Lyric Opera Announces its 2017-18 Resident Artists

Lyric Opera Announces its 2017-18 Resident Artists

General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler has announced the selection of the artists for the Resident Artists Program for the 2017-2018 season. They include: soprano Marlen Nahhas, mezzo-soprano Lauren Auge, tenor Martin Luther Clark, baritone Tim Murray and coach/accompanist James Maverick. Led by Vinson Cole, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance faculty member and one of the leading artists of his generation, they will perform in various roles throughout the 2017-2018 season on the mainstage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as well as at community outreach and education events. The artists were selected after a rigorous national audition of more than 350 singers.

During their Residency, in addition to appearing in mainstage roles, the Resident Artists will work with visiting guest artists, conductors and directors, participate in master classes, receive career coaching, study leading roles, make musical appearances in the community, and appear in their own intimate musical performances as a part of Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Explorations Series, which will focus on intimate gems of the vocal music repertoire. The Resident Artists have completed their post-graduate education and have some professional experience. The Resident Artists will have a full time 8-month contract for one to two years.

Meet the Resident Artists

Sun., Sept. 24, 2p

Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

Lyric Opera audiences will have an opportunity to meet the Resident Artists on Sunday, September 24 at 2p at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building for an informal afternoon 'salon'. Through conversation and musical selections including arias, art songs and show tunes, audiences are invited to sneak a first peek at the quartet and pianist who will grace the main stage and our Explorations Series presentations throughout the season. The event is FREE. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. For ticket information, visit kcopera.org or contact Lyric Opera Ticketing & Patron Services at (816) 471-7344.

"We launched the Resident Artists Program last year and it has been an unqualified success," stated Sandler. "We join the international opera community in the training of talented, emerging professional young artists. This professional development program involves performance experience and the ability to work with our field's leading conductors, directors and principal artists. Our audiences have embraced our young artists and have been touched by them in a surprising number of ways. I look forward to another season of productive and engaged experiences."

The program was made possible by a generous donation from the Estate of Richard Hill, Charter Sponsor of the Resident Artist Program.

About the Resident Artists

Lebanese-Mexican soprano Marlen Nahhas has been an apprentice artist at Central City Opera for the last two summers where she was awarded the coveted young artist scholarship. The year prior, she was a festival artist at Utah Festival Opera where she won first place in the Michael Ballam International Opera Competition. Ms. Nahhas has been a two-time regional finalist in the Midwest region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and musical theatre at Oklahoma City University and her Masters and Performance diploma from Indiana University under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. Recent roles include the title role in Tosca, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Mimi in La bohème.

As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Nahhas will perform the roles of The Page in Rigoletto and Berta in The Barber of Seville.

Lauren Auge, mezzo-soprano, is described as "offering something transformative to the audience" in her work on the stage. Most recently, Ms. Auge was seen as Jennie in Kurt Weill's Down in the Valley and Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte. Making her mark on the competition scene, Ms. Auge was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Bel Canto Foundation competition, the 2014 winner of Sinfonietta Bel Canto Voice Competition, a finalist in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and a first place winner in the 2013 Pantazelos Performing Artists Foundation Vocal Competition. Recently Ms. Auge was also a Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival. Previous operatic roles have included Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, The Duchess in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Gondoliers, Thelma in Cold Sassy Tree and The Wife in Darius Milhaud's dark opera Le pauvre matelot.

As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Auge will perform the role of Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

Tenor Martin Luther Clark is an alumnus at the University of North Texas holding a Graduate Artist Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree, both in Vocal Performance. While at UNT, Mr. Clark studied voice with Dr. Stephen F. Austin and Professor William Joyner. He recently made his Charlottesville Opera debut as a Young Artist singing the role of Borsa (Rigoletto) and covering Curly (Oklahoma!). In May of 2017, he covered the role of Arjuna (Arjuna's Dilemma) with the Dallas Opera. For the 2016 season, Mr. Clark performed roles including Tonio (La fille du regiment) with Opera North, Bastien (Bastien and Bastienne) with the Dallas Opera Outreach, Mozart (Mozart and Salieri) with Opera in Concert, and several others. Also in 2016, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition where he was the youngest competitor by two years. Throughout his college career at UNT, he performed numerous roles including Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (IL Barbiere di Siviglia), Camille (The Merry Widow), and Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance) to name a few. Making his debut at Wolf Trap Opera, he sang the role of Le Fils (Les mamelles de Tirésias) as a Studio Artist.

As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Clark will perform the roles of The Peasant in Eugene Onegin and Borsa in Rigoletto.

Lauded for his "...consistent, attractive baritone" (Opera News) and "...?rm, ?exible baritone" (The New York Times), Wisconsin-born baritone Tim Murray makes his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut this season as a member of the 2017-2018 Resident Artist Program. Mr. Murray's 2016-2017 season included a return to the Oratorio Society of New York to cover the baritone soloist in Britten's War Requiem, a short-notice Silvio in I pagliacci with Cedar Rapids Opera, Dandini in La Cenerentola with ARE Opera, NYC, and Moralès in Carmen and Ananias in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace with Central City Opera as a member of the Apprentice Artist program. Previous credits include the baritone soloist in both Berlioz's Lélio with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Oratorio Society of New York. While a student at Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Murray recorded the role of Le Vicomte de Valmont in Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons with Albany Records.

As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Murray will perform the roles of Zaretsky/Captain in Eugene Onegin, Guy Cotter in Everest, Marullo in Rigoletto and The Officer in The Barber of Seville.

Coach and accompanist James Maverick is from Bloomington, Indiana. Most recently, he was Apprentice Coach at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program and the Coach Accompanist for Indiana University Opera Theater where he worked on productions of La fillé du régiment and Peter Grimes. Mr. Maverick is a graduate of Indiana University.

About Vinson Cole

American tenor Vinson Cole is internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation. His career has taken him to all the major opera houses across the globe including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris Bastille, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels, Berlin State Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Opera Australia, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Seattle Opera and many more. Equally celebrated for his concert appearances, Mr. Cole has been a frequent guest of the most prestigious orchestras throughout the world and has collaborated with the greatest conductors of this era including Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Gerard Schwarz as well as Sir Georg Solti and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Mr. Cole had an especially close working relationship with the late Herbert von Karajan, who brought the artist to the Salzburg Festival to sing the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier - the first of many performances there together. Their collaboration went on to include works such as Verdi's Requiem, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Mozart's Requiem and Bruckner's Te Deum. Many of these were issued on recordings on Deutsche Grammaphon. He was the performer on the soundtrack for the film Immortal Beloved.

As a teacher, he has taught at the University of Washington School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. He has conducted master classes for San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and the Canadian Opera Company. Currently, Cole is a faculty member at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Mr. Cole, born in Kansas City, studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City before attending the Philadelphia Musical Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1977, he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the WGN Competition, and was awarded both the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Opera Institute grants. His career took off from there as he went on to perform principal roles with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opèra National de Paris, Paris Opera-Bastille, Teatro alla Scala, and many more. Mr. Cole became well known for his interpretation of French repertoire after singing in the Manon centennial performances with Paris's Opera Comique in 1984. Since then, he has performed singular interpretations in such roles for Lakmè, Carmen, Don Carlos, and Faust. He has been honored with numerous awards including special invitations to perform with the Harriman-Jewell Series recitals and received an honorary doctorate from William Jewell College. He also received the Alumni Award from the Conservatory at UMKC, plus the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for outstanding individual achievement and commitment to the arts.

2017-2018 Season at a Glance:

* Lyric Opera debut

NEW PRODUCTION

Eugene Onegin

Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1897

Sung in Russian with English subtitles

Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 6, 2017 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 8, 2017 2:00 p.m.

Director: Tomer Zvulun

Conductor: Ari Pelto*

Scenery Designer: Erhard Rom

Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel

Onegin: Morgan Smith *

Tatyana: Joyce El-Khoury

Olga: Megan Marino

Lensky: JoNathan Johnson

Gremin: Paul Whelan *

Filipievna: Jane Bunnell

Monsieur Triquet: Steven Cole

Zaretsky/Captain: Tim Murray*

KANSAS CITY PREMIERE

Everest

Composer: Joby Talbot, 2015

Librettist: Gene Scheer

Sung in English with English subtitles

Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 17, 2017 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:00 p.m.

Director: Leonard Foglia *

Conductor: Nicole Paiement *

Beck Weathers: Michael Mayes *

Jan Arnold: Sarah Larsen *

Rob Hall: Andrew Bidlack *

Doug Hansen: Craig Verm *

Mike Groom: Mark McCrory

Guy Cotter: Tim Murray

Rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi, 1851

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9, 2018 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:00 p.m.

Director: David Gately

Conductor: David Charles Abell

Rigoletto: Leo An *

Gilda: Nicole Haslett *

Count Monterone: Andrew Gangestad

Duke: Scott Quinn

Maddalena: Zanda Šv?de

Sparafucile: Peixin Chen *

Marullo: Tim Murray

Giovanna: Alice Chung

Countess Ceprano: Lauren Auge*

Page: Marlen Nahhas*

Usher: Armando Contreras

REIMAGINED PRODUCTION

The Barber of Seville

Gioachino Rossini, 1816

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Saturday, April 28, 2018 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 6, 2018 2:00 p.m.

Director: Michael Shell *

Conductor: Leonardo Vordoni

Lighting Designer: Kendall Smith

Almaviva: Jack Swanson *

Rosina: Cassandra Zoe Velasco *

Figaro: Jarett Ott *

Don Basilio: Brian Banion

Don Bartolo: Matthew Burns *

Berta: Marlen Nahhas

Fiorello: Armando Contreras

Officer: Tim Murray

About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958; it is one of the nation's premier regional opera companies and brings high quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original language performances of standard repertory as well as contemporary and American operas. The Company mounts productions that enrich the community it serves, as well as reflect the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative and award-winning programs designed to further music and arts education both in schools and in the community, and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year.


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