Our 2019-20 Soloists
Transformation and Celebration
A world premiere commemorating David Carrier’s 40th anniversary
Susan Consoli, Soprano
Matthew Anderson, Tenor
Reverence and Joy
Bruckner, Bernstein, and Chilcott
Chelsa Blaser, Soprano
Grammy Award-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler continues to make her mark in an extensive array of operatic roles due to her unique combination of vocal appeal and artistry. Praised for her "luminous voice" with its "easy soaring range", she has also been noted for her "wonderful acting" and ultimately deemed "simply superb". In the spring of 2019, Ms. Basler return to Boston Lyric Opera for the !;ast Coast premiere production of Poul Ruders' The Handmaid's Tale, as Moira and make a company debut with Boston Midsummer Opera as Clorinda in La cenerentola. In the fall of 2019, Ms. Basler will join the Metropolitan Opera roster, covering Poussette in Mlanon, rejoining BLO to sing Mary Johnson in the New !;ngland Premier of Fellow Travelers, making her Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra debut as the f-ligh Priestess in Aida and returning to the Metropolitan Opera to cover Musetta in La boheme. In the fall of 2020, Ms. Basler will make her Arizona Opera debut.
Ms. Basier's talents have been recognized throughout the vocal competition circuit. Most recently she was awarded second place for the 2017- 2018 American Prize in Vocal Performance (J=riedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award), first place in the National Opera Association's prestigious Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, as well as both J=ourth Place and the Lorena Beasley Mangin Memorial Award in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Vear Vocal Competition (Shreveport, LA). Ms. Basler has also earned the J=lournoy Award from the Mary Jacobs Vocal Competition, Boston University's Kahn Award, first place in the Peter !;Ivins Vocal Competition, and a grant from the Shoshana J=oundation. Ms. Basler earned her Artist Certificate (Opera Institute) and Master of Music from Boston University and her Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory.
Vera Sagage, Mezzo-soprano
American mezzo-soprano Vera Savage has earned praise from critics for her “thrilling power” (Limelight magazine) and “rich, mellifluous, mezzo voice.” (Charleston Post and Courier) Equally at home in dramatic and bel canto repertoire, her singing has been described as “a dream; supple and powerful with a deep velvet shimmer” (Houston Press) and “heart-stoppingly gorgeous.”(Boston Music Intelligencer)
Vera’s past season included a “cold and gleaming” (Opera News) portrayal of handmaid New Ofglen in Boston Lyric Opera’s highly acclaimed production of The Handmaid’s Tale, Salieri’s Requiem and the Kuhnau Magnificat with the Commonwealth Chorale, Leonard Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and Arias and Barcarolles with the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, and the Verdi Requiem with the Metropolitan Chorale.
Vera recently made her debut at the Spoleto Festival USA as Bice in Donizetti’s rarely performed opera Pia de’ Tolomei, a revival of Amy Beach’s Grand Mass with the New England Philharmonic and Commonwealth Chorale, Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff with Opera Saratoga and Opera on the James, Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Tisbe in La Cenerentola at Opera Saratoga, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito at Opera in the Heights, and a “thoroughly intimidating” Mrs. Baines in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera in Milwaukee Wisconson.
A frequent soloist with Boston Lyric Opera, Vera was the 2016 winner of BLO’s annual “Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence.” Recently, Vera placed fourth in Shreveport Opera’s “Singer of the Year” competition, was a finalist in the Bel Canto Scholarship’s annual competition, and was a semi-finalist in the "Joy of Singing” art song competition.
Vera’s upcoming season includes engagements with White Snake Projects, Boston Lyric Opera, The Boston Cecilia, as well as the world premiere of the new Spanish opera En la Ardiente Oscuridad.
Neil Ferreira, Tenor
David Cushing, Bass
David Cushing’s versatile bass-baritone range is effortlessly demonstrated in a variety of roles including recent appearances in the title roles of Don Pasquale and Le nozze di Figaro, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Of a recent performance, the Boston Herald exclaimed, “his portrayal of hoodwinked old Pasquale, filled with pathos and unself-conscious humor, was a revelation. He could easily specialize in Italian opera’s wealth of foolish-old-man roles and become the basso buffo of his generation.”
This season, Mr. Cushing returns to Boston Lyric Opera for their production of The Handmaid’s Tale performing the role of The Commander and performs as Colline in La bohème and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. He will also perform Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Mobile Opera and Mr. Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera with Emmanuel Music.
In his recent début at Symphony Hall as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Boston Herald described his performance as “dynamite, with spine-tingling resonance.” He also sang Verdi’s Requiem with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra and the Blizzard Voices concert with Boston Modern Opera Projects. Additionally, he has performed as the soloist in Händel’s Messiah, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, the Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and Schubert’s Mass in G.