Rebecca Luttio ’04
A professionally trained dancer and native of Seattle, Washington, Rebecca Luttio made her professional debut in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s the Nutcracker at the age of nine years old. Since then, Ms. Luttio studied dance, musical theatre and opera at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. Ms. Luttio has sung in numerous young artist programs both domestic and abroad, including, Operafestival di Roma, American Austrian Mozart Academy, Oberlin in Italy and most recently the prestigious young artist program Opera North in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Past opera roles include “Despina” in Cosi Fan Tutte, the “Widow” in The Boor, “Rosa Gonzales” in Summer and Smoke, “Clori” in L’Egisto and “Marcellina” from Le Nozze di Figaro. Since the first year of her graduate vocal studies at New England Conservatory, Ms. Luttio has been cast in leading roles in every main-stage opera, and will end her last semester singing “Dinah” in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti this February. She studies with Chair, Mark St. Laurent of New England Conservatory. Distinctions include merit vocal and dance scholarships from St. Olaf College, American Musical and Dramatic Academy and New England Conservatory for a Masters in vocal performance. Ms. Luttio is also a two-time recipient of the SOS-Mount Scholarship from the Society of Singers.
As a versatile actress, Ms. Luttio recently made her professional theatre debut at the American Repertory Theatre of Cambridge, as “Simonetta” in the world premiere of Stephen Greenblatt and Charles Mee’s Cardenio.
Mezzo-Soprano Laura Wilde, from Watertown, SD, is in the third year of her master’s degree at Indiana University, where she studies with Costanza Cuccaro. Wilde received a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, where she studied with Janis Hardy and Mark Calkins. While at Indiana University, she performed the roles of Jo in Adamo’s Little Women, Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, and Prince Charming in Massenet’s Cendrillon. While attending St. Olaf, she performed the title role in Carmen, Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera, and Lady Gertrude/Katisha inAn Evening with the Mikado. She also created the role of Sarah in The Binding of Isaac, a BMI award-winning chamber opera by Matthew Peterson. In 2008, Wilde performed the role of Mrs. Ott in Susannah at the Chautauqua summer voice program. During her two summers with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, she covered the roles of Cherubino in The Ghosts of Versaillesand Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro. This past summer at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis she also performed the role of Mrs. Segstrom in Isaac Mizrahi’s production ofA Little Night Music and will be returning for the 2011 season to sing the role of Omar in The Death of Klinghoffer. Wilde was a 2010 Metropolitan Opera Competition semi-finalist.
With an agile voice that has been likened to “warm steel,” Minnesotan soprano Evelyn Nelson is a versatile and creative performer whose experience and abilities span from Bach to Broadway. She most recently sang Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival, and looks forward to singing the role of Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with Indiana University Opera Theater in November 2010. Other roles to her credit include the title role in Massanet’s Manon, Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, and Cinderella in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Ms. Nelson has been a soloist with the St. Olaf Orchestra, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, and the Bach Cantata Project at the Blanton Art Museum in Austin, Texas. She has been a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a finalist or winner in several other competitions, including the Dallas Opera Guild and the Schubert Club Contest in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Ms. Nelson’s educational and artistic training is diverse, and has strongly emphasized foreign language study. She holds degrees from St. Olaf College and The University of Texas, and has also spent significant lengths of time both studying and performing in Germany, Italy, and Norway. She is a student of Costanza Cuccaro at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she is pursuing a Performance Diploma.
Opera News – FEATURES
JUNE 2012 — VOL. 76, NO. 12
Girls of Summer
F. PAUL DRISCOLL catches up with KELLY KADUCE,
who is set to make her Cincinnati Opera debut this summer as Nedda.
Photo © Dario Acosta 2012
When asked if she has a favorite role, soprano Kelly Kaduce, who makes her Cincinnati Opera debut this summer as Nedda in Pagliacci, pauses a beat before saying, “Ohhhhhh gosh. I know it sounds boring, but it tends to be whatever I am doing at the time. I land headfirst in rehearsal and can’t really think about anything else.
“But Nedda is definitely up there at the top of my list, because I get to do that wonderful clown shtick [as Colombina]. When I was in college, I audited an acting class that was on creating a clown character — the final [exam] was ‘Clown Wars,’ which my team lost. I never thought that that clown stuff would come in handy in opera singing, but here is an opera with a whole scene that is — beginning to end — just clown stuff. I love that scene every time I do Pagliacci!”
The Minnesota native, whose specialties include some of the meatiest roles in the lyric-soprano repertoire — Cio-Cio-San, Mimì, Suor Angelica — says Leoncavallo’s Nedda comes with its own particular set of challenges, despite its relative brevity. “Pagliacci is short, but it packs a lot into one act. A lot. It doesn’t really feel like verismo to me — maybe it would if I were singing one of the guys’ parts. The big aria for Nedda, ‘Stridono lassù,’ is more like an Italian art song stuck in the middle of the piece — it has a bit of a different tessitura than the rest of the role, because it’s a little higher. There are snippets of dramatic singing for Nedda, like the scene with Tonio, but most of Pagliacci is lyric as far as her music is concerned. That duet with Silvio is gorgeous — you can just open up and sing.”
Kaduce is married to Texas-born baritone Lee Gregory, whom she met on a Western Opera Theatre tour in 1999, and the singers are parents of a one-year-old son. In two previous productions of Pagliacci, Gregory was Kaduce’s Silvio — a situation Kaduce says can be “a little complicated. I love singing with [Lee], because I love him, and I love the way he sings. We’ve done Figaro and the Countess, Giovanni and Elvira, Schaunard and Mimì. Right now we are doing the Nixons [in Nixon in China] in Eugene, Oregon — although I think we look more like the Kennedys, especially the way we’ve been costumed!
“But the downside to singing with [my husband] is that when we play lovers onstage — like Nedda and Silvio — people [in the audience] get a glimpse into our personal life, which can make me uncomfortable. So in some ways, for me, it’s easier to have a stranger play my love interest, rather than my husband, when there are thousands of people watching us. Nobody sees anything personal that way.
“My husband, Lee, feels the complete opposite. He says that playing a love scene with me makes him much more comfortable. Isn’t that funny?”
F. PAUL DRISCOLL