David Blalock | Rodolfo
After completing a year in residence with Virginia Opera in Norfolk, young tenor David Blalock embarks on what promises to be an exciting year of role and house debuts. He begins the 2013-2014 seasons as Toby in Sondheim’s celebrated masterpiece Sweeney Todd in a return to Virginia Opera. In November, David will make his Madison Opera debut as Jaqino in Beethoven’s Fidelio. David recently completed his second summer as an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera, singing Bertram in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, starring Joyce di DiDonato; and singing Infirmary Patient in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar, starring countertenor David Daniels. In the Spring of 2013, David made his Fort Worth Opera debut as Young Thompson in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied. During the same season, he also covered Rodolfo in La Bohème with Forth Worth Opera. As a first-year apprentice with Santa Fe Opera in 2012, David covered the roles of Welko and Jankel in Strauss’ Arabella. David spent the summer of 2011 as a studio artist with Central City Opera, singing Morales in their family performance of Carmen. From 2009-2011, David was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio in College Park, MD, as a baritone. He sang several roles with the Studio, including Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Riolobo in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and The Ring Announcer in the world premiere of Shadowboxer, an opera detailing the life of boxer Joe Louis. David has performed as a young artist with the Seagle Music Colony and Ash Lawn Opera, singing roles in La Cenerentola, La Bohème, The Magic Flute, and Brigadoon. He received his undergraduate degree from UNC Greensboro in 2009, where his credits include roles in La Vida Breve, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and The Tender Land. Before deciding to train classically, David began his studies as a musical theater major, performing in The Fantasticks, The Music Man, Call Me Madam, and Guys and Dolls. He has won first prize in the NC District Metropolitan Opera Auditions on two occasions, the Charles A. Lynam Competition, the Heafner/Williams Competition, and the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition, as well as winning awards in the Sally and Tony Amato Competition, the Mario Lanza Competition, the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, The Wonderlic Competition, the Long Leaf Opera Competition, the Opera Birmingham Competition, and the FAVA Grand Concours de Chant.
Ashley Kerr | Mimi
Praised for her “plush and seductive” tone, soprano Ashley Kerr (Mimi) is a rapidly emerging artist who is garnering much attention from opera companies across the country. She returns to GLOW after performing the role of Mary Magdaline in Jesus Christ Superstar last season. Recently, she triumphed as Myrrhine in Fort Worth Opera’s production of Lysistrata. This past summer, Ms. Kerr participated in the Crested Butte Music Fesitval where she sang a cover of Pamina in The Magic Flute, as well as scene performances of Susannah and Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites. Up next, she travels to Hungary to perform Sally Follett in A Death in the Family at the Armel Opera Festival.
A dedicated interpreter of new music, Ms. Kerr has been involved in the workshops and premieres of many new works including Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls, Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon, and Persis Parshall Vehar’s Eleanor Roosevelt. She has also performed roles in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Mark Adamo’s Little Women. Equally at home on the musical theater stage, Ashley has performed in Carousel, Oklahoma!, Crazy for You, and A Chorus Line.
Most recently, Ms. Kerr was heard performing in Madama Butterfly with Lake George Opera and Don Giovanni, Carmen and Amahl and the Night Visitors with Fort Worth Opera. She spent the 2007-2008 season as a resident artist with Opera Carolina where she sang role debuts in Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Pirates of Penzance.
Other noted roles in her repertoire include Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, Marguerite in Faust, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Micaela in Carmen, Mimi in La Bohème, Liu in Turandot, and Violetta in La Traviata.
Excelling in recent vocal competitions, Ms. Kerr was a regional finalist in the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She also received the North Carolina District Award from the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was also the first place winner in the 2008 Charlotte Opera Guild Competition. She has received multiple awards from the Orpheus Vocal Competition, Shreveport Singer of the Year, Heafner/Williams Competition, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
A native of Charlotte, NC, Ashley holds a Master of Music from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Díana Thompson | Musetta
Díana Thompson (Musetta in La Bohème), coloratura soprano, possesses a warm and colorful voice that is uniquely paired with a brilliant shimmer and ease of flexibility through to her upper extension. Díana made her debut in 2011 with GLOW in the operetta Die Fledermaus as the “cheeky maid Adele, soar[ing] delightfully in the familiar Laughing Song, negotiating all of Adele’s vocal pyrotechnics with aplomb and sparkling skill” (Hyde, GreenvilleOnline.com). This summer season,Díana returns to GLOW Lyric Theatre as Musetta in Puccini’s most beloved opera, La Bohème. In April, Díana debuted with Opera Carolina in the role of Mrs. McDowell in the opera Rise for Freedom by Adolphus Hailstork. She also debuted in one of the most demanding coloratura soprano roles this past January as Zerbinetta from Richard Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxos with Singer’s Theatre of Washington in D.C. Other roles include Amy in Little Women by Mark Adamo, Gilda (cover) from Verdi’s Rigoletto, Mademoiselle Silberklang in Mozart’s Die Schauspieldirektor, Millie in Libby Larsen’s Picnic, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Sister Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Yvette/Georgette in Puccini’s La rondine. Díana is also a member of the prestigious group, The American Spiritual Ensemble, and has performed with companies such as Augusta Opera, Charleston Chamber Opera, Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program, The Singers of Cary, Natchez Festival of Music, and Opera North. Díana has also been a soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Cantata 4, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, excerpts from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.
John Boehr | Marcello
Baritone John Boehr (Marcello) demonstrates an uncanny versatility on the stage. With a powerful, burnished voice, he is recognized as both an exceptional singer and actor with the ability to grab an audience’s attention and hold it. In 2013 Mr. Boehr made his debut with both the Dallas Opera and The Fort Worth Opera Festival. He has performed with The Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Opera Festival, The Minnesota Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and many more. He also performed the role of Harold Hill in the The Music Man on The Glimmerglass Opera Festival’s tour to Oman, and also with that company he premiered the role of Joe Harland in John Musto’s critically-acclaimed Later the Same Evening. Demonstrating his willingness to explore new and non-traditional works, he continues to tour a multi-media composition “Pahayokee: A Plea for Life.” The work, which was written specifically for Mr. Boehr by composer Jack Tamul and Everglades conservationist James Miller, has become instrumental in increasing environmental awareness throughout Florida. Also in 2010, he performed in L’Etoile with Austin Lyric Opera and covered the lead role of Reinaldo Arenas for Fort Worth Opera’s world premiere of Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls. He received his Bachelor of Music from Baylor University, and he has won numerous prizes at vocal competitions sponsored by the Dallas Opera Guild, Palm Beach Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera Council Southwest Regional Auditions, among others.
Luke Browder | Schaunard
Luke Browder, Schaunard, is thrilled to return to Glow Lyric Theatre for La Bohème, and as a member of the Glow Apprentice Artist Program. He has previously performed with the company in Rock Opera!, The Mikado (Pooh-Bah), and Trial by Jury (The Usher). A Greenville based singer and performer, Luke has appeared in productions with many local organizations, including The Telephone (Ben) as part of the Lawson Academy Recital Series at Converse College; Carousel (Jigger Craigin) with Asheville Lyric Opera; A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist) with The Warehouse Theatre; Die Fledermaus (Frank) and The Gondoliers (Giuseppe) with The Spartanburg Repertory Company; Hansel and Gretel (Father) and Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) with Converse Opera Theatre. Luke has appeared as a concert soloist in Missa Brevis in D Major (Mozart) with Limestone College; Mass in C Minor (Mozart) with Clemson University; Mass in G Minor (Vaughan Williams) and the musical theatre revue From Broadway With Love (Cole Porter) with the Greenville Chorale. He recently made his directorial debut with the Greer Children’s Theatre, directing Disney’s Tarzan the Musical. In addition to his performance pursuits, Luke is an Adjunct Voice Instructor at Clemson University, Adjunct Instructor of Music and Worship Arts at North Greenville University, and is Director of Music at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville. He holds a MM in Vocal Performance from Converse College and a BM in Vocal Performance from Furman University. He would like to thank his family, friends, music educators and colleagues, and especially Chelsea for all of the love and support.
Adrian Smith | Colline
Adrian Smith was most recently heard in his Virginia Opera debut as the Lackey in Ariadne auf Naxos. 2013 saw his debut with Glimmerglass Opera Festival performing King Arthur in the Young Artist performance of Camelot, and in his Atlanta Opera debut as Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata. He made his solo debut at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2012 as a member of the Gerdine Young Artist Program, singing the role of the Dodo in the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland. While a Resident Artist with the Kentucky Opera, he performed The Master of Ceremonies in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and performed the role of Angelotti in a concert performance of Tosca with the Owensboro K.Y. Symphony Orchestra. Adrian has also appeared as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Colline in La Bohème, The Doctor in Vanessa, Frere Laurent in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, as Geronimo in Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto, as Marquis de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and in the title role of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. On the concert stage, Adrian has been heard in Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B Minor, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, and Handel’s Messiah and Dettingen Te Deum. Adrian made his Boston Symphony Hall debut in 2009 performing Mozart’s Great Mass in c Minor with the Boston University Symphony and Chorus. A native of Hickory, NC, Adrian is a 2008 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he earned the B.A. in Voice Performance, studying with Dr. Judith Burbank. He is a 2012 graduate of the Opera Institute at Boston University, where he also earned the Master of Music degree in 2010, studying with Dr. Jerrold Pope.
Jake Thomason | Alcindoro/Benoit
Originally from Powdersville, South Carolina, Tenor Jake Thomason (Parpignol) holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Furman and Indiana Universities, respectively. A versatile performer, he has been heard in the United States and abroad in opera, concert, recital and oratorio venues. Mr. Thomason made his stage debut as “Frederic” in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in 2006, and in 2007 he was invited to study at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy.In 2008, Thomason was heard as “Satyavan” in Gustav Holst’s Savitri, and 2009 saw him performing the role of “Ferrando” in Wolfgang Amadeaus Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Lyrisches Opern Studio of Weimar, Germany. In the summer of 2011 Mr. Thomason participated in the concert-version of Jules Massenet’s Werther, in which he sang the title role. In 2013 Mr. Thomason was a Graham Apprentice Artist with Glow Lyric Theatre in Greenville, SC where he was seen in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, with Glow Lyric Theatre. In 2014, Mr. Thomason has appeared in the SC NATSAA competition where he was a finalist and advanced to the Regional round. He also played one of the title roles in a production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, as well as performed the tenor solos in Theodore Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ. Thomason currently studies voice under the tutelage of acclaimed dramatic soprano, Rebecca Turner. He resides in Simpsonville, SC with his wife, mezzo-soprano, Laura Thomason.