ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Love blinds Rigoletto, a cursed court jester of the lecherous Duke of Mantua. Obsessed with protecting his daughter from the man she loves and he loathes, Rigoletto’s thirst for vengeance and desperate attempt to thwart fate bring about his own tragic undoing. Jeweled with some of opera’s most beloved arias, Rigoletto contains all of the thrills and pathos known to grand opera.
Opera Omaha joins Boston Lyric Opera and The Atlanta Opera in creating this new production set in the Italian Renaissance. Fabián Veloz makes his Opera Omaha debut as Rigoletto and joins a distinguished cast including soprano Rachele Gilmore, tenor Dinyar Vania, and bass Samuel Ramey.
Steven White, Conductor*
Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” Steven White is one of North America’s premiere conductors. In 2010 he made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting performances of La traviata. Since then he has conducted a number of Metropolitan Opera performances of La traviata, and returns to the Met in 2015 to assist James Levine in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
Engagements for the 2014-15 season include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Das Lied von der Erde at Kennesaw State University. He returns to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera Baltimore for Madama Butterfly, Arizona Opera for Eugene Onegin, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Opera Birmingham for La bohème. He will make debuts with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Opera with La voix humaine and Pagliacci. With Opera Omaha he will conduct Rigoletto.
Audrey Babcock, Maddalena*
Mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock is quickly gaining momentous acclaim as a fresh and vibrant interpreter of Carmen. Her richly hued voice, commanding presence, alluring body language, and sharply honed acting skills give her performances startling poignancy and depth, making her a sought after figure on the operatic scene. The 2013-2014 season includes several company debuts for Ms. Babcock, including with Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Coeur d’Alene as Maddalena in Rigoletto, the Dallas Opera as Mercedes in Carmen, Pensacola Opera as Carmen and Fort Worth Opera as Maria Luisa in the world premiere of With Blood, With Ink. Upcoming engagements include Maddalena in Opera Omaha’s Rigoletto and Carmen with Knoxville Opera.
Stephanie Havey, Director*
Winner of the 2013 Director-Designer Showcase with OPERA America, Stephanie Havey presented a new production of Elmer Gantry at the national conference in Vancouver. In the 2013-2014 season, Stephanie Havey directs Doule Exposure, new compositions by Lembit Beecher and Missy Mazzoli for Opera Philadelphia and a new production of Don Giovanni for Opera in the Heights in Houston. She also joins Boston Lyric Opera's directing staff for new productions of Rigoletto and I Puritani. The summer will mark her third season with Central City Opera as a director for their ShortWorks program and for a Family Matinee performance of Le Nozze di Figaro. Last season, Ms. Havey's new production of Il matrimonio segreto received rave reviews at the Pittsburgh Opera. She spent two seasons as the Resident Artist Stage Director for the Pittsburgh Opera where she directed numerous productions and a recital series in the Opera Studio. She has also worked on the Artistic or Production Staff at opera companies such as Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera North, Nashville Opera, Shreveport Opera, Orlando Opera, and the Lyrique en Mer Festival in Belle Ile France.
Ms. Havey has directed many collegiate productions including two outreach tours with the Florida State Opera. During 2007-2009, she served as the Director of Opera Workshop at Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.
Heath Huberg, Borsa
Iowa native Heath Huberg’s many stage credits include performances with the prestigious Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera, Omaha Symphony and Opera Omaha, Opera Southwest, Utah Symphony and Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. Recent productions include Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, Cosí fan tutte, The Crucible, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, Jérusalem, Les pêcheurs de perles, Madama Butterfly, Otello and Pagliacci. He has also sung world premiere performances of Life is a Dream with Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Huberg holds a Master of Music degree from The New England Conservatory of Music. He and his wife make their home in South Dakota.
Fabian Veloz, Rigoletto*
Fabian Veloz began his musical studies at the Municipal School of Arts and Language Education in his hometown, as a Classical Guitar student. In 2003, he began taking private voice lessons with Prof. Shirley Ocampos.
In 2004, he sang Fauré's Requiem, and in 2005 enrolled as a student at the Conservatorio Provincial Gilardo Gilardi (La Plata City) in Classical Singing with Prof. Daniel Zuppa and M° Juan Pablo Scafidi in Repertoire.
In 2007, he received a job position as a singer in the Teatro Argentino’s Operatic Chorus (La Plata City).
He was admitted as an advanced voice student at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón (ISATC), being Mª Lucía Boero (Vocal Technique) and M° Bruno Dastoli (Repertoire), his main teachers until today. He sang Verdi’s La Traviata (G. Germont) in the framework of the Teatro Colón 100th anniversary celebrations.
Veloz made his professional debut in the south american premiere of Luis is Bakalov’s opera Estaba la Madre (Obispo-Rabino) at the Teatro Argentino. He sang Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Fígaro) Teatro Avenida. Richard Strauss’s Salome (Teatro Argentino), Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Dr. Malatesta, Teatro Avenida), Orff’s Carmina Burana (Teatro Avenida), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico, Teatro Argentino), Verdi’s La Traviata (G. Germont, Teatro Avenida); Verdi’s I Due Foscari ( F. Foscari, Teatro Colón). Mozart´s Don Giovanni, (Masetto), Verdi’s (Rigoletto), Mahler eighth symphony (Pater Ecstaticus), Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini(Il Guilare and Gianciotto). Gounod´s Faust (Valentin). Verdi’s Il Trovatore (Conte di Luna), Puccini´s Madame Butterfly (Sharpless), Wagner´s Tristan und Isolde (Kurwenal), Verdi´s Simon Boccanegra (Paolo and Simon) Teatro Colón. Verdi´s Macbeth (Macbeth), Leoncavallo’s I pagliacci (Tonio), Verdi´s Don Carlo( Rodrigo), Verdi's La Forza del Destino ( Don Carlo di Vargas), Puccini's Tosca ( Scarpia).
In 2009 he won the “Estímulo” award, given by the Music Critics Association of Argentina. He won the local instance of the Competizione dell'Opera contest held in the city of Dresden, Germany. He was selected by the ISATC to perform in a concert at the Americas Society in New York. During this trip he took lessons with the M º Jorge Parodi (Julliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music) as well as with the M º Joan Dornemann (Metropolitan Opera House)and with the Mº Gabriel Bacquier in Paris.
Adam Cannedy, Marullo
Hailed for his “sonorous and secure voice” (Opera Today), baritone Adam Cannedy is quickly making his way on opera stages across the country. He has appeared with companies including New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, Central City Opera, Opera North, and Lyric Opera Virginia. He made his Opera Omaha debut as Morales in the 2013 production of Carmen. In 2010, Adam made his European debut as The Ballad Singer in the European premiere of Richard Wargo’s Winners at Wexford Festival Opera in Wexford, Ireland, and in April of 2011 made his Lincoln Center debut with New York City Opera as Rooster Wild Thing in Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are. A champion of modern music, Adam has collaborated with and performed for living composers including Carlisle Floyd, William Bolcom, Stephen Paulus, Richard Wargo, Peter Ash, Simon Sargon, Oliver Knussen, Ned Rorem, and Philip Glass. Most recently he performed in the world premiere of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and again in its European premiere in Wexford, Ireland. He completed two years as a resident artist at The Opera Institute at Boston University where he performed leading roles including Frank Chambers in Stephen Paulus’ The Postman Always Rings Twice, Olin Blitch in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Lord Capulet in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, and Chucho in the staged premiere of William Bolcom’s Lucrezia; he also recently appeared as an emerging artist with Virginia Opera.
Rachele Gilmore, Gilda*
Rachele Gilmore’s 2014-2015 season includes a reprisal of the role of Alice in Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she debuts with Opera Omaha as Gilda in Rigoletto, NCPA Beijing as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, and closes the season as Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in a debut with Festival d’Aix en Provence.
Last season, Ms. Gilmore’s engagements included the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for her debut at Opéra de Lille; La Monnaie in Brussels for Ophélie in Hamlet; Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with the Bayerische Staatsoper; Gilda with Opera Colorado; and a return to the Glimmerglass Festival, as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Other recent performances include a “show-stopping” [Classical Source] debut with the Metropolitan Opera, in the role of Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann; her debut with Teatro alla Scala, as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann; Queen of the Night in Opera Philadelphia's production of Die Zauberflöte; Amina in La sonnambula with Florida Grand Opera; Blonde in Die entführung aus dem Serail with Grand Théâtre Genève; and Das Feuer and Die Nachtigall in L’enfant et les sortileges with the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Tyler Putnam, Count Ceprano*
Tyler Putnam is receiving notice for his promise as an important young singer. Last summer, Mr. Putnam joined the Apprentice Singer Program at The Santa Fe Opera where he covered Rocco in Fidelio. Upcoming engagements include The Monk in Don Carlos and the Jailer in Tosca with Sarasota Opera. Other roles include Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Luther Billis in South Pacific with Opera North, New Hampshire. In New York, Mr. Putnam has sung Basilio in The Barber of Seville and Silva in Ernani with Vocal Productions NYC. He has also ventured into the New York "indie opera" scene, singing the role of Mr. B in Yoav Gal's new opera, The Dwarf, directed by Doug Fitch. Mr. Putnam was awarded top prize from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges and was a Boston District winner of the Met’s National Council Competition in 2011.
Dinyar Vania, Duke of Mantua*
Dinyar Vania’s 2013-14 season included debuts with Minnesota Opera as Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Lyric Opera Baltimore as Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Virginia Opera as Don José in Carmen. In summer 2014 he makes his Glimmerglass Opera debut as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. Recent highlights include his debut with Boston Lyric Opera as Pinkerton; with Spoleto Festival USA as Roberto in Puccini’s Le Villi; returning to Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Pinkerton and Don José; to Pensacola Opera and Opera Naples as Cavaradossi; Rodolfo in La bohème with Dayton Opera, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; opera highlights concerts with Seattle Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; and Ettore in Kimmo Hakola’s La Fenice (world premiere) with the Savolinna Festival (Finland). 2014-15 engagements include returning to Pensacola Opera as Rodolfo in La bohème, his Opera Colorado debut as Pinkerton, and joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its production of La bohème.
Mary Carrick, Giovanna
Mary Carrick is a dynamic performer who transitions between opera, musical theater, cabaret, and contemporary styles. She recently released her first solo album Let’s Fly (produced by J. Gawf of Opera Omaha) featuring music by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Craig Carnelia and other songwriters. Opera Omaha credits include Gertrude in Hansel & Gretel (cover/performed), Tango Singer in The Great Gatsby and featured soloist in Opera for a Cure. She was guest soloist for the 2013 Holiday Lights Festival concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center and has been featured with the Omaha Symphony in Gilbert & Sullivan, Holiday Fanfare, All Aboard! and Choral Collaborative. A Touring Artist with the Nebraska Arts Council, Ms. Carrick performs as a solo artist across the Midwest in cabaret and concert settings. She has been seen at The Rose as Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music and Sour Kangaroo in Seussical: The Musical (Omaha Entertainment & Arts Award). Several other area credits include Madame Flora in The Medium, Lady Thiang in The King and I, and Jenny in Company.
Samuel Ramey, Monterone
For almost three decades, Samuel Ramey has reigned as one of the music world’s foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. With astounding versatility he commands an impressive breadth of repertoire encompassing virtually every musical style from the fioratura of Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, which was the vehicle of his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, to the dramatic proclamations of the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, which he sang in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera televised by PBS. Mr. Ramey’s interpretations embrace the bel canto of Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti; the lyric and dramatic roles of Mozart and Verdi; and the heroic roles of the Russian and French repertoire.
Amanda DeBoer, Countess Ceprano
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett is an experimental singer and indie classical music curator originally from Omaha, Nebraska. She specializes in contemporary vocal literature and project-based performances that integrate classical music into modern social contexts. She is a member of Ensemble dal niente (Chicago) and is a co-founder of Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble (New York).
As a contemporary classical music specialist, Ms. DeBoer has premiered over 150 new works by inspiring musical innovators including Marcos Balter, Aaron Einbond, Christopher Cerrone, Robert Honstein, Morgan Krauss, Ravi Kittappa, Fredrick Gifford, Chris Fisher-Lochhead, Ryan Carter, Jonn Sokol, and many others. She has a wide variety of musical interests, and opportunities to incorporate storytelling, movement, multi-media and improvisation have been especially rewarding.
Ms. DeBoer released her first solo album in February 2013, and will record a full album with Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble in Spring 2014. She will also be featured on two albums by Ensemble dal niente (music by Aaron Einbond and Greg Saunier of Deerhoof), as well as a solo album by Christopher Wild, cello.
Born and raised in Omaha, NE, Ms. DeBoer moved to Chicago to study at DePaul University where she received a Bachelor of Music. She received a Masters degree from the University at Buffalo, where she studied with acclaimed contemporary interpreter Tony Arnold, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Bowling Green State University, where she worked with Dr. Jane Rodgers. She currently lives in Omaha, NE and teaches voice at Iowa Western. Along with her work as a performer, Ms. DeBoer regularly produces, curates, and presents concerts and festivals around the country. She is indebted to the inspiring grass-roots classical music movement that is taking hold, and hopes to contribute to the continued development of the North American contemporary music community.
Burak Bilgili, Sparafucile*
From the time of his professional operatic debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 2002 as Don Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia, bass Burak Bilgili has enjoyed a busy international career. Recent engagements include Zaccaria in Nabucco with the Auckland Symphony and the Washington National Opera, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the National Symphony, Ramfis in Aida with Edmonton Opera, Quasimodo in Bizet’s Notre Dame with The American Symphony Orchestra, Procida in Vespri Siciliani with the Caramoor Festival, and a return to Savonlinna Festival for the world premiere of La Fenice.
A recipient of numerous awards, the Turkish bass garnered First Prizes in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition 2002 in Vienna, the International Alfredo Kraus Competition 2002 in Las Palmas, the Neue Stimmen International Opera Competition in 2001, the Mario Lanza Opera Competition, and the J. Parkinson Italian Opera Competition. He was also a winner of the Loren Zachary Opera Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Voice Competition, and was First Place winner in both the Giargiari Bel Canto Voice Competition and 1998 Siemens Opera Competition in Turkey.
A graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Mr. Bilgili’s repertoire there included the title role in Don Giovanni, Count Rodolfo in La Sonnambula and Colline in La Bohème. Mr. Bilgili also graduated from the Conservatory of Mimar Sinan University in 2000. He studied with Maestro Bonaldo Giaiotti and Katia Ricciarelli at the Academia Lirica Internationale in Parma, Italy. He is recently working with Maestro Bill Schumann.
Sharon North Jones, Duchess
President and Executive Director of SNJ Studio of Music, Sharon North Jones holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is co-founder and Executive Director of Performer's Edge Academy of Performing Arts and owner of Diva Productions, a music production company in Chicago, IL and Omaha. Sharon has served as the Director of Contests and for the Society of American Musicians and as a scholarship adjudicator for the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
An accomplished opera, concert and music theater singer, Sharon has performed throughout the United States in such roles as Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Mrs. Nordstrom in Sondheim's A Little Night Music. Sharon has appeared with the Alabama Symphony, Opera di Cornetto, the Chicago Composer's Consortium, Opera Ensemble of Chicago and many others. She also presents concerts of opera scenes for such corporate clients as the Easter Seals Foundation, the Steinway Society, Insignia, ESG, and Harting, Inc. in Hamburg, Germany.
As a music educator, adjudicator and clinician, Sharon brings over 20 years of experience to students of all ages. In addition to teaching privately she has designed several programs for children and adults. Sharon also conducts vocal master classes and audition preparation clinics as well as producing and directing music theater and opera scenes workshops and children's theater productions.
Season tickets available now!
Production by – Tomer Zvulun*
Director - Stephanie Havey*
Set Designer – John Conklin
Costume Designer – Victoria Tzykun*
Lighting Designer – Robert Wierzel
Asst. Director - Jeffrey Whetstone*
Stage Manager - Sarah Hall
Accompanist - Wilson Southerland
Asst. Costume Designer - Amy Sutton*
Asst. Lighting Designer - Bailey Costa*
Asst. Stage Manager - Jordan Braun*
Asst. Stage Manager - Liana Dillaway
* Opera Omaha Debut