Cast of Amahl and the Night Visitors

Mariana Herrera - Amahl

 

Mariano Herrera is currently a sixth grader at Franklin middle School. He recently received the Champaign Schools Young Achiever Award. He has participated in the Champaign Urbana Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker as a Polichinelle and sang the role of the dog in Dr. Howard’s presentation of The Little Red Hen. Most recently Mariano made his opera debut as a Bird at the University of Illinois production of Hansel and Gretel by Neely Bruce, was Jerome in the UI production of South Pacific, the Child Prisoner in Man of La Mancha as well as child in Taylor’s world premiere of Paradises Lost, and in Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Mariano has performed the role of Joe Crowell in the UI Theater department of Our Town. This is Mariano’s third production of Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Melissa Parks - Mother

 

Melissa Parks, mezzo-soprano, made her Italian debut as Mrs. Lovett in Bologna, Modena, Lugo and Piacenza in what was the Italian premiere of SWEENEY TODD and concluded the season performing the role of Mescalina in Ligeti's LE GRANDE MACABRE in the critically acclaimed production with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert. Of her performance, The New York Post proclaimed that, "As Mescalina, Melissa Parks combined a firm mezzo-soprano with the high-camp mugging one would expect in the role." Recent performances include a reprise of the role of Mrs. Peachum THE BEGGAR'S OPERA conducted by Lorin Maazel at his Castleton Festival, the Marquise de Birkenfeld LA FILLE DU REGIMENT with the Opera Companyof Philadelphia and two role debuts with New Orleans Opera as Mistress Bentson LAKME and Mary

 DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER In the 2011-2012 season she performed the roles of Baba THE MEDIUM and Marcellina LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Michigan Opera Theatre, Mistress Quickly FALSTAFF with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Marcellina LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with El Paso Opera, and Katisha THE MIKADO with Opera Omaha. Earlier in the season she returned to her home of El Paso to sing as the mezzo soloist in Handel Messiah with the El Paso Symphony and returned later in the season as Berta in El Paso Opera's production of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. Engagements during the 2010-2011 season included the roles of Katisha MIKADO with Michigan Opera Theatre, Marcellina LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Madison Opera, Mistress Quickly FALSTAFF with Utah Opera, and Forester's Wife and Owl THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN with the New York PhilharmonicRecently Ms. Parks performed the roles of Zulma L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI and the Third Maid ELEKTRA with Seattle Opera, Gertrude ROMÉO ET JULIETTE with Tampa Bay Opera, Dutchess GONDOLIERS with Utah Symphony and Opera and the role of Buttercup H.M.S. PINAFORE with Opera East Texas and Nashville Opera. The previous season her roles included Queen of the Fairies IOLANTHE in a debut with Nashville Opera, Zulma L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI with Anchorage Opera, Buttercup H.M.S. PINAFORE with Syracuse Opera, and Gertrude ROMÉO ET JULIETTE with Utah Symphony and Opera and a return engagement as Ruth PIRATES OF PENZANCE. In the 2004-2005 season Ms. Parks' engagements included Marcellina LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Pittsburgh Opera, Dame Quickly FALSTAFF with Dicapo Opera, Cecilia March LITTLE WOMEN with Dayton Opera, Zita GIANNI SCHICCHI with Fresno Grand Opera and a return to Utah Symphony and Opera as Katisha MIKADO. As winner of the Fifth Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, she performed the role of Mistress Quickly FALSTAFF in a Gala Concert hosted by the tenor.
Levi Hernandez - Melchior and Stage Director

 

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Ricardo Herrera - Balthazar

 

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Eric Hanson - Kaspar

 

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Michelle Marmolejo - Dancer

 

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Levi Hernandez - Melchior and Stage Director

 

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