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PERFORMANCES

March 17, 2023 – 7:30 PM
March 19, 2023 – 2:00 PM

LOCATION

Saenger Theatre

LANGUAGE

English with English supertitles

COMPOSER

Richard Rodgers

LIBRETTISTS

Oscar Hammerstein II

details

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel changed the face of American musical theatre when it premiered on Broadway in 1945. Carousel barker Billy Bigelow falls for mill worker Julie Jordan—but when the unthinkable happens, Billy must answer for his actions and try to make things right. Closing our 40th Anniversary Season, this musical of operatic proportions comes to Pensacola in a visually stunning production from Virginia Opera and set designer Erhard Rom. Richard Rodgers’s timeless score is full of favorite tunes, including If I Loved You, June is Bustin’ Out All Over, and You’ll Never Walk Alone. Carousel will be helmed by newly appointed Music Director Cody Martin, leading members of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Pensacola Opera Chorus.

Cast and Creatives

Robert Wesley Mason

as Billy Bigelow
baritone

Hailed as a “gifted and fiercely committed baritone whose voice is spacious and reverberant,” (Opera News) Robert Wesley Mason has established themselves as one of today’s most versatile performers, employing “his mighty baritone to stunning effect, using interpretive phrasing and nuanced delivery” (Albany Times Union). In their teenage years, inspired by rock vocalists like Chris Cornell and Jeff Buckley, Wes sang in local bands and played solo in coffee houses in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. Voice lessons led to a passion for opera and new music that continues to this day.”

An acclaimed interpreter of contemporary works as well as the inherited repertoire, Wes has performed more than 50 unique operatic roles. Highlights include Hannah Before in As One with
Pensacola Opera, Eugene Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Jan Nyman in Breaking the Waves with West Edge Opera, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera, Father Flynn in Doubt with Union Avenue Opera, Jonathan in Siren Song with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Dax/Larry in the world premiere of Paterson and Cote’s Three Way with Nashville Opera and American Opera Project, Charlie in Three Decembers and Ping in Turandot with Nashville Opera, the title role in Hamlet with Fort Worth Opera, the title role in Guillaume Tell with the Southern Illinois Music Festival, Reinaldo Arenas in the world premiere of Martín and Koch’s Before Night Falls with Fort Worth Opera, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Gulfshore Opera, Masetto in Don Giovanni with Opera Philadelphia and Opera Naples, Achilla in Giulio Cesare with Opera Roanoke, Escamillo in Carmen with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Fort Worth Opera, and Norwalk Symphony, Schaunard in La bohème with the Crested Butte Music Festival, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera, the baritone soloist in Broadway Extravaganza with Opera Hong Kong, Sciarrone in Tosca with Dallas Opera, and Morales in Carmen with the Glimmerglass Festival and Michigan Opera Theater.

Artist Website >>

Katrina Galka*

as Julie Jordan
soprano
The Oregonian praises soprano Katrina Galka for her “fine coloratura filigree and pure high notes.” In the 2022-23 season, she debuts with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Staatsoper Hamburg as Frasquita in Carmen. She also returns to Arizona Opera for her first performances of the Königin her Nacht in Die Zauberflöte and the Las Vegas Philharmonic for Handel’s Messiah. Future engagements include her debut with San Francisco Opera and returns to Opernhaus Zürich and The Glimmerglass Festival. Last season, she sang Anne Egermann in A Little Night Music and Mozart’s Requiem with the Florida Orchestra.
Her recent engagements include Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Opernhaus Zürich), Fritzi in the world premiere of Staud’s Die Weiden (Wiener Staatsoper), previous performances of Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Atlanta Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera San Jose), the Controller in Dove’s Flight (Minnesota Opera), and Atalanta in Xerxes (The Glimmerglass Festival). Previously with Arizona Opera, she has sung Cunegonde in Candide, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Woglinde in Das Rheingold. She has also sung Gilda in Rigoletto, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, among others with Portland Opera.

Imara Miles

as Nettie Fowler
mezzo-soprano

Imara Miles is a mezzo-soprano from the DC/Maryland area. Originally a musical theatre performer, she performed in shows such as Guys and Dolls (Gen. Cartwright), The Pirates of Penzance (Ruth), Cinderella (Stepmother), and The Drowsy Chaperone (Title Character) before making her operatic debut in Gianni Schicchi (Zita). Since then she has performed in Dialogues des Carmélites (Mere Jeanne), Bernstein’s Mass (Street Singer), and Blue (Girlfriend #3 cover) with companies like IU Opera Theatre and The Glimmerglass Festival. A recent graduate of Indiana University, Imara received her bachelor’s degree from York College of Pennsylvania and has been involved with choirs such as NOTUS and the Grant Park Chorus in Chicago as a fellowship artist. Imara was recently awarded an encouragement award in the district round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and this past summer she was a Tomita Young Artist with Finger Lakes Opera.

Hayley Abramowitz

as Carrie Pipperidge
soprano

Hayley Abramowitz, soprano, is dually based in Houston, TX and Washington, DC. They hold degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (MM ’20, PD ’21) and from the University of Maryland School of Music (BM ’18), where they studied with Carol Vaness and Delores Ziegler respectively.

Hayley spent the 2021-22 season as a chorister with the Houston Grand Opera, performing in Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Die Zauberflöte, and Turandot. They also presented a recital as part of the Living Arts Concert Series, featuring Mozart’s rarely performed concert aria, Popoli di Tessaglia.

Favorite roles include Romilda (Serse), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Blumenmädchen (Parsifal), Lucy (The Telephone), and Mme. Herz (Die Schauspieldirektor). A third-place winner in the inaugural Cincinnati SongSLAM, Hayley is also a passionate advocate of new music, having presented numerous premieres in the past several years. Particularly dear is William Kenlon’s Longfellow Mosaic for soprano and Pierrot ensemble.

Artist Website >>

Randy Ho

as Enoch Snow
tenor

Complemented on his “affectionate vibrato” (OperaWire), tenor, Randy Ho is looking forward to joining the team at Pensacola Opera as an Artist in Residence. This season, Mr. Ho will be singing as Parpignol and covering Rodolfo (La bohème), and singing Enoch Snow (Carousel).

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Ho is a recent graduate of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Ho holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration concentrating in Marketing from the University of Denver.

Most recently, Mr. Ho will be showcased in Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s scenes program singing excerpts from Faust, La Traviata, and Carmen. Previously, Mr. Ho has been featured as a studio artist at Carnegie Hall’s Song Studio led by world-renowned Soprano Renee Fleming, Peabody Opera Theater productions of La scala di seta (Dorvil), Hin und Zurück(Robert), Postcard from Morocco (Man with old Luggage), Lamont Opera Theater’s production of Il trittico (Rinuiccio), and as a soloist with The National Repertory Orchestra, Denver Opera Collective, and The Denver Spirituals Project.

Scott Lee

as Jigger Craigin
baritone

A native of Statesville, North Carolina, baritone Scott Lee has been praised for his “…substance and velvety bass voice” by the Winston-Salem Journal. In recent years, he has performed with Piedmont Opera, The Princeton Festival, Opera Theater of the Rockies and Magnolia Baroque. In 2020, Lee received the Ron Payne Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Charlotte, NC. His most recent engagement was the role of Antonio in Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix, where “the opportunity to experience a staging of Linda di Chamounix was a rare gift to UNCSA’s audiences, but singing such as Lee’s is still rarer not only in student production but upon all the worlds stages.” (Voix des Arts) Lee received his Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree from UNCSA. In addition to performing, Lee is a seasoned teaching artist, having served as a member of UNCSA’s ArtistCorps. He is a student of Dr. Marylin Taylor.

Greg Ganakas*

as Stage Director
stage director

Award-winning director, choreographer, and master teacher Greg Ganakas’s credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours, international productions, and television. He has worked for DisneyLive Entertainment, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden. His regional theatre credentials include Tony Award-winning Goodspeed Opera House, Dallas Theatre Center, The Northshore Music Theater, The Long Warf Theater and The Paper Mill Playhouse. He has staged productions for Glimmerglass Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Omaha, and Central City Opera, among others. His production of  “An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan”, featuring Beverly Sills and the Boston Pops, was filmed live at Boston’s Symphony Hall as part of the PBS Great Performances series. Additionally, he has staged the 50th anniversary production of West Side Story at the Globus Theatre in Russia, the Maputo Music Festival in South Africa, the world premiere of Singapora The Musical in Singapore, and the Ravenna Festival, in Italy, celebrating Puccini’s La bohème.

Mr. Ganakas earned an Emmy Award for his production of “Izzo Goes to Broadway”, the Helen Hayes Award, The Kennedy Center Theater Festival Award, and New York University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. A committed educator, he served on faculty at New York University, where he founded their nationally renowned Music Theater program.

He has had the privilege of collaborating with distinguished artists such as Dame Julie Andrews, Betty Buckley, Kristen Chenoweth, Joel Grey, Marvin Hamlisch, Jerry Herman, Patti LuPone, Idina Menzel, Alan Menken, Maestro Riccardo Muti, Sarah Jessica Parker, Harold Prince, and Chita Rivera.

Artist Website >>

Cody Martin

as Conductor
conductor

Cody Martin was recently named Music Director at Pensacola Opera, where he has been the Director of Education and Director of the Artists in Residence Program since 2017.  During the 2022-23 season, he leads the company’s first ever production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, as well as sharing the podium for Forty Forward, a 40th anniversary gala concert. Recent seasons have seen Cody leading productions of Die ZauberflöteDon GiovanniAs OneFlorencia en el AmazonasMan of La Mancha and María de Buenos Aires in Pensacola, as well as making his debut with Fargo-Moorhead Opera conducting Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. He was on the music staff of Des Moines Metro Opera for three seasons, most recently serving as associate conductor for Rusalka. He previously worked on productions of A Little Night MusicOrphée et Eurydice, and Falstaff in Des Moines. He was on the music staff at Arizona Opera for two seasons, working most recently on productions of RusalkaMadama ButterflyRiders of the Purple Sage (world premiere), and La Cenerentola.  Prior to that, he served on the music staff of the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center for three seasons, working as an assistant conductor and coach for productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Così fan tutte, Rigoletto, Sweeney Todd, Don Giovanni, and Albert Herring.

An avid proponent of new opera, Cody has worked on multiple premieres, including Arizona Opera’s first world premiere, Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage, with a libretto by Steven Mark Kohn; two workshops of The Copper Queen by Clint Borzoni, with a libretto by John de los Santos; a 2014 workshop of Robert Aldridge’s Sister Carrie, and the world premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight! at Brevard Music Center.

Cody holds degrees from Murray State University and Florida State University.

Artist Website >>

* Pensacola Opera debut artist

Production Team

CONDUCTOR | Jerome Shannon
STAGE DIRECTOR | Greg Ganakas*
LIGHTING DESIGNER | TBD
COSTUME DESIGNER | Glenn Avery Breed
HAIR & MAKEUP DESIGNER | Brittany Rappise 
SET DESIGNER | Erhard Rom
Sets courtesy of Virginia Opera
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER | TBD
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER | TBD
REHEARSAL PIANIST | Nathan Cicero*
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR | TBD

* Pensacola Opera debut artist

Sights & Sounds

Extras

Meet the Artists Reception

Friday, March 17 at 10:30 PM
Cost: $50

Director’s Champagne Brunch

Sunday, March 19 at 11:45 AM
Cost: $50

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Single Ticket Sales Open

July 5, 2022

Ticket Pricing

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Seating Charts

When choosing your seats, keep in mind that this map is only an approximation and not exactly to scale. If you have specific seating needs or require accessible seating, you may contact the Box Office for more information. Please note that the price zones for Forty Forward are different than the regular season.

Numbers indicate price level
No stairs in the Orchestra Level
ADA accessible seating in rows V, BB, and DD
House left is even numbered
House right is odd numbered
Center is consecutively numbered

Numbers indicate price level
ADA accessible seating in the Loges
House left is even numbered
House right is odd numbered
Center is consecutively numbered

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