuts at the Berkshire Opera Festival.
Jordan Weatherston Pitts
Recognized for his "heroic," "passionate," and "tender" performances on the operatic stage and in concert. Jordan Weatherston Pitts has received critical acclaim from such publications as the The Boston Globe, Early Music America Magazine, and The New York Times.
Recent credits include the cover of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with the Hawaii Opera Theatre, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, the Magician in Menotti’s The Consul, Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata, and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. He has appeared with New York City Opera, LoftOpera, Heartbeat Opera, Opera St. Petersburg, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, as a 2018 Studio Artist with Opera Saratoga, and as an Orvis Studio Young Artist with the Hawaii Opera Theatre.
Since his 2016 debut with NYCO in a “strong, deftly conveyed” (NYTimes) performance of Edward Hopper in Hopper’s Wife, baritone Justin Ryan has risen as a prominent interpreter of American leading men with companies across the United States, notably in The Consul at Chicago Opera Theater as a “remarkable, powerful John Sorel” (Stage and Cinema) opposite Patricia Racette, and in the American premiere of Philip Glass’s grand opera The Perfect American at Long Beach Opera and COT, where Ryan’s “touching” portrait of Walt Disney (Chicago Tribune) was met with a wave of acclaim, critics extolling his abundant “vocal and physical charisma and dramatic range” (LA Times), and declaring, “Ryan has a clear and commanding voice, and the ability to grab your attention and hold on to it” (Hyde Park Herald). Most recently, as the first mate Starbuck in Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick at Opera San Jose, Ryan “cut a commanding figure” (SF Chronicle) who “expressed the sailor’s fears and longing with touching clarity” (SF Examiner) in an “ample and often lustrous voice” (Operawire).
Iain Bell ( Composer )
Born in London, Iain Bell is best known for his vocal music (both opera and song) and has developed a close artistic relationship with Diana Damrau, for whom he has written various works including the opera A Harlot’s Progress (2013, Theater an der Wien). Other notable works include his second opera A Christmas Carol (2014, Houston Grand Opera, starring Jay Hunter Morris and directed by Simon Callow); the orchestral song cycle A Litany in Time of Plague; and the chamber song cycles Day Turned into Night, The Undying Splendour, and These Motley Fools. His concert works have been performed at venues including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Munich Opera Festival. Recent highlights include a new production of A Christmas Carol; the world premiere of his third opera In Parenthesis (with performances at the Royal Opera House); and the Carnegie Hall-commissioned song cycle of you, a setting of e.e. cummings's poetry written for American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. World premieres in the 2018-19 season include Aurora: Concerto for Coloratura Soprano at the BBC Proms with Damrau and the RLPO; his orchestral song cycle The Hidden Place with the LSO conducted by Maestro Noseda; and his fourth opera Jack the Ripper at ENO with a cast including Dame Josephine Barstow, Susan Bullock, Lesley Garrett, and Alan Opie conducted by Martyn Brabbins
Mark Campbell ( Librettist )
Mark Campbell’s work as a librettist is at the forefront of the current contemporary opera scene in this country. The fifteen-plus librettos he has written—and the five new operas he premiered in 2017—demonstrate a versatility in subject matter, style, and tone, an adeptness at creating successful work for both large and intimate venues. The composers with whom he collaborates represent a roster of the most eminent composers in classical music, and include three Pulitzer Prize winners. Mr. Campbell’s most-known work is Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music and is one of the most frequently performed operas in recent history. After its premiere at Minnesota Opera, the work was broadcast on PBS’s Great Performances and continues to be produced by many opera companies around the country. His other successful operas include As One, Later the Same Evening, Volpone, Bastianello/Lucrezia, The Manchurian Candidate, The Inspector, Approaching Ali, A Letter to East 11th Street, and most recently, The Shining.
Carolyn Kuan ( Conductor )
Recognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility, Carolyn Kuan has enjoyed successful associations with top tier orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals worldwide. Her commitment to contemporary music has defined her approach to programming and established her as an international resource for new music and world premieres. Appointed Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011, she has signed a renewal contract extending their creative collaboration through May 2022. Ms. Kuan’s North American engagements have included performances with the symphonies of Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, Omaha, San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto; the Florida and Louisville orchestras; the New York City Ballet; the Colorado Music Festival and Glimmerglass Festival; New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, and a recent premiere of Philip Glass’s The Trial with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. International engagements have included the Bournemouth Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony of Taiwan, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Royal Danish Ballet, and the West Australian Symphony. Highlights of the 2018/2019 season include debuts with the Singapore Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Portland Opera. While maintaining a solid connection with traditional repertoire, Carolyn Kuan has cultivated a unique expertise in Asian music and contemporary works, collaborating with composers on provocative projects in a variety of settings. Some of her finest successes have bridged the gap between cultural and social issues. Recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Kuan holds the distinction of being the first woman to be awarded the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship in 2003, resulting in her residency at the 2004 Salzburg Festival. She graduated cum laude from Smith College and received a Master of Music from the University of Illinois, as well as a Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory.
Leonard Foglia ( Director )
In opera, Leonard Foglia has directed the world premieres and subsequent stagings of Moby-Dick (Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, where it was filmed for PBS); Everest (Dallas Opera); Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera); The End of the Affair (Houston Grand Opera); Three Decembers (HGO); and It’s a Wonderful Life (HGO). His production of Dead Man Walking was produced by New York City Opera and has been seen across the United States as well as Teatro Real in Madrid. For Broadway, he directed Master Class, Wait Until Dark, Thurgood (filmed for HBO), The People in the Picture, On Golden Pond, and The Gin Game. Off-Broadway credits include Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes From The Field (filmed for HBO) and Let Me Down Easy (filmed for PBS), One Touch of Venus at Encores!, The Stendhal Syndrome, and If Memory Serves. As a librettist, he wrote (and directed) El Pasado Nunca Se Termina/The Past Is Never Finished, with composer José “Pepe” Martínez, which premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago; A Coffin in Egypt with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, which premiered at HGO; Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon with composer Martínez, which premiered at HGO and has played across the county as well as Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Richard Stafford ( Choreographer )
Richard Stafford made his New York City Opera debut in 2017 as director and choreographer of the American premiere of Antonio Literes’s Los elementos. He was immediately re-engaged and directed and choreographed the company’s critically acclaimed 2018 double bill of Rameau’s Pigmalion and the American premiere of Donizetti’s Pigmalione. His Broadway credits include choreographer for In My Life at the Music Box Theatre, associate choreographer
for Aspects of Love at the
Broadhurst Theatre, and dance supervisor for CATS at the Winter Garden Theatre. Off-
Broadway, he was choreographer for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at St. Clements and
director/choreographer for Castle Walk for the NYMF festival. Internationally he was
director/choreographer forThe Full Monty and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat in Mexico City; CATS in Copenhagen,
São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro;
choreographer for Jesus Christ Superstar in Mexico City; Evita in Sydney; and CATS in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. He has been choreographer for national tours of
CATS, My Fair Lady, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Mr.
Stafford won the Barrymore Award for outstanding choreography for La Cage aux Folles at the Walnut Street Theatre and the
NYMF “Outstanding Choreography” award for Castle Walk.
Riccardo Hernandez ( Set Designer )
Broadway: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Indecent; The Gin Game; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; The People in the Picture; Caroline, or Change (National Theater London); Elaine Stritch at Liberty (Old Vic London);
Topdog/Underdog (Royal Court); Bells Are Ringing; Parade (Hal Prince director, Tony and Drama Desk nominations); Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk; The
Tempest. Recent: Jagged Little
Pill (Diane Paulus director, ART); Lempicka (Rachel Chavkin director, WTF); Admissions (LCT); La Dame aux Camélias (France); Mlima’s Tale (Public Theater); The Invisible
Hand (NYTW – Henry Hewes Outstanding Set Design Award); The Skin of Our Teeth, The Father, A Doll’s House (Arin Arbus director, TFANA); La Mouette (Cour D’Honneur, Palais des Papes—Avignon Festival). He has designed over 250 productions in the US and internationally. OBIE Award Sustained Excellence; Yale School of
Drama Design Faculty.
David C Woolard ( Costume Designer )
David C. Woolard designed over 20 Broadway shows including Dames At Sea, West Side Story, The Rocky Horror Show (2001 Tony Award nomination, Hewes Award),
The Who’s Tommy (1993 Tony & Olivier Award nominations). He’ s designed for almost every major Theatre and Opera company in America recently designing Cold Mountain, a world premiere opera at Santa Fe Opera and Everest at Dallas Opera. Currently The Secret a musical is touring Asia. For more information visit: davidcwoolard.com.
Ken Billington ( Lighting Designer )
Ken Billington creates lighting for the theatre, television, interior spaces, and architecture. Among his 100 Broadway shows are the original production of Sweeney Todd, the current Chicago, the longest-running American musical in history, and a hit in over twenty countries, Act One, Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway, The Scottsboro Boys, White Christmas, Title of Show, Footloose, as well as revivals of My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly, Sunday in the Park with George (twice), Annie (twice), and Fiddler on the Roof (three times). Ken’s craft has illuminated many spectacular events and venues; he designed the Christmas Show at The Radio City Music Hall for 27 years. He has devised the lighting for over 100 opera productions, including the 12 for the NYC Opera including Candide 1982 & 2017 as well as Porgy and Bess for Milan’s La Scala, Madrid’s Theatro Real, and Opera Bastillle. His lighting designs have enhanced such landmarks as New York’s Tavern on the Green and 54 Below, as well as many other important architectural and interior design projects around the world. Ken’s awards include the Tony, the Luman (architecture), and the Ace (television). In 2015, Ken Billington was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Daniel Erdberg & Ursula Kwong-Brown ( Sound Designers )
Daniel Erdberg’s work has been heard at numerous New York theatres, including The Public, Roundabout, City Center, 59E59, Atlantic and HERE. Regional credits include Arena Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Geffen, ACT, Merrimack, Geva and Long Wharf, as well as productions in Korea, Japan, China, Canada and Cuba. Broadway associate design credits include Iceman Cometh, Significant Other, Violet, Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Heiress, and The Nance. Daniel is on faculty at Tisch/NYU and a graduate of Northwestern University.
Rick Sordelete and Christian Sordelete ( Co-Fight Directors )
RICK SORDELET & CHRISTIAN KELLY-SORDELET are the creators of Sordelet INC, a combat company with 73 Broadway credits including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Waiting for Godot/No Man’s Land, and Wolf Hall. They have worked on over 1,200 episodes of stunt coordination for television as well as feature films including the recently released Ben is Back. They have over sixty international production credits including Ben Hur Live (Rome, European tour). Rick Sordelet is the president of the board of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and teaches at Yale School of Drama. Christian Kelly-Sordelet teaches at CUNY Harlem and HB Studio. Rick and Christian, along with their partner David Blixt, also run an e-publishing company called Sordelet INK for the emerging author.www.sordeletinc.com
Brittany Rappise ( Hair Wig and Make-up Designer )
Brittany V.A. Rappise is a Wig & Make-Up Designer based out of Pensacola, Florida, and could not be more thrilled about being involved in NYCO’s Stonewall. A New Jersey Native, she received her BA in Theater from The University of West Florida and earned her MFA in Wig and Makeup Design from The University of North Carolina School of The Arts. Brittany’s recent design credits include work for: Sarasota Opera, Opera Delaware, Pensacola Opera, Brevard Music Center, Ogunquit Playhouse, Tulane Summer Lyric, and Flat Rock Playhouse. Brittany owns and operates The Makeup Wigstress, offering design/rental services, and all things wigs, makeup, and special effects for theater and film. www.BrittanyRappise.com