Photo by Devon Cass.
A third-year Ryan Opera Center member, bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba, a native of Tempe, Arizona, earned a postgraduate certificate and master of music degree through the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He appeared there in roles by Mozart, Donizetti, and Nicolai. During his time in Winston-Salem he also appeared with Piedmont Opera as Ferrando/Il trovatore (also North Carolina Opera), Masetto/Don Giovanni, and Reverend Hale/The Crucible. Ollarsaba earned his bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and made his professional debut at Opera Cleveland as Antonio/Le nozze di Figaro. Concert engagements include the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival, Kansas City Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A grand finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ollarsaba is a former participant in the young-artist programs at Tanglewood (75th-anniversary gala, PBS telecast) and Music Academy of the West. As a 2012-13 resident artist at Minnesota Opera, he was featured in Nabucco, Anna Bolena and Turandot. He returned there in 2014-15 as Escamillo/Carmen (a role he portrayed previously at Tulsa Opera). The bass-baritone has performed in Lyric productions of Otello (debut), Madama Butterfly, Parsifal, La traviata, The Family Barber, Don Giovanni (stepping in to sing the title role), Capriccio, Anna Bolena, Tosca, and The Passenger. This upcoming season at Lyric, Ollarsaba will be featured in Bel Canto and Der Rosenkavalier.
Richard Ollarsaba is sponsored by Lois B. Siegel and Drs. Joan and Russ Zajtchuk.
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Ryan Opera Center 2015-2016 Ensemble