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Artist Biographies

Click here to view the biographies of our soloists in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman!

Louis Otey

Louis Otey – Dutchman

A major stage personality noted for his incisive and dramatic interpretations, baritone Louis Otey has performed with the leading theaters throughout the world. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Mr. Astley in Prokofiev’s The Gambler and his European debut as the title role in Eugene Onegin in Basel. The New York Times describes him as “ardent and moving. His baritone bloomed on sustained notes, which had a shimmering quality… a powerful performance.”

This past 2013 season he triumphed as ‘Grandier’ in Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun with the Royal Danish Opera. He  repeated his portrayal of the unjustly condemned priest in Warsaw, Poland in October  with the composer in attendance.

Other future engagements include the title role in Sweeney Todd at Coastal Carolina University following his outing as the title role in ‘Rigoletto’ at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice. In January he will make his debut in Vienna, Austria as ‘Francesco Foscari’ in I Due Foscari at Theater an der Wien with James Conlon conducting. In March he will do his first ‘Tonio’ in I Pagliacci with Hawaii Opera Theater and in April he will perform the title role in Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero with Anthony Pappano and the orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome and in London in May, 2014.

Mr. Otey made his Covent Garden return in the 2014-15 season in ‘I Due Foscari’.

He will perform the title role in Fying Dutchman with the South Dakota Symphony in March 2015, return to Copenhagen for the powerful role of Guy de Monfort in Les Vepres Siciliennes by Verdi, May .June 2015.

With the New York City Opera, Mr. Otey has performed Scarpia in Tosca, Escamillo in Carmen,the title role in Don Giovanni and Rigoletto, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro and Germont in a new production of La Traviata, which became an Emmy award-winning telecast. In the 2010-2011 season and beyond, he returned to the New York City Opera as Sam in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, as well as performing the title role of Macbeth in concert with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. The 2012 season saw a triumphant return to the Boston Youth Symphony in the title role of Falstaff and ‘Sharpless’ in Madama Butterfly alongside Yunah Lee as ‘Butterfly’ and Richard Troxell as ‘Pinkerton’.

Over the past seasons, he performed in the MET’s productions of Adriana Lecouvreur, Doctor Atomic, La Traviata and Thais, as well as Germont in La Traviata with Opera Birmingham, the title role of Macbeth at the Utah Symphony and Opera, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore at Opera Naples, Nekrotzar cover in Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic, and Le Pere in Charpentier’s Louise at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.

Additional recent, noted engagements in North America include Pascoe in Dame Edith Smith’s The Wreckers with the American Symphony Orchestra the title role in The Flying Dutchman with Austin Lyric Opera; the title role in Macbeth with Arizona Opera; Emile du Becque in South Pacific and Danilo in The Merry Widow with Hawaii Opera Theatre; Count di Luna in Il Trovatore with Portland Opera and Opera Pacific; Jokanaan in Salome with Connecticut Opera; Antony in Antony and Cleopatrawith the American Composer’s Orchestra; the title role in Rigoletto with Florentine Opera; and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Fieramosca in Benvenuto Cellini, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and the title role in ‘Falstaff’ with James Levine conducting among multiple other productions at the MET.

Additional noted European engagements have included Beatrice di Cenci in Geneva, Nazarie in the world premiere of Louis de Pablo’s La Senorita Cristina at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Ezio in Attila with Lyric Opera of Dublin, Escamillo in a concert performance of Carmen with the Israeli Philharmonic, Iago in Otello in Nantes (France), Arthur in Le Roi Arthus at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. He portrayed Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, a performance that was televised worldwide and is available on video and laser disc. Mr. Otey can also be heard as John Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul with Chandos, and on a recording of Tom Pasatieri’s adaptation of The Three Sisters.


Stacey Stofferahn

Stacey Stofferahn Uthe – Senta

She is beyond thrilled to make her American debut as Senta in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s production of The Flying Dutchman.  She recently made her international debut in the role with Opera Siam in Bangkok, Thailand.Other recentappearances include Christmas on the Prairie with members of the SDSO and Maestro Charles Smith, Tosca with West Bay Opera, Erste Damein Die Zauberflöte and Rosalinda in Die Fledermauswith Sounds of South Dakota, Violetta (in concert) in La traviatawith Heartland Bel Canto in Kansas City, and a return appearance with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in the Mozart Requiem.

​Stacey has appeared with regional companies and in venues abroad including Vlaamse Opera in Ghent, Belgium; Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lyric Opera San Diego, West Bay Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Townsend Opera, Gotham Bel Canto, Opera In The Ozarks, Jarvis Zarzuela Festival, Seagle Music Colony, and the Civic Opera of Kansas City.  Other favorite roles include Mimì(La bohème), Musetta (La bohème), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Hanna Glavari(The Merry Widow), Erste Dame(Die Zauberflöte), Fiordiligi(Così fan tutte), Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), Magda(La rondine) and Alice Ford(Falstaff).  Stacey’s solo concert repertoire also includes Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, the Rutter Requiem, and the Brahms Requiem. 

​Stacey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Augustana College, two Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC.  When Stacey isn’t hopping around the globe, she resides with her husband, Reed Uthe, in Kansas City, Missouri.  It is always a blessing to come home to South Dakota!


Michael Hendrick

Michael Hendrick – Erik

Metropolitan Opera debut as Menelas in Die Ägyptische Helena (Fabio Luisi, conductor); Midas in Die Liebe der Danae with Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland at Concertgebouw (Edo de Waart, conductor); as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera, Beyerischer Staatsoper, Seattle Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, L’Opera de Montréal, and Festival Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. Florestan in Fideliowith Palm Beach Opera, Opera Boston and at Ohio State University.

Title role in Samson et Dalila with Rome Opera at Teatro dell’Opera, Festival Amazonas de Ópera; Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Don José in Carmen, with Festival Ópera de a Coruña (Galicia, Spain), at Palacio de Festivales in Santander (Cantabria, Spain), with New York City Opera and Opera Pacific (U.S.); Enée in Les Troyens at Festival Amazonas (Laurent Campellone, conductor).

Title role in Parsifal with Festival Amazonas de Ópera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Title role in Lohengrin at Kolobov Novaya Theater in Moscow. Siegmund (Act One) of Die Walküre with Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse. Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Paul in Die Tote Stadt with Opéra National de Lorraine. The Stranger (der Fremde) in Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane with London Philharmonic Orchestra. Tambour-Major in Wozzeck (James Levine, conductor) at the Metropolitan Opera.

Title role in Verdi’s Aroldo with ABAO in Bilbao, Spain; Title role in La clemenza di Tito with the National Symphony Orchestra, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Christopher Hogwood, conductor). Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor with Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (U.S.); Verdi’s Requiem with the National Philharmonic (U.S.), Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and Festival Amazonas.

Sergei in excerpts from Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and The Nose, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor); Ghermann in Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Vodémon in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta in New York; Levko in Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night with Sarasota Opera; Shuisky in Boris Godunov with Milwaukee Symphony.

Laca in Jenufa with Asociacion Bilbaina de Amigos de la Opera (ABAO) OLBE in Bilbao, Spain; at Teatro Cervantes in Málaga, Spain; Arizona Opera; Utah Opera and Sarasota Opera. Dvorak’s Psalmus Hungaricus with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Chairman Mao in Nixon in China (John Adams, conductor) at the Metropolitan Opera. Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia at Lincoln Center’s New York City Opera (Christopher Alden production). Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men with Washington National Opera (Francesco Zambello production, awarded Washington National Opera’s 2001 Artist of the Year); Sarasota Opera; Kentucky Opera; Utah Opera and Arizona Opera.

Das Lied von der Erde with Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse; Festival Amazonas; Brevard Music Festival; Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra; Pensacola Symphony Orchestra; and ELO Orchestra in New York City (Christopher Alden production). Das klagende Lied with Orquestra Nacional de España (Madrid); Philadelphia Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Most recently: Lost Childhood with National Philharmonic Orchestra; In 2014 Mr. Hendrick returns to Sarasota Opera as Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer.


Craig Hart

Craig Hart – Daland

Craig Hart, bass, has had a privileged singing career both in opera houses and concert stages worldwide.  From the Metropolitan Opera, NYC, to the Ulaanbaatar Opera House, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, his versatile bass voice has allowed him to perform repertoire from Bach to Wagner. In February he returned from Recife, Brazil, where he performed in recital at the Academia das Artes.  As a soloist, Craig’s concert repertoire includes Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah (title role), Hadyn’s Creation as well as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  He has appeared with such orchestras as the Wichita Symphony, Westfield Symphony, North West Symphony, and Utah Festival & American Chorus conducted by Dr. Craig Jessop.

In 2011, Mr. Hart made his Carnegie Hall debut with the OONY singing the role of Principe de Buillion in Adrianna Lecouvreur with Jonas Kaufmann and Angela Gheorghiu.  Some opera companies he has appeared with include the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Utah Festival Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Portland Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Nashville Opera and Opera Santa Barbara.

He has performed over forty roles including Boris Godunov, King Philip II, Sarastro, Don Giovanni and many more.   Mr. Hart’s debut in the role of Christ was a morning broadcast preceding the funeral of Pope John Paul II. The late Jerome Hines chose Mr. Hart to succeed him in the role that was created and performed exclusively by Mr. Hines. Craig studied voice with and was mentored by Jerome Hines for eight years until Hines passing in 2003.


Emily Toronto Headshot

Emily Toronto – Mary

Mezzo-soprano Emily Toronto is an Associate Professor of Music and Director of Opera at South Dakota State University.  A Utah native, Dr. Toronto received both a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan.  She has performed nationally with numerous artistic companies including Michigan Opera Theatre, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Opera, Michigan Opera Works, the Ann Arbor Festival of Song, the South Dakota Symphony and Sounds of South Dakota.

In opera, her professional highlights include the role of Thisbe in La Cenerentola, the role of the Mother in The Consul, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and the Lakota/Norwegian Mother in the Heartland Opera premiere of the chamber opera The Trickster and the Troll.  Her performance of Antonia’s Mother in a Michigan Opera Theatre production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann was described by Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press as, “…the night’s finest hour.”  She is also active in bringing opera to young audiences and has performed in over seventy-five presentations of operas for children in schools throughout South Dakota, Ohio and Michigan.


heath huberg b&w2

Heath Huberg – Steersman

American tenor Heath Huberg, praised for his “sweettoned lyricism” (San Francisco Chronicle), is thrilled to be singing on some of America’s premier opera stages.  His recent engagements have included some of the finest young artist training programs in the world, such as the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, where he sang Almaviva in Il barbiere di Sivigla; the Santa Fe Opera, where he was heard in world premiere performances of Life is a Dream; Sarasota Opera, Utah Symphony and Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera.

As a studio artist with Sarasota Opera, Mr. Huberg portrayed Beppe in Pagliacci.  He also performed Delil and the Prior of Milan in Verdi’s rarely seen gems Giovanna d’Arco and I Lombardi.  He launched Sarasota’s American Opera Series with his Giles Corey depiction in The Crucible. As a last-minute replacement, he sang performances of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, winning “long and rapturous applause” (Palm Beach Arts Paper) for his accomplishments. Huberg returned as a principal artist on Sarasota Opera’s stage in 2012 as Cassio in Otello and Remendado in Carmen. In 2013, Mr. Huberg performed Nadir in Sarasota Opera’s production of Les pêcheurs de perles.

Further 2012 artistic endeavors included debuts with Opera Southwest as Iago in Rossini’s Otello, as a featured soloist with Opera Omaha and the Omaha Symphony in their annual Choral Collaborative,and with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Spectacular.

2013 found Mr. Huberg’s return to both Opera Southwest and Opera Omaha.  At Opera Southwest, he reprised Don Ottavio in a roaring 1920’s version of Don Giovanni. While at Opera Omaha he was engaged in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic, The Great Gatsby. Mr. Huberg performed the role of Jay Gatsby in a fully-staged, highlighted version of Harbison’s opera.

Mr. Huberg returned to Des Moines Metro Opera in the summer of 2013, making his principal artist debut with the company.  Huberg played the role of volatile Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette “with convincing menace” (Des Moines Register).

Some of Huberg’s other recent engagements include tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah (Utah Symphony & Simpson College Concert Series), Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (Utah Symphony), and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Dubuque Symphony Orchestra).

Some 2014 engagements include a return to Sarasota Opera to perform Gaston in Verdi’s Jèrusalem and Borsa in Opera Omaha’s production of Rigoletto.

Huberg holds a Bachelor of Music from Simpson College in Iowa and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he graduated with honors.  He was a 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Rocky Mountain Regional Finalist and 2010 recipient of the Gunther & Ilsa Kern Artist Grant at Sarasota Opera.

Heath and his wife reside in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.