by erich korngold
December 19 and 22 : zipper hall at the colburn school

The musician Wilhelm Arndt seems to have everything going for him: he is happily married to Laura, he has been appointed Hoffkapellmeister, and he has just inherited a small fortune. Only the return of his long-lost friend Peter Vogel could make him even more happy. When Vogel actually returns, he is jealous of Wilhelm’s happiness, and convinces him that in order not to challenge fate, he should sacrifice something. Wilhelm starts an argument with his wife about her former life, but the couple’s love is strong enough to overcome all difficulties. In the end, all agree that the sacrifice that has to be offered is the intriguer that tried to ruin their happiness: Peter Vogel has to leave again.

Der Zwerg

by Alexander Von Zemlinsky
may 30 and June 2

Zemlinsky crafted this powerful opera from the short story "The Birthday of the Infanta" by Oscar Wilde. The nightmarish fairy tale concerns the protagonist (The Dwarf) who is given as a gift to, smitten by, and rejected by his love interest (The Infanta), only to discover for the first time his “gruesome appearance”. The story is loosely autobiographical, and echoes Zemlinsky’s own failed love affair with the young Alma, who was to become Alma Mahler. The Opera parable explores themes of innocence, the meaning of true love and beauty, discrimination, social rejection, and crushing loss. After fleeing Nazi Germany and finding a home in America, Zemlinsky’s work remained largely unknown in his new country. Der Zwerg has been performed only a handful of times since its debut in Cologne, Germany in 1922. 

The Composer:   Alexander von Zemlinsky

The Composer:
Alexander von Zemlinsky




Rodell Rosel, Tenor

Tenor Rodell Rosel is a guest of the major opera companies in the U.S. Following his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Remendado in Carmen, he has appeared on their stage as the Prince and Man Servant in Lulu, Spoletta in Tosca, the First Priest in Die Zauberflöte, Borsa in Rigoletto and as Faninal’s Major-domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Altoum in Turandot and the Second Jew in Salome,Bardolph in Falstaff, Ruiz in Il Trovatore, Benvoglio in Roméo et Juliette, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, the Four Servants in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Monastatos in Die Zauberflöte and Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier. For the Metropolitan Opera, he has  appeared as Valzacchi conducted by James Levine and as Nathaniel and Franz in their new production of Les Contes d’Hoffman


Shana Blake Hill, Soprano

Soprano Shana Blake Hill is known for creating and premiering new roles, operas, and contemporary works. Critics such as Opera News and The Philadelphia Enquirer have described her as a “fearless actress…” “floods of glorious sound…”and as “…visually and vocally voluptuous.” Hill sung principal roles with: The Los Angeles Opera, Savonlinna Festival Opera (Finland), Dayton Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Long Beach Opera, Santa Barbara Opera, and Opera Southwest. She has been a soloist with: The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Seattle Symphony, The Pacific Symphony, The Naples Philharmonic, The Pasadena Symphony, The Louisville Orchestra, and The Colorado Symphony. Hill is a Naxos recording artist, and is featured on Sony’s Favorite Film Score Compilation. Her latest world premiere as Dona Angela in the first Flamenco Opera Llantos 1492 with the Tucson Desert Festival of Song made opera history, and her upcoming performance of the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah with Festival Opera is widely anticipated.


Oriana Falla, Soprano

Soprano Oriana Falla -- Colombian-American Oriana Falla made her professional concert stage debut as the soprano soloist for Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Long Beach Camerata Singers. Oriana attended UCLA where she studied with renowned baritone, Vladimir Chernov. There she was the featured soprano soloist for Vaughan William’s Dona Nobis Pacem in Royce Hall as well as Orff's Carmina Burana with the UCLA Philharmonia. She frequently sings with the Palm Springs Opera Guild and made her Zipper Hall debut in 2016 with The Opera Buffs. Most recently, Oriana sang the role of La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen.


Roberto Perlas Gomez, Baritone

Roberto Perlas Gomez has performed his extensive repertoire of over one hundred roles with many of the international and regional opera companies throughout the United States. He sings many of the standard leading baritones roles in Italian and French opera especially his signature role of Figaro in Barber of Seville. Mr. Gomez made his international debut as Marcello in La Boheme in Shanghai and created Rizal in Manila during the centennial year of the Philippine National hero. He recently made his Kennedy Center debut as Elias in the Philippine national opera, Noli me tangere. He made his European debut at the Arena di Verona as Chou en-lai in the Italian premiere of Nixon in China. He has been a frequent leading artist at Long Beach Opera where among his many roles are the American premiere of Vivaldi’s long lost Motezuma and Emperor ofAtlantis. He has made a specialty of modern operas.