Cast of Sugar Creek Symphony & Song's
2004 Production of Gounod's Roméo
Sung in French with projected English surtitles.
Chellis, Tenor (Roméo). One
reviewer described Mr. Chellis as "a
tenor of considerable softness and beauty
of tone with a surprising reserve of power."
The Washington Post wrote "A mellow
tenor voice floated out from the stage:'Comfort
Ye, Comfort Ye My People', and you could
feel the audience doing just that."
Mr. Chellis is regular performer with
New York City Opera in such roles as Tamino
in The Magic Flute, Don Ottavio
in Don Giovanni, Nanki-Poo in The
Mikado and Cascada in The Merry
Widow in the Live from Lincoln
Center telecast on PBS.
International credits include the role
of the Duke in Rigoletto with
Teatro Colon de Bogota (Colombia), Ernesto
in Don Pasquale with Calgary Opera
and Edmonton Opera and Ramiro in La
Cenerentola with Opera de Quebec.
Mr. Chellis has also performed Pedrillo
in Washington Opera and Andres in Wozzeck
at Dallas Opera.
Todd, Soprano (Juliette).
2003 proved to be a stunning year for
Helen Todd with national media attention
from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal,
and USA Today for her portrayal of Aunt
Lydia in the North American premiere of
The Handmaid's Tale at Minnesota
Opera. The New York Times stated
a sweet-faced soprano, is physically unimposing,
but she made it clear through her focused
intensity that you wouldn't want to mess
She journeys to Toronto, Canada
this fall to reprise this role in the
Canadian premiere of The Handmaid's
Tale. Last year, Ms. Todd also
performed to great acclaim as Lucia in Lucia
di Lammermoor with Opera Illinois
where the Peoria Times-Observer wrote
that her performance had a "thrilling
dynamic range, ravishing ornamentation,
perfect intonation, and terrifying emotional
intensity." Ms. Todd has performed
often with Cleveland Opera, Minnesota
Opera, Arizona Opera, New York City Opera,
and Opera North, among others, in roles
such as Queen of the Night, Violetta,
Gilda, Lucia, and Juiliette.
Dutton (mezzo-soprano). Acclaimed
for her "rich and sonorous sound" (Pravo Newspaper, Czech Republic),
mezzo-soprano Jane Dutton is in demand for operatic and concert engagements
internationally. Regularly engaged by the Metropolitan Opera, during
her sixth season on the roster, Miss Dutton performed as Jordan Baker
in John Harbison's The Great Gatsby, which was conducted by
James Levine. Her performances in past seasons have ranged from Stephano
in Roméo et Juliette conducted by Bertrand de Billy, to Mrs.
Gleaton in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah,
conducted by James Conlon. She was also responsible for roles in Ariadne
auf naxos, Lulu, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto
and in Wagner's Ring Cycle. She recently added the Composer
in Ariadne auf naxos to her repertoire in her first engagement
at the San Francisco Opera and was reengaged for Sonjetka in Johannes
Schaaf's acclaimed production of Shostakovitch's Lady Macbeth of
the Mtsensk, conducted by Donald Runnicles. She made her debut
at the Tokyo Opera Nomori in Robert Carsen's production of Elektra,
with performances conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
Garner, Baritone (Mercutio).
Robert Garner has performed Mercutio in
Romeo et Juliette with Opera Carolina,
Connecticut Opera, and Natchez Opera Festival. Mr.
Garner recently stepped in at the last
minute to perform the role of Ford in
Opera Southwest's production of Falstaff. He
has also performed at Opera Colorado,
New York City Opera, and L'Opera Francais
de New York. He is a past winner
of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Prize.
Lau, Bass (Friar Laurence).
Mr. Lau's incredible artistry as both singer
and actor have graced the opera stages throughout
the United States in such roles as Papageno
with New York City Opera, Don Pasquale with
Arizona Opera, Osmin with Kansas City, Colline
with New York City Opera, Omaha and Atlanta
Opera, Sarastro with Tulsa Opera in The
Magic Flute, Lieutenant Ratcliff in
Billy Budd with Seattle Opera, and
Dottore Grenvil in La traviata with
Lyric Opera of Chicago. In the role of Friar
Laurence at Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota
Herald-Tribune wrote of the he brought a
"chilling effect as he described the
potion's action to Juliette in Act IV."
Hedlund, Bass-Baritone (Capulet). Bass-baritone
Ronald Hedlund has had a 30-year distinguished
career in opera and classical music. He
was a regular member of the Metropolitan
Opera National Touring Company where he
performed both the Figaro and the Count
in Le nozze di Figaro, Sharpless
in Madame Butterfly, Colline in La
boheme, Ford in Falstaff, and
Germont in La Traviata. He also
appeared as Escamillo in Carmen with
Seattle Opera, Rev. Blitch in Susannah
with Houston Grand Opera, Osmin in Abduction
from the Seraglio with Washington Opera
(D.C.), Scarpia in Tosca with
Miami Opera, the title role in Macbeth
with Chicago Lyric Opera, and the title
role in Falstaff with Boston Opera,
Sarasota Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Mr.
Hedlund has played opposite such operatic
luminaries as Joan Sutherland, Renato Scotto,
Jerry Hadley, Erie Mills, Anna Moffo, and
Alfredo Kraus. Mr. Hedlund has performed
the role of Capulet with Dallas Opera.
Vickers, Tenor (Tybalt). A
native of Danville, Illinois, Justin Vickers was praised by the Washington
Post for his "emotionally charged delivery" in his portrayal
of the title role of Idomeneo at Wolf Trap Opera. Mr. Vickers has
also performed the Ballad Singer in Of Mice and Men with Washington
Opera and the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier with Minnesota
Opera. Outside the US, Mr. Vickers has performed with Festival de
Mallorca and the Festival Internacional de Moia de Bages in Barcelona.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the University
Cowdrick Mezzo-Soprano (Gertrude).
Career highlights have included Paulina
in Pique Dame, Meg Page in Falstaff,
Siebel in Faust, Third Lady in Die
Zauberflöte, Mrs. Nolan in The Medium,
and Grimgerde in Die Walküre with
San Francisco Opera; Varvara in Katya
Kabanova with Los Angeles Opera; Mistress
Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor
with Washington Opera; Rosina in Il barbiere
di Siviglia with De Nederlandse Opera,
Scottish Opera, Vancouver Opera, and Bühnen
Stadt Köln; Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia
with New York City Opera; title role in
La Cenerentola with Kentucky Opera;
Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri
with Utah Opera; Charmian in Antony and
Cleopatra with the Spoleto Festival
USA & Italy (New World Records / 1985
Grammy Award); Elizabeth Proctor in The
Crucible with Tulsa Opera; Marcellina
in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera
Omaha; Marquise in La fille du régiment,
Old Prioress in Les dialogues des carmélites,
and Filipevna in Eugene Onegin with
Arizona Opera; Foreign Singer in Postcard
from Morocco with Opera Festival of
New Jersey; and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly
with the Wildwood Festival. Concert highlights
have included Karolka in Jenufa with
Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie
Hall (Grammaphone Bis) and appearances with
the San Francisco Pops.
Washington III (The Duke). George
Washington III is a native of Kankakee,
Ill., and is a longtime member of the
Opera Carolina Chorus in Charlotte, North
Carolina. He has has appeared as the Imperial
Commissioner (Madama Butterfly),
Dr. Grenvil (La traviata) , Dr.
Lomax (Cold Sassy Tree), Elder
Ott (Susannah), and Balthazar (Amahl
& the Night Visitors) as a house
artist for Opera Carolina. He is a graduate
of Northwestern University.
Walker, Conductor. Born in Sydney,
Australia, Antony Walker continues to expand
his international reputation as both conductor
and choral director. Antony has conducted
at the Welsh National Opera as House Conductor
and Chorusmaster, is the Artistic Director
of Washington Concert Opera, founded both
the Pinchgut Opera and the professional
chorus Cantillation in Australia. He continues
to conduct often in the United States, including
Minnesota Opera, Hawaii Opera, Pittsburgh
Opera and next season New York City Opera.
Lapinski, Stage Director. Ms.
Lapinski is a regular member of the directing
staff at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She
has directed The Turn of the Screw
for L'Opéra de
Montréal, the Emilio Sagie production of
Don Carlos at San Francisco Opera,
Carlisle Floyd's Susannah with Palm
Beach Opera, and her new production of The
Magic Flute with Opera Festival of New
Jersey. Recently, Ms. Lapinski also co-directed
a new production of Das Rheingold
in Santiago de Chile.
Wong, Scene Designer. Having
designed nearly 200 productions of operas,
plays, and musicals, Mr. Wong has more
than 25 years of experience as a scene
designer for sets and costumes. His original
productions have been seen at Seattle
Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Edmonton Opera,
Austin Lyric Opera, and Fort Worth Opera,
among countless others. His production
of The Consul was aired on PBS
as part of the "Great Performances"
series. Mr. Wong also designed environmental
and commercial installations for art galleries
for the 1992 Anchorage Winter Olympics
Organizing Committee. Mr. Wong is a summa
cum laude graduate of Yale College.