Lyric Opera of Chicago

Ryan Opera Center members all over the map

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From the mountains to the valleys, both here and overseas –
current + former members of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center
are all over the map this summer!

Several alumni and current ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago are featured artists at music festivals at home and around the globe this summer. Herewith, some highlights, with current ensemble members noted by *.

Chicago area:

  • Make Music Chicago:  Tracy Cantin* and J’nai Bridges*, live-broadcast performance on 98.7WFMT during the evening grand-finale concert, St. James Cathedral, June 21, 6:30pm. 
  • Ravinia Festival, Highland Park:  Nicole Cabell featured in an all-Rachmaninoff concert Aug. 2, 8pm; Lauren McNeese/2nd Lady, Rodell Rosel/1st Priest, 1st Armored Man, The Magic Flute/Mozart concert performances Aug. 16, 7pm and Aug. 18, 1pm; Susanna Phillips/Ilia and Rodell Rosel/Arbace, Idomeneo/Mozart concert performances Aug. 17, 7pm and Aug. 19, 1pm. 
  • Grant Park Music Festival:  Levi Hernandez sings Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs July 6, 6:30pm and July 7, 7:30pm; Jonita Lattimore and René Barbera featured in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, July 20, 6:30pm and July 21, 7:30pm; full Ryan Opera Center ensemble* performs scenes from Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at Pritzker Pavilion Aug. 15, 6:30pm. 


  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis:  Kathryn Leemhuis/Dorabella, David Portillo/Ferrando, Così fan tutte through June 22; Scott Ramsay/Beadle, Sweeney Todd, through June 24. 
  • San Francisco Opera: Quinn Kelsey/Ezio, Attila through July 1; Maria Kanyova/Pat Nixon, Buffy Baggott/2nd Secretary, Nixon in China, through July 3; Lauren McNeese/2nd Lady, The Magic Flute, through July 8. 
  • The Santa Fe Opera:  Nicole Cabell/Leila, Wayne Tigges/Nourabad, Paul Scholten/Zurga (understudy), The Pearl Fishers through Aug. 22; Erin Wall/title role, Kiri Deonarine*/Fiakermilli, Arabella through Aug. 25. 
  • Castleton Festival, Virginia:  Cecelia Hall*/Rosina, The Barber of Seville, through July 1; Corey Crider/Escamillo, Carmen and Marcello/La bohème, through July 8. 
  • Wolf Trap Opera, Vienna, Virginia: Craig Irvin/Leporello, Don Giovanni, June 29-July 7; James Kryshak/Sellem, The Rake’s Progress, Aug. 3-11. 
  • Glimmerglass Festival, Cooperstown, New York:  Elizabeth Futral/Marian, The Music Man, July 14-Aug. 24.
  • Aspen Music Festival, Colorado: Susanna Phillips, Knoxville: Summer of 1915, July 13; Amber Wagner, Meredith Arwady, and Stephen Powell featured soloists in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Aug. 18. 
  • Central City Opera, Colorado:  Paul La Rosa/Jud, Oklahoma!, June 30-Aug. 11.
  • Tanglewood Festival, Lenox, Massachusetts:  Christopher Feigum/Brander, The Damnation of Faust, Boston Symphony Orchestra concert performance July 28. 
  • Lincoln Center Festival, New York City:  Elizabeth Futral/title role, Saariaho’s Emilie, July 19-22.  
  • Des Moines Metro Opera, Iowa: Marjorie Owens/Donna Anna, Stefan Szkafarowsky/ Commendatore, Don Giovanni, through July 15; Stefan Szkafarowsky/Prince Gremin, Eugene Onegin, June 30-July 10.
  • Opera New Jersey (Princeton and Asbury Park): Erica Strauss/Leonora, Il trovatore, July 8-29. 


Additionally, Nicole Cabell portrayed Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni at Tokyo’s New National Theater in April; Emily Magee sang the title role/Salome at the Vienna Staatsoper in April; Matthew Polenzani portrayed Alfredo/La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in April and May; Franco Pomponi portrayed the title role/Nixon in China at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in April and two roles/Cyrano at Teatro Real, Madrid, in May; Cecelia Hall* sang the title role/Teseo and Paul Scholten, Emily Fons, Paul La Rosa, and Paul Corona all appeared in Moscow, Cheryomushki at Chicago Opera Theater in April and May; Andriana Chuchman sang Olympia/Les contes d’Hoffmann with Canadian Opera Company (Toronto) in April-May;  Erin Wall sang Antonia/Les contes d’Hoffmann with COC in April-May and recorded Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas; Marjorie Owens portrayed Dorotka in the 20th-century Czech opera Švanda dudák and Donna Anna/Don Giovanni with Dresden Semperoper, March-May;; Amanda Majeski portrayed Vitellia/La clemenza di Tito with Teatro Real-Madrid in Feb.-Mar. and with Dresden Semperoper in May-June, and Countess Almaviva, Le nozze di Figaro in Dresden in June; Kathleen Kim sang the Fairy/Cendrillon at Opéra de Lille in May; Christian Van Horn portrayed Banco/Macbeth at the Grand Théatre de Genève in May-June; Quinn Kelsey portrayed Amonasro/Aida at Vancouver Opera in April and May (after his Lyric engagement in that role); René Barbera sang Rinuccio/Gianni Schicchi with Canadian Opera Company in April and May; Elizabeth DeShong sang Suzuki/Madama Butterfly at Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival in March; Joseph Kaiser portrayed Steva/Jenůfa at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in March-April; Angela Mannino sang Papagena/The Magic Flute with The Dallas Opera in April-May; Stephen Morscheck portrayed Capulet/Roméo et Juliette with Florida Grand Opera in April-May and sang the role of Jesus/St. John Passion with Soli Deo Gloria’s Chicago Bach Project under John Nelson during Holy Week; and Rodell Rosel, Bryan Griffin, James Kryshak, Darren Stokes, Evan Boyer*, and Sam Handley sang supporting roles in Cleveland Orchestra concert performances of Salome in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall in May.

Each year The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, the professional artist-development program of Lyric Opera of Chicago, selects gifted young singers from some 400 applicants. Soon after arriving at Lyric in May, incoming Ryan Opera Center members begin an intensive full-year residency under the guidance of the program’s director, Gianna Rolandi, and numerous other opera professionals. Coaching sessions and master classes are augmented by performance and understudy experience in productions mounted by Lyric Opera of Chicago, including the eight operas of Lyric’s regular season. (Until September 2006, the program was known as the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists.)