ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Opera Omaha kicks off the 2015-2016 season with its third annual Opera Outdoors, a fun, family-friendly, and free opera concert for the community in Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park on Friday, September 11 at 7:30pm. Join us for a beautiful night under the stars featuring Ballet Nebraska, the Opera Omaha Chorus, and four outstanding opera singers from some of the country’s top opera houses. The four soloists include soprano Leah Partridge (returning to Omaha following her triumphant performance in Opera Omaha’s 2013 production of Carmen) and three stars of Opera Omaha’s upcoming production of The Barber of Seville: Mezzo soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, tenor Andrew Bidlack, and baritone John Moore. The music performed that evening will be some of opera and musical theatre’s greatest hits.
Leah Partridge, Soprano
Soprano Leah Partridge has received consistent praise world-wide for her compelling stage presence and intelligent interpretations of opera’s most beloved characters. Since making her debut in 2003 as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Ms. Partridge has had a career full of remarkable milestones. Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 2008 as the First Niece in Peter Grimes followed by a return engagement as La Charmeuse in Thaïs. In 2010, Ms. Partridge performed Marie in La fille du Regiment with The Metropolitan Opera to great acclaim as a last minute replacement, which was captured live on Sirius Satellite Radio. Ms. Partridge returns to Opera Omaha having performed the role of Micaela in the 2013 production of Carmen.
John Moore, Baritone*
Baritone John Moore, a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, is garnering praise for his energetic performances and burnished baritone in both operatic and concert repertoire. In 2007, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera singing Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Moore made his international debut at Welsh National Opera in 2008 singing Figaro in WNO’s acclaimed English Barber of Seville. The 2014-2015 season saw John Moore return to the Metropolitan Opera stage as Moráles in Carmen, and Nachtigal in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Mr. Moore makes his Opera Omaha debut at the 2015 Opera Outdoors Concert.
Sandra Piques Eddy, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Piques Eddy has been praised by the Boston Globe as "a charismatic mezzo with future star written all over her," with a voice possessed of "extraordinary richness of timbre and expressiveness." Since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2001, she has returned to the legendary stage to perform such roles as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Lola in Cavalleria rusticana, Olga in The Merry Widow, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and Mercédès in Carmen. Ms. Eddy graduated from Boston University’s School for the Arts with a master’s degree in Vocal Performance, and was an apprentice artist at the Boston Opera Institute. Ms. Eddy returns to Opera Omaha having performed the role of Zerlina in the 2011 production of Don Giovanni.
J. Gawf, Conductor
Mr. Gawf has served as Resident Music Director for Opera Omaha since 2004 and has prepared a variety of traditional and contemporary repertoire. Mr. Gawf has been Chorus Master for all Opera Omaha productions since 2008 and has helped plan and prepare education and outreach programs for the Omaha Symphony, Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, the Rose Theater and numerous Omaha area schools. Mr. Gawf has served as Chorus Master, Assistant Conductor and Accompanist for Opera Saratoga (formerly Lake George Opera). He has worked regularly with Augusta Opera and New Jersey Opera Theater. In 2007, he assisted the Conductor and Orchestrator Mark Flint and composer David DiChiera for the world premiere production, Cyrano, at Michigan Opera Theater. Mr. Gawf also assisted with world premieres of Anthony David’s Wakonda’s Dream, Paul Morevec’s Blizzard Voices for Opera Omaha, and Ned Rorem’s Our Town for Lake George Opera. In 2011-12, he conducted Opera Omaha’s productions of Rossini’s The Marriage Contract and Hansel and Gretel. Last season he conducted Opera Omaha’s free concert in Turner Park, Opera Outdoors, as well as the company’s numerous student performances of Hansel and Gretel and a presentation of The Great Gatsby in collaboration with the Joslyn Castle.
Andrew Bidlack, Tenor
Tenor Andrew Bidlack, a graduate of San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellowship, began the 2014-15 season with a return to San Francisco Opera covering both Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola and Emilio in Handel’s Partenope. He also performed with Dallas Opera to create the role of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot’s Everest. A frequent interpreter of new works by some of today’s most significant composers, Mr. Bidlack sang Ishmael in a workshop production of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick with the San Francisco Opera and later workshopped the role of Tancreid in John Musto’s new opera The Inspector at Wolf Trap Opera. Mr. Bidlack returns to Opera Omaha having performed the role of Don Ramiro in the 2014 production of La Cenerentola.
OPERA OMAHA DEBUT
Hänsel und Gretel, 2011
Henry MacCarthy, Director
Henry MacCarthy made his Opera Omaha debut in 2011 directing a new production of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and returns this season to direct the Company’s Opera Outdoors concert at Turner Park. Equally comfortable directing opera, musical theatre and theatre, MacCarthy’s directing credits include titles by Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, J. Strauss, Donizetti, Ravel, Puccini, and Menotti among others. Most recently he directed the premiere in Latin America of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. He has been part of the directing staff at Houston Grand Opera, Baltimore Opera, Indianapolis Opera and Opera North among other companies. In addition to directing and devising his own work, MacCarthy is a well-respected and established educator having taught at Johns Hopkins University, Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, and currently the serving as the Associate Professor in Theatre and Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College. This year he was the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He holds a Masters degree in Opera Directing and a Ph.D. in Theatre.
Past Opera Outdoors
Friday, September 11, 2015
Turner Park | Midtown Crossing