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2022 Naughty or Nice?

Biographies

Mara Barrett

 

Mara Barrett is excited to be performing with Commonwealth Concert Opera. She is a proud graduate of the Theatre Program at The College of William and Mary.


Some of her performance credits include The Rocky Horror Show (Richmond Triangle Players), The Addams Family (Dogwood Dell), The Great Gatsby (Quill Theatre), Times Square Angel (Richmond Triangle Players), A Chorus Line (Richmond Triangle Players), Free Man of Color (The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company), Something’s Afoot (Swift Creek Mill), and Virginia Rep on Tour.

David Brown

 

David Brown studied Percussion at The Juilliard School of Music in New York City and maintains his love of performing. Before college, he won the National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist competition.


Mr. Brown spent 3 years touring with the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle corps from Concord, Ca. He has several works for Marimba that were published in the late 90’s. Singing is a recent passion and he strives for continued improvement in various styles.  He currently studies with tenor James Taylor.

Alan Chavez

 

Alan is a Richmond native and has been consistently performing since his debut at VCU in 2011, becoming a familiar face in opera around the Richmond area ever since.


Alan is very excited to finally begin his career as a Tenor, where he has already secured multiple performances for the remainder of the year, including Arnalta in Capitol Opera of Richmond’s recent production of L’incoronatione di Poppea as well as Manrico in Commonwealth Concert Opera’s upcoming production of Il Trovatore. He most recently appeared in the RVA Art Song Series presentations of Brahms' "Die schöne Magelone" and "Spooktacular!", and Commonwealth Concert Opera's "Scenes and Arias from Operas by Richard Wagner."

Erik DeMario

 

Erik DeMario is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he performed as Bob in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief and as the title role of Mozart's The Impresario.


He was also seen in VCU Opera's 2021 Scenes Gala playing Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Pish-Tush in The Mikado, and Nemorino in The Elixir of Love. As an actor, his performances have included Orsino in Twelfth Night, Ensemble/Mr. Marks (u/s) in Intimate Apparel, several roles in Firehouse Theatre's War in Pieces, and Orcus/Ronnie in She Kills Monsters.

In July 2022, he debuted with Capitol Opera of Richmond in their production of L'incoronazione di Poppea. Erik recently appeared in the RVA Art Song Series presentation of "Spooktacular!"

Barbara Johnson

 

Barbara Johnson is a senior at Atlee High School with plans to pursue a music degree following graduation.


A young artist with a passion for performance, she has been involved in community musical theater since 2016 and is eager to expand her operatic experience in her Commonwealth Concert Opera debut!

She has studied voice at Mosley Music with Ben DaCosta-Kaufman and is currently a student with James Taylor of James Taylor Studios.

Hannah Magnelli

 

Hannah Magnelli is rapidly establishing herself as one of opera's brightest young stars. She is equally comfortable in opera, musical theatre, the concert hall, and the recording studio.


She made her European debut singing Malika in Lakme with Bel Canto Tuscany in the Summer of 2019, and her New York debut as Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi with conductor, Richard Nechamkin.

She has worked and interned with many great musicians, such as Daniel Barenboim and musicians from the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Sebastian Weigle at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, pianist, Lauren Green, and musicians from the Staatskapelle Berlin. Further studies include Bel Canto in Tuscany in Greve in Chianti where she worked with acting coach, Dona D. Vaughn, Paolo Pecchioli, Elizabeth De Trejo, Will Crutchfield, and Danielle Orlando. She continues her studies with tenor James Taylor, and Giovanni Reggioli, vocal coach/conductor for the Washington National Opera.

James Myers

 

James Myers has sung with Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Opera Company and abroad in Europe with the Mittelsaechsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany.


His most recent performances were with Bel Cantanti Opera Company in their productions of Die Csardasfurstin and La Traviata.  He holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance and works as a professional singer, actor and voice teacher in the Washington D.C. area. His operatic repertoire includes roles such as Fritz/Pierrot in Die tote Stadt, Posa in Don Carlo by Verdi and Valentin in Faust.  As a performer in musical theatre, James has played the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Tommy Albright in Brigadoon by Lerner and Loewe and South Carolina Senator Edward Rutledge in 1776.

Catherine Pelletier

 

Catherine Pelletier has studied as a vocal performance major at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied with voice teacher Dr. Kenneth Wood and vocal coach Melanie Kohn Day. She is currently a voice student of James Taylor of James Taylor Studios.

She has performed in a variety of genres at a variety of venues, but her favorite has always been opera. Favorite past performances include Ms. Todd in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (partial role), Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte (partial role), Leonora in Donizetti’s La Favorita (partial role), Princess Ida in Gilbert & Sullivan's Princess Ida, and Nick Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Catherine sings as the alto section leader and soloist at First English Evangelical Lutheran Church. While she is primarily a classical singer, she  but teaches and performs many musical genres. She has taught voice and piano at School of Rock, Chester Performing Arts Studio, Brilliant Summer, and Music & Arts, where she currently teaches. She also works as assistant stage director and production stage manager for VCU’s award-winning opera department.

James Taylor

 

James Taylor, M.M. (Yale University), is an internationally celebrated performer. At home in opera, concert, recital, and musical theatre, he has appeared with numerous opera companies, symphonies, and theatres, including the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Carolina, Göttigen Handel Festspiele, Theatre Augsburg, and the Nederlandse Reisopera.

In his earlier roles as a baritone, Mr. Taylor performed the title roles in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La Boheme, as well as thirty-three others. As a tenor, his performances have included Siegmund in Die Walküre, the title role in Lohengrin and Parsifal, Don Jose in Carmen, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. His many concert performances include Handel's "Messiah", Bach's "Magnificat", Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mozart's "Requiem".

An avid recitalist, Mr. Taylor has presented programs in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Breda, and Groningen in the Netherlands, Munich, Augsburg, and Dusseldorf in Germany, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Vienna in Austria, and Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as well as several universities and colleges across the United States.  He has sung Schubert's "Winterreise", "Die schöne Müllerin", and "Schwanengesang", Schumann's "Dichterliebe", "Liederkreise" Op. 24 & Op. 39, Brahms' "Vier ernste Gesange", "Ziguenerlieder" and "Die schöne Magelone", and Wagner's "Wesendonk Lieder".

Leilani Fenick

Pianist

Leilani Fenick is a professional pianist, and vocal coach in the Richmond area. She has collaborated with professional vocalists, performing throughout the US, China, Italy, and Mexico.


Mrs. Fenick is actively involved in the Richmond professional theatres as a music director and pianist and also teaches in her private studio. Some of her most recent shows as music director include GABRIEL (Assistant Musical Director/Firehouse Theatre), KISS ME, KATE (Ft. Lee), THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG (Ft. Lee), PASSING STRANGE (Firehouse), DAMES AT SEA (Swift Creek Mill), GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL (Quill Theatre), LEGALLY BLONDE (VCU), and TOP OF BRAVERY (Quill).

Many of her shows have been nominated by the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle for several awards including Best Musical and Best Musical Director and was awarded Best Musical Director for her work in RENT (Firehouse).

Mrs. Fenick holds a Master's degree in Piano Performance from VCU. She studied with Dr. Sonia Vlahcevic and Prof. Melanie Day.

Reese Williams

Narrator

Reese Williams has been a voice actor for over 25 years. She enjoys this work because it allows her to be obnoxiously animated, yet socially acceptable.


She’s lent her talent to live radio, animation, mobile apps, voicemails, commercials, corporate videos and backup singing vocals. She’s Head of Business Development for In Your Ear Studios in Richmond, so now she gets to run her mouth about her beloved audio industry for a living. She hosts the live stream concert series Shockoe Sessions Live, and its companion podcast, "This Room Sounds Great." She also produces and hosts her own podcast titled "Spying on Humanity."

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