2014 - 2015

Amleto (Hamlet)

Amleto (Hamlet)

By Franco Faccio

October 2 & 5, 2014
US Premiere

In 1865, Verdi’s contemporary Franco Faccio wrote an opera about Shakespeare’s melancholic Danish prince, to a libretto by Arrigo Boito. Conceived as an anti-Verdi/pro-Wagner manifesto for the “music of the future,” Amleto was originally a critical and audience success, but setbacks at the 1871 La Scala revival propelled it into obscurity, where it languished for more than a century.

Since 2002, Maestro Anthony Barrese has painstakingly reconstructed the score of the opera based on historical documents and microfilm held by the Ricordi Archives. BCO will present the American premiere of this lost operatic treasure in collaboration with Opera Southwest, conducted by Maestro Barrese himself. Celebrated American tenor Alex Richardson will sing the title role, and soprano Abla Hamza will sing Hamlet’s doomed love Ophelia (Ofelia).

Cast
Alex Richardson, Amleto
Abla Lynn Hamza, Ofelia
Shannon A. De Vine, Claudio
Caroline Worra, Geltrude
Matthew Curran, Spettro/Luciano
Rolando Sanz, Laerte
Eric Bash, Orazio
Anthony Barrese, Conductor
Michael Dauphinais, Pianist

La Traviata

La Traviata

By Giuseppe Verdi

November 21 & 23, 2014

Libiamo! Celebrate the holiday season with a laugh and a cry in Verdi’s masterpiece of the struggle between opulence and propriety.

La Traviata is the story of ill-fated lovers Violetta and Alfredo, who meet and fall in love in high spirits but are torn apart as a result of Alfredo’s father’s misconceptions and Alfredo’s own stubbornness. Alfredo ultimately realizes his mistake too late, in one of opera’s most moving scenes.

Cast
Victoria Cannizzo, Violetta Valéry
Alok Kumar, Alfredo Germont
David Murray, Giorgio Germont
Melissa Kornacki, Flora Bervoix
Jeffrey Grayson Gates, Baron Douphol
Spencer Adamson, Marquis D’Obigny
David Morris, Doctor Grenvil
J. Ernest Green, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

2013 - 2014

L’elisir d’amore

L’Elisir d’Amore

by Gaetano Donizetti

September 26 & 28, 2013

BCO opens its fifth season with Donizetti’s comic tale of the dangers of placing your trust in magic potions to win love. BCO favorites William Davenport and Sharin Apostolou return to dazzle audiences as young peasant Nemorino and the object of his affection, the fickle Adina. Hilarity ensues as Adina is pursued by another suitor, and Nemorino seeks the help of the untrustworthy Dr. Dulcamara to get his way through whatever means necessary.

Cast
William Davenport, Nemorino
Sharin Apostolou, Adina
Trevor Scheunemann, Belcore
Stephen Eisenhard, Dr. Dulcamara
Kimberly Christie, Giannetta
Maestro Jerome Shannon, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

Norma

Norma

by Vincenzo Bellini

November 22 & 24, 2013

Fresh from her widely praised performances as Lady Macbeth at BCO, soprano Francesca Mondanaro returns to BCO for the quintessential diva role. Bellini’s tale of the Druid high priestess betrayed by love is sure to sparkle in the theater of the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion.

Cast
Francesca Mondanaro, Norma
Jennifer Holbrook, Adalgisa
Jason Wickson, Pollione
Matthew Curran, Oroveso
Catrin Rowenna Davies, Clotilde
David Artz, Flavio
Tyson Deaton, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

Les Pêcheurs de Perles

Les Pêcheurs de Perles

by Georges Bizet

February 28 & March 3, 2014

After last season’s Carmen, BCO returns to the music of Georges Bizet with this tale of bromance gone wrong. Zurga, king of the pearl fishers, and his childhood friend Nadir took an oath to always put their friendship before their mutual love for the beautiful Léïla (and reaffirm that oath in a duet you are sure to recognize!) Their friendship is threatened when Léïla suddenly reappears after more than a year. Bizet’s talents are on full display in this romantic masterpiece.

Cast
Jennifer Holbrook, Léïla
Tim Augustin, Nadir
Wes Mason, Zurga
Joseph Beutel, Nourabad
Michael Borowitz, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore

by Giuseppe Verdi

April 11 & 13, 2014

BCO presents Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic masterpiece. Happy endings may be few and far between in this family drama of Count Di Luna’s search for his long-lost brother, but Verdi was at the height of his powers when he filled Il Trovatore with some of the greatest music the art form has to offer.

Cast
Victoria Cannizzo, Leonora
Kirk Dougherty, Manrico
Lauren Curnow, Azucena
Timothy Mix, Count di Luna
Matthew Curran, Ferrando
Heather Kniotek-DeSimone, Ines
William Clark, Ruiz
Giovanni Reggioli, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

The Life and Music of Maria Callas

The Life and Music of Maria Callas

May 16, 2014

Featuring Francesca Mondanaro.

2012 - 2013

Cosi fan tutte

Cosi fan tutte

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

September 20 & 23, 2012

BCO opens its fourth season in residence at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion with Mozart’s comic masterpiece Cosi fan tutte. Loosely translated as “Women are all like that,” Cosi follows Don Alfonso’s attempt to educate young officers Ferrando and Guglielmo about the inherent fickleness of women (blame librettist Lorenzo DaPonte, ladies, not us!) and the chaos that ensues as a result.

Cast
Natalie Conte, Fiordiligi
Madelyn Wanner, Dorabella
Tim Augustin, Ferrando
Peter Tomaszewski, Guglielmo
Sarah Kate Walston, Despina
David Murray, Don Alfonso
Aaron Sherber, Conductor

Tosca

Tosca

by Giacomo Puccini

November 30 & December 2, 2012

What critic Joseph Kerman initially dubbed Puccini’s “shabby little shocker” has become one of the most oft-performed works in the operatic canon.Tosca remains as gripping and relevant as ever, a classic battle of good against evil turned on its ear, and the title character’s cri de coeur “Vissi d’arte” (“I lived for art”) remains one of the most powerful testimonials for the artist who struggles against an uncaring system.

Cast
Elizabeth Brooks, Tosca
Theodore Chletsos, Cavaradossi
Ron Loyd, Scarpia
Jason Hardy, Sacristan
Eric Bash, Angelotti
Jarrod Lee, Sciarrone
David Sadlier, Spoletta
Michael Borowitz, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

Macbeth

Macbeth

by Giuseppe Verdi

March 1 & 3, 2013

BCO honors the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth with his first adaptation of Shakespeare for the opera stage. In a letter to his librettist, Verdi wrote: “This tragedy is one of the greatest creations of man… If we can’t make something great out of it let us at least try to do something out of the ordinary.” The Bard’s masterwork sparkles on the operatic stage in this story of ambition gone awry, as the plot hatched by a general and his wife to kill the king initially succeeds… but at what cost?

Cast
Grant Youngblood, Macbeth
Francesca Mondanaro, Lady Macbeth
Tom McNichols, Banquo
Thomas Booth, Macduff
Frédéric Rey, Malcolm
Natalie Conte, Dama
Eric Bash, Doctor
David Lawton, Conductor

Carmen

Carmen

by Georges Bizet

May 3 & 5, 2013

BCO closes its fourth season with one of the most popular and well-known works of the operatic repertoire. Sing along with the Toreador Song as BCO transports you to Seville for Bizet’s perennial classic about gypsies, smugglers, and bullfighters. A beloved classic among opera audiences and chock-full of recognizable tunes, Carmen is also the perfect production for someone trying opera for the first time.

Cast
Heather Johnson, Carmen
Benjamin Warschawski, Don Jose
Tim Mix, Escamillo
Colleen Daly, Micaela
Emily Ezzie, Frasquita
Melissa Kornacki, Mercedes
David B. Morris, Zuniga
Greg Hoyt, Moralès
Jason Widney, Dancaïro
David Sadlier, Remendado
Ronald Gretz, Conductor
Tim Ribchester, Pianist

2011 - 2012

Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly

by Giacomo Puccini

September 23 & 25, 2011

We begin our season with one of the world’s most beloved operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.  Alexandra Lo Bianco stars as Cio Cio San.  Join us and fall in love with this perennial classic, for the first time, or all over again.

Cast
Alexandra LoBianco, Cio Cio San
James Taylor, Pinkerton
Ron Loyd, Sharpless
Mary Bowen, Suzuki
Jeremy Blossey, Goro
Ronald Gretz, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

La Cenerentola

La Cenerentola

by Gioacchino Rossini

December 2 & 4, 2011

The holidays bring us to Rossini’s La Cenerentola, not your classic take on the Cinderella story…and, of course, BCO’s twist on top of that!   Rossini’s vocal fireworks are sure to warm you on a cold winter’s evening!  BCO favorite Tim Augustin returns to us as Prince Ramiro.

Cast
Megan Marino, Angelina
Tim Augustin, Prince Ramiro
David Krohn, Dandini
Stephanos Tsirakoglou, Don Magnifico
James Harp, Pianist

Lucia di Lammermoor

Lucia di Lammermoor

by Gaetano Donizetti

March 23 & 25, 2012

In March, we present Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor.  Opera’s most famous mad scene in our extraordinary, intimate venue?  We might just have to insist that the audience sign safety waivers.

The famous mad scene in Lucia di Lammermoor was originally conceived to incorporate the use of the glass armonica, an instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin. We are thrilled that one of the world’s top glass armonica players, Dennis James, will be joining us for this production. Mr. James will also offer a brief demonstration of the instrument as part of the pre-performance lecture.

Cast
Sharon Cheng, Lucia
William Davenport, Edgardo
Nicholas Pallesen, Enrico
Matthew Curran, Raimondo
Heather Kniotek-DeSimone, Alisa
Ronald Gretz, Conductor
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

Il Trittico

Il Trittico

by Giacomo Puccini

May 18 & 20, 2012

Puccini began our third season, and Puccini closes us out with three memorable works for the price of one, in his verismo tour de force, Il Trittico.  Made up of three one-act operas—Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi—our final production of the season will offer something for everyone. Gritty and violent, Il Tabarro is certain to capture your attention from the first note. Suor Angelica tells the tragic story of sin, sacrifice and redemption in a convent. Gianni Schicchi closes the triptych, lightening the mood with a comic tale drawn from Dante’sDivine Comedy. Heirs to Buoso Donati feign respect for their deceased loved one, while secretly scrambling to find out if they appear in his will. Three operas, three stories, three great experiences for the price of one!

Cast
David Murray, Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi) and Michele (Il Tabarro)
Elizabeth Brooks, Georgette (Il Tabarro) and Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica)
Sharin Apostoulou, Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genoveffa (Suor Angelica)
Ben Hilgert, Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) and Tinca (Il Tabarro)
Tom McNichols, Talpa (Il Tabarro) and Simone (Gianni Schicchi)
Madeleine Gray, La Frugola (Il Tabarro) and La Zelatrice (Suor Angelica)
Laura Zuiderveen, La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica)
Kevin Wetzel, Marco (Gianni Schicchi)
Melissa Kornacki, The Abbess (Suor Angelica) and Zita (Gianni Schicchi)
Timothy Kjer, Betto (Gianni Schicchi)
James Harp, Chorus Master and Pianist

2010 - 2011

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

by Gioacchino Rossini

September 24 & 26, 2010

Although composed years after Mozart’s famous Le Nozze di Figaro, we’ve decided to present these two pieces in chronological order from the dramatic standpoint. Featuring perhaps the most recognizable opera tune ever written (Thanks Looney Tunes!) this Barbiere is a treat for opera fans and novices alike. Our exciting cast features Peabody grad David Krohnas Figaro, Heather Johnson as Rosina and BCO favorite Tim Augustin as Almaviva. Bring your beer into the ballroom, as we begin “Beaumarchais-Book-ends, Bohème and the Bard.”

Cast
David Krohn, Figaro
Heather Johnson, Rosina
Tim Augustin, Count Almaviva
Stephen Eisenhard, Dr. Bartolo
Jeffrey Tarr, Don Basilio
Heather Kniotek-DeSimone, Berta
Jarrod Lee, Fiorello
Gary Casity, Conductor
James Harp, Pianist

La Bohème

La Bohème

by Giacomo Puccini

December 3 & 5, 2010

Kick off the holiday season with the BCO and Bohème. A great “first opera” if you’ve never been, La Bohème will be sung in its entirety, complete with full chorus. Have a nice dinner (optional) at the club, then enjoy some of the most gorgeous melodies ever written… brought to life by some of today’s most exciting artists. John Pickle and Suzanne Woods will sing the famous lovers and Ron Loyd will sing Marcello. Baltimore favorite Penelope Shumate sings Musetta.

Cast
John Pickle, Rodolfo
Suzanne Woods, Mimi
Penelope Shumate, Musetta
Ron Loyd, Marcello
David Cushing, Colline
Jason Widney, Schaunard
Anthony Barrese, Conductor
James Harp, Pianist

To Be or Not to Be?

To Be or Not to Be?

March 25 & 27, 2011

In place of our proposed performances of Franco Faccio’s Amleto, we will be presenting a concert of operatic highlights, featuring a full professional chorus, and some of today’s most exciting soloists. We will explore opera favorites, potential repertoire for future seasons, as well as repertoire that we might never be able to present in The Engineers Club, due to size and logistics. A large section of Faccio’s Amleto will be performed.

Cast
Suzanne Balaes-Blair, Soloist
Theodore Chletsos, Soloist
Emily Ezzie, Soloist
Tim Mix, Soloist
Steven Sanders, Soloist
Christian Van Horn, Soloist
Kellie Van Horn, Soloist
Ronald Gretz, Conductor
James Harp, Pianist

Le Nozze di Figaro

Le Nozze di Figaro

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

May 20 & 22, 2011

Back to Beaumarchais to finish our second season. Jason Hardy returns with his real-life wife, only she’s playing a teenage boy… if you think that is confusing… just wait! Thank goodness for the supertitles and narration—we’ll keep you well-informed while Mozart’s music transports you to another world. We’re thrilled to welcome back to Baltimore internationally acclaimed baritone Trevor Scheunemann as Count Almaviva, fresh from his performances of the same role with the Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera.

Cast
Jason Hardy, Figaro
Erika Juengst, Susanna
Trevor Scheuneman, Count Almaviva
Aundi Marie Moore, Countess Almaviva
Carolyn Kahl, Cherubino
David Cushing, Dr. Bartolo
Alexandra Christoforakis, Marcellina
Phillip Collister, Conductor
James Harp, Pianist

2009 - 2010

Faust

Faust

by Charles Gounod

September 11 & 13, 2009

Cast
Steven Sanders, Faust
Julia Turner Cooke, Marguerite
David Cushing, Mephistopheles
Jonathan Carle, Valentin
Madelyn Wanner, Siebel
Jason Widney, Wagner
Jenni Bank, Martha
Julien Benichou, Conductor

Don Pasquale

Don Pasquale

by Gaetano Donizetti

November 18 & 21, 2009

Cast
Leah Inger, Norina
Tim Augustin, Ernesto
Adam Fry, Don Pasquale
Robert Kerr, Malatesta
Aaron Sherber, Conductor
James Harp, Pianist

Cavalleria rusticana | Pagliacci

Cavalleria rusticana | Pagliacci

March 19 & 21, 2010

Cast
Francesca Mondanaro, Santuzza
Kevin Courtemanche, Turridu and Canio
Sara Stewart, Nedda
Jimi James, Alfio and Tonio
Michael Mayes, Silvio
Jeremy Blossey, Beppe/Harlequin
Maria Kathleen Barnet, Mamma Lucia
Jessica Renfro, Lola
Anthony Barrese, Conductor

A Flight of Verdi

A Flight of Verdi

May 21 & 23, 2010

Cast
Karen Myers, Violetta and Gilda
Thomas Booth, Otello
Jonathan Carle, Germont, Iago and Rigoletto
Rolando Sanz, Alfredo and Duca
Sarah Lambert, Annina, Emilia, and Maddalena
Lesley Anne Friend, Desdemona
Matthew Curran, Lodovico
Steven White, Conductor
James Harp, Pianist

2009 (Inaugural spring season)

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

March 25, 2009

Cast
Michael Mayes, Don Giovanni
Jason Hardy, Leporello
Francesca Mondanaro, Donna Anna
Steven Sanders, Don Ottavio
Kyle Engler, Donna Elvira
Erika Juengst, Zerlina
Troy Clark, Masetto
Thom King, Il Commendatore
Anthony Barrese, Conductor
Daniel Lau, Pianist

A Flight of Puccini

A Flight of Puccini

April 29, 2009

Cast
Thomas Booth, Rodolfo, Cavaradossi and Pinkerton
Rachel Cobb, Tosca and Butterfly
Tim Mix, Marcello and Scarpia
Trevor Scheuneman, Schaunard and Sharpless
Emily Ezzie, Mimi
Brendan Cooke, Colline and Sciarrone
J Austin Bitner, Spoletta
Tim Kjer, Benoit
Catherine MiEun Choi, Suzuki
James Harp, Pianist

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