A Doll's House - an original opera by Raymond Luedeke for 6 singers, piano and synthesizer - is based on Henrik Ibsen's shocking 19th Century drama. Presented in concert, this 3 act opera in concert tells the story of Nora, a seemingly typical housewife, who becomes disillusioned and dissatisfied with the rules of marriage and society. The sound of a slamming door, associated with Ibsen's 1879 play, has become an iconic symbol of human liberty.
April Martin: Hailed by Opera News as "a stand out in the large ensemble" for her portrayal of Mrs. Fiorentino in Street Scene
and as a "sweet-toned soprano" in L'elisir d'amore, April is "a sparkling respite" (kcmetropolis.org) who sings with a "waft of unexpected warmth" (The Aspen Times). She joins the Richmond Symphony to sing the soprano solos in Beethovens' 9th Symphony in November 2020. In December 2019, Ms. Martin soared as the soprano soloist in Händel’s Messiah. She trained as a member of the inaugural class of Resident Artists with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and apprenticed with Virginia Opera, Central City Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival.Ms. Martin garnered awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Haefner-Williams and Charlotte Opera Guild competitions.
John DesMarais: Tenor John DesMarais has been performing in the New York City area as a soloist and ensemble singer with some of the area's finest vocal ensembles, including Musica Sacra, Bachworks, and the New York Virtuoso Singers, in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, under conductors including James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Robert Spano. Among the opera roles he has performed are Roméo in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette and Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute. As a recitalist, he has given performances of such works as Britten's Winter Words, Schumann's Dichterliebe, Fauré's La Bonne Chanson, and, most recently, Mélodies of Reynaldo Hahn. A soloist and cantor at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral since 2001, he has sung solo roles in numerous concert performances including Franck's Les Sept Paroles du Christ sur la Croix and Mozart's Great Mass in C minor
Abigail Wright: A native of New York, actor and singer Abigail Wright made her Carnegie Hall debut as Marghareta in The Song of Norway with Jim Dale and Santino Fontana and appeared in Carousel on Live from Lincoln Center, now available on DVD from PBS. In one of her favorite New York theatre performances, she was thrilled to appear as Rosita and in the ensemble in the Lorca-inspired puppet play Don Cristóbal. Regionally, she has portrayed Nellie in South Pacific and Meg in the Israeli premiere of Little Women, and in Anne of the Thousand Days, Abigail Wright stood out, according to the Washington Post, as a "hotblooded and sensuous Mary Boleyn." In the Metropolitan Opera ensemble, she has appeared live and in cinemas in Peter Grimes, Otello, La Damnation du Faust, Orfeo ed Euridice, Prince Igor and in Turandot
Andrew Pardini: Extolled by The Baltimore Sun for his “robust work” and DC Metro Theater Arts for “a heart-stopping, high voltage bass-baritone voice,” Andrew Thomas Pardini – Nils Krogstad - continues to win audiences with his vibrant tone and thrilling character portrayals. Upcoming engagements during the 2019-20 Season include company and European debuts as Baritone Soloist / ‘Ein deutsches Requiem’ at Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra, a role debut as Silvio / ‘Pagliacci’ at Salt Marsh Opera, and role debuts as Monterone / ‘Rigoletto’ and Edmund Bertram / ‘Mansfield Park’ at Opera Modesto. This past summer, Pardini made his company debut as Father / ‘Hänsel und Gretel’ at Bar Harbor Music Festival Opera Theatre, and a role debut as Emperor Overall / ‘The Emperor of Atlantis’ at The In Series.
Margaret O’Connell enjoys a versatile career in opera, contemporary music, musical theatre, oratorio, and recording. New York audiences saw Margaret portray a “fiercely committed” Older Alyce in an acclaimed production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied as part of NY OperaFest 2017. She made her Carnegie debut with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra as Ein großes Mädchen in Strauss’ Feuersnot. The following summer she sang with Maestro Botstein at the Bard Festival as Camilla in Schubert’s Die Verschworenen. Renowned Greek-American composer Dinos Constantinides invited her to debut at Weill Hall in the New York premiere of his Oracle at Delphi and Listenings and Silences. Ms. O’Connell made her Berlin debut as Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann with two days’ notice. She has been invited to present recitals in Berlin with Lithuanian pianist Raminta Lampsatis. http://www.mezzomargaret.com
Brad Baron is a bass-baritone who also balances the disciplines of acting, writing, directing, producing, and more. Most recently, he performed The Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance) and Emile de Becque (South Pacific) at Ohio Light Opera. Prior to that he sailed the high seas performing original cabarets aboard Azamara Voyages by way of Royal Caribbean and Magic City Opera Productions.
Pianist Jennifer Chu has toured as recitalist in Spain where she gave the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s piano sonata in the Canary Islands. She has performed in venues including the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie’s Weil Recital Hall. She has appeared in the Mozarteum Summer Academy Festival, Bowdoin Festival, Eastern Music Festival, and Aspen Festival. She has also premiered works by Laurie San Martin and Nathan Shields at Juilliard. She was the recipient of Princeton Univesity’s Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize, the Manhattan School of Music’s Frances Hall Ballard Scholarship, and Juilliard’s Richard French Prize. Formerly a member of the piano faculty at Concordia Conservatory she is a teaching artist member of Associated Solo Artists and has been on the faculty at Juilliard since 2013.
Nissa Kahle has served as Music Director for Camp Broadway in a range of programs from Shining Stars to The Next Step. She has also worked as Vocal Coach for nominees of musical theater awards events for high school students including the Roger Rees Awards in New York City and the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (also known as the Jimmy Awards). Tour credits include Chicago (US & Tokyo). Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. Other credits include: The Big Apple Circus, New York Children’s Theater and Out of the Box Theatrics. Nissa hold a MM from Texas State University and completed training as conductor in the Conductor’s Institute at bard College. Awards and recognitions include Classical Arts Development Foundation Fellowship and Texas State University Piano Achievement Award.
Composer Ray Luedeke, born in New York City, attended the Eastman School of Music; the Vienna Academy of Music, on a Fulbright Grant; Dartmouth College, where he studied with George Crumb; and Northwestern University, where he studied with Alan Stout. His output is extensive and varied. It runs the gamut from entertaining theater pieces for children, through a long list of sophisticated solo and chamber music to colorful, carefully crafted pieces for orchestra. A Doll’s House is Ray’s 2nd full-length opera
Voice Afire Opera-Cabaret: In 2010 composer Ray Luedeke left his position as Associate Principal Clarinet of the Toronto Symphony, held since 1981, and moved to New York City, where he is Director of Voice Afire Opera-Cabaret, a company specializing in new ways of combining theater with live music. New York productions have included Butterfly’s Trouble, a re-invention for 7 performers of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly; The Art of Love for 2 pianos and actor; Kafka Shorts for string quartet and 2 actors; In Kharms Way, a evening-length music theater piece, also for string quartet and 2 actors, and My Life with Pablo Neruda, an opera-cabaret for 2 singers, 2 actors, and 4 instrumentalists.
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre
Expected Run Time is 180 minutes