Meet the Crew!
Michael Redding – The Pirate King
Atlanta-born baritone Michael Redding has been thrilling audiences in the U.S. and in Europe with his vocalism and theatrical presence in roles ranging from Handel to classic American Music Theatre. His recent performances include Belcore L’ELISIR D’AMORE with Sarasota Opera and Schaunard LA BOHÈME with Virginia Opera, a company to which Mr. Redding later returned to make his debut in the title-role of PORGY AND BESS, later reprising the role with Atlanta Opera. His experience with this well-loved American masterwork began in the summer of 2004 when he travelled throughout Europe with New York Harlem Productions Inc’s PORGY AND BESS, playing Crown and Jake; in addition he has performed these roles with the Evansville Philharmonic, Opera Carolina, the Natchez Festival of Music and the role of Jake with New Orleans Opera, eventually malking his debut with Seattle Opera as Crown. Most recently Mr. Redding appeared in an extensive tour of Europe and the U.S. of PORGY AND BESS with York Harlem Theatre including performances in Geneva and Toulouse. Mr. Redding too has performed the concert suite arrangement of PORGY AND BESS with the Belgrade Philharmonic and the La Verdi Orchestra.
April Martin, Mabel
American soprano April Martin will debut with New Amsterdam Opera in Manhattan this June as Inez in Donizetti’s rarely performed opera, La Favorita. This summer, Ms. Martin will return to the Bar Harbor Music Festival to sing Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel. Last season, she was a Resident Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and performed Kitty Hart in Dead Man Walking, Barbarina in Stephen Lawless’ new production of Le nozze di Figaro, and the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel. Other role highlights include Frasquita in Carmen and the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. A native of Burlington, NC, she is thrilled to debut the role of Mabel in her home state! She made her professional opera debut in summer 2014 as Musetta in La bohème with The Bar Harbor Music Festival in Maine. Other roles with this company include Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Norina in Don Pasquale. With the Aspen Music Festival, she performed Niece 1 in Britten’s Peter Grimes and as an apprentice with Central City Opera, she sang Antonia in Man of La Mancha. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Richmond Symphony in an “A New Year in Vienna” Concert (2018), joined fellow artists from Virginia Opera to perform “Opera in the Park,” (2017) and sang in Piedmont Opera’s “Viva Verdi” Gala (2015). She has been a featured soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Glee Club of New York City. Ms. Martin is the recipient of a 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council award in the Kansas City District, 2nd Place in the Haefner-Williams Vocal Competition, and 2nd Place in the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (2015). April earned degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio and Maryville College in Tennessee.
Donald Hartman, British Major
No stranger to Piedmont Opera audiences, bass-baritone
Donald Hartmann first sang in a production of Pirates of Penzance in 1977, in a joint production produced by the Winston- Salem Symphony and the Winston-Salem Little Theater, as Major-General Stanley. Since then and the beginning of his professional operatic singing career in 1978 with the Stadttheater Regensburg, and later with the Vereinigte Städtiches Bühnen Krefeld/Mönchengladbach in Germany, Hartmann continues to be an active performer with regional and national opera companies. He has been described as possessing a, “big, rich voice with an amazing timbre;” interpretative abilities as “hearty and dramatic;” vocal resonance as “ringing,”
“sepulchral,” “richly focused;” and “… his flair for comedic bel canto is major-league-worthy.” Having performed in over 150 operatic productions, in over 60 operas singing over 70 different roles, he is “one of the best character singers on any opera stage anywhere.” Engagements have included appearances with Opéra de Montreal, Madison Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theater, Nashville Opera, Piedmont Opera, Opera Delaware, North Carolina Opera, Opera Roanoke, Greensboro Opera, Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera, and Virginia Opera Association. His 2015-2016 season included and two very important national debuts: William Jennings Bryan in the 60th anniversary production of Ballad Baby Doe for Central City Opera in Colorado, and the Sacristan in Tosca in the historic reopening of New York City Opera’s return to Lincoln Center! His 2017-28 season includes performances as the Sacristan in Tosca, Opera Roanoke; Dr. Bartolo, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Greensboro Opera; and Antonio, Le Nozze di Figaro, for Opera Carolina and a debut with Opera Grand Rapids, Michigan. Donald Hartmann is a Professor of Voice in the School of Music at UNCG.