La Calisto
by Francesco Cavalli

For nearly 300 years, Cavalli’s operas lay hidden from lovers of music and drama, but his genius was rediscovered in the 20th century. The next opera up for Haymarket is Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto, the perfect meeting of music and drama. Written in 1651 to a libretto by Giovanni Faustini, one of the first professional librettists in the history of opera, La Calisto spices up Ovid’s Metamorphoses myth of Jove's love for the beautiful nymph Calisto, a follower of the chaste goddess Diana. She refuses him in his manly appearance, but succumbs to his wooing after he disguises himself as Diana. When Jove’s wife Juno learns of his trickery and their affair, she punishes Calisto by turning her into a bear. Faustini’s libretto weaves in hilarious subplots which inspired some of Cavalli’s most lyrical and inventive music. HOC’s production features a cast of ten, our acclaimed chamber orchestra, gorgeous costumes, and a whimsical stage set. And to accommodate our growing audience, for the first time we’ll be performing at Chicago’s oldest continuously operating off-Loop theatre, the Athenaeum in Lincoln Park.


Read John von Rhein's review in the Chicago Tribune here

Read Gerald Fisher's review in Chicago Classical Review here

Read Barnaby Hughes' review in Stage and Cinema here

Read Marta Tonegutti's review in Chicago on the Aisle here

Program available for download.


Endimione - Lindsey Adams, mezzo soprano
Lindsey Adams has been praised for her "bell-like purity" and her stylish and expressive interpretation of both early and contemporary repertoire. She recently appeared with Bourbon Baroque as the Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.  Ms. Adams is the principal vocalist for Musik Ekklesia and can be heard on the ensemble's Grammy nominated recording, The Vanishing Nordic Chorale. Ms. Adams performs with the Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago Bach Project, Ars Antigua, William Ferris Chorale, Aestas Consort, Oriana Singers and Schola Antiqua of Chicago. Ms. Adams holds a degree in Vocal Performance from DePauw University. She is the Musical Director for the Chicago Montessori School and is a member of the Piano Faculty at Access Contemporary Music.

Lindsey Adams Photo

Linfea - Nathalie Colas, soprano
Hailed for her “floating, silky soprano”, Nathalie Colas was born and raised in Strasbourg, France. She was recently heard in Haymarket Opera Company production of Telemann's Don Quichotte, in Handel's Messiah with the St Louis Bach Society, and in the title role of Rita by G. Donizetti in Ardez, Switzerland. A curious and versatile artist, Nathalie is a current soloist with the Chicago Bach Ensemble, new music ensemble Fonema Consort, and Chicago’s Liederstube, amongst others. An avid recitalist, she studied Art Song with the late german baritone Udo Reinemann and regularly performs such repertoire in Europe and the midwest (Pianoforte Foundation, Chicago Arts Club, Driehaus Museum, St Louis Cathedral), aside from her operatic engagements. A graduate of DePaul University School of Music and of the Brussels Royal Conservatory, she completed her opera training at the Swiss Opera Studio/Hochschule der Kunst Bern. She was awarded 1st prize in the Music Institute of Chicago competition last winter.

Nathalie Colas Photo

Mercurio - Ryan de Ryke, baritone
Ryan de Ryke is an artist whose versatility and musical presence have made him increasingly in demand on both sides of the Atlantic. He has performed at many of the leading international music festivals, including the Aldeburgh Festival in the United Kingdom and the summer festival at Aix-en-Provence in France. The Baltimore Sun hails him as “a talent that seems to defy labels, for without pretense or vocal tricks he delivers a naturally beautiful sound that penetrates to one’s inner core in every conceivable range… His is a voice I never tire of hearing.” Ryan studied at the Peabody Conservatory with John Shirley Quirk and at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Ian Partridge. He is also an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Institute in the UK and the Schubert Institute in Austria, where he worked with artists of the caliber of Elly Ameling, Wolfgang Holzmair, Julius Drake, Rudolf Jansen, and Helmut Deutsch. Ryan lives in Chicago, where he appeared with Haymarket Opera Company in the title role of Telemann’s Pimpinone and as Sancho Panza in Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho. He also appears often with Chamber Opera Chicago, where he has premiered leading roles in new operas based on novels by Jane Austen, including Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Ryan is a passionate advocate for song recitals and concert repertoire as a founding member of the Baltimore Lieder Weekend and frequent performer on WFMT Chicago. He feels fortunate to collaborate regularly with artists and friends around the world, including Daniel Schlosberg, Eugenia Cheng, Eva Mengelkoch, Michael Shepard, Susan Youens, and Roger Vignoles.

Ryan de Ryke Photo

Satirino - Kaitlin Foley, soprano
Kaitlin Foley has been praised for her “crystalline vocals” and “beautiful singing.” Ms. Foley is a supremely versatile performer with a passionate ear for early and new music. She has sung with Haymarket Opera Company, Grant Park Chorus, Bella Voce, Schola Antiqua, Prometheus, and Chicago-based women’s trio Artemisia. She achieved her M.M. in Voice Performance from DePaul University and completed her undergraduate work in music education at the University of Missouri. Ms. Foley is a Vocal Artist in Residence with the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, under the direction of James Kallembach, and is the director and founder of the Rockefeller Children’s Choir. 

Kaitlin Foley.jpg

Giunone - Kimberly McCord, soprano
Kimberly McCord is excited to be returning to Haymarket Opera after debuting as Purcell’s Dido. She has earned critical acclaim in Chicago with Chicago Folks Operetta (title roles/Leo Fall’s Madame Pompadour and The Rose of Stambul, the latter available on CD), the Handel Week Festival (title roles/Semele andRodelinda, and Cleopatra/Giulio Cesare this March), and Music of the Baroque. Kimberly has appeared at the Peninsula Music Festival under Maestro Yampolsky’s baton in Verdi’s Requiem, Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915 and as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She recently appeared in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Bel canto, as the German diplomat.  Highlights of her many European appearances include Medée/Lully’s Thesée on tour with William Christie, Dido with the Gabrieli Consort, and Créuse/Charpentier’s Medée at the Dartington Festival. She has recorded Bach’s Magnificat and Easter Oratorio with the Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh conducting.  

Kimberly McCord Photo

Calisto - Chelsea Morris Shephard, soprano
Chelsea Morris gave an “exquisite” NYC recital debut this past spring with New York Festival of Song, for which she was also praised for her “beautiful, lyric instrument” and “flawless legato” (Opera News). The 2015/2016 season features debuts with Opera Grand Rapids (Amour/Orphée et Eurydice) and Great Lakes Baroque and return engagements with Madison Bach Musicians, Madison Opera (Beth/Little Women) and Haymarket Opera Company (title role/La Calisto). Other roles include Mozart’s Pamina, Susanna, and Despina, Lauretta/Gianni Schicchi, Lisa/The Land of Smiles, Emily Webb/Our Town and Clorinda/La Cenerentola. Ms. Morris Shephard performed on stage at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions (2015), won First Place in the Handel Aria Competition (2014), The Schubert Club (2013) and National Opera Association (2011) competitions, and was a Finalist in the Jensen Foundation Competition in NYC (2014). The Michigan native holds degrees from DePaul University and Rice University.

Chelsea Morris Photo

Pane - Patrick Muehleise, tenor
Patrick Muehleise has quickly emerged as an acclaimed soloist throughout the country in both opera and concert repertoire. Patrick regularly collaborates with Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire and True Concord, as well as the nationally renowned Santa Fe Desert Chorale, with whom he performed at the 2015 National ACDA Convention. Other recent engagements include performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Santa Fe Opera, and American Classical Orchestra in New York City. This season Patrick makes his solo debut with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 under the direction of Jane Glover, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Elmhurst Symphony, Bach’s Mass in B Minor in Dallas, and Reich’s The Desert Music with New World Symphony. Patrick has been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance with his collaboration on True Concord’s album “Far In The Heavens: Choral Music of Stephen Paulus.”

Patrick Muehleise Photo

Silvano - Christopher Remmel, bass
Bass-Baritone Christopher Remmel is a versatile artist, performing repertoire from the Baroque to the 20th and 21st centuries. This season, he makes debuts with Haymarket Opera Company, Chicago Bach Ensemble, and Fourth Coast Ensemble. A San Diego native, Christopher has performed with opera companies all over the United States. In 2014, Christopher made his debut as a principal artist with Chicago Opera Theater as The Man with the Mule in The Clever One. He covered the title role in Don Pasquale and performed the King of Egypt in Aïda with Opera Santa Barbara (2013), was a member of the Apprentice Singer Program at the Santa Fe Opera (2011, 2012), and is an alumnus of the Wolf Trap Opera Studio (2010). Christopher holds degrees from UCLA and Roosevelt University. He is a recent graduate of the Professional Diploma in Opera Program with the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Chicago Opera Theater.

Christopher Remmel Photo

Diana - Angela Young Smucker, mezzo soprano
Angela Young Smucker has earned praise for her “rich, secure mezzo-soprano” (Chicago Tribune) and her "powerful stage presence" (The Plain Dealer). Her performances in concert, stage, and chamber works have made her a highly versatile and sought-after artist. Highlights of the 2015-16 season include debuts as a featured soloist with Spire Chamber Ensemble in the Duruflé Requiem, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), and the San Diego Pro Arte Voices as in Copland’s In the Beginning. Ms. Smucker makes return appearances with Haymarket Opera Company in Cavalli’s La Calisto; Newberry Consort’s presentation of the newly-edited Juan de Lienas Vespers; Bach Collegium San Diego in Handel’s Messiah and Monteverdi’s Vespers; Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra under the baton of new conductor Matthew Kraemer; and The Chicago Bach Ensemble led by Baroque specialist Rubén Dubrovsky. Ms. Smucker holds degrees from Valparaiso University and the University of Minnesota.

Angela Young Smucker Photo

Giove - Aaron Wardell, baritone
Aaron Wardell has been praised for his attractive, versatile baritone and is a sought-after young performer both in Chicago and beyond. He was most recently seen as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly with the Castleton Festival under the baton of Lorin Maazel, and as Sam in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti with Chicago Fringe Opera. He has appeared with Chamber Opera Chicago, Main Street Opera, Dayton Opera, Opera Tampa, Central City Opera and internationally at Teatro National de Sucre in numerous roles including Dancaïro (Carmen), Marcello (La Bohème), Junius (Rape of Lucretia), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Don Pizarro (Fidelio) and the title role in Don Giovanni. Equally at home on the concert stage, he recently appeared with North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble in J.S. Bach's Das Neugeborne Kindelein and performed Schubert's Mass in Ab with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He has appeared as a soloist with Harper College, George Williams College (Music by the Lake), Downers Grove Choral Society, Niles Metropolitan Chorus, The Bach Ensemble of Naples, FL, and Cincinnati Baroque in such works as Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John Passion, Brahms' Requiem, Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, Arvo Pärt's Passio and Haydn's Creation. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University, a Master of Music in vocal performance and an Artist Diploma certificate in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Aaron Wardell Photo

Production Team

Craig Trompeter, Artistic Director
Artistic Director Craig Trompeter has been a musical presence in Chicago for more than twenty years. As an acclaimed cellist and violist da gamba he has performed in concert and over the airwaves with Second City Musick, Music of the Baroque, the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, the Cal Players, the Oberlin Consort of Viols, and Great Lakes Baroque. He has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Glimmerglass Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Valletta International Baroque Festival in Malta. He has appeared as soloist at the Ravinia Festival, the annual conference of the American Bach Society, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and with Music of the Baroque. Trompeter has recorded works of Mozart, Biber, Boismortier, Marais, Handel, Greene, Henry Eccles, and a potpourri of Elizabethan composers on the Harmonia Mundi, Cedille, and Centaur labels. As a modern cellist, he was a founding member of the Fry Street String Quartet. He premiered several chamber operas by MacArthur Fellow John Eaton, performing as actor, singer and cellist. Most recently he served as Music Director for Francesca Caccini's opera La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina at Utah State University. He has taught master classes at his alma mater, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Grinnell College, and the Chicago Musical College. In 2003 he founded the Feldenkrais® Center of Chicago where he teaches Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration®. He has given Feldenkrais workshops throughout the nation in universities, music conservatories, and dance studios.

Craig Trompeter

Sarah Edgar, Stage Director
Sarah Edgar is a dancer, choreographer, and researcher specializing in eighteenth century performance. She is the associate director of The New York Baroque Company and choreographer/stage director at Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago. Her 2013 directing debut with Haymarket Opera Company, Telemann’s Pimpinone, was hailed by Newcity as one of the five best operas in Chicago. With The New York Baroque Dance Company, she has performed at Drottningholm Theater in Sweden, the International Händelfestspiele Göttingen, Danspace at St. Mark’s Theater, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival. From 2006-2012, she lived in Cologne, Germany and toured Europe as a freelance dancer, performing in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and France. She has taught master classes in baroque dance at numerous universities in the United States and in Germany, and has given several lectures at symposia for eighteenth century performance. She was an adjunct professor in dance at Northwestern University in winter 2014, teaching baroque dance technique. She holds a BFA summa cum laude in dance performance from The Ohio State University, and an MA in Tanzwissenschaft from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.

Sarah Edgar

Meriem Bahri, Costume Designer
Meriem Bahri is a self-taught costume designer. After completing a Ph.D. in science in France, she turned decisively to her great passion for costumes. She collaborates regularly with two groups specializing in baroque operas: as costume designer for Haymarket Opera Company and as assistant to the designer for the Boston Early Music Festival. Meriem has also brought her skills to dance and theater through the Laboratory School, the Beethoven Festival, Elements Contemporary Ballet, International Voices Project and the Joffrey Academy of Dance. After 5 years in Chicago, she will be returning to France but will continue to design the costumes for Haymarket Opera Company. An extended biography and details about her work can be found at

Meriem Bahri

Zuleyka V. Benitez, Stage Designer
Zuleyka Vargas Benitez, set designer, received her Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech and Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Ms. Benitez taught drawing at Iowa State University, University of Missouri at St. Louis, and has lectured extensively on narrative art. She has exhibited her drawings and paintings internationally and is included in numerous national and private collections. In addition to producing fine art, Ms. Benitez works as a designer, decorative painter, and builder. Big Chicks and Tweet in Chicago and Relish in Evanston are a few of her projects accessible to the public. Ms. Benitez is responsible for creating Dapple, Sancho Panza's donkey in HOC’s production of Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho, and her only regret is that he can't be in every HOC production.

Zuleyka Vargas Benitez

Lindsey Lyddan, Lighting Designer
Lindsey Lyddan is thrilled to be working with Haymarket Opera Company again. She is currently working on Hotel 666 with WildClaw Theatre Company, and her thesis in lighting and scenic design at Northwestern University, as well as, several other productions around town. She has worked all over the city including Steppenwolf, the Goodman, Lyric Opera Chicago, Adventure Stage Chicago, the Cherub program at Northwestern University, the Royal George Theatre, and Profiles Theatre. She would love to thank her husband, Bill, for his support in all her endeavors.


Lindsey Lyddan

Wigs and Makeup Artist, Samantha Umstead/Penny Lane Studios
Samantha Umstead is a graduate of the DePaul University Theater School where she studied costume design and art history. She is a licensed cosmetologist who does hair and makeup throughout Chicago for film and photography. She has worked at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater for three seasons as a wig maker. She is extremely excited to once again be working with Haymarket Opera Company.

Samantha Umstea

Russell Wagner, Master Carpenter
Russell Wagner, HOC master carpenter, prop craftsman, electrician, and heavy transport coordinator studied early music performance with Ben Bechtel at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. He is a frequent performer on the viola da gamba in Chicago’s early music community with Second City Musick, The Spirtit of Gambo, and Haymarket Opera Company. Wagner is a leading repairer and adjuster of cellos in the USA, working from his Evanston studio, Chicago Celloworks. He and his wife Paula have two wonderful children and one glorious granddaughter. Russell exemplifies the “can do” spirit of Haymarket Opera Company. He believes that tasks large and small can be done elegantly.

Russell Wagner Photo

Jeri-Lou Zike, Concertmaster
Jeri-Lou Zike is a versatile, energetic musician who enjoys a variety of artistic activities in symphonic, baroque, and chamber music. She is principal and founding member of the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra and principal second violin of the Chicago Opera Theater. She is also a member of the Chicago Philharmonic, the Joffrey ballet orchestra and the Ravinia Festival Orchestra. As a period instrument performer, Ms. Zike is concertmaster of Haymarket Opera Company which she manages alongside the Artistic Director, Craig Trompeter. Other musical credits include principal of Baroque Band, soloist with the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, Concertmaster of the University of Chicago Rockefeller Chapel Concerts, as well as performances with His Majestie’s Clerkes, Kansas City Music Consort, and Music of the Baroque. Ms. Zike is also a well-regarded contractor of musicians, providing orchestras for the Apollo Chorus, Chicago Chorale, the Cathedral Singers, and Rockefeller Chapel Choir, among others. Jeri-Lou Zike has recorded with GIA, Centaur, and Cedille Records. To balance the intensity of music making, Jeri-Lou loves to swim, bike and run and is a five-time Ironman. 

Jeri Lou Zike Photo