Guest Artists

Cecilia Violetta López, soprano

Tahanee Aluwihare, mezzo-soprano

Ben Gulley, tenor

Ryan Bede, baritone

Andy Anderson, conductor


Megan Croft
Kristen Dittman
Maxine James
Alyse Krieger
Bonnie Salewski


Erin Case
Diana Cayler
Ruth Manthey
Ellen McKinney
Janell Zuckerman


Geoffrey Parks
Jonathon Perry
Doug Rinard


Willis Carr
Jim Jirak
Jesse Kaye
Brayden Olson
Trey Pope

Violin I

Kathy Stutzman**
Lauren Folkner
Katherine Dickeson
Lauren Anderson

Violin II

Paula Stern*
Laurel Talley
Jessica Harned
Heather Calkins


Dave Johnson*
Jen Drake
Marcia Van Heune


Micah Claffey*
Stephen Mathie


Chris Ammirati*
Ryan Bell


Melanie Keller*
Allison Emerick

Oboe/English Horn

Ryan Klein*


Bryn Huntington*
Carmen Izzo


Janelle Oberbillig*


Brian Vance*
Mark Givens


Derek Ganong*
Zachary Buie


Sarah Paradis*


Matthew Grady*


Josh Gianola*


Betsi Hodges*
Kelly Kaye

** Concertmaster * Principal


Cecilia Violetta López

Cecilia Violetta López, soprano, recently joined Opera Idaho’s staff as Artistic Advisor. She made her Opera Idaho debut as Gilda in Rigoletto, 2014. With Opera Idaho she performed her signature role of Violetta in La Traviata, 2016; and debuted in the title role in Manon, 2019; Maria in West Side Story in Concert, 2018; and Adina in L’elisir d’amore, 2017.

Cecilia, a Mexican-American native of Rupert, Idaho, got her musical start at a young age singing mariachi music that she learned from her mother. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree (vocal performance) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2011. She has received accolades for her performances from The New York Times, The Washington Post, has been featured on NPR, Idaho Public Television, Univision and Telemundo, and many other news outlets across the country. She has become a voice for her art form and constantly shares the story of her Idahoan roots, humble upbringing, hard work and career's trajectory. She is now on the artist roster of the Metropolitan Opera, has sung at Carnegie Hall, she has an exhibit at the Idaho State Museum and an additional exhibit at the Minidoka County Historical Society Museum in her hometown of Rupert. Most recently, USA Today recently named Cecilia one of Idaho's Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Century. Cecilia is also the recipient of an Idaho State Concurrent Resolution honoring her life as an Idahoan and her work in the world of opera.

Opera News has named Cecilia Violetta López one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars.” The singing actress is constantly praised for her “alluring voice and incredible range” (Washington Times). She has received accolades for her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, which she has performed countless times throughout North America. Critic, James Jorden, exclaimed “she is a Violetta fully-formed and, I think, ready for the great stages of the world.” She has now performed the role with Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Tampa, Ash Lawn Opera, and Virginia Opera. Cecilia made her European début as Norina in Don Pasquale with Zomeropera in Belgium. For more about Celia visit

Tahanee Aluwihare

Tahanee Aluwihare, a soprano native of Sri Lanka, was a Young Artist with Opera Idaho for the 2018-2019 season, over the course of her season-long residency she covered the roles of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Amneris in Aida. She made her debut with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka at the age of seventeen and since has performed in Asia, Europe, and North America. She made her New York City debut as Carmen in City Lyric Opera’s production of Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen.

For the 2020-2021 season, Tahanee made her Tri-Cities Opera debut in Kamala Sankaram’s live streamed virtual reality opera, Miranda, where she sang the role of Mother. She also made her debut with Boston Camerata as Dido in a filmed version of the opera Dido and Aeneas. Further debut performances include a recording project coupling Schumann’s Dichterliebe with new commissions, entitled Love in the time of… with Boston Opera Collaborative, and appearances in concert with MassOpera. For more about Tahanee visit

Ben Gulley

Tenor Ben Gulley’s career includes leading and feature roles in opera, solo engagements, classical and cross over concert work, film work, and musical theater engagements. He made his Opera Idaho debut as Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, 2016. He is the 2009 winner of the Metropolitan Opera's National Council District & Regional Competitions and a National Semi-Finalist. The 2019-20 season saw his role and company debuts as Dick Johnson in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Opera Orlando, his virtual recital company debut with The Dallas Opera, Holiday Pops with Louisville Orchestra, recital debuts with Opera Orlando, Purdue University, North Dakota State University. The Summer of 2020 saw his return to in person singing outdoors & socially distant performances amidst the Rockies at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat, CO. In October 2021, Ben will be making his debut with Belgian National Orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Other engagements include Pedro in Tiefland with Sarasota Opera, Enee in Les Troyens with San Francisco Opera, Radames in Aida and Tamino in The Magic Flute with Opera San Luis Obispo, Edmondo in Manon Lescaut with Chautauqua Opera, Arturo in I Puritani with Minnesota Concert Opera, and Borsa in Rigoletto with Lyric Opera of Kansas, to name a few. For more about Ben visit

Ryan Bede

Born and raised in Tacoma, WA, baritone Ryan Christopher Bede made his Opera Idaho debut as Papageno in The Magic Flute, 2015, followed by Masetto in Don Giovanni, 2018. In October 2019 he made his role debut as Belcore in The Elixir Of Love with Tacoma Opera, where he has appeared in numerous roles such as Moralés/Le Dancaïre in Carmen, Tiger Brown in The Threepenny Opera, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Schaunard in La bohème and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. Other recent roles have included the roles of Prince Yamadori and the Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly with Inland Northwest Opera. Recent concert engagements have included Handel's Messiah with both the Bremerton Symphony and Federal Way Symphony, Spectrum Dance Theater's acclaimed production of Carmina Burana as well as Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Early Music Vancouver/Pacific Musicworks. He has been a frequent soloist with Orchestra Seattle in such masterpieces as Fauré's Requiem, Duruflé's Requiem, Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten, Carol Sams' The Earthmakers, and Vaughan Williams's Fantasia On Christmas Carols.

He is a former Young Artist with Tacoma Opera and the Aspen Opera Theater Center and was a two-time recipient of the Seattle Opera Guild Singers Training Fund Grant. He completed his studies at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington, and now frequently performs as a lecturer and preview artist for the Seattle Opera Guild. He presently serves as the baritone soloist and section leader at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, and teaches voice at Seattle Pacific University and Tacoma Community College, as well as maintaining a private studio in the Tacoma area. For more about Ryan visit

Andy Anderson

Maestro Andy Anderson made his Opera Idaho debut conducting Die Fledermaus, 2016. This will be his fourth project with Opera Idaho. Andy has held several esteemed positions such as Principal Guest Conductor with Amarillo Opera, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Mobile Opera, Assistant Conductor with Lyric Opera of Kansas City for three seasons, Artistic Director of Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City for five seasons, Music Director of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra for eight seasons, Assistant Conductor of the Colorado MahlerFestin Boulder, Colorado for ten seasons, Assistant Conductor with Kansas City Ballet for two seasons, and Founder/Artistic Director of the Kansas City Puccini Festival for nine successful seasons. Recent performances include Manon Lescaut, Werther, The Mikado, Madama Butterfly, La fanciulla del West, Don Pasquale, Turandot, Sunset Blvd., Candide, The Light in the Piazza, Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Sweeney Todd with Mobile Opera; The Pirates of Penzance and Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Showboat with Fresno Grand Opera; Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree with Amarillo Opera; Rigoletto, Tosca, The Merry Widow, La fanciulla del West, Carmen, La bohéme, and Il barbiere di Siviglia with Rimrock Opera; Hello Dolly, The Drowsy Chaperone, Avenue Q, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gypsy, My Fair Lady, A Little Night Music, The Gondoliers, Patience, The Boy Friend, and Kiss Me, Kate with LOOK Musical Theatre. Other opera credits include the world premiere of Everlasting Universe by John Mueter, Rorem’s Our Town, The Medium, The Mikado, The End of the Affair, Aida, Street Scene, Verdi’s Falstaff, Sondheim’s Passion, La rondine, Madama Butterfly, Le nozze di Figaro, Manon Lescaut, Edgar, La traviata, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Il tabarro, Don Giovanni, and Amahl and the Night Visitors. For more about Andy visit

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