(Orpheus in the Underworld)

Orphée aux enfers

June 1, 3, 5, 9 and 11
An Opera in Four Acts

Music by Jacques Offenbach
Libretto by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy

Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld) will be fully staged with orchestra conducted by Guest Conductor Clinton Smith.

The opera will be presented at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, Vermont.

Tickets on sale now!

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Opera Under 26!
Under 26? Get free tickets to the opera!

The Opera Company of Middlebury is launching a wonderful new program this season. A donor is underwriting the cost of a ticket for anyone under the age of 26 to our upcoming production of Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). Click here for more information.

 

JUNE 1 – WEDNESDAY

7:00pm – Orphée aux enfers – Special performance for students, by invitation only

Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

JUNE 3 – FRIDAY

6:30pm – Pre-show talk with OCM Board Member James Pugh, Memorial Baptist Church

7:30pm – Orphée aux enfers Opening Night, Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

Opening Night Prosecco Reception

JUNE 5 – SUNDAY Matinée

1:00pm – Pre-show talk with OCM Board Member James Pugh, Memorial Baptist Church

2:00pm – Orphée aux enfers, Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

JUNE 9 – THURSDAY

6:30pm – Pre-show talk with Artistic Director Douglas Anderson, Memorial Baptist Church

7:30pm – Orphée aux enfers, Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

JUNE 10 – FRIDAY

7:00pm – Young Artists Concert, with cash bar and reception to follow

Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

JUNE 11 – SATURDAY Matinée

1:00pm – Pre-show talk with Guest Conductor Clinton Smith, Memorial Baptist Church

2:00pm – Orphée aux enfers, Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

Please visit the STAFF page to see bios for the creative and production staff.

Orpheus Thomas Glenn
Eurydice Bevin Hill
Public Opinion Stephanie Weiss
Jupiter Joshua Jeremiah
Juno Angela Christine Smith
Pluto Lucas Levy
Diane Rachel Hall
John Styx Andy Papas
Cupid Carina DiGianfillippo
Venus Shannon Seymour-Michl
Mercury/Ensemble Tenor Cameron Steinmetz
Minerva/Ensemble Soprano Allison Steinmetz
Ensemble Soprano Victoria Drew
Ensemble Tenor Adam Hall
Ensemble Bass/Baritone Neil Wacek
Ensemble Mezzo Rachel Weinfeld
Dancers
Elisa Van Duyne
Katie Henry
Olivia Schrantz
Young Artists
Soprano Jessica Graves
Soprano/Study Cover Euridice Ann-Marie Iacoviello
Tenor Michael Laporte
Baritone Nathaniel McBride
Mezzo Virginia Reed
Baritone Ben Ross
Bass-Baritone/Cover John Styx Marcus Schenck
Mezzo Julia Steidle
Collaborative Pianist/Coach Muse Ye

 

Grammy Award winning tenor, Thomas Glenn, enjoys a favorable reputation as a creative interpreter of bel canto and Classical period literature as well as modern works. His most frequent operatic roles include Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbiere die Siviglia, Lindoro in L’italiana in Algerì, Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and The Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. In contemporary works, he created the role of Robert Wilson in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic and continues to premiere new works by composers like Jack Perla and Tarik O’Regan. Thomas has performed at major opera companies including San Francisco Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Netherlands Opera and The English National Opera among others. He has also performed with major orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, China National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Berkeley Symphony and Oakland East Bay Symphony. Website: thomas-glenn.com

Soprano Bevin Hill is gaining attention as a performer of great charm and charisma in a variety of leading roles. Particularly cherished for her comedic gifts, Ms. Hill has memorably been lauded as a “rubber-kneed goddess of slapstick.” A beloved guest artist of OCM, she has appeared with the company as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Papagena in The Magic Flute, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Léïla (cover) in Les pêcheurs de perles, Lisette in La rondine, as Nella in Gianni Schicchi and Sr. Osmina in Suor Angelica in Il Trittico, and in the company’s 10th Anniversary Concert. Recently, Ms. Hill has enjoyed concert work throughout the southeast. She has fulfilled young artist residencies with Opera Iowa, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Saratoga, and OCM. Website: bevinhill.com

Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano, has performed at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin Philharmonic, Oper Frankfurt, Oper Köln, Oper Leipzig, Opera Orchestra of New York, and San Diego Opera. Her roles include Komponist, Zweite Dame, Grimgerde, Leitmetzerin, Marcellina, Suzuki, Santuzza, and Venus. Concert appearances include Mozart Requiem, Beethoven Symphony 9, Wesendonck Lieder, Mahler Symphony 4, and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. An avid performer of art song and new music, Ms. Weiss has performed recitals in the US, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. With her ‘duo au courant’ partner, pianist Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova, she has premiered several song cycles and in 2019, released their debut CD of the songs of Daron Hagen on Albany Records. Ms. Weiss is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at Arizona State University and serves on the faculty at AIMS in Graz (Austria). Website: Stephanie Weiss Profile

Baritone Joshua Jeremiah continues to bring his celebrated performances to theaters throughout the United States. Engagements in the 2021-2022 season included his return to Opera Company of Middlebury as Dunois in The Maid of Orleans, his role and company debut as Donner in Das Rheingold with Nashville Opera, his role debut as Germont in La Traviata with First Coast Opera, and Mr. Meriwether (Pooh-Bah) in The Montana Mikado, Intermountain Opera Bozeman’s new adaptation of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic. Last season’s engagements include Il Conte di Luna in Il trovatore with Opera Tampa, Pangloss in Candide with Opera Company of Middlebury and the title role in Macbeth with Knoxville Opera. His 2019-2020 season included his debut with Houston Grand Opera to sing the student matinee and cover Rigoletto, Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors with On Site Opera, and Lionel in The Maid of Orleans with New Orleans Opera. Website: joshuajeremiahbaritone.com/a>

Angela Christine Smith most recently appeared as The Duchess in The Gondoliers with Winter Opera Saint Louis. Recognized by the press for her work in operetta, Ms. Smith is a principal Contralto with the United States’ preeminent professional Gilbert & Sullivan repertory company, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP). Angela has completed the G&S canon on many of the country’s leading stages including New York City Center, Symphony Space, NJPAC, Wolf Trap Opera, Dayton Opera, Opera Columbus, Sun Valley Opera, Minnesota Orchestra Hall, Opera Idaho, Newberry Opera, Geneva Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera New Hampshire, Opera Delaware, and Van Wezel Hall Sarasota. International tours include Canada, Harrogate and Buxton, England. In 2019 Ms. Smith appeared as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Maestro Christian Capocaccia and Symphoria in Syracuse, NY. Her other symphonic work includes Colorado, Spokane, Allentown, Chattanooga, Missouri and Williamsport Symphonies with Maestro Albert Bergeret. Website: Angela Christine Smith on YouTube

Tenor Lucas Levy has been described by Opera News as having “dominated the scene vocally,” bringing “operatic power” (Tampa Bay Times) to his portrayals, and was praised by The Wall Street Journal for being “remarkably loud.” His 2021-2022 season featured debuts at Berkshire Festival Opera in Falstaff, Opera Company of Middlebury in The Maid of Orleans, Opera Project Columbus in a concert of Verdi scenes, and Maryland Lyric Opera in Turandot. Future seasons include a return to Opera Project Columbus for Un ballo in maschera. Other performance highlights include Falstaff with Opera Omaha, Carmen and Die Zauberflöte with Opera Maine, La traviata and Les contes d’Hoffmann with St. Petersburg Opera, and Otello with LoftOpera. An alumnus of the young artist programs of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Sarasota Opera, and Opera Maine, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and his Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College. Mr. Levy currently resides in New York City. Website: lucaslevy.com

Soprano Rachel Hall has been praised as “a force of nature…with a gracefully huge voice” (Berkshire Fine Arts) for her breakout performances in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble). This season Ms. Hall is thrilled to return to the Opera Company of Middlebury as Diane in Offenbach’s Orfée aux Enfers and the Canton Symphony to reprise the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Favorite roles include Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte, Opera of the James), Madeline (The Fall of the House of Usher, MassMoCa), Adina/Giannetta  (L’elisir damore, Shreveport Opera/Opera Company of Middlebury), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel, Avery Fisher Hall), and Soprano Soloist in Carmina Burana, Beethoven #9, Brahms’ Requiem (Canton Symphony) and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate (Santa Fe Symphony). Ms. Hall spent two seasons at the Santa Fe Opera, making her debut as Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) and one season with Shreveport Opera, performing Micaëla (La tragédie de Carmen) and Valencienne (The Merry Widow). Ms. Hall earned her MM (Manhattan School of Music) and her BM (Appalachian State University).Website: rachelhallsoprano.com

Native Bostonian Andy Papas has been praised by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel for being “delightfully ridiculous”, and by the Albany Times-Union for his “irre- sistible hijinks”. Most recently he played Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola in North Dakota for Fargo-Moorhead Opera. This season, Andy has sung Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville three times, with performances in the Pacific Northwest, St. Louis, and New England. He was fortunate to make his Alaska debut singing Bartolo for Anchorage Opera, and he returns to the land of the midnight sun this fall as The Major General. Later this month, Andy makes his debut as the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff in Peterborough, NH for Raylynmor Opera. He last appeared with OCM as Pandolfe in Cendrillon and made his debut in L’Italiana in Algieri, where his performance was dubbed“a riot” by The Rutland Herald. Andy teaches students around the globe in signature classes such as And The Tony Award Goes to… and The British Operas are Coming.  Website: andypapas.com

Italian-American Soprano, Carina DiGianfilippo, has been praised by the Boston Globe for her “winsome” voice and hailed a “vision” by the Theatre Times. Most recently, Miss DiGianfilippo performed as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with MassOpera and made her opera film debut as Charlene in Helios Opera’s production of Service Provider. She has performed globally, winning First Place in the Concorso Internazionale Rolando Nicolosi Competition in Italy, and has sung in China as both a young artist with the iSING! International Young Artists Festival and as a guest artist with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra. She is excited to return to Middlebury, having performed with the company as a young artist in Massenet’s Cendrillon. Miss DiGianfilippo holds music degrees from Manhattan School of Music and Syracuse University, and during the pandemic, received a certificate in Effective Grant Proposal Writing from the University of Notre Dame.  Website: carinadigianfilippo.com

Shannon Seymour-Michl is thrilled to return to the OCM stage following performances in the recent productions of Cendrillon, Tosca and The Maid of Orleans. Her coloratura soprano has been praised for its “beautiful clarity, technique, and soaring, fluid lines” (Times Argus). Shannon has performed around the world in roles ranging from Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Susanna (Marriage of Figaro), Musetta (La Bohème), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), and Baby Doe (The Ballad of Baby Doe). She also performs as a concert soloist and holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College, The National Conservatory of Greece, and The Boston Conservatory. Shannon resides in Weston, CT and when not singing, enjoys skiing and traveling with her husband and young son.

Cameron Steinmetz is a native of Norwood, Massachusetts and an alumnus of Green Mountain College. Currently in his 13th production with the Opera Company of Middlebury, he first performed in the chorus of Massenet’s Thaïs and was seen recently as the Newspaper Boy in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Steinmetz is the tenor of the VSO’s educational quartet, Ah! Cappella, a tenor of Counterpoint Chorus and is proprietor and piano technician at Steinmetz Pianos. Website: steinmetzpianos.com

Soprano Allison Steinmetz is an active opera, musical theater, and concert soloist, and is happy to return to OCM! She has premiered several roles including Nora (The Sailorboy and the Falcon) alongside Stephanie Blythe. Some additional roles include Cunegonde (Candide), Lucy (The Telephone), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), YumYum (The Mikado), Luisa (The Fantasticks), and Sarah (Guys & Dolls). Allison holds degrees in vocal performance and music business from University of Montreal and Crane School of Music. Offstage, she is a proud wife, mama, and administrator for OCM.

Victoria Drew (lyric soprano) holds a B.A. in Voice from UVM and an M.M. in Opera from Longy School of Music. She has taught voice for over 20 years, plays accordion and trumpet professionally, and is enjoying this, her 6th performance with OCM! When not immersed in music, Victoria is the Executive Director of BNI Vermont and co-owns Vermont’s only pole dancing studio, RevolVT. She lives in Shelburne with husband, Neil Wacek, and their throng of pets. Website: Victoria Drew on Facebook

Tenor Adam Hall returned to Vermont after studying voice at George Washington University and opera at University of Maryland College Park. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and St. Petersburg Opera. As recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation, Mr. Hall studied and worked with Marilyn Horne and Warren Jones at Music Academy of the West. Mr. Hall resides in Burlington where he sings locally and abroad, runs the music program at First UMC Burlington, and teaches voice at UVM, St. Michael’s College and Harwood Union High School.  Website: tenoradamhall.com

Neil Wacek. Past OCM productions: ensemble in La Bohème, Thaïs, L’italiana in Algeri, Turandot, Macbeth, Cendrillon and Candide. Neil is a frequent vocal soloist with many professional and community ensembles around Vermont and is a member of Counterpoint. Also an accomplished trumpet player, Neil performs regularly with numerous other instrumental ensembles. He is the Director of the University of Vermont Pep Band and resides in Shelburne, VT.

Rachel Weinfeld has found a home for herself as a versatile crossover singer in the opera and musical theatre worlds. Past performances have included Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Amalia Balash in She Loves Me, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She made her concert debut singing Julie Jordan in “The Bench Scene” from Carousel alongside Nathan Gunn. Rachel holds a MM in voice performance and literature from UIUC and a BM in voice performance from Ball State. Website: rachelweinfeld.com

Elisa Van Duyne (Choreographer/Featured Dancer) has appeared on Broadway in 42nd Street, Beauty and the Beast, 110 in the Shade, and Finian’s Rainbow. Regional credits: Ragtime (The Kennedy Center), The Sound of Music (Fulton Opera House), and Paper Mill Playhouse’s Kiss Me Kate. National & European tours: White Christmas, Dr. Dolittle, Phantom of the Opera. Favorite roles: Young Little Edie in Grey Gardens, Velma in Chicago, Milly in Seven Brides..Brothers. TV credits: Person Of Interest, As the World Turns, The Late Show With David Letterman, Good Morning America, The 2001 TONY Awards, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She has choreographed The Who’s Tommy, Guys and Dolls, and Big River at Alpine Theatre Project, Oklahoma! at Seton Hall University, Thoroughly Modern Millie at Ocean County Professional Theater, and Company for Town Hall Theater/Middlebury College. She served on the faculty at American Music and Dramatic Academy in NYC, Paper Mill Playhouse, and Flynn Center for Performing Arts. Website: ElisaVanDuyne.com

Katie Henry (Featured Dancer) is a recent graduate of UVM, having earned a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Physics this May. Katie has been dancing since she was three years old (her background is in ballet, tap, contemporary and modern dance), and she hopes to continue until she is 103! She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to dance with OCM.

 

Olivia Schrantz (Featured Dancer) has been dancing for ten years and has trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, and modern. For the last six years she has been an avid ballroom dancer, competing internationally. She has performed in several works including UVM’s Dancing Uphill, Nikaio Thomashow’s The Breath Inbetween, and with Paula Higa Dance. Olivia teaches ballroom and swing dance for the University of Vermont, 802 Westie collective, and Lines Vermont. This is her debut with OCM.

Jessica Graves, soprano, hails from Brooklyn, NY and is currently based in Boston, MA. Jessica received her Master of Music from the Mannes School of Music where she was most recently seen as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and a featured soloist in the 2020/2021 Mannes Sounds Festival. In 2019, Jessica made her role debut with the Miami Music Festival as Lucinda in Dark Sisters. Jessica received her Bachelor of Music from Boston University where she was a recipient of the Ella Lou Dimmock Honors Award & Recital and performed in the Boston University Opera Institute’s productions of The Cunning Little Vixen and La Traviata.

Ann-Marie Iacoviello, soprano, is a performer and teacher in the Boston area. Roles include La Fée (Cendrillon),Königin der Nacht, Selena St. George (Dolores Claiborne), Girl (Afterlife), Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos). She has been seen onstage with the Seagle Festival, Boston University Opera Institute, Cambridge Chamber Ensemble, Miami Music Festival, and DC Public Opera. She was recently selected as a semi-finalist in the 2021 Camille Coloratura Awards. Website: annmarieiacoviello.com

Tenor Michael Laporte is excited to make his debut with the Opera Company of Middlebury. He recently sang the role of Lysander in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera Theater Rutgers, where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in opera performance. Later this summer, Laporte will join the Trentino Music Festival in Italy, where he will play Monostatos and cover Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zaubertflöte.

Baritone Nathaniel McBride’s repertoire spans from early classical to contemporary, as well as musical theater. Recently, Nathaniel performed as Le chat in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Charlie in Sakaram’s Looking at You with Carnegie Mellon University. Nathaniel earned his Bachelor’s of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music studying with Mark Oswald and studies with Daniel Teadt in his Master’s of Music program at Carnegie Mellon University. Nathaniel is from Enon Valley, Pennsylvania. Website: nathanielmcbride.com

Hailed as “dramatically masterful” (SF Classical Voice), Albany, NY native Virginia Reed is excited to return to the East Coast after several years of study on the West Coast. Previously seen in Central City Opera (2019) and Wolf Trap Opera (2020/2021), Ms. Reed’s favorite roles include Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and the title role in La Cenerentola. Ms. Reed holds a Bachelor’s from Manhattan School of Music and a Master’s from San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying with Catherine Cook.

Ben Ross is a lyric baritone based in Baltimore, MD. He is currently a  Masters candidate at Peabody Conservatory where he was most recently seen as Le Mari (Les Mamelles de Tirésias) and Germano (La Scala di Seta). Past roles include Robert Schumann (Ghost Variations), Le Gouverneur (Le Comte Ory), and Major General Stanley (The Pirates of Penzance) They have also served as an apprentice with Chicago Summer Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera. Website: benrossbaritone.com

Marcus Schenck is a Boston-based bass-baritone and is thrilled to be returning to Opera Company of Middlebury for a second season. He recently performed as the Bass Soloist in Mozart’s Krönungsmesse with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, Schlendrian in Bach’s Kaffeekantate at Arts at the Armoryand Lore/Chorus in The Maid of Orleans with Opera Company of Middlebury. Other notable performances include Don Bartolo (The Marriage of Figaro) with Boston Opera Collaborative, The King (The Little Prince) with NEMPAC Opera Project, and Le Gouverneur (Le comte Ory) with Lowell House Opera. Website: marcusschenckbassbaritone.com

Julia Steidle received a B. S. in Vocal Performance from Roberts Wesleyan College in May 2020. She is working on her M. M. in Vocal Performance at SUNY Potsdam. Her performance credits include The Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Hänsel (cover) and The Witch (cover) in Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel, and Ensemble in Leoncavallo’s Zazà. In September she will participate in world-premiere workshop performances of Pesci’s The Strangers and Mack’s A Nearer Mother.

Muse Ye is a collaborative pianist passionate about exploring humanity through collaboration. She has performed internationally with organizations such as Chamber Music New Zealand, Singapore International Lower Brass Festival, New Opera Singapore and is currently an active recitalist playing with colleagues in Ithaca, New York. She will be pursuing her DMA at University of Michigan beginning Fall 2022.

Synopsis of Orphée aux enfers 

Acts 1 & 2

Orpheus is a musician, but his wife is tired of his constant fiddling, and both partners now find the marriage completely stale. Eurydice has taken a fancy to a shepherd and travelling honey merchant, Aristaeus, who has been courting her. (He is actually the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto, in disguise.) To further his affair with Eurydice, he decides to kill her off. He places a snake in the vicinity, which duly bites her, and, to her great delight, she dies and is transported to the Underworld. Orpheus is equally pleased at the news of his wife’s demise. However Public Opinion reminds him that such an attitude is unacceptable and that he must get his wife back. The hero duly visits Olympus to ask for Jupiter’s help. The gods are in revolt due to the boredom of their lifestyle, so Jupiter decides to take them all on a visit to the Underworld to sort things out.

 

Acts 3 & 4

Upon arrival in the Underworld, Jupiter disguises himself as a fly, and meets Eurydice, whom he finds rather attractive. So when, as agreed, Orpheus takes his wife away, subject to the condition that he not look back at her, Jupiter hurls a thunderbolt at him. This makes Orpheus turn round, so Eurydice is forfeit again, and the work ends with her and the gods in the Underworld holding a celebration party.

Based on a synopsis from Opera Scotland

More information coming soon!

June 3rd, 2022

Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld) will be fully staged with orchestra conducted by Guest Conductor Clinton Smith. Sung in French with English supertitles.

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