The Juniper Passion

a dramatic opera in three acts


Alessandro Luciano Tenor. Role—Carlo

A native of Rome, Mr. Luciano began studying piano at the age of seven.

He soon discovered his talent for singing and began studies with Romualdo Savastano.

Mr. Luciano graduated from the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica “Silvio D’Amico” in Rome and performed as an actor in many productions which brought him to important theaters in Italy and working with famous directors. 

 As a tenor, has already made a name for himself for his interpretations of “Belcanto” in the Italian and French lyric repertoire with a focus on Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Gounod and this sees himself as an ambassador of Italian culture in the world, from Canada to Lebanon, from South America to Korea and throughout Europe.

He has collaborated with prestigious conductors such as Myung Whun Chung, Lu Ja, Daniel Barenboim, Bruno Campanella, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Paolo Olmi, Dmitry Jurowski, Corrado Rovaris, Erikc Klas; directors such as Ugo Gregoretti, Dmitri Tcherniakov, Emilio Sagi, Ruggero Cappuccio.

With orchestras such Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Munich Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala and theaters such as La Scala in Milan, the Opera of Rome, the Real of Madrid, Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Art Center in Seoul, the Parco della Musica in Rome, the Gasteig in Munich, the R.O.F. Pesaro.

Interpreter of reference for Rossini, famous are his interpretations of the Count of Almaviva in “  Il Barbiere di Siviglia” and Don Ramiro in “ La Cenerentola”.  Lord Arturo Talbot  in “I Puritani” by Vincenzo Bellini, Nemorino in “L’Elisir d’Amore” by Donizetti and Romèo in “Romèo et Juliette” by Charles Gounod.

Stephanie Acraman Soprano. Role — Jessie

 Stephanie began her performing life as a dancer, and trained in Ballet, Tap and Modern Jazz. Studies were undertaken at the Australian National University (Canberra School of Music), BMus, Grad Dip (HD) under the tutelage of renown Operatic voice teacher Anthea Moller.

Stephanie has performed extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia in many capacities, including Opera, Classical Concert, Jazz and Music Theatre repertoire. Stephanie has also recorded for ABC, 2MBS Fm, Concert Fm (NZ) and Radio NZ. She has featured on a number of cd recordings and compilations, including the role of Mary in Michael Williams’ first opera,The Prodigal Child.

Performances include appearances with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Wellington City Orchestra, Sydney Festival Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Sydney University Graduate Singers, Canberra Community Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Llewelyn Choir (Llewelyn Hall Canberra), Goulburn Cathedral Choir, Napier Civic Choir (NZ).

Most recent notable performances include an appearance at Angkor Wat Temples, (Cambodia), Tai Koo Shing, (Hong Kong), Hanoi Opera House (with the Vietnamese National Symphony Orchestra) Melbourne Town Hall, The Flying Proms (NZ), Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall.

Lilia Carpinelli Soprano. Role — Maria

Lilia  has a growing international reputation as a soprano. She has appeared with orchestras in many countries, from Australia to Austria, and was in Beijing to perform at the Opening of the Olympics in 2005. A strong believer in the power of the arts to unite people, Lilia has made a concert tour to Israel and Palestine with the Nuova Orchestra Scarlatti.

In addition to these world-wide engagements, Lilia maintains a strong presence in New Zealand. She holds a Master of Music with first class honors from The University of Auckland, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Opera and Voice from the Salerno Conservatorium in Italy.

A recent opera concert, which she performed with her husband, raised $25,000 for the Red Cross to help with the Christchurch earthquake appeal. Other concerts in New Zealand have included solos in Vivaldi's Gloria and a mass by Rossini in the Auckland Town Hall, and a prominent role in the programme Vienna Nights in the Telstra Theatre. Later this year she will be singing Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (an amazing contemporary work that has sold more than a million copies on CD) with Uwe Grodd conducting the Manukau Symphony Orchestra.

Lilia has won first prizes in the Giannina Arangi Lombardi competition in Naples, the Idelmo Poggioli competition in Naples and the Citta' di Mercato Severino competition in Salerno. She has sung an impressive range of roles in 18th century operas including Pergolesi's La serva padrona, Hasse's La serva scaltra, Scalatti's Dirindina, and Salieris Prima la musica poi le parole. She has also sung in operas by Bellini, Viviani and De Falla.

She has been involved in the world premieres of major re-discovered works by Logroscino, Paisiello and Piccinni. Oratorio performances include Mozart's Coronation Mass and Requiem, Faurè's Requiem, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, and Cimarosa's Magnificat.

Julia Booth Soprano. Role—Helen

 After completing a Bachelors of Music in Performance Voice (First Class Honours), Julia became a PwC Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist 2007/08 with NBR NZ Opera where she made her debut, performing the role of Barena in Janacek’s Jenufa.  Julia returned to the University of Waikato as a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar (Hillary Medal Winner) in 2010 to complete a Master of Music in Performance Voice (First Class Honours).  Notable performances include the lead role in David Griffith’s opera The White Lady and Anthony Young’s Angle of Reflection, performed with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.  Julia won the NZ Aria in 2008 and placed third in the Lexus Song Quest in 2009.  In the same year, Julia was pupil of Patricia Hurley’s Italian School for Singers where she studied with Wyn Davies and performed in Florence and Rome, Italy.  Julia has renewed her passion for Musical Theatre, playing the role of Lily in The Secret Garden.  Having attended the NZ Opera School for four years consecutively, she is now Administrator for the NZ Opera School Board.  Julia is pursuing further education within the Estill pedagogy and maintains a busy teaching schedule at St Peter’s School, Wintec and in her private studio The Sound Booth.

James Ioelu Bass-Baritone. Role— Bruno

 James Ioelu is currently a second-year Master’s degree candidate at Manhattan

School of Music under the tutelage of Maitland Peters.


Previous credits include Seven Deadly Sins (Mother),Giuglio Cesare (Cesare), La Clamenza di Tito

(Publio), La Sonnambula (Rodolfo) with the Auckland Opera Studio. Performances include Rotorua’s

opera in the Pa with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera night at the Caribbean in St

Maartens as well as performances with the Auckland Opera Factory, the most recent being Regular

Royal Kings and Queens. This year James performed Luis XVI in The Ghosts of Versailles, The Knave

in Dreaming of Wonderland as well as scenes from Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and L’eliser

d'amore. He has received the New Zealand Young Performer of the Year award as well as being a

finalist in the New Zealand Aria Competition (3rd Place) and the Sydney Eisteddfod Aria Competition

held at the Sydney Opera House..


James has benefited from the generous support of numerous New Zealand organisations such as the

Dame Malvina Major Foundation, The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, Auckland Opera Studio, The James

Wallace Trust as well as several other generous individuals with an appreciation for the Arts. He

has received scholarships and grants from the Adastra Foundation, Creative New Zealand, The Jack

McGill foundation, the Edgar Foster Daniels Scholarship in Voice and most recently the Aotearoa


Joe Beckwith Bariton. Role—Joe

 Born in Boston, MA; Baritone Joseph Beckwith­ showed musical affinity at a very young age on the piano. Transitioning to voice he showed equal talent, receiving one of the 2 the Musical Achievement awards from the Worcester Public School system; and being recognized by the Mayor of Worcester.


Mr. Beckwith received his undergraduate degree from Umass Amherst, where he earned the Dorothy Ornest scholarship for vocalists. At Umass, he studied with Amy Johnson, one of the most renowned American singing actresses and worked under the baton of Lanfranco Marcelletti Jr. in numerous performances.


Highlights from Mr. Beckwith’s career include performing the role of Sciarrone alongside Amy Johnson (Tosca) Vernon Hartman (Scarpia), and Mark Thomsen (Cavaradossi) as well as performing as the Bass soloist in the Faurè requiem with Vance George conducting.


Other roles performed include Belcore and Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), Gasparo (Rita), Mother (The Seven Deadly Sins) and the title role in Signor Deluso


Mr. Beckwith is currently pursuing a master’s degree in voice at the Manhattan School of Music, studying under Mark Oswald.

David Griffiths Baritone. Role—chorus leader soldier

 was born in Auckland New Zealand and educated at Auckland University where he graduated Master of Music (1st class) in 1973.  David travelled to England and studied singing with Otakar Kraus and David Pollard.  During this time David sang with the BBC Singers, presented solo recitals and was soloist with a number of provincial Choral Societies.

On his return to New Zealand David won the New Zealand Herald Aria and 1983 Mobil Song Quest.  Since then he has built a reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading recitalists and Opera and Oratorio soloists.  He has sung with all the major Choral Societies in New Zealand, has had roles with Opera Otago and appears regularly with NBR Opera NZ.  His international experience includes recitals and Oratorio appearances in England, Germany, the United States, China, Taiwan and Italy.

He has performed in several of the Wellington International Festivals of the Arts and can be heard frequently in recital on Radio New Zealand’s Concert FM.  He is featured on many CDs especially in recordings of New Zealand Composers – notably ‘Prodigal Country’ with the NZSO conducted by Sir Charles Groves.  He has recently produced his first solo CD ‘Charms and Knots’ on the Atoll label with his wife Christine.

His also one of New Zealand’s leading composers with commissions from England, America, Italy and from within New Zealand with his works appearing on CDs by American and New Zealand choirs.

Amitai Pati Tenor. Role chorus, solo tenor

Amitai is currently studying towards a MA in Advanced Vocal Studies at the Wales International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of world renown tenor, Dennis O’Neill. He was the winner of the prestigious 2012 Lexus song quest. He has extensive experience in choral singing, having performed and toured with the New Zealand Youth Choir, the Graduate Choir and the Auckland University Choir. He was also the tenor soloist in an Auckland Youth Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in 2012. He has also performed as a backing vocalist on George Benson’s and Andrea Bocelli’s New Zealand tour. Most recently Amitai has performed in NBR New Zealand Opera’s Hohepa for the New Zealand International Arts Festival and Rigoletto. He has sung in master classes with the likes of Joseph Rouleau, Dame Josephine Barstow, Dame Anne Murray, Maestro Richard Bonynge, Dennis O’Neill and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Upcoming performances include the tenor solo in Mozart’s Requiem and singing in the Wales International Academy of Voice Opera Gala at the Millennium Centre in Wales.

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