Rockford Coronado Concert Association’s final concert of the season

By Anne E. O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council

The Rockford Coronado Concert Association (RCCA) will host five artists from the Ryan Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. The concert is the fifth and final performance in the RCCA’s 2015-16 schedule.

“The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center prepares emerging singers and apprentice coaches for careers in opera by providing unique, comprehensive training.

Established in 1974 as the professional artist-development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world for more than four decades. That standing is maintained by providing the finest up-and-coming singers and pianists with unparalleled training and experience,” according to the Lyric Opera website.

The program is administered by Director Dan Novak, Music Director Craig Terry, Director of Vocal Studies Julia Faulkner, and Advisor Renée Fleming.

The RCCA is excited to bring these incredibly talented rising stars to our community.

The ensemble performing in Rockford includes Jesse Donner, second-year tenor. Donner’s studies were at the University of Michigan, where he was heard as Bacchus/Ariadne auf Naxos, title role/Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Lucano/L’incoronazione di Poppea. The Des Moines, Iowa, native received the 2015 Men’s Voice Fellowship from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in addition to many honors.

Mario Antonio Marra, holds a Bachelors of Music degree from New York University, where he studied with Marilyn Nonken and collaborative piano with Grant Wenaus.

Richard Ollarsaba, Bass-Baritone, graduated in May 2012 and since then has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Institute where he was chosen as a soloist for the 75th Anniversary Celebration of Tanglewood that was broadcast on PBS.

Annie Rosen, Mezzo-Soprano, began her first season at the Ryan Center jumping in as Mélisande/Pelléas et Melisande in rehearsal with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; she then “knocked the ball out of the park” (Chicago Classical Review) in her Lyric Opera company debut as Tisbe/La Cenerentola, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

Laura Wilde, Soprano, originally from Watertown, South Dakota. Wilde’s love of music began with the trumpet. While attending the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp as a trumpet player, she discovered her classical voice and was encouraged to also pursue that musical avenue as well.

The performance will include many well-known operatic arias, along with classical, contemporary and Broadway selections. Included in the performance are pieces from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, The Saga of Jenny from Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark, Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera, pieces from Carmen and Carousel, and others.

Tickets range from $30-$40 and can be purchased online at or by phone at 815-968-0595. Student tickets are $10. Group tickets are available by phone. For more information about the performance go to or contact Beth Howard at or at the Rockford Coronado Concert Association at 815-847-6314.

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