Sonia Bronder

Olivia Currier

Kelly Monteith

Marieke de Koker

Mallory Furgal

Kirsten Nordland

Justin Meyer

JP Gorski

James McKenzie

Jacob Joseph Rivera

Audiences will recognize Sonia from her star turn as Cassio in SOT’s 2022 production of Othello. Donning the mustache once again, this time as the ever-conniving Don John, she is over the moon to return to working with such a dynamic and talented cast and fantastic crew. Her love for Shakespeare and opera makes this company a perfect fit. Sonia splits her time between performing onstage and working behind the scenes for theatrical productions, both at the professional and community level. Most recently, she directed Our Town at Fauquier Community Theater to great acclaim. When she last tread the boards, ironically as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, she earned a best supporting actress nomination. Sonia loves to spend her free time with her family, John, Gwen and Ellie. It’s their love and support that keeps her working in theater and moving forward, for which she’s eternally grateful.

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, mezzo-soprano Olivia Currier comes to SOT by way of Texas. She has performed in outreach projects for the Amarillo Opera and Opera Steamboat and as an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera. She has also sung with Quintessence: A Community of Singers as a Choral Scholar, alongside the Voces8 US Scholars, as the alto soloist for Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with the Lubbock Chorale, and as a guest singer with the Hungarian chamber choir Ars Nova Énekegyüttes. She was recently awarded 1st Place in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Panhandle NATS competition, 1st Prize in the 2023 Nouvelles Etoiles Online Music Competition, and the Grand Prize at the 2021 21st Century Talents Music Competition. Ms. Currier holds a degree from Texas Tech University.

Originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, soprano Kelly Monteith graduated from Philadelphia’s Temple University with the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. During her time at Temple, she performed the role of Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro and covered the role of Almera in Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters. Other notable roles include Susanna (cover) in Le Nozze di Figaro and Annabel in the European premiere of Paul Richard’s Mondo Novo with the Vienna Summer Music Festival, as well as Celia in Handel’s Silla with Chicago Summer Opera. During her undergraduate studies at George Mason University, she performed in six mainstage productions, including Belinda (cover) in Dido and Aeneas and Leila in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. Most recently, she was seen in the chorus of Opera Baltimore and Opera Delaware’s joint production of La Traviata. Hero in Much Ado About Nothing/Béatrice et Bénêdict marks Kelly’s debut with Shakespeare Opera Theatre, and she is excited to perform in this beautiful and unique production.

A native of South Africa, Marieke de Koker is a New York City-based mezzo-soprano. Her 2022/23 season included Speaker in AGAMEMNON (Theatre for a New Audience), Cloud in the world premiere of Iceland (Overtone Industries), Liza Elliott in Lady in the Dark (Bronx Opera Outreach) and Giunone in La Calisto (Mannes Opera). Also In 2023 she won the DePaul Concerto competition with her original song cycle Never Again (2021) based on poetry by Valentine Kizito. In 2021 Marieke was an Emerging Artist at the Windybrow Arts Center in South Africa where she was interviewed on the ETV morning show. She has also appeared with RSG radio, Brooklyn Theatre TV, Gauteng Philharmonic, Career Bridges, Johannesburg Opera, Really Spicy Opera, Windy City Performing Arts, and the Art Song Preservation Society of New York, among others. She is delighted to be making her debut in the title role of Béatrice in Much Ado About Nothing/Béatrice et Bénédict with Shakespeare Opera Theater.

A native Virginian who resides in Middleburg, Mallory began her career with SOT as an intern Assistant Stage Manager before moving up to staff Assistant Stage Manager. She now makes her debut as SOT’s Stage Manager with Much Ado About Nothing/Béatrice et Bénédict. Mallory is a recent honors graduate of The Highland School, where she served as captain of the district prize winning robotics team along with captaining the lacrosse and field hockey teams. Mallory’s future plans include attending Allegheny College, where she will double major in Theater and Environmental Science and continue to play field hockey for the Allegheny Gators.

Kirsten Nordland is a rising dramatic artist currently residing in Northwest Ohio. Most recently, Nordland joined the Toledo Opera Guild as a chorister for the 2023-2024 season. Her most recent credits include Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with the Trentino Music Festival in Trentino, Italy; Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Bowling Green State University; and the Stewardess in Jonathan Dove’s Flight at NUOVA Vocal arts. Nordland is also an avid social activist & digital portrait artist. She strives to combine her passions to help serve the longevity of opera.

An actor and passionate storyteller based in Alexandria, Virginia, Justin is delighted to be making his Shakespeare Opera Theatre debut in the coveted role of Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing/Béatrice et Bénédict. Since relocating to Northern Virginia, his theater credits include Art of Murder (Workhouse Arts Center), The American Plan (NOVA Nightsky Theatre), Debris (Scooby-Doo Mansion), Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe (StageCoach Theatre Co.), and Finding Neil Patrick Harris (Nu Sass Productions). His screen credits include supporting roles in true crime documentaries Panic 9-1-1 and CopyCat Killers. Justin warmly thanks his family and friends for their continued support.

Mr. Gorski is delighted to be back with SOT portraying Shakespeare’s original keystone cop, Dogberry, with the dual role of Berlioz’s Somarone in their Much Ado About Nothing/Béatrice et Bénédict. Audiences will recognize him from his debut with SOT as the scheming Iago in 2022’s Othello. A graduate of James Madison University, some of Mr. Gorski’s other credits include Charlottesville Opera, Luray Opera Theater, and Bel Canto in Tuscany. At Sarasota Opera (Florida), he appeared as Le Dancaïre in Carmen, Cadasca in The Merry Widow, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. Frequently seen as a concert and musical theater artist, his most recent credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Riverside Dinner Theater and Mozart’s C Minor Mass with DC Strings Workshop. Also of note, he placed highly in several National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions, and won first place at the Virginia Classical Singer Competition. JP performs regularly with Annapolis Opera, where he will appear this fall as Second Armored Man/Priest in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

A resident of Arlington, Virginia, James McKenzie is a retired member of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” As a trumpet player, his duties included sounding “Taps” in Arlington National Cemetery for fallen soldiers. He has also participated in inaugurations, concerts, and other military ceremonies and events at the White House, the Pentagon, the National Mall, and throughout the country and overseas. James holds music degrees from Sam Houston State University and Rice University. After catching the acting bug, he graduated from the Honors Conservatory Program of The Theatre Lab School of Dramatic Arts, where he was in productions of As You Like It, and David Mamet’s Reunion. James was previously seen as Leonato in Grassroots Shakespeare DC’s production of Much Ado About Nothing.

New York tenor Jacob Rivera earned the Master of Music degree from Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music. While at Purchase, he portrayed Ezekiel Cheever in The Crucible, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Liberto/Lucano in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and The Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas. During the summer of 2022, Jacob appeared with Miami Music Festival in Bizet’s Carmen (El Remendado) and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Flute). He has won Gold Prize in the Contemporary Modern Division in the World Class Music Awards, Fourth Place in the International London Music Competition, and Third Place at the Lyra New York International Art Song Competition. He was also a Finalist this year at the The International Vienna Competition where he earned an Honorable Mention, and he is a Finalist at the upcoming American Song Prize Competition.