Praised by the New York Times for her “high flying virtuosity,” soprano Nikki Einfeld, as Margaret Schlegel, has appeared with leading opera companies and orchestras. A native of Canada, she is a former Adler Fellow and Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Nikki performs frequently with contemporary music ensembles and in chamber music.
Philip Skinner, as Henry Wilcox, enjoys an international career, having performed major bass-baritone roles of the repertoire with companies throughout the world, many at San Francisco Opera. He created the role of Edward Casaubon in the Shearer/Stevens 2015 opera Middlemarch in Spring at San Francisco’s Z Space and for the Charlottesville Opera 2017 East Coast premiere. In a glowing feature article on Skinner, Joshua Kosman traces Phil’s stellar career in opera.
Soprano Sara Duchovnay, as the reckless and willful Helen, appears on opera stages throughout America. She created the major role of Dorothea in Middlemarch in Spring at Z Space and repeated that performance with Charlottesville Opera. Praised for her “expressive grace” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Sara is also a fashion entrepreneur.Tenor Michael Dailey, as an African-American Leonard Bast, ensnared in the schemes of Henry, Margaret and Helen, has performed a range of roles as a Principal Resident Artist with San José Opera. Opera News described his as a voice “blessed with freshness.”
Soprano Candace Johnson, as fading club singer Jacky, has concertized widely, including guest appearances at Carnegie Hall and The Manhattan Center. Her performances range from Mozart, Menotti and Puccini opera to African-American art song. This year she premiered a one-woman show, “VOX in a Box,” a musical biography incorporating various media and styles, about finding her authentic musical voice. Candace teaches voice and African-American music history at UC Berkeley.
Baritone Daniel Cilli, as the shallow, nasty fraternity jock Charles, also was a Principal Resident Artist at San José Opera. His recently acclaimed performances range from Kurt Rohde’s Death with Interruptions to Don Quixote in Man of la Mancha. Mezzo Soprano Erin Neff, as Ruth Wilcox and Mrs. Avery, has appeared in numerous San Francisco Opera productions, most recently in this season’s It’s A Wonderful Life. Her work as an installation artist has been seen at San José Institute of Contemporary Art and Culver Center for the Arts. An emerging director, she has directed for the San Francisco Opera Center, Mendocino Music Festival, Telluride Music Festival and Island City Opera.
Director Philip Lowery, whose lively and canny direction of the Z Space premiere of MIDDLEMARCH IN SPRING helped to bring honor to that work, now will bring to the Z Space stage all the richness, intensity and social significance of HOWARDS END, AMERICA. With directing credits at Berkeley Opera, North Bay Opera, Lamplighters Music Theatre, and Berkeley Contemporary Opera (of which he was a co-founder), he is also an actor and a Resident Artist of San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and has directed for such local theatre companies as Central Works, Altarena Playhouse, Berkeley Playhouse and Shotgun Players.
Conductor and music director Mary Chun has worked with composers such as John Adams and Olivier Messiaen and put forward numerous opera premieres including Libby Larsen’s Every Man Jack. Mary often works with West Edge Opera, where she conducted Thomas Ades’ Powder Her Face to international critical acclaim. Other conducting engagements include tours with the Kosice Opera throughout Europe, the Hawaii Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Cleveland, Opera Idaho, West Bay Opera, and Pacific Repertory Opera. As Resident Music Director for Cinnabar Opera Theater, Mary has been recognized by the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle with nominations and awards for Best Music Direction in musicals and opera over several seasons.