L’isola disabitata

Music by Joseph Haydn
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio

Haydn wrote operas? Yes, and Haymarket Opera Company gave a Chicago premier to open our sixth season. Haydn was in fact one of the most experienced opera composers of his day, conducting more than 100 operatic performances each year at the Esterháza Palace in Austria.

Written in 1779, L’isola disabitata (The Desert Island) is set to a text by the 18th century’s most important librettist, Pietro Metastasio. Haymarket Opera Orchestra, Chicago’s premier period instrument ensemble, introduced our audience to Haydn's lush score for strings, flute, oboes, bassoon, natural horns, and fortepiano.

The story tells of the sisters Costanza and Silvia who have lived alone on a desert island for 13 years after a bad storm forced their ship to port. When they landed, Costanza’s husband Gernando was abducted by pirates. He has spent the intervening years as a slave. Costanza is about to commit suicide when Gernando and his friend Enrico return to the island to find the sisters. And all’s well that ends well.

Silvia & Fawn by Zuleyka V. Benitez

Silvia & Fawn by Zuleyka V. Benitez


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

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

Program available for download.



Costanza - 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.

Silvia - Suzanne Lommler, mezzo soprano
Mezzo-soprano Suzanne Lommler was recently a soloist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony in a Mozart Soirée and with Orchestra Iowa in Bach’s St. John Passion, both broadcast on Iowa Public Radio’s “Symphonies of Iowa” program. She also soloed with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in the Bach Magnificat and appeared in the film “Kharmen,” by Jay Bolotin. Suzanne sang the roles of Melide in Cavalli’s Ormindo (Pittsburgh Opera) and Cherubino inLe Nozze di Figaro, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte (Hamburger Kammeroper in Germany). Her New York City debut was as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito, conducted by Julius Rudel. She sang in recital at the Handel House Museum in London, in Hamburg’s Opernsalon series, and on tour in Scotland with the Edinburgh Quartet. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Kansas City Symphony in the Bach Magnificat, with the Cincinnati May Festival in Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, conducted by James Conlon, and with the Bloomington Early Music Festival. She has been a member of the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute and the Tanglewood Institute. Other performances were with the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Cincinnati Opera, Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Garsington Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and Glyndebourne on Tour. Suzanne received her Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and Bachelor's from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and currently studies with Marie McLaughlin.

Gernando - Scott Brunscheen, tenor
Chicago tenor, Scott J. Brunscheen, is establishing himself as a “bold and assertive” tenor in operatic and concert repertoire ranging from Cavalli and Bach to Jake Heggie and Philip Glass. This past season, he has been seen as a soloist in numerous presentations of The Messiah, Peter Quint and the Prologue in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and L’Aumônier in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. Previous operatic roles have included Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Gonzalve (L’heure Espagnole), Fenton (Falstaff), and Spoletta (Tosca). He’s covered numerous Donizetti, Rossini, Mozart, and Glass roles as a young artist at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Chicago Opera Theater, Caramoor Bel Canto Festival, Madison Opera, and Opera New Jersey. As a concert soloist,Scott has performed Handel's The Messiah around the country, as well as Bach's Magnificat and St. John Passion, Resphigi's Lauda per la Nativita, Donizetti's Miserere, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Britten's Serenade and Canticles, Mozart's Requiem, Saint-Saëns' Oratorio de Noël, Stainer's The Crucifiction, and Dubois' Seven Last Words. The 2016-17 season includes performances with Haymarket Opera, Madison Opera, and the Madison Bach Musicians.

Enrico - Jonathan Beyer, baritone
Jonathan Beyer has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Petruzzelli, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Oper Frankfurt, Dallas Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Opera de Montreal, Pittsburgh Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Hong Kong, Royal Opera Oman, Hawaii Opera Theater, and Aix-en-Provence. He has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Vermont Symphony and the Munich Philharmonic. An avid recitalist, he has given recitals through the Carnegie Hall Foundation, Vocal Arts Society, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Marilyn Horne Foundation, and Marian Anderson Foundations, the Huntsville Chamber Music Guild, Chicago Cultural Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Pittsburgh Concert Society. He has degrees from the Curtis Institute and Roosevelt University. Mr. Beyer was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. He was the 1 st Place Winner at the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists. He has also won the Geroge London Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, McCammon Competition, San Antonio Opera Competition, Irma M. Cooper Competition, Violetta DuPont Competition, Rochester’s Classical Idol, American Prize for Art Song and Opera, New Jersey Verismo Competition, Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions, American Opera Society Competition, the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition, and the Bel Canto Foundation.

Production Team

Craig Trompeter, Music Director/Conductor
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.

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 recently choreographed Monteverdi's Orfeo for DePaul University, and she is the stage director for Wheaton College's 2017 production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. 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.

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 designing skills to dance and theater through the Laboratory School, the Beethoven Festival, Elements Contemporary Ballet, International Voices Project and the Joffrey Academy of Dance. An extended biography and details about her work can be found at meriembahri.com.

Zuleyka V. Benitez, Stage Designer
Zuleyka Vargas Benitez 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. 

Lindsey Lyddan, Lighting Designer
Lindsey Lyddan is thrilled to be working with Haymarket Opera once again on another fantastic production. She has worked all over the city including Silk Road Rising, Chicago Dramatists, Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook, Lookingglass Theatre, Steppenwolf, the Goodman, the Lyric, Adventure Stage Chicago, and the Cherub program at Northwestern University. She received her MFA in lighting and scenic design from Northwestern University. She would love to thank her husband, Bill, for his support in all her endeavors. lindseylyddandesign.com

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.