Florentine Opera Company
Press Release

Florentine Opera Announces the 2015-2016 Studio Artists and the Next@ The Center SERIES’ SEASON

The 2015-2016 Season will welcome a new quartet and the next season of this popular concert series at the Wayne and Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center.

By - Apr 20th, 2015 10:20 am

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin— April 20, 2015— The results of the company’s largest Young Artist Audition for the 2015-2016 residency program are in – The Florentine Opera Company announces the 2015-2016 lineup of Florentine Opera Studio Artists along with the next season of the @ The Center Series.

The Florentine Opera Studio Program is made possible through the generous support of Kate & Don Wilson (supporters of Casa di Opera), The Bucyrus Foundation in honor of William P. Winter (supporters of Casa di Opera), Claire & Glen Hackmann (supporters of The February 2016 Vogel Hall revue Vienna… City of my Dreams), The Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Charitable Trust (support for the Riverwest Opera Center and Casa di Opera), Mario & Cathy Costantini (supporters of the Riverwest Opera Center and Casa di Opera), with additional support from Riverwest community, Milwaukee County CAMPAC, Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from NEAArtworks, and the United Performing Arts Fund.

The @ The Center Series will showcase the 2015-2016 Florentine Opera Studio Artists— Ariana Douglas (soprano), Katherine Brandt (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Leighton (tenor), and Leroy Y Davis (baritone)—featuring a sampling of repertoire from opera operetta and musical theatre classics to cabaret hits, and holiday songs. This series is part of the Florentine’s continuing expansion of community engagement and will consist of four weekends (Friday and Saturday evenings) of in-studio performances at the Wayne and Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.

– On September 18 and 19, 2015, the @ The Center Series begins with The 82nd Season Sampler, featuring selections from the 2015-2016 season, which celebrates the Florentine’s original productions by opera’s greatest composers. The Florentine’s Studio Artists will bring to life selections from Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, and Johan Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus as well as the Florentine’s children’s touring opera Jack & The Beanstalk in this @ The Center kickoff.         
– The series continues on November 20 and 21, 2015, with An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan. The Studio Artists provide a concert of hilarious, classic, and delightful operetta by the famed composer duo.

– The series continues on December 18 and 19, 2015, with Home for the Holidays. The Studio Artists provide a prelude to the holidays with a concert of winter tunes and carols, reminding audiences of the joys of this festive time of year.

– On April 1 and 2, 2016, the Studio Artists return with Florentine After Dark. This concert will feature a program of familiar and fresh German, French and American cabaret songs for Florentine audiences.

TICKETS

Single ticket prices begin at just $20 with ‘Friday Evening’ and ‘Saturday Evening’ @ The Center ticket packages from just $40 (until May 1, 2015 then $60 through September 20th). @ The Center subscription reservations begin TODAY!!! with single ticket sales beginning August 1, 2015.  For more information on ordering ticket packages visit www.florentineopera.org or call (414) 291-5700 ext. 224 or 1-800-32 OPERA.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
 

WHAT:          

The 82nd Anniversary Season Sampler

WHEN:         

Friday, September 18, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, September 19, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

WHERE:      

Wayne & Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center

926 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212                

CAST:           

Ariana Douglas

Katherine Brandt

Thomas Leighton

Leroy Y Davis                       

WHAT:          

An Evening of Gilbert & Sullivan

WHEN:         

Friday, November 20, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, November 21, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

WHERE:      

Wayne & Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center

926 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212                 

CAST:           

Ariana Douglas

Katherine Brandt

Thomas Leighton

Leroy Y Davis                       

WHAT:         

Home for the Holidays

WHEN:         

Friday, December 18, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, December 19, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

WHERE:      

Wayne & Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center

926 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212      

CAST:           

Ariana Douglas

Katherine Brandt

Thomas Leighton

Leroy Y Davis

WHAT:          

Florentine After Dark

WHEN:         

Friday, April 1, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, April 2, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

WHERE:      

Wayne & Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center

926 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212

CAST:           

Ariana Douglas

Katherine Brandt

Thomas Leighton

Leroy Y Davis

BIOGRAPHIES

Ariana Douglas

Ariana Douglas. Photo courtesy of the Florentine Opera Company.

Soprano Ariana Douglas earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied under the direction of Julia Faulkner. She recently finished her Master of Music from Louisiana State University and studied with Dennis Jesse. Some of her recent roles include: Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Nevěsta in Martinů’s Hlas lesa, Magda in La Rondine, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. She was an ensemble member in Lucia di Lammermoor with New Orleans Opera as well as Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Opéra Louisiane, a local opera company in Baton Rouge, LA. While at Louisiana State University, other non-opera credits include the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem. Ariana was recently rewarded an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Katherine Brandt

Katherine Brandt. Photo courtesy of the Florentine Opera Company.

Heralded as “hilarious” and “impressive” by DC Metro Theater Arts, Mezzo-soprano Katherine Brandt recently graduated from The University of Maryland’s Opera Studio. Over the course of her graduate degree she studied with both Linda Mabbs and Delores Ziegler. As a member of the opera studio, Katherine performed the Nurse in Lee Hoiby’s Romeo & Juliet, both Nancy and Florence in Albert Herring, and both Prince Orlofsky and Ida in Die Fledermaus. As a student of Mildred Miller during her undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University, she performed roles including The Sorceress in Dido & Aeneas, Bessie in Das Kleine Mahagonny, and The Chinese Tea Cup in L’enfant et les sortileges. Katherine premiered the chamber version of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox in the role of Mrs. Fox with the Microscopic Opera Company. She has performed with The Pittsburgh Opera Theater as The Baroness in Candide and Grimgerde in the premier of Eric Moe’s The Valkyrie Suite.

Thomas Leighton

Thomas Leighton. Photo courtesy of the Florentine Opera Company.

Tenor Thomas Leighton, of Saugerties, NY, holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY with graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Recent engagements include Julia Adolphe’s Sylvia, at NYC’s Bargemusic, and with Milwaukee’s Present Music. As a Studio Artist with Madison Opera in the 2014-2015 Season, he appeared in Fidelio and Sweeney Todd. In the same season, he also sang the role of Tamino in University Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte and sang as the tenor soloist in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang. Thomas is a past ‘distinguished voice fellow’ and teaching assistant at the UW-Madison School of Music.

Leroy Y Davis

Leroy Y Davis. Photo courtesy of the Florentine Opera Company.

Baritone Leroy Y Davis is excited to join Florentine Opera this season. He was inspired to pursue a career in opera as an alumnus of The Boys Choir of Harlem. Leroy is a graduate of New England Conservatory where, as a Graduate Diploma candidate, he performed the role of Don Pomponio Storione in the American Premiere of Rossini’s La Gazzetta. He is also a graduate of Bard College; during his graduate studies he created the role of Atticus Finch’s Trainer in David T. Little’s Vinkensport or The Finch Opera. He was most recently invited to return to NEC as a guest artist to perform Don Alfonso in their April production of Cosi fan tutte. Previous credits include Pish-Tush in The Mikado, A Mandarin/Ping in Turandot, Marchese in La Traviata, and Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Shreveport Opera and Marchese in La Traviata with The Opera Company of Middlebury. Leroy was a Regional Finalist in this year’s Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

INFORMATION / INTERVIEWS

For additional biographies or to schedule an interview, please contact Richard Clark, Director of Marketing and Communications, by telephone at 414/291.5700 ext. 213, or via email at rclark@florentineopera.org.

ABOUT THE FLORENTINE OPERA COMPANY

The Florentine Opera Company’s productions reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a leader in Wisconsin’s art community and the nation’s sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Audiences enjoy beautiful main stage productions as well as dozens of free and community based performances that include first-rate vocal artistry brought to life by established and emerging international, national and local opera stars. With a foundation of fiscal responsibility, the company continues to grow its artistic and educational programs. Through its outreach and in-school educational programming, the Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences, and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin (with support from the National Endowment for the Arts), as well as corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of OPERA America.

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0 thoughts on “Florentine Opera Announces the 2015-2016 Studio Artists and the Next@ The Center SERIES’ SEASON”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to hear the new Florentine Opera Studio Artists (I love the Florentine Opera and in the past two years was very impressed with the work of Pablo Siqueiros)!

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