Chuck Hudson has directed opera productions at major international companies including Cape Town Opera (South Africa), Cincinnati Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Seattle Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and San Francisco Opera Center among others. He has directed award winning theatre productions in New York and regionally, including The Pearl Theatre, The Chester Theater, Cape May Stage, The Children’s Theatre Festival of Houston, New City Theatre, and Chicago’s Fox Valley Shakespeare Festival. Chuck’s work as a director was mentioned in the January 2011 Edition of American Theatre Magazine and the October 2018 Edition of Classical Singer Magazine.
In addition to directing, Chuck continues to focus on work with young professional artists. He was a co-creator of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program where he directed productions as well as created and instructed specialized classes on Acting and Movement skills for singers. He has directed productions at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program, Florida Grand YAP, Yale Opera, AVA Opera Theater, BU Opera Institute, USC-Thornton Opera, Carnegie-Mellon, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Cincinnati Conservatory, Indiana University Opera Theatre, and Music Academy of the West. He was the Artistic Associate of La Lingua della Lirica for two seasons in Italy, a guest artist at S.I.V.A.M. in Mexico City and has been an annual Master Teacher at San Francisco Opera’s Merola and Adler Fellows programs for almost two decades. In 2022, Chuck created a Certificate Training Program for Opera Stage Directors at Ithaca College.
Chuck travels often to Australia to work with singers at The Melba Opera Trust in Melbourne, The Sydney Conservatorium, N.I.D.A., Opera Australia Young Artist Program, the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, and professional singers via the Opera and Arts Support Group. He directed the Australian Premiere of the German Opera by Goetz based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (at WAAPA), was a Guest Director at the Melbourne Conservatory of Music’s Opera Training Program, and presented public Showcases for professional singers at the residence of the American Consul General in Sydney for the Opera and Arts Support Group. The Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation also invited Chuck to work with their singers in New Zealand for several seasons.
For 7 years Chuck was Artistic Director of The Immediate Theatre in Seattle: a physically based company committed to the creation of visually exciting dramatic works. Chuck’s specialty in movement comes from a background in gymnastics as well as being one of three Americans to have received a diploma from the Marcel Marceau International School of Mimedrama in Paris. He is the only American to be appointed to teach at Marceau’s School, and he performed with Marceau on his 1991 European Tour and in Klaus Kinski’s film Paganini. Chuck also studied at the Paris School for Theatrical Fencing and was awarded an Honorary Diploma from the French Academy of Arms.
Acting roles include Orsino in Twelfth Night, Brutus in Julius Caesar, and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew with the Seattle Shakespeare Festival, and Caliban in The Tempest with his own Immediate Theatre.
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Kostis Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, Kostis brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra and chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, building a high-performing production team, and increasing focus on contemporary American opera. As General Director Kostis assembled Team OSB, a group of enthusiastic overachievers with a passion for innovation and the desire to strengthen the company’s bond with the community, who consistently exceed patrons’ expectations for programs, experiences and communications. Performance highlights from Kostis’ tenure include grand opera classics like Madama Butterfly, Manon, and Eugene Onegin as well as contemporary works like Daniel Catan’s Il Postino, the mariachi opera Cruzar la cara de la luna, and Laura Kaminsky’s As One. In the fall of 2022 the Santa Barbara Independent wrote: “From contemporary work to obscurities from the early 19th century, from staple repertoire to surprise elements, OSB continues to raise the bar on what an opera company can and should be, even in Santa Barbara.”
Between March 2020 and June 2021, under Kostis’ leadership Opera Santa Barbara remained active and fully staffed. It was the first performing arts organization in Santa Barbara to offer streaming programming, and one of only two opera companies in California to present three live operas in the 2020-21 season. Additionally, Opera Santa Barbara became an advocacy leader for the reopening of the performing arts, and funded live performances by local musicians through “Operation Eurydice”. For his work during the pandemic, Kostis was listed among the Santa Barbara Independent’s 2021 Local Heroes.
Before coming to Santa Barbara Kostis was the Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera since 2008. He previously was an Assistant Conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons.
Born in Athens, Greece, Kostis Protopapas studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens before coming to the United States in 1993, on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He became an American citizen in 2011. He loves living in Santa Barbara, sits on the Board of the Santa Barbara University Club, and enjoys sailing on the Santa Barbara Channel.
Le Chevalier des Grieux / ManonNovember 2017
Don José / CarmenNovember 2016
The Duke of Mantua / RigolettoFeb/March 2007
Rinuccio / Gianni SchicchiFeb/March 2006 (debut)
Soprano Karin Wolverton has been described by Opera News as having “a lovely warm tone, easy agility and winning musicality.” She originated the challenging role of Anna Sørensen in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night with Minnesota Opera and reprised the role to much critical acclaim; "she outdoes herself seven years later, soaring on a romantic duet” -Pioneer Press and "was impressive as the dignified and fiercely protective Anna. Her warm tone and precision was just right in the a capella "Dona nobis pacem" that ends Act I” -Opera News In addition, the 2018-2019 season saw role debuts of Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with Opera Santa Barbara of which the Santa Barbara Independent wrote of Tatiana's letter scene "Wolverton made every moment of it into mesmerizing bliss." She made her role and company debut as the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Madison Opera, of which Opera News wrote "Karin Wolverton delivered a terrific Foreign Princess with a big, refulgent soprano voice that dominated proceedings with her every utterance.” She also sang Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in her debut with Mill City Summer Opera. As she continues to expand into the dramatic soprano repertoire her 2019-2020 season began with a return to Minnesota Opera as the Overseer in Elektra as well as covering the role of Chrysothemis. In concert she debuted the Verdi Requiem with Augustana College. During 2020 she particpated in several online musical content projects including joining with over 100 other singers to perform Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell's 'Light Shall Lift Us'. 2021-22 saw her delve into more local venues with a concert of german lieder and arias for the Deutch Tage Festival hosted by The German American Institute in St. Paul, MN as well as a Christmas concert with Opera-Oriented Project Sponsorship in Minnesota. Her much anticipated return to the opera stage began with a company debut at Opera San Antonio reprising the role of Donna Elvira in their production of Don Giovanni. She also joined Opera Colorado to cover the demanding role of Wendy in The Shining by Paul Moravec.
Continuing her passionate involvement in new works, Ms. Wolverton recently returned to Arizona Opera for the world premiere of Bolmer’s Riders of the Purple Sage. Other recent engagements include a return to Minnesota Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold, the Jacksonville Symphony as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, debuting with Opera Santa Barbara as Magda in La rondine, and a return to Angels & Demons Entertainment as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the Minnesota Orchestra to cover the title role in Salome. In addition, she has sung Mimi in La bohème with Tulsa Opera, Fiordiligi in Utah Opera’s Così fan tutte, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Minnesota Orchestra, and made debuts with Arizona Opera as Micäela in Carmen, the South Dakota Symphony for another La bohème, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Angels & Demons Entertainment as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, and Austin Lyric Opera as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Previous roles include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Mimì in La bohème, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and the soprano soloist in Dvořák’s Te Deum with the Minnesota Orchestra; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Omaha; and Mimì with Pensacola Opera. A favorite on Minnesota Opera’s main stage and a passionate exponent of its New Works Initiative, Ms. Wolverton regularly participates in workshops shepherding new opera. Other engagements in Minnesota include Musetta in La bohème, the Wood Nymph in Rusalka, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Ines in Donizetti’s rarely performed bel canto masterpiece Maria Padilla, Micaëla in Carmen, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, Praskowia in The Merry Widow, Clotilde in Norma, Moira in the American premiere of Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor and the Celestial Voice in Verdi’s Don Carlos. For the same company she has covered the demanding roles of Salome, Rusalka, and Sister Aloysius in Doubt, and sang Mimì for the hugely popular parks concert, Opera under the Stars. Having participated in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s critically acclaimed The Grapes of Wrath, she was invited to reprise her role at Utah Opera and Pittsburgh Opera. In recent years, Ms. Wolverton has also been seen as Micaëla in Carmen with Tulsa Opera, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Micaëla, and Antonia at Des Moines Metro Opera; the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Piedmont Opera; the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and Mimì with Teatro Nacional de Managua in Nicaragua and the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.On the concert stage, Ms. Wolverton made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 and has appeared with the Orchestra Seattle and the Saint Cloud Symphony (Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915), Chippewa Valley Symphony (Mahler’s Symphony No. 2; the Phoenix Symphony and the Eugene Symphony (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9); the Discovery Ensemble (Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images after Sappho); New Hampshire Music Festival (Poulenc’s Gloria); Wayzata Symphony Orchestra (Carmina burana); Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Musicians (Handel’s Messiah); the Great Falls Symphony; and the Dayton Philharmonic for its gala performance of “Viva Italia!” www.karinwolverton.com
Count Di Luna
“A formidable display of vocal power and dramatic assurance,” mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel is posed for international stardom having already performed in almost all of the leading opera companies in the US. She made her début with The Metropolitan Opera as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, her début with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette, her Carnegie Hall début in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and her New York Philharmonic début alongside Eric Owens in In Their Footsteps: Great African American Singers and Their Legacy.
This summer, Ms. Nansteel performed the role of Mother/Ensemble in the world première of Blind Injustice with Cincinnati Opera and the role of Brigitta in Bard Music Festival’s Die tote stadt in concert.
This coming season she will make a series of returns to the Washington National Opera as Emilia in Otello and Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She will also make her long awaited role début as Amneris in Aida with Opera Tampa and Opera Grand Rapids and will create the role of Miriam in the World Premiere of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings with Opera Theater St. Louis.
Since her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she has returned for Nabucco, Il Trovatore, and as Siegrune in Die Walküre. She originated the role of Lucinda in the world première of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s adaptation of Charles Frazier’s thrilling novel Cold Mountain at Santa Fe Opera. Other notable engagements include Granma in The Grapes of Wrath with the Michigan Opera Theatre, a reprisal of the role of Lucinda in Cold Mountain with North Carolina Opera, the role of Grace in The Summer King with Michigan Opera Theatre, Second Lady in The Magic Flute with the Pacific Symphony, The Mother in The Consul with Opera Saratoga, Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand for the Mainly Mozart Festival, Nettie Fowler in Carousel and Elvira Griffiths in An American Tragedy and Mary in Der fliegende Holländer with Glimmerglass Opera Festival and Berta in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program.
read more www.deborahnansteel.com