Wolf Trap Opera Company Announces Summer 2012 Season and Artist Roster

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Celebrating the Bad Boys of Summer and the Women Who Love Them, Line-Up Will Feature New Productions of The Rake’s Progress and Don Giovanni at The Barns

“The Wolf Trap Opera experience allows emerging artists to put their academic and apprentice training into practice,” said Company Director Kim Pensinger Witman.

The GRAMMY-nominated, nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Opera Company, a residency program for the finest rising professionals in the operatic industry, proudly presents its select group of Filene Young Artists and Studio Artists for the 2012 summer season. These esteemed singers will perform new productions of Don Giovanni and The Rake’s Progress, in addition to recitals and concerts. The two dozen artists selected to join the Wolf Trap Opera Company have risen above hundreds of their peers, showcasing the best emerging talent in the field.

Meet the Artists
The 2012 ensemble of Filene Young Artists, who will perform principal roles in the Company’s productions includes: Eric Barry, tenor; Andrea Carroll, soprano; Craig Colclough, bass-baritone; Margaret Gawrysiak, mezzo-soprano; Craig Irvin, baritone; Ryan Kuster, bass-baritone; James Kryshak, tenor; Jason Slayden, tenor; Aaron Sorensen, bass; Marcy Stonikas, soprano; Olivia Vote, mezzo-soprano; and Corinne Winters, soprano.

Supporting roles will be performed by the 12 Wolf Trap Studio Artists featuring: Frederick Ballentine, Jr., tenor; Melisa Bonetti, mezzo-soprano; Shannon Jennings, soprano; Courtney Johnson, soprano; Emily Misch, soprano; Anthony Michael Reed, baritone; Alexandra Rodrick, mezzo-soprano; Aleksandra Romano, mezzo-soprano; Yoni Rose, tenor; Aaron Short, tenor; Rhys Talbot, baritone; and Brian Vu, baritone.

A Different Kind of Opera Company
Unlike other opera companies and young artist programs, The Wolf Trap Opera Company selects its artists before setting the repertoire so as to invite the brightest talent, and then matches their strengths to the operas that best showcase them. The 24 artists performing this season have been handpicked from a pool of 1,070 singers who applied for the residency program. Artists were selected following a six-week, eight-market, coast-to-coast tour in which more than 550 singers auditioned.

Artists are immersed in a six- to 10-week journey gaining professional quality experience in a supportive environment. Singers receive individualized mentoring and instruction in all aspects of the art, craft, and business of being a professional classical vocalist.

“The Wolf Trap Opera experience allows emerging artists to put their academic and apprentice training into practice,” said Company Director Kim Pensinger Witman. “We specialize in providing individualized support to our country’s best emerging opera talent, when they are at critical transition points in their developing careers. While cultivating strong bonds with our artists we foster talent and encourage a personal and professional growth.”

Bringing Innovation to the Classics
Starting in late June, some of the most famous womanizing characters in the operatic canon will woo audiences with the tales of their scandalous ways in new productions of Don Giovanni and The Rake’s Progress.

Continuing its reputation for innovation in the classical music industry, the Wolf Trap Opera Company will provide unique opportunities for audiences to experience these shows in new ways. The main roles of Don Giovanni and his servant, Leporello, have been double-cast with two returning Filene Young Artists, adding a fresh and interesting dynamic to this production. Over the four performances, these two singers will alternate in the two roles. Set in the near future, Don Giovanni will feature costumes designed by Vita Tzykun, who recently served as an art director for ABC’s “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” special. The Rake’s Progress, in contrast, will be a production set in the late 1940’s, at around the time Stravinsky was writing his neoclassical gem. Set design for both operas will be done by Erhard Rom.
In addition to the two operas this season, the artists will be featured in From Bel Canto to Can Belto – a recital with GRAMMY Award-winning pianist Steven Blier; Aria Jukebox – A Filene Young Artist Showcase; Vocal Colors – a site-specific music and visual art collaborative program with The Phillips Collection; a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra; as well as interactive family events and educational opportunities for audiences of all ages.

The Repertoire

Don Giovanni at The Barns at Wolf Trap
Friday, June 29, 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 1, 3 p.m.; Thursday, July 5, 8 p.m.; and Saturday, July 7, 7 p.m.
Mozart's celebrated dramatic comedy tells the story of a famous womanizer who is given one last chance to repent. Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni (The Rake Punished, or Don Giovanni) premiered in 1787 and is the second opera in the popular Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy (preceded by The Marriage of Figaro and followed by Così fan tutte.) New production performed in Italian with English supertitles.

The Rake’s Progress at The Barns at Wolf Trap
Friday, August 3, 8 p.m.; Sunday, August 5, 3 p.m.; and Saturday, August 11, 7 p.m.
The young and feckless Tom Rakewell succumbs to temptation and abandons his sweetheart and his simple country life for the bright lights of the city. The Rake’s Progress tracks Tom’s fall from grace in the brothels and mansions of London and testifies to the redemptive power of love. A chance encounter with William Hogarth’s famous paintings at an art exhibition in Chicago in 1947 inspired Stravinsky to commission the libretto for The Rake’s Progress. This elegant 20th-century work, with its chamber orchestration, neoclassical form, and vivid tonal language, owes a musical debt of gratitude to Mozart. New production sung in English with supertitles.

Vocal Colors at The Phillips Collection
Thursday, June 28, 6:30 p.m.
Filene Young Artists craft a personal soundtrack to visual art from The Phillips Collection in a creative exploration that bridges musical genres and styles. Previous programs have resulted in unlikely but ultimately beautiful partnerships between Paul Cézanne and Joni Mitchell, Mark Rothko and Richard Strauss, Edgar Degas and Peter Tchaikovsky, and Marc Chagall and Fiona Apple, among others.

From Bel Canto to Can Belto at The Barns at Wolf Trap
Sunday, July 15, 3 p.m.
With the precision of Mario Batali pairing the finest prosecco, pasta, and prosciutto, Steve Blier toasts la dolce vita with the music of Italy and her favorite sons! Blier will perform songs by Italians and Italian-Americans with a quartet of singers from the 2012 Wolf Trap Opera Company.
Aria Jukebox: A Filene Young Artist Showcase at The Barns at Wolf Trap
Sunday, July 22, 3 p.m.
The audience helps choose the opera arias performed by the 2012 Company artists and pianist Kim Pensinger Witman

Beethoven’s 9th at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Saturday, July 28, 8:15 p.m.
Wolf Trap Opera Company artists join the National Symphony Orchestra and The Washington Chorus


Backstage Buzz, Sundays, June 24 & July 29, 3 p.m. at Center for Education at Wolf Trap
In a format popularized by Bravo’s TV show Inside The Actor’s Studio, audience members participate in a lively moderated panel discussion with cast and crew members. Together, we discover what makes opera work in the 21st century.

Inside the Opera, one hour prior to every opera performance at The Barns at Wolf Trap
Wolf Trap Opera Director Kim Pensinger Witman reveals her unique perspective on the show—don’t miss your opportunity to become an insider.
Behind the Curtain, Tuesday, August 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Your family jumps out of the audience and into the spotlight! Tour behind the scenes, watch make-up transformations, craft opera-related props, meet the 2012 resident artists, take a family photo on stage, and lunch together with company members.
Casts & Creative Teams
Don Giovanni
The Barns at Wolf Trap
June 29, July 1 (m), 5, 7
Conductor – Andrew Bisantz                    
Director – Tomer Zvulun
Scenic Design – Erhard Rom                        
Costume Design – Vita Tzykun
Lighting Design – Robert H. Grimes
Don Giovanni / Leporello – Craig Irvin, Ryan Kuster
Donna Anna – Marcy Stonikas
Don Ottavio – Jason Slayden    
Donna Elvira – Olivia Vote
Zerlina – Andrea Carroll
Masetto – Aaron Sorensen                        
Commentadore – Craig Colclough        

The Rake’s Progress
The Barns at Wolf Trap
August 3, 5 (m), 11
Conductor – Dean Williamson    
Director – Tara Faircloth
Scenic Design – Erhard Rom                        
Costume Design – Rooth Varland
Lighting Design – Robert H. Grimes        
Anne Trulove – Corinne Winters            
Tom Rakewell – Eric Barry
Nick Shadow – Craig Colclough
Baba the Turk / Mother Goose – Maggie Gawrysiak
Father Trulove – Aaron Sorensen                        
Sellem – James Kryshak                                            

From Bel Canto to Can Belto
A Recital with Steven Blier
The Barns at Wolf Trap
July 15
Steven Blier, pianist & host
Andrea Carroll, soprano
Olivia Vote, mezzo-soprano
Jason Slayden, tenor
Ryan Kuster, bass-baritone

Vocal Colors
The Phillips Collection
June 28
Corinne Winters, soprano
Margaret Gawrysiak, mezzo-soprano
James Kryshak, tenor
Craig Colclough, bass-baritone

Beethoven’s 9th
July 28
Corinne Winters, soprano
Margaret Gawrysiak, mezzo-soprano
Jason Slayden, tenor
Ryan Kuster, bass-baritone

About the Wolf Trap Opera Company
Established in 1971, the Wolf Trap Opera Company continues to earn national and international recognition for its mission to discover and encourage outstanding emerging talent in the opera field, serving singers of exceptional achievement and potential who are ready to make the transition to full-time professional careers. In addition to the young professional singers, the company also features the work of emerging designers, directors, and conductors; and provides opportunities for aspiring stage managers, administrators, coaches, and technical theatre professionals.
Tickets for Wolf Trap Opera Company performances can be purchased at the Wolf Trap Box Office located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts at 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia; by calling 1(877) WOLFTRAP; or online at http://www.wolftrap.org. For more information, call Wolf Trap at (703) 255-1868.


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