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

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.”

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

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.
 

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.

WebBoragnoAuditionHeadshotRobert Nicholas Boragno, Bass-Baritone

Studio Artist

 

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

 

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We challenged Nicholas to a 30-second interview. Here is what he told us:
 
Q: What is your favorite opera?
A:My favorite opera will always be La Bohème
 
Q: Who are your favorite singers?
A: My favorite female singer is Mirella Freni. She has been my singing idol since I was a little boy and was probably my greatest inspiration to become an opera singer. My favorite male opera singer would have to be Bryn Terfel, mostly because I can relate very closely to him as an opera singer. There are many, many more of course.
 
Q: What are your dream roles?
A: I would love to sink my teeth into Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro. I can foresee that being a staple role for me, just waiting for my first opportunity to perform the whole role. My dream role would be to sing Onegin in Eugene Onegin.
 
Q: What was your favorite singing experience so far or your favorite role that you have performed?
A: My favorite role thus far hands down is singing Leporello in Don Giovanni.
 
Q: What do you love about opera?
A: I consider opera to be the most encompassing performing art. Music, drama, dance, costumes, scenery. It has absolutely everything. Music moves my soul, so to be in a performing art where the music is the star is really the greatest avenue for me to express myself as a singer.
 
Q: What is your favorite flavor of icecream?
A: My favorite flavor of ice cream is Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip. :)
 
Q: What else should we know?
A: I am an Uber Driver, Private Chef, Professional Restaurant Maitre D’, and Wine Connoisseur