Back by popular demand! The 2017 American premiere of teenage prodigy Alma’s Deutscher’s Cinderella sold out months before its December run. We are remounting this instant classic with a new twist: Alma returns to make her American operatic conducting debut! Come and bring your family to this classic tale seen through the eyes of one of opera’s brightest stars. It is a story of love and patience, handsome princes and evil step mothers but also about staying true to yourself and standing your ground. With children‘s choruses, instrumental solos and comic verve, this sparkling English language work is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
*This performance will be conducted by Andrew Whitfield
Know Before You Go
The performance will run approximately three hours with one intermission.
Doors open two hours before the performance.
12:00 PM for matinees and 5:30 PM for evening performances
Join us for a preshow discussion at 12:30 PM for matinees and 6:00 PM for evening performances.
The organ player will be performing 30 minutes before curtain.
Keeping in line with industry-wide best practices, Opera San José requires vaccination against COVID-19 and masks are kindly requested while indoors. OSJ will update these policies as conditions evolve.
Box Office Entrance
345 S 1st St, San Jose, CA
Market Street Entrance
340 S Market St, San Jose, CA
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Cast & Creative Team
Composter and Conductor
Born in 2005, Alma Deutscher is a composer, violinist, pianist, and conductor. She started playing the piano when she was two years old and the violin when she was three. At six, Deutscher composed her first piano sonata, and at nine a concerto for violin and orchestra. Conductor Zubin Mehta called her “one of the greatest musical talents today.” Sir Simon Rattle declared that “Alma is a force of nature.” Her opera Cinderella has been performed on three continents to sold-out houses, and was described as “a once-in-a-lifetime opera-going event that had audiences standing and cheering” (Opera Today). In 2017 Deutscher was the subject of an hour-long BBC Documentary and a CBS 60 Minutes documentary. In 2019, Deutscher gave her sold-out Carnegie Hall debut, in a concert dedicated to her own compositions. That same year, Deutscher received the European Culture Prize in a ceremony at the Vienna State Opera and was elected by the German Magazine Stern as one of twelve “Heroes of Tomorrow.” As a soloist playing her own compositions, she has appeared in prestigious festivals, including the Lucerne Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Beijing Music Festival. Deutscher has also appeared as a soloist playing her own compositions with many orchestras – from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. Her new full-length opera, The Emperor's New Waltz, commissioned by the Salzburg State Theatre, will premiere in March 2023. Deutscher’s YouTube channel has more than 15 million views.
Composer and Conductor
During the 2021—22 season, Puerto Rican soprano Natalia Santaliz made her debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Berkshire Opera Festival; covered Belinda in Dido and Aeneas and Maria in West Side Story with Opera San José; joined the Gerdine Young Artists Program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where she covered Papagena in The Magic Flute; and performed as soprano soloist for the Fauré Requiem with Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico. Additional highlights of past seasons include singing Nella and covering Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi under Kent Nagano at the Festival Napa Valley; performing The Blue Project: Puerto Rican Folk Musicpresented by New World Symphony; and soprano soloist in John Rutter’s Requiem with the Puerto Rico Symphony. Ms. Santaliz has sung the roles of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Mařenka in The Bartered Bride, Camila in Navarro's Frenesí, and been a guest artist with Ópera de Puerto Rico, Teatro de la Ópera, Fundación Puertorriqueña de Zarzuela y Opereta, Teatro Lírico del Oeste, among others. Ms. Santaliz participated in Martina Arroyo Foundation’s “Prelude to Performance” and the Sherrill Milnes Voice Studio as part of the Savannah Voice Festival in Georgia. She began her training at the Escuela Libre de Música Ernesto Ramos Antonini of Mayagüez before graduating with honors from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and ultimately receiving her master’s degree from Mannes School of Music.
Tenor Joey Hammond-Leppek makes his company debut with Opera San José this season, appearing as The Prince in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella. He is a recent graduate of the Minnesota Resident Artist Program and was a Wolf Trap Filene Artist for the summers of 2021 and 2022, where he was most recently seen as Little Bat in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. Career highlights include singing Pedrillo with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, where he sang with “clarity and enormous charm” (KC Independent); singing Tony in Glimmerglass Festival’s production of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story, where he “sang elegantly, danced gracefully, and had a winning chemistry with Maria” (Classical Voice America); and performing a “well-trained and dynamic” (Washington Classical Review) Count Barigoule in Viardot’s Cendrillon at the Wolf Trap Opera Filene Center. Film credits include starring as the Mayor on Minnesota Opera’s virtual production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring; appearing on HGOco’s “Now,” an operatic web episode centering LGBTQ+ issues; and his own programmed and performed piece called “A Couch Cabaret” with Minnesota Opera’s Apart Together. Hammond-Leppek was a 2020 National Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Third Place winner in the 2021 Cooper-Bing Competition. A graduate of the Rice University Shepherd School of Music, Hammond-Leppek has participated in resident artist programs across the country, including the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Glimmerglass Festival, Central City, and Opera Saratoga.
Soprano Stacey Tappan returns to Opera San José to star as Griselda in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella – a role she also performed with the company in 2017 during the opera’s American premiere.
She returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice during its 2021-22 season after making her company debut as Dawn in Nico Muhly's Marnie in 2018. One of Tappan’s signature roles is Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, which she has performed with Los Angeles Opera, Opera San José, and Hawaii Opera Theater. A favorite with Los Angeles Opera, Tappan has performed in 11 productions on the company’s stage to date, including Woglinde and the Forest Bird in the Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, Queen Tye in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Miss Wordsworth in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Virtù and Pallade in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Wren in Braunfels’s Die Vögel (released on DVD by Arthaus Musik), and Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Tappan also gave a “beautifully pure, delicately ethereal” and “luminous” performance as Florestine on LA Opera's multiple Grammy Award winning live recording of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles. She studied at Chapman University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School and apprenticed at Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Tappan
Hailed by Opera News as “radiant and riveting” and The New York Times as “a spitfire,” mezzo-soprano Julia Dawson hails from Ontario, Canada and is a winner of the George London Award and Anny-Schlemm Preis from Oper Frankfurt. She makes her company debut with Opera San José this season, appearing as Zibaldona in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella. After training at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Music Academy of the West, Santa Fe Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival, Dawson graduated from the Opernstudio at Oper Frankfurt and joined the company’s ensemble for two seasons, singing Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Goffredo in Ted Huffman’s new production of Rinaldo, and the Kitchen Boy in Dvořák’s Rusalka, among others. Recent engagements include Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Munich Philharmonic and the French Radio Orchestra, under the baton of Barbara Hannigan; Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Theater Bremen; Scarlatti’s Erminia and Emilia in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica with Opera Lafayette; Mozart's Great Mass in C minor with the Vocal Concert Dresden; and Poème de l'amour et de la mer with the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester. She has been presented in recitals by Vocal Arts DC, the New York Festival of Song at Caramoor, Musica Plus, and the Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt. During the last two years, Dawson has spearheaded several musical video projects with colleagues from orchestras throughout Europe and Canada, and raised funds for The Bail Project and the Artist Relief Tree. Her most recent project is Obscura Nox, a musical film with music of Mozart and a new commission from Iranian-Canadian composer Iman Habibi. Directed by Mary Birnbaum, this trans-Atlantic collaboration was an official selection for Opera Philadelphia’s Opera on Film Festival. Dawson’s first solo album Girl in the Snow, featuring songs by American composer Scott Ordway, is available on all streaming platforms.
For the 2022-23 season, soprano Rena Harms makes her role and company debut at Opera San José as The Stepmother in Alma Deustcher’s Cinderella, and will cover the title role in Puccini’s Tosca. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “winningly liquid” and “dramatic vividness and vocal flourish,” Santa Fe native Harms has recently brought the role of Cio-Cio-San to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly to productions at English National Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In the 2018-19 season, Harms returned to the Grand Théâtre de Genève for Wagner’s Ring cycle, covered the title role in Korngold’s rarely performed opera Das Wunder der Heliane with Bard SummerScape, and sang an 11-city recital tour. Her performance as Nell Gwynn in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players at Florentine Opera was recorded live for international release and received two Grammy nominations. Other credits include: Amelia in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (Opéra National de Bordeaux, English National Opera); Beatrice in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers (Florentine Opera); Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Theater Base, Merola Opera Program, Opera Santa Barbara, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Seattle Opera); soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Seattle Symphony); Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello (Oldenburgishes Staatstheater); title role in Sigfried Matthus’s Judith (Staatstheater Braunschweig, Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg); Mimi in Puccini’s La bohème (Los Angeles Opera); Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen and Liù in Puccini’s Turandot (Florentine Opera); and Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, title role of Fibich’s Sárka, Marenka in Bedřich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and Contessa in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Staatstheater Braunschweig.) She was a 2010 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Bass-baritone Ben Brady has been recognized for his “sonorous” tone by SF Classical Voice, and “commanding” stage presence by SF Gate. He makes his company debut with Opera San José this season, appearing as The King in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Brady received his BM in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan and moved to the Bay Area soon after graduating. Operatic roles include Banco (Verdi’s Macbeth), Zaccaria (Verdi’s Nabucco), and Rocco (Beethoven’s Fidelio) with West Bay Opera; Dottore Malatesta (Donizetti’s Don Pasquale) at the Mendocino Music Festival; and the Page in San Francisco Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. After being named the winner of the Western Regionals, Brady was selected for the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semifinals in New York. A year later, he was awarded the Oakland Symphony Award in the Tier I category of the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition. In 2018 Brady was awarded Audience Favorite and First Place in the Tier II category. In the summer of 2021, he participated in the Merola Opera program. Brady was also selected for the Santa Fe Opera Apprenticeship last summer, where he covered the role of Don Basilio.
MEGAN ESTHER GREY
A recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development program, contralto Megan Esther Grey makes her company debut with Opera San José this season, appearing as Fairy in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella and Mistress Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff. In the 2021-22 season, Grey returned to the Metropolitan Opera to cover both Suzuki and Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, performed the title role of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with the University of North Texas (UNT) Opera, sang Emilia in a concert production of Verdi’s Otello with the UNT Symphony Orchestra, and made her Washington Concert Opera debut as Mistress Bentson in Léo Delibes’s Lakmé. In the summer of 2022, Grey joined Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Brangäne in Wagner’s Trista und Isolde. During the 2022-23 season, Grey will also appear as the soloist in Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra and cover Dritte Dame in both the holiday adaption and new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Metropolitan Opera. Throughout the disrupted 2020-21 season, Grey performed in multiple recitals in collaboration with pianist Matthew Gemmill. In April 2021, she was joined by pianist Mark Bilyeu and trombonist Derek Bromme for performances of Libby Larsen’s Mary Cassatt and Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. This multimedia recital featuring paintings by Mary Cassatt, as well as mixed media prints by Mer Brich an animated script by Alexandra Saulsbury. In the summer of 2021, Grey also returned to Wolf Trap Opera as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert.
Megan Esther Grey
Brian James Myer
Baritone Brian James Myer has been praised as an artist of "both voice and character to make him stand out in the crowd" (Sarasota Observer). In the spring of 2021, Mr. Myer returned to New York City Opera as Alberto in their workshop of Ricky Ian Gordan and Michael Korie’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and in 2022, he reprised the role in the opera’s world premiere (a recording of the opera will further take place in 2023). Also in the 2021-22 season, he made debuts with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Delaware as the title character in Il barbiere di Siviglia, joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera as the cover of Marcellus/Player 4 in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, sang Second Nazarene in Salome with Bard Symphony Orchestra and made his Berkshire Opera Festival debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni. In 2022-23, he returns to Opera Orlando as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, debuts with Symphony San Jose as the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, sings the role of Davis Miller in Approaching Ali with Opera Las Vegas and joins New York Opera for their production of All is Calm. He also debuts the role of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Tri-Cities Opera and Syracuse Opera, returns to Opera San Jose as Minister in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella, and performs English art song in a recital with Brooklyn Art Song Society. Mr. Myer holds degrees from University of Nevada Las Vegas and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Brian James Myer
Assistant Conductor &
|Steven C. Kemp|
|David Lee Cuthbert|
Y. Sharon Peng
Sponsors & Credits
Opera San José is supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, the National Endowment for the Arts, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundations, The Packard Humanities Institute, and The Wadhwani Foundation.
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