October 7 – 15, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Byham Theater

Created by Claire van Kampen and Chatham Baroque from Riccardo Broschi,
Directed by Claire van Kampen,
With the support of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Story

Idaspe follows two children from the post-war Middle East who came to Naples as refugees. They are separated in an underworld where organized crime is more welcoming than ‘legitimate’ business, and grown to adulthood, the siblings become powerful bosses of two opposing clans. Artaserse, the more brutal, kidnaps two women from his rivals, an incident that will force a face-to-face clash in this escalating war.

The prison of the captives is a literal one, but all the characters are chained by circumstance and their emotions. Their existential struggle is described in transcendent music. Might they find that all-consuming power and violence are not the only means to survive?

Sung in Italian, English text projected above stage.

Tickets

Quantum, Chatham Baroque, and Pittsburgh Opera subscribers will have the first opportunity for preferential seating for Idaspe. 2022-2023 Season Subscriptions are now available.

Single tickets will go on-sale after subscribers are seated and can be purchased online, over the phone, or in-person through the Byham. Single tickets will go on sale May 27.

To be the first to know when tickets go on-sale, be sure to fill out this form with your information.

Performance Calendar

  • Friday, October 7, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 9, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 13, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.

Starring

Dario

Vivica Genaux

Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux plays the role created by composer Riccardo Broschi for his
brother, who would be known as Farinelli, heroic Dario, fitting for this renowned singer who has thrilled audiences and critics throughout the world with her vocal agility and artistic integrity. Her acclaimed career has taken Vivica from her native Alaska to many of the world’s most prestigious theaters and concert venues, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Barbican Centre, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the Wiener Staatsoper.

In 2022, Vivica celebrates the vitality of the Performing Arts by visiting new and favorite venues for performances of a broad array of music. Beginning the year in Italy, she returns to Opernhaus Zürich for Pergolesi’s L’olimpiade. Performances with Concerto de’ Cavalieri in Rome, Milan, and Naples are followed by a recital with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera. She reunites with Les Musiciens du Louvre for a concert in Genoa before appearing in a special performance at Händel-Festspiele Halle, featuring fellow recipients of the Händel-Preis. Also in Germany, she sings Alcina in Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso at Konzerthaus Dortmund. Additional engagements in 2022 include performances in Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Vivica’s 2021 engagements included performances in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. She debuted in the title role of Vivaldi’s pasticcio opera Argippo and as Holofernes in Vivaldi’s oratorio Juditha triumphans and expands her Händel repertoire with portrayals of the title role in Tamerlano, Disinganno in Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, and Counsel in the final version of The Triumph of Time and Truth. She also presented the first performances of two new concert programs, Capriccio: temi e variazioni and The Court of Dresden.

Recent highlights of Vivica’s career include reprising the role of Vagaus in Juditha triumphans; her Il divino Sassone; the first performances of her solo show Vivica & Viardot and Gender Stories with countertenor Lawrence Zazzo; and her debuts in the title role of Hasse’s Irene and as Trasimede in Riccardo Broschi’s Merope. Encompassing music from five centuries, Vivica’s repertoire is anchored by lauded portrayals of Baroque
and bel canto roles, including many travesti parts. Her Metropolitan Opera debut was in the role that she has sung most frequently, Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Additionally, Vivica has been instrumental in introducing neglected works to modern audiences. Vivica is a passionate advocate for the renewal of interest in the music of Johann Adolf Hasse, and her efforts were recognized with the 2019 Hasse-Preis.
She received the City of Halle’s Händel-Preis in 2017, expanding a gallery of prizes that includes the 1997 ARIA Award, New York City Opera’s 2007 Christopher Keene Award, and Pittsburgh Opera’s 2008 Maecenas Award. Vivica’s dedication to sharing her expertise and love for the voice is manifested in her creation of V/vox Academy and in fruitful teaching engagements. Vivica continues to expand her discography with celebrated recordings.

Idaspe

John Holiday

Countertenor John Holiday creates the title role Idaspe, friend and comrade-in-arms to Dario. He has performed at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican Center, and the Philharmonie de Paris. His career highlights include a tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the world premiere of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia and the Dutch National Opera.

In addition, John has curated The John Holiday Experience (JHE) to showcase his affinity and talent for many different genres from pop and jazz to R&B. The 2021-22 season is filled with many exciting debuts for John, beginning with his debut at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in an all-Gershwin program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; followed by his Metropolitan Opera debut in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double under the baton of Yannick NézetSéguin; as well as his debut with the New York Philharmonic in Handel’s Messiah under the baton of Jeannette Sorrell; and capping off the season with his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Barrie Kosky’s
production of Agrippinain in the role of Nerone.

John will also reprise his signature role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Utah Opera and The Dallas Opera. In the midst of his operatic season, John has also released two pop singles - “Alive in Me” and “Waste Mine”. He has received numerous accolades, such as the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, the 2014 Richard Tucker Foundation’s
Sara Tucker award, first place at the 2013 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the 2012 Sullivan Foundation, the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and third place in the 2014 OPERALIA competition.

Artaserse

Karim Sulayman

Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman is perfectly cast as the complex character Artaserse. He has garnered international attention as a sophisticated and versatile artist, consistently praised for his sensitive and intelligent musicianship, riveting stage presence, and beautiful voice.

The 2019 Best Classical Solo Vocal GRAMMY® Award winner, he continues to earn acclaim for his programming and recording projects, while regularly performing on the world’s stages in opera, orchestral concerts, recital and chamber music.

Current and recent season highlights include engagements at Carnegie Hall (solo recital debut, 2022), Spoleto Festival USA, where his original piece Unholy Wars will have its world premiere in May, Aldeburgh Festival, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and Ravinia Festival, as well as with Chicago, Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras, and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. He will additionally perform leading roles with Drottningholms Slottsteater, Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera, New York City Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

Karim won the 2019 GRAMMY® Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for his debut solo album, Songs of Orpheus. His second solo album, Where Only Stars Can Hear Us, a program of Schubert Lieder with fortepianist Yi-heng Yang, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart and has received international critical acclaim, including being named “Critic’s Choice” by Opera News and included in the New York Times’ Best Classical Music of 2020. Karim has been featured on PBS Great Performances, and appears on the second season of Dickinson on Apple TV+.

In November 2016, Karim created a social experiment/performance art piece called I Trust You, designed to build bridges in a divided political climate. A video version of this experiment went “viral” on the internet and was honored as a prize-winner at the My Hero Film Festival. Karim has been invited to give talks and hold open forums with student and adult groups about inclusion, empathy, healing from racism, and activism through the arts.

Berenice

Pascale Beaudin

Pascale Beaudin lends her strong and lyrical soprano to Berenice, beloved of Idaspe. A native of Quebec, Pascale sings on operatic stages in Canada, in France and the United States in roles such as Zerlina, Papagena, Fiordiligi, Oscar, and Marzelline, earning praise from the Washington Post, the New York Times and Opera News Magazine.

Her incomparable diction, intelligent musicality and expressivity make her much-sought for concert and recital work. Pascale has been a soloist with Chatham Baroque, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Lanaudière Festival and the Orford Festival. One of six singers featured on the critically acclaimed 5-disc release Mélodies complètes de Francis Poulenc with pianist Olivier Godin, on the ATMA label, she is also featured on the world premiere recordings of Les femmes vengées by Philidor, with Opera Lafayette on the Naxos label, and Nicandro e Fileno by Lorenzani with Les Boréades on the ATMA label.

Her performances in Léonore by Gaveaux and Leonore by Beethoven with Opera Lafayette have been released to DVD on Naxos. Pascale is a member of the Four Nations Ensemble, based in New York and specializing in Baroque chamber music.

Mandane

Amanda Lynn Bottoms

Mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms plays Mandane, beloved of Dario who none-the-less challenges all assumptions. A rising singer, she was recently engaged with the Santa Fe Opera for the upcoming season’s M. Butterfly and Falstaff, after singing the titular role of Carmen in the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Showcase. Also in the 2022 Season, she will star as Charlie Tyler in the world premiere of Laura Kaminsky's Finding Wright (Dayton Opera), Leocasta in Giustino (Long Beach Opera), Katherine Johnson in Galaxies in Her Eyes (HPU Cultural Programs), and as Girlfriend #3 in Blue (Pittsburgh Opera).

To much acclaim, Amanda headlined the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago Fall 2021 recital series where her opening performance of "Songs of the New World" alongside the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was named one of the top three 'Best of 2021' performances by the Chicago Classical Review. Amanda is a recent graduate of the Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera where her mainstage work included roles in The Magic Flute, Menotti’s The Consul, and the world premiere of Admissions in the Washington National Opera AOI program.

Heralded for her “superb vocal and dramatic chops” (Opera News), Amanda debuted in Opera Philadelphia's 2019 Festival, as Smeraldina in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, and continued work with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, New York Festival of Song, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. She has been a finalist in prestigious international competitions including the George London Foundation, Zachary
Foundation, Operalia, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regionals, and a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, UCLA Symphony, Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, and Cecilia Chorus of New York.

Arbace

Shannon Delijani

Iranian-American mezzo-soprano Shannon Delijani is the pivotal character Arbace. Shannon is praised for her versatility in repertoire that ranges from early music and bel canto to musical theater. She has received acclaim as Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito (Trentino Festival), the title role in Agrippina (Mannes Baroque Ensemble), Mrs. Olsen in Street Scene (Mannes Opera), Larina in Eugene Onegin (Mannes Opera), Ursule in Beatrice et Benedict (USC Opera) and Paulette in Kiss Me, Kate (Pittsburgh
Festival Opera).

Also with Pittsburgh Festival Opera she covered Andrey Nemzer in the title role in
Giulio Cesare in collaboration with Chatham Baroque. As a recitalist she has toured in France with Classic Lyric Arts and has appeared as a soloist with the Mannes Sounds Festival. Shannon is passionate about the creation of new work and has premiered or workshopped compositions by Leanna Kirchoff, Rachel J. Peters, Thomas Morse, and Dina Pruzhansky. In addition to her work as a performer, Shannon is a filmmaker and creative producer.

In 2020 she founded MAD SCENE, an interdisciplinary production
company based in Los Angeles. Her most recent film, La Dame de Monte Carlo, was an official selection of the Austin Arthouse Film Festival and earned her a nomination for the Rowlands Award for Best Female Performance.

Ircano

Wei En Chan

Wei En Chan, playing Ircano of the Medes clan, is a Singaporean countertenor whose singing is lauded for its “time-stopping” beauty and technical finesse. He leads an active career in both Asia and North America, performing the major works of Bach and Handel in leading roles with numerous organizations including the Singapore International Festival of Art, The Opera People (TOP, Singapore), Bachfest Malaysia, and Red Dot Baroque (RDB).

He has appeared with First Lutheran Church of Boston, Boston Opera Collaborative, the American Bach Soloists, and others. Highlights include the title role in Handel’s Oreste with Singapore International Festival of Art, conducted by Tian Hui Ng, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Bachfest Malaysia, conducted by Dr. David Chin, and Ruggiero in
Handel’s Alcina with The Opera People, conducted by Red Dot Baroque’s Alan Choo.

Wei En earned his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with Dr. Ian Howell.

Creative Team

Claire van Kampen, Hon.DMus, ARCM, originally trained at the Royal College of Music in London as a pianist specializing in the performance of 20th century music, premiering many works by today’s leading composers. She subsequently developed an international career as a composer/performer, writing and playing for theatre, radio, television and film soundtracks, and the concert hall. Her theatre career began with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1986, and then the Royal National Theatre in 1987, becoming the first female musical director with either company. From the opening of Shakespeare’s Globe, she served as Artistic Associate to Mark Rylance from 1996-2006. She is currently Globe Associate and Senior Research Fellow for Early Modern Music. In the US, van Kampen has created original scores for Broadway productions True West (2000), Boeing-Boeing (2008) and La Bete (2010), Twelfth Night and Richard III (2013-14) and her own authored play Farinelli and the King (2017) – all of which were nominated for Tony Awards. As well as adapting Farinelli and the King for the screen, van Kampen is involved as a writer and director of upcoming film and TV projects including Elaine de Kooning, soon to be filmed in New York City. Van Kampen’s composition for the ballet ‘Uncaged’- by choreographer Antonia Franceschi – premiered with the New York Theatre Ballet Company in February 2020. Recently, the New York Philharmonic invited Claire to direct a concert version of Hungarian composer György Kurtág’s opera based on Beckett’s Endgame.

Chatham Baroque consists of Artistic Directors Andrew Fouts (violin), Patricia Halverson (viola da gamba), and Scott Pauley (theorbo & Baroque guitar) who invite an array of guest instrumentalists and vocalists for productions of world-class early music performed on period instruments. Like Quantum, it was founded in 1990 and celebrates 30 years. Chatham Baroque is “one of the country’s most distinguished period ensembles” (Palisadian Post), and “one of Pittsburgh’s greatest treasures” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The ensemble has toured across the US, South America, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. The New York Times praises their “colorful virtuosity;” the Washington Post calls them “musically impeccable.” Chatham Baroque and Quantum Theatre collaborated in 2015 to celebrate their mutual 25th Anniversary, making a Baroque-pastiche opera from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Antonia Franceschi

Choreographer

Antonia Franceschi creates movement and dance for the diverse company and eight dancers chosen from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and other Pittsburgh performing groups. With a career divided between New York and London, Antonia was selected by George Balanchine for what would be a long, starring tenure at New York City Ballet, where works were created on her by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins, and in London by Mark Baldwin, Wayne McGregor, Michael Clarke, and Arlene Phillips among others.

Antonia is a Time Out Award-Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. She has been a guest artist at Royal Opera House, Tate Modern, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Albert Hall, and Shakespeare’s Globe. She produced four seasons of The New York Ballet Stars (Royal Festival Hall, Harrogate Festival, Festival de Sintra). Her company AFD Just Dance has performed at Valetta Opera House and Royal Winchester Theatre, and she has been commissioned by Ballet Black, Ballet NY, The New York Theater Ballet, Barnard College, Rambert School, and Gala Madrid Real (for a duet for Joaquin de Luz and Katey Culler).

A frequent collaborator with Claire van Kampen and Mark Rylance, she recently choreographed Dr. Semmelweis for Bristol Old Vic and workshopped the play Steel at
Guthrie Theatre. Early in her career, Antonia was seen in mainstream breakout roles in popular films like Grease and starred in Alan Parker’s Fame. Antonia loves teaching, and currently teaches or coaches for the Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, McGregor Random Dance, Alvin Ailey and many other companies.

Narelle Sissons

Scenic Design

Narelle Sissons has provided scenic design previously for Quantum Theatre on The Task, Dream of Autumn, All The Names, Collaborators and An Odyssey. On Broadway she designed All My Son's at The Roundabout Theatre, and for Off-Broadway, the original productions of How I Learned To Drive, Stop Kiss, In The Blood, Kit
Marlowe, Julius Caesar and Little Flower of East Orange, at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre.

Also in NYC, Narelle designed many productions with: Mabou Mines, LAByrinth Theatre Company, where she is a company member, Playwrights Horizons, WP Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop.

Narelle is a Fulbright Specialist, and has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Kevin Kline Awards, amongst others, and she is an exhibitor at the Prague Design Quadrennial, 2007 and 2011. Narelle is a Professor of Design at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

Japhy Weideman

Lighting Design

Japhy Weideman is a New York City based lighting designer for theatre and opera. On Broadway, his designs for Dear Evan Hansen, The Visit, The Nance, Of Mice and Men, and Airline Highway each received Tony nominations for Best Lighting Design.

Other productions on Broadway include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Significant Other, Lobby Hero, Marvins Room, Old Times, The Snow Geese, Macbeth, and Cyrano de Bergerac.

He has lit numerous theatre productions in New York City for Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, and LAByrinth Theater Company. His designs for opera include (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Life is a Dream, and Don Giovanni at Santa Fe Opera, Doubt and The Manchurian Candidate at Minnesota Opera, Capuleti e Montecchi at Kansas City Opera, Bluebeard’s Castle/Il Prigioniero at La Scala and Nederlandse Opera, and Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin at Opera National de Lyon.

Susan Tsu

Costume Design

Susan Tsu’s costume designs have graced the stages of over 40 major LORT theatres in the US and many international venues. A longtime collaborator with Karla Boos, Susan has designed 9 productions for Quantum Theatre, notably The Task, The Winter's Tale, King Lear, Far Away, and served as Art Director recently for Chimerica.

Her designs are represented in numerous books and publications, and she has curated exhibitions of costume and theatre design internationally for the 2003, 2007, 2011, 2023 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Space and Design, Costume at the Turn of the Century: 1990-2015 and Innovative Costume of the XXI Century: The Next Generation (Moscow and world tours).

Her work has been seen internationally in Europe, China, Russia, the Pacific Rim, and the Czech Republic, and in the US on and off-Broadway. Susan’s designs were featured at Lincoln Center Library “Curtain Call: Celebrating A Century of Women Designing for Live Performance” and “From Shakespeare to Sondheim” at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Susan’s awards include the NY Drama Critics, NY Drama Desk, LA Distinguished Designer,
NY Young Film Critics, Richmond Phoebe, Kennedy Center Medallion of Achievement, Carol R. Brown Established Artist Creative Achievement Award, and the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award.

Designing costumes for theatre, opera, and television, she is cited as a Founder and University Professor at CMU as well as being the Bessie F. Anathan Professor of Design. She is represented in Who’s Who in Fine Arts Higher Education and Who’s Who of American Women, is a USITT Fellow, and has been a MacArthur Fellowship Foundation recommender.

Daniel Nesta Curtis

Conductor

Daniel Nesta Curtis is a conductor noted for his adventurous programming and advocacy for underrepresented composers. Curtis joined the faculty of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. As Artistic Director of the CMU Contemporary Ensemble, Curtis has premiered more than 100 compositions by Pittsburgh composers and in 2015 Curtis launched Co-Opera, a collaborative project between CMU and Pittsburgh Opera which has, to date, produced 12 new chamber operas.

From 2011-2013, Curtis was the Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and in November 2016, Curtis made his debut conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony in an interactive family concert. Curtis is a frequent collaborator with Kamertōn, Alia Musica, BrassRoots, Resonance Works, and Nat28.

Venue

Byham Theater
101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Parking

Ample paid parking is available in several parking garages around the theater. The Theater Square Garage is the closest to the Byham Theater.

Accessibility

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Byham Theater have many accessibility options. Please visit their website for more information. Call 412.456.6666 to request accommodations for the show.

Safety

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend Idaspe, as both the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Quantum Theatre safety standards state. Patrons who cannot get vaccinated because of a medical condition may present a negative COVID-19 antigen test within 24 hours of their performance or a negative PCR test within 72 hours. A valid ID is also required. Please visit the Cultural District’s website to learn more on entry requirements, safety protocols, and vaccinations.