Lyric Opera of Chicago

Richard Ollarsaba

 Richard Ollarsaba

Photo by Devon Cass.


A first-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 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 (debut, later reprised with 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 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 for piano, chorus and orchestra, 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 performs in 2013-14 Lyric productions of Otello (debut), Madama Butterfly, Parsifal and La traviata.


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

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Ryan Opera Center 2013-2014 Ensemble


Sopranos Mezzo-sopranos

Emily Birsan


Tracy Cantin


Laura Wilde



J'nai Bridges


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Bass-baritone   Apprentice Coach

Richard Ollarsaba

Richard Ollarsaba  


  Maureen Zoltek

 Maureen Zoltek