Meet the Cast of Tosca | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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Meet the Cast of Tosca

a square with six headshots in two rows. the word Tosca is on top, with a knife

Soprano Rochelle Bard

Rochelle Bard, Soprano | Floria Tosca, Renowned Singer

Soprano Rochelle Bard has been described as an "exquisite singing actress" specializing in bel canto and Verdi repertoire. Her performances include the title roles of Tosca, Norma, Aida, Maria Stuarda, and Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as Odabella in Attila, Violetta in La traviata, Leonora in Il trovatore, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, at companies such as Opera Tampa, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Knoxville Opera, and Utah Festival Opera.

Described as "absolutely magical" for her portrayal of Tosca in Hawaii, critics also acclaimed her performance in La traviata: "Bard became Violetta by not only convincing acting, she incorporated the character and her joys and woes into her vocal delivery, much in the way that made Maria Callas a legend."




Tenor Yongzhao Yu

Yongzhao Yu, Tenor | Mario Cavaradossi, Painter

Yongzhao Yu won the Audience Choice Award and the Ana María Martínez Encouragement Award in Houston Grand Opera's 2015 Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias. In 2023, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Flavio in Norma, earning praise for his "clear, penetrating voice and ease on stage" (New York Classical Review). He later joined their productions of La bohème and La traviata. He performed in an Eternal Verdi concert in Shanghai in honor of the bicentenary of Verdi's birth. In the 23-24 season, he will perform the role of Lieutenant Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Houston Grand Opera, join the Irish National Opera as Alfredo in La traviata, return to New Orleans Opera to perform the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and continue his relationship with the Metropolitan Opera, covering Rodolfo in La bohème. 




Baritone Aleksey Bogdanov

Aleksey Bogdanov, Baritone | Baron Scarpia, Police Chief

Ukrainian-born American baritone Aleksey Bogdanov continues to establish himself as one of the most compelling performers of his generation. His 23-24 season engagements include a debut with Palm Beach Opera in Tosca (Scarpia), returns to San Francisco Opera for Lohengrin (Telramund cover), and Chicago Opera Theater for a new Francesca Zambello production of Shostakovich's The Nose (Kovalyov). Concert appearances include Scarpia in Tosca with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and a Rachmaninoff recital with the Clarion Society in NYC.





Bass Wilbur Pauley

Wilbur Pauley, Bass | Cesare Angelotti, Fugitive

Bass Wilbur Pauley is thrilled to be making his debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra as a recently minted Michigander and now a new Kalamazoo resident!

In four decades as a professional entertainer, Pauley has accumulated credits in a variety of musical and theatrical disciplines. His work in classical music extends from medieval liturgical dramas to contemporary operatic premieres, including roles in The Ghosts of Versailles at The Met, McTeague and Amistad at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Atlas and Where's Dick? at Houston Grand Opera, and Haroun and the Sea of Stories at New York City Opera.

Outside the classical music world, Pauley has appeared twice on Broadway: in the Peter Hall production of The Merchant of Venice (with Dustin Hoffman) and in the musical Band In Berlin. His voice can be heard on 11 Disney film soundtracks, including the original Beauty and the BeastAladdinPocahontasand Tangled.



Bass-baritone Stephen West

Stephen West, Bass-baritone | Sagrestano, Church Caretaker

In a long and distinguished career, bass-baritone Stephen West has appeared with many of the finest opera companies in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Bayreuth Festival, New York City Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among many others. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras in Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Hollywood Bowl. He has starred in over 35 musicals and received the Drama-Logue Magazine Critic's Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He is currently a professor of music in voice in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. He resides in Dexter, MI, with his lovely wife, Amy, and three wonderful young adult children.





Tenor Yinghui He

Yinghui He, Tenor | Spoletta, Police Officer

Tenor Yinghui He made his professional debut in 2022, performing the role of Frederick in Cedar Rapids Opera's production of The Pirates of Penzance, staged by Gregory Keller. With versatile vocalism and flexibility in dynamics, Yinghui He has performed a variety of leading tenor roles, including Rinuccio from Gianni Schicchi, Tamino from The Magic Flute, Don Ottavio from Don Giovanni, and Aeneas from Dido and Aeneas.

He was recently selected as a Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist at Virginia Opera to perform the role of Prince Yamadori and cover the role of Goro in Virginia Opera's production of Madama Butterfly, led by Maestro Adam Turner and Director Mo Zhou.




Carl Ratner

Carl Ratner, Bass | Jailer

Carl Ratner, baritone, has performed the title roles in Verdi’s Falstaff and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, as well as Papageno in The Magic Flute and John Proctor in The Crucible. With the Kalamazoo Symphony, he previously appeared in the roles of the Marchese in La Traviata, Benoit in La Bohème, and Ping in Turandot. A frequent recitalist and oratorio soloist, he has sung in 14 languages, and performed in 10 states and 6 European countries.

Ratner began his career as an opera director/stage manager and learned his craft assisting directors, including eminent composer Gian Carlo Menotti, at the world’s major opera houses, including the Royal Opera (Covent Garden) in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Munich Opera, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, among others.






Tenor Ryan Henry


Ryan Henry, Baritone | Cover for Baron Scarpia

Mexican American baritone Ryan Henry has found a home onstage, portraying bold characters with a dedication to a strong stage presence and vocal dramatism. He is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he earned his master’s degree in vocal performance under the tutelage of Dr. Quinn Patrick Ankrum. Henry will be continuing his studies at CCM in the fall of 2024 to earn his Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance. While studying at CCM, he has performed the roles of Dr. Rappaccinni in Rappaccini’s Daughter by Daniel Catán, Junius in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Tommy McIntyre in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers.





Tyler Middleton, Bass | Sciarrone, Police Officer

Siya Gupta, Soprano | Shepherd

Tags: Opera, tosca