For Immediate Release
Friday, June 24, 2016
OPERA SARATOGA ANNOUNCES 2017 SUMMER FESTIVAL PROGRAM
Music by Giuseppe Verdi Libretto by Arrigo Boito
Directed by Chuck Hudson; Conducted by Craig Kier
Featuring Craig Colclough and Caroline Worra
July 1 – 15, 2017
Zémire et Azor (Beauty and the Beast)
Music by André Grétry; Libretto by Jean François Marmontel
Directed by James Ortiz; Conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya
Featuring Janai Brugger and Andrew Bidlack
July 2 - 14, 2017
The Cradle Will Rock
Music and Libretto by Marc Blitzstein
Directed and Choreographed by Lawrence Edelson; Conducted by John Mauceri
Featuring Ginger Costa-Jackson and Christopher Burchett
July 9 – 16, 2017
Saratoga Springs, NY - As Opera Saratoga prepares to open its 55th Summer Festival Season this Friday, Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson announced today the three exciting new productions that will comprise the company’s 2017 Summer Festival, which will build on the company’s commitment to producing masterpieces from the operatic cannon, important American works, and works in which dance plays an integral role.
At the center of the 2017 Summer Festival will be a new production of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock, directed and choreographed by Edelson, and conducted by noted Maestro John Mauceri, who has been responsible for many significant operatic restorations, including Blitzstein’s Regina. The Cradle Will Rock has been almost exclusively produced with piano since its infamous opening night, which was shut down by the Federal Government in 1937. Both an attack on the abuse of political power by the wealthy and a paean to labor and poor people struggling to get by, “Cradle” is as timely now as it was when it premiered in 1937. Opera Saratoga celebrates the 80th Anniversary of Blitzstein’s revolutionary American labor opera in a new production that will be performed with Blitzstein’s original orchestrations – the first such performances since the 1960 production at New York City Opera. Mezzo Soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson will be featured as Moll in her company debut, alongside baritone Christopher Burchett who returns to Opera Saratoga as Larry Foreman.
The Festival will open on July 1st with a new production of Verdi’s comic masterpiece, Falstaff, which has not been produced by Opera Saratoga in 26 years. The production will be directed by Chuck Hudson, and will be conducted by Craig Kier. Featured singers will include bass baritone Craig Colclough, one of the country’s leading interpreters of Falstaff, and acclaimed soprano Caroline Worra in her role debut as Alice Ford.
Rounding out the season will be André Grétry’s Zémire et Azor (Beauty and the Beast), directed by James Ortiz, whose recent critically acclaimed production of The Woodsman was a sensation off-Broadway this past season. Grétry’s 1771 opera-ballet – a favorite of Mozart - will incorporate both dance and Ortiz’s signature use of puppetry in his opera-directing debut. The production will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya, and will feature soprano Janai Brugger and tenor Andrew Bidlack in the title roles, all in their company debuts.
In making the announcement today, Edelson stated, “Every year, my goal is to put together a season that reflects the incredible power of opera to tell vivid and compelling stories through music in very different ways. I am also committed to ensuring we provide opportunities for some of the country’s most exciting emerging artists alongside preeminent artists from the world’s great opera houses – providing local audiences and visitors to Saratoga Springs alike with extraordinary experiences in our intimate theater in Spa State Park.”
“The Cradle Will Rock is an incredibly powerful work that I feel has been unjustly neglected by opera companies,” Edelson continued. “It’s edgy combination of social commentary and popular culture of the time has influenced writers and works from Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. While ‘Cradle’ has understandably become a favorite of theater companies, Blitzstein’s original orchestration deserves to be heard, and we are putting together a cast of some of the country’s most exciting singers to provide a fresh look at this American masterpiece. Alongside ‘Cradle’ we will be presenting Grétry’s enchanting version of Beauty and the Beast, which builds on our commitment to present works that incorporate dance each season; and one of the greatest works in the operatic repertoire, Verdi’s Falstaff. It is season that will showcase incredible music, phenomenal singing, and riveting theater.”
Complete casting for all three productions, along with additional concerts, master classes, and related Festival events, will be announced in the fall.
Subscriptions for the 2017 Summer Festival, as well as single tickets for Opera Saratoga’s current 2016 season (which runs through July 17th and features Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Catán’s Il Postino, and the American premiere of Glass’s opera-ballet The Witches of Venice), are on sale now at www.operasaratoga.org.
Single tickets for the 2017 Summer Festival will go on sale February 1st, 2017.
Emerging American Conductor Craig Kier has already received high praise for his “Tesla-like intensity” and “impeccable orchestral support” while leading performances throughout the United States and on international stages. In the 2014-2015 season, Maestro Kier become the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at The University of Maryland School of Music. Productions since the beginning of his tenure have included Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, Blitzstein’s Regina and Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro. In the 2015 – 2016 season, guest engagements for Maestro Kier included his debut with Wolf Trap Opera leading Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, and a return to Opera Birmingham for La traviata. He also continued his longstanding relationship with Houston Ballet, leading performances of The Nutcraker, which he has done since 2011. Engagements in the upcoming 2016-2017 season include Madama Butterfly in his debut at Arizona Opera, his debut with Opera Saratoga leading Verdi’s Falstaff, and performances of The Nutcracker with Houston Ballet. As Director of the Maryland Opera Studio, he will lead productions of The Rape of Lucretia, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. From 2010 – 2013, Maestro Kier was Associate Conductor under Patrick Summers at Houston Grand Opera. During his time with the company he led dozens of performances including Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Fledermaus, Trial by Jury and the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Bound. He also assisted on productions of Otello, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, Don Carlos, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro and Lucia di Lammermoor. Guest engagements for Maestro Kier include La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars at Glimmerglass Festival, Thomas’ Hamlet with Opera Birmingham, L’italiani in Algeri with Opera Santa Barbara and The Music Man at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. In the summer of 2013 he served as Assistant Conductor on The Santa Fe Opera’s production of La donna del lago starring Joyce DiDonato and Lawrence Brownlee. Maestro Kier began his career as part of Seattle Opera’s music staff, serving in a variety of roles including Assistant Conductor, Coach/Accompanist, and Chorus Master. He has since served on the music staffs of The Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Colorado and Des Moines Metro Opera.
John Mauceri, world-renowned conductor, educator and writer, has appeared with the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, on the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood as well as at the most prestigious halls of academia. Mr. Mauceri served as music director (direttore stabile) of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy for three years after completing seven years (22 productions and three recordings) as music director of Scottish Opera, and is the first American ever to have held the post of music director of an opera house in either Great Britain or Italy. He was music director of the Washington Opera (The Kennedy Center) as well as Pittsburgh Opera, and was the first music director of American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall after its legendary founding director, Leopold Stokowski, with whom he studied. For fifteen years he served on the faculty of his alma mater, Yale University and returned in 2001 to teach and conduct the official concert celebrating the university’s 300th anniversary. In 2016, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Yale Symphony, which he helped to found, with concerts in New Haven and at Carnegie Hall. For 18 years, Mr. Mauceri worked closely with Leonard Bernstein and conducted many of the composer’s premieres at Bernstein’s request. He is the Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which was created for him in 1991 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Breaking all records at the Bowl, he conducted over 300 concerts at the 18,000-seat amphitheater with a total audience of four million people. For seven years (2006-2013) he served as chancellor of the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts, America’s first public arts conservatory-university.He has conducted at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, all the major London orchestras, as well as l’Orchestre Nationale de France and the Tokyo Philharmonic. On Broadway, he was co-producer of On Your Toes and served as musical supervisor for Hal Prince’s production of Candide, as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance with Bernadette Peters. He also conducted the orchestra for the film version of Evita. Deeply committed to preserving two American art forms, the Broadway musical, and Hollywood film scores, he has edited and performed a vast catalogue of restorations and first performances, including a full restoration of the original 1943 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, performing editions of Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Girl Crazy and Strike up the Band, Bernstein’s Candide and A Quiet Place, Blitzstein’s Regina, and film scores by Miklos Rozsa, Franz Waxman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Max Steiner, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman and Howard Shore. As one of two conductors in Decca Records’ award-winning series “Entartete Musik,” Mauceri made a number of historic first recordings of music banned by the Nazis. The intersection of the “degenerate composers” of Europe and the refugee composers of Hollywood is the subject of much of his research and his writings. In addition, Mr. Mauceri has conducted significant premieres of works by Verdi, Debussy, Hindemith, Ives, Stockhausen, Blitzstein, and Weill. In articles, speeches, radio and television appearances, John Mauceri has taken his passion for music and the importance of the arts to audiences throughout the world. These include Harvard University, Yale University, the Smithsonian Institution, the NEA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Gramophone Magazine, NPR, BBC, PBS, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post where he regularly writes a blog. Mr. Mauceri is one of the world’s most accomplished recording artists, having released over 75 audio CDs and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison Klassiek, 3 Emmy Awards, 2 Diapasons d’Or, Cannes Classique, ECHO Klassik, Billboard, and four Deutsche Schallplatten awards. In 1999, Mr. Mauceri was chosen as a “Standard-bearer of the Twentieth Century” for WQXR, the America’s most-listened-to classical radio station. According to WQXR, “These are a select number of musical artists who have already established themselves as forces to be reckoned with and who will be the Standard Bearers of the 21st Century’s music scene.” The recipients were chosen for “their visionary talent and technical virtuosity.” In addition, CNN and CNN International chose Mr. Mauceri as a “Voice of the Millennium.” Mr. Mauceri was recently awarded the Ditson Conductor’s Award for his five decades of commitment to performing and editing American music. He is currently writing a book on the art and alchemy of conducting for Alfred A. Knopf.
Russian-born conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya currently serves as Artistic Director with Juventas New Music Ensemble and as a conductor with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Additional engagements this season include Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Beth Morrison Projects, American Lyric Theater, Brookline Symphony, Cabrillo Festival, the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC, and serving as the Chorus Master for several upcoming programs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. Lidiya is also a part of Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship and Dallas Opera’s Inaugural Institute for Women Conductors. Prior engagements include serving as Music Director of Harvard’s Lowell House Opera and Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and as Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master with Opera Boston. Lidiya was also a Conducting Fellow under Lorin Maazel at his Castleton Festival, where she assisted Maestro Maazel and regularly filled in for him in rehearsal and performance. Hailed by Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism Lloyd Schwartz as a “skillful and incisive musician,” Lidiya’s symphonic and operatic work has received critical acclaim and numerous awards. Recent projects include San Francisco productions of Boris Godunov and Iolanta with New Opera NYC; performances with National Sawdust’s Composer in Residence program; Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades and Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (first place, The American Prize) with Lowell House Opera; Juventas New Music’s NEA-funded puppetry collaboration entitled Music in Motion; the world premiere performances and recording of the ballet HackPolitik; Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Commonwealth Lyric Theater (winner of National Opera Association Award for Best Production in the Professional Category), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snegurochka (the first fully-staged, Russian-language production of the opera in the U.S. and the work's New England premiere); and the world premiere of Isaac Schankler’s Light and Power with Juventas (winner of The National Opera Association Award and The American Prize for best professional production).
The 2017 Summer Festival at Opera Saratoga will mark the third season under Lawrence Edelson’s leadership as Artistic and General Director. As a stage director Lawrence’s work has been praised for the ability to fuse vivid story telling with deeply expressive imagery. He has been praised by Opera Now magazine as doing a “splendid job of making [opera] relevant and understandable” and his productions have been called “ingenious” and “imaginative” by Opera News, “starkly vivid” by The New York Times, and “stunningly touching and entertaining” by the Washington Post. These diverse productions have included the American premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus for Wolf Trap Opera, Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox for Fort Worth Opera, La Traviata for The Minnesota Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Hawaii Opera Theater, Carmen for Toledo Opera, the world premiere of Buried Alive (Myers/Long) for Fargo Moorhead Opera, and the New York premiere of Fauré’s rarely produced Pénélope for Manhattan School of Music. He was a guest member on the directing staff of New York City Opera, where he restaged Little Women twice: for the work’s Lincoln Center premiere and for the company’s tour to Japan. From 2008 to 2012, Lawrence was also a faculty member at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, where he led seminars on American opera, and directed original productions of Little Women, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Werther, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Eugene Onegin. Before focusing on directing and arts administration, Lawrence enjoyed a performing career in both ballet and opera. He studied voice and musicology at The University of Ottawa and dance at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. As a dancer, he performed with Boston Ballet, Ballet West, and BalletMet Columbus. He has choreographed for ballet and opera companies around the country. As a singer, he appeared in opera, oratorio and musical theater internationally. Lawrence completed his master’s degree in performing arts administration at New York University. In the opera field, Lawrence is perhaps best known as the founder of American Lyric Theater (ALT). As Producing Artistic Director at ALT, a position he continues to hold concurrent with his position at Opera Saratoga, he coordinates the company’s diverse artistic programs including The Composer Librettist Development Program, commissioning of new works, and co-production relationships. Recent projects at ALT include the development of The Long Walk (Beck/Fleischmann), which premiered at Opera Saratoga in 2015; and JFK (Little/Vavrek), which premiered at Fort Worth Opera in 2016. A tireless advocate for emerging artists and the diversification of audiences for opera, Edelson serves on the Strategy Committee for OPERA America, and continues to forge collaborations with opera companies across the country.
Chuck Hudson has directed opera productions at major international companies including Cape Town Opera (South Africa), Cincinnati Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sacramento Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Cleveland, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera Center, Wolf Trap Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara, among others. He has directed award winning theatre productions in New York and regionally, including The Pearl Theatre, The Chester Theater, Cape May Stage, The Children’s Theatre Festival of Houston, New City Theatre, and Chicago’s Fox Valley Shakespeare Festival. Chuck’s work as a director was mentioned in the January 2011 Edition of American Theatre Magazine. In the 2016-2017 season, Chuck will lead productions for Hawaii Opera Theatre (La bohème), Atlanta Opera (Don Pasquale) and Opera Saratoga (Falstaff). In addition to directing professional artists, Chuck continues to focus on his work with artists in training. He was a co-creator of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program where he directed productions as well as created and instructed specialized classes on Acting and Movement for singers. Chuck has directed productions at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program, Florida Grand Opera’s Resident Artist Program, IU Opera Theatre, CCM Opera Theatre, AVA Opera Theater, BU Opera Institute, USC-Thornton Opera, Music Academy of the West, Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, Carnegie-Mellon Opera Theatre, and Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. He was guest professor of Advanced Acting at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, professor at the University of Houston School of Theatre, at Cornish College of the Arts, and was an annual Adjunct Faculty Artist at North Carolina School of the Arts Theatre Department and Fletcher Opera Institute, at Westminster Choir College and, was a Schmidbauer Guest Artist–Stage Director at Stephen F Austin University’s Theater Department. Chuck also uses his enormous experience as a performer, director, and coach in his many Master Classes and private coachings at various Professional Artist Training Programs for singers and actors. He is also in great demand as a private audition coach in New York City, coaching both opera and musical theater performers. For 7 years Chuck was Artistic Director of The Immediate Theatre in Seattle: a physically based company committed to the creation of visually exciting dramatic works. Chuck’s specialty in movement comes from a background in gymnastics as well as being one of three Americans to have received a diploma from the Marcel Marceau International School of Mimedrama in Paris. He is the only American to be appointed to teach at Marceau’s School, and he performed with Marceau on his 1991 European Tour and in Klaus Kinski’s film “Paganini”. Chuck also studied at the Paris School for Theatrical Fencing and was awarded an Honorary Diploma from the French Academy of Arms. Acting roles include Orsino in Twelfth Night, Brutus in Julius Caesar, and Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew with the Seattle Shakespeare Festival, and Caliban in The Tempest with his own Immediate Theatre.
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 Brugger began 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.
ABOUT OPERA SARATOGA
Opera Saratoga, formerly known as Lake George Opera, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually. Opera Saratoga serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack and New York State Capital areas by providing access to world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, mentorship of emerging operatic artists, and unique opportunities for the public to experience opera in both our home theater and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area. To date, the Company has performed over 90 different fully-staged works by over 50 different composers, including thirty-three works by American composers and six world-premiere productions. Throughout its history, the Company's success has been shaped by visionary leaders, talented artists, and critically acclaimed productions. In July 2014, Lawrence Edelson became the Opera Saratoga’s Artistic and General Director. Edelson’s leadership marked a new chapter in the company’s history, with increased emphasis on community partnerships throughout the year, diversification of the company’s repertoire, and a reaffirmed commitment to both the presentation of American opera and the mentorship of emerging artists as core activities in the company’s programs each season. The 2017 Summer Festival will be the third season under his leadership. For more information, visit www.operasaratoga.org.