Baltimore Concert Opera closes its fourth season with one of the most popular and well-known works of the operatic repertoire–Carmen. Sing along with the Toreador Song as BCO transports you to Seville for Bizet’s perennial classic about gypsies, smugglers, and bullfighters. A beloved classic among opera audiences and chock-full of recognizable tunes, Carmen is also the perfect production for someone trying opera for the first time.
Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Engineers Club, 11 West Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD 21201.
Heather Johnson as Carmen
Mezzo soprano Heather Johnson, hailed by Opera News as “a dramatic singer in the truest sense,” has received critical acclaim for her work on both the opera and concert stages.
Ms. Johnson enjoyed a triumphant opening of the 2010-2011 season with a highly praised portrayal of the title character in La Cenerentola with Sarasota Opera. In the winter, she will return to Sarasota to appear as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. Also this season, she will sing Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Boston Lyric Opera, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera New Jersey, a role she also will sing with Opera Southwest in the 2011-12 season.
In the 2009-2010 season, Ms. Johnson sang Vivaldi’s Gloria and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. She made her role debut as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Sarasota Opera, a role she also sang with PORT Opera. In addition, Ms. Johnson made her Kennedy Center debut singing Mozart’s Requiem with The Washington Chorus.
Ms. Johnson began the 2008-2009 season making her Italian debut in Rome singing Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Maestro Paolo Olmi, which was broadcast on RAI 1. She made her role debut as Carmen with the Volkstheater in Rostock, Germany and performed Mozart’s Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman. Other performances included Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Madison Opera, Beppe in L’Amico Fritz with Sarasota Opera, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas with The Yard Arts Festival.
In the summer of 2008, Ms. Johnson’s performance at the Stillwater Music Festival of a world premiere arrangement of Grieg’s song cycle Haugtussa with the renowned string quartet Brooklyn Rider was featured on NPR’s “Performance Today.” She also performed Meg Page in Falstaff with New York City Opera. Her numerous roles with that company include Flora in La Traviata, Mercedes in Carmen, and Soraya in the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Ms. Johnson is the 2006 recipient of New York City Opera’s prestigious Stanley Tausend Award, presented to a deserving young artist in the season after his or her debut with the company.
Other notable recent operatic engagements include Hedwige in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and Mallika in Lakmé with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Glimmerglass Opera, Lisetta in Il Mondo della Luna with Opera Lafayette, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Portland Opera Repertory Theater, and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with Nashville Opera. On the concert stage, she has performed Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the New York Choral Society, selections from Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass, and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Coronation Mass with the Syracuse Symphony, the title role in La Cenerentola with Minnesota Opera (on tour), and made appearances with the Midcoast Symphony.
A 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finalist, Ms. Johnson received her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and her bachelor’s of music degree from St. Olaf College. She is a native Minnesotan, currently residing in New York.
Benjamin Warschawski as Don Jose
Benjamin Warschawski is recognized worldwide for his extraordinary talents in both operatic and cantorial realms. His ability to bring polished, classical style to his cantorial singing and rich, soulful emotion to the operatic stage has prompted many to dub him “this generation’s Richard Tucker.”
This singer has thrilled audiences worldwide in over 20 leading tenor roles, among them Alfredo in La Traviata, the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Don José in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Calaf in Turandot, and the title roles in Werther, Edgar, and L’Amico Fritz. He has graced such stages as New York City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Michigan Opera, Nashville Opera, OperaDelaware, and Austin Lyric Opera. Mr. Warschawski has performed with such legendary opera singers as Sherrill Milnes, James Morris, Jerome Hines, Aprile Millo, Dominic Cossa, Sharon Sweet, Pamela Armstrong, Mark Delavan, and William Warfield. He is a past winner of the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions.
Mr. Warschawski’s recent engagements have included Carmen with Opera Southwest and Washington Summer Opera, Il Tabarro with Los Angeles Opera, L’Amico Fritz with Sarasota Opera, Candide with Toledo Opera, and Il Trovatore with Chautauqua Opera as well as Thomas Beveridge’s Symphony of Peace with the Alexandria Chorale and Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Over the past two seasons, he also has performed in operatic and cantorial concerts in New York, Miami, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Israel.
If you are interested in joining us for this event, please let us know by contacting Leilane G. Mehler at firstname.lastname@example.org