The Intimate Bellini

The Intimate Bellini

Bel Canto Young Artists

Thu, July 13, 2017, 7:00pm


This performance will be moved to Venetian Theater due to inclement weather.

Please pick up your adjusted tickets at the Venetian Theater Box Office upon arrival.
Contact the Box Office at 914.232.1252 or if you have any questions.

“There are long, long, long melodies such as no-one had ever made before,” wrote Giuseppe Verdi of Bellini’s unique gift. Wagner was moved to the same incantatory repetition: “Song, song, and once again song, ye Germans,” he urged in an essay praising the hypnotic Italian master.  Bellini poured his melody also into the intimate vessel of piano-accompanied songs – sometimes developing ideas that later found their way into his operas. The Bel Canto Young Artists join Director of Opera Will Crutchfield in this tribute to the father of modern melody.

Getting to Caramoor

Taking the train? We’ll give you a lift! Free Metro-North Katonah Shuttle beginning at 5:00pm.

Enhance your Caramoor experience.

Pre-Order Picnic Boxes

Let us pack your picnic for you! For heartier options, no lines, and the ease of ordering a picnic in advance this summer, consider choosing from our special picnic boxes offered by our caterer, Great Performances. View the menu and order by noting how many of each option you would like after selecting your seats for The Intimate Bellini. Confirm by selecting "Add to Cart."

Already purchased your tickets? You can still pre-order your picnic by ordering online (be sure to select July 13) or by calling the Box Office at 914.232.1252.

Order by Tuesday at 5:00pm for the upcoming week's performance.
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Bel Canto Young Artists

About a dozen young singers participate each year in six-to-eight weeks of intensive training in vocal technique and specialized study of the ornamentation that characterizes bel canto singing. Selected by Opera Director Will Crutchfield to participate in the mentoring program, the singers study the repertoire and participate in full scale rehearsals of the summer operas presented at Caramoor, act as understudies to the principal roles, are cast in some of the supporting opera roles, and perform in afternoon recitals that precede the opera performances.

Many graduates of our Bel Canto mentoring program have gone from the Caramoor stage to the world stage. We rely on the incredible support of opera enthusiasts to help these emerging opera stars receive priceless career encouragement.


Thor Arbjornsson

Thor Arbjörnsson, tenor

Tenor Thor Arbjörnsson made his U.S. professional debut in Stravinsky’s Le rossignol under the baton of Pierre Boulez with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has appeared with Santa Fe Opera, LoftOpera, Icelandic National Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Aspen Music Festival, Opera Company of Middlebury, American Opera Projects, Opera Studio of East Iceland, and North Shore Music Festival. His repertoire includes Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Le Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites), Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lindoro (L’italiana in Algeri), and Camille (The Merry Widow). Arbjornsson played the title role in Loft Opera’s Le comte Ory to great acclaim, with Opera News describing him as “a perfect fit in the title role…a sweetly lyrical tenor that never sounded strained, regardless of the vocal gyrations the role demands.” Next season, he will be joining the Lyric Opera of Chicago for I puritani.


Teresa Castillo

Teresa Castillo, soprano

Hailed by the San Francisco Gate for her vocal “power and florid elegance,” soprano Teresa Castillo was a recent participant at San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program and sang the role of #1 in Conrad Susa’s Transformations. She recently won First Place in the Anita Cerquetti International Opera Competition, is a winner of the Elaine Malbin Competition, and is a grant recipient from Career Bridges New York. This summer Ms. Castillo returns to Bel Canto at Caramoor as a Young Artist and will sing on the Opening Night Gala Concert with acclaimed soprano, Angela Meade, covers the role of Adele in Il pirata and sings the soprano solo in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle. In winter 2018 she will make her debut with the Virginia Opera, covering the roles of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Sean Christensen

Sean Christensen, tenor

Sean Christensen has been recognized as a tenor with a full, warm, and lyrical timbre, steadily establishing himself professionally in New York City. He has recently appeared as Le Chevalier de la Force in Sarasota Opera’s production of Dialogues des Carmélites, Des Grieux in Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s production of Manon, Fernando in Bare Opera’s production of Granados’ Goyescas, Don Ottavio in Opera in Williamsburg’s production of Don Giovanni, Azaël in Bare Opera’s production of Ravel’s L’enfant prodigue, Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera in Williamsburg, as well as Tamino in The Magic Flute with the Metropolitan Guild. He was a young artist with Bel Canto at Caramoor in 2016 where he performed as Oraspe in Aureliano in Palmira, and was an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera in 2016 where he was awarded the Leo M. Rodgers Award for Outstanding Apprentice Artist. He was also a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera in 2015, and an Opera North Young Artist in 2014. He currently studies with Michael Chioldi.


Shirin Eskandani

Shirin Eskandani, mezzo-soprano

Hailed by Opera Today for her “pleasing and pliant voice,” Iranian Canadian mezzo-soprano, Shirin Eskandani, recently made her Metropolitan Opera stage debut as Mercédès in Carmen. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards including first place at the Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competition and fourth place at the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition. Recent career highlights include company debuts with the Metropolitan Opera, the Rossini Opera Festival, Sarasota Opera, and Opera Southwest. Her recent roles include Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Zaida in Il turco in Italia, the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, and Ragonde in Le comte Ory. A Midwest district finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Eskandani has worked as a young artist with Merola Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theatre St Louis, Syracuse Opera, the Ash Lawn Opera Festival, and Banff Opera.


Robyn Marie Lamp

Robyn Marie Lamp, soprano

Soprano Robyn Marie Lamp’s luscious, full-bodied voice and commanding stage presence are earning recognition and roles from rare bel canto gems to world premieres. She will be singing the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos in a reduced version of Strauss’s opera with South Florida’s Opera Fusion in 2017. Lamp made her Caramoor debut in 2014, covering the title role in Lucrezia Borgia. The 2017 season has also found her winning an Encouragement Award in the 2017 Gerda Lissner Competition and appearing as the soprano soloist in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach, FL.

In 2016, Lamp created the role of Romaine Patterson in Opera Fusion’s world premiere production of Michael Ross’ politically charged opera, Not in My Town. She also took First Place in the prestigious Lois Alba Aria Competition and was a finalist in the Southeast Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.


Rob McGinness

Rob McGinness, Fabio

Hailed for his “impressive singing,” baritone Rob McGinness is an avid performer of both contemporary and traditional opera. Currently based in Baltimore, Rob sings with ensembles and opera companies in the United States and Europe. His operatic roles include the title role in Don Giovanni, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a role in which he was lauded for his “bright baritone and winning jitteriness.” When he is not rehearsing or performing, Mr. McGinness is an eclectic cook who also enjoys brewing his own beer and cider.




Kyle Oliver

Kyle Oliver, baritone

Kyle Oliver is a baritone hailing from Plano, TX. As an alumnus of the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Training program, he appeared with the Pittsburgh Opera in numerous productions including singing Zurga in The Pearl Fishers, Count Robinson in Il matrimonio segreto and Dandini in La cenerentola. He recently made his return to the Pittsburgh Opera to create the role of Dave Hoskins in the world premiere of The Summer King. Mr. Oliver’s other roles include Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and the Father in Hänsel und Gretel. Oliver has been featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and many other symphony orchestras across the nation. His awards include Grand Prize at the Bel Canto Foundation Competition, the Jeanette Rohatyn “Great Promise” award with the Metropolitan Opera National Council, as well as a career grant from the Sullivan Foundation. Oliver is the recipient of a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School.


JoAna Rusche

JoAna Rusche, soprano

JoAna Rusche, soprano, is a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Her recent roles at AVA include Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il tabarro, Tamara in Rubinstein’s The Demon, Fiora in Montemenzzi’s L’amore dei tre re, Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Previous roles as a mezzo-soprano include the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Opera North, Rosina in the family performance of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Palm Beach Opera, and Soeur Mathilde in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with the Caramoor Music Festival. Ms. Rusche is a 2016 and 2015 District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received second place in the 2014 Birmingham Opera Competition and the 2012 Heafner Williams Vocal Competition, and first place in the 2012 Long Leaf Opera National Vocal Competition and the 2011 Charlotte Opera Guild Auditions.


Joshua Sanders

Joshua Sanders, tenor

Tenor Joshua Sanders is the 2017 winner of the Opera Foundation’s Amber Capital scholarship, and will be engaged as a Resident Artist at the Teatro Regio di Torino for the 2017-18 season. Mr. Sanders recently returned to Wolf Trap Opera for the premiere of a new children’s opera, after having spent two seasons there as a Studio Artist; in 2015 he made his principal debut with Madison Opera as Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd. As a concert artist, he made his debut with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 2016 as the Imaginary Voice in Berlioz’s Lélio. He has also been seen as a featured performer in Ming Wei’s Sonic Blossom exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and as the tenor soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the Westchester Oratorio Society. Mr. Sanders is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Ruth Golden.


Derrek Stark

Derrek Stark, tenor

Derrek Stark, tenor, is a native of Bath, NY. He holds a B.M. from Mansfield University, PA, and a M.M. from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where he studied with Carol Vaness. Derrek joins the roster of the Caramoor Young Artists singing tenor solos in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle and covering Gualtiero in Bellini’s Il pirata. A former member of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Young Artist Program, Stark sang the Huntsman (Rusalka) and Remendado (Carmen). As a young artist for Santa Fe, Stark covered Flamand (Capriccio) and sang Harry (Fanciulla del West). As a Benenson Artist at Palm Beach Opera, he covered Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), and Duke (Rigoletto). He will return this fall to cover Candide and sing The Governor (Candide). Other roles include: Rodolfo (La bohème); Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi); Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw); Tamino (Die Zauberflöte); Alfredo (La traviata) and Fenton (Falstaff).


Will Crutchfield, conductor

Will Crutchfield has been Director of Opera at Caramoor since 1997, leading over thirty operas by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi, and establishing Caramoor as a center for operatic scholarship, training of young singers, revival of rare masterpieces, and influential reinterpretations of familiar works. He has also held conducting posts with the Polish National Opera in Warsaw and the Opera de Colombia in Bogotá, and has appeared as a guest conductor in many theaters elsewhere, recently including a pair of productions at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. The second of those, Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira, recently won first place for “rediscovered opera” at the International Opera Awards ceremony in London, and was given its American premiere at Caramoor in the 2016 season.

Crutchfield has also contributed to the Grove Dictionary of Opera, the Grove- Norton Handbook of Performance Practice, the Cambridge History of Musical Performance, and several academic journals, and was named a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation in 2014 in recognition of his contributions to operatic performance and scholarship.

Will Crutchfield has been Director of Opera at Caramoor since 1997, leading over thirty operas by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi

Crutchfield’s opera revivals and training program are moving to a new organization, Teatro Nuovo, and to a new summer home at SUNY Purchase in 2018.