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Meet Soloists Anna, Abigail, Matthew and Eric

The powerhouse voices you’ll hear at The Mozart Requiem have been heard in professional opera houses all over the world.

Meet the quartet who will bring the power, passion and drama of the Requiem to the Brico stage — Soprano Anna Christy, Mezzo-Soprano Abigail Nims, Tenor Matthew Plenk and Bass-Baritone Eric J. McConnell.

Anna Christy
Soprano

Anna ChristyPraised by The New York Times as “nimble of voice, body and spirit,” soprano Anna Christy continues to impress and delight audiences with an extraordinary blend of sparkling voice, powerful stage presence and innate musicality.

The 2018–2019 season saw Anna as Tytania in Robert Carsen’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera Philadelphia. She also debuted with Colorado Symphony Orchestra singing In Terra Pax conducted by Brett Mitchell. In 2017–18, Anna returned to the Canadian Opera Company as Gilda in Rigoletto. She also returned to Japan for performances of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with Seiji Ozawa. Other roles included the title role in Lucia de Lammermoor with the Florida Grand Opera, Marzelline in Fidelio with Boston Baroque and Adele in Die Fledermaus with Des Moines Metro Opera.

Anna Christy made her role debut as Gilda in Christopher Alden’s production of Rigoletto at the English National Opera. She was also seen at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Adele in Die Fledermaus and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at Central City Opera. Anna made a triumphant debut in her signature role of Cunegonde in Candide at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Anna began the 2012–2013 season as Cleopatra in a new production of Handel’s Julius Caesar at English National Opera, followed by concerts of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Stravinsky’s Le rossignol with Charles Dutoit and the NHK Symphony in Tokyo. She returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Lisette in the Nicholas Joel production of Puccini’s La rondine and Toronto audiences heard Anna as Lucia in the highly-acclaimed David Alden production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. She closed the season as Emily Webb in Ned Rorem’s Our Town with Central City Opera, followed by performances of Le feu, La princesse and Le rossignol in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges at the Saito Kinen Festival with Seiji Ozawa conducting.

Anna has been seen as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann at Lyric Opera of Chicago, followed by her role debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. She has also appeared as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Metropolitan Opera, Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the English National Opera. She returned to Santa Fe Opera as Kitty in the highly-acclaimed production of Menotti’s The Last Savage. Anna has performed Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the San Francisco Opera and sang the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at English National Opera. She appeared as Oscar in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera at both the Paris Opera and at the Royal Opera House-Covent Garden. She was Cunegonde in Robert Carsen’s production of Candide at English National Opera with further debuts at Teatro alla Scala and at Théâtre du Châtélet in the same production. Other opera credits include Lisette in La rondine with the San Francisco Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus in Japan conducted by Seiji Ozawa and Bianca in Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero with the Washington Concert Opera. She also appeared as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera with San Francisco Opera and as Constance in Robert Carsen’s production of Dialogues des Carmélites at the Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Andrew Davis. In addition, she made her debut at Opéra de Lille as Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm and directed by David McVicar.

On the concert stage, Anna has been a featured soloist in the New York City Opera Gala “American Voices” and portrayed Angela in a semi-staged version of Kurt Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall. She has performed Candide with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carmina Burana with the Saint Louis Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Candide and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. Other concert engagements have included appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Festival of Song and solo recitals in Japan.

Anna made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Papagena in Julie Taymor’s new production of Die Zauberflöte followed by Hortense in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Two more debuts followed with appearances as Muffin in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Zemire in Zemire et Azor. Other important engagements for Anna include her San Francisco debut as Angel More in The Mother of Us All conducted by Donald Runnicles and directed by Christopher Alden; Marzelline in a concert version Fidelio with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Los Angeles Opera; and Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music and Annabelle in The Glass Blowers with New York City Opera. She made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Jiang Ching in the world premiere of Madame Mao and later returned as Celia in Lucio Silla.

Selected by New York City Opera, Anna Christy is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award presented annually to nominees by two of Lincoln Center’s 12 resident arts constituents. She is also the recipient of a Richard Tucker Music Foundation Career Grant, the ARIA Award, Sullivan Foundation Grant, a Richard F. Gold Grant and the Shouse Debut Artist Award from Wolf Trap Opera.

Abigail Nims
Mezzo-Soprano

Abigal NimsMezzo-soprano Abigail Nims has established herself as a musician of integrity and versatility, garnering praise for her performances of repertoire from the Baroque to contemporary premieres.

Acclaimed for her committed interpretations and tonal beauty in the concert repertoire, Abigail has performed as soloist with renowned orchestras and festivals including the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the São Paulo Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Teatro Municipal, Santiago, Chile, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Boston Baroque, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park (Florida), the Indianapolis Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic and the Masterworks Choir and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. In Colorado, Abigail and has appeared as soloist with the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Boulder Philharmonic, the Colorado MahlerFest, and she is a regular soloist with the Colorado Bach Ensemble.

On the opera stage, Abigail has appeared in leading roles with companies throughout the United States and abroad including Wexford Festival Opera, New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Florentine Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Omaha, New Jersey Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, the Princeton Festival, Opera Delaware and Opera North.

She joined the voice faculty at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2013. Her prior teaching positions have included University of California, Berkeley and Yale University.

Matthew Plenk
Tenor

Matthew PlenkA graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Matthew made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2007–2008 season as the Sailor’s Voice in Tristan und Isolde under the baton of Maestro James Levine, a role he repeated under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. He has since returned to The Met as Arturo, Janek in The Makropolous Case, the Song Seller in Il Tabarro and Marcellus in Hamlet and appeared as Arturo in The Met’s 2011 tour of Japan. Other operatic engagements have included performances with the Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Virginia Opera, Atlanta Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Des Moines Metro Opera.

Matthew has appeared notably in concert performance with University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl (with Gustavo Dudamel), Boston Symphony Orchestra (with James Levine), Philadelphia Orchestra (with Charles Dutoit) and Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall. His festival performances include the Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Hartford Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Los Angeles based Musica Angelica Baroque, Connecticut Chamber Orchestra, University of North Carolina Symphony and Yale Philharmonia (conducted by Sir Neville Marriner).

In 2005, Matthew was one of 16 singers invited to work with Naxos Records and Yale University in a collaborative project to record the complete songs of Charles Ives.

He is a Samling Scholar and holds a bachelor’s degree from the Hartt School of Music and a master’s degree from Yale University. His many awards include Grand Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, First Place winner of the Five Towns Music Competition and Grand Prize winner at the Music Lovers Competition.

Eric J. McConnell
Bass-Baritone

Eric J. McConnell

Denver native Eric J. McConnell, bass-baritone, is quickly garnering acclaim in the American opera community for his distinctive dramatic voice and his theatrical interpretations of both comic and tragic characters. He began the 2019-2020 season with a return as an Opera Fellow to the Aspen Music Festival, where he performed the Sodbuster in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up and covered Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He then returned as an Artist in Residence at Opera Colorado, where he recently performed as Bartolo in the Student Matinee performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Previous seasons have seen McConnell in professional debuts with Opera Colorado (Figaro/Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro and Dr. Grenvil in La traviata), Central City Opera (Jailer in Tosca, William Jennings Bryan in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro), the Albany Symphony Orchestra (Elisha Fitzgibbon in the orchestral premiere of Evan Mack’s Roscoe, a performance featuring renowned soprano Deborah Voigt), Opera Saratoga (President Prexy in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock), and the SoBe Arts Institute (Science Officer Curium Black in the world premiere of Carson Kievman’s Intelligent Systems).

He has trained as a young artist with Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Opera Saratoga, the Aspen Opera Center and Seagle Music Colony. He holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. He returns to Opera Colorado in Spring 2020, singing Angelotti and study-covering Scarpia in Tosca.