A concert showcasing a mix of favorite arias, duets and ensemble pieces from classic opera and operetta. Performed by several of Annapolis Opera’s favorite singers, and accompanied by Artistic Director, Maestro Ronald J. Gretz.
Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 3 PM
Calvary United Methodist Church
301 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, MD
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Meet the Artists
Baritone SeungHyeon Baek is quickly gaining recognition throughout the American opera circuit as a young artist of considerable talents and versatility. He has specifically been applauded and recognized in recent performances over the past few seasons for his full and generous baritone voice, as well as for his histrionic abilities combined with his rich artistry.
Recently Mr. Baek made his Carnegie Hall Debut as a Baritone Soloist in Fauré’s Requiem with MidAmericaProductions, his Lincoln Center Concert Debut with InterSchool Orchestras of New York as a Baritone Soloist, and performed as Dandini in La cenerentola with New York City Opera for their Outreach Production. He participated as an Apprentice Artist in Sarasota Opera’s 2015 Fall Season, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Regina Opera, Soloist in Dvořák’s Te Deum with Adelphi Chamber Orchestra and Soloist in Dubois’s The Seven Last Words of Christ with Christian Broadcasting System of New York. During his Professional Studies at Mannes College, he performed as the title role of Gianni Schicchi, Don Alvaro in Il viaggio a Reims, and Di Cosimo in the New York Premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino with Mannes Opera. Mr. Baek also recently won the 2015 Career Bridges Competition.
Further recent engagements for SeungHyeon Baek include The Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Monterone and Rigoletto (cover) in Rigoletto as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist with the Crested Butte Festival, and Schaunard (cover) in La boheme as a Young Artist at Ash Lawn Opera.
Over the past few seasons, SeungHyeon Baek has also performed Ford in Falstaff with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance Program, the title role in Rigoletto (in concert) with Verdi Square Festival, Silvio in Pagliacci, Michele in Il tabarro and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with New York Lyric Opera and the title role in Gianni Schicchi as a Resident Artist with DiCapo Opera, Martha Cardona Theater and Chung-Ang University in Korea. Mr. Baek also appeared as Valentin in Faust with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Repertory Ensemble, Pandolfe in Cendrillon and Father in Hansel and Gretel with Manhattan School of Music’s Outreach Program.
Mr. Baek will make his Opera Ithaca Debut as Dandini in La Cenerentola in the Spring of 2017. A native of South Korea, he holds a Professional Studies Degree from Mannes College of Music, his Master’s from Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from ChungAng University in Korea.
Hailed as ‘impressive’ by Opera News and ‘a vocal triumph’ by KDHX, St. Louis, young bass Timothy J. Bruno has quickly become a sought-after performer in the United States. In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Bruno will return to Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist, singing Colline in La Bohème at the Filene Center, and to Washington National Opera as a Domingo Cafritz Young Artist, where he will perform Dr. Bartolo in the Emerging Artist Performance of Le nozze di Figaro, Hortensius in La fille du régiment, Warden Benton in Dead Man Walking, and Lo zio Bonzo in Madama Butterfly. He will also appear in the premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s The Dictator’s Wife as part of WNO’s American Opera Initiative.
In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Bruno made his debuts with Wolf Trap Opera as Louis XVI in their Ghosts of Versailles, Baltimore Symphony as The Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and at The Kennedy Center as part of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. While in Washington, Mr. Bruno performed the roles of General Howell Cobb and James Fowler in Phillip Glass’ Appomattox and premiered the role of Judge Judd in Luna Pearl Woolf’s Better Gods as part of the WNO American Opera Initiative.
Previous seasons have included such commanding roles as Méphistophélès in Faust and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Winter Opera St. Louis, Colline in La Bohème with El Paso Opera, and Lo zio Bonzo in Madama Butterfly with Opera Columbus. In 2015 he sang Abimélech in Samson et Dalila with Atlanta Symphony next to Stephanie Blythe and Stuart Skelton in the title roles. He has also received acclaim for his comedic interpretations, being praised as “hilarious” for his Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro while at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, “comedic perfection” as Don Basilio in Il barbiére di Siviglia at Opera Western Reserve starring Lawrence Brownlee, and in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Queen City Chamber Opera, where he “…used the deep thunder of his voice and comical temper to create a memorable portrayal of Osmin.”
Mr. Bruno recently completed a summer as an Apprentice Artist in Central City Opera’s Bonfils-Stanton Training Program, covering Warden Benton in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and performing the role of Dr. Bartolo in the family matinee of Le nozze di Figaro. As an Apprentice Artist at Opera Saratoga, he covered Sparafucile in Rigoletto and performed Berthold in Offenbach’s Le 66. He performed Curio in Giulio Cesare and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro as a Resident Artist with Michigan Opera Theater, and made his professional debut in 2011 as a Young Artist with Cincinnati Opera performing Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Second Armored Guard in The Magic Flute, and covering Eric Owens as The Storyteller in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree.
Mr. Bruno has also appeared extensively on the concert stage, including at the Washington National Cathedral in Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass. He has sung Handel’s Messiah with Memphis Symphony, the Bluffton Bach Festival, and at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Haydn’s Creation with the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Vermillion Symphonic Choir. Other concert engagements have included appearances with the Toledo Symphony, the Dayton Bach Society, the Knox Music Series, St. Michaels in the Hills, and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Bruno has been awarded prizes from the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, the Opera Birmingham Competition, the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, Partners for the Arts, the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, and Singer’s Club of Cleveland. He is an alumnus of the Master of Music program at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music and the Bachelor of Music program at Bowling Green State University.
Meryl Dominguez, soprano, is Resident Artist of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where studies with William Stone. She is a recent graduate from Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she was named the first Marilyn Horne Rubin Scholar. Most recently she was a winner in the inaugural Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Foundation’s International Vocal Competition, where she took Third Prize from The Sergio Franchi Music Foundation. In operatic repertoire, she has performed Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Sophie from Massenet’s Werther, all at AVA. She has also sung Marie (Cover) in La fille du regiment, Rosalinda from Die Fledermaus, Flaminia from Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, Le Feu/La Princesse/Le Rossignol from Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges. Under the guidance of her mentor Ms. Marilyn Horne, she has attended the Music Academy of the West, and was featured in Masterclasses and concerts. In the summer of 2016 she will attend the Oberlin in Italy program in Arezzo, Tuscany to sing Adina in L’elisir d’amore.
Included with her passion for operatic repertoire, is an enthusiasm for art song, and new music. Recital work has included Debussy’s fête galante II, R. Strauss, Britten folk songs, Poulenc’s fiançailles pour rire, Rachmaninov op.38, some of Wolf’s Spanischesliederbuch and some songs from John Musto’s Penelope (2005).
As a Double Degree student at Oberlin, she also has a degree in Dance, concentrating on the narrative and storytelling aspects of movement. Her experimental contemporary solo, Rejazz, which was featured in Fall Forward ’13, blended abstract movement and song, telling the story of heartbreak and personal redemption. She is comfortable incorporating voice and movement and would love to continue experimenting with blending these two art forms in the future. In her free time she loves to bake pastry, blues dance, get lost in new cities, and spend time with friends and family.
French and Canadian soprano Chloé Olivia Moore is known for having a voice of unique timbre and depth, with unusual flexibility and speed for a voice of its size. Critics have described it as having both “an amber mellowness like a warm cognac” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle) and as being “crystalline, with controlled power” (The Oakwood Register). Its warm color and Verdian point make it perfectly suited for the dramatic bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini, Meyerbeer and some Verdi roles. Equally fluent in French as in English, Chloé has always also had an affinity for French Romantic Opera and has performed such wonderful roles such as Manon, Leïla and Mélisande. In addition to performances all over the United States and Canada, her short career has already let her to perform in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Angola, Romania and throughout Europe.
After graduating from the Academy of Vocal Arts in 2014, Chloé was chosen by Loren Maazel to sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at his Castleton Festival. In this role, she was described as having a voice which “has a wealth of shades, which she uses with intelligence…Her voice was the most attractive and well-developed in the young cast.” (Washington Post). She performed Mahler’s 4th Symphony with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia under the baton of Dirk Brossé, the Verdi Requiem with the New Jersey MasterChorale, the Vivaldi Gloria in performances with Neumann University Concert Chorale and Symphony in C, and debuted the role of Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles with Dayton Opera.
While studying at The Academy of Vocal Arts, Chloé performed numerous roles, including Violetta in La Traviata, Manon Massenet’s Manon, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffman, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. In addition to performances at AVA, she also performed numerous oratorios with the New Jersey Master Chorale including Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. She performed Haydn’s Creation with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and Symphony in C under the baton of Rossen Milanov and she was a regular guest artist with the Ocean City Pops.
Recent performances include Soprano Soloist in Haydn’s Creation with the New Jersey MasterChorale and Soprano Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Church of the Redeemer Orchestra. Future engagements include a return to Dayton Opera for her role debut as Nedda in I Pagliacci, a return to the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Bar Harbor Music Festival, a recital with pianist Hector Acosta in the Festival del Pitic in Hermosillo, Mexico, and a concert with the Ocean City Pops.
Chloé has won top prizes with the George London Foundation (George London Award), Gerda Lissner Foundation (1st Prize), Giulio Gari Foundation (2nd Prize), Czech & Slovak International Voice Competition (2nd Prize), Liederkranz Foundation (3rd Prize, Opera Division), Loren Zachary Vocal Competition (3rd Prize), was recognized by the Crested Butte Music Festival with the Rosalind Jackson Memorial Award and in her native Canada with the Prix Jeune Espoir Lyrique Canadien with Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques.
Ms. Moore is originally from Calgary, Alberta and holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music from the University of Arizona, and an Artist Diploma from the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. She was a young artist with Arizona Opera’s Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio, Central City Opera’s Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist Program, and Crested Butte Music Festival’s Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program. She currently studies with soprano Julia Faulkner.
Dane Suarez is quickly establishing himself as a “warm and robust tenore spinto” with “pure earth-shaking lyricism.” He sang on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House as a 2014 National Semi-Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and this past season, made his John F. Kennedy Center debut with Washington National Opera as Ely Parker in Glass’ Appomattox. He returned to Opera Memphis for their nationally recognized 30 Days of Opera and performed the role of Beppe (I Pagliacci) last fall and again this past spring for Don José in Peter Brook’s La tragédie de Carmen. Two exciting company and role debuts for Dane included his “beautiful, soaring, and moving” performance as Cavaradossi (Tosca) with LoftOpera that “brought down the house” and Rodolfo (La bohème) at Crested Butte Music Festival. For the 2016-2017 season, Suarez will be seen again at Opera Memphis (30 Days of Opera), Opera in the Heights (Rodolfo in La bohème), Sarasota Opera (studio artist covering Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and singing Flaminio in Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re), and in recitals with Annapolis Opera and Midland Opera Theatre in Texas.
In the 2014-2015 season, Suarez starred as Il Duca (Rigoletto) at Opera in the Heights and made his mainstage debut with Fort Worth Opera in Thomas’ Hamlet. For summer 2015, Dane returned to Opera North for two mainstage roles (Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Mr. Splinters in The Tender Land) and covered Tony in West Side Story. In summer 2014, Dane made his role debut as Don José (Carmen) at Aspen Music Festival and was heard as Shuisky alongside bass-baritone Eric Owens in the Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov. The 2013-2014 season brought Suarez to Opera Memphis as tenor artist-in-residence where he was featured as Borsa and covered Il Duca (Rigoletto) and Nanki-Poo (The Mikado). In summer 2013, he first joined Opera North to cover Edgardo and sing Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor).
For 2012-2013, Mr. Suarez was an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera covering the roles of Curley (Floyd: Of Mice and Men) and L’Imperatore (Turandot). He joined Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia where he sang Henrik (A Little Night Music) and appeared with the Castleton Festival at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman where he performed in La Bohème. He was also seen as Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) in the inaugural production of La Casa Lirica Opera Venezuela. In 2012, Suarez was featured as the tenor soloist with one of the world’s leading dance companies, Mark Morris Dance Group, at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. In summer 2011, he was a Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at Sugar Creek Opera (formerly Sugar Creek Symphony and Song.) Other recent credits include Il Duca di Mantova (Rigoletto) and Bardolfo (Falstaff) with Voci nel Montefeltro, Bill (A Hand of Bridge) and King Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors) with the UI Opera Studio. He sang First Man in Armour (Die Zauberflöte) and created the role of Ramdas for the world premiere of Stephen Taylor’s Paradises Lost with Illinois Opera Theatre. While completing his undergradate degree, he performed Tamino (The Magic Flute) with Butler Opera Theatre.
In addition to his recent success in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Suarez has been recognized by multiple organizations including Beethoven Club of Memphis (First Place), Bel Canto Foundation (Bella Voce Award), Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. (International Talent of the Year), Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, and he won the 2010 Butler University Concerto Competition singing Ravel’s Cinq mélodies populaires grecques. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Butler University and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ronald J. Gretz
Artistic Director & Conductor
Ronald J. Gretz
Artistic Director & Conductor
Ronald J. Gretz is celebrating his 34th season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Annapolis Opera, a position that he has also held with both the Chesapeake and Harford Opera companies. Mr. Gretz served as chorus master and assistant conductor with the Baltimore Opera and Chautauqua Summer Opera in New York and has conducted Baltimore Opera’s Summer Opera. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, Mr. Gretz returned to his alma mater for five years [1995-2000] as an Opera Coach. In 2012 he was again appointed to the Vocal faculty as a Vocal Coach where he remains as a part-time faculty member.
In addition to his work in opera, he has conducted musicals with Cock-pit-in-Court and various area dinner theaters. Internationally he has performed twice at the Kanagawa Theater Festival in Japan as well as in Shanghai, China. In 1994 Mr. Gretz was appointed conductor of the Gettysburg Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 10 years. In 2004 he founded the Maryland Philharmonic Orchestra and continued as artistic director and conductor until 2008. Mr. Gretz was named Professor Emeritus upon retiring from teaching at CCBC where he taught music theory for 41 years. His theory textbook “Music Language and Fundamentals”, published by McGraw Hill is used throughout the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Gretz is also the organist and choir director at the University Baptist Church in Baltimore, a position that he has held for over 25 years.