The Magic Flute
January 28, 2022 – 7:30 PM
January 30, 2022 – 2:00 PM
German with English dialogue & supertitles
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Premiered during the Age of Enlightenment, The Magic Flute transports us on a mystical journey filled with genies, spirits, and the hilarious antics of a creature who is half man and half bird! The classic elegance of Mozart’s music enthralls us as a young man discovers his humanity during his quest for the truth.
Cast and Creatives
Kameron Lopreoreas Tamino
Bizhou Changas Pamina
During the Covid-19 impacted 2020-2021 season, soprano Bizhou 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, performed Mimì in a new production of La bohème with Opera Columbus, and returned to Pensacola Opera to sing Micaëla in Carmen.
In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Chang will make her role debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Pensacola Opera, and makes her company debut in the world premiere of Island of Hope, Island of Tears by Gabriele Vanoni with Guerilla Opera.
Ms. Chang’s operatic repertoire spans from Baroque to Contemporary, including Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Leonora (cover) in Il trovatore with Pensacola Opera, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly with Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Miami Music Festival, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul, Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites, and the title role in Alcina with Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Ms. Chang is a finalist of the prestigious Teatro all Scala Academy of Lyric Opera Competition and a finalist of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition.
Elisa Sunshine*as the Queen of the Night
Noted for her “blend of vocal sparkle and theatrical charisma” (San Francisco Chronicle), soprano Elisa Sunshine was a participant in the 2019 Merola Opera Program, where she created the role of Selena in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s If I Were You. She sang a “fun, feisty, and powerful” Marie (San Francisco Examiner) in a scene from Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment on the War Memorial Opera House stage as part of the Merola Grand Finale.
An avid supporter of new works, she performed the role of Madame White Snake in a workshop of Scott Wheeler’s Naga at New England Conservatory and sang the role of Elizabeth Christine in Wheeler’s workshop performance of The Sorrows of Frederick with the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York City.
Favorite roles include the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Portland Opera To Go, Brevard Janiec Opera Company, and New England Conservatory), Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (Regina Opera), Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Lowell House Opera), Musetta in La Bohème (Regina Opera and, in an all-female La femme bohème, with MetroWest Opera) and Poppea in Agrippina (New England Conservatory).
Sunshine received her Bachelor of Music degree from DePauw University and a Master of Music and Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory.
Robert Mellon*as Papageno
American baritone Robert Mellon was acclaimed by Opera News for having “excellent comic timing,” and a “domineering baritone, gleaming like polished copper.” In the 2020-21 season he makes several role and house debuts: Schaunard in La bohème with San Diego Opera, Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Opera Las Vegas, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Union Avenue Opera, and Marcello in La bohème and Gubetta in Lucrezia Borgia with Opera de Oviedo.
The 2019-20 season included company debuts with Opera de Oviedo as Simone in Eine Florentinische Tragödie and Tonio in Pagliacci; the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Simone in Eine Florentinische Tragödie with Livermore Valley Opera, where the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Baritone Robert Mellon was both the musical star of the performance and its dramatic vertex…with a steely vocal edge that never interfered with the beauty and flexibility of his singing.” Mr. Mellon reprised the roles of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Maine and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Syracuse Opera.
In 2018-19 Robert sang the world premiere of Dear Erich with New York City Opera and Leporello in Don Giovanni with Syracuse Opera. He also sang Bernardo in West Side Story with Shreveport Opera. He has performed leading roles with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The National Sawdust Festival, the Peoria Symphony, and was a guest artist with Manhattan School of Music and Rutgers University. Other roles include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, the title role in Falstaff, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, and Macbeth in the U.S. premiere of Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth. Concert work includes the Mozart and Duruflé Requiems, Dvořák’s Te Deum, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach’s Magnificat, and Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death.
Ron Dukes*as Sarastro
Ron Dukes completed his Master’s Degree in Opera from IU Jacobs School of Music with a full ride and under the tutelage of Professor Peter Volpe. During his time at IU, Ron has performed many roles with IU Opera Theatre and with local start-up opera companies, including Sarastro, Basilio, Bartolo, Simone, and Oroveso.
Ron was featured as a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera in 2019, where he played the role of Truffaldino in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and covered the role of Don Inigo Gomez in Ravel’s L’heure Espagnole. In the summer of 2021, Ron will be joining the Glimmerglass Festival to play the role of Armored Man in their adaptation of Die Zauberflöte and cover the role of Sarastro.
Ron is thrilled to joining Pensacola Opera as a resident artist to sing the role of Basilio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Sarastro in their production of Die Zauberflöte.
Emily Michiko Jensen*as First Lady
Praised for her “theatrical instincts and intriguingly versatile instrument,” Japanese-American soprano Emily Michiko Jensen is thrilled to join Pensacola Opera’s Artists in Residence program, where she will debut with the company as First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) while also covering the role of Pamina. She also covers Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia).
Last season, Emily was a Baumgartner Studio Artist at the Florentine Opera where she was scheduled to perform the roles of Maguelonne in Viardot’s *Cendrillon while covering the title role. She was also set to cover the role of Mimi (*La bohème). In 2020, Emily made her role debut as Suor Angelica at the Indiana University Opera Theater. She previously sang Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Boston Opera Collaborative, where she made her company debut as Marguerite (Faust) in 2016.
Emily was previously an Apprentice Artist at Sarasota Opera, and a Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera.
(*Postponed due to pandemic.)
Erin Alfordas Second Lady
Mezzo-soprano Erin Alford was born and raised in Los Angeles. In the 2020-2021 season, Erin will join Pensacola Opera as an Artist in Residence. In the 2019-20 season, Erin performed the role of Nurse/A&R Rep in Orpheus in an education tour with LA Opera Connects, and sang as Chorus Soloist in the world-premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice with LA Opera. Named the 2019 “Young Artist of the Year” by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing after winning their annual competition, Erin presented a solo recital featuring art song primarily of women composers. In November, Erin was given an Encouragement Award and the Audience Choice Award by the San Diego District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Recent roles performed include Angela in the world-premiere of The Wreck of the Miranda (LA Opera Connects), SATB Quartet in the world-premiere of Moses (LA Opera Connects), Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Teatro Nuovo), Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (South Florida premiere, Miami Music Festival), the title role in Chérubin (CSULB Opera), Madame de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (CSULB Opera), Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible (MMF 2016), and Laura in Iolanta (Russian Opera Workshop). Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Erin has sung Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the CSULB Symphony as winner of the 2017 Vocal Concerto Competition, as well as performed as Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Bach’s Magnificat and Bach’s B Minor Mass. Erin received her Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB in 2017, where she studied with Shigemi Matsumoto, and her Bachelor of Arts in Music from UC Berkeley. www.ErinAlford.com
Imara Miles*as Third Lady
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.
Robert Hartfield*as Monostatos
Robert Hartfield is an American tenor coming from the farmlands of Kansas and Missouri. He possesses a highly personal singing style, carefully developed under the mentorship of his father, former opera singer Paul Hartfield Sr., and the teachings of legendary baritone, professor Kim Josephson. Robert earned numerous prestigious awards early on in his singing career, including winning six National Association of Teacher of Singing (NATS) competitions. Soon after, he was performing leading roles with opera companies such as Opera in the Ozarks, Cimarron Opera, and the University of Oklahoma Theater. A firm believer in music versatility, Robert’s performances range from Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio to Adamo’s Little Women. In addition, he pursued an undergraduate in organ performance. Robert recently completed his master’s degree in opera performance from the University of Oklahoma. Upcoming engagements include performances with the Central City Opera, Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, and Pensacola Opera.
Alyssa Dessoyeas Papagena
Alyssa Dessoye, American soprano from Tampa Fl, has recently earned her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Dessoye was most recently seen on the IU Opera Theater stage as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. She was also featured as a soprano soloist in Honegger’s King David as well as in Handel’s Messiah. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University where she also performed as Zerlina and Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica. In the summer of 2018, Dessoye joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as Erste Dame in their fully staged production of Die Zauberflöte and made her role debut with the Aspen Music Festival as Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Dessoye then joined Sarasota Opera as an Apprentice Artist in their 2020 winter season.
Corey McKernas the Speaker
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.
Additional favorite engagements include a role début as Dandini in La Cenerentola with Nashville Opera; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Atlanta Opera; Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Saratoga; Olin Blitch in Susannah with Louisiana Opera; Anthony in Sweeney Todd and Danilo in The Merry Widow with Florentine Opera and Pensacola Opera; King Henry II in Becket with Long Island Masterworks; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Syracuse Opera and Florida Grand Opera; the Count/Rudolf in Schreker’s Der ferne Klang in his début with Bard SummerScape Opera; Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos and Macheath in The Threepenny Opera at Indianapolis Opera; Valentin in Faust with Opera Carolina; Pish-Tush in The Mikado with Arizona Opera; Don Quichote in Man of La Mancha with Pensacola Opera; and Pilot in Rachel Porter’s operatic adaptation of The Little Prince at Tulsa Opera.
CONDUCTOR | TBD
STAGE DIRECTOR | Dennis Whitehead Darling*
LIGHTING DESIGNER | Barry Steele
COSTUME DESIGNER | Glenn Avery Breed
HAIR & MAKEUP DESIGNER | Brittany Rappise
STAGE MANAGER | Karl Anderson
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER | Alayna Powell
REHEARSAL PIANIST | Andrew Pham
* Pensacola Opera debut artist
Director’s Champagne Brunch
Sunday, January 30 at 11:45am
Pensacola Opera and the Saenger Theatre are working together to do everything we can to ensure audience members are safe coming back to live performances. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we prepare to re-enter the theatre:
Save the Date
April 28, 2021
June 7, 2021
Single Ticket Sales Open
August 7, 2021