World Premiere

The Great God Pan

March 10, 12, 14, 16 & 18*, 2018 | 7:30pm (*3pm)

Music and Libretto by Ross Crean
Based on Arthur Machen’s novella

The Great God Pan takes its story from an eponymous 1890 novella by Welsh author Arthur Machen, which explores themes of scientific hubris, transcendental medicine, and unexplainable supernatural behavior. Composer Ross Crean adapted Machen’s narrative into the work’s libretto himself, an ambitious and rare undertaking for a composer. The story begins with a surgery gone wrong. Dr. Raymond invites Mr. Clarke to witness an important experiment based on elements of nontraditional, ancient rituals. Raymond sacrifices his ward, Mary, as the subject of his attempt to access a higher spiritual plane – referred to as, “seeing the Great God Pan” – and unwittingly initiates a series of mysterious supernatural occurrences that Clarke encounters over the next few decades. Crean’s ingenuity in composing the accompanying piano parts with the sounds of strumming and plucking combine to make the music that much more vibrant. — Courtesy Naxos of America

Running time 80 min  //  Cash Bar
This space can only be accessed by one flight of stairs

Digital Program 

Cast

Aaron Wardell

Raymond

Aaron Wardell

Aaron Wardell has been praised for his attractive, versatile baritone and is a sought-after performer in both opera and concert. He recently sang Yamadori in the Castleton Festival’s production of Madama Butterfly, where he was called a “young, handsome hunk” by the Washington Post. He has appeared with Opera Tampa, Dayton Opera, Elgin Opera, Chamber Opera Chicago, Central City Opera and internationally at Teatro National de Sucre in numerous roles including Dancaïro (Carmen), Marcello (La Bohème), Marco (Gianni Schicchi) and the title role in Don Giovanni.

Equally at home on the concert stage, his oratorio credits include Adam in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Requiem, and both Bach Passions.

Aaron holds a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University, and earned a Master of Music in vocal performance and an Artist Diploma in opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Raymond 2018
Chicago Fringe Opera’s Lakeside Soiree Soloist 2015
Voices in the Dark, Jazz & Trouble in Tahiti Sam 2015
2014 Christmas Celebration Soloist 2014
The Rape of Lucretia Junius 2014

Tobias Wright

Clarke

Tobias Wright

Tobias Wright is a tenor and native Kansan who was most recently seen in the world premiere of Rootabaga Country as Gimme the Ax with Sarasota Opera. Summer of 2017 saw Tobias make his Opera North debut as Goro in Madama Butterfly and Ajax I in Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène.In the spring of 2017 Tobias performed the role of Lorenzo in William Bolcom’s Lucrezia with Chicago Fringe Opera. Early 2017 saw Tobias with Sarasota Opera, where he made his debut as Un Giovanetto in Italo Montemezzi’s rarely performed L’amore dei tre Re. At the conclusion of the season he was awarded the Scheininger-Reznick Apprentice Scholarship for an Outstanding Apprentice Artist. In December of 2016, Mr. Wright was seen in Chicago with Light Opera Works as Alfred in their new production of Die Fledermaus. Summer of 2017 saw the release of the world premiere of Ross Crean’s The Great God Pan, in which Tobias sang the role of Clarke. The Great God Pan was released by Navona Records/Naxos of America.

In the fall of 2015 Tobias sang the role of Juan in the world premiere of Eustasio Rosales’ Andina at the historic Athenauem Theater in Chicago. The performance and production were featured in the documentary film The Way to Andina, premiering at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival in the Spring of 2017.

Tobias holds a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice from the University of Kansas.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Clarke 2018
Lucrezia Lorenzo 2017
2016 Holiday House Party Soloist 2016
Voices in the Dark, Jazz & Trouble in Tahiti Baritone, Jazz Trio 2015

Christina Pecce

Helen

Christina Pecce

Praised for her “astounding vocal expressivity” and “soaring full voice”, soprano Christina Pecce is a singing-actress who crosses over the genres of opera, musical theatre, jazz, and performance art. This season, she performed in the inaugural Diva Cage Match with Out Of The Box Opera at Uppercut Boxing Gym in Minneapolis and premiered her one-woman cabaret entitled Witches, Bitches, & Divas! at Davenport’s Piano Bar in Chicago. She was featured as an Apprentice Artist for Fort Worth Opera’s 2016-2017 season performing the roles of Frasquita in Carmen and Mother’s Ghost in the world premiere of Voir Dire by composer Matthew Peterson.

A native of Boston, Ms. Pecce has performed the roles of Anne in Heggie’s To Hell and Back and Armida in Rinaldo with Boston Opera Collaborative. Additionally in the Boston area, Christina has performed the title role in Mary Poppins, Vivienne (Legally Blonde), Dottie (Show Boat), and Mrs. Segstrom (A Little Night Music). She is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. In 2015, she took part in the U.S. premiere of Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom, a performance art piece featured at The Museum of Fine Arts. She is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory (MM Opera Performance).

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Helen 2018

Vince Wallace

Villiers

Vince Wallace

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, young American bass-baritone Vince Wallace, is a versatile performer with broad performing experience ranging from skilled ensemble performances to a variety of solo roles and orchestral appearances. Currently based in Chicago, Mr. Wallace has appeared regularly with the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2008; as a member of the ensemble, and as the Usher in Rigoletto. For the 2008/2009 season, Vince performed with both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Fransisco Opera productions of Porgy & Bess in the ensemble; covering and going on to perform a small role with Lyric. He performs with the Grammy Award-winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in several programs including their encore and live rendering of the scores to The Lord of the Rings at the Ravinia Festival. Locally, he sings with the Grant Park Music Festival as well as numerous chamber ensembles and churches in the area.

Previous work includes the title role in Le nozze di Figaro as a part of Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Superintendent Budd in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Jailor in Tosca with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Benoit and Alcindoro in La boheme, both Leporello and the Commandatore in Don Giovanni with American Chamber Orchestra, The King in The King & I, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, and Uncle Max in The Sound of Music. Solo orchestral performances include appearances as Pilatus in the St. John Passion and Judas in St. Mathew Passion.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Villiers 2018

Bridget Skaggs

Austin

Bridget Skaggs

American mezzo-soprano Bridget Skaggs’s performances have been acclaimed across the U.S. and Europe. As a young artist with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Ms. Skaggs sang Charlotte in A Little Night Music and Darléne in the world premiere of Night Caps International. She is a two-time recipient of the Vocal Chamber Music Fellowship with Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, an intensive art song training program. This season she performs Austin/The Great God Pan (Chicago Fringe Opera), and the world premiere of I-THOU, a new song cycle by Wayland Rogers (Fourth Coast Ensemble). Other credits include Tangolita/Ball at the Savoy (Chicago Folks Operetta), Quickly/Falstaff (/kor/ Productions), Carmen/Carmen (Lake Forest Civic Orchestra), concert soloist/Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum (Blue Lake International), festival soloist/Baroque on Beaver Festival (Beaver Island, MI). She is a frequent curator and recitalist with the vocal quartet Fourth Coast Ensemble, which she co-founded in 2013. Ms. Skaggs holds a B.M. and M.M. from Oklahoma City University, where operatic credits include Flora/La Traviata, Prince Orlofsky/Die Fledermaus, and Secretary/The Consul.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Austin 2018

Maureen Smith

Mary

Maureen Smith

Soprano Maureen Smith has been praised for her “distinctive voice (that rings) out bright and clear” (Third Coast Daily). A fierce lover of new music, Maureen is thrilled to make her Chicago Fringe debut! She cut her teeth in Milwaukee, WI, where she performed with Milwaukee Opera Theatre (Autumn, “Fairy Queen Fantasy;” Lecturer, “Handel’s Bestiary”), Present Music (Thanksgiving concert, 2013), Opera On Tap-Milwaukee (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Kalliope Vocal Arts (Opera galas, recitals) and Sunset Playhouse (Bug in a Rug touring children’s theater; Rose, “Lumberjacks in Love”). She spent a summer in Pittsburgh, PA singing with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, where she had the opportunity to premiere two new works by American composers: “A New Kind of Fallout,” OTP’s commissioned Eco-Opera by Gilda Lyons, and the first of a new song cycle by composer Evan Neely. Since moving to Chicago, Maureen has performed extensively with the Niles Metropolitan Chorus and Musica Lumina Orchestra in recital and oratorio, and made her debut with Main Street Opera in September of 2016 as Nannetta in Falstaff. Her main focus at the moment is as Womanaging Director of Scapi Magazine, a multimedia arts journalism outfit devoted to sharing underserved perspectives. Head to scapimag.com to find articles, videos and podcasts! Go out and make something!

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Mary 2018

Quinn Middleman

Rachel, Trevor (cover)

Quinn Middleman

Mezzo-soprano Quinn Middleman is currently a Young Artist with Chicago Opera Theater (COT). The 2017-2018 season brings a lot of firsts for Quinn: she debuted with Haymarket Opera and Third Coast Baroque, and is excited to join Chicago Fringe Opera for the first time. Additionally, she sings the role of Doris in the premiere of Kevin Puts’ Elizabeth Cree with Chicago Opera Theater, and appears with Scott Gilmore in a recital of women composers benefiting a local women’s shelter. Recent engagements include covering Dorabella in Così fan tutte and performing Entertainer in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace with Central City Opera, where she received the John & Ginny Starkey Award for being an outstanding young artist. Quinn maintains a diversified schedule of performing, including concert work, opera, art song, and competitions. Most recently, she was named a winner of the Wisconsin District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Next season, she will cover the role of Old Lady in Candide with Chautauqua Opera, and return as a professional artist to the stage of Chicago Opera Theater in the premiere of The Scarlet Ibis.

Quinn’s education includes two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, a master’s degree in Voice from Northwestern University, Bachelor’s degrees in Oboe Performance and Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California, a fellowship with SongFest@Colburn, and a summer with Aspen Music Festival. She currently studies with Judith Haddon.

 

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Rachel, Trevor (Cover) 2018

Marysa Abbas

Trevor, Austin (cover)

Marysa Abbas

Extolled as a “fierce creative,” Marysa Abbas is a passionate performer of new works. Recent World Premieres include: Trevor in the Naxos/Parma recording of Ross Crean’s The Great God Pan, Mrs. Darling in Ross Crean’s Lost Daughters, and ensemble in Minnesota Opera’s critically acclaimed world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining. In Chicago, she’s performed: Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Grace Ansley in Roman Fever, Miss Manners in Miss Manners on Music, and Virginia Woolf in a staged performance of Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. She recently sang in the Chicago premiere of The Final Battle for Love with Thompson Street Opera as well as with Sugar Creek Opera as an apprentice artist for their production of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath.

She obtained her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Viterbo University, and completed her Master of Music in Opera Performance at Wichita State University. Ms. Abbas currently works as a Managing Diva of Opera on Tap’s Chicago chapter, as well as a producer in the Chicago area. She is the founder of Praxilla Femina, a women’s music collective in Chicago, and is a current student of Julie Miller.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Trevor 2018

Mark Haddad

Herbert

Mark Haddad

Basso Profundo Mark Haddad is making his first appearance with Chicago Fringe Opera as Herbert in Ross Crean’s The Great God Pan. Mr. Haddad performs in a variety of vocal ensembles, which include; Bella Voce, the Lakeside Singers, the William Ferris Chorale, Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, the choir of St. Chrysostom’s Church, and Am Shalom Synagogue (among others). In March, aside from his work with CFO, he can be seen making his professional debut with Haymarket Opera Company as Pilato in Rossi’s Oratorio per la Settimana Santa. Mr. Haddad hails from the great state of Texas, and has lived in Chicago for a little over two years. He earned his Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University and his Master’s from the University of Delaware, also in Vocal Performance. When he is not performing, he works as a substitute teacher at Intrinsic Schools of Chicago. In his limited free-time, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and is an avid pool player.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Herbert 2018

Thomas Bailey

Meyrick

Thomas Bailey

Thomas Bailey is an Illinois native and a strong advocate for new music. He received his MM from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and currently studies with Allan Glassman. Currently based in Chicago, Thomas seeks out and supports new music experiences as often as possible. He has been recently seen onstage in Thompson Street Opera Company’s production of Cosmic Ray and The Amazing Chris as KenKen, and as Overseer Pitts in South Shore Opera Company’s production of Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom. Thomas can also be heard in the ensemble of the recording of The Great God Pan.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Meyrick 2018

Nora Fox

Young Helen

Nora Fox

Nora Fox (Young Helen): is very excited to be part of THE GREAT GOD PAN. She is a sixth grader at Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies in Chicago. Nora’s parents are actors and she has always loved the theatre. Over the last seven years, Nora has appeared in many original summer camp plays with Lookingglass Theatre. She studies dance at Le Ballet Petit (ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop) and at the Joel Hall Dance Center (modern). She is active in her Girl Scout troop and student council and has sung with the Chicago Children’s Choir (Rogers Park Choir).

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Young Helen 2018

Meredith White

Young Helen

Meredith White

Meredith White is a student at Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies. She loves acting, musical theater, and playing trombone in her school band. She has completed several theater programs, most recently with the Lookingglass Theater and is excited to join the Chicago Fringe Opera for this show

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Young Helen 2018

Catherine O'Shaughnessy

Conductor

Catherine O'Shaughnessy

A resident of Chicago, Illinois, Catherine O’Shaughnessy is an active orchestra and opera conductor both in the United States and abroad. In 2010, she made her international professional conducting debut as music director of the Mittelsächsisches Theater’s production of Pyramus und Thisbe in Freiberg, Germany; she has also conducted the Moscow Philharmonic and the Rousse Philharmonic (Rousse, Bulgaria) in concert. Avidly committed to Chicago’s dynamic opera scene, she founded Windy City Opera and conducted its first production (La bohème) in 2015. Additionally, she just completed her first collaboration with The Floating Opera Company and 42nd Parallel as conductor and music director for Don Giovanni. Catherine, a student of William Reber at Arizona State University, holds a B.M. from the University of Michigan and a M.M. from Bowling Green State University. In addition to her musical pursuits, Catherine is passionate about the role of the arts in philosophy and society. She currently serves as co-organizer for two philosophy meet-up groups and presented a paper on the philosophy of passion at the 2013 Humanities Conference at Lincoln University, PA.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Conductor 2018
Lucrezia Conductor 2017
In the Penal Colony Conductor 2016

George Cederquist

Stage Director

George Cederquist

George has directed new productions and opera scenes with Chicago Fringe Opera (where he is the Artistic Director), Pittsburgh Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Main Street Opera, Chicago Summer Opera, North Park University, Roosevelt University, and the Bay View Music Festival.

In September 2015, George launched ‘Opera Box Score’, America’s only weekly talk radio show about opera, broadcast live on WNUR Chicago.

One of ten Americans to receive the 2011-12 German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, George served as a Regieassistent at the Staatstheater Darmstadt during his fellowship in Germany.

George’s training includes an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University, a BA in Theatre Studies and English from Yale University, and a Directing Fellowship at Wolf Trap Opera, as well as participating in the Resident Artist Program at Pittsburgh Opera and in the Merola Opera Program.

Productions with Chicago Fringe Opera

The Great God Pan Director 2018
Lucrezia Director 2017
In the Penal Colony Director 2016
The Turn of the Screw Director 2015
Voices in the Dark, Jazz & Trouble in Tahiti Director 2015
The Rape of Lucretia Director 2014