Chautauqua Opera mainstage performances feature internationally acclaimed artists in principal roles. To request an audition or learn more about mainstage auditions for managed singers, the singer's agent/manager should contact Chautauqua Opera staff directly.

 

 

2018 Guest Artists and Directors

Richard Bernstein (Leporello, Don Giovanni)

WEB R Bernstein by Jonathan TichlerA Metropolitan Opera company member since his debut in 1995, acclaimed bass Richard Bernstein celebrates his milestone 400th performance with the Met this season. For the Met in 2017-18, he sings in Die Zauberflöte, Tosca, and Parsifal, and covers roles in Le nozze di Figaro, Elektra, Roméo et Juliette, and the American premiere of The Exterminating Angel. This season, Mr. Bernstein also sings Angelotti in Tosca with The Philadelphia Orchestra and performs as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New Jersey Choral Society.

Mr. Bernstein’s versatility is displayed in the diverse mix of repertoire he has performed and covered over the years with the Met, and in leading roles around the country and abroad, with companies such as the Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Pacific, Théâtre du Capitole (Toulouse), and the Savonlinna Festival (Finland). Mr. Bernstein created roles in two world premieres by composer Tobias Picker: Orville Mason in An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, and Laurent in Thérèse Raquin at Dallas Opera. In addition, he portrayed Marco in William Bolcom’s A View From the Bridge at its Metropolitan Opera premiere (2002) and at Washington Opera (2007). Additionally, Mr. Bernstein has collaborated with a host of major American symphony orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has been a guest at festivals such as Spoleto and Tanglewood. Mr. Bernstein was last seen at Chautauqua in the role of Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin (2015), and performed the roles of Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor (2012), Frank Maurrant in Street Scene (2008) and Olin Blitch in Susannah (2004) with the company. RichardBernstein.com.

 

Ned Canty (Director, Don Giovanni)

ned canty color smallNed Canty has directed productions at dozens of companies such as Glimmerglass Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, and New York City Opera. Canty's career in opera reflects a commitment to introducing new audiences to opera, as well as championing new American works. Since joining Opera Memphis as general director in 2011, he has led a restructuring of the 60 year old company, expanding the season and launching The Midtown Opera Festival, an annual festival of chamber works. The signature program under his leadership is 30 Days of Opera, which has brought hundreds of free performances to over 200,000 Memphians in more than 130 locations since its inception.

Mr. Canty has a particular passion for working with emerging artists, and has helped inspire a new generation of singers through his work with major conservatories such as The Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School, The Israeli Vocal Arts Institute, and The Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He has collaborated with a number of early career composers and librettists on the development of new works through American Opera Projects, and he has directed world premieres in New York, Memphis and Tel Aviv. He has also worked as an actor, director, and stuntman at Hartford Stage Company, The McCarter Theatre, Six Flags Great Adventure, and the New York Renaissance Festival, among others. Before joining Opera Memphis, he spent five years as Festival Director of the New York Television Festival. He is a board member of Opera America, and a part of its Civic Action Group.

 

Sasha Cooke (Hannah After, As One)

WEB SASHA COOKE pc Dario Acosta b 300dpi Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a "luminous standout" (New York Times). Ms. Cooke is sought after by the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music. In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Cooke’s engagements take her to such exciting venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), and Barbican Centre (London). She will perform with the San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Melbourne Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Reykjavik Arts Festival, and more. Some conductors with whom she is collaborating this season include Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Andrew Davis, Jaap van Zweden, Edo de Waart, and Osmo Vänskä. Ms. Cooke will also perform a series of recitals in the United States. A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Ms. Cooke was also a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. On DVD, Ms. Cooke can be seen in Metropolitan Opera productions of Hansel and Gretel and Doctor Atomic. Ms. Cooke’s recordings can be found on the Hyperion, Naxos, Bridge Records, Yarlung, GPR Records, and Sono Luminus labels.

A Chautauqua favorite, Ms. Cooke will perform Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra this season as well as making her Chautauqua Opera Company debut as Hannah After in As One, a role she created. sashacooke.instantencore.com

 

Matt Gray (Director, As One)

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For over a dozen years, Matt Gray has overseen development and production of dozens of concerts, workshops, and premieres as the Producing Director, Resident Dramaturg and Resident Stage Director of American Opera Projects, a Brooklyn-based producer of contemporary opera whose recent work includes Douglas Cuomo’s Ashes and Snow (Pittsburgh Opera/BAM), Mikael Karlsson/Elle Kunnos DeVoss/KathrynWalat's The Echo Drift (PROTOTYPE Festival 2018), Daniel Sonenberg/Daniel Nester/Mark Campbell's The Summer King (Pittsburgh Opera/Michigan Opera Theatre), Rob Paterson/David Cote's Three Way (Nashville Opera/BAM), Davis/Pelsue dance chamber opera Hagoromo starring Wendy Whelan (BAM), and Laura Kaminsky/Kimberly Reed/Mark Campbell's As One (BAM, 2014). Recent directing: the European premiere of As One (Ballsaal-Studio, Berlin), Marianna Martines: A Legacy of Her Own (Sheen Center, NYC), workshop of the historical medical drama Semmelweis at New York Academy of Medicine (for which he is also the librettist), Bohemian Valentine (Mateo Moreno, playwright, New York Fringe Festival) and several episodes of the 12-part serialized play Penny Dreadful, for which he was also the co-playwright, which ran two years at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

 

Jay Lesenger (Director, Candide)

Lesenger Jay 072111 copyDuring Jay Lesenger’s almost 40 year career as stage director, administrator and teacher, he has become known for intelligent, honest productions which are dramatically compelling and musically knowledgeable. For 21 years, from 1994 to 2015, Jay was the General and Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Opera Company, the longest serving general director in the company’s history. He has produced and directed more than two hundred opera productions for the New York City Opera, Chautauqua, Atlanta, Virginia, Milwaukee, San Diego, New Orleans (the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s “Pontalba“), Hawaii, Opera Carolina, Opera Pacific, Pittsburgh, Palm Beach and many others. His European debut was with Opera Nordfjord, Norway, and he has directed for Volkstheater Rostock in Germany. As a nationally recognized teacher of acting for singers, he recently joined the guest faculty of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He has also taught on the School of Music opera faculties at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University and has directed productions for Julliard, Mannes/The New School, the Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University and the Academy of Vocal Arts. Jay is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions. He holds a Masters degree from Indiana University and a Bachelors of Music & Theater from Hofstra University.

 

Kelly Markgraf (Hannah Before, As One)

WEB MarkgrafBaritone Kelly Markgraf, lauded as a singing actor of depth and versatility, has enjoyed collaboration with some of the world’s most esteemed conductors including Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, Robert Spano, and Edo de Waart at the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others.

Recent highlights: West Side Story under Paavo Jarvi with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, As One with Hawaii Opera, Opera Colorado and San Diego Opera, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Tucson Symphony, Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera (premiere). Chamber music: Alice Tully Hall with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, OK Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music@Menlo festivals.

Discography: Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (premiere), Floyd’s Wuthering Heights (premiere), West Side Story with the San Francisco Symphony (GRAMMY nominated), two discs of chamber music from Music@Menlo Festival, and the forthcoming releases of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (premiere) and Harbison’s Requiem with Giancarlo Guerrero and The Nashville Symphony. On DVD: San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall in choreographed excerpts from West Side Story. Mr. Markgraf has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today and seen on PBS's nationally televised Great Performances. He holds degrees from Boston University, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and the Juilliard School.

Mr. Markgraf makes his Chautauqua Opera Company debut this season as Hannah Before in As One, a role he created.  kellymarkgraf.instantencore.com

 

David Adam Moore (Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni)

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This season David Adam Moore made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Colonel Gomez in of Adès’ The Exterminating Angel after creating the role in the world premiere at the Salzburger Festpiele and subsequent performances at Covent Garden. Other performances this season include a return to Covent Garden for the world premiere of George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro (Palm Beach Opera), and performances of GLMMR's acclaimed multimedia production of Schubert’s Winterreise (Portland Opera). Recent career highlights include: Demetrius in A Midsummer Nights Dream (Teatro alla Scala); Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Don Giovanni (Staatsoper Hannover, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Oper Kiel, Nashville Opera), Eugene Onegin (Arizona Opera), Joseph de Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Des Moines Metro Opera); and Prior Walter in Eötvös' Angels in America (L.A. Philharmonic, BBC Symphony). Davidadammoore.com

 

Robert Orth (Voltaire/Pangloss/Narrator, Candide)

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Robert Orth has performed over 135 roles in opera and musicals in scores of cities including London, Berlin, Rome, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Portland, Washington D.C., and Denver. He was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera. New York City Opera also gave him the Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Washington, DC, and the BBC in London. Hailed by Opera News as a “fixture of contemporary opera,” Mr. Orth’s involvement in new works, including Harvey Milk, Dead Man Walking, Shining Brow, Moby Dick, The Grapes of Wrath, and Champion, has brought him great pleasure and acclaim. Robertorth.com

 

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo (The Old Lady, Candide)

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Following recent performances of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Leann Sandel-Pantaleo was praised by the Portland Press Herald with the exclamation that “she has a glorious voice…. and she took fire.” During the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo appears in concert with the Corpus Christi Symphony, and makes her role debut as The Old Lady in Candide for her return to Chautauqua Opera. In recent seasons, she debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as the title role in Bizet's Carmen, returned to the role of Amneris in Aida with Sarasota Opera, and created the role of Tamara in the world premiere of Enemies, A Love Story with Palm Beach Opera. She has joined the Metropolitan Opera for previous performances of Siegrune in Die Walküre and Flora in La traviata as well as numerous other productions including Die Ägyptische Helena, Luisa Miller, Manon, and Parsifal.

Recent Chautauqua Opera Guest Artists:
Keri Alkema, Rose Baumpton, Richard Bernstein, Robert Breault, Joyce Castle, Matthew Chellis, Michael Chioldi, Kristin Clayton, Philip Cokorinos, Mary Dunleavy, Mark Delavan, Joyce DiDonato, Placido Domingo, Mignon Dunn, George Dvorsky, Eric Fennell, Kathryn Freeman, Alex Gemignani, Kevin Glavin, Sari Gruber, Eugenie Grunewald, Brenda Harris, Pamela Hinchman, Joshua Hopkins, Anita Johnson, Brandon Jovanovich, Keith Jurosko, Margaret Lattimore, Indira Mahajan, Lee Meriweather, Timothy Noble, Carolann Page, Brownie Peebles, Ashley Putnam, Jane Redding, Lisa Saffer, Chad Shelton, Pamela South, Carol Sparrow, Renée Tatum, Todd Thomas, Mark Thomsen, Shirley Verrett, Joshua Winograde, Sheryl Woods - See more at: http://ciweb.org/opera-about-the-company#facts
Recent Chautauqua Opera Guest Artists:
Keri Alkema, Rose Baumpton, Richard Bernstein, Robert Breault, Joyce Castle, Matthew Chellis, Michael Chioldi, Kristin Clayton, Philip Cokorinos, Mary Dunleavy, Mark Delavan, Joyce DiDonato, Placido Domingo, Mignon Dunn, George Dvorsky, Eric Fennell, Kathryn Freeman, Alex Gemignani, Kevin Glavin, Sari Gruber, Eugenie Grunewald, Brenda Harris, Pamela Hinchman, Joshua Hopkins, Anita Johnson, Brandon Jovanovich, Keith Jurosko, Margaret Lattimore, Indira Mahajan, Lee Meriweather, Timothy Noble, Carolann Page, Brownie Peebles, Ashley Putnam, Jane Redding, Lisa Saffer, Chad Shelton, Pamela South, Carol Sparrow, Renée Tatum, Todd Thomas, Mark Thomsen, Shirley Verrett, Joshua Winograde, Sheryl Woods - See more at: http://ciweb.org/opera-about-the-company#facts
Recent Chautauqua Opera Guest Artists:
Keri Alkema, Rose Baumpton, Richard Bernstein, Robert Breault, Joyce Castle, Matthew Chellis, Michael Chioldi, Kristin Clayton, Philip Cokorinos, Mary Dunleavy, Mark Delavan, Joyce DiDonato, Placido Domingo, Mignon Dunn, George Dvorsky, Eric Fennell, Kathryn Freeman, Alex Gemignani, Kevin Glavin, Sari Gruber, Eugenie Grunewald, Brenda Harris, Pamela Hinchman, Joshua Hopkins, Anita Johnson, Brandon Jovanovich, Keith Jurosko, Margaret Lattimore, Indira Mahajan, Lee Meriweather, Timothy Noble, Carolann Page, Brownie Peebles, Ashley Putnam, Jane Redding, Lisa Saffer, Chad Shelton, Pamela South, Carol Sparrow, Renée Tatum, Todd Thomas, Mark Thomsen, Shirley Verrett, Joshua Winograde, Sheryl Woods - See more at: http://ciweb.org/opera-about-the-company#facts