Juilliard Opera Season Concludes with Janacek's "Katya Kabanova," Featuring Juilliard Singers and the Juilliard Orchestra, on April 21, 23, and 25, 2017


Conducted by Anne Manson and Directed by Stephen Wadsworth

Start Date

Friday, March 31, 2017

Press Release Images

Anne Manson (photo by Dario Acosta)
Anne Manson (photo by Dario Acosta)
Stephen Wadsworth (photo by Rosalie O'Connor)
Stephen Wadsworth (photo by Rosalie O'Connor)


NEW YORK –– Juilliard Opera’s season concludes with Leos Janáček’s Katya Kabanova on April 21, 23, and 25, 2017, conducted by Anne Manson and directed by Juilliard faculty member Stephen Wadsworth, the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and director of the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard. The opera features singers from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts with the Juilliard Orchestra. Janáček’s three-act opera Katya Kabanova had its premiere at the National Theatre in Brno, the Czech Republic, on November 23, 1921. The libretto is by the composer after Vincenc Červinka’s translation of Alexander Ostrovsky’s 1859 Russian play The Storm. The opera will be performed in English with a translation from the original Czech by Yveta Synek Graff and Robert T. Jones. Ms. Manson also conducted Juilliard Opera’s production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in 2013.

Performances take place on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 7:30pm; Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 2pm; and Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 7:30pm in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

The cast of Katya Kabanova, in order of vocal appearance, includes tenor Sam Levine (Kudrjáš), soprano María Fernanda Brea (Glaša), bass Alex Rosen (Savël Prokofievic Dikoj), tenor Gerard Schneider (Boris Grigorjevič), mezzo-soprano Nicole Thomas (Fekluša), mezzo-soprano Sara Couden (Marfa Ignatěvna Kabanova) (Kabanicha), tenor Miles Mykkanen (Tichon Ivanyč Kabanov), soprano Felicia Moore (Katya Kabanova), mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey (Varvara), baritone Xiaomeng Zhang (Kuligin), Kady Evanyshyn (A Woman), and Chance Jonas-O’Toole (Passerby).

Scenic design is Charlie Corcoran, costume design is by Vita Tzykun, and lighting design is by Nicole Pearce. Wig and makeup designer is Anne Ford-Coates.

Tickets for Juilliard Opera productions are $30 and are available at events.juilliard.edu or at the Juilliard Box Office. Free tickets are available for Juilliard students; non-Juilliard students with valid ID may purchase tickets for $15, only at the Juilliard Box Office.

This performance is part of Juilliard Opera, a program dedicated to the education and training of future generations of singers at Juilliard. Juilliard Opera is supported by the vision and generous lead funding of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture and its chairman, Dr. Haruhisa Handa.

Meet the Artists

Anne Manson (Conductor)

Anne Manson has led opera performances in theaters around the globe, including the Salzburg Festival, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Canadian Opera Company, New York City Opera, and Washington National Opera, as well as with opera companies in San Francisco, Minnesota, and Portland. She has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Residentie Orchestra of The Hague, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and London Philharmonic. Ms. Manson conducted the world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s Orphée with the Portland Opera. She has been music director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (M.C.O.) since 2008. Among her recordings with M.C.O. are Troubadour and the Nightingale with soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and the upcoming Baroque concertos with percussionist Evelyn Glennie. She makes her third appearance at the Spoleto Festival this summer with a concert opening the festival and is also on the podium for the San Francisco Opera’s Schwabacher Summer Concerts series.

Stephen Wadsworth (Director)

Stephen Wadsworth is the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and director of the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard and head of dramatic studies in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He has directed opera at the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Netherlands Opera, Edinburgh Festival, San Francisco Opera, and many others, and plays on and off Broadway, in London’s West End, and in U.S. regional theater. He wrote A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein and is the author of Marivaux: Three Plays and the upcoming Moliere/Wadsworth: Don Juan (published by Smith and Kraus). He recently translated and directed the first two Beaumarchais Figaro plays—Le Barbier de Séville and Le Mariage de Figaro. He was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and is creative advisor for the Sundance Institute Theatre Program.

María Fernanda Brea (Glaša)

Soprano María Fernanda Brea is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, and is pursuing her MM degree at Juilliard, where she studies with Edith Bers. She is the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. She received her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at the Manhattan School of Music where she was awarded the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship. Ms. Brea has sung Marie in La Fille du Régiment with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, and Lisa in Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2016, she won first prize in the New York Lyric Opera Competition. Upcoming engagements include a return this summer to Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist.

Sara Couden (Kabanicha)

Mezzo-soprano Sara Couden, from Walnut Creek, Calif., is currently in the Met Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development program. She graduated with a MM degree from the San Francisco Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from Yale's Institute of Sacred Music. Ms. Couden’s performance highlights include the Marlboro Music Festival, Teresa in the Met+Juilliard production of La Sonnambula, Penelope in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with West Edge Opera, Vivaldi's Dixit Dominus with Simon Carrington, the St. John Passion with Masaaki Suzuki, Honegger's King David with Marguerite Brooks at Yale, the Third Lady in The Magic Flute at Music Academy of the West, Lob des Hohen Verstandes and Urlicht with the Music Academy Festival Orchestra under James Gaffigan, alto soloist in Dvořák's Stabat Mater with Helmuth Rilling, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Masaaki Suzuki, and Baba in Menotti’s The Medium at the San Francisco Conservatory.

Samantha Hankey (Varvara)

Mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, from Marshfield, Mass, is pursuing her MM degree at Juilliard, where she studies with Edith Wiens. She is the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Performances this season include the title role in Handel’s Agrippina, Juilliard Songfest, and a return to Alice Tully Hall as a winner of the Vocal Arts Honor’s Recital. This summer she will be an artist in the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program where she will sing the title role in La Cenerentola. She has previously appeared at Juilliard as Diana and Diana in Giove (La Calisto) and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro); and at the Aspen Music Festival as Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Mercédès (Carmen). Her awards and honors include a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, and prizes from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, and Opera Index. Ms. Hankey is a winner in the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Sam Levine (Kudrjáš)

Tenor Sam Levine is a second-year candidate for an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at Juilliard, where he studies with Robert C. White Jr. Highlights last season at Juilliard include Le Mari (Les mamelles de Tirésias), First Armed Guard (Die Zauberflöte), and NYFOS@Juilliard. Recent professional highlights include his debut at Bard SummerScape in Mascagni’s Iris, the premiere of Paterson's Three Way at Nashville Opera, Narraboth in Salome with Virginia Opera, and Carmen, Don Giovanni, and MacMillan's Clemency with Boston Lyric Opera. Upcoming are debuts at Opera Philadelphia, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Houston Symphony. Mr. Levine is a graduate of the training programs of the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Tanglewood Music Center. At Juilliard, he holds the Dr. Edmond Lipton Scholarship, the Mary Anna Kruty Family Scholarship, and receives support from the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Felicia Moore (Katya Kabanova)

American soprano Felicia Moore is currently an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at Juilliard studying with Edith Wiens. She recently covered Alice Ford in Falstaff at the Des Moines Metro Opera. In 2014 and 2015, she was a Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, performing Harriet Mosher in Emmeline and covering the title role, as well as covering Madame Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites. Upcoming performances include the 2017 Schwabacher Summer Concert of the Merola Opera Program as Agathe in Der Freischütz. Ms. Moore was a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013 and 2016 and was also awarded the George London Award from the George London Foundation in 2013. She is from Princeton, N.J. Ms. Moore is the recipient of a Jerome L. Greene Fellowship and receives support from the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Miles Mykkanen (Tichon Ivanyč Kabanov)

Tenor Miles Mykkanen received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard and continues in the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program studying with Cynthia Hoffmann. Highlights of the current season include Candide in Bernstein’s Candide with the Orlando Philharmonic and Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Columbus. Concert appearances include Handel’s Messiah, Mozart‘s Requiem, and New York Festival of Song with Steven Blier. Mr. Mykkanen celebrated his Carnegie Hall recital debut last year and has performed with the New World Symphony, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, National Symphony Orchestra, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He appeared on American Voices With Renée Fleming, which was aired as part of PBS’s Great Performances series. Mr. Mykkanen was a winner of the 2016 Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital and the Joseph W. Polisi Prize for exemplifying the school’s values of the artist as citizen. He holds the Samuel L. and Lillian G. Tedlow Scholarship, the Barbara Rogers Agosin Scholarship, a Juilliard Scholarship, and receives support from the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Alex Rosen (Savël Prokofievic Dikoj)

Bass Alex Rosen is a native of La Cañada, Calif., and a first-year candidate for the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at Juilliard, where he studies with Edith Wiens. Prior to his arrival in New York, he was twice a studio artist with Wolf Trap Opera where he sang Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro (2015) and Curio in Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2014). Next season, he will be a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Portland Baroque Orchestra and Houston Symphony Orchestra. He holds the Phyllis Joan Hoyland Memorial Scholarship in Voice, a Juilliard Scholarship and receives support from the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Gerard Schneider (Boris Grigorjevič)

Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider is a candidate in the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard, where he studies with Edith Wiens. He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Mozarteum, and the National Opera Studio where he was sponsored by the Royal Opera House in London. His recent credits include: Osaka in Mascagni’s Iris at Bard SummerScape, the title role in Idomeneo at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the title role in La Clemenza di Tito at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze and in Salzburg, and the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem at Canterbury Cathedral. Upcoming are Dimitri in Alfano's Risurrezione at the Wexford Festival, the tenor soloist in Rossini's Stabat Mater, and a concert series at the Kyoto Summer Music Festival in Japan. He holds the George Gangwere Scholarship, the Cecelia Entner Scholarship and receives support from the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Nicole Thomas (Fekluša)

Nicole Thomas is a mezzo-soprano from Las Vegas and is currently working toward her MM degree at Juilliard, where she studies with. Edith Bers. She recently earned her BM degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During the summer of 2015 she participated in Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy. She won the Nevada District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the recipient of an encouragement award at the Rocky Mountain Regional finals in both 2015 and 2016. She will spend the summer of 2017 in Vienna, Va., as a studio artist for Wolf Trap Opera. Recent operatic roles include Musetta in La bohème and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. She holds the Risë Stevens Scholarship, the Viola Peters Scholarship, and the Regina Sarfaty Rickless and Miriam Sarfaty Babin Voice Scholarship.

Xiaomeng Zhang (Kuligin)

Baritone Xiaomeng Zhang is a Graduate Diploma student from Wenzhou, China, studying with Marlena Malas. Past performances include Tancredi in Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda at Carnegie Hall, and Minskman in Jonathan Dove’s  Flight, Giove in La Calisto, and Presto in Les mamelles de Tirésias at Juilliard. He has also sung the title role in Don Giovanni at the Narnia Festival, Schaunard in La bohème at the Chautauqua Festival, Licinio in Aureliano in Palmira and Fernando in Fidelio at the Caramoor Festival, Rodomonte in Orlando paladino, and Macduff in Macbeth at the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Zhang received second place from Metropolitan Opera National Council in the New England Region. He sings  the title role in Gianni Schicchi at Crested Butte this summer and he will join the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard next fall. He holds the Helen Marshall Woodward Scholarship in Voice, the David Clayson Scholarship in Voice, the John W. Drye, Jr. Memorial Scholarship and receives support from the Anna Schoen-René Fund.

Nicole Pearce (Lighting Designer)

Nicole Pearce has previously designed lighting for Cargo (Mark Morris Dance Group), Das Rheingold (Minnesota Opera), and The Magic Flute (set design, City Opera Education). She has worked extensively with choreographers including Mark Morris, Jessica Lang, Aszure Barton, Robert Battle, Andrea Miller, John Heginbotham, Brian Brooks, Alexander Ekman, Kyle Abraham, and Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa; and dance companies including American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, Finnish National Opera, Gallim, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Nederlands Dance Theater. She has also worked with directors including Leigh Silverman, Trip Cullman, Pam MacKinnon, Maria Mileaf, Jade King Carroll, and Ed Sylvanus Iskandar; and at the Cherry Lane Theater, The Play Company, Labyrinth Theater Company, Long Wharf Theater, Hartford Stage, Philadelphia Theater Company, and 2 River Theater. (nicolepearcedesign.com)

Victoria “Vita” Tzykun (Costume Designer)

Victoria “Vita” Tzykun has designed sets, and costumes, for companies including Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, Den Norske Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Wexford Opera Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, and Atlanta Opera, among others. Her film and television credits include art direction for Lady Gaga’s ABC Thanksgiving Special and production design for several award-winning films. Upcoming engagements include set design for the world premiere of the (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs at Santa Fe Opera and set and costume design for Faust at Chicago Lyric Opera. In 2016, Ms. Tzykun was nominated for best design by the International Opera Awards. She is a founding member of GLMMR – a New York-based interdisciplinary art collective that fuses the worlds of fine art, audiovisual technology, and live performance.

Charlie Corcoran (Scenic Designer)

Charlie Corcoran’s opera credits include Fidelio (Santa Fe Opera), Così fan tutte (Met+Juilliard), The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni (Juilliard), L’Opera Seria (Wolftrap), and The Magic Flute and The Bartered Bride (Music Academy of the West). His upcoming projects include The Turn of the Screw (Opera Columbus). Ms. Corcoran’s theater credits in New York include Shining City, The Emperor Jones, The Weir (Irish Repertory Theatre), Billy & Ray (Vineyard), The Last Smoker in America (Westside Theatre), A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane), and Exits and Entrances (Primary Stages). For regional theater he has designed A Comedy of Tenors (Outer Critics Circle Award for the Cleveland Playhouse/McCarter Theatre), Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (Goodman Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Two River Theater), Without Walls (Center Theatre Group), Bad Jews (Ensemble Theatre Company/English Theatre of Frankfurt). Work on television includes Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Mozart in the Jungle, and Madam Secretary.

Anne Ford-Coates (Wig and Makeup Designer)

Wig and makeup designer Anne Ford-Coates has created makeup designs on Broadway for A Bronx Tale, On Your Feet!, On the Twentieth Century, Disaster!, and It Shoulda Been You. Selected recent hair and makeup designs include Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Dead Man Walking, and Appomattox for Washington National Opera; The Wolves for Playwrights Realm; Silent Night for Atlanta Opera; Dog Days for the Prototype Festival; The Sandbox, Drowning, and Funnyhouse of a Negro for Signature Theater; Prince of Broadway for Japan’s Umeda Arts Theater; Candide, Cato in Utica, and Lost in the Stars for Glimmerglass Opera; and The House Taken Over for National Sawdust. Upcoming are makeup design for Frozen the Musical on Broadway, hair and makeup design for Fellow Travelers at the Prototype Festival, The Guilty Mother for Onsite Opera, and Madama Butterfly for Washington National Opera. She is co-director of Elsen Associates, Inc.

About the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard

Brian Zeger, Artistic Director

One of America’s most prestigious programs for educating singers, Juilliard’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts offers young artists programs tailored to their talents and needs. From bachelor and master of music degrees to an advanced Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program, Juilliard provides frequent performance opportunities, featuring singers in its own recital halls, on Lincoln Center’s stages, and around New York City. Juilliard Opera has presented numerous premieres of new operas as well as works from the standard repertoire.

Juilliard graduates may be heard in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world; diverse alumni artists include well-known performers such as Simon Estes, Renée Fleming, Leontyne Price, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, and Shirley Verrett. Recent alumni include Paul Appleby, Sasha Cooke, Isabel Leonard, Erin Morley, Susanna Phillips, and Julia Bullock.

Widely recognized as one of today’s leading collaborative pianists, Juilliard alumnus Brian Zeger has performed with many of the world’s greatest singers including Marilyn Horne, Deborah Voigt, Anna Netrebko, Susan Graham, René Pape, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade, Piotr Beczala, Bryn Terfel, Joyce DiDonato, Denyce Graves, and Adrianne Pieczonka in an extensive concert career that has taken him to the premier concert halls throughout the world. He is the artistic director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School, and formerly the executive director of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. For more information about Mr. Zeger’s activities, please visit his website, brianzeger.com.

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Friday, April 21, 2017, 7:30pm

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 2pm

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 7:30pm

Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater


Katya Kabanova

Composer: Leos Janáček

Librettist: Leos Janáček after Vincenc Červinka

Conductor: Anne Manson

Director: Stephen Wadsworth

Scenic Designer: Charlie Corcoran

Costume Designer: Vita Tzykun

Light Designer: Nicole Pearce

Wig and Make-up Designer: Anne Ford-Coates


Featuring Juilliard Singers and the Juilliard Orchestra

English translation by Yveta Synek Graff and Robert T. Jones


The Cast (in order of vocal appearance):


Kudrjáš: Sam Levine (tenor)

Glaša: María Fernanda Brea (soprano)

Savël Prokofievic Dikoj: Alex Rosen (bass)

Boris Grigorjevič: Gerard Schneider (tenor)

Fekluša: Nicole Thomas (mezzo-soprano)

Marfa Ignatěvna Kabanova (Kabanicha): Sara Couden (mezzo-soprano)

Tichon Ivanyč Kabanov: Miles Mykkanen (tenor)

Katya Kabanova: Felicia Moore (soprano)

Varvara: Samantha Hankey (mezzo-soprano)

Kuligin: Xiaomeng Zhang (baritone)

A Woman: Kady Evanyshyn

Passerby: Chance Jonas-O’Toole