Oh! 2019 - 2020 Season
Guest Conductor | Sameer Patel
Opera in the Heights welcomes internationally recognized conductor, Sameer Patel, to musically direct and lead performances of Tosca. Maestro Patel has served as Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony and has led performances with many of the world's finest orchestras. Having just conducted Tosca at North Carolina Opera, Maestro Patel brings his renowned talents to Opera in the Heights (Oh!) at the direct invitation of Eiki Isomura, Artistic Director of Opera in the Heights.
Tosca | Elizabeth Baldwin, soprano | Ruby Cast | OCT. 5, 11, 13
Soprano, Elizabeth Baldwin’s recent engagements include the title-role NORMA with the Municipal de Santiago in Chile, Eva Crowley in Jack Perla’s new opera AN AMERICAN DREAM with Anchorage Opera, a return to the Miami Music Festival Wagner Institute to perform Senta in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, and Beethoven’s SYMPHONY NO. 9 with the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra. Other notable credits include the title-role TOSCA with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO), Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Opera San Jose and Owensboro Symphony, Verdi REQUIEM with the Alabama Symphony, VERDI & COMPANY CONCERT with the Dallas Opera, Amelia UN BALLO IN MASCHERA with BYSO, First Lady DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE with Opera San Jose, the title-role ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Lady Macbeth MACBETH with the Opera Company of Middlebury and LoftOpera (NYC), Tatyana EUGENE ONEGIN with Chautauqua Opera, and Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with the Denver Philharmonic, among others.
Tosca | Victoria Cannizzo, soprano | Emerald Cast | OCT. 6, 12
Soprano, Victoria Cannizzo, was recently lauded as “a delight, full of charm and great vocal skill” in her portrayal of Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff and as Leonora in Verdi's Il Trovatore, she was praised for her “dark and meaty” voice and “stunning, shimmering pianissimo.” Other recent roles include the title roles in Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as Donna Anna & Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Suzel in L’amico Fritz and the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Handel’s Messiah.
Cavaradossi | Peter Scott Drackley, tenor | Ruby Cast | OCT. 5, 11, 13
Lauded by Opera News as having “showed vocal confidence [...] his luminous head voice blooming with expansive and penetrating phrases,” Peter Scott Drackley has performed such operatic roles as Rodolfo (La Boheme), Pollione (Norma), Riccardo (Un Ballo in Maschera), and Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana). He has sung as a soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and 9th Symphony. He debuted Antonin Scalia in Derrick Wang’s Opera Scalia/Ginsburg at the Supreme Court, featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Mr. Drackley has performed with Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Anchorage Opera, Opera Omaha, and as a soloist at Carnegie Hall.
Cavaradossi | Gerardo Gaytan, tenor | Emerald Cast | OCT. 6, 12
Mexican born tenor, with a law degree from Mexico. Started to study voice professionally in 2012 and has been active ever since. Since that moment, singing has taken Gerardo to some of the most important stages in Mexico and the United States. Presenting concerts, recitals and roles such as Rodolfo, Manrico, Edgardo, Cavaradossi, Alfredo and the Duke of Mantuas. He resided in Mexico City where he sang several roles for CentrOpera Enrique Jaso. Currently he resides between San Diego and New York he is a student of Bill Shumman, and coaches with Eve Queler and when in California with William Vendice. He received great praise for his Debut Role in NY as Alfredo in La Traviata in May 2018. Recent Enagaments in NY include Singing
the Duke of Mantuas for Lighthouse Opera and Hudson Opera Theater and Il Trovatore with Regina Opera.
Scarpia | Kenneth Stavert, baritone | Ruby Cast | OCT. 5, 11, 13
Praised for his strong “sense of theatricality,” baritone Kenneth Stavert has performed on operatic, concert and recital stages throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Recent highlights include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Ping in Turandot (Dayton Opera), Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos (Palm Beach Opera), Yamadori in Madama Butterfly (Santa Fe Opera), Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Opera in the Heights and Pacific Opera Project) and Count Di Luna in Trovatore (Southern Illinois Music Festival).
Upcoming engagements for Kenneth include Marcello in La Boheme (Dayton Opera and Pacific Opera Project) as well as Scarpia in Tosca (Southern Illinois Music Festival).
Scarpia | Ivan Conrad, baritone | Emerald Cast | OCT. 6, 12
Of over 75 roles performed in Italy, Germany, The United States and Greece, highlights of Ivan Conrad's career include title roles of GIANNI SCHICCHI, DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS and DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER; Figaro and Il Conte (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO); Marcello, Schaunard and Colline (LA BOHÈME); Monterone, Marullo and Ceprano (RIGOLETTO); Silvio (I PAGLIACCI); Amonasro (AÏDA), and Escamillo, Zuniga and Dancaïro (CARMEN). Other highlights include baritone soloist at Carnegie Hall; appearances with the New York Philharmonic, guest artist at The Juilliard School, and roles with Sarasota Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Long Island Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera and others. Upcoming: Germont and Barone (LA TRAVIATA); di Cosimo (IL POSTINO).
Angelotti | Jason Zacher, bass-baritone
Praised for his “stirring resonance” (San Diego Story), Bass-Baritone Jason Zacher is thrilled to be joining Opera in the Heights as a Resident Artist! A recent graduate of the Moores School of Music, Jason’s latest operatic highlights include Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin), Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Oliver Jordan (Dinner at Eight), the title role of Don Pasquale, and William Jennings Bryan (The Ballad of Baby Doe). Jason was also featured as Paul in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul with Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. A passionate educator, Jason teaches music at The Westview School, working with high-functioning children with autism, as well as teaching privately.
Sacristan | Jorge Belonni, bass-baritone
Jorge Belonni is native from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. In May 2015 he obtained his MM in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Cynthia Haymon. Jorge has performed roles such as Balthasar in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors and Der Tod in Viktor Ullman's Der Kaiser von Atlantis. As well as El Capitánin Florencia en el Amazonas, Pistola in Verdi’s Falstaff. In 2011 he performed as Raphael and Adam in Haydn's The Creation with the U of I Oratorio Society and the U of I Symphony Orchestra. He performed the Imperial Commisarioin Madame Butterfly in the Castleton Festival in 2014. In that same year
he performed Dulcamarafrom the opera L’Elisir d’Amore for the new Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. Jorge is stationed in Houston, Texas, where he currently is a member of the Bach Society of Houston chorus, and occasionally performs as a soloist. Last year, during the Fall, as part of the Houston Grand Opera outreach program, Opera To Go!, he performed the role of the Father in a condensed English version of Humperdinck’s opera, Hansel and Gretel. Last February he performed his first role with Opera in the Heights in Un Ballo in Maschera, by Verdi, singing the role of Samuel. In the spring he sang with Portland Opera’s Opera To Go!! the role of Figaro in a condensed bilingual version of the Rossini’s the Barber of Seville. Currently Jorge works as a teaching Artist for the Houston Grand Opera..
Spoletta | Benjamin Boskoff, tenor
Georgia native and resident of Houston, Benjamin Boskoff is a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Music (MM). An active vocal artist, Mr. Boskoff has been constantly performing around the states since 2016. Recent highlights include: Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw with Red River Lyric Opera, Tamino in Die Zaubeflöte with Lawrence Opera Theatre, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville with Light Opera of New Jersey, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Prince Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Opera MODO, and Count Ory in Le Comte Ory with Lawrence University as a guest artist. This past summer Mr. Boskoff was a resident artist with Opera North and covered Macduff in their production of Verdi’s Macbeth..