Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice was originally written for a castrato in the title role, but when he
reshaped it for Paris, the composer cast Orpheus as a high tenor, the traditional hero of French opera.
This presentation features a student cast of UW Music students performing Gluck’s Orphée. Directing the new production is French director Gilbert Blin, celebrated opera director of the Boston Early Music Festival, with choreographer Anna Mansbridge and Grammy-winning conductor Stephen Stubbs.
Seating is first come, first served. No ticket necessary.
Orphée - Katie Kelley
Eurydice - Emerald Lessley
Amour - Carolina Botero
STUDENT CAST BIOS
Soprano Katie Kelley is a first year graduate student at the University of Washington, working towards an MM in Voice Performance. A native of Texas, she completed her undergraduate work at Baylor University and chose to come to UW to study with Tom Harper after getting the opportunity to work with him at AIMS, a summer voice intensive in Austria. Katie has been studying voice for over twelve years and has sung roles such as Mrs. Segstrom in "A Little Night Music", Sister Martha in "Dialogues of the Carmelites", Suor Infermiera in "Suor Angelica", and the titular role of Cavalli's "Calisto", which she sang under the musical direction of Stephen Stubbs earlier this year. Singing the role of Orphée marks Ms. Kelley's first lead role in a fully staged production.
Emerald Lessley, soprano, is in the third year of her doctorate in vocal performance at the University of Washington. A native of northern California, Emerald is delighted to return to the west coast after completing her Master of Music degree at the University of Central Oklahoma. Ms. Lessley has enjoyed roles such as Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Geraldine in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, La Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Pauline in Barab’s A Toy Shop, Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and Estrella in Offenbach’s La Perichole. Emerald is also an active soloist, and she performs frequently in solo and chamber music recitals, and serves as the Musical Theater voice instructor for this newly created degree program.
After a thirty year career in Europe, musical director and lutenist Stephen Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006. Since then he has established his new production company, Pacific Musicworks, and developed a busy calendar as a guest conductor specializing in baroque opera and oratorio.
With his direction of Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo at the 1987 Bruges festival, he began his career as opera director and founded the ensemble Tragicomedia. Since 1997 Stephen has co-directed the bi-annual Boston Early Music Festival opera and is the permanent artistic co-director. BEMF’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thesee, and Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
Stephen was born in Seattle, Washington, where he studied composition, piano and harpsichord at the University of Washington. In 1974 he moved to England to study lute with Robert Spencer and then to Amsterdam for further study with Toyohiko Satoh and soon became a mainstay of the burgeoning early-music movement there, working with Alan Curtis on Italian opera in Italy, William Christie on French opera in France and various ensembles in England and Germany particularly the Hilliard Ensemble.
With his return to Seattle in 2006 he formed the long-term goal of establishing a company devoted to the study and production of Baroque opera. His first venture in this direction was the creation of the Accademia de’Amore, an annual summer institute for the training of pre-professional singers and musicians in baroque style and stagecraft, now housed at the Cornish College of the Arts.
In 2008 he established Pacific MusicWorks. The company’s inaugural presentation was a revival of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia marionette staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s penultimate opera The Return ofUlysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. After a warmly received 2010 presentation of Monteverdi’s monumental Vespers of 1610 at Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, PMW presented a full subscription season, opening with a program based on the Song of Songs and ending with two triumphantly successful performances of Handel’s early masterpiece, The Triumph of Time (1707).
As a guest conductor Stubbs has led performances of Gluck’s Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Bilbao, Spain, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Amsterdam’s Netherlands Opera. Following his successful debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2011, he was invited back in 2012 to conduct the Symphony’s performances of Messiah. He will also debut with the Edmonton Symphony in Messiah this season.
Stephen Stubbs is Senior Artist in Residence and member of the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Washington.