Performances at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11 at St. Lawrence Arts, Portland
Friday, July 13 at Deertrees Theatre, Harrison
Special thanks to Stephen Lord for sponsoring the Deertrees Theatre performance.
Sunday, July 15 at The Temple, Ocean Park
no advance sales. TICKETS available at the door
Monday, July 16 at Camden Opera House
This 90-minute, one-act opera by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, is based on Terrence McNally’s play, Some Christmas Letters.
The opera tells the story of a famous stage actress, Madeline Mitchell, and her two adult children, Beatrice and Charlie. Set in the Decembers of 1986, 1996, and 2006, Jake Heggie’s opera explores the relationship between mother, son, and daughter and asks the question: “What, and more important who is family?”
Hailed by the New York Times for her “striking mezzo soprano” and by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “electrifying sense of fearlessness,” Raehann Bryce-Davis is a recipient of the 2018 George London Award, and joins Theater an der Wien for her first performances of Wellgunde in Der Ring des Nibelungen in the 2017-18 season. She also joins Opera Maine as Madeline Mitchell in Heggie’s Three Decembers, sings performances of Elgar’s Sea Pictures at the Musikverein in Vienna, joins the New York Oratorio Society in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road in her Carnegie Hall debut, and sings Verdi’s Requiem with the Greenwich Village Orchestra and St. George’s Choral Society. Last season, she joined the ensemble of Opera Vlaanderen where she sang Nezhata in Sadko, Kristina in The Makropolus Affair, and Mary in Der fliegende Holländer.
As a participant in San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program, she sang Eboli in selections from Verdi’s Don Carlo and Santuzza from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. She was also a resident artist at Michigan Opera Theatre where she sang Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Lady in Waiting in Macbeth, and Ma Moss in The Tender Land. Other recent performances include Mama McCourt in The Ballad of Baby Does with Chautauqua Opera, Albine in Thaïs with Florida Grand Opera, Zita in Gianni Schichi with Aspen Music Festival, Owl in Alice in Wonderland with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Lily in Porgy and Bess with both Grand Théâtre de Genève and Odyssud Blagnac, Abuela in En Mis Palabras with the Fall Festival of the Arts, and Begbick in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny with Manhattan School of Music.
On the concert stage, Ms. Bryce-Davis has joined the Aspen Music Festival for John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Remembrance, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Maestro Kent Tritle in a world premiere organ transcription at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Verdi’s Requiem with Marywood University, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with Maestro Philippe Entremont and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Durufle’s Requiem with Maestro David Thye, and Handel’s Messiah with Maestro Phillip Nuzzo and the Metro Chamber Orchestra. Also an ardent proponent of contemporary music, she premiered composer Kyle Werner’s Psalm 42, and sang the world premiere of Four Songs for Mezzo Soprano and Orchestra by Jacob A. Greenberg.
Ms. Bryce-Davis is a 2018 recipient of the prestigious George London Award, 2017 1st Place and Audience Prize-winner of the Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino competition, a Prize Winner of the 2016 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition and Winner of the 2016 Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the 2015 9th International Hilde Zadek Competition at the Musikverein in Vienna, the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Pittsburgh District, and the 2015 Sedat Gürel – Güzin Gürel International Voice Competition in Istanbul. In addition to winning the Zadek competition in Vienna, she also walked away with the Supporters and Sponsors Prize, the Media Jury prize, a master class with Christa Ludwig, and a gala concert at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in Germany. She holds a Master of Music and Professional Studies certificate from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Soprano, Symone Harcum, is the 2018 first place winner of the NSAL-DC Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Voice Competition and the Sylvia Green Voice Competition. In the Spring she performed the role of Krystyna Zywulska in Out of Darkness: Two Remain under the direction of the composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Sheer. Her other roles include Gertrude (the mother) in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel with Peabody Opera and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi with Tidewater Opera. Her cover roles include Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Peabody Opera and Second Lady in The Magic Flute with Virginia Opera. After receiving her Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Norfolk State University in 2012, she performed regularly in the Virginia Opera chorus and was the choral director of Ruffner Academy Middle School of Norfolk Public Schools until 2016. Symone recently received her Masters of Music from Peabody Conservatory at John’s Hopkins University and studies in the studio of Denyce Graves and Margaret Baroody.
Yazid Gray (Charlie)
Baritone Yazid Gray is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He received his MM in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan, studying with Stephen Lusmann, and his BM in Vocal Performance from DePauw University where he studied with Caroline Smith. While at Michigan, he had the pleasure to sing multiple roles with their main stage opera seasons. These include Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Oliver Jordan in the Michigan premiere of William Bolcom’s newest opera, Dinner at Eight. Most recently he was seen singing the roles of the Undertaker and Frazier in a concert version of Porgy and Bess. Outside of opera, Yazid has performed in several musicals, which include titles such as Ragtime, Parade, Into the Woods, and The Most Happy Fella. Starting this fall, Yazid will join the Chrisman Studio Artist program at Opera Santa Barbara for their 2018-2019 season.
Studio Artist Program Auditions
The Studio Artist Program will feature performances of Three Decembers by Jake Heggie. Directed by Richard Gammon with music direction by Timothy Steele. Singers selected also will perform in the mainstage production of Le nozze di Figaro on July 25 and 27 in Merrill Auditorium under the direction of Dona D. Vaughn with Maestro Stephen Lord conducting. Singers will be asked to arrive June 23-25 to begin rehearsals for the Studio Artist Program. Departure on July 28.
THANK YOU TO ALL THE SINGERS WHO APPLIED FOR THE 2018 PROGRAM!