The Adventures of Pinocchioby Jonathan Dove
This fantastical tale brings to life the wooden boy who wants to be good, but just can't stay out of trouble. Guided by the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio has lots to learn before he can discover the secret to becoming a real boy. Jonathan Dove's exhilarating music is paired with magical stagecraft and storybook scenery. This family opera is an American premiere, suitable for children who aren't afraid of the dark.
“A modern composer has produced a new opera that is funny, poignant, tuneful, spectacular – and, best of all, stunningly conceived for all the family. To find an opera house full of eight-year-olds, held spellbound throughout a show…is rare enough. To find that discerning adults – and yes, even grizzled old critics – are also grinning from ear to earat the final curtain is pretty well unprecedented.” –The Times (London)
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Scene one – The wood Geppetto discovers a log with very special properties.
Scene two – Geppetto's hut After hearing the cry "Make me!", the carver crafts a puppet out of the wood. A newly christened Pinocchio runs about in search of something to eat, but the cupboards are bare, save only a dry crust of bread. Pinocchio soon learns the unwelcome lesson that food costs money. Realizing that his new son will need a spelling book, Geppetto goes out, ordering Pinocchio to tidy up the house. Instead, the undisciplined youth lazes by the fire and is reproached by a Cricket, who cautions him to change his ways or suffer the consequences. The helpful Cricket is squashed for his unsolicited advice. Pinocchio dozes off and his feet are burned off in the hearth. Having sold his coat to pay for the book, Geppetto returns and declares he will only make new feet if his son promises to be good.
Scene three – A street Pinocchio sets off for school but is distracted by a puppet show and sells his spelling book for admission.
Scene four – The puppet theater The other puppets recognize Pinocchio and greet him. Their master, the Fire Eater, is angered by the interruption and threatens to throw one of the puppets into the fire. Pinocchio begs him not to do it, offering himself in his place. Impressed by the boy's bravery, the Fire Eater gives him five gold coins.
Scene five – A street Cat and Fox spy the trusting child in the street. They suggest Pinocchio bury his small fortune in the Field of Miracles and watch it grow a thousand-fold overnight.
Scene six – The wood The Ghost of the Cricket appears and warns Pinocchio about the ruse, but the wooden-headed youngster will not listen. Now disguised as assassins, Cat and Fox try to stab, then hang Pinocchio from an oak tree, after he has tried to seek refuge in a nearby cottage. The home belongs to the Blue Fairy, who helps Pinocchio by ordering birds to peck him down.
Scene seven – The Blue Fairy's cottage The Blue Fairy consults three doctors, all of who m deliver a bleak prognosis for the boy. Nonetheless, Pinocchio will not take the bitter medicine until he is scared by six black rabbits carrying a coffin. The Blue Fairy asks how Pinocchio came to be hung from the tree, and as he embellishes the story of the murderers, to his horror, his nose begins to grow. After Pinocchio promises never to lie again, the Fairy commands a flock of birds to peck his nose back down to size. Pinocchio promises to be good.
Scene eight – The wood Cat and Fox lurk nearby in the forest and persuade the Pinocchio to bury his small fortune in the field, close his eyes and wait for the money to grow. When he discovers he has been swindled, the puppet is mocked by a Parrot, who has observed the entire event.
Scene nine – The court and jail Pinocchio cries for justice and is sentenced to three months in prison for being so easy to fool.
Scene ten – The wood After serving his term, Pinocchio rushes to the home of the Blue Fairy and is told by a Pigeon she has died of grief, having been abandoned by her new friend. He also learns that Geppetto has traveled a great distance looking for him. The Pigeon offers to fly him to his father.
Scene eleven – A beach At the beach, Pinocchio finds out that Geppetto has set sail in a rickety old boat. He dives into the water after him.
Scene one – Drudgeland On the Island of the Busy Bees, workers buzz happily at their tasks while Pinocchio, who has washed ashore after not having found his father, begs the street. The Blue Fairy (who is not really dead) appears, offering refreshments only if Pinocchio will lug several jugs to her home. The puppet longs to be a real boy.
Scene two – The seashore Lampwick dissuades Pinocchio from attending school, dragging him to the beach to see the Monster Fish. Instead they encounter the Big Green Fisherman, who catches Pinocchio with his net. He is released when the Fisherman finds he doe s not like to eat wood.
Scene three – Outside the Blue Fairy's house Pinocchio demands entry into the house. As the Snail takes her time to let him in, Pinocchio tries to kick the door in and gets his foot stuck. The Blue Fairy arrives and scolds him for skipping school. Still, she promises that tomorrow he will be turned into a real boy.
Scene four – A street Pinocchio meets Lampwick, who is waiting for the Funland Express. He persuades the puppet to join him.
Scene five – Funland The amusement park turns out to be a lie, as Pinocchio, Lampwick and other boys are quickly turned into donkeys.
Scene six – The circus As a donkey Pinocchio is forced to perform, but fails miserably, breaking his leg. A Drum Maker offers to buy him for his skin.
Scene seven – The seashore The Drum Maker throws the former puppet into the sea in order to drown him. But the Blue Fairy appears and Pinocchio is chewed down to his original wooden state by a school of fish. Swimming away, he is consumed by the Monster Fish.
Scene eight – Inside the big fish Pinocchio finds Geppetto in the creature's belly. As it sleeps, they escape through the Fish's mouth and swim to shore.
Scene nine – The village by the sea On the beach, the puppet runs for help for his exhausted father. He encounters the Cricket, who tells him the old man needs some milk. Running to a nearby farm, Pinocchio agrees to work in order to earn the money to save his father's life. Cat and Fox enter, now blind and lame and seeking charity. Lampwick, still a donkey who has labored on the farm, lies dying. Pinocchio realizes the merits of work and makes some money. The Snail enters, distressed by the Blue Fairy's sudden illness. The puppet gives her his wages to buy food and medicine. The Blue Fairy appears and announces that the puppet has finally learned life's secrets – love and sacrifice – and to his delight, Pinocchio becomes a real boy.
|Stage Director||Martin Duncan|
|Set and Costume Designer||Francis O'Connor|
|Assistant Directors||James Bonas|
|The Blue Fairy||Maureen O'Flynn|
|Barker||John David Boehr|
|Rosaura||Naomi Isabel Ruiz|
|Fire Eater||Ben Wager|
|Owl Doctor||John David Boehr|
|Crow Doctor||Brian J. Kuhl|
|Beetle Doctor||Nicole Percifield|
|Ape Judge||Ben Wager|
|Coal Merchant||John David Boehr|
|Bricklayer||Brian J. Kuhl|
|Big Green Fisherman||Ben Wager|
|Drum Maker||Bryan Boyce|
Dancers, puppet operators,
acrobats, prisoners, puppet
show audience, puppet
policemen, fantasy rich
people, lawyers, laborers,
pupils, teachers, Funland
vendors, circus troupe,
echoes, villagers and
Javier Abreu (Cat)
"No slouch in the hero department, tenor
Javier Abreu once again turned in a sterling performance, this time as the
prince, Don Ramiro. Mr. Abreu startles with a tenor that alternates thunder
with moments of great
delicacy laced with deft touches of vocal athleticism." – Washington Times, 2005
Javier Abreu's engagements in the 2008-2009 season currently include the title role in Rossini's Le Comte Ory with Tacoma Opera, a concert version of The Death of Klinghoffer with The Juilliard Opera Center, and conducted by its composer, John Adams, his debut with The Minnesota Opera as the Cat in the American premiere of Jonathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio, and his debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, as El Enano Salnés in the world premiere of Enric Palomar's La cabeza del bautista. Upcoming engagements for the 2009-2010 include his debut with Fort Worth Opera and his return to The New Israeli Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Mr. Abreu's 2006-2007 season included four company debuts: Pedrillo in Die Entfürung aus dem Serail with Florida Grand Opera, Almaviva in Cedar Rapids Opera Theater's Il barbiere di Siviglia, his role debut as Lindoro in Theater Basel's L'italiana in Algeri and Alexis in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer with Bard Summerscape. During the 2005-2006 season, the tenor garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of two of Rossini's leading men: Count Libenskof in Il viaggio a Reims with New York City Opera and the title role in Le Comte Ory with the Wolf Trap Opera. This season also included his European debut as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Stuttgart Stattsoper, Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Opera Omaha, a solo appearance with New York Festival of Song, and the tenor solo in Carmina burana with the National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Emil de Cou. In the 2004-2005 season, Mr. Abreu made his New York City Opera debut in the world premier of Charles Wuorinen's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, as well as his Wolf Trap Opera debut as Tobias in Sweeney Todd and his much praised performance as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola. With American Opera Projects, he sang the role of Pepe in a reading of Jorge Martín's new opera, Before Night Falls, based on the book by Reinaldo Arenas.
Additional operatic roles for Mr. Abreu include the title roles in Albert Herring, La clemenza di Tito, Plateé, Nadir in Les pêcheurs des perles, Beppe in I pagliacci, Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Pilade in Handel's Oreste, and both Daniel Buchanan and Sam Kaplan in Street Scene.
Also sought after as a concert singer, the tenor has appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brazos Valley Symphony. His awards include Second Place at the 2002 Great Lakes Region of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions and Finalist of the Macallister Awards the same year. He is also the recipient of a 2003 Richard F. Gold Career Grant given by the Shoshana Foundation of New York, and a Third Place at the 2005 Liederkranz Foundation Competition. Most recently, he was awarded the Olsen Artist Debut Award by Florida Grand Opera and was nominated for a Richard Tucker Career Grant. Other prizes include the Second Place in the Junior Division of the 1998 Palm Beach Opera Competition. Mr. Abreu made his Alice Tully Hall debut as the tenor soloist in Rossini's Petite messe solennelle with the Julliard Choral Union. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Universtiy of Miami. After finishing a Master of Music degree at the University of Houston, he worked as a Young Artists with the Pittsburgh Opera Center for two years. Mr. Abreu is also a recent alumnus of the Juilliard Opera Center.
Brad Benoit (Arlecchino; Lampwick)
Tenor Brad Benoit joined The Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program this fall, after attending the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist Program, where he covered the role of the Novice in Billy Budd. Other training programs to his credit include those at the Chicago Opera Theater and the Staunton Music Festival. Mr. Benoit is a graduate of Chicago College of the Performing Arts and has sung several roles there: Cecco in Il mondo della luna, the Lyric Tenor in Postcard from Morocco, the Prologue in The Turn of the Screw and La Théièry in L'enfant et les sortilèges. He has also performed the roles of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia for Opera in the Ozarks and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette and Hadji in Lakmé at his undergraduate alma mater, Loyala University.
On the concert platform, Mr. Benoit has been a guest soloist in Bach's Magnificat for Music by the Lake, Bach's Cantata No. 140 for the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra and the Midsummer Night Benefit for the Young Musicians for Young Humanitarians in Calistoga, California. For The Minnesota Opera this season, Brad will sing Ruiz in Il trovatore, Arlecchino and Lampwick in The Adventures of Pinocchio and Count Almaviva in the alternate cast ofThe Barber of Seville. He returns next season to sing roles in Casanova's Homecoming, Roberto Devereux and Salome.
John David Boehr (Barker; Owl Doctor; Coal Merchant)
A baritone from Dallas, Texas, John Boehr graduated from Baylor University in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance. Mr. Boehr performed numerous roles with the Baylor Opera Theater, including Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Giovanni Belleti in Libby Larsen's Barnum's Bird and Papageno in The Magic Flute. For Palm Beach Opera he played Dandini in La Cenerentola, Second Priest in The Magic Flute and Sciarrone in Tosca. During the summer of 2005, he sang Masetto in Don Giovanni for the Tanglewood Music Center, and for these last two summers has been a young artist with the Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Boehr continued his Santa Fe association with appearances in the Santa Fe Opera Winter Concert Series and the company's 2007 spring opera tour of the new work Trinity. Mr. Boehr made his debut with the Pittsburgh Opera singing Osmano in their production of L'Ormindo and sang Dandini in La Cenerentola for Austin Lyric Opera. He returns to Austin in 2010 to perform Tapioca in Chabrier's L'étoile.
Mr. Boehr has won numerous prizes at vocal competitions sponsored by the Dallas Opera Guild, Palm Beach Opera and the Metropolitan Opera Council Southwest Regional Auditions, among others. He joined The Minnesota Opera last season as a resident artist, singing Cristiano in A Masked Ball, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the Persian Captain in The Fortunes of King Croesus and the Hunter in Rusalka. In 2008-2009, he returns to sing Wagner in Faust, the Barker, the Owl Doctor and the Coal Merchant in The Adventures of Pinocchio and the title role in the alternate cast of The Barber of Seville.
James Bonas (assistant director)
James trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before starting work in Opera in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe. He has worked on productions for English National Opera, Royal College of Music, Opera North, the Royal Festival Hall at the South Bank Centre, Los Angeles Opera and Santa Fe Opera. These have included: Katya Kabanovna, Così fan tutte, Sir John in Love, The Gondoliers, Carmen Jones, The Adventures of Pinocchio, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Wizard of Oz. Most recent work includes The Magic Flute at the English National Opera. Future projects include A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal College of Music in London and a new production of Turandot in September 2009.
Born in Bedfordshire, soprano Rebecca Bottone studied opera at the Royal Academy of Music.
Her recent concert engagements include Charmeuse in Thaïs at the Chatelet, Paris, conducted by Eschenbach; Adès Five Eliot Landscape for Radio France; Handel Arias with the Kings Consort at Wigmore Hall and the St. John Passion with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi at the Teatro degli Archimboldi. At the Edinburgh Festival she has sung Adelaide di Borgogna with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Giuliano Carella, which was recorded for Opera Rara, Beethoven's C Minor Mass and Christ on the Mount of Olives with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson, and Dialogues des Carmelites with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Stéphane Denève.
Her operatic career so far has seen her working with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Richard Hickox and Marc Minkowski. She has sung: Cricket and Parrot in the world premiere of Jonathan Dove's Pinocchio for Opera North; Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Scottish Opera; Casilda in The Gondoliers for English National Opera; Cis in Albert Herring, which was recorded with Chandos and broadcast on Radio 3; Nanetta and Tytania with English Touring Opera; Elisa in New Kent Opera's production of Mozart's Il re pastore; the Dew Fairy and Sandman for Scottish Opera on Tour and Opera North and Rosina in Paisiello's The Barber of Seville for Bampton Classical Opera. She also appeared in BBC 2's TV documentary The Genius of Beethoven performing with the English Chamber Orchestra. Recently, she has sung Carolina in The Secret Marriage for Scottish Opera, the First Innocent in the world premiere of Birtwistle's The Minotaur and the Maid in Adès' Powder Her Face, both for the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden.
Future operatic engagements include Cleone in Rossini's Ermione for Opera Rara, with David Parry, the Maid in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright's first opera Pirma Donna for Opera North and the title role of Patience for BBC Proms.
Bryan Boyce (Pantalone;
Bryan Boyce is a native of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He has performed in the Twin Cities with Theatre Latté Da (Colline in La bohème and Olin Blitch in Susannah), Theatre de la Jeune Lune (the titles role in Figaro and Don Juan Giovanni) and with the Minnesota Orchestra and The Minnesota Opera. Mr. Boyce has spent three seasons in the Central City Opera's young artist program performing various comprimario roles and most recently covering Leporello in Don Giovanni. This past year he has toured with Theatre de la Jeune Lune's opera re-imaginings to Cambridge, MA (American Repertory Theatre) and Berkeley, CA (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). This season at The Minnesota Opera his roles will include the Old Gypsy in Il trovatore, Pantalone and the Drum Maker in The Adventures of Pinocchio and Don Basilio in the alternate cast of The Barber of Seville. Boyce has won scholarships from the Schubert Club in 2001 and 2004 and was a recipient of an encouragement award at the Minnesota District Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 2007.
Octavio Cardenas (assistant director)
Octavio Cardenas joins The Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program after having served as assistant director for productions of Così fan tutte and La traviata for Chautauqua Opera and Die Fledermaus at Austin Lyric Opera. He has also directed productions of Plump Jack, The Impresario, and The Elixir of Love and assisted on The Turn of the Screw and La chute de la maison Uscher for Butler Opera Center. Other directing credits include The Elixir of Love for Guadalajara Opera.
Mr. Cardenas is also a talented singer and actor, having performed in the films ‘Til parole do us part, Bottom Feeders and Gemini Friday; in the plays Beaux Stratagem (Scrub), Fashion (Mr. Twinkle), Summertime (Edmund), Orestes 2.0 (Forensic/Phrygian), Dream Play (the Lawyer), 4 a.m. (Doc) and Butterfly Kiss (Ross Sloan); and having sung the roles of Strephon in Iolanthe for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Shreveport, Sciarrone in Tosca for Shreveport Opera, Marquese d'Orbigny in La traviata and Cascada in The Merry Widow for Guadalajara Opera and Vuzzachio in L'infedelta fedele and Beto in Gianni Schicchi for USC Opera. Mr. Cardenas holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the Centenary College of Louisiana, a Master of Fine Arts in acting from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and is a candidate for a DMA in opera directing from the University of Texas at Austin.
Davy Cunningham (lighting designer)
Davy Cunningham was born in Scotland and studied philosophy at Stirling University. He has worked extensively in both opera and theatre and has lit over 150 opera productions world-wide. He is a recipient of the Martinu Foundation Award in the Czech Republic.
Opera productions in Britain include: Greek Passion (Royal Opera, London also Brno); many productions at the English National Opera including Manon Lescaut, Nabucco and The Excursions of Mr. Brouchek (also Munich), A Midsummer Night's Dream (also Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Athens, Ravenna, Turin, Strasbourg, Ludwigshafen & Bordeaux) and The Mikado (also New York City Opera, Houston, Portland and Venice); fourteen works for Opera North including The Adventures of Pinocchio (also Chemnitz and Minnesota), Tristan und Isolde (also Bochum) and Julietta (also Opera Zuid and Prague); eight productions for Scottish Opera including Minotaur; Rigoletto; Il trovatore (also Santander), Don Giovanni, Katya Kabanova, Norma and Dalibor (1998 Edinburgh Festival); Il trovatore and Cendrillon for Welsh National Opera (also Monte-Carlo, Turin, Toulouse and Antwerp); Angel Magick (1998 BBC Proms, London); The Daughter of the Regiment (English Touring Opera); Mr. Emmet Takes A Walk (Orkney Festival, Vienna 2003); Thérèse Raquin (Linbury Studio, ROH 2006). Davy was lighting consultant for English National Opera's Italian season in 2000.
European opera productions include Giulio Cesare, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (also Genoa) and Manon Lescaut (Opéra de Paris-Bastille & Garnier); Der Freischütz (Montpellier and Liège); Boris Godunov (Opera National de Lyon and Mannheim); Mahagonny, Der Rosenkavalier (Nancy); Der Rosenkavalier (Monte Carlo); Manon Lescaut (Bologna); Macbeth (Kirov-Mariinski, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera); Don Carlos (Staatsoper, Berlin); I puritani, Faust, Katya Kabanova (Bayerische Staatsoper); Lear and Death in Venice (Frankfurt); La bohème (Hamburg); Fidelio, Les Troyens, Der Freischütz (Leipzig); Wozzeck, Cavalleria rusticana and I pagliacci (Essen); Norma, The Nose and L'elisir d'amore (Nederlandse Opera); Zora D (Opera Studio Netherlands, Vienna and Belgrade); Werther, Macbeth, La Cenerentola, The Turn of the Screw and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (La Monnaie); Il barbiere de Siviglia, Luisa Miller, Otello, Pique Dame, Tosca (also Lisbon and Venice) and Parsifal (Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp); Fidelio and Der fliegende Holländer (Opéra Royale de Wallonie); Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Khovanschina (Barcelona), Pelléas et Mélisande, Werther, Le nozze di Figaro and Idomeneo (Copenhagen); Tosca (seen in the James Bond film ‘The Quantum of Solace'), Greek Passion, Fidelio, Der fliegende Holländer and Nabucco (Bregenzer Festspiele); Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni (Wiener Kammeroper); Leoncavallo's La bohème, Luisa Miller, Yolanta and Werther (Vienna Festival); Fidelio, Tristan und Isolde, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Lohengrin and La bohème (Göteborg); Life with an Idiot (Malmö and Copenhagen); Fidelio, Barabas (Oslo); Idomeneo (Lausanne); Die lustige Witwe (Basel and Copenhagen) and Jenufa and Fidelio (Geneva).
Further afield he has lit Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera); Giulio Cesare (Australian Opera and Los Angeles) and Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Istanbul International Music Festival at Topkapi Museum).
London West End includes Chekhov's Ivanov, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Nicol Williamson's one man show Jack; The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC; The Miser at the National Theatre and five productions at the Old Vic. For Yuri Lyubimov he lit productions in London, Vienna and Bologna as well as operas in Karlsruhe and Paris.
Other theater productions include The House of Bernarda Alba, Big Maggie (Abbey, Dublin); Beckett Cycle (also Barbican London), The Constant Wife (also Charleston/Spoleto 2007), The Weir, Lady Windermere's Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest (Gate, Dublin); Sive and Well of the Saints leading to the complete cycle of all J.M. Synge's plays for Druid Theatre Galway (Druid Theatre, Galway, Edinburgh Festival 2005, New York and Minneapolis 2006; also Playboy of the Western World on tour in the USA 2008) and The Cripple of Inishmaan (also Broadway 2008-2009); Translations (Princeton and Broadway 2006-2007); A Winter's Tale, As You Like It, Othello and seven Christmas productions at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh; As You Like It at the Nottingham Playhouse and Julius Caesar at Birmingham Rep.; Blue Orange (Scottish tour 2005); A Long Day's Journey Into Night (Druid, Galway); Moonlight and Magnolias (Tricycle Theatre).
Future new productions in 2008-2009: Cardillac and Doktor Faustus (Dresden); Aïda (Hamburg).
Martin Duncan (stage director)
Martin Duncan spent the first 20 years of his career as an actor in stage, film and television - he also composed musical scores for over 50 theater productions. He has directed theater productions all over the United Kingdom as well as in Berlin, Johannesburg and Stockholm. In 1990, Opera North invited him to direct his first opera production, and he has since directed productions for Scottish Opera, The Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, D'Oyly Carte Opera Co. as well as for opera houses in Munich, Cologne, Berlin, Toronto and Antwerp. From 1994 to 1999, Martin was Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, where he directed works by Gogol, Brecht, Goldoni, Molière, Beckett and Botho Strauss, and from 2003 until 2005, he was Joint Artistic Director of the Chichester Festival. His productions toured to festivals in Bucharest, Rome, Marseilles, Weimar, Galway and Tokyo and won many awards.
Brian J. Kuhl (Crow Doctor; Bricklayer)
As a soloist, Mr. Kuhl has appeared with a number of local and regional organizations, including the Century College Choir, the Bloomington Covenant Church, the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, the Bach Society of Minnesota, Rochester Orchestra and Chorale, the Minnetonka Choral Society and the Rochester Aria Group.
Anne Manson (conductor)
Conductor Anne Manson has achieved a series of historic milestones. She was the first woman to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, where she led the Vienna Philharmonic and a cast that included Samuel Ramey and Philip Langridge in a production of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov which met with great critical acclaim. Ms. Manson is one of only three women to have been appointed music director of a leading American symphony orchestra - the Kansas City Symphony - which she directed from 1999 to 2003. She launched her career in 1988 as Music Director of the London-based Mecklenburgh Opera, where, over a span of eight years, she programmed operas ranging from Mozart to 20th-century rarities, while commissioning world premieres from numerous composers. She is currently music director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Manson continues to take on new challenges in her career as she balances acknowledged masterworks with vanguard contemporary works. She made her debut with New York City Opera in the company's premiere of Samuel Barber's Vanessa in November 2007, about which The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Manson , who in 1994 was the first woman to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in an opera at the Salzburg Festival, has broken into the New York opera scene, and it's about time. She approached Vanessa not like some neo-romantic artifact, but as a substantive, intelligent and worthy contemporary work. Thanks to (her) urgent and sensitive conducting, Vanessa emerges as an authentic American masterpiece." In July and August 2007, she conducted Philip Glass'sOrphée at Glimmerglass Opera. Of these performances, The New York Timesraved, "As presented here...vibrantly conducted by Anne Manson, Mr. Glass's work was the surprise hit: a rich, complex and challenging experience...Ms. Manson managed to bring balance, clarity, and richness to the performance."
In November 2006, Ms. Manson led Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers with the Juilliard Opera Center, about which the Financial Times praised, "[Anne Manson] untied every rhythmic and melodic knot of this naughty opera bouffon with flair that buoyed both a splendid orchestra and an eager cast. She imposed fast tempos that never seemed rushed, transparent textures that never seemed precious. She sustained propulsion without leaving anyone breathless. It was an elegant achievement."
What most distinguishes Ms. Manson as a conductor are her dynamic podium presence, stylistic versatility, and ability to draw audiences into the inner world of the composer. Critics have hailed Ms. Manson's conducting as "passionately intense," "exciting," and "wonderfully precise," with a "sense of spontaneity and naturalness." The San Francisco Chroniclewrites, " a brilliant local debut by conductor Anne Manson seemed to embody all sorts of hopes for the future of women on the podium... (She) revealed herself as a conductor of insight and technical assurance. Her podium manner is crisp and fluid, with a wonderfully precise beat that opens on a dime into phrases of lyrical breadth."
Her reputation for excellence in the central German repertory, combined with a passionate advocacy of the music of the present, has led to invitations to some of the most important concert stages in the world. While based in London, she conducted regularly at Queen Elizabeth Hall. In Europe she has led concerts with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the London Philharmonic, the Royal National Scottish Orchestra, and the Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, and conducted at festivals such as the BBC Proms and the Berlin Biennale. In America, her engagements include concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra., and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded with the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras of Singapore and Iceland.
Ms. Manson's opera work is equally diverse, from Mozart and Mussorgsky to works of Kurt Weill and Carlisle Floyd, to such little-known 20th century works as Viktor Ullman's Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Judith Weir's Missa del Cid. In 2005, she conducted Così fan tutte for San Francisco Opera, and returned for the third time to Washington National Opera to conduct the world premiere of Scott Wheeler's Democracy, commissioned by Placido Domingo. Other major productions include Carlisle Floyd's Susannah with Samuel Ramey and Nancy Gustafson for the Grand Theatre, Geneva.
In April 2008, Ms. Manson led the Juilliard Opera Center in the highly anticipated New York premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town. In June and July, she toured Canada with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
Upcoming engagements for the 2008-2009 season conducting The Minnesota Opera Company in the United States premiere of Jonathan Dove's new opera The Adventures of Pinocchio and the Canadian Opera Company in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Recently: The Horse Marines (Drum, Plymouth); Drowning on Dry Land (Salisbury); The Weir (Gate, Dublin); The Deep Blue Sea (tour and West End); Moonlight and Magnolias (Tricycle, London); Six Characters in Search of an Author (National Theatre of Scotland); Stepping Out (Derby); Honk and For Services Rendered (Watermill, Newbury); Translations (Princeton and New York); Shadowlands (Salisbury); Man of La Mancha (Edinburgh Lyceum).
For Galway's Druid Theatre currently The Cripple of Inishmaan (Atlantic Theatre, New York following UK and Irish tour); many previous productions include Beauty Queen of Leenane (also London and Broadway), Lonesome West (also Broadway), and My Beautiful Divorce (also London with Dawn French). 2005-2006 the complete Synge plays cycle (also Lincoln Center, New York).
Other work includes The Plough and The Stars and The House of Bernada Alba (Abbey, Dublin), Andorra and A Raisin in the Sun (Young Vic), Calico (Duke of York's), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (RSC and Garrick) and Peer Gynt (National Theatre).
Work in hand includes: Two Men of Florence (Huntington, Boston); Much Ado About Nothing (Singapore); Mirandolina (Garsington Opera); Lucrezia Borgia (Buxton Opera); and Capriccio (Grange Park Opera).
Maureen O'Flynn (Blue Fairy)
Acclaimed performing and recording artist Maureen O'Flynn garners enthusiastic praise from critics, peers and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Of a recent opening night performance of Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, The New York Times said the soprano "... won a deserved ovation from the audience," andVariety exclaims, "... not only a superb technician, with the full coloratura arsenal at her disposal, but a sensitive interpreter." As one of Musical America's coveted "Artists to Watch," Ms. O'Flynn is regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Gilda in Rigoletto. She has performed the role with the Metropolitan Opera under the baton of Plácido Domingo, Arena di Verona, Covent Garden, La Fenice, Genoa, Italy, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, San Carlo, Naples, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, New Israeli Opera, the Israel Philharmonic, and debuted with Dallas Opera, winning the company's Callas Award as "Outstanding New Artist of the Year."
Upcoming engagements include Marguerite in Faust with Opera Carolina and Fresno Grand Opera, Blue Fairy in The Adventures of Pinocchio with The Minnesota Opera, a return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover Magda in La rondine, her role debut as Despina in Così fan tutte with the Arizona Opera, among other engagements to be announced. Engagements from the recent 2007-2008 Season include Micaela in Carmen with Portland Opera, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with L'Opéra de Montréal, Leïla in Les pêcheurs des perles with Florida Grand Opera, and Violetta in La traviata with The Minnesota Orchestra. Engagements in the 2006-2007 Season included Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, Amina in La sonnambula with Teatro Cervantes, Elena in La donna del lago with The Minnesota Opera, Marguerite in Faust with Portland Opera, Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with Cincinnati Opera, and Mimi in La bohème with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Other recent noted performances include Nanetta in Falstaff in her La Scala debut with Mo. Riccardo Muti, which was recorded on SONY, and Violetta in La traviata with the Metropolitan Opera, Hamburg Staatsoper, Palacio Festivales in Santander, Spain, Portland Opera, Dallas Symphony, MET Opera in the Parks and Opera Company of Philadelphia. In addition, she has recently performed Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow with The Minnesota Opera, Amina in La sonnambula at the Opera de la Coruna, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Santander Festival, I puritani at the Deustche Oper Berlin, Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Opera Omaha, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in Trieste, Tokyo and with Florida Grand Opera, The heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann at Calgary Opera, Leila in Les pêcheurs des perles with the Michigan Opera Theatre, Micaëla in Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera, and the Soprano Soloist in Vaughn Williams A Sea Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony.
She performed recitals for the Wexford Festival and the Richard Tucker Gala Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, which was broadcast nationally on PBS with an all-star cast including Barbara Dever, Denyce Graves, Jerry Hadley and Samuel Ramey. In addition, she performed in Grand Opera's Greatest Hits with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Broadways Greatest Hits with Jerry Hadley with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Broadway great Paul Gemignani, a gala concert with Nicola Ghiaurov, conducted by Riccardo Muti and has appeared as the honored soloist for the televised Christmas Midnight Mass at New York City's famed St. Patrick's Cathedral Additional work in this repertoire includes Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 with the Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia, Rossini Stabat mater with the Tokyo Shinsei Symphony, Amenaide in Tancredi at Carnegie Hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York, as well as Mahler's Symphony No. 4, Mozart's Exultate, Jubilate!, Mass in C, Coronation Mass and Requiem Mass; Fauré's Requiem and Handel's Alexander's Feast, Judas Maccabeus and Psalm 112. She has been awarded prizes by two of opera's most prestigious organizations: The Richard Tucker Foundation Grant and the Opera Index First Prize.
Nicole Percifield (Beetle Doctor)
Nicole Percifield is a recent graduate of New York's acclaimed Manhattan School of Music, where she performed a number of roles, including the Statue in Griffelkin, the title role in Araboolies of Liberty Street and Nancy Ford in The Village Singer. She has also been a Studio Artist at Central City Opera, singing the role of Esprit Cinq in Cendrillon and scenes from Werther (Charlotte) and Le Comte Ory (Isolier), at The Banff Centre and at the International Institute of Vocal Arts, singing the role of the Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica and scenes from La Cenerentola (title role), Carmen (Mercédès), L'amico Fritz (Beppe) and Così fan tutte (Dorabella). At the New England Conservatory, Ms. Percifield performed the roles of Alma March in Little Women, La Principessa in Suor Angelica and the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel as well as scenes from The Ballad of Baby Doe (Augusta), Werther (Charlotte) and La Calisto (Diana). For The Minnesota Opera this season, Nicole will be seen as Siébel in Faust and the Beetle Doctor in The Adventures of Pinocchio. Next season she returns to sing roles in Casanova's Homecoming and Salome. This summer she will be an apprentice artist in Opera Theatre of St. Louis' prestgious Gerdine Young Artists program.
Naomi Isabel Ruiz (Rosaura)
A native of Port Orchard, Washington, soprano Naomi Isabel Ruiz earned a Performer Diploma and a Master of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Patricia Wise. While a student at IU, Ms. Ruiz appeared with the Indiana University Opera Theatre as Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Antonia in A Wedding by Willam Bolcom. Additionally, she performed Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte under the guidance of Martina Arroyo and was seen in IU Opera Workshop productions directed by Carol Vaness. During her final year at IU, she taught voice class as an Associate Instructor. In 2007, she performed as a semifinalist in the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, was an IU Travel Grant Competition Award winner and won first place in the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition. Through Mu Phi Epsilon, Ms. Ruiz was awarded a 2007 Summer Scholarship and a 2006 International Brena Hazzard Voice Scholarship.
In the summer of 2007, Ms. Ruiz was invited to perform Mimì in La bohème with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center. The summer of 2005, she was seen as Ännchen in Der Freischütz and Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites in BASOTI opera scene productions. Ms. Ruiz participated in the master class of Patricia Wise at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in the summer of 2004. This summer, she was selected to participate in Timothy Noble's Charlie Creek Vocal Workshop.
As a McNair Scholar, Ms. Ruiz graduated cum laude with a BM in Choral Music Education from Central Washington University. While studying at CWU, she performed in newly composed one-act operas, including Obassan in Sedge Hats, the title role in Soul Catcher, and in many opera scenes as well as the title role in Cinderella with Valley Musical Theatre.
As a first-year member of the Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Program, Ms. Ruiz will perform Ines in Il trovatore by Verdi, Rosaura in The Adventures of Pinocchio by Dove, Berta in The Barber of Seville and will cover the role of Marguerite in Gounod's Faust. Next season she returns to sing roles in La bohème and Salome. This summer, Ms. Ruiz will be a Des Moines Metro Opera young artist.
Cindy Sadler (Pigeon; Snail)
Mezzo-soprano Cindy Sadler has been heralded for her "rich, satiny" voice (Palm Beach Post), "a magnificent mezzo voice that is big, well-controlled, and always, always, unbelievably rich throughout its range" (Arizona Sun); her "imposingly sung and vividly acted" performances (Boston Globe) and a stage presence which embraces drama and comedy with equal flair. Her 2008-2009 season encompasses performances as Hecate with Austin Shakespeare's production of MacBeth, featuring original music composed for her voice; Frugola, Zita, and La Zia Principessa in El Paso Opera's production of Il Trittico, and New Orleans Opera's Trittico, where she "just about stole the show as Schicchi's dragon lady, Zita" and "added relief to the gloom" of Tabarro (Theodore P. Mahne, The Times-Picayune). Other recent performances include Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Austin Lyric Opera, and the mezzo soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Youngstown Symphony. Upcoming engagements include company debuts as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana with San Antonio Opera, featuring Andrea Bocelli as Turiddu and Veronica Villaroel as Santuzza, Erda in Das Rheingold with Indianapolis Opera; and the Pigeon and the Snail in Jonathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio with The Minnesota Opera. Ms. Sadler will also return to Austin Lyric Opera as Mère Jeanne, covering Madame de Croissy, in Dialogues des Carmélites.
Ms. Sadler's operatic repertoire embraces a wide range of comedic and dramatic roles, including Baba the Turk, for which Opera News cheered her as "an absolute scream" (Mark Thomas Ketterson); Dame Quickly in Falstaff ("always a thrill", Sharon McDaniel, Palm Beach Post), Mrs. Patrick de Rocher (Dead Man Walking), Amneris (Aida), Augusta Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Fricka (Die Walküre), Erda (Das Rheingold and Siegfried), Tituba (The Crucible; "... a deep, smoky contralto, with an exotic color that perfectly suited the music", Ed Tapper, Boston Bay Windows) and Zulma (L'italiana in Algeri). She has performed in venues such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Pacific, Opera Boston, Arizona Opera, the Hollywood Bowl, Austin Lyric Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Austin Symphony, Central City Opera, and Chamber Opera Chicago.
Ms. Sadler's professional debut occurred in 1991 concerts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She went on to win international acclaim for her performances in Arizona Opera's Ring Cycles in 1996 and 1998, where as the only cast member to sing in all four operas she "knocked ‘em dead" (Kenneth LeFave, Opera News) with her "opulent mezzo" (Dorothy Stowe, Deseret News) and her dramatic presence: "with Cindy Sadler, a rich-voiced, pungent Earth Goddess, true frisson was achieved" (American Record Guide).
An accomplished concert artist and recitalist, Ms. Sadler counts among her repertoire the Beethoven Ninth with the Youngstown Symphony, the Verdi Requiem and Elijah with the Choral Arts Society of Austin, TX, Handel's Messiah with the Austin Symphony and many other venues, Beethoven's Missa solemnis and the Bruckner Mass in F Minor with the Austin Civic Chorus, and the Dvorak and Mozart Requiem with the St. Edward's University Madrigal Singers and Orchestra.
Ms. Sadler is a graduate of the University of Texas, where she studied with veteran Metropolitan Opera star Mignon Dunn. She currently studies with Gregory Lamar. She resides in Austin with her husband, Eric, and their two opera-hating Dachshunds, Samson and Dalila.
Randall Scotting (Fox; Coachman)
"But the high point of the opera was the North American countertenor Randall Scotting. Randall not only shows talent with his clear voice, pleasant and portraying virility ... but he also exhibits a sensual sculptured body and a truly handsome face."
His operatic roles run the gamut of style and genre including: Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (with Des Moines Metro Opera, Juilliard Opera Center and Opera North), Teseo in Vivaldi's Ercole sul Termodonte (at the Spoleto Festival, Italy with il Complesso Barocco, released on DVD and voted "best DVD of 2007" in Italy), Prince Orlofsky in Strauss' Die Fledermaus and the title role in Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck (both with Boulder Opera Theater), several Handel operas including the role of Ottone* in Agrippina and the title role in Flavio* (both with New York City Opera), Nireno in Giulio Cesare (with Opera Colorado), Athamas in Semele (with Boulder Opera Theater); and upcoming in 2009 Randall will perform the role of Ottone in Handel's Agrippina with the Landestheater Neustreltiz in Germany, sing recitals throughout Hungary and Germany, as well as make his operatic debut in Central America singing the title role in Handel's Rinaldo.
Ben Wager (Fire-Eater; Ape Judge; Ringmaster; Big Green Fisherman; Farmer)
Bass Ben Wager is a fourth-year Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he has recently sung the title role in Mendelssohn's Elijah, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino. In February 2008, Mr. Wager sang Monterone in Rigoletto with Opera New Jersey, followed by Masetto in Don Giovanni at Chicago Opera Theater, under the baton of Jane Glover, in April 2008.
Mr. Wager spent the summer of 2008 as a member of the prestigious Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where he sang the role of Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni. During the 2008-2009 season, he will sing Enrico in Anna Bolena, Il Vescovo in La fiamma, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Academy of Vocal Arts, and will join The Minnesota Operato sing the bass roles in the North American premiere of Jonathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio.
Future engagements include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Mozarteum of Salzburg under Ivor Bolton, and company debuts with Opera Company of Philadelphia (Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia), Los Angeles Opera (Julian in Die Gezeichneten) and Dallas Opera (Masetto in Don Giovanni, Nikitich and Chernikovsky in Boris Godunov).
In 2007, Mr. Wager bowed as Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Opera New Jersey and Kaspar in Der Freischütz with AVA Opera Theatre. The 2006 season found Mr. Wager performing at AVA Opera Theatre as Gremin and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Sparafucile and Monterone in Rigoletto. Mr. Wager enjoys a strong relationship with Opera Delaware, where he has sung Monterone in Rigoletto, Spinelloccio and Il notaro in Gianni Schicchi, Un mandarino in Turandot and Second Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte.
In concert, Mr. Wager has performed Handel's Messiah with Tindley Temple UMC, as well as Rossini's Stabat mater and Mozart's Mass in C Minor at the Academy of Vocal Arts.
Ben Wager studies with world-renowned voice teacher Bill Schuman.
Andrew Wilkowske, baritone, is a singer of broad range and character. A gifted actor as well as singer, Wilkowske's Papageno in The Magic Flute "stole the show" according to the Washington Post, and was a "lusty-voiced fellow," according to Opera News.
Engagements this season include singing the part of a Scientist in the North American premiere of Howard Shore's The Fly at Los Angeles Opera, directed by David Cronenberg and conducted by Placido Domingo. He will star as Geppetto in the North American premiere of Jonathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio with Minnesota Opera. Additionally, he reprises the role of Noah in Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath with Pittsburgh Opera. Wilkowkse created the role of Noah in 2007 with The Minnesota Opera. As a member of the original cast, he was featured on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion radio show and is included on a complete recording of the opera, available on P.S. Classics. On the concert stage, Wilkowske will sing Baron Duphoul in La traviata with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Rachmaninov'sThe Bells with the Helena Symphony.
Other recent appearances include Germont in La traviata with Skylight Opera Theatre; Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro with The Minnesota Opera; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the Indianapolis Opera and Eugene Opera; soloist in Rachmaninov's The Bells with the Buffalo Philharmonic; soloist in the 2006 Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall; Papageno in excerpts of Die Zauberﬂöte with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Yamadori in Madama Butterﬂy and Sciarrone in Tosca with Los Angeles Opera; Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China with The Minnesota Opera; and, Marcello in La bohème with Lyric Opera San Antonio.
Also active on the musical theatre stage, Wilkowske's performance in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris was called "chilling" and "deeply moving" by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and his performance in the world premiere of Sleeping Beauty with the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati earned him a nomination for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award.
Wilkowske has participated in the Merola Opera Program, Glimmerglass Opera's Young American Artist Program and The Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Program. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), earning an artist diploma in opera and a master's degree in voice. He earned his bachelor's degree in voice from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Nick Winston (Choreographer)
Horrid Henry: Live and Horrid (Sheffield Lyceum and UK Tour); The Wizard of Oz (Royal Festival Hall); Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance (UK Tour); The world premiere of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Jonathan Dove for Opera North and Sadlers Wells and its subsequent premieres in Germany and Minnesota; Another Kind of Magic (Scandinavian Arena Tour, also director); Stepping Out (Derby Playhouse); The Music of Dirty Dancing (UK and European Tour, also director); By Jeeves (UK Tour); The Thing About Men (Kings Head Theatre); Follies (TMA nomination: Best Musical, Royal and Derngate); Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress (Singapore); Tomorrow Morning (New End Theatre, also director); Manhattan Nights (UK Tour, also director); A Twist of Fate (Singapore); The Snow Queen (Singapore); Grease (Kenwood House, also director); Alfie (Watford Palace); The Fantasticks; Bouncers; Putting It Together; Ain't Misbehavin' (also co-director) and Side-By-Side-By Sondheim (Harrogate Theatre); Let Us Fly and Dorothy Fields Forever (Kings Head Theatre).
Music Video/Film: Nick choreographed the music video for Bob's Big Fish (Neil Morrissey/Universal). His production of The Adventures of Pinocchio is also available on DVD.
Corporate Work includes: Dubai World Cup (Dubai), Redken (Astoria, London) and Paul Mitchell (London and Paris).
Adriana Zabala (Pinocchio)
Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala was recently praised by the New York Times as "a vivid, fearless presence," and by the L.A. Times as "extraordinary" for her portrayal of the Barbarian Girl in the American premiere of Philip Glass' Waiting for the Barbarians with the Austin Lyric Opera. Ms. Zabala enjoys a vibrant and unique career that includes opera, song repertoire, new works, concert, oratorio, cabaret and jazz. She performs extensively throughout the United States and internationally, and also serves as Artistic Director of the Southeastern Festival of Song.
Within the last few seasons Ms. Zabala has been seen on the stages of the Seattle Opera, The Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, the Wildwood Festival, the Syracuse Opera, the Arizona Opera, the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Opera Carolina, the Lake George Opera and Opera Pacific. She has also been a soloist with The Minnesota Orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Spokane Symphony, the Syracuse Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Madison Symphony, the New York Festival of Song and at the Caramoor International Music Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. She has appeared in recital in the Barns at Wolf Trap, the The Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage, The Dallas Museum of Art, Ventford Hall in Lenox, MA and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Highlights of the 2007-2008 season include Ms. Zabala's European debut under Maestro Lorin Maazel as Mercedes in Carmen at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain, her Carnegie Hall debut on a concert with pianist and composer Gregg Kallor, premiering Exhilaration, Kallor's settings of nine Emily Dickinson poems, her critically acclaimed portrayal of the Barbarian Girl in the American premiere of Phillip Glass' Waiting for the Barbarians with the Austin Lyric Opera, and appearing as the alto solist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Bryn Terfel as Elijah.
In the 2008-2009 season Ms. Zabala appears in several concerts with the Berkshire Opera, makes her Canadian debut with Opera Lyra Ottawa as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, sings the title role in La Cenerentola with the Atlanta Opera, returns to Opera Carolina as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and sings the title role in the American premiere of Jonathon Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio with The Minnesota Opera.
Adriana Zabala was born Georgia and raised in Miami, Caracas, Venezuela, and Lake Jackson, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from Lousiana State University, was a Fulbright Scholar in Salzburg, Austria, studying German Lieder at the Mozarteum, and earned her masters degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Ms. Zabala was an Artist Resident for two seasons with the Minnesota Opera, where she performed the roles of Cherubino, Annina and Rosina, among others. She spent the following season as a Young Artist with the Seattle Opera, singing the title role in La Cenerentola. Ms. Zabala is an alumna of the apprentice programs at the Berkshire Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, Operafestival di Roma, and the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
Ms. Zabala is a student of Bill Schumann. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
The Adventures of Pinocchio
Music by Jonathan Dove
Libretto by Alasdair Middleton
after the tale by Carlo Collodi
World premiere at the Grand Theatre, Leeds
December 21, 2007
For a long time before I actually wrote it, I thought this tale would make a marvelous opera that could appeal to a whole family. There are not many operas in this category (Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute stand out) and it would be wonderful to attract quite young people to the opera house, whilst giving adults plenty to think about and enjoy.
Talking about the story to other people, I discovered that few people have read the original book. Most have encountered the story in Disney's version, or one of a number of similarly sentimental adaptations that always seem to miss the strange and quirky magic of the original. They are surprised, for example, that Pinocchio squashes the cricket (Jiminy Cricket in Disney) with a mallet almost as soon as he has opened his mouth, or that the Blue Fairy first appears claiming to be dead, in a house full of dead people.
Opera has no problem embracing the strange and the magical. Writing an opera of The Adventures of Pinocchio was an opportunity to rescue some of the peculiar enchantment of Collodi's imagination. The dramatic incidents and extraordinary characters call for colorful music teeming with invention and vivid contrasts. Marionette dances, fairground rides, thieves giving chase; terrifying men and a captivating girl; crime and punishment, remorse and reconciliation - it's all a gift for a composer.
The title role is exciting for a singer, demanding physical agility and stamina, and a big vocal range. Pinocchio hardly leaves the stage for a moment, and his adventures come thick and fast. He narrowly escapes death several times. His feet are burned off, his nose grows to an alarming length, he is turned into a donkey - and then at the end of the opera, he undergoes the biggest transformation of all, when he turns into a real boy.
I've enjoyed making the musical journey, from the first sounds made by a talking log to the bitter-sweet rapture of Pinocchio, looking down at the puppet he used to be.
b London, July 18, 1959
Dove has written over a dozen operas, including Siren Song and L'augellino belverde, which received its highly acclaimed United Kingdom premiere by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in June 2005. He has also written four large-scale community operas and a church opera, Tobias and the Angel, which re-opened the Young Vic's renovated theater in October 2006. The Young Vic also presented The Enchanted Pig, a musical fairy tale, as its Christmas Show in December 2006/January 2007 with subsequent tour around the UK.
Dove's television opera When she died ... was first broadcast in 2002 to an audience of nearly a million viewers in the United Kingdom alone and a staged version was premiered at Kammeroper Vienna in March 2007. Man on the Moon, a television opera about the first moon-landing, was first broadcast on Channel 4 in December 2006 and won the Opera Special Prize at the Rose d'Or Festival for Television Programming in 2007 and a Gold Medal at the Park City Film Music Festival 2008. Kwasi & Kwame, a chamber opera adapted by Arthur Japin from his bestselling novel The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi, was commissioned by Opera ot Rotterdam and toured the Netherlands from October 2007 until April 2008. Opera North and Sadler's Wells commissioned The Adventures of Pinocchio, which premiered in December 2007 in Leeds with a subsequent tour around the UK, and which will also be seen at Chemnitz, Germany.
The opera L'altra Euridice is one of several works written for period instruments, including La dama ed il pulitore di Damasco and Le porte di Bagdad (all three of them operas for Musica Nel Chiostro); Dove completed this cycle of period instrument operas with an adaptation of Chaucer's "The Shipman's Tale," An Old Way to Pay New Debts, in October 2006; Figures in the Garden and The Middleham Jewel were both written for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; and the Bach-inspired Köthener Messe, for the Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin.
Dove's choral music includes a song cycle, The Passing of the Year, and several anthems and carols, among them The Three Kings, commissioned by King's College Cambridge, and The Far Theatricals of Day, settings of Emily Dickinson for soloists, choir, brass quintet and organ. His most recent works are The Darkling Thrush, commissioned by Trinity College Cambridge and It sounded as if the streets were running with poems by Emily Dickinson for the Farnham Youth Choir. London Symphony Chorus will premiere a full orchestrated version of The Passing of the Year in the 2008 season. Solo song-cycles include Five Am'rous Sighs, Ariel, All You Who Sleep Tonight, Out of Winter, Minterne and All the Future Days.
Recent instrumental commissions include Airport Scenes, an orchestral suite from Flight, and Hojoki, a dramatic cantata for countertenor and orchestra, which was premiered by Lawrence Zazzo and the BBCSO under Jiri Belohlavek in September 2006. Dove's instrumental works also include two quartets (the string quartet Out of Time and the saxophone quartet Tuning In), three concertos – Stargazer, a trombone concerto, which was premiered by Ian Bousfield and the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas in March 2007; Moonlight Revels for saxophone, trumpet and strings; and the Mozart-inspired flute concerto, The Magic Flute Dances; and the orchestral overture Run to the Edge, The Crocodiamond (or Rita and the Wolf) for narrator and orchestra, and Across the Walls for brass and percussion.
Coming from a family of architects, Dove's work has often been associated with buildings. He wrote music for the opening ceremonies of London's Millennium Dome and the Millennium Bridge and provided the score for a film about the architect Carlo Scarpa. Film and architecture come together in one of his latest projects, Work in Progress, 14 site-visits for piano and orchestra, composed for the opening season of The Sage Gateshead (the new music-center designed by Norman Foster) which also incorporated a film of the building process.
The activity of building features in two of the three community operas he wrote for Glyndebourne, and also in The Palace in the Sky, a community opera produced at the Hackney Empire by English National Opera and Hackney Music Development Trust. Dove's commitment to working in the community is also shown in The Hackney Chronicles, an opera for primary school children for Hackney Music Development Trust; Dove also collaborated with the Trust on Hear Our Voice, a cantata developed with young people setting writings of children of the Holocaust. On Spital Fields, a community cantata for 200 performers, received its premiere in the 2005 Spitalfields Festival and won a rps as well as a British Composer Award. Dove has a long-standing relationship with the Spitalfields Festival and was its artistic director from December 2001 until July 2006. Spitalfields Festival won a RPS Award as Best Festival for the 2006 festivals (summer and winter).
Acknowledged as a highly accomplished composer of theater-music, Dove has written for the National Theatre (most recently providing music for His Dark Materials) for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and for the New York Shakespeare Festival. He has written scores for over 30 plays, has been Music Adviser to the Almeida Theatre since 1990 and is an Associate of London's National Theatre.
– courtesy of Edition Peters
Magee, Robson, Taylor, Mason, Willis, McFadden, Plazas, Coxon, Parry
Gyndebourne Festival Opera Chorus and London Philharmonic Orchestra
For More Information
A class devoted to The Adventures of Pinocchio will be held on Monday, February 16, 2009.
Special guest speaker will be composer Jonathan Dove.
Call 612-333-6669 for tickets.