NEC Opera: Vicente Martín y Soler | L’arbore di Diana
Robert Tweten conducts NEC opera students and members of NEC Philharmonia in four performances of L’arbore di Diana by Vicente Martín y Soler, directed by NEC Chair of Opera Studies, Joshua Major.
These performances are dedicated to the memory of E. Lee Perry, President's Council member and former Trustee, with gratitude for his love and support for NEC's Opera program.
This event is open to in-person audiences only.
The goddess Diana rules over an island realm where all her devotees have sworn to remain chaste. There is a tree on the island which punishes those who think or act in favor of love. Every day the nymphs and Diana are tested by walking under the tree. If found guilty, the tree pummels them with golden apples. Diana has abducted the shepherd Doristo to guard the tree. However, Amor, God of love, wants to destroy Diana’s cult of chastity. Diana did not account for Doristo’s love of women and punishes him for his amorous desires by turning him into another tree.
Amor undoes Doristo’s transformation with the help of the two shepherds Endimione and Silvio. Without Diana around, the nymph Britomarte takes the initiative to introduce herself and the other nymphs—Clizia and Cloe—to the three men. In the meantime, Amor challenges Diana to give up her cult of chastity, cut down the tree, and submit to love. When Diana refuses, Amor reveals what her disciples have been doing. Diana, obstinate, reiterates that she is queen and ruler. Amor gives Endimione and Silvio a love dart: the first one that wounds Diana’s heart with his arrow will savour the joy of her love. Endimione’s arrow hits its target.
Amor frees the men who have once again been caught by the goddess. Diana, who has developed feelings for Endimione is unable to kill him. Clizia and Cloe see no way out and feebly attempt to stab Endimione, but Silvio stops them. Amor contrives to put Diana and Endimione together. Diana finds Endimione asleep and simply can’t resist. In the meantime, Doristo is being hunted by the three women, having promised each of them that he would marry them. Amor turns Silvio into a priest to act as a guide to Diana. He demands that Diana take her tree’s test of chastity herself. The goddess collapses and confesses that she has gone against her own commandment. Amor emerges as the victor and decrees that Diana should marry Endimione, Silvio should become a priest of love, and Doristo can live with the three women as the island’s guardian.
Hyungjin Son *
* Thursday, Friday
Benedict Hensley ‡
‡ Saturday, Sunday
Violin 1: June Chung, Haerim Oh, Joy Wei
Violin 2: Hyeon Hong, Haeun Honney Kim, Yixiang Wang
Viola: Njord Fossnes, Asher Boorstin
Cello: Pi-Wei Lin, Davis You
Bass: Shion Kim
Flute: Mara Riley, Subin Serena Oh
Oboe: Dane Bennett, Kian Hirayama
Clarinet: Hyunwoo Chun, Chenrui Lin
Bassoon: Julien Rollins, Garrett Comrie
French horn: Willow Otten, Huimin Mandy Liu
Trumpet: Michael Harms, Jake Baldwin
Keyboards: Su Jin Choi
About the cast
(in alphabetical order)
YEON JAE CHO – Diana
Yeon Jae Cho is a Korean coloratura soprano who has performed in numerous operas such as the role of Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Norina in Don Pasquale, Setsuko in An American Dream, and Aminta in Il Re Pastore. This summer, she will be featured in the role of Eurydice in Orphée aux Enfers and Mrs. Jenks in The Tender Land at the Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point. She also performed the role of Lucia from Lucia di Lammermoor and Tytania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the NEC Perkin Opera Scenes Program. She was chosen to sing as the soprano soloist in Frank’s Conquest Requiem at the Symphony Hall. Recently, she was named as a Boston District Winner by the MET Competition. She completed her bachelor and master of music degrees at the Seoul National University and the Graduate Diploma at NEC. She is currently pursuing the Artist Diploma at NEC under the tutelage of Bradley Williams.
DARBY CLINARD – Clizia
Darby Clinard is a mezzo-soprano and Graduate Diploma student here at New England Conservatory, studying vocal performance with Karen Holvik. She recently received her Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory and has a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from James Madison University. Darby has previously appeared in New England Conservatory’s opera theatre productions of Dido and Aeneas (Dido) and The Dialogues of the Carmelites (Mère Marie). Ms. Clinard is so excited to be joining the wonderful company and faculty for the production of L’arbore di Diana.
BENEDICT HENSLEY – Doristo
Originally from Massachusetts, Benedict Hensley (Baritone) is happy to be back in New England pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at New England Conservatory where he studies with Carole Haber. He recently completed his Bachelor of Music at the Bienen School of Music studying under Theresa Brancaccio. Benedict has a particular interest in early music and concert music, recently singing as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. He has performed with Boston based opera companies such as The White Snake Project and The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble. His most recent operatic roles include Jim in New England Conservatory’s production of Jack Perla’s An American Dream; Apollo in Northwestern Opera Theater’s virtual production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo; and Bob in Northwestern’s OPUS production of The Old Maid and the Thief. Benedict has also had the privilege to study and perform under the tutelage of William Lewis and John McGuire at the Austrian American Mozart Academy.
MAEGAN HOOGERHYDE – Britomarte
Soprano Maegan Hoogerhyde is a second-year master’s student studying with Karen Holvik. She looks forward to playing Britomarte in her final opera performance at NEC. While at NEC, she has appeared in scenes as Servilia in La clemenza di Tito, Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Catherine in Le mariage aux lanternes, as well as in a concert of Handel arias. In June 2022, she sang the roles of First Lady and First Spirit in New Jersey Vocal Arts Collaborative’s production of Die Zauberflöte. She previously performed the roles of Asteria in Tamerlano and First Conversa in Suor Angelica. She has also performed in scenes as Frau Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, the title role in Semele, the Princess in Transformations, and Serpina in La serva padrona. Soli Deo gloria.
MINSUN IM – Endimione
Minsun Im is an engaging performer and educator. After graduating from Mannes School of Music, he entered NEC in 2022 where he studies with Ms. Carole Haber. A lyric tenor, his vocal color is brilliant, powerful, and colorful, and he has good coloratura skills. In addition to his many opera roles, he has performed in musical theater (Company) and has been soloist in such works as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in contemporary music and master’s degrees in classical music and musical theater with the respected master, ChunHee Han, who encouraged his musical studies.
THAI JOHNSON - Silvio
Thai Johnson is a young tenor from Marietta, Georgia who graduated from the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice (2019) and an Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance (2021). Mr. Johnson is lauded for his braveapproach to acting and singing while maintaining an openness which is inviting to the audience. Recent roles include Herr Frank/Monsieur Vogelsang (Der Schauspieldirektor), Fabrizio (TheLight in the Piazza), Prince Charmant (Cendrillon), and Dater #19 (Speed Dating Tonight!)He is equallycomfortable in the realm of musical theatre, performing the roles of Abel (Children of Eden) andMotel (Fiddler on the Roof).
JULIETTE KAOUDJI – Cloe
Mezzo-soprano Juliette Kaoudji’s most recent operatic performances were as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten, as Dido in Dido in Aeneas by Henry Purcell, Maman and Pâtre in L'Enfant et les sortilèges by Maurice Ravel, Nada in Svadba by Ana Sokolovic, and as Mère Jeanne in the The Dialogues of the Carmelitesby Francis Poulenc at the New England Conservatory’s Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre. Tonight she will be playing the role of Cloe in Vincente Martín y Soler’s L’arbore di Diana. A Boston Arts Academy alumna, she received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from NEC and is now in her final year of NEC’s Graduate Diploma program under the instruction of her voice teacher, Ms. Carole Haber.
GAYEON LEE – Amor
Soprano Gayeon Lee is from South Korea and is currently a master's student at New England Conservatory. She has played such roles as Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and First Witch in Dido and Aeneas. She was a district winner at LaffontCompetition (The Metropolitan Opera) in Kansas City 2023 and a winner of encouragementaward at The Gerda Lissner Song Competition 2022. She participated as a Professional Fellowat Songfest 2022 and will be an Art of Song Fellow in Toronto Summer Music Academy 2023.She performed at Jake Heggie's concert (2022) and at Boston Symphony Orchestra PreludeProgram with Anthony Davis (2023). Since she has performed a wide variety of songs, such asLiederabend, she has excelled in both song and opera. She studies with Lisa Saffer and LorraineNubar and will give her master’s degree recital in May 2023.
ILHEE LEE – Endimione
Korean tenor Ilhee Lee is pursuing his Graduate Diploma at New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Bradley Williams. In South Korea, he earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees under the tutelage of Attila Jun at the Seoul National University. He performed various roles, such as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Luigi in Giacomo Puccini’s Il Tabarro, Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the screw and Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In addition to tonight’s performance as Endimione in Vicente Martín y Soler’s L’arbore di Diana, he will perform the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. Ilhee Lee is the recipient of the Joan and Henry Wheeler Presidential Scholarship and the Tan Family Foundation Scholarship.
YUXIN LIU – Amor
Well-versed in many vocal styles, Chinese soprano Yuxin Liu's operatic repertoire includes Amor in L'arbore di Diana, Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Yuxin has also been a soloist in the Liederabend Song Series at New England Conservatory. Yuxin earned her bachelor’s degree at China Conservatory of Music and is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance at New England Conservatory under the instruction of Carole Haber.
KIMBERLY MARTINEZ – Clizia
Kimberly Martinez is a mezzo-soprano from Nutley, New Jersey. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Kimberly recently performed in NEC's outreach production of Hansel and Gretel as the Mother/Witch. In Spring 2022, she performed as a shepherdess, number, and frog in NEC’s production of L’enfant et les sortilèges. Kimberly is looking forward to this wonderful production of L’arbore di Diana and graduation in May.
RUOXI PENG – Britomarte
Ruoxi Peng is a Chinese soprano studying under MaryAnn McCormick at New England Conservatory pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. Originally from Beijing, China, Ruoxi earned her bachelor’s degree in 2021 from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Karen Holvik. Ruoxi will be singing Pamina in Mass Opera’s production of The Magic Flute in May. She has sung Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Serafina in Il Campanello, Carolina in Il Matrimonio Segreto and Nellie in Summer and Smoke for NEC’s previous graduate opera scenes. She also performed in Liederabend series at NEC. In 2022, she won second place in Mass Opera Vocal Competition.
HYUNGJN SON – Doristo
Baritone Hyungjin Son, from South Korea, is pursuing a master’s degree at NEC under the tutelage of Bradley Williams. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Seoul National University, and a Graduate Certificate from the Opera Institute at Boston University. Mr. Son has performed as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Mr. Putnam in If I were you, “Pa” Zegner in Proving up, and Sir Thomas in Mansfield Park. He has also performed as soloist in Brahms; Ein deutsches Requiem with the BU Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. As a studio artist at Aspen Music Festival, he covered the role of Ford in Falstaff with international bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the title role and covered the title role in Don Giovanni as well. He was named an encouragement winner in 2020, a district winner in 2022 in the Boston district, and a regional winner in 2023 in the New England Region of Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.
TERESA TUCCI – Diana
Italian-Canadian soprano Teresa Tucci is a versatile and dynamic performer of opera, operetta, musical theatre, acting, and dance. Currently, Teresa is fulfilling her master’s degree in Voice Performance at New England Conservatory where she studies under the tutelage of renowned tenor and professor, Bradley Williams. Most recently, Teresa had the pleasure of being featured in the opera department’s fall 2022 Perkin Opera Scenes as Despina in Così fan tutte, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro under the direction of Joshua Major. This past summer Teresa played the role of Musetta in Act II of Puccini’s La Bohème with Canto Vocal Programs in Louisville, Kentucky. Teresa is excited to debut as the lead role of Diana in tonight’s fully staged production of L’arbore di Diana by Vicente Martín y Soler.
XIAO XIAO – Cloe
Mezzo-soprano Xiao Xiao, a second-year Graduate Diploma candidate at NEC, recently became a district winner in The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition and made her Opera Theatre of St.Louis debut as Henrietta Wong in the premiere of Harvey Milk, covered Mercédès in Carmen, and covered Lucy in the premiere of Awakenings. She is excited to be invited back to OTSL in 2023 as a second-year Gerdine Young Artist, where she will be covering Dorabella in Così fan tutte, singing Sheperd boy in Tosca, singing Nancy in Albert Herring and Bertarido in Rodelinda in Center stage Concert with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Other roles performed including L’enfant in L'enfant et les sortilèges, Hiroko (Mama) in An American Dream, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Countess Rosina Almaviva in I Due Figaro (Mercadante), and La Prima Cercatrice in Suor Angelica. Scenes performed include Così fan tutte - Dorabella, L’italiana in Algeri - Isabella, L'incoronazione di Poppea - Poppea, Idomeneo - Idamante, Werther - Charlotte.
JIN YU – Silvio
Tenor Yujin, 25 years old, is a second year graduate student at New England Conservatory studying under renowned tenor Bradley Williams. He reprised his role as Tamino in the spring 2023 Jordan Hall production of Die Zauberflöte after performing it back in December 2018. His scene work includes: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Belmonte), La fille du régiment (Tonio), Turandot (Pong), Le Nozze di Figaro (Basilio), and L’Italiana in Algeri (Lindoro). He won the first prize in the "Korea Chuncheon International Vocal Competition" in April 2019, the "Wei Nian International Vocal Music Competition" in May 2019, the "Singapore Fresh Culture and Arts Festival in June 2019 and the "Xi'an Conservatory of Music Chinese Works Competition" in October 2020. Jin Yu holds a degree from the vocal music department of Xi'an Conservatory of Music.