Nicole Paiement (Conductor) has gained an international reputation as a conductor of contemporary music and opera. Her numerous recordings include many world premiere works and she has toured extensively in the US and Asia. Paiement is an active Guest Conductor. She has recently been appointed Principal Guest Conductor at The Dallas Opera where she conducted the world premiere of Joby Talbot’s opera Everest in 2015. Paiement was also the Artistic Director of the BluePrint Project at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Recently, she appeared as guest conductor with the Washington National Opera and the Saratoga Summer Festival. She will be conducting at Glimmerglass Opera this summer and at the Atlanta Opera in Fall 2016.
Brian Staufenbiel (Director) is an active cross-disciplinary director and designer and has helmed the staging and design for Opera Parallèle since 2007. His adventurous stagecraft has won critical acclaim for the company’s productions. This past year, Staufenbiel designed and directed the World Premiere of Angel Heart, performed at Cal Performances in Berkeley, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Festival del Sole. He shared a residency at Ban with composer Luna Pearl Woolf to create an original theater piece premiered in Montréal. Upcoming engagements include directing in both Minnesota Opera and the LA Opera.
Terence Blanchard (Composer/Trumpeter) is jazz’s foremost Renaissance man. A savvy bandleader, celebrated lm composer, brilliant jazz writer, and in uential educator, the GRAMMY-winning New Orleans native is a major creative force in the contemporary jazz scene. After an apprenticeship with jazz legend Art Blakey, Blanchard co-led a quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison during the height of the “young lion” era of the 1980s, releasing five acclaimed sessions, before striking out on his own as a solo artist. He has composed over 40 movie scores, including soundtracks for the majority of director Spike Lee’s work, making Blanchard the most prolific jazz artist working in lm. As an SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director, he is able to present programs that express the diversity of his vision, including the West Coast premiere of his opera Champion: An Opera in Jazz.
Michael Cristofer (Librettist) is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, filmmaker, and actor. He says of Champion, his first opera libretto, “For me, Emile’s story not only asks the question of what it means to be a man, it asks what it means to be a human being.”
Arthur Woodley (Bass, Emile Griffith) has been acclaimed for his performances in both opera and concert. He has appeared at the Seattle Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Also a distinguished concert singer, he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, New World Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Mr. Woodley created the role of Emile Griffith in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Champion at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Kenneth Kellogg (Bass-Baritone, Young Emile Griffith) is an alum of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Emerging Artists Program. Kellogg’s roles in Washington have included Lord Rochefort in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Johann in Werther, and Angelotti in Tosca. He has made debuts with the Los Angeles Opera, Atlanta Opera, the Virginia Opera and Opera Tampa. Upcoming engagements include Sarastro in The Magic Flute at the Opéra de Lausanne, and a return to Washington in Carmen.
Karen Slack (Soprano, Emelda Griffith) made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Verdi’s Luisa Miller. She recently sang Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Madison Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera, Serena in Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tosca with the New Philharmonic. Engagements for 2015 and beyond include Verdi’s Aïda with Austin Lyric Opera, her role debut as Alice Ford in Falsta with Arizona Opera, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Lexington Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Back Bay Chorale.
Robert Orth (Baritone, Howie Albert) was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera. He has participated in the world premieres of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick, Adams’ Nixon in China, Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Blanchard’s Champion, Argento’s A Waterbird Talk, and created the title role in Wallace’s Harvey Milk. With Nicole Paiement, Orth has collaborated on Machover’s Death and the Powers, and twice on Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse when he returns in Opera Parallèle’s production in April at Z Space. Mr. Orth’s performance is partially sponsored by Bernice and John Lindstrom.