Saturday, February, 6, 2021 ◈ 7:30pm

The Woman's Club of El Paso ◈ Live-Streamed via YouTube

◈ Pay-What-You-Can Tickets

"It's in your life."

This evening's presentation is brought to you through generous sponsorship from El Paso Electric.


Table of Contents

Production Team

Program Order

Text & Translation

Artist Biographies

Support the Stars

About El Paso Opera

About The Woman's Club of El Paso

Production Team

Program Order

◈ Act I ◈

Running time: Act I - 29 minutes ; Act II - 28 minutes

Lime Jell-O Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise” (novelty song for voice and piano, 1980) by William Bolcom ◈ sung by Heather Dials, soprano

If music be the food of love” (song for voice and continuo, 1692) by Henry Purcell ◈ sung by Taylor Trolia-Giron, soprano

Vanilla Ice Cream” (from the Broadway musical She Loves Me, 1963) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick ◈ sung by Sarah Neely, soprano

Fin ch'han dal vino” (from the opera Don Giovanni, 1787) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte ◈ sung by Mauricio Perusquia, baritone

Ah! Quel dîner!” or “The Tipsy Waltz” (from the ópera bouffe La Périchole, 1868) by Jacques Offenbach ◈ sung by Emilie Merritt, mezzo-soprano

Cuiden su vida” (Mexican art song/folk song, 1914) by Manuel Ponce ◈ sung by Mariana Sandoval Lintz, mezzo-soprano

La Bonne Cuisine” (song cycle of four recipes for voice and piano, 1947) by Leonard Bernstein ◈ sung by Holly Mesarch, soprano

Worst Pies in London” (from the Broadway musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 1979) by Stephen Sondheim ◈ sung by Annie Pennies, mezzo-soprano

Piano by Dr. Esequiel Meza Jr

There will be a 5-minute intermission

◈ Act II ◈

Bon Appétit!”* (a musical monolog for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, 1989) by Lee Hoiby, with text by Julia Child, adapted by Mark Shulgasser ◈ performed by Cherry Duke, mezzo-soprano as Julia Child & Dr. Esequiel Meza Jr., piano, conducted by Dr. Andrew Hunter

(Photo taken at The Woman's Club of El Paso) Cherry Duke, mezzo-soprano, plays Julia Child in El Paso Opera's Bon Appétit! by Lee Hoiby, directed by Justin Lucero

*By arrangement with G. Schirmer, INC. publisher and copyright owner.

Text & Translation

Click above for the English and Spanish text for Act II's Bon Appétit! by Lee Hoiby, or read along with our provided video subtitles.

Artist Biographies

From top-left: Dr. Andrew Hunter, Dr. Esequiel Meza Jr., Justin Lucero, Will Seyffert, Joshua LintzCherry Duke

Cherry Duke, Julia Child, mezzo-soprano, has performed over 50 principal roles with opera companies and orchestras throughout the US and abroad. An avid performer of contemporary works, she created the role of The Captain in the critically-acclaimed opera Dog Days in 2012 and later performed it with LA Opera, Fort Worth Opera, in New York City at the Prototype Festival, and on the original cast album. In El Paso, she was recently a soloist with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra in “A Night at the Met,” and played Dolly Levi in the UTEP Dinner Theatre’s production of Hello, Dolly! With EPO, she performed the roles of Hänsel in Hänsel & Gretel, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Tisbe in La Cenerentola, and performed as a headlining artist in "Mozart by Moonlight." In 2015, Cherry Duke joined the music faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she teaches voice and directs the opera program. Ms. Duke is also an Artistic Associate with El Paso Opera.

Dr. Andrew Hunter, Conductor for Bon Appétit!, is the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at The University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Hunter served on the faculties of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received the Thomas V. Fraschillo Award for Outstanding Musicianship among faculty, Louisiana College, where he was named Professor of the Year in 2012, and public schools in Louisiana and Georgia. Dr. Hunter holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied with Dr. Catherine Rand. He also holds the Master of Music degree from Northwestern State University, and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Hunter has worked as a clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer nationally and internationally. His ensembles have performed across the country, most notably in Carnegie Hall in February 2018. He holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.

Dr. Esequiel Meza Jr., Pianist, has coached multiple productions for El Paso Opera, and served as Music Director for New York’s Stagedoor Manor Institute of the Performing Arts, the Arizona Opera, NMSU, the Doña Ana Lyric Opera Company, Music Theater of El Paso, Cimarron Circuit Opera Company and Southern Arizona Light Opera Company. He has collaborated with other fine artists and choral groups - including performing as guest soloist with the Juarez Bi-National Symphony Orchestra and the symphonies of Corpus Christi, Bordeaux and Shreveport. Dr. Meza is former Assistant Dean and Professor at the University of Oklahoma and has taught at NMSU, the Conservatoire Regional de Bordeaux, and the University of Bordeaux III Michel de Montaigne in Talence, France. He holds degrees from Sam Houston State University, the University of Arizona and Indiana University. Currently, Dr. Meza sits on the piano faculty of EPCC and is Opera UTEP’s pianist and vocal coach.

Justin Lucero, Director, is Artistic Director of El Paso Opera and stage directed such productions for El Paso Opera as The Magic Flute, Hänsel & Gretel, Trouble in Tahiti and Pagliacci. He is on faculty at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama, one of the leading conservatories in the English-speaking world, as Assistant Professor of Directing for The John Wells Directing Program. Before his CMU appointment, Mr. Lucero held a two-year residency with the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance as the inaugural Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fellow in Directing & Theatre Studies. He has been involved with El Paso Opera since 2012, serving as Resident Assistant/Associate Stage Director (Marriage of Figaro, La Boheme, Barber of Seville, How Green Was My Valley, Carmen, Opera Bhutan: Acis & Galatea), Young Artists Program Director, and Director of Community Engagement. He also has enjoyed a long-standing relationship as Guest Director and Artist-in-Residence with UTEP’s Department of Music and the UTEP Dinner Theatre. Mr. Lucero has been the recipient of a Directing Fellowship with Asolo Repertory Theatre (Florida), a Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership at South Coast Repertory (Los Angeles), a FAIR Assistantship with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a Directing Attachment at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (London/West End). Directing engagements this year include Abingdon Theatre Company (NY), Kane Repertory Theatre (Chicago), Live & In Color (NY), University of Houston, City Theatre (Pittsburgh), and Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

Will Seyffert, Director of Photography and Film Editor, was born in Dallas, raised in El Paso, and began his media career at the age of 16 working in radio broadcasting while still a student at EPHS -- where he studied classical and choral music and competed successfully as a Texas All-State singer two years in a row -- then served on active duty overseas in the U.S. Army as a Helicopter Crew Chief/Cavalry Scout. After his tour of duty, he returned to the United States in the early '80s, migrated to Los Angeles, and carved out a 35+ year freelance career in film production and sound engineering, working in many different genres including documentaries, feature motion pictures, 100s of national ad campaigns, and music videos. His backgrounds in military and motion picture-oriented aviation, and essentially every facet of ground-based production, have enabled him to capture compelling footage and photos from just about any platform to which a camera can be attached. He is also skilled at motion picture and still photography from the air while piloting drones, and holds a current FAA Commercial Remote Pilot certification. After his 3 kids were grown and out on their own, Mr. Seyffert returned home to El Paso in 2015. In addition to continuing to shoot television commercials and feature films, he happily joined El Paso Opera as Director of Video Content in 2019, has produced video material designed for community outreach, and since pandemic precautions went into effect, has worked with the directors, staff and artists to create productions for presentation to their ever-growing online audiences.

Joshua Lintz, Technical Manager, is a multi-instrumentalist and music technology professional with a Multidisciplinary degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and an MA in Sound Design from the Academy of Art University. He has performed in various opera performances with the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Opera, including notably Opera Bhutan. Joshua regularly works with independent musicians from around the El Paso-Juarez area creating albums and music performances through his business, Truesounds. He also has a passion for working with people with disabilities and works with that community as often as possible, including working as the Assistant Director at the Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind and Visually Impaired run by the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

El Paso Opera 2020-2021 Resident Artists

From top-left: Heather Dials, Taylor Trolia-Giron, Sarah Neely, Mauricio Perusquia, Emilie Merritt, Mariana Sandoval Lintz, Holly Mesarch, Annie Pennies

El Paso Opera Resident Artists are our season roster of local, El Paso-area performers.

The goal of our Resident Artists program is to identify, feature, engage, and develop local opera talent through paid performance opportunities. Our Resident Artists are the faces (and voices) of El Paso Opera’s many community engagement activities throughout the season. Such performance and engagement activities include our monthly First Fridays series, our #CurbsideOpera initiative, our annual hallmark Holiday Engagement series, our Guild & Friends events, private corporate and personal invitations, and our annual End-of-Season Recital. For the biographies for each of our Resident Artists, please visit:


Support the Stars

Thank you to the following underwriters of the artists of Season 2020-2021 for their generous support:

About El Paso Opera

◈ El Paso Opera Board of Trustees ◈

◈ El Paso Opera Staff ◈

◈ El Paso Opera Mission ◈

The mission of El Paso Opera is to harness the transformative power of our art to engage with the local and larger community as a lasting and valued cultural service.

◈ El Paso Opera Core Values ◈

Artistic integrity

Community engagement


Diversity and inclusion

Opportunities for local and emerging talent


Fiscal responsibility


◈ El Paso Opera Land Acknowledgement ◈

El Paso Opera operates in the ancestral homeland of the Chiricahua Apache, Mescalero Apache, Jumano, Manso, Piro and Suma peoples, of whom many of the Mestizo inhabitants of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso are bloodline descendants, and the current home of the displaced Tiwa (Tigua) peoples, the only distinct Native group remaining in what is now known as El Paso. We at El Paso Opera pay respect and gratitude to all Native peoples, past, present and future, and their continuing presence in the homeland, and throughout the Indigenous diaspora, who continue to act as stewards of the land. We encourage you, our audience, to learn more about these vibrant communities among us and to remember that the land that surrounds us is part of who we are and reflects our histories."

About The Woman's Club of El Paso

The mission of The Woman's Club of El Paso is "...providing an educational and cultural center for its members, preserving the physical integrity of its historic clubhouse, improving conditions and opportunities for women, and enhancing the quality of life in our community."

In May of 1894, a small group of congenial women gathered in the stately old adobe home of Mrs. Mills on San Francisco Street for the study of literature and current events. This was the modest beginning of an organization which has endured to the present day. The name “Current Topics Club” was changed in 1899 to The Woman’s Club of El Paso and by 1910 the women began working for a clubhouse of their own. Construction was started in 1915 -- the site, the corner of Mesa and River Streets, was chosen for the building -- and completed in 1916. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and officially designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1980." --adapted from wcoep.org
The current clubhouse of The Woman's Club of El Paso
El Paso Opera is a proud member of OPERA America

Special Thanks

  • Jan Brady
  • Michael White
  • CRI, CPAs & Advisors
  • Antonio Motta
  • Wilma Salzman

Photos by Justin Lucero