music by Joseph M. Colombo
libretto by Caitlin Mullan
Opera Theater Unlimited
EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy St, SF
July 14 - July 22, 2017
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A new opera from Opera Theater Unlimited. In an unnamed society, against the backdrop of war, Hunter, a female soldier, falls in love with the girlfriend of one of her fellow soldiers. A revelation that forces everyone involved to face their true desires, and what they will risk to be with the one they love.
|HUNTER | KATIE NIX
Katie Nix is a vibrant young soprano, stage director, and arts administrator. She has worked in administrative roles with a number of arts non-profits ranging from shoestring to multi-million dollar budgets, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society. As a stage director, she has worked with Thompson Street Opera Company (Louisville, KY), Fete Concerts, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Hailed as “sensational” by the San Francisco Examiner, her wide repertoire as a performer ranges from Baroque chamber opera to contemporary musical theatre.
|ADDISON | JILL MORGAN BRENNER
Syracuse, NY native, soprano Jill Morgan Brenner, is an accomplished artist having sung with various organizations including the Syracuse University Orchestra, Prodigal Opera Productions, Classical Revolution, and the Fête Concert Series. An enthusiast of contemporary music, Jill has sung Julie in David Conte’s Firebird Motel and premiered Elliot Encarnación’s Troilus and Achilles as the goddess Athena. Other roles include, Beth in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Anne Sexton in Conrad Susa’s Transformations, Countessa in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and the 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Jill is the founder, creator, and
performer of I Sing Words: The Poetry Project. The project is an annual concert series to further vocal repertoire through commissioning new works, continue the tradition of art song, and provide accessible new music to future performers and audiences. Jill is a recipient of the Paul L. & Phyllis Wattis Foundation Scholarship, Anna Freeland Memorial Prize, and the Vocal Department Award at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance from Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music and her Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
|MAX | JONATHAN SMUCKER
Tenor Jonathan Smucker has sung more than 35 roles, ranging from baroque and classical to musical theater, operetta, and contemporary works. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a salutatorian at Interlochen Arts Academy, he holds Bachelor's, Master's, and Postgraduate degrees in voice. He received further training at the Aspen Music Festival, and was an apprentice artist for Ash Lawn Opera. A member of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Chorale, he has appeared as a soloist with Festival Opera, Marin Oratorio, Lamplighters Music Theatre, Pocket Opera, Opera San Luis Obispo, and San Francisco Opera's a la Carte program, among others.
|OLIVIA | YEMONJA STANLEY
Yemonja Stanley earned her master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2013. Throughout her career she has performed such roles as the Sandman in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante, Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème, and Miss Jessel in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. She has also been active in outreach programs for youth in the Bay Area. In fall of 2015, she was a teaching artist with the San Francisco Opera Guild’s Opera à la Carte. During the same season, she sang the title role in the children’s opera: Amazing Grace with Opera Parallèle. In this world premiere she worked directly with the children’s chorus to engage them in the art of storytelling through music.
|BRONWYN | CORINNE RYDMAN
A singer “with polish and charm,” Corinne Rydman sang Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with SFCM in 2016. In recital, she’s premiered works by the forgotten American pioneer Florence Price. Other roles include Nerone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and Volpino (Lo speziale). A lover of all stories, she’s performed musical theatre roles such as Liliane La Fleur (Nine), Woman 2 (Closer Than Ever), and Mrs. Prysselius (Pippi Longstocking). Corinne currently is competing for the finals of the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition. Upcoming performances: Lucilla (La scala di seta) with Phènix Opera and Bronwyn in OTU’s Hunter.
|CO/VANESSA | MAGGIE MANIRE
Soprano Maggie Manire is thrilled to be joining Opera Theater Unlimited for a third time, previously seen in their productions of L'incoronazione di Poppea (multiple roles) and The Turn of the Screw (Miles). Maggie is a recent graduate of The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she received her masters degree under the tutelage of Jane Randolph. She received her bachelors degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, where she was honored with multiple awards, including as a winner of the School of Music's Concerto/Aria competition. Recent projects have included the role of Mary Crawford in the West Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove's Mansfield Park and collaboration with Bay Area composers, all while continuing to study with Jane Randolph. Maggie looks forward to a recital and song cycle premiere with composer and pianist Brian Fitzsousa this fall.
|COMPOSER | JOSEPH M. COLOMBO
Joseph M. Colombo is a New England-born, San Francisco-based post-classical composer and noise maker. He has written music for orchestras, chamber ensembles, electronics, stage, film, installations, and everything in between. His work has a vibrant energy, often exhibiting a strong rhythmic drive, and has been referred to as “a powerful auditory experience” and “a wash of sound and color” (I Care If You Listen). Joseph has worked with a slew of individual performers and ensembles, including but not limited to the Kronos Quartet, the Orlando Philharmonic, the Mobius Trio, the Living Earth Show, Transient Canvas, Areon Flutes, New Keys Ensemble, Elevate Ensemble, Regina Schaffer, Justin Dougherty, Friction Quartet, Juventas New Musical Ensemble, and more. He is currently working on a long form visual music project. Joseph is a frequent host of the radio show, Music From Other Minds, and can often be encountered as a performer and teacher. He is a founding member of the Fifth Floor Collective and Prodigal Opera Productions, and has studied with Dan Becker, Andy Vores, Jan Swafford, Curtis Hughes, Dalit Warshaw, Dan Crozier, and Susan Lackman. For more, check out www.JosephMColombo.com
|LIBRETTIST | CAITLIN MULLAN
Caitlin is currently a playwright and drama instructor for the non-profit children's theatre company Kid Stock, Inc., for whom she has scripted five original shows and two holiday showcases. She is the writer and co-creator of That’s Not A Thing, a web series about three women navigating the oft ridiculous trials of early adulthood, produced by La Doña Films that just launched on YouTube. A graduate of Seattle University’s creative writing program, Caitlin Mullan additionally studied literature and history at the National University of Ireland, Galway, giving her a unique and immersive education in rain that continues to inform her work. Ongoing projects include Snapshots: San Francisco, a blog-based storytelling archive designed to document the ever-expanding and evolving personal thoughts and experiences of the city's residents and visitors.
|MUSIC DIRECTOR | ELLIOT JAMES ENCARNACIÓN
Composer and conductor, Elliott James Encarnación is also a self-trained cathedral tenor. As devotee of Wagner and Bach, Encarnación welcomed his years of study and friendship with the late renown opera composer Conrad Susa. He studied orchestral conducting with Dr David Gilbert, a protégé of Bernstein, at the Manhattan School of Music. He has written for ensembles in Michigan, New York and California. His repertoire includes numerous sacred choral works, oratorio and opera. Elliott co-founded Prodigal Opera Productions in 2013, serving as artistic director. In addition to composing, and singing professionally in numerous Bay Area choral institutions, including the San Francisco Symphony, Elliott works as a conductor and as an instructor of theatre, opera, and music theory. He enjoys regular performances as an AGMA chorister with the San Francisco Symphony and the newly founded Cappella SF under Ragnar Bohlin. He is currently serving as composer-in-residence for the International Orange Chorale.
|STAGE DIRECTOR | SARAH YOUNG
Highlights of Sarah Young's directing work include La Serva Padrona for the San Francisco Opera Guild, a double bill of La Serva Padrona and The Coffee Cantata for Livermore Valley Opera, a semi staged Zelmira for West Edge Opera, The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Theater Pittsburgh, Alcina with Black Box Baroque, and an Opera on Tap children's outreach production of Cenerentola. Sarah is happy to return to Opera Theater Unlimited after directing their Turn of the Screw and L'incoronazione di Poppea. Sarah is currently an MFA candidate in Directing at The New School for Drama in New York City.