One of the most exciting aspects of Abyss of Chaos’ release is producing the audio book. The talent behind this production is nothing short of first-rate. Over the next several months, Elizabeth Truitt and Jon Truitt will be recording Abyss, and perhaps mastering some new language skills along the way. Palestinian, Iraqi and Turkish accents aren’t often called for in the standard Opera literature, after all, and though Elizabeth and Jon may sometimes sing in Russian — it just ain’t all that common.
Jon and Elizabeth are friends from my days in Evansville, Indiana. Sometimes when you take a new job and relocate, certain friendships actually grow stronger, and it is my very good fortune that this has been the case with ours. You will be hard pressed to find two more benevolent, loving souls than these. Further, their remarkable character attributes become even more uncommon when you factor in their level of raw talent and absence of heavy egos. Opera stars aren’t called “Divas” for nothing, but these two are unique. The Truitts are worth their weight in gold, and the University of Evansville deserves to feel proud for having assembled such treasures as the pair of them.
In the months to come, I look forward to sharing some samples of our audio book. But until then, read on to get a better sense of the impressive talent that is even now breathing real life into my book. Thanks Jon and Beth, I love you both.
Soprano Elizabeth Truitt has performed across the United States with companies including Fort Worth Opera, Mobile Opera, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival, Waco Lyric Opera, Granbury Opera, Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival, and in numerous educational tours. She has performed such roles as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, the Countess in le nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Mimi in La Bohème, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and other roles in the lyric spinto repertoire. Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Ms. Truitt has sung a variety of works including Handel’s Messiah, Vaughn William’s Sinfonia Antartica, Dubois’s Seven Last Words of Christ, Faure’s Requiem, and Verdi’s Requiem with such noted ensembles as the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony, Waco Symphony, and the Baylor Symphony. Ms. Truitt is also frequently seen on the recital stage, having recently performed in Chicago, Illinois; Springfield, Missouri; Crested Butte, Colorado; and Evansville, Indiana. Noted for her interpretation of the 20th century repertoire, she sang the role of Lady Macbeth in the world premiere of nationally recognized composer Richard Faith’s Scenes from Macbeth (a role specifically written for her) and has appeared to critical acclaim in Carlisle Floyd’s one-woman opera Flower and Hawk in the role of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Most recently, she performed a recital of music composed specifically for soprano and horn. In the competition arena, Ms. Truitt was a semi-finalist in the Orpheus National Music Competition and a winner of the Houston Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s Opera Career Grant.
Ms. Truitt received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Baylor University, where she was the recipient of a full graduate assistantship and studied under internationally recognized pedagogue John Van Cura. At the University of Evansville, Ms. Truitt teaches both traditional vocal students and members of the University’s internationally recognized theatre program. Her students have gone on to such prestigious graduate programs as Yale, NYU, Brown, ACT, UCSD, Rutgers, and UC Irvine. She has previously served on the faculty of the University of Mary Hardin Baylor and taught voice at Baylor University. A sought after master clinician, Ms. Truitt has presented classes on singing both the traditional and musical theatre repertoire across the United States.
A native of Houston, Texas, Jon Truitt has performed with professional opera companies across the United States, such as New Orleans Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Mobile Opera, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Illinois, the Crested Butte Music Festival, Jacksonville Opera, and the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. He as appeared as Figaro in Barber of Seville, Marcello in La Boheme, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Ford in Falstaff, Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, and more than forty other roles in the baritone repertoire. On the concert stage, he has sung with the Evansville, Jacksonville, Acadiana, Waco, Florimezzo, Baylor, and LSU symphonies and in numerous public solo recitals. He is also a two-time apprentice artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera, a Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalist, and a NATSAA Indiana State Winner. In addition, he was a 2007 winner of the prestigious Lynam Competition in North Carolina. A frequent collaborator with noted American composer Richard Faith, he performed the title role in the world premiere of Faith’s Scenes from Macbeth and also sang the premiere of the song cycle Songs from the Voice of Gaia. Additionally, he is the founder of the Crested Butte Music Festival’s Opera Young Artist Program in Paradise, which has become a well-known program training operatic artists from across the United States. He is building a national reputation as a stage director, having recently directed le nozze di Figaro, Hansel and Gretel, Tartuffe, Barber of Seville, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus, La Boheme, Don Giovanni, the Elixir of Love, Gianni Schicchi, and Suor Angelica.
Currently, Jon Truitt is an Associate Professor and serves as the Head of the Voice Area and Director of Opera at the University of Evansville, a highly ranked small liberal arts college in the Midwest. While teaching there his students have been featured in many choral and operatic performances, and some have gone on to professional performing and important graduate programs. Others are already making their mark in the fields of music therapy, music education, sacred music, or in the world of music business.