La Bohème Cast

Emanuele Andrizzi (Conductor for La Bohème)

Emanuele Andrizzi is a conductor, a pianist, and a composer with a strong connection to the rich musical tradition of Rome’s Conservatory, from which he graduated with an artist diploma in opera and orchestral conducting and a ten-year diploma in composition. After a selection among several candidates, Mr. Andrizzi was chosen as one of the two graduate students invited to the Opera Theatre of Rome, where he worked intensively on the Italian opera repertoire during a three-year internship for opera conductors and vocal coaches. Afterwards, he worked in Europe and in the US as a conductor and as a pianist. A graduate of Santa Cecilia Conservatory, Alfredo Casella Conservatory, and Bard College, Mr. Andrizzi is currently a doctoral candidate in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, where he studied under the guidance of Maestro Victor Yampolsky. In 2009, Mr. Andrizzi collaborated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra preparing the Apollo Chorus for the performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Ravinia Festival and afterwards he had his debut as music director/conductor for the opera No Exit by Andy Vores at the Chicago Opera Vanguard. In the same year, he worked as a co-founder and music director of the Cervantes Orchestra of Chicago, a youth orchestra dedicated to promoting Spanish and Hispanic classical music in contemporary American society. Mr. Andrizzi has also worked as an assistant/ cover conductor with professional opera companies such as Los Angeles Opera and The Dallas Opera, and orchestras such as the New Philharmonic and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. Lately, he has worked as opera conductor-in-residence at the Bay View Music Festival and as guest conductor at the South Shore Opera of Chicago.
Benjamin De Los Monteros (Rodolfo)

Benjamin De Los Monteros is a tenor from Chicago, Illinois. He studied Opera/Voice at both Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina and Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Benjamin has had the pleasure of coaching with Dr. Dana Brown, Lorenzo Mulfatti(Master Class), Ken Weiss, and Donna Brunsma. He has performed the role of Flaminio in Il trionfo del onore, and covered Don Giovanni in Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni for the Opera Teatro di Lucca. Mr. De Los Monteros’ concert work include the tenor solos of Handel’s Messiah and Schubert’s Mass in G, in addition to covering the tenor solos of Fritz in L’amico Fritz and Beethoven’s Mass in C Major. As one of Benjamin’s favorite roles, he is delighted to be performing Rodolfo for The American Chamber Opera Company’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Mr. De Los Monteros studies with Michael Best.

Emily Becker (Mimi**) – Soprano

Emily G. Becker is a lyric soprano living in Chicago. Emily earned her master’s in voice from Northwestern University’s, where she studied with Pamela Hinchman.  There, she performed the title role in The Merry Widow, Adina in L’Elisir d’amore, and Mme Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites, among others. Last season, Emily performed Lucy in Main Street Opera’s production of The Telephone and covered Pamina in The Magic Flute and Mimi in La Boheme with Verismo Opera Theater. Also with with Verismo, she sang in their Passion of Puccini concert, where one reviewer said, “Emily Becker brought a heightened theatricality to her selections”. For the past two summers, Emily has attended Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival where she covered Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and Mimi. Ms. Becker is thrilled to be performing her first Mimi with The American Chamber Opera Company!

Jessie Lyons (Mimi**) – Soprano

Jessie Lyons, a lyric soprano and native of Iowa, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice from Luther College and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, respectively.  Jessie studies with Matthew Chellis.  While at Luther, she sang Alice Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Lady Billows inAlbert Herring.  She has been accepted into the Manhattan School of Music Summer Festival, Taos Opera Institute and La Musica Lirica Opera young artist programs. She has sung Alice Ford in Falstaff, Musetta in La Bohème, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, in addition to Donna Elvira in scenes from Don Giovanni.  This fall, Jessie will be joining the VOX 3 Collective; singing the role of Nanna in a staged production of Kurt Weill’s Stranger Here Myself, in addition to art songs, arias, cabaret and scenes to be performed throughout the Chicago area.  Ms. Lyons is delighted to have the opportunity to cover Mimi this season with the American Chamber Opera Company.

Mark Jurgenson (Marcello) – Baritone

Mark Jurgenson is currently a student of Mr. Richard Stilwell, and a graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he completed a Masters in May of 2011. During his time as a graduate student at Roosevelt, Mark had the opportunity to be involved with a number of productions, as Ramiro in Ravel’s “L’heure espagnole” sung in English, as well as his other opera “L’enfant et les sortilege.” as the Comtoise Clock. During the spring season of 2011 Mark was seen again with CCPA in a production of Henry Mollicone’s “Face on the Barroom Floor”. During his time at Roosevelt, Mark has had the great opportunity to work with many great voices of the operatic world, including Judith Haddon and Michael Best with whom he also studied during three summers in Italy with the Italian Operatic Experience, where in 2008 he sang Marcello in La Bohéme and again returned in 2009 as Belcore in “L’elisir d’amore.” Currently working on a number of projects with Sinfonietta Bel Canto in Downers Grove, IL. Mark’s next performance with this group will be the role of Danilo in Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” in November.

Karrah Marie Cambry (Musetta) – Soprano

Karrah O’Daniel graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University in 2010. There she studied with famous Tenor, Michael Best. She has sung all over the world, performing in Italy, Austria, and all over the continental United States. Some of her operatic roles and scenes include:
Musetta (La Boheme), Susanna (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Poppea (L’Incoronationze di Poppea), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Meg (Falstaff), Valencienne (Die Lustige Witwe), and Norina (Don Pasquale).
She has studied with many prestigious programs including the Italian Operatic Experience, American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, and Ars Musica. Former teachers include, Thomas Booth, Galina Pisarenko of the Moscow Conservatory, and Elizabeth Mannion.
She has been a member of the Sonatasia Project which fuses architecture and music in southern California and has performed numerous recitals throughout the United States, such as Fulton Hall, Ganz Hall, and De Sales Auditorium, with Jonathan Cambry her husband and pianist.

Benjamin Cohen (Schaunard) – Baritone

Benjamin Cohen is a baritone based in Chicago. This fall, in addition to La Boheme, he will be appearing as Baron Pictordu in Pauline Viardot’s Cinderella at the Chicago College of Performing Art’s OperaFest. Past performances include the roles of Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) at the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, Ko-Ko (The Mikado) at Lyric Theatre of San Jose; Henry (Paul Ramsier’s The Man on the Bearskin Rug), Mars (Orpheus in the Underworld), and Papageno (The Magic Flute) with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Theater; and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Schaunard (La Bohème) at Opera in the Ozarks. He has appeared as Morales (Carmen) with Mission City Opera and as Antonio (The Gondoliers) with the Stanford Savoyards. He performed as a chorus member in the 2007 world premier of Lou Harrison’s opera Young Caesar at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center with Ensemble Parallèle. In 2004 he participated in a world premier workshop performance of Kathleen Cramer’s chamber opera The Woman in the Wall. He performed in the Opera San José chorus for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons. He also appeared as the Sergeant in La Bohème at West Bay Opera.

Benjamin is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently enrolled in graduate studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University, where he studies with baritone Richard Stilwell. He received his Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he was the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship. While at the Conservatory he studied with tenor César Ulloa.

Neil Edwards (Colline**) – Bass

Neil Edwards is happy to join American Chamber Opera for its inaugural production. Neil recently participated in Opera Training Institute of Chicago. Neil has performed several principal roles such as Crespel in Les Contes D’Hoffmann with Chicago College of Performing Arts, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with La Musica Lirica, and Pistola in Falstaff with La Musica Lirica. Neil has worked with many outstanding Opera instructors and coaches such as Giulio Favario, Tracy Watson, Michael Best, and Gustavo Halley.

Sean Kroll (Colline**) – Bass

Rising star Seán Kroll has been hailed as “…a showstopper” (Saint Petersburg Times). The bass-baritone is noted for being profoundly emotive and possessing an instrument of unique color and clarity. He brings precision and electricity to all of his work, in roles comic or tragic, the sublime or profane. The artist has a vast array repertoire to his credit, near thirty roles. Highlights include: Colline (La Boheme) Don Alfonso (Cosi fan Tutte), Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’Amore), Escamillo, Morales and Zuniga (Carmen), Ewald (Lehár’s Springtime), Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Papageno (Magic Flute), Sam (Trouble in Tahiti), and in the realm of music theater, Cinderella’s Prince, Mysterious Man, Narrator and the Wolf  (Sondheim’s Into the Woods). Fall 2011 marks the New York debut for Mr. Kroll: The title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni . Recent concert credits include touring the U.S. throughout regions of the United States singing Handel and Mozart opera arias, Schubert and Strauss lieder, Fauré chanson and classic Broadway hits. Among 2011 performances are an inaugural concert for the Jeffrey Arnold Foundation Festival, and the Second Saturday Recital Series at the treasured landmark Quigley Chapel in Chicago. 2010 included opening the Galena Summer Music Festival as a featured guest artist and in 2009 he made his Texas recital debut. The artist has also been a concert soloist with Chicago Opera Theater (Poulenc’s Le Bestiaire), Music by the Lake Singers (Bach’s Magnificat),Opera Santa Barbara, Music Institute of Chicago (Mozart’s Requiem), new music group Sonic Inertia (Berkhout’s Uphill), Saint Petersburg Opera, as well as a guest artist at the esteemed Accademia di Perfezionamento Teatro Alla Scala in Milan. This winter, Seán will tour China as a soloist with the South Shore Orchestra. In the spring, he will make his Philadelphia debut in Bizet’s Carmen. An alumnus of the Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Santa Barbara and Saint Petersburg Opera artist development programs, Mr. Kroll received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University and trained at the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. For more information, please visit www.seankroll.com.

Vince Wallace (Alcindoro/Benoit/Sergente) – Bass

Vince Wallace, is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Before attending Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY for a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance, Vince starred in musicals such as The King & I (King), Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye) and The Sound of Music (Uncle Max). While at Eastman, Vince’s orchestral performances included Pilatus from St. John’s Passion and Judas in St. Mathew’s Passion. He also performed in choruses for Così fan tutte and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. While obtaining his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, he played Superintendent Budd from Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring in the fall of 2005 and covered the role of Bartolo in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in the Spring ’06. He sang with the world famous Westminster Choir during 2005 as well as participated in the 2006 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC. Vince was a member of The University of Rochester’s Midnight Ramblers (2007-8), Vox Vocal Ensemble in NYC in 2007 and performed in the chorus of the Princeton Festival (2007 Carmen). In 2008, he starred in Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance as the title role in Le nozze di Figaro. For the 2008-9 season, Vince participated in Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Operas’ productions of Porgy & Bess with a small understudy role. He has been singing chorus for Lyric Opera Chicago since and recently performed with Opera Naples. Vince’s upcoming events include performing the Jailor in Tosca at the Opera Company of Philadelphia among young artists’ program possiblilities here and abroad.

Nathan Oakes (Parpignol) – Tenor

From upstate New York, Nathan Oakes, tenor, is a senior at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.  Nathan has been studying voice since the age of 14.  He has worked with Rochester’s Mercury Opera Company as a chorus member in: Madame Butterfly, L’Elisir d’amore, Don Giovanni, The Tender Land,  Showboat, La Boheme, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Norma.  Nathan is currently the tenor section leader at St Giles Episcopal church in Northbrook, IL.  Nathan is a student of Michael Best and Tracy Watson.

Margaret Jarvis (Ensemble) – Mezzo-Soprano

Margaret Jarvis is excited to be performing in the inaugural production of the American Chamber Opera Company. She is a graduate of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts where she majored in vocal performance as well as English. Other recent performances include: “Brigadoon” with Music by the Lake, “The Sorcerer” and “The Mikado” (Pitti-Sing) with the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago, “The Gondoliers” and “Utopia Limited” with The Savoyaires, “The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken” at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and with the Grant Park Chorus in Chicago’s Millennium Park summer concert series. Special thanks go to her boyfriend, Jacob, and to her parents for their limitless support, love, and patience. Margaret is delighted to be working with so many of Chicago’s young, talented artists and looks forward to many more opportunities to perform.

Kathryn Mantoan (Musetta*/Ensemble) – Soprano

Kathryn Mantoan, Soprano, found her place on the stage at a young age and since then has not left.  Ms. Mantoan has appeared on stage both in the United States and abroad singing the roles of Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Foreign Woman (The Consul), Sophie (Werther), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Spring (The Fairy Queen), Gilda (Rigoletto), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Hélène (An Incomplete Education), Nannetta (Falstaff), and Giulia (The Gondoliers).  This past fall, Ms. Mantoan appeared as a guest soloist with the Knightwind Ensemble in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Her oratorio experience includes singing “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughters of Zion” and “But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming” (Soprano Key) from Handel’s Messiah with Saint Xavier’s Chamber Singers and Saint Xavier Baroque Ensemble.

Ms. Mantoan received an honorable mention in the Italian Cultural Center’s Vocal Scholarship Competition in Stone Park, Illinois.  She was asked to be a guest soloist at the Italian Cultural Center’s competition winner’s concert.  Kathryn enjoys keeping her humble roots by frequently singing as a cantor, wedding and funeral singer, and choir soloist at her home church.  For the last 9 years, Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church in Flossmoor, Illinois has enjoyed Kathryn’s clear and expressive voice.  In the summer of 2008, Ms. Mantoan also participated in The Italian Operatic Experience in Urbana, Italy.  Kathryn received her Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from Saint Xavier University and her Master’s in Vocal Performance from Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Brenna Sluiter (Ensemble) – Soprano

Brenna Sluiter, a native of Michigan, has recently returned to the Midwest after earning her Masters of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Washington in Seattle this spring. While in Seattle, she sang the role of Belinda in Vespertine Opera’s inaugural production, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, as well as the role of Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with UW’s School of Music. She also performed with several small, local opera companies, including Fat Chance! Opera and Watershed Opera Theatre. Prior to completing her Masters, Brenna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she was privileged to sing the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Other roles performed include Lady Larken (Once Upon a Mattress). Brenna is thrilled and honored to have been welcomed into Chicago’s community of young opera singers, and looks forward to future collaboration with the American Chamber Opera Company. Special thanks go to her parents, whose love and support are immensely appreciated as she embarks upon an “unconventional” career path.

Christopher Hatcher (Ensemble) – Baritone

Christopher Hatcher is a Baritone, recently moved from N. California. H e studied voice with Elisabeth Harrington at Humboldt State University. This is his first production in Chicago and is excited to be working with the American Chamber Opera Company. He is currently studying voice with Marc Embree and taking classes at iO Chicago Theatre.

*Indicates understudy

**Indicates double cast