Ars Musica is proud to introduce the stellar cast of its upcoming performance of La bohème.
Alexis Rodda (Mimi) is a soprano from New York City. She graduated in 2010 from Princeton University with a major in English and minors in Vocal Music Performance and German. During her time at Princeton, she wrote the libretto, produced, and performed the title role of an original opera, Rosaleen, with composer Maxwell Mamon. Her recent performance credits include Francesca da Rimini with the Princeton Festival, scenes from Carmen (Michaela), a concert at the Bernried Festival in Bernried, Germany, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Penelope), Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess), Die Zauberfloete (Pamina), Ragtime (Mother), A Funny… Forum (Domina), Les Miserables (Cosette), and Oklahoma! (Laurey). She is a 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition Boston District winner and a New England Regional Finalist. She currently attends Mannes College, where she is halfway through a masters in Vocal Music Performance. Alexis has studied with a multitude of esteemed vocal teachers, including Ruth Falcon, Cynthia Hoffman, and her current teacher, Arthur Levy.
Alexander Carlos Pikarsky (Rodolfo) is very happy to be singing with Ars Musica, and for the continuing opportunity to work with Kelly Crandell, whom he got to know while singing in the Kirkpatrick Choir and in the Rutgers Glee Club. With these ensembles, Alex has had the privilege of singing Kurt Weill’s Berliner Requiem, Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis, Bach’s B Minor Mass, and at Lincoln Center, both the Verdi Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Maestro Crandell has offered Alex the opportunity to perform the role of Rodolfo when he conducts La Boheme this spring. Alex is thrilled, since he has been studying opera since the age of sixteen, when he was chosen by Metropolitan Opera legend Martina Arroyo to participate in the chorus of Les Contes d’Hoffman for her annual summer program, Prelude to Performance®. In subsequent years, Alex returned to Prelude and sang Il Giudice in Un Ballo in Maschera, the First Priest/First Armored Man in Die Zauberflote, and Gobin in La Rondine. With Opera at Rutgers, Alex has played Elder Hayes in Susannah, Monostatos in Die Zauberflote, and Hob in Flora (or Hob in the Well), winning the enthusiastic applause of composer Neely Bruce. He has also done musical theater, appearing in Urinetown and in Sweeney Todd (playing Beadle Bamford on two separate occasions).
Janette Zosche (Musetta) is extremely excited to make her opera debut as Musetta in La Boheme with Ars Musica. Janette is a music performance major with a concentration in voice at Montclair State University and will be graduating this coming May. Janette is currently studying with Dr. Lori McCann, and will be playing the role of Madame Lidoine in Montclair State University’s Dialogues of the Carmelites in April. Also in April will finish her degree requirements with her Senior Recital, given at Montclair State University. Being a crossover vocalist, Janette has many musical roles under her belt, including Marcy Fitzwilliams in I Love You Because, and Joanne in RENT, which she performed more recently at the Castle Theatre. This will be Janette’s first role in an opera and she is eternally grateful to Kelly Crandell and all of Ars Musica for this incredible opportunity!
Sean Kroll (Marcello) Rising star Seán Kroll has been hailed as “…a showstopper” (Saint Petersburg Times). The bass-baritone is noted for his passionate singing, rich character portrayal, and resplendent nuance. Gifted with an instrument of unique clarion color, the artist brings intelligent precision and animal electricity to all of his work. He shines with comedic timing and delves deep with dark brooding; he is equally expert with interpretations divinely sublime and tragically profane. With a vast array of repertoire to his credit, the artist has performed near thirty roles and has sung across the United States, in Europe and Asia. Highlights include: The title role of Don Giovanni, Escamillo and Zuniga (Carmen), Colline and Marcello (La Bohème), Papageno (Magic Flute), Don Alfonso (Cosi fan Tutte), Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’Amore), Ariodate (Serse), Ewald (Lehár’s Springtime), Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Sam (Trouble in Tahiti) and in the realm of music theater, Cinderella’s Prince, the Mysterious Man, the Narrator and the Wolf (Sondheim’s Into the Woods).
Opening 2012, the soloist toured the People’s Republic of China performing for thousands with the South Shore Orchestra in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Changxing, Xiaoshan, Fujian, Fuxhou, Longhan & Xiamen. Mr. Kroll made his New York debut October 2011 singing the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Mosaic-Arts Company; later that season, the artist returned to Chicago for his first Colline in La Bohème. Highlights of winter 2013 performances include the portrayal of Ariodate in Handel’s masterpiece, Xerxes in the greater metro area of Boston, Massachusetts and the role of Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème with Ars Musica, New Jersey.
Concert credits include touring the United States singing Handel and Mozart opera arias, Schubert and Strauss lieder, Fauré chanson and classic Broadway hits. Among 2011 performances are an inaugural concert for the Jeffrey Arnold Foundation Festival, and the Second Saturday Recital Series at the treasured landmark Quigley Chapel in Chicago. Seán was the 2010 opening headliner for the Galena Summer Music Festival, and in 2009 he made his Texas recital debut. The artist has also been a concert soloist with Chicago Opera Theater (Poulenc’s Le Bestiaire), Music by the Lake Singers (Bach’s Magnificat),Opera Santa Barbara, Music Institute of Chicago (Mozart’s Requiem), Sonic Inertia (Berkhout’s Uphill), the Saint Petersburg Opera, as well as visiting artist to the esteemed Accademia di Perfezionamento dell Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
An alumnus of the Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Santa Barbara and Saint Petersburg Opera artist development programs, Mr. Kroll received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University and trained at the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. The vocalist studies with Bill Schuman in New York City.
Mr. Kroll will be featured with orchestra in the upcoming American Songbook and Italian Classics national concert tour with Star Gate Productions; film and record soundtracks for worldwide distribution available soon. For more information, please visit, www.seankroll.com.
Dusty Francis (Colline) enjoys an active career as a conductor, singer and music educator. Mr. Francis is a new arrival to the New York classical music scene by way of Cincinnati and Washington, DC. He is a recent graduate of The University of Maryland, where, in addition to his studies, he conducted the University of Maryland Men’s Chorus and taught undergraduate conducting. Reflecting his diverse interests, he has directed a breadth of ensembles including university, church, community, and high school choruses. Mr. Francis appears regularly in concert with such ensembles as The Tucson Chamber Artists, The Washington Master Chorale and The Skylark Vocal Ensemble. He is a member of the professional octet in residence at The Church of the Holy Family, the United Nations Parish, and can be heard singing in various churches and ensembles throughout the city and the region. In addition to his duties as Assistant Conductor of Ars Musica, Mr. Francis was recently appointed the conductor of the Classical Fusion Chamber Ensemble in Manhattan. Francis holds a Master of Music in choral conducting from The University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in music education from Xavier University.
Matthew Walsh (Schaunard) is a recent graduate of Princeton University where he studied voice with David Kellett. While at Princeton, he performed in many stage works, most notably creating the title role of student written opera, Nero Artifex, by Theo Popov and singing Sid in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. Matthew also participated in the premiere of student written musical drama, Rosaleen, by Alexis Rodda and Maxwell Mammon and a performance of selected Mozart opera scenes for which he sang the roles of Papageno and Guglielmo. He also served as President and Music Director of Princeton’s oldest a cappella group, the Princeton Nassoons. As a four year member of the Nassoons singing first Bass, he travelled extensively both domestically and internationally with trips to Europe and South America. With the Nassoons, he also collaborated with musical artists Ben Folds, Deborah Cox, and Darren Criss. This is Matthew’s first season with Ars Musica.