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Young American soprano HANAN ALATTAR (Bubikopf) received a 2004 Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, and she has already come to the attention of important conductors. She has performed the role of Bubikopf in Der Kaiser von Atlantis in performances conducted by James Conlon at the Spoleto Festival in Italy and at the Central Synagogue in New York City. In her final year at Juilliard she performed the title role in Stravinsky's Le rossignol for the Juilliard Opera Center in performances conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Previous Juilliard performances included Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring. At Aspen, she performed Blanche in Edward Berkeley's production of Poulenc's Les dialogues des Carmélites conducted by James Conlon and Giorgetta in Il tabarro conducted by Julius Rudel. At the Opera Theatre of St. Louis she performed as Sacagawea in composer-conductor Stephen Mager's children's opera The Dream of the Pacific. Alattar made her New York City Opera debut this season as the First Maid in Richard Strauss' Daphne.
Alattar is equally gifted as a concert artist and recitalist. She has performed Rossini's Petite messe solennelle at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Mozart's C-minor Mass at the University of Texas and in Austria, Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard, Stravinsky's Les noces at Aspen, and Brahms' Neue Liebeslieder at the Victoria Bach Festival. With Miguel Harth-Bedoya, she gave a concert of Verdi arias as part of the Round Top Music Festival. She has participated in recitals as part of the Austin Composer's Series and as part of Opera Theatre of St. Louis' art song series.
Prior to Juilliard, Alattar attended the University of Texas at Austin. She was a finalist in Houston Grand Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition. From 2000 to 2002, she was the New Horizon Scholar at the Aspen Music Festival, where she won the 2002 Aspen Concerto Competition. She was invited to participate in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis' Young Artist Program in seasons 2002 and 2003. She studies vocal technique with Marlena Malas and coaches repertoire with Diane Richardson and currently resides in New York City.
NICO CASTEL's (Loudspeaker, speaking) 48 years of work in opera have earned him international acclaim as a tenor, a teacher, a translator, and an unparalleled diction and style master coach. He is currently celebrating his 35th year at the Metropolitan Opera, a tenure which includes 26 years as staff diction coach. Castel was born in Portugal to multi-lingual parents who inculcated in him a love of language. After spending his childhood in South America, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1948, where he studied and pursued his singing career. Castel speaks fluent Portuguese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and English and has over 200 character roles in his repertory. In addition to the Met, he has appeared with many of the world's leading opera companies, including Finnish National Opera, the New Israeli Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Seattle Opera, and at such houses and festivals as the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the Opera Metropolitana in Caracas, the Teatro São Carlos in Lisbon, the Semperoper in Dresden, and the Spoleto Festival and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Italy.
Castel is on the faculty of the Juilliard School and is a noted lecturer and teacher at universities and conservatories throughout the world. He is the author of several opera libretti translations and diction manuals.
Bass ALVIN CRAWFORD (Loudspeaker, singing) hails from Toronto, where he has performed with the Canadian Opera Company in numerous productions. He is currently performing at the Staatstheater Kassel in Germany singing the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos and Alvise in La gioconda. Crawford has performed with such American opera companies as Cincinnati Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and he will make his debut with Dayton Opera (Angelotti in Tosca) this January. He has also been heard as the Loudspeaker in Der Kaiser von Atlantis at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in performances conducted by James Conlon and is happy to repeat the performance here in Los Angeles. Crawford has sung under the batons of Julius Rudel, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Randall Behr, and Christopher Hogwood, with whom he had the pleasure of making his Kennedy Center debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. Crawford made his Carnegie Hall debut as the bass soloist in Mozart's Requiem with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and has taken part in the Juilliard Opera Center. While at Juilliard he was heard as Tiresias in Oedipus Rex, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Zaretzky in Eugene Onegin. Crawford is a Metropolitan Opera National Council regional winner and an Opera Index Encouragement winner.
The tenor MATTHEW GARRETT (A Soldier) is a second-year Young Artist of the Juilliard Opera Center in New York City. Highlights of the 2004/ 2005 season for the New Jersey native include debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in the present performance of Der Kaiser von Atlantis and with the Opera Orchestra of New York as Harry in La fanciulla del West, which also marks his Carnegie Hall debut. His roles with Juilliard this year are the Little Old Man in L'enfant et les sortilèges and Jenik in The Bartered Bride. Also a recitalist, his debut at New York's Merkin Concert Hall in October included Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. Garrett will perform the tenor solos in Bach's St. John Passion in March at New York's Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.
This season's awards consist of First Prize in the NYSTA David Adams Art Song Competition, Second Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Competition, and Second Prize in the Eastern Regional Finals of the National Council Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera.
Garrett recently appeared as the title role cover in Handel's Imeneo at Glimmerglass Opera, where he debuted in 2003 as the Second Malingerer in The Good Soldier Schweik (later broadcast on National Public Radio). Recent operatic performances include Ferrando (Così fan tutte), the Prologue (Turn of the Screw), Lensky (Eugene Onegin), John Styx (Orpheus in the Underworld), Little Bat (Susannah), and Lysander and Flute (A Midsummer Night's Dream). In 2002 Garrett covered the tenor soloist in the new production of Rodion Shchedrin's concert opera The Enchanted Wanderer with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Lorin Maazel. His recent concert experience also includes leading solos in Bach's B-minor Mass at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Orff's Carmina Burana with the Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra, Haydn's Theresienmesse with the Central City Orchestra and Chorus, Beethoven's Mass in C with the Juilliard Choral Union, Mozart's Requiem with the Brown University Singers, and Mozart's Zaïde with BachWorks. As a recitalist he has performed Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin in Lincoln Center.
A long-standing Teaching Fellow in the Ear Training Department at the Juilliard School, Garrett is also on staff at the Metropolitan Opera as a music theory teacher to the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Originally trained as an orchestral conductor, Garrett received a Bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1999, as well as the coveted Madeira Prize and Ron Nelson Prize for musical excellence. He earned a master's degree in voice from the Juilliard School in 2003.
Bass-baritone DANIEL GROSS (Death) recently appeared in a series of concerts celebrating the music of Shostakovich at the 2003 Bard Music Festival and at the Spoleto Festival USA. At Juilliard Opera Center, roles included Gremin in Eugene Onegin. With Pittsburgh Opera Center, he has appeared in the title role in Don Pasquale and as Escamillo in Carmen, Seneca in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. At Wolf Trap Opera, he has appeared as Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream and as Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, and his Pittsburgh Opera credits include Harry Easter in Street Scene and the Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly.
A graduate and merit scholarship recipient at the Manhattan School of Music, he made his Town Hall debut with the Manhattan School's Chamber Sinfonia. As oratorio soloist, he has appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia. Gross gave the New York premiere of Derek Bermel's song cycle Natural Selection with the New Juilliard Ensemble in September 2003.
Baritone BRIAN MULLIGAN (Emperor Overall) studied at the Juilliard Opera Center, Yale University, and the Eastman School of Music. He won the 2004 Liederkranz Foundation Competition and was the recipient of the Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation and the George London Award from the George London Foundation in 2003. His operatic repertory includes Fiorello in The Barber of Seville and the Watchman in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Metro-politan Opera; Ford in Falstaff and Ecamillo in Carmen at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan; the title role in Don Giovanni and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Juilliard Opera Center, and the Count in The Marriage of Figaro and Marcello in La bohème for Aspen Opera Theater Center. He has performed Emperor Overall in Der Kaiser von Atlantis under James Conlon both in New York and at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. As a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera in 2004, he appeared in the title role in Falstaff and as Marcello in La bohème.
Tenor STEVEN PAUL SPEARS (Harlequin) has performed with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and with several opera companies in the United States, including Utah, Utah Festival (Logan), Palm Beach, Kentucky, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Memphis. In May of 2004 he received the Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where he studied voice with Marlena Malas. He earned his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Louisville School of Music, where he studied under Edith Davis Tidwell. Most recently, Spears sang the role of Alfred in the Juilliard Opera Theater production of Die Fledermaus. In March of 2003 he sang Harlequin in Der Kaiser von Atlantis under the baton of James Conlon. Spears also performed this role with Conlon at the Spoleto Festival in the summer of 2004. Specializing in works of the Baroque (Monteverdi and Handel) and contemporary periods (Orff and Britten), his operatic repertoire also includes coloratura and lyric roles by Mozart and Rossini, as well as character roles, such as Little Bat in Floyd's Susannah, Goro in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and David in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Spears' concert repertoire includes works by Handel, Britten, Bach, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Vaughan Williams. In April of 2003 he made his Carnegie Hall debut singing Britten's War Requiem with the Juilliard Orchestra and Choral Union under David Atherton. Spears has also sung at the New England Bach Festival and at the Marlboro Music Festival, and with the Academy of Ancient Music, the DSO Berlin, La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra (Brussels), the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Bach Society, Richmond (VA) Ballet, the Louisville Chorus, Gloriana (Salt Lake City), the Lautten Compagney Berlin, and the Louisville Ballet. He has recorded Bach's St. John Passion and B-minor Mass with the New England Bach Festival, and Britten's St. Nicolas with the Choir of St. Francis in the Fields and conductor James Rightmyer.
ALISON TUPAY (The Drummer Girl), mezzo-soprano, performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 1996. Tupay completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University, where she appeared with the Boston University Symphonic Chorus and Orchestra as a soloist in performances of Barber's Prayers of Kirkegaard and Schubert's Mass in E-flat. Her operatic roles include Hansel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel and Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito. At the Juilliard School she has appeared as Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro and as Public Opinion in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. Her roles with the Juilliard Opera Center include Mrs. Ott in Susannah, Sister Mathilde in The Dialogues of the Carmelites, and the Abbess in the premiere of Stephen Paulus' Heloise and Abelard in April 2002. She has performed as the Drummer Girl in Der Kaiser von Atlantis at Central Synagogue in New York and at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, both under the direction of James Conlon. In November 2003, she appeared as the soloist in Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony with Gerard Schwarz and the Juilliard Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall as part of a festival of Jewish music in America.
Tupay attended the Phyllis Curtin Seminar at the Tanglewood Music Center in 1998 and the Chautauqua Institute for Vocal Studies in 1999 and 2000, and she was a young artist with the Berkshire Opera Company in 2001.