Alan E. Hicks — Director
San Diego Opera directing debut. American stage director Alan E. Hicks is the first Director of Opera Theatre, a year-round shared position between San Diego Opera and San Diego State University. He has spent the past two decades in professional opera and theatre, first as a singer, then a teacher, finally turning his attention to stage direction. He has directed productions for organizations throughout the United States and in Europe including Minnesota Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Miami Music Festival, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Franco-American Vocal Academy in Salzburg, Shenandoah Conservatory, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Iowa. Alan has also served on the directing and production staffs of Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Michigan Opera Theatre, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, and Tulsa Opera. In 2013, he was appointed Director of the Emerging Artist Program at Green Mountain Opera Festival, a position he held until the company's closing in 2015. Recent engagements include Ariadne auf Naxos for Minnesota Opera, The Elixir of Love for Opera Santa Barbara, Albert Herring and The Magic Flute for Shenandoah University, and Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw for the Miami Music Festival. In addition to his work with such venerable operatic performers as Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Silvia McNair, Spiro Malas, Greer Grimsley, and Thomas Hampson as well as rising stars Lawrence Brownlee, Erin Morley, Kate Lindsey, Brian Jagde, Amber Wagner, and Nadine Sierra, Alan has assisted renowned opera directors Chris Alexander, Linda Brovsky, Peter Kazaras as well as Broadway veterans Susan Strohman and Sam Buntrock. A native of Mississippi, Alan holds degrees in Education, Vocal Performance, and Opera Directing from Mississippi State University, Rice University, and The University of Texas at Austin (respectively). Alan is a member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).
Juan Carlos Acosta — Conductor
San Diego Opera conducting debut. A native of San Diego, California, Juan Carlos Acosta is active as a conductor, educator, church musician and tenor soloist. Currently Juan serves as the Director of Music Ministries at the Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe, California, and as the Artistic Director of SACRA/PROFANA. Previously, Juan has served as director of the Cuyamaca College Choir, Choral Director for the Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts, San Diego Children's Choirs Preparatory and Intermediate ensembles, Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church, St. John's Lutheran Church and was the founding director of the La Costa Glen Community Choir. He has also made conducting appearances with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Pacific Academy of Ecclesiastical Music (PACEM) - Summer Sings, the Harmonia Choir of Ottawa (Canada), American Guild of Organists Choral Festival, First United Methodist Church - San Diego, and the Cathedral Schola of St. Paul's Cathedral. Mr. Acosta holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at San Diego State University where he served as the Graduate Assistant to the Chamber Choir and Aztec Concert Choir. In addition to his work at SDSU, Juan has pursued additional study with three-time Grammy award winner Charles Bruffy at the Westminster Conducting Institute, and Jon Washburn at the Conductors Symposium of the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Juan maintains an active career as a tenor soloist and ensemble singer and has appeared with Musica Angelicus, San Diego Opera, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Bach Collegium of San Diego, La Jolla Symphony Chorus, Voci Per L'Arte (Washington D.C.), San Diego Pro Arte Voices, Cappella Gloriana, South Coast Chamber Choir and the San Diego Master Chorale. As a vocal coach, Mr. Acosta has served as clinician to the San Diego Children's Choirs, the Chula Vista School for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral. Juan Carlos is a proud recipient of the Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship presented by the Choristers Guild and was named Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year by the School of Music and Dance at SDSU. Additional awards and scholarships include the National School Choral Award, the John and Susan Wesley Scholarship of FUMC, Chula Vista and the Thomas Stauffer Memorial Scholarship from the SDSU School of Music and Dance.
Tim Wallace — Scenic Designer
Tim Wallace is a scenic artist, theatrical environment, and concert tour designer. He started with San Diego Opera in 1990 working for one of the last master scenic artists, Davis West, learning traditional ways of scenery design and painting. He started his scenic career as a shop person and became the Charge Scenic Artist in 2011. He has worked on many productions seen on stage for the San Diego Opera. Tim started his design career with the local rock band Rocket From the Crypt in 1995 doing their stage backdrops and scenery. His work has been seen on stages around the world. He has designed for local theater companies as well, most notably at New Village Arts where he served as resident designer from 2009-2012. Highlights from his career have been Seven Year Itch at New Village Arts working with his (director) wife, art direction for a Rocket From the Crypt music video, interior design for play structures at KidVentures and designing the Jungle Tour set for Drake which was seen around the world. His most recent design work was for the Glenner Centers Town Square; an immersive replica of a city built in a warehouse set in the style of the late 50’s to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. This project has been featured in periodicals world-wide and is the subject of a documentary film currently in production. This is the first production he has designed for San Diego Opera. Tim is a member of IATSE Local 800 Art Directors Guild.
Denitsa Bliznakova — Costume Designer
Bulgarian born costume designer Denitsa Bliznakova is happy to return to San Diego Opera, where she previously designed the costumes for Murder in the Cathedral
. Her academic background includes a BFA in Fashion Design at the Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York and an MFA in Theatre from Brandeis University. She is currently a full professor in the School of Theatre, TV and Film at SDSU and is the Head of the M.F.A. Design and Technology program there. Her costume design work has been seen nation-wide at venues such as: Los Angeles Opera, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, San Jose Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, A Noise Within, Falcon Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and Williamstown Theatre Festival, among others. Costume design and stylist credits for other media include various music videos, short and full length films. Ms. Bliznakova has received nominations for Outstanding Costume Design: LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award. Denitsa is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829 Union, United States Institute for Theatre Technology and Costume Society of America. Her work may be viewed at www.Denitsa.com
Anne E. McMills — Lighting Designer
San Diego Opera debut. Anne E. McMills’ career extends across the many facets of the lighting world — from theatre (including Broadway and the West End) to television and theme parks to architectural lighting, industrials, concerts, cruise ships, award shows, dance, and opera. In addition to designing her own work, Anne has assisted many Tony award-winning Broadway designers, mounting productions in the United States, Japan, Australia, England, Scotland, France, and Germany. Anne achieved her MFA degree in Lighting Design from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. During her time there she worked at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith in London, England, as well as the Opéra de Lyon in Lyon, France while working on her thesis. Anne is a proud member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 and the author of The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit
and 3D Printing Basics for Entertainment Design
. She is also the Head of Lighting Design at San Diego State University. For further information, visit www.annemcmillslighting.com
Vanessa Dinning — Dialect Coach
English-born and professionally trained as an actor and a voice/dialect specialist at renowned theatre conservatories in London, Vanessa enjoys a varied career as an actor, dialect coach and director. In the UK, she worked at The Royal National Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and others. In San Diego recent dialect coaching credits include: Hay Fever, The Vortex, My Fair Lady, When The Rain Stops Falling (Cygnet), My Fair Lady, Shrek, Titanic, The Little Mermaid, Newsies (Moonlight Stage Productions), All Is Calm (Bodhi Tree Concerts), The Importance of Being Earnest (also director), The 39 Steps, Sherlock Holmes’ Final Adventure, Roman Holiday, King Charles III, A Man of No Importance (CPH), Cabaret and My Fair Lady (The Welk Resort Theatre), Sleuth, Outside Mullingar (also actor) and Baskerville (SRT/OTC), Billy Elliot (San Diego Musical Theatre) and Once (also actor) (Lamb’s Players’ Theatre). Vanessa maintains a private studio teaching voice, dialect and singing.
Alexis Alfaro — Tenor
Mr. Alfaro has been singing opera professionally since 2012 and has had steady growth working with top-tier opera companies as a lead, supporting and ensemble performer. In addition to appearing in All is Calm
, he will appear in Rigoletto
this season with the Company. Notable roles include Prince Ramiro in Cinderella
, Alfred in Die Fledermaus
, Lippo Fiorentino in Street Scene
, Herman in The Most Happy Fella
, Peppe in Rita
, Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro
, Tamino in The Magic Flute
, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville
, and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum
. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Diego in Vocal Performance and is currently finishing his Master of Opera at the University of Kansas. In 2015 Mr. Alfaro made his international debut in Germany performing in several concerts and operas with the Eutin Opera Festival. In 2013 he was a scholarship recipient and performed several roles with Opera Academy of California in San Francisco. In 2012 he was a scholarship recipient for the Advanced Artist Program of OperaWorks in Los Angeles. Mr. Alfaro keeps an active concert schedule and has performed in Ireland, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico and throughout the United States. Prior to singing, he was a successful arts administrator working for San Diego Symphony, Mainly Mozart, La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Youth Symphony. Currently he assists in operating Opera Wednesdays, a monthly concert series in La Jolla that hosts Southern California’s best opera singers. For more information, please visit www.alexisvalfaro.com
Joshua Arky — Bass-baritone
San Diego Opera debut. Bass-Baritone Joshua Arky’s 2018-2019 season began with a return to Virginia Opera. As a Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist, Joshua performed the role of Vincent Jones, and covered the roles of Frank Maurrant and Carl Olsen in Street Scene. In November 2018, Joshua will cover the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni with Virginia Opera. Joshua began his 2017-2018 season by performing Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Opera San José. He then joined Virginia Opera as a Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist, where he performed Jake Wallace and covered Ashby in La fanciulla del West, and he sang in a touring production of The Billy Goats Gruff. He then performed Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville with Sugar Creek Opera. Joshua finished the season with La cena è pronta, a recital series with pianist Ines Irawati in San Diego, CA, that combined music and cooking. Other operatic highlights include Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro with Point Loma Opera Theatre; Hidraot in Gluck’s Armide with OperaNEO; Alidoro in an English version of Cinderella and Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Opéra Louisiane; Colline in La bohème with the Manhattan School of Music; the Captain of the Inquisition in Man of La Mancha and Dr. Grenvil in La traviata with Central City Opera; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia with the Green Mountain Opera Festival; and Zuniga in Carmen with the Aspen Opera Theater Center. In concert, Joshua has performed as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Binghamton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with Hunter College, Händel’s Messiah with Columbia University, and Puccini’s Messa di Requiem with the Greenwich Choral Society. Joshua was the 2016 recipient of the Rohatyn Great Promise Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Eastern Region). He was also a 2015 Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Eastern Region). Joshua holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a recipient of the President’s Award and the Alexandra Hunt Endowed Vocal Scholarship.
Bernardo Bermúdez — Baritone
Bernardo Bermudez made his Company mainstage debut in 2015’s La bohème as the Customs Guard, appeared in 2016’s Madama Butterfly as Prince Yamadori, and was heard last season as part of Maria de Buenos Aires and as the Drunken Sailor in Florencia en el Amazonas. He has recently started essaying roles and repertoire for the tenor voice, and started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares, in Caracas, Venezuela. He has performed in productions and concerts with companies including Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera North, Union Avenue Opera, West Bay Opera and Livermore Valley Opera to name a few. His operatic roles performed include Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Diego Rivera in Frida, Silvio in Pagliacci, Valentin in Faust, Belcore in The Elixir of Love, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Vidal Hernando in Luisa Fernanda, Schaunard in La bohème, Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas, Melchior in Amahl and The Night Visitors, Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Teniente Cantalapiedra in Cecilia Valdes, Count Capulet in Romeo and Juliette, Escamillo, Dancairo, and Morales in Carmen, Marullo in Rigoletto, as well as Morald in the North America stage premier of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. He participated as a voice fellow at the prestigious Summer Festivals at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California under the direction of famous American Mezzo Soprano Marilyn Horne, Opera North in New Hampshire under the direction of Louis Burkot as well as Opera Neo in San Diego California under the direction of Peter Kozma. He received 1st place in NATS LA singing competition, 1st place winner in AEIOU, 39th Annual Opera Scholarship and Competition, finalist in the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, recipient of the Anne and Michael Towbes Scholarship in Voice, Opera Buffs Grant recipient, semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, recipient of the Doug Acker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and 2nd place winner in the Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition.
Shelby Condray — Bass
Bass Shelby Condray has performed with Central City Opera, Music Academy of the West, and Yale School of Music. After a hiatus to pursue a master’s degree in theology, Shelby made his return to opera last season in Turandot with San Diego Opera, and as Angelotti in the Pacific Lyric Opera Association’s production of Tosca. He will be performing the role of Count Ceprano in Rigoletto this season and will also appear in The Marriage of Figaro and Carmen.
Walter DuMelle — Bass
Bass Walter DuMelle has sung the role of Baron Douphol in Verdi’s La traviata, comprimario roles in The Conquistador and Carmen, as well as being seen in last season's production of Maria de Buenos Aires. Representative of over fifty roles, his operatic repertoire has included Leporello, Osmin, Sarastro, Colline, Basilio, Alidoro and Rev. Hale with companies and festivals which include San Diego, Skylight, Des Moines Metro, Central City, Chautauqua, Natchez, Intermountain, Bronx, Connecticut Grand, Utah Festival, Ash Lawn and the Opera Theaters of Chicago, Rochester and Connecticut. Local engagements include performances with Lyric Opera SD (Sulpice, Dr. Bartolo, Basilio, Sergeant of Police, Prince Joachim) and in their premiere of the Reveles/Montgomery setting of Rumpelstiltskin as the King. With the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, he has sung the bass solos in their Sing-Along Messiah and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. With Bach Collegium San Diego he was a soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. He has performed frequently with Opera de Tijuana, singing such roles as Timur in Turandot, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Sacristano in Tosca, and Bonze in Madama Butterfly. DuMelle has been a long time section leader with the St. James by-the-Sea Choir. In 2012 he co-founded with his wife Diana DuMelle Bodhi Tree Concerts, a performing arts non-profit, presenting concerts and donating profits to charitable organizations, with whom he’s performed the G&S roles Pooh-Bah, Dick Deadeye, Arac, Usher, and Don Alhambra and presented Voices of the Spirit, Songs of Love, A Lenten Journey, Best of Bodhi Tree, and Jacques Brel Cabaret. Other recent engagements include the roles of the Boatman/Charles Redmond in ion theater's production of the San Diego premiere of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, as well as his debut with CabaretCaccia singing the protest songs of Hans Eisler & Bertolt Brecht. Last summer he performed the title role in Bodhi Tree Concerts’ production of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 8 Songs for a Mad King, winning “Best in Fest” and “Best Actor in a Musical/Opera” at the San Diego International Fringe Festival. Most recently he performed the role of Benjamin Stone in Coronado Playhouse's production of Follies and reprised Pooh-Bah in Bodhi Tree Concerts' The Mikado. He received his Masters in Music from the Eastman School of Music.
Matt Fallesen — Baritone
Lyric baritone Matt Fallesen specializes in American opera, music theater, and contemporary classical concert works. He has been featured in various roles such as Sharpless in the World Premiere of Cio Cio San at the Hot Springs Music Festival, Mathurin in the US Premiere of Le mariage d’Antonio, Frank Maurrant in Street Scene, Melisso in Alcina, and Older Thompson in Glory Denied at UNT Opera, Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with the Great Plains Theatre Festival, soloist for Carmina Burana with the Mira Costa Symphony; soloist for Handel’s Messiah, Duruflé’s Requiem, and Kirchner's Songs of Ascent with the San Diego Master Chorale, and the soloist for Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the San Diego Symphony. Matt was also a member of Christ the King Singers in University Park, TX.
As an educator, Matt taught voice at Kansas State University, music history and philosophy at University of Phoenix, and was the Teaching Assistant for the Music Entrepreneurship program at University of North Texas, which was recently ranked among the top 15 music business schools in the nation by Billboard Magazine. Matt also taught voice at The Colony High School where his students consistently earn “1” ratings and regularly perform at the Texas State solo competitions. He studied voice and opera at Kansas State University, where he achieved his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the tutelage of Dale Ganz and Reginald Pittman and was featured as Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Tom/John in The Face on the Barroom Floor, Frank Maurrant, Escamillo in Carmen, Count Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music, and as a soloist in Brahms’ Requiem. Other engagements include Valentin in Faust and Silvio in Pagliacci at Black Hills Institute of the Arts, soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorale, and Marco in Gianni Schicchi with Intermezzo Young Artists’ Program. Currently, Matt is pursuing the DMA in voice and opera at University of North Texas where he studies with Dr. Stephen Austin.
Chad Frisque — Tenor
Tenor Chad Frisque in active member of the San Diego Opera Chorus, a former member of the San Diego Opera Ensemble, and a member of The White Knight Committee who worked four years ago to save San Diego Opera. As the work of the White Knight Committee concluded, Chad aspired to find projects which would make a local artistic impact. That pursuit led him to All is Calm. Originally performed two years ago as the San Diego premiere, All is Calm was collaboratively produced with San Diego Opera, Bodhi Tree Concerts and Sacra Profana. Chad performed as producer and portrayed many of the roles in that original production. He was last seen at SDO as The Emperor in Turandot. Other appearances include First Soldier/Student in Des McAnuff’s praised staging of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, The Herald in Don Carlo, Giuseppe in La traviata. He has been involved with All is Calm locally for two years now, acting a producer and a performer. Nationally, he has been seen in such productions as Falstaff with Opera Omaha, Pirates of Penzance with the Denver Symphony, the title role in Candide with Central City Opera, and Peter Grimes with Los Angeles Opera. He makes San Diego his permanent home and has worked with such additional companies as San Diego Lyric Opera, Bodhi Tree Concerts and San Diego Festival Chorus. Comfortable both on the Opera stage as well as the concert stage, Chad has sung tenor soloist in such works as Oedipus in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, The Recitant in Berlioz’ L’enfance du Christ and British Soldier in Britten’s War Requiem, J. S. Bach’s Magnificat and Weihnachts-Oratorium as well as The Messiah. Mr. Frisque would like to thank his biggest fans, his wife and children for their continued love and support.
Jon Lee Keenan — Tenor
San Diego Opera debut. Jon Lee Keenan is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. Influenced at a young age by his father, a versatile saxophonist, Jon cultivated an interest for a variety of musical styles. In 2005, he moved to Southern California to pursue a career in classical singing and a degree in Vocal Arts at the USC Thornton School of Music. Recent highlights with the Los Angeles Master Chorale include the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and tenor solos in Handel’s Messiah, and Hugo Distler’s The Story of Christmas. In recent seasons, Jon has helped create several new exciting characters through collaborations with The Industry including Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (music by Andrew McIntosh) and “Little Monk” in Brecht’s Galileo (music by Andy Akiho). Recent highlights include appearances with Orange County’s Pacific Chorale as the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion; tenor soloist in Mozart’s Laut Verkünde unsre Freude conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and the role of “Gunner” in the widely-acclaimed operatic adaptation of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds. Upcoming appearances include John Cage’s Europeras with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Industry.
Andrew Konopak — Bass
Andrew Konopak is an apprentice artist with San Diego Opera’s Young Artist Training Program. He recently finished his first engagement singing in the chorus of Verdi's Don Carlo with Los Angeles Opera under the baton of James Conlon. Andrew sings a variety of opera, art song, and choral music around San Diego and Los Angeles. In addition, he has performed around Germany and Austria. Notable appearances include der Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos in Berlin, Mayor of Tijuana in San Diego City Opera’s premier of St Francis de los barrios, Le Philosophe in Massenet’s Chérubin, and Jesus/Bass Soloist with the Artes Vocales of Los Angeles production of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion. Andrew is a student of Enrique Toral.
Victor Morris — Tenor
Tenor Victor Morris appeared in last season’s Turandot as a member of the chorus. Other notable operatic appearances include Street Scene at Portland Opera and The Flying Dutchman with Seattle Opera. On the theatre stage he’s been seen in Trouble in Mind at Moxie Theatre, His Girl Friday at La Jolla Playhouse, Storyville at San Diego Rep, Guys and Dolls at Lamb’s Players, and in the title role of Othello at Portland’s Artist Repertory Theatre. He has appeared in the films Restless and Sleepless in Seattle and on television in American Vandal, Criminal Minds, and Grimm.
Daniel Moyer — Tenor
San Diego Opera debut. Tenor Daniel Moyer has a degree in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in vocal music. A passionate performer and music educator, Mr. Moyer is the Choral Director at Westview High School in Poway Unified School District and Neighborhood Choir Director with the San Diego Children’s Choir. Daniel is a tenor soloist and section leader at St. James by the Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla. He also teaches individual voice lessons from his home in Hillcrest. Mr. Moyer’s experience as both a soloist and a member of an ensemble includes performances of choral masterworks, chamber music, opera, and oratorio as well as musical theatre, folk, and jazz music. Since moving to San Diego in 2013, Mr. Moyer has sung with a number of organizations including the San Diego Master Chorale, San Diego Symphony, SACRA/PROFANA, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, South Coast Chamber Choir, and Folklore Music Guild.
Jonathan Nussman — Baritone
Baritone Jonathan Nussman’s varied interests include opera, theater, and art song, with a special emphasis on music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Appearances include La Jolla Symphony, Bodhi Tree Concerts, Opera Boston, Guerilla Opera, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Cape Cod Opera, the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, and soundSCAPE New Music Festival. As a performer of contemporary and experimental works, he frequently premieres pieces by composers from around the world, as well as his own original compositions. In addition to originating prominent roles in nearly twenty world-premiere operas and theatrical works, he has performed extensively in more traditional repertoire, with notable roles including Papageno in The Magic Flute
, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro
, Larry Foreman in The Cradle Will Rock
, and Sid in Albert Herring
. He is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Timothy Simpson — Tenor
Tenor Timothy Simpson has appeared in the two previous local productions of All is Calm. Along with singing as a core chorister with San Diego Opera, Timothy has sung with SACRA/PROFANA, Musica Vitale, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, and is the tenor soloist for First United Methodist Church of San Diego. He has a been a featured soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Magnifcat in D and Cantata 63 at First United Methodist Church of San Diego, Handel’s Messiah with SACRA/PROFANA, Handel’s L’allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato, Bach’s Cantata 140 and Vivaldi’s Lauda Jerusalem, and Schubert’s Mass in G, with Grossmont Symphony and Master Chorale, and Schubert’s Mass in E♭ at Chapman University. In concert with San Diego Symphony, Timothy was featured in Beyond the Score: Ive’s Symphony #2: Things Our Father Loved, and also in the Symphony’s Summer Pops, he has been a soloist in the Final Fantasy and Broadway Pops concerts. Timothy holds a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Chapman University.
Michael Sokol — Baritone
American Baritone Michael Sokol made his Company mainstage debut last season as the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance. He has appeared at venues from the Metropolitan Opera, to the Philadelphia Orchestra, to Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. As a performer in theatre and opera, he has performed roles from The Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Marcello in La bohème, and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Very active in the creation of new music theatre, he created the role of Frank Lloyd Wright in the world premiere of Darren Hagen and Paul Muldoon's opera Shining Brow and the role of the Magician in the American premiere of Stephen Oliver's Mario and the Magician. An expert in the comic masterpieces of Gilbert and Sullivan and Offenbach, he has appeared in, and directed, over 17 of their respective works. He is the director of the San Diego Summer Gilbert and Sullivan Workshop.
Christopher Stephens — Bass-baritone
Bass-baritone Christopher Stephens is a native San Diegan and graduate of the University of San Diego, which he attended on a full tuition singing scholarship. Equally at home on concert, opera or musical theater stages, he is delighted to be performing in his third production of All is Calm. Mr. Stephens has been a featured soloist with many theaters, churches and groups around San Diego including the San Diego Opera, Lyric Opera of San Diego, and Starlight Theater. In 2014, he was honored with lifetime membership in the American Guild of Musical Artists for his work in forming and chairing the White Knight Committee which led the grassroots movement to save the San Diego Opera. Currently, he has sung in over 60 productions with the San Diego Opera and has been the bass-baritone soloist at First United Methodist Church of San Diego since 2003. During the day, he masquerades as an Assistant Principal in the Cajon Valley School District.
Anthony Whitson-Martini — Baritone
Baritone Anthony Whitson-Martini is thrilled to make his San Diego Opera debut after singing in the SDO Chorus for Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick in 2012. Other regional credits include Utah Festival Opera, Lamb’s Players Theatre, Lyric Opera San Diego, Bodhi-Tree Concerts, and Center Stage Opera. Anthony has studied as a resident artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he has performed Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Masetto in Don Giovanni and will return as the Gamekeeper in Rusalka and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. Concert work includes appearances with Lyric Fest and a much anticipated return to the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus for Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem later this season. Mr. Whitson-Martini is a Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and two-time first place winner of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Competition, among other awards from the Lotte Lenya Competition, Burbank Philharmonic, and Carmel Vocal Competition.