On January 4, New Year’s Opera will be performed at St. Imre’s Church. The title of the opera is “The Blue-Bearded Prince’s Castle” by Béla Bartók Composer. The performance will be performed by artists from the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. The language of the opera will be Hungarian. Details coming soon on the church’s website. All interested are welcome!
MID-OHIO OPERA was founded in 2014 in Mansfield, Ohio by Joel Vega, who is also its artistic director. They produce full operas in the original languages as well as other classical voice concerts and master classes. They perform all over the area between Columbus and Cleveland, with their main stage shows in Mansfield.
BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE (Hungarian: A kékszakállú herceg vára; literally: The Blue-Bearded Duke’s Castle) is a one-act expressionist opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs, a poet and friend of the composer, and is written in Hungarian, based on the French literary tale La Barbe bleue by Charles Perrault. The opera lasts only a little over an hour and there are only two singing characters onstage: Bluebeard (Kékszakállú), and his new wife Judith (Judit); the two have just eloped and Judith is coming home to Bluebeard’s castle for the first time. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluebeard)
Performers in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle:
A native of Quebec, Canada, Eric Trudel graduated with top honors from the Quebec Conservatory of Music. He won the prestigious Prix d’Europe competition, which enabled him to study privately with pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Marc Durand and Louis Lortie. He has taught and performed extensively throughout Canada, Italy, Germany, Austria, Japan, Korea, Spain, and the United States. His New York City credits include recitals at Weil Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall and the 92nd Street Y.
Mr. Trudel has performed in association with many organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, Yale Institute for Musical Theater, Yale School of Drama, Montreal International Piano Festival, the Banff Center Festival for the Arts, L’Opéra de Montréal, Connecticut Grand Opera, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Oklahoma Mozart Festival, Pro Arte Singers, and Concora. Equally at ease in experimental projects, he has been involved in the creation of the hit musical Nelligan in Montreal, Christopher Cerrone’s opera Invisible Cities for Yale Institute of Music Theater, and the new Adam Bock/Todd Almond musical We Have Always Lived in a Castle for Yale Rep.
American Mezzo Soprano Renée Rapier brings her “dark, velvety mezzo and smoothly controlled, unfailingly eloquent phrasing to match” (Opera News) as well as a “razor-sharp focus” (Bay Area Reporter) to the operatic stage.
This summer Ms. Rapier will be featured in a number of recitals and concerts at the Newport Music Festival including a performance with renowned Mezzo Soprano Federica won Stade and composer Jake Heggie. She also makes her Wagnerian debut as Grimgerde in San Francisco Opera’s visionary Ring Cycle, and makes her role debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanniwith Opera Steamboat. Her 2018/2019 season includes a new production of John Cage’s Europeras 1&2 with the LA Phil in collaboration with The Industry and MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant winner Yuval Sharon, appearances with Peninsula Symphony and Mise-en-scene Studios, as well as a return to Opera San Jose to sing Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Ms. Rapier was recently a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Suzuki in Madame Butterfly at both Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Seattle Opera, Mercédès in Calixto Bieito’s provocative production of Carmen at San Francisco Opera, and a critically-acclaimed debut as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera San Jose. Other notable engagements include a return to LA Opera singing Cherubino in both Le Nozze di Figaro and John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, the latter of which producing a two-time Grammy winning recording, a debut at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival as both the Page in Salome and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, her international debut as Olga in Eugene Onegin with the Seoul Philharmonic, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare with Wolf Trap Opera, and a debut with Opera San Antonio as Mrs. Fox in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
After receiving degrees in both voice and viola from the University of Northern Iowa, Ms. Rapier participated in several prominent training programs including Chautauqua Opera and the Merola Opera Program. In 2011, she was chosen to join LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program where she made her professional debut as Stephano in Roméo et Julietteunder the baton of Plácido Domingo. Soon after, she joined the prestigious Adler Fellowship at the San Francisco Opera where she covered and sang a number of roles including Giovanna in Rigoletto and Meg Page in Falstaff.
Renée has received recognition from several notable competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (national semi-finalist), Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition (first place), the Seoul International Music Competition (finalist), Plácido Domingo’s Operalia (semi-finalist) and the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program Vocal Competition (first place).
A bass vocalist of increasing demand who towers at an imposing and athletic 6’10”, Andrew Potter is a true Basso who has been welcomed by audiences and critics across the country for a larger‐than‐life stage presence with a voice to match.
“With his huge, all‐encompassing bass voice and precise comic timing he nearly stole the show.” (Maria Nockin, Opera Today, February 2017)
“Andrew Potter’s tour de force performance would stand tall on any of the biggest and best operatic stages in the world today. His huge, oily, black, genuine bass shook the rafters…” (Larry Kellum, Town Times, March 2016)
“Andrew Potter proved to be sensitive and appealing…” (James Sohre, Opera Today, July 2015)
“Andrew Potter combines a virile yet spry stage presence with sturdy, responsive and infectious singing. The guy owns the stage.” (Gerald Moshell, The New London Day, March 2016)
With years of studying under renowned teachers such as Dr. Wayne Kompelien, Rick Christman, and Braeden Harris; Andrew made a name for himself standing out in mainstage roles at several of the nation’s most prestigious Young Artist programs such as Des Moines Metro Opera, St. Petersburg Emerging Artist Program, and the Tyler Young Artist Program. He has since performed across the country proficiently demonstrating the vocal power and sonority to sing such roles as Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, the range and physicality to perform buffo roles like Don Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Don Magnifico (Cenerentola); and the flexibility and agility to sing challenging Handelian roles including Zoroastro in Orlando, Ariodate in Serse, and Argante in Rinaldo.
Having proven his vocal diversity on stage performing roles spanning from basso roles like Osmin in Die Entführung, to varying Bass‐Baritone roles such as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen and Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca; his is truly a vocal range granting incredibly rare versatility ‐ making him stand out among the growing community of low voices.
Role debuts in the 2017‐18 season include Dr. Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Capellio in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Michele in Il Tabarro, and Cesare Borgia in the world premiere of The Borgia Infami.?