American baritone Troy Cook recently debuted with the Hamburgische Staatsoper as Marcello in La bohème, where he also performed his first Ford in Falstaff in the spring of 2010, and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. His first recording was just released by the Opera Rara Label, singing the role of Lusignano in Donizetti's Caterina Cornaro to rave reviews
Troy Cook made his New York City Opera debut in the 1999/2000 season with roles in the trilogy, Central Park, which he also sang with Glimmerglass Opera. Those performances were taped and later telecast on the PBS series Great Performances. He was a member of the Apprentice Artist Program of the Santa Fe Opera, the Florida Grand Opera Studio and holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. He has studied voice with Rita Shane and Bill Schuman.
Tenor Gerald Seminatore has appeared with the Glimmerglass, Santa Fe, Chautauqua, West Bay, Oakland, and Dayton opera companies, and in productions in Dortmund, Frankfurt, Bremen and Kaiserslautern (Germany). He has also sung many concerts and recitals in the United States and Europe. Professional ensemble affiliations have included the Handel & Haydn Society under Christopher Hogwood, the Boston Early Music Festival and Emmanuel Music under the late Craig Smith. Gerald earned the B.A. degree from Boston University and the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Gayle Shay, mezzo soprano, is Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Vanderbilt Opera Theatre. She has performed throughout the United States and Canada in musical theater, opera and oratorio, including productions with the Washington (D.C.) Opera, the Maryland Handel Festival, the Des Moines Metro Opera Guild, Open Stage Theater (Fort Collins, CO), Colorado Lyric Theater. Her professional stage direction and production credits include those with Wolf Trap Opera, Maryland Opera Studio, Opera/Omaha, Des Moines Drama Workshop, Dorian Opera Theatre, Colorado Children's Opera Theatre, New England Light Opera, Icicle Creek Young Artist Program, Vancouver International Song Institute, and Nashville Opera. Education: B.A. (Luther); M.M. (Maryland); D.M.A. (Colorado.)
Jake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, To Hell and Back, For a Look or a Touch, Another Sunrise, and At the Statue of Venus. He has also composed more than 250 songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works. His songs, song cycles and operas are championed internationally by some of the most celebrated singers of our time. The operas — most of them created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer — have been produced internationally on five continents. Since its San Francisco premiere in 2000, Dead Man Walking has received more than 200 international performances. Moby-Dick is set to receive its East Coast premiere in February 2014 by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Upcoming projects include Great Scott (libretto and story by McNally) for The Dallas Opera's 2015/16 season; plus works commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, Pacific Chorale, Pittsburgh Symphony and the Ravinia Festival. His latest recording, here/after (PentaTone Classics) features more than two hours of recent songs and chamber music.
Dona D. Vaughn, Artistic Director of Opera Programs at Manhattan School of Music, also serves as Artistic Director of PORTopera, a summer festival in Portland, Maine. From 1998 to 2009 she was Stage Director/Acting Coach for The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. A graduate of Brevard College (voice) where she currently serves on the board of trustees, she received her BA in music (vocal performance) from Wesleyan (Outstanding Alumni Award), the MA in theater (directing) from Hunter College, and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Southern Maine. She studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen, and dance with Martha Graham. She has served as an adjudicator for vocal competitions including The Metropolitan Opera National Council and the Denver Lyric Opera.
Matthew Worth is quickly becoming the baritone of choice for innovative productions and contemporary works on the operatic leading edge. In 2013 he created the role of Father Flynn in the world premiere of Doubt at Minnesota Opera, alongside Christine Brewer as Sister Aloysius. He will return to Minnesota Opera in the 2014-2015 season for the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate, the second opera from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. In April 2014 he will return to Pittsburgh Opera as the title character in Philip Glass’s Orphée, a role he debuted at Virginia Opera. Other notable roles include Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Charlie (Three Decembers), Curly (Oklahoma!), and Billy (Carousel). Recent debuts include Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Castleton Festival, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Future seasons include a world premiere at Fort Worth Opera and a debut at Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland.
Robert Spillman, Professor Emeritus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, was chair of the Keyboard Department and Music Director of the opera program. He received degrees in piano and theory from the Eastman School of Music. He lived in Germany first as a Fulbright Scholar and later as an accompanist for such artists as Rita Streich and Barry McDaniel.
John Baril, a versatile conductor, has led critically acclaimed performances of symphonic and choral music, ballet, opera, operetta and musical theater. He has collaborated with such artists as conductor Stephen Lord, soprano/director Catherine Malfitano, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves among others. For the past twelve seasons, he has worked closely with the apprentice and studio artists in the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program at the Central City Opera Festival. Last season he worked with Opera Colorado and conducted the Marriage of Figaro.
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