Italian with English supertitles
Everyone here at Pensacola Opera hopes you are healthy and safe during this unprecedented time.
With a combination of 40+ years in professional opera management, both of us freely admit that “the show must go on” is imprinted in our DNA. Imagine, if you can, the momentous power of the realization that within the confines of this global pandemic, there is no show, and there is no “going on”. Not here, not there, not anywhere.
While initial figures totaling $100,000,000 are being used to express the negative impact on our nation’s operatic industry, we are mostly concerned with the negative impact on Pensacola Opera, the company we have shared with this community for 36 years and which we hope to share for at least 36 more.
We are announcing our decision to cancel our new production of Verdi’s Il trovatore. Just as our initial decision to postpone the production was made with caution, care, and consideration for our company and our community, the decision to cancel entirely seemed inevitable, and was made with the same concerns in our minds and our heart.
With the support of our Board of Directors, we have made the commitment to honor existing contracts with all of our artists and creative team. Most artists are dealing with a year of lost work. We know that by supporting these artists now we will ensure they’re in a position to come back when all of this is behind us.
While the artistic loss to our company is great, it is the financial loss and its potential to jeopardize the present and the future of our company which is most concerning to us at the moment. With a financial loss of over $150,000 to our company, we come to you with the humble request that you allow us to convert your Il trovatore ticket purchase into a donation to our company. This is not an easy request for us to make, yet it is the request that we know is in the best interest of our company.
Many of you have already donated the cost of your ticket, and for that we thank you. Beginning Monday, May 11, we will be reaching out to current ticket holders via phone so we may discuss ticket options and your importance in our future. If you know you’d like to donate your tickets, at this time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Thank you in advance for your patience and your understanding. We hope you will consider our request and continue to support the Pensacola Opera.
Chandra McKern, Executive Director
Jerome Shannon, Artistic Director
Verdi’s hot-blooded thriller emphasizes the “grand” in grand opera. The innocent Leonora is caught in a love triangle from which there is no escape. The Count di Luna is enamored with Leonora, but he fears a rival, a troubadour, who has been heard serenading her. Stage director John Hoomes and projection designer Barry Steele (Florencia in the Amazon, 2019) return to create an innovative, vivid production.
Cast and Creatives
Mary Evelyn Hangley*as Leonora
Praised for her “stunning dynamic range and control”, soprano Mary Evelyn Hangley has been featured on the stages of The Glimmerglass Festival, Minnesota Opera, and the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.
In 2019, Mary will be joining San Francisco Opera for a prestigious Adler Fellowship and in January, she will make her debut with the Sacramento Philharmonic. As an Adler Fellow, she will give two Schwabacher Recitals and will perform with the Oakland Symphony. In addition, this spring Mary will be featured as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem at her alma mater, SUNY Fredonia.
Most recently, Mary Evelyn performed the role of Anna Sørensen in Kevin Puts’s Silent Night at The Glimmerglass Festival. During her two years as a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera, Ms. Hangley sang leading roles for the company, including Musetta in La bohème, Woglinde in Das Rheingold, and Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. In addition to numerous comprimario roles, Mary covered Freia in Das Rheingold, Millicent Jordan in the world premiere of Bolcolm’s Dinner at Eight and the title role in Massenet’s Thaïs.
Mary Evelyn has participated in many of the country’s leading young artist programs, including Minnesota Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival and The Merola Opera Program. While at the Merola Opera Program, Ms. Hangley was praised by Opera News for singing “…with considerable allure” when taking over, mid performance, in Conrad Susa’s Transformations.
In concert, Mary Evelyn has sung Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, and Schubert’s Mass in C major.
Adam Diegelas Manrico
This 2018-2019 season Adam Diegel returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Froh in Das Rheingold in addition to performing Rodolfo in Piedmont Opera’s La bohème. This past season, Diegel reprised his critically acclaimed role as Cavardossi in Tosca with Palm Beach Opera and returned to The Metropolitan Opera in Norma and Madama Butterfly. Additionally, Diegel performed two of his signature roles throughout the world as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Opera Hong Kong and Palm Beach Opera and Don José in Carmen at San Francisco Opera, PORTopera, and Opera San Antonio. Additionally, Diegel sang the title role in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Lithuanian National Opera, Ruggerio in La Rondine with Opera Santa Barbara, Ismaele in Nabucco with The Metropolitan Opera, and the tenor solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Spokane Symphony.
Mr. Diegel made his Metropolitan Opera début as Froh in Robert Lepage’s landmark production of Das Rheingold conducted by Maestro James Levine, and later reprised the performance under Fabio Luisi. Further appearances at The Met include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly under Plácido Domingo and Ismaele in Nabucco under Paolo Carignani.
Dennis Jesseas Conte di Luna
Renée Tatum*as Azucena
Noted for her “gleaming vocalism” (Opera News), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum is an incredibly important artist of her generation. The 2018-19 begins as part Nico Muhly’s Marnie at the Metropolitan Opera, followed by her debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ms. Tatum then returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Waltraute and covers Flosshilde in Der Ring des Nibelugen, under the baton of Philipe Jordan. She then sings Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody with the Cecilia Chorus of NYC at Carnegie Hall and closes the season as Waltraute and covers Fricka in Die Walküre with The Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. Last season’s engagements included Flosshilde in Das Rheingold with Tanglewood Music Festival; Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre with San Francisco Opera; Jenny in Threepenny Opera with Boston Lyric Opera; Flower Maiden in Parsifal at The Metropolitan Opera, Penderecki’s Credo with the Indianapolis Symphony, Durufle’s Requiem with the Back Bay Chorale, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with The Cecelia Chorus of NYC under Mark Shapiro, Concerts with Warren Jones under the auspices of the Manchester Music Festival, and Gabriele Bertolier for the Romantic Century’s production of Van Gogh’s Ear at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City. She also sang a concert entitled “Opera Italiana Forever Young” as part of the Central Park Summer Concerts series and Das Rheingold in concert with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.
Wei Wu*as Ferrando
A native of China, bass Wei Wu recently made his company debut with the Santa Fe Opera, as Kobun in the world premiere production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. His engagements this season include a return to Washington National Opera as the Sacristan in Tosca, performances of Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Maryland Lyric Opera, and a debut with Minnesota Opera as Arnold “Chick” Gandil in the world premiere of Joel Puckett’s The Fix. Additionally, he joins the NCPA Beijing as Il Re in Aida, and he appears in concert with The Orchestra Now for Verdi’s Requiem. Next season he debuts with both San Francisco Opera as Kobun in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and Opera Philadelphia as the Bonze in Madama Butterfly. He also returns to Washington National Opera as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Lodovico in Otello, NCPA Beijing as the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and appears with the PROTOTYPE Festival as the Nephew in Blood Moon.
Last season, Mr. Wu sang Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Washington National Opera, appeared in concert with the West Virginia Symphony for Verdi’s Requiem, and sang the Bonze in Madama Butterfly with The Princeton Festival.
Emily Triebold*as Ines
Emily Triebold, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Madison, Wisconsin. She recently performed the
roles of Mrs. Splinters in The Tender Land and Minskwoman (cover) in Flight with Des Moines
Metro Opera, as well as Rosina in The Barber of Seville with their educational touring troupe
OPERA Iowa. Triebold returns to the Des Moines Metro Opera stage this summer to perform
Julia Child (cover) in Bon Appétit! and Baroness in Candide. In 2019, Triebold will excitedly
join Pensacola Opera as an Artist in Residence where she will be performing the role of Ines in Il
trovatore and covering the roles of Hannah After in As One and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
Other notable operatic roles include Meg in Little Women, Mother in Amahl and the Night
Visitors, and Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro with University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Equally
comfortable on the concert stage, Triebold has appeared as the Alto Soloist in Bach’s Ein feste
Burg and Handel’s Dixit Dominus, and was selected by Z. Randall Stroope to perform the
Mezzo Solo in his American Rhapsody at Carnegie Hall.
Aaren Rivard*as Ruiz
Aaren Rivard, tenor, is praised for a “full and clear” sound. His 2018-19 season as an Artist in Residence with Opera Colorado included singing Basilio and Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, Gastone in La traviata, Roméo in a touring production of Roméo et Juliette, and the Witch in a children’s production of Hansel and Gretel. He was also fortunate to cover the role of Alfredo in La Traviata. He joined Central City Opera in the summer as an ensemble member, as well as a selected singer for their new Encore performances.
Before spending the summer of 2018 with Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist, Aaren received his Master’s in Opera Performance at Wichita State University. While at Wichita State, Aaren studied with world renowned bass-baritones Alan Held and Sam Ramey. Roles performed with Wichita State include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Bénédict in Béatrice et Bénédict, Tito in La clemenza di Tito, and Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro. Aaren was featured as the Tenor soloist with Wichita State’s performances of Handel’s Messiah, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Aaren received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine, where he studied with Ellen Chickering. He performed roles including Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Acis in Acis and Galatea, as well as a wide array of scenes and concerts spanning the entire classical canon. His proximity to Southern Maine allowed Aaren to perform multiple seasons with Opera Maine, including La fille du Regiment, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Rigoletto, and Tosca. Aaren was also a Young Artist with Opera Maine for their production of Gianni Schicchi, singing Amantio di Nicolao and covering Rinuccio.Other concerts include a series of Bach Cantatas with White Mountain Music Arts, Mozart’s Requiem and another concert of Handel’s Messiah with the University of Southern Maine, Whitbourn’s Magnificat with the Maine Choral Arts Society, and the musical premiere of Dan Sonenberg’s The Summer King. Aaren is also the recipient of multiple vocal awards, including the Naftzger Vocal Prize, the Barbara Littlefield Vocal Prize, and the Lillian Nordica Award.
Corey Gaudreauas Old Gypsy
Jerome Shannonas Conductor
Praised for his “skill and verve” (New York Times), Shannon celebrates nearly 30 years as a professional operatic pianist, vocal coach, conductor and administrator. During this time, Maestro Shannon has held leadership positions with Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston (Artistic Administrator, Assistant Conductor, Conductor), Virginia Opera (Artistic Administrator, Associate Artistic Director, Conductor), Pensacola Opera (Music Director and Principal Conductor, Artistic Director), Shreveport Opera (Music Director and Principal Conductor), Mobile Opera (General and Artistic Director, Principal Conductor) and the Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center (Resident Conductor and Vocal Coach).
John Hoomesas Director
Mr. Hoomes has been the artistic director of Nashville Opera since 1995. Also a freelance stage director, he has directed over 150 productions of opera and music theatre in the US, South America, and Canada. The New York Times declared his Nashville Opera world premiere of Elmer Gantry “An Operatic Miracle…in Nashville.” A June 2010 Opera News feature article acknowledged, “Hoomes has proved himself one of the most interesting stage directors in the regional market today with a seemingly limitless knowledge of repertoire.”
Since receiving his masters degree at Indiana University, Mr. Hoomes has worked for many professional opera companies including Opera Lyra Ottawa, Teatro Colón, Cincinnati Opera, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Philadelphia, Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Columbus.
Mr. Hoomes has directed, among numerous other productions, Salome, Rigoletto, Tosca, The Pearl Fishers, La Bohème, Carmen, and Der Rosenkavalier for Nashville Opera; Madama Butterfly and Carmen for Kentucky Opera; Die Fledermaus and Susannah for Indianapolis Opera; The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto, and La Bohème for Opera Carolina; Don Giovanni, Elmer Gantry, and Salome for Florentine Opera; Don Giovanni for Opera Cleveland; Ernani and Jenufa for Sarasota Opera; and Turandot for The Opera Festival of New Jersey, Nashville Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera Memphis, and Opera Carolina.
Recently Mr. Hoomes staged the world premieres of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, which was recorded on Naxos Records, and songwriter Marcus Hummon’s chamber opera Surrender Road at Martha Rivers Ingram Hall in Nashville. He also directed the Southeastern professional premiere of two contemporary pieces, Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine and Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse. In fall 2009 Mr. Hoomes directed the Tennessee premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher by composer Philip Glass, a groundbreaking multi-media production, critically acclaimed both by the Wall Street Journal and Opera News.
CONDUCTOR | Jerome Shannon
STAGE DIRECTOR | John Hoomes
REHEARSAL PIANIST | Stephen Variames
PRODUCTION & VIDEO DESIGNER | Barry Steele
COSTUME DESIGNER | TBD
SET DESIGNER | TBD
STAGE MANAGER | TBD
* Pensacola Opera debut artist
Meet the Artists Luncheon
Tuesday, March 10 at 11:30 AM
Meet the Artists Reception
Friday, March 20 - after the show
Cost: $50, $40 for Season Subscribers
Director’s Champagne Brunch
Sunday, March 22 at 11:45 AM
Save the Date
March 18, 2019
May 1, 2019
Single Ticket Sales Open
July 1, 2019