The Cast of Little Women
Oh! 2016 - 2017 Season
Jo March | Monica Isomura
Mezzo-soprano Monica Isomura’s uniquely rich voice and captivating stage presence have been garnering increasing attention in the Houston musical community. She was featured in two productions at Opera in the Heights this past season, as Tisbe, in La Cenerentola, and as Mrs. Nolan, in The Medium. Since moving to Houston in 2014, the Philadelphia native has been a member of and frequent soloist with the Houston Chamber Choir, and has appeared with the Lone Star Lyric Opera, Da Camera, the Houston Heights Orchestra, and the Memorial Classical Music Series. She has previously sung for Michigan Opera Theater, The Castleton Festival, Opera in the Ozarks, Opera New Jersey’s Emerging Artist Program, and Toledo Opera’s Opera-on-wheels.
In the realm of oratorio, Monica has been the alto soloist in The Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, and numerous Bach cantatas with ensembles in the Detroit, New York, and Houston areas. She regularly gives solo recitals, and participates in chamber concerts and church performances here in Houston.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a master’s from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in voice from Stony Brook University. A passionate educator herself, Monica serves as the Education Coordinator for Opera in the Heights, directs the Rusk School Choir in affiliation with the Houston Chamber choir, teaches voice at The Kinkaid School and at TUTS’ Humphrey’s School of Musical Theater, and maintains a private voice studio in Montrose where she lives with her husband, her partner in music and in life, conductor, Eiki Isomura.
Monica is represented by Diana Candida at the Incanto Agency.
Meg March | Jennifer Crippen
Jennifer Crippen, mezzo-soprano, currently lives in Houston where she enjoys performing and teaching private voice and piano. Ms. Crippen completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Vocal Performance, the latter with Louisiana State University where she was featured throughout her studies, bringing “commanding stage presence and musical excellence to every role.” Most prominently, she portrayed Angelina in La Cenerentola, Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Stephano in Roméo et Juliette, and Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice. At LSU, Jennifer was also featured as Erika in Barber’s Vanessa, a role she was fortunate to reprise with Nevada Opera.
Internationally, Ms. Crippen has been seen in concert in Fuzhou, China, as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia in La Paz, Bolivia, and again as Angelina in the Republic of San Marino as well as São Paulo, Brazil. Equally at home in concert, Jennifer has been frequently seen in as a soloist with Baton Rouge Symphony, Chorale Acadienne, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Opéra Louisiane, Houston Chamber Choir and outside the Gulf Coast region with Baltimore Opera a la Carte. She is thrilled to return to Opera in the Heights after performing in La Clemnza di Tito as Annio.
Beth March | Julie Hoeltzel
Julie Hoeltzel has been called "a standout" with a "superbly nuanced voice" and tremendous "command of character". In a 2012 performance of Die Fledermaus, her Adele was deemed "ready for the MET!". Recent opera roles include Monica in The Medium, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Olympia in Les Contes d’ Hoffman, Lola in Gallantry, Lightfoot in Cold Sassy Tree and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. She is also a coveted concert soloist, having performed in works such as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Karl Jenkin’s Stella Natalis, and in April 2015 was featured in the U.S. Premiere of Howard Goodall’s Every Purpose Under the Heaven.
Her talents have taken her to work with companies such as Opera in the Heights, Houston Grand Opera, Lonestar Lyric Opera, Opera Vista, and the Houston Symphony Chorus. Academic performances have also been done with the Moores Opera Center, Kingwood Summer Opera, Seagle Music Colony, Smothers Theater at Pepperdine University, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy.
Amy March | Leigh Whitney Rosh
Florida native Leigh Whitney Rosh is thrilled to be making her debut with Opera in the Heights. Most recent performances include Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos with Opera Theater Pittsburgh and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera in the Ozarks. Leigh was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Florida District in 2013 and has since performed as a Featured Young Artist in the “Opera in the Park” concert series with Opera Orlando (formerly Florida Opera Theater). She performs regularly with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus and St. Philip Presbyterian Church and teaches private voice lessons around the Houston area. Leigh holds a BM and MM in Vocal Performance from Florida State University and is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association.
Laurie | Alexander Scheuermann
Tenor Alexander Scheuermann is a native of Merritt Island, Florida who now lives in Houston. Recent operatic roles include Le Jeu in Les Plaisir de Versailles, with Ars Lyrica, The Barber in Man of La Mancha with Central City Opera, and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore at the Moores Opera House. This spring Alex can be found around the greater Houston area sing the role of Almaviva in Houston Grand Opera’s Opera to Go! production of the Barber of Seville. Concert work includes regular performances as a soloist with the Houston Bach Society, the Three Texan Tenors, and the Lone Star Lyric cabaret series. Alex holds a BM in voice performance from Florida State University, an MM in voice performance from The University of Houston, and studies under Cynthia Clayton.
John Brooke | Matt Moeller
Matt Moeller, baritone, recently made his mainstage debut with Central City Opera singing Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors for their winter season. Other roles sung include Baron Douphol in La Traviata and William Dale in Silent Night with Fort Worth Opera, The Father in Prodigal Son and Giorgio Germont in La traviata, Young Artist performance with Central City Opera, Marcello/Schaunard in La Boheme and Papageno in Die Zauberflote with the Maryland Opera Studio, Don Giovanni with Seagle Music Colony, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music with LSU Opera. He holds degrees from Louisiana State University and the University of Maryland.
Friedrich Bhaer | Nate Mattingly
Bass-Baritone, Nate Mattingly—a native of DFW—is currently a Festival Young Artist for Fort Worth Opera. Nate has enjoyed performing at companies such as: Des Moines Metro Opera as Pistola (cover) in Falstaff and 2nd Guardsman in Manon; Opera on the James as Don Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro and Colline in La bohème; Fort Worth Opera as Horatio in Hamlet; Seagle Music Colony as Javert in Les Misérables, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Rev. Olin Blitch in Susannah; and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro at the Boston Conservatory. Nate is an alumnus of the University of North Texas where he earned his Bachelors and Masters, and is currently studying at Texas Christian University under the guidance of Jeanne-Michèlle Charbonnet. Some of his upcoming engagements include Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women at Opera in the Heights, the world Premier of Voir Dire by Matthew Peterson in the role of Judge Dodsworth, and Timur (cover) in Turandot at Des Moines Metro Opera.
Alma March | Amy Sheffer
American Mezzo-Soprano, Amy Sheffer, originally from Delray Beach, Florida, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Houston.
While attending the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Ms. Sheffer studied with Mimmi Fulmer and appeared in several productions with the University Opera, portraying the roles of The Mother in Menotti’s The Consul and Neris in Cherubini’s Medea. In the summer of 2012, Ms. Sheffer attended the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy under the direction of Jane Klaviter and vocal instruction of Patricia Misslin.
Ms. Sheffer earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Houston, where she studied with Melanie Sonnenberg. While at the University of Houston, Amy sang the roles of Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, The Mother in Menotti’s The Consul, Thelma Predmore in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree, Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Les Contes du Hoffmann, and Zita in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. In the summer of 2014, Ms. Sheffer participated in Opera in the Ozarks’ season, portraying the roles of the Witch in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and La Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.
Since graduating, Ms. Sheffer made her professional debut in Juan Trigos’ DeCachetitioRaspado, portraying the role of Primancianita in the opera’s U.S. Premiere in October of 2015. In December of 2015, Ms. Sheffer was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at the Houston District Level, and moved on to the Gulf Coast Regionals where she received an encouragement award. Amy looks forward to participating in Opera in the Height’s 2016-2017 season, singing the role of Alma March in Adamo’s Little Women.
Gideon March / Mr. Dashwood | Eric Delagrange
Bass-Baritone Eric Delagrange is thrilled to be making his debut with Opera in the Heights. Recent highlights include Kochubey in Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa with Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Dr. Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata, and Benoît/Alcindoro in Puccini’s La bohème with
Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance. Mr. Delagrange has been recognized with prizes from Shreveport Opera’s Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition, American Opera Society of Chicago, and the Kleinman Foundation. He also regularly performs with HGOco’s Opera to Go! production of The Barber of Seville as Bartolo.
Mr. Delagrange earned his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from DePaul University. While at DePaul University, he sang the roles of Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, The Drunken Poet in The Fairy Queen, Falstaff in Falstaff, and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night.
Cecilia March | Laura Coale
During the 2015-2016 season Laura Coale was praised for her performance as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice with Opera in the Heights. "[She] sings Orfeo with stunning clarity and emotional heft... with a powerful, expressive, radiant, and unfettered voice." (D.L. Groover, Houston Press) In recent years Mrs. Coale has been featured in several other theater companies around Houston, including Theatre Southwest, Upstage Theatre, Company OnStage. and Kingwood Summer Opera in which she received much acclaim as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. She earned her Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston where she enjoyed performing: Ma Joad/The Grapes of Wrath, The Fox/The Cunning Little Vixen, Zita/Gianni Schicchi.