Sempre Libera! 
A Celebration of Pride
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The Artists

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Carlo Emilio Matteo Mangialetto

Artistic Director

Pianist

Carlo is thrilled to join Opera Susquehanna as their artistic director this year. His mission is to bring back the passion into the performance of Italian music, and to educate people who are new to opera on how to enjoy this incredible artform.

He began his career as a flutist, but had already fallen in love with opera as a child. He listened daily to recordings of Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini, and all the Italian Verismo composers.  

At age 20, Carlo began a 15 year career as a ballet pianist. He has worked with numerous companies and artists in the ballet world including Julie Kent, Victor Barbee, Irina Dvorovenko, and Tiler Peck.

He will make his conducting debut in August 2021 with Dream Wright's Theater in York in Sondheim's Company. 

Carlo is a wonderful voice coach and piano teacher and is offering lessons in York! Please contact him at carlo.mangialetto@gmail.com to set up a trial lesson. 

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Laura Heydt

Soprano

Laura Heydt has been thrilling audiences with her well rounded dramatic coloratura voice and dynamic stage presence throughout the Mid- Atlantic region.

She returned to the stage of Opera Lancaster as Musetta in Puccini's La bohème. "Laura Heydt of York literally sparkled as Musetta and her aria Quando m’en vo was sung with panache!" - Lancaster New Era.

A native of York, PA, Laura performs regularly with opera companies in Central, PA, Delaware, and the Baltimore/Washington area, including in concert with the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra, the Hanover Symphony, and York Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to performing, she operates the Lady Linden Bed & Breakfast in the Avenues neighborhood of York with her partner, Lukasz Syzrner, and is the mother of two wonderful boys.

 

Laura teaches voice lessons in York! Contact her at lauraeheydt@gmail.com to set up a lesson! 

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Rebecca Wood

Soprano

Known for her "lyrical passion" and "silvery tone;" soprano Rebecca Elizabeth Wood received both her Graduate Performance Diploma and Masters in Voice at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, and her Bachelor of Music from the University of South Carolina. At Peabody, she studied under the direction of Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Stanley Cornett. Currently, she studying under the tutelage of Soprano Leah Crowne. 

 

She has performed with Baltimore Lyric Opera, performing for their Outreach Program, “Opera Cares” and with the renowned Washington National Opera in their performance of Aida. She has also performed with Opera Delaware in their production of Semiramide as Azema, Annapolis Opera in their production of Little Women, and with the Young Victorian Music Theatre Company in their production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe as Phyllis.  

 

During her time at the Peabody Conservatory; she sang the principal role of Rose in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene at the Modell Lyric Opera House with the Peabody Opera. She also performed the lead role of Cendrillon in Massenet's Cendrillon, covered (and performed) the role of Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Amore and Damigella in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea. At the University of South Carolina, she sang the role of Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera at USC.

 

She has also participated in many summer programs including Crittenden Opera Studio in Bethesda Maryland, Music Theater Bavaria in Germany, Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Festival performing the role of Amore in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Music Academy International in Italy performing the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi in Fiera di Primiero, Italy.

 

Currently, she is working on the role of Lola, in Cavalleria Rusticana, which will be performed by Opera Susquehanna in September. Her next performance will be on June 26th at Appell Center for the Performing Arts for a night of Italian Opera celebrating Pride!

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Leah Crowne

Executive Director

Soprano

Leah founded Opera Susquehanna in 2016 after living and performing in Europe for two years, and singing opera across the United States since 2007. In love with the way opera enriches the community, her vision is to create meaningful social impact in the Susquehanna Valley using opera. 

 

As a performer, she is internationally recognized for her work in verismo, Wagner and Struass. However, she also enjoys performing the more subtle music of Mozart, Handel, and Bach. Leah Performs music theater frequently as a belter, especially the music of Steven Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown.

Some of the venues where Leah has recently performed as a featured soloist include the Sarasota Opera, The Metropolitan Opera (Guild Showcase), The Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera Fort Collins, Grieghallen in Bergen, Norway, The Plasson Estates in Beziers, France, Dreamwrights Theater, and The Appell Center in York, and many churches throughout the greater Harrisburg area. Leah Lives in Gettysburg with her husband conductor and pianist Scott Crowne, and their two daughters Aivleen and Veronica.

Leah has a voice studio out of Gettysburg, PA.  Check out her website at www.crownevoice.com to set up a free trial lesson!

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Emile Joseph Weeks

Tenor

Emile Joseph Weeks is a young dramatic tenor, whose repertoire encompasses the bel canto, verismo, and modern eras. With a degree in Italian studies from Towson University, he is very interested in music that expresses the Italian culture and language. 

 

Joseph has performed scenes and full roles such as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana, Canio in Pagliacci, Mario in Tosca, the title role in Don Carlos, and Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera. 

He currently lives in Baltimore, MD and is a student of soprano Maria Russo. 

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Cathleen McGowan

Soprano

Cathleen McGowan, M.Ed. is a soprano known for her warm tone, broad range, and versatility.  She’s a skilled actor who “Morphs into each character she portrays, with heartfelt and inspiring depth.”  Recent performances include featured singer with the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, also a solo project, “A Really Recluse Recital”, with recorded and virtual live performances, during 2021 pandemic isolation.  Opera roles include Königin der Nacht in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicci. 

Among her upcoming engagements are Nedda in I Pagliacci, with Opera Susquehanna, in 2021.  In 2022, Cathleen is scheduled to perform a solo recital in the U.K. for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing, in a concert which includes world premiere songs composed for this event. 

 

Cathleen currently resides and teaches voice and visual art in South Central, PA.  Lessons for all ages can be done in person or over the internet.  Vocalise Studios can be contacted through https://vocalisestudios.wixsite.com/website

The Program

È strano!… Ah, fors’è lui… Sempre libera

from La traviata 
Laura Heydt, soprano

The title character of Violetta is a highly coveted courtesan, and one of her solicitors has fallen in love with her. In this aria she talks about her growing feelings for him, and how confusing that is for her. She basks in the glory of mystery for a few moments. But she suddenly changes her mind, because risk for disappointment is far too great. She announces her resolve to live life as an independent woman, unattached and unencumbered by the follies of love. 

Sull’aria… che soave zeffiretto

from Le nozze di Figaro
Leah Crowne, soprano

Cathleen McGowan, soprano

The Countess’s husband has sexually harassed and solicited her maid Susanna. Both woman are furious about it, but they live in a time when woman did not have protection from the advances of men. After a few bumbling attempts by Susanna’s fiancé Figaro to remedy the situation, the two women take the matter into their own hands. The Countess tells Susanna to write a note to the Count and invite him to meet her in the pine grove for a triste. But it will be the Countess waiting for him in the shadows, and she will hold him to account.

Chi il bel sogno di Doretta

from La rondine

Cathleen McGowan, soprano

The beautiful and charismatic Magda entertains a crowd with the story of the first love affair of a young woman named Doretta.

Mario! Mario! Mario! - Son qui!… Ah, quegli occhi

from Tosca 

Leah Crowne, soprano

Emile Weeks, tenor

Mario is an artist, and has been commissioned to paint a fresco for a cathedral in Rome. His girlfriend Tosca has come to visit him, and is very suspicious when he won’t let her in right away. She demands to know why he is acting strange, and suspects that he is fooling around with someone else. She reminds him that tonight they will have a romantic evening under the stars. Mario assuades her, and she embraces him, expressing her trust and love for him.  Right before she leaves, she notices the painting looks a lot like a very beautiful young woman they both know.  She becomes enraged with jealousy. Mario calms her down again and she relents, but demands he change the color of the woman’s eyes to be the same as hers.

O mio babbino caro

from Gianni Schicchi 

Nina Cline, soprano

After Lauretta's father threatens to separate her from her love, Rinuccio, she expresses her love in a final plea to her father.

Ah, sì ben mio... Di quella pira

from Il trovatore 

Emile Weeks, tenor

In a chamber adjoining the chapel at Castellor, Leonora and Manrico vow their love for each other. As they are about to take their vows, Manrico's comrade suddenly returns to report that Manrico's mother Azucena is to be burned at the stake. Manrico calls together his soldiers and sings of how they will save Azucena from death.

Ben io t’invenni… Anch’io dischiuso un giorno…Salgo già

from Nabucco

Leah Crowne, soprano

The princess Abagaille has never fit in. She is warrior like, and stronger than her sister Fenena. She has never felt loved and accepted. Today she has learned that she is actually the illegitimate child of two revolutionaries who were executed. Out of pity, the king has allowed Abagaille to be raised in the palace, but he did not love her. She mourns her lonely state, and swears vengeance. 

Io vengo a domandar 

from Don Carlo

Rebecca Wood, soprano

Emile Weeks, tenor  

In the privacy of Elisabetta's chambers, Don Carlo professes his misery and asks to be sent to Flanders as governor. Elisabetta agrees. Overwrought with emotions, Don Carlos declares his enduring love for her, which she piously rejects. Don Carlo exits in a frenzy, shouting that he must be under a curse. 

Casta Diva

from Norma

Leah Crowne, soprano

With mistletoe in hand, the Druid priestess Norma approaches the altar with her prayer to the moon. She prays the chaste goddess will shed the peace of Heaven upon the Earth. 

Vissi d'arte

from Tosca

Rebecca Wood, soprano

Tosca has been cornered by the very powerful Scarpia, who has arrested her boyfriend Mario for hiding an escaped political prisoner. Scarpia threatens to have Mario shot at dawn if Tosca does not submit to him sexually. She asks God why He has abandoned her after all of her faithfulness to the church.

Nessun dorma!

from Turandot

Emile Weeks, tenor

Nessun dorma" is an aria from the final act of Puccini's opera Turandot, and one of the best-known arias in all of opera. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who seeks to win the hand, and thus the thrown of the mighty Princess Turandot. He will do anything to win her, no matter what lives he must sacrifice, or what cost to himself.