City Opera

Music for Story's Sake

 

ST. FRANCIS DE LOS BARRIOS

CAST AND CREATIVE BIOS

About CITY Opera San Diego City Opera champions new and contemporary works in English and Spanish, works by American composers, non-traditional repertoire, and the fundamental reconceptualization of standard operas. With an emphasis on community building, we tell stories through music that are rooted in our unique citizenry. We promote opera as a living and essential art form, which provokes, thrills and transforms human lives. City Opera is music for story's sake. We are dedicated to building community by turning beautiful music into stunning theatre and contributing to the dynamic reimagining of opera in America for the 21st century. We create opera productions in a variety of locations throughout the city of San Diego, CA. We are itinerant by choice and believe that through our unique works San Diegans see themselves and their city in a new positive way. St. Francis de los barrios is San Diego City Opera’s first commission.

 
 
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Joseph Waters

Composer of acoustic, electro-acoustic and interdisciplinary works, Dr. Joseph Waters belongs to the first generation of classicalcomposers that grew up playing in rock bands. These roots coalesce in an expansive aesthetic trajectory exploring connections between European-African hybrid genres such as drum & bass, metal, hip-hop, salsa, reggae, be-bop, ragtime, etc. with Euro-centric classical and Gypsy music. Waters performs on laptop in SWARMIUS ensemble, with SDSU Professor

SAXIMUS (aka Todd Rewoldt — classical saxophone) and world class virtuoso instrumentalists and singers. Together, the members of SWARMIUS create a hip classical music of the present, combining the harmonic, contrapuntal and formal sophistication of the European masters with the rhythmic subtlety and complexity of the African masters. SWARMIUS performs Waters’ compositions globally and has music available on iTunes, Pandora, Amazon etc. Waters is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Composition Studies — Acoustic and Electro-Acoustic, and runs the Electronic Music Studio, the Digital Recording Facility, and the Computer Lab. He is Artistic Director of NWEAMO (New-West Electronic Arts & Music Organization). NWEAMO organizes an annual international electro-acoustic festival whose aim is to foster connections between the classical electro-acoustic avant-garde community and the community of experimental composers.

 
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Allan Havis

Allan Havis received an MFA from Yale and has had his plays produced across the country and overseas, including San Diego Rep, Long Wharf, South Coast Rep, American Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, and Rowholt Theater-Verlag (German Radio). Works commissioned by England's Chichester Festival, Sundance, San Diego Rep, South Coast Rep, Mixed Blood, Malashock Dance, Carolina Chamber Chorale. Nineteen published plays: Penguin/Mentor, Theatre Communications Group, Broadway Play Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Books. University of Illinois Press published his “American Political Plays”. Harper/Collins published his novel “Albert the Astronomer”. His book Cult Films” was published 2008. In 2010, Southern Illinois University Press published “American Political Plays, Post 9/11”. In collaboration with renowned composer Anthony Davis, his play “Lilith” was reimagined as an opera, premiering as a recital at UC San Diego’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall 2009 and staged at Qualcomm Institute/Calit2, 2015. His second opera with Anthony Davis, “Lear on the 2nd Floor”, was showcased at Princeton in 2012 and staged at Conrad Prebys Music Center, 2013. Recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Kennedy Center/American Express, CBS, HBO, National Endowment for the Arts Awards, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle 2003 Outstanding New Play for “Nuevo California” and San Diego’s 2008 Patté Best Play award for “The Tutor”. He teaches theatre at UC San Diego.

 
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Cynthia StokeS

Cynthia Stokes has devoted her professional career to creating provocative and thrilling opera productions across America. She is the Artistic Director of San Diego CITY Opera, San Diego’s newest opera company dedicated to encourage San Diegans to see their community in new positive ways by presenting opera in site-specific locations throughout the city. CITY Opera’s first production, “Queen of Carthage” was part of La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival in 2015. This spring she staged Dominic Argento’s song cycle “The Andrée Expedition with three singers in an abandoned factory. Upcoming productions include: “Rigoletto for Opera Las Vegas; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Mendelssohn) for Mainly Mozart; “Cenerentola” and “La hija de Rappaccini” for Alamo City Opera; an untitled improvisational opera for New York’s Rhymes with Opera; and “Glory Denied” for San Diego CITY Opera. Other credits include: Piedmont Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera San Jose, Glimmerglass Opera, San Diego Opera; Opera Philadelphia, and Los Angeles Opera. Ms. Stokes is currently on faculty at The Taos Opera Institute. She has an M.F.A. in Directing from UC San Diego.

 

SAXIMUS & SWARMIUS

SAXIMUS (aka Todd Rewoldt — classical saxophone) and world class virtuoso instrumentalists and singers. Together, the members of SWARMIUS create a hip classical music of the present, combining the harmonic, contrapuntal and formal sophistication of the European masters with the rhythmic subtlety and complexity of the African masters. SWARMIUS performs Waters’ compositions globally and has music available on iTunes, Pandora, Amazon etc. Waters is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Composition Studies — Acoustic and Electro-Acoustic, and runs the Electronic Music Studio, the Digital Recording Facility, and the Computer Lab. He is Artistic Director of NWEAMO (New-West Electronic Arts & Music Organization). NWEAMO organizes an annual international electro-acoustic festival whose aim is to foster connections between the classical electro-acoustic avant-garde community and the community of experimental composers.

 

Sara Perez

Sara Perez is a soprano noted for her work with living composers as well as a rich background in concert and operatic stages. Most recently, she appeared as a soloist with the San Diego Symphony in a portrait concert of Charles Ives. Past roles include the premier of Nielson’s Il Romanticismo di Lucrezia e Cesare where she appeared as the title role of Lucrezia, Lyla in Anthony Davis’ Lear on the Second Floor and the role of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. In the past, she has been lucky to have a strong presence in the San Diego music community including performances with the San Diego Symphony, San Diego City Opera, Red Fish Blue Fish, Bach Collegium San Diego, Masterworks Chorale, Kallisti and Sacra/Profana. Other appearances of note include the Cleveland Orchestra, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra and Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. 

 

High Resolution Images - Right Click to Download

Cynthia Stokes High Res Image - Right Click to Download (Kristian Jaime Photography)

Cynthia Stokes High Res Image - Right Click to Download (Kristian Jaime Photography)

Sara Perez High Res Image - Right Click to Download

Sara Perez High Res Image - Right Click to Download

Jack French High Res Image - Right Click to Download

Jack French High Res Image - Right Click to Download

Cynthia Stokes, Director (standing), Joseph Waters, Composer (glasses) & Rodolfo Giron, Singer (seated) - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Cynthia Stokes, Director (standing), Joseph Waters, Composer (glasses) & Rodolfo Giron, Singer (seated) - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Rodolpho Giron, Singer (standing) & Joseph Waters, Composer (seated) - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Rodolpho Giron, Singer (standing) & Joseph Waters, Composer (seated) - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Rodolpho Giron, Singer - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Rodolpho Giron, Singer - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Cynthia Stokes, Director & Joseph Waters, Composer - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)

Cynthia Stokes, Director & Joseph Waters, Composer - Right Click to Download (Photo Credit Christian Teare)