- Resident Artists
IAN JOSÉ RAMIREZ
Hailed by Opera News as “one of the most enchanting lyric sopranos I have heard in a while,” soprano NICOLE HASLETT arrived in Portland after spending the summer with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she covered the role of Barče and sang Second Echo in Czech composer Bedřich Smetana’s The Kiss. A native of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, she graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a master’s in vocal performance in May 2012 and spent six weeks in Beijing studying Mandarin opera with Chinese bass Hao Jiang Tian as part of the I SING BEIJING program. “I was drawn to Portland Opera’s program because it is so small, with just one of us in each voice type, which allows for a more individualized experience,” said Ms. Haslett. This season, she will sing Lady with a Hand Mirror in the Portland Opera production of Dominick Argento’s Postcard From Morocco and will take on the role of Edith in the company’s Pirates of Penzance. She will also cover her “dream role,” Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. Ms. Haslett will kick off Portland Opera’s Resident Artist Recital Series on October 1, 2013.
Mezzo SopranoMELISSA FAJARDO spent the summer in St. Louis, covering the role of Kathy Hagen in Terence Blanchard's and Michael Cristofer’s new opera, Champion. This summer she also performed her first musical theater role, Bloody Mary in Opera North’s South Pacific. Ms. Fajardo, who is originally from East Hanover, New Jersey, received her master’s degree in May 2013 from the Eastman School of Music, where she performed the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and sang in a staged performance of Libby Larsen’s song cycle Beloved, Thou Hast Brought Me Many Flowers. She has also performed with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Janiec Opera Company. This season at Portland Opera, Melissa will sing the Page in Salome, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lady with a Hat Box in Postcard from Morocco, and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance. Ms. Fajardo is excited to be joining the program and furthering her career in opera, a love that first blossomed when she was a junior in high school: “I discovered YouTube and was hooked when I heard Cecilia Bartoli,” she said. Ms. Fajardo presents her solo recital on February 4, 2014.
A native of The Woodlands, Texas, tenor IAN JOSÉ RAMIREZ spent the summer in Marlboro, Vermont studying and performing vocal chamber music with Sir Thomas Allen at the Marlboro Music Festival. A self-professed lover of 20th and 21st century music, Mr. Ramirez has performed works by Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, Jake Heggie, and John Musto, along with more traditional operatic and concert repertoire. He received both his bachelor’s in music, summa cum laude, and his master’s degree from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where he studied in the same studio as former Resident Artists Caitlin Mathes and José Rubio. Mr. Ramirez has performed with Dayton Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and as a Studio Artist with Opera Saratoga and Central City Opera. “I’m passionate about communicating this art form to new audiences, and it’s fantastic to be able to do it as my life’s work,” said Mr. Ramirez. This season he will sing the Second Jew in Portland Opera’s Salome, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Man with Old Luggage in Postcard From Morocco, and will cover the role of Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance. Mr. Ramirez’s solo recital is scheduled for April 8, 2014.
Originally from Florence, South Carolina, baritone ALEXANDER ELLIOTT spent the summer performing the role of Frank in Ned Rorem’s Our Town and covering the role of Figaro in The Barber of Seville as an apprentice artist with Central City Opera. Mr. Elliott has appeared as an apprentice with Des Moines Opera, performing as Périchaud in La Rondine and the Captain in Eugene Onegin. Mr. Elliott has also performed with the Pensacola Symphony, Florence Symphony, and Tallahassee Symphony. Last season, as a Studio Artist with Tulsa Opera, Mr. Elliott performed the Corporal in Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, and the Postman in Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella. Mr. Elliott is a graduate of Florida State University. “I was drawn to this program because it is completely centered around the development of the artist, and it’s a chance to take my career to the next level,” said Mr. Elliott. This season, he will sing Man with a Shoe Sample Kit in Postcard From Morocco and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance. He will also cover the role of Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Mr. Elliott’s solo recital is slated for November 5, 2013.