Manuel García, Rossini’s opening night tenor in Il barbiere di Siviglia, was also a prolific composer and singing teacher. In 1830-31 he wrote a series of brilliant one-act “operettas” with piano accompaniment, to be performed by his students. Un avvertimento ai gelosi (“Advice to the Jealous”)–performed here as edited by Teresa Radomski–showcases the bel canto virtuosity and expressive flair that were García’s hallmarks as a performer and instructor.
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Timothy Cheung currently serves as the Head Coach of the Palm Beach Opera Young Artist Program and Apprentice Artist Program. A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, he regularly returns to the company to work as music staff and play with the COC orchestra. Mr. Cheung has been the music director for the Opera on the Go! program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis for two seasons. He has been previously engaged at the Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Cheung trained as a vocal coach and répétiteur at the University of Western Ontario, the Merola Opera Program, and Music Academy of the West. This is his fourth season at the Caramoor Summer Music Season.
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, 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.
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.
Madison Marie McIntosh, Ernesta
Madison Marie McIntosh, mezzo-soprano, has been a young artist of the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro and appeared as Delia (Il viaggio a Reims) with the Rossini Opera Festival. This coming season, she will perform Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and the title role of Semiramide. In previous seasons, as a soprano, she sang Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Marzelline (Fidelio), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Mademoiselle Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor), Lucy (The Telephone), Serpina (La serva padrona), Bastienne (Bastien und Bastienne), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Cupid (King Arthur), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), and other roles with opera companies in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.
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.
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.
Un avvertimento ai gelosi
Manuel García was one of the greatest tenors of his generation, a renowned pedagogue, stage director, and a prolific composer of tonadillas, operettas, and Italian operas. He passed down the bel canto style of singing onto his students, including his three famous children – Pauline Viardot, Maria Malibran, and Manuel Patricio García. His last works were known as “salon operas,” named for their intended venue, which was popular for intimate recitals. These operas were written for his students for education purposes, yet they are not merely pedagogic in nature. The vocal writing is virtuosic; the music is beautiful, energetic, and contains some harmonic innovation with Spanish influences; the comedy is fast-paced and well-timed.
Un avvertimento ai gelosi (“A Warning to Those Who are Jealous”) is a farsa giocosa – a comic farce. The libretto was written by Giuseppe Maria Foppa (1760-1845), who authored over a hundred works for the stage, and whose libretti were set by many famous composers of the time. The plot features the jealous husband, Berto, and his beautiful, flirtatous, yet faithful wife, Sandrina. A count has recently purchased their village and has moved in nearby. He and his servant, the foppish Don Fabio, encounter Sandrina and, without knowing that she is already married, the Count attempts to woo her. Don Fabio then tries to court Sandrina behind his master’s back. Sandrina decides to use all of this informaton to her advantage to teach all the men a lesson, with the help of the Count’s actual fiancée, Ernesta, and the wise village gardener, Menico.
– Timothy Cheung
About the Bel Canto Young Artists Program
Each year, about a dozen young singers participate 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. Additionally, the young artists showcase their talents in Summer Season concerts such as this one. Many graduates of our Bel Canto mentoring program have gone from the Caramoor stage to the world stage.