Great Opera Choruses and Solos

Great Opera Choruses poster          James Kuslan The Role of Chorus in Opera poster

Kuslan, James 2 Sarah Callinan Brian Cheney

Master of Ceremonies

Operaphile James Kuslan

Described as a “brilliant, funny and engaging speaker,” Kuslan will give insights into the opera choruses that Cappella Cantorum performs. Shoreline residents will remember Kuslan from his popular lectures on opera at the Essex Library in 2010, his talk on Verdi female characters at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in 2012, his insights into “Don Pasquale” at the Old Lyme Library in September and an evening of “Operatic Disasters” at Essex Meadows this fall.  He is also known internationally as a writer of notes for London’s 20 CD collection, “Opera Made Easy” and a contributor to essays for Metropolitan Opera productions.

Soprano Sarah Callinan, a 2009 and 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Regional Finalist, sings Norina in Don Pasquale with Cape Cod Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Salt Marsh Opera and Marie in La fille du régiment with Connecticut Concert Opera this season.  She made her role debut as Amina in La sonnambula and appeared as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with Salt Marsh Opera in her 2011-2012 season. Her recent engagements include Frasquita in Carmen in her Michigan Opera Theatre debut; Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute in Boston Lyric Opera’s supplementary performances; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Mississippi Opera.  Ms. Callinan has won several vocal competitions including the Jenny Lind Competition, the 2006 Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, and the Friday Woodmere Music Club Competition.  The Amici Competition awarded her “Most Promising Coloratura,” and she was a finalist in the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Competition. Ms. Callinan, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, attended the Hartt School of Music, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and a Performer’s Certificate in voice.

Brian Cheney is emerging as one of opera’s most versatile and exciting tenors.  The protégé of legendary tenor, Jerry Hadley, Mr. Cheney is quickly gaining national acclaim for his portrayal of characters such as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Rodolfo in La Boheme, the Duke in Rigoletto, Candide in Candide and Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress.  The Classical Voice of North Carolina wrote, “Tenor Brian Cheney’s portrayal of Don José was the most effective dramatic and vocal realization of character in the production…this excellent singer revealed a voice of amazing power and great beauty.  The Daily Gazette in Albany, New York, reviewed his recent performance of the Messiah: “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney’s voice was like spun gold…not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato.”  Mr. Cheney has performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with his most recent performance in 2013 performing a world premiere and U.S. premiere of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein.