ALAINA FERRIS - COMPOSER
Alaina Ferris is a composer, poet, and music educator whose work explores how multiplayer alternate realities (whether, musically, digitally, or theatrically created) can foster trust and empathy in communities. She seeks to model kind and radically honest communication styles in her collaborative processes. Her work is inspired by a love of Renaissance chorales, video game soundtracks, and her daily practice of teaching piano, voice, and harp lessons. Alaina's work has appeared at SoHo Rep, Barnard College/Columbia University, Abrons Arts Center, The Connelly Theater, and St. Ann’s Warehouse. She has worked with artists Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, Steve Earle, Anne Waldman, Eliza Bent, Mia Rovegno, Mac Wellman, William Burke, Joshua Gelb, and more. Alaina was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and later moved to Boulder County, Colorado. She earned her B.A. in Music and Creative Writing from the University of Denver and her M.F.A. in Poetry from New York University. She was selected as a 2019 National Sawdust Summerlab Musician. This Spring, she will be Music Directing César Alvarez’s multi-player participatory musical, The Universe is a Small Hat at Princeton University. She is very excited to be a 2019-2021 fellow at The American Opera Project!
MATT FREY - COMPOSER
The music of Brooklyn-based composer Matt Frey creates intimately sentimental sonic worlds inflected with churning rhythms, minimalist-like textures, and extended moments of restless tension. Frey’s music comprises song cycles, musical theater, opera, and many instrumental works. His music has been commissioned and performed worldwide on programs including Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers, Opera From Scratch, New Dramatists, the BMI Musical Theater Workshop and presented by ensembles including the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Synergy Percussion, and Contemporaneous. He is a graduate of the Masters program in Music Composition at New York University where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe.
AMANDA HOLLANDER - LIBRETTIST
Amanda Hollander is a librettist and fiction writer. Her opera Emperor’s New Clothes with composer Nicky Sohn was workshopped in Los Angeles in 2018. Her new libretto, Quake, set by composer Kay Rhie, will premiere through UCLA’s Department of Music in 2020. Hollander has a picture book under contract with Simon & Schuster and short fiction forthcoming in the 70th Anniversary issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. She was the recipient of the inaugural Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Student Writer Scholarship, the SCBWI-LA Sue Alexander Grant, and a Highlights Foundation scholarship. In addition to her creative work, Hollander holds a doctorate in Victorian literature from UCLA and has published several academic articles on fin-de-siècle children’s literature.
MICHAEL LANCI - COMPOSER
Michael Lanci is a composer and educator currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. His music is viscerally engaging and stylistically diverse, drawing from a wide range of influences. Most recently, Michael was a finalist for the Beth Morrison Projects Next Generation Competition that included the commissioning and premiere of his first opera Crude Capital, based on an original libretto by Ajax Phillips. Michael is currently working on a new opera in collaboration with librettist Kim Davies, commissioned by the American Opera Initiative program with Washington National Opera. Michael holds a D.M.A. in composition from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
MARY PRESCOTT - COMPOSER
Mary Prescott is a Thai-American interdisciplinary artist, composer and pianist who explores the foundations and facets of identity and social conditions through experiential performance. Prescott is a 2019/20 Resident Artist at Roulette Intermedium, and 2020 Lanesboro Arts Artist-in-Residence (MN). She has held previous residencies at Hudson Hall, Areté Venue and Gallery, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and Arts Letters and Numbers. In 2019, she was awarded a Roulette Jerome Foundation Commission, and the National Performance Network Creation and Development Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
JESSICA RUDMAN - COMPOSER
Jessica Rudman’s recent music inspires empathy for contemporary social issues through myth, magic, and sci-fi. Described as a “new music ninja” (Hartford Advocate), she blends lyrical melodies and dramatic narratives with sensual harmony and vibrant color to draw the audience into the worlds she creates. Her works have been performed by the Arditti Quartet, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Hartford Opera Theater, and others. Honors include winning the Riot Ensemble’s Commissioning Competition, the NewMusic@ECU Orchestra Composition Competition, and a 2019 Connecticut Artist Fellowship. Rudman holds degrees from the University of Virginia, The Hartt School, and the CUNY Graduate Center.
TONY SOLITRO - COMPOSER
Tony Solitro is an active composer of concert and stage music. Commissions include works for Utah Opera (Burial, Golden Spike Commission), Boston Opera Collaborative (She’s Fabulous, Triangle, A Case of Anxiety), MIFA Victory Players (Canción Exaltada), and Network for New Music (Automata). His mythology-infused comedy Triangle was featured on Fort Worth Opera’s 2019 Frontiers Showcase, and was also presented at the National Opera Association’s 2019 Conference as one of three finalists for the Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition. Honors include Grand Prize in the David Walter Competition (International Society of Bassists), Cheryl A. Spector Prize (Third Millennium Ensemble), and fellowships at Yaddo, I-Park, Brush Creek, Kimmel Harding Nelson, Willapa Bay, VCCA, and the Anderson Center. Tony earned his Ph.D. as a recipient of the George Crumb Music Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.M. from the Longy School of Music on a Nadia and Lili Boulanger Scholarship.
JONATHAN D. TURNER - LIBRETTIST
Jonathan Turner, who writes primarily under the nom de plume of Jonathan Douglass, is a multidisciplinary creative artist hailing from Brooklyn, New York. He is a classically-trained tenor who studied Voice at Mannes School of Music with a minor in Creative Writing at Eugene Lang College. Jonathan’s work centers on the intersection of music, poetry, prose, visual art and theater to create new projects for new audiences. He has completed a libretto, Cozetta, and the script for a choreopoem entitled talesdemtell: a dramatic song cycle. Jonathan is currently at work on two novels-in-progress: Spirit in the Vine and The Fig Book. His short fiction piece, Devil Branches, was published by AfricanVoices magazine in September 2018. I Have Loved for Sayid, a second short story, was recently published in the Eleven and a Half Literary Magazine.
Hailed by The New York Times as possessing "a deep reservoir of expressive devices", soprano JUSTINE ARONSON’s interpretations have consistently captured the attention of those producing new music, earning her premieres with composers including David Lang, Christopher Cerrone, Daron Hagen, and Ted Hearne.
Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, On Site Opera (New York, NY), Five Boroughs Music Festival (New York, NY), Carleton College, The Industry (Los Angeles), Eighth Blackbird, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Echo Chamber, Urban Playground, and Brooklyn Art Song Society, among others. Record releases include Daron Hagen’s album with the Lyric Fest of Philadelphia on the NAXOS label.
Previous season highlights include appearances with the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella series, National Sawdust, Beth Morrison Projects, Opera Philadelphia, Lucerne Festival Academy, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, The Bard Music Festival, The String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
AUGUSTA CASO (mezzo-soprano), made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2018 as a Flowermaiden in Wagner’s Parsifal, and her LA Opera debut in Getty’s Canterville Ghost. In 2019, she sang the title role in the world premiere of Laura Schwendinger’s Artemisia with NOVUS NY at Trinity Wall Street, and she premiers a new work by JacobTV about Marilyn Monroe at National Sawdust this season. Ms. Caso’s 2016 performance of Andriessen’s Anaïs Nin with CCO, which she reprised in Europe in 2019, was called “compelling” and “courageous” by the New York Times.
Other recent performances include the title role of Carmen with NYOC; Kate Julian in the NY premiere of Owen Wingrave with LOTNY; Gilade in Vivaldi’s Il Farnace at the Spoleto Festival USA; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Hélène in La Belle Hélène with Opera North; and Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Resonanz Opera.
Augusta holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Oklahoma, and studies with Andrea DelGiudice.
BRANDON COLEMAN (Bass-Baritone) has been praised for his “exotic vocal coloring” by Opera News and “wonderful resonance” by Classical Singer. He commands the stage with his confidence and lures the audience with his voice. He has performed with Hawaii Opera, Kentucky Opera, Utah Opera Festival, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Connecticut Opera, Connecticut Concert Opera, Opera New Jersey, Sarasota Opera, Tuscia Opera Festival, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Opera North, Toledo Opera, Central City Opera, Opera on the James, Tri-Cities Opera, Middlebury Opera, and Syracuse Opera. Mr. Coleman has been most recognized for role appearances as Crown in Porgy and Bess, Mephistopheles in Faust, Ibn Hakia in Iolanta, and Joe in Showboat.
An active interpreter of Art Song, Opera and new music, MARIO DIAZ-MORESCO (baritone) is garnering attention for his versatility and strong stage presence. Mr. Diaz-Moresco studied at the University of Colorado, the University of Southern California and recently completed the Professional Studies Diploma program at Mannes The New School, where he is a student of Diana Soviero. He has been a young artist with Central City Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Chautauqua Opera, a Stern Fellow at Songfest, and this summer will be a vocal fellow at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute. Highlights from recent seasons include recitals with pianist Spencer Myer on California’s “InConcert Sierra” series, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago and the Rocky River Chamber Music Society of Ohio, in addition to Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Baritone in Hydrogen Jukebox, William in The Fall of the House of Usher, playing the lead role in Robert Ashley’s Dust, which was named one of the 10 best classical music performances of 2017 by the New York Times, and premiering the song cycle The Wanderlusting of Joseph C. by Joan La Barbara at Roulette, a performance that was repeated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
JASMINE MUHAMMAD (soprano) is a versatile vocalist, bridging the genre gap at every turn. Most recently Jasmine appeared as Hattie in Pittsburgh Opera’s world premiere of The Summer King in their 2016-17 season. During her successful three year tenure as a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist, Jasmine appeared as Rodelinda in Handel's Rodelinda and Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen (2015); the High Priestess in Verdi's Aida, First Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Eliza in Muhly's Dark Sisters and Mimi in the student matinee of Puccini's La Boheme (2013-2014). Jasmine has sung background vocals for John Legend with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and performed with Warren Haynes on the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration Tour as well as background vocals for Chaka Khan, Anthony Hamilton, Kelis, John Batiste, and more. Jasmine's vocals are also credited on albums by Kevin Morby, Karen O Jasmine is a winner of the 2015-2016 Sullivan Foundation Award and 2015 Harlem Opera Theater Competition. Jasmine holds a masters and bachelors degree in voice from Manhattan School of Music and Roosevelt University.
TIMOTHY STODDARD (tenor) has sung the roles of Liberto/Lucano in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Bare Opera, Milord Fideling in the American premiere of Salieri’s La cifra with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, 1st Armored Man/Second Priest in The Magic Flute with Opera in Williamsburg, and Song Seller/Gherardo in Puccini’s Il trittico with Utah Festival of Opera. He premiered roles in Flash Operas with Experiments in Opera, Witch/King/Father in Lam/Fulton’s Rumpletstiltskin with Rhymes with Opera, Ghost of Christmas Present/Young Scrooge in Goodwin/Jarrar’s Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with Gramercy Opera, and George Westinghouse and Oxygen Cobalt in Carson Kievman’s operas TESLA and INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS. This summer, he will portray Walter in the premiere of Chunky in Heat with Experiments in Opera. In concert, he appeared with the Utah Festival of Opera in Bach’s B Minor Mass, the Choral Society of Grace Church in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Berio’s Coro. In 2019, he made his WQXR debut on the Young Artists Showcase. Award highlights include those of the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, the American Scandinavian Society, and the Arleen Auger Foundation.
Mark CampbellLibretto Writing
Matt GrayHead of Drama
Terry GreissImprov Studies
Mila HenryHead of Music
Steven OsgoodC&V Artistic Director
Ricky Ian GordonComposer27, The Grapes of Wrath, Morning Star
David T. LittleComposerDog Days, JFK, Soldier Songs
Missy MazzoliComposerBreaking the Waves, Proving Up, Songs From the Uproar
Tobias PickerComposerEmmeline, Dolores Claiborne, Thérèse Raquin
Kimberly Reedlibrettist / filmmakerAs One, Today it Rains, Hometown to the World
Huang RuocomposerAn American Soldier, Sun-Yat Sen, M. Butterfly
Royce VavreklibrettistJFK, Dog Days, 27, Breaking the Waves
Du YuncomposerAngel’s Bone