Bel Cantanti logo Bel Cantanti Opera
Welcome to Bel Cantanti, an opera company within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area devoted to giving performance experience to both seasoned and aspiring professionals. Between the beautiful singing and glorious music, you will find yourself thoroughly captivated.
"Bel Cantanti Opera continues to be one of the best kept musical secrets in the Washington area."

"The future of opera as fun rather than spectacle or museum piece, lies with such groups as Bel Cantanti Opera."

Washington Post
"Bel Cantanti… reaffirmed the belief that we are living in a golden age of opera and the hope that opera in America has a promising feature. Bel Cantanti … makes the special magic of opera happen.”
Washington Post
“… an absolute delight for opera aficionados and the perfect opportunity for timid newbies to be surprised at just how much fun opera can be.”

Washington Times
"Bel Cantanti Opera has emerged as a great showcase for area talent."

Arlington Weekly News TV
"Bel Cantanti…shows a serious, focused orientation, high ambition and significant potential."

Washington Post

Recent Seasons

Season 2022-2023

Season 2021-2022

Season 2020-2021

Season 2019-2020

Season 2018-2019


Subscribe to our Email-list and receive information about upcoming performances and events

Buy tickets


 Follow us on Facebook

Cosi Fan Tutte

About the opera

ACT I. Naples, late 1700s. Early morning. Don Alfonso, a cynical old bachelor, debates women's constancy with Ferrando and Guglielmo, young officers who insist their sweethearts - the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi are faithful. Alfonso bets that if they give him one day and do everything he asks, he will prove the sisters are like all other women -- fickle.

Fiordiligi and Dorabella are comparing pictures of their boyfriends when Alfonso pays a visit, bringing news that Guglielmo and Ferrando have been ordered away with their regiment. The two men appear, and the sisters, overwhelmed with grief, bid them farewell. Alfonso is delighted with his plot and feels certain of winning his wager.

The chambermaid, Despina, consoles her mistresses and advises them to forget their old lovers with the help of new ones. The girls, scandalized by Despina's depiction of men as swaggering liars, depart. Alfonso convinces Despina to help him introduce new suitors into the sisters' favor, then brings in exotically attired "Albanians" -- Ferrando and Guglielmo in disguise. Fiordiligi and Dorabella don't warm to the newcomers at all, Fiordiligi likening her constancy to a rock in a storm, and they take their leave again. The men, confident of winning their bet, are thrilled, and Ferrando sings amorously of his steadfast sweetheart, but Alfonso reminds him the day is not yet over.

The sisters have retreated to a garden. Alfonso brings in the "Albanians," who claim to have taken poison. The women call Despina, who urges them to care for the men while she fetches a doctor. She returns disguised as the doctor, pretends to draw off the poison with a magnet, then watches with Alfonso as Fiordiligi and Dorabella waver under renewed protestations of love.


In the afternoon, Despina urges Fiordiligi and Dorabella to choose their favorite, and each picks the other's suitor, according to Alfonso's plan. After the "Albanians" serenade the sisters, Despina and Alfonso give lessons in courting and leave the young people together. Guglielmo, courting Dorabella, succeeds in replacing her portrait of Ferrando with a new charm. Ferrando has no such luck with Fiordiligi, who still thinks guiltily of Guglielmo. Comparing notes later, Ferrando is furious over Dorabella's betrayal, Guglielmo smug about Fiordiligi's steadfastness. But Alfonso is not finished yet. Under Despina's supervision, Dorabella tries to persuade Fiordiligi to give in, but Fiordiligi decides that she and Dorabella must join their lovers at the front. Ferrando appears, however, and wins her over. Now Guglielmo is furious, but the officers still owe Alfonso time: as night falls he plans a double wedding.

The couples are married by a "notary" -- again Despina in disguise. As they sign the contracts, the women hear a military march that heralds the return of their original suitors. They force the "Albanians" into hiding and try to compose themselves for Ferrando and Guglielmo, who shed their disguises and enter. Confessions are made by the sisters, and forgiveness is begged. Alfonso bids the lovers learn their lesson, and with a hymn to reason and enlightenment, the day comes to a close.


Sarah Heisler, Fiordiligi, soprano, began the 2012 season singing Yvette in La Rondine with the American Center for Puccini Studies and was next seen in the role of Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music with the Castleton Festival, where she also appeared in performances of Carmen, La Boheme, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel. Upcoming engagements include performances of Madama Butterfly with Hillhouse Opera. This fall she will travel to Oman to sing the chorus of La Boheme when the Castleton Festival and Maestro Maazel perform at Royal Opera House Muscat. Recent credits include the title role in Suor Angelica, Mimi in La Boheme, Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, covering La Princesse in L’enfant et les sortileges, the title role in Carmen, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. She has spent three seasons with the Caramoor International Music Festival and holds a degree from James Madison University.

Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Davis, Dorabella, a native of Northern Virginia, holds a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University, and a Master of Music from the University of Michigan. During graduate studies at the University of Michigan, she performed as Cecilia March in Adamo’s Little Women, Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, and Baba the Turk in Stravinksy’s The Rake’s Progress. In the fall of 2011, Sarah was seen as Angelina in La Cenerentola, with Bel Cantanti Opera Company. An active advocate of contemporary music, Sarah has premiered music for mezzo and piano, by acclaimed composers Vera Ivanova, Zachary Wadsworth, Michael-Thomas Foumai, and Shen Yiwen. In February 2010, she performed in the New York premiere of Jeremy Beck’s one-act contemporary opera Review (mezzo-soprano). In the summer of 2012, Sarah was a Young Artist with the Caramoor Bel Canto Opera program, where she covered Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. She was recently seen performing with the Staunton Music Festival in Staunton, Virginia, where she sang the US Premiere of Leaves from My Life, by renowned composer Vladmir Mendelssohn. Ms. Davis is equally at home in the world of oratorio, having performed solos in Durufle's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor, Handel's Dixit Dominus, and Vivaldi's Gloria. Sarah has studied with In Dal Choi, Carrie Stevens, and Melody Racine.

Melissa Mino, soprano, Despina, she was engaged as an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera, where she performed the role of Ruth Putman in The Crucible as well as numerous ensemble roles last season. While at Temple University, Melissa was seen as Monika in The Medium and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen. Recent performances also include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Bel Cantanti Opera Summer Festival. In 2010 she was a national finalist in the Classical Singer competition and received third prize from the organisation. She furthered her training at the prestigious cooperative program in Princeton, NJ and at the University of Miami Summer program in Salzburg, Austria.

A versatile performed and teacher, Melissa currently resides in Arlington, VA, where she maintains an active private piano and voice studio. She has has recently been a featured soloist in Messiah at St. Luke's with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra (McLean,VA), Brahms' Requiem at St. Alban's ( Washington D.C.) and with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. Upcoming concerts include appearances with the Opera Guild of Northern VA and The Repertory Opera Theatre of Washington, as well as the recital with the Friday Morning Music Club. Last summer she made her debut with the Youn Victorian Theater Company in Baltimore in the role of Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. Upcoming engagements Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Opera Camerata of Washington and Kate Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly with Bel Cantanti Opera. A native of Doylestown, PA, Melissa received her Master of Music degree from Temple University and her Bachelor of Music Degree with a concentration in music education and French, summa cum laude from Bucknell University. She is currently a student of Dr. William Stone.

Colin Levin, Guglielmo. This season Colin will be appearing frequently as a concert artist in the New England area. Appearances will include his Jordan Hall debut as Manfred Lewin in the east coast professional premier of Jake Heggie's orchestral staged baritone song cycle with chorus For a Look or a Touch with the Boston Gay Men's Chorus, the principal soloist in the Holiday Pops Concert with Hillyer Festival Orchestra, the baritone soloist with the Pleasant Bay Camerata in Buxtehude's Ihr lieben Christen, freut euch nun, the Mozart Requiem with the Chatham Music Club, and Vaughan-William's Dona Nobis Pacem with the Chatham Chorale, as part of their Tercentennial Concert. He has spent the summer of 2012 in Virginia performing Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music and covering Le Dancaïre in Carmen, in addition to concerts, with the Castleton Festival.

Colin has appeared with Opera Boston (the cover to the title role in Hindemith's Cardillac, the Poet in the New Year's Eve production of Salieri's Prima la musica e poi le parole, in addition to covering in Fidelio and Donizetti's Maria Padilla, Winter Opera St. Louis (Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Betto di Signa in Gianni Schicchi, St. Petersburg Opera (FL) (Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Morales in Carmen, Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Bogdanovitch/Njegus (cover) in The Merry Widow, and Figaro in The Barber of St. Petersburg), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (L'ombre de Samuel in the North American professional stage premier of Charpentier's David et Jonathas with American Opera Theater, with additional performances in Washington D.C.), and the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song (IL) (Mr. Jenks/Top (cover) in Copland’s The Tenderland) Other performed opera roles include the Forester in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Dandini in La Cenerentola, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Tenor Kyle Tomlin, Ferrando, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 2008 from Penn State University where he studied with Jennifer Trost. In his time at Penn State, Mr. Tomlin performed the roles of Tamino in The Magic Flute, the title role in Albert Herring, and Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Penn State Opera Theatre. In 2011 Mr. Tomlin earned his Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with George Shirley. While at the University of Michigan, he performed Nemorino in L'Elisir D'Amore and Le Chevalier Danois in Armide with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre. With the U of M graduate workshop, he sang the role of Tom Snout in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream and took part in the 6x8 project, a performance of new chamber operas with music and librettos written by University of Michigan students. Mr. Tomlin also performed the First Sailor in Dido and Aeneas with the Metropolitan Baroque Ensemble of Detroit. Last Summer, he attended the Pine Mountain Music Festival where he premiered the role of John in Jukka Linkola's new opera Rockland, which was commissioned by the festival. He was also an artist in residence at the Conductors Retreat at Medomak singing in their concert of Beethoven's 9th Symphony as the Tenor Soloist. Most recently he has performed with the National Chamber Players, the Cathedral Choral Society, and is a professional chorister at Historic Christ Church in Alexandria and the National Cathedral. Mr. Tomlin currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, where he teaches voice.

Andrew Adelsberger, bass-baritone, Don Alfonso, has been praised for his natural comedic timing and is gaining notoriety for his charismatic performances. Recently, he appeared as Dr. Bartolo/Il barbiere di Siviglia with Ash Lawn Opera and as Don Magnifico/La Cenerentola with Bel Cantanti Opera. Andrew has performed with Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival as Spinelloccio/Gianni Schicchi and Mat of the Mint/The Beggar’s Opera. He has also performed with Chautauqua Opera as the Sacristan/Tosca and Mr. Kofner/The Consul. Andrew holds a Master of Music from the Maryland Opera Studio where he performed the roles of Don Alfonso/Così fan tutte and Gus O’Neil in the world premiere of John Musto’s Later the Same Evening. Other roles include, Antonio/Le nozze di Figaro, Sacristan/Tosca (Annapolis Opera), Betto/Gianni Schicchi (Bel Cantanti Opera), Nardo/La Finta Giardiniera, Elviro/Xerxes (Maryland Opera Studio) Dulcamara/L’elisir d’amore (Bel Cantanti Opera), Courchemin/Le Déserteur (Opera Lafayette, Community Performance). Concert credits include; Schubert’s Die Winterreise, Raphael and Adam/The Creation, as well as the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Nelson Mass, and the Bruckner Te Deum. Andrew studies with renown Swiss basso-buffo, François Loup.