NEW YORK, NY – The little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) will produce the New York Premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues from February 23-26, 2017. Performances: Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $45(limited advance student tickets for $15)and are available through the Hunter College Box Office at (212) 772-4448 or at www.hunter.cuny.edu/kayeplayho use/tickets.
Set in 17th Century Restoration England during the reign of King Charles II, Prince of Players follows the story of Edward Kynaston, a Shakespearean actor famous for his performances of the female roles in the Bard’s plays. When the King grants permission for women to appear onstage, and forbids male actors from continuing to appear in female roles, Kynaston must relearn his entire craft or face the end of his career. Adapted from Jeffrey Hatcher’s play A Compleat Female Stage Beauty and the subsequent 2004 film Stage Beauty, this new American opera with music and libretto by Carlisle Floyd was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera. It received its world premiere this past March 2016 at the HGO Studio, and since, the composer has slightly revised the sections of the piece. The new version will be heard for the first time in this production.
Conducted by Richard Cordova, and directed by LOTNY Artistic Director Philip Shneidman, Prince of Players marks the third time LOTNY has produced Carlisle Floyd’s work in New York, and serves as the centerpiece of their 13th season. The same design team that created Floyd’s Slow Dusk & Markheim for LOTNY will reassemble for Prince: set designer Neil Patel (The Crucible at The Glimmerglass Festival, Norma at Washington Opera), costume designer Lara de Bruijin (Roméo et Juliette at Castleton Festival, Alcina at Boston Conservatory), and lighting designer Nick Solyom (Triple Threat at EST, Associate Designer on Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812).
Featured in the cast are baritones Michael Kelly and Shea Owens (double cast as “Kynaston”) and sopranos Jessica Sandidge and Maeve Höglund (double cast as “Margaret Hughes” / “Peg”), with Ron Loyd (as “Thomas Betterton”), tenors Marc Schreiner and Nicholas Simpson (double cast as “Charles II”), Sharin Apostolou and Angela Mannino (double cast as “Nell Gwynn”), Raùl Melo (as “Sir Charles Sedley”), Heather Hill (as “Miss Frayne”), John Kaneklides and Bray Wilkins (double cast as “Villiers”), mezzo-sopranos Elizabeth Pojanowski and Hilary Ginther (double cast as “Lady Meresvale”), bass-baritone Daniel Klein (as “Hyde”), and special guest Jane Shaulis (as “Mistress Revels”).
At its premiere in Houston, Carlisle Floyd’s operaPrince of Players received praise from the Houston Chronicle as being “beautifully realized with an electrifying score,” and The Classical Review celebrated its “fiery, heaving music.” Opera News praised the work’s “rich, full-ensemble sweeps of emotional color” and Floyd’s adaptation that “evoked the sinister harshness of Restoration-era London [through the score’s] harmonic and rhythmic distortions.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Carlisle Floyd (Composer & Librettist) has created a distinctively American idiom for opera, drawing on national folk and religious music traditions. His nine music theatre works combine penetrating social commentary with acute psychological insight. Floyd writes his own librettos, in which he has treated such themes as the aftermath of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and rural fundamentalism. Susannah, his best-known opera, has entered the permanent repertory with countless productions in the U.S. and a growing number in Europe. Of Mice and Men is Floyd’s other most often performed work, was given its premiere by the Seattle Opera, and in subsequent years produced all over the country including the New York City Opera, Utah Opera, San Diego Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Cleveland Opera. Floyd’s more recent operas include Bilby’s Doll (1976) and Willie Stark (1981), which were both commissioned and produced by the Houston Grand Opera, the latter in association with the Kennedy Center. Mr. Floyd has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards and in 2004 was awarded the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House. In 2008, Floyd was one of four honorees-and the only composer-to be included in the inaugural National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors. In 2011, he was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for the state’s most-accomplished native sons. Mr. Floyd celebrated his 90th birthday on June 11th, 2016.
Richard Cordova (Conductor) led LOTNY’s 2011 production of Mozart’s Mitridate, their 2012 production of the Gustav Holst double bill of The Wandering Scholar and Sāvitri, and their 2014 Carlisle Floyd double bill of Slow Dusk & Markheim. He made his professional conducting debut leading the Scandinavian Premiere of Bernstein’s Candide in Bergen, Norway, and has subsequently conducted productions for Oper der Stadt Bonn, Opera North (New Hampshire), Sarasota Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Long Beach Opera, Berkshire Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Baltimore Opera. He has served as Music Director for both Julie Taymor’s Juan Darien during its initial off-Broadway inception (later conducting the work during its Tony-nominated run at Lincoln Center Theater); and earlier for Music-Theater Group’s off-Broadway production of Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All.
Philip Shneidman (Director) founded the little OPERA theatre of ny. Recent productions including an original adaptation of Chevalier de Saint-Georges L’Amant Anonyme, Carlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk & Markheim, and Gioachino Rossini’s Opportunity Makes the Thief. Previous seasons include Gluck’s The Reformed Drunkard; an evening of two one-act operas by Gustav Holst entitled Travelers; the New York stage premiere of Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto. Other opera includes Eugene Onegin and Dialogues of the Carmelites at The Mannes College of Music, Purcell’s The Tempest at Rutgers. His theater directing credits include: the original production of Fully Committed (Adirondack Theatre Festival); and Romeo & Juliet (Queens Theatre in the Park) and Tom Jacobson’s Ouroboros. As
an Assistant Director on Broadway he worked on Yazbek/McNally’s The Full Monty, and the Gutierrez production of Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Additionally for Lincoln Center Theater he assisted on Stoppard’s Hapgood and Howe’s Pride’s Crossing.
Neil Patel (Set Design) designed this summer’s The Crucible at The Glimmerglass Festival. Other recent work includes Norma at Washington Opera, Adam Rapp’s film Loitering with Intent, Neil LaBute’s film Some Velvet Morning, HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the musical Marley at CenterStage Baltimore. With LOTNY: Travelers, The Reformed Drunkard, Opportunity Makes the Thief, Slow Dusk & Markheim.
Lara de Bruijn (Costume Design) recent designs include Alcina at Boston Conservatory, Blasted at Calderwood Pavilion, Eurydice at Redfern Center. Her opera work at the Castleton Festival includes Roméo et Juliette, the world premiere of Scalia & Ginsberg. Additional opera at Boston Conservatory includes Don Giovanni, The Rake’s Progress. With LOTNY: Man in a Black Coat, Travelers, The Reformed Drunkard, Opportunity Makes the Thief, Slow Dusk & Markheim.
Nick Solyom (Lighting Design) A Scythe of Time for NYMF, which won Best Overall Design, Triple Threat at Ensemble Studio Theater, and The Way We Get By and Crossing Swords at American Theater Group. Associate Lighting Designer on the recent Troilus and Cressida and upcoming Bway Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. With LOTNY: L’Amant Anonyme, Slow Dusk & Markheim, and The Reformed Drunkard.
Catherine Miller (Associate Music Director) enjoys an active career in New York as a collaborative pianist. She has worked at the Mannes College of, Music, and has performed at venues around NYC including Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center, the Renee Weiler Concert Hall at Greenwich House, and Saint Peter’s Church. Ms. Miller was music director for LOTNY’s inaugural concert Gardens of Disguise at the Kosciusko Foundation; she also led The Bohemians at Socrates Sculpture Park, The Mother of Us All at The Box, and New Voices at the Kosciusko Foundation. A native of Kansas City, where she received her undergraduate training at the Conservatory of Music/UMKC, Catherine has been privileged to coach with pianist Elizabeth Rich in New York.
Sharin Apostolou (Soprano-Nell Gwynn) recent performances include Yum-Yum in The Mikado with Anchorage Opera, La comtess Adéle in Le comte Ory with Loft Opera; both Utah Opera and Pensacola Opera as Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Shreveport Opera for her first Micaëla in Carmen, both Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Delaware for Nannetta in Falstaff. Summer highlights have included Ash Lawn Opera as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, and The Glimmerglass Festival’s critically acclaimed Carousel in which she portrayed Carrie Pipperidge. With LOTNY: Travelers (The Wandering Scholar, Opportunity Makes the Thief.
Maeve Höglund (Soprano – Margaret Hughes/Peg) is a versatile artist who has graced some of the most prestigious venues in the United States, from Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center. Praised by the The New York Times as “a striking Soprano”,”Outstanding” and “Stands out among singers”, her versatility and creative spontaneity bring new light to the contemporary singing world. Well-versed in opera, jazz, and contemporary music alike, Maeve inspires audiences with performances that showcase her superb soprano voice and her captivating interpretation of style, character, and text. Maeve made her Carnegie Hall debut in Stern Auditorium as the soprano soloist for the première of Paul Moravec’s The Blizzard Voices. She was given critical acclaim for her performance of Arianna in Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arriana presented by Musica Nuova – “A consistently vivid actress, Ms. Höglund conveyed nearly as much with her flashing eyes as she did with her rich, penetrating voice” (The New York Times).She also is a frequent guest artist with the well known dance Company XIV where music, dance & theatre come together through baroque roots and burlesque nuances. Her upcoming engagements include starring role(s) in Gotham Chamber Opera’s upcoming fall production Baden-Baden, featuring works by Weill, Hindemith, Toch, and Milhaud. Maeve was the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the American Classical Orchestra and toured London with Wynton Marsalis, performing his Mass with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Maeve is a featured singer and vocal educator for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy, a program offering online tutorial education to middle school students in the New York City area. She also is a featured vocalist as part of the music ministry staff with the Passionist’s Sunday Mass which airs on ABC Family.
John Kaneklides (Tenor-Villiers, Duke of Buckingham) This season’s highlights include Jeník in The Bartered Bride with Appalachian State Opera, Lt. Cable in South Pacific with St. Petersburg Opera and Henrik in A Little Night Music with Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Concerts include Eve Queler & Friends and the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Past seasons include Alfredo in La traviata, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and Laurie in Little Women, among others. Floydiana.
Michael Kelly (Baritone- Edward Kynaston) most recently made his Parisian debut as Sergeant Lombardi in the French premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion at the Théâtre du Châtelet, a critically acclaimed production staged by award-winning actress / director Fanny Ardant and starring Natalie Dessay. Mr. Kelly has appeared in recitals at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, in Houston Texas, and at the National Opera Center and taken part in world premieres by Matthew Aucoin and Mohammed Fairouz. Recent engagements include Fauré Requiem, Mozart Coronation Mass, Orff Carmina Burana, and Schumann Der Rose Pilgerfahrt with the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. An avid and passionate recital and chamber music interpreter, he can be found on soon-to-be released recordings of Del Tredici’s A Field Manual, and a live recording of Fairouz’s Zabur for Naxos Records. With LOTNY: Floydiana.
Ron Loyd (Baritone- Thomas Betterton). Opera: Opera Southwest (Don Giovanni), Mobile Opera (Pagliacci), Opera America and AOP (A Thousand Splendid Suns), Salt Marsh Opera (Rigoletto), Winter Opera Saint Louis (Falstaff), Nevada Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro), LOOK Musical Theatre (Sweeney Todd). Concert: Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra (Feuersnot), Collegiate Chorale (Israel in Egypt), Ridgefield Symphony (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony). Upcoming: Missouri Symphony (Beethoven 9), Mid-Atlantic Symphony (Concert @ The Freeman), Raylynmor Opera (Macbeth), Helena Symphony (La Boheme) With LOTNY: Travelers (The Wandering Scholar), The Reformed Drunkard, Opportunity Makes the Thief, Floydiana.
Soprano Angela Mannino has performed a wide variety of repertoire from Opera, Concerts and Recitals to Musical Theater and Cabaret. At the Metropolitan Opera, she recently sang two performances of Elvira in L’Italiana in Algeri conducted by Maestro James Levine. Currently in her 4th season there, she has been involved in numerous productions and sang the 15 Year Old Girl in Lulu. Angela is an Alumna of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. Among her many performances in Chicago, last season she stepped in for a performance of “Valencienne” in The Merry Widow alongside Soprano Renée Fleming and Baritone Thomas Hampson. This season she also made her Carnegie Hall debut as the Soprano Soloist for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. She has performed with numerous companies around the country, including New Orleans Opera, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Santa Barbara, Mobile Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Madison Opera, Dallas Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Kentucky Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera and Opera Grand Rapids. With LOTNY, Angela last sang performances of “Tess” in Carlisle Floyd’s Markheim.
Raùl Melo (Tenor- Sir Charles Sedley) for nine seasons has been a regularly invited guest artist with the Metropolitan Opera. He made his MET debut in 2005 as Duca (Rigoletto) and was heard in a 2008 Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio live broadcast as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly). His other MET responsibilities have included covering the lead tenor roles in various operas including La Damnation De Faust and La Rondine, as well as Verdi titles including Don Carlo, which he covered during the MET’s 2011 tour to Japan. For New York City Opera he has appeared in Tosca and La Narravaise. Mr. Melo also joined members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the 2011 New York premiere of Allen Shawn’s work Hide Not Thy Face.
Shea Owens (Baritone – Kynaston) is quickly gaining a reputation as a versatile and charismatic performer with a vocal quality described as “stunning . . . with a striking brightness that thrills.” Owens’ recent performances include a European debut as “Colonel Ricci” in Sondheim’s Passion at Théâtre du Châtelet, “Schaunard” in La bohème with Wolf Trap Opera, a return to Utah Opera for his role debut as “Cascada” in The Merry Widow, a holiday concert tour in conjunction with Arizona Opera and Opera Birmingham, as well as a duo recital with Dina Kuznetsova entitled “From Russia to Riverside Drive: Rachmaninoff and Friends” under the auspices of the New York Festival of Song and the New York Philharmonic. As a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera, Owens stepped in on short notice to perform the role of “Junius” in The Rape of Lucretia. He had the pleasure of performing as a soloist in recital with Stephen Blier and in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra. He also took part in a poignant performance with Wolf Trap Opera and Taffity Punk Theater Company to raise awareness about violence against women. Owens has also appeared at the Santa Fe Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, Wolf Trap Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Utah Lyric Opera, Phoenix Opera, Central City Opera, and the Utah Symphony. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Brigham Young University and his Master of Music degree from Rice University. Awards received include career grants from The Sullivan Foundation, the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Oscarson Discovery Grant Endowment, and the Pasadena Opera Guild; an Emerging Artist Award from Opera Index, and a Second Prize Award in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. He is married to soprano Amy Owens, with whom he frequently collaborates.
Elizabeth Pojanowski (Mezzo-soprano – Lady Meresvale) recently appeared as “Isolier” in Loft Opera’s Le Comte Ory. Ms. Pojanowski originated the role of Sadie in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera, and appeared in New York City Opera’s Anna Nicole. Other appearances include “Tisbe” in La Cenerentola with Opera Omaha and Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte with Annapolis Opera, “Cherubino” in Le Nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera. With LOTNY: Opportunity Makes the Thief.
Jessica Sandidge (Soprano- Margaret Hughes) will be joining the Metropolitan Opera this Fall covering the role of Jano in Janácek’s Jenufa. She will also be making her second appearance at Lincoln Center as the Soprano soloist in the National Chorale’s Messiah (Händel) Sing in this Winter. Of her most recent performance as “Mimì” with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote: “…these young singers understand Puccini’s characters, especially Jessica Sandidge, who brings a melting soprano voice and vulnerability to Mimi, the winsome seamstress stricken with tuberculosis…” Ms. Sandidge’s summer season also included covering Lauren Flanigan in a set of Shakespearean Monodramas for voice and piano by Thomas Pasatieri at the Phoenician Festival of the Voice. Earlier this year she had the opportunity to sing the soprano solos in a new piece by Ivo Antognini, A Prayer for Mother Earth, with the New England Symphonic Ensemble in a world premiere performance at Carnegie Hall. This performance also included solos in Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest. Other exciting repertoire performed this year included the U.S. resurrection of Donizetti’s Poliuto, in which The New York Times wrote: “…Soprano Jessica Sandidge sang beautifully as Paolina, her dynamic control and expressive gesture notable throughout.” Other recent performances include her Carnegie Hall debut as Soprano in Fauré’s Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions and Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) with Long Island Opera. She has performed:Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Micaela (Carmen), Violetta (La Traviata), Nedda (Pagliacci), Musetta (La Bohème), Freia (Das Rheingold), Janthe (Der Vampyr), and a New York Times acclaimed performance of Colette in The Reformed Drunkard, a rarely performed work by Glück, with Little Opera Theater of New York.
Marc Schreiner (Tenor – Charles II) Opera: Nashville Opera (Peter Quint in Turn of The Screw), Syracuse Opera (Laurie in Little Women and the Duke in Rigoletto) Toledo Opera (Narraboth in Salome), Lake George Opera, Houston Grand Opera/Lincoln Center/Edinburgh Festival (Four Saints in Three Acts) Salzburg Festival (Mahagonny) With LOTNY: Markheim, Floydiana.
Jane Shaulis (Mezzo-soprano – Mistress Revels), known to audiences through her live performances, recordings, radio, television and film performances, has been a staple of the Metropolitan Opera’s roster for 19 years. Prior to joining the Met she performed with New York City Opera for 15 years, appearing in over 60 roles. She has also sung with the major opera companies in this country, including, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego and has performed with many major orchestras, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, as well as the festivals at Spoleto, Aspen, Chautauqua and Artpark. Ms. Shaulis recently returned to the Met in 2011 in Pique Dame to sing in the revival of The Makropulo Case. In 2010 she sang Mrs. Wintry in the world premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon for Santa Barbara and repeated the role for the New York City Opera premiere in 2011. Miss Shaulis can be heard on recordings of Manon Lescaut and I Lombardi on Sony Classics and Rigoletto for Deutsche Gramophone, all performed with Luciano Pavarotti and conducted by James Levine; as well as Silverlake on Nonesuch. She has performed in five productions broadcast on PBS “Live from the Met”. On “Live from Lincoln Center” she was featured in three productions with New York City Opera. On film, she appeared as Katisha in The Mikado in the movie Foul Play.
Notable appearances at the Met have included the world premieres of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Glass’ The Voyage. Her performance in the world premiere of Tippett’s New Year with Houston Grand Opera was reprised at the Glyndebourne Festival and filmed with the London Philharmonic for BBC. Her Glyndebourne performance of Rangonde in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory was also filmed by BBC. A native of New Jersey, Shaulis is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, and also studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Vocal Arts and The Curtis Institute of Music
The little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) is a chamber opera company founded in September of 2004 that explores uncharted corners of music both old and new. The most recent production, Chevalier de Saint-George’s L’Amant Anonyme, was heralded as “an exercise in restrained beauty;” and the 2014 production of Carlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk & Markheim was warmly received, described as “ambitious and rewarding” by Opera News. Past seasons have included Rossini’s Opportunity Makes the Thief, a production that Opera News called a “lively and enlightening contribution… to New York City’s operatic life”; Gluck’s 1760 comic opera, The Reformed Drunkard; and a double bill entitled Travelers, which included two rarities by Gustav Holst (The Wandering Scholar and Sāvitri). A “Critic’s Pick” in The New Yorker