6 singers you won’t want to miss in Silent Night
by Kathleen Sykes
It’s no secret that we at Utah Opera love staging new, cutting edge, and unfamiliar works. What can we say? We love exploring the world of opera, and we especially love drama! Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, might be new fare for some people, but Utah Opera fans will definitely recognize some familiar faces in the cast.
#1 Andrew Stenson – Role in Silent Night: Nikolaus Sprink
Past roles with Utah Opera: Tamino in The Magic Flute and Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio
Andrew is pretty new to the Utah Opera family. He came last season to play Tamino in The Magic Flute and debuted a few years ago as Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio. He has a beautiful tenor voice that’s perfect to play Nikolaus Sprink—an opera singer within the opera who’s conscripted to fight for the German side in World War I.
#2 Abigail Rethwisch – Role in Silent Night: Anna Sørensen
Past roles with Utah Opera: One of the three ladies in The Magic Flute, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Frasquita in Carmen, Antonia in Man of La Mancha, Aunt Sarah/Shrink in The Long Walk, and *catches breath* Nella in Gianni Schicchi
Abigail has a long history with us! She started as one of our Resident Artists and toured schools around the state educating kids about music. She’s also graced the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre stage with her presence in Die Fledermaus and The Magic Flute, but her most noteworthy role was when she stepped in last minute to play the Everest of soprano roles, Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
#3 Efraín Solís – Role in Silent Night: Lieutenant Audebert
Past roles with Utah Opera: Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet
Efraín is another relative newcomer to the Utah Opera gang and he made his debut with a bang. He played an incredible Mercutio with a lot of swagger in Gounod’s tragic retelling of Romeo and Juliet. In this video, you can see he’s a double threat: Not only does he have a beautiful voice, but he can also sword fight!
#4 Daniel Belcher – Role in Silent Night: Ponchel
Past roles with Utah Opera: Too many to count! He’s been in at least a dozen productions, but most recently he has been in Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, and The Long Walk
Daniel is a seasoned veteran (excuse the pun!) to Utah Opera. He’s been in various productions, and sang with us at least once in concert at the Deer Valley® Music Festival. We honestly can’t get enough of him, his rich baritone voice, or his hilarious on-stage antics as shown below.
#5 Troy Cook – Role in Silent Night: Father Palmer
Past roles with Utah Opera: Falke in Die Fledermaus, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly
Bonus role with Utah Opera: He’ll be playing Athanaël in our upcoming production of Thaïs!
We always love it when Troy Cook joins us—so much so, he’s going to be here not once, but TWICE this season! (Interestingly enough, he’s playing clergy both times.) The role of Father Palmer, the principled Scottish priest, is not foreign to him—he’s played it before in the exact same production with the same director. Here he is in recital singing “Avant de quitter ces lieux” from Gounod’s Faust.
#6 Craig Irvin – Role in Silent Night: Lieutenant Horstmayer
Past roles with Utah Opera: Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Stubb in Moby-Dick
Craig is an incredible singer and great actor—as perfectly exemplified in our recent production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick. What makes him an even more compelling performer for the role of Lieutenant Horstmayer is that he’s played this role many times with many other companies. He’s had a lot of time to flesh out this role!
Don’t miss Silent Night this January. You can get your tickets here.