Sept 28, 2018
Sep 30, 2018
A contemporary approach to the classic, heartbreaking tale of a woman abandoned by the man she loves. An all-women creative team brings a fresh vision to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, in a modern, tradition-breaking interpretation of this beloved work.
This is a first-time collaboration with the OSU Dance Department and features the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Justin T. SwainPrince Yamadori
Kimberly MonzónKate Pinkerton
Janet Szepi ToddCio-cio San
Lauded by Opera News for her “velvety mezzo” as well as how she “phrased with elegance and articulated coloratura nimbly,” Zoie Reams finishes her second year with the Houston Grand Opera studio program this season, where she sings Flora in La traviata, Dritte Magd in Elektra, and Rosalia in West Side Story. In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Reams will also sing Maddalena in Rigoletto at Wolf Trap Opera, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.
Prior highlights at the Houston Grand Opera include the Third Secretary in John Adams’s Nixon in China, the Alto Winged Angel in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life, and the world premiere of Kaminsky’s Some Light Emerges. Ms. Reams has also sung Clarice in La pietra del paragone with Wolf Trap Opera, Tituba in Ward’s The Crucible with the Glimmerglass Festival, the Sandmännchen in Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Louisiane, and, on the concert stage, Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Her awards include second place at Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition (2016), first place winner of the Emerging Artist division of the Classical Singer Competition (2015), and second place winner of the Gulf Coast Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2016). She holds a Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University, where she sang Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Katisha in The Mikado, and Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Lawrence University.
Justin T. Swain
American baritone Justin T. Swain (Fields) holds both the Master of Music in Vocal Performance and the Master of Arts in Vocal Pedagogy from The Ohio State University where he studied in the studios of both Dr. Scott McCoy and Dr. Robin Rice.
A Columbus native, Justin has been featured in the Columbus Italian Festival, in concert with Harmony Project Columbus, the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, Opera Project Columbus, and has performed numerous times with Opera Columbus as a chorister, on the main stage, as a member of their touring Education Outreach program for two seasons, as well as their popular Opera On The Edge production of La Bohème in which he performed the role of Marcello.
On the stage, Justin recently performed the roles of Maximilian and Ship Captain in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the Ohio State University, debuted the role of Aedeta in the first public performance of Cadman’s historic opera, Ramala: Land of Misty Water, and the role of Maestro Spinelloccio with Opera Project Columbus. Justin also recently performed the role of Baron Duophol in Verdi’s La Traviata with Opera Columbus, in which he was noted by Columbus Underground magazine to be “a promising young talent.
American soprano Kimberly Monzón has been delighting audiences in regional opera houses and concert halls throughout the country. She most recently made a role debut as Magda in LA RONDINE, was the soprano soloist in CARMINA BURANA, the sang the title role in the world premiere of RAMALA by Charles Wakefield Cadman, all with the Ohio State Lyric Opera Theater. A champion of new music, Ms. Monzón has appeared as Lucy in A ROOM WITH A VIEW at Moores Opera Center. She made her mainstage debut with Pensacola Opera as Frasquita in CARMEN, and covered the title role in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR.
A crossover artist, she has appeared with Opera Idaho in JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS and as Johanna in SWEENEY TODD and Lady Larken in ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, both with Seagle Music Colony. Ms. Monzón starred as Serafina in IL CAMPANELLO DI NOTTE, and Zerbina in LA SERVA PADRONA with Spokane Opera. Other roles to the soprano´s credit include Tytania in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and Erste Frau in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE.
Ms. Monzón is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts Voice with a specialization in Singing Health at the Ohio State University under renowned teacher Robin Rice. She holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance from University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Jaron’s unique voice has influenced his artistry as well as his teaching. As a voice pedagogue specializing in contemporary music styles, his research has been presented at The Voice Forum at The Ohio State University and at The Voice Foundation. By means of his one-of-a-kind voice and background, Jaron has been able to perform on the classical stage, the church house, and many other venues as a soloist and chorus member. Currently, he is an alto in Ricky Dillard & New Generation Chorale, a Grammy nominated gospel choir based out of Chicago. He has also sung on operatic stages and performed main stage roles like “Mingo” and “Crab Man” in Porgy & Bess. In addition to his operatic experiences, he has performed in many recitals, concerts, and oratorios including Magnificat in D major by J. S. Bach and Mozart’s Requiem.
He is the Founder and Lead Teacher of the Jaron M. LeGrair Studio, a private studio specializing in voice training for speakers and singers. In addition to his private studio, Jaron serves on the voice faculty as an Assistant Professor of Theater at Point Park University and an Adjunct Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. He currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from The University of Akron and a Master of Arts in Voice Pedagogy from The Ohio State University. He has also completed courses in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Hailed by Opera Magazine (UK) for possessing a ?voice of darkness and clarity, Eric McKeever returns to Opera Columbus having recently appeared as Marcello in La bohème. Mr. McKeever’s 2017-18 season
featured covering the role of Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West with New York City Opera, his
Anchorage Opera debut as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, joining Opera Western Reserve as Jake in Porgy
and Bess and returning to Florentine Opera as The Speaker in The Magic Flute. He also performed the
role of Charlie in the reading of Kamala Sankaram?s new techo-noir opera Looking at You and worked on the upcoming podcast Buick City 1 AM by Jason Cady.
His 2016-17 season included joining the roster of New York City Opera covering the Lion and performing
the Westphalian Soldier in Candide directed by Hal Prince. He created the role of The Security Guard in
the a cappella opera Sweat with the Center for Contemporary Opera and received critical praise for his
performances as “Sander” in Gretry’s Zémire et Azor at Skylight Music Theatre. Mr. McKeever also made
an exciting debut with New York’s Experiments in Opera singing the Baritone roles in Flash Operas and
appeared as Michele in Il Tabarro with Opera Project Columbus.
Other recent appearances include the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth at Opera Company of Middlebury Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Naples, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Salt Marsh Opera, and Frank in Die Fledermaus with Florentine Opera and Nashville Opera.
A graduate of San Francisco’s prestigious Adler Fellow Opera Program, American tenor Daniel Montenegro is recognized for his flexible and distinctive voice and a varied repertoire of bel canto, verismo, and contemporary roles. In 2015, Daniel made his Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Diego Opera debuts as Luis (a role he created) in El Pasado Nuca se Termina. Career highlights include Giovanni (La Hija de Rappaccini) with Gotham Opera and his European opera debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Mario in Daniel Catán’s Il Postino along side Plácido Domingo, as well as a number of significant role and company debuts including Roderigo (Otello) with San Francisco Opera, Alfredo (La Traviata) with New Orleans Opera and Minnesota Opera, Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) with Washington National Opera, Pang (Turandot) at the Hollywood Bowl conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Pong (Turandot) with San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, and most recently Roméo (Roméo et Juliette) with Tulsa Opera and the Castleton Festival. Recently, Daniel made his company debut in the role of Mario in Il Postino with Opera Saratoga, his professional role debut as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) with Arizona Opera, and debuted with Fort Worth Opera as Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. The 2017-2018 season brought a concert of excerpts from La bohème with the Quad City Symphony, Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in his debut with New York City Opera, and his San Diego opera debut as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas.
Janet Szepi Todd
Janet Szepei Todd is an Australian soprano who remains based in the US after having completed her Master of Music at the Manhattan School of Music in 2016.
Janet performs regularly in her home country. She made her debut with Victorian Opera, Melbourne in 2011 as Pamina in The Magic Flute, going on to perform Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for their 2012 Gala Concert, The Prince in Cinderella pantomime (Gill) and Liesgen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata. With Opera Australia Janet performed Pamina in The Magic Flute in their Opera on the Beach Spectacular, and for Opera Australia’s touring company, she performed the roles of both Donna Elvira and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She was soprano soloist in The Australian Ballet’s double bill Elegy singing Faure’s Requiem, as well as their Vanguard tripe bill program singing Pergolese’s Satbat Mater. For Pinchgut Opera, Sydney, she performed the role of Miss Hawk in Salieri’s The Chimney Sweep, and Zelmira in Haydn’s Armida. Janet recently sung the title role in Handel’s Esther with Handel in the Theatre in Canberra, Australia’s capital. In the music theater world, Janet performed Marsinah in Kismet with The Production Company at the State Theatre in Melbourne. In March 2018, Janet will be returning to Australia to sing Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Sydney Philharmonia at The Sydney Opera House.
During her time at MSM in New York, Janet performed roles including Cecile in Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liaisons, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Noemie in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Angelica in Michael Dellaira’s new opera The Leopard. Other MSM performance highlights include Soprano Soloist in Mozart’s C Minor Mass, and Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand.