Yeomen of the Guard

YeomenPoster

Performances are at Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Preparatory School
425 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131

To read reviews of Yeomen of the Guard, click HERE!

CAST

Elizabeth Bivens LoganElizabeth Bivens-Logan, Kate

Elizabeth Bivens-Logan, a resident in San Francisco, CA, holds a Masters Degree in Music from the University of North Texas and a Bachelors of Music from Webster University. She was very active in the Opera Scenes program at each university performing roles including: Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Micaëla (Carmen), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), Geraldine (A Hand of Bridge) and Chorus for mainstage  operas Romeo et  Juliet  and Lucia  di  Lammermoor. In 2011,she sang Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for the Austrian American Mozart Academy inSalzburg, Austria. She has participated in masterclasses led by esteemed professionals including Andy Anderson, Matthew Haney, Christine Brewer and Maestro Manfred Mayrhofer. She was part of the Resident Artist program with Winter Opera last season. She was Dater 16 in Speed Dating Tonight, Star in The Wise Women, and chorus for Otello. She is very excited to return this season.

zachZachary Devon, Leonard Meryll

 American Tenor Zachary Devin began his vocal studies at the young age of sixteen in his hometown of Robinson, IL, Mr. Devin’s voice has been praised as “superb,” “strong,” and “impassioned” by Opera Today. After receiving degrees in music from Millikin University and the prestigious Rice University, Mr. Devin traveled to London where he studied at the famous Royal Academy of Music. Mr. Devin made his London stage debut as Jupiter in Hampstead Garden Opera’s production of Handel’s Semele in 2012 and then made his European debut in Budapest as Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of The Screw. Mr. Devin returned to the United States where he quickly became a prominent figure in the St Louis music scene, appearing with Winter Opera St Louis, Union Avenue Opera, and the St Louis Symphony Chorus. Mr. Devin is also an experienced and sought after recitalist having performed a variety of repertoire both in the US and abroad. Including Britten’s Serenade for Horn and Tenor, The Winter Words, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and Lili Boulanger’s Clairières dans le ciel.

jamesJames Harrington, Sergeant Meryll  

In the 2014-15 season, James made his role debuts as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress Commendatore in Don Giovanni at Florida State Opera, and reprised his roles in Phil Kline’s Tesla in New York the Opera America New Works Festival in a production directed by Robert Wilson, as well a concert of American works with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe  at Florida State University in January. In the summer, he returned to Utah Festival Opera to sing Jigger Craigin in Carousel  and Pedro in Man of La Mancha, and cover Colline in La Bohème and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. In the 2013-14 season, he returned to Nashville Opera for a role debut as Lodovico in Otello, then covered Jud in Oklahoma! and Dr. Engel in The Student Prince at Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre.  Harrington has previously appeared as the Marquis in La Traviata and Fouquier Tinville in Andrea Chenier Nashville Opera. He is pursuing a Masters at Florida State University as a student of David Okerlund.

amy

Amy Maude Helfer, Phoebe

Amy Maude Helfer, mezzo-soprano, is thrilled to make her company debut in this beautiful piece! A native of Cheshire, CT, she currently resides in New York City. Amy previously performed the role of Phoebe at NY City Center and the International G&S Festival/ UK, both with NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP). Amy made several debuts in the 2014-15 season: at Carnegie Hall as alto soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Tessa (The Gondoliers) with NYGASP, Nancy (Albert Herring) at Bronx Opera, and Petra (A Little Night Music) at Madison Lyric Stage. Operatic credits include Cherubino (Nozze di Figaro) at Dayton Opera, Hansel (Hansel and Gretel) at Boston Lyric Opera, and the title role in Cenerentola at Quisisana, Maine. Also with NYGASP, Amy’s roles include Kate (Pirates of Penzance), Pitti-Sing (Mikado), Saphir (Patience), Leila (Iolanthe), and Kalyba (Utopia, Limited). Amy was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Lotte Lenya Competition, and Artist-in-Residence at Dayton Opera in 2013 and 2011. Amy joined Actors’ Equity in 2009. www.amyhelfer.com   (Amy Maude Helfer’s appearance with Winter Opera is sponsored by John R. Bradbury.)

gary1 Gary Moss, Wilfred Shadbolt

Baritone  Gary Moss enjoys a varied repertoire that includes Opera, Oratorio, Operetta and Musical Theater.  A regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2003, Gary has sung roles with opera companies around the country including Michigan Opera Theater,  Santa Fe Opera, Toledo Opera, The Ohio Light Opera, and Skylight Opera Theatre  Gary had his European debut with La Musica Lirica  in 2003 performing Mozart’s  Requiem.  He can be heard on various recordings on the NAXOS and Albany labels.   Television appearances include Pish-Tushin Skylight Opera Theatre’s 2005 production of The Mikado, broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. Recent engagements include the roles of Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème, Danilo Danilowich in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, and Billy Bigelow in Carousel. Dr. Moss holds an undergraduate degree in vocal performance from the University of Utah, and both a master’s degree and doctorate in vocal performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Lorna Haywood and Martin Katz. Gary Moss is on the roster of Wade Artist Management.  He currently serves on the Voice Faculty at Luther College and on the Musical Theater Faculty at Viterbo University.

SharmaySharmay Musacchio, Dame Carruthers

 American contralto Sharmay Musacchio has performed as a Principal Soloist with: New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Sarasota Opera, Portland Opera/IVAI, Opera Southwest, Fresno Grand Opera, Townsend Opera, Pacific Opera Project, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, New England Symphonic Ensemble, Mid America Productions at Carnegie Hall,  San Diego City Ballet, Musica Vitale, Bodhi Tree Concerts,  SFCM Opera Theatre/SF Opera and the California Opera Association. Ms. Musacchio’s concert work includes her Carnegie Hall debut as the Alto Soloist in Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” and the Alto soloist in ten productions of Handel’s “Messiah” with the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall, San Diego Chamber Orchestra and the San Diego City Ballet.  Ms. Musacchio’s upcoming engagements include: Debuting the role of the Mother in Martinu’s The Tears of the Knife with the San Diego International Fringe Festival, debuting the role of Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Pacific Opera Project, and debuting Dame Carruthers in Yeomen of the Guard with Winter Opera St. Louis.

andy Andy Papas, Jack Point

 Praised by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for his “rich voice and comic timing”, Baritone Andy Papas hails from Boston and returns to St. Louis after performances with Union Avenue Opera as The Major General (The Pirates of Penzance), Pong (Turandot), and this summer as Count Ceprano (Rigoletto). He was recently seen as Magnifico in La Cenerentol at the Bar Harbor Music Festival, his third Magnifico this year. For Skylight Music Theatre in October, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel called his Magnifico “delightfully ridiculous”, and in March, Andy made his West Coast debut as Magnifico for Skagit Opera of Seattle. A member of Actor’s Equity, Andy continues his crossover career this fall as Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid with The Fiddlehead Theatre. Andy has performed & covered leading roles with Opera New Jersey, Opera for the Young, Opera Providence and St. Petersburg Opera, among others. M.M.- U. Houston; BM – U. Michigan.

eileen

Eileen Vanessa Rodriguez, Elsie Maynard 

Originally from Queens, NY, soprano Eileen Vanessa Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of South Florida. In 2012, she was selected to be an Opera Tampa singer – performing in outreach events, galas and concerts in the Tampa Bay area. Past engagements include: Opera Tampa: Frasquita(cover) – Carmen (2013).St. Petersburg Opera: Barbarina(cover) – The Marriage of Figaro (2012) and Echo (role) – Ariadne auf Naxos(2013).Hall Opera: Angelina (role) – Trial by Jury and Rosina(cover) – Barber of Seville(2013). South Florida Lyric Opera: Belinda (role) – Dido and Aeneas(2014).Florida Opera Theater: Despina- Così  fan Tutte (2015).Lyric Theater: Maria (role) – Four Guys Named Jose and Una Mujer Named Maria (2015). Ms. Rodriguez is thrilled to be performing the role of Elsie in Yeomen of the Guard with Winter Opera St. Louis!

adrian

Adrian Rosas, Sir Richard Cholmondeley

 Hailed by Opera News as a “mellifluous bass-baritone [with] theatrical flair,” Adrian Rosas is an emerging young artist with “impressive experience and talent” (The Boston Globe). Mr. Rosas has performed with opera companies such as the Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Houston’s Opera in the Heights, and the Detroit Opera House. As a champion of new and modern music, he has had the opportunity to workon a variety of newly written works, including Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket, Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida, Petr Kotik’s Master-Pieces, Matt Aucoin’s Whitman. Equally versed in concert and oratorio work, he has performed at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall,  and Zankel Hall), Merkin Concert Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Rosas holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School.

clark Clark Sturdevant, Colonel Fairfax 

 Clark Sturdevant tenor, is returning for his fourth season at Winter Opera St. Louis. Clark has performed roles for Dayton Opera, Kentucky Opera, OperaSeabrook, Capital Heights Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Katydid Productions,Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Opera Project, The Ohio Light Opera, Operafor the Young, and Natchez Festival of Music. His previous work consists of more than thirty roles including Tamino (The Magic Flute), Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Le comte Ory (Le comte Ory), Nanki-Poo (The Mikado), and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni).  He will be performing the role of Colonel Fairfax which he recently debuted with The Ohio Light Opera production of The Yeoman of the Guard as well as returning to the role of Ruiz in Il Trovatore. Clark received his Bachelor of Music at the University of Iowa and his Masters of Music degree at Washington University studying under tenor John Stewart.

Joh Stephens web

John Stephens, Director

John Stephens holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Hamburg, Germany. He received advanced training at the Juilliard School of Music, where he was a member of the American Opera Center. In addition to teaching voice and stage directing operas at KU, Mr. Stephens maintains a professional career as an opera and concert singer and stage director. He has sung leading roles with numerous companies including the Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, Atlanta Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Opera Pacific, Orlando Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Cleveland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera Omaha, Chautauqua Opera and the Kansas City Lyric Opera. He has directed productions for the Wichita Grand Opera including H.M.S. PINAFORE and DON PASQUALE; and THE MIKADO and SUSANNAH for the Lake George Opera Festival (now Opera Saratoga). Additional professional directing credits are with Winter Opera of St. Louis, and at the University of Georgia. As a concert soloist he has sung with the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, the Orlando Symphony and at the J. F. Kennedy Center. For several years he was the principal bass soloist for the Bach Aria Group.  Stephens has recorded for Columbia Masterworks, Newport Classics, and the Musical Heritage Society. A recipient of the Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas, Professor Stephens’ voice students have sung with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Paris Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand opera, Portland Opera, The English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Ireland’s Wexford Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, Chautauqua Opera, the Tanglewood Festival and others, as well as on Broadway, and in numerous national tours. Stephens’ recent singing engagements include COSI FAN TUTTE with both the Kansas City Lyric Opera and Opera Saratoga, BILLY BUDD with the Santa Fe Opera, IL TROVATORE with New Orleans Opera, and OF MICE AND MEN with Kentucky Opera.

 Yeomen of the guard premiered at the Savoy Theatre on 3 October 1888, and ran for 423 performances.

Synopsis

The action takes place on a green at the Tower of London. It is the mid-16th Century.  Yeomen are the men who serve as guards to the Tower and its contents.

Act I:  Colonel Fairfax is under sentence of death, and this is the day of his execution.  An evil cousin has leveled a charge of sorcery against Fairfax in order to inherit the fortune that would come to him if Fairfax were to die unmarried. Fortunately, Fairfax has several friends in the Tower: the Lieutenant in charge, Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen, to say nothing of Meryll’s daughter Phoebe, who is in love with the handsome prisoner Fairfax.  Meryll’s son Leonard, who is soon to join the Yeomen, plots with his father to save Fairfax’s life. Leonard will go into hiding, while Fairfax is released from his cell and introduced to the Yeomen as Meryll’s brave son “Leonard.”  To Phoebe is entrusted the job of getting the prison keys from the “sour-faced” jailor, Wilfred Shadbolt. Meanwhile, Fairfax has explained his predicament to the Lieutenant, who works quickly to find him a bride and thwart the unscrupulous cousin. The reprieve of Fairfax’s death sentence is issued, but the cousin delays its delivery till after the execution. Now, a pair of strolling comedians arrives … Jack Point and Elsie Maynard. The Lieutenant asks Elsie to agree to a brief marriage with “a worthy but unhappy” man (Fairfax), with a reward of one hundred crowns.  Point hopes to marry Elsie himself, but is assured that the bridegroom will be dead in an hour.  Blindfolded, Elsie is led away. The clever Phoebe successfully steals the keys from Wilfred.  Fairfax is sprung from jail, shaved, and presented to the Yeomen as Leonard.  The crowd gathers for Fairfax’s execution when it is discovered that he has escaped! Elsie, stunned by the realization that her unknown husband is still living, collapses into the arms of none other than Fairfax.

INTERMISSION

 Act II:  The women chide the Yeomen for their inability to find the escaped prisoner, Fairfax.  Now Point concocts a scheme with Wilfred to free Elsie from her quandary: Wilfred is to fire a rifle shot, and then claim that he killed Fairfax as he attempted to escape.  This he does, and is proclaimed a hero by the townspeople. Elsie has been nursed back to health by Meryll’s old housemaid, Dame Carruthers. She reveals that Elsie has murmured in her sleep that she was married to Colonel Fairfax. Fairfax, still in his character as Leonard, is thrilled to learn that his secret bride is none other than the lovely Elsie. Unaware of this, Point eagerly proposes to Elsie, but Fairfax, still as Leonard, sweeps the girl away, leaving both Point and Phoebe in despair.  From her lamenting, Wilfred learns the truth of the plot from Phoebe, who consents to marry him as a reward for his silence.  Dame Carruthers, who has overheard all this, takes possession of Meryll, whom she has been pursuing for years, as a price for her silence.  Elsie enters for her wedding with “Leonard,” but the delayed reprieve of Fairfax finally arrives.  Fairfax is alive and free, and presents himself as Elsie’s husband.  She is plunged into despair until she sees that her beloved Leonard was Fairfax all the time.  Her joy is contrasted with the sadness of Point, who collapses amid the merriment of the crowd.

Synopsis by John Stephens