Partners for the Arts presents singing artists in memorable operetta music celebrating the glorious Viennese period of the early 20th century.
Praised as “beautifully expressive and technically polished” by the San Francisco Chronicle, soprano JENNIFER CHEREST is an accomplished singing actress and competition winner. A product of the world-class Merola Opera Program, Jennifer was further honored when selected for a prestigious Adler Fellowship, allowing her to participate with the San Francisco Opera in 2013. That same year, she placed third in the Metropolitan Opera National Council – Regional Competition, winning first place the following year when she went on to the Met’s national semi-finals, singing on the Met Opera stage. She also took top honors in the Licia Albanese International Vocal Competition, The Boulder International Competition, and was the first- place winner of Partners for the Arts Competition in 2014. Jennifer has sung with Washington National Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, OperaDelaware, Dayton Opera, and North Carolina Opera.
Recently, she appeared with the multi Grammy Award winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Roles performed include the title role in La Finta Giardiniera, “Susanna” (Le Nozze di Figaro) – the lovable character she first debuted in Italy, “Zerlina” (Don Giovanni), and “Gilda” (Rigoletto). Equally at home in crossover works and musical theatre, future performances include a return to Cincinnati Opera in the 2020 summer, to sing the “High Priestess” (Aida), and the “Mother” in a world premiere production of a new opera, Fierce, that is already sold out.
Described as a “standout,” and praised for her vocal clarity, range, and flexibility, soprano EMILY CASEY is equally at home portraying dramatic and comic characters in opera and musical theatre productions, or appearing as a soloist in orchestral concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, and Italy. While still a student, she was a second- place winner in Partners for the Arts 2014 Vocal Competition, and more recently she won first place in the Xi’an Silk Road International Music Festival in 2017. Roles performed include “Musetta” (La Boheme), “Donna Elvira” (Don Giovanni), “Juliette” (Romeo et Juliette), “Hannah” (The Merry Widow), “Lauretta” (Gianni Schicchi), “La Zelatrice” (Suor Angelica), and the title roles in Susannah, and La Voix Humaine. In Italy, Emily sang excerpts as “Queen Elisabetta” (Maria Stuarda), “Magda” (La Rondine), and last summer, in his hometown of Busseto, she appeared as “Gulnara” in Verdi’s Il Corsaro. Soon, she will repeat this role for Canada’s Opera Niagara company. Locally, Emily has performed major roles with her alma mater – the B.T. Rome School of Music of The Catholic University of America, and with Maryland Lyric Opera, and has sung with the Piedmont Symphony and Frederick Symphony orchestras. Ever refining her artistry, she has coached with such luminaries as Aprile Millo, Richard Bonygne, Renee Fleming, and Sherrill Milnes. Future solo appearances include performances in New York and in our Washington metropolitan area.
The popular singing actor, PETER BURROUGHS, has been seen and heard on many stages and performance spaces locally, nationally, and in foreign countries. At home in opera, zarzuela, operetta, and musical theatre, he is also a bit of an impresario, creating programs for others, bringing music especially into the lives of senior citizens. A well- educated performer, he holds music degrees from Ithaca College, and the Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the prestigious University of MD Opera Studio. Opera roles performed range from Mozart through the 20th century, and include “Don Curzio” (Marriage of Figaro), “Monostatos” (The Magic Flute), “Pedrillo” (Abduction from the Seraglio), “Nemorino” (The Elixir of Love), “Remendado” and “Don Jose” (Carmen), the “Witch” (Hansel and Gretel), “Spoletta” (Tosca), the “Tanzmeister” (Ariadne auf Naxos), “Kaspar” (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and the title role in the premiere production of Briscula the Magician. In other musical works, Peter has done his share of Gilbert and Sullivan, both “Eisenstein” and “Blind” in Die Fledermaus, “St. Brioche” in The Merry Widow, and Mr. Erlanson in A Little Night Music. Peter is routinely heard in productions by Washington National Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Washington Opera Society, Bel Cantanti Opera, Opera Tampa, St. Petersburg Opera Company, and the Northern Lights Music Festival; in recital in numerous embassies, the Philips Collection, the Library of Congress, the Department of State, in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, in Havana, Cuba, and Costa Rica. Future engagements include performances for the Kennedy Center’s REACH projects, and a return to Northern Lights Music Festival for another “Spoletta.”
Tenor MICHAEL BUTLER, although still a student at the University of MD, is already a well- known and sought after artist. Recognition of his talent began in 2015, winning First Place in MSMTA’s Classical Voice Competition, First Place in the 2017 MTNA’s National Voice Competition, Second Place in the 2018 AAMS International Voice Competition, 2018 Winner in the National Young Arts Foundation Vocal Competition, and in 2019, he was selected for an Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Capital District. Principal roles performed include the title role in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory for the Chicago Summer Music Festival, and locally “Doncaire” (Carmen), the “Messenger” (Aida), and Prince Sou Chong (Land of Smiles) for the Washington Opera Society, “Tamino” (The Magic Flute) with the Bethesda Music Festival, and “Borsa” (Rigoletto) and “Lykov” (The Czar’s Bride) for Bel Cantanti Opera. Just prior to The Merry Widow performance with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra and Partners for the Arts singers, Michael will have completed multiple performances of “Claudio” for Bel Cantanti’s world premiere production of Frances Pollock’s Briscula the Magician. Future engagements include the title role in Faust for a new company – Washington Lyric Opera, and a Young Artist Residency with Des Moines Metro Opera in the 2020 summer.