Orla Boylan, soprano
In recent seasons, Irish soprano Orla Boylan has made a number of important debuts including the roles of Gutrune in Götterdämmerung for Opera North and Chrysothemis in Elektra for West Australian Opera, as well as her house debut at Teatro alla Scala in Giorgio Batistelli’s new commission CO2. Her thrilling performance as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer–where she “commands the stage with her magnificent performance” (The Listener)–brought her notable international success in recent seasons both on stage and in concert. Most recent plans include Lady Billows in Albert Herring at The Grange Festival‚ Turandot for Opera North and conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong‚ Senta in Der fliegende Holländer for Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen‚ and Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with RTE Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of James Feddeck.
Celena Shafer, soprano
After two summers as an apprentice at Santa Fe Opera, the career of soprano Celena Shafer was launched to critical raves as Ismene in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto. Anne Midgette in the New York Times wrote, “It takes the debutante Celena Shafer, an alumna of the apprentice program here, to show how it should be done, singing the Oriental princess Ismene with flair, vocal balance and great cadenzas.” Since that breakthrough debut, Ms. Shafer has garnered acclaim for her silvery voice, fearlessly committed acting, and phenomenal technique. She spends much of her time on the concert stage and has appeared with the orchestras in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles with leading conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Alan Gilbert, Bernard Labadie, Robert Spano, Nicholas McGegan, Kent Nagano, Donald Runnicles, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, and Sir Andrew Davis.
Amy Owens, soprano
Coloratura soprano Amy Owens is establishing herself as a versatile performer with comedic flair, a strong aptitude for new music, and a soaring high range. Throughout the 2016–2017 season, Ms. Owens made a serious of auspicious debuts: at The Dallas Opera, performing in the Second Annual Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors concert; in Hong Kong, under the auspices of The Intimacy of Creativity Festival, performing the music of Bright Sheng; with the Reno Philharmonic, performing Christopher Theofanidis’ Grammy-nominated choral and orchestral work The Here and Now; and at Carnegie Hall, performing in Carmina Burana with Mid-America Productions. Upcoming performances include Carmina Burana with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Omaha Symphony, and role debuts as Marie in La fille du régiment (Opera in the Heights) and Oscar in Un ballo in maschera (Livermore Valley Opera).
Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano
A compelling stage performer with a repertoire ranging from the baroque to contemporary classics, Charlotte Hellekant is one of Scandinavia’s leading mezzo-sopranos with a career that is equally successful on both the opera stage and concert platform. Hellekant has made her mark on both sides of the Atlantic, notably at The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Paris, and Glyndebourne Festival. Recent lyric roles include Charlotte in Werther with Deutsche Oper Berlin and Carmen with Royal Swedish Opera. In concert, Hellekant is a regular guest with many notable conductors and orchestras, including Christoph von Dohnányi at the BBC Proms, Christoph Eschenbach and NDR Sinfonieorchester, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel.
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Tamara Mumford has appeared in over 140 performances at The Metropolitan Opera, including L’Amour de Loin, Anna Bolena, Rigoletto, Ariadne auf Naxos, Il Trittico, Parsifal, Idomeneo, Cavalleria rusticana, Nixon in China, The Queen of Spades, the complete Ring Cycle, The Magic Flute, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Wozzeck. She also appeared in productions at Opera Philadelphia, Caramoor, and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. An active concert performer, Ms. Mumford has appeared with all the major US orchestras, in Europe with the Berlin Philharmonic and on multiple tours with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, and at the Hollywood Bowl and the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Grand Teton, and Vail summer festivals. In recital she was presented in New York by the Marilyn Horne Foundation and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Barry Banks, tenor
Barry Banks’ outstanding facility in roles by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti regularly takes him to the world’s leading opera houses. With The Metropolitan Opera, he has partnered with Renée Fleming in Rossini’s Armida, Natalie Dessay in La fille du régiment and La sonnambula, Olga Borodina in L’italiana in Algeri and Anna Netrebko in Don Pasquale and L’elisir d’amore. In concert Barry Banks has performed Berlioz’s Grand Messe des Morts under Sir Colin Davis with the London Symphony Orchestra, which was released to considerable acclaim on LSO Live. He sang in Britten’s War Requiem at the Teatro alla Scala under Xian Zhang, The Dream of Gerontius with the Münchner Philharmoniker under Sir Andrew Davis, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniele Gatti.
Markus Werba, baritone
Austrian baritone Markus Werba has performed at the world’s finest opera houses and concert venues, including Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Los Angeles Opera, Lyon Opera, Châtelet Theatre Paris, and The Metropolitan Opera, as well as for the Baden-Baden, Salzburg, Gergiev, Tanglewood, and Aspen Music Festivals. He has worked with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Jeffrey Tate, Ivor Bolton, Kent Nagano, Riccardo Muti, James Conlon, and James Levine, among others. Opera highlights include Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Salzburg Festival and at La Scala; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte for The Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, and the Wiener Staatsoper; Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with the Theater an der Wien; both Marcello in La bohème and Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; and Roland in Fierrabras at the Salzburg Festival and La Scala.
Jordan Bisch, bass
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, American bass Jordan Bisch made his main stage debut there as the Second Knight in Parsifal, and has since appeared in productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia, La sonnambula, Aida, Idomeneo, and Romeo et Juliette. He has appeared with many important opera companies in the U.S. including the San Francisco Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and the Florida Grand Opera. In concert, Mr. Bisch has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in Aida with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Tanglewood Festival in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem with Michael Tilson Thomas, and the Tucson Desert Song Festival as Méphistophélès in Le damnation de Faust. He also appears on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Shostakovich’s Orango (Deutsche Grammophon).
Thierry Fischer, Music Director
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The Utah Symphony is one of America’s major symphony orchestras and a leading cultural organization in the Intermountain West. It is recognized internationally for its distinctive performances, commitment to music education programs, history and recording legacy. Here they join with the internationally-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir to present a thrilling and authoritative interpretation of the immense Mahler Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand.” This new release was recorded live in February 2016, from concerts in the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, sponsored by the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music. This organization was founded over 30 years ago through the combined vision of Obert C. Tanner and Gordon B. Hinckley, to share performances of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony, as a gift to the community.