The Cast of La Cenerentola
Oh! 2015 - 2016 Season
Mezzo-soprano Megan Berti is delighted to be returning to Opera in the Heights to perform one of her favorite roles, La Cenerentola, after singing Hänsel in 2014 and Flora in La Traviata in 2013. She performs regularly with HGO’s Opera to Go! and the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra, and she will be debuting with HGO this March in the premier of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players as Little Emilia. Other roles include Maddalena (Rigoletto), Magali (Salsipuedes), Amelia (Amelia), Anne (To Hell and Back), and Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito); also Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, Dvořák’s Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach's Mass in B Minor, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Missa Solemnis. For more, please visit www.meganberti.com.
Eric Bowden, a native Houstonian, is thrilled to return to Opera in the Heights. Past performances with OH include: Ernesto (Don Pasquale), Fenton (Falstaff), and Roderigo (Rossini’s Otello).
Other favorite roles include: Laurie (Little Women), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Jacey Squires (The Music Man), Roderigo (Verdi’s Otello), Pong (Turandot), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte), Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Nadir (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), and Tony (West Side Story). Eric holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music and Sam Houston State University.
Having completed his work at the well regarded Cincinnati Conservatory of music he is quickly making his presence felt on the operatic scene both nationally and internationally. Most recent performances have included Masetto in Don Giovanni and Mercutio in Romeo et Juliet. Moreover he has recently been the title role in Steven Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Schaunard in La Bohéme with the Dominican Republic National Symphony, and San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program’s production of composer André Previn's: A Streetcar Named Desire in the iconic role of Stanley Kowalski. Among other roles performed include Javert in Les Misérables, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Marcello inLa Bohéme, Billy Bigalow in Carousel, The Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dandini in Cenerentola, Silvio in I Pagliacci. Mr. Gunther has advanced to the second round four different times within the Metropolian Opera Competition twice in the Upper Midwest and twice Mid-South Regions respectively. He was also a finalist in the Chicago Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center Competition.
Nathan Milholin is currently a Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts, where he has performed Leporello in Don Giovanni, Méphilstophélès in Faust, Colline in La Bohème,and Haly in L'Italiana in Algeri. Other recent engagements include the Medico and Domestico in Verdi's Macbeth at the Glimmerglass Festival and José Castro in La fanciulla del West under the baton of Lorin Maazel at the Festival Mozart in A Coruña, Spain. As a member of the Yale Opera studio from 2011-2013 Mr. Milholin performed Capellio in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bertran in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte.
American soprano Kyla Knox has graced the stage with her lively interpretations of both opera and art song, considered “humble and charming” in her performance of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro as well as her“flawless” and “perfectly delivered” singing in Nino Rota’s Il Cappello di Paglia di Firenze. She received her Masters degree from the University of Houston in May 2014 and is excited for her debut with Opera in the Heights! She is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and plans to return to the Golden State to continue her musical pursuits at the end of February 2015. www.kylaknox.com
Mezzo-soprano, Monica Isomura, has been praised for her rich vocal quality and captivating stage presence. Since moving to Houston in 2014, the Philadelphia native has sung with the Lone Star Lyric Opera, Da Camera, the Houston Heights Orchestra, and is a member of and frequent soloist with the Houston Chamber Choir. She has previously sung for Michigan Opera Theater, The Castleton Festival, the Occasional Opera Company (NYC), Stony Brook Opera, and Opera in the Ozarks, New Jersey, and Toledo Opera. Favorite operatic roles include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Medoro in Handel's Orlando, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In concert, Monica has been a soloist in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, and numerous Bach cantatas. She holds degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and Stonybrook University. A passionate performer and dedicated educator, Monica has recently been appointed Education Coordinator for Oh!. She made her Oh! debut in The Medium under the baton of her partner in music and in life, her husband, Eiki Isomura.
Bass-baritone Christopher Besch is proud to have performed in seven countries on three continents with such conductors as Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, and Jeffrey Thomas. He has been described as having “a commanding stage presence and rich resonance of deep bass sound” (DC Theatre Scene). Recently, Mr. Besch has appeared as Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Rice University, conducted by Maestro Richard Bado, in the ensemble for Gregory Spears' new piece O Columbia with HGOco, Jupiter in Marais' Sémélé with the American Bach Soloists Academy. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at Rice University under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen King and is a core member and frequent soloist with Bach Society Houston. Upcoming engagements include Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Opera in the Heights, Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Rice University and Peter Gray in the premiere of Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline with HGOco. More information can be found on his website, www.christopherbesch.com.