Principal Cast


Princess Turandot – Rebecca Nash
Australian soprano Rebecca Nash recently triumphed in her debut as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer with Seattle Opera. This season, she joins Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as Turandot, sings Mendelssohn’s Elijah with San Antonio Symphony, and joins both the Phoenix Symphony and Orchestra Iowa for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Recent engagements include: Amelia in Un ballo in maschera (West Green Opera); Kaiserin in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Ópera de Bellas Artes); the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos (West Green Opera); Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle (Virginia Symphony); the title role of Káťa Kabanová (Oper Köln); and Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera).

Prince Calaf – Ta’u Pupu’a
Ta’u Pupu’a made his professional opera debut with San Francisco Opera in their world premiere of Heart of a Soldier in 2011. Ariadne auf Naxos soon followed with Heidelberg Opera marking his European debut, and at Tanglewood Festival. Previous engagements include CO2 (La Scala), The Ice Break (Birmingham), Salome (Hong Kong), Tosca (Hawaii), Rigoletto and Nabucco (Baltimore), Norma (Knoxville), Terrence McNally’s Masterclass (Kennedy Center) and Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci (Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre). A graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center, he attended Weber State University on a football scholarship during which time he was drafted to the N.F.L. to the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.

Liù – Chloé Olivia Moore
French and Canadian soprano Chloé Olivia Moore made her role debut as Nedda in I pagliacci with Dayton Opera, and sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Bar Harbor Music Festival in the 2016-2017 season. Recently, she made her company and role debut with Dayton Opera as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles, and with the Castleton Festival for Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. This season she will sing Liù in Turandot with two different companies. She is thrilled to make this role debut with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and will reprise the role later in the season with Dayton Opera.

Timur – Stephen Swanson
From 1975 to 1994, baritone Stephen Swanson was a full-time opera singer in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and The Netherlands. He toured extensively in North America and Europe, singing the title role in Victor Ullmann’s holocaust opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis. Since joining the faculty of The University of Iowa in 1994, Swanson has shifted his performing emphasis from stage works to theme-based recitals. He is delighted, however, for the opportunity to add Timur as his 103rd opera/operetta/music theater role to his extensive repertoire. Mr. Swanson has previously appeared with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre in performances of Madama Butterfly (Sharpless) and Die Zauberflöte (Sprecher).

Ping – Andrew McLaughlin
Andrew McLaughlin, baritone, earned his Master of Music degree from University of Maryland Opera Studio. He has performed with esteemed opera houses and symphonies around the country, including Washington National Opera, National Philharmonic Orchestra, and Virginia Opera. Favorite past roles include Gregorio (Roméo et Juliette), Schaunard (La bohème), and Judge/Captain/Brook (Candide). This season, he will perform Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera in the Heights. Mr. McLaughlin will be making his Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre début in Turandot.

Pang – Nicholas Nestorak
Nicholas Nestorak received his Master of Music in Voice degree from University of Michigan. As a rising tenor, he has performed numerous roles in opera companies all over the Nation. Favorite past roles include Gastone in La traviata with Opera Carolina, Tobias in Sweeney Todd with the Glimmerglass Festival, and Tonio in La fille du Regiment with Palm Beach Opera. Last summer, he performed Trin in La fanciulla del West with Opera Carolina and Physician in The Fall of the House of Usher and Spoletta in Tosca with Wolf Trap Opera. Upcoming, he reprises the role of Gastone in La traviata with Austin Lyric Opera.

Pong – Max Zander
Tenor Max Zander returns to Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre after covering Beppe in last season’s production of Pagliacci. Recent credits include Caius in Falstaff (Opera Saratoga), Harry in La Fanciulla del West (Apotheosis Opera), Remendado in Carmen (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), Parpignol in La bohème (Utah Festival Opera), and Anselmo in Man of La Mancha (Utah Festival Opera). He has been a Resident Artist with Indianapolis Opera and has been seen internationally with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in Canada, the Montefeltro Festival in Italy, and in recital in Vienna, Austria. He holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

L’Imperatore Altou
m – Jesse Donner
Tenor Jesse Donner has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, singing the roles of Froh (Das Rheingold), Helenus (Les Troyens), First Armored Man (Die Zauberflӧte), and Flavio (Norma). As a Ryan Opera Center member he has performed the roles of Abdallo (Nabucco) and Kellner (Der Rosenkavalier). The Des Moines native won the 2015 Luminarts Fellowship and the Bel Canto grand prize, received the 2014 George Shirley Award for Opera Performance, and first place in the 2012 Michigan Friends of Opera Competition. Donner completed graduate and post-graduate studies at the University of Michigan after earning a Bachelor of Music degree from Iowa State University.

Mandarino – Matthew Lau
Matthew Lau previously appeared as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and in La Traviata with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. He has appeared internationally with Teatro Lyrico Sperimentale, with Budapest Opera, and on Mezzo television in The Crucible. A regular with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he recently sang in the American premier of Philip Glass’ The Trial, Tobias Picker’s Emmeline, and in La Bohème, Marriage of Figaro, and A Little Night Music. He may also be heard on Naxos recordings of The Truth About Windmills, and the grammy award winning CD of Elmer Gantry by Robert Aldridge. Assistant Professor Lau also teaches for Simpson College.

Share with DiggShare with del.icio.usShare with FacebookShare with StumbleUponShare with reddit