Meet the Artists! Grand and Glorious Opera Choruses

The Hartford Chorale presents Grand and Glorious Opera Choruses, a collaboration with the Opera Theater of Connecticut, November 19-20, 2016. Visit our Tickets page for concert details! Read more about the artists below.

Nadia Aguilar, soprano

Born in Mexico, Nadia Aguilar, soprano, started her voice studies with Katya Santos in Monterrey and made her debut as Lauretta in the opera Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini in Saltillo, Mexico in 2013. She sang Mrs. Fiorentino in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene with Hartt Opera Theater, the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere de Siviglia with Connecticut Lyric Opera. She has also appeared as soloist in several oratorio concerts with The Hart School. She was the winner in the 2016 edition of American Opera Idol Competition hosted by Opera Connecticut. Ms. Aguilar’s future engagements include the old of Gretel in the opera Hansel and Gretel with Opera Connecticut. Ms. Aguilar earned her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance in the Hartt School, where she studied under the tutelage of the singer Maureen O’Flynn.

Kelly Hill, mezzo-soprano

Kelly Hill, mezzo-soprano, recently performed the title role in Opera Theater of Connecticut’s production of Carmen. Other Connecticut credits include Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward’s The Crucible with the Hartford Opera Theater, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with OTC, and Mrs. Medley in Peter Grimes with Madison Lyric Stage. Previous Yale credits include La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutti, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and Mart in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Recent concert work includes performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Hartford Chorale, as well as Handel’s Messiah with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. She sang the Alto Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Yale Philharmonia, as well as Magna Opera, a concert by Yale of opera scenes with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Hill graduated with a Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music as a student of Doris Yarick-Cross and worked as a Young Artist with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. She is a native of Iowa, and received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

Lucas van Lierop, tenor

Lucas van Lierop, tenor, recently performed El Remendado in Opera Theater of Connecticut’s production of Carmen. Both a Dutch and Canadian citizen, he is known as a versatile singer, performing with many premier ensembles and artistic organizations including Yale Opera, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Vancouver Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera McGill, I Sing Beijing, Citu Opera Vancouver, MusicFest Vancouver, and Opera on the Avalon. Last season, head appeared in the role of Snout in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Juan in Massenet’s Don Quichotte, both with Yale Opera. Recent concert performances include Faure’s “La Bonne Chanson”, Schumann’s “Marten Lieder”, “Mu Renzhi” from the Chines Opera “White-Haired Girl” at the Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts, and “Moon” from an excerpt of the Chinese Opera “Poet Li Bai” at Lincoln Center. Last summer Mr. van Lierop participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh, England, on a scholarship from the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation. Born in Hilversum, the Netherlands, he began his musical education at the age of three with violin and piano lessons, and completed his Masters in Vocal Performance at McGill University, studying under the guidance of Sanford Sylvan, and Michael McMahon. He is currently studying at the Yale School of Music, pursuing a Masters of Musical Arts in Opera Performance, sponsored by the Stephen and Denise Adams Scholarship Fund.

Mark Womack, baritone

Following his Broadway debut as Marcello in Baz Luhrmann’s highly acclaimed production of La Boheme, Mark Womack, baritone, who appeared last season as Dr. Falke in Opera Theater Connecticut’s Die Fledermaus, continues to garner praise for his commanding vocal and dramatic interpretations. Recent highlights include Jochanaan in Salome with Madison Lyric Stage, Count Danilo in The Merry Widow with The Northern Lights Music Festival, Marcello in La Boheme with Opera Birmingham, Henry Higgins in Opera North’s My Fair Lady, Silvio in Amarillo Opera’s I Pagliacci and Count Carl-Magnus in Syracuse Opera’s A Little Night Music. Last season Mr. Womack performed Billy Bigelow in Carousel under the direction of Tony Award winner Mark Medoff. Other recent performances include Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Marello in La Boheme, The Watchman in The Mighty Casey, baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, The Sea Symphony with the New Jersey Choral Society, “A Salute to Gilbert and Sullivan” with The New Jersey Symphony, and Opera Birmingham’s “Home for the Holidays” concert. During the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Womack appeared at Carneigie Hall as baritone soloist in the Faure and Durufle Requiem, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutti, Marcello in La Boheme, and the title role in Don Giovanni. He is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at The University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music and a previous faculty member at theUniversity of Connecticut. He maintains a private voice studio in New York City.

Richard Coffey, Conductor

Since 2005, Richard Coffey has been the Music Director of The Hartford Chorale, the region’s principal symphonic chorus, appearing frequently with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and offering significant concerts on its own and in association with other orchestras and instrumental ensembles. In this role, Mr. Coffey has conducted the Chorale and The Hartford Symphony in concerts of major works in Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and other venues. Whether as chorusmaster or conductor, Mr. Coffey has served Hartford Chorale in recent regional performances of the Bach Christmas Oratorio, the Beethoven Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, the Berlioz Te Deum, the Bernstein Chichester Psalms, the Brahms Requiem, the Britten War Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Handel’s Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Poulenc Gloria, the Vaughan Williams Hodie, the Verdi Requiem, and Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata. To read more about Mr. Coffey, click here.

Alan Mann, Narrator

Alan Mann is Artistic Director and co-founder of Opera Theater of Connecticut. He served seven years as the General and Artistic Director of Mississippi Opera and three and a half years as Executive Director of the Boston Chamber Music Society. He is also Executive Director of the Hartford Chorale. His work in professional theater and opera has taken him from New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s West End to the Edinburgh Festival to the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival to The Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy to New York’s Broadway. Mr. Mann is also a renowned guest speaker, known for his Opera Talks—a series of informal, informative talks on specific operas or composers and opera in general. He has also served as Master of Ceremonies for numerous concerts, punctuating them with interesting anecdotes and sharing his witty insights and knowledge of the “human” side of opera with the audience, allowing them to be more fully involved. He has been a Guest Speaker on cruise ships and, because of his commitment to increasing diversity in opera, he was invited to speak at Opera America’s international Diverse Voices conference. To read more about Mr. Mann, click here.

Kyle Swann, Accompanist

Kyle Swann (Music Director), who returns to the Sanibel Music Festival for his 10th season, has conducted orchestral, operatic and choral repertoire throughout the eastern United States and abroad. In 1993, he made his professional debut conducting the world premiere of James Sellars’s The World is Round. Since then, he has conducted for Connecticut Opera, Opera Boston, the Boston Academy of Music, as well as appearances with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Estado de São Paulo, Alice Tully Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, and the Rathaus in Vienna. Recent seasons have included performances with Opera Theater of Connecticut, Mississippi Opera, Intermezzo Young Artists, South Florida Opera, and several appearances at the Sanibel Music Festival. With a repertory of nearly one hundred staged works, he is one of few American conductors to have led Boito’s Mephistofele as well as the Donizetti “Tudor Queen” operas. He was the Resident Conductor of Connecticut Opera, as well as Music Director for Opera Express, its touring company. Prior to that, he was the Karl Böhm International Fellow in Orchestral Conducting at the Hartt School of Music, where he has conducted Albert Herring, Dialogues des Carmelites, Le Nozze di Figaro as well as symphonic literature. He is currently a vocal coach for Yale Opera at the Yale School of Music, and Choirmaster and Organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford. He counts Eleazar de Carvalho and Arthur Winograd among his many teachers.

 

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