Igor Vieira, Stage Director for Little Women

Igor Vieira will direct Island City Opera’s January 2019 production of Little Women.  Igor is well known to San Francisco opera audiences as both a fine baritone and an insightful stage director.  Igor made his Island City Opera singing debut in our 2016 production of La Boheme.  Igor directed our 2017 production of Jules Massenet’ Don Quichotte and sang the role of Sancho Panza.  And, in January 2018 he sang the role of Prince Ivan Korolevich in our North American premiere of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchey the Immortal.  

Hailed by Opera News Magazine as “superb,” and “show-stealing,” and as “a triumph” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Igor Vieira made his professional debut in his native Rio de Janeiro at age 17 singing the role of Dancaïre in Bizet’s Carmen.

Igor has performed title roles in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande, and most recently Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.  Other key roles for Igor include: Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, Lescaut in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Tonio in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata,  and Alberich in Wagner’s Siegfried.

Dana Sadava, Music Director for Little Women

Dana Sadava makes her Island City Opera debut as our Music Director and Conductor for Little Women.  Known for her elegant, crystal-clear technique and broad expressive range, Dana Sadava is a conductor of opera and symphonic works and a new music specialist. This season she will take on new roles as guest faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Program and conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra (Aspirante), and will enter her fifth season as Artistic Director of both Pasadena Opera and Community Women’s Orchestra. Recently she served as cover conductor for the San Diego Symphony in addition to guest conducting work at Opera San Jose, the University of California San Diego, Lotus Flower new music project, Banff Opera as Theatre, Wexford Festival Opera, and the Napa Music Festival. For Pensacola Opera and Indianapolis Opera she was the Music Director for education tours as well as mainstage rehearsal pianist.

A proud alumna of Caltech, Dana earned a double degree in engineering and literature, winning an Amasa Bishop prize for study at Cambridge University, a research fellowship at JPL, and the Dean’s Award for Leadership. Her piano teachers included Dorothy Hwang (The Colburn School), Gabriel Chodos (Aspen Music Festival) and Sanford Margolis (Oberlin Conservatory). Her passion for conducting eventually led her to the University of Michigan, where she studied with renowned pedagogue Kenneth Kiesler. While earning a Masters degree on a merit scholarship, she was featured in a masterclass with Michael Tilson Thomas and got to conduct their first Green Opera. She lives in San Rafael, CA.  For more information, visit http://www.danasadava.com

Deborah Rosengaus stars as Jo

Deborah Rosengaus joins Island City Opera for a second season starring as Jo in Little Women.  Deborah made her Island City Opera debut in our March 2018 production of  La Sonnambula, singing the role of Teresa.  

Deborah is a  versatile Mezzo Soprano having studied opera, theater, music and dance, she is known for her exciting and high energy performances, and for creating memorable and endearing characters. With a uniquely flexible voice, as comfortable in Verdi as it is in Rossini, she has delighted audiences around the world with her rich timbre and sparkling coloratura.

From her beginnings as a young musician in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has toured internationally with a variety of musical ensembles in concert halls such as: Santori Hall in Tokyo, The Center for Performing Arts in Beijing with the Peoples Liberation Army Orchestra, Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She has given recitals in Mexico and across the United States, giving voice to her research into the lesser known Art Songs of great Classical composers.

Katja Heuzeroth stars as Meg

Katja Heuzeroth, mezzo soprano, returns to Island City Opera in January 2019, starring as Meg in Little Women.  Katja made her Island City Opera debut in January 2018 singing the role of Kashcheyevna in our North American premiere of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchey the Immortal.

Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, Katja made her professional debut at the Bayreuther Festival House performing in Richard Wagner’s Parsifal, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Der fliegende Holländer under the musical direction of Maestro Giuseppe Sinopoli, Maestro Daniel Barenboim and Maestro Peter Schneider.

Mrs. Heuzeroth’s operatic roles include Lehrbube in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Blumenmädchen in Parsifal (Musical Director, James Levine – Lucerne Festival); Suzy/Lolette in La Rondine and Mercedez in Carmen (Teatro Felice – NYC); Lady Mary in The Vagabond King (Liederkranz Foundation – NYC); Octavian in scenes from Der Rosenkavalier and Dorabella in scenes from Cosi fan tutte (Opera Aegean – Mid American Productions – NYC/Greece); Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel (New York Opera Project – NYC); Dorabella in scenes from Cosi fan tutte, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier (Greenwich Village Orchestra – NYC); Flosshilde in Das Rheingold (Liederkranz Opera Theatre – NYC); and Adalgisa in Norma (Riverbent Opera – Yonkers).  For more information, visit http://www.katjaheuzeroth.com .

Aimee Puentes stars as Beth

Aimée Puentes returns for another season as Beth in Little Women.  Aimée made her Island City Opera debut as Lisa in the March 2018 production of Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula. She has sung a variety of leading soprano roles including Zerlina, Despina, Micäela, Sister Constance, Pamina, Donna Elvira, Musetta, Nannetta and Susanna with companies such as San Francisco Opera, Arizona Opera, Pensacola Opera, New Orleans Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Chautauqua Opera, San Jose Opera, West Bay Opera, Sacramento Opera and Abilene Opera.

Ms. Puentes’ solo concert work includes Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rutter’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No.4, Mozart’s Vesperae Solemnis and Mass in C Minor, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Brahms’ Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915. Aimée is a three-time West Coast finalist of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and winner of the IIE International Vocal Competition and Classical Singer magazine. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and has a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Aimée loves to teach voice and has been a guest teaching artist for the California Music Teachers Association, a teaching artist at San Francisco Opera and West Bay Opera, serves on the voice faculty at San Francisco’s School of the Arts and has enjoyed teaching private voice lessons since 2000.

Angela Jarosz as Amy

Coloratura soprano Angela Jarosz returns to Island City Opera to make her role debut as the youngest sister, Amy March, in our January 2019 production of Little Women.  In March 2018, Angela joined the chorus in our production of La Sonnambula.  Angela would like to dedicate these performances to her three sisters, and her mother who read Little Women aloud to them all when they were children.

Angela is a frequent performer with companies including the Bay Area Classical Harmonies, Douglas Morrisson Theater, and Berkeley Chamber Opera. Favorite roles include Belinda in Dido & Aeneas, Cunegonde in Candide, and Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

Angela was recently awarded a scholarship from the East Bay Opera League Young Artist Competition. Angela studied at the German Vocal Arts Institute in Seattle, WA where she performed the role of the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. She was an Emerging Artist with Angels Vocal Art in Los Angeles, CA where she performed the role of Mila in Adam Gorb’s Anya17.

Angela holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Roosevelt University; she was awarded sizable merit scholarships from both institutions. She continues to study with the esteemed Jane Randolph.

Sergio Gonzalez as Laurie

Sergio Gonzalez, tenor, joins Island City Opera for another season to sing the role of Laurie, Jo’s spurned suitor, in Little Women.

Mr. Gonzalez starred as Elvino in the Island City Opera’s March 2018 production of Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula.  In January 2017, he made his Island City Opera debut singing the role of the lovesick Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale He then reprised the same role this past summer at the Mendocino Music Festival’s production of the same work.  Previously, he sang the lead role, Belmonte, in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio at the Mendocino Music Festival in 2016.  And at the 2014 Mendocino Music Festival Sergio appeared as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  Sergio received his Master’s degree at the SF Conservatory of Music.

Bradley Kynard as John Brooke

Bradley Kynard, baritone, makes his Island City Opera debut as John Brooke, sister Meg’s suitor in Little Women.

Mr. Kynard has performed many roles throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. Last year he made his San Francisco Opera debut as Daggoo in Moby-Dick.

Bradley’s previous roles include Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Remendado in Carmen, and Lord Cecil in Roberto Devereux with Pocket Opera, as well as Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata with Opera San Jose, Chirurgo in La Forza del destino with West Bay Opera, and Robbins in Porgy and Bess with Mendocino Music Festival.

Mr. Kynard also sings with the San Francisco Opera chorus.

Jacque Wilson as Alma March

Jacque Wilson, mezzo soprano, makes her Island City Opera debut as mother to the Little Women, Alma March.

Jacque has been hailed in reviews as a “passionate singer with beautiful warm tones”. She was the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at both Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall, under the baton of conductor emeritus, Bernard Haitink. Additional solo performances include Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Freisinger Chamber Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with Masterworks Chorale and The Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Copland’s In the Beginning with the Newton Choral Society, and Karl Jenkin’s An Armed Man: A Mass for Peace with the Assabet Valley Mastersingers.  She has also made solo appearances with Metrowest Symphony Orchestra, Parkway Concert Orchestra, and Musica da Camera.

Ms. Wilson has sung with the San Francisco Opera chorus and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale; and opera audiences have heard her in productions with Granite State Opera, Chorus pro Musica, Worcester Opera Works, and Longwood Opera in such roles as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana.

Jacque holds music degrees from California State University, Northridge and The Boston Conservatory.

Wayne Wong as Gideon March

Wayne Wong sings Gideon March, father of the March clan, in the January 2019 production of Little Women.

Wayne made his Island City Opera debut as Alcindoro and Benoit in the 2016 production of La Boheme.  He has sung roles in over 80 productions, with companies such as Pocket Opera, Berkeley (West Edge) Opera,  and San Francisco Lyric Opera.

Other notable roles include Frank (Die Fledermaus), Ashby (La Fanciulla del West), Alidoro (La Cenerentola), and Antonio (Marriage of Figaro) – where Opera News called him “notably strong”. Other engagements include Opera Parallele, Festival Opera, West Bay Opera, and Teatro Bocchino (in the world premiere of David Morris’ Il Bobo Sferrato).

A graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Brown University, he is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Ellen St Thomas as Aunt Cecilia March

Ellen St Thomas is a co-founder of Island City Opera and has directed, managed and sung in many productions.  Ellen, an expressive lyric soprano, sang the role of Ines in Island City Opera’s inaugural production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Giovanna in Rigoletto.

She directed Il Tabarro and La Boheme, and assisted Olivia Stapp in directing Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, and La Sonnambula.

Ellen is engaged in nearly every aspect of music and performance and has performed in concerts and shows across the Bay Area.  She has also lent her voice to cartoon characters for episodes of Madeline and Inspector Gadget for Dic Entertainment.  Ellen is also a versatile producer with credits in TV/film and live performances.

Don Hoffman as Freiderich Bhaer

Don Hoffman returns to Island City Opera as Freiderich Bhaer in Little Women, January 2019.

Don Hoffman, bass-baritone, returns to Island City Opera for a third season as Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women, Jo’s much older German tutor. Don made his Island City debut in 2016 as Colline in La Bohème and also appeared with the company as the bandit Ténébrun in Don Quichotte.

Don made his professional debut with New Orleans Opera and is a frequent performer with companies around the Bay Area, including Pocket Opera, Bayshore Lyric Opera, Berkeley Chamber Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Guild. Leading roles include Escamillo (Carmen), Sulpice (Daughter of the Regiment), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Méphistophélès (Faust) and the title roles in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.

Don made his Carnegie Hall debut as a member of the Angel City Chorale performing the world premiere of Christopher Tin’s The Drop That Contained the Sea. He has also sung at the Great American Music Hall (with the ensemble Rosin Coven), France’s Festival de Rocamadour – Musique Sacrée, and on “The Wanda Sykes Show.”  For more information, visit www.donhoffmanbassbaritone.com

Phillip Harris as Dashwood

Phillip Harris makes his Island City Opera debut as Dashwood, the New York newspaper man who gives Jo her break in a sort of journalism.  Phillip is an active singer, teacher, church musician, and music scholar with experience in an array of various music genres and settings.

In 2016, he made his Carnegie Hall debut on the Ensemble Spotlight series with the Mid America Productions as a soloist with Jacqueline Hairston, won the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was a 1st place winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (district).  In the same year, he also sang Marcello (La Bohème) with The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Opera Theater and Le Fauteuil/L’arbre (L’enfant et les sortilèges) with The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. He made his professional operatic debut with Pocket Opera as Cascada (The Merry Widow) in 2014 and Schaunard (La Bohème) in 2017.

More recently, he appeared in the title role of Don Giovanni  with The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Opera Theater and with The Aspen Music Festival as Turbo in a workshop of Rufus Wainright’s opera, Hadrian, and in concert with The Aspen Music Festival as the narrator of “Liberty for All.” He sang with Opera in the Ozarks as The Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance) and Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly), The International Lyric Academy in Rome and Viterbo as Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), and Opera Las Vegas as Sem (Noye’s Fludde).

Chelsea Hollow, Quartet and Amy Cover

Lebanese American coloratura soprano, Chelsea Hollow, is known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for her “soaring high range” and “stage panache!” Locally, she performs with companies including The San Francisco Opera Guild, West Bay Opera, West Edge Opera, The Lamplighters, Pocket Opera, 42nd Street Moon, and Island City Opera.

In the summer of 2017, Chelsea recreated the role of Elizabeth Frankenstein in the West Coast Premiere of Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein with West Edge Opera. In early Fall 2016, Chelsea made her international debut in Guadalajara, MX singing the role of Mina Harker in Ibarra’s Despertar al Sueño with Escenia Ensamble, in collaboration with West Bay Opera. She returned to Mexico to perform the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (Previn) with Escenia Ensamble and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State of Chihuahua.

More traditional operatic appearances include Blonde in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with West Bay Opera, as well as the title role in La Fille du régiment, Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Serpina in La serva padrona with the The San Francisco Opera Guild. Chelsea was thrilled to join Pittsburgh Festival Opera to cover the role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. There, she also performed the role of Joujou in The Merry Widow. Favorite roles include Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte/Mozart), Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos/Strauss), Marie (La Fille du régiment/Donizetti), Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor/Mozart), Lucy (The Telephone/Menotti), and Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann/Offenbach).  For more information, please visit:  www.chelseahollow.com

Leandra Ramm, Quartet and Meg Cover

Performances by mezzo-soprano Leandra Ramm have been described as “beautiful and quite moving” (Nordstjernan Newspaper), with appearances at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The United Nations, and Symphony Space. Ms. Ramm recently performed the title role for San Francisco Opera Guild’s tour of La Cenerentola, and was an alto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in Chichester Psalms conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and Bach’s Magnificat conducted by Ragnar Bohlin.

She was recently a soloist in Ayers’ Messyah with the University of California Alumni Chorus at Cal Performances. Upcoming engagements include performances as Mama in Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena with the San Francisco Opera Guild, a role she performed in 2017 and will reprise at The Atrium Theater in the Wilsey Center for Opera, and Meg Page in Falstaff with West Bay Opera.

Ms. Ramm trained at the Manhattan School of Music, and completed apprenticeships and outreach tours with Arizona Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera Carolina, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera and New Jersey Opera.  For more information, please visit www.LeandraRamm.com

Maria Caycedo, Quartet

Soprano, Maria Caycedo, is Colombian by birth, raised in Alabama & Virginia, and now resides in the SF Bay Area. Maria has had a love for the performing arts her entire life. She grew up singing and dancing to classical, Latin, gospel, Irish and pop music. She apprenticed with Highlands Ballet Company in Abingdon, Virginia for a few years before attending the Alabama School of Fine Arts High School for voice. It was under the instruction of Laura Doss that her love for classical vocal repertoire developed. She attended the Bel Canto Institute’s youth summer vocal program the first year they had it in Florence, Italy.

In college, Maria took a break from intensive vocal studies and got a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. However, she soon realized music needed to be the center of her life in order to be truly fulfilled and found herself welcomed by the Verismo Opera family based in Vallejo, California.

Mari’s key roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Lucy (The Telephone), Musetta (La Boheme), Giovanna & Countess Ceprano (Rigoletto), Frasquita (Carmen), First Lay and Touriere (Suor Angelica). Maria also likes to sing contemporary opera. She premiered the role of Temple Member in Andrew Jamieson’s Heaven Down Here, a modern gospel/opera about Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, which was featured in the 2017 National Opera Association Annual Convention. She also sang Sara in Hector Armienta’s award winning La Llorona, a musical drama based on the traditional Mexican folk tale of La Llorona.  For more information, please visit www.mariacaycedo.com

Debra Niles, Quartet and Alma Cover