Opera Outdoors 2015 (left to right): tenor Andrew Bidlack, soprano Leah Partridge, mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, and baritone John Moore with the Opera Omaha Chorus.
Performed in Italian, French, German and English with English subtitles.
FREE Family-Friendly Community Concert
Join us for a beautiful night under the stars as Opera Omaha kicks off the 2016-17 season with its fourth annual Opera Outdoors, a free outdoor concert, featuring internationally acclaimed artists from the Company's season, soprano Leah Partridge and tenor Jonathan Boyd, performing favorite arias and duets by Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart and more. Joined by the Opera Omaha Chorus, Ragazzi Chorus and accompanied by pianist Scott Arens, the performance will be conducted by Aaron Breid.
Opening the concert at 6:30 p.m., string students from the Omaha Conservatory of Music will start the evening off.
This year's roster of Opera Outdoor artists include a dynamic, young cast of stars from the opera world: soprano Leah Partridge who appears as Mimì in the Company's season-opening production of Puccini's La bohème; and tenor Jonathan Boyd who stars as Ferrando in the upcoming new production of Mozart's Così fan tutte in February 2017.
This concert will also include some of opera's most beloved melodies from Carmen, La traviata, Faust, The Tales of Hoffmann and more. Dipping into lighter fare, there will also be highlights from Léhar's The Merry Widow, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, along with the passionate tenor aria "Dein ist mein Ganzes Herz" from Léhar's The Land of Smiles.
Not to be missed—this evening is sure to provide a little something for everyone in the beautiful, under-the-stars setting of Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park.
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.
Aaron Breid, Conductor
An inspiring and versatile musician, Aaron Breid recently concluded his fourth season as Assistant/Cover Conductor for Minnesota Opera where he had collaborated on twenty productions, including the world-premiere of Silent Night, The Manchurian Candidate, Doubt and The Dream of Valentino. In addition, Maestro Breid conducted over a dozen performances of Turandot, Carmen and Die Zauberflöte - a production the Star Tribune heralded as the “…embodiment of classical clarity.”
Mr. Breid’s 2015-16 season included debuts with Opera Santa Barbara, Virginia Opera, Sarasota Opera and Central City Opera. At Central City, Mr. Breid conducted performances of The Impresario and The Ballad of Baby Doe. Equally at home on the concert stage, recent guest conducting highlights include performances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Ocala Symphony, Golden Valley Symphony and Edina Chorale.
Past seasons have seen Mr. Breid collaborate in productions with the Merola Opera Program, Des Moines Metro Opera, Brevard Music Festival and Center Stage Opera. Mr. Breid is also an alumnus of the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors.
OPERA OMAHA DEBUT
(La traviata), 2005
Mimì (La bohème)
Leah Partridge, Soprano
Soprano Leah Partridge has performed more than 30 roles in 50 operatic productions across the United States, South America, and Europe in companies such as The Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Dresden Semper Oper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy, and Vlaamse Oper in Antwerp Belgium, among many others. She has concertized with the Boston Baroque, San Diego Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Gibraltar Philharmonic, and the Omaha Symphony. Ms. Partridge has recorded with The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series and has a recording of American Art Songs with composers Ricky Ian Gordon and Jake Heggie accompanying their pieces.
Ms. Partridge most recently debuted with Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in a new production of La bohème as Musetta. She also made her house debut with Seattle Opera singing the three heroines in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. For the 2015-16 season Ms. Partridge will make a return to her home opera company at the Atlanta Opera as Musetta in La bohème, and will follow these performances with her debut as Mimì in La bohème with Opera Coeur d'Alene in Spokane, Washington. Ms. Partridge will be seen in concert with Opera Omaha in their Opera Outdoors Series and will return to Omaha later in the season to open for Kristin Chenoweth at the Holland Center in their 10-year anniversary celebration with the Omaha Symphony. She will begin 2016 with performances of Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Eugene in Eugene, Oregon and make her role debut as Pamina in Mozart's beloved The Magic Flute with the renowned Boston Baroque Orchestra in April 2016.
Ms. Partridge is well known for her portrayals of leading bel canto roles. Her professional debut as Lucia di Lammermoor in 2003 prompted the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel to write, "A star is born". Her work and collaboration with world-renowned artists Virginia Zeani, Renata Scotto, and Richard Bonynge have richly informed her performances and have given her deep insight into the historical performance practice of the bel canto repertoire. Following her performances of Amina in La sonnambula with Florida Grand Opera which was conducted by Bonynge and directed by Scotto, the Sun Sentinel wrote, "Sleepwalking in the footsteps of Maria Callas, of the great Joan Sutherland, of Scotto herself, Partridge sounded like none of them and made the music her own - florid cadenzas and all. Her singing was, well, spectacular." Her current attention is Verdi roles, lyric Puccini roles, and lyric-coloratura French roles, while maintaining steady performances of staple bel canto interpretations.
Ms. Partridge is a proud member of the voice faculty at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA and a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She thoroughly enjoys building and discovering the strengths of her students as singers and artists. She is a certified Yoga teacher and helps students discover their voices through movement, alignment, and breath techniques. She takes a rounded approach, which involves finding literature that suits each singer, working with each student to find the optimal balance of physical release and readiness, out of which excellent breathing and technical confidence give way to expression. Her experience as a performer, yoga teacher, and career educator make her highly sought after as a guest artist and teacher.
Ms. Partridge received her Bachelor of Music from Mercer University and her Master of Music from Indiana University where she was the recipient of the Wilfred C. Bain full Opera Scholarship. She was a member of The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program in 2001 and 2002 and was a Young Artist with Florida Grand Opera in 2002-2003. She was a National Semi-Finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition in 2004.
Corning, New York
OPERA OMAHA DEBUT
(Opera Outdoors), 2014
Ferrando (Così fan tutte)
Jonathan Boyd, Tenor
Tenor Jonathan Boyd continually performs to great acclaim throughout Europe, North America and South America. Of his performance as Roméo, Opera News hailed “Boyd is a versatile lyric singer with a great future. His high notes rang without being strident...” This season, he will reprise the role of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette in an epic co-production appearing with Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Lyric Opera Baltimore. He will also perform
a Gala Concert for Opera Colorado, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Teatro Colón, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Notable recent engagements include his début as Peter Quint/Prologue in Turn of the Screw at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse; Frank Shallard in Elmer Gantry for Florentine Opera of Milwaukee; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Colorado; Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress for both Portland Opera and Teatro Municipal de Santiago in Chile; a Scottish National Opera début as the title role in Werther; his début with Opera di Firenze as the role of Le Prince in L’amour des trois oranges; performed the role of Heurtebise in Orphée in his Pittsburgh Opera début; made his San Diego Opera début in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick as Ishmael; performed Anatol in Vanessa with Opera Metz in France; made his Atlanta Opera début as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor; sang the title role in Faust with Austin Lyric Opera; sang Tamino in Die Zauberflöte for Opera Tampa; the title role of Candide at the Portland Opera; and Sam in Susannah with Florentine Opera. In concert, Mr. Boyd performed Britten’s War Requiem with Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Opéra de Rouen Haute Normandie; Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Elijah with Forth Worth Symphony; and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers at Carnegie Hall.
Jonathan earned great recognition at the Dallas Opera for his performance as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, which has since become one of his signature roles. The Dallas Morning News wrote, “Jonathan Boyd, with a powerful and fluent tenor, is a standout Don Ottavio.” D Magazine said, “Tenor Jonathan Boyd as Don Ottavio presented the most consistently impressive performance of opening night.” He has also performed the role with Opera Cleveland, Arizona Opera, Opera Colorado, and Portland Opera.
Noted international engagements in past seasons also include débuts at Opéra de Nice and Opéra de Toulon as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Teatro Colón in a live television broadcast as Werther; Opera Royal de Wallonie in Belgium as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni; Le Grand Théâtre de Limoges as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Malta National Theater and Festival Lyrique-en-mer de Belle Île as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte; Opera Faber in Portugal, Théâtre de l’Athénée and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress; and Alfredo in La traviata with Akouna, Opéra en plein air in France.
Noted North American engagements from recent seasons include his début with Seattle Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, a role he also performed with Portland Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Arizona Opera; Roméo in Roméo et Juliette at Michigan Opera Theater, Nashville Opera and The Utah Symphony & Opera; and Alfredo in La traviata at both Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina.
Mr. Boyd has an extensive repertoire in 20th century operas including performances in Michigan Opera Theatre’s world premiere of Margaret Garner as George Hancock, New York City Opera’s productions of Mother of Us All and Central Park, and Sam in Street Scene with Portland Opera. Composer Lee Hoiby personally chose Mr. Boyd for the role of Roméo in his opera Roméo and Juliet, which he subsequently sang in performances at the Opera America convention in Vancouver, as well as with New York City Opera, Stamford Symphony in Connecticut, and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center.
Mr. Boyd has appeared in concert with the New York Philharmonic in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion conducted by Maestro Kurt Masur; the Philadelphia Orchestra in a recording of Pagliacci with Maestro Riccardo Muti; and at Carnegie Hall in Mozart’s Requiem with Maestro Nicholas McGegan with the Philharmonia Baroque. Additionally, Mr. Boyd has performed the tenor solo in Britten’s War Requiem for Flint Symphony Orchestra; a Gala Concert for Opera Omaha Haydn’s Creation with the Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center, the Princeton Symphony, and the Rochester Symphony; tenor solo in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal; tenor solo in Rachmaninoff’s Vespers with the Choral Arts Society in Washington D.C.; the tenor solo in Finzi’s Dies Natalis and Britten’s Les Illuminations with I Musici de Montréal; and with the Virginia Symphony in the live television broadcast of Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri in the role of Mozart, followed by performances of Händel’s Messiah.
The Corning, New York native began his apprenticeship with Florentine Opera of Milwaukee and since has returned in numerous roles such as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Camille in The Merry Widow. His San Francisco Opera appearances have included productions of Falstaff, Turandot, The Merry Widow (released on DVD), and Mother of Us All.
Sharon North Jones
Elizabeth Joy Kelly*
Camellia Yvonne Watkins
James C. Little
*Opera Omaha Mainstage Debut
The Pavilion in Turner Park | Midtown Crossing
Fri, Sept 9, 2016 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Show 6:30 p.m.
Omaha Conservatory of Music
Approx. 1 hr 20 mins
This performance will be projected onto two 12’ x 12’ screens to the left and right of the stage, ensuring that the entire audience has a great view.
Lawn chairs, blankets and picnics are encouraged.
There is no rain date for this concert.