The UW Voice Program presents an adaptation of Haydn’s 1773 one-act singspiel Philemon und Baucis, a tragicomic tale in two parts inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
Stage direction by Kelly Kitchens. With members of the UW Symphony Orchestra, Daren Weissfisch, conductor.
In a celestial deco lounge the gods are gathering—and they are not pleased. The mortals on earth aren’t paying homage to them as grandly as they wish, and they seek to sway Jupiter into divine retaliation; only Ceres argues for saving the folks below. In a moment of whimsy, Jupiter decides to conduct his own investigation into the iniquities of the human race. After donning humble disguises, Jupiter, along with a begrudging Mercury, travel incognito together down to earth in search of any mortals who still have a heart for weary travelers.
What Jupiter finds when he arrives infuriates him and he sends a terrible storm as a preliminary punishment. After further travel—and finding only vices and inhospitable folks—Jupiter knocks on one last door before final judgement is rendered. It belongs to impoverished Dust Bowl farmers Philemon and Baucis, who lost their beloved son and their soon to be daughter-in-law on their wedding day to one of Jupiter's vengeful storms. Will they show enough kindness to dissuade the disguised pair from eradicating the earth?
A NOTE ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
For this production, we have adapted this marionette Singspiel, with libretto by Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel and music by Joseph Haydn, to present a live-action operetta with vocal music contemporaneous to Haydn embedded into the prologue, for which none of the original vocal music survives. Composers featured in our presentation of the prologue, originally titled The Council of the Gods, are Josef Mysliveček, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, and Luigi Cherubini. Carrie Shaw translated and, with Kelly Kitchens, adapted the dialogues into English while the sung pieces remain in the original languages. The music for the second half of the show maintains its original form to Philemon and Baucis, or Jupiter's Journey to Earth. Incidental music chosen from Haydn's chamber orchestra works has also been selected by conductor Daren Weissfisch to underscore the tragicomedy. The original work was created to commemorate Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa's visit to Prince Nicholas I Esterházy at Eszterháza.
Assistant Conductor: Ryan Farris
Aret cover- Tri V. Nguyen
Narcissa cover- Mavis Chan
Diana and Venus cover- Sydney Belden
Members of the UW Symphony Orchestra
Katelyn Campbell *
Kamil Tarnawczyk *
Anna Perry *
Abigail George *
Selina Siow *
Caleb Anders *
Randy Zhang *
Bennett Olson *
Alejandra Heringer *
Selina Siow, violin
Caleb Anders, violin
Randy Zhang, viola
Bennett Olson, cello
Cee E. Adamson (she/they/Mx.), mezzo-soprano, occupies a fluid place as an operatic talent, capable of treading the beguiling and liminal space between the countertenor and mezzo-soprano. Cee’s vocal versatility has been well showcased in roles as Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Giulio Cesare in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, and tragic and comic roles from Mercedes in Carmen to Florence Pike in Albert Herring. In addition to singing, Mx. Adamson is also a choral conductor, arts administrator, and an executive success and achievement coach. Cee is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington, where she is studying with Dr. Carrie Shaw. Prior to the University of Washington, Cee studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, based in London, where she received the Master of Music and the Master of Performance degrees and was designated a Guildhall Artist. Other education includes the Advanced Artist Diploma and Master of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, and undergraduate degrees in music, accounting, and business management from Franklin Pierce University.
Kaelyn Barnes (Apollo) is thrilled in her first production at The University of Washington where she is currently a junior studying Vocal Performance. She has always dreamed of having the opportunity to attend the university where so many artists she admires have studied. While this will be the first opera she has performed in, some of her previous theatre credits include A Little Night Music (Anne), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Rosa Bud), and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally). Many thanks to her endlessly supportive friends and family, and to the inspiring artists working alongside her.
Sydney is excited to return to the stage in her first opera at UW, and her first staged performance in nearly five years! Sydney always found joy in singing and bringing laughter to those around her. Originally hailing from sunny San Clemente, California, Sydney absolutely loves her life in Seattle. She is a double degree student pursuing a BM in Vocal Performance and a BA in Environmental Studies. Sydney also is an active member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and plays for the UW Women’s Waterpolo Club Team. Around Seattle, she sings as a performing member for the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, a chorister for the Puget Sound Concert Opera, an ambassador for the Seattle Opera Guild (to which earlier this year she was a finalist in their Singer’s Development Awards), and a Choral Section Leader Intern at the UCUCC. This Summer, she is ecstatic to be performing abroad in shows in Vienna (Dido and Aneas) and Germany (Die Zauberflöte) and hopefully she finishes her German Duolingo course in time! Sydney is extremely grateful for the overwhelming kindness, guidance, and support of her directors, friends, colleagues, family, and beloved pet betta fish, Coors Banquet.
Mavis Chan is a junior from Bellevue, WA studying Vocal Performance and Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She is also the president of UW Chamber Singers. Mavis is very excited for you to see this wonderful production of Philemon und Baucis, and feels honored to be working with such a talented cast and crew. This is Mavis’ third production with Kelly Kitchens, previously working together at Seattle Opera’s Youth Opera Project on L’Orfeo and Robin Hood. Some of Mavis’ past roles include The Remarkable Rocket in Laura Karpman’s Wilde Tales and Bard 2 in Ben Moore’s Odyssey. Last May, Mavis had the privilege of traveling to New York with UW Chorale to sing at Carnegie Hall. Mavis is looking forward to her junior recital on April 28th at 6:30pm at Brechemin Auditorium. It will feature music by female composers and poets. She would love to see you there!
Karen Dunstan (soprano) hails from Ypsilanti, Michigan. They are a second year master's student at the University of Washington, studying in Carrie Shaw's voice studio. Karen is thrilled to participate in their second full production with UW's Opera Workshop. Their previous roles have been Holy St. Francis's Trainer in David T. Little's Vinkensport at UW, as well as The Spirit in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and the Second Spirit in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.
An old woman like Baucis, Dunstan enjoys crocheting, reading murder mysteries, and doing jigsaw puzzles. Unlike Baucis, they also enjoy new and experimental music. They are excited to be performing in Lowbrow Opera's upcoming production of Thirst by TJ Rubin in May, and will be performing Luciano Berio's Sequenza in The Music Laboratory concert series in April, as well as other tidbits of new music.
Soprano Caitlin Hennessy, originally from Chicago, is studying for her Master's in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington under the direction of Professor Thomas Harper. She completed her Bachelor's in Vocal Performance at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where she studied with world-renowned tenor, Jerald Siena. During her undergraduate studies, she was directed by Nathan Gunn in Don Giovanni where she “...wooed the audience with her charm and opened the door to understanding the complex character of Donna Elvira. Her inevitable departure in the final act was as difficult for the audience as it was for Elvira.”-Nathan Gunn. She sang roles including the young Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen, 2nd woodsprite in Dvořák’s Rusalka (LAH-SOW Portland), and sang in the chorus in Hansel and Gretel, The Light in the Piazza, and in Candide. She also was a soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa Brevis as well as Bruckner’s Requiem. Ms. Hennessy has done recital work at the University of Illinois with Dr. Casey Robards and is currently preparing for her second Masters recital this coming May at UW. Caitlin is also a dedicated Catholic church staff singer in the Seattle area.
Having spent the last several years moving from coast to coast, Mallory is happy to return to her hometown of Seattle. She most recently was based in the greater Philadelphia area, where she was privileged to serve as both an educator and performer. Mallory holds a BM in Music Education with a credential to teach K-12 Band, Choral, Orchestral, and General music. She has sung the roles of Rose Maurant in Street Scene, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She also frequently participates in NATS competitions, having won twice in the LA chapter, and has had the opportunity to work with Elena Mindina and Angel Blue in masterclasses. She has studied with Dr. Jeanne Robison and Robin Massie, and is currently studying with Thomas Harper while pursuing her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Washington. Mallory is grateful for the support of her family, and in her spare time can be found working with horses and children.
Tenor Tri Nguyen is local to the Pacific Northwest, having grown up in Everett, WA. He is an undergraduate at the University of Washington, and currently studies in Professor Limuel Forgey's voice studio. He is excited for the opportunity to perform in this show as part of the chorus, as well as cover for the role of Aret. He looks forward to the upcoming Opera Workshop Scenes in May. This performance is his first involvement in an opera production and his first time performing in a show since COVID. He is thankful to be working with a talented and supportive cast and team, and for his supportive friends and family.
Zach grew up in small town Minnesota. His first voice teacher was his aunt, Joy Ciaffonni, who encouraged Zach to start singing. Zach received his Bachelor of Music from Concordia College-Moorhead, studying as a tenor with Professor David Hamilton and Dr. Anthony Leathem. He currently is pursuing a Master’s of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Washington, studying with Thomas Harper. Zach has performed with the Lakes Area Music Festival in their productions of Carmen, The Magic Flute, and La Belle Hélène. Previous roles for Zach include Count Almaviva (Barber of Seville) and Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus).
Isabelle Villanueva is a Freshman from Tacoma, Washington studying Vocal Performance and Clinical Psychology on the pre-medicine track. She hopes to establish a career in Pediatric Psychiatry with an implementation of music therapy striving to reform mental healthcare. As a current student of Dr. Carrie Shaw, Isabelle had the honor of winning her division for the Puget Sound NATS competition this fall. Isabelle has been a three-time NATS winner and the current Washington Mezzo-Soprano State Champion. She has valued the opportunity to bring the vision of Philemon und Baucis alive and curate art with her castmates during rehearsal daily. Isabelle feels humbled and privileged to be part of this brilliant, skillful cast and crew. She is thrilled to continue her journey at the University of Washington, surrounded by immense love and support.
Tenor Nathaniel Voth is a member of the Seattle Opera Chorus. As a soloist, he last appeared as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Otello with the Pacific Northwest Opera. Last summer, as a visiting artist with the Utah Festival Opera, he performed principal roles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land. Nathaniel lived for several years in Miami, Florida, where he taught voice, music history, and diction at the New World School of the Arts. A Pacific Northwest native, he graduated from Western Washington University before attending Northwestern University, where he obtained a master’s degree in 2018.
Kelly Kitchens is professional director, actor, and arts educator based out of Seattle, Washington.
Her honors include: three-time nominated and two-time recipient of the Gregory Falls Award for Outstanding Director; winner of the Broadway World Critics Picks for Best Direction of a Play; two time winner of Seattle Theater Writers award for Best Direction of a Play; Broadway World nominee for Best Direction of a Musical; named Best Director by the Seattle Weekly Readers Poll; named in Seattle Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top 20 Most Talented People in Seattle”; and a nominee for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Mayor's Arts Award.
Some past projects include: directing Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and for Kentucky Opera; directing the NYC workshop of Esther, a new dance musical; directing the US Premier of Meek (Denizen Theater, NY); stage directing O+E, a new adaptation of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Seattle Opera); stage directing The Tender Land (Seattle Opera Academy); directing The Light in the Piazza (Showtunes Theatre Company); directing The Thanksgiving Play, Hand to God (Gregory Award recipient for Outstanding Production), Ironbound (Gregory Award nominee for Outstanding Production), Grounded, On Clover Road, The Other Place, Christmastown (Seattle Public Theater); directing Medea, As You Like It, and The Tempest and performing the roles of Jaques in As You Like It and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (Seattle Shakespeare Company); directing Pride and Prejudice (THEATERWORKS, Colorado); adapting and directing She's Come Undone (Book-It Repertory Theatre).
Some upcoming projects include directing Orfeo ed Euridice for Kentucky Opera in collaboration with the Louisville Ballet as well as directing productions for The University of Washington and Book-It Repertory Theatre.
Kelly is a Guest Lecturer in vocal performance at the University of Washington, a member of Actor's Equity Association, and a member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Kelly earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Daren Weissfisch has conducted professional and student ensembles in the United States, Mexico, and Europe for over a decade. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington under the tutelage of Dr. David Alexander Rahbee where he is the conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestras, the assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the University of Washington Modern Music Ensemble and Opera Theater Works Orchestra. Daren was recently named House Conductor of the Tacoma Opera and he previously conducted the University of Washington’s opera production of Vinkensport by David T. Little and Joseph Haydn’s opera Philemon und Baucis. Daren has also served as cover conductor for the Harmonia Orchestra Seattle and the Issaquah Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2013 to 2019 Daren was the Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca Sinaloa, which is an El Sistema based youth orchestra and choir in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. While in Mexico he was the assistant director for the 2016 production of Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo and Juliet with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes under Sinaloense conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda and the same year he collaborated with French guitarist Jean Bruno Dautaner to record the guitar concerto Tres en Raya by Spanish composer Antonio Ruíz Pipó under the AdLib MusicMX record label. In 2017 Daren conducted the Sinaloa premier of Horizontes, a work by Mexican composer Samuel Zyman, again with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes, and for the 2017 Sinaloa Cultural Festival Daren founded the ensemble Sinaloa Players which presented Stravinsky’s masterpiece Histoire du Soldat in collaboration with renowned Mexican choreographer Mauricio Nava. Daren was a conducting student of Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School for several summers and he also studied with many notable conductors including Ludovic Morlot, Donald Schleicher, Kensho Watanabe, Lior Shambadal, Edward Cumming, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Gábor Hollerung, Linus Lerner, Carlos Spierer, Sandro Gorli, Glen Adsit and Timothy Salzman among others.
Daren is also an oboist and was the second/assistant principal oboist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes in Sinaloa, Mexico from 2010-2019 as well as soloist playing oboe concertos by Mozart, Strauss and Bach. He is also a substitute player in the Seattle area with the Bainbridge Island Symphony Orchestra, Harmonia Orchestra Seattle and the Lake Union Civic Orchestra among others.
Andrew Romanick performs in the Seattle area and beyond as a collaborative pianist and opera coach. On faculty at the University of Washington School of Music, he instructs Opera Workshop and Collaborative Piano. This year Romanick has performed and premiered with soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw a number of pieces in Seattle and St. Paul by contemporary composers: Linda Tutas Haugen, Kate Soper, Jocelyn Hagen, Juliana Hall, and Karen P. Thomas. In January, Romanick also contributed to the reconstruction and performance by UW Opera of Joseph Haydn's Philemon and Baucis, or Jupiter comes to Earth. Previous professional performances have taken place virtually with Seattle soprano Chérie Hughes in the Barcelona Festival of Song; with Broadway and Metropolitan Opera Baritone Zachary James in the Hoku concert series in Kona, Hawaii; in the Canto Opera Festival in Louisville, Kentucky; in the Music in the Marche Opera Festival in Mondavio and Fano, Italy; and solo in the Gijón Piano Festival in Spain. Romanick earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from University of Washington in 2018 in the studio of Robin McCabe.
Rhonda Kline is Artist in Residence and Director of Collaborative Piano at the University of Washington School of Music. An accomplished and versatile pianist cited as a “tour de force at the piano” (Klarinet), Rhonda’s passion is collaborating with others in sharing music. International highlights included a weeklong residency at the American University of Sharjah near Dubai in partnership with baritone Victor Benedetti and soprano Juliana Rambaldi; and a recital tour with Metropolitan Opera soprano Joyce Guyer, performing in Florence, Budapest, and Kyiv. Current projects include music direction for one-act operas by local composer Sterling Tinsley, Tacoma Opera online presentations, and a performance with Bellingham Chamber Chorale of Mozart’s Requiem arranged for piano duet (partnered with pianist Emily Gantt). Passionate about fostering both the young emerging professional and veteran performer, Rhonda serves as general director and music director for Northwest Opera In Schools, Etc. (N.O.I.S.E., www.noiseforkids.org), an opera education program serving elementary schools and retirement communities in Washington state. Summer months find her in Italy, where she is a pianist and coach with Canta in Italia, a program for singers to study opera and Italian language and culture. Her operatic coaching repertoire includes more than 60 titles, including traditional operas, contemporary works, and musical theater.
Ryan D. Farris is an up-and-coming conductor and performer in the Pacific Northwest community. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington where he is the conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestras and assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra. Ryan has served as cover conductor for professional orchestras across the country, including the Auburn Symphony in Washington and the Boulder Philharmonic in Colorado. He has also served as an assistant conductor for the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and as a sectional conductor for Harmonia Seattle. Ryan was a proud student of the late maestro Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival in Maine for five summers. He has also studied with many notable conductors including Ludovic Morlot, David Rahbee, Gary Lewis, Nicholas Carthy, Donald Schleicher, Kensho Watanabe, Kirk Trevor, and Tiffany Lu.
Ryan has served as principal cellist with the Boulder Opera Company, Seattle Philharmonic Strings, and the University of Washington Symphony. He has appeared as a featured soloist with the South Pudget Sound College Orchestra, and regularly performs in chamber music groups across the region. Before moving to Seattle, he performed regularly with some of Colorado’s best orchestras, including the Boulder Philharmonic, Fort Collins Symphony, and Colorado MahlerFest. Ryan also performs on viola da gamba with the UW Baroque Ensemble and traditional Irish fiddle and pennywhistle with the acclaimed Seattle-based Celtic group Cavort.