Turandot Touring
Shannon Jennings

Shannon Jennings

Soprano as Turandot

The Washington Post praised soprano Shannon Jennings for her dramatic intensity and vocal ability. She continues to wow critics and audiences alike. 

In the 2022-23 season, she performed the role of Mimì in La bohème with Kentucky Opera. Her 2021-22 season included making her house debut as the title role in Tosca with Opera Las Vegas, singing Mimì in La bohème with Newport Classical. This year she sings the title role in Rusalka with Opera Orlando, the title role in Turandot with Gulfshore Opera, and she returns to Opera Las Vegas to sing Mimì in La bohème. Ms. Jennings’ 2019-20 season included her debut as the title role in Tosca with Annapolis Opera, and her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra as the soloist in Michael Giacchino’s world premiere of ADVENT, to commemorate NASA’s 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. 

Pittsburgh in the Round hailed Ms. Jennings as “a vision… [singing] treacherously difficult music with what seemed to be the greatest of ease and with a voice of beautiful quality and quantity.” Ms. Jennings is an alumna of the Merola Opera Program.

Leonid Shoshyn

Leonid Shoshyn

Tenor as Calaf

Dramatic tenor Leonid Shoshyn is a hero on and off the stage. He is the lead Dramatic Tenor in residence at the Odessa National Opera in Ukraine. His roles in 2023 include Cavaradossi in Tosca, Manrico in Il Trovatore, and Calaf in Turandot.

 Since the invasion of his homeland, he has served 8 months of active duty. When he returned to the beloved city of his birth, Odessa, he and his colleagues bravely performed in the beautiful 19th-century Opera house while the city was attacked. In his words, “We heard the bomb alarms and all; performers, orchestra, and audience, quietly filed into the basement and waited two hours for the attack to finish. Then we went back upstairs and finished the opera.”

This young artist finished his graduate degree at the Akademia Operowa, a division of the Polish National Opera, in 2019. He has won several international competitions, and despite interruptions from COVID and war, he has managed to perform in important European companies, including German opera companies in Berin and Essen, St. Gallen in Switzerland, Polish National Opera in Warsaw, and National Moravian Opera in the Czech Republic. His repertoire includes Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Canio in I Pagliacci, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Paul in Die Tote Stadt, and Raymond in Jeanne d’Arc.

Sarah Tucker

Sarah Tucker

Soprano as Liu

Praised for “gleaming high notes and powerful phrasing” (San Diego Story), soprano Sarah Tucker is demanding attention for her captivating vocal timbre and engaging stage presence.

Ms. Tucker’s recent debut with San Diego Opera as Micaëla in Carmen was described as “heart-rending and soulful,” (Pacific San Diego) and Opera West praised her as “one of the loveliest soprano voices I’ve heard in years.” She sang the role of Mimì in La bohème with Gulfshore Opera in season 6 and 7; made debuts at Dallas Opera as Frasquita in Carmen, and at the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. With the Santa Fe Opera, Ms. Tucker sang the role of Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Other notable appearances include Jano in Jenüfa with the San Francisco Opera and Micaëla in Carmen at Utah Opera. Ms. Tucker returned to San Diego Opera in 2022 in her role debut as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.

Doug Jones as Emperor

Doug Jones

Tenor as Emperor

Doug Jones, tenor, has performed in prestigious opera houses in Europe as well as the U.S., including Covent Garden, Paris Opera Bastille, Grand Theatre de Geneve, Stadttheater Basel, Netherlands Opera, Opera Liceu in Barcelona, Oper Frankfurt, Israeli Opera Tel Aviv, Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, Opera de Nantes, Vienna Opera Theater, and the festivals of Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, and Bregenz.

In this country, he has performed with companies in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Long Beach, Dallas, Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Tulsa, Arizona, Austin, and the Bard Festival and the Hollywood Bowl (TURANDOT with Maestro John Mauceri). He is featured on the commercial TURANDOT DVD (singing Pong) from Covent Garden on the Opus Arte label.

Kenneth Stavert

Baritone as Ping

Praised for his strong “sense of theatricality,” Baritone Kenneth Stavert is a regular performer on stages throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He is passionate about the drama of his productions and has been hailed as “the real thing, a classic Verdi baritone with resonance, flexibility, and vigor.” Whether it is on the operatic or concert stage, he brings the same boldness to each performance

His 2023-24 season sees him returning to Vero Beach opera as Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Other notable performances include a concert performance as the title role in Sweeney Todd with HALO Opera as well as returning to Pacific Opera Project to sing Sharpless in a revival production of their Japanese language translation of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the famous Aratani Theater in Los Angeles.

Recent highlights include the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth with Heartbeat opera and the role of Don Carlo in Verdi’s Ernani with the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Kenneth also recently made his debut with the Southern Illinois Symphony as the Baritone Soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

Other notable role highlights for Kenneth include Marcello in La boheme (Dayton Opera, Newport Classical Music Festival, Gulfshore Opera, Pacific Opera Project) Scarpia in Tosca (Opera In The Heights) Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Opera In The Heights, Pacific Opera Project) Ponchel in Silent Night (Opera San José) and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos (Palm Beach Opera). Kenneth was last seen at Gulfshore Opera as Marcello in La boheme.

Leo Williams

Tenor as Pang

Leo Williams is a proud alumnus of Indiana University and recipient of The Georgina Joshi International Grant, The Jacobs Premier, and The Schmidt Foundation Scholarships. His stage credits at Indiana University include Don Giovanni, La fille du Régiment, Peter Grimes, The Crucible, The Consul, Rigoletto, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Samson et Dalilah, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Lucia di Lammermoor.

Williams has had an active performing career spanning Five continents appearing in: La bohème, L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Don Giovanni. Leo was a 2020 Opera Maya Studio artist, Berlin Opera Academy Principal Artist, and an Opernfest Prague Fellow. Recent debuts include: Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca for the Sitzprobe with The Naples Philharmonic, Spoletta in Puccini’s Tosca Gulfshore Opera (Naples, Fl), Macduff and Malcom in Verdi’s Macbeth (Australia), Don Ottavio, and Tamino in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte (Germany).

At the Head of this 23/24 season, Williams is set to star in the Opera Grand Rapids production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail as Belmonte, Lead the Boca Raton Sinfonia as Tenor Soloist in Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings, and return to Gulfshore Opera covering Prince Calaf and singing Pang in Turandot.

An avid lover of world travel and speaker of 5 languages with years of classical dance training, He is well recognized in South Florida’s Dance and Theatrical Arts community. Mr. Williams served as Assistant Professor of the IU Soul Revue acting as Vocal Coach, Teacher and Choreographer. Currently teaching as a private voice instructor he is also a Freelance soloist at the First Church of Christian Science Fort Lauderdale, &; Church by the Sea Bal Harbor.

Minghao Liu

Minghao Liu

Tenor as Pong

Minghao Liu is an international tenor praised for his easy, powerful high notes and well-polished bel canto musicality. He is fluent in English, Russian and Chinese.

In 2009, he went to Ukraine to study at the S.S. Prokofiev Music Conservatory in Donetsk, earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in opera. In 2014, he fled Ukraine because of the escalating war crisis and continued his studies at the University of Alberta, Canada.

In 2019, he appeared in his first opera, singing Tamino in Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte, at the Miami Music Festival, for which he received a glowing review in the South Florida Classical Music Review: “(Minghao) Liu produced tones with an easy lyricism, bringing gleaming notes to the upper register in his Act I aria.” In 2020, he won the Pesaro International Music Competition named after Rossini and was invited by MMF to perform during their first cruise tour show to entertain their board members.

Minghao was invited to cover Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia; for the 2021 Rossini Opera Festival, but it was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, he returned to Miami to study in the Frost School of Music. In the summer of 2021, he performed at the Savannah festival Sherrill Milnes, Jorge Parodi, and Howard Watkins. In late 2022, he received a contract to sing Almaviva at Gulfshore Opera in 2023, which Jorge Parodi introduced. Afterward, he covered L’italiana in Algeri at the St.Petersburg Opera in June. From July to August, he did his recital with Howard Watkins and Don Giovanni at the Andrew Bisantz Savannah Voice Festival.

After that, he performed Die Fledermaus with Opera Williamsburg. His upcoming engagements are Opera Tampa, Gulfshore Opera, and Amelia Island Opera. He is now represented by Wade Artist Management based in New York.

Tyler Putnam

Tyler Putnam

Bass/Baritone as Mandarin

Possessing a voice described as “robust and resonant” by TheatreMania and deemed a “standout” by Opera Magazine, bass-baritone Tyler Putnam is in demand in various repertoire.

Frequently engaged to sing traditional bass and bass-baritone roles, Tyler recently made his European opera debut, performing Sparafucile and Monterone in Rigoletto with Opera på Skäret in Sweden. His USA credits include Leporello in Don Giovanni with Gulfshore Opera and Light Opera of New Jersey; Oroveso in Norma with Opera Tampa; Colline in La bohème with Gulfshore Opera, Lakeland Opera, and the Missouri Symphony; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with St. Petersburg Opera, Florida; Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with Salt Marsh Opera; both Agent Ashby and José Castro in La fanciulla del West with Opera Orlando and Opera Omaha respectively; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with The Gulf Coast Symphony; Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro and Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Geneva Light Opera; Crespel in The Tales of Hoffmann with Opera Tampa; Masetto/Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Heartbeat Opera; Ceprano in Rigoletto at the Berkshire Opera Festival; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor at New Hampshire’s Opera North; Pistola in Falstaff with Manitoba Opera and le Moine in Don Carlos with Sarasota Opera.

World premieres, operetta and musical theatre further distinguish the broad scope of his abilities as a singer and actor. This season he originates the role of Cura Viejo in the world premiere of Fowler and Flack’s Behold the Man with Opera Las Vegas. He recently performed the villain Marduk in Cosmic Cowboy by Cerise Lim Jacobs and Elena Ruehr with White Snake Projects in Boston and he stood out as the Commentator in Andrew Wang’s Scalia / Ginsburg presented in Houston by Opera in the Heights. Other roles include Cox in the world premiere of Penelope Ann’s Revenge by composer Curtis Tucker, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Tampa, Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers with Winter Opera St. Louis, Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore with First Coast Opera, and Frank in Die Fledermaus with Opera Orlando. He received outstanding reviews as Luther Billis in South Pacific at Opera North and St. Petersburg Opera, and Macheath in Weill’s The Threepenny Opera with The Princeton Festival.

An apprentice at The Santa Fe Opera for two seasons, he debuted the role of Kobun in a workshop performance of Mark Campbell and Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, sang Zweiter Soldat in Salome, and originated the role of Thomas in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain on the main festival stage.

Bert K. Johnson

Bass as Timur

Bert K. Johnson is a distinguished bass opera singer with a robust background in vocal performance, underlined by his comprehensive education and a wide array of performance experiences across prestigious venues. Born and raised in New York, Johnson embarked on his musical journey at the University of North Texas, where he completed his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in 1999. He further honed his skills at the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Master of Music in Vocal Performance in 2001. His dedication and talent were recognized early on, leading him to apprentice under luminaries such as Richard Gaddes at The Santa Fe Opera, Marilyn Horne at the Music Academy of the West, and Louis Burkot at Opera North between 1997 and 2002.

Johnson’s career is marked by a series of notable opera roles that showcase his deep, resonant bass and his ability to convey complex emotions and character depth. His repertoire includes significant roles such as Timur in *Turandot*, the Commendatore in *Don Giovanni*, and Sarastro in *Die Zauberflöte*, among others. His performance as Sarastro, in particular, has been staged multiple times, reflecting his mastery of the role and its demands. Johnson’s skills have graced various esteemed stages, including the New York City Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Dallas Opera, and international venues such as Durham Cathedral in England.

In addition to opera, Johnson’s versatility is evident in his solo oratorio and orchestral engagements. He has performed major works by Bach, Schubert, Handel, and Mozart, demonstrating his adaptability and prowess in different musical settings. Notable performances include the *Bach St. Matthew Passion*, *Verdi Requiem*, and *Mozart Requiem*, presented in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Richardson Symphony.

Residing at 452 Fort Washington Ave., New York, NY, Bert K. Johnson continues to inspire and captivate audiences with his powerful performances and unwavering dedication to the art of opera singing. His journey from a promising music student to a celebrated bass opera singer underscores his passion, skill, and enduring contribution to the classical music landscape.