Cast of

María De Buenos Aires

Oh! 2018 - 2019 Season

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María Sishel Clavarie, mezzo-soprano 

Praised for her “smoky and seductive voice” and for her “winning vocal power and comic timing”, Mexican Mezzo-soprano Sishel Claverie is quickly gaining recognition as a stage performer.

In 2016, Ms. Claverie made her New York City Opera debut in their new production of Candide, directed by the legendary Harold Prince. She also performed the title role in Heartbeat Opera’s production of Carmen in NYC, which was praised by the New York Times as “Riveting” and considered one of “This Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments”. Highlights during this season, include her debut with El Paso Opera as the title role in Carmen; the world premiere of the opera Beloved Prey by Kento Iwasaki, in the role of Lioness; Benjamin Britten’s cantata Phaedra, with The Houston Symphony Players, and a recital at the Aldeburgh Festival in the UK.

Ms. Claverie has appeared in the role of Carmen in Carmen with The New Rochelle Opera and with Opera in the Heights in Houston, Angelina in La Cenerentola with Skylight Music Theatre, in Milwaukee WI, where she also performed as Daniela in the musical In the Heights. In 2013, she made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Charlotte in Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, and in 2014 returned to cover the role of Carmen in Carmen.

Ms. Claverie was in residency for two years at Utah Opera in 2011, with multiple engagements including the roles of Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Inez in Il trovatore, Giovanna in Rigoletto, and the cover of Paula in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Sishel also appeared as a soloist with Utah Symphony and The Deer Valley Music Festival. Ms. Claverie was a Studio Artist at Wolf Trap Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, the Renata Scotto Opera Studio in Rome, Opera New Jersey, and S.I.V.A.M., Mexico’s most prestigious Young Artist Program.

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El Duende Blas Canedo Gonzalez, baritone 

Blas has performed more than 30 major baritone roles in the United States, South America and Europe. Some of his roles include Vidal in Luisa Fernanda, Dr. Rappaccini in Rappaccini’s Daughter, Everybody in Lucinda y las Flores de Noche Buena, El Duende in Maria de Buenos Aires, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Il Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Il Conte de Luna in il Trovatore, Escamillo in Carmen, Beaupertuis in Il Cappello di Paglia di Firenze, Belcore in L'Elisir D’Amore, Germont in la Traviata, Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte, Marcello in La Bohème, Silvio in Pagliacci, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Angel in Hagar and Ishmael, Albert in Werther, Dr. Miracle in Tales of Hoffman, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, Signor Deluso, and Vronsky in Anna Karenina.

Blas has performed with the Fort Worth Opera, Alamo City Opera, Opera in the Heights, Opera in the Ozarks, Crescendo Institute, Moores Opera Center, Verismo Opera, UNT Opera, Metroplex Dallas Opera, Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Ópera de Colombia, Teatro Colón de Bogotá, Teatro Roberto Arias Pérez, Teatro Metropolitano de Medellín, Prolírica de Antioquia, Ópera de Manizales, Festival Ópera al Parque, and Fundación Carmiña Gallo.

Blas won the Pavel Lisitsian award for the best baritone voice at the 10th annual the Lois Alba competition in Houston. Blas appeared as Belcore in the Crescendo Institute’s L'Elisir d'Amore, which was broadcast by Hungarian public television and sold in DVD.

He has performed as a baritone soloist with the Houston Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Sinfónica de Manizales, Corpas Symphony, Sinfónica Juvenil de Medellín, Filarmónica de Medellín, Sala de Conciertos Luis Ángel Arango, Dallas Fine Art Chambers Players, Soma International, and the Festival International de Música en Medellín.

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El Payador | Octavio Moreno, baritone 

Houston Grand Opera Studio alumnus Octavio Moreno appeared at HGO during the 2009/10 season as Surin in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, and as a Noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin. During the 2008/09 season he sang Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and jumped into the title role at the last minute, to aid an ailing fellow singer. He made his Bellas Artes debut (Mexico city) in June 2011 in La fille du régiment. In 2010 he created the role of Laurentino in the world premiere of Cruzar la cara de la luna, followed by the European premiere at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2011. There then followed a US tour, to San Diego Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2013. Mr. Moreno reprised his Laurentino for his Arizona Opera debut in October 2014. He debuted at Opera in the Heights in the role of Germont in La traviata, and returned for Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor in the 2013-14 season and in the title role of Verdi’s Rigoletto in the 2014-15 season. He returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera and San Diego Opera as Xihuitl in the world premiere of the mariachi Opera El pasado nunca se termina in 2015, and that same year debuted with the San Antonio Symphony as the baritone soloist in the Estancia Ballet. He returned to Arizona Opera in the role of Lopez Ibanez for the American premiere of Arizona Lady in October of 2015, and then started off 2016 with his Moores Opera center debut as Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. He returned to the Moores Opera Center in 2016-17 for Vronsky in Anna Karenina and John Proctor in The Crucible, then reprised Laurentino in Cruzar la cara de la luna for his Fort Worth Opera debut and appeared as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with HGOco.

Originally from Hermosillo, Mexico, Mr. Moreno received his Bachelor’s degree in voice at the Universidad de Sonora (with teachers Jesus Li and Marybel Ferrales), then completed the Artist Diploma program at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia (with teacher Bill Schumman), followed by the Houston Grand Opera Sutudio (with teacher Stephen King). He currently studies under the tutelage of Hector Vásquez.

The baritone won third place in the 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and represented Mexico in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and the 2010 Paris International Competition, as well as third place in the Carlo Morelli Competition in Mexico City.

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Bandoneonista | JP Jofre

Native from San Juan, Argentina, Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion aka JP Jofre, is an award-winning bandoneon player and composer. Mr. Jofre has been repeatedly highlighted by the New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center. His music has been recorded by 16 Grammy winner Paquito D’ Rivera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and choreographed/performed by ballet-star Herman Cornejo (Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre) among others. He has performed and given lectures at Google Talks, TEDtalks, The Juilliard School of Music, The New School, etc.

A recipient of the National Prize of the Arts grant in Argentina, Mr. Jofre has collaborated with many famous musicians in a wide range of musical styles, including Paquito D’Rivera, Kathryn Stott, Symphony Silicon Valley, Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Argentina, San Antonio Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Philippe Quint, Fernando Otero, and Fred Sturm among others. Mr. Jofre has been part of many prestigious festivals including the Celebrity Series of Boston, Umbria Jazz Festival, Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Seattle Town, Belgorod Music Festival, Sudtirol Jazz Festival, Bachanalia Taiwan, and Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival among others..

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Production Designer & Stage Director Grant Preisser 

Grant Preisser enjoys a diverse career of directing and designing across the country, recently directing Le nozze di Figaro for University of Michigan, The Cunning Little Vixen at Opera Steamboat in Colorado, directing and designing the world premiere of The Last American Hammer for UrbanArias in Washington, D.C., and directing and designing Opera Orlando’s holiday production of Hansel & Gretel. This season Mr. Preisser serves as creative director and resident scenic designer for Opera Orlando, and in addition to making his premiere with Opera in the Heights, Mr. Preisser will return to University of Michigan to direct and design Alcina.