Lyric Opera of Chicago

Richard Ollarsaba

 Richard Ollarsaba

Photo by Devon Cass.

A second-year Ryan Opera Center member, bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba, a native of Tempe, Arizona, earned a postgraduate certificate and master of music degree through the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He appeared there in roles by Mozart, Donizetti, and Nicolai. During his time in Winston-Salem he also appeared with Piedmont Opera as Ferrando/Il trovatore (also North Carolina Opera), Masetto/Don Giovanni, and Reverend Hale/The Crucible. Ollarsaba earned his bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and made his professional debut at Opera Cleveland as Antonio/Le nozze di Figaro. Concert engagements include the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival, Kansas City Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A grand finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ollarsaba is a former participant in the young-artist programs at Tanglewood (bass soloist in Beethoven's Fantasia in c-minor, 75th-anniversary gala, PBS telecast) and Music Academy of the West. As a 2012-13 resident artist at Minnesota Opera, he was featured in Nabucco, Anna Bolena and Turandot. The bass-baritone performed in 2013-14 Lyric productions of Otello (debut), Madama Butterfly, Parsifal, La traviata and The Family Barber. In the current season he stepped in to sing the title role/Don Giovanni and is also appearing in Capriccio, Anna Bolena, Tosca and The Passenger.

Richard Ollarsaba is sponsored by Lois B. Siegel and Drs. Joan and Russ Zajtchuk.

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Ryan Opera Center 2014-2015 Ensemble


Sopranos Mezzo-sopranos

Tracy Cantin


Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi


Laura Wilde



J'nai Bridges


Julie Anne Miller



Tenors       Baritones    

Jesse Donner


John Irvin


Jonathan Johnson

Jonathan Johnson


Anthony Clark Evans


Will Liverman




Bass-baritone   Bass     Pianist  

Richard Ollarsaba




Bradley Smoak

Bradley Smoak




Maureen Zoltek