The passionate melody and lyrics of arias, duets, trios, and choruses by Mozart, Bizet, Puccini, Verdi,Masagni, and Wagner come to life when the South Bend Lyric Opera and Vesper Chorale join the Symphony for this dynamic performance. 


Streaming Sample


Aha! With Alastair – Episode 18: A Night at the Opera with Emanuel-Cristian Caraman


Alastair Willis, Music Director
South Bend Lyric Opera
Anya Matanovič, soprano
Emanuel Cristian-Caraman, tenor
Morgan Smith, baritone 

Vesper Chorale
Jeshua Franklin, director


Mozart – Magic Flute
“Heil sei euch Geweihten”

Donizetti – L’elisir d’amore
“Venti scudi”
“Quanto amore”

Donizetti – Don Pasquale
“Tornami a dir che m’ami“

Bizet – Carmen
“Je dis que rien”
“March and Chorus”

Mascagni – Cavalleria R

Puccini – Turandot
“Nessun Dorma“

Puccini – La Boheme
“Quando me’n vo’”
“O Mimi, tu piu non torni”
“O suave fanciulla”

– Intermission –

Wagner – Rienzi

Verdi – Nabucco
Va pensiero”

Kevin Puts – Silent Night
“Blessés. Grabert, Pierre”

Jake Heggie – Moby Dick
“Captain Ahab, I must speak with you”

Puccini – Tosca
“Vissi d’arte”
“E lucevan le stelle”
“Te Deum”

About the South Bend Lyric Opera 

Over its initial four seasons, the South Bend Lyric Opera has garnered the esteem and patronage of a dedicated audience, thankful for the opportunity to witness both emerging and established talents grace intimate stages. This professional ensemble is committed to upholding the artistic integrity of opera, focusing not only on stellar performances but also on maximizing the potential of each performance space.

At its core, the South Bend Lyric Opera seeks to expand the reach of high-quality opera performances to the broadest audience possible within the South Bend community. Committed to a leadership role in the sphere of arts education and audience development, the opera is a beacon of creativity and innovation. By nurturing talents and fostering community engagement, the opera aims to perpetuate and enrich the vibrant and time-honored tradition of operatic excellence, inviting everyone to be part of this captivating journey.

About Musical Arts Indiana

Since 1993, Musical Arts Indiana has provided engaging and excellent presentations of music through its ensembles, Vesper Chorale, Vesper Chamber Orchestra, Children’s Choir of Michiana, and Consortia. Whether presenting time-honored masterworks, visiting local music classrooms, collaborating with local universities and arts organizations, singing repertoire both new and old, or simply revelling in the joy of making music together, Musical Arts Indiana works tirelessly to fulfill our mission of transforming audiences through music!  


About Tasha Hokuao Koontz

Native Hawaiian soprano Tasha Hokuao Koontz has lent her “accurate, powerful voice” (Broadway World) to a gallery of leading operatic ladies and has been recognized by Parterre Box for her “sumptuous, gleaming lyric instrument” and by Opera Wire for her “secure silvery high notes.”

In 2024, Tasha will make her South America debut singing the title role of Tosca with Opera Nacional de Chile. In the same year, she returns to San Diego Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.

In 2023, Tasha joined San Diego Opera to perform the roles of Nella in Gianni Schicchi and Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica. A company favorite, Koontz debuted with San Diego Opera as Annina in La Traviata in 2017, and subsequently performed the roles of Edith in Pirates of Penzance, Frasquita in Carmen and High Priestess in Aïda, and covered the role of Mimì in La Bohème sung by Ana Maria Martinez. She also sang the role of Catrina in a 2019 workshop performance of El último sueño de Frida y Diego, written by Pulitzer Prize- winning playwright Nilo Cruz and Latin GRAMMY® Award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Ms. Koontz subsequently originated the role of Frida Image 1 in the world premiere performances of Frank’s opera in 2022. In San Diego Opera’s 2021 concert entitled, “One Amazing Night,” Koontz “wowed with a knockout performance” (San Diego Union Tribune).

Other 2023 performances include a debut with the Camarada Chamber Ensemble singing Brahms Op.91 Zwei Gesänge and Bach Cantata BWV 209, the Brahms Requiem with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, the Rachmaninov Vocalise and Poulenc Gloria with the Helena Symphony, and the world premiere of a two person chamber opera, Her New Home, written by composer Polina Nazaykinskaya and librettist Konstanin Soukhovetski with the prestigious Garth Newel Piano Quartet at the Garth Newel Summer Festival. Ms.Koontz will also return to the Del Mar International Composers’ Symposium in August to continue to bring new music to life with up and coming composers.

Ms.Koontz returned to San Diego Symphony in 2022 to sing selections from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt under Conductor Laureate Jahja Ling as well as to cover the soprano solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Ms. Koontz also had the honor of being invited to participate in a master class led by esteemed conductor Riccardo Muti of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra singing selections from Un Ballo in Maschera. Other 2022 performance highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Glacier Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the San Diego Festival chorus & Orchestra as well as the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Schubert’s Mass in G with the San Diego Festival Chorus & Orchestra, and a concert performance of Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Fortissima Collective.

In 2019, Koontz made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim, bringing her “fulsome, penetrating soprano voice” and “unflappable poise” (Chicago Sun Times) to the role of High Priestess in Verdi’s Aïda under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti. Koontz was slated to make her return to the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus in 2022 in Mahler’s Second “Resurrection” Symphony but, unfortunately, due to the covid-19 pandemic those performances were canceled. She is scheduled to return for the performances of Brahms’ Requiem in 2023. There, she has previously been seen as a soloist in Bach’s Cantata No. 106, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.

A frequent concert soloist, Koontz was to make her debut with Palomar Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), North Coast Symphony Orchestra (“Songs and Dances,” Songs by Lewis Carroll), MiraCosta Symphony Orchestra (Corigliano’s Fern Hill) and the Oregon Music Festival (Orff’s Carmina Burana), all postponed due to the COVID- 19 pandemic. Prior, she sang as soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the San Diego Symphony, Vivaldi’s Gloria with the San Diego Festival Chorus & Orchestra, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the California Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Handel’s Messiah, Poulenc’s Gloria, Bach’s B minor Mass, and Fauré’s Requiem and has appeared with the Chicago Arts Orchestra, and orchestras of Newfoundland, Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and Northwestern University.

Additional roles and houses on Koontz’s résumé include Violetta in La Traviata and Mimì in La Bohème with Opera on the Avalon, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Bay View Music Festival, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Central City Opera, Alice Ford in Falstaff with Indiana University Opera Theater and with /kor/ Productions in Chicago, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro with Northwestern University, and Woman 1 in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath with Sugar Creek Opera. She also performed the role of Violetta in La Traviata in a production with the Fortissima Collective, an organization Koontz co-founded in 2021 to create performance opportunities for women and artists from underrepresented communities in Southern California.

Ms. Koontz took first place in the Musical Merit Foundation Awards competition and the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Young Artist Competition, second place in the Susan and Virginia Hawk Vocal Scholarship Competition, and was the recipient of an encouragement award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Western Region. She was also chosen to compete in the semi-finals of the Belvedere Competition, the Premiere Opera Competition, and the Mentoris Vocal Competition and was named a Finalist in the

Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition and the Zenith Opera Competition. She has also won awards and recognition in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Illinois and Indiana Districts and Central Region as well as the San Diego District and Western Region, the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Competition, the Bel Canto Foundation Competition, and the Brava! Opera Theater Competition.

Ms. Koontz earned her master’s degree in music from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she studied with acclaimed soprano Carol Vaness, and received her bachelor’s degree in music from Northwestern University.


Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, Tenor

Throughout his career Romanian tenor and recording artist, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman has appeared with opera companies, symphony orchestras in Europe, South America and North America, including many prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Ateneul Roman in Bucharest, and Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna. Mr. Caraman has performed with Los Angeles Opera, George Enescu International Music Festival in Bucharest, Miami Lyric Opera, Die Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie in Bremen, CBA Symphony in Chicago, Düsseldorf Lyric Opera, South Bend Lyric Opera, Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Opera in the Heights in Houston, New England Chamber Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and New Philharmonic Orchestra.

Operatic highlights include Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana, Il Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Alfredo in La Traviata, Don José in Carmen, Fritz in L’Amico Fritz, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Tamino in Die Zauberflote, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Count Danilovitch in Merry Widow.

As a distinguished concert performer Mr. Caraman has performed the tenor solos in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mendelsohn’s Elijah, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Bach’s Magnificat, Ramirez’s Misa Criolla, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Haydn’s Stabat Mater, Brukner’s Te Deum and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.

Lawrence Budman of South Florida Classical Review remarked: “The tomb scene can be anti-climactic after Lucia’s final collapse but not with Caraman’s impassioned singing. Before Edgardo’s stabbing himself to join his beloved in heaven, Caraman vaulted “Tu che a Dio” to the rafters, sung with golden tone and big-boned fervor.”

In 2014 Mr. Caraman recorded Spanish composer Jorge Muniz’ vocal catalog written for tenor, cello and piano. In August 2018, Afinat Records, released the album, with the title Cantos del Emigrante.

In 2017, Mr. Caraman was the recipient of the Michiana 40 under 40 recognition award, conferred by South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. In May of 2018, Mr. Caraman, received first place in the American Prize Oratorio Award, for an outstanding vocal symphonic artist.

Mr. Caraman is the general and artistic director of South Bend Lyric Opera in South Bend Indiana, the director of opera studies and assistant professor of voice at Western Michigan University.

In 2008, Mr. Caraman received his Doctor of Music degree from Bucharest Conservatory of Music within The National Music University in Bucharest

Morgan Smith, Baritone

American baritone Morgan Smith is one of the most prolific performers of modern operatic repertoire in the world. Known for his riveting dramatic portrayals and the power and beauty of his voice, Smith has been entrusted to create 16 roles in world premieres, including Starbuck in Jake Heggie’s widely celebrated Moby-Dick. 

He has also earned universal praise for performances in the traditional repertoire, notably Scarpia (Tosca), Escamillo (Carmen), the title role of Don Giovanni, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Count Alamaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Four Villains (Les contes d’Hoffmann), and the title role of Eugene Onegin. A graduate of Columbia College at Columbia University and Mannes College of Music in New York City, Morgan became a Seattle Opera young artist (1999-2000) and, in 2001 made his professional debut as Donald in Billy Budd.


Meet the musicians here!

Series Sponsor

Thank you to our generous series sponsor; Jack M. Champaigne Masterworks Series.

Jordan Lexus of Mishawaka is a proud 2023-24 Season Artistic Sponsor.

Thank you to Victoria Garrett, Matt Kahn and Janine Felder-Kahn/Merrill Lynch-Kahn, Ruthrauff & Associates for supporting this performance.

Program subject to change.