William Davenport as Nemorino
William Davenport, tenor, is rapidly garnering attention for his strong yet lyric tenor and Italianate style. Of his performance in Chesapeake Chamber Opera’s production of La Boheme, Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun said, “William Davenport, who sang the role of Rodolfo, has the makings of a significant tenor. There’s an immediately expressive and appealing quality in the timbre, one with quite an Italianate tint…” In a year of debuts, 2012 saw his first Duca di Mantua in Rigoletto performed with the Italian Opera Festival of Orange County, of which the Italian news reported, “The biggest ovation, however, was for William Davenport. The young tenor demonstrated a huge vocal ability..”, the Verdi Requiem with New Jersey State Opera, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Baltimore Concert Opera, Hoffman in Les Contes d’Hoffman and Riccardo in Verdi’s Oberto and Un Ballo in Maschera at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Upcoming engagements for 2013/14 include: Verdi Requiems with Austin Symphony, National Philharmonic, the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy, and Bucks County Choral Society; role debuts of Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore with OperaDelaware and Baltimore Concert Opera.
On the concert stage Mr. Davenport has performed as tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Concert artists of Baltimore, Dvorák’s Mass in D with Columbia Pro Cantare, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria at Peabody, Messiah with the Frederick Chamber Singers, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. A native of Maryland, Mr. Davenport completed studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music under Dr. Stanley Cornett where he performed the roles of Des Grieux in Manon, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and Alfredo in La Traviata. He is a First Place Winner of the Giargiari Bel Canto competition, Finalist of the Loren L. Zachary Society Competition, and Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has completed young artist programs with Chautauqua Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Songfest. He is currently a Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he studies with Bill Schuman.
Sharin Apostolou as Adina
After performing for an ill singer on opening night in the title role of Handel’s Rodelinda at Portland Opera, Sharin Apostolou was lauded by the Oregonian for “her lovely, high, clear voice, and her coloratura — the dazzlingly fast music that says “Don’t mess with me” — was exuberant…she covered the musical terrain without fear,” and by Crosscut Seattle for, “[taking] on an impossibly daunting role with fearless flair, unraveling a sweet lyric coloratura voice of real promise.”
Sharin Apostolou’s recent engagements have included her Asian debut with the Macao International Music Festival as Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, her Avery Fisher Hall debut in two concerts with the National Chorale: Handel’s Alexander’s Feast paired with Mozart’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah; a return to Portland Opera singing Le Feu, La Princesse and Le Rossignol in Ravel’s L‘enfant et les Sortilèges and as Nannetta in Utah Opera’s Falstaff, for which the Salt Lake City Weekly said “the clarity and elegance on her few solos was mesmerizing.” In the 2011-2012 season, she sang Alinda in Giasone with Opera Omnia at Le Poisson Rouge, Susanna in an abridged version of Le nozze di Figaro as part of the Bryant Park Fall Festival, covered Fortuna in Il Sogno di Scipione with Gotham Chamber Opera, joined the Little Opera Theatre of NY for Alison in Holst’s rarely heard The Wandering Scholar, sang her first Lauretta and Suor Genovieffa in Il trittico with Baltimore Concert Opera, and returned to the Caramoor Festival as Argene inCiro in Babilonia.
Ms. Apostolou’s engagements for the 2012-2013 season include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Gilda in Rigoletto, both with Shreveport Opera; Norina in Don Pasquale with Wichita Grand Opera, a return to Portland Opera to sing Almirena in Rinaldo in a collaboration with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and joins the Alpine Theatre Project for Yuletide Affair 9. This summer, Ms. Apostolou joins Glimmerglass Opera to sing Guenevere in the Young Artist performance of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical Camelot.
A frequent performer of early music, Ms. Apostolou sang the title role in Cavalli’s La Calisto with the Portland Opera and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, during which she “sparkled, using a clear and supple soprano to dash off numerous impeccable runs,” (Opera Now Magazine.) As a Tanglewood Vocal Fellow, she made her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in an all Baroque Program with Susan Graham, as well as performed a number of duets by Monteverdi and Carissimi as part of an evening of opera with Mark Morris. Ms. Apostolou recently sang the US premier of Johan Christian Bach’sVauxhall Songs with the New England Baroque Soloists, performed excerpts from both Purcell’s Harmonia Sacra and Vivaldi’s Bajazet with the Portland Opera and covered both Virtù and Valletto in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Central City Opera. Ms. Apostolou made her European debut with the International Chamber Ensemble as part of the Operafestival di Roma as Serpina in Pergolesi’s La serva padrona.
The 2009-10 saw Ms. Apostolou’s debut with Vermont’s Green Mountain Opera festival as Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Ms. Apostolou then joined the European tour of Mitch Sebastian’s The Opera Show, as well as performed her first Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Opera Manhattan and Romilda in Serse with Pocket Opera New York. The summer of 2010 brought her to the Caramoor Festival under the baton of Will Crutchfield as Clotilde in Norma, as well as a performer in many of the festival’s Bel Canto at Caramoor concert series.
A favorite of Portland Opera, Ms. Apostolou has also performed Ms. Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Frasquita in Carmen, The High Priestess in Aida, Annina in La Traviata, and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, while she covered Violetta, Gilda, The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, and Marzelline in Fidelio. In 2007 at Central City Opera, she sang Noémie in the youth performance of Cendrillon, and Isabelle/Madeline in The Face on the Barroom Floor, and covered Annina in The Saint of Bleecker Street under the direction of Catherine Malfitano. She also toured as Carolina in Torroba’s Luisa Fernanda with the Tulsa Opera Studio.
Ms. Apostolou was a 2010 International Grand Finalist in the Competizione Dell’Opera hosted by the Semper Oper in Dresden, Germany and subsequently performed several concerts of arias with the Bremer Philharmoniker. On the American concert stage, Ms. Apostolou appeared with the Oregon Symphony as the soprano soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, the First Fairy in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and as Annina in excerpts from La Traviata. She’s also sung Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario with both the Portland Chamber Orchestra and the Walla Walla Symphony, as well as in The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, in the Fiddlesticks concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony and in the world premiers of The Lost Childhoodwith American Opera Projects and Homeric Hymns with The Lyric Theater of New York. At Tanglewood, Ms. Apostolou performed Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 under the baton of Ken-David Mazur, the world premier of John Aylward’s Instant Conductors under the tutelage of Dawn Upshaw and John Harbison, and excerpts from the Chants D’auvergne as part of Tanglewood On Parade.
Ms. Apostolou was awarded 2nd place in the 2010 Jensen foundation competition, has been a three time Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist and encouragement award winner, and has received prizes from the Shreveport Singer of the Year Competition, The National Opera Association Annual Vocal Competition, the Orpheus Competition, The Irene Dalis Competition of Opera San Jose, and The Eleanor Lieber Competition of Portland Opera. In 2007, she received the Young Artist of the Year award from Central City Opera. Ms. Apostolou completed her Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music, where she was seen in a variety of roles including Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, Zemire in Spohr’sZemire und Azor, Nora in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea, and Vera in Hoiby’s A Month in the Country. Ms. Apostolou holds a bachelor of fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University.
Trevor Scheunemann as Belcore
“Rich” and “gleaming” (Washington Post) are a few words used to describe the voice of American baritone Trevor Scheunemann.
In the 2012 – 2013 season, Trevor Scheunemann returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Silvano in the new production of Un ballo in maschera under Fabio Luisi, which was also an HD simulcast. Also at the MET, he reprised his role of Morales in Carmen and covered Marullo in the new production of Rigoletto. Last season, Mr. Scheunemann returned to the San Francisco Opera as Joe in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier and Opéra National de Bordeaux as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Additionally, he debuted at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly to great acclaim. Next season, he returns to Opéra de Monte-Carlo as Donner in Das Rheingold and will return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in productions of La bohème, Andrea Chénier, and The Enchanted Island.
Mr. Scheunemann recently returned to the San Francisco Opera as Joe in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier and Opéra National de Bordeaux as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Additionally, he debuted at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly to great acclaim. He was also recently seen at Metropolitan Opera as Schaunard in La bohème and Sid in La fanciulla del West, as well as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro at San Francisco Opera under Nicola Luisotti. He also premiered a new opera at Opéra de Monte Carlo entitled Die Marquise von O by René Koering. He made his Kansas City Symphony debut singing the “Old American Songs” of Aaron Copland. Mr. Scheunemann has been seen recently at Washington National Opera as Zurga in Les pêcheurs des perles and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Morales in the new production of Carmen conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, debuted at Oper Frankfurt as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and Opéra de Lille with Emmanuelle Haïm in Rameau’s Dardanus. He also made his San Francisco Opera debut as Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West conducted by Nicola Luisotti. In the summer of 2009, he returned to the Glyndebourne Festival to sing Melot in Tristan und Isolde and made his debut at Opéra National de Bordeaux in Robert Carsen’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. In concert, he performed Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem, Britten’s Cantata Misericordium, and Purcell’s Come, Ye Sons of Art with the Choral Arts Society of Washington (DC).
Other recent opera credits include Schaunard in La bohème and Masetto in Don Giovanni at Washington National Opera conducted by Plácido Domingo. He also sang the title role in Don Giovanni with Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists under the baton of Maestro Domingo in performances at the Kennedy Center and in Monte Carlo. He also made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in productions of Robert Carsen’s L’incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm and Graham Vick’s Eugene Onegin conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. His orchestral engagements included a performance of Dvorák’s Stabat Mater with the Choral Society of Washington (DC). He made an acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut as Curio in Giulio Cesare during the 2006 – 2007 season.
As a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera, he appeared in several mainstage performances which included Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Larry Landau in Sophie’s Choice, and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. As well as performances of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, Mr. Scheunemann also performed in a commissioned work by Marvin Hamlisch with Plácido Domingo and Kristin Chenoweth at the Washington National Opera Golden Gala.
Awards to Mr. Scheunemann’s credit include the Washington National Opera 2007 Artist of the Year, the third place winner in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2006, and Sara Tucker Study Grant
from the Richard Tucker Foundation in 2006.
Stephen Eisenhard as Dr. Dulcamara
A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bass-baritone Stephen Eisenhard graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of famed basso Italo Tajo. Critics praise his … “robust voice and belligerent comic portrayal…” and laud his performances with comments such as, “… sung richly and with remarkable endurance,” “excellent vocal talents… a model windbag…!” He has performed with numerous opera companies including Nevada Opera, Piedmont Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Connecticut Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Carolina, Cincinnati Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Opera de Puerto Rico, Edmonton Opera, El Paso Opera, Opera Memphis, Nashville Opera, OperaDelaware, Dayton Opera, Opera Idaho, Tacoma Opera, Shreveport Opera, Fresno Grand Opera, San Francisco’s Western Opera Theater’s International Tour(including The Peoples Republic of China), the New York City Opera National Company,Sacramento Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, and at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center.
Mr. Eisenhard’s extensive repertoire spanning buffo and dramatic characters highlights his versatility as a singer/actor. In the 2003-2004 season, he performed Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Florida Grand Opera and Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Connecticut Opera. He also sang La boheme’s two old fools, Benoit and Alcindoro, both with Florida Grand and Knoxville Opera. Highlights of the 2004-2005 season included the Sacristan inTosca and the Baliff in Werther with Sarasota Opera, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Dayton Opera and a return to Connecticut Opera as Dulcamara in Elixir of Love. In the 2005-2006 season Mr. Eisenhard returned to Connecticut Opera for a third time to sing Mustafa in The Italian Girl in Algiers and to Sarasota Opera as Frank in Die Fledermaus. Also, in 2006 Stephen sang for the “Live at First” concert series in Birmingham, Michigan as a featured recitalist.
Highlights of the 2006-2007 season included Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte with Piedmont Opera and a return to Connecticut Opera as the title role in Don Pasquale. In 2007-2008, Mr. Eisenhard returned to Sarasota Opera to reprise the role of Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte. In the 2008-2009 season, Mr. Eisenhard made his debut with Nevada Opera as Bartolo in Barber of Seville, returned to Sarasota for his 10th season as Dulcamara, and performed Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with Opera Southwest. In September of 2010, he made his debut with Baltimore Concert Opera as Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In 2011, Stephen returned to Baltimore Concert Opera to sing Benoit/Alcindoro in La boheme. In October of 2012, he made his debut with Sacramento Opera in a concert series Opera at the Crest and Three Stages. In November of 2012, Stephen returned to Sacramento Opera to perform his signature role, Dr. Bartolo, in The Barber of Seville.
Mr. Eisenhard has performed many of opera’s beloved comic roles, among them Don Pasquale, Don Magnifico, Don Alfonso, Sacristan, Melitone in La forza del destino, Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Dulcamara in Elixir of Love. Roles of a more serious nature include, de Bretigny in Manon, the Baron in La Traviata, Metifio in Cilea’sL’Arlesiana, Friar Laurent in Romeo & Juliet, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni,Rambaldo in La rondine, Kakenik in Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night.
As a soloist, Mr. Eisenhard also has an extensive oratorio and concert repertoire including Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Bach’s B Minor Mass and St. Mathew Passion. Mr. Eisenhard was a National Finalist of the 1992 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a finalist in the National Opera Association’s 1990 Artist’s Competition.
Kimberly Christie as Giannetta
Kimberly Christie was praised by the Washington Post for her “uninhibited movement and shining vocal abilities” as Ernestine in M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le with Bel Cantanti Opera. Other recent performance credits include Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Wendy Taucher Opera and soloist for Schubert’s Mass in G Major and JS Bach’s Christ lag in Todes Banden with the Advent Project of Virginia.
Earlier this year, Kimberly made her debut with the Annapolis Chorale as Bonnie in Anything Goes! and as a soloist in JS Bach’s Mass in B Minor. She also performed the roles of Mary Warren in The Crucible with Peabody Opera and Clorinda in La Cenerentola with Bel Cantanti Opera. Other opera credits include Serpina, Adele, and Blondchen.
She is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory where she received her Master of Music degree and the Anita Erdman Award in Opera. She currently lives and performs in the Baltimore Area and sings for the Opera Outreach programs of the Lyric Opera of Baltimore and the Golden Egg Ensemble.
For recordings, additional information and to find out about upcoming performances please visit www.kimberlychristie.com.
Maestro Jerome Shannon, Conductor
Praised for this “skill and verve” (New York Times), Jerome Shannon celebrates 25 seasons as a professional operatic pianist, coach and conductor. During these two and one-half decades, Maestro Shannon has held leadership positions with Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston (Artistic Administrator, Assistant Conductor, Conductor), Virginia Opera (Artistic Administrator, Associate Artistic Director, Conductor), Pensacola Opera (Music Director & Principal Conductor), and Mobile Opera (General & Artistic Director, Principal Conductor). In addition, Jerome Shannon has enjoyed successful and repeated engagements as guest conductor with Washington National Opera, Nashville Opera, Tulsa Opera, San Antonio Opera, Shreveport Opera, Anchorage Opera, Fresno Grand Opera, Opera Naples, Opera Roanoke, Lake George Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Ash Lawn-Highland Festival.
Mr. Shannon has conducted nearly 500 performances of over 50 operatic and musical theater titles encompassing the traditional repertoire operas of Mozart, Verdi and Puccini with works by Sondheim, Gilbert & Sullivan, and the contemporary operas of Robert, Ward, Mark Adamo, and Jake Heggie. Maestro Shannon’s performed operatic repertoire list includes such titles as le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Die Zauberfloete, il barbiere di Siviglia, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale, Rigoletto, Trovatore, La Traviata, Aida, Verdi’s Requiem, Fledermaus, Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, i Pagliacci, la Boheme, Andrea Chenier, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Porgy & Bess, Carmina Burana, Street Scene, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Tender Land, The Crucible, Dead Man Walking, and Little Women.
During the 2012/2013 season Maestro Shannon conducts productions of Sweeney Todd, Barbiere di Siviglia and Tosca for Pensacola Opera, Pagliacci and Rigoletto for Shreveport Opera, and makes his debut as the newly-named Conductor of the Brevard Music Center’s Janiec Opera Company leading productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, The Merry Widow and Falstaff. During the 2011/2012 season Maestro Shannon conducted productions of The Merry Widow and Madama Butterfly for Shreveport Opera, Madama Butterfly for Pensacola Opera, and made his Tulsa Opera debut with Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Highlights of Jerome Shannon’s most recent seasons include productions of Andrea Chenier for Nashville Opera, Porgy & Bessfor Fresno Grand Opera, Tosca for San Antonio Opera and Shreveport Opera, La Boheme for Lake George Opera, The Cruciblefor Chautauqua Opera, and Little Women and Turandot for Pensacola Opera.
An active vocal coach and pianist, Jerome Shannon has served as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, numerous regional opera voice competitions, an On-Site Evaluator and Reporter for the National Endowment for the Art and is the recipient of OPERA America’s BRAVO Service award for dynamic leadership in the industry. Jerome Shannon is a graduate of the College of Creative Arts of West Virginia University where he was a scholarship student of Metropolitan Opera soprano Frances Yeend and her husband, coach/pianist James Benner.
James Harp Chorus Master and Pianist
James Harp is well known in the Baltimore area as a pianist, organist, stage director, singer, composer, lecturer, writer and conductor. He began his musical career at age 7 as a church soloist, and has concertized in Italy, France, Greece, Israel, the Bahamas, and extensively throughout his native Southern United States. Among his more unusual musical experiences include singing “My Old Kentucky Home” as a soloist on National Television at the 1981 Kentucky Derby, coaching Lily Tomlin in arias from Aida for an Emmy-nominated “Homicide” segment, and nearly drowning after falling backwards into the Sea of Galilee while conducting madrigals.
He is the Artistic Director of Lyric Opera Baltimore, a new grand opera company for Baltimore being supported by the Lyric Opera House, where he oversees opera productions in the theatre as well as directs a significant program of education/outreach programs. He is also heavily involved in pursuing and nurturing partnerships and collaborations with arts organizations both locally and nationally in order to sustain the art forms of opera and music for perpetuity.
He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He was the Artistic Administrator of the Baltimore Opera Company beginning in 1989 and was the Chorus Master since 1993. Since 1983 he has served as organist for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and since 1987 has been the Cantor (Organist/Choirmaster) for Baltimore’s historic St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he also serves as Artistic Director of the St. Cecilia Society Concert Series. He formerly served as Music Director of the Baltimore Men’s Chorus from 1989-1995 and was the accompanist for the Baltimore Symphony Chorus from 1982-1999. He is very proud to be the Principal Accompanist and Chorus Master for Baltimore Concert Opera since Spring of 2009.
Knowledgeable in many areas of music, he has lectured extensively on opera in many venues, including the Towson Arts Festival, the Maryland Opera Society, the Biblical Archaeology Society, and the Joy of Opera Series. He is on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Continuing Education. Successful as a writer of operatic children’s programs, he and his work Puppets & Pagliacci were featured on a PBS documentary. His reworking and staging of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, changed from Florence, Italy in 1299 to Florence, Alabama, in 1929 and retitled The Tale of Johnnie S. Kickey, has been well received and performed in several regional opera companies and universities. He has served on several national advisory boards as a consultant and advocate for arts agencies.
As a stage director he has directed many operas for Artscape, Baltimore’s summer festival of the arts, including The Medum, Too Many Sopranos, Slow Dusk, and Beauty and the Beast. He has directed The Sorcerer, HMS Pinafore, The Gondoliers, Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance with the Young Victorian Opera Company. He has also staged operas at Anne Arundel Community College, where his version of The Elixer of Love, transplanted to Tennessee during Prohibition, was well received, as well as his productions of The Magic Flute and Die Fledermaus.
Sought after as an orchestral musician and accompanist, he has been featured as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in works ranging from Saint-Saens Organ Symphony to Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. He has appeared as continuo (harpsichord/organ) soloist with many local orchestral and choral groups, where his informed and histrionic realizations of baroque figured bass have won acclaim. Accompanist to many local singers, many of whom feature his own compositions, he has also accompanied such artists as Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Licia Albanese, Anna Moffo, Chris Merritt, Lucine Amara, and Paul Plishka.
An aficionado of gardening, theology, genealogy and all things Victorian, he lives in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore with his three gregarious pugs, Vivian, Jewell, and Woodrow.