Opera Roanoke opens its 42nd season with a new production of Tosca. Not seen in Roanoke since 2001, Puccini’s melodrama teems with its composer’s signature blend of sweeping passions and compelling theatricality. The show features a cast of Opera Roanoke returning favorites including, Dinyar Vania (La Traviata ’16), Thomas Cannon (Madama Butterfly ’11), and Emily Johnson (Falstaff ’08) in the title role. This taut musical thriller is a perfect opera for the weekend before Halloween.
Recently making a successful transition into dramatic soprano repertoire, EMILY LANGFORD JOHNSON has already built an exciting emerging career. Recognized as “extremely stage savvy” (Opera News), Ms. Johnson has thrilled audiences and critics with her wide vocal range and compelling acting skills. Formerly a mezzo-soprano, career highlights include roles in Hansel and Gretel, Falstaff, Cosi fan Tutte, Die Zauberflote, The Crucible, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Little Women, Il Signor Bruschino, La Cenerentola, Rigoletto, and the title role in Carmen. Concert repertoire includes performances of The Messiah, Das Lied von der Erde, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Mozart’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. She has performed with such companies as Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Roanoke, Opera New Jersey, Glimmerglass Opera, Cincinatti Opera, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, Fox Valley Symphony, Utah Festival Opera and Palm Beach Opera.
Recent engagements in the dramatic soprano repertoire have included several concerts with Madison Lyric Stage which featured scenes from Tosca, Otello, Cavalleria Rusticana, Tannhauser, Der Rosenkavalierand Die Walkure. 2013 brought a concert for Wagner’s 200th at the German Consul Generale. A co-production with The New York Wagner Society, the concert consisted of various Wagner arias, songs by Strauss and her debut performance of the Wesendonck Lieder. Future engagements include a return performance with Greeley Philharmonic, performing scenes from Tosca and Turandot.
Dinyar Vania has recently emerged as one of the country’s most exciting young tenors. With a voice that combines both power and beauty, he has earned critical acclaim portraying several of the most beloved roles in opera. In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Vania is Cavaradossi in Tosca with Piedmont Opera, Don José in Carmen with Greensboro Opera, and Ovidio in Martín’s Before Night Falls with Florida Grand Opera.
Mr. Vania’s engagements in the 2015-16 season included Cavaradossi for his Utah Opera debut, Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera Roanoke, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West with Opera Omaha, Messiah with Wichita Symphony, and Verdi’s Requiem with Asheville Symphony Orchestra.
He has performed with New York City Opera as Rodolfo in La Bohème, a role which he has also performed with Madison Opera, Opera Roanoke and Knoxville Opera. He has sung as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Dallas, Sacramento and Toledo operas; Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera Cleveland; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Knoxville Opera, and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Syracuse Opera.
Thomas Cannon is attracting attention as an important young singer with a unique vocal timbre, exquisite musicianship, and sensitive artistic expression. Described as “Strong and striking” with a “talent for characterization” (Opera Today), he has participated in young artists’ programs at the Glimmerglass Festival where he was singled out for his “forceful, throbbing voice” (Opera News), Arizona Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Crested Butte Festival, The Dallas Opera, International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv-Israel and Santa Fe Opera. He has also appeared with Opera Roanoke as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. This summer, he was an artist fellow at The Music Academy of the West where he sang Escamillo in Carmen. He also was a featured soloist in a concert with Gulfshore Opera.
Mr. Cannon has appeared on the concert stage in Carnegie Hall as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, to benefit victims of Japan’s Earthquake; with The St. Cecilia Chorus of NY, singing Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Shubert’s Stabat Mater (D. 383). Elsewhere, he has performed a host of oratorio and orchestra works including: Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, and Handel’s Messiah. Next spring, he will debut at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra as baritone soloist in Delius’ A Mass of Life.