Artistic Director Roberto Berrocal, who grew up in Bilbao, Spain, entered Charleston College, South Carolina in 1996. He made his professional debut at 18, playing Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2. After graduation in 2000, he studied with pianist Joaquín Soriano in Madrid, and then entered the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston to study with pianist and conductor John Moriarty. There he won the Blütner Foundation Piano Competition, and finished with Masters degrees in both Solo Piano and Vocal Accompanying.
In addition to his recital repertoire, Roberto has played concertos by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Shostakovich, and Mozart in Europe, Latin America and the US. In May of 2015 he played Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in the St Hugh-Steinway Series at the New World Center, and in October, 2016 will play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica.
In 2006, Roberto joined the Florida Grand Opera as principal pianist and vocal coach for the 25th, 26th, and 27th YPO FGO National Voice Competitions and Young Artist's Program. He has taught at The New World School of the Arts, and in 2007 became the Music Director at St. Hugh Catholic Church.
French conductor Pierre Vallet is known for his superb musicianship as a conductor of opera, symphonic works, and as a concert pianist.
Pierre is a long-serving member of the Metropolitan Opera, first as a pianist and coach and later joining the roster of staff conductors. He has enjoyed a long-term musical partnership with Seiji Ozawa, working closely together on some forty operatic productions and concerts throughout Japan, the US and Europe.
Recent operatic engagements include Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Gounod’s Faust at the Metropolitan Opera New York; Faust at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona; La Juive at the Göteborg Opera Sweden; Hänsel and Gretel at the Saito Kinen Festival; Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with Matthias Goerne and the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra on its debut tour of China; and Madama Butterfly at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. Elsewhere Pierre has conducted Tannhäuser at L’Opéra national de Paris; Eugene Onegin and Tannhäuser at Tokyo Opera Nomori; and Massenet’s Manon at the Bolshoi in Moscow.
In 2015 he recorded a CD of the Chopin piano concertos with pianist Elizabeth Sombart and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. Additional CD’s are planned.
The exquisite soprano returns to St. Hugh
Soprano Elizabeth Caballero’s performance in her signature role, Violetta in La traviata, is touted as “animated, communicative and believable, singing with a big, facile, focused sound while making the vocal demands of the role seem easy and natural.” Her dramatically compelling interpretation of Violetta led to recent engagements to perform the role for houses across the country, such as Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, and the Orlando Philharmonic.
She was engaged to perform the role of Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème for the Metropolitan Opera after grabbing the audience’s attention in the role at New York City Opera when The New York Times hailed Ms. Caballero as “the evening’s most show-stopping performance offering a thrilling balance of pearly tone, exacting technique and brazen physicality.” She subsequently returned to The Met in their new production of Carmen as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
Recent engagements include an exciting return to Seattle Opera to sing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, a performance of Carmina Burana with Florida Orchestra, a chance to sing the title role in Daniel Catán’s Spanish opera Florencia en el Amazonas with Nashville Opera, John Rutter’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, and a concert appearance as Micaëla in Carmen by Bizet and Previn’s Honey and Rue in returns to the Pacific Symphony. This season she will once again perform as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera Kansas City, as Violetta in La Traviata at Opera Naples and Pensacola Opera, as Zemfira/Nedda in Aleko/Pagliacci at Opera Carolina, Liù inTurandot at Pacific Symphony, and as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem in Opera Grand Rapids.
Her career continues to gain immense momentum since her European début as Magda in Puccini’s operetta La rondine at Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, Italy. This led to command performances at international companies including Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly at the Staatsoper Berlin, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and the title role in The Merry Widow at Teatro Nacional Santo Domingo.
A house favorite at Florida Grand Opera, she dazzled audiences as Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Liù in Turandot, Mimì in La bohème, Micaëla in Carmen, and Magda in La rondine. In 2013, she was the recipient of the 2013 Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Miami.
Two superstars of opera sing operatic and popular solos and duets.
Eglise Gutierrez, born in Holguin, Cuba, in 2012 was named by Opera News as “one of opera’s next wave”.
She has sung in some of the most prestigious venues of the world, including Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Wexford Festival, Rome, Zurich, Trieste, Florence, Cagliari, Carnegie Hall, Savonlinna, Berlin, Bellas Artes (Mexico), Tel Aviv, Hamburg, Athens, La Monnaie, Brussels, the Santa Fe Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Caramoor Festival, L'Opéra Comique and the Seattle Opera in roles such as Lucia, Gilda, Elvira in I Puritani, Violetta, Amina, Lakme, Maria di Rohan, and Elvire in La muette de Portici.
Miss Gutiérrez has also appeared in concert in Prague, Cannes, Finland, Miami, and tour in the Unites States with Andrea Bocelli. In 2008 Miss Gutiérrez sang the title role of La sonnambula at Carnegie Hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York under the baton of Eve Queller, and made her Seattle Opera debut as Elvira in I Puritani, returned to Detroit as La sonnambula (under the baton of Richard Bonynge), and made her debut at the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Her long list of awards and honors also includes Winner of the Montserrat Caballé International Opera Competition, First Place in the Marian Anderson Opera Competition and Second Place in the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Opera Competition in 2002. She won First Place in the Giargirai Bel Canto Opera Competition. Engagements in the 2012/2013 season included her debut in Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Teatro Liceu, Barcelona; in 2014: Thaïs in Massenet's Thaïs with the Florida Grand Opera, La Fée in Cendrillon at Barcelona's Liceu and Lucia di Lammermoor with the Opera de Marseilles.
Opera News Simon Williams, Nov. 16, 2014.
This was a musically distinguished performance. Tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz has a voice that is packed with Italianate lyricism, and there is a pleasingly intimate quality to his singing. The tenor's boyishness is ideal for Alfredo, who in Chacón-Cruz's hands oscillated between defiance and total despair”
When Chacón-Cruz was 21, he met Placido Domingo, whose annual Operalia Contest he later won in 2005, launching his career. Since then he has traveled the world singing from La Scala to Carnegie Hall in such roles as Rodolfo in La Boheme, Verdi's Rigoletto, and Alfredo, the melancholy lover of Violetta in La Traviata.
He also champions the traditional music of Mexico, his home country, having recorded several albums of Mexican songs with orchestra.
One of the most promising new cellists on the world’s stage.
An American cellist of Cuban and Ukrainian heritage, Anna Litvinenko has captured the attention of audiences in venues throughout Europe and the Americas. At six she began the cello with her father Konstantin Litvinenko and from a young age gained attention at competitions, gave solo recitals, and appeared as a soloist with the Miami Symphony, the New World Symphony, la Orquesta Juvenil Teresa Carreño, and the Odessa Philharmonic. A Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award winner, a Sphinx Competition laureate, and a Young Arts winner, Anna has been invited to perform in chamber music performances throughout Miami, New York City, Washington D.C., and London, playing with musicians from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and working with Joshua Bell in “Joshua Bell – A Young Arts Masterclass.”
While dedicated to the traditional classical repertoire, Anna has embraced new classical music. Participated in the 8th Creative Dialogue Symposium, she worked with several new music composers and explored improvisation with Magnus Lindberg, cellist Anssi Karttunen, and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. In 2015 she premiered Yuri Boguinia’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with the Aeon Music Ensemble.
Anna completed her undergraduate degree at Julliard where she was a principal cellist in the Julliard Orchestra, and was awarded the John Erskine Prize for excellence. She prizes her cello study with Joel Krosnick, baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai, composition with Philip Lasser, and improvisation with Noam Sivan.
In the Fall of 2016 she begins graduate studies in London on scholarship with Richard Lester at Royal College of Music. She is grateful for the generous financial support of her undergradate and graduate studies by the Jack Kent Foundation.