Opera Colorado comes to Adams State on March 10

(02-17-2015)

Leah Bobbey, Juliet; Brett Sprague, Romeo, from Opera Colorado

Leah Bobbey, Juliet; Brett Sprague, Romeo, in Opera Colorado's Romeo and Juliet.

Adams State University will welcome Opera Colorado to campus for a one-night performance of Romeo and Juliet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in the newly renovated Richardson Hall Auditorium.

"Two households; both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene." Take the journey as Opera Colorado presents the world famous love story of Romeo and Juliet, Gounod's opera based on the play by William Shakespeare. Follow the "star-crossed lovers" as they meet and fall in love, choosing to risk everything for each other. The story unfolds through rich, sumptuous music and has been specially arranged to include scenes from Shakespeare's original text. The production is sung in English with portions in the original French. Though the story was written long ago, it gives voice to themes still relevant today. Updated staging and costumes bring it to life in new and surprising ways. Directed by Cherity Koepke and performed by the Opera Colorado Young Artists, the production is one you won't want to miss.

The Opera Colorado Young Artists are a group of five emerging opera singers have been selected out of 300 plus aspiring candidates to partake in a seven-month residency program at Opera Colorado. A brief panel discussion after the performance will give you a chance to ask questions and learn more about their journey.

The cast list includes Leah Bobbey, Juliet; Brett Sprague, Romeo; Katherine Sanford, Gertrude/Stephano; Andrew Paulson, Mercutio/Prince; Daniel DeVicente, Capulet/Fr. Lawrence/Tybalt; and Allan Armstrong, accompanist.

Tickets are $5 for adults, including AS&F and Friends of Music, and free for all students, and can be purchased at the door. For more information, please contact the Adams State Music Department at 719-587-7621.

Artist Bios:

Leah Bobbey, soprano completed her master's degree in voice performance at the University of Houston this past spring. She was recently seen as Lightfoot McClendon in Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree and the Foreign Woman in The Consul. Bobbey was an apprentice artist with Central City Opera, performing the Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music and a Bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro. In this season's Opera Colorado mainstage productions, she will sing in the Chorus in Madama Butterfly and sing the role of First Lady in The Magic Flute.

Brett Sprague, tenor, received his master's degree in classical voice from the Manhattan School of Music in 2012. Brett's past credits include Peter Grimes (Chautauqua Opera), Don Pasquale, (Amore Opera), The Most Happy Fella (Dicapo Opera), Die Zauberflöte (New York Lyric Opera Theatre), The Ghosts of Versailles, Cosi fan tutte, Thais, and La Vida Breve (Manhattan School of Music's Opera Theatre), Lucia di Lammermoor and Falstaff (MSM's Opera Repertory Ensemble), L'elisir d'amore (Tuscia Opera festival), and Signor Deluso, Gianni Schicchi and Die Fledermaus (Opera Chapman). Sprague is extremely excited to be back with Opera Colorado for a second year as a Young Artist.

Katherine Sanford, mezzo-soprano, completed her master's degree at the University of Michigan, studying under Freda Herseth. Recently, Katherine performed the role of Barbarina in the Hub Opera Ensemble's performance of Le nozze di Figaro in Hagerstown, MD. She also sang the role of Lola in the company's concert performance of Cavalleria Rusticana. Other opera credits include the roles of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, and Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea at the University of Michigan, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Mercédès in Carmen with Bel Cantanti Opera in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Paulson, baritone, received his master's degree in voice performance at Florida State University. Recent opera credits include First Prison Guard cover in Heggie's Dead Man Walking at Central City Opera, Giorgio Germont (LaTraviata) with Opera on the Avalon, Clayton McAllister and Luther in Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree at Sugar Creek Symphony and Song, Clayton McAllister and Mercutio (Romeo et Juliette) with Florida State Opera, and Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutte) and Peter (Hansel und Gretel) with Florida State Outreach Opera.

Daniel DeVicente, bass baritone, Spanish-American baritone DeVicente holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of South Florida. After graduating he moved to Italy where he has been singing since 2008. In Venice he has performed works by Monteverdi, Mozart, and Handel, and toured with La Fenice and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino chorus for Wagner's Ring Cycle conducted by Jeffrey Tate and Zubin Mehta. In 2013 he made his debut in the Philharmonic Theater of Verona in a young artists' concert. He has sung the roles of Bartolo in Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia and Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni. In July 2013, he debuted as Monterone in Rigoletto with the Orchestra del Comunale di Ferrara. In 2014 he won the title role of Rigoletto in the "Citta di Ferrara" opera competition, which he performed in March, in Ferrara.