This project is also being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number
SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
It has long been said that love is fickle, but young Ferrando and Guglielmo and their girlfriends Dorabella and Fiordiligi swear absolute trust, loyalty, and devotion to each other... that is until the jaded Don Alfonso presents the young men with an opportunity to test the bonds of love. Will Ferrando and Guglielmo risk their future happiness on a bet? Will their sweethearts see through the ruse? Or will curiosity set the lovers on a path to ruin?
Featuring Opera Memphis Handorf Company Artists and guests, and directed by Opera Memphis General Director Ned Canty, Mozart's clever comedy will leave you laughing and contemplating the nature of young love.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
MEET THE CAST
Darren Drone as Guglielmo
Baritone Darren Drone is quickly making a name for himself in the opera world as an exciting artist to watch. During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Drone joined the Metropolitan Opera roster as a featured soloist in Porgy & Bess, covered Mitchell in the world premiere of It All Falls Down (Simon/Joseph) with Washington National Opera and will make his Opera Memphis debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. In the summer of 2022, Mr. Drone will return to Santa Fe Opera, singing Moralès in Carmen and covering the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff. Next season, he will make his Portland Opera debut as Zuniga in Carmen and his Opera San Jose debut in the title role of Falstaff. Mr. Drone recently completed a residency with Michigan Opera Theatre where he performed the title roles in both Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost, covered Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title role in Sweeney Todd, and Tonio in Pagliacci, and prepared the role of Young Man/Man in Bar in Champion (COVID19). In the summer of 2021, he joined Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering the roles of the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Captain in Eugene Onegin. Other recent engagements include singing Riff in West Side Story and Baron Douphol while covering Germont in La Traviata with Opera Naples. Mr. Drone is a native of Arkansas where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music at Arkansas Tech University.
Keely Futterer as Fiordiligi
Arkansan-born soprano Keely Futterer has been praised by Opera News as a “high-quality lyric soprano with a keen verbal nuance,” and has been seen in performances across the globe in China, Italy, and the United States. Career highlights of Ms. Futterer include the leading ladies of Elle in La Voix Humaine, the title role of Suor Angelica, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. She received critical acclaim for her role debut of Marie in La fille du régiment at Opera Saratoga, where she was reviewed as having “one of the most gorgeous voices you can imagine with charm to match. Hers [was] a performance you will remember and speak about for years.” She has also performed an array of new opera, in addition to the classics, such as Isabella Beecher in Victoria Bond's Mrs. President, the Witch Mother in the American premiere of Philip Glass’s The Witches of Venice, and in 2017, she was part of the New Works Forum in NYC with American Lyric Theatre, premiering the role of Sara Turing in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing.
Courtney Jameson as Dorabella
Dr. Courtney Jameson, known for her “smooth” and “seamless” voice, graduated in 2020 with her DM in Voice from Indiana University. She is currently an Applied Faculty member at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and maintains a private voice studio. With a love of teaching and performing, Courtney focuses on various projects and opportunities. She is actively involved with Opera Memphis, performing in their “30 Days of Opera” series and their children’s opera The Playground King. She recently placed 3rd in the 2022 Saengerbund Awards in Houston, TX. Also, she will be traveling to the Czech Republic in July to participate in the Opernfest Prague festival. As an operatic mezzo, Courtney has performed the roles of Laurene Powell Jobs (The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs), Lazuli (L'Étoile), Bertarido (Rodelinda), Paula (Florencia en el Amazonas), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Jade Boucher (Dead Man Walking), and Dido (Dido and Aeneas). She is an avid supporter of newly-composed music and has sung premieres and workshops by composers Terence Blanchard, Tobias Picker, Robert Patterson, Shulamit Ran, and Matthew Recio. She was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for the 2017 & 2018 seasons.
Courtney was the 2018 Artistic Division Winner for the National Opera Association's Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, a finalist for the Grand Junction Young Artist Competition in 2019, and winner of the Kentucky and St. Louis District's Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (now the Laffont Competition) in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
Sergio Mandujano as Ferrando
Sergio F. Mandujano is a Mexican American tenor who will be playing the role of Joe in Robert Paterson’s The Companion, as well as Ferrando in Così Fan Tutti. He attended Seagle Festival 2021 where he performed Rodolfo in La Boheme and Broadway excerpts from Hamilton, Follies, Company, and more. Previous credits include Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore, Tamino in The Magic Flute, The Witch in Hansel und Gretel, Harry in Company, Burrs in The Wild Party, and Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone. He received an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nomination for his portrayal of Burrs in The Wild Party and Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is originally from Norwalk, Connecticut.
Rocky Sellers as Don Alfonso
Hailed for possessing a marmoreal basso voice, African-American Bass-Baritone Rocky Eugenio Sellers has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Memphis, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Opera, Penn Square Music Festival, Portland Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera on the James, Pacific Opera Project, The Japan Society, Utopia Opera, Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble, Delaware Valley Opera Company, Opera Naples, Opera Ebony, Natchez Festival of Music, Wagner Society of Cincinnati, Regina Opera, and the Seoul International Opera Festival. Sellers has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, Mendelssohn Club of Albany, Kennett Symphony Voice Competition, Dell'Arte Opera, and the American Prize Competition in Vocal Performance. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Monica Yunus as Despina
Monica Yunus, one of America's most sought-after sopranos, has been called "especially winning" by The New York Times, with a “voice that sparkles like the best of diamonds.” (Omaha World Herald) A principal artist of The Metropolitan Opera for over a decade, Ms. Yunus can be seen in several Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts ranging from The Magic Flute to Le Comte Ory to La Rondine. Her roles include Norina in Don Pasquale, Adina in L'Elisir D'Amore, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Countess and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, among many others.
Ms. Yunus’ concert and recital performances have taken her all over the world - Spain, Bangladesh, Guatemala and Lebanon - and have featured her alongside legendary singers such as Plácido Domingo, and José Carreras. A multi-year ambassador for The Zouk Mikael International Festival in Lebanon, she thrilled audiences in varied concerts over the years. Recent highlights include collaborations with bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and tenor Joseph Calleja as well as Jon Batiste, bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Ms. Yunus is the Co-Founder of Sing for Hope, a leading “arts peace corps” that creates programs such as the Sing for Hope Pianos in public spaces from the Bronx to Beirut that promote the mission of art for all. She has presented and performed at The United Nations, the US Capitol, Aspen Ideas Festival, Oxford University, and the Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship. She has been honored as a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. An Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Yunus is a frequent speaker on arts advocacy and the burgeoning field of arts in health. Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Yunus is the daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus.
Opera Memphis is thrilled to welcome Maestra Jennifer Q. McGuire, who will be stepping in to conduct and play Così fan tutte from the piano for this one-night-only production!
Jennifer Q. McGuire, Conductor & pianist
Jennifer Quammen McGuire is a pianist, coach and conductor based in Nashville. Hailed by the Journal of Singing as “a most able collaborator, dispatching every pianistic challenge with complete aplomb,” she is Music Director of the Vanderbilt Opera Theatre and Principal Senior Lecturer in Collaborative Piano at the Blair School of Music. She is featured on the albums Irrational Exuberance and Sursum, as well the recently released Heinrich Marschner: Songs for Baritone with baritone Jeffrey Williams (Centaur Records). She is a member of the Atlantic Ensemble and the Leela Trio. McGuire has worked with Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Opera Birmingham, The Nashville Symphony Chorus, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council. Faculty appointments at summer programs include the AIMS Festival, Seagle Festival, the Boston Conservatory Opera Intensive and Poco a Poco. In June 2022, McGuire will teach at the Accademia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti in Lucca, Italy.
McGuire recently conducted The Marriage of Figaro, Candide, The Ghosts of Gatsby, Mansfield Park, Albert Herring, Cosi Fan Tutte, Semele, Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena, and Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers for the Vanderbilt Opera Theatre, as well as Le Nozze di Figaro at the Seagle Festival and Don Pasquale at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. In 2020, McGuire was music director and sound designer for Vanderbilt’s animated version of L'enfant et les sortilèges, which is available on YouTube. Upcoming productions include Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a workshop of the new opera Staggerwing, and Here be Sirens.
Production Photos by Ziggy Mack