Quite simply one of the greatest operas ever written, Verdi’s Falstaff is a comedy that gets funnier the older you get. Taken from Shakespeare, Falstaff is about the illusions we all have about ourselves and the fools they can make of us. Sir John Falstaff, a rakish old knight thinks he hasn’t lost a step in his ability to woo women whether married, younger or both! The pranks the wives play on Falstaff and the lessons they teach him and their gullible husbands form the centerpiece of this riotous and humane comedy.
True to form, OSJ has gathered the next generation of interpreters of this great comedy. A cast of rising stars -Darren Drone stars as Falstaff, Megan Esther Grey as Dame Quickly & Chanae Curtis as Alice Ford.
The performance will run approximately three hours with two intermissions
This production features depictions of violence, the sound of a gunshot, haze, and a brief strobe effect.
The performance will run approximately two hours and thirty minutes with one intermission.
The run time includes the intermission in its overall time.
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.
Opera San José General Director & CEO Shawna Lucey will be leading all preshow discussions
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.
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Market Street Entrance
340 S Market St, San Jose, CA
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Cast & Crew
Darren Lekeith Drone
Described as having “a gorgeously warm tone and deep resonance” (Opera News), baritone Darren Drone is quickly making a name for himself in the opera world. In the 2022-2023 season, Mr. Drone will make a series of exciting debuts with esteemed American companies including Seattle Opera as Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Portland Opera as Zuniga in Carmen, and Opera San José in the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff.
He will also participate in a workshop of Nmon Ford’s House of Orfeus, perform in a concert of operatic favorites with the Santa Fe Symphony and join the Lyric Opera of Chicago roster where he will cover Preacher Man and Bilal in the world premiere of Daniel Roumain and Anna Deavere Smith’s The Walkers. In the summer of 2023, Mr. Drone will debut at The Glimmerglass Festival as Marcello in La bohème and Grégorio in Roméo et Juliette.
Future seasons will also see him at Dallas Opera and Florentine Opera.
Darren Lekeith Drone
This season, American soprano Chanae Curtis returned to Welsh National Opera to perform the roles of Bridget/Emelda in Will Todd’s ambitious new opera Migrations which was premiered in Cardiff earlier in 2022. Later this season, she will debut in Jeanine Tesira’s Blue at English National Opera and next season, she makes her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, singing the role of Curra in Verdi’s La forza del destino.
Last season, Chanae made two role debuts, as Violetta Valéry in Wolf Trap Opera’s production of La Traviata and Nedda in I Pagliacci with Memphis Opera. She also returned to the Metropolitan Opera to perform the roles of Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and 2nd Pit Singer in Hamlet having made her house debut there during the 2019/20 season as Annie and cover Lily in Porgy & Bess. Chanae made her house debut with WNO in 2019 as Anna Gomez in Menotti’s The Consul, as part of their ‘Freedom’ season.
Concert highlights include a performance of Strauss’s Four Last Songs at St. David’s Hall, as well as a guest appearance at Buckingham Palace, performing for His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. She also created and performed a recording of an original sound-work to accompany an exhibition celebrating the life and work of the artist Gwen John. Other notable roles for Chanae include Musetta in La Bohème, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. Later this season, Chanae will be guest soloist in Mahler’s Symphony n°4 with Orchestre Nationale de Bretagne in Rennes.
Chanae holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ashland University, a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and Master of Arts in Opera, with distinction, from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Megan Esther Grey
A recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, contralto Megan Esther Grey is quickly gaining attention in roles large and small across the United States.
In 2021-2022, she returned to The Metropolitan Opera to cover both Suzuki and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterly, performed the title role of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with 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 Lakmé.
In the summer of 2022, Ms. Grey joined the Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde.
During the 2022-2023 season, Ms. Grey made her Opera San Jose debut as The Fairy in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella and appears as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff. She also appears as the soloist in Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra and covers Dritte Dame in both the holiday adaption and the new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with The Metropolitan Opera.
Megan Esther Grey
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.
Baritone Eugene Brancoveanu is a returning Resident Artist at Opera San José. Past roles with OSJ include Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), the Father (Hansel and Gretel), and Count De Luna (Il trovatore), Stubb (Moby-Dick), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Stanley Kowalski (A Streetcar Named Desire), and Escamillo (Carmen). He has also appeared in OSJ’s digital productions of Sing For Your Supper! and Love and Secrets, as well as Schumann’s Dichterliebe.
Recent engagements for Mr. Brancoveanu include Older Brother in Jabri’s Cities of Salt with Opera Movie NY, and serving as director and performing the role of Pasha Selim in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Livermore Opera. In Freiburg, Germany, he appeared as Falke in Die Fledermaus, Darcy in Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice, and Escamillo in Carmen, and performed the title role in Don Giovanni in Warsaw, Poland.
Other international performances include appearances at Heidelberg Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Salzburg Music Festival, Munich State Opera, Berlin Opera, Pesaro Teatro Rossini, Piccola Scala di Milano, Macerata teatro di opera, Romanian National Theater, Tokyo Opera House, Matsumoto Opera, Montreal Opera and Opera Theater of Tel Aviv.
After his successful apprenticeship with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, he was awarded the position of Adler Fellow, where roles performed included Tomski in Pique Dame, Riccardo in The Italian in Algiers, the title role in Don Giovanni, the Pilot in The Little Prince, Belcore in The Elixir of Love, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and Tarquinius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia.
Career highlights include the title role of Shostakovich’s Orango with the L.A. Philharmonic under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen and Peter Sellers, which was recorded for Deutsche Grammophone, and the role of Marcello in Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway production of La Bohème, for which he received both an honorary Tony Award and the 2004 LA Stage Alliance’s Ovation Award (for his performance in the Los Angeles production).
Mr. Brancoveanu graduated from the Academy of Music in Transylvania, Romania, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
“In what might have been the single most spine-tingly moment of the evening, tenor Jonghyun Park delivered a ravishingly beautiful, note-perfect performance of “Una furtiva lagrima” from Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love.” This is a standard aria, very often done, yet it’s rare to hear it sung with this degree of tonal purity, technical command and aching pathos.” – San Francisco Chronicle
Korean tenor Jonghyun Park is a rising young artist, who is quickly developing his performing career.
This season, Mr. Park was named as a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition (Connecticut District).
In the previous season, while attending the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, Mr. Park performed the role of Solo voice in forge in La vida breve and covered Tamino in Die Zauberflöte.
At Yale, Mr. Park performed the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Oronte in Alcina, was featured in the Yale Opera Gala with the Yale Philharmonic as Roméo from Roméo et Juliette, as Edgardo from Lucia di Lammermoor.
Mr. Park received his Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, and his Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University.
Currently, he is under the tutelage of Gerald Martin Moore.
Chinese tenor Zhengyi Bai has been recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “charming verve and dramatic intensity.”
In the 2022/23 season, Bai will join the Metropolitan Opera, covering Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier and as a Resident Artist with Opera San José, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, Dr. Caius in Falstaff, and finally covers of Goro in Madama Butterfly with San Francisco Opera.
In opera, Bai’s recent roles include Fong See in On Golden Mountain (Los Angeles Opera), the First Prisoner in Fidelio (San Francisco Opera), Dancing Master/Lamplighter in Manon Lescaut (San Francisco Opera), Remendado in Carmen (San Francisco Opera), and Alessandro in Il Re Pastore (Merola Opera).
In recitals and concerts, he has performed in “The Schwabacher Recital Series” in San Francisco and “The Future is Now” Concert with San Francisco Opera Orchestra. In the spring of 2021, Bai performed in San Francisco Opera’s Adlers at the Drive-In, which heralded SFO’s return to live performance.
Born and raised in Shandong province of China, Bai began his studies as a piano performance student and a collaborative pianist. It was in his junior year in college he discovered his true instrument: his voice. With a solid musical foundation of piano study, Bai flourished in his vocal studies, completing his initial vocal training in Shandong, China, and continued his opera training in the United States.
Bai was a participant of the Merola Opera Program, and then invited to join the renowned Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera.
Shanley Horvitz, American mezzo soprano, who’s recent performances have been said "to spin lovely, warm legato phrases, replete with ease of emission, dynamic variety, elegance, yet holding obvious power in reserve.”
Shanley is honored to debut with Opera San Jose and return to the California Theater after she won 2nd place in the Irene Dalis Competition this past spring. She has had a fruitful competition season winning 1st place of the: Wagner Society of New York, International Czech and Slovak Competition, International Orpheus Competition, Mario Lanza Institute Competition, and Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Competition.
Her recent debuts include: Anacoana in Franchetti’s Cristoforo Colombo with Teatro Grattacielo and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen which she debuted in concert at Carnegie Hall. Recently she also debuted in Vienna at the Palais Ehrbar in concert with the PolyMuse Orchestra and in the fall she will be debuting as La Gran Vestale in Spontini’s La Vestale.
Shanley is from New Jersey, a graduate of Westminster Choir College, and is under the tutelage of Jennifer Rowley.
Andrew Allan Hiers
Bass-baritone Andrew Allan Hiers is a singing actor hailed for “mature musicianship and superb comic timing” with an ability to sing “with ease and warmth.” Possessing a versatile vocal range with a dark, yet vibrant vocal timbre, Mr. Hiers brings a unique color and dynamic stage presence to every performance he undertakes.
As an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program and Opera Colorado’s Resident Artist Program, he is no stranger to leading roles and big stages. He most recently performed Count Capulet in Romèo et Juliette with Opera Naples where he returns to sing Zuniga in Carmen later this season.
Originally from West Palm Beach, Mr. Hiers is proud to call Florida home. He currently resides in central Florida along the space coast with his partner, soprano Chelsea Lehnea and cat Shiley in their RV. In addition to social media, you can follow along his musical journey at
Andrew Allan Hiers
Possessed of a rare high-tenor voice and a winning stage persona that comfortably embraces both comedic and dramatic roles, Marc Molomot enjoys an international career and was recently named “Artist of the Year” by Voix des Arts.
Mr. Molomot is praised as “an excellent actor-singer” in repertoire of all eras, winning acclaim most recently as Leonard Lev in the world premiere performances of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He recently made his role debuts as “Mime” in Wagner’s Das Rheingold in Germany, “John Adams” in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of us All, and “Der Hauptmann” in Berg’s Wozzeck with the Houston Symphony. The live recording of Wozzeck was the winner of a GRAMMY Award and an ECHO Klassik Award. His comedic talents have been showcased with performances as Adolphe de Valladolid in Offenbach’s Les brigands, at Opéra Toulon and Paris’s Opéra Comique, and he was featured as Le Fils in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias at Opéra de Lyon and at Opéra Comique. In the baroque arena signature roles include the title role of Purcell’s King Arthur and Puck in Fairy Queen, as well as Iro in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulise and Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea.
Visit Marc on the web at www.schwalbeandpartners.com/marc-molomot-tenor.
|José Maria Condemi|
|Steven C. Kemp|
|David Lee Cuthbert|
Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Wig & Makeup Designer
Megan Esther Grey
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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