THADDEAUS BOURNE (Rev. John Hale)
Baritone Thaddaeus Bourne is on faculty at Butler University where teaches voice, lyric diction, and directs the Butler Opera Theatre. He has previously served on the faculty of the University of Connecticut and as a guest director for Hartford Opera Theatre’s New in November Festival. This year he was the baritone soloist in the Yellow River Cantata produced by the Confucius Institute and premiered the role of the Angel of the Lord in William David Cooper’s Hagar for the National Opera Convention. Later this year he will reprise the role of Falke in Die Fledermaus with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance program. In the 2014-15 season he sang Bob in Menotti’s The Old Maid & the Thief with Alessandro Siciliani (Opera Project Columbus), the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (New York Lyric Opera), and Orff’s Carmina Burana (Butler Arts Festival) as well as concerts in Indianapolis and at Lincoln Center. Recent performances include Perizonio in Cimarosa’s L’impresario in angustie, Perichaud in Puccini’s La Rondine and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly as part of the Montefeltro Festival (La Musica Lirica), Happy in La fanciulla del West (Indianapolis Opera) with James Caraher and John Hoomes, El Dancaïro in Bizet’s Carmen (Long Island Opera), Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (Hartford Opera Theatre), Reverend Hale in Ward’s The Crucible conducted by Willie Anthony Waters, Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (New York Lyric Opera), Peter in Hänsel und Gretel (Connecticut Lyric Opera), Dr. Falke and Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus (UConn Opera & Opera del West), Major-General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance (Simsbury Light Opera), and the title role of Le nozze di Figaro at Gottischer Saal in Salzburg.
CHARITY LOWELL CLARK (Rebecca Nurse)
Charity Lowell Clark, Mezzo-Soprano is thrilled to be singing the role of Rebecca Nurse HOT. Praised for her warm, rich tones, Charity has performed the roles of Mrs. Anderssen in A Little Night Music, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, La Maestra Delle Novicie in Suor Angelica, Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, The Fairy Queen in Iolanthe, Lady Jane in Patience, The Duchess in The Gondoliers, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, La Badessa in Suor Angelica, and Third Lady in The Magic Flute. She recently had the pleasure of premiering the role of the Buddhist Priest in Chris McCormick’s In a Grove at Hartford Opera Theater’s fourth annual New in November Festival. In addition, Charity has appeared as a soloist performing oratorio and song repertoire including Mozart's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria, Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Mozart's Regina Coeli, Handel's Messiah, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Schubert's Mass in G, Berio’s Folk Songs. Recently, Charity had the opportunity to collaborate with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra for performances of William Walton’s Façade, Derek Bermel’s Canzonas Americanas, and world premiere of the extended song cycle Iseult Speaks by Jessica Rudman. Upcoming performances include “Future Stars of the Stage” and an evening of Bernstein and Copland music with Madison Lyric Stage. Ms. Clark holds a Masters of Music in vocal performance from the University of Hartford, has been an adjunct faculty Member at ECSU. She currently maintains a private teaching studio and is the Outreach and Development director of Hartford Opera Theater as well as the Vocal Music Leader of Buckingham Congregational Church.
MICHELLE MURRAY FIERTEK (Ann Putnam)
“Soprano Michelle Murray (Fiertek) brings heat and soul…singers without appetite for what they sing are merely specters, but Murray is alive and full-blooded…effortlessly musical.” …Arizona Republic An active singer across many musical genres, in 2016 Connecticut soprano Michelle Murray Fiertek will sing the role of Gertrud in Connecticut Concert Opera’s fall production of Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), and the role of Ann Putnam in Hartford Opera Theater’s spring production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible. Her calendar of song recitals this year includes performances across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Madrid, Spain. In 2015 Michelle was proud to have been nominated in the “Best Featured Actress in a Musical Production” category by Broadway World Connecticut for her performance as Miss Pinkerton/June Jinkins in Hartford Opera Theater’s double bill of “The Old Maid and the Thief” (Menotti) and “An Embarrassing Position” (Shore). Up-to-date performance information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Michelle-Murray-Fiertek-Soprano-1513235948907670. In her early years, Michelle opened “The Voyage of the Little Mermaid” for Disney’s Hollywood Studios as one of the original Ariels. She went on to work as the lead singer aboard the S. S. Discovery I and, in 1995, became the first American singer to be invited to perform both Japanese and American music in Minakami, Japan. She has released two albums on the Summit Records label: Blue: The Complete Cabaret Songs of William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein, described as “exemplary” by BBC Music Magazine and named “CD of the week” by the Arizona Republic and KBAQ-FM, and The Juliet Letters. Michelle made her Carnegie Hall debut in December 2005 with a solo performance described as “First rate – engaging and authentic” in New York Concert Review. A champion of Spanish art song, Michelle has studied under such famed musicians as pianist Miguel Zanetti and mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza in Granada, Spain as part of the celebrated Interpretation of Spanish Song program, as well as returned to the program in subsequent years as a guest artist. She has been a faculty and guest recital artist at venues across the country, and the featured soloist in many large-scale choral works, including Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mass in C Minor, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach's B Minor Mass and Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and Messiah. She holds two B.M. degrees from Arizona State University, an M.M. from California State University, Long Beach, and a D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and she currently serves on the voice faculty of the Hartt School, the Hartt Community Division, and Manchester Community College. www.michellemurrayfiertek.com
SPENCER HAMLIN (Judge Danforth)
Spencer Hamlin has proven himself a gifted and versatile young tenor, persuasive in a wide variety of different roles. After his Summer 2015 participation in the Martina Arroyo Foundation's Prelude to Performance Program, Opera News called Hamlin’s portrayal of Tonio in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment “the perfect picture of a Tyrolean peasant,” and praised his “scintillatingly smooth leggiero tenor.” “The nine high Cs in ‘Ah, mes amis” seemed to offer no problem.” Now pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Connecticut with Dr. Constance Rock, Hamlin has appeared at UConn as Alfred in Die Fledermaus, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, in Il barbiere di Siviglia as Almaviva, in the title role in Albert Herring, as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, as Judge Danforth in The Crucible. With Hartford Opera Theater, Hamlin has appeared as Laurie in Little Women, Henrik Egerman in A Little Night Music, and as Nick in Ho! Ho! Ho! (New in November, 2015). He has also performed with Connecticut Lyric Opera and Opera Theater of Connecticut.
ELIZABETH HAYES (Susanna Walcott)
Elizabeth Hayes, mezzo-soprano, received her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from UConn, where she performed the roles of L’enfant in L’enfant et les sortilèges and The Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte. In the summer of 2014 Elizabeth performed the role of Hélène in La Belle Hélène with the Franco-American Vocal Academy in France. She was recently featured as a soloist in Hartford Opera Theater’s New in November festival, and with the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra. This spring she will be covering the role of Cherubino in Greater Worcester Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro. She has been studying with Meredith Ziegler for eight years.
KELLY HILL (Elizabeth Proctor)
Kelly Hill, mezzo-soprano, recently graduated with a Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music as a student of Doris Yarick-Cross. Upcoming performances include a return to the Opera Theater of Connecticut as Carmen, as well as a debut with the Hartford Opera Theater as Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward's The Crucible. Other Connecicut credits include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with OTC, and Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes with Madison Lyric Stage. Recently, Kelly performed the role of Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with the Yale Cabaret. Other Yale credits include the role of La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and Marta in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. During the summer of 2014, Kelly had the privilege of singing the title role in Bizet's Carmen at the Aspen Music School and Festival. As a recipient of the Charles Wall Fellowship, Kelly sang in a master class given by world-renowned soprano, Debbie Voigt, and collaborated with AMFS CEO and President, Alan Fletcher, on his original composition, Psalm 23. Recent concert work includes performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Hartford Chorale, as well as Handel’s Messiah with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. She sang as the Alto Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Yale Philharmonia, as well as Magna Opera, a concert of opera scenes with The Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Kelly has worked as a Young Artist with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater, spent two summers as a Studio Artist at Central City Opera, as well as two summers as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera. Kelly is a native of Iowa, and received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
JERRON JORGENSEN (Rev. Samuel Parris)
Tenor Jerron Jorgensen received his Master of Music in Voice Performance from Arizona State University, a Bachelor of Arts from South Dakota State University, and is currently a doctoral candidate for Voice Performance at The Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.Jerron's thoughtful interpretations of buffo tenor roles bring necessary energy and comedic timing to the stage without compromising artistry or beauty of tone. His most recent operatic appearances of note include Mr. Erlanson (A Little Night Music), Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), King Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), John Styx (Orphée aux Enfers), Herr Vogelsang (Der Schauspieldirektor), and Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro). Recent solo concert and oratorio appearances include Requiem (Mozart), Requiem (Bruckner), The Here and Now (Theofanidis), Jephte (Carissimi), Johannes-Passion and Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (J. S. Bach), Vesperae solennes de confessore (Mozart), Johannes-Passion (Schütz) and Messiah (Händel). Since relocating to Connecticut, Jerron has been a soloist with Hartford Opera Theatre, Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, Torrington Symphony Orchestra, Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria Orchestra, New Haven Oratorio Choir, Hartt Wind Ensemble, New Haven Chorale, and Madison Lyric Stage. In addition to performing, Jerron currently teaches private lessons as an Adjunct Voice Instructor at The Hartt School of Music and presides as the Director of Music at First Congregational Church of Granby, and Music Director for the Connecticut Yankee Chorale in Torrington. For more information, please visit www.JerronJorgensen.com
MITCHELL HUTCHINGS (John Proctor)
Baritone Mitchell Hutchings' (www.mitchellhutchingsbaritone.com) most notable roles in opera and musical theatre include the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Marcello in La bohѐme, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, Germont in La traviata, John Proctor in The Crucible, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Ben in The Telephone, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Marullo in Rigoletto, Buff in Der Schauspieldirektor, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelotti in Tosca, Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benoit & Alcindoro in La bohѐme, Second Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, the title role in Sweeney Todd, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, Man #1 in Side by Side by Sondheim, and the Butler in My Fair Lady. Mitchell Hutchings has performed as a soloist with numerous companies and festivals including Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Opera Grand Rapids, Pensacola Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera Saratoga, Hartford Opera Theater, PORTopera, Rochester Lyric Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre, National Lyric Opera of New York, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester Oratorio Society, Tallahassee Community Chorus, Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), the Czech-American Summer Music Institute (Czech Republic), and under the guidance of Sherrill Milnes at Opera Tampa’s V.O.I.C.Experience. He is the 2014 American Prize winner in Opera – Professional Division, as well as the 2014 Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award winner. Degrees include a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the College of Music at Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the School of Music at Western Carolina University. He is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature with a minor in Voice Pedagogy and Pathology – Interdisciplinary at the renowned Eastman School of Music. Mitchell is married to composer Sarah Hutchings (www.sarahhutchingscomposer.com), a recent participant in the American Opera Initiative program at Washington National Opera.
DANIEL KAMALIć (Giles Corey)
Winner of the 2014 American Prize Oratorio Award, lyric-dramatic tenor Daniel Kamalić has been praised for his “big, stunning voice” (Chris Buchanan, Berkshire Fine Arts) with “exciting, tremendous force and a burnished tonal quality” (Larry Kellum, New Britain Town Times). In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Kamalić has performed the roles of Luigi in Il Tabarro with Garden State Opera in New Jersey, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with Pioneer Valley Symphony in Northampton Massachusetts, Dudley in Little Red's Most Unusual Day with Rochester Lyric Opera, and the title role in composer Eric Sawyer's new opera The Scarlet Professor at Amherst College. In the 2014 season, he performed the roles of Turiddu and Canio in Maryland Lyric Opera’s double bill of Cavalleria Rusticiana and Pagliacci, Alfredo in La Traviata with Long Island Opera, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater in Cambridge New York, Delmonte in Un Giorno di Regno with Odyssey Opera in Boston, the title role in Ronnie Reshef's The Lifespan of a Fly with Hartford Opera Theater, and the title role in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Connecticut Lyric Opera. His recent concert performances have included the tenor solos in Haydn's Theresienmesse with Mystic River Chorale in Connecticut, Casals's El Pessebre with Obesa Cantavit in Connecticut, Beethoven's 9th Symphony at Harvard's Sanders Theater, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming performances include the role of Lensky in Evgeniy Onegin with Connecticut Lyric Opera, Giles Corey in The Crucible with Hartford Opera Theater, and the tenor solo in Schubert's Mass No. 5 with the Connecticut Virtuosi. In addition to the repertoire standards, Mr. Kamalić is a champion of new music, having performed in numerous opera and concert premieres. He most recently created the title role in Reshef's The Lifespan of a Fly with Hartford Opera Theater as well as the title role in Sawyer's The Scarlet Professor at Amherst College. Other premieres include the roles of The Shepherd in Younger's The Girl from Shunem with the Youngerian Ensemble, Dupoirier in Lee's Oscar Wilde with Granite State Opera, John Meneely in Kyder's Letter from Italy, 1944, with the Greater Middletown Chorale, the tenor solo in Grimes's Mass for a Dawning Age with Quincy Choral Society and Orchestra, and the role of Dr. Charles Leale in Sawyer's Our American Cousin with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (available on the BMOP/Sound label). Mr. Kamalić, a Croatian-American, has also reveled in the opportunity to explore and present the music of Croatia. He made his European debut in 2012 with Kvartet Veljak in Valun, Croatia, and will return to sing at the Rijeka Festival of Chamber Music. He holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New England Conservatory of Music, and has served as resident stage director for the Young Opera Company of New England, and has held artist residencies with London-based Streetwise Opera and with National Public Radio's “From The Top”.
SCHAUNTICE MARSHALL SHEPARD (Tituba)
Native Washingtonian soprano, Schauntice Marshall, has a golden gift to touch and warm your heart, and has a refreshing sense of wholeness for the spirit and soul. After graduating from Ellington, Schauntice pursued her studies at Shenandoah University – Conservatory, and completed her graduate professional diploma in voice at the Hartt School. She is the soprano soloist at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, and can be seen in various halls in churches in the area. Her roles include: Ahmal from Ahmal and the Night Visitors, Susanna from Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe,, Yum Yum in The Mikado, and recently performed the role of Oberto from Alcina. Schauntice continues to purse her professional singing career and makes her debut with HOT this year.
MICHAEL MCAVOY (Thomas Putnam)
University of Connecticut (UConn) graduate Michael McAvoy earned his degree in Vocal Performance studying under Dr. Constance Rock. He won first place in Opera Theatre of Connecticut’s Amici Vocal Competition, and later played Curio in their production of Julius Caesar in Egypt. With his agile lyric baritone voice he most enjoys singing the role of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia,which he performed with Vocal Productions NYC and Opera Oggi NY. He has also worked with Connecticut Concert Opera, Light Opera of New York, Bronx Opera, and Opera Naples, where he participated in their Young Artist Program. Most recently, Michael portrayed El Dancairo in the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra’s Carmen,and, as a professional, returned to his Alma mater to play Belcore in UConn's L'elisir d'amore
CHRISTI MCLAIN (Mary Warren)
Soprano Christi McLain is celebrated for her invigorating and thoughtful interpretations of contemporary American opera and has performed throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg. During the 2015-2016 season, she premiered the one-act opera, Owl Moon, with Hartford Opera Theater and will be joining them again as Mary Warren in their upcoming production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible. In 2017, Dr. McLain will premier Dan Lis’ Of Nights in April, a commissioned song cycle set to texts by author Willa Cather. In 2014 and 2015, audiences saw her as Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Eva Delvigné in Dan Shore’s An Embarrassing Position with Hartford Opera Theater and as Marianne in Connecticut Lyric Opera’s production of Der Rosenkavalier. Dr. McLain has also made numerous concert appearances throughout her career, most notably as a soloist with the Phoenix Symphony. In Connecticut, she has performed as the soprano soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G and has made featured appearances with Torrington Symphony, Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, Madison Lyric Stage, and Connecticut Concert Opera.
In 2013, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance from Arizona State University, where she also instructed private voice lessons as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Her primary research focused on musical settings of texts by Nebraskan author and Pulitzer prizewinner, Willa Cather. Her thesis, Libby Larsen’s “Margaret Songs”: A Musical Portrait of Willa Cather’s Margaret Elliot, was recommended by Donald Simonson in vol. 70, no. 3 of the NATS Journal of Singing. In 2014, she presented her research on musical settings of Cather’s fiction for the Prairie Cultural Education Series at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, Nebraska, near Willa Cather’s home in Red Cloud. During her time in Arizona, Dr. McLain sang the role of Susanna in ASU Lyric Opera Theater’s production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and participated in Arizona Opera’s cover study program as Liù in Puccini’s Turandot. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. McLain received a Master of Music in Opera from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While studying at the University of Nebraska, she performed in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore as Gianetta and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte as Papagena. Dr. McLain currently instructs private voice lessons as a faculty member at the Hartt School of Music-Community Division in Hartford, Connecticut and at Choate Rosemary Hall, a prestigious collegiate preparatory school of international renown in Wallingford, Connecticut. During the summer of 2016, she will join the faculty at the International American Classical Music Festival in China. Dr. McLain is a co-founder of In Medias Arts, a company composing and premiering contemporary works of devised theatre. In Medias Arts has been invited to the 2016 Providence Fringe Festival this summer to present #trending, a new work marrying visual art, music, theatre, and movement.
GRETA MOORHEAD (Mercy Lewis)
Praised by The Trumpet Bray for her “rich, low voice”, Greta Moorhead continues to captivate audiences with her compelling stage presence. She obtained her BM in Vocal Performance from The Hartt School of The University of Hartford in 2013, where she studied with Marjorie Melnick and Eric Trudel. While at Hartt, Greta was seen as Leila in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe and as The Strawberry Woman in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Since graduating from Hartt, Greta has performed a variety of roles, most recently portraying the Fairy Queen in Iolanthe with the Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Mrs. Cribbs in scenes from H.M.S. Pinafore with the Simsbury Light Opera Company. Greta is currently a member of CONCORA, one of New England’s premier professional choirs. An active recitalist, she enjoys collaborating with musicians based in New England on a variety of repertoire, particularly early and contemporary music. The Crucible marks Greta’s first appearance with Hartford Opera Theater.
ABIGAIL PASCHKE (Abigail Williams)
Lauded by The Washington Times as “sprightly and charming” with a “voice as clear and acrobatic as one could wish,” soprano Abigail Paschke is quickly establishing herself as a stand out artist with “uncommon spark”. Ms. Paschke is equally at home on the opera and musical theater stage, and her extensive dance and acting training has deemed her a consummate “triple threat." During the 2015/2016 season, Ms. Paschke was seen as Maria in Leonard Bernstein’s iconic love story West Side Story at The Carnegie in Covington, KY. She then performed with Cincinnati Opera, where she was featured on the PBS special ‘How to Fall in Love with Opera’ singing as Norina from Don Pasquale, and was further featured in Cincinnati Opera’s Outbound Tour of Pursuing the Dream, a two-person show featuring operetta and musical theater standards written by 20th and 21st century Jewish composers. Future engagements include her debut with Hartford Opera Theater as Abigail Williams in The Crucible. In the 2014 season, Ms. Paschke debuted with Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and The Carnegie, where she garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music. She then returned to Des Moines Metro Opera to sing the role of Alice in Rossini's Le Comte Ory. Ms. Paschke spent the 2012/2013 season as an Emerging Artist with Virginia Opera, where she covered the roles of Leïla in Les Pêcheurs des Perles and Adele in Die Fledermaus, and performed the role of Mabel in the outbound tour of The Pirates of Penzance. As a 2013 Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, Ms. Paschke covered the role of Juliette in Roméo and Juliette and covered both Niece 1 and Niece 2 in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes. Ms. Paschke then joined Sarasota Opera’s esteemed Apprentice Artist program and debuted in Die Fledermaus. In the 2011/2012 season, Ms. Paschke was the soprano Resident Artist at Kentucky Opera. She was seen as Valencienne in Lehar’s The Merry Widow and also performed the roles of Barbarina/Susanna (cover) in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Frasquita in Carmen. She continued the role of Frasquita on tour with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Ms. Paschke had the honor of premiering the role of Masha in Kentucky Opera’s Composer Workshop of Enemies, A Love Story with American composer Benjamin Moore and lyricist Nahma Sandrow. Ms. Paschke then joined Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, where she covered the role of Johanna in Sweeney Todd and was featured as a Flamenco dancer in Stephen Barlow’s production of Carmen. Previously, Ms. Paschke was an Apprentice Artist with Opera Saratoga, where she was seen as Sally in Die Fledermaus and Fiordiligi (cover) in Così fan tutte. While at Opera Saratoga, Ms. Paschke created the role of Mr. Swine for the world premiere of Curtis Tucker’s The Trial of BB Wolf. She additionally performed the role of First Bridesmaid in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington. Ms. Paschke completed her Master of Music degree at the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and earned a BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. At the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, she garnered praise for her portrayal of Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo and Blanche de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. She also was the soprano soloist in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with the CCM Graduate Brass Quintet. Other roles include The Foreign Woman in The Consul, Harry in Albert Herring, Petra in A Little Night Music, Claudia in Nine and Cosette in Les Misérables. Ms. Paschke has further built upon her solid academic and technical background by attending rigorous training programs in Italy, Austria, and Spain. Awards include the 2011 National Orpheus Vocal Competition Grand Prize, 2011 Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition Semi Finalist, CCM 2010 Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition John Alexander Memorial Award, and a 2011 Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Paschke was trained in ballet/pointe by Russian Prima Ballerina Valentina Kozlova, and studied modern, tap, and jazz at The Broadway Dance Center, as well as flamenco in Granada, Spain. Her extensive dance training has given her the opportunity to frequently lead or choreograph dance components in operatic and musical theater productions. She currently makes her home in Connecticut with her dog Henry and her husband Joel, who is the assistant principal trumpet player of the United States Coast Guard Band.
SACHA PEISER (Sarah Good)
Soprano SACHA PEISER is pleased to appear in her third production with Hartford Opera Theater! Ms. Peiser has degrees in performance from Loyola University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University, and is now a Ph.D. candidate in music theory and musicology at the University of Connecticut. She maintains an active career as a performer, teacher, and arts administrator. Her performance credits speak to a wide array of musical interests, ranging from early music with Schola Cantorumin Boston to championing new works by living composers with the Bowdoin International Music Festival's Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music, New in November with Hartford Opera Theater, and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She has sung various roles in La Bohème, Lakmè, The Gondoliers, Roméo et Juliette, Louise, and Die Zauberflöte, and was the soprano soloist for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, and the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.
KAARIN CECILIA PHELPS (Betty Parris)
Mezzo-soprano Kaarin Cecilia Phelps garners enthusiastic praise from critics and peers not only for her “beautiful line and effortless high notes” but also her dramatic interpretations on stage. After her professional debut as La Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with The Connecticut Concert Opera, Kaarin sang the Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Hartt Opera Theatre and was raved for her natural stage presence. At Hartt, she was also seen as Olga Olsen in Kurt Weill's Street Scene and most recently, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Kaarin participated in the 2015 Musica e Musica Festival in Mercatello sul Metauro , Italy, where she performed concerts and scenes as Giovanna Seymour from Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Dorabella from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Maddelena from Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Suzuki from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Future engagements include her role debut as Suzuki in a concert performance of Madama Butterfly, Phobia in Seymour Barab's La Pizza con Funghi, both with Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre, and Betty Parris in Hartford Opera Theatre's production of The Crucible. She has performed many concert works, including appearing as a soloist for Mahler's Leider eines fahrenden gesellen, Haydn's Paukenmesse and the Mozart Requiem. Ms. Phelps holds a Bachelor's degree from The Hartt School where she studied under acclaimed soprano Maureen O'Flynn.
NIGEL ROWE (Ezekiel John Cheever)
Nigel is a native of West Hartford, CT and graduated with a degree in vocal performance from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduation, Nigel spent a year abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France teaching English to multiple schools in the area. Currently, Nigel is the tenor section leader for Trinity United Methodist Church in Windsor, and works as a Teaching Assistant at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford. Nigel previously performed with HOT in their production New In November 6, and is very excited to be a part of The Crucible.
ALYSON SHEEHAN (Ruth Putnam)
Alyson is a junior at the Hartt School of Music and is currently studying voice under soprano, Maureen O’Flynn. She has participated in several productions at the Hartt School including The Magic Flute, and Orpheus and the Underworld. Most recently she performed the role of Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone. In addition, Alyson has sung in the chorus of Connecticut Concert Opera productions such as Pagliacci and Tosca. This is Alyson’s first time performing with Hartford Opera Theater and she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work amongst such talented individuals.
ELIZABETH SCHORR (Martha Sheldon)
Elizabeth Schorr, Soprano is a recent graduate of the University of Hartford's The Hartt School. She has recently been seen as Eurydice in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, Musetta in Puccini's La Bohemè, the First Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Miss Paige in Dan Shore's An Embarrassing Position. She is a proud alumnus of the International Opera Performing Experience and the Benjamin Rauch Vocal Intensive Program. In addition to her performing endeavors, Elizabeth is a private voice and piano teacher at Music & Arts, has worked in Early Childhood education with Main Street Singers in New Britain, and has worked as the administrative assistant for the Waterbury Youth Chorus in Waterbury. Elizabeth is very passionate about sharing her love of music with people of all ages and walks of life, and looks for any opportunities to share that love. In the summer of 2015, Elizabeth published her first paper on the new Common Core legislature entitled National Music Standards, and recently participated in the University of Hartford's first TEDx event, where she was chosen to present a talk on the fear of failure. Outside of the classical realm, Elizabeth has collaborated with the talented, up-and-coming composer Zach Heyde, and recently recorded one of his original songs Silent Words. Additionally, Elizabeth has performed Vocal Jazz selections for the Unitarian Society of Hartford's Hot Jazz on a Cool Night, and comes from a background of Musical Theater, Pop and Jazz.
EMILY UZ (Bridget Booth)
Emily is so excited to be a part of her first production with the Hartford Opera Theatre. An Orlando native, Emily recently completed her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at the Hartt School, where she performed the roles of Venus in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and Third Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.