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Theo Lebow (Count Almaviva) Currently based at Frankfurt Opera and with an active career in both North America and Europe, Theo Lebow continues to solidify his reputation as one of the finest young lyric tenors on international stages. His performances reveal exceptional intelligence and musical understanding along with dramatic skill, to complement his technical finesse and beautiful sound. These qualities have enabled him to build a remarkably diverse repertoire from Baroque to contemporary.
In 2017-18, Frankfurt will hear his Ruiz in Il Trovatore, Squeak in Billy Budd, An Old Prisoner in Janácek’s From the House of the Dead, as well as Carlo in the Frankfurt première of Manfred Trojahn’s Enrico, and Krell in the world première of Arnulf Herrmann’s Der Mieter (The Tenant).
Recent engagements have included Jupiter / Apollo in Handel’s S emele at Seattle Opera; Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the première of Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera “27″ alongside Stephanie Blythe and Elizabeth Futral for Opera Theatre of St. Louis (also on CD from Albany Records); Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Shippensburg Festival in Pennsylvania; Mr. Porcupine in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox for both Opera San Antonio and Odyssey Opera in Boston; and Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff at Opera Hamilton — his Canadian debut – where he was hailed for his “plangent tenor with a sweet timbre” ( La Scena Musicale , Montréal).
Theo won early recognition from Santa Fe Opera when he received the Richard Tucker Foundation Award after becoming part of its young artists’ program and he was invited to participate successively in San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Summer Program, and Seattle Opera’s young artist program.
Robert Balonek (Figaro) Hailing from Rochester NY, Robert always had a love for music. While learning music theory, jazz and musical theater in high school, he knew that his life would be surrounded by music. Robert went to SUNY Purchase College in Westchester where he started training with his first teacher, Jacque Trussel. During this time he performed The title roles in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Gianni Schicchi. He also performed Ottone in Poppea, both Ferdinand and Prospero in the NY Premiere of Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest, as well as the world Premiere of Raphaël Lucas’ Confession. Before leaving Purchase, he recorded both The Tempest and Confession with Albany Records.
After Purchase, Robert moved to Manhattan where he received a professional studies diploma from Mannes School of Music under the tutelage of Bonnie Hammilton. During his two years there, Robert performed Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte as well as Ford in Falstaff. He also performed with the Mannes Baroque Ensemble as the bass soloist for the Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as well as the Fauré Requiem soloist for the Westchester Choral Society.
After College, Robert has been in collaboration with many new composers such as Zachary Johnson (Boston Tea Party Opera) Gerald Cohen (Steal A Pencil For Me), Mohammed Fairouz (Furia), and Stefnia DeKenessey (Bonfires of the Vanity).
Soprano Alisa Jordheim (Rosina) joins Palm Beach Opera for Cunegonde in Candide, makes her Paris Opera debut as 1st Knappe in Parsifal, and returns to Florentine Opera for both Venus in Venus and Adonis and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas in the 2017-18 season. Her concert performances include the title role in Gisle Kverndokk and Aksel-Otto Bull’s Letters from Ruth with the New York Opera Society at the National Gallery of Art, Mozart’s Requiem with Baltimore Symphony, Yum Yum in The Mikado with the Northwest Indiana Symphony, “A Bernstein Banquet” with the Southwestern Suburban Symphony, and a reprise of an all Rodgers & Hammerstein concert with the New Philharmonic. Last season, Ms. Jordheim returned to Florentine Opera to create the role of Lola in Aldridge’s Sister Carrie, a commercial recording of which will be released this fall on Naxos Records. She also sang Barbarina in Le nozze di Figarowith the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Serpetta in La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera and Atlanta Opera, Yum Yum in The Mikado with DuPage Opera, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Bach’s St. John Passion with Madison Bach Musicians.
She recently sang Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites at the Caramoor International Music Festival, Marzelline in Fidelio with Madison Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff with Emerald City Opera, Micaëla in Carmen with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and Satirino in La Calisto with Cincinnati Opera, where she previously sang Zweite Knabe in Die Zauberflöte and the Page in Rigoletto. She returned to Florentine Opera as Lulu Baines in Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry after participating in the company’s studio, where she sang numerous mainstage roles with the company including Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Frasquita in Carmen, as well as excerpts of Adina in L’elisir d’amore. She is also a former participant in San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera program, where she sang both Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. With Central City Opera, she sang Flora in The Turn of the Screw, Ellen in Oklahoma! , Fredrika in A Little Night Music, and Sirena in a family matinee performance of Rinaldo and received both the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Young Artists Training Program Award and the Young Artist Award.
She holds both a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where her roles included Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos in addition to singing Mozart’s Mass in C minor, with previous studies at Lawrence University. Ms. Jordheim is the 2016 Rose Bampton Award winner by The William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation, where she was also a career grant recipient in 2015. She was awarded an American Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship and US Student Fulbright Foundation Travel Grant for study and research in Scandinavia towards her doctoral work, also at the University of Cincinnati. She is a two-time winner of the Wisconsin district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2015 winner of the Bel Canto Regional Artists Competition, and the second place winner of the Auditions Plus Classical Singer Vocal Competition. She is also the recipient of the Edith Newfield Scholarship in the Musicians Club of Women Scholarship Competition.
Jason Budd (Don Bartolo) made his South American debut in December as the title character in Verdi’s Falstaff with Theatro São Pedro in São Paulo, Brazil. He is receiving accolades and recognition for his buffo performances in the United States and around the world. In a recent performance as Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Detroit Free-Press exclaimed, “Jason Budd as Bartolo was the definition of a buffo bass: rotund, blustery, funny, with an alluring, deep-chested voice.” Of an L’Elisir d’Amore performance, Opera News said, “Jason Budd’s Dulcamara was a good-natured quack, nimble of limb and voice.”
Most recent engagements include Falstaff in Boston Midsummer Opera’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Western Reserve where he shared the stage with his college friend Lawrence Brownlee in their hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème with Toledo Opera, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with The Bar Harbor Music Festival, and Major General in Pirates of Penzance at Fresno Grand Opera.
David Cushing (Don Basilio) David Cushing’s versatile bass-baritone range is effortlessly demonstrated in a variety of roles including recent appearances in the title roles of Don Pasquale and Le nozze di Figaro, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Of a recent performance, the Boston Herald exclaimed, “his portrayal of hoodwinked old Pasquale, filled with pathos and unself-conscious humor, was a revelation. He could easily specialize in Italian opera’s wealth of foolish-old-man roles and become the basso buffo of his generation.” This season, Mr. Cushing will return to Boston Lyric Opera for their production of The Threepenny Opera, as Angelotti in Tosca and Donald in The Nefarious, Immoral But Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, sings the title role of Don Pasquale with Bar Harbor Music Festival, performs Banquo in Macbeth and reprises the role of Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Tampa, Sun Tze in the world première of Rev. 23 with White Snake Projects, and Tiresias in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Emmanuel Music.