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2022-2023 Season

Merry Widow – Company Bios

Cast and Crew(listed alphabetically by first name)

Amelia White – Chorus: Mezzo-Soprano. I am a senior at BYU studying music education with a choral emphasis. I have been singing since I can remember, and have been in many performances, including performances with Women’s Chorus here at BYU. I also played Lucy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and have performed in “The Tempest” and “Fiddler on the Roof”. I am so grateful and excited to be in the opera “The Merry Widow” and would like to thank the directors and all my previous teachers who have helped me develop my talents and the love I have for music now.

Ariana Abadia. I am from Ecuador. Second semester as a Master in Vocal Performance. Vocal performance. I have sung the 1st Lady in The Magic Flute by Mozart, Diana in Crossing the Face of the Moon by P. Martinez, Ilse in Spring Awakening and Bastienne in Bastien und Bastienne by Mozart. Also, two opera scenes as a Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte by Mozart. Also, I have sung the “Requiem” by Mozart and the “Gloria” by Vivaldi. In the immediate future I will be doing a summer program. I want to graduate from BYU and apply to some Young Artist Programs. I want to thank my parents and siblings that are always my support, and no matter how far they are, I always feel their love and company. Also, I want to thank all my past professors from Ecuador that gave me the tools and knowledge to be here at BYU and all my professors here at BYU that believe in me and help me to improve. I am very glad for all the hard work, support and encouragement that Professor Owens has shown to us in all this process. I especially want to thank Dr. Reich for all the love, commitment, and patience that she shows me as her student, I am very happy to learn from her.

Anna Low – Pontevedrian Baroness Valencienne Zeta. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Junior studying vocal performance at Brigham Young University. Favorite past roles include Nannetta in Falstaff, Mary Magdalene in The Lamb of God, Susan in A Dinner Engagement, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest. I would like to thank BYU and my voice teacher Dr. Diane Reich for all the opportunities they have provided me over the past couple years. Also thanks to my parents who have supported me since the beginning of my musical career!

Brandon Wilhelmsen – Njegus, Baron Zeta’s Pontevedrian Secretary. (Oct 18, 20, 22) From Gilbert, Arizona. I am a Senior Undergraduate at BYU. I’m graduating in April 2023 with a B.A. in Music, and a minor in Microbiology. Yes, I do in fact have a passion for both the fine arts and medical science. My instrument of study has been the organ, however, I’ve been known for playing the violin with the BYU Symphony Orchestra and singing with the BYU Men’s Chorus. The Merry WIdow is my first opera production here at BYU. However, I performed opera previously while I attended BYU-Idaho. There I played the “Smee” pirate in their production of Pirates of Penzance, Winter of 2019. Besides music, and theater, I also love ballroom, cooking, filmmaking, and rock climbing. Being part of this production of The Merry Widow, I have found myself being challenged to find higher accomplishments than I ever thought was possible. My character, Njegus, used to be nothing more than a name on a piece of paper. Now, he’s become one of the most respected and hard-earned characters I’ve had the privilege to act. Although not bold or loud, his subtle influence can change everything that happens in society. So I’ve had to learn how to help everyone see how amazing this guy really is. I can’t wait for you to meet him too! A huge appreciation to family and friends who encouraged me to keep moving forward; even when I didn’t want to.

Brett Ballard – Njegus, Baron Zeta’s Pontevedrian Secretary. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Brett Ballard is a Senior at BYU studying Choral Music Education. He will be Njegus in this year’s production of The Merry Widow. Past opera performances include the role of Jeremiah in CJ Madsen’s He Shall Prepare a Way and participation in Opera Scenes at BYU. Brett is a member of BYU Singers and an arranger of piano, choral, and barbershop music. He loves being out on the water to slalom ski and wakeboard. He’d like to thank his supportive family, friends, and director Shae Owens who have made opera such a wonderful experience!

Bryan Gittins – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Kromow. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Senior (5th year). Choral Music Education. Past Performance: Die Fleudermaus. Current Production: The Merry Widow. My thanks goes to the guiding hands of my directors and voice teachers. To my parents, patient and loving. And to my wife who is my ultimate confidant and friend.

Camilla Anderson- Chorus: Mezzo-Soprano. Camilla Anderson. Sophomore. Classical Vocal Performance. I have been training in classical voice for nearly 10 years, and was also very involved with both my high school’s and community’s theatre programs. My favorite memories include roles from productions of Hunchback of Notre Dame, Into the Woods, and Bright Star, as well as a locally written and produced show titled Shine On. I hope to continue my training in this program at BYU; after finishing my undergraduate degree, I hope to pursue my Master’s Degree at Indiana University. I’m incredibly grateful to be here at BYU, and I would like to thank everyone involved in encouraging my continual musical growth, including my parents, friends, and the wonderful BYU vocal staff.

Cassie Weintz – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Bogdanovitch’s wife, Sylviane. (Oct 15, 19, 21) I am a senior studying vocal performance at BYU. I am from Highland Utah and have enjoyed performing for many years. Some of my favorite roles have included: The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lisbé in Zémire et Azor, and Marie in a scene from La Fille du Régiment in last years Opera Scenes. Special thanks to my husband, Hunter, and family who never stop supporting me and who encourage me to dream big! Enjoy the show.

Cristy Ruiz – The Merry Widow of Pontevedro, Hanna Glawari. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Senior. Vocal Performance. Born in Mexico City. Currently studying in Mindy Ammon’s Studio. Performed as the Great Duchess of Monte Blanco in “A Dinner Engagement” and Sariah in “He Shall Prepare a Way”.
I am preparing for my Senior Recital in January. After that, I will be moving to New York City with my husband and daughter. I plan to apply for graduate school.
I want to thank my husband, Aleck, for all the sacrifices he is making so I can be in this opera production. Nothing I do could be possible without you Aleck. My mom, Miny for being my number one fan. My father, Mauricio for always supporting me in my big crazy plans. My sister, Melissa for being my best friend. My coach, Mindy Ammons for teaching me all the technique and skills I need to be the best I can be.

Daniel LeCheminant – Chorus: Baritone/Bass. Daniel LeCheminant is a freshman studying vocal performance and is excited to be in first opera. He sings in BYU Singers and hopes to perform with professional choirs and opera companies in the future. Daniel would like to thank his mom and dad for always supporting him with his music goals and for putting music in his life.

Eliza Wright – Chorus: Soprano. Junior at BYU. Choral Music Education. Eliza would like to thank her family for always supporting her singing through all of these years (even when it was very loud). She would also like to thank her friends for the support that they give her in her musical endeavors, and for all her wonderful colleagues in the music program!

Ellie Niver – Pontevedrian Baroness Valencienne Zeta. (Oct 15, 19, 21) First year Master’s student. Classical Vocal Performance. I grew up constantly singing around the house! We had songs for Halloween, Thanksgiving, basically anything you can think of! I learned a lot of basic life skills through song! I want to thank my amazing and constantly supportive husband! I am able to do and be so much more with him by my side.

Ellie Sanchez – Grisette Dancer, “Lo-Lo.” Elizabeth Sanchez. Sophomore. Pre-Vocal Performance. Favorite performance opportunities include Sophie in Mamma Mia!, a chorus member in Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God, and the past three semesters in BYU Concert Choir. Many thanks to my family and friends for supporting me, to all of my voice teachers, past and present, and to the wonderful cast, crew, and creative team of this show.

Emily Steele – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Kromow’s wife, Olga. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Emily Steele. I am a Senior at BYU majoring in Vocal Performance. I have previously been in 3 opera productions at BYU (Ensemble in The Magic Flute, Ida from Die Fledermaus, and Fatme from Zemire et Azor), and played the role of the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel at the Vienna Summer Music Festival. I recently attended the BYU Music Vienna Study Abroad this spring and hope to attend more opera programs nationally and abroad. I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in this production of The Merry Widow. I would like to thank my peers and co-stars for their hard work and the support they’ve given me, and thank our fabulous director, Professor Shea Owens, for his time, patience, and detailed direction and teaching. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their encouragement and support.

Ethan Simpson – Baron Mirko Zeta, Embassy’s Pontevedrian Ambassador to France. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Born in Eagle, ID, couldn’t imagine life without music. Ever since he was a child, he’s immersed himself in the arts, putting himself on the stage as much as possible. Some of his favorite performances include Frank in Annie Get Your Gun, (Huckleberry Star Theater, 2021), Sander in Zémire et Azor (BYU opera, 2021), and a chorus member in Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God: The Concert Film. Ethan is a sophomore in the Vocal Performance program at BYU and, in his future time in the program, looks forward to more time spent in the practice room! When he’s not singing, Ethan enjoys cooking, Piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain.

Grace Parry – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Bogdanovitch’s wife, Sylviane. (Oct 18, 20, 22)  is a Senior in the Vocal Performance program at BYU, studying Classical Voice. She has performed with BYU Singers for four years, and hopes to perform with professional choirs in the future. She is particularly interested in early music ensembles. Grace wants to thank her husband, Brayden, for expressing such excitement about her passions and encouraging her to keep pushing forward with music, even when it is difficult, because he knows how much it means to her.

Jacob Benson – Deck Crew. Actually a Biostatistics Major, but is a big fan of theatre, and did theatre-associated stuff all throughout his life up to this point; leading him to apply for a Theatre Arts Studies minor. Despite having had some lead roles in plays such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Poppins, he enjoys being a part of the Stage Crew so much more, leading him to reprise his regular role for The Merry Widow.

Jeanette Geslison – Choreographer. Associate Professor. Department of Dance. Artistic Director of International Folk Dance Ensemble. Past projects: BYU & Minzu University Collaborative Dance Project, Legenyes Dance Film, Department tour of American Folk Dance Ensemble to Belgium, Serbia, and North Macedonia, Journey: Reflections – a full length cultural dance production. Current productions: Christmas Around the World, Gifts, 2022. Thank you to the talented Merry Widow dancers and Grisettes! Thank you to Shea Owens for inviting me to participate in such a fun project!

Jennifer Grover – Chorus Master. Jennifer is a second-year graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in Choral Conducting. Before coming to Utah, she lived and worked in Northern California with her family for many years. She studied vocal performance and piano pedagogy at BYU-Idaho earning her associates degree. While raising her 4 children with her husband in California, she owned and operated her own private piano and vocal studio for over fifteen years. Jennifer graduated in 2010 from CSU Stanislaus with a Bachelor of Music degrees in both vocal performance and choral education.
A Soprano, Jennifer has sung with several organizations throughout Northern California. As an operatic performer, she sang in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” with Townsend Opera Company. Jennifer is an accomplished pianist and has extensive experience as a collaborative performer.
As a director and educator, Jennifer was head of choral and pianos studies at Tracy High School Performing Arts Magnet for 10 years.
She organized and directed the Tracy Community Choirs which included a children’s, youth, and adult ensembles. She served as Chorus Master of the Townsend Opera Company (now Opera Modesto) producing such great operas as “Carmen”, “Madame Butterfly”, “The Mikado,” and “Romeo and Juliet”. Jennifer also worked with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra as the youth chorus director. Most recently she acted as accompanist and interim director for the Mapleton Chorale for the 2021-22 season.
At BYU, Jennifer teaches basic conducting courses and assists the choral department under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew Crane, Dr. Brent Wells and Dr. Sonia Poulter. She currently conducts BYU’s University Chorale and will be presenting her master’s recital in November. She plans to graduate in Spring of 2023 and then continuing with her Doctorate Degree.

Kasia McPherson – Grisette Dancer, “Margot.” Kasia McPherson is a junior at BYU, studying Interdisciplinary Humanities with an emphasis in French. Her most recent performances include Barefoot in the Park (BYU 2022), Trifles (BYU 2022), and Escape From Planet Death (BYU 2021). This is her first opera at BYU and she would like to thank everyone in the directing team, tech crew, and the cast for making this experience not only possible, but wonderful! She would also like to thank her incredible family for their consistent and emphatic support.

Kobe Hagen – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Kromow. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Senior. Choral Music Education. Past Performances: I’ve done a few high school shows, but this is my first show at BYU! I’ve loved being a member of BYU Singers and I am in my second year with that choir. Current Production: Kromov in The Merry Widow. Thanks to my parents and my incredible wife for supporting me through the whole process of this show!

Lauren Crockett – Grisette Dancer, “Zhou-Zhou.” Lauren Crockett. Freshman. I’ve grown up performing in musical theatre but this is my first time performing in an Operetta! I am so excited to be a part of this amazing cast! I want to thank my family, Dean, and Grandma B for all their support. Thanks to Professor Owens and all who have made this show possible. Huge thanks to the cast, especially the Grisettes, who have made rehearsals feel like home.

Logan Reid – Pontevedrian Count Danilo Danilovitch. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Senior Year. Vocal Performance. I really have enjoyed everything that I have been offered to perform here at BYU, so it is super difficult to say that one thing was my favorite. But the two roles that I have enjoyed doing the most have been Danilo Danilovitch, The Merry Widow and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas. I want to be an opera singer. Wherever that takes me I don’t much care, but opera is in my soul and I want to perform wherever is sensible for me to do so! Thank you to my family, teachers, and collaborators for helping me learn to improve my craft every day.

Lorenzo Larios – French Count, Camille de Rosillon. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Lorenzo Larios, Senior majoring in Music with an emphasis in Voice.

Louisa Porter – Grisette Dancer, “Frou-Frou.” Louisa is a Junior at BYU, studying vocal performance. Past opera credits include CJ Madsen’s He Shall Prepare a Way, Zemire et Azor (cover), and 2020 Opera Scenes (Lakme Duet). Favorite musical theater roles include Amy in Little Women (Hale Center Theater Orem), Cosette in Les Miserables, and Cinderella in Into the Woods (Pleasant Grove High School). She served as a performing missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ this summer in Nauvoo, Illinois, and is currently a member of BYU Singers. She plans to pursue a masters degree in speech language pathology to use her passion of the voice to help others. She wants to thank her family, friends, and past music teachers that have supported her in her music journey!

Lucas Zuehl – Latin Count, Cascada. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Lucas is a Sophomore majoring in Vocal Performance and minoring in Creative Writing. He was in the chorus for The Magic Flute and performed in multiple scenes as Nephi in CJ Madsen’s He Shall Prepare A Way, and he sings in BYU Singers.

Madison Paez – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Kromow’s wife, Olga. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Junior. Choral Music Education. I want to thank all of my lovely teachers and professors, past and present, who continue to push and support me. To my family and friends for loving me and helping me pursue my passions. To my wonderful husband Matthew, for encouraging, supporting and loving me always.

Marianne Ohran – Lighting Designer. Marianne is the lighting manager and a designer for the Theatre and Media Arts department. She enjoys teaching and working with the students as well as designing for TMA. Recent credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Pride and Prejudice and Wonderland. She also enjoys designing for the Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy. Recent shows for them include Silent Sky, Light in the Piazza and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In her extra time, she loves spending time with her 4 children and clogging with a competition clogging team.

Matthew Paez – French Count, Camille de Rosillon. (Oct 15, 19, 21) Junior in Vocal Performance.

  • Past Performances:
    • Dr. Blind – Die Fledermaus
    • Lord Dunmow – A Dinner Engagement
    • Ensemble – Lamb of God: the Concert Film
    • Azor – Zemire et Azor
    • Laman – He Shall Prepare a Way
  • Current Productions 
    • Camille de Rosillon – The Merry Widow
    • Artistic Director – Santos Chamber Choir (Provo)
    • Member of BYU Singers

I would first of all like to thank my wife for her support through this all, and to congratulate her on her wonderful performance of Olga. Thanks to Shea Owens for his inspiring direction and love of opera. To Robert Brandt for his unwavering faith in me and my voice. To my colleagues, who I am grateful to consider friends.

McKenzie Bahr – Chorus: Soprano. Junior. Vocal Performance. I played Despina and Zerlina in BYU’s Opera Scenes February 2022, Shprintze in BYU’s Fiddler on the Roof January 2022, and an ensemble member in BYU’s Die Fledermaus Winter 2020. I’m currently teaching voice lessons, working for BYU stage productions, and preparing for BYU’s concerto competition. I’d like to thank my parents for supporting my musical aspirations all these years! I’d also like to thank Dr. Jennifer Youngs for helping me grow as a singer. Lastly, I’m grateful to Professor Shea Owens for helping me grow more comfortable being on stage and becoming a character.

Molly Smith – Rehearsal Pianist. Junior at Brigham Young University. Piano Performance. Pianist Molly Smith is an avid performer whose passion lies in collaborating with fellow musicians to create immersive, story-driven concerts. She is currently in her junior year at Brigham Young University, where she plays a variety of music – performing with a piano quintet, accompanying opera singers, and working with student composers to premiere new pieces. This semester, she had the opportunity to be a rehearsal pianist for BYU’s production of The Merry Widow. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school with a focus on collaborative performance and make more musical connections throughout her career.

Nicole Dayton – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Pritschitsch’s wife, Praskowia. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Junior in the Vocal Performance program. Vocal Performance major, minoring in Theatre Arts Studies. Sang the role of Mrs. Kneebone in the spring opera at BYU in 2021 and has sung other roles in opera scenes at BYU, FIO ITALIA, and Sun Valley Music Festival. Current member of the BYU Singers, and former member of BYU Women’s chorus. To my wonderful family who have always supported my ambitious journey, through both the exciting and difficult times. And to my many dear friends, who consistently encourage and serve me.

Olivia Aurich – Chorus: Mezzo-Soprano. Junior. Vocal Performance (Classical). Past Productions: Opera Scenes Winter 2022, “He Shall Prepare A Way” Opera by CJ Madsen, April 2022. Current Production: “The Merry Widow” Fall 2022. I thank all of my music professors for teaching me to bring out the best in me and being patient throughout my growth as a performer. I thank my colleagues for being supportive and encouraging during my time here at BYU. And I thank my family and roommates for supporting me in coming and/or listening to each of my performances and to cheer me on. You are all amazing.

Oscar Saafsten – Pontevedrian Embassy Consul Pritschitsch. Oscar is a freshman in Choral Music Education program. He is very grateful to be involved in his first ever opera after years in musical theater. Past roles include Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown, Mal Beinecke in the Adams Family Musical, and Max Detweiler in the Sound of Music. He is especially grateful to be surrounded by so many talented performers, teachers, and directors!

Paige “Fish” Ford – Production Stage Manager.  Paige “Fish” Ford has been working behind the scenes since she was 12 years old and is currently a sophomore at BYU, majoring in Theatre Arts Studies with an Emphasis in Stage Management.Past credits include: Pride and Prejudice (BYU), Fiddler on the Roof (BYU), Descendants (HCT Sandy), Silent Sky (HCT Sandy), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (HCT Sandy), Les Miserables (HCT Sandy), and Jekyll and Hyde (American Forks Community Arts).She is grateful for her family, roommates, and friends for being her rocks this semester.

Pollyanna Eyler – Dramaturg. I am a Junior at BYU. Majoring in Theatre Education (k-12) with a TESOL minor and an emphasis in Dramaturgy. I have provided dramaturgy for 3 Student Productions and 3 Main Stage plays at BYU: The Glorious Story Emporium, Radium Girls, and Much Ado About Nothing. The Merry Widow marks my second foray into opera after 2022 Winter Scenes. I want to thank my “Twue Wuv” Pat Eyler, when he’s not playing my Prince Charming, he also doubles as my Chef, Tech Support, Uber Driver & Personal Assistant. I also want to give a shout-out to my posterity, Lizzy & Ty, Michael & Raquel, and our newest addition, Tommy. I owe everything to my poor parents that put up with me singing into my hairbrush till they could start sending me off to rehearsals at the tender age of 8, thus kickstarting my life in the entertainment industry. And last, but not least … “Thank you” to my Dramaturgy Professor, Shelley Graham, for teaching me everything I know about dramaturgy.

Rachael Anderton – 1st Waltz Partner and Chorus: Soprano. Second year music graduate student. Vocal Performance emphasis. Covered the title role in Zémire et Azor Fall 2021 at BYU and is excited to be on stage again. Thanks to my wonderful family for all the sacrifices of time and energy you have made for me to be able to be here!

Rebecca Eldredge – Chorus: Soprano. Junior. Choral Music Education. Past Performances: She was a chorus member in her high school’s production of Les Miserables, Robin Starveling in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in The Music Man. Current Productions: She loves being a part of BYU’s Women’s Chorus and is excited to be a part of her first BYU opera as a chorus member in The Merry Widow! She’d like to thank her family and friends for their constant love and support, and the wonderful directors, cast, and crew for making this the best show to be a part of.

Rosie Graff – Grisette Dancer, “Clo-Clo.” Junior. Choral Music Education. Rosie began her musical journey playing the cello, and has played for 11 years. She was the principal cellist in the BYU University Strings Orchestra in the 2021-22 school year. She discovered opera her senior year of high school and fell in love. In 2020, she won a concerto contest with the Southwest Washington Symphony, and performed as a soloist with them in 2021. She was scheduled to perform as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall her senior year of high school, but unfortunately the performance was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosie has continued her operatic studies at BYU, and even studied opera in Vienna, Austria this past summer. Rosie loves singing in choir, too, and is very grateful to be president of BYU Women’s Chorus this year. Rosie also loves to dance, and is so excited to be a Grissette in The Merry Widow. Rosie studied classical ballet for over 10 years, and was scheduled to star as Odette in Swan Lake until the performance was cancelled due to the pandemic. She has danced in many shows, and countless Nutcrackers – including with the professional company Eugene Ballet. Rosie expresses her appreciation to her parents, fiance, and teachers for all their support, to the BYU Opera Program for giving her the opportunity to perform, and most importantly to God for blessing her life with the joys of music.

Sally Kang – Grisette Dancer, “Do-Do.” I am a sophomore at byu. I was in vocal performance and now I am in business. I was Gretel in Opera “Hänsel und Gretel”. And I was the 1st lady of three ladies in Opera “Die Zauberflote”(magic flute) by Mozart. I started studying classical voice at Seoul Art High School in Korea. I am thankful for the people and circumstances that supported me to sing.

Samuel Marley – Maxim’s Maitre D and Chorus: Baritone/Bass. I am a freshman at byu, my major is vocal performance. I am an avid pole vault lover, car enthusiast and son of god. I am grateful to be in this program. I have been in many productions, my favorites have been Pirates of Penzance as The Pirate King, and Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods.

Sanae Fujii – Chorus: Mezzo-Soprano. I am a sophomore majoring in Vocal Performance. My past performances include scenes as Hansel from Hansel and Gretel, Ruth from the Pirates of Penzance, and chorus roles ranging from Verdi’s Macbeth to CJ Madsen’s He Shall Prepare a Way. I am currently a part of the chorus in BYU’s Fall 2022 production of the Merry Widow, and look forward to singing with BYU’s opera program for years to come. Thank you to Dr. Jennifer Youngs for being patient with all my crazy repertoire choices, as well as the vocal faculty at BYU for taking a chance on me. I also want to thank my siblings and extended family: In the words of Mr. Bennet, “I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends.” Thank you for listening to my loud opera for “these [eighteen] years at least.”

Shea Owens – Director. Now in his second year as Director of Opera and Assistant Professor of Classical Voice at BYU, was honored to direct the final operatic production in the De Jong Concert Hall, Lehár’s “The Merry Widow.” During the previous academic year he directed Grétry’s “Zémire et Azor” as well as an opera scenes program titled “Dreams and Nightmares.” Along with his teaching and academic responsibilities, Mr. Owens continues to maintain a solo singing career, and recent highlights include the role of Samuel in “The Pirates of Penzance” with Utah Opera, and appearing as the featured soloist with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in their special event, “Love Thy Neighbor.” Mr. Owens resides in Orem with his wife, soprano Madison Leonard, and their son.

Sydney Wilson – Hair/Makeup Design. Senior. Theatre Arts Studies major with an emphasis in hair and makeup design. I designed hair and makeup for an Advanced Directing Project of Clue earlier this year. I also had the opportunity to be on the hair, makeup and wardrobe crew for the TMA mainstage production Escape From Planet Death last fall. This is my first time designing for a mainstage production, and it has been such a wonderful learning experience. I would like to thank my teachers Jennine Hollingshaus and Marnee’ Porter, and my friends and family for helping me through this process and always supporting me.

Taylor Egan – Pontevedrian Count Danilo Danilovitch. (Oct 18, 20, 22) Taylor Egan is a senior Music Education major with a choral emphasis. During his time at BYU he has performed with Concert Choir and BYU singers, as well as in the opera and musical theater programs. His most recent role was in Fiddler on the Roof as Motel. Opera credits at BYU include performances in scenes from Il Nozze Figaro and Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as full productions of The Mikado and A Dinner Engagement. Besides performance, Taylor’s passions lie in teaching and musical composition. He serves as composer-in-residence for the men’s chamber ensemble Santos, and has had choral works commissioned by local choirs Timp Musicians and A Voice for Good. After graduating, Taylor hopes to educate the next generation of musicians as a choir director. He would like to thank his parents for always supporting his artistic endeavors, and his wife Molly for being his inspiration and for making him the happiest man on earth!

If you can’t find a bio for a member of The Merry Widow company …
Please ask them to submit it to the dramaturg. Thank you!

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