Copy of Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann

May 17 and 18, 2019 at 7:30PM and May 19, 2019 at 2:30PM
Arthur Miller Theatre (1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor)
Performed in a new English adaptation by Daniel J. Brylow


Blind dates can be the worst, especially when with a mechanical doll, a ghostly apparition, or a shadow-stealing courtesan.

AOT is pleased to present a reimagined production of The Tales of Hoffmann from Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre, which BroadwayWorld hailed as “ethereal and uplifting,” with a dreamlike setting that “highlights the fantasy in this ‘opera fantastique.’” It tells of poet E.T.A. Hoffmann’s unending search for true love, doing so with a great deal of humor, a dose of magic, and some of Jacque Offenbach’s most memorable melodies, including the “Doll Song” and the Venetian Barcarolle.

Performed in the intimate setting of the Arthur Miller Theatre on the University of Michigan’s North Campus, this enthralling adaptation by director Daniel J. Brylow is sung in English, with a reduced cast, musical ensemble, and playing time from the original—still a complete work of musical art, however, that instead of smaller feels “essential and more concentrated.” The ensemble of singers now numbers only 13, and as there are more parts than people, the villain is played by the previous lover in each subsequent tale—a topsy-turvy yank toward the present day for these old fables. Though Hoffmann’s pursuit of love is foiled by sinister figures at every turn, he is rewarded in the end by the never-ending admiration of his Muse and a newfound love for his art.

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Praised by Opera News for her “sizable and burnished mezzo” and “fluent musicality,” mezzo-soprano Courtney Miller is equally versed in opera as she is in musical theater, art song, and oratorio. 

Recent credits include Olga in Eugene Onegin and Mercédès in Carmen with Florida Grand Opera, Hannah in The Passenger with Michigan Opera Theatre, Meg in Little Women with Madison Opera, Mrs. Ford in Sir John in Love with Odyssey Opera, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos and Meg Page in Falstaff with Virginia Opera, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and The Wind in Philip Glass’s opera ballet The Witches of Venice with Opera Saratoga.  

A lover of new music, Miller has created many roles, including Mina Miller Edison is Tesla with SOBE Arts.  

Follow her on instagram @mezzomiller where you’ll also find her adventures in petsitting and all things ABV.


Tenor Robert Stahley, known for his performances that “stole the show” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), is making waves throughout the operatic industry.  Upcoming engagements include the title role in Candide, the tenor soloist in Schubert’s Mass in A-flat, and a debut with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra as Pang in Turandot.  He recently appeared with Opera Theater of Saint Louis as multiple roles in The Grapes of Wrath while study-covering Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly.  He has also been a studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera where he covered the role of Rodolfo (La Bohème) and Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia). Other significant roles include Idomeneo (Idomeneo), The Schoolmaster (The Cunning Little Vixen), Charlie (Mahagonny-Songspiel), The Lamplighter and Drunk (The Little Prince), Sam Kaplan (Street Scene), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), and Hubert Humphrey (Dark River).

Mr. Stahley received his artist diploma and Master of Music degree at The University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, and his bachelor’s from UMass Amherst.


SARAH HAYASHI | Olympia & Dr. Miracle

Franco-American soprano Sarah Hayashi started her operatic studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore before continuing at the Royal College of Music in London and the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff. Major roles include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) in Sicily and the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte) in Germany, and this past January, Sarah made her role debut as Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio with Bronx Opera. During her studies, she sang Fire, the Princess, and the Nightingale in L’Enfants et les Sortilèges, Miranda in the world premiere of Douglas Buchanan’s Ariel’s Tempest, Miss Ellen (Lakmé), Erste Knabe (Die Zauberflöte), and Emmie in Albert Herring. Other roles include Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Euridice in Orphée aux Enfers, and Despina in Cosi fan tutte. Sarah was a finalist in the London Handel Singing Competition, a winner of the RCM Concerto Competition, a winner of the RCM Early Music Competition, and a semi-finalist at the International Cesti Competition.  She was also the recipient of the Maryland Distinguished Scholar of the Arts award, Evergreen House Foundation Scholarship, Charles Brachini Award, and the Josephine Baker Trust.


MARY MARTIN | Antonia & Dapertutto

Known for her “brilliantly clear, highly refined soprano voice,” Michigan native Mary Martin is thrilled to make her Arbor Opera Theater debut. Opera MODO: Nannetta (Falstaff) and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel). University of Michigan credits include: Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Amy (Little Women), and Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte). Additionally, she frequently collaborates with Michigan Opera Theater as an outreach performer and community educator. Recently, Mary performed with South Bend Lyric Opera, playing Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte). Brevard Music Center: Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann). She has also been featured with: Central City Opera, Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, Midland Symphony Orchestra, Livingston Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Pops, Saginaw Choral Society, New York Opera Exchange. Her proudest credit is “The Star-Spangled Banner” for President Obama and a crowd of approximately 85,000 for the University of Michigan Commencement. Mary is currently a student at Indiana University, studying with Patricia Havranek and Gary Arvin.


KAYLEIGH JARDINE | Giulietta & Coppelius

Pennsylvania native Kayleigh Jardine makes her Arbor Opera Theater debut playing both Giulietta and Coppélius, a role she definitely never imagined she would play. Praised for her “style and élan” on stage (The Morning Call), she is currently a Specialist of Music student at the University of Michigan. No stranger to the stage, Kayleigh has performed internationally, featured as a concert soloist at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and with the Detroit Vocal Ensemble and Community Chorus. This year she was also the winner of the Encouragement Award at the Colorado-Wyoming district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Recent operatic roles include Bubikopf in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, both with the University of Michigan. She is very excited to perform with AOT and would like to thank the creative team for offering her this opportunity.

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MICHAEL McELVAIN | Music Director

Pianist-conductor Michael McElvain has been heard on WFMT radio broadcasts, including PianoForte Chicago's live cycle of the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven, The WFMT Membership Drive, and contemporary music program Relevant Tones. His formative piano studies range from the studio of Annie Marchand Sherter, a pupil of French piano legends Vlado Perlemuter and Alfred Cortot, to masterclasses led by Leon Fleisher, George Shirley, Thomas Hampson, and Emanuel Ax. Recently, Mr. McElvain appeared as guest conductor with The Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis in a performance of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. He has prepared cantata cycles for The Chicago Bach Ensemble, conducted numerous stage productions, including, CUBE Ensemble's first-ever opera, musical theatre works by Stephen Sondheim, and Mary Poppins at Stage 773. Beyond classical music, he has given European tours as keyboardist for famed progressive rock group Pavlov's Dog. He has served on the faculties of DePaul University, Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago, and is currently pursuing his doctoral studies under preeminent vocal coach Martin Katz at the University of Michigan. 2019 will mark his seventh season as conductor and coach for Italian summer voice institute, Musica nelle Marche, leading concerts of opera choruses along the Adriatic coast.


Music-theater artist Daniel J. Brylow has contributed to the burgeoning field of contemporary opera and new music-theater as a stage director, performer, translator, and arts administrator.  He has participated in the premiere of several new operas, including Judgment of Midas (Ince), Kocho (Ficher), Río de Sangre (Davis),
Border Towns (Brooke), and Time and Motion Study (Brooke).  As a translator, his English-language adaptations of Don Giovanni (co-written with singer Tim Rebers), Der Ring des Nibelungen, Die Zauberflöte, and Les contes d'Hoffmann have been performed by such companies as Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre, where he is on the administrative staff.

In the 2018-19 Season, Danny will serve as Production Dramaturg on a fully-staged, collaborative production of Carmina Burana, as well as directing his adaptation of The Tales of Hoffmann at Arbor Opera Theater.  Danny is a graduate of Bennington College with a degree in Music and Drama, and the Wesley Balk Opera/Music-Theater Institute with an emphasis on Stage Direction.