Director- Vincent Connor
Conductor- Michael Sakir
Stage Manager - Fran Falcone
Costume Designer - Winfield Murdock
Hair & Make-Up Designer - Nicole Dupre
Scenic Designer - Grant Preisser
Chorus Master - Robin Stamper
Don Pasquale - Peter Strummer
Malatesta - Dennis Jesse
Norina - Bridgette Gan
Ernesto - David Margulis
One of America’s foremost character bass-baritones, Peter Strummer has earned a reputation for endowing his buffo characterizations with incredible depth and humanity. His signature portrayals have been described as “highly individual, each formidably different whether as Bartolo or Don Magnifico or Beckmesser or Pasquale.”
Engagements from recent seasons include the title role in Don Pasquale with Manitoba Opera; Reverend Baines in Elmer Gantry and Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Tulsa Opera; Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Fondazione del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème at Opera Lyra Ottawa and Opera Tampa; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Austin Lyric Opera, the Atlanta Opera, and Kentucky Opera; Pasha Selim in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Arizona Opera; Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri at Austin Lyric Opera; Daland in Der fliegende Holländer in concert with the Syracuse Symphony; Sacristan in Tosca at Seattle Opera; Sulpice in La fille du régiment at Palm Beach Opera; and Magnifico in La Cenerentola at Shreveport Opera. In concert, he performed the baritone solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Israel Symphony Orchestra and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
He has performed his signature roles of: Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia which he performed with Manitoba Opera, Nashville Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Carolina, Austin Lyric Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Opera Las Vegas, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and Calgary Opera; Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro which he has performed with Arizona Opera, Orlando Philharmonic, Palm Beach Opera, Baltimore Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Atlanta Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre; and Sacristan in Tosca which he has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Manitoba Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Baltimore Opera, Cleveland Opera, and Arizona Opera.
In addition he has seen performances of Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, the Badger in The Cunning Little Vixen and Alcalde in La forza del destino with San Francisco Opera; Seattle Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle covering Alberich; Rashid in Haroun, the title role of Don Pasquale, and Candy in Of Mice and Men with New York City Opera; the Major Domo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Dallas Opera; Daland in Der fliegende Holländer with Arizona Opera; Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Michigan Opera Theater; Don Pasquale with Opera Lyra Ottawa and Florentine Opera; Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with The Atlanta Opera; the title role in The Mikado at Opera New Jersey; as well as Alberich in Das Rheingold with New Orleans Opera.
Many of Mr. Strummer’s performances were recorded and broadcast throughout the world. His appearances with the Canadian Opera Company as Melitone in La forza del destino and as Sacristan in Tosca were aired on CBC Television, and his portrayal of Musikmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos with Florentine Opera of Milwaukee was made into a film, which was broadcast in the United States on PBS. His performance as Devilshoof in The Bohemian Girl with Central City Opera has been released on Voce Records.
Soprano Bridgette Gan, who has been praised as “outstanding” (Baltimore Examiner) and hailed by the Washington Post for her “gorgeous singing,” is quickly establishing herself as an exciting and upcoming lyric coloratura soprano in some of the country’s most renowned opera programs, stages, orchestras and competitions. Ms. Gan made a last minute acclaimed debut as Marie in Palm Beach Opera’s 2015 production of Le Fille du Régiment where critics called her performance “a tour de-force…vocally beautiful and consistent with a rich tone and sparkling high notes.” Shortly after, Bridgette debuted with the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC as Jackie Kennedy in a new reading of Chandler Carter's opera “Bobby” and also made her Santa Fe Opera mainstage debut creating the role of Lila in their acclaimed world premiere of "Cold Mountain" which will soon be released as a commercial recording on Pentatone. Highlights of the 2015-2016 upcoming season include her solo debut with the Toledo Symphony in their "Rodgers and Hammerstein celebration" concert, a return to Florida as a guest artist in Palm Beach Opera’s “Opera on the Waterfront” concert, a debut with the South Florida Symphony as a soloist in their "And the Tony Goes to" concert tour and her role debut as Zerbinetta in Palm Beach Opera’s spring 2016 production of “Ariadne auf Naxos.”
Ms. Gan was a resident artist with Palm Beach Opera from 2013-2015 where she covered Musetta in La Bohème, Yadwiga in the world premiere of Enemies, A Love Story, sang Stella and Olympia (cover) in Les contes d'Hoffmann and Morgana in PBO’s “Opera in One Hour” production of Alcina. Also in 2014, Ms. Gan made her debut with the U.S Marine Chamber Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and was a first year member of the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program where she performed Kitty in The Last Savage (Apprentice Scenes Showcase) and covered the lead role of Vlada (Madame Herz)/The Cook in The Impresario/Le Rossignol.
Previous seasons Ms. Gan has appeared with the Ash Lawn Opera Festival, the Pacific Opera Project, and Opera Theatre Saint Louis. Bridgette has also sung several roles with Central City Opera, including Venus and Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld, as well as Madeline/Isabel in The Face on the Barroom Floor, Frasquita in Carmen, Celie in Signor Deluso.
Ms. Gan completed her Masters in Opera Performance from the Maryland Opera Studio. While with the studio, Bridgette portrayed Konstanze in their spring 2011 production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, where The Washington Post called her “a gorgeous Konstanze…has the kind of lovely and flexible voice that can navigate intricate coloratura one minute and deliver a subtle put-down the next.” In the Studio’s Fall 2010 production of Florencia en el Amazonas, Bridgette sang the title character of Florencia, also to great acclaim, noted for her “gorgeous lyric singing” (The Washington Post.)
Bridgette has distinguished herself in numerous prestigious vocal competitions throughout the country. Most recently she was a Grant nominee for the 2015 Sara Tucker Award, a prize winner in the 2013 Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition and the 2013 Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition. Bridgette has won prizes from the Gerda Lissner Foundation (2nd Place, 2011), Central City Opera (Young Artist Award, 2010), the Licia Albanese-Pucinni Competion (Grant Award, 2010), Opera Index Vocal Competition (Career Award, 2009), the Philadelphia Orchestra Albert M. Greenfield Competition (2009 Grand Winner and debut with the Orchestra in 2010), the National Opera Association Voice Competition (1st place, 2009), and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, (2007) among others.
Tenor David Margulis is emerging as a tenor with a bright future on international opera stages. He has been called “radiant voiced,” and been praised for his “clear, pleasing tenor.” Of his recent portrayal of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte in his mainstage début at Arizona Opera, Opera Today raved: “David Margulis was an energetic Tamino who was only momentarily laid low by Pollard’s iconic monster. He sang with sumptuous lyrical sounds conveyed on a well-honed legato.” This fall, he joins the prestigious Internationalen Opernstudio at Opernhaus Zürich where he will demonstrate his refined dramatic sensibilities in a variety of operas including Jonathan Dove’s musical fairy tale The Enchanted Pig, Rossini’s colorful comic opera Le comte Ory, Haydn’s rarely seen “heroic-comic drama” Orlando paladino, Mozart’s hilarious comic singspiel Der Schauspieldirektor, and Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame.
In recent engagements, Margulis made his main stage débuts as Borsa (Duke cover) in Rigoletto at Opera Santa Barbara, and in the The Impresario/Le Rossignol double bill at Santa Fe Opera. Margulis also participated in the inaugural New York Festival Song at North Fork program in Orient, New York with Steven Blier, performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony for the opening night of the Phoenix Symphony’s season, and was seen at the Tucson Desert Song Festival performing on a program for the Ravinia Steans Music Institute on Tour with Kevin Murphy.
Additionally, Margulis has been engaged by some of the finest training programs in the country, where his assignments have included: Goro in Madama Butterfly and Léon in The Ghosts of Versailles at Wolf Trap Opera; Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Alfredo in La traviata, Steuermann in Die Fliegende Holländer, Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore, Basilio/Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Arizona Opera; Young Servant in Elektra at Des Moines Metro Opera; Selimo in Maometto II at Santa Fe Opera; Molqi in The Death of Klinghoffer at Opera Theatre St. Louis; and Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette at Seagle Music Colony. While a Fellow at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, he was privileged to work with some of the most respected coaches and conductors in the world, including Kevin Murphy, Malcolm Martineau, and James Conlon.
Mr. Margulis is earning a reputation as a champion of new works after being a part of numerous workshops of new pieces, including the workshop performance of Theodore Morrison’s first opera, Oscar, at The Santa Fe Opera and the workshop première of Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage at Arizona Opera. He has premièred several new works including the tenor solo in Robert Kyr’s Pacific Sanctus.
Mr. Margulis holds degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, The University of Washington, and Florida State University. David is a three time Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Baritone Dennis Jesse has performed in a wide range of styles from grand opera to operetta and musical theater. He has appeared in numerous productions with New Orleans Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opéra Louisane, Arizona Opera, Eugene Opera, Knoxville Opera, Nevada Opera, Sacramento Opera, Pensacola Opera, Opera Idaho, Da Corneto Opera, Triangle Opera Theater, Amarillo Opera, Metro Lyric Opera, El Paso Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Southwest, Ohio Light Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Opera Lenawee, National Opera Company and Jefferson Performing Arts Society. His operatic credits include the roles of Rigoletto, Scarpia, Amonasro, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, as well as lead roles in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, I Pagliacci, Madama Butterfly, Faust, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, La Bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Romèo et Juliette, Così fan tutte, L’Italiana in Algeri, L’Elisir d’amore, and The Crucible. An experienced concert performer, he has sung Elijah, Carmina Burana, Ein deutsches Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, The St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s The Creation and had a Carnegie Hall performance of Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Te Deum and Regina Coeli. Mr. Jesse joined the faculty of Louisiana State University in 2005 and is an Associate Professor of Voice and he is a member of the faculty of La Musica Lirica, an intensive opera program in Novafeltria, Italy.
Attend the opera, ballet, symphony or turn on the television in Central Florida and you are more than likely to see the work of Opera Orlando’s resident Hair and Makeup Designer Nicole Dupré. With over 20 productions under her belt, Nicole has turned her passion into a beautiful career. Her work has been viewed in every Opera Orlando production since 2014 and will again be featured in all three Dr. Phillips Center offerings in the 2016-17 season: “Don Pasquale,” “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” and “Don Giovanni.”
For the Orlando Ballet she set a new standard of excellence for their production of “Don Quixote” and then surpassed all expectations through her creature creations for “Beauty and the Beast.” The Orlando Philharmonic has and will continue to ask Nicole to prepare the performers for their semi-staged opera presentations including the 2016-17 offerings of “Candide” and “The Elixir of Love.”
For television and film she numbers NBC, WESH 2, Golf Channel and Odyssey among her clients throughout Florida. As a licensed Esthetician, Nicole approaches her actors, singers and newscasters with a deep understanding of their specific needs. She also takes responsibility for creating the next generation of makeup artists and will be forming a training/mentoring program through Opera Orlando.