Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute
JONATHAN BOYD (Prince Tamino) continually performs throughout Europe, North America and South America. Upcoming engagements include his Seattle Opera debut as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, his San Diego Opera debut in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick as Ishmael, and the title role of Candide at the Portland Opera. Noted European engagements over the past few seasons include debuts at Opéra de Nice and Opéra de Toulon as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Teatro Colón in a live television broadcast as Werther; and his role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with Akouna, Opéra en plein air in France. Most recent North American engagements from the past few seasons include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Dallas Opera; Roméo in Roméo et Juliette at the Utah Symphony & Opera, Nashville Opera and Michigan Opera Theater. Boyd has an extensive repertoire in 20th Century operas including Michigan Opera Theatre’s world premiere of Margaret Garner as George Hancock, and New York City Opera’s productions of Mother of Us All and Central Park. Composer Lee Hoiby personally chose Mr. Boyd for the role of Romeo in his opera Romeo and Juliet, which he subsequently sang in the semi-staged performances at the Opera America convention in Vancouver, as well as with New York City Opera, Stamford Symphony in Connecticut, and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center.
AARON ST. CLAIR NICHOLSON (Papageno) has established himself as an artist of the first rank, winning praise for his superb vocal gifts and the dramatic integrity he brings to his performances. The San Francisco Chronicle exclaimed “…as Ford, baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson gave a virtuosic display of vigorous full-throated singing and all out physical comedy.” He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Schaunard in La Bohème conducted by Placido Domingo, and has since performed there as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Throughout his career, Nicholson has garnered much praise for his portrayals as opera’s most well-known characters, which include countless performances as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. As an alumnus of the Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artist Program, Nicholson starred as Lt. Lukash in their productions of The Good Soldier Schweik and as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West. The Abbotsford, British Columbia, native was also a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and Seattle Opera’s young artist program.
SARI GRUBER (Princess Pamina) has been hailed as “nothing short of sensational” by Opera magazine and “a real creature of the stage” by Opera News. Her voice has been described as “luminous” and “show-stopping great”. A prized artist on the international stage, she has garnered praise for her “shining soprano and vibrant presence” (Opera News), her “direct musicality” (New York Times), as well as her “detailed, charming, resourceful and sympathetic” characterizations (Boston Herald). Recent highlights include performances as Leila in The Pearl Fishers with Hawaii Opera Theater; Musetta in La Bohème with Opera Colorado; Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; and the North American premiere of two works for soprano and strings by Baldassarre Galuppi. She has given recitals across the country under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Other credits include a pre-concert recital of Copland’s Poems of Emily Dickinson with the New York Philharmonic.
SANG-EUN LEE (Queen of the Night) specializes in the high coloratura soprano repertoire with a range of more than three octaves as well as in bel canto style and early music. She recently performed Gilda in Rigoletto with Virginia Opera. With the Korea National Opera, she played the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly. She has performed Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Theater of Lakeland, Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Madam Goldentrill in The Impressario, and Gilda with International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel, France and Japan. Future engagements include the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in Hong Kong; and the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte in Angers Nantes Opera in France. She is a winner in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Eastern Region. Ms. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Seoul National University, and a master’s degree in music from Mannes College of Music. In addition to this, she completed a one-year professional studies course at the Manhattan School of Music.
JAMES MOELLENHOFF (Sarastro) has established himself as one of the most sought-after basses of our time. Hailed for his sonorous voice and dignified, moving characterization of roles such as Gurnemanz in Parsifal, Zaccaria in Nabucco and Boris Godunov, he is equally well known for his comedic gifts in roles such as Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and the intensity of his villainous portrayals of Hagen in Götterdämmerung and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Moellenhoff returned last season to Oper Leipzig where he performed in new productions as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Fafner in Das Rheingold, Daland in Der fliegende Holländer and Mangiafuoco in Pierangelo Valtinoni’s Pinocchio. In 2007 he made his Royal Opera Covent Garden debut as Hagen under Maestro Antonio Pappano. In 2008, Moellenhoff took the stage for the first time at Deutsche Oper in Berlin singing Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. His engagements have also taken him to Bern, Lucerne, Bremen, Mannheim, and Salzburg. Equally at home on the concert stage, Moellenhoff’s varied concert repertoire includes, among others, Haydn’s Creation, Händel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s 9th, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi.
ARILA SIEGERT (Director) has a background in expressionist dance, known in Germany as Ausdruckstanz. She studied with Gret Palucca at the Palucca School in Dresden. In 1970 she worked as a dancer for the first time under Tom Schilling, artistic director and choreographer at the famous Komische Oper Berlin founded by Walter Felsenstein. By 1979 she had moved up to become soloist at the Staatsoper Dresden (now Semperoper). She started producing her own works very early on and in 1987 she founded her first dance company at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden. In 1998 she directed her first opera, Verdi’s Macbeth. She has since directed more than 40 opera productions including Idomeneo, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Clemency of Titus and The Magic Flute. She also directed Der Freischütz, The Barber of Seville, The Flying Dutchman, Aida, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin, The Makropoulos Affair and most recently Jenůfa. In 1989, Siegert was awarded the Deutscher Kritikerpreis for dance and in 1993 was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit) of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2010 she became a member of the General Meeting of the Goethe-Institut. Her work is preserved in the archives of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
DANIEL LIPTON is widely regarded as one of today’s most exciting and creative conductors, whose superb performances of opera and the concert repertoire have gained him international acclaim. He was appointed music director and chief conductor of the Anhaltische Philharmonie and general music director of the opera company in Dessau, Germany. He became artistic director of Opera Ontario, Canada, and presented the Canadian premieres of Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, Verdi’s I Due Foscari and Massenet’s Portrait de Manon, along with other major operas. Under Lipton’s direction, Opera Ontario has enjoyed not only the highest artistic accolades, but also notable financial success, while greatly expanding the audiences in the process. He has been primarily responsible for the growth of Opera Ontario, making it one of Canada’s most important and artistically innovative companies. His annual POPERA™ galas have met with widespread popularity and acclaim. Before his time in Ontario, Lipton was appointed music director and principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Colombia in Bogotà and conducted 33 programs a year with them. In Colombia he rebuilt the symphony orchestra and created a national opera company. He was appointed artistic director of the Opera de Colombia and produced 30 operas. Both organizations were raised to the highest international standard of performance because of his unwavering commitment to excellence. Previous posts include music director with Houston Grand Opera and artistic director of the San Antonio Festival. He has also held positions with the Zürich Opera, the Teatro Comunale in Bologna and Florence, American Ballet Theatre and the Denver Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was appointed artistic director of the EurOrchester for the European Classic Festival, (Triennale) for which he has conducted during the past 11 years.