About eight months ago I was being interviewed with my director Christine Seitz on a local radio talk show about our production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in which I was playing the role of Bartolo. The interviewer asked Seitz what she thought the future of opera was, and she responded with a few remarks about the talented students at the university going on to have very successful careers in performance. She then went on to say that she believed composers were also responsible for the future of opera, and said, "Hans will write an opera for the Show-Me Opera program during his years here!" This was the first that I had heard of this, but there couldn't possibly be a more exciting way to find out about a commission! Seitz and I met later that week to talk about the specifics of the undertaking that is writing even a chamber opera. I told her my desire to write an opera with a brand new Sherlock Holmes story as the libretto, with fellow composer, genius, and novelist Jeremy Schwinger as my librettist. She was excited at the prospect of a Sherlock Holmes opera, and I got straight to work brainstorming with Jeremy about the plotline and characters as well as my musical aspirations for the chamber opera. The opera will be called "The Allenbach Amulet", and follows the story of Sherlock and Watson's investigation of the mysterious death of Sir Allenbach and the subsequent theft of the family's precious heirloom amulet. I am beyond excited to start working on this project, and I can't wait for it to come to fruition under the direction of Christine Seitz!
Christine Seitz, Associate Teaching Professor of Music, joined the faculty at the University of Missouri in the fall of 2008, where she is Director of Show-Me Opera and Voice Area Coordinator. She was a member of the stage directing staff for the Apprentice Artist Program at Des Moines Metro Opera from 2006 through 2013, and she was the founding Opera Director for the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, directing and producing operas there from 1992 through 2002. She has been a guest director for the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee (educational outreach productions), the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Luther College. She has created original translations and supertitles for productions at the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, the Pine Mountain Music Festival, the University of Wisconsin Madison, the Dubuque Symphony and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Christine Seitz is an established dramatic soprano, and she recently appeared with the Des Moines Metro Opera, singing the role of Madame Larina in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. She has also sung operatic roles with the Seattle Opera, the Dallas Opera, Madison Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Toledo Opera, Kentucky Opera, the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Central City Opera, and in Europe with the Wuppertaler Bühnen and the Stadttheater Bern. She sang the leading role of Anna Clemenc in the world premiere ofThe Children of the Keweenaw, by composer Paul Seitz and librettist Kathleen Masterson, at the 2001 Pine Mountain Music Festival. She has also sung in concert with the MU Choral Union, the Waukesha Symphony, the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Caramoor Festival, the Germanfest Symphony in Milwaukee, the Cincinnati May Festival and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. She has sung in numerous recitals in New York City and throughout the Midwest, collaborating with pianists Steven Blier and Jessica Paul, and she has presented voice workshops and master classes in Houghton, Michigan, and the University of California-Irvine.
Professor Seitz is currently the Central Region Governor of the National Opera Association. She received B.Mus. degrees in both applied voice and music education and an M.Mus. in applied voice from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, she was a two-time winner of the Eastern Wisconsin Metropolitan Opera District Auditions.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Hans Bridger Heruth is an award winning composer pursuing a degree in musical composition and vocal performance at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His works have been performed by various ensembles, both educational and professional. In addition to composing, Heruth is an accomplished pianist, violinist, singer, and conductor.