2017 Welcome Concert, STARRING:

Vanessa Beaumont  |  Molly Dahlberg  |  Stephen Maus  |  Samuel J. Mungo |

Travis Richter  |  Kristin Roach  |  Cindy Sadler

Edgar Sierra  |  Julie Silva  |  Nicholas Simpson  |  Elena Sophia Villalon

VANESSA BEAUMONT, MEZZO-SOPRANO. Dr. Beaumont holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance/Opera Emphasis from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Professor Martha Deatherage. Her roles while at UT include: Frida from the Frida Concert Suite by Robert X. Rodriguez, the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Rebecca Nurse in Ward’s The Crucible, Marcellina in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, the Mother in Menotti’s The Consul, Madame Flora (Baba) in Menotti’s The Medium, La Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mujer vieja in Las Tentaciones de San Antonio by Luis Jaime Cortez, Madame Fifi in The Old Majestic by Robert X. Rodriguez (for which she was awarded an Austin Critics Table award in 2004), Filipevna in Eugene Onégin by P. I. Tchaikovsky, and Carmen in Bizet’s La Tragédie de Carmen. She appeared as the Second Maid in Elektra by Richard Strauss with Austin Lyric Opera. Dr. Beaumont's roles with Opera Vista of Houston, Texas include the Mother in Edalat Square by R. Timothy Brady, Nun/Nurse 4 in Anorexia Sacra by Line Tjørnhøj, and Apsara Song in The Silent Prince by Somtow Sucharitkul. With Spotlight on Opera of Austin, Texas, Dr. Beaumont performed the roles of Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni, Mrs. Nolan from The Medium by Menotti, and Dido from Dido and Aeneas by Purcell.

MOLLY DAHLBERG, MEZZO-SOPRANO Mezzo-soprano Molly Dahlberg  currently  resides  in  Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she is Associate Director of Opéra Lousiane. Recent Opera Louisiane roles include Flosshilde/Siegrune/Erste Norn in The Ring (a reduction of Wagner’s Ring Cycle by Michael Borowitz) and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. Dahlberg spent three summers at Spotlight on Opera, where she performed the role of Jo in Little Women, covered Mercédès in Carmen, and performed in scenes as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Annio (La clemenza di Tito), the Fairy Queen (Iolanthe), Jo (Little Women), Siebel (Faust), and Mother Jeanne (The Dialogues of the Carmelites). Last summer, she was Berta in The Barber of Seville at The Soo Opera Theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She returns to The Soo in July 2017 as Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus.

STEPHEN MAUS, BARITONE. Baritone Stephen Maus is a native Texan currently based in Austin.  Stephen is a versatile performer whose work ranges from Handel and Bach to newly composed repertoire.  Select roles include Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina, and Emile de Becque in South Pacific.  He is a regular performer with Austin Opera, appearing this past season in their regional premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Manchurian Candidate, and making his solo debut with the company as The Official Registrar in Madama Butterfly.  As a concert soloist, Stephen has appeared with the Toledo Masterworks Chorale, Texas Tech University Choir, and the A&M United Methodist Church Chancel Choir.  Stephen has been a Young Artist with Opera NEO for two seasons, and one season with Ash Lawn Opera, and a Guest Artist with Spotlight on Opera and Youth Opera of El Paso.  He holds degrees in voice from Texas Tech University and Bowling Green State University, and in addition to performing he maintains a voice studio of sixty students in north Austin.

TRAVIS RICHTER, TENOR. Travis Richter, tenor, has performed in more than 40 operatic and musical theatre productions on professional stages across the country. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College, he earned an MM in Vocal Music Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a DMA (Music Theory Minor) from Louisiana State University. While at the University of Nebraska, Mr. Richter appeared on Nebraska Public Television in the role of Lou in the world premiere of Tyler White’s opera O Pioneers, based on the Willa Cather novel, and began performing professionally with some of the most respected and prestigious Apprentice Artist Programs in the country, including: Utah Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Central City Opera.  Mr. Richter has performed as a principal artist with Rimrock Opera, Nevada Opera, Mobile Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Pensacola Opera, New Orleans Opera Association, Opera Louisiane, and Des Moines Metro Opera in roles such as Rev. Parris and Giles Corey in The Crucible, Goro in Madame Butterfly, Bardolfo in Falstaff, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Sellem in The Rake’s Progress, Little Bat in Susannah, Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. He has also taught at Tulane University, Eastern Kentucky University, Southern University, and Baton Rouge Community College. He next will sing the role of Blind in Die Fledermaus and serve as chorus master for the Soo Opera Theater Project in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

EDGAR SIERRA, TENOR. Edgar Sierra, tenor, from Waco, Texas is a student of Dr. Randall Umstead. This summer Edgar will be finishing his Master’s degree in vocal performance at Baylor University. While at Baylor, Edgar was an active member of the Baylor opera theater department. He performed numerous roles such as Count Belfiore (La Finta Giardinera), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), and Tonio (The Daughter of the Regiment) in collaboration with the Waco Symphony Orchestra. Edgar received his Bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 2013. Edgar is an alumn of the Miami Music Festival , and last summer attended Spotlight on Opera  where he performed the roles of Mayor Upfold in Britten’s Albert Herring and El Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen. Edgar hopes to continue his academic studies and pursue a doctorate degree after graduation.

JULIE SILVA, MEZZO-SOPRANO. Mezzo-soprano and Spotlight on Opera alumnus Julie Silva is passionate about bringing new opera to life on the stage. Her most recent performances have included world and regional premieres of roles with One Ounce Opera's productions of A Miller's Tale by Jesse McMilin, Thyrsis and Amaranth by Steven Serpa, and Remembering Landscape by Marvin Carlton, which the Austin Chronicle described as doing "a little welcome breaking-and-entering into the house of what a person might call their soul." In addition to contemporary opera, Julie enjoys performing standard operatic and musical theatre repertoire, ansd has been seen as Sesto (Giulio Cesare) with BASOTI, as Un Pastore (Tosca) and Edith (The Pirates of Penzance) with the  Natchez Festival of Music, as Kate Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) with Opera in the Ozarks, and as Mercédès (Carmen) with Spotlight on Opera. Julie has covered the roles of Rosemary (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and Nettie (Carousel) with the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, and Carmen (Carmen) and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with Spotlight on Opera. Julie received her vocal training from the University of North Texas and completed an intensive program with OperaWorks. This summer, Julie will be performing with the iSING! International Young Artists Festival in Suzhou, China.

ELENA SOPHIA VILLALÓN, SOPRANO.  Soprano Elena Villalón delivers sparkle and warmth throughout her voice, heard recently in Albert Herring where a local review praised her as “a charming Miss Wordsworth, with a high soprano voice that rode the top line in the ensembles with great ease.” Ms. Villalón finishes the current season as a Colburn Fellow at the SongFest Summer Institute in Los Angeles. She currently studies at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with baritone William McGraw. There, she was named winner of the 2017 CCM Undergraduate Voice Competition, and is also the winner of the 2016 SMART Opera Competition. Prior to beginning her studies at CCM, Ms. Villalón was a participant of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, and Spotlight on Opera. Ms. Villalón is a passionate arts education advocate, writing articles featured in the Huffington Post and Carnegie Hall Music Exchange. A supporter of community service through art, she regularly organizes and performs in benefit concerts throughout the country.

 

ELENA SOPHIA VILLALÓN, SOPRANO. Soprano Elena Villalón delivers sparkle and warmth throughout her voice, heard recently in Albert Herring where a local review praised her as “a charming Miss Wordsworth, with a high soprano voice that rode the top line in the ensembles with great ease.” Ms. Villalón finishes the current season as a Colburn Fellow at the SongFest Summer Institute in Los Angeles. She currently studies at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with baritone William McGraw. There, she was named winner of the 2017 CCM Undergraduate Voice Competition, and is also the winner of the 2016 SMART Opera Competition. Prior to beginning her studies at CCM, Ms. Villalón was a participant of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, and Spotlight on Opera. Ms. Villalón is a passionate arts education advocate, writing articles featured in the Huffington Post and Carnegie Hall Music Exchange. A supporter of community service through art, she regularly organizes and performs in benefit concerts throughout the country.

 

CINDY SADLER, Founder and Executive Director Mezzo-soprano Cindy Sadler is well-known in the classical community as a singer, teacher, writer, and consultant; and increasingly, as a stage director. A busy professional singer and frequent lecturer on the business of singing, she brings current experience to her students. Most recently, she has appeared as Carmen with the Irving Symphony Orchestra, The Marquise de Berkenfeld in La fille du regiment with Austin Opera and Intermountain Opera Bozeman; as Gertrude in Romeo & Juliette with Austin Opera and Atlanta Opera, Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro with New Orleans Opera, Mrs. Quickly in Sir John in Love with Odyssey Opera, and the Marquise de Berkenfield in The Daughter of the Regiment with Mill City Summer Opera. In 2016, she traveled to Caltagirone, Sicily to direct Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi and perform concerts at the Mediterranean Opera Festival before returning to Spotlight to direct Carmen. Ms. Sadler has appeared on the stages of Chicago Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Pacific, Arizona Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Princeton Festival, San Antonio Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Idaho, New Orleans Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl, among many others. She has published over 100 articles in Classical Singer Magazine and is widely recognized for her Ask Erda advice column. She travels the country to consult with singers and lecture on singing careers in her Business of Singing, most recently to the Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artists Program, Sieur Du Luth Summer Opera Training Program, UCLA, the CoOPERAtive program at Westminster College of the Arts, Portland State University, and the Classical Singer Convention. After six years on the music faculty of St. Edward's University, she left to pursue her singing career fulltime. She has served as Executive Director of the Astoria Music Academy in Oregon, and this is her tenth year as Director of Spotlight on Opera. For more information, please visit www.cindysadler.com, www.thebusinessofsinging.com, and www.mezzowithcharacter.com.

NICHOLAS SIMPSON, Stage Director/Voice Instructor
Praised by the Corriere di Rimini, tenor Nicholas Simpson “possesses a voice that is flexible, but powerful...he literally stunned the public with his technical and expressive capability.” Opera News states that his performances  “immediately seized attention with his full-bodied, brightly projected voice.” This season, Mr.Simpson has appeared in Apotheosis Opera’s La fanciulla del West as Johnson, Don José in the Maryland Symphony’s production of Carmen, and the tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Flint Symphony. Mr. Simpson has also recently appeared as Giovanni in Alamo City Opera’s La hija di  Rappacini, King Charles II in Little Opera Theatre of New York’s production of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, and Paul in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt with Opera Circle Cleveland. Cleveland Classical noted that “Tenor Nicholas Simpson was splendid as Paul, negotiating a punishingly high and demanding vocal line with strength and agility.” Mr Simpson has also sung the title role in Wagner’s Tannhäuser with Apotheosis Opera, and made his debut with Fort Worth Opera as the Kronprinz in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night. With Hub Opera, he has performed Rodolfo in La bohème and Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. Mr. Simpson is a noted interpreter of the tenor soloist part in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, having performed it with Chorus Austin, the Altoona Symphony and the Hershey Symphony, and Performance Santa Fe. Mr Simpson’s other appearances include Sarasota Opera, Union Avenue Opera, and Utah Festival Opera. He is an alumnus of Spotlight on Opera.

 

KRISTIN ROACH, Music Director/Conductor A native of San Antonio, Kristin Roach is in demand across the nation as a conductor, pianist, organist, and vocal coach. She is Music Director of Alamo City Opera, now completing its fifth season. As Music Director of Spotlight on Opera, and Lecturer in Opera at Texas State University. She has prepared productions for the San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Utah Opera, San Antonio Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Brevard Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival, Breckenridge Music Institute, Taos Opera Institute, Opera Theatre of Rochester, Eastman Opera Theater, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Spotlight on Opera, Texas Tech University, and Texas Lutheran University. Upcoming engagements include La Hija de Rappaccini with Alamo City Opera.

Reviews of Kristin’s performances include phrases like “revelatory” and “infectious high-spirits”.  She has appeared as piano soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, San Antonio Wind Symphony, and Eastman Philharmonia, and as chamber musician with Camerata San Antonio, Chamber Music Amarillo, Olmos Ensemble, Musical Offerings, and Cactus Pear Music Festival.  She has toured Europe with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, performing on the historic organs of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Church of the Madeleine, Ely Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral and York University.  Her recordings include the Trinity Jazz Project, a self-produced collection of her original arrangements of hymn tunes, and classical works with the New World Symphony for Decca Records and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble for Sony Classical Records.  Her recording of chamber works by Miguel del Aguila with Camerata San Antonio, Salon Buenos Aires, was nominated for two Latin Grammy® awards.

 Ms. Roach received her education at the Eastman School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music (Piano), the Performer’s Certificate in Piano, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance/Literature and Piano Accompanying/Chamber Music.

DR. SAMUEL MUNGO, Artistic Director. Dr. Samuel Mungo has been involved in opera as a director, singer and teacher for more than 25 years, and is dedicated to fostering the growth of a true Music Theatre- combining the great music of beautifully sung opera together with complete dedication to character and truthfully created relationship. He has directed professionally around the world. His honors include Classical Performance of the Year for his Rigoletto, and Opera Production of the Year from the National Opera Association. Professional directing credits include Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Florida Grand Opera, Suor Angelica for Opera Plovdiv, Pirates of Penzance for Colorado Light Opera, Trouble in Tahiti for the Boulder Opera Project, and Rigoletto and Il Trovatore for San Antonio Opera. A deft hand at G&S, in addition to Pirates of Penzance he has staged Mikado, HMS Pinafore and Gondoliers. He has commissioned an opera from Henry Mollicone and Sheldon Harnick entitled, Lady Bird: First Lady of the Land, to premiere in 2016. As the Director of Opera Studies at Texas State University, he has created perhaps the most comprehensive undergraduate opera training program in the country, with interdisciplinary training from professionals in the Texas State Theater Department for Acting and Theater Tech, and the Dance Department for Movement and Dance. Known for his acting as much for his singing, his performing credits include Don Giovanni for Minnesota Opera, Falke in Die Fledermaus for Vancouver Opera and Utah Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis as Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Pasha in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Opera Colorado and Danilo in Merry Widow for Sacramento Opera, Opera Grand Rapids and Knoxville Opera. Making his Carnegie Hall debut with Milos Bok's Missa Solemnis, he has sung with the St. Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony and Orquestra Filarmonica di Lima among others.

 

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