Opera Saratoga Sets 2017 Summer Festival Program
Based in New York City, James Ortiz is an established director, actor, writer, designer, and puppeteer. Most recently, James was the recipient of the 2016 OBIE Award for Puppet Design for his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway show, The Woodsman, which was hailed by the New York Times as 'Abundantly Beautiful" "Evocative and Haunting" by Time Out New York, and "Clever, Pure Theatre" by The Huffington Post. Regionally, On, and Off-Broadway James has designed for: Theatre for a New Audience and The Public Theatre (King Lear), Shakespeare Theatre of DC (The Tempest), The New Group (Mercury Fur), Studio42 (Miss Lilly Gets Boned, My Base and Scurvy Heart), Naked Angels (Sea Wife), Stable Cable Theatre Company (Nibbler), and Making Books Sing (Wringer). As a director, James's work has been seen at New World Stages, Ars Nova and 59e59 (The Woodsman), Glass Bandit Company (The Little Mermaid), New Place Players (A Midsummer's Night's Dream), Collin Theatre Center (All's Well That Ends Well, The Glass Menagerie). As an Actor, credits include The Woodsman (New World Stages), El Gato Con Botas (Tectonic Theatre Co.), On the Head of a Pin (Strangemen), Rhinoceros (UglyRhino Theatre Co.), Wanda's Monster (Making Books Sing). AWARDS: Recipient of the 2014 Jim Henson foundation Grant, 2015 resident artist at The New Victory Theatre. James is also the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the devised theatre group, Strangemen & Co.
Identified by Opera News as one of their "25 Rising Stars" (October 2015 issue), tenor Andrew Bidlack's 2015-16 season included his return to Opera Omaha, where he sang Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, a role in which he previously appeared at Florida Grand Opera. He also appeared with Arizona Opera as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas, and made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Beppe in I pagliacci, where he also sang the role of the Lamplighter in Manon Lescaut while covering Edmondo. In spring 2016, Andrew traveled to the UK to create the principal role of Private John Ball in In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera's new commission by composer Iain Bell, a production that included a residency at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Mr. Bidlack is a frequent interpreter of contemporary music; last season saw him create both the principal tenor role of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot's Everest at Dallas Opera and the role of Irving Tashman in Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star at Cincinnati Opera. He also sang Ishmael in the workshop production of Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick at San Francisco Opera while he was an Adler Fellow, and later workshopped the role of Tancredi in John Musto's new opera The Inspector at Wolf Trap. As a Merola Opera Program participant, he created the role of Charles Carter in the world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri's The Hotel Casablanca. He appeared at Carnegie Hall for his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as The Young Collector in their production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Renée Fleming, a role he also sang in Chicago, and in the role of Sandy in The Lighthouse at Dallas Opera for the inception of their Chamber Opera Series. A graduate of San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellowship, Mr. Bidlack made his house debut there in The Little Prince and went on to appear as Odoardo in Ariodante, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Count Albert in Die tote Stadt, the Simpleton in Boris Godunov, and Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Seraglio. Other career highlights include his New York City Opera debut as Baron Lummer in Intermezzo, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Florida Grand Opera, and Rodrigo in Rossini's Otello at Opera Southwest. International engagements had included his South American debut as Oronte in Alcina at Teatro Municipal de Santiago in Chile, Damon in Acis and Galatea at the Macau International Music Festival, and his appearance as A Guest in The Saint of Bleecker Street at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, which was recorded and released under the Chandos label. Concert performances have included the tenor soloists in Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Haydn's Creation, and Mozart's Requiem. He made his Carnegie Hall debut singing the Evangelist in Bach's Weihnachts Oratorium, and he joined the South Dakota Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony for Carmina Burana.
A former winner in 2012 of Placido Domingo's prestigious Operalia competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, American soprano Janai Bruggerbegan the 2015-16 season as Micaëla in Carmen at Washington National Opera, and reprised the role at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 "brilliant young artists" (October 2015 issue), Janai joined the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert series and made several US concert appearances during the season. She made her debut as Norina in Don Pasquale at Palm Beach Opera, and returned to Los Angeles Opera to revive the role of Musetta in La Bohème under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Other recent highlights include the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte for her UK debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and which she also sang at Los Angeles Opera; Liu in Turandot and Helena in The Enchanted Island, both at The Metropolitan Opera. In previous seasons, Miss Brugger made her debut as Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Colorado, sang the High Priestess in Aida at the Hollywood Bowl with Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at Palm Beach Opera. As a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, her Los Angeles Opera appearances include Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Placido Domingo, Page in Rigoletto with James Conlon, and Musetta in La Bohème with Patrick Summers. Miss Brugger appears frequently in concert and in recital; she sang at the Peter Dvorsky Festival in the Czech Republic; with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the May Festival under the baton of James Conlon; at Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra as First Lady Die Zauberflöte under the baton of James Conlon; at Grant Park Festival's Fourth of July open air concert before 10,000 people, and with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their 2013 gala concert performance. Additionally, she appeared in New York's Festival of Song, and with David Daniels for performances of The Messiah in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A native of Chicago, the artist obtained a Master's degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett. She received her Bachelor's degree from DePaul University where she studied with Elsa Charlston. In 2010, Miss Brugger participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons. Future appearances include return engagements at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Christopher Burchett's rich, no-holds-barred baritone voice and committed stagecraft have earned him a place on the stages of opera companies throughout the United States including New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, Eugene Opera, Glimmerglass Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Current engagements include a return to Boston Lyric Opera as Dad/Cafe Manager/Police Chief in Turnage's Greek; and Ming in Gilgamesh (part of the world premiere of the Ouraboros Trilogy) with Beth Morrison Projects. Recent engagements have included a return to Forth Worth Opera for Buried Alive/Embedded; Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, both with Virginia Opera; Sweeney Todd with Eugene Opera; Don Giovanni with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Father Palmer in Silent Night with Fort Worth Opera; a reprise of Soldier Songs at the Atlas Theater in Washington, DC; and Buried Alive/Embedded with Fargo-Moorhead Opera. He was heard in New York with the one man opera Soldier Songs by David T. Little as part of the PROTOTYPE New Music Festival produced by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE; and as Captain Corcoran in H.M.S Pinafore with Opera Saratoga. He was Blazes in Boston Lyric Opera's production of The Lighthouse; Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China with Eugene Opera; and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with Virginia Opera. A champion of new music, Christopher has been a part of several world premieres, creating the roles of Orsen in Edwin Penhorwood's opera Too Many Sopranos with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, M. Carré-Lamadon in Stephen Hartke's The Greater Good with Glimmerglass Opera and Justin in Anthony Davis' opera Wakonda's Dream and Baritone Soloist in Paul Moravec's Blizzard Voices, both with Opera Omaha. He has also participated in the revival of several 21st century works: the oratorio Restless Mourning by Anthony Davis and the roles of Braxton and Sherrin in Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's opera The Mines of Sulphur. Christopher can be heard on both the Naxos record label in the world premiere recording of The Greater Good; as well as part of the "OPERA America Songbook", a recorded collection of 47 songs commissioned by OPERA America to celebrate the opening of the National Opera Center.
Bass Baritone Craig Colclough began his career at the Los Angeles Opera. After two seasons appearing with the company in various roles, Mr. Colclough joined Florida Grand Opera's Young Artist Studio, and in 2012, became a Filene Young Artist at the Wolf Trap Opera Company. The autumn of 2016 finds Craig's return to London for Scarpia in Tosca with English National Opera, a role that serves as his debut at Canadian Opera Company later in the season. He also joins the Minnesota Opera for Doristo in L'arbore di Diana, and makes his debut with Opera Saratoga singing the title role in Verdi's Falstaff. Mr. Colclough's 2015-2016 season included performances with Arizona Opera as the title role in Falstaff and Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, for Timur in Turandot, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Additionally, he returned to English National Opera for his role debut of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Florida Grand Opera for Oroveso in Norma, and Los Angeles Opera for Simone in Gianni Schicchi. On the concert stage, he makes his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Dottore Grenvil in La traviata. In the 2014-2015 season, Craig made his European debut with English National Opera as Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West, returned to Los Angeles Opera for concert performances of Hercules v. Vampires (roles of God of Evil and Procrustes), and also debuted with Atlanta Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Lieutenant Gordon in Silent Night. During the 2013-2014 season, the bass-baritone essayed the title role in Don Pasquale at the Arizona Opera, covered the title role in Falstaff for both San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and appeared as Bosun in Billy Budd at the Los Angeles Opera. In concert, Mr. Colcough appeared with the Orange County Philharmonic Society for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Past leading roles include Falstaff in Verdi's Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Leporello and Il Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Collatinus in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, Oroveso in Bellini's Norma, Rambaldo in Puccini's La Rondine, Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Friar Laurence in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet and Elijah in Mendelssohn's Elijah. Additional credits include the Israeli Symphony Orchestra, California Philharmonic, Capitol Records, Abbey Road Studios and the soundtrack of the film Rolled.
Mezzo Soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and a Samling Scholar. This season she performed the role of Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Metropolitan Opera, and the title role in Bizet's Carmen with the San Francisco Opera. Future engagements include Carmen with Michigan Opera Theatre, her debut at Opera de Paris as Despina in a new production of Cosi fan tutte, conducted by Philippe Jordan, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with the Seattle Opera, the role of Rosina with the Santa Cruz Symphony and Carmen with Nashville Opera. In the 2014-15 season she debuted at Vancouver Opera and Opera Grand Rapids in the title role of Carmen, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana and Mercedes in Carmen. This past summer she sang concerts presented by Met in the Parks. In 2012 Ginger debuted the role of Carmen with the Glimmerglass Festival, and made her European debut as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Gran Teatre del Liceu. In 2012-13 season she returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Smaragdi in Francesca da Rimini and Mercedes in Carmen, and was featured as the Marchesa del Poggio in Verdi's Un Giorno di Regno with Glimmerglass Opera. In 2013-14 she returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Cosi fan tutte and Falstaff, and debuted at Virginia Opera as Carmen. Recently she performed Rosette in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Massenet's Manon, made her San Francisco Opera debut in Nixon in China, sang Marie in Rossini's Moise et Pharaon with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, and the role of Puss in the 2010 US premier of Montsalvatge's El gato con botas with the Gotham Chamber Opera. Ms Costa-Jackson's former Met roles include Nancy T'sang, First Secretary in Nixon in China; Wowkle in La fanciulla del West; Eine Theatergarderobiere/Der Gymnasiast/Ein Groom in Berg's Lulu; cover for Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro; Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana; and Myrtale in Thaïs. In 2009 she debuted with the San Francisco Symphony as Celia in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. Ms. Costa-Jackson has won many prestigious awards, including recognition in The Lotte Lenya Competition, the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, and the Opera Index Vocal Competiton.
Soprano Caroline Worra has been hailed by Opera News as "one of the finest singing actresses around." She has sung over 75 different operatic roles including more than 20 World, American, and Regional Premieres. She was internationally acclaimed for her performances of Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur, Grammy nominated CD for Best Opera Recording, and as the title role for The Greater Good; Passion of Boule de Suif, Opera News and New York Times pick for one of the top classical CDs of the year. Her third full opera recording, Glory Denied, was released by Albany Records and is a Washington Post and Opera News pick for one of the top CDs of the year. This year, her fourth full opera CD, recorded live by Naxos, is now available: Faccio's Amleto, in which she portrays Regina Geltrude. Ms. Worra has worked at over 30 opera companies across the United States including The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Dallas Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Madison Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera Memphis, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Urban Arias, American Lyric Theatre, American Opera Projects, Tanglewood, Opera Saratoga, Berkshire Opera Festival, and six seasons at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. Caroline performed on two U.S. National Tours with San Francisco's Merola/Western Opera Theatre singing Violetta in La Traviata and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She gave a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) and performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist in Beethoven's Mass in C, Britten's Spring Symphony, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Orff's Carmina Burana. She recently performed as the soprano soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and Strauss' Four Last Songs with the LaCrosse Symphony. Overseas she has performed as Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily and Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur at The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (winner of The 2009 Best Opera of Ireland Award). Caroline is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation/Richard F. Gold Career Grant. She grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from Onalaska High School where she also received the 2015 Wall of Excellence Award. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Piano and Vocal Performance from Luther College, a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Missouri in Columbia where she also received a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts and Science, and a Doctor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Indiana University. Caroline currently resides in New York City.