Our Story

MDLO Staff with Sherrill Milnes

Founded by Brad Clark, MDLO is a regional, non-profit opera company that strives to be Opera for All by being accessible and affordable while maintaining the highest level of artistic excellence.

Our audience is metropolitan Washington DC’s vibrant, diverse and international community. While we live in a modern and dynamic world, our aim is for people, for our audience, to pause and to experience harmony and beauty through classic opera productions. We take pride in discovering, nurturing and providing career-development programs for young artists at the dawn of their careers. We are committed to bringing young audiences to the world of opera – thanks to a very generous donation we have founded a Student Initiative “Hello Opera!” that enables students to purchase any seat in the house for $10 with student ID.

Led by Music Director Louis Salemno, MDLO employs a full orchestra and a full chorus for its productions. In just two years since we reorganized, we have produced two fully staged operas Lucia di Lammermoor and Thaïs, we have presented a concert performance of La Fanciulla del West, and we have given concert performances of excerpts from operas by Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi.

In the season 2019/2020 we are presenting two new fully staged productions: Thaïs and Le Nozze di Figaro. There are two operas in concert, Il Tabarro and Cavalleria Rusticana, and two orchestral concerts. We will conduct an acoustical test of The Music Center at Strathmore with a staged double bill of Il Tabarro/Gianni Schicchi with the first ever orchestra pit configuration at Strathmore. Our two homes this season are Strathmore and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Looking towards the future, we are planning to expand our repertoire, to initiate and grow outreach programs that embrace our community, and to bring music to under-served youth and adults.

MDLO Creative Team

Brad Clark

Brad Clark

Founder and Artistic Director

learn more

Brad Clark is the founder and inspiring creative force behind Maryland Lyric Opera, where he currently serves as Artistic Director. A native Marylander and current resident of Bethesda, his local philanthropy also includes Food and Friends, Child Justice, Most Valuable Kids, and Washington Waldorf School, among many other groups.

Brad is also an accomplished pianist, having earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Maryland and a Master of Music in musicology and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in collaborative piano from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America. He has performed in recitals and master classes throughout the United States and Europe with some of the brightest stars in classical music, including Birgit Nilsson, Pinchas Zukerman, Richard Stoltzman, Carter Brey, Lynn Harrell, James Galway, and Aprile Millo.

His early experiences as a rehearsal and collaborative pianist inspired him to create the Maryland Lyric Opera Institute, which helps train the next generation of opera stars with intensive coaching and performance opportunities throughout the state.

Louis Salemno

Louis Salemno

Music Director

learn more

Louis Salemno is the Music Director of Maryland Lyric Opera and is the principal conductor for all its performances, including the recent Thaïs, La fanciulla del West, and the MDLO Orchestra concert featuring pianist Leon Fleisher. He oversees the recruitment and training of the emerging artists of the MDLO Institute and leads the team responsible for auditioning, hiring, and managing the MDLO Orchestra and Chorus.

Maestro’s long and storied international conducting career includes posts at some of the world’s leading opera houses, including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and New York City Opera, among many others. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in France and was mentored by the legendary Kurt Herbert Adler, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gianandrea Gavazzeni and Bruno Bartoletti.  As a pianist, he has appeared in recital with Montserrat Caballe and Denyce Graves.

As a mentor, he held the post of Resident Coach for Washington National Opera’s acclaimed Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program for nearly a decade, where he also trained conducting students as well as visiting conductors in preparation for performances. He has also mentored singers at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He studied piano with Mieczyslaw Horszowski and conducting with Max Rudolf at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

William Stone

William Stone

Head of Voice Faculty

learn more

William Stone is a North Carolina native whose warm and powerful baritone lends elegance and style to a repertoire ranging from Mozart to Berg, with a special emphasis on the Bel Canto masterworks.  Mr. Stone's engagements at the major opera houses in North America are impressive.  His stage debut at the Metropolitan Opera was as Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, followed by Die Fledermaus (Falke), the new production of Moses und Aaron conducted by James Levine, Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico), Sharpless in Madama Butterf1y and John Plake in the new production of Sly with Placido Domingo.His long association with the Lyric Opera of Chicago began with his creation of the role of Adam in the world premiere of Penderecki's Paradise Lost and continued with the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Schaunard in La Boheme,and most recently Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.  His appearances at the New York City Opera reflect most of the leading roles in his repertoire (Germont in La traviata, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro [Live from Lincoln Center Telecast], Figaro in Il barbiere di Sivigliaand Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor) and include particularly memorable performances of the title role in new productions of Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, and Busoni's Doktor Faust.   In addition, Mr. Stone has appeared with the opera companies of Atlanta, Austin, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, Seattle, Spoleto-Charleston, and Santa Fe.

William Stone is one of the only American baritones in recent years to have sung extensively in the major opera houses of Italy, and has twice opened the May Festival in Florence: as Wozzeck and as Oreste in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, conducted by Riccardo Muti.  At the Rome Opera he sang the title role in Eugene Onegin, Golaud inPelleas et Me1isande and Malatesta in Don Pasquale.  Other Italian opera engagements include Ezio opposite Samuel Ramey in Attila at La Fenice in Venice (telecast throughout Europe), and leading roles at La Scala, the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, and San Carlo in Naples.  For three summers he also performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, where he was seen in the world premiere of Napoli Milionaria, directed by Eduardo de Filippo.  His most recent appearance at Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice was the role of Sharpless in a production of Madama Butterf1y, directed by Renata Scotto and conducted by Bruno Bartoletti.

Frequently engaged in Belgium, the baritone made his stage debut as Germont in the highly acclaimed Karl Hermann production of La traviata at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels. He has since been re-engaged by the theater for the title role inSimon Boccanegra, Ford in Falstaff, Alfonso XI in La favorita, Chorebe in Les Troyens, and Renato in Un ballo in maschera.  At De Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, he gave his first performances of Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West and Michele in Il tabarro as part of Robert Carsen's Puccini celebration.

Mr. Stone performed the Count in Le nozze di Figaro on a Chamber Orchestra of Europe tour conducted by Sir Georg Solti.  In addition to these appearances with Maestro Solti in London, Paris and Cologne, Mr. Stone appeared as Sharpless in a new production of Madama Butterf1y at the Opera Bastille in Paris, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia in Stuttgart, Germont in La traviata in Frankfurt and in Nantes, Ford in Falstaff (telecast from the Aix-en-Provence Festival) and as Rodrigo in Don Carlos at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam.

A distinguished concert artist, William Stone is sought after as a baritone soloist by every major orchestra in North America.  He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in performances of Carmina Burana, followed by performances of the Bach B-minor Mass and the St. Matthew Passion, also with Maestro Masur.  His debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa in the North American premiere of Takemitsu's My Way of Life led to his invitation to return to the orchestra the next season for the world premiere of Kirchner's Of Things Exactly As They Are, also with Maestro Ozawa.  His numerous European concert engagements include a command performance for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

Among his many recordings with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, William Stone can be heard on two Grammy Award Winning Telarc recordings: Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and Hindemith's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed, and on a solo recording of Arias and Songs by Robert Ward [Bay Cities].  His portrayal of Ford with Jose van Dam from the Aix- en Provence Festival is available on DVD.

For the past three years Mr. Stone, Professor Emeritus of Voice and Opera at Temple University, has been a voice teacher for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program with Washington National Opera, and The Curtis Institute of Music. He currently is teaching on the Voice Faculty at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and is the voice teacher for the Maryland Lyric Opera, and maintains a private studio in Philadelphia.

Husan Park

Husan Park

Associate Conductor

learn more

Ms. Husan Park has collaborated as assistant conductor and continuo-player for over twenty years at theaters such as Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile, Music Festival in Perpignan, Festspiele Erl in Tirol in Austria, Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Theater an der Wien in Austria, Performing Art Center in Nanjing, Music festival in Shanghai, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Festival de Ópera Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Teatro Principal Palma de Mallorca, Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía, and Palau de la Música in Valencia, Spain. 

Ms. Park has worked with conductors Jesús López Cobos, Riccardo Frizza, Speranza Scappucci,  Corrado Rovaris, Andrea Licata, Sachio Fujioka, Ramón Tebar, David Giménez, and Leonardo García-Alarcón, among others; and with stage directors such as Emilio Sagi,  Guy Joosten, Giancarlo del Monaco, Joan Anton Rechi, Gustavo Tambascio, Davide Livermore, and Carlos Wagner. 

She collaborated with international opera singers including José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Jaime Aragall, Isabel Rey, José Bros, Cristina Gallardo-Domás, Ángeles Blancas, Juan Diego Flórez, Aquiles Machado, David Menéndez, Ana Ibarra, Sabina Puértolas, Davinia Rodríguez, Giovanna Casolla, Bruno de Simone, Giacomo Prestia, Gloria Scalcchi, Franco Farina, Pietro Spagnoli, Norah Amsellen, Carlo Colombara, Luciana D’Intino, Daniella Barcellona, Fabio Sartori, Elena Prokina, KS Peter Weber, KS Edith Lienbacher, and Anton Scharinger. 

In 2014, she collaborated at the world première of "El Juez", an opera composed by Christian Kolonovits for the tenor José Carreras, under the direction of Emilio Sagi and David Giménez. During her career Ms. Husan Park has given recitals as soloist and as collaborative pianist at Musikverein Wien and Konzerthaus Wien in Austria, Teatro Real de Madrid, Palau de Les Arts, Palau de la Música de Valencia in Spain and at theaters in Germany, Italy, France, Finland, El Salvador, and in South Korea. 

As vocal coach and assistant, Ms. Park has collaborated at masterclasses with Plácido Domingo, KS Walter Berry, KS Hilde Zadek, KS Hilde Rössel-Majdan, KS Edith Lienbacher, Paul Hamburger, Margit Fleischmann, Maggie Zimmermann, Ana Luisa Chova, and David Menéndez. Her extensive repertoire spans operas from Monteverdi to Adès, and from different epochs and styles (including Operettes and Zarzuelas) in Italian, German, French, English, Spanish and Russian. 

She majored in Piano at Konservatorium der Stadt Wien; Vocal Coaching (Liedbegleitung) and Opera Coaching (Opernkorrepetition) at Hochschule f. Musik u. darst. Kunst in Wien, Austria. At the same city in 2001 she became an Austrian citizen. As vocal coach and professor she taught at the Universität f. Musik u. darst. Kunst in Vienna, Austria, and in Conservatorio Superior de Música de Valencia Joaquín Rodrigo, Spain.

Currently, Ms. Park combines work as vocal coach at the Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo at the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain with opera productions throughout Europe.

Steven Gathman

Steven Gathman

Chorus Master

learn more

Steven Gathman was appointed Chorus Master of Maryland Lyric Opera last fall and prepared the chorus for La Fanciulla Del West. He has spent 24 years with Washington National Opera and was appointed Chorus Master in 1997. He has prepared the WNO Chorus for over 120 productions in seven languages. For WNO he has conducted performances of Tosca, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La clemenza di Tito, Der fliegende Holländer, and Carmen. At the Miami Summer Music Festival he has conducted Dido and Aeneas, The Medium, Albert Herring, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and Gianni Schicchi. He has served on the music staffs of the Metropolitan Opera, Il Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Pacific. He was on the faculty of the University of Maryland at College Park and served as a guest coach at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, in addition to giving master classes around the country. He holds a bachelor’s of music in piano from DePaul University and a doctor of musical arts degree in piano accompanying and chamber music from the University of Michigan.

Christopher Koelzer

Christopher Koelzer

Assistant Conductor

learn more

Grammy® Award Nominated Christopher Koelzer has performed across the world as a solo and collaborative pianist. Christopher has worked as a vocal coach and pianist with many opera companies,including Washington National Opera (Washington, D.C.), Wolf Trap Opera (Vienna, VA), Northern Lights Music Festival (Minnesota), Maryland Lyric Opera (Bethesda, MD), and has coached and performed with the Maryland Opera Studio from 2013-2017. He has performed and recorded several new musicals written by Blake Allen in New York City (shards, Boston|Nebraska), as well as world premieres of new operas in D.C. and South Carolina. He is nominated for a 2019 Grammy® Award for his work performing and recording with the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic on the album Ruggles, Stucky & Harbison: Orchestral Works with conductor David Alan Miller. Christopher was appointed Assistant Conductor at the start of the 2019-2020 season.

Yi Li

Yi Li

Asia Auditions Coordinator

learn more

Yi Li is Associate Professor of voice at Sichuan conservatory and has taught masterclasses Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Shandong University of Art, Shandong Norman University, Minzu University of China, Nanchang University, and Jiangxi Norman University. 

Proving himself a formidable talent and a rising star to watch in the opera world, Tenor Yi Li is quickly gaining attention in the lyric tenor repertoire.  This season, Li performs the role of Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles with Toledo Opera, sings Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Canterbury Chorale at Carnegie Hall, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Bob Jones University, and returns to The Metropolitan Opera for Roméo et Juliette. Additionally, he will reprise his role in Huang Ruo’s Paradise Interrupted, an innovative contemporary opera that the Wall Street Journal hailed “a mesmerizing new work that is part opera, part dynamic art installation,” in Los Angeles this spring; last season, he performed this opera with Lincoln Center Festival, Singapore International Festival of the Arts, and Lincoln Center 2nd Annual Global Exchange.

Some highlights from Mr. Li’s recent seasons include the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Nashville Opera, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Malcom in Macbeth with Middlebury Opera Company; Cassio in Otello at The National Center Performing Arts in Beijing; the role of Alfredo in La traviata with Finger Lakes Opera; and concert engagements with Indianapolis Opera’s Opera’s Rising Stars Concert and a Chinese New Year Concert with Shenzen Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Additionally, he joined the esteemed roster of The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Manon Lescaut, Roméo et Juliette, and Der fliegende Holländer.

Mr. Li recently graduated from Washington National Opera’s revered Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program where his assignments included Rodolfo in La bohème and productions of Die Zauberflöte and Dialogues des Carmélites. At San Francisco Opera’s world-renowned Merola Program, assignments included Belfiore in La finta giardiniera, Smith in Bizet’s La jolie fille de Perth, and Lionel in Martha.

Mr. Li’s training includes an Artist Diploma in Voice from University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he performed Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Ruggero in La rondine. During his time there, he also performed The Duke in Rigoletto at Cincinnati Opera and Don José in Carmen at CCM Spoleto Festival. He also holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Sichuan Conservatory in China, where performances include Alfredo in La traviata, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La bohème, and Cavradossi in Tosca.

Finding success on the emerging artist competition circuit, Yi Li’s talent has been recognized by several elite foundations and organizations. Mr. Li was a Grand Final Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist at Operalia: The World Opera Competition, Winner of the Sullivan Musical Foundation Award, China’s representative at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, 3rd Prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, Finalist in the 49th International Singing Competition of Toulouse, and won the Grand Prize in Opera Columbus Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition and CCM’s Corbett Scholarship Competition. He also received a grant from Giulio Gari Foundation and performed at their annual gala.

Key Moments from Our Story

Spring 2014

Brad Clark founds Maryland Lyric Opera.
His vision is for an opera company of the highest artistry, producing beautiful, classical productions. An opera company where aspiring young artists can communicate with, learn from and perform with experienced artists

March 29, 2014

PianoCraft in Gaithersburg.
Maryland Lyric Opera Opening Gala

July 19/20/26/27, 2014

Kay Theatre. Puccini.
Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci
Our first semi-staged production

September 2015 – April 2016

Several vocal concerts with piano in different venues in the DC area

Summer 2016

MDLO Vocal Competition.
The preliminary round features 272 applicants. There are 22 semi-finalists, performing with piano, and then 10 finalists performing with the Orchestra.

October 6, 2016

MDLO organizes two masterclasses with the renowned baritone Sherrill Milnes

December 2 and 4, 2016

The Falls Church Episcopal Church and Highland Center for the Arts.
Menotti
. Amahl and the Night Visitors. Two concert performances: the first with two pianos and the second with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra

Spring 2017

MDLO continues its collaboration with the Piedmont Symphony
Beethoven. Symphony No 9; Brahms. Alto Rhapsody

Summer and Fall 2017

Brad Clark and Javier Arrey produce three charitable concerts
“Sharing Music, Sharing Love”

August 4, 2017

The Italian Embassy.
First Gala Concert of MDLO Young Artist Institute

September 1, 2017

MDLO goes through reorganization. Appointment of Louis Salemno as Music Director.
MDLO starts building the current full MDLO Orchestra

Winter and Spring 2018

Multiple MDLO Young Artist Institute performances at different venues in the DC area

September 14 and 15, 2018

The Music Center at Strathmore.
Puccini. La Fanciulla del West in concert
The first opera performance with the full MDLO Orchestra and MDLO Chorus under the baton of Louis Salemno, featuring both internationally renowned artists and the alumni of MDLO Young Artist Institute

Fall 2018 – Spring 2019

Multiple MDLO Orchestra concerts with vocal soloists at different venues in the DC area

January 24/25/27, 2019

Kay Theatre.
Donizetti. Lucia di Lammermoor. New production
Our first fully-staged production

Share

Register to receive special ticket offers and information about events

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this performance has been postponed and all ticket sales suspended until further notice. Please stay tuned for updates on our website.