We at Painted Sky Opera are gearing up for our production of Amahl and the NIght Visitors on December 14 and 15 and let me tell you - I’m excited about it!
Painted Sky Opera once again brings grand opera to the stage of the Freede Little Theatre with this engaging production, featuring award-winning Oklahoma City tenor J. Warren Mitchell as the Duke.
Presented with orchestra in Italian with supertitles.
Rigoletto - Daniel Scofield
Gilda - Jessica Jones
Duke of Mantua - J. Warren Mitchell
Sparafucile - Jonathan Moots
Maddalena - Sarah Saturnino
Monterone - Kevin Eckard
Marullo - Zachary DeVault
Borsa - Ryan Allais
Ceprano - Steven Osborn
Countess Ceprano - Laura Wardwell
Giovanna - Elizabeth Wasson
Usciere di Corte - Austin Martin
Paggio della Duchessa - Melissa Delgado
Gilda (Cover) - Mary McDowell
Duke (Cover) - Alonso Jordán López
Chorus - Stephen Jones, Alex Bolerjack, Hayden Turner, Ethan Snowden
Supers - Jessica Yeager, Katherine June Smith, Malia Sherwood
Stage Director - Rob Glaubitz
Assistant Director - Megan Guerra
Music Director - Jan McDaniel
Technical Director - Scott Hynes
Costume Designer - Becky McGuigan
Makeup Artist - Mary LaSaxon
Stage Manager - Megan Guerra
Assistant Stage Manager - Kim Thomas-Cobb
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. J. Warren realized a career in opera was possible 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 district finalist and a 2nd place Midwest regional winner the following year. 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. 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 in New York City. As well, Jay was selected as a 2013 voice fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA 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. Out of 450 singers worldwide, J. Warren was selected as a two-time winner of the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg International Opera Competition in Rheinsberg, Germany. As a result he made his European debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata in 2015 and a triumphant German debut singing the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini’s opera, Tosca in 2016. Following this success, J. Warren was invited to the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany to give a concert for the President and First Lady of Germany in celebration of the Kammeroper’s 25th anniversary season and was invited to make his German recital debut, and US operatic debut with Painted Sky Opera singing, yet again, Tosca. In 2018, J. Warren’s appearances onstage have included: appearing in concert at the Konzerthaus Berlin as the featured tenor soloist with the Staatskapelle Halle, debuting as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, Georgia, appearing in concert with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra in Bemidji, Minnesota and with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Jacksonville, Illinois, and making his US role debut singing ll Duca in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Painted Sky Opera Company. In 2019, Jay will return to the Konzerthaus Berlin as a featured soloist with the Madeburgischen Philharmonie in a New Year’s Opera Gala. 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.
Jessica E. Jones, Soprano, has been praised for her “dazzling radiance” and “vocal sparks.” Her repertoire includes Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Elvira in L'italiana in Algeri, Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Corinna in Il Viaggio a Riems, Chrisann Brennan in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Musetta in La Bohème, The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Beatrice in Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Lightfoot McLendon in Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree, Lulu in Elmer Gantry, and Rosasharn in The Grapes of Wrath. She has performed with Opera San Antonio, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, American Lyric Theater, Sarasota Opera, Utah Opera, Utah Symphony, Opera Idaho, Sun Valley Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera in the Heights, Sugar Creek Symphony & Song, and Crested Butte Music Festival. She was audience favorite and regional finalist of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. Ms. Jones holds a master’s degree in performance from the Moores School of Music.
Hailed by the Houston Press as “The finest court jester I've seen in years”, Daniel Scofield joins Painted Sky Opera as Verdi's tragic hunchback as part of their 18-19 season, St Petersburg Opera as Sharpless in an international cast of Madama Butterfly, Leporello with Opera Idaho, Haydn's Creation with the Boise Baroque Orchestra, and Britten's War Requiem with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic for the centennial observation of the end of World War 1, as well as orchestral concerts with the symphonies of Charlotte and Paducah. In August, Daniel will be an artist with Sherrill Milnes' Savannah Voice Festival, where he sings excerpts from Otello and Macbeth under the tutelage of the renowned baritone.
Jonathan Moots received his Bachelors in Music from Midwestern State University. While there, he performed Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Leporello (Don Giovanni), and Gianni Schicchi. During four seasons with Opera in the Ozarks, he performed Truffaldin/Lackei, (Ariadne auf Naxos), Colline/Benoit (La bohème), Man with the Cornet Case/Puppet Master (Postcard from Morocco), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Baron Zeta (The Merry Widow), Bonze/Registrar (Madama Butterfly), and Commendatore/Masetto (Don Giovanni). He made his professional debut with Opera North performing Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Capulet (Roméo et Juliette). He pursued a Performance Certificate at the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he performed Reverend Olin Blitch (Susannah), Sergeant of Police (Pirates of Penzance), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro) and Tempo/Nettuno (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria). He has performed Ferrando (Il trovatore), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) with the Sieur Du Luth Festival. He has performed Bonze/Imperial Commissioner/Registrar (Madama Butterfly), Un Mandarino (Turandot), Talpa (Il tabarro), Simone (Gianni Schicchi) and Angelotti (Tosca) with the Kansas City Puccini Festival. He was an Apprentice Artist with Chautauqua Opera where he performed Le Bailli (Werther) and covered Dulcamara (The Elixir of Love). Of his performance in Werther, Opera News hailed him as “a strong, steady Bailiff.” He received his Masters of Music in Opera at Binghamton University. While there, he was a Resident Artist with Tri-Cities Opera where he performed Leporello (Don Giovanni), Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Morales (Carmen), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), and Méphistophélès (Faust). Upon graduating, he became a Studio Artist with Sarasota Opera where he performed Marchese d’Obigny (La traviata), Second Armored Man/1st Priest (Die Zauberflöte), and the French Official (Giovanna d’Arco). He has performed Marchese d’Obigny (La traviata) and covered the bass soloist in the Verdi Requiem with Utah Festival Opera. He went on to make his debut with Tulsa Opera as Dottore Grenvil (La traviata). He was invited back to perform Man with the Cornet Case/Puppet Master (Postcard from Morocco) and to cover Leporello (Don Giovanni). From 2011-2015, he was Resident Artist with Opera Breve Vocal Intensive at MSU. While there, he mentored the students and performed Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Tobias (Hotel Casablanca), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), and Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte). He was Guest Artist with the Harrower Summer Opera where he performed Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier). For the past three summers, he's been a Resident Artist & Artistic Administrator for Red River Lyric Opera at MSU where he performed Reverend Olin Blitch (Susannah), Colline (La bohème) and Dick Deadeye (H.M.S. Pinafore). During the 2015-2016 season, he was featured soloist with the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra performing works by Mozart and Ravel.
Making her Painted Sky Opera debut, mezzo-soprano Sarah Saturnino is performing the role of Maddelena. Saturnino is originally from California where she graduated cum laude in 2016 from UCLA. She made her operatic debut in 2013 as Patre in L’Enfant et les Sortileges with Opera UCLA, as well as Jenny in Down in the Valley in 2015. Recently, Saturnino performed in mainstage productions of both Cosí fan tutte (Dorabella) and Die Zauberflöte (Dritte Dame) with Yale Opera. She received her Masters in Music with honors from Yale in 2018. Saturnino is an alumna of many prestigious training programs. In Summer 2015, she sang the role of Prince Charmant in Miami Summer Music Festival’s production of Cendrillon where she was lauded for her performance by the Miami Herald, “Sarah Saturnino cut a tall, strikingly handsome figure as the bored, unhappy prince …she brought a wide range of vocal colors and dynamics to Massenet's delicate writing. Her noble bearing, elegant phrasing and silvery top register portend future success in the Mozart-Strauss mezzo repertoire.” She trained in Italy with the Bel Canto in Tuscany program in 2016 and 2017. Recently, Saturnino made her debut with the Chautauqua Opera Company as part of their Studio Artists program where she covered Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide. Her concert work includes singing the alto solo in the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival’s Handel’s Messiah, as well as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Yale’s Philharmonia under the baton of world renown Marin Alsop. Saturnino made her debut with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra with her performance of The Old Lady in a concert version of Candide. Upcoming performances include a concert series with Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera in October. In February she will join forces with acclaimed organist Janet Yieh for a recital series in Connecticut.
Kevin Eckard, Bass-Baritone, is currently a Professor of voice and Head of the vocal Arts Division at the University of Central Oklahoma. Dr. Eckard is a native of South Carolina. He 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, Austria and Great Britain. He has performed as a soloist with The Messiah Festival in Lindsborg Kansas, the International choir festival in Chester, England, the Indianapolis Opera, Tulsa Opera, Denver Opera, Wichita Opera, Colorado Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Pueblo Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, the Carmel and Anderson Symphonies in Indiana, Augusta Opera, Opera Carolina, Canterbury Choral Society, and Lyric Theater of Oklahoma City. Dr. Eckard has been the featured soloist in productions of Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He has also performed Bach’s Mass in b minor, Magnificat, Cantata 140, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott and Cantata 79. Among his many operatic credits, he has performed the roles of Boris Godunov in Boris Godunov, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Budd in Albert Herring, Blitch in Susannah, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Monterone in Rigoletto, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Secret Policeman in The Consul, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Escamillo in Carmen and Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore. Kevin has also performed in the musicals, Jekyll and Hyde, as the Bishop of Basingstoke, and Jesus Christ Superstar, as Caiaphas. Dr. Eckard is a Regional Finalist and a two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s South Carolina District competition, and has won the Margerite Elfe Erckmann award for vocal performance. Kevin performed the role of the Sacristan last year in Painted Sky Opera’s production of Tosca and is excited to be back for this year’s productions of Rigoletto and Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Zachary DeVault is a baritone from the OKC area. He recently earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree under the tutelage of Dr. Barbara Streets. DeVault has been involved in previous Painted Sky Opera productions, such as Puccini's Tosca (Chorus) and Verdi’s la Traviata (Domestico/Chorus). He also sang the role of Charlie in PSO’s semi-staged reading of Jake Heggie’s opera, Three Decembers. Zachary was also seen in recent UCO productions such as Flotow’s Martha (Plunkett) and Copland’s The Tenderland (Top). DeVault would like to thank his family and friends for always supporting him and his voice teacher, Dr. Barbara Streets, for giving him the means and courage to perform.
Hailed as “an outstanding soloist” with “a masterful singing voice,” (Taos News), lyric tenor Ryan Allais has captivated audiences throughout the Southwestern United States. Allais is thrilled to make his professional debut as Matteo Borsa in Painted Sky Opera’s Production of Rigoletto. Recently scene as Giulio Gatti Casazza in the world premiere of The Vaudevillian by Thomas Pasatieri. He has appeared as Roberto in Painted Sky’s Production of Tosca, Giuseppe in PSO’s Production of La Traviata and as Prunier in Oklahoma City University’s production of Puccini’s La Rondine (2016). Allais has worked with Santa Fe Opera in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera (2015) and in 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. Allais is currently the choir director at Piedmont Intermediate Schools and is the media specialist and administration for the Taos Opera Institute. Prior to accepting the role in administration at TOI, Allais attended the opera summer program as an apprentice, one of twenty-eight promising singers from around the country (2013). Allais has served as the guest conductor of the Taos Community Chorus (2014-16), Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Taos (2014-16) and was also the head band and choir director in the Taos Municipal School District (2012-16). He has been featured as a singer and soloist with the New Mexico Bach Society (2014-16) and Kaemper Music Series (2015). Allais is a graduate student for nonprofit leadership in arts administration. He received an M.M. in opera performance from Oklahoma City University (2018) and holds a B.M. in Music Education from New Mexico State University.
Steven Osborn, Bass-Baritone, makes his Painted Sky Opera role debut as Count Ceprano. Steven studied vocal music performance at Oklahoma State University during which time he was the Tulsa District winner and a regional finalist for the for the Mid-west region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. After enjoying a successful career in the hospitality industry, he has recently returned to his true passion and has performed with Tulsa Opera as well as Tulsa’s Signature Symphony. In addition to his current engagement with Painted Sky Opera, Steven will go on to perform the role of Fiorello in the Tulsa Opera production of “The Barber of Seville” and has had a recent engagement as Joseph Pulitzer in the Theatre Tulsa Production of “Newsies” as well as starring in Tulsa Opera’s one-man show “Music! Magic! Opera!,” which is part of the Kennedy Center or the Arts’ “Any Given Child” program.
Mezzo-soprano Laura Wardwell holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Loyola University of New Orleans, and a Master of Science in Accounting from Oklahoma City University. She is a Certified Public Accountant for Valliance Bank, a member of the Opera on Tap OKC (OOT OKC) roster, as well as a member of the Painted Sky Opera (PSO) Outreach team. In 2017 after an extended hiatus from professional music, Laura was honored to help prepare and present a joint concert with OOT OKC and PSO benefitting the Red Cross Hurricane Relief in the gulf coast region. She has performed with New Orleans Opera chorus in productions of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Donezetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and with the Loyola University New Orleans Opera chorus in Delibes’ Lakme and Gonoud’s Romeo et Juliette. A member of the Dr. Bill Christensen voice studio, Laura also coaches with Corie Melaugh and Dr. Barbara DeMaio. She is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s, Oklahoma Society of CPA’s, and the Wesley United Methodist Church in OKC. A proud wife and mother, Laura is eternally grateful to her family for their support of all her musical endeavors.
Austin Martin (Usciere di Corte) is thrilled to be back with Painted Sky Opera! Austin is a native of Tyler, Texas, and recently earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University. Performance credits include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Bay View Music Festival and OCU, Richard Harrison in Thomas Pasatieri’s The Vaudevillian, King in Nico Muly’s Dark Sisters, and several opera choruses.
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 with a focus in music librarianship at the University of Oklahoma. Elizabeth is in the voice studio of Dr. Catherine McDaniel and the coaching studios of Jan McDaniel and Joe Fitzgerald. She is also a frequent performer for the OKC Opera on Tap. Past credits include: Tosca, Three Decembers (Painted Sky Opera), Fantastic Mr. Fox (Opera Steamboat), The Juniper Tree, La Gioconda, and Suor Angelica (OCU).
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, as well as in the chorus with Painted Sky Opera in Tosca.
Mary McDowell, from Dallas, TX, graduated from Oklahoma City University. Mary has performed in several operas across the country including Rigoletto, Three Decembers, La Traviata ,Sour Angelica, Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Il Pagliacci, Dido & Aeneas, L’elisir D’amor, and Die Fledermaus. Mary has also performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in concert pieces such as Verdi’s Requiem, and Davorak’s Te Deum, and she has also successfully competed in several Edward Baird Singer of the Year, Classical Singer and National Association of Teachers of Singers competitions across the United States. Along with music, Mary McDowell is also a professional horsewoman who has been riding, showing, and training horses for over twenty-three years.
Tenor, Alonso Jordán López is in his final year as an opera performance graduate student at Oklahoma City University. He has performed as a chorister with Painted Sky Opera since their inaugural season. Recently, he performed the role of Léon in John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles" at the Miami Summer Music Festival. His performance was described as "striking" by The South Florida Classical Review.
Stephen Jones is a second year Master’s Student studying opera under Dr. Leslie Flanagan. A native of Norman, Oklahoma, Stephen received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Oklahoma. He has performed in many roles at the University of Oklahoma, most recently the Father in Hansel and Gretel and Betto in Gianni Schicchi, as well as Lord Mountararat in Iolathe with Cimarron Opera Company.
Alex Bolerjack is thrilled to be making his debut with Painted Sky Opera. Alex has portrayed the roles of Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor, Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Eugene Onegin in Eugene Onegin, and Marco In Gianni Schicchi with the Universoty of Oklahoma, as well as the role of Escamillo in Carmen with the Enid Symphony. His performances also include both Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Algernon Moncrief in The Importance of Being Earnestwith The Bethany Stage if Oklahoma. Alex received his Masters of Music in Voice from the University of Oklahoma and his Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance at Southern Nazarene University.
Hayden Turner is attending the University of Central Oklahoma as a junior vocal & instrumental performance major. He was born and raised in the small town of Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Hayden has performed in UCO productions as The Sergeant of the Police in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and The Strongman from Malcolm Fox’s Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing. He has also appeared in the chorus of Cimarron Opera’s production of Iolanthe and UCO’s production of Martha. Now he is proud to be a member of the chorus in Rigoletto. He is extremely excited to make his professional debut with the wonderful Painted Sky Opera Company.
Ethan Snowden is currently in his first semester of his Masters in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance at the University of Central Oklahoma. He received his bachelors in Music Education from UCO in 2016, and during his time as an undergraduate found a passion for opera after performing in UCO’s productions of L’Elisir D’Amore, The Magic Flute, and The Ring of the Fettuccines. He is very excited to be making his Painted Sky debut in Rigoletto and would like to thank his friends and family for their constant love and support.
Katherine June Smith is ecstatic to be involved with her first production with Painted Sky Opera. She holds a bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Texas Tech University, and is now a second year graduate student at University of Central Oklahoma. Past opera roles include Flora in The Turn of the Screw, La Badessa in Suor Angelica, Mrs. Ott in Susannah, Cassandra/Damigella in La Didone, and Cat in Starbird, as well as other roles in scenes classes, children’s operas, and musical theater productions. She has studied in opera training programs such as the Taos Opera Institute, Opera in the Ozarks, Music in the Marche, and the Haymarket Opera Summer Course.
Jessie Yeager is thrilled to be performing her second consecutive year for Painted Sky Opera. Her most notable role was as the lead in last year’s production of “Tosca” (as the dead body double). Even though she will still not have a vocal role, she is happy to at least be seen alive. A special thanks to Becky McGuigan, Rob Glaubitz, and all of Painted Sky Opera for your continued support in fulfilling her dream.
Malia Sherwood is a soprano originally from Owasso, Oklahoma. She recently graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education. She is currently a first year graduate student in vocal pedagogy at the University of Central Oklahoma. Her past performances include operas such as Sour Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, and Susannah with Oklahoma State University Opera. She has also performed with Oklahoma State University’s Concert Chorale at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference in 2017, and at the Festival Corale Internazionale di Roma in 2017.
Joe Fitzgerald is a native of Topeka, Kansas. This is his third season with Painted Sky. He received his Master’s of Music in Vocal Coaching from Oklahoma City University in 2016, where he is now adjunct faculty as a vocal coach, répétiteur, and professor of diction. At OCU, he has served a variety of roles in opera and musical theatre shows including the award-winning productions Jackie O (Assistant Music Director,) Don Pasquale (chorus master,) and Evita (orchestra.) In 2015, he made his operatic music directing debut in a concert version of La Gioconda. In 2018, he joined the faculty of the Taos Opera Institute in New Mexico. He has been a Piano Fellow at the Bay View Music Festival for two seasons and is currently the organist for Hillcrest Presbyterian Church.