Turandot

Giacomo Puccini

February 25 & February 27, 2022

Maryland Lyric Opera launches its new season with concert performances of Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, February 25 & 27, 2022, at The Music Center at Strathmore. More than 175 artists take the stage for this epic fairy tale, whose unforgettable music includes the beloved tenor aria “Nessun Dorma.” The love triangle at the heart of the drama features Alexandra LoBianco in her MDLO debut as the icy princess Turandot; MDLO favorite Jonathan Burton, who returns in the role of the noble suitor Calaf; and Nicole Heaston, who makes her MDLO debut as the lovelorn Liu. The cast also includes acclaimed bass Morris Robinson as Timur and features many alumni of the MDLO Institute in supporting roles. Marshalling the supersize musical forces of the MDLO Orchestra and Chorus is MDLO Music Director Louis Salemno.

Performed in Italian with projected English titles

Running time approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including 1 intermission

The Music Center at the Strathmore

Feb 25, 2022

Friday,
7:30 PM

The Music Center at Strathmore

Tickets from $60. Student tickets $10.

Feb 27, 2022

Sunday,
2:00 PM

The Music Center at Strathmore

Tickets from $60. Student tickets $10.

Meet the Artists

Alexandra LoBianco

Alexandra LoBianco

Soprano

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American soprano Alexandra LoBianco, whom the Seattle Times exclaimed, “gave an impassioned performance” as the title role in Aida at Seattle Opera, has established herself as a dramatic soprano of unequaled versatility, musicality, and consistency. An international presence, Ms. LoBianco recently stepped in for an ailing colleague as Leonore in Fidelio for her debut with the Wiener Staatsoper while under contract for the title role in Turandot. Subsequent appearances with the Wiener Staatsoper have included performances as Helmwige in Die Walküre, as well as the cover of Brünnhilde, while on tour in Japan.

In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. LoBianco will debut the role of Brünnhilde in a concertante performance with Seattle Opera, joined by colleagues Angela Meade, Eric Owens, and Brandon Jovanovich. She will also make her debut with Portland Opera as the title role in Tosca, return to North Carolina Opera to reprise Leonore, perform the title role in Turandot with Maryland Lyric Opera, and sing the Overseer and Confidante in Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera. Last season, Ms. LoBianco joined Seattle Opera for two filmed productions, first as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana and then as the title role in Tosca.

Cancellations resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic include performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago as the title role in Tosca as well as Helmwige and the cover of Brünnhilde, as the title role in Aida with Opera Carolina and Opera Grand Rapids, as the Foreign Princess in Rusalka and the cover of Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, both with Santa Fe Opera, and as the Overseer in Elektra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In concert, she was to sing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Florida Orchestra, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. LoBianco made her role and house debut as Marianne Leitmetzerin in Die Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera. She also covered the Foreign Princess in Rusalka at Canadian Opera Company, returned to North Carolina Opera as Brünnhilde in Siegfried, and made her house debut at Palm Beach Opera as the title role in Turandot.

Morris Robinson

Morris Robinson

Bass

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Morris Robinson is considered one the most interesting and sought after basses performing today.

Morris Robinson is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most interesting and sought after basses performing today.

A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Mr. Robinson made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in their production of Fidelio. He has since appeared there as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (both in the original production and in the children’s English version), Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the King in Aida, and in roles in Nabucco, Tannhäuser, and the new productions of Les Troyens and Salome. He has also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Vancouver Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many roles include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ramfis in Aida, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Timur in Turandot, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, and Fasolt in Das Rheingold.

Though Mr. Robinson’s 20/21 season engagements were cancelled due to the pandemic, he was able to take part in several special presentations, including Twilight: Gods, an innovative production of Gotterdämmerung created by Yuval Sharon and presentered by both the Michigan Opera Theater and the Lyric Opera of Chicago; and Rigolettto produced by the Tulsa Opera and presented in ONEOK Field baseball stadium. He was also a member of the Atlanta Opera’s 20/21 Company Players appearing in various concerts, recitals, and educations outreach events throughout the year.

Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Robinson has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (in Chicago and at the Ravinia Festival), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony (in Baltimore and at Carnegie Hall), Met Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, and at the Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, Verbier, and Aspen Music Festivals. He also appeared in Carnegie Hall as part of Jessye Norman’s HONOR! Festival. In recital he has been presented by Spivey Hall in Atlanta, the Savannah Music Festival, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Mr. Robinson’s first album, Going Home, was released on the Decca label.

This season, Mr. Robinson made his debuts at Australian Opera as Sarastro and the Boston Lyric Opera as Sparafucile, and returned to Opera Philadelphia for his role debut at Zaccaria in Nabucco. This summer he returns to the San Francisco Opera as Joe in Show Boat, and next season he returns to the Houston Grand Opera in both Otello and Die Zauberflöte, and to Opera Philadelphia as the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos.

An Atlanta native, Mr. Robinson is a graduate of The Citadel and received his musical training from the Boston University Opera Institute.

Jonathan Burton

Jonathan Burton

Tenor

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Tenor Jonathan Burton is engaged to sing the most demanding roles in the tenor repertoire including Cavaradossi in Tosca, Calaf in Turandot, Dick Johnson in Fanciulla del West, and Radames in Aida. He regularly receives rave reviews for his "&hellips;bright, heroic tone, [and] clarion power…". For his performance as Cavaradossi with Opera Omaha, one reviewer said: "Tenor Jonathan Burton was revelatory as the painter and revolutionary sympathizer. His voice never faltered through the demands of the role and his tortured humanity was palpable."

In the current season, Burton sings Calaf for Austin Opera, Pollione in Norma for Boston Lyric Opera, and Hermann in Pique Dame for Des Moines Metro Opera. Additionally, returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Luisa Miller and Maryland Lyric Opera as Luigi in Il tabarro. Recent performances include his return to Opera Omaha as the tragic clown Canio in Pagliacci, Dick Johnson with Maryland Lyric Opera, Calaf with Sarasota Opera, and Utah Opera where he made his role debut as Pollione in Norma. He was also heard in concert for Florentine Opera, with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and in Newport, RI. Additionally he has been heard as Calaf with Des Moines Metro Opera, Dayton Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Knoxville Opera; Gustavo in Un ballo in maschera for Florida Grand Opera; his UK debut as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Welsh National Opera; and in his role debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera.

Performance credits also include the roles of Don Jose in Carmen, Rodolfo in La bohème, and Manrico in Il trovatore. He has appeared with Royal Opera House Muscat, Dubai Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Utah Opera, Kentucky Opera, Nashville Opera, and Virginia Opera, among others. A protégé of Lorin Maazel, Mr. Burton sang with the famed maestro in multiple productions at the Castleton Festival, concerts in Washington, D.C., and in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the reopening of Teatro La Fenice. (90)

Nicole Heaston

Nicole Heaston

Soprano

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Praised by the Houston Chronicle for her “warm supple soprano” and by the New York Times for her “radiant” and “handsomely resonant voice”, soprano Nicole Heaston has appeared with opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, and the Glyndebourne Festival in England. The soprano’s 2021-22 season includes returns to San Francisco Opera, making a role debut as Despina in Così fan tutte, Houston Grand Opera, singing the role of Liù in Turandot, and Houston Ballet as the featured soloist for Of Blessed Memory. She sings further performances of Liù with Maryland Lyric Opera, and will perform in “The Majesty of the Spiritual” at Aurora College in January 2022. Future engagements for include leading roles at Den Norske Opera (Oslo), Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and The Glimmerglass Festival.

During the 2020-21 season, her close collaboration with Houston Grand Opera continued, as she performed Yolanda Cantrell in Jim Luigs’ reimagined The Impresario and Sir Elton John’s Trainer in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s chamber opera Vinkensport, co-hosted Giving Voice with Lawrence Brownlee, and presented a recital with Richard Bado as part of the Live from the Cullen recital series, all presented as part of Houston Grand Opera’s re-imagined digital season. Further showcasing her versatility during the last year, she created the Purple Robe Series, featuring songs from a large variety of genres including Opera, R&B, Gospel, Rap, and Musical Theater. The series went viral, especially for its episode honoring Juneteenth featuring Lift Every Voice and Sing as arranged by Roland Carter and performed by a chorus of outstanding Black opera singers.

In the 2019-20 season, Heaston appeared in the Memphis Symphony’s opening weekend gala and sang Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at the San Francisco Opera. In the 2018-19 season, the soprano made three significant role debuts: Mimì in La Bohème at the Houston Grand Opera, Liù in Turandot with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, and the title role in Didone Abbandonata at Theater Basel. She also debuted at the Hamburg State Opera as Countess Almaviva, sang her first Mahler Symphony No. 2 with the Houston Symphony, and appeared in recital at the Wang Center in Naples, Florida. Engagements from the 2017-18 season included the title role in Alcina at Theater Basel, Alice Ford at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Brahms’ Requiem with the Houston Symphony, and a gala concert at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

In the 2016-17 season, Heaston sang Adina in L’elisir d’amore at the Houston Grand Opera, Haydn’s The Creation with the Houston Symphony (released on the Pentatone label), Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Boston Lyric Opera, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Engagements for the 2015-16 season included Alice Ford in Falstaff at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen and Countess Almaviva at Den Norske Opera and the Utah Opera. In the 2014-15 season, she sang Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Houston Grand Opera, the title role in Alcina at the Royal Danish Opera, and was the featured vocal soloist in the Houston Ballet’s staging of Stravinsky’s Les Noces. Her engagements for the 2013-14 season included Alcina at Den Norske Opera, Arminda in La Finta Giardiniera at the Glyndebourne Festival, and the featured soloist in Of Blessed Memory at the Houston Ballet. In the 2011-12 season, Heaston sang Alice Ford in Falstaff with Opera de Lausanne and the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Semperoper Dresden.

Heaston has established a long-standing relationship with Houston Grand Opera, beginning as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Her debut with the company was in the title role of Roméo et Juliette, and she has since been heard as Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. Heaston also created the title role in Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere of Jackie O, subsequently recording the opera for the Argo label.

Since her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Ms. Heaston has appeared several times with the theater, singing Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (conducted by James Levine), and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos. A regular presence in opera houses throughout the United States, Heaston recently sang Musetta in La Bohème with the Fort Worth Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and for her debut with New York City Opera alongside Rolando Villazon (which was recorded and broadcast nationwide). She has performed the role of Oscar in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera with the San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and she has sung Gilda in Rigoletto at the Nashville Opera and Opera Grand Rapids. Heaston made her debut with the Michigan Opera Theatre as Nanetta in Falstaff and has since returned to the company as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. She sang Despina in Così Fan Tutte with the Dallas Opera and made her debut with the Washington National Opera in the role of Pamina. Heaston made her debut at the Glimmerglass Opera in New York as Susanna, performing the same role at the Wolf Trap Opera in Virginia, and sang the role of the Princess in Respighi’s La Bella Dormente nel Bosco at the Spoleto Festival and the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival.

In recent seasons, Heaston made her Italian debut in Adriano in Siria at the Fondazione Pergolesi in Jesi, Italy. She also made her debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Musetta in La Bohème, joined the New Orleans Opera in Rigoletto, and returned to Carnegie Hall for the Marilyn Horne Foundation “The Song Continues” annual recital. Heaston performed in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera de Lille and The Creation at the Teatro Carlo Felice, and she sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival and the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea for her debut at the Semperoper Dresden.

Heaston made her European operatic debut as Anne Truelove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in Montpellier and sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. She performed the role of Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea for her debuts at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence and at the Vienna Festwochen. She sang the role of Eve in Haydn’s The Creation for the Flanders Opera in Belgium, and sang performances of Gluck’s Armide with Les Musiciens du Louvre under the baton of Marc Minkowski, which was recorded for Archiv Production Deutsche Grammophon. Other collaborations with Maestro Minkowski have included Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Grenoble, France, and an appearance in William Klein’s motion picture Le Messie, based on Handel’s Messiah, for which she also recorded the soundtrack.

Equally active as a concert and recital soloist, Heaston has performed with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra for the Kennedy Center’s 11th annual gala. She has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony and the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor Michigan, and she has appeared in concert with the Fort Worth Symphony, performing Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Ms. Heaston was heard in Mozart’s Requiem with the Honolulu Symphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass with Boston Baroque, which was recorded for the Teldec label and nominated for a Grammy® Award. She debuted at Carnegie Hall in recital at Weill Recital Hall, and she has previously given recitals at William Jewel College in Kansas City and for the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Ms. Heaston also performed as a guest artist for the Cleveland Arts Song Festival and has given recitals in Grenoble, France; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Jacksonville, Florida.

Nicole Heaston completed her Masters Degree in Voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and received her undergraduate degree in music at the University of Akron. Her various awards and prizes include the Shoshana Foundation Grant, Robert Weede Corbett Award, Oper Guild of Dayton Competition, Opera/Columbus Competition, San Antonio Opera Guild Competition, Metropolitan Opera Regional Audition-Encouragement Award, and Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Award Competition.

Mauricio Miranda

Mauricio Miranda

Tenor

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Previous appearances of tenor Mauricio Miranda with Maryland Lyric Opera include Joe in La fanciulla del West, in An evening of Puccini, and as Venditore di canzonette in Il Tabarro. Future roles with MDLO include Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro. Miranda has performed at Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao; Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, Teatro La Laboral in Gijon; Gran Teatro Nacional in Lima; Teatro Municipal de Santiago and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He performed in two world premieres: as Recruit 3 in Viento Blanco by Sebastian Errázuriz at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and as Dr. Steve Vergara in A Game of Hearts by Douglas Pew with the WNO. His oratorio repertoire includes works by Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Rossini, Beethoven and Schubert. He has performed concerts in Chile, Argentina, Peru, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United States. He worked with such conductors as Louis Salemno, Dimitry Jurowsky, Jan Latham-Koenig, Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli, Matteo Pagliari, and Daniele Rustioni. Miranda has worked with directors Emilio Sagi, Anne Bogart, Hugo de Ana and Jean Louis Grinda. He sang Mozart’s “Requiem” at the Washington National Cathedral; has sung the role of Eros in the U.S. premiere of the opera "Diane au bois" by Claude Debussy with Virginia Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Emil De Cou. Miranda began his solo career in Chile and South America, and continued his training in Europe and North America. He graduated from the Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artist Program. Mauricio Miranda earned his Master of Arts in Music Theory from the National Conservatory of the Universidad de Chile and was the winner of the prestigious FONDART price and scholarship.

Javier Arrey

Javier Arrey

Baritone

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Heralded as one of the most sought after and versatile Belcanto baritones of the emerging generation, Chilean baritone Javier Arrey recently did his Metropolitan Opera debut as Schaunard (La Boheme) in the classic Franco Zeffirelli production and joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera; he also did an acclaimed debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Marcelloin La Boheme.

Engagements in recent seasons include, among others: Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana) at Boston Lyric Opera; Valdeburgo (La Straniera) and Riccardo (I Puritani) at Washington Concert Opera; Giovanni (Don Giovanni) at the Estates Theater in Prague and Castleton Festival; Silvio (I Pagliacci) at the NCPA Mumbai under Antonello Allemandi; Giorgio (Il Postino) and Garibaldo (Rodelinda) at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago.

Following an acclaimed debut as Jago (Otello) at the Castleton Festival under Lorin Maazel, a performance The Washington Post described as "menaced and connived but [Arrey] did so subtly and with a voice so lovely to that his scheming seemed all the more threatening." Praises came also from Mo. Lorin Maazel who published: "Jago was stunningly sung and acted by Javier Arrey [who] manages to give shape to the jealous demon within Otello"

On CD, Mr.Arrey can be heard as Lescaut on the recording of Puccini's Manon Lescaut for Decca Classics alongside Andrea Bocelli and Plácido Domingo.

In addition to his work on the opera stage Arrey has proved to be a world-class interpreter of the concert repertoire most recently performing Carmina Burana in Europe and Dvorák's Biblical Songs & Gypsy Songs in Czech Republic. His repertoire includes Fauré's Requiem, Bach St.John Passion BWV 245, Bach Weihnachtsoratorium BWV 248, Bach Cantata BWV
82, Schumann's Dichterliebe, Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem and Mahler's Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen, among others.

In 2017, Mr. Arrey received the "Congressional Medal of Honor" at the National Congress of Chile in recognition of his artistic career and his social labor bringing the Opera to populations who have no access to live performances. In 2011 Javier Arrey was the winner of the CulturArte Prize at Operalia Competition in Moscow and in 2009 he was finalist at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition (Song prize). Mr.Arrey is a graduate of The Washington National Opera "Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program" and Dolora Zajick's Program Institute for "Young Dramatic Voices"

Future engagements include, among others his debut as Germont (La Traviata, Verdi) at the
Teatro Municipal de Santiago under Mo. Rizzi Brignoli.

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Joseph Michael Brent

Joseph Michael Brent

Tenor

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Tenor Joseph Michael Brent, a native New Yorker, began his operatic career as a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, Athens. Since graduating in the fall of 2014, Dr. Brent’s lyric tenor voice has continued to gain recognition around the United States and abroad. Most recently, he became the inaugural tenor resident artist of the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio, under the artistic direction of internationally acclaimed tenor Richard Leech and opera impresario Dr. David Dichiera. He completed two seasons as resident artist, ending his tenure at the Michigan Opera Theatre in the spring of 2017.

As a member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio Dr. Brent’s roles included Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence (Little Women), Martin (The Tender Land), the Kronprinz (Silent Night), Malcolm (Macbeth), Trin (La Fanciulla del West), and Remendado (Carmen).

Yi Li

Yi Li

Tenor

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Proving himself a formidable talent and a rising star to watch in the opera world, Tenor Yi Li is quickly gaining attention across the globe. Most recently, Li débuted the role of Cheng Quing in Meredith Monk’s ATLAS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and moved into bigger repertoire, debuting the role of Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West in Maryland Lyric Opera’s inaugural season. He subsequently returned there as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Turridu/Luigi in Il Tabarro/Cavalleria Rusticana as well as returned to The Metropolitan Opera as the Young Lover in Il tabarro.

Upcoming engagements include a return to Maryland Lyric Opera for Turandot and his debut at Opera Tampa in Cavalleria Rusticana.

Other operatic engagements include the role of Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles with Toledo Opera; Nicias in Thaïs with China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Nashville Opera, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Cassio in Otello at The National Center Performing Arts in Beijing; the role of Alfredo in La traviata with Finger Lakes Opera; and his performance in Huang Ruo’s innovative contemporary opera, Paradise Interrupted. Mr. Li has also joined the esteemed roster of The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Manon Lescaut, Roméo et Juliette, and Der fliegende Holländer.

Concert engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Canterbury Chorale at Carnegie Hall, Indianapolis Opera’s Opera’s Rising Stars Concert and a Chinese New Year Concert with Shenzen Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.

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.

Hunter Enoch

Hunter Enoch

bass-baritone

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Bass-baritone Hunter Enoch joined the Cafritz Young Artist program at Washington National Opera in the fall of 2015. During his time with the company, he was heard as Count Almaviva in the Young Artist performance of Le nozze di Figaro, a Corporal in The Daughter of the Regiment, ADC in The Dictator’s Wife, covered Joseph De Rocher in Dead Man Walking, and sang Sharpless in the Young Artist performance of Madame Butterfly. His WNO debut was as Moralés in Carmen and he was later heard as James Miller in the world premiere of Better Gods. In the 2019-2020 season, Mr. Enoch returned to WNO as Montano in Otello, and sang the role of Kurwenal in Act 2 of Tristan und Isolde with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda at both the Kennedy Center and at Lincoln Center, and performed Palémon with Maryland Lyric Opera. In the 2018-19 Mr. Enoch performed the role of William Dale in Silent Night at Washington National Opera, made his company and role debut as Scarpia for Opera Birmingham, and sang Happy in La Fanciulla del West and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor for Maryland Lyric Opera, and debuted Wotan with Pacific Northwest Opera in The Ring in One Evening. This season Mr. Enoch will sing Scarpia with Anchorage Opera and returns to Pacific Northwest Opera as Germont in La Traviata.

Louis Salemno

Louis Salemno

Music Director

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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.

David Gately

David Gately

Visual Supervisor

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Stage director David Gately is known for his vivid story telling and lively and clever productions. Last season his concert staging of Angels in America with the BBC Symphony Orchestra was praised for being "brilliantly resourceful" (This Is London) and it was reported that "Gately’s dynamic semi-staging made a strong argument for a full production of Angels." (The Independent) With the Manitoba Opera his direction of Il Barbiere di Siviglia was said to use "nuance and creative physical comedy, resulting in a superb production brimming with energy." (Winnipeg Free Press).

Recent productions of note include his direction of L’Elisir d’Amore with Dallas Opera, Madama Butterfly with Seattle Opera, La Bohème with Florida Grand Opera, Carmen in New Orleans, Les Contes D’Hoffman in Edmonton, Die Zauberflöte with the Cincinnati and Vancouver Operas, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with both the Florentine Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, Falstaff with Opera Omaha, and Rigoletto with Utah Opera. His hugely successful "wild west" production of Don Pasquale which was most recently hailed as a "contemporary classic" by the Denver Post has been mounted by San Diego Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Colorado, Calgary Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Virginia Opera, Dayton Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Omaha, Edmonton Opera and the Fort Worth Opera.

Mr. Gately spends the 2010-11 season directing La Bohème with Atlanta Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor with Calgary Opera, both Hansel and Gretel and Little Women with Utah Opera, Faust with San Diego Opera, and Giulio Cesare with Fort Worth Opera. Upcoming seasons include engagements with Opera Colorado, San Diego Opera, and Fort Worth Opera among others.

During the 2009 – 2010 season he directed Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Washington National Opera, Opera Colorado and Manitoba Opera, L’Elisir d’Amore with Atlanta Opera, Simon Boccanegra for its premiere with L’Opéra de Montréal, and the World Premiere production of Before Night Falls with the Forth Worth Opera where the Dallas Morning News wrote that he "supplies a physically gripping staging." In addition, he directed Angels in America with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in London for the United Kingdom premiere of the work.

Over the course of the last several seasons he directed productions of Hansel and Gretel with the Washington National Opera, Rigoletto with Arizona Opera, La Cenerentola with Atlanta Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte with the Florida Grand Opera, Carmen and Ariadne auf Naxos with Vancouver Opera, Don Pasquale with Opera Colorado Le Nozze di Figaro with the Utah Opera, Carmen with Austin Lyric Opera, and Lucia di Lammermoor with L’Opéra de Montréal where his direction was called "elegant, realistic and almost balletically integrated with the music." (The Gazette) In addition, he directed two productions with the Fort Worth Opera: La Cenerentola and Dead Man Walking, where he was praised for "his keen combination of insight and imagination…creating an aura of day-to-day reality on stage that in turn gave the opera its gripping emotional effect." (Theater Jones)

His recent production of La Cenerentola with the Connecticut Opera was called "a triumph. It was funny and clever, full of youthful energy and razor-sharp musicianship. Stage Director David Gately was inspired. The placement and movement of characters onstage was clever and often allowed sound to move in stereo from side to side." (Courant) At the Fort Worth Opera he directed the North American premiere of Angeles in America where he was praised for his "immense level of creativity," (Pegasus News) as well as Lucia di Lammermoor where he was hailed for his staging which was both "savvy and sensitive." (Dallas News)

Additional career highlights include directing Carmen and La Bohème with Florida Grand Opera, La Traviata, La Bohème, L’Italiana in Algeri, Little Women, Salome, Norma, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Falstaff, and Don Pasquale all with Fort Worth Opera, Das Rheingold at Ava, Sweeney Todd at the Brevard Festival, and Weill's The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken at the Fringe Festival in Boston. In addition, he directed Hansel and Gretel with Utah Opera, Don Paquale with L’Opéra de Montréal, Arizona Opera, San Diego Opera, Calgary Opera and Edmonton Opera, Les Contes D’Hoffman with Tulsa Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte with Kentucky Opera, Ariadne Auf Naxos, Orpheus in the Underworld, Kiss Me Kate and Madama Butterfly at the Brevard Music Colony, Der Rosenkavalier with Vancouver Opera, and The Turn of the Screw with the New England Conservatory.

He also staged productions of La Bohème with Vancouver Opera, The Mikado with Edmonton Opera, L’Italiana in Algeri with Central City Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro with the Academy of Vocal Arts, and the Seven Deadly Sins with Boston University. He directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Florentine Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opéra de Québec, and Die Zauberflöte with the Shreveport Opera. Mr. Gately’s production credits also include Manon, Smetana’s Two Widows, Die Fledermaus, The Rape of Lucretia, Gianna Schicchi, I Pagliacci, The Merry Widow, Candide, Amahl, Don Giovanni, Otello, Samson et Dalila, Aida, Turandot, La Fille du Regiment, Le Comte Ory, Lucia, Les Pecheurs des Perles, Lakme and The Ballad of Baby Doe.

Steven Gathman

Steven Gathman

Chorus Master

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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.

Turandot:

Cast

Princess Turandot: Alexandra LoBianco
The Emperor Altoum: Mauricio Miranda
Timur: Morris Robinson
Calaf: Jonathan Burton
Liu: Nicole Heaston
Ping: Javier Arrey
Pang: Joseph Michael Brent
Pong: Yi Li
Mandarin: Hunter Enoch
The Executioner
(Pu-Tin-Pao):

Conductor: Louis Salemno
Visual Supervisor: David Gately
Chorus Master: Steven Gathman
MDLO Orchestra
MDLO Chorus

Synopsis

Act I

The action begins in Peking outside the Imperial Palace, where an enormous crowd has gathered to witness the execution of the Prince of Persia. The Prince is the latest in a long line of suitors for the hand of Turandot, the Princess of China. Anyone who seeks Turandot’s hand in marriage must submit to a test: they must answer three riddles. At this point, not a single suitor has managed to solve the riddles correctly, and they have all been summarily beheaded. An unexpected reunion takes place: the foreigner Calaf recognizes his father Timur, the deposed Tartar king. Seeing Turandot appear on the balcony, Calaf is thunderstruck by the Princess’s beauty…it is love at first sight. Ignoring the pleas from his father and the slave girl Liu (who is in love with him) Calaf strikes the official gong, signaling his declaration that he shall be the next suitor for Turandot.

Act II

As the Imperial ministers Ping, Pang and Pong make preparations for the next riddle ceremony, they lament that China has become a constant bloodbath in this era of Turandot, with all of the constant executions of foreign men who have tried to claim her. All three of them long to return to their respective homelands.

As Calaf appears in the main hall of the royal palace, he has a conversation with Emperor Altoum. Though the Emperor tries to convince Calaf to give up his courtship, Calaf will not be deterred. He is there to solve the three riddles. Turandot arrives and tells the story of her ancestress, Princess Lou Ling, who thousands of years ago was abducted, raped and murdered by the King of the Tartars. Turandot has devised the three riddles as a way to both avoid marriage and to punish any would-be suitors. Despite a long, tense hesitation, Calaf manages to answer all three riddles correctly. As the crowd cheers the Prince’s triumph, Turandot begs her father not to let her marry the foreigner. The Emperor replies that the oath is sacred and cannot be broken. Calaf does not wish to possess Turandot against her will. He poses a challenge to her…if she can guess his name correctly by sunrise the next day, he will forfeit his own life. Turandot agrees to this.

Act III

On penalty of death, no one in the kingdom is allowed to sleep that night. Calaf is confident that he will be victorious with the dawn of the next day. Palace guards drag in Timur and Liu. In order to spare the old man from torture, Liu claims that she alone knows the Prince’s name. As the guards torture the poor slave girl, Liu professes to Turandot that it is her love for Calaf that is giving her the strength to keep the secret, and she also predicts that Turandot herself will fall in love with the Prince by the morning. Her resolve failing under duress, Liu decides to take the secret to the grave, snatches a knife from a nearby guard and fatally stabs herself. As Liu’s body is led away, Calaf is left alone with Turandot. He kisses her (her first kiss), and Turandot admits that she knew from the moment she saw the Prince, that she would love him. The Prince can now reveal who he is…he is Calaf, son of Timur. Overjoyed, Turandot leads Calaf before the Emperor and the Court. She has learned the stranger’s name. His name is “Love.”

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