October 6 at 7pm – October 7 at 7pm* – October 8 at 2pm – Freede Little Theatre at the Civic Center.
We are proud to present to you the amazing cast & crew of Tosca.
Tosca: Saira Frank & Nicole Van Every*
Scarpia: Thomas Cannon & Tom Sitzler*
Cavaradossi: J. Warren Mitchell & Joel Burcham*
Sacristan: Kevin Eckard
Angelotti: Dorian McCall
Spoletta: Justin Kroll
Sciarrone: Jin Yu
Jailer: Jordan Andrews
Cardinal: Riley Cleaver
Roberti: Ryan Allais
Shephard: Megan Billings
Chorus: Alexandria Carmon, Alonso Jordan Lopez, Danielle Herrington, Elizabeth Wasson, Jason Kiespert, Margaret Vogel, Austin Martin, Melissa Delgado, Royce Strider, Solveig Neseth, Zachary Devault, and Jessie Yeager.
Director: Robert Glaubitz
Music Director/Conductor: Jan McDaniel
Costume Director: Becky McGuigan
Technical Director: Scott Hynes
Assistant Music Director: Joe Fitzgerald
Stage Manager: Megan Perdue
Alexandria Carmon is excited to have the opportunity to perform again with Painted Sky Opera this season! A recent graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors in Vocal Performance, Alexandria is currently pursuing Masters degrees in Vocal Pedagogy and Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Barbara DeMaio at the University of Central Oklahoma. Recently, she could be seen on stage in UCO's production of Aaron Copland's The Tenderland and Painted Sky Opera's performance of La Traviata. She is thankful for the opportunity to work with this incredible company and for all those in her life who support her.
Alonso Jordan Lopez, tenor, has performed as a chorus member in La Traviata during Painted Sky Opera's inaugural season. He is currently finishing his master's degree in nonprofit leadership and in the first semester of the master's program in opera performance at Oklahoma City University. Alonso is an alumnus of the Taos Opera Institute where he feels his singing and development as an artist rose to a new level. In past years Alonso has had the privilege to sing with Phoenix Opera in Arizona, and take part in another life changing opera workshop- the Crittenden Opera Workshop in Bethesda, Maryland. Alonso is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors in Vocal Performance.
Austin Martin is excited to be in his first production with Painted Sky Opera! Austin hails from Tyler, Texas, and is currently a senior vocal performance major at Oklahoma City University. Austin has previously played King in Dark Sisters, and chorus in La Rondine, Jackie O, Don Pasquale, The Coronation of Poppea, and Bonnie and Clyde. He also appeared as Antonio in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
Danielle Herrington is a Kansas native currently residing in Oklahoma City with her husband David and furry son Albere. She is a performer, teacher, and researcher. Danielle is a lyric coloratura soprano with experience interpreting a range of roles. At her engagement with the National Music Festival in Maryland, she was the soprano soloist for the Verdi Requiem and Serpina in La Serva Padrona. Other roles include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Contessa di Folleville (Il viaggio a Reims), Sister Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), and Le Feu (L’enfant et les sortileges). She recently started the OKC chapter of Opera on Tap and regularly performs at monthly shows. Danielle joined the University of Central Oklahoma School of Music as a new adjunct voice professor this Fall. She is also an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City Community College, teaching applied private voice and piano lessons. As a voice pedagogue, Danielle has had the privilege of teaching hundreds of students over the past seven years. She currently teaches her privates studio at Rosenbalm Academy of Music in south Edmond. On the research front, Danielle focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French opera. Danielle loves working with Painted Sky as the graphic designer and also gave the pre-performance talk for La Traviata. She is a current member of the Central Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and American Musicological Society. Danielle has two Masters of Music, one in Opera Performance (2014) and another in Music History/Literature (2015), both from Wichita State University. Her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance is also from Wichita State University.
Dorian McCall, Bass-baritone, has been described (by MONC) as having a “warm, even baritone” with a “rich and flexible voice,” recognized as having “great style, musically and physically” on stage and is a 2017 Career Bridges Encouragement Grant recipient. In the current season, Mr. McCall is slated to debut with the Painted Sky Opera as Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca and graduate from the University of Oklahoma with his MM of Operatic Performance. In the 16/17 season, Mr. McCall debuted as the titular characters in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Blooming Voce Opera Workshop, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and covered Donizetti’s Don Pasquale with OU Opera. He also debuted as Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea. He was also the Bass-baritone soloist for Bach’s BWV 211 with the Enid Symphony and Schumann’s Requiem with the Symphony of Southeast Texas.
Elizabeth Wasson is an Oklahoman mezzo soprano. She recently graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelors of Music and is now pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Oklahoma. Elizabeth is in the voice studio of Dr. Catherine McDaniel and the coaching studio of Jan McDaniel, and is a frequent performer for the OKC chapter of Opera on Tap. Past credits include: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Opera Steamboat), The Juniper Tree, La Gioconda, and Suor Angelic (OCU). She would like to thank Dr. Glaubitz and Maestro McDaniel, as well as Joe Fitzgerald and her mezzo-spirations Catherine McDaniel and Stephano Blythe.
J. Warren Mitchell is an emerging lyric tenor who has been making a living as a choral music educator and conductor, but is now realizing that a career singing opera is on the horizon. He is stepping out of his comfort zone as a choral conductor and venturing into the greater world of international opera. As a choral music educator and conductor, J. Warren held numerous positions. He was the Coordinator of Education/School Partnerships and the founding conductor of the Young Men’s Chorus and the Youth Chorus Pilot Chorale with the Canterbury Choral Society, and Assistant to the Head of Choral Music Education at Oklahoma City University. In 2016, Jay finished a seven-year tenure as the vocal music director at Harding Fine Arts Academy. “It chose me, because I definitely did not choose it,” J. Warren says about the opera music he loves so dearly. He came to this realization when he entered to compete in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2011, he received the Trudy Oliphant Sundgren Young Singer Encouragement Award, and went on to become a Midwest regional finalist in 2012. In January of 2013, Jay was chosen to participate in a weeklong workshop at Carnegie Hall entitled, “The Song Continues,” where he was one of four singers, and the only tenor, who performed in a public master class with legendary mezzo-soprano, Marilyn Horne. That spring, he was chosen as a recipient of the Agnes Varis Career Encouragement Grant and was a nominee for the Sara Tucker Award all through the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Later that summer, Jay attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA as a voice fellow and was the recipient of the Irene Cummings Hostetler and Theodore Hostetler Full Scholarship in Voice. After attending Music Academy of the West, Jay learned that he was one of fifteen tenors selected to participate in a three-week program of study in New York specifically designed for tenors and called, TENORS! During this time, he worked with renowned tenor, Neil Shicoff and conductors Stephen Lord and Eugene Kohn. In 2015, out of approximately 450 singers worldwide, J. Warren was selected as a winner of the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg International Opera Competition in Rheinsberg, Germany. His prize was a European debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata. Also, that year, J. Warren was invited to the Bellevue Palace in Berlin to give a concert for the President and First Lady of Germany in celebration of the Kammeroper’s 25th anniversary season. Shortly after, here returned to his collegiate alma mater, Auburn University, as a distinguished alumnus and made his recital debut. The summer of 2016 saw Jay return to Rheinsberg, Germany as a two-time winner of the Kammeroper’s International Opera Competition. As a result, Jay made a triumphant German debut singing the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini’s opera, Tosca. The summer of 2017, will not only see Jay make his German recital debut, but he will also make his US debut with Painted Sky Opera singing, yet again, Tosca. Forthcoming in 2018, J. Warren will make debuts at the Konzerthaus Berlin, as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Georgia, and in concert with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota. The Montgomery, Alabama native received the Bachelor of Vocal Music Education degree from Auburn University, and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Oklahoma City University.
Jason Kiespert is extremely excited to be singing with Painted Sky Opera. Jason’s favorite Opera roles include Jenik in The Bartered Bride, Turiddu in Cavaleria Rusticana, and Rinuccio in Gianni Schichi. He studied voice at The University of Central Oklahoma with Marilyn Govich. Jason lives in Stillwater with his wonderful wife and children: Jera, Anna, and William.
Jessie Yeager is thrilled to be making her Painted Sky debut. Since her talent doesn't match her love of music Jessie spends her days working as a Hydraulic Engineer. In her free time, she can be found by her sister's piano singing her favorite roles: Les Misérables (Éponine), Wicked (Elphaba), and whatever Disney songs her kids request. Jessie is living a dream by being included in this production and is hopeful for more dead body double opportunities in the future.
Jin Yu is a graduate at Oklahoma City University in vocal performance. He is studying with Dr. William Christensen. He has also performed in Carmen, La Rondine, La Traviata, Gianni Schicchi, Rigoletto, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and La Boheme. He would like to thank his wife, friends, and teachers for all the love and support.
Joel Burcham, American tenor, has firmly established himself as a young professional in the world of opera and classical music. A star on the rise, he is known for his dominant stage presence as demonstrated through sensitive acting and “effortless command of his voice”, which was further described by Chris Shull of the Wichita Eagle as a tenor voice of “clarion tone and operatic power”. “Burcham’s soft voice”, declared Jim Edwards of the Chicago Tribune, “was lyrical and smooth as silk but when he opened up his voice, beautiful loud steely notes poured forth.” This versatile tenor voice has appropriately enabled Mr. Burcham to command leading roles with several of North America’s top opera companies. Handsome as he is gifted, Burcham meets each engagement with self-assured dignity and grace. Operatic highlights include Alfredo in La Traviata with Music by the Lake, Lake Geneva Wisconsin; The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto for Opera Fort Collins; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Knoxville Opera; Spoletta in Tosca for Madison Opera; and Pang in Turandot for Madison Opera and Opera Omaha. Mr. Burcham made his professional operatic debut with his portrayal of Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri with Central City Opera. The 2010-2011 season commenced with Mr. Burcham fulfilling a return engagement with Opera Fort Collins playing The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, and in his debut with Knoxville Opera playing the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, a role Burcham commands with a delicate sensitivity and dramatic power. The affable young Burcham is presently preparing for his debut in the title role of Charles Gounod’s Faust the Bob Jones University Opera Association’s Concert, Opera and Drama Series production. During the 2009-2010 season, Mr. Burcham made his debut in the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, with the Music by the Lake Summer Concert Series, and, twice played the role of Alfredo in La Traviata – with the University of Colorado –Boulder Opera Theater and also at Music by the Lake. The 2008-2009 season saw Mr. Burcham in Puccini’s La Bohème making his debut in the role of Rodolfo, with Opera Fort Collins and also in the role of Martin in Copland’s Tenderland with Madison Opera. Burcham’s 2007-2008 season lent itself primarily to prowess on the concert stage in his performance of Carmina Burana with the Madison Symphony, Das Klagende Lied with the Boulder Mahler Festival, Messiah at Augustana College, and in Mr. Burcham’s debut with the Music by the Lake Summer Concert Series as Philippe in The New Moon, in the summer series, Music by the Lake in the Summer Concert Series at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Also a distinguished oratorio and concert performer, Joel Burcham has sung the tenor solos in a growing list of venues to include Beethoven’s Mass in C for the Utah Symphony and a return performance with the Handel Messiah; Bach’s B minor Mass “Gloria” with the Madison Festival Choir; the Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Wisconsin Chamber Choir, Verdi’s Missa Di Requiem with the Littleton symphony; Haydn’s Creation with Larimer Chorale, Das Klagende Lied with the Boulder Mahler Festival, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Madison Symphony, Lloyd Webber’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony, Operatic excerpts for voice and choir in residence and on tour with Opera Omaha; and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor and Strings with the Camerata Orchestra and once again with the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College. Born and raised in Nashville, Illinois, Burcham received the Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, summa cum laude, the Master of Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Arkansas and the Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he was the recipient of the Anne Crow Memorial Scholarship for Voice and Opera as well as the faculty-nominated University Fellowship based on excellence and career potential. Burcham’s successes are also marked in competition. He received the Central City Opera’s Young Artist award, was finalist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s American Artists Competition, and was also a finalist in the Upper Midwest Regional Finalist at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Jordan Andrews is excited to be in his first fully staged opera! He was born and raised in Omaha, NE. He obtained a BA in Music from Northwest Missouri State University and, recently, a MM in Vocal Coaching from Oklahoma City University. He currently works as an accompanist/coach for OCU. In December, he will be the Bass Soloist in a performance of Handel's Messiah with Oklahoma City's Canterbury Voices. He currently studies voice with Dr. Catherine McDaniel. Most recent credits as a singer: Donkey (Shrek); Barnaba (La Gioconda in Concert); Cinderella's Prince (Into the Woods); and Seaweed (Hairspray). Other recent credits include: Trixie True, Teen Detective (Music Director); It's A Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play (Music Director/Pianist); The Little Mermaid (Music Director).
Justin Kroll, tenor, currently serves as Adjunct Instructor of Voice at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. He recently completed the Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Baylor University. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History and Literature from Baylor, as well as an Associate of Arts degree in Music from McLennan Community College. Justin is an active performer, most recently with appearances as Adolpho Pirelli in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the Waco Civic Theatre, and as Don Pelagio in Haydn’s La Canterina with Painted Sky Opera in their Inaugural production last season. Upcoming engagements include the role of Tonio in Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment with McLennan Opera. In addition to his position at MCC, Justin serves as Facilities Assistant at the Armstrong Browning Library on the campus of Baylor University and is a member of the Parish Choir at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Waco.
Dr. Kevin Eckard, Bass-baritone, is currently Professor of Voice and the Division Head of Vocal Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma’s School of Music. Dr. Eckard is a native of South Carolina and received his DMA from the University of South Carolina and his Masters of Music from Indiana University. Dr. Eckard has performed frequently throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, China, Mexico, Austria, Poland and Great Britain. He has performed as a soloist in the Messiah Festival in Lindsborg Kansas, the International choir festival in Chester, England, Indianapolis Opera, Tulsa Opera, Painted Sky Opera, Denver Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Colorado Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Pueblo Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, the Carmel and Anderson Symphonies in Indiana, Indianapolis Symphony, Augusta Opera, Opera Carolina, Canterbury Choral Society, Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Enid Symphony and Lyric theater of Oklahoma City. Dr. Eckard was also a three-time winner of the South Carolina District Metropolitan Opera Competition and a regional finalist. He has been the featured soloist in productions of Bach’s Mass in Bminor, Bach’s Magnificat, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Bach’s St. John’s Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Brahm’s German Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Haydn’s Lord Nelson’s Mass, Schubert’s Mass in G minor and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Among his many operatic credits, he has performed the roles of Sacristan in Tosca, Schaunard in La Boheme, Boris Godunov in Boris Godunov, Blitch in Susannah. Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, Dulcamara in Elixir of Love, Monterone in Rigoletto, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Budd in Albert Herring, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Secret Policeman in The Consul, Escamillo in Carmen, Dr. Grenville in La Traviata and Mikado in The Mikado. Dr. Eckard has also recorded portions of David Yeagley’s opera Jacek with the Polish National Radio Symphony as well as Lessons and Carols with St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, CO. Kevin Is pleased to return to Painted Sky Opera for a second season.
Megan Billings (Chorus/Shepherd) is once again delighted to work with Painted Sky Opera in their production of beautiful Tosca. Some of Megan’s favorite credits include La Traviata, Die Zauberflöte, Brigadoon, The Pirates of Penzance, La Canterina, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Into the Woods. Megan holds her Master of Music in Opera Performance from Oklahoma City University and has trained abroad with Opera Viva! and locally with Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ. Megan impersonates Belle and WonderWoman for Forever After Parties of Oklahoma City and teaches voice and piano at the Fine Arts Academy of Southern Hills Baptist Church. A lover of both opera and musical theatre, Megan’s heart is to redeem the entertainment industry for Christ, making it accessible, appropriate, and delightful for all ages!
Melissa Delgado is currently pursuing her MM in vocal performance from the University of Oklahoma and received her Bachelor’s degree from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Roles from the OU University Theatre and Cameron University include: La Principessa, Suor Angelica; Olga, Eugene Onegin; Marcellina, Le Nozze di Figaro; and Zita, Gianni Schicchi. Melissa has also performed in the chorus with the Tulsa Opera in Romeo et Juliette, Carmen, Elmer Gantry, and Le Nozze di Figaro.
Nicole Van Every, Iowa native soprano, is quickly making a name for herself in the vocal performance world. Hailed as providing a “stunning feast for the ears” (The City Sentinel, Oklahoma City), her lyrical voice is known for its rich warmth, versatility, and particular ease of high sustained pianissimos. Nicole was a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. Most recently, she was announced as first-place winner of the 2016 National Classical Singer Online Competition. Nicole made her professional debut as Violetta (La Traviata) with Painted Sky Opera at the Oklahoma City Civic Center in February 2017. Her performance was met with high praise from audience and media. Other favorite operatic roles include Alcina (Alcina), Alice (Falstaff), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), and Ottavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea). Nicole is also a very active soloist throughout the United States and beyond. Recent concert credits include: Dubois’ Seven Last Words, Rutter’s Magnificat, Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Saint- Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s Hymn, all with the Norman Philharmonic; Carmina Burana with The University of Oklahoma Schools of Music and Dance, Beethoven’s Symphony 9 and Haydn’s St. Nicolai Mass with OU; Saint-Saëns’ La Nuit and Bob Chilcott’s Requiem with the Quincy, Ill. Symphony; Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate for a concert commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing; Mozart’s Mass in c minor with the Truman State University Orchestra; and Mozart’s Regina coeli at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Other concert solo appearances include: Bach’s Cantata No. 44, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Chilcott’s St. John Passion, Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children, Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. She was also pleased to be an invited soloist at the 2014 International Computer Music Conference in Athens, Greece. She will join the OU Festival Ballet and choirs as the soprano soloist in Stravinsky’s Les noces in April 2018. She studies with Metropolitan Opera baritone Kim Josephson and is mentored by Marilyn Horne, for whom she has sung since 2010. Visit her website at www.nicolevanevery.com.
Riley Cleaver is a native Oklahoman. His Mother, a charter member of the Oklahoma Canterbury Choral Society, played a significant musical role in his life by encouraging him to embrace and participate in the arts as he grew into adulthood. He was an active member of First Baptist Church adult choir before graduating from high school. While attending Northwest Classen High School he was a member of the award-winning Cry-Slur show choir. Riley is a graduate of OSU and has been a minister of music for several Baptist congregations through the years. He has performed with the Oklahoma Canterbury Choral Society, Jewel Box Theater, Norman Sooner Theatre, and Southern Nazarene University School of Arts and is currently performing with the Windsong Chamber Choir and Painted Sky Opera. Riley serves on the board of Friends of Northwest Classen, Windsong Chamber Choir and Painted Sky Opera. Riley’s profession as a Berkshire Hathaway realtor keeps him busy. He and his best friend and wife, Anna, have a passion for great music. If not enjoying the arts you can find them attending one of their 10 grandchildren’s sporting or musical events. In their downtime, they love to be outside gardening, swimming or playing with their three whippets. Riley and Anna are active members of the Crossing Community Church.
Royce Strider is best known as a versatile and charismatic singer-actor. Upcoming performances include his debut with Painted Sky Opera this fall, covering Sacristan (Tosca). He has recently finished the Master’s program at the University of Houston, where he was prominently featured with the Moores Opera Center as Capulet (Roméo et Juliette), the Mayor (John Musto’s The Inspector), Reverend Hale (The Crucible), Prince Yashvin (David Carlson’s Anna Karenina), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), and Brétigny (Manon). For the summers of 2015, 16, and 17, Royce has worked with Ohio Light Opera, performing an array of operetta and musical theater, including Oliver Hix (The Music Man), Prime Minister von Mark (The Student Prince), Prince Ulrich (The Lady of the Slipper), Second Gunman (Kiss Me Kate), Detective Baker (Jerome Kern’s Have A Heart), and covering Captain Corcoran (H.M.S. Pinafore) and Pish-Tush (The Mikado). His concert work includes Brahms's Requiem with St. John the Divine Episcopal Church and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the Fauré Requiem with Saint Theresa Catholic Church, both in the Houston, TX area. He also sang Mozart’s Coronation Mass for the season finale concert with the Moores School of Music choir and orchestra. Other opera and theatre roles include the Baker (Into the Woods), Betto (Gianni Schicchi), Henry Davis (Street Scene), Le Superintendent des plaisirs (Cendrillon), Starveling (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Kromov (Die Lustige Witwe), and Lillas Pastia in (La tragédie de Carmen). With roots in Norman, OK, Royce completed his Bachelor of Music at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. He is currently based in the Pittsburgh area, and loves good food, good wine, and his not-so-good cat, Hamlet.
Ryan Allais, hailed as “an outstanding soloist” with “a masterful singing voice,” (Taos News), as a lyric tenor has captivated audiences throughout the Southwestern United States and Europe. Most recently, he appeared as Giuseppe in Painted Sky Opera’s Production of La Taviata and as Prunier in Oklahoma City University’s production of Puccini’s La Rondine (2016). In 2015, Allais returned to Santa Fe Opera in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, he made his professional debut as a chorister in SFO’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio (2014). Allais has worked with such world-renowned musicians as Maestro Harry Bicket, stage director Stephen Wadsworth, Tim Albery, and mezzo-soprano, Kirstin Chavez. Noteworthy accomplishments: Bach’s Mass in B Minor in Rome, Italy (2012), Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (2012). Allais is a M.M. student at Oklahoma City University and holds a B.M.E. from New Mexico State University.
Saira Frank, Soprano, credits run from opera to stage works to Broadway recitals. Saira has performed roles with Madison Opera, Pacific Opera Project, and Elgin Opera, and been a featured soloist with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, the Florentine Opera, and Opera San Luis Obisbo. An avid recitalist, Saira has most notably performed Wagner’s Wesendonck lieder, Messiaen’s Chant de terre et de ciel, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und leben with pianist Ruben Piirainen, and Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with chamber orchestra. Collaborations with baroque scholar Carlo Forlivesi have taken Saira to Imola, Italy to perform in the concert series La Musica Sacra since 2013. The documentary “The Sounds of San Cassiano” features their 2014 performance. Operatic roles include the Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, the Duchess Christina/Sagredo in Galileo Galilei, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and the title roles in Tosca, The Merry Widow and Alcina. She holds degrees in voice and French from Northwestern University and a Master of Music in opera from UW Madison. An avid teaching artist and outreach performer, Saira has performed with Opera for the Young in seven productions and spent two years as resident teaching artist for Madison Opera. In addition to performing, Saira also serves as Managing Director for Opera for the Young and is a voice faculty member at Carroll University.
Solveig Neseth is so excited to be making her professional debut with Painted Sky Opera! She is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University where earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Previous credits include Lucinda (Dark Sisters), Yvette (La Rondine), and Liz Taylor (Jackie O).
Thomas Cannon is proud to debut the role of Scarpia at Painted Sky Opera. He is attracting attention as an important singer with a unique voice, exquisite musicianship, and sensitive artistic expression, and has participated in artists’ programs such as the Glimmerglass Festival, where he was singled out for his “forceful, throbbing voice” (Opera News), Arizona Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Santa Fe Opera, The International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv-Israel and The Dallas Opera. He has appeared with Opera Roanoke as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and The Music Academy of the West as Escamillo in Carmen. Thomas will return to Opera Roanoke to reprise Scarpia (Tosca) later this fall. Roles of note include: Germont (La Traviata), Albert (Werther), Conte di Luna (Il Trovatore) and Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor). Mr. Cannon has appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall as soloist: in Verdi’s Requiem, to benefit victims of Japan’s Earthquake; and with The American Symphony Orchestra, in Delius’ Eine Messe des Lebens. He’s been a soloist with The St. Cecilia Chorus of NY, singing Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Shubert’s Stabat Mater (D. 383). Elsewhere, he has performed a host of oratorio and orchestra works including: Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, and Handel’s Messiah. He is a graduate of Baylor University and The Juilliard School, on full scholarship. Notable teachers include: Nico Castel, Joan Dornemann, Mignon Dunn, Marlena Malas, Dr. John Van Cura and Sherrill Milnes. Mr. Cannon has garnered awards from: The Dallas Opera Guild, Chautauqua Opera, The Anna Sosenko Foundation, West Palm Beach Opera, Opera Birmingham, and The Metropolitan Opera National Council.
Tom Sitzler, full lyric baritone, has been capturing audiences with his warm, generous voice and convincing stage presence. Growing up in Arizona, Tom was buying CD’s of pianist Glenn Gould and composer Rachmaninoff, while his older brother and friends were buying the newest albums of the latest bands. This began his lasting love of classical music. In 2009, Mr. Sitzler stepped into the professional arena of performing as the Old Gypsy in “Il Trovatore” with Union Avenue Opera. Among many other programs and performances, Tom participated in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Emerging Artist Program, in New Jersey, covering Figaro in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. In 2012, Mr. Sitzler was heard singing Silvano from “Un ballo in Maschera” with UAO, where Sarah Bryan Miller from the St. Louis Post Dispatch said, “Tom Sitzler... made the most of a small role” and Mark Bretz from Ladue News said, “Tom Sitzler is entertaining as the sailor.” Three years later, Tom returned to St. Louis to perform the title role in “The Boor” with Gateway Opera, where he “proved his own skills both with his strong singing style and a good way with comedy.” (Ladue News). Last year, Mr Sitzler made his debut with Painted Painted Sky Opera as Germont in “La Traviata”. A resident of Denver, CO, Tom has been seen in performance with Boulder Opera as Escamillo in “Carmen” and Leporello in “Don Giovanni”, with Opera Steamboat as Alfio in “Cavalleria Rusticana”, with Central City Opera Ensemble Artists as Horace Tabor in an abridged touring version of “The Ballad of Baby Doe”, as well as a baritone soloist with several local orchestras including Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Boulder Symphony, Larimer Chorale and Orchestra, and Aurora Symphony. Upcoming performances include his debut as Scarpia from “Tosca” with Painted Sky Opera. Mr Sitzler also loves teaching voice and piano and is on faculty at Denver’s Forté Academy of Music. To learn more about Mr. Sitzler and his performance schedule, please visit his website at www.tomsitzler.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @SitzlerTom.
Zachary Van-Allen DeVault is a lyric baritone in the Edmond, Oklahoma area. DeVault recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma, and will begin his Master’s in Fall 2017, also at UCO. He was in Painted Sky’s production of La Traviata last season, and is very excited to be working with PSO again in his favorite opera, Tosca.