Vocal Concert Series

Season 2018/2019

In the first season after reorganization MDLO presented four vocal concerts with the full MDLO Orchestra under the baton of our acclaimed Music Director Louis Salemno.

The Maryland Lyric Opera presents an evening of excerpts from three of Giuseppe Verdi’s most celebrated operas: Il Trovatore, La Traviata, and Rigoletto.

The Maryland Lyric Opera Young Artist Institute presents an evening of excerpts from three of Mozart’s most celebrated operas: Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. Written by celebrated librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, these operas charm audiences with their brilliantly absurd plots and sublime music.

Bethesda United Methodist Church

Kay Theatre

Jun 7 & 9, 2019

Kay Theatre

May 18 & 19, 2019

Kay Theatre

Mar 15 & 16, 2019

Bethesda United Methodist Church

Oct 19 & 20, 2018

Bethesda United Methodist Church

Vocal Concert Series

Cast

An Evening of Puccini

SeungHyeon Baek: baritone
Nayoung Ban: soprano
Marco Cammarota: tenor
Yongxi Chen: tenor
Youna Hartgraves: soprano
Catherine Martin: mezzo-soprano
Conductor: Louis Salemno
Lighting Designer: Joan Sullivan Genthe
MDLO Orchestra:

Cast

An Evening of Mozart.
The Da Ponte Operas

Joseph Michael Brent: tenor
Adam Cioffari: Bass
Youna Hartgraves: soprano
Mary Feminear: soprano
Caroline Hewitt: mezzo-soprano
Jose Sacin: Baritone
Nanyoung Song: soprano
Conductor: Louis Salemno
Lighting Designer: Joan Sullivan Genthe
MDLO Orchestra:

An Evening of Verdi

Javier Arrey: baritone
Nayoung Ban: soprano
Marco Cammarota: tenor
Yongxi Chen: tenor
Daryl Freedman: mezzo-soprano
Raquel Gonzalez: soprano
Conductor: Louis Salemno
Lighting Designer: Joan Sullivan Genthe
Concertmaster: Jose Miguel Cueto
MDLO Orchestra:

An Evening of Mozart.
German Operatic Masterpieces

Nayoung Ban: soprano
SeungHyeon Baek: baritone
Daryl Freedman: mezzo-soprano
Maeve Höglund: soprano
Yi Li: tenor
Yang Wang: tenor
Conductor: Louis Salemno
Stage Director & Narrator: Nick Olcott
Lighting Designer: Joan Sullivan Genthe
MDLO Orchestra:

Meet the Artists

Joseph Michael Brent

Joseph Michael Brent

Tenor

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Joseph Michael Brent has been praised by Opera News for his “penetrating sound andremarkably projected diction.” Recently, he was seen as Tinca (Il Tabarro) with Maryland LyricOpera, Alfred (Die Fledermaus) Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, and as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Montgomery Philharmonic. Mr. Brent’s repertoire includesDon Jose (Carmen), Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly), E.T.A. Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte). He was a member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio from 2015 - 2017, and has sung at such notable venues as Carnegie Hall (New York City), New YorkState Theatre, Salone Pedrotti, Graz Stefaniensaal, and The White House. Mr. Brent is agraduate of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and holds degrees from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

Adam Cioffari

Adam Cioffari

Bass-baritone

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Adam Cioffari recently returned to the Pittsburgh Festival Opera Fasolt in Rhinegold and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, followed by Handel's Messiah, and the Mozart Requiem with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Other appearances include the Commentator in the world premiere of Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg at the Castleton Festival, the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos at The Glimmerglass Festival, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Colline in La Boheme with Knoxville Opera, and Masetto with Austin Opera. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Theatre Capitole de Toulouse, Staatsoper Stuttgart, and Komische Oper Berlin. A former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he was also a participant of the Merola Opera Program, the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Opera Theater, and is a graduate from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Mary Feminear

Mary Feminear

Soprano

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American soprano Mary Feminear’s voice has been described as “luminous…full of longing and sensual promise” by the critic of the Wall Street Journal, and by the critic of the New York Times as showing “versatility [as Magdalene] in her sorrowing and then in her transcendent joy.” Among her 2019-20 engagements are the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Maryland Lyric Opera, and Pallade, Damigella, and Venere in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Opera Delaware. In the summer of 2020, Ms. Feminear is soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C Major in her debut with the Grant Park Music Festival. Her engagements in the 2020-21 season include a return to Opera Omaha as the Countess.

Ms. Feminear’s engagements in the 2018-19 season included a return to Grand Théâtre de Genève as Micaëla in Carmen, and concerts with Maryland Lyric Opera, where she appeared as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Engagements for the 2017-18 season included Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodanteand soloist in Mariana Sadovska’s The Wreck at the Opera Omaha One Festival, and Amore in Cavalli’s Il Giasone at the Château de Versailles.

As a member of the Troupe des Jeunes Solistes at Grand Théâtre de Genève, she performed a number of roles, including Musetta in La bohème, Amore in Il Giasone, Mimì in Scènes de la vie de Bohème, Nanetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Feminear’s other opera credits include the title role in Handel’s Semele at Opera Omaha and Seattle Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Pacific MusicWorks, Proserpine in Charpentier’s La descente d'Orphée aux enfers with Gotham Chamber Opera, and Polissena in Handel’s Radamistoat Juilliard.

She has also appeared in concert, with performances of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Pacific MusicWorks, Tchaikovsky’s Orleanskaya Deva with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Handel’s La resurrezione with William Christie and Juilliard415, and the St. Matthew Passion with Juilliard415 at Alice Tully Hall.

Ms. Feminear is a recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Prize, the Makiko Narumi Memorial Prize, and the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Award. She holds an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a Master of Arts degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.

Caroline Hewitt

Caroline Hewitt

Mezzo-soprano

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Praised for her “grease lightning coloratura” and “impressive dramatic versatility,” Caroline made her professional operatic debut as Dido in Houston Opera Project’s Dido and Aeneas. Other operatic roles include Angelina in La Cenerentola, Cherbuino in Le nozze di Figaro, Lucia in La Gazza Ladra, Isoletta in La Straniera, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Luisa Fernanda, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, Meg Page in Die Lustige Weber von Windsor and Thelma in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening.

This season, Caroline returns to Sacramento Opera as Rosina in their new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, Operatunity Theater for Sing in the New Year!ä and joins North Shore Music Festival in Carmen. Caroline was named the first prize winner at the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition and has won prizes from the Kristin Lewis Foundation, PASF Santa Barbara, and the Henry & Maria Holt Scholarship Foundation.

A California native, Caroline Hewitt is an alumni of The Moores Opera Center where she graduated with Highest Honors, Vanderbilt University, American Conservatory Theater, Brevard Music Center, and SongFest. Caroline is also the host of the podcast Music & Weights.

More info can be found at mezzocaroline.com.

Jose Sacín

Jose Sacín

Baritone

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José Sacin, Peruvian Baritone and Artistic Director of Opera NOVA, has performed in companies such as The Washington National Opera, Opera Delaware, Caramoor Festival, Opera Camerata of Washington, Teatro Municipal de Lima, Mediterranean Opera Festival, Maryland Lyric Opera, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid and the Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, Teatro Nacional de San Jose, Opera North and the Baltimore Opera. Main opera roles include Scarpia in Tosca, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Tonio in Pagliacci, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Marcello in La Bohème, Count Di Luna in Il Trovatore, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Vidal in Luisa Fernanda and the title roles in Gianni Schicchi, Don Giovanni, Macbeth, Falstaff and Rigoletto. Sacin is very active in the recital stage performing Schubert’s Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and programs of Latin American Art Songs and Italian Art Songs. He appears in the Naxos recording of Ramirez’s Misa Criolla with the Choral Arts of Washington. 

As a conductor, Sacin has performed in Hansel and Gretel, La Cenerentola, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Treemonisha, Die Zauberflöte, Verbena de la Paloma, Monkey See Monkey Do and El Barberillo de Lavapies.

Yi Li

Yi Li

Tenor

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Yi Li has proved himself a formidable talent and a rising star to watch in the opera world. This past season, 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 to MDLO as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Turridu/Luigi in Tabarro/Cavalleria Rusticana. He returned to The Metropolitan Opera as the Young Lover in Il tabarro.

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; Cassio in Otello at The National Center Performing Arts in Beijing; 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 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 was a Grand Final Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist at Operalia, Winner of the Sullivan Musical Foundation Award.

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.

Joan Sullivan Genthe

Joan Sullivan Genthe

Lighting Designer

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Joan Sullivan-Genthe has designed lighting in major theaters throughout the United States and in Europe. As a specialist in opera design she has regularly collaborated with many of the world’s foremost opera directors and designers. Her North American credits include lighting for San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Cleveland Opera, Tulsa Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, in addition to her work as resident lighting designer for Washington National Opera, in Washington, DC.

European credits include the Zeffirelli production of Pagliacci for Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Turandot for Seville’s Teatro de la Maestranza and Finnish National Opera/Helsinki (Frisell/Ponnelle); Il Trovatore in Göteborg, Sweden (Lawless/Dugardyn); Dialogues des Carmélites for the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Rochaix/Dahlstrom); The Medium/The Telephone double bill, directed by composer Gian Carlo Menotti, at the Spoleto Festival; and the Carl Sternheim play Bürger Schippel, seen at Den Nationale Scene in Bergen, Norway. Several of her Washington National Opera designs have been seen on tour in Japan; and productions televised nationally by PBS have included Pagliacci, Le Cid, and the world premiere of Menotti’s Goya, all with Placido Domingo; La Rondine, and Die Fledermaus.
Ms. Sullivan-Genthe joined Washington National Opera (then known as The Washington Opera) in 1984. Her work for that company included designing more than 125 productions produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. These have included high profile world premieres of Menotti’s Goya and Argento’s The Dream of Valentino as well as the U.S. premieres of Wolf-Ferrari’s Sly with José Carreras, Krasa’s Betrothal in a Dream, and Chinese composer Jin’s Savage Land. During her time in Washington, she presented numerous lectures and demonstrations about stage lighting both for the Opera and the Kennedy Center Education Department; lit educational programs presented by the Opera for elementary and high school students; and worked with college student interns interested in getting practical experience in opera.
After discovering opera at Indiana University School of Music, Ms. Sullivan-Genthe began her professional career at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she assisted lighting designers Gil Wechsler, Duane Schuler, Gilbert Hemsley and Ken Billington and designed for the Opera’s young artists program and ballet school. During her tenure in Chicago she realized the original lighting design of the premiere production of Penderecki’s Paradise Lost for Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
A three-year stint as Associate Lighting Designer at San Francisco Opera followed, during which she originated the lighting for the US version of the John Cox/David Hockney production of Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress and a new production of Le nozze di Figaro (Frisell/Brown).
She began her full-time design career in 1984 dividing the majority of her time between Washington, DC and the Seattle Opera where she created over forty production in the ensuing eleven years. Notable productions in Seattle include two versions of the Wagner’s Ring Cycle — the final iteration of the original Seattle production and the initial Ring of the Speight Jenkins administration. Designed by Robert Israel with director, François Rochaix, the production became so successful it was produced four times in ten years.
Ballet credits include the original works Age of Anxiety (Bernstein) by choreographer John Neumaier for BalletWest in Salt Lake City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; as well as Neumaier’s Now and Then (Ravel) for the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. She designed lighting for numerous productions of the Ballet School of the Lyric Opera of Chicago when that company was headed by former prima ballerina Maria Tallchief.
Ms. Sullivan-Genthe’s work has been featured in Theatre Crafts and Lighting Dimensions magazines as well as in J. Michael Gillette’s classic textbook Designing with Light.

Jose Miguel Cueto

Jose Miguel Cueto

Concert Master

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Violinist José Miguel Cueto has over 40 years of experience leading orchestras in the USA and abroad. His multitalented skills as concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician make him a much sought-after artist. After completing his studies at the Conservatory of Music in his native Puerto Rico, Cueto was awarded a scholarship to further his violin studies under the tutelage of laureate violinist Berl Senofsky at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Recognized for his “bravura playing and full-blooded music making” José Cueto has performed worldwide in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and China. Among others, his festival appearances include performances on the Casals, Aspen, Alba, Usa/China, Autunno Musicale Veronese, and for the American Liszt Society. His four-decade partnership with pianist Nancy Roldán encompasses recordings and worldwide performances hailed by critics as … “superb, powerful, well balanced and exciting.” Mr. Cueto has recorded for Centaur, Sonora, Marquis, Crystal, and Educo labels, performing in chamber ensembles and as soloist with orchestras. Mr. Cueto has previously served as Concertmaster of Concert Artists of Baltimore and the Baltimore Opera Orchestra. He teaches at Catholic University of America and St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he’s also been Artist in Residence and Head of Strings. Cueto shares his expertise as violin teacher, chamber ensemble, orchestra coach and lecturer in studio and master class settings. He plays a 1920 Stefano Scarampella and a 2005 violin made specially for him by Luiz Bellini.

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