2022 Festival & Guest Artists
Elaine Alvarez, soprano
Tosca in Tosca
During the 2021-2022 season, soprano Elaine Alvarez makes her company debut with Chautauqua Opera as the title role in Tosca, and joins Opera Omaha as the title role in Suor Angelica. The recent COVID-affected seasons featured a return to Anna Bolena at the Royal Opera House Muscat on tour with Opera Royal de Wallonie, the title role in Cecilia Valdez with the iconic Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, a featured soloist debut with the Sphinx Virtuosi Ensemble of Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares for voice and chamber orchestra as well as cancelled performances as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Minnesota Opera, and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with Jacksonville Symphony.
Notable engagements have featured Alvarez in numerous role and house debuts of iconic leading ladies including Tosca with Choregies d’Orange and Opera de Oviedo; Kat’a Kabanova with Boston Lyric Opera; a role and house debut for San Diego Opera as Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas.
Ms. Alvarez made her New York recital debut in 2007 as a Grand Prize Winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition. She then appeared as a featured performer for the Horne Foundation’s Annual Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall in 2010, alongside longtime mentor Warren Jones. Other notable concert credits include Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Gewandhaus Orchestra; a debut recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for The Vocal Arts Society; and featured guest artist with the New World Symphony.
Samina Aslam, soprano
Mukhtar Mai in Thumbprint; Constance Fletcher in The Mother of Us All
Praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer for her “velvet tone that can build to a powerful clarion,” Pakistani-American soprano Samina Aslam is rapidly gaining attention for her stunning interpretations of the lyric soprano repertoire. Ms. Aslam will debut with Chautauqua Opera in 2022 as Mukhtar Mai in Kamala Sankaram’s Thumbprint and Constance Fletcher in The Mother of Us All.
In previous seasons, Ms. Aslam debuted as Nedda (I pagliacci), and the title role in Holst’s rarely performed one-act opera Sāvitri with New Camerata Opera. She joined Opera NEO to debut the fiery title character in Gluck’s masterpiece Armide and cover Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte). The San Diego Story lauded her performance of Armide, stating “Samina Aslam’s ample voice displayed the requisite range of colors to embody the gamut of emotions her character displayed…she was most persuasive in furious declamation.”
Ms. Aslam was a Resident Artist at the Boston University Opera Institute where she received their prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Her repertoire included the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Zina (Dark Sisters), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), and Micaëla (La Tragédie de Carmen).
Ms. Aslam completed her graduate studies at the Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music, where she sang Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). Ms. Aslam made her professional operatic debut as the Second Spirit (Die Zauberflöte) with Opéra Louisiane while completing her Bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University, and took First Prize in the Louisiana NATS Competition. http://www.saminaaslam.com/
Wendy Bryn Harmer, soprano
Susan B. Anthony in The Mother of Us All
Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Concert on July 14
An alumna of the Metropolitan Opera’s prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer continues to maintain a strong relationship with the company having appeared in their productions of Le nozze di Figaro, War and Peace, Khovanshchina, Parsifal, Die Agyptische Helena, Jenufa, and the complete Ring Cycle. She also appeared in the Met’s HD broadcasts of the Ring Cycle and The Magic Flute, which have subsequently been released on DVD (Deutsche Gramophone). Other opera engagements have included the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos and Adalgisa in Norma at the Palm Beach Opera, Leonora in Fidelio at Opera Omaha and with Boston Baroque, Senta in Die fliegende Holländer at the Seattle Opera, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Houston Grand Opera, and Mimi in La Bohéme at the Utah Opera Festival.
In concert, Ms. Harmer has appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and at the Tanglewood Festival and Lincoln Center. In 2005, she made her New York recital debut under the auspices of The Marilyn Horne Foundation, and was presented by the George London Foundation in a recital with Ben Heppner at the Morgan Library. Her many awards include a 2010 Richard Tucker Grant, the 2007 Jensen Award, the 2005 winner of the George London/Leonie Rysanek Award, and an award from The Marilyn Horne Foundation.
In addition to her performance as Susan B. Anthony, Wendy Bryn Harmer will perform with the Chautauqua Symphony orchestra on July 9, 2020.
Rolfe Dauz, baritone
Faiz in Thumbprint; Brother of Indiana Elliot in The Mother of Us All
San Francisco native, Filipino-American baritone Rolfe Dauz’s performance highlights include Don Alfonso (Cosí fan tutte), Leporello and Masetto (Don Giovanni), Figaro and Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro), Achilla (Giulio Cesare), Claudio (Agrippina), and Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore). In 2016, Rolfe was invited to the Banff Centre’s Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century performing the role of Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, directed by Paul Curran.
Dauz received his Master’s degree from the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music in 2017 where he worked with Sanford Sylvan and Dawn Upshaw. At Bard, Dauz sang the role of the Sprecher in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and was a soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
He is a recent graduate of the Dutch National Opera Academy and is a recipient of the Holland Scholarship and the Non-EU Talent Grant. Outside of the DNOA, Rolfe has been a soloist singing Bach Cantatas with the Bach Collegium‘s Hertogenbosch. He covered Leporello in Orchestra of the 18th Century production of Don Giovanni and has been on tour with Opera2Day’s production of Philip Glass The Fall of the House of Usher. Recently, Dauz gave a Grote Zangers live stream concert in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and was seen at the 2021 Holland Festival in Ine Aya’, a new opera by Indonesian composer Yadi Nursalim Anugerah. His vocal-piano duo, Youth and Love, in which he collaborates with Lithuanian pianist, Gabrielė Žemaitytė was recently awarded 2nd prize at the 2021 Copenhagen Lied-Duo Competition.
Kelly Guerra, mezzo-soprano
Esperanza in The House on Mango Street
Peruvian-American mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra starred as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg by Derrick Wang with the Chautauqua Opera Company in 2021. She was lauded as “brilliant” by the Santa Barbara Independent for her performance of Lupita in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Opera Santa Barbara. In Spring 2022 she will make her Los Angeles Philharmonic debut under the baton of John Adams in the Noon to Midnight contemporary festival, and she will premiere Katherine Balch’s cantata Illuminate with the California Symphony. Her recent performance of Iphigenia Unbound in Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding’s …(Iphigenia) was noted as “beautifully sung” by the Washington Post. As a recitalist, she has performed at the Lucerne Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Bard Music Festival.
Alan Held, bass-baritone
Scarpia in Tosca; Daniel Webster in The Mother of Us All
Recognized as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, and the Munich State Opera. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner’s The Ring Cycle, the title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Scarpia in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, and Balstrode in Peter Grimes.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Met Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and Berliner Philharmoniker. He has also appeared at the Salzburg, Tanglewood, and Saito Kinen festivals and at the BBC Proms.
A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and at Wichita State University where he was most recently named Associate Professor, The Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance in an Opera, and is also a noted clinician who regularly gives master classes at Yale University.
Chauncey Packer, tenor
Cavaradossi in Tosca; Jo the Loiterer in The Mother of Us All
Chauncey Packer recently appeared at The Metropolitan Opera as Spinner in Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in my Bones, a role he will reprise in 2022 with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other recent and upcoming engagements include The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with New Orleans Opera, Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Hamburg, Scalia in Scalia/Ginsburg at Chautauqua Opera, as well as postponed or cancelled performances as Robbins & Crab Man in Porgy and Bess with Greensboro Opera and Howard Boucher in Dead Man Walking with The Metropolitan Opera.
Mr. Packer has performed with Nashville Opera, Mobile Opera, Pensacola Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Pacific, and New Orleans Opera. He has sung the roles of Rodolfo (La bohème), Alfredo (La Traviata), Pong (Turandot), Werther, Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Sam (Susannah), Ruggero (La rondine), Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Amon (Akhnaten), and Sportin’ Life, Mingo, and Robbins (Porgy and Bess).
Mr. Packer has performed in concert with Edmonton Opera, Baton Rouge Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Opera, Shreveport Opera, Grand Rapids Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, Louisiana Philharmonic, Signature Symphony, and Torun Symphony Orchestra. He was also featured in a concert at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with the Orchestre Symphonique de la Garde Républicaine benefiting the organization Women of Africa.