Seventeen singers from North Carolina, Detroit, San Jose, New York, Texas and Washington DC area were selected for participating in the first BCO summer music festival ( August 10 through August 23, 2009). During two weeks singers received coachings, voice lessons, workshops, master classes and performance seminars from some of the leading teachers, coaches and professionals in the area.
Faculty and guest artists: Katerina Souvorova - BCO director, producer, opera coach; Rick Christman - voice technician; Gene Galvin: - stage director, Nicholas Catravas: - rehearsal pianist, coach, Francois Loup - Comic in opera; Delores Ziegler - German Diction in opera and art song, Sharon Christman, - vocal technique, Fabiana Bravo, - Italian diction, Bel Canto, Rick Christman - vocal technique, Gene Galvin - acting, movement, Joe Walsh, VAO, - audition technique, Katerina Souvorova: - Russian Diction.
"... The unquestioned star of the evening was Dennys Moura as Nemorino. Moura, clearly marked out for an early rise to fame as a tenor, sang with obvious emotion, great clarity and instinctive and convincing acting ability. His voice is lovely to hear and his rendition of "Una furtiva lagrima" left his audience dazzled. Moura's will be a career to watch as he adds other roles to his repertoire and gains in experience..." Stephen Neal Dennis, Allartsreview4U.com (read complete review)
Jessica Renfro, Romeo; Meghan McCall, Giulietta; Patrick Layton, Tebaldo; Kwang Kyu Lee, Capellio; Charlie Hyland, Lorenzo. (Click for more pictures)
"Jessica Renfro as Romeo was the Ferrari on stage... alert and quick in her acting, and superb as a singer in a role Bellini draped with opportunities for solo excellence. At times Renfro left her audience almost breathless with admiration as she breathed life into her character and spun melodies into charismatic suggestion."Stephen Neal Dennis, allartsreview4you (read complete review)
"What a treat for Bel Cantanti Opera's young singers: doing "Don Pasquale" with François Loup, a top-notch buffo bass-baritone. And what a treat for the audience on Sunday afternoon at the Olney Theater Center for the Arts: Loup also stage-directed, creating a fast-moving blend of visual fun and delightful music." Washington Post. (read complete review)
Love, Love, Love! An unique mix of cabaret, musical theatre and operetta. Jessica Renfro, Meghan McCall, Anamer Castrello, Eric Gramatges, Bryan Jackson.
" .. Tonight, a triumphant Bel Cantanti Opera production of Verdi’s beloved "La Traviata" was presented in the resonant concert space at the Embassy of Austria... Bel Cantanti Opera continues to move from strength to strength..." (read complete review)
" On Tuesday evening at the Austrian Embassy, a ray of sunshine peeked through opera's gathering storm. Bel Cantanti gave a delightful performance of "La Traviata"... Amy Call and Jerett Gieseler showed that singing is at the center of "La Traviata." Call, making a name for herself in some European houses, sang radiantly with a healthy bloom and focus. She held nothing back, her lovely soprano resounding across the hall. Gieseler, as Germount pere, displayed a warm baritone..." (read complete review)
In September 2008, Bel Cantanti Opera inaugurated its 5th Anniversary Season with this commemorative program featuring scenes and arias from L’Elisir d’Amoré, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, La Traviata, Hansel and Gretel, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Pasquale and other past and future company productions.