2017 Spotlight Playbill

Spotlight On Opera presents our cast for 2017!


View and download a detailed playbill

and poster for each show here!

July 5:      Welcome Concert

July 9:      An Afternoon at the Opera

July 14:    Opera In the Vineyard

July 16:    Opera in the Library

July 18 - 28:      The Coyotes and the Rabbits

July 22 - 23:     The Child and the Spells | Trouble in Tahiti

July 29 - 30:      Prince Orlofsky's Ball

Aug 5 - 6:      The Elixir of Love


TRINIDAD TEJADAS AGOSTO. El Paso, TX. King, The True Story of Cinderella ; Christ Lutheran Church;Melchior, Amahl & the Night Visitors, St. Mary’s University;

El Gallo, The Fantasticks, St. Mary’s University.

ANNA BALAN. Soprano Anna Balan is a junior in Vocal Performance. She has appeared as Susan in Narnia – The Musical and was a soloist for the Ashington National Balalaika Orchestra. Anna won first place in her age category at the Golden Voices of America Competition at Carnegie Hall. She has performed in the ensembles of LadyBird and The Marriage of Figaro with Texas State Opera Theater, and in a production of Hello Dolly as Ernestina with the Freiberg Theater in Germany. She studies under Ron Ulen.

EVAN BROWN. Tenor Evan Brown began his schooling at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied under Metropolitan Opera Tenor William Lewis. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in 2013. Since that time, he has been singing with the Austin Opera Chorus. He has sung Amelia’s servant in Un Ballo in Maschera and Ed Mavole in Kevin Puts’ modern work, The Manchurian Candidate, and acted as the Notary (spoken) in La fille du regiment, all with Austin Opera. He has also been featured in concert with the Austin Gilbert and Sullivan Society. In the fall he will begin his Masters at Southern Methodist University under Clifton Forbis.

LEE SCARBOROUGH CHAPPELL. Soprano Lee Scarborough Chappell is a native of Springfield, Missouri but is not unfamiliar with Texas, having received her undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University. Chappell is a recent graduate of Cleveland Institute of Music’s Professional Studies program, where she studied with Mary Schiller. She most recently performed Suor Genovieffa in CIM’s production of Suor Angelica. Chappell was also a featured orchestra soloist with the University of Miami’s program in Salzburg. There she sang Zerlina excerpts from Don Giovanni and received Honorable Mention in the Mirabel Schloss Competition. Her fully staged roles include Second Lady and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and Just Jeannette (Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos). She has also performed Adele from Die Fledermaus, Adina from L’elisir d’amore, Marcelline from Fidelio, and Sister Constance from Dialogues of the Carmelites in scene productions with CIM and Texas Christian University.

LACEY CORNELL. Mezzo-soprano Lacey Cornell is a graduate of Adelphi University with a degree in Music Education. She is making her Spotlight on Opera debut as Maman, La tasse chinoise, and La libellule in L’enfant et les sortilèges. Roles include: Dido (Dido and Aeneas),  Hӓnsel (Hӓnsel und Gretel), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) and Second Lady (The Magic Flute). Additional roles include Mercedes cover (Carmen), Edith/Ruth (Pirates of Penzance), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Third Lady (The Magic Flute), Erika (Vanessa), and Flower (The Little Prince). Lacey is a Long Island native.

ELIZABETH HERLITZ CORTES. Soprano Elizabeth Herlitz Cortés is known for her versatility both vocally and dramatically. She is a regular performer with Austin Opera, Alamo City Opera and Spotlight on Opera. This season, she sang Butterfly’s Mother in Madama Butterfly with Austin Lyric Opera, The Flower Girl in Alamo City Opera's Spanish opera La hija de rappacini and will return to Spotlight on Opera as a guest artist in their summer season singing Magda in Prince Orlofsky’s Ball and Chiquita in the children’s opera, Los coyotes y las conejas.  Elizabeth is a native of Baton Rouge, Lousiana where she attended LSU.  While completing her Master's of Music at Bowling Green State University, she was also an apprentice with Toledo Opera, where she sang in over 200 school performances as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Adina in L’Elisir d’amore. Her favorite roles from past seasons include Susanna from Le Nozze di Figaro with Bowling Green Opera, Musetta from La bohème with Toledo Opera,  Mimi from La bohème with New Orleans Opera, and Mrs. Nordstrom from Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with Utah Festival Opera.

TEE CRINCOLI. New Jersey soprano Tee Crincoli has been a featured soloist with groups such as NJ Intercollegiate Band, Chorus of Communities, and Rutgers Kirkpatrick Choir. Past operatic credits include: Candide (Cunegonde), Cendrillon (Second Spirit), The Beggar’s Opera (Suky Tawdry) and scenes from Adelson e Salvini (Nelly), La Fille du Régiment (Marie) and Hänsel und Gretel (Gretel) with Opera at Rutgers. An avid lover of contemporary music, Crincoli collaborated with composers at New Music on the Point in Vermont (2013) to premiere new chamber works for voice and various instruments, and has sung masterclasses with Tom Cipullo, Daron Hagen, and Nico Castel. Equally at home on stage and behind a piano, Tee has been an active freelance keyboardist in the NJ musical theater community for over 4 years, most recently in Centenary University’s 2017 production of Young Frankenstein. Crincoli is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (B.M. ’14, magna cum laude) and continues to study voice with soprano Judith Nicosia.  When not “music-ing” Tee can be found volunteering on the Board of Trustees at The Pride Center of New Jersey.

BLAYKE DRURY. Blayke Drury, mezzo-soprano, is a senior at Baylor University and hails from Keller, TX. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance, and studies with Dr. Randall Umstead. Her previous roles include Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha, and Ramiro in La finta giardiniera. This is her first time participating in a summer program, and she is very excited to be performing with Spotlight on Opera this season.

MICAH ESAU. Oklahoma soprano Micah Esau is making her Spotlight on Opera debut this season. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she studied voice with Pamela K. Green. While at UCO, she performed in several Opera Department productions including Lola in Gallantry, Angelina in Trial by Jury, First Witch in Dido and Aeneas, Sally in Die Fledermaus, and Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore. She was also a featured artist in master classes given by Soprano Sarah Coburn and opera director James de Blasis. She attended Music in the Marche in Mondavio, Italy, under the direction of Jeffrey Peterson. She currently resides in Oklahoma City and studies voice with Andrea Hanson.

MARK HOCKENBERRY. Mark Hockenberry, baritone, from Hanover, Pennsylvania, is a second year graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Arizona. Mr. Hockenberry has been recognized not only for his commanding stage presence, but also for his excellent showmanship. Mark last appeared as Le Geolier in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. Mark is looking forward to future performances as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, and Tarquinius in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Mark has appeared as a soloist numerous times in the Tucson community, performing selected arias for Arizona Opera Guild of Southern Arizona, as well as a bass soloist in Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ, Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, Schubert’s Mass in G, and Mozart’s Vesperae Solennis de Confessore. Contributing to Mark’s operatic conquest, he placed 3rd in Arizona Opera Guild’s Annual Quest for the Best, as well as took home 1st Place in the Larry Day Memorial Vocal Competition. Mark studies under the direction of Dr. Hugo Vera at the university and is looking forward to his new position as a graduate teaching assistant.

JAIMIE LOWE. Originally from the San Francisco area, mezzo-soprano Jaimie Lowe received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University in 2011.  Most recently, she sang the role of Kate in The Pirates of Penzance with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin.  Previous roles include Ludmila in The Bartered Bride, the Old Lady in Candide, and the Witch in Into the Woods.  This fall she will pursue her M.M. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at Texas State University.  She currently resides in Austin where she teaches private voice lessons and studies with Cindy Sadler.

CHARISSA MEMRICK. Charissa Memrick is completing her master’s degree at Texas State University in the Vocal Performance and Pedagogy program in December 2017. Charissa previously earned a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance at Wichita State University. While she was at Wichita State,  Charissa performed Prima Cercatrice in Suor Angelica, Ida in Die Fledermaus, and played a featured chorus member alongside Samuel Ramey in the production of Susannah. This fall Charissa will be portraying the Governess in Turn of the Screw at Texas State. After graduation Charissa plans to perform in and around her hometown of Austin, Texas.

COURTNEY NAGEL. Courtney Nagel is a mezzo-soprano and a recent graduate of Southwestern University with a B.M. in Vocal Performance. Spotlight on Opera is her second Young Artist program (the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival was the first) and she is excited and grateful for the opportunity. A lover of theatre in all forms, her favorite credits include Frederich Bhaer in Adamo’s opera Little Women and Helena in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is a member of the philanthropic music fraternity, Delta Omicron. After Spotlight, she will continue to immerse herself in storytelling and plans to pursue a Master’s degree once she has narrowed her focus.

ALEXANDREA NESSI. Alexandrea Nessi is a soprano from East Wenatchee, WA. She is currently a junior majoring in vocal performance at the University of Alabama, and a member of the University of Alabama Opera Theatre. She appeared as Clarina in the Wenatchee One Act Wonder Opera Company’s production of The Marriage Contract, and was cast in the University of Alabama Opera Theatre’s productions of A Little Night Music, Street Scene, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Ms. Nessi has also been a featured performer in the UA Opera Theatre’s scenes programs, and has been featured in the roles of Lucy from The Telephone, the Countess from Le Nozze di Figaro, and the Dew Fairy from Hansel and Gretel.  She was the district category winner of the soprano division of the NCWMEA solo/ensemble contest in 2014 and 2015, and attended the Julian Patrick Vocal Camp for Gifted singers 2013-15.

ZACHARY THOMAS NEWMAN. Tenor Zachary Thomas Newman, a native of Baytown, Texas, will sing in Spotlight on Opera’s productions of Trouble in Tahiti, L’enfant et les sortilèges, and L'elisir d’amore.  Recent roles include L’Aumonier in Dialogues des Carmèlites, Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Basilio/Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, Mayor Upfold in Albert Herring, and the Circus Director in The Bartered Bride. Zachary recently completed his Bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin under the tutelage of Nita Hudson and has one year remaining on his Master’s in Vocal Performance with an emphasis on Pedagogy.

PAUL NIX. San Antonio Texas. , Chorus in The Marriage of Figaro at Texas State University, Redneck in Ladybird: First Lady of the Land at Texas State University, Spinellocio and Pinellino in Gianni Schicchi.

EMILY SCHRADER. Emily Schrader holds a Bachelors Degree in Music in Vocal performance and is pursuing a master's of music in voice performance and pedagogy from Eastern Kentucky University. Some of her favorite roles have included Gretel from Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Rosalinda from Strauss' Die Fledermaus, and Mrs. Ford from Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor.

LAUREN SLAGOWSKI. Operatic soprano, Lauren Slagowski, is in her final semester of study at the University of Utah where she is pursuing a degree in Vocal Performance. She most recently performed the role of Lisette in Puccini’s La Rondine with the University of Utah’s Lyric Opera Ensemble. Other recent roles include the cover for Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus at Kingsbury Hall, the Charity Woman at the world premiere of A Christmas Carol (M. Leavitt, A. Buck) at the Grand Theater, and Tisbe from Cenerentola with the Salt Lake Sinfonia, as well as numerous ensemble roles with the University of Utah’s Lyric Opera Ensemble. Upcoming roles include ensemble for Utah Opera’s event An Evening with Renée Fleming celebrating the 40th anniversary season of Utah Opera at Abravanel Hall, and other ensemble roles with Utah Opera. Masterclasses include; Robert Tweeten, Michael Spassov, Stanford Olsen, and Dietlinde Turban Maazel.

MENG-JUNG “MEG” TSAI. Soprano Meng-Jung (Meg) Tsai hails from Taipei, Taiwan and is currently based in Dallas/Fort Worth area. Praised for her “most genuine performing,” Meg has appeared as a soloist in concert and for various engagements with Opera Shorts, Lewisville Lake Symphony International Chamber Series, Louisiana Tech University, Greater Dallas Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, Formosa Chorus of Dallas, and Flower Mound United Methodist Church. She was most recently seen as Annina in La traviata with National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Lola in Cavalleria rusticana with the Louisiana Opera, The Narrator in The Hiding Tree with Spotlight on Opera, Polly Peachum in Die Dreigroschenoper, Colette in  Le Devin du Village,and Noémie in Cendrillon with UNT Opera. Meg is the winner of the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize and the Birmingham Conservatoire Singing Prize. During her study in England, she performed roles in Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, The Fairy Queen, Dido and Aeneas, and  Merrily We Roll Along. She holds her Master of Music and Post Graduate Diploma from Birmingham City University Birmingham Conservatoire, UK, her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Catholic Fu-Jen University in Taipei, and a Certificate in Television Director of Performing Arts from Taiwan Ministry of Culture. She is a member and former young artist at National Taiwan Opera Studio. She is now a Doctoral Candidate at UNT College of Music.

WEI-SHU TSAI. Baritone Wei-Shu Tsai will perform the roles of Sam in Trouble in Tahiti and Falke in Prince Orlovsky's Ball with Spotlight on Opera this summer. In 2016, he appeared as El Dancairo in Spotlight's production of Carmen.  He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation at the University of North Texas.

PEDRO VALDEZ. Tenor Pedro Valdez lives in South Texas, where he studies voice at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with Dr. Rebecca Coberly. He has also trained in England at The Cornish American Song Institute where he performed at St. Ann’s College (Oxford University), the Church of St. Endellion Cornwall, and at the Polly Theater in Cornwall. Pedro has been a member of the Valley

JORDAN VAN DE VERE. Native to Austin, TX, baritone Jordan Van de Vere is a student at Texas State University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. In the fall of 2016, Jordan won the Texoma NATS Singer of the Year competition. Some of Jordan’s recent performances include Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, the title character in Gianni Schicchi, Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore, and Peter in Hansel and Gretel. After completing his Bachelor’s degree, Jordan hopes to pursue a Master’s in Vocal Performance.

HANNAH YOUNG. Soprano Hannah Young  of Austin, TX is a rising senior at McCallum High, and part of the Arts Academy there as a Vocal Major with a Musical Theatre Certificate. She has previously played the Duchess in Me & My Girl and Caroline Clarke in Titanic: The Musical, and  performed as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem. She was recognized as an outstanding soloist at the 2017 Texas State Solo and Ensemble Competition and received the first place award in the Upper High School Classical division of the NATS South Texas competition.

LUZ ZAMORA. Soprano, Austin, Texas. Giannetta, L’elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti.

Southwestern University Opera Theatre.

KYLE LOPEZ. Kyle Lopez will soon be a junior at Texas State University, and has recently completed his Associate of Arts degree at Collin College in the DFW metroplex. He studies Vocal Performance & Business. He has appeared as the Pirate King in Collin College's production of The Pirates of Penzance and Antonio in Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro on the Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy last summer. At Texas State, he has most recently studied with Brigitte Bellini.

PAUL NIX. San Antonio Texas, Chorus in Marriage of Figaro at Texas State University, Redneck in Ladybird: First Lady of the Land at Texas State University, Spinellocio and Pinellino in Gianni Schicchi  at Texas State University.

ANDREW DAUNAIS. Andrew Daunais, a baritone from Collierville, TN, is a senior at Austin Peay State University. During his time at APSU he has taken a very active role in the opera program on campus, performing in workshop scenes and the spring opera each year. As a freshman he received the role of Norton from Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio. Since then he has performed the roles of David from Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and John Wellington Wells from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. He has also participated in summer programs with Opera Memphis Summer Conservatory, NYU Classical Voice Intensive, and is excited for this new opportunity with Spotlight on Opera.





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