“If you are a gentleman, pray remember that I am another’s! But you do love me, don’t you?” —Patience to Archibald Grosvenor in Patience; or, Bunthorne’s Bride
A fully staged performance of the Gilbert & Sullivan’s famous exploration of Oscar Wilde’s world of the Aesthetes of Victorian England rounds out the Wilde Oscar Nights season. Vanity, passion, and virtue challenge changing societal norms in this comédie célèbre.
Conducted by Gil Rose
Stage Direction by Frank Kelley
Reginald Bunthorne — Aaron Engebreth
Patience — Sara Heaton
Archibald Grosvenor — Paul Max Tipton
Lady Jane — Janna Baty
Colonel Calverley – James Maddalena
Lieut. The Duke of Dunstable – Steven Goldstein
Lady Angela – Jaime Korkos
Lady Ella – Sara Womble
Lady Saphir – Heather Gallagher
Major Murgatroyd — Sumner Thompson
Chorus of Rapturous Maidens and Officers of Dragoon Guards
Performed in English.
Baritone Aaron Engebreth enjoys a varied solo career in opera, oratorio and recital. Acclaimed for his “exemplary diction and rich baritone voice” (Boston Phoenix), he has devoted considerable energy and time to the performance of established and new music, frequently collaborating with many of today’s foremost composers. Along with his 2014 Carnegie Hall debut with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, he has been featured as a concert soloist in performances from Sapporo Japan’s Kitara Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall, to Le Theatre de la Ville in Paris and the AmBul festival of Sofia, Bulgaria. He gave his debut at Washington’s Kennedy Center in 2012, and he has been a guest of the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Rockport, and Monadnock Music Festivals as well as many of our country’s fine symphony orchestras, among them Portland, Virginia, San Diego, and Charlotte. His recent season performances have include concerts and commercial recordings with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera, Portland, Lexington, Bangor, and Boston Landmarks’ Symphony Orchestras, Vancouver International Song Institute, St. Louis Art Museum, the Sarasa Ensemble, and the Firebird Ensemble. He has performed solo recitals at the Schubert Club of Minnesota, the Eastman School of Music, SOURCE Song Festival, The University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. His current concert season includes performances with Le Central de Lyon (France), Odyssey Opera, Boston Camerata, le Grand Parc de Puy du Fou, as well as song recitals in Lyon, Paris, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Aaron works closely with both established and young composers. As a student, his work with the award-winning composer and conductor, Lukas Foss fostered a passion for premiering new works, and he has since collaborated with composers John Harbison, Libby Larsen, Thea Musgrave, Ned Rorem, Daniel Pinkham, Scott Wheeler, Lee Hyla, Nicolas Maw, Jon Deak, Howard Frazin and many others, and often has the privilege of working with young composers on their vocal works. Aaron is also recognized for his interpretation of early music and is a frequent soloist with many of the country’s finest early-music organizations including the American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, Miami Bach Society, Boston Baroque, Boston Camerata, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and Musicians of the Old Post Road. He was a regular soloist and core member of Emmanuel Music from 2002-2008, joining a thirty-five year tradition of weekly performances of Bach’s sacred cantatas under the direction of the late Craig Smith. He considers this experience a highlight of his musical life thus far. In demand as recording artist, he is featured on operatic recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival and Radio Bremen, both nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Operatic Recording: Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Thésée (also nominated for a 2008 Gramophone Award), and the 2008 release of Lully’s Psyché. In 2016, he produced and recorded the first complete catalogue of the 3-disc compilation, The Complete Songs of Virgil Thomson with Florestan Recital Project and New World Records, which is garnering international acclaim. He recorded the world premiere release of Six Early Songs of Samuel Barber, and Libby Larsen’s The Peculiar Case of Dr. H. H. Holmes, both for Florestan Records, and is featured in recordings of John Deak’s The Passion of Scrooge with the Firebird Ensemble, and Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies. He began a multi-disc project in 2009 recording The Complete Songs of Daniel Pinkham with the Florestan Recital Project on Florestan Records, the first volume of which was named one of the 5 best contemporary music releases of the year by NPR and American Public Media. As a frequent performing and recording artist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, he can be heard on their recordings of Lukas Foss’s opera, Griffelkin, and oratorio, The Prairie, John Harbison’s A Winter’s Tale, Eric Sawyer’s Our American Cousin, Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts, and the upcoming release of Dominick Argento’s monodrama for baritone and orchestra, A Waterbird Talk, in collaboration with Odyssey Opera. While on the music faculty at Tufts University, Aaron was twice awarded faculty development grants to study the music of the French baroque in Paris. He is currently the Artistic Co-Director of Florestan Recital Project and is on faculty at L’ecole d’art Dramatique in Lyon, France, where he lives with his family.
American soprano Sara Heaton, noted for her “gleaming lyricism” by Opera News Online and her “sweet, pure soprano” by the Chicago Tribune, is gaining recognition as a sensitive performer of both opera standards and new works. Recent career highlights include singing Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Xalapa Orchestra in Mexico and guest conductor Donald Palma, her role debut as Violetta in La Traviata with Opera in the Heights in Houston and conductor Enrique Carreón-Robledo, a Symphony Hall debut as Papagena with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and Federico Cortese, her first professional recording with Martin Pearlman leading Boston Baroque in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, a role and company debut as Juliette in Die Tote Stadt with conductor Gil Rose and Odyssey Opera, and her first Beethoven’s Ninth with The Santa Fe Symphony and conductor Tom Hall. In addition to upcoming performances with Symphony by the Sea and the Walden Chamber Players, this season Sara joins The Metropolitan Opera Chorus as a full-time member. In the 2015-16 season, Sara appeared at Symphony Hall as the title role in Stravinsky’s Perséphone with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra. Also in Boston, Sara performed Papagena in The Magic Flute and covered Pamina with Boston Baroque. For her performance in Mozart’s Lucio Silla with Odyssey Opera, critics claimed her “jewel-like soprano captured all of Celia’s sensual, mercurial charm and substance.” She also revisited Beethoven’s Ninth with The Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and joined the White Mountains Music Festival in concerts featuring songs by Villa-Lobos. A deft interpreter of new music, Sara has sung in several premieres, most notably as Miranda in the US premiere of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers for which she was praised for her “daunting power and agility in the stratospheric notes of her final scene,” and was singled out as giving “the finest performance of the evening.” Other new music performances include the role of Tsering with American Opera Projects in excerpts from Numinous City by Pete Wyer, Lidochka in Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki with Chicago Opera Theater, and Jenifer in Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage with Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Sara has enjoyed singing Despina in the Mozart favorite Così fan tutte with both Boston Baroque and Boston Midsummer Opera, covering Leila in The Pearl Fishers at The Santa Fe Opera, and singing Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor with Boston Midsummer Opera. Also of note, Sara stepped in last-minute to sing Serpina in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona in Boston Baroque’s New Year’s Concert, of which the Boston Classical Review said, “Her timing was impeccable, she sings and she sang with such an effortless and colorful tone that all would have been forgiven even if it wasn’t.” Sara took first place prize in the Marie Kraja International Singing Competition in Albania, and 2nd place prize in the Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition. She has received the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera competition, a finalist in the Giulio Gari Competition, received an Encouragement Grant from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, and was a semi-finalist in the Competizione dell’Opera in Germany. She holds a Masters of Music degree from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Praised by the Boston Globe for “a rich, viola-like tone and a rapturous, luminous lyricism,” mezzo-soprano Janna Baty enjoys an exceptionally versatile career. She has sung with Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Daejeon Philharmonic, Hamburgische Staatsoper, L’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Longwood Symphony, Hartford Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Eugene Opera, Opera North, and Boston Lyric Opera. She has sung under the batons of James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson, Carl Davis, Robert Spano, Steuart Bedford, Stephen Lord, Stefan Asbury, Gil Rose, David Hoose, and Shinik Hahm, among numerous others. As a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, she has performed at festivals worldwide, including the Aldeburgh and Britten Festivals in England, the Varna Festival in Bulgaria, the Semanas Musicales de Frutillar Festival in Chile, and the Tanglewood, Norfolk, Monadnock, and Coastal Carolina festivals in the United States. A noted specialist in contemporary music, Ms. Baty has worked alongside many celebrated composers, including John Harbison, Bernard Rands, Yehudi Wyner, Sydney Hodkinson, Peter Child, Reza Vali, Paul Salerni, and Paul Moravec, on performances of their music. Ms. Baty has enjoyed a long collaboration with Gil Rose and much as it will embarrass him to see it in print, she considers him to be one of her most cherished mentors and music-making partners. She is especially proud of her discography with Boston Modern Orchestra Project: with them has recorded the critically lauded Vali: Folk Songs (sung in Persian); Lukas Foss’ opera Griffelkin; the world-premiere recording of Eric Sawyer’s Civil War-era opera Our American Cousin; and John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs. She has sung a great number of roles under Gil’s baton, her favorites being the Duchess in Powder Her Face; and Yelena Ivanova Popova in The Bear. An alumna of Oberlin College and the Yale School of Music, she joined the faculty of the Yale School of Music in 2008.
Renowned baritone James Maddalena commands a large and varied repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to contemporary opera. He first gained international recognition for his extraordinary portrayal of the title role in the world premiere of John Adams’s Nixon in China, directed by Peter Sellars, with Houston Grand Opera and followed by performances at Netherland Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Washington Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Australia’s Adelaide Festival, the Chatelet in Paris, English National Opera, the Greek National Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and for his debut with the Metropolitan Opera. His association with John Adams continued in the roles of the Captain in The Death of Klinghoffer, which premiered at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and received performances at the Opera de Lyon, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, San Francisco Opera, and at the Vienna Festival; and Jack Hubbard in Doctor Atomic for San Francisco Opera. Mr. Maddalena has appeared with many leading opera companies and Symphony orchestras: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Boston, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Frankfurt Opera, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish Orchestra, Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent collaborator with director Peter Sellars and sang major roles in Sellars’s stagings of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas—the Count in Le nozze di Figaro set in Trump Tower, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte—as well as his productions of operas by Haydn, Handel, and John Adams. Mr. Maddalena has collaborated with many contemporary composers, including John Harbison, Gunther Schuller, Elliot Goldenthal, Robert Moran, Domenic Argento, Marc Blitzstein, and Michael Tippett. He sang the world premiere of Stewart Wallace’s Harvey Milk with Houston Grand Opera, later heard at San Francisco Opera and recorded by Teldec under Donald Runnicles. He sang the premiere of Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter at San Francisco Opera. In St. Louis, Mr. Maddalena sang the premiere of David Carlson’s The Midnight Angel. He sang the role of Gideon March in Mark Adamo’s Little Women at the Houston Grand Opera, and title role in the premiere of Kirke Mechem’s John Brown at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, where he returned for Nixon In China. He gave the premiere of Elliot Goldenthal’s Fire Water Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, recorded for Sony Classical and later performed with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and the world premiere of Harbison’s Four Psalms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Maddalena made his Santa Fe Opera debut in the premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Letter; and returned for the premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s “Life is a Dream.” He made his Opera de Monte-Carlo debut in the premiere of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers, followed by US performances in Boston and Chicago. He sang the premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther for New York City Opera. January 2014 brought the US premiere of Weinberg’s The Passenger with Houston Grand Opera, which then went to the Lincoln Center Festival. In 2015 he sang the premiere of Wlad Marhulets’s The Property for his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. An active concert artist, James Maddalena can be heard in repertoire ranging from Bach to Hindemith. He has performed The Messiah with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society; Hindemith’s Requiem with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Orchestra of the Accademia di Santi Cecilia in Rome; the St. John Passion in Turin, Italy; Harbison’s Words from Paterson with the San Francisco Symphony; and Carmina Burana in Seville, Spain and Palermo, Italy. He made his Houston Symphony debut in fall 2010, singing Lawrence Siegel’s Kaddish, conducted by Hans Graf. He sang Schubert’s Die Winterreise at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Robert Spano as accompanist, and the complete cycle of Bach cantatas with Boston’s Emmanuel Music. Mr. Maddalena has recorded for Decca/London, BMG, Classical Catalyst, Nonesuch, Teldec, Sony Classical, Harmonia Mundi, and EMI. He can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Nixon In China (Nonesuch) and the Emmy Award-winning PBS telecast, now on DVD.
New York-born tenor Steven Goldstein enjoys a career on both the opera stage, and as an actor in theater and films. Last season he joined Odyssey Opera and Boston Modern Orchestra Project as The Fisherman in Gunther Schuller’s The Fisherman and His Wife. Steven has sung roles with many companies including Squeak (Billy Budd), Harry (La Fanciulla del West), Third Jew (Salome), Scaramuccio (Ariadne), and Bardolfo (Falstaff) all with Seattle Opera; Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), First Jew (Salome) with LA Opera; Don Basilio (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Vancouver Opera; Victorin (Die Tote Stadt), Don Curzio (Nozze), Borsa (Rigoletto) with New York City Opera; Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) Israeli Opera; Cleveland Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera where he debuted in 2011 as one of the Servants in Capriccio. He has also created roles in many new contemporary pieces, including works by Libby Larson, Gerald Busby, and James Sellars. As an actor, performance highlights include OUR TOWN on Broadway with Spaulding Gray; the premiers of I WAS MOST ALIVE WITH YOU (Huntington Theatre Company); BOYS’ LIFE, OH HELL, THE LIGHTS (Lincoln Center Theatre); ROMANCE, THE VOSEY INHERITANCE, SHAKER HEIGHTS (Atlantic Theater Company); KEEP YOUR PANTHEON (LA Theater Center); INTIMATE APPAREL (Center Stage Baltimore); HARMONY (La Jolla Playhouse); and the Boston premiere of BIG FISH (SpeakEasy Stage Co.) Steven has appeared in the TV shows quarterlife, Law & Order, and The Guiding Light, and in films including The Untouchables, Signs and Wonders, The Spanish Prisoner, The Night We Never Met, Homicide, House of Games, and Things Change.
Praised for her dynamic stage presence and warmly expressive vocalism, Sara Womble is a 2016-2017 Emerging Artist at Boston Lyric Opera, where she will sing Barbarina and cover Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. In the summer of 2016, she was an Apprentice Artist at Opera NEO, where she sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and was praised for her “supple” singing and “volatile emotional vocabulary.” Sara received her Master’s degree from Boston University, where her roles included La Fée in Cendrillon, Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas, Ruth Baldwin in Later the Same Evening, and Presendia in Dark Sisters. During the 2015-2016 season, Sara was a semi-finalist in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, the Rochester Oratorio Society Competition and the Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition. Before her singing career, Sara graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Duke University, where she double-majored in English and Vocal Performance.
Recent projects for Heather Gallagher include Carmen (Mercedes; Carmen cover, Calixto Bieito, dir.), The Merry Widow (Sylviane/Dodo), Werther (Charlotte cover and Käthchen), Katya Kabanova (Feklusha), and The Love Potion (Isolt’s Mother) with Boston Lyric Opera; the title role in Carmen with Metrowest Opera, Song from the Uproar (Alto, Beth Morrison Projects) The Daughter of the Regiment (Marquise, Opera North), Trouble in Tahiti (Dinah, Metrowest Opera), Les lettres de Werther (Charlotte, Boston Opera Collaborative), the New England premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song (Asakir, Boston Opera Collaborative). Other credits include Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino, Vero Beach Opera), Dido and Aeneas (Dido, HEMS), Albert Herring (Nancy, BOC), Così fan tutte (Despina, Gusman Center for the Arts), and the much lauded productions of La bohème, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, I Puritani, The Magic Flute, Der fliegende Holländer, and Madama Butterfly with Boston Lyric Opera. Ms. Gallagher is a Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) Emerging Artist Alumna, and a recipient of BLO’s 2016 Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence. Additionally she has received First Place in the 2015 Peter Elvins Vocal Competition, First Place in Metrowest Opera’s 2014 Competition, a Two Year Fellowship from the Atlantic Music Festival, and an Encouragement Award from the Licia-Albanese Puccini Foundation (2011).
Described as possessing “power and passion,” and “stylish elegance,” Sumner Thompson is in high demand on the concert and opera stage across North America and Europe. He has appeared as a soloist with many leading ensembles and orchestras including the Britten-Pears Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Les Voix Baroques, The Handel and Haydn Society, Tafelmusik, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, gli angeli genève, and the orchestras of Cedar Rapids, Phoenix, Richmond, Memphis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, and Charlotte. Recent engagements included a repeat performance of Handel’s Messiah with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the critically acclaimed Green Mountain Project, Britten’s War Requiem with the Boston Philharmonic, Bach’s St. John Passion at the National Cathedral, and the title role in Britten’s Saint Nicolas with Philadelphia Choral Arts. On the operatic stage he performed the role of El Dancaïro in Carmen with the Cincinnati Opera, and the role of Siegmund in a concert version of Act I of Wagner’s Die Walküre in Boston. He revisited the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in Juneau, Alaska, in 2016. Mr. Thompson can be heard on the Boston Early Music Festival’s Grammy nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché on the CPO label, with the Handel and Haydn Society on their recording of Handel’s Messiah on the Coro label, and also with Les Voix Baroques on Canticum Canticorum, Carissimi Oratorios, and Humori, all on the ATMA label. In addition to his musical pursuits, Mr. Thompson spends his time restoring his 1885 Stick-style Victorian home, building various types of bass guitars, and entertaining his 4 year old daughter.