American Opera Projects

2011-12 Season
Justin Hopkins
Jorell Williams
Rebecca Ringle
Kelly Horsted
Music Director
Mila Henry
Music Director
Steven Osgood
Artistic Director

Sidney Marquez Boquiren grew up in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia before coming to the U.S. to study composition. Recently his works have focused on multi-disciplinary and multi-media collaborations, having completed music for dance (The Civilized Captivity of a Primitive Existence, 2008), theater (Eurydice, 2011), and film (Cuttlefish, 2012). In 2010, he premiered two works on a double-bill: We Will Not Be Silent (2010), an improvised work for piano and electronics assisted by Bryan Teoh; and Odes to Earth and Air (2010), a semi-staged multi-media chamber opera with lyrics by Daniel Neer. Stop and Frisk, which will also be performed this September as part of the BEAT Festival, is the most recent product of their continuing collaboration. This season includes performances of Three Preludes for solo piano (David Holzman); Matins for two pianos (Roberto Hidalgo and Marc Peloquin as part of Keyed Up Music Project); the premiere of a saxophone quartet written for QuadrATOMIC; a new work for Jupiter String Quartet; and the first performance of Psalm IX: With All My Heart (for unaccompanied women’s voices, on a translation by Sir Philip Sidney) which was commissioned by Ruth Boshkoff for the 2013 OAKE National Conference. Sidney is a member of the composer/performer collective pulsoptional, and teaches theory and composition at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.


American bass-baritone Justin Hopkins burst onto the international opera scene in 2010, performing the combined roles of Il Servo, Il Medico and Heraldo Macbeth with Le Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. He was praised as having "created something very beautiful with the role" and the production was awarded "Production of the Year" by Opernwelt. In the same season Mr. Hopkins performed the roles of Colline La Boheme with the Verbier Festival Academy and Cappadocian Salome under the direction of Valery Gergiev with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. During the 2010-2011 season, he performed Frère Laurent Romeo at Juliette with Opera Company of Philadelphia as well as in Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox with Fort Worth Opera. more...

Sara Cooper is a librettist and playwright. Libretto for musical theater and opera credits include: The Memory Show, World Premiere at Barrington Stage Company, NAMT, Bronfman Artist Fellowship, coming Off-Broadway April 2013; Loving Leo, World Premiere set for summer 2013, winner of the Weston Playhouse 2012 New Musical Award, readings with The Contemporary Traditionalists, TriArts Sharon Playhouse, and Adirondack Theatre Festival, retreat at Weston Playhouse; Songbook Series: The Songs of Zach Redler and Sara Cooper, Arts and Artists at St. Paul; The Tenth Floor (book only), New York Musical Theatre Festival, Talkin' Broadway 2010 Summer Theatre Festival Citations: Outstanding New Musical; Emergency Contraception!: The Musical, Theater for the New City; We Love You, Johnny Hero, NY Fringe Festival. Sara’s new play, Things I Left On Long Island, received a 2012 grant from Queens Council on the Arts. As an educator, Sara has worked for many institutions, including Lincoln Center, NYU, CUNY City College, and Theater for the New City. Dramatists Guild and ASCAP. Sara is a graduate of Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Rachel Peters originally hails from St. Louis, Missouri. Opera: The Wild Beast of the Bungalow (Metropolis Opera Project, AOP/Opera on Tap). Musicals: Only Children (NYU Mainstage, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Dixon Place), Tiny Feats of Cowardice (NYC Fringe, Adirondack Theatre Festival), Write Left (New Georges), f2m, Public Domain (NOMTI). Scores for plays: Stretch (a fantasia) (Living Theatre), The Bacchae (Asolo Rep Conservatory), Unrequited (Public Theater Shakespeare Lab), Veritas (NYC Fringe Festival), The Tale of the Good Whistleblower...Chalk Circle(Theatre Askew), Definite Possibilities. Concert works: Jack's Vocabulary, (Hartt SPASM, AOP/Make Music NY), I Live Here (Galapagos Art Space) Canon I (Two Sides Sounding/ The Duplex). Cabaret songs performed at the D-Lounge, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Don’t Tell Mama, Cornelia Street Café, and many Boston cabarets. Composer in Residence, The Coterie; 2009 Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Award; 2010 New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio; member, ASCAP, Dramatists Guild;. Double B.A., Brandeis University; MFA, NYU.

Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson writes music for the concert stage, ballet, films, television and pop singers. He is a very active collaborator and genre breaker, drawing from most musical traditions to form a musical language that isn’t just one thing. He is a co-founder and artistic director of Please MusicWorks, and wrote the soundtrack for Battlefield Bad Company I and II (the biggest March video game release in history), and pieces for many of the leading classical soloists of his generation. In 2011 he was included in the Q2 radio list of their listeners’ 100 favorite composers under 40. He was one of the Out Magazine OUT100 most influential people 2007. He has collaborated with Lykke Li, Alexander Ekman, The Royal Swedish Ballet, The Oslo Opera, Mariam Wallentin, Bruce LaBruce, Claire Chase, Joshua Rubin, Alan Pierson, David Taylor, Wolfram Koessel, Black Sun Productions, Lydia Lunch, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Maria Beatty, Andreas Söderström, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Rob Stephenson and many more.


Composer Robert Paterson's colorful, eclectic and intensely rhythmic music is influenced by visual art, nature, machines, and more, and is inspired by everything from the changing seasons to Dalí's melting clocks. Paterson is currently Music Alive composer-in-residence with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, sponsored by Meet The Composer and the League of American Orchestras. Honors include the Composer of the Year Award from the Classical Recording Foundation and the Copland Award, as well as awards from ASCAP, Meet The Composer, American Music Center and the American Composers Forum. He has received fellowships to Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony and the Aspen Music Festival. Orchestras and choirs that have performed Paterson’s music include the Vermont Symphony, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Chamber Choir of Europe, Volti, Minnesota Orchestra and American Composers Orchestra. Paterson appears on recordings for Mode, Centaur, Capstone, and Riax and American Modern Recordings. (Photo credit: Daniel Dottavio)

The music of Ronnie Reshef spans from classical music to popular songs, concentrating on dramatic works. Her opera Requiem for the Living was a finalist in 2011 Opera Vista competition, and her musical "Conspiracy!" had an Off Broadway run at MITF, where it was nominated for best music and lyrics, among four other nominations. Theatre and film projects include collaborations with the Living Theatre and the Juilliard Theatre Department, and awards and nominations from the Berlin International Film Festival and the Grand Prize from the Estonian Parnu Film Festival. Other awards and competitions include the Jorden Berk Prize, New York Composers Circle Honorary Award, and the Sam Spiegel Film Scoring Excellence Prize. Upcoming projects include a commission from the Qube String Quartet and a new opera: The Waiting Woman. Ronnie is a fellow in American Opera Projects’ 2011-2012 Composer and the Voice program and BMI’s Lehman Musical Theatre Workshop.  .

Zach Redler is a composer, pianist, copyist, musicologist and musical director in and out of New York City. As adjunct faculty at NYU, Zach actively works as a vocal coach and accompanist for students at Steinhardt and teaches "Musicianship for Librettists" and "Scansion" at Tisch. He is a copyist for many Broadway and Opera composers. As a part of the Virginia Arts Festival’s John Duffy Institute he has studied with John Duffy, Libby Larsen, David Lang, Bernard Rands, Michael Korie and Mark Campbell. Recent/Upcoming productions as composer: Windows (NYU 2012; developed at AOP); Breakfast, A Light Lunch and Dinner (NYU 2012; Metropolis Opera Project 2011); The Memory Show (Off Bway 2013; South Korea 2012; Barrington Stage 2010); Loving Leo (Weston Playhouse 2012; Sharon Playhouse 2011; ATF 2010); Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (Regional; Various NYC Venues). Zach's music has been performed at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Joe's Pub (among others) and has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Variety and The Boston Globe. He is a member of ASCAP, Local 802 and a graduate of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.


With her "bell-like" voice (Newsday), Amy Shoremount-Obra is quickly being recognized as one of the most promising up-and-coming American sopranos with an unusual upper extension. Recent engagements include three seasons as the cover for the Queen of the Night in the Metropolitan Opera's Julie Taymor production of The Magic Flute; An Evening with J. D. McClatchy and The Metropolitan Opera at the 92nd St. Y; Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with New York City Opera; the cover for the Soprano in the world premiere of John Zorn's Monodrama La Machine de l'être at New York City Opera, the role of Beattrice in Paolo Prestini's De Deo with New York City Opera VOX, and a workshop performance of Tarik O'Regan and Anna Rabinowitz's new monodrama The Wanton Sublime with American Opera Projects. Other notable debuts include appearances as the Soloist in Brahms' Requiem with The Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, First Fairy in Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the New York City Ballet, a recital in London UK at St. George's Bloomsbury; and a recital in Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center, which was broadcast live on WFMT, Chicago's Classical Music Station. This summer, Ms. Shoremount-Obra will debut at Opera Las Vegas in the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.

Steven Osgood was Artistic Director of American Opera Projects from 2001 to 2008, during which time he created the Composers and the Voice Workshop series, and conducted the world premieres of Paula Kimper’s Patience and Sarah, and Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood.  He has also conducted the world premieres of Jonathan Sheffer’s Blood on the Dining Room Floor, Tan Dun’s Peony Pavilion, and Xenakis’ Oresteia.  He has been Cover Conductor for the Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Nixon in China, Satyagraha, and the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor.  He most recently conducted Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera, and made his debut at Fort Worth Opera conducting Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox in May.

Kathleen Amshoff was born in Houston, Texas. With a special interest in original, interdisciplinary projects, Kathleen integrates a progressive aesthetic with the conviction that theater is fundamentally a social event. She has created new pieces in Zimbabwe and Ecuador with Dramatic Adventure Theatre, and in New Orleans with a New Resonance Orchestra. She works with internationally renowned performance company Big Art Group. Kathleen has a BA in English and Drama from Catholic University and an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University. She was a Fulbright scholar in Berlin.

Kathleen Amshoff
Acting Instructor

Through the power of the ensemble process, Irondale creates and presents theater, performance and educational programs that challenge traditional assumptions about art, and help us to better understand today's challenging world. The Irondale Center, our theater, laboratory, and classroom, is a home for ensemble artists of all disciplines and cultures, and a resource for our community.

Terry Greiss
Improv Instructor

Andrea Arias-Martin, a native from Long Island, is a graduate from the Master's program at Manhattan School of Music and Bachelor’s from C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. While at Manhattan, Andrea performed Mother in Griffelkin and Anna Maurrant in Street Scene. New York Times review stated, “As Anna Maurrant, Andrea Arias-Martin sings with a bright soprano and effectively conveys the character’s disillusionment and unhappiness.” Andrea was part of the Chautauqua Opera Studio Artist for the 2009 and 2010 season. While at Chautauqua Opera, Andrea covered the roles of Foreign Woman in The Consul and the title role of Norma. Andrea just returned from the Glimmerglass Festival where she was Micaela (cover) and Elaine in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening.

Mila Henry is a New York-based pianist who specializes in contemporary opera, musical theater, and chamber music. She is currently Resident Music Director with American Opera Projects, where she is a regular at their OPERAtion Brooklyn series and music directs for their nationally recognized Composers & the Voice workshop series. She has worked with both emerging and established composers alike, including Libby Larsen, Conrad Cummings, Douglas Cuomo, Herschel Garfein, Gilda Lyons, Tarik O’Regan, Gregory Spears, and Daniel Felsenfeld. Notable performances: New York Premiere of John Musto’s Later The Same Evening (Albany Records 2009); OPERA America New Works Sampler with Jack Perla’s Love/Hate; HERE’s Culturemart festival with Stefan Weisman’s The Scarlet Ibis; New York Children’s Theater Festival with Scheme of the Super Bullies!; Philip Glass's In the Penal Colony with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn (vocal coach). Mila holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Elizabethtown College. She lives in Brooklyn.

Praised by Opera News for her “richly focused voice”, young mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle recently joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Nixon in China, Die Walküre, and Rigoletto. Other recent roles include Ariodante with the Princeton Festival, Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Macau International Music Festival in China, and Queen Leda in Der Liebe der Danae with Bard Summerscape. She has performed concert repertoire at Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, and with The Cleveland Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Utah Symphony, and Orchestra Giuseppi Verdi di Milano, and opera with New York City Opera and Washington National Opera, among others. She has performed art song repertoire at the Marlboro and Bard Music Festivals and with In August 2010, she performed with composer Tyondai Braxton and jazz pianist Ethan Iverson in a video to promote the release of the book Listen to This by music and cultural writer Alex Ross. Ms. Ringle is a summa cum laude graduate of Oberlin College (Comparative Literature) and Yale School of Music.

Noted for his "sweet, reedy" voice (The Dallas Morning News), American tenor Brandon Snook has collaborated with American Opera Projects in the past, as well as AOP’s Walt Whitman Project. Among his AOP credits include the world premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s song, 1861, set from Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name, which was performed at Manhattan’s Hudson Guild Theatre. His recent performance of Vietnam POW Captain Jim Thompson in Chelsea Opera’s production of Glory Denied received acclaim from The New York Times, admiring his “vocal freshness, tempered with despondency”. He also was recently in Greenville, SC, performing Alfred in Die Fledermaus at Greenville Light Opera Works, where The Greenville News praised him as “a standout, boasting a ringing voice and suave musicianship”. He has additional operatic mainstage and Young Artist credits from Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Seagle Music Colony. A native of Dallas, Texas, Mr. Snook holds Voice degrees from The University of Kansas and The University of Michigan.

Jorell Williams - Praised by the New York Times as "Magnificent,” Jorell Williams’s 2011-12 performances include the world premiere of Anthony Davis's Lear on the 2nd floor (Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University), Adolphus Hailstork's Joshua's Boots (Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Amarillo Opera), John Knowles Paine's Mass in D (soloist with Hudson Chorale), and award winning composer Josh Schmidt's Grass Roots American Melancholy (Essential Voices USA). He will perform as a guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the European premiere of Marsalis's Abyssinia Mass at the 2012 Olympics in London. Previous engagements included a fellowship with the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute under the direction of Brian Zeger. Other notable roles include Captain Corcoran in Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore, Fiesque in Donizetti's Maria di Rohan (Orchestra of St. Luke's/Caramoor), The Villager in Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars (New York City Center Encores!), guest soloist in The Muir (Mark Morris Dance Group), a recording of Americana with the Essential Voices USA for National Public Radio, and performing as a guest artist with the Copland House Center of American Music for the 42nd Annual ASCAP awards.


Increasingly in demand as a collaborator, Jeanne-Minette Cilliers performs across the globe, including festivals and venues such as the Irving S. Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has collaborated with artists such as Frans Helmerson, Janos Starker, Joyce Castle, Lise Lindstrom, Håkan Hagegård, Lester Lynch, David Daniels and actor Zoe Caldwell, among others. Fostering a strong interest in new music, Ms. Cilliers has worked with prominent contemporary composers such as Dominick Argento, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, John Corigliano, Mark Adamo and Sven-David Sandström. Her recording of Mr. Argento’s Andreé Expedition (with Håkan Hagegård) will be released in the upcoming season. Currently, Ms. Cilliers is on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, while also music director for the Martina Arroyo Opera Foundation in New York City. She served as principal coach/pianist at Glimmerglass Opera Festival in 2009 and 2010, and at the Santa Fe Opera in 2011 and 2012.

Pianist Kelly Horsted has collaborated on many projects with AOP, including Herschel Garfein's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, directed by Mark Morris, Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, and Paula Kimper's operas The Bridge of San Louis Rey, and Patience and Sarah for the Lincoln Center Festival. Other recent projects have included Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied with Chelsea Opera, music directing several readings of student compositions at the Graduate Music Theater Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School, as well as performances with Opera Company of Brooklyn, Wintergreen Festival, New Jersey Opera Theater, Friends and Enemies of New Music, Quinn Art Cabaret and Five Words in a Line. Kelly has taught at Mannes College of Music, Hunter College, Five Towns College, Intermezzo, and Operaworks. He earned both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He enjoys an active career as an accompanist, music director, and vocal coach.

Study Copies for the 2011-12 C&V workshops used by Permission of G. Schirmer, Inc., Alfred Music Publishing, and Edward B. Marks Music Company.
Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fellows in the C&V program are supported by deeply appreciated funding from The New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund and Musical Arts Fund.
The C&V "Composer Chairs" are mentors who make themselves available to the composers and librettists for one-on-one discussions and feedback about their creative process.

John Corigliano continues to add to one of the richest and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last forty years. Corigliano's numerous scores have been performed and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world. The Metropolitan Opera commissioned his first opera. Click here for website. Complete bio:

Along with four symphonies, twelve concerti, over 150 art songs and song cycles, and forty chamber works, Daron Hagen is the composer of five highly-acclaimed, frequently-performed operas: Shining Brow, Bandanna, New York Stories, and Amelia as well as two one-act operas: Vera of Las Vegas and The Antient Concert. Complete bio:

Since 2004, John Musto has seen the production of four operas, most recently Later the Same Evening, at Glimmerglass in July 2011. The recording of his opera Volpone was nominated for a 2010 Grammy. John Musto studied at the Manhattan School of Music. He will be honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award this fall. Complete bio:

Tobias Picker studied at the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and Princeton University. His principal teachers were Charles Wuorinen, Elliott Carter and Milton Babbitt. The Santa Fe Opera gave the world premiere of Picker's first opera, Emmeline. His operas include Fantastic Mr. Fox, Thérèse Raquin, and An American Tragedy (commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera). Complete bio:

Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. Born in Helsinki, she studied at the Sibelius Academy with the pioneering modernist Paavo Heininen, where she founded the progressive "Ears Open" group. Complete bio:

Gene Scheer's work is noted for its scope and versatility, and his music and lyrics have gained enthusiastic admirers among a broad audience. Mr. Scheer has collaborated with the composer Jake Heggie on a number of different projects, including the critically acclaimed 2010 world premiere of Moby-Dick. Complete bio:

Stephen Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell (returning to Broadway this fall), Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children of Eden and the international hit, Wicked. His first opera Seance on a Wet Afternoon was developed by American Opera Projects. Complete bio:

Rosalie Sullivan

Mezzo-Soprano Rosalie Sullivan is known for committed and passionate performances in repertoire ranging from the baroque to the contemporary. A former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist and an alumna of the Merola program, she has performed at Carnegie Hall as the mezzo soloist in the Mozart Requiem and in the NY premiere of Stephen Edward's Ave Maria Mass with MidAmerica Productions. Recent concert appearances have focused on 21st century art song, including the premiere at Lincoln Center of David Jackson’s staged song cycle Model Love, songs of Paul Moravec with Trio Solisti for Opera America’s Salon Series, and performances of works by Mark Adamo, Stefania de Kenessey, Paula Kimper, Stephen Paulus, and Malcolm Peyton. Earlier this year, she recorded an album of songs by Gerald Busby with texts by poet and artist, Ellen Peckham. Ms. Sullivan has been the recipient of honors and awards from the A E Ventures Foundation, the Merola Opera Board, the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and the Santa Fe Opera. Ms. Sullivan is also a featured artist on New World Records’ Victor Herbert: Collected Songs with pianist, William Hicks.

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