MEET THE CAST
KELSEY ROBERTSON (Mezzo-Soprano)
Kelsey Robertson has been praised by the New York Times for her “verisimilitude” and “legato.” In the Fall of 2019 she debuted the role of Suzuki in Madame Butterfly with Baltimore Concert Opera and was applauded by the Maryland Theatre Guide for her “superb vocalizations” and “impressive acting chops.” In the Spring of 2020 she will debut the role of Flora with the Orchestra of St. Peter by Sea in the Festival of the Atlantic’s production of La Traviata.
In the 2017-2018 season Ms. Robertson completed her second consecutive year as an Apprentice Artist with Palm Beach Opera covering the role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and performing the role of the Shepherd boy in Tosca. The 2016-2017 season saw Ms. Robertson make her debut as an Apprentice Artist with Palm Beach Opera covering the roles of Giovanna and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto and performing the role of Kate in the family performance of Pirates of Penzance. In the Spring of 2017, Ms. Robertson made her New York City Opera debut singing the role of Fuego in the U.S. premiere of Los Elementos. The New York Classical Review praised her voice for its “fierce, smoky mezzo” and “ferocious coloratura.” In the summer of 2016, Ms. Robertson returned for a second season as an Apprentice Artist with Bel Canto at Caramoor, frequently performing in recitals including “The Intimate Rossini” at the Venetian Theatre.
Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Robertson holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. During her time at Eastman, her operatic highlights included the roles of Mrs. Jones in Street Scene and the title role in Xerxes. Ms. Robertson’s award credits include Eastman School of Music Vocal Concerto Competition Winner, 2019 Metropolitan Opera National Council Colorado/Wyoming District Winner and Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition Third Prize Winner. Last Spring Ms. Robertson placed as a finalist in the 2019 Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition and the 2019 Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition.
PEDRO BARBOSA (Tenor)
For over a decade, Brazilian-American tenor Pedro Barbosa has run the gamut of the performing arts: from performing Children’s Theatre in Chicago, to appearing as a featured dancer in the Dance Chicago Festival with the Frasz-Peskov Dance Company, to working with various musical theatre companies across the Midwest. Ultimately, Pedro has found his artistic voice in an operatic setting.
Pedro has performed with such companies as Cincinnati Opera, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Queen City Chamber Opera, Opera Louisiane, Cedar Rapids Opera, and Concert: Nova in Cincinnati. Most recently, Pedro reprised the role of Alfred Opera Project Columbus’ production of Die Fledermaus.
Some of Pedro's notable roles include those of Don Ramiro and Il Conte d’Almaviva in Opera Project Columbus’ production of La cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia, Camille in St. Petersburg Opera’s The Merry Widow, Frederic in Winter Opera St. Louis’ Pirates of Penzance, Nemorino in Opera Western Reserve’s L’elisir d’amore, and Tamino in The Magic Flute with Opera for the Young. With Tulsa Opera, he covered the role of Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La cenerentola and Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo e Juliette, and performed the role of Benvolio in Roméo et Juliette.
More recent engagements include a Royal Tea Gala with Winter Opera St. Louis as well as company debuts with St. Petersburg Opera as Camille in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, as Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with Winter Opera St. Louis and as Il Conte d’Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Union Avenue Opera . Upcoming , Pedro has a debut with Hudson Valley Philharmonic as Tenor Soloist in the Mozart Requiem, and an Afternoon of Italian Favorites with The Tower Music Series in Poughkeepsie NY, as well as his debut with Salt Marsh Opera, reprising the role of Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola.
Pedro resides in Cincinnati, OH, and is the proud father of two girls with his wife, Soprano, Dana Pundt. In addition to continuing to perform, they manage a successful voice studio, enabling them to bring the joy of singing to the creative people of Cincinnati.
ARMANDO CONTRERAS (Baritone)
Praised for “the easy caramel syrup of his voice” (Opera Today), Mexican-American baritone Armando Contreras is quickly becoming a standout in the world of opera. In 2021, Mr. Contreras was a part of the world premiere of Aleksandra Vrebalov and Deborah Breevort’s The Knock, singing the lead role Lt. Roberto Gonzales with The Glimmerglass Festival. Other highlights of his current season include making his debut with Salt Marsh Opera as Moralès in Carmen, reprising the role of Diego Rivera in Frida and the Bravest Girl in the World with Central City Opera, joining Opera Steamboat in The Three Feathers as The King/Rat and making his Denver Philharmonic debut in L'elisir d'amore as Belcore. This summer, Mr. Contreras will return to The Glimmerglass Festival to sing a lead role in the world premiere of the Rossini pastiche, Tenor Overboard, and cover Moralès in Carmen. In 2022-2023, Mr. Contreras will sing Marco in Gianni Schicchi and Council in Trial by Jury with Salt Marsh Opera. He will also make his company debut with Cincinnati Opera in the near future.
In the 2020/2021 season, Mr. Contreras was seen as Ernesto in the US premiere of Bizet’s Don Procopio with Pacific Opera Project, Il Conte in Le nozze di Figaro and Marcello in La bohème with Boulder Opera, and Diego Rivera in Frida and the Bravest Girl in the World with Opera Steamboat. In the summer of 2021, he covered the role of Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with The Glimmerglass Festival.
2019-2020 credits include Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone with Opera Fort Collins and Estaban in En Mis Palabras with Central City Opera. He was also set to perform as Guglielmo in Così? and cover Argante in Rinaldo with The Glimmerglass Festival in the summer of 2020 (COVID19).
During the 2018-2019 season, he was seen as the Imperial Commissioner in Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Madama Butterfly, Nardo in La finta giardinera and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and covered Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He also appeared as John Proctor (The Crucible), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) and Belcore (L’elisir d’amore) in the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Scenes program.
Engagements in the 2017/2018 season included Filippo in the US premiere of Rossini’s La gazzetta with Pacific Opera Project, Le Dancaïre in Carmen with Central City Opera, the Herald in Rigoletto and Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel and L'horloge comtoise/Le chat in L'enfant et les sortilèges with UMKC. He also covered the role of Doug Hansen in Joby Talbot’s Everest in its premiere at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Equally comfortable in concert repertoire, he has performed as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Missouri Oratorio Society and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Kansas City Ballet. He also appeared as Papageno in a concert featuring operatic selections by Mozart with The Cleveland Orchestra, a concert he will again perform with the Colorado Symphony in 2022.
Mr. Contreras has had extensive training including at The Glimmerglass Festival as a Young Artist, Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist, Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Young Artist and Central City as a Studio Artist.
Accolades from the vocal competition circuit include Mr. Contreras receiving the Top Prize after completion of the Central City Young Artist Program, being named a finalist in the 2020 Kyrenia Opera Vocal Competition and participating in the 2019 Dorothy Lincoln Smith Voice Competition where he was the Regional Winner.
A strong proponent of education, Mr. Contreras holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master’s degree in the same major from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
ANDY PAPAS (Baritone)
Highly praised for his "rich voice and comic timing" (St. Louis Post Dispatch), Andy Papas has been well lauded in both operatic and theatrical performances across the country. A native Bostonian, 2021-22 will mark another season of Andy’s performances from sea-to-shining sea. The summer and fall 2021 included a reprise of his hilarious Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville for both Opera Theatre of Connecticut and in St. Louis for Union Avenue Opera. In the Winter, Andy debuts with Opera Naples as the iconic Major General in G&S favorite, The Pirates of Penzance. He also sings this role in a later date (to be announced) for Anchorage Opera. having made his Alaska debut as Dr. Bartolo in 2019. Winter & Spring 2022 has him debuting with Fargo-Moorhead Opera as Magnifico in La Cenerentola, and returning to Washington State for another Barber of Seville, this time for Pacific Northwest Opera. Finally, in June, Andy makes his long awaited debut in the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff for Raylynmor Opera, on the grounds of an old mansion and gardens in the Monadnocks of southern New Hampshire.
In 2020, Andy was fortunate to teach students all over the world in Opera & Musical Theater appreciation courses. In classes such as The British Operas are Coming, And The Tony Award Goes To, and Divas, students explored operas and musicals in a variety of styles. Andy also made his small screen debut as Tonio in I Pagliacci for Raylynmor Opera, and in the title role of Don Pasquale for PNW Opera. Fall 2019 brought Andy’s first mainstage Bartolo for both Painted Sky Opera and Anchorage Opera, and a hometown debut as Mr. Bumble in Oliver! with The New Repertory Theatre.
Andy made principal debuts with both Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Saratoga in 2018. He performed Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow in Saratoga in the summer, where Seen & Heard International proclaimed, "Papas was a master of comedic timing and physical humor...capable of roaring one moment and quivering in his boots the next." For Boston Lyric Opera, Andy was Walt Dreary in The Threepenny Opera with BLO in March, and covered Bartolo in The Barber of Seville in October. With Salt Marsh Opera in April, he performed as 'The Jokester' in a newly commissioned piece, Jack and Jill. In February, Andy sang his first Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Music on Norway Pond, and Lillas Pastia in Carmen for the BYSO. He returned to Seattle in September '18 as Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème with Vashon Opera.
Andy spent the 2014-15 season singing the evil stepfather Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola from Coast to Coast, with performances in Seattle, Milwaukee, and Maine. After singing Magnifico for Skylight Music Theatre in September, he followed up with his west coast debut as Magnifico for Skagit Opera of Seattle in March, and in July for The Bar Harbor Music Festival. In April 2015, he added to his list of World Premieres, performing Stephano in Joseph Summers' The Tempest, with The Shakespeare Concerts of Boston. Andy made his debut under the baton of Gil Role as Peter Simple in Vaughn-Williams' Falstaff tale, Sir John in Love, with Odyssey Opera in May. He returned to the Pacific Northwest in early June for the iconic baritone solo in Beethoven's 9th Symphony for The Mid-Columbia Symphony. Finally, he was in St. Louis in August for a third season with Union Avenue Opera, performing Count Ceprano in Rigoletto.
In 2013-14, Andy expanded his New England footprint in his first performance in Vermont. With The Opera Company of Middlebury, Andy was Haly in L'Italiana in Algeri, where The Rutland Herald lauded his "rich voice" and called his performance "a riot". With The Reagle Music Theatre of Boston, Andy made his professional Musical Theatre debut as Avram in Fiddler on the Roof. Late in 2014, he performed his signature Gilbert & Sullivan role The Major General in The Pirates of Penzance for Opera Providence. Additionally, he toured throughout the Great Lakes as Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville with Opera for the Young.
2012-2013 included performances in both the Midwest and New England. Andy was the Tsar in the world premiere of Polina Nazaykinskaya's The Magic Mirror with Juventas New Music Ensemble and also for The New York Fringe Festival. In 2012, in his hometown debut, Andy was Schaunard in La Bohème with Boston Opera Collaborative. In February 2013, Andy sang a concert of Opera and Musical Theater favorites as part of the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation's Concert Series. Prior to that, he performed the role of the Father (Pandolfe) in Cinderella (Cendrillon) with Opera for the Young. With Cinderella, Andy toured to 65 schools in four states in the debut season of the show. In November 2012, Andy charmed New Hampshire audiences as Ko-Ko in The Mikado with Raylynmor Opera. Also in November, Andy returned to St. Louis to perform in the 2012 Benefit Gala with Union Avenue Opera. He was last seen at Union Avenue Opera in 2011 in the role of Pong in Turandot, under the baton of Maestro Scott Schoonover. Praised by the St. Louis press for a delightfully comedic performance, Andy also sang with Union Avenue as the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance in 2010.
In the spring of 2011, Andy joined Opera for the Young as both the Major General & The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, touring to over 50 venues throughout the Midwest. Opera for the Young is a unique opera company that incorporates children into the performance at each school. The cast of Opera for the Young teaches a new group of children at each school to be the onstage chorus, encouraging appreciation for opera in a truly hands-on approach. Andy also performed both the Father & Witch in OFY’s original adaptation of Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel in 2012.
Andy was a 2011 Emerging Artist with the St. Petersburg Opera, performing Marullo in Rigoletto, Schaunard in scenes from La Bohème, and Uncle Yakusíde in Madama Butterfly. Additionally, he covered the role of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and performed the role in several performances throughout the Tampa Bay Area. While at SPO, Andy coached with acclaimed Soprano Stella Zambalis, and Maestro Mark Sforzini.
In the summer of 2009, Andy was a young artist at Opera New Jersey, covering the role of Ko-Ko in The Mikado. He was seen in concerts throughout Princeton, NJ, performing opera and musical theater scenes as well as his original rendition of “I’ve got a little list”.
Andy completed his Master of Music degree in Voice Performance at the University of Houston in 2009. While at UH, Andy was seen as Uncle John in the Houston premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Jupiter in Orpheus in the Underworld and Snooks Brenner (Father of the Bride) in William Bolcom’s A Wedding, all under the direction of Buck Ross. In Houston, he was also seen as the title role in Gianni Schicchi, as soloist with the Houston Ballet II, and in outreach performances of The Refuge with Houston Grand Opera. In addition, Andy collaborated with celebrated musicologist Howard Pollack, singing Junior Mister in Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle will Rock.
Prior to attending UH, Andy made his professional debut as an Apprentice Artist with Lyric Opera Cleveland in 2006. He performed the role of Redwood Son in the World Premiere of Randall Eng’s Florida, and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance.
Andy received his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan in 2007, performing in both Musical Theater and Opera. Musical Theater role credits at UM include Charlemagne (Pippin), Old Man Strong (Urinetown), and Smokey (Damn Yankees). He studied with Freda Herseth, and coached with acclaimed composer & performer duo William Bolcom and Joan Morris.
Andy was born and raised in the Boston area, and started playing both piano and trumpet at the age of 8. He performed leading roles in musicals and plays, and was Drum Major of the Winchester HS Marching Band. In his free time, Andy enjoys skiing, traveling, and the foodie life, and owes thanks to his family, friends, and partner Chris for their love and support.
MICHAEL SCARCELLE (Bass-Baritone)
Garnering praise for his combination of vocal beauty, musicality and charisma, bass-baritone Michael Scarcelle has proven his versatility in concert, recital, opera and theatre.
Recent performances include Figaro THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Papageno THE MAGIC FLUTE and The Pirate King THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Anchorage Opera, Herrmann Augustus CANDIDE with Leipzig MDR Symphony Orchestra, Poo-Bah MIKADO with Mobile Opera, HYDROGEN JUKEBOX with Skylight Music Theatre, Poo-Bah MIKADO with Shreveport Opera. Other performance highlights include Demetrius A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Opera Naples, King Melchior AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS, Beaupertuis in Nino Rota's THE ITALIAN STRAW HAT and Don Pedro LA PÉRICHOLE with Amarillo Opera, Alidoro LA CENERENTOLA and Ceprano RIGOLETTO with Salt Marsh Opera, and the role of Death in Holst’s SAVITRI with Little Opera Theater of New York, for which The New York Times praised his “forbidding, resonant bass-baritone.”
In 2015 he made his Carnegie Hall debut as Masolino in American Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Schillings’ MONA LISA, then performed at the hall again with New York City Chamber Orchestra as soloist for both Duruflé Requiem and Fauré Requiem. This season includes his Houston debut with Pangloss CANDIDE with Opera in the Heights, Vodnik RUSALKA with Resonance Works in Pittsburgh, Mozart Requiem with Westminster Orchestra, the bass soloist in Greenwich Choral Society's concert of Handel's JUDAS MACCABAEUS as well as a return to Carnegie Hall for the highly acclaimed concert of Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra showcasing the music from Final Fantasy.
Mr. Scarcelle made his European debut singing Crespel LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN and Marchese LA TRAVIATA with Festival lyrique international de Belle-Île-en-Mer and returned to the festival as Schaunard LA BOHÈME. Other notable performances abroad include Plutone ORFEO in Chiari, Italy, and Escamillo CARMEN, Figaro LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and Dominick in the world premiere of Georg Kreisler's DAS AQUARIUM with Volkstheater Rostock. For his performance as Elviro in Boston Baroque’s production of SERSE, Opera News wrote "bass Michael Scarcelle possessed an appealing, charismatic stage presence and a spot-on sense of comic timing reminiscent of a young Cary Grant" and Boston Globe noted his "fluidly sung comic relief."
He recently made his debut with Munich Philharmonic performing Herrmann Augustus CANDIDE, a role he reprised with London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Theatre, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen at Bremen's Glockenspiel and Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich at Vienna Konzerthaus. His bass aria in Bach MAGNIFICAT (nationally televised from the National Cathedral) was praised by The Washington Post as "fresh" and "animated". Other notable concert engagements include Avery Fisher Hall performances as bass soloist for Händel's MESSIAH and Verdi REQUIEM, Schütz FILI MI ABSALON with St. Luke's Trombone Quartet, Händel MESSIAH with Norddeutsche Philharmonie; Mozart MASS IN C MINOR; Haydn LORD NELSON MASS and Bach CANTATAS 4 and 111 with Yale Symphony Orchestra; Haydn THERESIENMESSE and Händel ALEXANDER’S FEAST at Hunter College; Bach CANTATA 182 with St. Bartholomew's Church New York City, and a concert of Broadway music with the Macedonia Philharmonic Orchestra that earned him a Cultural Diplomacy award from the United States Embassy.
Other performances include Hanezò L'AMICO FRITZ with Sarasota Opera, Friar Laurence (cover) ROMEO AND JULIET and Monterone (cover) RIGOLETTO with Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Police Sergeant THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Colorado Symphony; Filiberto (cover) IL SIGNOR BRUSCHINO with Gotham Chamber Opera, Masetto DON GIOVANNI with H&K Arts Japan, Alessio LA SONNAMBULA with Salt Marsh Opera, Ceprano RIGOLETTO with Westfield Symphony Orchestra, Pistola FALSTAFF and Guglielmo COSI FAN TUTTE with Hunter College, Marco GIANNI SCHICCHI, Valere LE MÉDECIN MALGRÉ LUl, Erminio IL TRIONFO DELL'ONORE, Antonio LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and Sprecher DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE with Yale Opera, Michele IL TABARRO at Catholic University, Schlémil LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, Lucas THE STUDENT PRINCE and Sculpteur LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE DAME with Central City Opera where, as an apprentice artist, he was singled out by Opera News as "particularly promising, for cultivated sonorous vocalism and good stage presence."
Mr. Scarcelle, a Philadelphia native, has appeared in concert internationally including several recitals at the historic Academy of Music in his hometown. Among his theatre credits are roles in NAUGHTY MARIETTA, HELLO DOLLY, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, THE DESERT SONG and THE KING AND I. He holds a Master of Music degree from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Hunter College. He additionally studied at The Catholic University of America and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy focusing on dancing and acting.
FRANCESCA FEDERICO (Soprano)
Soprano Francesca Federico was born in Paris, and is based in New York City. She is a 2020-2021 Fulbright Scholar for the Arts, and completed a performance residency at the Irish World Academy in Limerick, Ireland, focusing on the origins of Irish traditional music in 20th century English-language art song.
Engagements in the 2021-22 season include Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, both with Salt Marsh Opera; Sor Andrea in the East Coast premiere of Carla Lucero’s Juana with dell’Arte Opera, and La Donna in Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo with Teatro Grattacielo. She returned to the concert stage as Soprano Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
She made her European debut in 2020 with Wexford Festival Opera, performing the role of Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff in their inaugural Young Artist division, the Wexford Factory. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she appeared with the Children’s Philharmonic of New Jersey, as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and was named a finalist in the Vermont Vocal competition and The American Prize competition.
Highlights of her 2018-19 season included her debut at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center with the Teatro Nuovo bel canto festival under the baton of Maestro Will Crutchfield, where she covered the role of Ninetta in Rossini’s La gazza ladra, and joined their production of Bellini’s La Straniera; a company debut with Bronx Opera, performing the role of Anna Gomez in Menotti’s The Consul, and being named the winner of a 2018 opera grant from the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, as well as being a finalist for a Career Bridges grant.
In the 2017-18 season, Francesca created the role of “Lyric Soprano/Naftalina” in the world premiere of Constantin Basica’s Knot an Opera!, with the Fresh Squeezed Opera Company. She was also the Soprano Soloist in the world premiere of Brad Balliett’s multidisciplinary opera The Universal Drum, and an Artist Fellow with the Art Song Preservation Society Festival, specializing in French repertoire. Other roles in 2017 include Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni as a Principal Artist with the Utah Vocal Arts Festival.
Ms. Federico received a Masters in Voice at the Mannes School of Music, where she studied with Bonnie Hamilton. She completed her undergraduate degree at New York University, where she majored in Global Studies. She is accomplished in both standard and new music repertoires, and has demonstrated both competencies in her performances across the United States and Europe. She currently studies with Abbie Furmansky in Berlin, and Mark Schnaible in New York. She is represented by Robert Lombardo of Lombardo Associates.
ALYCE DAUBENSPECK (Mezzo-Soprano)
Alyce Daubenspeck is excited to play the role of Tisbe in this production of La Cenerentola. Post-pandemic credits this year include Marcellina with Opera Ithaca's Le Nozze di Figaro, the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel with Chicago Summer Opera, and a solo recital of the Wesendonck Lieder as a guest artist with Opera in the Ozarks. She is excited to prepare an upcoming Fauré Requiem and balance her job as a voice adjunct faculty at DeSales University in Allentown, PA, where she currently resides.
Artistic Director, Librettist
Ben Robinson is a critically acclaimed tenor, director, librettist, and arts administrator. As a stage and film director, he has mounted numerous productions. Recent directing credits include stage productions of Madama Butterfly, Macbeth, Die Fledermaus, The Medium, The Barber of Seville and film productions of Hansel and Gretel, Bastien and Bastienne, Pagliacci, and Gianni Schicchi, the latter of which was heralded by Opera magazine as the "deftest use... of Covid-era technology as part of modern operatic reality."