ABOUT THE THREEPENNY OPERA
London scrubs up for the King’s Coronation. The thieves are on the make, the whores on the pull, the police cutting deals to keep it all out of sight.
Mr. and Mrs. Peachum are looking forward to a bumper day in the beggary business, but their daughter Polly didn’t come home. …..Mack the Knife is back in town.
“Enjoyably raucous” - Evening Standard
“Grimy, filthy, and tremendously good fun” - Time Out
“A snarling, sexy beast of a show“ - Independent
OCTOBER 27, 28, 29 @ 7:30 PM
OCTOBER 30 @ 3:00 PM
Charleston Heights Art Center
800 Brush St, Las Vegas, NV 89107
Tickets $20, $30, $40
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sarah O’Connell is an international director with a Master of Drama in Directing from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland who has led several regional and world premiere productions. She is an alumnus of the Director's Lab West and La Mama ETC in Umbria, and has worked at a variety of professional companies including American Conservatory Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Glasgow's Theatre Cryptic. She took on her current role as Artistic DIrector of The Asylum Theatre in 2003. In 2015, Ms. O'Connell founded EatMoreArtVegas.com, a website dedicated to the promotion of Southern Nevada's independent arts and culture sector and executive produced three Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards shows. In 2016, she began facilitating monthly community "Vegas Arts Table" town hall meetings in 2019 which have gone uninterrupted since the COVID pandemic. She is the former Executive Director of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, and co-owner of Axislights Inc, a production lighting services company serving the live entertainment industry. In addition to adjuncting for the UNLV Department of Theatre, Ms. O’Connell serves as a consultant through her firm Eat More Art LLC.
This is Tim Warren’s debut performance with Vegas City Opera. He is an active conductor and director recently working with the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras, Zion Youth Symphony Orchestra, Opera Las Vegas, UNLV Opera/Conservatory Theatre, NEXTET new music ensemble, UNLV bands, and the Southern Nevada Chamber Orchestra. Tim is an advocate for music education, teaching at Great Basin College, UNLV, CSN, serving as Director of Bands and Orchestras at Palo Verde High School, and teaching private music lessons. As an administrator he has led PD and masterclass topics including character development, working with a conductor, acting in music, audition preparation, sensory-friendly concert development, and EL in the music/theatre classroom. Warren is an experienced stage and music director leading over 50 theatre productions resulting in 300 performances and adjudicating for the National High School Musical Theatre awards. As a promoter of new music, he premiered many works by new composers. He has served as a conductor, director, and clinician for theatre, band, and orchestra throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada and his guest conducting engagements include the Hochstein School of Music, Roberts Wesleyan College, Susquehanna University and leading ensembles in France, Argentina, China, Australia, and Scandinavia. Warren holds a MM from the New England Conservatory, a BS from Roberts Wesleyan College, and is a Doctoral of Musical Arts candidate at UNLV. When not in the studio or on the podium he enjoys working out at the park, hiking, hanging with his dogs, and trying out new restaurants.
Keith Milkie graduated from the William Esper Conservatory for Acting in New York City in 2015. Since then he has appeared as a soloist at Zankel and Weill Halls at Carnegie Hall and performed with The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, The Regina Opera Company, The Italian Opera Company, The Long Island Opera Company, The West Side Opera Company, and Vocal Productions NYC. His was the voice of the Bruce Weber-produced Versace “Chicago is my Beat” video fashion campaign of 2016. Vocal performances have taken place in such far-flung locations as Milan, Salzberg and the Hunan Provence in China. Just before the pandemic, he performed all the classic 24 Italian Songs and Arias in a solo recital at St. Johns in the Village NYC. Staged roles have included Don Giovanni, Dr. Bartolo and Figaro from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Valentine from Faust and Scruples from The Impresario. He is an avid practitioner of mixed martial arts and plays guitar and piano. In 2021, he released a number of his original songs in an album entitled “Buying Time” which is available on all online streaming platforms.
Soprano Kayla Wilkens is delighted to return to Vegas City Opera after appearing as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Laola in L’Etoile. Most recently, she’s sung with Opera Las Vegas in Proving Up as Littler Zegler, premiered the WW2 musical We’ll Meet Again at The Savannah Theater as Millie O’Brien, and joined Mondays Dark! in concerts featuring the music of ABBA and Sondheim. Her 2021-2022 season included The Ghosts of Gatsby with Opera Las Vegas as young Zelda Fitzgerald, The Güt Life with Blue Gate Musicals in Kentucky, and Sahfee in Diary of a Madman with Lowbrow Opera in Seattle. She was scheduled in 2020 to appear as Kate McGowan in Titanic the Musical at Musical Theater Heritage in Kansas City, The Vixen in Cunning Little Vixen with Vegas City Opera, and in The Christmas Tree Ship with the Ohio Star Theater. She has also toured with Sounding Light, originated roles in two ASCAP award-winning premieres, and performed as a featured soloist in concerts sharing the stage with celebrated composers Scott Frankel, Steven Lutvak, and Stephen Bray. Her honors include the Dorothy Kirsten-James Browning “Most Promising Young Artist” prize in the NATS National Artist Awards, as well as awards in the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, the Lotte Lenya Competition, the American Traditions Competition, the National Musical Theater Competition, the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, and the Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento National Vocal Competition. www.kaylawilkens.com
Glenn is thrilled to be making his debut with Vegas City Opera in this iconic opera. He’s very grateful to the entire production team and all his new friends in the cast. Glenn has been performing on stage and in film and TV for the past 25 years and plans for 25 more. Glenn trained with the Second City Improv and to date, he has hosted/performed in over 700 comedy improvisation shows across the country; he’s currently performing with ComedySportz Vegas. He has been in over 50 motion pictures and has had roles in regional, national and international television and commercial productions. His greatest passion is the stage and he’s constantly working his craft. Las Vegas “Strip” shows include: “Raiding the Rock Vault”, “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”, “Best Little Whorehouse in TX” and numerous comedy shows. Past theatre includes: Tevye/Fiddler, King Arthur/Camelot & Spamalot, Sweeney and Judge Turpin/Sweeney Todd, Salieri/Amadeus, Shelley Levene/Glengarry, Booth/Assassins, Pseudolus/Forum, George-Valentina/Casa Valentina, Rooster/Annie, Roger DeBris/The Producers, Dr. Scrivello/Little Shop, Col. Jessup/A Few Good Men, and John/(Mamet’s) Oleanna. His most challenging, and favorite production has been Dad to his wonderful daughter, Olivia.
And if you could possibly want more about Glenn http://heathge.wix.com/glennheath
Molly McLaughlin, Mezzo-Soprano is a former San Francisco Adler fellow and alumnae of their prestigious Merola program, Ms. McLaughlin made her San Francisco Opera debut in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery (with the Kirov Opera) and has performed such roles as “Auntie” in Peter Grimes, the “Fortune Teller” in Arabella, “Charlotte” in Werther, “Mercedes” in Carmen, “Laura” in La Gioconda, “Augusta” in The Ballad of Baby Doe, “Azucena” in Il Trovatore, “Adalgisa” in Norma, and “Dalila” in Samson et Dalila. Ms. McLaughlin has graced both Operatic and Concert stages throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ms. McLaughlin’s symphonic repertoire includes performances of Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, Brahm’s Alto Rhapsodie Op. 53, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, The Verdi Requiem, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Ms. McLaughlin has lived in Las Vegas since 2012 and received her Master’s Degree in Music Education and is a Music Specialist at Mater Academy East.
Mezzo-Soprano, Courtney Ankerfelt, is a Minnesota native currently residing in Las Vegas, NV. Courtney attended the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in Southern California. While attending conservatory, along with performing in both full productions and opera scenes, Miss Ankerfelt, performed Wagners Wesendonck lieder with the symphony orchestra as the Concerto Competition winner, she was the mezzo soloist for Mahler’s 2nd symphony, received a grant from the Opera Buffs organization, and found her love for negro spiritual. Miss Ankerfelt was a part of the American Wagner Project for three years through the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. Courtney’s recent engagements have included; The Ring: Las Vegas as Flosshilde/Waltraute with Vegas City Opera, the Voices of Women concert series with VCO where she. recently performed selections from Maya Angelou’s Calypso Blues collection with VCO.
Dina Emerson (Mezzo Soprano) first came to Las Vegas in 2000 for a temporary contract to replace the lead singer at O by Cirque du Soleil, and to her surprise, is still here 22 years later. She migrated over to Mystère by Cirque du Soleil where she sang more than 5000 shows and earned the nickname “The Iron Lung” from the lighting crew. Before settling in Las Vegas, Dina lived in NYC for over a decade and was known for her versatility and commitment to new and unusual works (The Village Voice called her a “vocal chameleon”). Most notably, she spent 15 years touring the world as a member of MacArthur Genius award winner Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble. Currently she is back at O as the alternate lead singer and is thrilled to be a part of this production, as the music of Kurt Weill has been an obsession of hers from a young age.
Opera News stated Marshall Morrow “tall, thin and hilariously snooty, showed real comic skill” (Isouard’s Cendrillon). Marshall Morrow a Filipino-American Baritone from Las Vegas, Nevada has recently performed Sciarrone in Las Vegas Opera’s production of Tosca and Schaunard in Vegas City Opera’s La Boheme and Ben in The Telephone with Super Summer Theater. Along with Tom/John (The Face on the Barroom Floor), The Pirate King (Pirate of Penzance), Corporal and Sulpice (Daughter of the Regiment), Escamillo (Carmen), Marcello (La Bohéme in Concert), Gamekeeper (Cunning Little Vixen), Father (Hansel and Gretel) Ben (Old Maid and the Thief), and Papageno (The Magic Flute). Previously Marshall performed the role of Rambaldo in La Rondine as a Young Artist at Lidal North in Oslo, Norway. His roles include Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Dandini in Isouard's Cendrillon and the summer of 2017, Marshall performed the role of Le Surintendant des plaisirs in Massenet's Cendrillon the role title of Don Giovanni at Trentino Music Festival. Other performance credits include the role of Miton in the U.S. premiere of Delibes' Le Roi L'a Dit. Marshall performed/ created the role of Gregory in a workshop of Vera by Matthew Barnson in collaboration with American Opera Project. Marshall has sung with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert.
Praised for her "sterling soprano that is a pleasure in and of itself"
(Springfield News-Leader) and described as “a powerhouse of talent,”
(Chris’ Corner, Travel and Theatre), Genevieve Fulks has established
herself as a multifaceted singing actress within the spheres of opera,
musical theatre, and contemporary classical music. Genevieve is a native of Arkansas. After completing her Master of Music degree in opera/vocal performance, she has gone on to perform principal roles with regional opera and theater companies, and with major production companies– most notably as the resident soprano with Spirit Worldwide Productions in their shows Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies and nationally acclaimed variety show Christmas Wonderland. This year, Genevieve released her first studio album with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra of the Czech Republic, singing the orchestral and chamber works of Michael F. Murray. Favorite roles she has performed include Lily in The Secret Garden, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Maria in West Side Story, and Cunegonde in Candide.
Phoenix Huntsberry was born and raised in Las Vegas. After watching 1982’s Annie for the first time at the ripe age of 8, Phoenix fell in love with music and theatre, often belting out the lyrics to his favorite songs at all hours of the day and night (which was, at times, much to his parents’ dismay). He couldn’t get enough of it. So, with little prior experience, he was cast as the lead in his first show, Adventures of a Comic Book Artist, at the age of 12 and officially became a bonafide “theatre kid”. Since then, he has been honored to perform in several productions with companies such as Rainbow Company Youth Theatre, Seedling Theatre Company, and, most recently, Vegas City Opera. He has appeared in productions of Matilda: the Musical, The Neverending Story, Still Life with Iris, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In addition, he is a passionate pianist, musician, writer, video editor, and peer counselor for Clark County Law Foundation’s Trial By Peers program. Phoenix is extremely grateful and eager to be making his operatic debut with this production as the role of Filch and cannot wait to explore the world of opera and theatre even further.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, this is Ricky Gray Jr.’s second production with Vegas City Opera after performing in the Black Swan Radio Hour. A commercial and film actor and writer, Ricky has spent the last year returning to his roots, the theater. Although his time with Vegas City Opera is just beginning, Ricky’s enjoyed every aspect of what this company has to offer. With an impassioned attitude and the willingness to take on any challenge in front of him, Ricky brings his ability to perform physical comedy to this production. You may have seen him in feature films or various commercials but what he hopes to achieve is a unique performance each time he’s in front of a camera, behind the camera, or on a stage as he is in this production.
Tommy Watanabe is thrilled to be back on-stage, coming off of his villainous role in Las Vegas Little Theater's "Kiss My Astral Projection" this past spring after coming in second place in the company's annual New Works Competition with his original play "God Awful", centered on a group of Greek Gods living among mortals in modern day suburbia. Tommy has appeared in a wide variety of shows including: Gypsy, Murder Party, David Mamet's The Shawl, The Explorer's Club, The Music Man, and Titus Andronicus. When not throwing it down on-stage, Tommy throws it down in the ring as 12-year-veteran Pro Wrestler and announcer, "The Sin City Kitty" Tommy Purr.
A new member of Vegas City Opera, Cael Tolentino graduated the Las Vegas Academy of the Performing Arts in 2020 as a Vocal major. He currently is studying at the University of Nevada Las Vegas as a Music Education major while still pursuing a performance career.
Jerry Zhang is an entrepreneur, who immigrated to the U.S. from China in the late ‘80s. He started his own business in 1990, and grew it to be a supplier to major department stores in the U.S. He always loved singing, but never had the time to study it until the early days of the pandemic. It was then that he started practicing singing every day under the coaching of voice teachers, developing his classical singing skills as a tenor. He participated in the International Opera Performing Experience in Mercatello, Italy in July of 2022. For the first time in his life, he appeared before an audience in Italy in a supportive role in the opera Gianni Schicchi.
Lyric deBruyn is a senior at Doral Academy. Red Rock HS where he loves making theatre. Previous productions include PUFFS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and ALADDIN. He intends to major in video game design at UNLV.
Ana Elisa Portes, mezzo-soprano, born in Brazil, holds a Musical Education degree from Universidade Sagrado Coração and a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from University of Sāo Paulo. In Brazil, she had classes with professor Francisco Campos and Dr. Ricardo Ballestero, developing choral and solo repertoires in recitals, concerts, and festivals. From 2016 to 2019, she worked as a music teacher at St. Paul’s School, a prestigious British institution in Sāo Paulo. In August 2019, she moved to Albuquerque where she completed her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at University of New Mexico under the guidance of Dr. Olga Perez Flora and Dr. Kristin Ditlow. At UNM, she has worked as teaching assistant for the voice department and performed Rosine in the production of Signor Deluso by Pasatieri with UNM Opera Theatre. She also took part in the previous productions in the roles of Dorabella in Così fan Tutte by Mozart, the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas by Purcell. In 2021, she was awarded a graduate assistantship at University of Nevada Las Vegas where she started her Doctoral Degree in Vocal Performance in the studio of Dr. Kimberly James.
Elleny “Bettie” Purviance is a professional opera singer living in Las Vegas, NV. She was born in Orem, UT. Her family moved here to Las Vegas when she was 3 months old, and she has been here ever since. She grew up singing in the choir and doing solo gigs both in church and at school, and when it came time for her to decide if she wanted to attend her zoned high school with her friends or audition for the performing arts magnet high school here in town, she decided to audition for the latter. The Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts was one of the best experiences of her life where she received formal classical training as a singer. She attended with several notable alumni such as Matthew Gray Gubler (he was her high school crush!), Baron Vaughn, Ne-Yo, Julianne Hough, and Rutina Wesley, and Sizzy Rocket. She graduated from The College of Southern Nevada with an Associates of Arts and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance, Jazz Studies, and Film at UNLV. She plans to go to either Los Angeles or New York for her Master’s degree. She is currently performing several gigs around town and is also usually involved in whatever productions are going on at any given time in town. She is also a devoted wife and mother.”
New to Las Vegas City Opera, Zoë Conrad has been studying at UNLV to be a double major in Jazz composition and Classical Composition. Among their studies, Zoë has also been involved in several musical groups at UNLV and outside of schooling. As this is their debut performance in Three Penny Opera Zoë hopes to write an opera of similar ideas to the ones of Kurt Weil, and hopes to integrate both the classical style of Opera and the rich Jazz culture in compositions to come!
Kayla Wisniewski is a Las Vegas native Italian-Filipina. Attended the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and the college of Southern Nevada as a music major; during which time achieving many accomplishments. Was able to have a variety of opportunities to work with the CCSD school board and being a guest soloist with the College of Southern Nevada orchestra. Having the opportunity to be a pop up performer for CinemaCon with Fox5 and a guest soloist for a benefit at Michael Jackson’s previous residency. And she is very excited to have her debut with the Vegas city opera as it is part of her dreams coming true. “In bocca al lupo”
Maddison Black was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre and BA in English from Wilkes-University and became a three-time Irene Ryan Scholarship nominee. Only recently relocating to the Las Vegas area, Maddison is grateful for her first ever experience with the Vegas City Opera! During her time in Vegas so far, she has served as the stage manager for Rainbow Company Youth Theatre's production of "Sherlock Holmes and the 1st Baker Street Irregular." Prior to moving west, Maddison performed professionally in locations such as Scranton (Scranton Shakespeare Festival), Long Island (Middle Earth Studios), the Poconos (Great Wolf Lodge), and Elysburg (Knoebels Amusement Resort). Through the course of the past two years, Maddison has also proudly represented both the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (minor league affiliate team of the New York Yankees) and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins) across communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Aside from performing, Maddison has a passion for teaching children the art of theatre. She has worked a variety of different positions (costumer, choreographer, assistant director, props master) in children's theatres in her hometown. As of late, she has accepted a performing role with RWS Entertainment Group at Hershey Park for their holiday season. From onstage to backstage, Maddison truly loves the performing arts and is honored to be Stage Management for Threepenny Opera at the Vegas City Opera House!