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La bohème

April 2014 brings the grand opera staging of Puccini’s classic five-hankie masterpiece, La bohème.

Save the dates:

Thursday, April 10th and Saturday, April 12th at the Abraham Chavez Theatre.  Artistic Director David Grabarkewitz calls this production “a traditional and electric new production that he has long been wanting to bring to El Paso.”

• At the Plaza Theatre Box office
• Through El Paso Opera: (915) 581-5534

Our Stellar Cast:


Danielle Walker returned to Sarasota Opera for the 2013 Winter Festival Season to sing the role of Giulietta di Kelbar in the rarely seen Verdi opera Un giorno di regno.  Ms. Walker made her Sarasota Opera debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and was last seen as Micaela in the 2012 production of Carmen. Recently she made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the New England Symphony as well as her Opera Orchestra of New York debut in Carnegie as Mlle. Jouvenot in Adriana Lecouvreur.

Ms. Walker was  member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist program at Los Angeles Opera, where she sang the role of The Girl in the American première of Schreker‘s Die Gezeichneten, conducted by James Conlon.  Additional roles with Los Angeles Opera have included covering Freia in Das Rheingold, Ortlinde in Die Walküre, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, and singing Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica as well as performing in concert under Placido Domingo.  She also sang on the Gustavo Dudamel Fellow Concerts with the LA Philharmonic.

Ms. Walker’s professional engagements have included the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Opera Festival of Lucca, Mahler’s Symphony #2 with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with the Central Ohio Symphony and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras with the Pasadena Pops. She is a featured soprano on the Hal Leonard companion CD recording of the Menotti Aria Anthology.

The Virginia native received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati where she sang Mimi in La bohème, Mme de Tourvel in Susa’s Dangerous Liaisons, Greta in Drattel’s The Festival of Regrets, and the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae solemnes.

WON WHI CHOI – Tenor (Rudolfo)

Tenor Won Whi Choi has performed leading roles including Alfredo in La Traviata and Chevalier in Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Mannes Opera, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Martina Arroyo Foundation and the Korean National University of Arts Opera Theater. He has understudied the role of Don Jose in Carmen for the Crested Butte Music festival as a member of their Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program. Mr. Choi was invited to Hawaii Performing Arts Festival as a professional fellow where he performed the role of Don Jose in The Tragedy Of Carmen and the role of Le thĂŠière in L’enfant Et Les Sortileges. Mr. Choi was one of eight finalists at the Montreal International Musical Competition in 2012. Upcoming engagements for Won Whi Choi include performances as tenor soloist in Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He holds a professional studies diploma and a master’s degree from Mannes College of Music and has a bachelor of music degree from the Korean National University of the Arts.

RICARDO RIVERA – Baritone (Marcello)

Baritone Ricardo Rivera made his Santa Fe Opera debut last summer in the world premiere of Oscar as Thomas Martin and the Hotel Managers and as the cover of Germont in La traviata. He will reprise his roles in Oscar with Opera Philadelphia in 2015. This summer he will return to the Santa Fe Opera as a ssecond-year apprentice artist where he will sing Moralès and cover Escamillo in Carmen. Ricardo has performed, among other roles, Mathieu in Andrea Chenier under Eve Queler and Orsini in Rienzi with the Opera Orchestra of NY, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with the Opera Company of Middlebury, and Le chat in L’enfant et les sortilèges and Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Castleton Festival under Lorin Maazel. Ricardo earned his BM, MM, and PdPL from Mannes College the New School for Music, where he performed the title role in Don Giovanni, Ford in Falstaff, and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutee all under the baton of Joseph Colaneri. Ricardo was a national semi-finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, won third prize in the Gerda Lissner Competition, and is a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant.

JESSICA MEDOFF – Soprano (Musetta)

Lyric soprano Jessica Medoff is known for her versatility throughout all genres of music. From Bartok to Bacharach and back to Bernstein, Ms. Medoff impresses audiences throughout the United States with her style, charm and commitment to text and music. She was recently first prize winner of the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year competition at Shreveport Opera. Recent engagements include a return to the Utah Festival Opera to perform Marguerite in Faust, Magnolia in Showboat with Fresno Grand Opera, Pocahontas’ Mother in Pocahantas with the Duluth Festival Opera, Nancy in Oliver! And Sylviane in The Merry Widow with Utah Festival Opera, The Sound of Music at Ash Lawn with Jerry Steichen conducting, “An Evening of Sondheim: at the Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha with the Natchez Festival of Music, as well as Maria in The Sound of Music at Ash Lawn with Jerry Steichen conducting, and “An Evening of Sondheim”: at the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Ally in Extinction: A Love Story all in New Mexico.

Her operatic repertoire also includes the roles of Musetta in La bohème, MicaÍla in Carmen, Conna Elvira in Don Giovanni, The Governess in Turn of the Screw, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, and Pamina in Die ZauberflÜte.

In her young career, she has already performed with Opera New Jersey, Lake George Opera, Natchez Music Festival, Ash Lawn Opera and the Aspen Opera Theater Center. On the concert stage, she has sung soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem at Carnegie Hall, Verdi’s Requiem in New Mexico, and Ravel’s Chansons madécasses with the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival.

TIMOTHY BRUNO – Bass (Colline)

Hailed as “outstanding” and “hilarious” by, young bass Timothy J. Bruno is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music master’s program and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University. In the 2011-2012 season he debuted with six companies including Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Toledo Opera and Opera Saratoga. Recent roles include Berthold in Offenbach’s Le 66,  Timur and the Mandarin in Turandot, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, and covering Eric Owens as The Storyteller in John Adam’s A Flowering Tree.  His engagements also include Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Curio in Giulio Cesare with Michigan Opera Theater, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Lawrence Brownlee as Count Almaviva at Opera Western Reserve.

MATTHEW MORRIS -  Baritone (Shaunard)

Matthew Morris is quickly garnering international recognition for the depth and versatility of his artistry as an actor and singer. He is as equally at home on the opera, concert, and Broadway stages as he is on film and television. As Le Monde declared, “you really want to hear him in either an opera or a musical. He has a big presence, a warm baritone voice, immense humanity, and the gift of an actor.”

In the past few years Mr. Morris has debuted on The West End; at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris; the Piccolo Teatro in Milan; with the Boston, American, and London Symphony orchestras; starred in the National Tour of A Christmas Carol; and appeared on Law & Order and in the movie The Producers!

In the 2013-24 season, Mr. Morris will  sing in Gotham Chamber Opera’s production of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo. In addition, he will debut as the baritone soloist in Brahm’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and reprise his roles in Candide with the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of his theater career already include King Charles in Candide at the Barbican in London, Young Scrooge in the National Tour of A Christmas Carol, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, George in Our Town, Gus in The Dumb Waiter, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Soldier in Hello Again, The Prince in Cinderella, and Alan in Babes in Toyland.