November 11, 2005
Four struggling bohemians – a poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher are living together in Paris, when one freezing Christmas Eve their lives are changed forever. A girl named Mimì knocks on their door looking for a candle light, and she and Rodolfo fall in love.
However, the rush of love at first sight soon gives way to something much darker – it becomes clear that Mimì is desperately ill, and that Rodolfo, in his poverty, cannot provide for her. Our bohemians try to find their way, but are soon sharply awoken to the harsh realities of life…
Tonio - Brian Keith Johnson
Brian Keith Johnson has performed many roles in opera as diverse as Figaro in Cleveland Opera On Tour's The Barber of Seville to Ford in The New Opera Festival di Roma's Falstaff. He has also performed a variety of Musical Theatre roles ranging from Jim in Big River to Father in Children of Eden. Other roles include Henry Box Brown and Frederick Douglass in Opera Columbus' World Premier of Leslie Burrs' Vanqui, the Kaiser in Cleveland Public Theatre's production of Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser Von Atlantis, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, Escamillo in Carmen and Almaviva in The Marriage of Figarowith The Tuesday Musical Club, The Pirate King and The Major General in The Pirates of Penzance with Cleveland Opera On Tour, Bellomy inThe Fantasticks, Dewain in I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky and Belcore in The Elixir of Love with Lyric Opera Cleveland, Figaro in The Barber of Seville with The Duke University Symphony and Escamillo in Carmen with The Warren Philharmonic. His concert performances include excerpts from Die Zauberflote and La Cenerentola with The Cleveland Orchestra, Carmina Burana with both The San Jose-Cleveland Ballet and The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Cleveland Concert Opera, Porgy in Porgy and Bess, The Five Mystical Songs and Carmina Burana With The Akron Symphony, The Faure Requiem and Carmina Burana with the Youngstown Symphony, Crown in Porgy and Bess and Adam in The Creation with The Canton Symphony, The Brahms Requiem with The Duke Symphony and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with The Ashland Symphony, The Mozart C Minor Mass with The Dayton Bach Society. Mr. Johnson is represented by Engdahl Artists International.
Musetta - Marian Vogel
Marian Vogel, soprano, was the winner of the Belle O. Morse Young Artist Award and winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. Ms. Vogel trained at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Ms. Patricia Berlin. She has toured extensively as a soloist, both in the United States and in Europe. Ms. Vogel charmed audiences recently as Zerlina in the Cleveland Opera production of Don Giovanni and as Yum Yum in the Lyric Opera Cleveland production of Mikado to great critical acclaim. She has been active with Cleveland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, and Akron Lyric Opera Theatre, among others. Her numerous opera and theatre credits include Mimi in La Boheme, Violetta in La Traviata, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Yum Yum in Mikado, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Patience in Patience, Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Serpina in La Serva Padrona, Cinderella in Cinderella, and Nellie in South Pacific. Ms. Vogel makes frequent concert and recital appearances, and is being sought out for recording projects as well. She joined the Oak Ridge Symphony as the soprano soloist in the Mozart Requiem, as well as the massive Verdi Requiem. Other concert engagements include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony,Carmina Burana, the Requiems of Rutter, Faure, and Mozart, and Berlioz' Les Nuits d'Ete.
Silvio - Todd E. Ranney
Todd E. Ranney has performed over 30 roles throughout the Midwest with the Michigan Opera Theater, Des Moines Opera, Iowa, Lyric Opera, Cleveland, Cleveland Opera, and Dayton Opera. Some of his roles include Figaro (Barber), Guglielmo, Papageno, Marcello, Silvio, Sharpless, Paquillo, and Carl Linden. He has been a featured soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra at both the Blossom Music Center and Severance Hall. He has also sung with the Symphony Orchestras of Dayton, Akron, Wooster, University of Akron, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Cleveland Pops at Severance Hall. He has sung with Robert Page's The Cleveland Singers. He has served on the faculties of Heidelberg College as Opera Director and Instructor of Voice, The College of Wooster, and The University of Akron as a piano accompanist. He performed 11 seasons with Cleveland Opera as an Associate Artist and was featured in productions of Carmen, Die Meistersinger, Romeo and Juliet, Rigoletto, and H.M.S. Pinafore.
Mr. Ranney is currently the Director of Music Ministries and organist at The United Methodist Church of Wooster and is the founding Artistic Director of Akron Lyric Opera Theatre where he directed productions ofMadama Butterfly, Gianni Schicchi, and Cosi fan Tutti and appeared as Pooh Bah in it's 2003 production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado. Also sought after as a stage director, last season Mr. Ranney directed productions of Carmen and La Boheme for Lorain County Community College and The Wooster Symphony respectively and also directedHansel and Gretel in February 2005 for BIOIA University in Los Angeles.
Colline - Randall Levin
Randall Levin hails from Akron Ohio, where he has performed both as a professional and a student in area opera and choral productions. From 2001-2004, Mr. Levin pursued graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he performed principal and supporting roles in CCM's acclaimed Mainstage Opera Series. His credits at CCM included Don Alfonso in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Arkel in Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande. In 2003, Mr. Levin was engaged in by the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca to sing the role of Businello in the Italian premier of Dominic Argento's Casanova's Homecoming.
Mr. Levin was an Aspen Music Festival fellowship recipient in 2002, where he performed the role of Frank Maurrant in Kurt Weill's Street Scene under the baton of Julius Rudel. While at Aspen, Mr. Levin also performed as a bass-soloist with the Aspen Chamber Symphony in Weill's Seven Deadly Sins under the baton of Michael Stern. Mr. Levin earned his bachelors degree in 2001 from the University of Akron School of Music where his roles included Bartolo in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and Balthazaar in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Benoit - Jason Fair
Jason Fair, a graduate of Oil City High School, moved to Youngstown to continue his musical studies at the Youngstown State University Dana School of Music. He has served as musical director for Blackbox Theatre, the Dana Vocal Performance Clinic, Kent State Trumbull Summer Stock, the Oakland Center of the Arts, the Youngstown Playhouse, and local high schools. He has also served as chorus master for Dana Opera Workshop and Opera Circle of Cleveland. As a chorister Jason has performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Philharmonic, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Warren Philharmonic, and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. He has sung operatic roles with Dana Opera Workshop, Greenville Lyric Opera, and now makes his debut with Opera Western Reserve. Jason currently performs in the Wade Raridon Singers, the Dana Early Music Ensemble, and is Director of Music at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Warren, Ohio, where he now resides.
Alcindoro - Vincent Basile
Vincent Basile is a Junior at YSU studying Applied Voice and Performance. Hispast roles include Padre Perez in Man of Lamancha at Brownsville High School in Brownsville, PA, Major General Stanley in YSU's The Pirates of Penzance, and most recently Ceprano in Valley Lyric Opera's Rigoletto.