Syracuse Opera Resident Artist Program

Friday, September 28
Storer Auditorium
11:15 a.m.

12-13 Syracuse Opera 

Syracuse Opera enriches the lives of the people of upstate New York through locally produced opera, the one all-inclusive art form that celebrates the beauty of the human singing voice through the spectacle of live theater. Its core values are Artistic Excellence, Integrity, and Community Enrichment.

Syracuse Opera is the only year-round professional opera company serving upstate New York. The company produces three mainstage operas each season and provides continual outreach and educational programs through its Resident Artists Program.

The Resident Artists Program was founded in 2008 to provide performing opportunities for emerging artists. Bernard Uzan and Diana Soviero are the program's artistic advisors. Resident Artists are selected from competitive national auditions. In addition to their work in Syracuse Opera educational programs, Resident Artists cover roles and perform supporting parts in mainstage productions.

Angela Theis

Soprano Angela Theis makes her debut with Syracuse Opera appearing as Johanna in Sweeney Todd. This season will also include a return to her hometown opera company, Michigan Opera Theatre, where she will sing Marzelline in Fidelio. Last season, Ms. Theis performed the roles of Barbarina in Michigan Opera Theatre's Le Nozze di Figaro and Frasquita in Opera Roanoke’s Carmen. Other operatic credits include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni, for which the Boston Globe praised her "bright, bold, and beguilingly sung" performance. As a resident artist with Utah Opera, she sang Beth in Little Women and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, in addition to soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Holiday Pops, and Handel’s Messiah with Utah Symphony. Ms. Theis completed a postgraduate fellowship at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, studying under Barbara Bonney, and holds degrees from New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Notre Dame. 

Cris Frisco 

Tenor Cris Frisco sings Spoleta in Tosca, and Beadle in Sweeney Todd for Syracuse Opera this season. Cris will also appear as a Festival Artist at Utah Festival Opera, where he will cover the title role in Faust and Cavaradossi in Tosca. He then returns to Opera Slavica in New York to sing Laca in Jenufa as well as Walther in a concert performance of Act 3 of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with New York Opera Forum. His 2011-12 season included role debuts as Lenski in Eugene Onegin, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas (with both the Opera Company of Brooklyn and the Philadelphia International Fringe Festival), Rodolfo in La Boheme, Laurie in Little Women, and Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. In concert, he has been heard as the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and Handel’s Messiah. He has been a member of the prestigious Apprentice Artist program at the Caramoor Festival and has been a member of young artist programs at the Opera Theater of Lucca, Italy and the Westminster CoOPERAtive. In addition to his work as a singer, Cristopher is a coach and collaborative pianist on the staff at Westminster Choir College and The New School for Drama and is the founding Artistic Director of The New Voice Project. 

Jonathan Christopher 

Baritone Jonathan Christopher makes his Syracuse Opera debut singing Sciarrone in Tosca and Anthony in Sweeney Todd. He recently completed his studies in the Opera Performance program at McGill University in the studio of Sanford Sylvan, making his debut as Mozart’s Don Giovanni in January. Past operatic performances include Marcello in La Bohème (Opera McGill), Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (Bay View Musical Festival, Michigan; the University of Michigan; and Janiec Opera Company, North Carolina), Ubalde in Gluck’s Armide (the University of Michigan), and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (La Villa della Musica, Milan, Italy). The 2010/2011 season saw Jonathan making his professional operatic debut as Figaro, in collaboration with the Marcello Giordani Foundation and Vero Beach Opera in Florida, followed by the role of Le Dancaïro in Carmen with Vermont’s Green Mountain Opera Festival. Last summer Jonathan was a Resident Artist at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, performing Don Alfonso in Così and Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music. Recent solo orchestral and choral performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s Magnificat, Brahms’ Requiem, Dvorak’s Mass in D, and Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale as the Narrator 

Michael Shannon 

Michael Shannon will serve as the vocal coach and accompanist of this season's Resident Artist Program, and our mainstage productions of TOSCA and SWEENEY TODD. He has been engaged as an opera coach and rehearsal pianist for Calgary Opera, Opera Nuova in Edmonton, the Janeic Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Opera McGill, and UWOpera at University of Western Ontario. He began his professional musical studies as a baritone with Sanford Sylvan at McGill University in Montreal, and recently completed a three-week intensive accompanying program with the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy where he worked with master coach Martin Katz. His recent music direction of the American musical revue TINTYPES earned him accolades in print as an "indefatigable pianist" who "worked wonders" with his onstage accompaniment.