Viva Verdi! Performers

Helena Brown (Aida)
Lauded as having a "stunningly large, round sound," as well as a "steely, velvety" timbre, American soprano, Helena Brown, is quickly establishing herself as a force of nature for the international stages. ​ Helena made her role debuts as Mrs. Dickson in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center Theater, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Miami Wagner Institute, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Rioja Lirica/DIVAria Productions, Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with New Camerata Opera, as well as Serena and Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess on the New York Harlem Theater European tour at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Chassé Theater, and Amsterdam RAI. She appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as an ensemble soloist in Porgy and Bess. Her feature can be seen on the Met HD broadcast of the production, as well as PBS Great Performances.
Rochelle Bard (Leonora - Il trovatore & La forza del destino)
Hers is a voice of remarkable range and life, equally at home in the heights and in the loving low notes. Soprano Rochelle Bard has been described as an ‘exquisite singing actress.' Specializing in bel canto and Verdi repertoire, Ms. Bard made her debut in the title role of Norma with Knoxville Opera, for which critics proclaimed her: 'beautifully constructed and achingly gorgeous delivery, at times soft as a whisper, and at others thrilling in its altitude…she carried off the dramatic contrast between the grandeur of confident matriarchal strength and the rage of a spurned woman with as much believability as can be wrung out of the role.' The much-anticipated 2022-23 season begins with the debut role of warrior princess Odabella in Attila with Sarasota Opera, followed by a reprise of the intense Abigaille in Verdi's Nabucco with Opera Ithaca, and a return to the pinnacle role of Bellini's Norma with Opera Tampa in February 2023. Looking ahead to 2024, she will debut as the soprano soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.
Dane Suarez (Radames/Manrico/Alvaro)
Lauded for his "big, heroic voice" (LA Weekly) and "powerful emotions", tenor Dane Suarez has developed an exciting and varied career. Last season, Dane made his Off-Broadway debut in Kate Tarker's world premiere play Montag at Soho Rep and joined OperaDelaware, The Carolina Philharmonic, Penn Square Opera, Heartbeat Opera, and Maryland Opera for concert and gala performances. He returned to New Jersey Festival Orchestra to sing Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), covered Apollo (Strauss's Daphne) with American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, sang Luigi (Il tabarro) with On Site Opera, and sang Turiddu (Cavalleria rusticana) with Lyric Opera of the North.
Kate Jackman (Azucena)
Kate Jackman is an American mezzo-soprano who has established herself as a versatile performer who excels in a myriad of musical expressions. Kate has taken on a variety of operatic roles, showcasing her exceptional range. She has premiered several new works with Urban Arias, The Figaro Project, and the Decameron Opera Project, and has been praised for her performances as Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, the title role in Carmen with Maryland Concert Opera, and Bloody Mary in Annapolis Opera’s production of South Pacific, among others. Her lead role in Oliver Knussen’s Higglety Pigglety Pop! at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music was particularly noteworthy, earning her high praise from critics who commended her for being “…winningly wily and dauntless, and in good voice” (David Write, Boston Classical Review) as she “…touchingly incarnated Jennie, Sendak’s beloved terrier.” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker)
Brian Major (Amonasro)
Charismatic baritone Brian Major consistently garners praise from critics, celebrated for his enchanting "velvety voice" and commanding stage presence. Major’s 2023-2024 season has his return to the Metropolitan Opera covering the role of Malcolm X in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. His schedule includes debuts with Opera Roanoke as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La bohème with Florentine Opera, a concert debut with the esteemed Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Amonasro in Aida with Opera Maine. Last season, he made a role debut as Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with Maryland Lyric Opera and made a significant impact at The Metropolitan Opera, making his house debut as Baron Douphol in La traviata and covering Benny “Kid” Paret in Champion and Scarpia in Tosca with The Santa Fe Opera.
Tim Mix (Count Di Luna/Padre Guardiano)
Finnish-American baritone Timothy Mix begins the 2019-20 season with his return to San Francisco Opera in the role of Count Capulet Romeo et Juliette, and travels to Annapolis Opera to sing the role of Scarpia Tosca. He returns to Urban Arias for performances of Glory Denied in the role of Older Thompson in Washington DC, where last season he performed the world premiere of Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi’s The Last American Hammer. Following his success in this role, the artist travels to Pittsburgh Opera for further performances as Milcom Negley. At Opera Idaho, he revives his portrayal of the title role of Joseph de Rocher in Dead Man Walking.