An opera from 1821 about a community obsessed with guns.

Weber’s The Magic Bullets (Der Freischütz) tells the story of Max, a young man who must succeed in a shooting contest in order to marry his fiancée Agathe. His community has tied his sense of masculinity to his skill with firearms, and the resulting pressure drives him to seek magic bullets that never miss. But the bullets come at a steep price.

Featuring full orchestral accompaniment from the award-winning Queen City Opera orchestra, and the premiere of a new critical edition of Weber’s masterful score, recently published by Schott Music in Mainz, Germany.  Sung in the original German, with projected English translations, and English dialogue between the musical numbers.

There will be a presentation on evidence-based approaches to preventing gun violence one hour before each performance.

Friday May 31st 2019 at 8.00 pm

Sunday June 2nd 2019 at 3.00 pm

Ottokar: Simon Barrad

The versatility of “gorgeous voiced” baritone, Simon Barrad, has been heard across the United States and Europe in opera, Lieder, and oratorio. He returns to Queen City Opera after his acclaimed 2017/18 season performances of Robert in Iolanta and Dandini in La Cenerentola. Other recent favorite roles include Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Owen Wingrave, Kaiser Overall (Der Kaiser von Atlantis), Carmina Burana, and Sibelius’ Kullervo Symphony. He has performed at such festivals and companies as the Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Cincinnati Opera, and the Los Angeles Bach Festival, and he has recently collaborated with artists including Mitsuko Uchida, Leon Fleisher, Jonathan Biss, and Ignat Solzhenitsyn. As a Fulbright scholar in Helsinki and in subsequent tours, Simon received acclaim for his side-by-side interpretations of Finnish and American music, headlining venues including the Berlin Philharmonie, Helsinki’s Musiikkitalo, and Finland’s National Opera House.

Simon’s performance is generously sponsored by Emily Hodges.

Max: M. Andrew Jones

Tenor M. Andrew Jones returns to Queen City Opera after his breathtaking triumphs in Iolanta as Vaudemont, and in Siegfried as Mime, a role that he reprised at Valhalla Productions in San Francisco. His other performances include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, both with Queen City Opera, 1st Armored Man/Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte with Dayton Opera, The Messenger in Aida as well as the Innkeeper in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with Cincinnati Opera.

Mr. Jones has a Master’s of Music in Vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where he performed the roles of Lennie in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men and Bardolfo in Verdi’s Falstaff. He received his Bachelor of Arts in music from Luther College where he performed the role of Monastatos in Die Zauberflöte.

M. Andrew’s performance is generously sponsored by Karlee Hillard.

Cuno: Stephen Michael Hanna

Stephen Michael Hanna, baritone and East Texas native, received his Master’s Degree in Voice from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music studying with William McGraw and now enjoys an eclectic career singing regularly with the Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble, St. Rose of Lima Octet, Coro Volante, Taylor Festival Choir, Collegium Cincinnati, Cincinnati Opera, Roundabout Opera for Kids, and then in numerous other venues for oratorio, recital, and masterclass. Noted opera roles include Schaunard in La bohème, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow. An avid supporter of new music, Stephen can regularly be seen performing and recording new choral music, chamber works, song cycles, and operas by living composers.

Caspar: Brandon Morales

A  Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, Bass-Baritone Brandon Morales will soon debut the roles of Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Colline in La bohème, and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro. In his last appearance at Queen City Opera, he portrayed Omar in Weber’s Abu Hassan. Recent highlights include Marcello in La bohème at Saltmarsh Opera, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Virginia Opera and Summer Garden Opera. A graduate of Texas State University and Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, Morales is excited to return to Ohio, but does miss his faithful cat Elsie back home in San Antonio, Tx.

Agathe: Erin Keesy

Soprano Erin Keesy has been praised for her “plush timbre” and “agile purity”. Recent appearances include engagements with the Cincinnati POPS orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and as a young artist with Cincinnati Opera. Recently, she was a featured performer in SongFest’s Stern Fellowship program in Los Angeles. During the program, she premiered a set of six songs by composer Peter Golub and performed and worked alongside many esteemed colleagues and teachers. She was also a participant in the Stern Fellowship LA Opera program. Ms. Keesy was seen in the role of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Queen City Opera. She received her Master’s degree and Artist diploma from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor’s in Voice from the University of Louisville.

Erin’s performance is generously sponsored by Marilyn Z. Ott.

Ännchen: Alexandra Kassouf

Alexandra Kassouf returns to Queen City Opera after making her debut in Siegfried as the charming Waldvogel, a role that she sang, danced, and choreographed. Recent season highlights include the roles of Aranka (The Csardas Princess), Sor Isabel (With Blood, With Ink), and Gwendolyn in the world premiere of For Those in Peril by Francis Lynch. She has been a featured soloist at the Constella Festival, premiered the role of Clara Schumann in Fresco Opera Theatre’s Clara, and has performed with Contemporary Dance Theater as both a singer and a dancer. She is currently based in Chicago, pursuing certification in the Alexander Technique.

Samiel: Matthew Tschimperle

Matt Tschimperle is an up-and-coming heldentenor from New Prague, Minnesota. Matt holds a Masters of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati: College Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Luther College. At Queen City Opera, he performed the title role in Siegfried, act 1, and the role of Pasha Selim in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

At Cincinnati Opera, he has performed in Aida, La Traviata, Pagliacci, Otello, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and as the harmonica soloist in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. He also sang the title role in Wagner’s Lohengrin with the Cincinnati Wagner Society in a presentation led by the esteemed Charles Parsons.

Hermit: Darrell Jones

While pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Xavier University, Mr. Jones toured Europe as a featured soloist with the Xavier Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Helmut Roehrig. Mr. Jones has performed regularly with Musica Sacra Chorus and is an accomplished Jazz artist, both as a singer and trombonist.

In 1999, Mr. Jones was invited to sing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar” under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich. Opera roles have included Otis Burrows with Carnegie Opera Theater of Kentucky, and Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors at Xavier University. Mr. Jones has performed as a soloist with Bluffton College, the Middletown Civic Chorus, the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra, Middletown Symphony Orchestra.

Stage Director: Rebecca Herman

Rebecca Herman splits her time between directing and assistant directing at numerous companies around the country. She returns to QCO after directing Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta last season.

She is the Founding Artistic Producer at LOLA Local Opera Local Artists, where she recently directed We Might Be Struck By Lighting, and an innovate all-female production of La bohème called “La Femme Bohème.” Her other productions there include La Clemenza di Tito: A Retelling. Recent credits include directing Don Giovanni and The Daughter of the Regiment at Austin Opera; Assistant Directing Turandot, The Magic Flute, and Rigoletto at Michigan Opera Theatre; and directing The Damnation of Carmen at Lawrence Opera Theatre.

Production Designer: Lizzy DuQuette

Lizzy DuQuette is a multimedia artist living in Price Hill. This is her seventh time working with Queen City Opera. Past productions include design for Mozart’s Abduction, Wagner’s Siegfried Act II and III, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. She created illustrated projections for QCO’s Israel in Egypt at the Mayerson JCC. Lizzy is interested in small and large scale puppetry and has apprenticed with the legendary Bread & Puppet Theater in Glover, VT.

Lighting Design and Technical Director: Larry Csernik

Larry Csernik is lighting designer for theatre and dance. Originally from Louisville, KY, Larry is a local lighting designer who stayed in Cincinnati after attaining his BA in Theater at Northern Kentucky University.

At NKU he has designed many shows including Mud Nostalgia, The Divine Visitor, Dance, The Wedding Singer, Birds, Years: A Musical, As You Like It, The Heidi Chronicles, and most recently Angels in America: Part I.

For the past four years he has designed for both The Commonwealth Theatre Company as well as The Contemporary Dance Theatre of Cincinnati. Other recent productions include The Full Monty and Willy Wonka (The Carnegie in Covington), the premier performance of Soldier’s Christmas (Blueline Editorial), and numerous shows at Thomas More College. He is pleased to return once again to Queen City Opera after designing for Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Rossini’s Cinderella, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.