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Ten Questions with Stephanie Lauricella

Ten Questions with
Stephanie Lauricella, mezzo
Stephano in Romeo and Juliet

1.  Where were you born / raised? 
I was born in Port Jefferson, New York and raised in Wading River, New York.  I’m a Long Island girl. 🙂

2.  If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized that I hated the sight of blood and needles.  But still to this day I LOVE animals.  So I would like to think that I would find some sort of work involving them, either at a shelter or rescue facility.

3.  The first opera I was ever in was…
The Merry Widow at Ithaca College!

4.  My favorite opera is…
Gosh, this is a difficult one for me.  When I first started singing, my favorite opera was La Cenerentola by Rossini (which I still love very much!).  But nowadays, I am constantly learning and discovering new music which is equally as exciting.  I would probably say that my favorite opera is whatever I am studying in the moment that you ask me. 🙂

5.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
I am pretty boring when it comes to my pre-show meal.  I always heat a home-cooked meal that is usually filling but not too heavy.  I also bring a snack of some sort of have during intermission.  Then after the show, it’s a free-for-all!  Anything that you put in front of me, I will probably eat!

6.  People would be surprised to know that
I still have one baby tooth! 

7.  A few of my favorite books are
The 100 Year-OldMan Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

8.  What do you like to binge-watch?
I recently binge-watched Luther and am currently watching all of Narcos.  And of course Orange is the New Black is always on my list of shows to binge-watch.

9.  What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
I think I would like to invite all four of my grandparents, three of whom I never knew.  I grew up only knowing my maternal grandmother and she was a huge part of my childhood.  I would love to see her again and tell her about all of the things that have happened since she passed.  As for my other grandparents, I would love to meet them and pick their brains about all of our family history.

10.  Everyone should see Romeo and Juliet because….
It is a classic story that has been set to some of the most beautiful music.  For me, it is always interesting when a story like this can be told by so many different art forms.  Of course there is the original play by Shakespeare.  And most of us have probably seen the handsome Leonardo DiCaprio version (swoon).  But for me, the ballet by Prokofiev and the opera by Gounod take the story to a whole different level.

Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  What’s your favorite holiday?
A:  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!  I love decorating the house and baking cookies.  I love buying gifts for everyone and watching them open them up on Christmas morning.  And lately, I love experiencing the holiday in countries other than my own.  Two years ago, I spent Christmas in Berlin and had such a lovely time at the markets with friends and family.  This Christmas, I will be in Paris with my husband.  Very romantic, no?

Don’t miss the chance to see Stephanie in Romeo and Juliet, as Shakespeare’s classic work comes to ravishing operatic life.  Performances are November 4 and 6 in Overture Hall.  Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.

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Keely Futterer

Rosina, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Dover, AR
Madison Opera Debut: Léontine, The Anonymous Lover (2024)

Recently: Musetta, La Bohème; Armida, Rinaldo; Charlene, Service Provider; Jazz Trio, Trouble in Tahiti (Minnesota Opera);
Armida, Rinaldo; Vanderdendur, Candide; Angostura, Tenor Overboard (Glimmerglass Festival);
Rodelinda, Rodelinda (Hudson Hall); Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Opera Memphis);
Marie, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera Saratoga)

Upcoming: Anna Sørenson, Silent Night (Wolf Trap Opera); Marcellina, Leonora (Chicago Opera Theater);
Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Virginia Opera)


Weston Hurt

Baritone, Opera in the Park

Hometown: Spring, TX
Madison Opera Debut: Germont, La Traviata (2019)

Recently: Sharpless, Madama Butterfly (Houston Grand Opera, New Orleans Opera);
Britten's War Requiem (Opera Roanoke); Scarpia, Tosca (Arizona Opera);
Germont, La Traviata (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Nabucco, Nabucco (Seattle Opera)

Upcoming: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (English National Opera)

Joshua Sanders

Tenor, Opera in the Park

Hometown: Plain, WI
Madison Opera Debut: Giuseppe, La Traviata (2011)
Also at MO: Tobias Ragg, Sweeney Todd; Inmate, Dead Man Walking; Ensemble, Acis and Galatea

Recently: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville; Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (Opera San José);
Tamino, The Magic Flute (Nashville Opera); Sam Clay, The Amazing Adventures of
Kavalier & Clay
workshop (Metropolitan Opera)

Upcoming:  Victorin, Die tote Stadt (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Sachie Ueshima, wearing black in front of a stone staircase.
Sachie Ueshima

Zerlina, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Wakayama City, Japan
Madison Opera Debut
Former Madison Opera Studio Artist

Recently: Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly (Virginia Opera); Violetta, La Traviata;
Krystyna Zywulska, Two Remain (UW-Madison)

Upcoming: Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly (Kentucky Opera)


David Walton

Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Twin Cities, MN
Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2017
Also at MO: Belmonte, The Abduction from the Seraglio

Recently: Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Princeton Festival); Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Toledo Opera);
Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (North Carolina Opera);
Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance (Opera San Antonio); Filippo, Deceit Outwitted (Sarasota Opera)

Upcoming: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Minnesota Opera); Candide, Candide (South Florida Symphony);
Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Livermore Valley Opera)

Emily Fons

Mezzo-soprano, Opera in the Park
Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2012
Also at MO: Rosina, The Barber of Seville

Recently: Nicklausse, The Tales of Hoffmann (Palm Beach Opera);
Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera);
Woman, Ghosts (San Diego Opera); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Canadian Opera Company);
Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (New Orleans Opera)

Upcoming: Princess Irene, Tamerlano (Haymarket Opera)


Ryan Nash

Madison Opera Debut
Madison Opera Studio Artist
Recently: Gherardo, Gianni Schicchi (American Gothic Performing Arts Festival); Frederic, The Pirates of Penzance (Madison Savoyards);
Mercurio, La Calisto; Gastone, La Traviata; Albert Herring, Albert Herring (UW Madison Opera);
Rinuccio, Gianni Schicchi (La Musica Lirica USA); Alfred, Die Fledermaus; Monostatos, The Magic Flute (UMass Opera)

Upcoming: Tamino, The Magic Flute (Opera for the Young)


John DeMain

Conductor: Opera in the Park, The Barber of Seville, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Youngstown, OH
Madison Opera Debut: The Magic Flute (1995)
Recently at MO: Candide, Tosca, Trouble in Tahiti / The Seven Deadly Sins, Salome


Rebecca Herman

Stage Director, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Austin, TX
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Carmen (Austin Opera); Don Giovanni (Opera Colorado, Cincinnati Opera);
Un Cuento de Luces y Sonmbras
(LOLA); La Bohème (Glimmerglass Opera);
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Utah Opera, Calgary Opera)

Upcoming: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Washington National Opera)


Fenlon Lamb

Stage Director, Don Giovanni

Madison Opera Debut: La Traviata (2019)
Recently at MO: Lucia di Lammermoor

Recently: La Fanciulla del West (Central City Opera); The Elixir of Love, Così fan tutte (Palm Beach Opera);
The Marriage of Figaro
(Portland Opera); Carmen (Opera Santa Barbara);
Charlie Parker's Yardbird (Dayton Opera); La Bohème (New Orleans Opera); Mozart and Salieri (Opera San Jose)


Kamna Gupta

Conductor, MarĂ­a de Buenos Aires

Hometown: St. Genis-de-Puilly, France
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: The Pearl Fishers (Vancouver Opera); In Our Daughter's Eyes (LA Opera / BMP);
Number Our Days (Perelman Performing Arts Center); Glory Denied (Cleveland Institute of Music);
Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera); The Rip Van Winkles (Glimmerglass Festival)

Upcoming: Ruinous Gods (Spoleto Festival USA)


Frances Rabalais

Stage Director, MarĂ­a de Buenos Aires

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Madison Opera Debut: Tosca (2023)

Recently: Macbeth (Resonance Works); Hansel and Gretel (Opera Birmingham);
The Magic Flute (North Carolina Opera); The Barber of Seville (Pensacola Opera)


Charles Eaton

Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Storrs, CT
Madison Opera Debut: Moralès, Carmen (2017)
Recently at MO: Count Malcolm, A Little Night Music

Recently: Brother, The Seven Deadly Sins (Wolf Trap Opera); Schaunard, La Bohème;
Sam, Trouble in Tahiti; Masetto, Don Giovanni; Argante, Rinaldo (Minnesota Opera);
Fedorov, The Christmas Spider (Opéra Louisiane, Marble City Opera);
English Ambassador, The Ghosts of Versailles (Royal Opera Versailles);
Marcello, La Bohème (Imperial Symphony Orchestra)

Upcoming: Ponchel, Silent Night (Wolf Trap Opera); Mercutio, Romeo & Juliet (Minnesota Opera);
Silvio, Pagliacci (Pensacola Opera)


Jeremiah Sanders

Leporello, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Marian, IN
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Marcello, La Bohème; Beau, Service Provider; Jazz Trio, Trouble in Tahiti;
Hortensius, The Daughter of the Regiment; Mago, Rinaldo;
Abilenes's Father / Bryce's Father, Edward Tulane (Minnesota Opera);
Colline, La Bohème (Lyric Opera of the North); Lackey, Ariadne auf Naxos (Lakes Area Music Festival);
Charlie, Three Decembers (South Bend Lyric Opera); The Villains, The Tales of Hoffmann (Union Avenue Opera)


Ashraf Sewailam

The Commendatore, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt / San Francisco, CA
Madison Opera Debut:
Captain, Florencia en el Amazonas (2018)

Recently: Dr. Bartolo, The Barber of Seville (Des Moines Metro Opera, Seattle Opera);
Dr. Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro (New Orleans Opera); Sparafucile, Rigoletto (Opera San Jose);
Giove, La Calisto (Opera Memphis)

Upcoming: Dr. Bartolo, The Barber of Seville (Lyric Opera of Kansas City);
Dulcamara, The Elixir of Love (New Orleans Opera)


Andrew Stenson

Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Rochester, MN
Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2021

Recently: Pong, Turandot (Metropolitan Opera); Bill, Flight; The Steersman, The Flying Dutchman (Dallas Opera);
Pang, Turandot (Houston Grand Opera); Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Seattle Opera);
Nemorino, The Elixir of Love (Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera);
Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Opera Colorado, Garsington Opera);
Nikolaus Sprink, Silent Night; Tamino, The Magic Flute (Utah Opera);
Fadinard, The Italian Straw Hat (Minnesota Opera); Danny Chen, An American Soldier (Opera Theatre of St. Louis)

Headshot of Hailey Cohen
Hailey Cohen

Berta, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Edgemont, NY
Madison Opera Debut: Dorothée, The Anonymous Lover (2024)
Also with MO: Paquette, Candide
Madison Opera Studio Artist

Recently: Zita, Gianni Schicchi (Finger Lakes Opera); Hattie, American Gothical (Cedar Rapids Opera);
Sally, The Boy Who Wanted to be a Robot; K., Would You Eat Me? (Thompson Street Opera)


Lifan Deng

Fiorello, The Barber of Seville
Masetto, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Shenzen, China
Madison Opera Debut
Madison Opera Studio Artist

Recently: Voce 2, Il Nostro Posto nel Mondo (Thompson Street Opera Company);
The Police Agent / Mr. Kofner, The Consul (Third Eye Ensemble);
Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Kaiser Overall, Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Northwestern Opera Theater);
Old Adam Goodheart, Ruddigore; Carpenter's Mate, H.M.S. Pinafore (The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company);
Olin Brett, The Music Man (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre)

Upcoming: Papageno, The Magic Flute (Opera for the Young)


Laureano Quant

El Payador, MarĂ­a de Buenos Aires

Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Schaunard, La Bohème (Wolf Trap Opera); Foreman, Jenufa; Dancaïre, Carmen;
Count of Lerma, Don Carlo (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Escamillo, Le tragedie de Carmen;
Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (The Opera Next Door); Betto, Gianni Schicchi (Ópera de Colombia);
Demetrius, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Captain / Ragotsky, Candide (Orquestra FilarmĂłnica de BogotĂ )

Upcoming: Belcore, The Elixir of Love (New Orleans Opera);
Bill, Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahgonny (Staatsoper Stuttgart)


Kelly Guerra

MarĂ­a, MarĂ­a de Buenos Aires

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: MarĂ­a, MarĂ­a de Buenos Aires (Kentucky Opera); Lupita, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna;
Carlotta de Obragón, Zorro (Opera Santa Barbara); Renata, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (West Edge Opera);
Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Princeton Festival); Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scalia/Ginsburg (Chautauqua Opera);
Luisa Fernanda, Luisa Fernanda (Opera Hispánica, Opera Williamsburg)

Upcoming: Una Niña, Ainadamar (Metropolitan Opera); Jo, Little Women (Fort Worth Opera);
Isabella, L'Italiana in Algeri (Opera in the Heights); Mrs. Fox, Fantastic Mr. Fox (Opera Omaha)


Alex Taylor

Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Beloit, WI
Madison Opera Debut: Mother, The Seven Deadly Sins (2023)

Recently: Green Shirt Guy, Mel Rides the Bus Alone (Pittsburgh Opera);
Sarastro, The Magic Flute; Dr. Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro (Carnegie Mellon University)


Levi Hernandez

Dr. Bartolo, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: El Paso, TX
Madison Opera Debut: Papageno, The Magic Flute (2006)
Recent at MO: Alvaro, Florencia en el Amazonas; Opera in the Park 2018

Recently: Diego Rivera, El Último Sueño de Frida y Diego (Opera Omaha);
Tonio, Pagliacci (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Dandini, La Cenerentola (Boston Lyric Opera);
Peter, Hansel and Gretel (Opera San Antonio); Lescaut, Manon Lescaut (North Carolina Opera)

Upcoming: Benoit/Alcindoro, La Bohème (Lyric Opera of Chicago);
Alvaro, Florencia en el Amazonas (North Carolina Opera)


Benjamin Taylor

Figaro, The Barber of Seville

Madison Opera Debut: Silvio, Pagliacci (2018)

Recently: Bello, La Fanciulla del West (Bayerische Staatsoper); Moralès, Carmen (Metropolitan Opera);
Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (Princeton Symphony); Jan Nyman, Breaking the Waves (Detroit Opera);
Silvio, Pagliacci (Austin Opera)

Upcoming: Marcello, La Bohème (Arizona Opera); Jake, Porgy and Bess (Washington National Opera);
Schaunard, La Bohème (Charleston Opera Theatre)


Katerina Burton

Soprano, Opera in the Park
Donna Anna, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Ocean City, MD
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Mimì, La Bohème (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); JFK: The Last Speech
(National Symphony Orchestra); Britten’s War Requiem (Strathmore Music Center);
Russian Chamber Art Society; Postclassical Ensemble Concert (The Kennedy Center); Girlfriend 2, Blue;
Micaëla, Carmen (Washington National Opera); Alice Ford, Falstaff (Aspen Music Festival);
Verna/Young Lovely/Evelyn, Fire Shut Up in My Bones (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)