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John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 411 Montgomery Street Syracuse, NY 13202, Suite #60
P.O. Box 1223 Syracuse, NY 13201-1223
Syracuse Opera programming is made possible with funds from the General Operating Support program, a regrant program of the County of Onondaga with the support of County Executive, J. Ryan McMahon II, and the Onondaga County Legislature, administered by CNY Arts; by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the City of Syracuse Arts & Culture Recovery Fund Program, a regrant program of the City of Syracuse administered by CNY Arts; and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
American soprano Pamela Armstrong has performed leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, San Diego Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Portland Opera, Opera Colorado, and Opera Pacific, Palm Beach Opera, Syracuse Opera and Tulsa Opera. In Europe she has performed with L’Opéra National de Paris Bastille, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, Semperoper Dresden, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Hamburgische Staatsoper in Germany; Teatro Regio di Torino and Teatro Verdi Trieste in Italy, Ópera de Oviedo in Spain and the Glyndebourne Festival in England. She has also performed with Korea National Opera as well as a Wiener Staatsoper tour to China.
Her symphonic work includes performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Ravinia Festival, Milwaukee Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, the New Jersey Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra as well as performances with regional orchestras in the United States and Germany.
In 2018 Ms. Armstrong was Soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica performing Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder; Soprano Soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Syracuse Opera. In 2019 she also sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Tulsa Opera.
Last updated February 2023
Brian James Myer
Baritone Brian James Myer has been praised as an artist of “both voice and character to make him stand out in the crowd” (Sarasota Observer). In the spring of 2021, Mr. Myer returned to New York City Opera as Alberto in their workshop of Ricky Ian Gordan and Michael Korie’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and in 2022, he reprised the role in the opera’s world premiere (a recording of the opera will further take place in 2023). Also in the 2021-22 season, he made debuts with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Delaware as the title character in Il barbiere di Siviglia, joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera as the cover of Marcellus/Player 4 in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, sang Second Nazarene in Salome with Bard Symphony Orchestra and made his Berkshire Opera Festival debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni. In 2022-23, he returns to Opera Orlando as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, debuts with Symphony San Jose as the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, sings the role of David Miller in Approaching Ali with Opera Las Vegas and joins New York Opera for their production of All is Calm. He also debuts the role of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) with Tri-Cities Opera and Syracuse Opera, returns to Opera San Jose as Minister in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella, and performs English art song in a recital with Brooklyn Art Song Society. Mr. Myer holds degrees from University of Nevada Las Vegas and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Last updated February 2023
American baritone Robert Mellon has been acclaimed by Opera News for having “excellent comic timing” and a “domineering baritone, gleaming like polished copper.” During the 2022-2023 season he will be making his house debuts at Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Escamillo in Carmen, Tulsa Opera in L’italiana in Algeri as Taddeo, and Opera Tampa as Tonio in Pagliacci. Mr. Mellon will then return to Pensacola Opera to reprise the role of Marcello in La bohème and to Syracuse Opera and Tri-Cities Opera for Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. With Opera Las Vegas he will debut the role of Germont in La traviata. Returning to Opera Maine, Mr. Mellon will make another role debut as Dandini in La Cenerentola. He will also sing the roles of Le Père, Ludovic and L’Usurier in a concert performance of La Belle et la Bête with Present Music in Milwaukee, WI.
In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Mellon debuted the roles of Marcello in La bohéme and Gubetta in Lucrezia Borgia with Opera de Oviedo and made his Pensacola Opera debut reprising the role of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. He also debuted the role of Iago in a reimagined production of Verdi’s Otello with In Series Opera in Washington, D.C. For his house debut with Opera Philadelphia, Mr. Mellon reprised the role of Marullo in Rigoletto. With Union Avenue Opera he debuted as the title role in Falstaff.
In recent seasons Mr. Mellon has performed the roles of Schaunard in La bohème with San Diego Opera; Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Opera Las Vegas; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Union Avenue Opera; and Simone in Eine Florentinische Tragödie and Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera de Oviedo. With Livermore Valley Opera he performed the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Simone in Eine Florentinische Tragödie about which the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “Baritone Robert Mellon was both the musical star of the performance and its dramatic vertex. . .with a steely vocal edge that never interfered with the beauty and flexibility of his singing.”
Other roles include Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Escamillo in Carmen, Pizarro in Fidelio, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, and Macbeth in the U.S. Premiere of Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth. Mr. Mellon was a studio artist with Opera Maine, a resident artist with Shreveport Opera, and a Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He also was a Sullivan Foundation Career Grant recipient. Concert work includes Rossini’s Petite Messe Sollennelle, Mozart’s Requiem, Durufle’s Requiem, Dvorak’s Te Deum, Bach’s Magnificat, Faure’s Christmas Oratorio, and Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death.
Last updated February 2023
Praised for her “perfectly spun, silvery soprano” and “brilliant, crystalline top,” soprano Elena Galván has gained recognition as a soprano with “deft timing and repartee of a natural comedienne” with a “bubbly personality and wicked sense [of] fun.” Most recently, Elena made her role debut of Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Livermore Valley Opera.
In recent seasons, Elena performed at Hawaii Opera Theatre as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, a role she also performed at Florida Grand Opera to critical acclaim. Elena was a Resident with Opera San José to perform Adele in Die Fledermaus, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Papagena and Pamina (cover) in Die Zauberflöte, after first performing the role of Lisette in La rondine there years before. Due to the pandemic, Elena was featured in a filmed version of Gianni Schicchi as Lauretta with Opera Ithaca, performed in virtual concerts for Livermore Valley Opera, and joined Fort Worth Opera as the title role in a virtual workshop of Poppea (Lowe).
As a Young Artist with Florida Grand Opera, Elena sang many roles featuring Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Norina (Don Pasquale), Frasquita (Carmen) and Yvette (The Passenger). She has also performed with Opera Santa Barbara, First Coast Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Saratoga, Virginia Opera, and more.
On the concert stage, Elena performed Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Oakland Symphony, the World Premiere of Jorge Martin’s “Cuban in Vermont” with the NuDeco Ensemble in Miami, Handel’s Messiah with The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Binghamton Downtown Singers, The Arts at Grace Series and joined Out of the Box Opera for “Diva Cage Match.” She has also sung with the Villages Philharmonic and the Miami Orchestra, most recently.
Elena holds degrees in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Sable Strout (mezzo-soprano) is a native of Maine where she made her professional debut as Paggio (Rigoletto) with Opera Maine. Most recently, Sable performed the role of Flora (La Traviata) with Inland Northwest Opera. In the summer of 2022, Sable completed a residency as a festival artist with Opera Saratoga where she performed the mezzo-soprano solos in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and covered the role of Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia). In the 2021/22 season she was an Emerging Artist at Opera Idaho. While in residence she sang the roles of Olga (The Merry Widow), Mercédès (Carmen), and Sister Lillianne (Dead Man Walking). Prior to her arrival in Idaho, Sable was an Apprentice Artist with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program at Central City Opera, singing the roles of Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), Giovanna (Rigoletto), and covering Nettie (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel). In the spring of 2021, she made her company and role debut as Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Wichita Grand Opera, and had the pleasure of adjudicating the first annual Ellen Chickering award presented by Maine NATS, named in honor of her late voice teacher and mentor.
In the 2019 season, Sable originated the role of Josephine in the New York premiere of Valenti & Luftig’sStory of an Hour with Gramercy Opera, and joined Opera on the James as a Tyler Young Artist. She sang with the Opera on the James Orchestra and a roster of distinguished artists from around the country in a concert of opera arias and beloved Broadway showtunes, proving herself to be a versatile and compelling standout as Ado Annie (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!). She also performed as part of the outreach program for the company, traveling throughout Virginia and making opera accessible to a new generation.
In the 2018 season, Sable joined Charlottesville Opera (formerly Ash Lawn Opera) as a Young Artist, singing Lucinda (Sondheim’s Into the Woods), and covering the roles of the Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods) and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro).
Upcoming engagements include: Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro withTri-Cities Opera and Syracuse Opera, Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with Central City Opera, and Concert/Gala appearances with Opera Saratoga, Bare Opera, Central City Opera, and Opera Maine.
Sable holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern Maine, as a student of Ellen Chickering, and a Master of Music from Wichita State University, where she studied and coached with renowned bass-baritones Alan Held and Samuel Ramey. During her years of study, she took the stage in several staples of the mezzo repertoire including Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Annio (La Clemenza di Tito), Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict), and L’enfant (L’enfant et les sortilèges).
Sable is currently a private student of baritone Daniel Belcher.
Offstage, Sable is usually found at folk-rock concerts, spending time with friends and family in Portland, or experimenting in the kitchen with new vegan recipes.
Last updated February 2023
In 2023, baritone Jonathan Hays will perform hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals in the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s production of “Some Enchanted Evening”, sing Don Bartolo in Syracuse Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, and play the role of Fred Graham/Petruchio in Central City Opera’s production of Kiss Me Kate. Over the past few seasons, Mr. Hays portrayed Signor Nacarelli in Central City Opera’s production of The Light in the Piazza, debuted with the Piedmont Opera as Giorgio Talbot in Maria Stuarda, returned to Syracuse Opera as Dr. Pangloss in Candide, sang the Brahms Liebesliederwaltzer with Market Square Concerts in Harrisburg, PA, and performed the monodrama Truth and Reconciliation (Mel Marvin/Jonathan Levi) with American Opera Project at Opera America. His recording of Robert Pound’s song cycle Orbit of the Soul (Roven Records/Naxos USA) about the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, was released by Roven Records and Naxos USA in October of 2018. Colin Clarke of Fanfare Magazine wrote of the recording: “The present performance with baritone seems to hold a particular pathos. Perhaps that is due to Jonathan Hays’s superb interpretation: Technical aspects such as diction and pitching are so superbly managed that one’s attention is fully focused on Pound’s narrative. This is a positively revelatory release” (Mar/Apr 2019).
Recently, Mr. Hays has been heard as Donald in Billy Budd with Central City Opera, Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore and Maximilian in Candide with Anchorage Opera, Denis Krude in Crude Capital with Beth Morrison Projects, Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum in Threepenny Opera at Syracuse Opera, the Narrator in the world premiere of My Friend’s Story at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, and as the protagonist in the monodrama An die fernen Geliebten at National Sawdust. He performed with pianist Jeremy Gill at the Museo Chiossione in Genoa, Italy with the Bogliasco Foundation and Associazione Culturale Pasquale Anfossi, as the baritone soloist in Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D minor with the Harrisburg Symphony, and with pianist David Friend at the Hartt School on the James Sellars Memorial Concert.
He holds opera degrees from the Yale School of Music (M.M.) and the Hartt School of Music (B.M.). He is on the Voice Faculties of Colorado College and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and he has served on the voice faculties of The Hartt School (Music Theatre), Dickinson College, Susquehanna University, and Brooklyn College and Conservatory of Music. To learn more, visit www.jonathanhays.net.
Mezzo-soprano Janine Dworin joins the company of Syracuse Opera as a 2022-23 Young Artist. Winner of the Arkansas District in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2022 Laffont Competition, Ms. Dworin excels in both dramatic and comedic roles. Recent performances include Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), Mme. de la Haltière (Cendrillon), Estelle Oglethorpe (Later the Same Evening), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice), Zulma (L’italiana in Algeri), Mama McCourt (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Smeraldina (The Love for Three Oranges), and Malacorpa (The Inspector). A fierce advocate for arts accessibility, Ms. Dworin toured as an outreach performer with The Dallas Opera and Houston Grand Opera, singing for a diverse audience of children and adults all over Texas.
A Texan herself, Ms. Dworin earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Houston Moores School of Music and a Master of Music from the University of North Texas.
Last updated February 2023
Felix Aguilar Tomlinson
Don Basilio / Don Curzio
Felix Aguilar Tomlinson is a Mexican-American lyric tenor from Minneapolis, MN, with a BM and GPD from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Performing for his first time at Syracuse Opera, Felix will sing the roles of Toby in The Medium, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, and Ralph in Mystery on the Docks. Also in Upstate NY, Felix recently finished a residency as an Apprentice Artist at Chautauqua Opera Company, where he sang the roles of Shakur in Thumbprint and Thaddeus Stevens in The Mother of Us All.
At the Boston Conservatory, Felix has performed a wide variety of roles, including Albert in Albert Herring, Tito in La clemenza di Tito, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, and Younger Thompson in Glory Denied. Also in Boston, Felix has covered the role of Luis in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Champion and has been hired as a chorister for the Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, the Boston Pops with the Metropolitan Chorale, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.
Last updated February 2023
Emma Bennett grew up in Northern Manhattan. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Binghamton University, she decided to pursue a Master of Music degree at the same school. As an MM in Opera student, she has the unique opportunity to work closely with Tri-Cities Opera and as a Syracuse Opera Young Artist. She has performed in several fundraising concerts with Tri-Cities Opera and will be singing the role of Edwina in their children’s opera Mystery on the Docks.
Emma recently performed as the Queen of the Night in Binghamton University’s spring production of Die Zauberflöte. During her time at Binghamton University, Emma played the lead role of Serpetta in the Binghamton Opera Workshop’s first-ever Virtual Opera, La finta giardiniera. She has also performed the role of Spirit in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, as well as the Dew Fairy in Engelbert Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel.
Bernardo has performed with several companies around the country, including Chautauqua Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Central City Opera, Opera in the Heights, Opera Project Columbus, Long Island Lyric Opera, and Barn Opera. Notable roles include Rigoletto in Rigoletto, Dottore Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Jigger Craigin in Carousel, and David in L’amico Fritz.
Bernardo holds a BM in Music Education from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree and Performance Certificate from The University of Houston.
Recognized as an “energetic” performer by The New York Times, Italian conductor Christian Capocaccia has distinguished himself as an artist of keen insight and musicianship. His ease on the podium and comfortable coaching style with musicians and singers have made him a favorite with orchestras, opera companies and vocalists.
The 2022-2023 season is Maestro Capocaccia’s first season as Artistic and Music Director of both Syracuse Opera and Tri-Cities Opera. He leads performances of The Medium and Le nozze di Figaro. In the summer of 2023, he debuts Pagliacci at the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, followed by the rarely performed La Vestale with Teatro Grattacielo, where he also conducted Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo in 2022. He made a company debut conducting the inaugural production of L’Orfeo by Monteverdi with Orpheus PDX.
The 2021-2022 season saw Maestro Capocaccia guiding Syracuse Opera out of the pandemic into a strategic partnership with Tri-Cities Opera in La Cenerentola. Under his baton Syracuse Opera presented Der Schauspieldirektor and The Ballad of the Brown King.
Christian Capocaccia’s 2019-2022 season as Artistic and Music Director of Syracuse Opera was interrupted by the pandemic after he conducted Così fan tutte, and Candide. Other credits include a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Curtis Institute of Music and his debut with The Württembergische Philharmonie conducting in both Stuttgart and Reutlingen. He returned to Italy for a production of L’elisir d’amore with performances throughout Tuscany.
In Mr. Capocaccia’s first year as Artistic and Music Director of Syracuse Opera he conducted Macbeth, Don Giovanni, and The Threepenny Opera. He also made his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018 he musically directed Pittsburgh Opera’s production of L’elisir d’amore following a very well-received debut conducting Verdi’s La Traviata.
In recent seasons, Maestro Capocaccia divided his time between the pit and the podium, fostering relationships with companies in Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and abroad. Prior to being named Artistic Director of Syracuse Opera, he conducted performances of Carmen, Rigoletto, and La Bohème, and led many performances with Symphoria. He has a long-standing relationship with the city of Pittsburgh, having served as guest conductor and cover on the staff of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Opera. Maestro Cappocaccia conducted in Italy with AsLiCo, now OperaLombardia in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Les contes d’Hoffmann, and debuted with Welsh National Opera, conducting Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux.
In a previous collaboration, Christian Capocaccia conducted Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Manhattan School of Music. As a guest conductor he has appeared in the United States and in Europe leading the Orchestra di Roma e del Lazio, Moscow Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Città di Grosseto, Orchestra Città Aperta, International Chamber Ensemble, Orchestra da Camera delle Marche and Orchestra Sinfonica di Pesaro among others. He held positions as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Opera, Resident Conductor of the Fischer Center at Bard College, Assistant Conductor of the Indiana University Opera and IU New Music Ensemble, Adjunct Professor and Visiting Conductor with Montclair State University’s Opera Department, and Assistant Professor of conducting at the State University of New York College at Fredonia. He is a former Aspen Music Festival Conducting Fellow, where he studied with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin.
Born in Rome, he attended the Santa Cecilia Music Conservatory studying under Paolo Ciociola and completed his studies with world-renowned violinist Nina Beilina in New York. He studied composition under Boris Porena and Luciano Pelosi and conducting with Piero Bellugi and Donato Renzetti. A graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington under David Effron, he has participated in Master classes with Herbert Blomstedt, Gustav Meier, and Leonard Slatkin.
Last updated February 2023
Latino American director, David Radamés Toro, applies his backgrounds in music and mime to create innovative opera productions. He has worked at companies including Minnesota Opera, the Wexford Opera Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Idaho, and Tri-Cities Opera.
David aspires to bring cultural relevance, diverse representation, and a modern opera experience to engage with new and returning audiences. Whether through abstraction or realism, from baroque to the modern era, his productions have been recognized for their sincerity and imagination. In a review for his production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight, the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote, “This staging showed that Flight has a beating heart, and something to say.” The San Diego Tribune called his 2019 adaption of Cavalli’s La Calisto “a well-sung and cleverly staged production.”
An admirer of modern era opera, David has had the privilege of directing 21st century works such as Dead Man Walking (Opera Idaho), Three Way (Fargo Morehead Opera), Glory Denied (Opera Fayetteville) and Flight (Minnesota Opera), as well as, assisting on the world premieres of Today It Rains (Opera Parallèle, 2019), Dinner at Eight (Minnesota Opera), The Shining (Minnesota Opera), and A New Kind of Fallout (Pittsburgh Festival Opera). Additionally, He directed the premiere of Rose Made Man: An Inside Out Opera for the Cohen New Works Festival in Austin, TX.
In addition to directing and assistant directing, David Radamés Toro teaches classes and workshops in acting for the opera stage and physical theatre, as well as coaches singers in interpretation and audition preparation. His workshops in Gestural Mechanics are influenced by his own training in Meisner technique, Suzuki/Viewpoints, and classical mime with the goal of empowering singers to effectively combine musical expression and movement. He has taught movement and acting to singers are Minnesota Opera, Opera Neo, Tri-Cities Opera, The University of Texas – Austin, and Opera Steamboat.
David Radamés Toro holds degrees from The University of Texas (DMA), The Ohio State University (MM/MA), and The University of Colorado at Boulder (BM).
Last updated February 2023
Pianist, Assistant Conductor
Pianist and vocal coach, John Cockerill, is the Assistant Conductor for Syracuse Opera. He has also served on the music staff of Des Moines Metro Opera and Seagle Festival in Schroon Lake, NY. He holds an M.M. in Musicology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.M. in Collaborative Piano from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Recent music direction credits include La bohème, The Fantasticks, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Great Gatsby at Seagle Festival, and Stone Soup, Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers, and Suor Angelica for Tri-Cities Opera. John has also been active in musical theatre. He made his off-Broadway debut at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2017, and he was nominated for a Jeff Award for Bonnie & Clyde in Chicago. You can hear him as a featured pianist on the recording of Rosśa Crean’s The Great God Pan (Navona Records, 2017).