SF Opera's La Traviata Media Round-Up
Festival Opera 2009

Meet the Merolini 2009

The 29 Merolini for 2009 were interviewed by San Francisco Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald, Merola Opera Board of Directors Chairman Jayne Davis, and President Patrick Wilken yesterday evening, in the Green Room of the War Memorial Veterans Building. Iowa was mentioned many times, in context of the strong work ethic of Midwesterners. Several of the singers have switched from one voice type to another. The funniest story we heard all evening was probably from apprentice coach Tamara Sanikidze, who managed to break her tailbone in seven places at the White House, and wondered why the leader of the Free World couldn't manage to trim his ear hair.

Casting was announced as well, though it is not clear who is singing Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri for the Schwabacher Concert. Kate Crist is listed for the former, but made it clear during her questions that this was a misprint. Not too surprising given she is a soprano, and Isabella is sung by a mezzo. Looking at the line up, perhaps Margaret Gawrysiak is singing it. ([Update: 06/19/2009] This has been confirmed by Kate Crist and by the press release.)

Schwabacher Summer Concert
Ryan Belongie: Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice), Toby (The Medium)
Susannah Biller
: Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), Monica (The Medium), Elvira (L'Italiana in Algeri), Musetta (La Bohème)
Evan Boyer: Colline (La Bohème)
Gregory Carroll: Erik (Der Fliegende Holländer)
Kate Crist: Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer
Margaret Gawrysiak: Isabella (L'Italiana in Algeri), Mrs. Nolan (The Medium)
Lori Guilbeau: Mimì (La Bohème), Mrs. Gobineau (The Medium)
Suzanne Hendrix: Mary (Der Fliegende Holländer), Baba (The Medium)
Brian Jagde: Rodolfo (La Bohème)
Eleazar Rodríguez: Lindoro (L'Italiana in Algeri)
Paul Scholten: Mr. Gobineau (The Medium), Marcello (La Bohème)
Michael Sumuel: Taddeo (L'Italiana in Algeri), Schaunard (La Bohème), Mr. Gobineau (The Medium)
Yohan Yi: Mustafa (L'Italiana in Algeri)

L'Amico Fritz
Fritz: Nathaniel Peake
Suzel: Sara Gartland
Beppe: Maya Lahyani
Federico: Eleazar Rodríguez
Hanezò: Yohan Yi
David: Aleksey Bogdanov
Caterina: Susannah Biller

Così fan tutte
Fiordiligi: Lara Ciekiewicz
Dorabella: Ellie Jarrett   
Guglielmo: John Chest
Ferrando: Alex Mansoori
Despina: Caitlin Mathes
Don Alfonso: Benjamin LeClair