Mockery, Mayhem, Misinformation, Murder.
Or as we like to call it, another night at the Palazzo.
With Rigoletto, Giuseppe Verdi weaves a richly illuminated tapestry around traditional themes of vanity, pride, avarice, spiritual corruption and festering recrimination. In this cautionary tale, compromised morals are the order of the day. It’s hard to predict where fate’s fickle finger will point when there’s a reconciliation of past sins. The hunchback jester, Rigoletto, hires an assassin to knock off his boss, but things don’t go as planned and there’s no telling where fate’s fickle finger will point when there’s a reconciliation of past sins.
But as any Verdi fan will tell you, those books always get balanced, and nobody escapes palace intrigue without a florid, dramatically scored comeuppance! From the Duke’s opening salvo bragging about his romantic conquests, Questa o quella (This woman or that one), to the famous quartet from Act III, Bella figlia dell’amore (Beautiful daughter of love), Verdi’s Rigoletto stitches together a revolutionary evening at the palazzo that will keep you on the edge of your seats.
Don’t curse your chance to attend this inspired performance!
Performances take place at The Katherine L White Hall.
Meet the artists
See some photos
Alexandar R Adams
Alexander R Adams, bass-baritone, returns to Vashon Opera after his recent debut with the company as Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos. He currently studies with Dr. Anton Belov. Alexander received his Master of Music in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music where he studied with baritone Rod Gilfry. Prior to this he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he studied with Dr. Dawn Padula. In the summer of 2022, Alexander sang the role of the Churchman in the pre-premiere of a new opera, Ourland by director/librettist Daniel Helfgot and composer Paul Davies, at the Aquilon Music Festival in McMinnville, Oregon. Alexander's other opera performances include the role of Publio in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, the Minister in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, and Mr. Plunkett/Judge in Henze's The English Cat, all while studying at USC; Sprecher/Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte at the Astoria, Oregon music festival; as well as the Sergeant of the Police in Pirates of Penzance with the UPS opera program.
Conductor, Stage Director, Musical Director
James Brown enjoys an eclectic career of conducting, concertizing as a singer, stage directing, and voice teaching. He is the Chair of Vocal Studies at Pacific Lutheran University where he directs the opera and oversees a large voice program. As a tenor, James sang in many professional opera productions under the batons of such conductors as James Conlon, John DeMain, Richard Hickox, Julius Rudel, and Robert Spano. As the regular conductor and stage director for Vashon Opera, James has led productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, Cosi fan tutte, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin (conductor), Madama Butterfly (stage director), I Pagliacci, Tosca, and Werther. Other notable productions as stage director include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Handel’s Semele, La Boheme and a critically acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd (Lakewood Playhouse). Recent productions include conducting Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Trial by Jury and L'elisir d'Amore for PLU Opera, The Merry Widow and Ariadne auf Naxos for Vashon Opera, directing Trouble in Tahiti for the Reno Chamber Orchestra and The Tacoma Method (Youtz premiere) for Tacoma Opera. James was a Resident Artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and holds degrees in voice from Loyola University/New Orleans, The Juilliard School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Lyric bass Michael Colman, hailed by Opera News for “fielding a fine, dark bass-baritone”, has performed leading and supporting roles with many premier opera companies across the United States. In the 2022-23 season, Michael appeared with Utah Festival Opera, sang Angelotti in Tosca with St. Petersburg Opera, Dottore Grenvil in La traviata with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and made a role and company debut as the King of Egypt in Aida with Tulsa Opera. He has become especially well known for his interpretation of The Commentator in productions of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera Carolina, Opera Grand Rapids, Chautauqua Opera and Opera in the Rock. Other roles include Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Chautauqua and Virginia Operas, Guglielmo and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Opera Grand Rapids and Charlottesville Opera, Schaunard in La bohème with Indianapolis Opera, Ceprano in Rigoletto with Toledo Opera, Dottore Grenvil in La traviata with Toledo Opera and Opera on the James, and Leporello in Don Giovanni with The Janiec Opera Company. A growing list of operetta and music theater roles include Judge Turpin (and Sweeney Todd cover) in Sweeney Todd with Chautauqua Opera, The Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Dayton Opera and Tulsa Opera, and Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Utah Festival Opera. Concert credits include Handel’s Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with The Virginia Consort, covering Verdi’s Requiem with Utah Festival Opera and recital collaborations with Warren Jones and Martin Katz.
Baritone Mark Davies is an active performer and educator who has appeared as a vocalist and keyboardist with companies throughout the Puget Sound region. He was seen most recently as Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden with Leavenworth Summer Theater and Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Pacific Northwest Opera. He previously appeared with Vashon Opera as Kromov in The Merry Widow, and has also worked with Tacoma Opera, Sky Opera, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Marrowstone Music Festival, and Bellevue City Opera Ballet. Roles with these companies have included the Lecturer in Dominick Argento’s A Water Bird Talk, Doctor Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Davies is also an active concert and recital artist, with past performances including Wolf’s complete Italienisches Liederbuch, Vaughan Williams’s Songs of Travel, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore. When he is not singing, Davies is also a highly-regarded pianist and vocal coach, and has worked with and accompanied artists who appear at opera houses across the country and internationally. He currently lives in Everett, and is an instructor of voice and music director of the opera program at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Michael Drumheller is originally from Richland, Washington. A favorite bass-baritone in the Pacific Northwest opera and classical scenes, he has been a soloist with Seattle Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, Tacoma Opera, Skagit Opera, Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Cleveland Orchestra, and Orchestra Seattle. As a recitalist, he is especially interested in Russian music, and has been an invited performer of Russian vocal repertoire at the Icicle Creek Music Festival and at Wellesley College. Mr. Drumheller holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Boston University. He is an alumnus of the Tanglewood Music Center and holds BS and MS degrees in engineering and science from MIT.
Coloratura soprano Sophia Emanuel is pleased to make her debut as Il Paggio with Vashon Opera. Sophia is a 2022-2023 Studio Artist and Amina (La sonnambula) cover with Puget Sound Concert Opera. She performed the role Wife in the world premiere of Tacoma Method with Tacoma Opera, and can be seen as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro) with Vashon Opera later this season. As a 2022 Festival Artist with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Sophia covered 1st Lady (The Magic Flute), Micaëla (Carmen), and Mrs. Jenks (The Tender land). She was the 2021 winner of the Seattle Opera Guild Ernesto Alorda Encouragement award, as well as a two-time semifinalist in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition. Sophia made two role debuts in the 2020 season as Queen of the Night and 1st Lady (The Magic Flute) with Northwest Opera in Schools Etc. She has made appearances in several productions with Pittsburgh Festival Opera including the chorus of La Bohème and Arabella, covering The Fiakermilli (Arabella), and premiering the role of Minnie in a workshop of Night Flight for Minerva’s Owl. With San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sophia performed Ortensia, Ettalina, and Eustacia in Musto’s Bastianello, as well as Prima Conversa (Suor Angelica). At Carnegie Mellon University, Sophia was seen as Soprano II in Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox and Lucy Lockit (The Beggar’s Opera), as well as premiering roles in two short operas through Carnegie Mellon’s CO-OPERA project.
Originally from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, mezzo soprano Anika Hille recently earned her Bachelors of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University, where she studied voice with Soon Cho, composition with Gina Gillie, and conducting with Richard Nance. In her time at PLU, Anika sang with Choir of the West for four years, served as Assistant Conductor for the PLU University Singers, participated in the 2022 NW ACDA Conducting Masterclass with Edith Copley, and completed her student teaching with Jon Stenson at Auburn Riverside High School. Anika is excited to be making her Vashon Opera debut, and hopes to take advantage of the professional opportunities available in the Seattle/Tacoma area before pursuing a master’s degree in choral conducting at Georgia State University. She hopes to one day earn a DMA in conducting and teach at the collegiate level. Recent performances include Carmina Burana with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Usher in Trial by Jury, and Simply Symphonic “the Orchestra Rocks!” with the Tacoma Symphony. Anika is a current member of Choral Union and the PLU Alumni Steel Pan Band, and she enjoys hiking, skiing, traveling, and composing in her free time.
Andrew Krikawa (baritone) was most recently seen by Vashon Opera audiences singing the role of Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana. Hailed by Opera News as an "accomplished performer possessing an attractive, cultivated baritone, with well-honed acting" has sung for numerous companies including New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Nashville Opera, Annapolis Opera, Central City Opera, Pensacola Opera, Eugene Opera, and DiCapo Opera Theatre. Andrew’s most performed roles include Marcello (La Bohème), Sharpless (Madame Butterfly), Germont (La Traviata), Albert (Werther), Silvio (I Pagliacci), and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte). Career highlights have also included appearances with Pittsburgh Opera as Albert in Werther and performances of Così fan tutte with the world-renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mr. Krikawa is a Sullivan Foundation award winner and a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant. He holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He was seen in the Vashon Opera productions of La Bohème as Marcello, The Magic Flute as Papageno, Pagliacci Palooza as Silvio, The Tender Land as Top, The Barber of Seville as Figaro, Così fan tutte as Guglielmo, Albert Herring as Sid, The Elixir of Love as Sargeant Belcore, and the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Eugene Onegin. Mr. Krikawa helped get Vashon Opera started with his wife Jennifer Krikawa.
Rachelle Moss leaves a lasting impression with her luscious voice. Her voice is described as “powerful … , and at home in the dramatic repertoire. Definitely a contralto to watch”! (Contralto Corner). Ms. Moss has portrayed Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Eugene Opera, Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with Tacoma Opera; Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff and Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia with Puget Sound Concert Opera; and La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica at Lyric Opera Northwest. She was also the Alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Federal Way Symphony. Rachelle makes her Vashon Opera debut as Giovanna in Rigoletto. Ms. Moss has received numerous awards including: a Career Grant from the Seattle Opera Guild, and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council. She holds a Bachelor's in Musicology and Master's in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas.
Jesse Nordstrom is a Seattle native with a leggiero tenor voice that "excites the listener with easy highs and captivates with surprising power." He has sung with several companies in the Puget Sound area, including Pacific Northwest Opera where he sang Ottavio in Don Giovanni and also Pang in Turandot. When not performing or giving the occasional voice lesson, Jesse can be found spending time with his wife Melody and three young daughters: Ruby, Willa, and Cora.
The Duke of Mantua
Daniel O'Hearn is an emerging full lyric tenor with a powerful Italianate ring and a commanding stage presence. Hailing from Chicago, IL, Mr. O'Hearn is currently a resident artist with Pittsburgh Opera in Pittsburgh, PA. His 2022/23 season responsibilities include performing the roles of both Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Lurcanio in Handel's Ariodante, and Ruiz in Verdi's Il trovatore. In addition to his current residency, Mr. O'Hearn appears as a guest artist at many opera companies around the United States. This past autumn, he made his debut with Washington Concert Opera, singing the role of Lord Cecil in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux. This winter, Mr. O'Hearn joined The Metropolitan Opera in their holiday production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, singing The First Armored Man for the opera's opening weekend performances - his first time on the company's roster as well as his Metropolitan Opera debut. Mr. O'Hearn makes his debut in the role of The Duke of Mantua and his Vashon Opera debut with this production of Verdi's Rigoletto. Mr. O'Hearn spent two summers (2020-22) as an apprentice at Santa Fe Opera. There, he covered the roles of Remendado in Bizet's Carmen, both The Sailor and The Shepherd in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Tom Snout in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Peasant in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. In the company's Apprentice Showcase of operatic excerpts, he appeared in scenes as Alfred in Strauss II's Die Fledermaus, Remendado in Bizet's Carmen, and Marcellus in Thomas' Hamlet. He also sang in the chorus. He was also with Utah Opera in Salt Lake City, UT for two seasons (2020-22) as a resident artist, singing Bill in Dove’s Flight, Spoletta in Puccini’s Tosca, and Peter Grey in Horovitz's Gentleman's Island, as well as covering Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. In addition to his work in operatic productions, Mr. O’Hearn has also performed as a soloist in a number of classical concert works. Recently, he has performed in both Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Handel’s Messiah with The Utah Symphony under the direction of Maestro Thierry Fischer, as well as Bach's Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 with The Choir of the Madeleine. In June of 2020, he graduated with a Master of Music in performance from DePaul University’s School of Music in Chicago, IL. Mr. O’Hearn has also competed in several singing competitions, winning a Metropolitan Opera National Council 2021-2022 Grand Finalist prize. He was also the winner of the 2019 American Prize from the American Prize Oratorio Society of Chicago and placed first in the 2019 Kleinman Competition.
Dawn Padula, mezzo-soprano, is a versatile performer of opera, oratorio, musical theatre, jazz, and classical concert repertoire. Opera roles include Carmen in Carmen, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Lady Jane in Patience (2018 Gregory Awards People’s Choice Nominee), Lady Blanche in Princess Ida, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, The Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Erika in Vanessa, and the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas. In summer 2020, she recorded the roles of Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Olga Olsen in Street Scene with the Social Distance/BARN Opera. Recent engagements include the role of Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance (2022 Seattle Broadway Awards Best Performer in a Musical nominee) with the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and Dame Quickly in Falstaff with the Puget Sound Concert Opera. She made her Vashon Opera debut performing Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos in September 2022. She has also performed principal roles with Tacoma Opera, Concert Opera of Seattle, Opera in the Heights (Houston, TX), Amarillo Opera, Lyric Opera Northwest, Kitsap Opera, The Living Opera (Dallas, TX), Olympia Opera, and Opera Pacifica. Dawn is the Director of Vocal Studies and Opera Theater at the University of Puget Sound School of Music. She holds three degrees in vocal performance: a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, a Masters of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
Soprano Ksenia Popova has been hailed by The News Tribune as “a soprano to watch.” Ms. Popova has sung the roles of Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Juliette (Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette), Polly Peachum (The Threepenny Opera), Josephine (H.M.S Pinafore) with Tacoma Opera, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) with Pacific Northwest Opera, Josephine (H.M.S Pinafore) with Opera Coeur d’Alene, and Adele (Die Fledermaus) with Vashon Opera. Previously, Ms. Popova was a Studio Artist with Tulsa Opera, where she covered the role of Marguerite (Faust). As a Resident Artist with Opera San Jose, she performed in the student matinee of Lucia di Lammermoor (as Lucia) and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (as Berta) and sang the role of Madeleine in the West Coast premiere of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. In concert, Ms. Popova has appeared as the Soprano Soloist with Carmina Burana with Greater Seattle Choral Consortium and Sammamish Symphony Orchestra. She is a Metropolitan Opera National Council Third Place Regional winner, as well as having received several Audience Favorite and Encouragement Awards. Ms. Popova occasionally dips her toes into Musical Theatre, performing the role of Pat Collins in the US premiere of Stephen Edwards’ Moon Landing. Ms. Popova is the Founder of Opera on Tap Seattle, a nonprofit that brings opera to the masses via your local dive bar. She is very excited to be returning to Vashon Opera!
Rehearsal and Performance Pianist
Shelby Rhoades is currently active as a coach, consultant, and music director in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. She regularly works as a private coach with international singers engaged at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Oper Frankfurt, English National Opera, Gran Teatre, Barcelona, and Tokyo Opera. Shelby maintained the position of Principal Coach and Director of Emerging Artists Program at Virginia Opera, from 2013-2020, and Charlottesville Opera, 2009-2019. She has also been a member of the Vocal Arts Faculty at the Juilliard School, from 2008-2013. Other previous engagements include The Duffy Institute (Virginia Arts Festival), Yale University, Aspen Opera Theater, Seattle Opera, University of Washington, and Pacific Lutheran University, as well as various festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest and Commonwealth of Virginia. Among her various activities as an opera coach, Shelby specializes in New Music. She has prepared premieres by composers such as Corigliano, Henze, Muhly and Saariaho. Other highlights include preparing counter tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo for his album “ARC”, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, and the premiere of “Kept”, a chamber opera for the Virginia Arts Festival, with tenor Bill Burden. Shelby has worked with conductors Gary Thor Wedow, Ari Pelto, John DeMain, Andrew Bisantz, Ann Manson, Julius Rudel, George Manahan, and Adam Turner. She holds degrees in Chamber Accompanying and Vocal Performance from Ball State University, (Muncie, IN), and Piano Performance, (Anderson, IN).