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Così Fan Tutte

Nov. 3 & 5, 2023

Opening Night

Friday, Nov. 3
7:30 PM | Ashmore Auditorium

matinee

Sunday, Nov. 5
2:00 PM | Ashmore Auditorium

A Pensacola-Fied Adaptation of Mozart's Timeless Comedy of Love and Games

Sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi are madly in love with Ferrando and Guglielmo. But when their boyfriends are put up to a scheme meant to test their love and devotion, will their affections survive? This updated chamber production of Mozart’s classic Così fan tutte moves the action to Palafox Street in downtown Pensacola, complete with beach bums, tourists, and something fishy going on… Così fan tutte features our 2023-24 Jan Miller Studio Artists alongside Studio Artist alumni Bizhou Chang and Jack Chandler, and is a part of the 2023 Foo Foo Festival as a Friend of Foo!

dates

Nov. 3 & 5, 2023

venue

Ashmore Auditorium

tickets

$25 - $40

Run Time

2 hrs, 30 minutes

Cast & Creatives

Bizhou Chang

as Fiordiligi
soprano

Chinese-American soprano Bizhou Chang is quickly becoming known for her warmth of tone and thrilling interpretations of opera’s most beloved roles. This season, she returns to Opera Columbus, singing Pamina in the world premiere of The Temple: A Magic Flute Experiencean immersive production based on Mozart’s The Magic Fluteand she appears as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Pensacola Opera.

In the 2022-23 season, Ms. Chang performed Mimì in La bohème with Pensacola Opera and made her company debuts as Liù in Turandot with Opera Southwest and Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Knoxville Opera. She returned to Guerilla Opera for the concert presentation and theatrical workshop of Emily Koh’s Her: Alive|un|dead, and she appeared as a featured soloist in Pensacola Opera’s 40th anniversary gala concert Forty Forward, along with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra.

During the 2021-22 season, Ms. Chang made her role debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Pensacola Opera, performed the role of Maria in the world premiere of Island of Hope, Island of Tears by Gabriele Vanoni with Guerilla Opera, and appeared as Violetta in an immersive production of La Traviata with Opera Columbus and Out of the Box Opera.

During the Covid-19 impacted 2020-21 season, Ms. Chang made her art film debut as Mimì in an innovative film version of La bohème directed by Laine Rettmer with More than Musical (Hong Kong), a co-production of Opera Omaha, Tri-Cities Opera, and Opera Columbus. She also performed Mimì in a new production of La bohème with Opera Columbus and returned to Pensacola Opera as Micaëla in Carmen.

Artist Website >>

Alexandra Sanchez

as Dorabella
mezzo-soprano

Praised for her colorful voice and sparkling stage presence, American mezzo-soprano Alexandra Sanchez has been dazzling audiences in her hometown of San Antonio and across the United States. Ms. Sanchez is thrilled to join Pensacola Opera as a Studio Artist in the 2023/3024 season where some of her assignments include singing Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) and covering Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). Ms. Sanchez will also be a young artist with Finger Lakes Opera during their 2023 Summer Season, where she will be covering Amneris in Aida

Ms. Sanchez made her San Francisco Opera debut singing Sister Claire in Dialogues of the Carmelites under the baton of Music Director Eun Sun Kim. Ms. Sanchez was also selected to be a Fellow at the Festival Napa Valley’s Manetti Shrem Opera Program where she participated in the 2022 Summer Festival which included a concert with celebrated violinist, Joshua Bell. 

Ms. Sanchez earned her Artist Diploma (2022) and Master of Music Degree (2021) in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the guidance of mezzo-soprano, Catherine Cook. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance (2019) from Louisiana State University.

Zachary Taylor

as Ferrando
Tenor

Tenor Zachary Taylor is a New Jersey native and a recent Master’s graduate of UNC Greensboro, where he studied under tenor Robert Bracey. Previously, he received his Bachelor’s from Towson University, where he studied with tenor Min Jin. Zachary just completed his summer as an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera for their 2023 season, where he covered the Master of Ceremonies in The Love for Three Oranges. In 2022, Zachary performed Don José in Carmen with Music on Site, the Father in Kurt Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden with the Charlotte Symphony, and sang with the Aquilon Music Festival, Greensboro Opera, and North Carolina Opera. Other recent roles include Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Vašek in The Bartered Bride, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Mozart in Mozart and Salieri with UNCG Opera Theatre. Zachary received an Encouragement Award in 2023 from the North Carolina District of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.

Bernardo Medeiros

as Guglielmo
baritone

Brazilian-American baritone Bernardo Medeiros has performed multiple roles in his young professional career. Bernardo was a 2021 Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera and portrayed the titular role in Rigoletto. He then performed Jigger (Carousel) and Masetto (Don Giovanni) with Indianapolis Opera. In 2022, Bernardo worked with BARN Opera, Opera Project Columbus, and Chautauqua Opera. Roles performed include Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Sciarrone (Tosca), and Virgil Thomson/Donald Gallup (Mother Of Us All). As a current Resident Artist with Syracuse Opera and Tri-Cities Opera, Bernardo will portray Mr. Gobineau (The Medium), King Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors) and Antonio (Le nozze di figaro). As a 2023 Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, he is covering the Shepherd (Pelleas et Melisande) and Jailer (Tosca). Next season, Bernardo is a Resident Artist with Pensacola Opera, where he’ll cover Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), and perform Frank (Die Fledermaus).

Nicole Heinen

as Despina
soprano

In the 2022-23 season, Nicole Heinen made her debut with Opera Louisiane as the soprano soloist in the double bill of Bernstein’s “Bonne Cuisine”/Hoiby’s “Bon Appétit!”, New Orleans Opera as the Dew Fairy (Hansel & Gretel), and returned to Florentine Opera for a role debut as Despina (Così fan tutte). She also made her debut TV appearance as “Iolanta” in AMC‘s “Interview with the Vampire.” In the 2022 summer season Ms. Heinen made her Chautauqua Opera debut as Henrietta M. (The Mother of Us All) and covered Mukhtar Mai (Thumbprint), Lillian Russell (The Mother of Us All).

Ms. Heinen has won Mary Ellen Clancy Memorial Award (MIOpera Competition), the Wisconsin District twice (Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition) and 4th place in the Mary Jacob Singer of the Year Competition. She has competed as a finalist in the John Alexander Vocal Competition and Handel Aria Competition, and a semi-finalist in the Premiere Opera Foundation Competition and the Orpheus Vocal Competition.

Jack Chandler

as Don Alfonso
baritone

Baritone Jack Chandler is from Arlington, Virginia. Mr. Chandler’s recent credits include Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Le Dancaïre and Morales (Carmen), Bill Bobstay (H.M.S. Pinafore), Schaunard (La bohème), Slim (Of Mice and Men), Claudio (Béatrice et Bénédict), Sir Berkley (Der Vampyr), Mr. Lindquist (A Little Night Music), Sciarrone (Tosca), Stewpot (South Pacific), and Dottore Grenvil (La Traviata). In the 2020-21 season, Jack was an Artist in Residence at Pensacola Opera, where he covered the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. He also covered the role of Captain Corcoran in the company’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Upcoming performances include Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) at Florida State Opera in October, and a return to Pensacola to sing Fiorello and the Official in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia in March 2022.

Jack is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with Vinson Cole for three summers. He earned a master’s degree from Florida State University under the instruction of David Okerlund.

Tongyao Li

as Pianist

Tongyao Li is a Chinese pianist and opera coach who joins the 2023 Songfest Program and Opera Coaching Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer. Ms. Li has performed on stages throughout China and US, including Carnegie Hall, Harris Hall and Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Music Hall, and Shanghai Concert Hall. Additionally, she was a vocal coach while studying at the Manhattan School of Music, and held the position of opera coaching fellowship in the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS of Aspen Music Festival in 2022.

In addition, Ms. Li has worked with some of today’s finest artists like Andy Einhorn, Hartmut Höll, Chìa Patiño, and she played masterclasses of Anthony Roth Costanzo, Isabel Leonard, Rachelle Fleming, Renée Fleming, Rod Gilfry, and Thomas Hampson. Tongyao Li studied piano performance at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China and collaborative piano at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and Michigan State University. She studied with Keng Zhou, Kenneth Merrill, and Zhihua Tang.

This season at Pensacola Opera, she will serve as music director and pianist for all education performances, as well as music staff and pianist for Lucia di Lammermoor and Die Fledermaus.

Corey McKern

as Director
Baritone

Award-winning baritone Corey McKern continuously earns critical acclaim and accolades in every appearance he makes. Of his performance as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, critics hailed: “Corey McKern… has all the goods to rise to star stature – timing, stamina, vocal heft and an easy-going stage presence – especially telling in Figaro’s signature aria, ‘Largo al factotum della citta.’” Recent engagements include the role of Older Thompson in Glory Denied with Opera Birmingham and performances as a soloist in Carmina Burana with Missoula Symphony, and Handel’s Messiah with the Alabama Symphony. Other engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Tallahassee Symphony and a return to the Florentine Opera for a concert of “Opera’s Greatest Hits.” Upcoming, Corey will return to Pensacola Opera as the title role in their production of Don Giovanni.

Of his performance in La bohème, the Santa Fe New Mexican said, “Corey McKern’s resolute, robust-voiced and rambunctious Marcello, a perfect picture of a wannabe Parisian painter, was one of the best I’ve ever heard.” Mr. McKern garners attention at leading opera houses for his charming and dynamic portrayals of his signature roles: Marcello in La bohème in his Asian début at Opera Hong Kong, Santa Fe Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Nashville Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Nashville Opera and Opera Birmingham; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Nashville Opera, Opera Cleveland, Opera Columbus, Michigan Opera Theatre, Tulsa Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Syracuse Opera; Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Nashville Opera and Florentine Opera; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Omaha, Arizona Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Tulsa Opera; as Silvio in Pagliacci with Austin Lyric Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Central City Opera.

Cody Martin

as Conductor
conductor

American conductor Cody Martin was recently named Music Director at Pensacola Opera, where he was previously the Director of Education and Director of the Artists in Residence Program since 2017.  During the 2023-24 season, he leads a production of Lucia di Lammermoor and serves as associate conductor and chorus director for Die Fledermaus, in addition to continuing his work with the company’s nationally respected Jan Miller Studio Artist Program. He also appears as guest conductor for Florida State Opera‘s The Cunning Little Vixen. Recent seasons have seen Cody leading productions of CarouselDie ZauberflöteDon GiovanniAs OneFlorencia en el AmazonasMan of La Mancha and María de Buenos Aires in Pensacola, in addition to various concert appearances. He made his debut with Fargo-Moorhead Opera conducting Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers in 2019. Other companies Cody has enjoyed working with include Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Birmingham, Virginia Opera, and the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center.

Cody holds degrees from Murray State University and Florida State University. He lives in Pensacola with his former shelter dog, Rosina, a corgi/dachshund mix (@rosinathelongdog).

>> Artist Website

* Pensacola Opera debut artist

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