About Kelly

Kelly GuerraSelect credits: Roméo et Juliette (Stéphano), The Crucible (Betty Parris), Il Postino (Donna Rosa cover), and Madama Butterfly (Suzuki cover) with Opera Santa Barbara; A Quiet Place (Mrs. Doc) with The Tanglewood Music Center; Le Nozze di Figaro (Cherubino), The Mock Marriage (Juliane) with UCSB Opera Theatre; Serse (Amastre), Agrippina (Narciso), Little Women (Jo March cover) with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Awards: Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation Competition (2018)—First Place.
Education: Bard College Conservatory of Music (Master of Music, 2016), San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Bachelor of Music, 2014).

Visit Kelly's Website

 

To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 2

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour C

Cocktails, Concerts, and Conversations, Week 3

”I Moved Here During All of This” (Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Three Master Class

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Opera Invasion 3: Miller Bell Tower Sing-a-long

Week Eight Master Class

Opera Invasion 4: Grand Finale - A Musical Tour of the Institution Grounds

Young Artist Interview

Kelly Guerra HiggletyQ: What is your hometown?
Simi Valley, CA.

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: My first opera was the Die Zauberflöte when I was 18 on a choir trip in NYC!

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: My first opera ever was Don Giovanni and I was in the chorus. My first role was Narciso in Agrippina

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: One of my favorite operatic characters is Brünnhilde. She's a warrior that fights for what she believes in, even if she has to sacrifice herself in the process. Also that MUSIC! ICON. LEGEND. STAR. Hearing Christine Goerke sing in Die Walküre was life changing...

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: LISETTE. OROPESA. SHE IS A GODDESS!!! Other goddesses include: Baltsa, Callas, Fleming, Freni, Horne, Sills, Sutherland, Troyanos, Te Kanawa.... This list could be miles long! I wonder which idol will be listed the most? My guess is Callas. 

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: I think that opera, and specifically the aria, took over Italy and eventually the rest of Europe because opera gives performers and audiences the license to feel and express in a big way. Living in the moment has always been difficult for people, and opera extends what could have been fleeting into something timeless. Opera fulfills my escapist tendencies with raw emotion in the form of glorious music. I like being in the audience almost as much as I love being onstage. 

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: Anything that has cherries in it. Is there anything more heavenly than a frozen cherry chunk? 

Photo caption: Kelly Guerra as Jennie the Sealyham Terrier in Bard College Conservatory's Higglety Pigglety Pop! by Oliver Knussen. Photo credit: Karl Rabe.

Spotify Playlist

Each week, two of our Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

For Week Three, Kelly Guerra drew inspiration from the theme Art and Democracy 

She says:

“I made this playlist on the eve of Independence day, with the topic of democracy front and center in my mind. It feels like a strange time to be celebrating our country's independence while there are protests and deep systemic wrongs still needing to be righted. Along with our social and political climate, we are still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, which has locked us in our homes for the good of our community's health.  

Art is like a mirror that displays the rights and wrongs of society, as well the qualities that reflect our humanity. Many composers risked their lives and careers in order to create music that stood for their ideals, even if it did not fit in with the political status quo. So, in this playlist, I chose not to shy away from difficult subjects, but to actually meditate on these issues. In a democracy we have certain and unalienable rights, which include the right to vote and of free speech. Protesting for change and fighting for those whose voices are silenced is a right. This playlist honors those who had their lives taken away from them too soon, and is a plea to end violence with unity and love for humankind.

I have sung many of the vocal pieces in this playlist, except for the pieces that are brand new to me, which are "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" by Joel Thompson, and “And They Lynched Him on a Tree” by William Grant Still. These masterfully composed pieces are full of sorrow and anger, and are absolutely glorious.  I recommend that you look these composers up, and try to get these pieces, as well as more of their music, programmed.

I try to end the playlist on a hopeful note, first with the final movement of the beautiful piano piece “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” by Frederic Rzewski and then with “Va Pensiero” from Nabucco by Verdi, to drive the point that together, we can fight for what is right. Black Lives Matter.  Credit to Molly Phelan of  https://www.classicaladventureleague.com/canon-fodder  for information and inspiration.“

About Max

Max PotterSelect credits: Lohengrin (Dritte Edilknabe, Ortrud cover) and La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Clarina) with Opera Southwest; Die Zauberflöte (Second Lady/Papagena) with Salt Marsh Opera and The Muses Creative Artistry Project; L’incoronazione di Poppea (Damigella) with Bare Opera; Così fan tutte (Dorabella) with North Shore Music Festival; Dead Man Walking (Mrs. Charlton, Sister Helen Prejean cover) with Des Moines Metro Opera.
Awards: Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition (2019)—Semi-Finalist, The Jensen Vocal Competition (2017 & 2018)—Semi-Finalist, Premiere Opera Foundation & NYIOP Vocal Competition (2019)—Semi-Finalist, The American Prize (2018)—Semi-Finalist, Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition (2018)—Semi-Finalist.
Education: Indiana University (Master of Music, 2014), Northwestern University (Bachelor of Music, 2011).

Visit Max's Website

To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 3

Cocktails, Concerts, and Conversations, Week 2

”Waiting for the Song” (Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Two Master Class

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour D

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Opera Invasion 3: Miller Bell Tower Sing-a-long

Week Nine Master Class

Opera Invasion 4: Grand Finale - A Musical Tour of the Institution Grounds

Young Artist Interview

Max Potter 2Q: What is your hometown?
A: Rockville MD

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: The first opera I saw was the movie version of Tosca with Raina Kabaivanska that my grandmother would play on repeat in her home when I was little. 

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: My first opera performance was as Jenny Hildebrand in Street Scene.

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: I very much love Carmen because she is completely and unapologetically herself. 

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: Tatiana Troyanos and Christa Ludwig (hashtag #mezzolove)

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: I love that the music brings depth to characters and situations that cannot be found in words alone.

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: Banana pudding (sadly not gluten free but I still hold a candle for it!)

Photo caption: Max Potter as Dorabella in Così fan tutte at The North Shore Music Festival. Photo credit: Daniel Klein.

Spotify Playlist

Each week, two of our Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

For Week Two, Max drew inspiration from the theme Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives.

She says:

“I chose to approach this theme with the idea that we have preconceived notions about many of these popular songs. We immediately know how they go and what they sound like when they come to mind. I chose to curate a playlist featuring reinterpretations of some of my favorite pieces. I hope to challenge myself and others to see these well-known songs in a new light. I love when artists make strong, creative, personal choices in performance, and I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate that.”

What are Opera Invasions?

A series of operatic events taking place throughout the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution—Opera Invasions will provide a unique, playful, and inspiring initiation into opera for people of all generations and backgrounds.


2019 Opera Invasion Schedule

Opera Invasion #1: Norton Hall Celebration

Sunday, June 23 @ 4:00/4:30-5:00 p.m. - Odland Plaza (starting point)/Norton Hall (ending point)

It's Norton Hall's 90th Anniversary! Follow the music from Odland Plaza to Norton Hall for a celebration of Norton's musical history.

The invasion begins at Odland Plaza (in front of the Amphitheater) at 4pm and audience will walk down Pratt Ave listening to 90 years of musical history, arriving at Norton Hall at 4:30pm, where our Young Artists will fill the hall with sound, ending with a very special rendition of "Happy Birthday" at 5pm!

 

Opera Invasion #2: Opera on the Spot

Wednesday, July 3 @ 1:00-2:00 p.m. - Bestor Plaza (closest to the library)

You provide the texts for our 2019 Composer-in-Residence, Gilda Lyons, to set to music right before your very eyes! Then have your work sung by one of our Young Artists!

 

Opera Invasion #3: Opera Open Book

Friday, July 12 @ 6:15-7:15 p.m. - Odland Plaza

An interactive concert where you, the audience, vote for the repertoire.

 

Opera Invasion #4: Opera Invasion + 

Monday, July 15 @ 7:30-8:00 p.m. - Odland Plaza

A special performance of Terry Riley’s “In C”, with members of the Music School Festival Orchestra.

 

Opera Invasion #5: So You Think You're Louder Than an Opera Singer?

Friday, July 26 @ 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Boys' and Girls' Club

The Chautauqua Boys' and Girls' Club will compete to see who can out-sing our Young Artists.

 

Opera Invasion #6: Grand Finale

Thursday, Aug. 1 @ 7:15-8:00 p.m. - Across the grounds, joining up in Bestor Plaza at 7:30 p.m.

A mobile concert. Follow our Young Artists as they traverse the grounds, joining forces for a grand finale in Bestor Plaza at 7:30 p.m.

See chq.org/opera-invasion-finale for a detailed map of the Young Artists' paths.

About Nicole

Nicole Heinen HeadshotSelect credits: L’incoronazione di Poppea (Valletto/Fortuna, Poppea cover) and Prince of Players (Miss Frayne, Margaret Hughes cover) with Florentine Opera; Elixir of Love (Adina) with Opera for the Young; Transformations (#1), Der Schauspieldirektor (Mademoiselle Silberklang), Die Zauberflöte (Pamina), and Albert Herring (Miss Wordsworth) with University of Wisconsin-Madison; Cendrillon (La Fée) with Halifax Summer Opera Festival.
Awards: IAET Joseph P. Glimco Competition (2019)—Third Place, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2018)—Regional Finalist, Casa Italia Competition (2018)—IAET Award winner.
Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison (Master of Music, 2016), Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Arts, 2014).

Visit Nicole's Website

 

To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 1

Cocktails, Concerts, and Conversations, Week 2

"Glass Half Empty. Glass Half Full."(Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Two Master Class

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour D

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Week Six Master Class

Opera Invasion 3: Miller Bell Tower Sing-a-long

Opera Invasion 4: Grand Finale - A Musical Tour of the Institution Grounds

Young Artist Interview

Nicole HeinenQ: What is your hometown?
A: I'm from Monroe, Wisconsin (America's Dairyland) where we celebrate Cheese Days Festival every other year! It's a big deal!

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: The first opera that I ever saw was a double bill of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and John Blow's Venus and Adonis at Florentine Opera (Milwaukee, WI). I was a senior in high school I believe!

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: My first opera was Puccini's Turandot as part of the children chorus. My first opera role ever performed was as Hansel in Hansel und Gretel by Humperdinck. 

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: I think my favorite character may have to be Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare. I love this character because she goes through the ultimate character journey. She is first presented to us as just a princess but throughout the opera we see her ambitions, taste for justice and how far she is willing to go to get what she wants. I love her because of how strong yet broken she is as a character. It reminds me of myself. 

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: Renata Tebaldi, Diana Damrau, Erin Morley, Rosa Ponselle (her "Pace Pace Mio Dio" is amazing), Fritz Wunderlich, Jussi Björling. 

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: I love that every time I do a role, aria, trio, it is different. It can be because of different colleagues, staging, personal vocal growth, etc. No matter the amount of times I have done the same production, it is always evolving. That is exciting to never truly know what is going to happen. To "go with the flow" and trust in the work you have done. 

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: Ice Cream is my favorite dessert of all time! My favorite flavors are coffee and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Photo caption: Nicole Heinen as the Atalanta in Handel's Serse.

Spotify Playlist

Each week, two of our Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

For Week Six, Nicole drew inspiration from the theme Rebuilding Public Education

She says:

“There is no going forward without looking backwards. Cheers to the future of education and teaching the historical truth to the youth.”

 

For Week Four, Nicole drew inspiration from the theme Ethics in a Technologically Transforming World?

She says:

“These songs remind us of the good and the bad of technology and what it has done to the generations present and future. We have somehow managed to lose human connection with the more screen time we eat up. Yet, we have made beautiful and interesting music and life-saving technology. Technology has shown us the good, the bad and the ugly.“

Web Guest.Jared.HeadshotJared A. Guest, Baritone

Apprentice Artist

 

Hometown: Lake Mary, Florida

Website: facebook.com/JaredAGuest

Twitter: @JaredAGuest

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We challenged Jared to a 30-second interview. Here is what he told us:
 
Q: What is your favorite opera?
A: Tosca by Puccini
 
Q: Who is your favorite singer?
A: Robert Merrill
 
Q: What are your dream roles?
A: Iago in Verdi’s Otello and Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca
 
Q: What was your favorite singing experience so far or your favorite role that you have performed?
A: My favorite singing experience was during Verdi's Falstaff, in which I sang Ford. It was such an incredibly tight ensemble of a cast which made the performances so much more special and alive.
 
Q: What do you love about opera?
A: It combines all of my passions: acting, languages, and music.
 
Q: What is your favorite flavor of icecream?
A: Mint chocolate chip
 
Q: What else should we know?
A: I'm a coffee zombie. I grunt and stagger to the coffee machine every morning like a zombie after brains.