November 10th and 12th 7:30pm Artist Talk 8:00 pm Concert
The International Brazilian Opera Company (IBOC) is pleased to present a concert featuring music from Act One of The Seventh Seal – Opera, a new work by composer João MacDowell with text by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name.
Cast – in order of appearance:
Olga Bakali – as Death
Olga Bakali was born in Athens Greece where she graduated from the Greek Conservatory of Music in both piano and voice with honors.
She is a recipient of various awards including Prize-scholarship from the Vinas competition in Barcelona Spain, Fulbright Grant, the Simegiatos Award for the Performing arts, Franco Gentilesca Award and also grants and scholarships from the European Union that enabled her to study with distinguished artists as Kostas Paskalis, Luigi Alva, Ileana Cotrubas and others. She represented Greece as a young Wagnerian voice at the competition held annually in Bayreuth.
She has sang with the National Opera of Greece, the Athens Megaron Concert Hall, the Athens International Festival, the New Jersey State Opera, Regina Opera, Opera of the Hamptons, Opera Thessaloniki, Harrisburg Opera, and with Opera Brasil that enabled her to sing in 7 different capitals of Brasil replacing Aprile Millo at the opera Lo Schiavo of C.Gomes. Also she has sung with famous orchestras as the Dresden Philharmonic, and with stellar colleagues as Giuseppe Giacomini, Hildergard Behrens, Leo Nucci, Alain Fondary, and others. At 2012 she was called to substitute an ill soprano during the dress rehearsal of Nabucco with the great Leo Nucci as Nabucco in the Festival of La Coruna Spain, a thing that brought her, the attention and admiration of the public and her colleagues since she was called literally while seated at the audience. She has collaborated with conductors as Eugene Kohn, Ralf Weikert, Miltiades Carides, Lukas Karytinos Stefanos Tsialis and others. The current season she sang in a concert with the Opera Dolce in Manhattan with the music of Carlos Gomes and Richard Wagner with rave reviews. She also has concerts in Athens Greece and Corfu. Next year she is debuting the part of Cassandra in Les Troyens of Berlioz.
Nelson Ebo – as The Knight Antonius Block
Tenor Nelson Ebo, born in Luanda, Angola has sung in Africa, Europe, and the Americas engaging a repertoire ranging from Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, to Wagner. While studying and singing in Italy, Germany, Spain and the US, Nelson has sung for renowned artists including Maestro Placido Domingo, Mariella Devia, Raina Kabaivanska, Marcello Giordani, and Marilyn Horne. Nelson Ebo has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, Opera North and most recently was an invited participant in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Capetown, South Africa. This season Nelson Ebo will make his Italian house debuts as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma in Treviso and Ferrara, Italy, as well as, debuting the role of Knight Antonius Block in The Seventh Seal with the International Brazilian Opera Company in New York City.
Melanie Ashkar – as the Squire Jons
Mezzo-soprano Melanie Ashkar appears this season with OperaRox as Bradamante in Alcina, after having spent her summer as a Young Artist with the Opera Company of Middlebury as well as an Apprentice Artist with Caramoor. Last season she sang Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia with Utopia Opera, and Jo in Little Women with Mannes Opera. In seasons prior she has portrayed La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Zita (Gianni Schicchi) and Older Woman (Flight), all with Mannes Opera, as well as the Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Cendrillon (Cendrillon), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), and Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice). Melanie has also been presented in concert with the Mannes Festival, Opera Singers Initiative and Opera on Tap, among others. Melanie holds an MM in Voice from Mannes College, a BA in Music and Linguistics from the University of Virginia and an MS in Linguistics from Georgetown University. Please visit Melanie’s website at www.melanieashkar.com.
Heejae Kim – as the Actor Jof
Tenor Heejae Kim is a native of Seoul, Korea. In 2015-16 season, Mr. Kim has performed operatic roles such as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola with New York City Opera and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Brooklyn. And also he has performed Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi in New York area. And, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas, Alfredo in La Traviata, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas and Tito in La clemenza di Tito with Boston University, as well as Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Alfredo in La Traviata, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Edmondo in Manon Lescaut, Incredibile in Andrea Chénier with Seoul Metropolitan Opera and Seoul area theaters. He holds Bachelor of Music from Seoul National University. And he will also receive Master’s degree in Mannes school of music.
Alexandra Filipe – as the Actress Mia
Alexandra Filipe is a Portuguese-Brazilian Soprano and has been dedicating her career in NYC to the premier of new works. She performed with IBOC in the operas “Cries and Whispers” by João MacDowell and “Anita” by Luigi Porto. She also premiered “Something to live for” written by Ronnie Reshef, at the JCC Manhattan and a cycle of songs by Luigi Porto. She has performed also with the New York Lyric Opera, the Solo Nova Arts Festival, the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival and the Lumiphonic Creature choir project in different venues throughout the city. She was a finalist of the Arkadi Foundation Competition in NYC and winner of NATS competition in South Carolina. She is also Member of the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. In her homeland, Portugal, she has performed in several modern premieres of Portuguese Baroque Music with Sintra Estúdio de Ópera participating in the International Festival of Music and Dance in Sintra, several times. Her Debut was in Einstein´s Dreams, by the New York composer Joshua Rosenblum, which had its world premiere in Portugal in 2006. Alexandra is a voice teacher at the New York Conservatory of Music and founder of the Vocal Alchemy Studio. She also teaches Yoga and is certified in Harmonyum Healing.
Shana Grossman – as the Witch Tyan
Daniel Klein – as the Monk Raval
Imaginative, adventurous, and occasionally downright terrifying, audiences have found in Bass-Baritone, Daniel Klein an exciting example of versatility. Last fall he created the title role Frank London’s new opera Hatuey: A Memory of Fire at the Sundance Theater Lab, he debuted with LoftOpera this fall as Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia of which the New York Times said he was ‘an unusually dark and steely Bartolo.’ This past summer he joined the Altamura/Roundtop Festival as Geronimo in Il Matrimonio Segreto, and returned to Opera Company of Middlebury as Ping in Turandot where he has performed Marcello in La bohème, Rambaldo in La Rondine and Mustafà in The Italian Girl in Algiers (L’Italiana in Algeri). Other recent credits include the Monterone in Annapolis Opera’s Rigoletto, the hunchbacked villain as Tonio in Opera Providence’s Pagliacci, Michele in Il Tabarro with North Shore Music Festival and as the Recluse in Frank London’s Talmudic-Klezmer Oratorio A night in the Old Marketplace in Sao Paulo, Brazil and as Emile de Becque in South Pacific with Summer Theatre of New Canaan. Upcoming performances include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the with the Garden State Philharmonic and the role of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with North Shore Music Festival. Imaginative, adventurous, and occasionally downright terrifying, audiences have found in Bass-Baritone, Daniel Klein an exciting example of versatility. Last fall he created the title role Frank London’s new opera Hatuey: A Memory of Fire at the Sundance Theater Lab, he debuted with LoftOpera this fall as Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia of which the New York Times said he was ‘an unusually dark and steely Bartolo.’ This past summer he joined the Altamura/Roundtop Festival as Geronimo in Il Matrimonio Segreto, and returned to Opera Company of Middlebury as Ping in Turandot where he has performed Marcello in La bohème, Rambaldo in La Rondine and Mustafà in The Italian Girl in Algiers (L’Italiana in Algeri). Other recent credits include the Monterone in Annapolis Opera’s Rigoletto, the hunchbacked villain as Tonio in Opera Providence’s Pagliacci, Michele in Il Tabarro with North Shore Music Festival and as the Recluse in Frank London’s Talmudic-Klezmer Oratorio A night in the Old Marketplace in Sao Paulo, Brazil and as Emile de Becque in South Pacific with Summer Theatre of New Canaan. Upcoming performances Handel’s Messiah and the role of Hyde in the New York Premier of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players this February with The Little Opera Theater of New York.
Saffron Chung – Pianist
A native of Korea, Saffron Y. Chung considers New York City her home. She received her BM from Oberlin College, where she was the first recipient of a double major in Piano Performance and Vocal Accompanying. She also has an MM in Accompanying from University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. She has been an assistant conductor of opera companies such as Chautauqua Opera, El Paso Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Madison Opera, New York City Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Utah Festival Opera Company. No stranger to the world of academia and education, Saffron is a former Adjunct Faculty in Accompanying at William Paterson State University, and a former staff accompanist at Harlem Boys Choir, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes School of Music. She recently performed in Paris, France, as a guest artist for the Atelier Concert Series. Saffron currently resides in New York City where she works as coach/accompanist in Metropolitan area.
Uka Gameiro – Percussion
Uka Gameiro is originally from Recife (Brazil), as a drummer and percussionist, he has worked with music for 20 years and has done a lot of projects, worked in bands and different artists in Recife, Canada (Ontario) and now NYC. In Canada, he performed in concert bands, stage bands and soundtracks for theater acts. Played at some experimental music with Siba ending up in a percussion gig with Silverio Pessoa and Siba. He has played instrumentals jazz gigs in the nineties. He has recorded more than 11 CDs with different artists and bands, also recorded a DVD on December 2008. He has performed at the Rock In Rio Festival with his own band called Expresso 4 oito in 2001. He has studied at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and the Collective in New York City, private instruction with Jonathan Mover and Billy Ward. Loves to work on different timbres, experimental music, improvisation, rock, Brazilian rhythms etc. Currently, He teaches privately and performs with different projects in NYC. He is the author of the upcoming book “Brazilian Pernambuco Rhythms – Implied Beats”. In 2013 and 2014 a series of articles were published at Modern Drummer Magazine and one at a Percussive Arts Society Publication. Also, he has a column at Drumhead Magazine (Brazilian Beats) where he has been writing since 2015 about Brazilian rhythms.
Adrianna Mateo – Violin and Mandolin
Adrianna Mateo is a singer, songwriter, contemporary classical solo violinist, actress, and orchestral conductor. Hailed as a “rising artist” by The New York Times and “triumphant” by TimeOut NY, she has electrified audiences as a singer on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert; as a solo violinist at the Bang on a Can Marathon, Metropolitan Museum of Art, TimesCenter, and the New York Waldorf-Astoria’s Grand Ballroom; as an actress on the Metropolitan Opera stage in Manon Lescaut; and as a conductor at Merkin Concert Hall through Face the Music.
Adrianna is comfortable at the helm of large creative projects. Most recently, she produced, art-directed, and modeled in a 15-person crew photo shoot; successfully Kickstarted her debut album with the support of composers including David Lang, Nico Muhly, and Bora Yoon; violinists Tim Fain (Philip Glass), Sean Mackin (Yellowcard), and Chrysanthe Tan (Ariana Grande); and curated and performed a 3-hour show of her original music, classical standards and multiple contemporary classical commissions, music from the films Amélie and The Triplets of Belleville, and pop arrangements of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars on the Metropolitan Museum of Art balcony.
Adrianna is currently recording her debut album. While her primary focus is performing and recording her own music, she continues into her seventh year of composer collaborations, developing and premiering solo violin works specifically written for her by Evan Fein, Whitney George, Mitchell McCarthy, and Chrysanthe Tan. www.adriannamateo.com
Nelly Rocha – Violoncello
Cellist Nelly Rocha has performed recitals at the China Conservatory of Music, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Universal Forum of Cultures. Nelly has performed with National Lyric Opera, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Miami Symphony. Nelly can be heard in the SONY recording Mi Alma Mexicana with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and has performed in the Late Night Show with David Letterman. Nelly toured the US with the musical Porgy and Bess and Europe with the Verbier Festival Orchestra.
Clyde Daley – Trumpet
Clyde Daley is a freelance trumpeter based in the NYC metropolitan area. He has performed at many of New York’s esteemed venues, such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Symphony Space, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, The Beacon Theater, Riverside Church, The Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, Trinity Church Wall Street, and more. He plays a variety of styles, including orchestral, opera, jazz, funk, rock, musical theater, and more. He attended CUNY Queens College for trumpet performance and grew up in NYC.
Jonathan Arak – Stage Director
Jonathan Arak Directed the World Premiere of TRAVELS with Opera Roanoke, as well as their production of SWEENEY TODD. Mr. Arak also directed the European Premiere of Neil Simon’s BILOXI BLUES (in Limerick, Ireland). In New York he helmed JOHNNY PYE AND THE FOOLKILLER with The Harold Prince Musical Theatre Program. At The Warner Center for the Performing Arts, in Ohio, he directed AMADEUS, AS IS, AMERICAN BUFFALO, and COMPANY. He spent two seasons in Los Angeles where he worked on the sets of FRASIER, THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, NEWSRADIO, and HOME IMPROVEMENT. Prior to his time on the west coast he assisted Harold Prince for six years, on such productions as New York City Opera’s DON GIOVANNI, KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN, and the World Premiere of GRANDCHILD OF KINGS. He graduated Oberlin College with Honors in Theatre and is a recipient of a Revson Foundation Directing Fellowship.
Bengt Gomér – Dramaturge & Artistic Consultant
Bengt Gomér is one of Scandinavia’s top scenographers, working with opera, dance, theatre, and art projects. He studied History of art and philosophy at Lund University, and since 1990, he works with set and light design at theaters throughout Europe. Bengt Gomér made his debut as director with Puccini’s opera Turandot at Dalhalla Opera in Sweden the summer 2015. As a scenographer, he regularly works together with directors including Olivier Tambosi (Lucia di Lammermoor, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and La Traviata at Landestheater Linz, Die Fledermaus at the Music Theatre in Dortmund, Othello at the Music Theatre in Saarbrücken as well as Don Giovanni at Nationaltheater Zagreb), Staffan Aspegren (The Fallen Angels at the National Theatre in Bergen, Amadeus at Stadsteatern in Stockholm, and Die Fledermaus at the Gothenburg Opera), Åsa Melldahl (The Full Monty at Stadsteatern in Gothenburg, Sport&Fritid at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, Death and the Maiden at Malmö Opera, and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at Stadsteatern in Uppsala), Nils Spangenberg (Der Kaiser des Atlantis at Vasan in Stockholm, Die Zauberflöte at Confidencen and Gävle Theatre, Il Molinari and Four Nights of Dream at the International Academy of Vadstena), and Mellika Melouani Melani (Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Rigoletto, Handke’s Publikumsbeschimpfung, Breidahl and Frische’s The Bank of Ebberöd, Jelinek’s Ulrika Maria Stuart and Khemiri’s The Hundred We Are).
Néviton Barros – Conductor
Néviton Barros, Brazilian conductor, arranger, singer and pianist, started his musical journey at age 12, when he received a Handel’s Messiah rNéviton Barros, Brazilian conductor, arranger, singer and pianist, started his musical journey at age 12, when he received a Handel’s Messiah recording as a gift. Since then, he decided that Music was his life. He learned how to read Music by himself, and, at age 15, he was accepted at the Escola de Música de Brasília, testing into the fourth level. He was a singer at the Madrigal de Brasília from 1994 to 2000. While a member, the group got important awards in International Festivals. He started conducting at the age of 16, in his Church. He was Assistant Director of the Coro Sinfônico Comunitàrio da UnB from 1998 to 2002, and he prepared this Chorus for symphonic pieces as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Stravinsky’s Symphony of the Psalms, Brahms’ German Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. John’s Passion and B minor Mass, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor. A student of Conducting at Universidade de Brasília from 1996 to 2002, Mr Barros received his Master’s in Conducting at Hunter College (CUNY-NYC) in 2016. Néviton Barros responded as IBOC’s Music Director between 2014 and 2015, when he was responsible for the Brazilian Chorus of New York and conducted the world première of Cries & Whispers, an opera by João MacDowell inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film of the same name.
Flavia Correia – Assistant Director and First Soprano to the Brazilian Chorus – IBOC Casting Committee
Flávia Correia was born in São Luís-MA,Brazil, in a family of musicians. She started to study piano at the age of eight at Music School of Maranhão and In 2011 she graduated in Music at”Universidade Federal do Maranhão”.Flávia also studied drums, sang in choirs and participated in many concerts as a soloist. In 1994, she sang in Children’s Choir in Arthur Azevedo Theater in São Luís with the famous sopranos Aprile Millo and Montserrat Caballé. In 1996, she debuted as a professional actress,playing a leading role in the musical called “O Sonho de Catirina”. In 2008 -2010 years Flávia had a great experience as soloist-soprano in “Madrigal Santa Cecília”. In july 2010 She sang at the International Festival of Choirs in Italy and Vatican. In 2011 she has moved to Poland. She sang in the choir of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Bialystok where she performed in “Straszny Dwór” Opera by Stanisław Moniuszko, Korczak Musical by Chris Williams, The Phantom of the opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi and many symphonic concerts. Also as chorister she recorded two CD’s with Krzysztof Penderecki’s music: Symphony No.7 Seven Gates of Jerusalem and Symphony No.8 “Lieder Der Verganglichkeit”. In August,2014,she graduated in Musical Theatre program 4 weeks by New York Film Academy,campus NY. She has also received a training inballet, folk dance and latin dances. Last July Flávia performed in the opera “Die Fledermaus” by Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance.
Clarice Gonzallez – Brazilian Chorus Preparation and Choral Leader
The Mezzo Soprano Clarice Gonzallez has been an active collaborator of all IBOC productions in Brazil, as a producer, a vocal coach and soloist singer since 2012. Debuted as a producer in “Plastic Flowers”, the second opera written by João McDowell which premiered in Rio de Janeiro in 2014. Born in Rio de Janeiro, she completed her degree in music at the University of Rio de Janeiro with a BA in piano from the School of Music at UFRJ. Worked for 6 years, under contract, at the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro’s Choir, participating in various operas such as: Romeo and Julieta” (Gounod), “Nabucco” (Verdi) “Aida” (Verdi), “Il Guarani” (Carlos Gomes), “Tosca” (Puccini), conducted by renowned maestros Isaac Karabtcheviski, Ennio Morricone, Roberto Minczuk. Performed in several operas, headlining as Carmen in “Carmen” with Cia Lirica, Santuzza in “Cavaleria Rusticana” with Cia Bachiana Brasileira Orquestra and Choir. She was the voice in “Magdalena” along with the Municipal Theater’s Orquestra and Choir and recently as Penelope in “Plastic Flowers”. She toured with a Symphonic Concert in Portugal, Spain and Miami. “With her vast vocal skills and captivating stage presence, she enchants her audience. With a theatrical, yet passionate and fervent performance, Clarice brings to life the most vivid interpretations” (MF O Dia) As a vocal coach she prepared and trained the cast in “Tropicalist-the musical”, “Chorus Line musical”, “Ópera do Malandro” and well over 10 titles. In the soap opera “A força de um desejo”, she worked with the actress Sonia Braga coaching her on her piano scenes. Starred in musical theater productions, televisions soap operas and films. The Singer and actress was invited to perform solo on a one-hour television show on TV Brazil, dedicated to classical vocal music. Due to her Brazilian musical influence, a local educational radio Rádio MEC broadcasted a recital based on her thesis work, for the University of Rio de Janeiro inspired by the poems of Manuel Bandeira. www.claricegonzallez.com
Christina Morgan – Master of Ceremonies
A founding member and Secretary of the IBOC Board, Christina Morgan has been a professional writer and editor for over ten years. She has worked at some of the world’s most prestigious publishing houses including HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt where she was privileged to work with some of the world’s most renowned authors including Umberto Eco, Jose Saramago, Alice Walker and others. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and a lifelong classical music enthusiast.
Athena Azevedo – Production Manager
Athena Azevedo has produced with IBOC since our “Brazilian Opera” debut concerts in 2014, and was recently responsible for our “Cries and Whispers” concert premiere at Scandinavia House, NY, 2015. She also serves as the Treasurer of the IBOC Board. As a creative producer with a background in art exhibits, cinema and photography, Azevedo has managed projects and produced photo shoots with world-class photojournalists, portrait and fashion photographers such as James Nachtwey, Henry Leutwyler and Walter Chin. Before coming to IBOC, she has worked on development projects with non-profits and arts organizations such as the Berkeley Film Archive and Art Museum, The Mint Museum of SF, Burn Magazine, Vanderbilt Republic and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts. She also works as a producer at an award winning branding and graphic design agency, IF Studio. Athena Azevedo received her BA in “Cultural Construction and the Narrative Image” from the University of California, Berkeley and found her passion for Brazilian culture and arts during a year abroad program to Salvador da Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.
Athena Azevedo’s collaboration work with Designers Toshiaki and Hisa Ide from IF Studio NY to produce IBOC posters and brand identity has gained 7 international awards, since 2014.
The Seventh Seal Posters:
Photography: Athena Azevedo
Design: Toshiaki Ide and Hisa Ide
Dancer: Eliana Carneiro
Makeup: Make Top
Wardrobe: Jose Flores
Support: Danielle Rocha Athayde
A collaboration work by the International Brazilian Opera Company – IBOC and IF Studio LLC.
The Seventh Seal – Act One will be sung in Swedish with projected English subtitles.
The composer João MacDowell is a two-time recipient of an artist residency at The Bergman Estate on Fårö, where The Seventh Seal-Opera was generated. The Seventh Seal, considered a classic of world cinema, follows disillusioned knight Antonius Block’s encounter with Death over a chess match, after returning from fighting in the crusades to find his homeland devastated by the plague. In MacDowell’s opera version the role of Death has been given to a dramatic soprano.
“Opera is an artistic ritual that evolves music, theater, visual arts and literature, combining all forms of expression into one single moment, produced and shared by a community of artists,” MacDowell says.
For further information about The Seventh Seal – Opera and IBOC, please visit the website www.brazilianopera.com or our Facebook page. If you are interested in covering this event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Huge Thank you to our Sponsors:
About the INTERNATIONAL BRAZILIAN OPERA COMPANY (IBOC)
The International Brazilian Opera Company is a non-profit organization that supports the creation and development of new operatic repertoire that combines ideas from both Brazilian and international artists while proving an educational structure for new talent to emerge.
We are dedicated to developing an artistic community that can attract new audiences while preserving the artistic integrity that traditional opera audiences have come to expect.
We believe that opera is the multimedia event of the future.
The International Brazilian Opera Company is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1886. All contributions to the company are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.