The Story of
Die Fledermaus...

Two gentlemen love playing practical jokes. One invites the other to a ball at the Russian Prince Orlovsky’s mansion. Orlovsky, perennially bored, is new in town. Everyone’s invited to the party. It’s a masquerade. The mistress comes disguised as a Hungarian countess. Her maid comes as an actress in her mistress’s dress. The master comes as a marquis. Find out who is the bat! Intrigued?

Come to the Opera Company of the Highlands and unravel this farcical upstairs downstairs mystery.

Come to the Opera Company of the Highlands and let the Johann Strauss’s extraordinary music sweep you off your feet.



About the Opera Company
of the Highlands

Headed by soprano Claudia Cummings, the new non-profit Opera Company of the HIghlands is an outgrowth of the performances and works of Festival Theatre of New York, a performing arts organization Cummings co-founded with her husband, Shakespearean actor Jack Aranson, in 1999.


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Performances
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Die Fledermaus (the Bat)
by Johann Strauss

Performed in English
October 21, to November 6, 2005
The Cast > | The Director >
Character
Performer
Rosalinda
Julie Ziavras
Suzanne Clune
Adele
Sarah Rice
Joanna McIntire
Eisenstein
Michael Torpey
Osvaldo Cicchetti
Orlofsky
Thomas Mark Fallon
Alfred
David Pietri
Falke
Brian Jagde
Dr. Blind

Jeremy Moore

Sally
Sarah Levine Simon
Kathy Lawrence
Frank
Joseph Schommer
Frosch
Jack Aranson
Director
Artistic & Musical Director
Claudia Cummings
Fridays and Saturdays
@ 7:30pm | Sundays @ 2pm
Date
Venue
Orange County, NY Address
Oct
21, 22, 23
United Church
of Christ
Route 94 at Old Dominion Rd., Blooming Grove
Get directions >>

Oct
28, 29, 30
St. George's Episcopal Church
105 Grand Street, Newburgh
Get directions >>

Nov.
4
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Route 9, Cold Spring
Get directions >>

Nov.
5, 6
Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center
12 Vassar Street, Poughkeepsie
Get directions >>

All tickets are $20
Reservations: 845-562-5381



Director

Claudia Cummings
Artistic & Musical Director

CLAUDIA CUMMINGS is an opera singer who has appeared all over the world singing the leading ladies in such operas as Lucia, La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Lulu, The Tales of Hoffman and Satyagraha, to name a few. In her twenty-five year opera career, Miss Cummings performed as a principal singer in the New York City Opera for ten years, and sang with the Chicago Lyric and San Francisco Opera among many others. She has sung regularly with symphony orchestras and chamber music groups. Miss Cummings has also starred in musicals, and played the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music on Broadway, and in its tour of 60 cities of the United States and Canada.

In appreciation of her talents, Mount Saint Mary College has conferred upon her the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Miss Cummings is the Producing Director of Festival Theatre of New York, the Conductor of The Newburgh Symphony Chorale, and the Founder and Artistic Director of Opera Company of the Highlands, presenting Die Fledermaus in October and November, 2005.

Performers

Julie Ziavras
Rosalinda

SOPRANO JULIE ZIAVRAS has won critical praise for her vocal beauty, musicianship, and dramatic stage persona with repertory that spans opera, art song, contemporary music, and folk ballads. A New York Times reviewer described her as "an estimable vocalist with a silvery voice she held the spotlight alone."

Ms. Ziavras has performed in concert, on radio and TV in the US and abroad. She recently performed the role of the Countess with the Festival Theatre of New York’s performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Carnegie Recital Hall, Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Hall and Symphony Space Theater are among New York City venues where she has appeared.

She also sang on radio broadcasts from WBAI, WNYC and WJFF. Ms. Ziavras has premiered works written expressly for her voice, including a contemporary song cycle written to the poetry of Walt Whitman, an off-Broadway musical of Aristophanes’ The Birds, and an opera based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s play, Babylon Revisited.

The soprano was invited to Greece by composer/music director Manos Hadzidakis, where she performed as a soloist in concerts and broadcasts on Greek National Radio (ERT), including a live broadcast of a premiered work at the Pireus National Theater. She has appeared as prominent artist at international festivals in Venezuela, Mexico, Canada and Greece, and soloed with Greek composer Notis Mavroudis in a concert tour beginning in that country, culminating in Serbia. The National Museum in Belgrade was opened for the occasion, and the concert was simulcast live on Serbian National Radio and Television. It was the first time a western artist performed in Serbia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ms. Ziavras lives in the Hudson Valley and appears in the acoustic folk duo "Ken & Julie" with her husband, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ken DeAngelis. Their recently released a debut CD, “The Dream,” featuring original songs DeAngelis wrote for her voice. Ms. Ziavras holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. To learn more, visit www.kenandjulie.com.


Suzanne Clune
Rosalinda

SOPRANO SUZANNE CLUNE, of Poughkeepsie, New York, possesses a "remarkably clear and lovely voice” whose "artistic insight is most remarkable." It has led her into operatic roles with great appeal, including Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Gretel in H�nsel and Gretel. She has also performed the roles of Servilia in La Clemenza Di Tito, Maria in West Side Story, Silvianne in The Merry Widow, the High Priestess in A�DA and Frasquita in Carmen.

For Hudson Opera Theatre, Delaware Valley Opera, Tri-State Regional Opera and Festival Theatre of New York she performed Musetta in La Boh�me. Suzanne is frequently a featured artist at the Cornwall Potluck concerts, and she regularly appears with orchestras and chamber musicians for events such as The Downtown Music Series of White Plains, Music at Marist, Orange at Eisenhower Hall, The Grand Montgomery Chamber Series, and The Hudson Valley Bach Fest.

This past season Ms. Clune was the soprano soloist in H�ndel’s Messiah at the West Point Cadet Chapel; in Carmina Burana for Dutchess College and for Marist College at the Bardavon. Miss Clune is a graduate of the Purchase Conservatory of Music and teaches at Marist and Dutchess Community Colleges. She also covered in Mozart’s Requiem for the Newburgh Symphony Orchestra.

She was most recently featured in Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer Of 1915 in Oxford and Birmingham, England. Ms. Clune has been privileged to perform for several years in many productions with Jack Aranson, Claudia Cummings and Festival Theatre of New York.


Sarah Rice
Adele

SARAH RICE arrived in NYC with $100, two cats and a piano. Shortly after, she originated the role of Marianne in a musical adaptation of The Miser, called Hang On To Your Ribbons, off-off Broadway.

This led to being cast as The Girl in the long-running, original off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks,and she continued in the role off and on for over two years. During that time Ms Rice also played Anne in A Little Night Music, Cunegonde in Candide, at the Guthrie, Miranda in The Tempest, Zan in Regina, Gretel in Hansel And Gretel and Liesl in The Sound Of Music.

Then Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince cast her as the original Johanna in Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street on Broadway. Ms. Rice won a Theatre World Award for the role, and the cast recording on RCA won a Grammy Award for Best Show Album, while Sweeney swept the Tony awards, including Best Show.

Since then, Ms. Rice has appeared in leading soprano roles in more than 20 productions, highlights of which include Marie in Daughter Of The Regiment, Magnolia in Showboat, Marietta in Naughty Marietta, Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Christine Daae in Phantom Of The Opera, and she performed in The Merry Widow with Dame Joan Sutherland in the opera star’s last US operatic stage appearance.

Ms. Rice has performed with theatre and opera companies throughout the world, including at the famed Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Italy; Santa Fe Opera; Central City Opera; Dallas Opera and others. She originated the roles of Susan in the Virginia Woolf musical; The Waves at the New York Theatre Workshop; Eloise in Eternal Love off-off Broadway; Belle in A Christmas Carol for Eastern Opera Theatre, and Elizabeth in Swan Song at the York Theatre Company.

Among her dramatic stage credits are major roles in Hamlet, Murder in the Cathedral and Aurelie’s Waltz, and her film credits include The Knight from Olmedo, The Phantom Lake, Henry VIII and The Comedy of Errors. Ms. Rice also filmed an original docu-drama for HBO, playing Jenny Lind in P. T. Barnum And His Human Oddities. She also appeared as Maude Arthur in the PBS series, The Best Of Familiies.

Her discography includes Sweeney Todd, Winters Are Warmer, The Waves, Jerome Kern Revisited for Ben Bagly, and Your Arm's Too Short To Box With God (she sang the high notes). Forthcoming engagements include the exciting new Broadway production of LITTLE MARY SUNSHINE starring in the title role. Please visit Sarah’s Website at www.SarahRice.com.


Joanna McIntire
Adele

SOPRANO JOANNA MCINTIRE performs the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus. Last season she appeared as Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with the Festival Theatre of New York, and among her other credits is the leading role of Gretel in the Purchase Opera production of Hansel und Gretel at the Westchester Performing Arts Center.

She was also seen in the role of Valencienne in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, and in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Purchase Opera. Other operatic roles have included La Novizia in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and the Girl in the Jazz Trio in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, presented by the Intermezzo Opera in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ms. McIntire soloed in Vivaldi’s Gloria for the Festival Theatre of New York’s 2004 Holiday Concert, and appeared as a featured soprano in recital last May at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie.

Ms. McIntire holds a Bachelor of Music with honors, majoring in Classical Voice and Opera, from the Purchase Conservatory of Music. At the conservatory, she performed in many recitals and opera scenes, and as the winner of the 2003 Baroque Camerata Competition, she was featured in Bach’s Cantata No. 51 with chamber orchestra.

Ms. McIntire resides in New York City and is pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Music History and Classical Vocal Performance at the City University of New York. She also expects to follow her studies with an advanced DMA degree in Vocal Performance.


Michael Torpey
Eisenstein

Tenor Michael Torpey was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. He has been singing professionally throughout the country for almost ten years.

Studying under Jacques Trussel at the Suny Purchase Conservatory of Music, Mr. Torpey performed many leading tenor roles with the Purchase Symphony Orchestra, including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberfl�te, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. Mr. Torpey has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Grand Opera under the batons of Maestro Kurt Masur and Vincent La Selva at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and Madison Square Garden. He has been a guest artist at the Bellagio and Paris Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as on the Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Princess Cruise Lines.

Mr. Torpey holds the tenor soloist position at Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church, and is extremely pleased to be making his debut performance with Opera Company of the Highlands.


Osvaldo Cicchetti
Eisenstein

OSVALDO CICCHETTI’S lush, ringing tenor voice has inspired both operatic and concert audiences alike. Die Fledermaus marks the 24-year-old’s debut with Opera Company of the Highlands.

His previous credits encompass more than 15 operas in the standard international repertoire, including Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Lucia Di Lammermoor, Tosca, Die Fledermaus, Die Lustige Witwe, The Student Prince, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Apart from the operatic stage, Mr. Cicchetti is an active concert and recording artist, and his discography includes four commercially-released solo recordings: Voce Di Primavera, Sentimento, Ensue�o, and A Tenor In Song, which is a full-length, live recording of his solo recital debut at Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon Opera House in May, 2005. His next recording project is expected to be released in winter 2006.

Mr. Cicchetti’s concert credits include more than 60 performances for professional, community and religious organizations, in addition to numerous private engagements. The tenor’s operatic repertoire includes 24 roles in Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Ponchielli, Puccini, Mascagni, Giordano, Cil�a, Bizet, Gounod, and Massenet works.

He speaks Italian and English natively, and also sings in German, French, Latin, Spanish, Hebrew and Portuguese. His concert repertoire includes more than 600 songs, and his range includes the Art Song, Sacred and Neapolitan songs, as well as Zarzuela and Mariachi.

Mr. Cicchetti has studied at Mannes College of Music in New York City, and at the State University of New York, from which he holds two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Classical Voice Performance, and the other in Italian language, history, and culture. He presently studies voice with Tom Cultice of New York City, and coaches with Jane Klaviter of the Metropolitan opera.


Thomas Mark Fallon
Orlofsky

COUNTERTENOR THOMAS MARK FALLON is blessed with an extraordinary vocal instrument, and began his professional career as a boy soprano touring nationally as Amahl in the original cast of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Mr. Fallon’s repertoire encompasses five centuries of music, from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, to creating the role of Hegai in the world premiere of Weisgall’s Esther in his New York City Opera debut.

He gained international recognition as the first countertenor to win the 1992 Luciano Pavarotti Competition in Philadelphia; in the 1994 Alfredo Kraus Competition in the Canary Islands, and at the 1995 Maria Callas Competition in Athens, Greece.

Mr. Fallon has earned additional notable prizes with performance contracts in Toulouse, France, and Barcelona and Pamplona, Spain. Under the baton of Michel Plasson and the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse, Mr. Fallon made his European debut in Carmina Burana, and he sang Andronico in Vivaldi’s Tamerlano and King Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Italy.

Recent career highlights include a Carnegie Hall debut in Salute to the Irish, accompanied by The New York Pops Orchestra under Skitch Henderson. His oratorio performances in Handel’s Messiah , the Vivaldi Gloria, and Magnificat by both Bach and Pergolesi, have taken Mr. Fallon to Italy, Portugal, Spain, and South Africa.

This past season he appeared as a guest artist on Austrian and Spanish television accompanied by the Bratislava National Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Principality of Andorra. His PBS television debut, Music of the Isles, was broadcast in 2003.

In the U.S., he appeared in the American premiere of Scarlatti’s La Caduta de Decemviri; with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia; with the West Virginia Symphony; at Trinity Church and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and with the Knoxville Opera Company.

Mr. Fallon has made Prince Orlofsky an specialty, having achieved critical acclaim for the role in performances with the West Virginia Symphony and opera companies in Grand Rapids, Toledo, and Baden, Austria. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Notre Dame, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees with distinction.

A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Fallon was honored by Mayor Christopher Doherty at a benefit Irish concert at Saint Patrick’s Church in West Scranton, when he was named Scranton’s “Distinguished Native Son.”


David Pietri
Alfred

DAVID PIETRI has gradually moved into the worlds of theatre and opera. He began as a accompanist and solo pianist in college until his passion for singing came to the forefront. Mr. Pietri most recently performed the role of Dr. Neville Craven in the Secret Garden. Some other shows include The Tender Land, Le Marriage aux Lantern, Sabastiene und Sabastienne, Amahl and the Night Visitors. He feels privileged to be working with such talented colleagues, and hopes to make this role as a springboard to more professional roles.


Brian Jagde
Falke

BRIAN JAGDE is making his debut with The Opera in the Highlands Company. His most recent roles include Hermann in Les Contes D’Hoffmann with Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO) this past season, as well as the role of Guglielmo from Cosi fan Tutte in DMMO’s Outreach Program Opera Iowa.

He has also performed such roles as Aeneas from Dido & Aeneas, Escamillo from Carmen, Der Vater from H�nsel und Gretel, Danilo from The Merry Widow, and Masetto from Don Giovanni with Purchase Opera at Purchase Conservatory of Music, where he is currently finishing a Master of Music Degree.


Jeremy Moore
Dr. Blind

Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, baritone Jeremy J. Moore made his operatic debut in the title role of Amahl and the Night Visitors at age 10, and appeared in several children’s opera leading roles with the Aspen Opera Theatre Center. He has performed extensively in solo recitals and ensemble concerts in his home state and throughout the United States. Mr. Moore was as an apprentice on the voice faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival in Santa Fe, NM and Sheffield, MA, and sang with the Salzburg, Austria Festivals. He has received numerous vocal awards and honors, in particular The Allied Arts, Inc. of Denver, Colorado has supported study in the United States and Europe. Opera and oratorio performances include his European operatic debut in 2003 with performances in German of Nardo (La finta giardiniera) and Papageno (Die Zauberfl�te) with the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Mr. Moore has performed for many years as the bass soloist in H�ndel’s Messiah with the Aspen Choral Society and Orchestra, and has also soloed with them in two recent world premieres of oratorio works by Ray Vincent Adams at the Harris Concert Hall in Aspen. In the past two years, Mr. Moore has been invited to work with Mr. Hans Nieuwenhuis at the Opera Studio Nederland in Amsterdam. During a brief residence in the Midwest, Mr. Moore opened the fall, 2004 season of the Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society, and was guest solo artist with the Purdue University Symphonic Band and the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, among others. Having recently relocated to New York with his wife, Heather, Mr. Moore continues to perform concerts and recitals around the country, and he teaches voice from his private studio.


Sarah Levine Simon
Sally

SOPRANO SARAH LEVINE SIMON has enjoyed a dual career as a musician and writer. Among her solo and recital appearances are Weil Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Joseph Astman International Series at Hofstra University and Aspen Opera Theater.

In September of 2004, she sang the soprano solo in Allesandro Scarlatti’s Cantata for soprano, trumpet, “Su le Sponde del Tebro” with the Poughkeepsie Festival Orchestra. Her writing credits include Bernardo’s Farewell, a story for orchestra, actress Tovah Feldshuh and others, produced with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, with the Manhattan Chamber Symphonia under the baton of Glen Cortese.

She has also received commissions from Plays for Living, Inc. (playsforliving.org), and shares an honorable mention for film writing from Montage Home Box Office with novelist Kathryn Rockwell Lawrence, for a screenplay entitled, Killer. Ms. Simon’s vocal training included Oberlin Conservatory, The Juilliard School of Music, private study with Uta Graf, Laurel Miller and Beatrice Krebs, and she holds a BA in literature and writing from Columbia University.

She was the recipient of a Kathryn Long Grant from the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Simon has taught at Brooklyn College, Baruch, New York Institute of Technology, Mid-town YMWHA, Dutchess Community College, and has a studio of private voice students in New York City and in Poughkeepsie, NY.


Kathy Lawrence
Sally

KATHY LAWRENCE has a versatile soprano voice, adaptable to the many different musical genres she sings, from jazz and blues standards, to show tunes, folk and classical music. She is noted for her musicality, vocal purity and lovely, dark-hued timber, particularly suited to the ballads and standards in her repertoire.

A trained linguist and public speaker, skilled in German and French and fluent in Chinese, Ms. Lawrence sings folk music in various languages, including Mandarin, and is known for her easy communication of various musical styles to her audiences.

She performs frequently in the lower Hudson Valley, and has been a guest artist at the Warwick Valley Winery and a featured artist at the Equinox Caf� in Milheim, PA. As a trained pianist and proficient reader, Ms. Lawrence is in demand as an accompanist, and she presently serves as a supporting rehearsal pianist for the Newburgh Symphonic Chorale and for Die Fledermaus.

Kathy is a Founding Board Member of the Opera Company of the Highlands, and is delighted to have this opportunity to promote the opera, a musical art form she developed a passion for during the 1990s. Kathy co-founded Heartstrings with experienced Broadway baritone Rich Flanders, and she sings in and accompanies the acoustic duo.

Rich and Kathy are known for their interpretation of melodic duets, show tunes and dance numbers from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Performing at a variety of venues throughout the Hudson Valley, Heartstrings has developed an enthusiastic following. For more information, visit www.heartstringsvocals.com.


Joseph Schommer
Frank

JOSEPH SCHOMMER is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Since he appearance in the Academy’s by-invitation-only theatre company in 2004, Mr. Schommer has appeared as Gio in the world premiere of Italian-American Cantos, and as Samuel in N. Richard Nash's psychological drama, Echoes. He has also recently finished filming Through Different Eyes, an independent feature film directed by Joseph Fremont.

As a baritone, he has performed leading roles in several musicals including Paint Your Wagon, South Pacific and Guys & Dolls. Among his credits as an actor, Mr. Schommer has played Berowne in Love's Labours Lost, Dennis Cain in One For the Road, and Hugo/Frederic in Ring Around the Moon.

He has also performed regionally at the Chautauqua Institute, the Westchester Broadway Theater, the Forestburgh Playhouse, and he is thrilled to be working with the Opera Company of the Highlands in his first operetta. This performance is dedicated to Grandma Schommer for the legacy of music she passed down. Onwards and Upwards!


Jack Aranson
Frosch

JACK ARANSON is a Shakespearean actor whose characters have ranged from the classics, such as the leading roles in Othello to the contemporary, including James Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night and the title role in Da. Since his apprenticeship at London’s Old Vic Theatre, he toured Ireland with the great Shakespearean actor Anew McMaster. In 1963-1978, he ran his own company in San Francisco. The California native has adapted one-man shows, Moby Dick and The World of Dylan Thomas, and toured the world with them in more than 250 cities. He currently is the artistic director of Festival Theatre of New York in Orange County, NY. With his wife Claudia Cummings, he performs from their original review Cavalcade, featuring great drama, music and poetry. For his long and distinguished career he holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY.



Opera Company of the Highlands
PO Box 4606 | New Windsor, NY 12553 | Tel: 845/562-5381
info@OperaCompanyOfTheHighlands.org | OperaCompanyOfTheHighlands.org
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