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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Baker’

July 31 Concert Program

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Open Opera Concert in the Park
Orinda Community Park
Sunday, July 31, 2011 4PM
James Meredith, pianist

“È strano…sempre libera” from La Traviata by Verdi
Eileen Meredith, soprano

“Dove sono” from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart
Carolyne Anne Jordan, soprano

“Hai gia vinta la causa causa….vedro” from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart
Leland Morine, baritone

“Mon cœur s’ouvre a ta voix” from Samson et Dalila by Saint Saëns
Theresa Cardinale, mezzo-soprano

“Harlequin’s aria” from Ariadne auf Naxos
Ryan Bradford, baritone

“Parigi o cara” from La Traviata by Verdi
Eileen Meredith, soprano and Sigmund Siegel, tenor

“Una voce poco fa” from The Barber of Seville by Rossini
Elizabeth Baker

“Eri tu” from Ballo in Maschera by Verdi
Nicolai Janitsky, baritone

“O mio Fernando” from La Favorita by Donizetti
Heather McFadden, mezzo-soprano

“Act 3 Quartet” from La Boheme by Puccini
Eileen Meredith, soprano; Carolyne Anne Jordan, soprano; Raymond Chavez, tenor; Ryan Bradford, baritone


“Casta diva” from Norma by Bellini
Angela Moser, soprano

“The Veil Song” from Don Carlo by Verdi
Lisa van der Ploeg, mezzo-soprano with Katya Roemer, soprano

“Mein sehnen! Mein Sehnen! From Die Tode Stadt by Korngold
Leland Morine, baritone

“Non ti scordar di me” words and music by Ernesto De Curtis and Domenic Furno
Katya Roemer, soprano and Theresa Cardinale, mezzo-soprano

“Accerba volutta” from Adriana Lecouvreur by Cilea
Heather McFadden, mezzo-soprano

“Questa o quella” from Rigoletto
Sigmund Seigel, tenor

“Dich, teure Halle” from Tannhäuser by Wagner
Katya Roemer, soprano

“Die Todesahnung … O du mein holder Abendstern from Tannhäuser by Wagner
Nicolai Janitzky, baritone

“Un bel di” from Madama Butterfly by Puccini
Carolyne Anne Jordan, soprano

“Nessun dorma” from Turandot by Puccini
Raymond Chavez, tenor

“Mira o Norma” from Norma by Bellini
Angela Moser, soprano and Lisa van der Ploeg, mezzo-soprano

This concert is sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The East Bay Community Foundation, The City of Berkeley and people like you.

Open Opera brings free, professional opera to bay area parks and uses public spaces to build community through the arts. It is a project of the Vocal Arts Institute, a California 501 c non-profit organization. Openopera.net
Elizabeth J. D. Baker is a San Francisco native and graduate of Williams College. Ms. Baker’s music and performing career spans composition, improvisation, comedy, acting, and opera. Co-founder and creative director of Open Opera, Ms. Baker has performed the roles of Dido and Cherubino and sung at Grace Cathedral with new music composer Earl Howard. Ms. Baker recently appeared at the New Museum in New York with Dogr. Her choral composition, One, Two, Three was commissioned and performed by the International Orange Chorale. Ms. Baker studied composition and North Indian raga with W. A. Mathieu for seven years and is a voice student of Soprano Olivia Stapp. Ms. Baker is the Creative Director for Open Opera.

Baritone Ryan Bradford is a DePaul University graduate who recently made his professional symphony debut with Northwest Indiana Symphony. With DePaul Opera Theater he sang many roles including KoKo in The Mikado and Betto in Gianni Schicchi, and recently debuted in San Francisco as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. He has been recognized by both Chicago and San Francisco NATS and is a student of Cesar Ulloa. He performed Masetto in Open Opera’s Don Giovanni.

Theresa Cardinale has performed before opera and concert audiences throughout Northern California. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “strong mezzo-soprano voice” and “focused clarity,” her career runs a broad gamut between the opera and concert stage. Theresa has been featured in major and “sidekick” roles with regional opera companies. As a concert soloist, her repertoire includes many of the choral masterpieces with numerous choral organizations and orchestras in Northern California. Upcoming performances include a commemoration concert performance on September 11 of the Verdi “Requiem” in Berkeley with a mast chorus. Theresa holds a master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Holy Names University and teaches voice in San Francisco and Berkeley.

Raymond Chavez is a Bay Area native with a past life including five years in the San Francisco Opera Chorus. More recently, Ray has appeared with Alameda Civic Light Opera, most notably as Juan Peron inEvita and the Padre in Man of La Mancha, as well as with Altarena Theater and Stagemasters as Frankie in “Forever Plaid”. He recently premiered song cycles by composer Aaron Blumenfeld in Berkeley (Trinity Concert Series). He has performed in the Bracebridge Dinners in Yosemite National Park. It was while singing in Yosemite that Ray returned to the opera repertoire after a twenty-two year hiatus. Since then, he has appeared with Pocket Opera in San Francisco, and with Open Opera in the East Bay. He has appeared with Virago Theatre in Alameda, last year as Rodolfo in La Bohème and recently as Alfredo in La Traviata.

Nicolai Janitzky is a native of Northern California. His recent engagements include Shchelkalov in Boris Godunov with San Francisco Opera, Baron Douphol in La Traviata with San Diego Opera, Marcello in La Boheme with Sacramento Opera, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore with Bear Valley Music Festival, Guglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte with Opera Idaho, and Silvio in I Pagliacci with Livermore Valley Opera. Other roles he has sung include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Pélleas et Mélisande, Valentin in Faust, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Papageno in The Magic Flute. He has also worked at Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. He is an active recitalist, and has performed in such venues as Carnegie (Weill) Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Cleveland Institute of Music Art Song Festival. He is the winner of several competitions including the George London Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, and Opera Index Foundation. He has also been a finalist in the Operalia (Placido Domingo) Vocal Competition. He studied at the Yale University Opera Program and the Music Academy of the West.

Carolyne Anne Jordan, Soprano, has been performing professionally in the San Francisco Bay area for four years. Most recently, she sang the role of “Lola” (Frasquita) in Berkeley West Edge Opera’s The Carmen Fixation, and will sing in the Extra Chorus of the San Francisco Opera later this year. Past engagements include recitals with The Santa Cruz Chamber Players, a world premiere role at Mission City Opera, Livermore Valley Opera (cover), Goat Hall Productions, and in the summer programs West Coast Opera Workshop and BASOTI. Carolyne Anne studies in San Francisco with Sheri Greenawald.

Heather McFadden has been a prominent singer in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years. Known for her large dramatic mezzo voice, she has appeared with opera companies. Upcoming roles include Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera San Jose and Open Opera.

Washington, D.C. native Eileen Meredith recently performed the role of Violetta in La Traviata with Virago Theatre Company (viragotheatre.org). A co-founder of Virago, she looks forward to performing Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly next spring. Other roles for Virago include Mimi in La Boheme for which one critic exclaimed “her duets…came as near to heartbreak as the [audience] can bear.” Other past performances include Cunegonde in Candide and Polly in the Threepenny Opera and Musetta in La Boheme. Eileen will perform the role of Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly in the spring of 2012. She has performed with San Francisco Opera, Berkeley West Edge Opera, Goat Hall Productions, Pocket Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, Sonoma City Opera as well as The San Francisco Symphony.
One of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most well-rounded musicians, James Meredith conducts the country’s acclaimed Sonos Handbell Ensemble. A native of North Carolina, Mr. Meredith received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University. He is a musical partner with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and dramatic soprano Olivia Stapp. Concerts with Ms. Von Stade included an appearance on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” reaching a National Public Radio audience of over two million listeners. He has been teaching, accompanying and coaching students for the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley for 14 years. His voice students are winners of many competitions and have gone for advanced degrees at top-ranked universities and conservatories, many on scholarships.

Leland Morine, baritone, came from a musical family. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Fresno Pacific College and a Master of Arts at California State University, Fresno. He won the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions five times, received top prize in the Fresno District Merola Auditions, and was awarded prizes twice from the Henry Holt Memorial Scholarship. Roles performed include Maletesta Don Pasquale, Dandini Cenerentola, Silvio & Tonio Pagliacci, Renato Ballo, Schaunard Boheme, Scarpia Tosca, Falstaff Falstaff, Elder Germont Traviata, Silva Ernani, Ezio Attila, Michele & Gianni Schicchi Trittico, Count Figaro, Guglielmo Cosi, Sparadrop Princess of Trebizonde, Emperor Rossignol, Jupiter Orpheus, and many Gilbert and Sullivan characters. He regularly performs with the Uptown Singers. Sings Opera, Broadway, and Standards at Bella Restaurant in Redwood Shores, presents Neapolitan Standards at Nicolino’s Garden Restaurant in Sunnyvale, and on radio and in recital. He is widely known for his performances of 17th century through 20th century oratorio and concert literature.

Angela Eden Moser enjoys performing in the Bay Area and abroad. Opera roles include Donna Anna in Open Opera’s “Don Giovanni,” Atalanta in “Serse,” Priscilla Sherman in “I Candy,” Ereshkigal in “The Descent of Innana,” and Sophia in “The Mystery of Love.” Angela occasionally sings in the San Francisco Opera Chorus and also plays the flute. She loves all art forms, cooking, the outdoors, and traveling.
Katya Roemer, Soprano, has performed extensively as a soloist in opera, operetta, concert and musical theater in New York, Spain, Italy, and the West Coast. She has been praised for her “musical command,” “big, warm soprano voice” and “excellent sense of interpretation and characterization.” A winner of many awards and prizes, Katya won first runner up in the Pacific Region Metropolitan Opera Auditions and took first place in the National Opera Association competition. Roemer’s broad operatic repertoire includes leading and title roles with numerous West Coast companies in Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller, Der Rosenkavalier, the Bartered Bride, Rusalka, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Il Tabarro, The Marriage of Figaro, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow and Samuel Barber’s Vanessa and A Hand of Bridge. Taking on the world stage, she has appeared as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with the historic Gran Theatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and has sung in concert at the opera houses in Spoleto and Trevi, Italy. This December Katya will perform in the Bracebridge Dinners at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite.
Sigmund Seigel, tenor, is a graduate of Music and Art High School in New York and received a M.M. in Voice on full scholarship at Stony Brook, SUNY. He studied Italian in Florence, Italy. He has sung roles with Sacramento Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Cinnabar Opera and Pocket Opera companies. Some of his roles are Cassio, Goro, Tamino, Monastatos. He has been 1st tenor with San Francisco Opera chorus for 29 seasons. He is also on the Board of Berkeley Opera and was featured in the academy award winning documentary about Opera Singers, ‘In the Shadow of the Stars’. Mr. Seigel maintains a busy schedule singing and has a voice studios in San Francisco and Oakland.

Ellen St. Thomas enjoys performing, teaching, conducting and directing. Her opera performances with local opera companies such as West Bay Opera, Livermore Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Mission Opera and The Marin Summer Music Festival include: The Countess, The Marriage of Figaro, Rosalinda Die Fledermaus, Mimi La Boheme, Miss Jessel Turn of the Screw, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Jenufa and Mayor’s Wife Jenufa, Micaela Carmen, Pretzel Girl in Shostakovich’s, The Nose. Opera directing credits include La Boheme and Rachmaninoff’s, Aleko for the Russian Center. Ms. St. Thomas has a private voice studio and teaches voice at the Alameda School of Music. She is co-founder and executive director of Open Opera.

Lisa van der Ploeg has performed in over 25 states and has worked with companies such as the San Francisco Opera Center, Intermountain Opera, Stockton Opera, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Dayton Philharmonic. Among the roles she has sung are the title role in Carmen, Amneris in Aida, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Katisha in the Mikado, and the Mother in Amahl and the Night visitors. Though a California girl from birth, she grew up in Denmark and is always delighted to hear others speak Danish.

Open Opera Receives Grant from the City of Berkeley

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

March 16, 2011
Ellen St. Thomas

Open Opera, a Berkeley-based nonprofit now in its third year of bringing professional quality, admissions-free opera concerts to Bay Area parks, received a two-year grant in August 2010 from the City of Berkeley’s Civic Arts Grant Program to support performances during its 2010- 2011 season. In the first year of the grant Open Opera brought a fully-costumed and staged performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Berkeley, free of charge. This year’s lineup includes 4 performances of Cosi fan tutti to be held at Berkeley’s John Hinkel Park during weekends in July, along with a roster of free opera voice concerts to take place at parks throughout the East Bay.

“We’re bringing opera to the public for free in a time of economic uncertainty, and using public outdoor spaces to build community through the arts,” says mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Baker, also one of Open Opera’s co-founders and its Creative Director. Mothers with infants, retired couples, picnicking families and young adults all have been a part of Open Opera audiences in the past. Susan Wengraf, Berkeley City Council Member, District 6, adds, “Open Opera makes opera accessible to everyone, regardless of income. They offer an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy professionally performed opera to our community!”

Internationally- renowned soprano Olivia Stapp co-founded Open Opera in 2008 because “We wanted to return opera to its informal origins so a music lover can listen, walk around, or picnic during a performance.” Executive Director Ellen St. Thomas, the nonprofit group’s third co-founder, says Open Opera “makes opera accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience, without the cost or formality. The people of Berkeley have embraced Open Opera’s efforts with an outpouring of support for its performances so it’s a real honor for the City of Berkeley to become an official sponsor.”

Since its founding in 2008, Open Opera has produced four performances of Mozart’s masterpieces, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, complete with period costumes and an orchestra at John Hinkel Park in Berkeley, seven concerts in Bay Area parks, (four concerts at Live Oak Park) and three master classes (held at the Berkeley Piano Club), all featuring international artists. The group estimates that its free public performances have reached an estimated 6,000 people in Berkeley and employed approximately 200 local singers, pianists, instrumentalists and craftspeople.

“What a treat to have Open Opera in the heart of our North Berkeley summer. Beautiful music. Beautiful setting. Hundreds of happy opera lovers. Thank you!” exclaimed Laurie Capitelli, Berkeley City Council Member, District 5.

Upcoming events:
May 21, 2011 at 3PM Opera Concert in the Park at Live Oak Park, Berkeley
July 9/10 and 16/17 at 3PM Cosi fan tutte, an opera by Mozart sung in Italian with English supertitles, fully staged with costumes and orchestra conducted by Jonathan Khuner, stage directed by Olivia Stapp at John Hinkel Park.

Open Opera receives grant from East Bay Community Foundation

Monday, February 7th, 2011

February 3, 2011
Ellen St. Thomas

Open Opera, a Berkeley-based nonprofit now in its third year of bringing professional quality, admissions-free opera concerts and performances to Bay Area parks received a $5,000 grant from the East Bay Community Foundation in support of its 2011 season. The year’s events supported by the grant include a fully staged performance with orchestra of Cosi fan tutti, a master class with world-renowned pianist and opera voice coach, and several outdoor vocal concerts.

“We’re bringing opera to the public for free in a time of economic uncertainty, and using public outdoor spaces to build community through the arts,” said mezzo soprano Elizabeth Baker, Open Opera’s co-founder and Creative Director. Mothers with infants, retired couples, picnicking families and young adults, and kids sitting in come to hear beautiful musical performances in the park.

Renowned soprano Olivia Stapp co-founded Open Opera in 2008 because “We wanted to return opera to its informal origins so a music lover can listen, walk around, or picnic during a performance.” Director Ellen St. Thomas, the nonprofit group’s third co-founder, says Open Opera “makes opera accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience, without the cost or formality.”

Since its founding in 2008, Open Opera has produced four performances of Mozart’s masterpieces, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, complete with period costumes and an orchestra at John Hinkel Park in Berkeley, seven concerts in Bay Area parks, and three master classes featuring international artists. The group estimates that its free public performances have reached an estimated 6,000 people across Berkeley, Alameda and Orinda counties, and employed approximately 200 singers, pianists, instrumentalists and craftspeople.

“The grant from the East Bay Community Foundation will give us additional resources to reach out to continue to provide great opera programming free to the public,” St. Thomas noted.

The East Bay Community Foundation (www.eastbaycf.org) connects community needs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties with individuals, families and organizations interested in charitable giving — and acts as a catalyst for change through leading initiatives, advocacy, and partnerships with business, government, and private foundations. Formed in 1928, the Foundation is a leading resource on charitable giving and community needs, stewarding more than 500 charitable funds and endowments.

OPEN OPERA FANS SPEAK OUT! We are the coolest opera company…

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Open Opera Sizzles in the Cool Summer of 2010 Ron Fujie, supporter of Open Opera, makes a wonderful video from the 2009-2010 season. Changing the world one opera performance at a time. Paste link into browser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISpUw5t0z1M

Sneak Peak: Rehearsal Photos of Don Giovanni

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Photos by Eileen Meredith

These photos were taken during the dress rehearsal on Thursday, August 5 at John Hinkel Park. The talented and beautiful, young cast and an orchestra made up of the very best players in the Bay Area together with the nuanced, meaningful and excellent staging by Olivia Stapp and inspired musical direction by Jonathan Khuner will be enforce this afternoon to surprise and delight the audience.


Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

AUGUST 7,8, 14, & 15 at 3PM
BERKELEY, CA, August 2, 2010 –

Rehearsals for Open Opera’s free outdoor productions of W.A. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” are in full swing as the cast and crew prepare for four performances in Berkeley’s John Hinkel Park on August 7, 8, 14, and 15, all at 3:00 p.m.

John Hinkel Park is in northeast Berkeley at 41 Somerset Avenue. Over 2000 people enjoyed two free performances of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” in the 700-seat historic amphitheater there last July. Handicapped access is available.  Come early to get the best seats, bring a blanket and a chair for your comfort.  Wine, soda and sandwiches will be sold.

The cast of professional singers in “Don Giovanni” includes Igor Vieira as Don Giovanni, Jo Vincent Parks (Leporello), Elizabeth Baker (Zerlina), Angela Moser (Donna Anna), Aimee Puentes (Donna Elvira), and Carlos Aguilar (Il Commendatore). Open Opera’s Artistic Director, Olivia Stapp, provides stage direction, assisted by Music Director Jonathan Khuner, who leads the orchestra. Laura Ellis is the choreographer and Open Opera’s Ellen St. Thomas is the production manager.
Don Giovanni: Igor Vieira
Leporello: Jo Vincent Parks
Donna Anna: Angela Moser
Don Ottavio: Mike Desnoyers
Donna Elvira: Aimee Puentes
Zerlina: Elizabeth Baker
Masetto: Ryan Bradford
Il Commendatore: Carlos Aguilar
Stage Director: Olivia Stapp
Music Director: Jonathan Khuner
Assistant Music Director: Bruce Olstad
Chorus: Rick Bogart, Zachary Howard, Nicholas Losorelli, Brie Martin, Michelle Persoff, Elenka Proulx, Cameron Sorensen, Cristin Williams