LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Green Mountain Opera Festival Announces 5th Season

”Vermont’s first and only professional opera company” - OPERA AMERICA

Nestled in the beautiful landscape of the Mad River Valley in central Vermont, the Green Mountain Opera Festival, is now celebrating its fifth anniversary and has announced plans for its 2010 season.

The artists will begin arriving in Vermont on May 27 and will spend the next three and one half weeks rehearsing for the festival’s two opera productions. The mainstage production will feature Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a pinnacle of the belcanto repertoire, which will be performed at the Barre Opera House on June 18 and 20, accompanied by festival orchestra and chorus. The Emerging Artist production will feature Handel’s Orlando accompanied by chamber ensemble and will be performed in two venues, Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on June 13 and in Waitsfield’s Neill Barn on June 17. Other events and performances include a festival opening concert, open rehearsals, master classes with the Emerging Artists, and an outdoor picnic concert.

Montreal born Artistic director Taras Kulish says “With last year’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, I believe we reached a new level of excellence, and I am confident we have matched this high quality with the artists assembled for this year’s festival. I am also very excited about our ever expanding Emerging Artist production for June 2010.”

The conductor for Lucia di Lammermoor is Leonardo Vordoni, a native of Italy living in the United States. Last season, he was an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and worked on a number of productions across the United States. Other venues include Minnesota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Colorado, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theatre.  In 2011, he will conduct Il barbiere di Siviglia for Houston Grand Opera.

Garnett Bruce, artistic advisor and principal stage director for Opera Omaha, will direct the mainstage production.  His many credits include directing Turandot and La Traviata and collaborating with Peter Sellars on Doctor Atomic at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Aida and Samuel Barber’s Vanessa for San Diego Opera and new productions of La Clemenza di Tito and La Cenerentola for Wolf Trap Opera.

Canadian born, San Francisco resident soprano Nikki Einfeld will take on the lead role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Having sung the role with Syracuse Opera, she has been widely recognized for her “high flying virtuosity” (New York Times). A San Francisco Opera Merola Program graduate, she has performed throughout the United States and Canada.

American tenor Scott Ramsay will sing the role of Edgardo, a role he has sung with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This season he will perform with Opera New Jersey, Eugene Opera and Opera Boston and Arizona Opera. He trained at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florida Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Opera.

Warren resident and set designer Gary Eckhart, who designed the set for last season’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, will again design the set for this year’s mainstage opera. Eckhart has designed more than 200 productions for the theater and opera stage.

The festival’s training component continues to grow. This year, the festival is offering a two tiered training experience for highly talented young singers, the Emerging and Resident Artist Programs.  More than 300 singers applied for eight positions. These aspiring opera singers come to Vermont to perfect their craft and to gain much needed performing experience. They also gain valuable insight from interacting with professionals in the opera world. Last year for the first time, the emerging artists staged an abridged version of Donizetti’s Elixir of Love to an enthusiastic audience. This year they will present Handel’s Orlando. Bruce Stasyna is returning for his third year as program director, and Sanford Sylvan, renowned American baritone, will serve as director in residence as well as teach master classes. These free public master classes will again provide an opportunity for audiences to observe the arduous training that opera singers must undergo to succeed in a highly competitive world.

The Green Mountain Opera Festival is located in the beautiful Mad River Valley in Central Vermont USA and has a full calendar of events in June with details soon to be posted on its website. A gala fundraiser is scheduled for March 7 at the Joslyn Round Barn in Waitsfield. Reservations for the gala may be made by calling 802-583-3184 after January 23.

For further ticket information please consult the festival website.

Sponsored by the Green Mountain Cultural Center, the festival is funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts and is a professional member of OPERA America, an association of recognized opera companies in the United States. For a full schedule of opera festival events, go to  

Detailed cast information:

by Donizetti
June 18 (7:30pm), June 20 (3pm)
Conductor: Leonardo Vordoni
Director: Garnett Bruce
LUCIA: Nikki Einfeld
EDGARDO: Scott Ramsay
ENRICO: Jordan Shanahan
RAIMONDO: Gus Andreassen
NORMANNO: Adam Caughey
ARTURO: Cameron Schutza
ALISA: Samantha Grenell-Zaidman
Set Design: Gary Eckhart
Lighting Design: Jeff Bruckerhoff
Costumes: Rental from Opéra de Montréal

Rehearsal Pianist: Laurie Rogers
Production Manager: Timothy Mikovitz
Stage Manager: Donna Sharpe
by Handel
June 13 (8pm), June 17 (8pm)
Conductor: Bruce Stasyna
Director: Sanford Sylvan

ORLANDO: Gerrod Pagenkopf
ANGELICA: Greer Davis
MEDORO: Shirin Eskandani

DORINDA: Margot Rood
ZOROASTRO: Cairan Ryan
Production Manager: Simon Chaussé


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Green Mountain Opera Festival

Green Mountain Opera Festival Announces 2009 Season
May 28 – June 21, 2009

Waitsfield, VT -- Taras Kulish, Artistic Director of the Green Mountain Opera Festival, has announced plans for the 2009 Festival season. Now in its fourth year, the Festival brings talented artists to Vermont's scenic Mad River Valley to give concerts and master classes in the beautifully renovated historic Joslyn Round Barn ( and other venues. The three and a half week long Festival will culminate with two fully staged performances of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, at the Barre Opera House on June 19 and 21. The Festival orchestra and chorus will accompany the opera.

Kulish says, "Mozart's Figaro is one of my favorite operas, which will charm everyone. This piece is like a modern day soap opera filled with love and betrayal, laughter and tears, and of course the transcendent music of Mozart. What else could one wish for in today's world but to be swept away by a fun plot and gorgeous music!"

This year, Kulish is especially excited to have engaged Canadian maestro Jacques Lacombe as conductor. Lacombe served as principal guest conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal from 2002 to 2006 and is a regular guest conductor with orchestras throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. In 2009, he returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 2004, he conducted Massenet's Werther at the Metropolitan Opera and was invited back in 2005 to conduct Strauss's Die Fledermaus. Anthony Tommasini, opera critic for the New York Times, praised Lacombe's conducting as "lithe, crisp and refreshingly unmannered."

Ellen Schlaefer will join the Festival as stage director. She has directed productions for the Washington Opera and has collaborated with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Schlaefer has directed all over the United States in houses such as Houston Grand Opera, Connecticut Opera, Michigan Opera, Orlando Opera, Santa Fe Opera among others. She is general director and founder of Fly By Night Productions, a nonprofit organization that produces Opera for Kids, with performances in elementary schools to introduce children to opera. Schlaefer serves as director of opera studies at the University of South Carolina.

American soprano Jennifer Aylmer will sing the role of Susanna. Aylmer made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera during its 2005-2006 season, singing Bella in Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy and returned the next year to sing Papagena in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. In 2006, she sang Gretel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel at New York City Opera. Aylmer has recently sung with Portland Opera, Atlanta Opera, Utah Opera, Minnesota Opera and several other theaters and orchestras. She is a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center.

Minnesota baritone Andrew Wilkowske will sing the title role of Figaro, which he has previously sung for the Minnesota Opera. This season's engagements have included the role of the 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 has also performed with Minnesota Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Lyric Opera San Antonio and Opera Pacific.

Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala will perform the role of Cherubino. She was recently praised by the New York Times as "a vivid, fearless presence," and by the L.A. Times as "extraordinary." She will sing the title role in Rossini's La Cenerentola with the Atlanta Opera and Rosina in The Barber of Seville at Opera Carolina. Zabala performs extensively internationally and throughout the United States. She also serves as Artistic Director of the Southeastern Festival of Song.

Chicago soprano Kate Mangiameli will sing Countess Almaviva, a role she has previously sung with Shreveport Opera. Since launching her career, she has won praise in roles from a wide repertoire. The Charlottesville Daily Progress called her voice "full and luxurious" with "beautiful sforzandos and pianissimos that were breath-taking." She has sung with opera companies such as Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Eugene Opera, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Opera Omaha, and was a graduate of the prestigious San Francisco Opera Merola Program.

Canadian baritone Phillip Addis will sing the role of Count Almaviva. He is making his debut in this same role with the Florida Grand Opera just before he arrives in Vermont. During the last few seasons, he has sung with many opera companies in the United States, Europe and Canada, most notably singing the role of Zurga in Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles at L'Opéra de Montréal in 2008. Last season in the United States, he performed with Opera Carolina, Atlanta Opera and Fort Worth Opera.

Canadian mezzo soprano Katrina Corbeil will take on the role of Marcellina, and American bass Mark Freiman will sing the role of Bartolo. American character tenor Brett Noorigian-Colby will sing the roles of Basilio and Curzio.

For the third year, the Festival is continuing its Emerging Artist Program under the direction of pianist and coach Bruce Stasyna. This year the program welcomes five new singers who will spend three and half weeks of intense training and performing. Free and open to the public master classes will continue at the historic Joslyn Round Barn. The program features masters such as American bass-baritone Sanford Sylvan, maestro Jacques Lacombe and others. For the first time, the Festival will include an abridged version of Donizetti's opera The Elixir of Love performed by the Emerging Artists at the Round Barn on June 11.

The Festival also features the Opening Gala Performance on June 4, a Broadway Picnic on June 10, an Opera & Conversation Lunch on June 18, and a variety of free open rehearsals master classes. Prior to the Festival a concert of Opera's Greatest Moments will be performed on March 7 at the Barre Opera House and the Festival's Annual Gala Fundraiser will be held on March 22 at the Joslyn Round Barn.

The Green Mountain Opera Festival is sponsored by the Green Mountain Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Inn at the Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont. The Festival is proud to announce that it has recently received a generous grant from the US National Endowment for the Arts and is supported by several foundations and individual contributions. For more information on Festival activities, call the GMCC at 802-496-7722 or go to

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