WILLIAM BOGGS (Conductor), Artistic Director of Opera Columbus, is consistently praised by critics as “daring,” “enlightened,” “superbly musical” and “sensual.” He has led some of his company’s greatest successes including Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Die Zauberflöte, Carmen, Pirates of Penzance and Macbeth. As the former General Director of Columbus Light Opera, where he received tenure, he produced over 200 performances of the works of Strauss, Léhar, Offenbach, Gilbert and Sullivan, Friml, Romberg, and Herbert, including The Gondoliers, The Merry Widow, La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, and La Bohème.Maestro Boggs also served as Music Director of the Welsh Hills Symphony Orchestra, the third conductor in its sixty-year history.
He recently conducted the world premiere of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry with Nashville Opera, Die Fledermaus with Opera Carolina, The Student Prince with Nashville Opera, Pirates of Penzance with Indianapolis Opera, a Mario Lanza tribute concert for the Fresno Grand Opera, and the Opera Columbus’s productions of La Bohème, Turandot, La Cenerentola and Les Pêcheurs de Perles. In the 2009-2010 season, engagements include an Elmer Gantry remount at Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Die Fledermaus at the Mississippi Opera, Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher at the Nashville Opera, and Opera Columbus’ production of I Pagliacci and Romeo et Juliette
Maestro Boggs made his debut with the International Festival of Macau in performances of Chicago. Other noted engagements include Pirates of Penzance at Opera Carolina, Die Zauberflöte with Hawaii Opera Theater, Noye’s Fludde and The Mikado with Mississippi Opera, The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus with Baltimore Opera, Cavalleria Rusticana with Cincinnati Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Dayton Opera, La Cenerentola at Lake George Opera, Aida and South Pacific with Fresno Grand Opera.
As an orchestral guest conductor, Maestro Boggs has performed symphonic works of Mozart, Bernstein and Bizet with the Columbus Symphony, the works of Bach, Mozart and Handel with the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the works of Sibelius, Respighi, and Mendelssohn with the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, the works of Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Mozart with the Louisville Orchestra, the works of Frank, Stravinsky and Copland with the Orquestra Sinfonica del Estada de Mexico, and holds the title Conductor Emeritus of the Welsh Hills Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Boggs received his Bachelor of Music, cum laude from Ohio State University where he went on to earn a Master of Music in Conducting and worked on his Doctoral Studies in Opera Production. He continued his Postgraduate Studies in Conducting with The Juilliard School in New York.
BILL FABRIS (Production and Staging Director) is a stage director with a national reputation for excellent, innovative and entertaining productions. Equally at home in the worlds of opera and musical theatre, he recently directed Le nozze di Figaro and Carousel for Shreveport Opera. His production of Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame won critical acclaim at Opera Boston where he returned to direct Candide. A regular at Chautauqua Opera, he has directed The Gondoliers, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado and The Barber of Seville. Die Fledermaus makes Fabris’ debut with Mississippi Opera and he’s thrilled to be working with a group of talented artists who have sung in several productions listed in the next paragraph.
His work regularly appears on the stages of opera companies throughout the US. For Opera Columbus he staged The Threepenny Opera; OperaDelaware: Der fliegende Holländer, Carmen, Cavelleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. Opera Carolina: The Pirates of Penzance and Die Fledermaus; Mobile Opera: The Tender Land, Rigoletto & The Merry Widow; Opera Colorado Artist Center: Roméo et Juliette; Eugene Opera: Die Fledermaus & The Mikado; Natchez Festival of Music: Falstaff, My Fair Lady, Die Fledermaus, Fiddler on the Roof & The Magic Flute; Cedar Rapids Opera Theater: L’elisir d’amore & Aida; Ash Lawn-Highland Festival: Oklahoma!, Kiss Me, Kate and The Wizard of Oz; Lyric Opera of San Antonio: Don Pasquale and La Cenerentola; South Carolina Opera: The Merry Widow, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado; Anchorage Opera: Trouble In Tahiti, Don Pasquale and Il barbiere di Siviglia; Amarillo Opera: Tosca & Così fan tutte; Opera East Texas: La Bohème; Indianapolis Opera: The Pirates of Penzance. Other musicals include Little Shop of Horrors for Stage One, A Wonderful Life for Circa ’21 Playhouse and Fiddler on the Roof at Mt Gretna Summer Theatre.
His New York credits include The Desert Song, The Merry Widow, Countess Maritza and the recent critically acclaimed City Center productions of The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore. Off-Broadway, Fabris directed the 20th anniversary production of Boy Meets Boy.
Internationally, he directed Nine at the Stadsschouwburg Theatre in Brugge, Belgium, A Little Sondheim Music and The Music of Leonard Bernstein at the Liceu in Barcelona, as well as the European tours of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair. He also choreographed the award-winning short film Boot Camp, which has been a featured selection in numerous international film festivals including Berlin, St Petersburg and Sundance.
Future engagements include: L’elisir d’amore for Opera East Texas, Tosca for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and Souvenir for the Cyrano Playhouse in Anchorage.
MARYANN KYLE (Rosalinde) has sung leading roles with the Mississippi Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Southern Arts Festival Opera, the University of Illinois, East Tennessee Opera, LSU Opera, Gulf Coast Opera, and The Opera at USM. She has shared the stage with some of world’s greatest artists including performing the role of Micaela in Carmen, opposite internationally known mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves, as a guest soloist with The Miami Festival, opposite famed bass-baritone William Warfield, and as soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Timothy Nobles and Marietta Simpson. In addition, she appeared as a soloist on the pop music stage with famed artists Patti Labelle, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, Ann Nesby and Vesta Williams.
While at the University of Illinois, she toured extensively with John Wustman in the Songs of Franz Schubert Recital Series. Wustman described her as “a lyric soprano of great and unusual gifts: an extremely musical singer that brings great beauty and style to all music that she performs,” and Kurt Klippstatter said that she "…possesses a beautiful soprano voice which is both expressive and technically well founded. Her combined vocal and dramatic talents make her a natural…"
In 2000, Dr. Kyle appeared as an Ensemble Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and performed the roles of Clothilde in Norma, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, and the Foreign Woman in The Consul.
Kyle’s most recent opera appearances include Mrs. Ford in Falstaff, Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème, and Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Mississippi Opera. Other major opera roles have included Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Violetta in La Traviata, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, the Countess and Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro, Micaela in Carmen, Musetta and Mimi in La Bohème, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, the Evil Queen in the world-premiere performances of Zaninelli’s Snow White and many others.
Her involvement in collaborative efforts includes her continuing relationship with the Mississippi Arts Commission as a touring artist. Kyle and pianist Theresa Sanchez make up the duo “Bellescanto” and perform throughout the year presenting recitals and educational outreach performances. “Bellescanto” has presented several themed recitals including “A Tribute to Leontyne Price”, as well as tributes to the American Musical Theatre and American Art Song. This very active duo performs throughout the year around the region.
She is also actively involved in the professional vocal group known as the “Mississippi Vocal Arts Quartet.” This vocal ensemble performs music of all periods and styles. MVAE presents an exciting program of opera, musical theatre, vocal jazz, and classical music from the Renaissance to the 21st Century, and continues to keep a very busy performing schedule.
Kyle is currently Director of Southern Opera and Music Theatre Company’s Outreach and Workshop program and associate professor of voice at The University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she is an artist/teacher in residence with the Operafestival di Roma and Festival Musica nas Montanhas in Brazil. She is an active member of NATS and MTNA and is a much sought after coach and teacher. Maryann Kyle’s students are actively involved in performance of both opera and musical theatre and have garnered numerous awards including state and regional Metropolitan Opera National Council audition winners, Sullivan Foundation winners, Washington International Vocal Competition, Birmingham and Lynam opera competition finalists, NATS regional and state award winners, NATS Governor’s Award winners, apprenticeships with Seattle Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Aspen Festival, Wolf Trap, AIMS, and Operafestival di Roma. Kyle’s students have sung leading and supporting roles at the English National Opera, Tanglewood, Seattle Opera, and prestigious symphonies around the world. Her students continue to pursue their studies in major conservatories and schools including, Indiana University, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Oklahoma City University.
VICTOR KHODADAD (Eisenstein) as born in Shiraz, Iran of an Iranian father and a Cuban mother, and shortly after his birth the entire family moved to the U.S. His mother, a classically trained pianist and conductor, provided a childhood full of music and performing
opportunities. In college he pursued a classical theatre training and in 1992 received a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from San Francisco’s American Conservatory
Theater. Following several years of work in Los Angeles, including membership with the Improv group Los Angeles Theatresports, he moved to New York to pursue his career in theatre. By 2000, Mr. Khodadad had worked at Boston Center for the Arts, Hartford Stage Company, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Theatreworks/USA and Yale Repertory Theater. He was also in the original New York International Fringe Festival production of Urinetown!(the musical). While the majority of his efforts had been placed on getting work as an actor, he would occasionally be cast in musicals. After playing the role of Jesus in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at Swine Palace Productions, directed by Barry Kyle, former Associate Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the fusion of music and drama prompted Mr. Khodadad to shift his focus and begin formal vocal study with Jerome Pruett, Associate Professor of Voice at The Hartt School, in April of 2001. In the summer of 2001, he was cast as Ferrando and Don Ottavio in concert readings in Italian for New York Opera Productions. After a turn as a super in the Met’s War & Peace he found himself, in the summer of 2002, in the Resident Artist Program at Natchez Opera Festival and then traveling to Italy, via a talent scholarship, to take part in the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium where he studied Italian and voice with Master Teachers Enza Ferrari and Bruno Rigacci. Recitals performed in New York and New Haven helped raise money for that trip. Singing in the chorus of Connecticut Opera in the fall of 2002 brought him his first contact with a larger regional house and encouraged him to continue his studies. This paid off when, in the summer of 2003, he returned to Natchez Opera Festival, alternately performing the roles of Benvolio and Romèo in Romèo et Juliette, and then to Hot Springs Music Festival, where he continued to gain experience singing with orchestra by performing in their production of The Magic Flute. The culmination of these efforts was enough to get him accepted into the Graduate Professional Diploma Program at The Hartt School of Music where he could gain leading role operatic experience and continue studying with Mr. Pruett.
In February of 2004, playing the role of The Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at The Hartt School, conducted by Kyle Swann, Assistant Conductor for Connecticut Opera, proved to be another turning point for Mr. Khodadad. This was the beginning of a string of performances including Testo in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Tamino in“The Magic Flute sung in German and conducted by the Met’s Stephen Crawford, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and his professional operatic debut singing the role of Lensky in Eugene Onegin at Opera Theater of Connecticut which was the opera’s premiere in that state. This production was presented in English with full orchestra conducted by Doris Lang-Kosloff. His performances over the past year include Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Alfred in Die Fledermaus, both at Natchez Festival of Music, Ferrando in Così fan tutte with the Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra in Italian and for Opera of the Hamptons in English, and Sesto in Julius Caesar at Opera Theater of Connecticut conducted by Kyle Swann. In November of 2005, Mr. Khodadad made his Mississippi Opera debut singing the role of Alfredo in La Traviata and this October will make his debut with Commonwealth Opera by singing the role of Rodolfo in La Bohème directed by Ron Luchsinger, as well as debuting with New York Metro Vocal Arts Ensemble in New York City as Alfred in “Die Fledermaus” in November. As time permits, Mr. Khodadad coaches privately with legendary tenor Nicolai Gedda in Switzerland.
JAMES C. MARTIN (Dr. Falke) has won critical acclaim for his performances in opera and concert as a versatile singer/actor and entertainer, with an artistic repertoire that spans from Bach to be-bop, Britten to Burleigh and Berg to Bernstein. He has appeared to reviews of the highest acclaim with leading musical organizations throughout the United States and abroad, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater Tour, the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, New York City Opera, Tapestry New Opera Works in Toronto, L’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, FRANCE, Theater Basel in Basel, SWITZERLAND, the Norwegian Royal Opera House of Oslo, NORWAY, the Mississippi Opera Association, and the Metroplitan Opera Guild; the music festivals of Marlboro, Ravinia, Aspen, Moab, Colmar, and Tel Aviv; concert and recital appearances with NY’s Lincoln Center in their American Songbook and African-American History series, the Collegiate Chorale, the contemporary ensemble Continuum, Caramoor, MOMA’s Summergarden series, Joy in Singing, the American Composers Orchestra, Meet the Composers, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Red: an Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony, Mississippi Chorus, and the New York Festival of Song at such distinguished venues as Lincoln Center Jazz, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the United States National Cathedral, and the Library of Congress.
Representative operatic roles include Mozart’s Figaro/Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni/Don Giovanni, Papageno/Die Zauberflöte and Publio/La clemenza di Tito, Puccini’s Marcello, Schaunard and Benoit/La bohème, and Betto/Gianni Schicchi, Verdi’s Pistola/Falstaff and Baron Duphol/La Traviata, Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Britten’s Noye/Noye’s Fludde, Ananaias/The Burning Fiery Furnace, and Jen Jensen/Paul Bunyan, L’horloge comtoise & Le chat noir/L’enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel, Silvio/I’ Pagliacci of Leoncavallo, as well as Johann/Werther, Liberto/L’incoronazione di Poppea, Farfarello/L’Amour des Trios Oranges, Ibn Salaam/The Song of Majnun, Dr. Reischmann/Elegy for Young Lovers, #6 “Iron Hans”/Transformations, and premieres of Ibn Salaam/The Song of Majnun, Dr. Breslau/The Woman at Ottowi Crossing, Dr. Faustus/Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights and the role of the black American exploring pioneer Matthew Henson in Facing South. Mr. Martin’s concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, the passions of Bach, the requiems of Mozart, Fauré and Brahms, and a multitude of chamber works and innovative song recitals. He is an avid champion of the American Popular Song, specifically the works of African-American composers.
An advocate of new music, he has premiered and performed new, as well as recently discovered, concert and operatic works by many contemporary composers including George Walker, Anthony Davis, Tania Leon, Aaron Copland, Conrad Susa, Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen, Bright Sheng, Jonathon Sheffer, Lowell Liebermann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Viktor Ullmann, Luigi Dallapiccola, Stefan Wolpe, Tristan Keuris, Bohuslav Martinu and a host of others. Equally at home in musical theater, his credits include Billy Flynn/Chicago, Joe/Show Boat, Leading Player/Pippin, Henry Higgins/My Fair Lady, Billy Crocker/Anything Goes, Quixote & Cervantes/Man of La Mancha, Lucky/Dames at Sea, Billy/Some Enchanted Evening and Bill Starbuck/110 in the Shade.
An active music educator, Mr. Martin has worked closely developing outreach programs, master classes and concert workshops with regional organizations including the Mississippi Music Conference for Church Music & Liturgy, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Opera in the Neighborhoods,” New York City Opera Education, the Hattiesburg Civic Chorus & Concert Association’s Meistersingers, and at the Juilliard School where he has frequently served as director/coordinator of its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
Mr. Martin received his Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and his Master of Music from the Juilliard School, with continued studies as a young artist/apprentice and fellowship recipient with the Juilliard Opera Center, the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Les Jeunes Voix du Rhin in Strasbourg, France. He is a recipient of the William Schuman prize, the SONY Elevated Standards award, the Theodore Presser and Irene Diamond scholarships, two Gluck fellowships and a Lilly grant. He studied voice with David Nott, Cynthia Hoffmann and Benita Valente. Other mentors and coaches include Steven Blier, Michael Barrett, John Humphrey, Luis Battllé, Marilyn Horne, Hermann Prey, Joan Sutherland, Reri Grist, George Shirley, Paul Sperry, Edward Berkeley, Kenneth Merrill, Diane Richardson, Owen Burdick, and Broadway legend Barbara Cook.
Other ventures and interests include directing, graphic design. and multiple collaborative arts projects including the newly formed Mississippi Vocal Arts Ensemble, as well as local fundraising and outreach activities. James now makes his home in Jackson, Mississippi, where he serves as Instructor of Voice at Millsaps College and Jackson State University while maintaining an active performance and teaching schedule in both his local and global communities.
Soprano SARAH CALLINAN (Adele), a 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Regional Finalist, is on the brink of a budding career. Ms. Callinan recently spent several seasons singing with the Connecticut Opera where she performed many main-stage roles including Frasquita in Carmen, Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Despina in Così fan tutte, Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and most recently Zerlina in Don Giovanni to critical acclaim.
In the 2008-2009 season Ms. Callinan made her Connecticut Concert Opera début singing Monica/Girl in The Medium/Trouble in Tahiti. She also sang Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with Boston Lyric Opera's New England Tour, Frasquita in Carmen with Michigan Opera Theater and performed the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah with Commonwealth Opera.
Future engagements include Despina in Così fan tutte with Cape Cod Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus with Salt Marsh Opera, a return to Connecticut Concert Opera to sing the title role in Lakmé and her début with Opera New Jersey singing Frasquita in Carmen. Other recent noted engagements include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Mississippi Opera, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera Theatre of Connecticut, Yum-Yum in the Mikado with the Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Josephine in H.M.S Pinafore with Simsbury Light Opera.
On the concert stage, Ms. Callinan has appeared as a soloist in both the Celebrate America and Holiday Pops concerts with the Hartford Symphony, performed in a concert of operatic arias and ensembles at the Sanibel Music Festival and was the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore with the Farmington Valley Chorale.
In the summer of 2005, Ms. Callinan made her first international appearance winning the Jenny Lind Competition, which resulted in a recital tour in Sweden. Ms. Callinan was awarded first prize in the 2006 Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, first prize winner of the Friday Woodmere Music Club Competition, first prize winner and winner of the "Most Promising Coloratura" award in the Amici Competition, a finalist in the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Competition and won second prize at the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition.
Ms. Callinan, a native of Worcester, MA, attended the Hartt School of Music, graduated Magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and a Performer’s Certificate in Voice.
JASON BUDD (Frank) is receiving accolades and recognition for his buffo performances. In a recent performance as Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Detroit Free-Press exclaimed, “Jason Budd as Bartolo was the definition of a buffa bass: rotund, blustery, funny, with an alluring, deep-chested voice.” Of an L’Elisir d’Amore performance, Opera News said, “Jason Budd's Dulcamara was a good-natured quack, nimble of limb and voice.”
Most recent engagements include Sacristan in Tosca with Virginia Opera; the title role in Falstaff with Opera in the Heights; Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme with Opera Cleveland and the Princeton Festival; Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Montfleury in the world premiere of Cyrano at the Michigan Opera Theatre; and Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore with Cedar Rapids Grand Opera.
Next, he performs Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Skylight Opera, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme with the Arizona Opera, Johann in Werther at Opera Cleveland, Zuniga in Carmen with Opera Western, and Frank in Die Fledermaus with the Mississippi Opera.
A house favorite at Orlando Opera, Mr. Budd has performed multiple roles in recent seasons including the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Major General in Pirates of Penzance,The Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, 1st Soldier/5th Jew in Salome, Crespel/Luther in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Monterone in Rigoletto, Don Florito in Luisa Fernanda, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, Sir Joseph in H.M.S. Pinafore, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Speaker/First Priest in The Magic Flute, and Sacristan in Tosca.
Lauded by the New York Times for her “emotional range,” and for her “plummy, nuanced mezzo” by Backstage, American Mezzo-soprano SARAH HELTZEL (Orlofsky) made her Seattle Opera debut in 2005 as Siegrune and Flosshilde in their acclaimed Der Ring des Nibelungen. Ms. Heltzel spent much of the 2004-2006 seasons with Seattle, also singing Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Miss Jessel in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, as a member of the Young Artist Program. She returns to sing Siegrune in Die Walküre and Flora in Verdi’s La traviata with the company in the 2009-2010 season. In the coming season, Ms. Heltzel also takes on Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus for Mississippi Opera.
Recent appearances include her critically acclaimed performance as the Marquise de Merteuil in Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons with Dicapo Opera Theatre, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with both Tacoma Opera and Skagit Opera, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Boston Chamber Music Society, Respighi’s Il Tramonto with the Red Rocks Music Festival, and Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer for Music at Southhampton: “Sustainable Treasures.” With Chautauqua Opera she has sung Cherubino, and the Monitor in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. This past December Sarah sang Messiah with Seattle Symphony, where she previously appeared as the alto soloist in Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass in 2007.
Sarah made her concert debut at Alice Tully Hall with the New York Symphonic Ensemble as the 2003 recipient of the Panasonic Harmony Award and has since performed Verdi’s Requiem for the “Requiem for Darfur” benefit concert at Carnegie Hall. Additional concert engagements have included Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Handel’s Messiah; she has recently been a featured soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home on the recital stage, Ms. Heltzel has performed numerous song recitals in the New York, Boston, and Seattle areas.
In previous seasons, Sarah sang Candy Mallow and the Squirrel Mistress in American Lyric Theater’s workshop of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket. She has also sung Mère Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites in Tel-Aviv with the Israel Vocal Arts Institute, and appeared as Giulietta in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and as Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther with the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy. At Manhattan School of Music, she performed the roles of Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Zweite Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, among others. Other credits include La Messaggiera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the title role of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein.
Sarah received a 2006 Apprentice Award from Chautauqua Opera, and was an encouragement grant recipient in the 2009 and 2005 Gerda Lissner Foundation competitions. She was a winner in the 2004 Sun Valley Opera Competition as well as the 2002 Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition (Junior division). Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music from Gordon College (MA), and both a Master of Music degree and a Professional Studies Certificate from Manhattan School of Music.
ELIZABETH PASARILLA RICHARDSON (Ida) is pleased to be performing again with the Mississippi Opera. Within the last year she has appeared with MS Opera as Suor Genevieve in Suor Angelica, a featured soloist in The Best of Opera Choruses and a chorus member in Reneé Fleming – Voice of the Century. She has also participated in their productions of Cavalleria Rusticana and La Boheme. She most recently finished a run of the children’s show Frog & Toad with New Stage Theater, where she has also starred in the last two runs of A Christmas Carol. Other favorite stage credits include Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Mrs. Ham in Noye’s Fludde and Maria in West Side Story. Elizabeth also possesses a great love for choral music and has performed as a soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. Having completed her Bachelor of Music at Wheaton College and her Master of Music at the University of Southern California, she has had the opportunity to meet and work with such gifted artisans as composer and director Marvin Hamlisch, conductor John Nelson and soprano Sylvia McNair. Elizabeth is a resident of Clinton, MS. She and her husband Justin are excitedly awaiting the birth of their first child, due to arrive in July.
Tenor CARL R. DYKES (Alfredo) has studied voice, French, and Italian. While a student, he received numerous awards and accolades. Carl also participated in and won several vocal competitions including the Fulton Ghallager award for Operatic Vocal Excellence accompanied by a scholarship. Dykes also appeared in numerous concerts on stage singing Handel, Fauré, Mozart, Bach, and Verdi. During his senior year of study, he was accepted to the Cleveland Institute of Music for work towards an MFA. Carl has appeared on stages in cities around the world including; New York’s Carnage Hall, Munich, Stockholm, Warsaw, Paris, Luxemburg, Bruges, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Riga Latvia, Berlin, and many more. Some roles in which he has appeared are; Alfredo in La Traviata, Nanki Poo in The Mikado, Frederick in Pirates of Penzance, Francois Villon in The Vagabond King, and Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore. His voice has been heard as feature soloist live on MPR, (Minnesota Public Radio) on several occasions, and he has performed opera arias during “Opera Gala Nights A’La Asti’s” of New York singing lyric tenor. His voice can also be heard on numerous CD recordings with musical styles from chamber to a cappella, and from choral to opera, and even self-written country music. During the day Carl is a Financial Consultant at Community Investment Professionals with Community Bank in Brandon, MS.
Tenor EDWARD DACUS (Dr. Blind) has appeared in over thirty character and leading opera roles with several regional opera companies, including the New Orleans Opera, Mississippi Opera, Lyric Opera of Waco, Ohio Light Opera, and the Baton Rouge Opera under some the country’s premiere conductors and stage directors. Roles include Beppe in Pagliacci, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Camille in The Merry Widow, Malcolm in Macbeth, Guillot in Manon, Spoletta in Tosca, Basilio and Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, and Gastone in La traviata. Dacus is Associate Professor of Music at Mississippi College and serves as organist/choirmaster at the Church of the Creator in Clinton.
BILL FABRIS (Frosch) is an actor/director who started his career performing in musical theatre and opera. Broadway/Touring credits include The Pirates of Penzance, Jubilee, La Cage aux Folles, Alcazar de Paris, Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar & Hair. Off-Broadway: Pageant (created role of Miss Bible Belt, Ruth Ann Ruth). He has performed with Chautauqua Opera in Die Fledermaus & She Loves Me, the world premiere of Tonkin at OperaDelaware and with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Opera South Carolina. Regional performances include Candide (Paper Mill Playhouse) and Sweeney Todd (TheatreVirginia). Most recently he sang the role of Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd at Shreveport Opera and is trying to grow gracefully into older character roles.
ERIC HAHN HAMBRICK (Ivan) is a native of the Jackson area. He holds Vocal Performance and Business Administration degrees from USM and Mississippi College. He has performed on stages from the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco to Carnegie Hall. He has been a part of Mississippi Opera Chorus for about 25 years. He also is a member of The Mississippi Chorus and The Mississippi Chorus Chamber Choir. He has performed in numerous theatres across the state and serves on the Board of Directors at Black Rose Theatre in Brandon. Some of his favorite roles have been Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly, Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, Mr. Bumble in Oliver, the Minstrel in Once Upon a Mattress and Burl and Stanley Sanders in Smoke on the Mountain and Sanders Family Christmas. He also enjoys performing with Mississippi Murder Mysteries. He has been involved in the Music Ministry at First Baptist Church in Jackson since his teenage years.