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We're very excited that our partners at the Florentine Opera Company will be gracing next Friday's opening night (7 p.m.) screening of Pavarotti at the Oriental Theatre with their presence - specifically, a special live performance by the Florentine Opera 2019 Summer Concert Residency Artists preceding the film! Learn more about these talented artists below, and we'll see you at the theater next Friday night!



Grace Wipfli, a promising young soprano from Toledo, Ohio, has most recently appeared as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. She earned her Master’s of Music from Northwestern University where she studied with Sunny Joy Langton. While at Northwestern, she also appeared as “The Governess” in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, “Donna Anna” in Don Giovanni and “Sa femme” in Darius Milhaud’s Le pauvre Matelot. She was chosen as a finalist in the 2019 Northwestern Concerto Competition. Ms. Wipfli also served as the Assistant Director of Northwestern’s production of Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict.  Last summer she spent time in Hawaii working on a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, in which she portrayed “Beggar Woman” and also covered “Mrs. Lovett”. Ms. Wipfli obtained her Bachelor’s of Music in Voice Performance from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she won the 2017 Conservatory Concerto Competition in Performance. She was awarded the Richard Miller Award for Fine Singing from the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She was also granted the opportunity to be a national finalist in Michael Feinstein’s Songbook Academy Competition. 

Soprano Olivia Doig first fell in love with performing as child while singing in children’s choruses at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She now performs a range of classical and musical theater repertoire across the midwest. Recent performance highlights include Josephine in HMS Pinafore (Ohio Light Opera), Amor in Ariane et Bachus (Haymarket Opera), the title role in Patience (Gilbert and Sullivan Company, Inc.), the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria (Hinsdale Chorale), and Gabriel in Haydn’s Creation (Tallahassee Chorus). Olivia received her Masters of Music from Florida State University in 2016 and will begin her Doctoral studies at the University of Illinois in 2019. She has received awards from the Chicago Bel Canto Foundation, the Orpheus Music Competition, the Tallahassee Music Guild, the Chicago Italian Cultural Center, various NATS chapters, the American Opera Society of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. 



Ian Murrell is a native of Vandalia, Illinois and has been hailed as a "powerful" and "resonant baritone" by Indiana Public Media. Mr. Murrell is a versatile and experienced performer of oratorio, song, musical theatre, operetta, and opera with an extensive range of character and dramatic roles. Role credits include Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Le Marquis de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Harry Bailey in Jake Heggie's It's A Wonderful Life, and Ned Keene in Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. Each role was performed at Indiana University Opera Theater. Other operatic credits include Gil in Ermano Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di Susanna, Bob in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, and Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. Ian has also portrayed Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly in a staged production with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra as well as playing Riff in Bernstein’s West Side Story under the baton of Maestro Alfred Savia. Ian is an alumnus of the Asheville Lyric Opera young artist program, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Chautauqua Opera Company Studio Artist program. He is a graduate of the University of Evansville and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Ian joins the roster of The Florentine Opera Company for the summer of 2019 and will be joining the chorus of Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Götterdämmerung in the Spring of 2020.

Nathaniel Catasca is a tenor from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Having graduated with a Bachelor’s of music in Vocal Performance from the University of Oklahoma in the Spring of 2017, he is now a recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music, having completed a Master’s in Performance and Literature under the study of Robert Swensen.  During his time at the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Catasca had the opportunity to have his solo debut as the character of Ernesto in Donizetti’s, “Don Pasquale” in the Spring of 2017. That summer, Nathaniel had the privilege to attend the Music Academy of the West, studying with names such as Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, John Churchwell, among others. During his time at Eastman School of Music,   Catasca participated in many events, such as the role of Tenor I in Ricky Ian Gordon’s, “Tibetan Book of the Dead,” as well as taking second place in the Friend’s of Eastman Opera Vocal Competition.




Posted by: Tom Fuchs