Faust Principal Artists
Tenor Martin Piskorski, a native of Vienna, makes his United States and role debut as the disillusioned Faust. Described by opera reviewers as a tenor with a “definite charm,” and a voice that’s “full-bodied and scintillating,” Piskorski is sure to have opera lovers melting in their seats.
Piskorski made his role debut at Teatro alla Scala (an opera house in Italy), performing the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. He also performed Der Haushofmeister bei Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier with The Salzburg Festival in Austria.
As a member of the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project in 2013 and 2014, Piskorski performed as the Count of Lerma and a Royal Herald in Don Carlo and Faninal’s Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier at Salzburg.
Piskorski studied singing at the University of Music in Vienna. He performed several roles, including the Preacher in Bernstein’s Mass (Neue Oper in Vienna), the First Elder in Handel’s Susanna, Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Schönbrunn Schlosstheater). He also sang Rinaldo in Haydn’s Armida (Kvarner Festival in Croatia) and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore (Daegu Opera House in South Korea).
As an alto soloist on tour with the Schubert Boys Choir in Vienna, Piskorski sang in Japan, Germany and Italy.
Soprano Amanda Woodbury, a Texas native, plays the moral and religious heroine Marguerite. With a singing voice described as bright, beautifully colored, and full of strength and passion, Woodbury brings an elegance and purity in form to this important role.
An alumna of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, Woodbury made her professional debut at LA Opera in 2013 as Micaëla in Carmen, and performed later as Papagena in The Magic Flute. She sang the role of Mater Gloriosa in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Cincinnati May Festival), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Merola Opera Program), and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (Aspen Music Festival).
Ms. Woodbury performed in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy (Los Angeles Philharmonic), Carmina Burana (Lexington Philharmonic), Tebaldo in Don Carlo (Metropolitan Opera), and Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio (Des Moines and Dayton Opera).
The versatile soprano has also performed Leïla in The Pearl Fishers and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera), Musetta in La Bohème (LA Opera), Pamina in The Magic Flute (Madison Opera), and Micaëla in Carmen (PORTOpera). She was selected to perform in the U.S. tour of the Metropolitan Opera’s “Rising Stars” concert series, performing across the United States in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.
Ms. Woodbury completed her master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2012, and she received her bachelor of music degree at Indiana University.
Bass Önay Kagan Köse, a Turkey native, makes his Tulsa Opera role debut as Mephistofeles, the devilish spirit who leads Faust astray. Described as a bass solo with “a booming voice and majestic phrasing,” Köse is certain to command the audience’s attention right from the start.
As a member of Berlin’s famed Komische Oper, he performed a variety of roles, including the Nightwatchman in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Pluto in the Monteverdi/Katz-Chernin version of Orpheus.
He recently made his debut with Oper Frankfurt as Sparafucile in that company’s new production of Rigoletto. In addition to making his U.S. debut at Tulsa Opera, Köse will also make his New York opera debut with the Bard Music Festival in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliet this year.
He’s performed in a Juilliard Vocal Arts Recital at Alice Tully Hall and appeared in a Young Artists Concert at the Salzburg Festival. He sang as a bass soloist at Carnegie Hall in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the New York Youth Symphony, and he sang the Cappadocian in Salome with Opera San Antonio.
Köse completed his Master’s Degree and obtained his Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from the Juilliard School.
Baritone Yunpeng Wang, a native of China, returns to the Tulsa Opera stage as Valentin, Marguerite’s loving brother. Featured on the cover of Opera News as one of “opera’s exciting new voices,” Wang wowed the Tulsa opera audience last year in his debut as Zurga in The Pearl Fishers, with reviewers raving over “his unusually beautiful voice.”
Wang recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and appeared as a soloist in the Met’s 50th Anniversary Gala. He also sang in concert with the Dallas Opera, and made his Japanese debut as Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center.
As a member of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, he made appearances as Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, and Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He also made his role debut as Figaro in a concert version of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy.
Wang’s performed in concerts and recitals with the Opera Orchestra of New York, at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, with the Met’s Summer Recital Series in New York City parks, and made debuts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Wang received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from The Manhattan School of Music.
Mezzo Soprano Alyssa Martin, a North Carolina native, makes her Tulsa Opera debut in the role of Siébel, the young boy in love with Marguerite. Hailed by Opera News as “vocally distinctive,” Martin plays the lovesick boy with a sweet and lovely voice.
Martin also makes her role debut at Dayton Opera this opera season, singing Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. She’ll repeat her role as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette at Opera Birmingham, and she performs with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in April during the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts’ 2018 SHIFT Festival.
Previously serving as an Apprentice Artist at both Santa Fe Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera, Martin later performed several roles at Arizona Opera, including Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Angelina in La Cenerentola. Mércedés in Carmen, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
She’s also performed with the Dallas Opera and the Santa Fe Opera, performing as a mezzo soloist in Handel’s Messiah. Martin earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Mezzo Soprano Tara Curtis, a Missouri native, makes her role and company debut with Tulsa Opera, singing Marthe, a neighbor of Marguerite. Described as “impressively full-voiced” and “a keen, bright mezzo, darkened with raw edges,” she brings great excitement to this supporting role.
Recently making role debuts at St. Petersburg Opera, she sang the Voice of Antonia’s Mother in Les Contes d’Hoffman and the Witch in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. In November, she performs as the alto soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah for the University of Missouri’s 100th Anniversary Concert.
Curtis has performed with Palm Beach Opera, Sarasota Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Merola Opera Program, and St. Petersburg Opera. She’s also sang with the Staley Chorus Ensemble in Kansas City, Mo., Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Trentino Music Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival, and the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center.
Curtis earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) Degree in Voice and Opera at The University of Kansas, her Master of Music Degree in Opera Performance at the Boston Conservatory, and her Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Conductor Emmanuel Plasson, a native of Toulouse, France, made his premiere with Tulsa Opera in the 2016 production of The Pearl Fishers, and returns this month to lend his wonderful musical direction to Faust.
A leading ambassador for French music, Plasson has conducted productions of Faust at the Minnesota Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Opera Australia and Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.
“The style of this music is something that is very much a part of me, the language of it, the character of it, the lightness, the charm,” says Plasson, son of the renowned French conductor Michel Plasson. “It’s the opera I’ve conducted the most of all the pieces.”
The younger Maestro Plasson has conducted symphonies and orchestras throughout the globe. He made his North American debut 20 years ago conducting The Royal Ballet in its production of Covent Garden on Tour, including performances at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
He’s also conducted at Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, New York Opera Society, Opera Birmingham, Kentucky Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, and the Opera Company of Middlebury, Vermont, where he served as music director for five years. Internationally, Plasson has conducted in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, London, France, Sweden and Germany. He received formal training as a conductor at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine and the Yale School of Music in Connecticut.
Stage Director Omer Ben Seadia, a native of Israel, brings a youthful vision and imagination to her directing debut for Tulsa Opera’s Faust. She recently directed L’italiana in Algeri at Opera Santa Barbara, a production hailed as a “directorial triumph.”
As a member of the directorial staff at Houston Grand Opera, Ben Seadia revived John Caird’s production of Tosca for outdoor performances. She’s also directed for The Merola Opera Program and The International Vocal Arts Institute. Other directing credits include A Streetcar Named Desire at Opera Santa Barbara, Così fan tutte at The University of Michigan, Pursuing the Dream and Let’s Cook up an Opera at Cincinnati Opera, Surviving the Amazing Opera Race at Dayton Opera, a double bill of Der Kaiser von Atlantis/Brundibár with the Cincinnati Chamber Opera as part of the Theresienstadt Opera Project, The Sound of Music at the Crested Butte Music Festival, The Coffee Cantata with the Barrocade Orchestra, and The Golden Vanity with the Cincinnati Boys Choir.
Ben Seadia first started working at the Israeli Opera at the age of 15, and she gained extensive experience working in repertoire, fringe and festival theater across Israel. She studied Theater Directing and received her teaching degree from the School of Performing Arts at Seminar Ha’Kibuzim.
She has worked on staff at Houston Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, The Israeli Opera, Merola Opera Program, International Vocal Arts Institute and The Masada and Jerusalem Opera Festival.
Choreographer Priya Raju, a native of India, serves as Director of Kripalaya Dance Academy in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She teaches the ancient art form of Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian classical dance that she’s studied since the age of 5. Faust features dancers from the Kripalaya Dance Academy.
Dedicating herself to teaching, performing and promoting the Bharatanatyam dance form, Raju started the dance academy in 2002 and has showcased the school’s multifarious talents at various cultural events in Oklahoma and other states. She also specializes in other Indian dance forms, such as Folk, Bhangra and Bollywood.