FIDELIO Soloists

Marcelline (Lauren Williams)

A Soprano from Riverview, Florida, Lauren has been seen in such roles as Casilda in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers, Lauretta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Natalie (Valencienne) in Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow, Annina in Verdi's La Traviata, Adele in Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Lady Psyche in Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida, Pitti Sing in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, and Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. She has been succesful in vocal competitions, winning prizes at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions, and was a recipient of the Anne Roselle Vocal Award and the prestigious Presser Foundation Scholarship. As a student, Lauren was also a featured soloist with the FSC chorale ensembles and was a soloist in The Bach Festival of Central Florida's 39th Annual performance. In 2014 she was a guest soloist singing "O Holy Night" in the Holiday Reflections Florida Southern College Christmas Gala featured on the WEDU Public Broadcating Station (PBS) and, more recently, joined the Gainesville Civic Chorus and UF Choral Union as a soloist in their performance of Russell Wilson's Prelude to Glory. Since graduating from Florida Southern College with a B.M. in Voice Peformance, she has been seen performing with companies including The Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Opera Tampa, Opera Orlando, New Century Opera, Miami Lyric Opera, The Gilbert and Sullivan Players in Tarpon Springs, and The Gainesville Civic Chorus.

Leonora/Fidelio (Michelle Sund)

Michelle Smith-Sund is a dramatic soprano that has been studying opera locally with the incomparable Stella Zamabalis and in New York City with Lorraine Nubar of the Julliard School and Pierre Valet of the Metropolitan Opera. Her operatic credits include: Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Margherita/Elena-Helen of Troy in Boito's Mephistopheles, Isolde in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Senta in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Antonia in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman and Lady MacBeth in Verdi's MacBeth. Michelle has also participated in numerous opera festivals and master classes in New York City, Central Florida as well as the Tampa Bay area.

Florestan (Russell C. Andrade)

Portuguese-American Jugendlicher Heldentenor, Russell C. Andrade was hailed as having a “liquid, clear as a bell tenor quality” to his voice and a “big beautiful tenor voice perfect for heroic roles” in the American press after his debut with the Vermont Philharmonic and renowned Metropolitan Opera bassist/conductor, Louis Kosma. He has participated in recitals and concerts as a leading operatic tenor with orchestras throughout the United States of America and, more recently, Brazil and India.

As a leading tenor, Mr. Andrade has performed the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the world renowned Teatro Simon Bolivar in Sao Paolo, Brazil; the role of Don Jose in Carmen at the historic Hubbard Hall in upstate New York; and covered the role of Romeo in Romeo et Juliette with the St. Petersburg Opera in St. Petersburg, Florida where he was recently called back to cover Canio in I Pagliacci. As a recitalist, Mr. Andrade has performed all over the southeastern United States, in Firenze, Italy, in Dubai, U.A.E., and in Goa, India. He has performed with numerous orchestras and concert bands around the world, including the Northwinds Symphonic Band and the Vermont Philharmonic.

In addition to his singing, Mr. Andrade is also a musical composer, having written and produced three operas to rave reviews, and several chamber pieces that have been performed around the United States. He has studied and performed with the renowned tenor Dr. Gregory Broughton, former Army Chorus bass-baritone Ronald Billingsley, and with Metropolitan Opera artists like Stanford Olsen, Eduardo Valdes, Caren Levine, Robert Morrison, Jane B. Klaviter, George Darden, and Louis Kosma. He has performed in various oratorios around the country including Elijah, The Crucifixion and The Messiah. Awards he has received include the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition’s Georgia District Encouragement Award, the Bel Canto Institute Performance Award, and the Bel Canto Institute Orchestral Performance Award.

Jaquino (Matthew Ruley)

Matthew Ruley is thankful to Constantine for his return to the New Century Opera. He has been seen in past NCO productions of Das Reingold, Tales of Hoffman, and Lucia di Lammermoor. He has also been seen on the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center stage in The Sound of Music, as well as comedy performances with his wife, Suzanne. A resident of Palm Harbor, Mr. Ruley has performed extensively in the Southeast and the Midwest in opera and musical theater. His credits include a wide variety of roles from Vicar Gedge in Albert Herring to Billy Crocker in Anything Goes to Eisentein in Die Fledermaus.

Pizarro (Kevin Nickorick)

Kevin Nickorick is a versatile vocalist who began his operatic career with the Toronto Opera Repertoire. Locally, he has performed with the St. Petersburg Opera, and is a regular with the New Century Opera, Sunstate Opera, and Florida Lyric Opera. His portfolio of over 36 roles in 28 operas covers the gamut from the effervescent Goro (Madama Butterfly) to Tristan in the demanding Wagnerian opera, Tristan and Isolde. His many appearances with the Treasure Coast Opera in Ft. Pierce also include a children’s version of the Barber of Seville which he edited and staged and which was enthusiastically received by thousands of school children in St. Lucie County. He has most recently appeared in the New Century Opera production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Rocco (Jamie Bierchen)

Jamie Bierchen is well-known to both Tarpon and Pinellas audiences as he has directed numerous award winning productions including Annie Get Your Gun and Kiss Me, Kate which won numerous STAR Awards including for Musical Production and Director.

Other shows he has directed in Tarpon include The Sound of Music, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, Oliver, The King and I, The Music Man, I Do I Do, The Mousetrap, and The Little Mermaid to mention just a few. Although his productions have won awards in every award category, the awards he is most proud of is his daughter, Jennifer's, back-to-back STAR awards for Actress in a Musical for Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, and Luisa in The Fantasticks.

On the Tarpon stage you may have seen him as Renfield (Dracula), Loge (Das Rheingold), Monostatos (The Magic Flute), the Scarecrow (The Wizard of Oz), Alan (Babes in Toyland), Lutin (Fallen Fairies), Giuseppe (The Gondoliers), the Knave (Alice in Wonderland), Brian Runnicles (No Sex Please, We're British), the Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance) Strephon (Iolanthe), and as King Gama (Princess Ida). He was most recently seen as Ko-Ko in The Mikado.