Concert in the Park

dfgdfhf Join us for a FREE outdoor concert of opera, operetta, and musical theatre favorites!

Sunday, June 12, 2016
5:00 PM
Quiet Waters Park
600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis, MD

 

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Meet the Artists

Augusta Caso

Mezzo-Soprano

Augusta Caso Headshot - Edited

Augusta Caso
Mezzo-Soprano

Hailed by the LA Times as “mysteriously smoldering…a name to remember,” mezzo-soprano Augusta Caso is becoming known for her “silken…beguiling mezzo” and “fine subtle acting” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle). Her 2015-2016 season includes Prince Charming in Cendrillon (Utopia Opera, NYC); the title role in Cenerentola (Opera on Tap, NYC); the cover of Mercédès in Carmen as an Emerging Artist with St. Petersburg Opera (FL); and performances of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra (CT); Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the South Shore Symphony (NY); and Handel’s Messiah with the Winston-Salem Symphony (NC).

In the upcoming 2016-2017 season, Ms. Caso will make her debut with the Center for Contemporary Opera (NYC) as Anaïs Nin in a double-bill of Andriessen’s Anaïs Nin and Odysseus’ Women, and will create the role of Margaret’s Ghost in The Triangle Fire, a new opera by Leonard Lehrman. Augusta will join Caramoor’s Bel Canto Young Artist program as an Apprentice Artist in summer 2016 in Katonah, NY.

Her 2014-2015 season included role debuts as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Regina Opera (Brooklyn, NY); Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Bronx Opera; the title role in Carmen with Regina Opera; and Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette with Maryland Lyric Opera. She also sang with Divaria Productions (NYC) in the creation of a new production about Isabella Colbran-Rossini.

Ms. Caso made her recital debut in Brooklyn in October 2014, which included the world premier of a song cycle by composer Jay Vilnai. In 2015 she performed at Songfest in Los Angeles. She received Honorable Mention at the 2014 Bach Vocal Competition and was an Apprentice Artist with Ash Lawn Opera in 2013. Additional operatic roles have included Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea; Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito; Dorabella in Così fan tutte; and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. Augusta received her Bachelor of Arts with Highest Honors from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She received her Master of Music from the University of Oklahoma, where she was the recipient of a Weitzenhoffer College of Fine Arts Opera Fellowship. Augusta grew up in Phoenix, Maryland and studies with Andrea DelGiudice.

www.randsman.com/augustacaso
@AugustaCaso

Emily Ezzie

Soprano

Emily Ezzie Headshot

Emily Ezzie
Soprano

Recognized for her vocal beauty and compelling vulnerability on stage, Maryland-based soprano Emily Ezzie has been steadily distinguishing herself as an artist to watch. She has appeared throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with the Annapolis Opera, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Concert Opera, OperaDelaware, Bel Cantanti, and the Baltimore Opera. Under the baton of Christopher Larkin at Mississippi’s Natchez Music Festival she appeared as Mimì in La Bohème, a role that she has made her own through numerous performances with companies such as New Hampshire’s Opera North and Washington DC’s Bel Cantanti where she was hailed as “the acknowledged star of the evening”. She was singled out for her portrayal of Barbarina in Pittsburgh Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro, working with acclaimed director Christopher Alden. Other performances include Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Southwest, Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore with the Toledo Opera, and the title role in Bel Cantanti’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. She has appeared with Opera Boston, Sarasota Opera, and the Music and Theatre Festival of Lucca, Italy. Emily has been the Grand Prize Winner of the Long Leaf Opera Vocal Competition and a finalist in the National Opera Association Vocal Competition. With the Sarasota Opera she received the Stuart R. Silver Scholarship and at the Natchez Music Festival she added the Blackburn/Killelea Award to her list of accolades.

Matthew Hill

Tenor

Matthew Hill Headshot

Matthew Hill
Tenor

Matthew Hill, tenor, from Laurel, Maryland recently graduated with his Master of Music in Opera Performance degree from the University of Maryland College Park. At UMD, he sang Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni, Tamino/Die Zauberflöte, and Leo/Regina.  He enjoys a varied career as a soloist and ensemble singer, based in Washington D.C. Recent roles include Tamino/Die Zauberflöte with Music Academy International, Damon/Acis and Galatea with New Dominion Chorale, and Ramiro (cover)/La Cenerentola with Opera Saratoga. Past solo concert work includes Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and Purcell’s Welcome to all the pleasures, under the baton of Matthew Halls. He is a frequent soloist with the University of Maryland Bach Cantata series. As a choral musician, Matthew sings weekly at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, the church of the presidents. He also performs as a soloist and chorister with the Washington Master Chorale, the Washington Bach Consort, and Washington National Cathedral. Hill recently won first place at both the local and regional rounds of the NATS competitions, placed as a finalist in Vocal Arts DC’s 2016 Art Song Competition, and received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Virginia. Hill received his bachelor of music in vocal performance from the University of Maryland on a Creative and Performing Arts full scholarship. During the summer of 2016, Matthew will sing Parpignol/La Bohème with Wolf Trap Opera as a part of their studio artist program.

Andrew Sauvageau

Baritone
Andrew Sauvageau Headshot

Andrew Sauvageau
Baritone

Hailed by the Baltimore Sun for the shining color in his voice and the spark and nuance of his acting, by the Washington Post for tackling challenging music with aplomb, and by the New York Times for his contained ferocity in concert, baritone Andrew Sauvageau brings life to the characters he sings, both in operatic and in concert settings. His diverse repertoire spans six centuries, from music of the renaissance to the present day.

Andrew has performed in much of the continental United States, beginning in his native Oregon and spanning much of the east coast, from Massachusetts to Florida. As a soloist, he has worked with New York City Opera, Opera Lafayette, St. Petersburg Opera, Annapolis Opera, hexaCollective, Bel Cantanti, Great Noise Ensemble, VOICES Chorale, Maryland Choral Society, the Chandos Orchestra, Baltimore Vocal Arts Foundation, Peabody Camerata, Baltimore Baroque Band, Charm City Collegium, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has appeared in performances at The Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The National Gallery of Art, Tanglewood Music Festival, The Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, Baltimore’s ArtScape, Washington’s Capital Fringe, and countless churches, to include Washington National Cathedral and The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

As a concert soloist, Andrew has performed several masterpieces of the repertoire, to include Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s C Minor Mass with Helmuth Rilling, Bach’s Johannes-Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Samson and other works. As a recitalist, Andrew has a particular affinity for Romantic Lieder, and programs works by the geniuses of that era whenever he can. His love of 20th century and contemporary song has led him to perform a variety of concerts, to include the premieres of several new works by emerging composers including Ruby Fulton, Jake Runestad, Nicholas Vines and Joanna Lee.

Andrew has recorded on the Naxos label with Opera Lafayette, was stage director for the world premiere of Jake Runestad’s short opera The Toll and the American premiere of Joanna Lee’s Mannequins, and is a founding member of the Baltimore-based new music ensemble hexaCollective. He studied with Milagro Vargas at the University of Oregon, and at Peabody Conservatory with William Sharp, where he also worked regularly with Phyllis Bryn-Julson and John Shirley-Quirk.

www.andrewsauvageau.com
@AndrewSauvageau

Laura Whittenberger

Soprano
Laura Whittenberger Headshot - Edited

Laura Whittenberger
Soprano

Praised in the Baltimore Sun for her “impressive voice”, and described as “a dream musically and comically”(Portland Phoenix), soprano Laura Whittenberger was recently named one of the “most talented Baltimore musicians” by Baltimore Style magazine. In 2015-16 she’s appeared as Beauty in Giannini’s Beauty and the Beast with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Rose in Ruddigore with Theater at Monmouth (ME), and Olympia/Blue Lady in Pinocchio as a Young Artist with Cedar Rapids Opera (IA). She made her NYC recital debut this spring at the American Irish Historical Society, performing selections from a new album of songs set to the poetry of W.B. Yeats. This summer she will perform as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Mauckingbird Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

Highlights from recent seasons have included Johanna in Sweeney Todd (MD), Meggie in the world premiere of Catch a Dream (DC), Amalia in She Loves Me (DE), Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (TN), Adele in Die Fledermaus (DC), and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (60 performances, Toby’s Dinner Theatre, MD), for which she was nominated for Broadway World’s “Best Actress in a Musical” award for the region.

In concert, Laura has performed soprano solos in the MessiahCarmina Burana, and Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse, among others. She has appeared on TV as a soloist for concerts with the VA Medical-Musical Orchestra, and in recent seasons she has joined the Columbia Pro Cantare as a soloist for Mozart’s Regina Coeli (K127) and Rutter’s Requiem. This May she premiered pieces by composers A. Posner and J. Gill as part of Symphony Number One’s chamber music series.

Laura earned her Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Dr. Stanley Cornett, where she held a full-tuition assistantship for her work with Peabody’s ESL and Opera departments. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Voice from Indiana University, where she studied with Carlos Montané. 

www.laurawhittenberger.com
@lewhitte

Ronald J. Gretz

Artistic Director & Conductor
Ron Gretz Headshot

Ronald J. Gretz
Artistic Director & Conductor

Ronald J. Gretz is celebrating his 33rd 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.

 

  • Act One

    It’s a Grand Night for Singing
    State Fair
    Richard Rodgers

    Una voce poco fa
    Il barbiere di Siviglia
    Gioachino Rossini
    Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano

    Chi il bel sogno di Doretta
    La Rondine
    Giacomo Puccini
    Emily Ezzie, soprano

    Largo al factotum
    Il barbiere di Siviglia
    Gioachino Rossini
    Andrew Sauvageau, baritone

    Caro nome
    Rigoletto
    Giuseppe Verdi
    Laura Whittenberger, soprano

    Ah mes amis…Pour mon ame
    La fille du Regiment
    Gaetano Donizetti
    Matthew Hill, tenor

    Belle Nuit, O Nuit d’amor
    Les contes d’Hoffman
    Jacques Offenbach
    Emily Ezzie, soprano
    Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano

    Mein Herr Marquis
    Die Fledermaus
    Johann Strauss II
    Laura Whittenberger, soprano

    Soliloquy
    Carousel
    Richard Rodgers
    Andrew Sauvageau, baritone

    You’ll Never Walk Alone
    Carousel
    Richard Rodgers
    Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano

  • Act Two

    People Will Say We’re in Love
    Oklahoma!
    Richard Rodgers
    Emily Ezzie, soprano
    Andrew Sauvageau, baritone

    Dein ist mein ganzes Herz
    The Land of Smiles
    Franz Lehar
    Matthew Hill, tenor

    Habanera
    Carmen
    Georges Bizet
    Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano

    Vilja-Lied
    The Merry Widow
    Franz Lehar
    Emily Ezzie, soprano

    If I Loved You
    Carousel
    Richard Rodgers
    Laura Whittenberger, soprano
    Matthew Hill, tenor

    The Impossible Dream
    Man of La Mancha
    Mitch Leigh
    Andrew Sauvageau, baritone

    Vanilla Ice Cream
    She Loves Me
    Jerry Bock
    Laura Whittenberger, soprano

    On the Street Where You Live
    My Fair Lady
    Frederick Loewe
    Matthew Hill, tenor

    I Could Have Danced All Night
    My Fair Lady
    Frederick Loewe
    Emily Ezzie, soprano

    Climb Ev’ry Mountain
    The Sound of Music
    Richard Rodgers

Listen to our Concert in the Park Playlist