Meet our Class of 2004. We are proud and delighted to be able to support and provide a “career bridge” for these talented young performers. They are in alphabetical order.

Samia Bahu, soprano, was born in Jerusalem, but has spent most of her life in the United States and Italy. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and Peabody Institute in Baltimore. She has sung leading roles with the Bronx Opera Company, and the Michigan Opera Theater in Detroit. She will be singing Mimi in La Bohéme this summer in Italy.

Soprano Anya Fidelia returned to Caramoor International Festival, where she made her professional debut in the summer of 2005 and since covered the role of Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. This season she covered the role of Leonora in La Forza del Destino and appeared in concerts.

Ms. Fidelia began 2007-2008 season with a duet recital at The International Rachmaninov Society in New York City presided by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Ms. Fidelia was honored to travel to Russia for her Moscow and St. Petersburg debut with the “Art-November” International Festival, where she was heard on major stages of both Russian capitals in orchestral and piano solo concerts. A truly memorable moment was to perform on the stage of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, an incredible place of musical and cultural history. During this tour Anya made several appearances on Russian National Television and Radio and was featured in a magazine.

During the upcoming seasons Ms. Fidelia will return to Russia for a recording, more concerts and operatic performances. She will be heard in Moscow as Leonora in La Forza del Destino in concert and the title role of Vanessa by Barber during 2009-2010 season. In the US next season’s highlights include the roles of Georgetta in Il Tabarro and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin.

Other selected credits include appearances at the Metropolitan Opera Guild; as Leonora in a concert version of Il Trovatore in Israel with the International Vocal Arts Institute; concert appearances as Butterfly in Israel and Sweden; a solo recital for the UN VIP guests of the UN Russian Mission, sponsored and hosted by Mayor Bloomberg; the role of Santuzza with Treasure Coast Opera in Florida among other domestic and international engagements.

Past seasons included the title role of Puccini’s Tosca at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; appearance in Stefan Weisman’s new opera, Darkling, with the American Opera Projects in New York City; a soundtrack for the renowned Tribeca Film Festival Award Prize Winner documentary, “Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis”. Additional highlights include: Verdi and Puccini arias for the Metropolitan Opera Guild Master Class series; Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) and Butterfly (Madama Butterfly) in Tel Aviv with the International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI); Lisa and Butterfly at the Gala Concert at the New Israeli Opera and Shuni Theater; Mozart’s Donna Anna and Countess at the Kimmel Center with the Center City Opera in Philadelphia and a tour of France with the New York Opera Society.

Ms. Fidelia is a winner of numerous awards and grants, including the Liederkranz Foundation Award Competition and the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges Competition. Ms. Fidelia is a 2005 Finalist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago National Auditions.

Karen Foster, soprano is a graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin. She is an award winner of the 2004 George London Foundation, 2003 Gerda Lissner Foundation and the 2003 Liederkranz Society.

Ms. Foster will cover the role of Helmwige for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the roles of Helmwige, Gerhilde and Ortlinde for the Seattle Opera in their 2005 Ring Cycles. In 2002, Ms. Foster completed apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and Sarasota Opera.

Corinne Larsen-Linza, soprano, graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a Bachelors Degree in Opera. She sang the role Little Red Riding Hood in Little Red Riding Hood with the Opera Guild of Los Angeles. She was the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach with the California State University combined choirs and orchestra in March 2001.

Ms. Larsen was semi-finalist in the Concours International de Chant de la Ville de Toulouse in 2002, first place winner of the Los Angeles Liszt Competition, and second prize winner of the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation Competition in Rhode Island, among others. This past summer she performed Pamina in Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote” in Salzburg with the Austrian American Mozart Academy and has been invited back for the 2004 season to perform the title role in Die Lustige Witwe by Franz Lehar.

Sarah Jane McMahon, soprano, born in Metairie, Louisiana, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Loyola University in New Orleans. She received her masters degree in Voice/Opera Performance from the Yale University School of Music.

Sarah Jane recently sang opposite Placido Domingo’s Parsifal at the Los Angeles Opera, and in 2006 will sing Maria in Opera Grand Rapid’s production of West Side Story in February, Yum-Yum in The Mikado with The Colorado Symphony in March, and make her Lincoln Center debut with New York City Opera singing Galatea in Handel’s, Acis and Galatea in April.

She will spend this summer with Central City Opera singing the roles of Madeline/Isabelle in “The Face on the Barroom Floor”. She has been invited by Placido Domingo to join the Los Angeles Opera, performing Najade in “Ariadne auf Naxos”. She will cover the role of Musetta in “La Bohéme”, and sing the Milliner in “Der Rosenkavalier” and cover Nanetta in “Falstaff”. In April of 2005, she will also make her New Orleans Opera debut as Valencienne in The Merry Widow.

Alexis Martin, soprano, a native of New York, Ms. Martin is currently earning her Doctoral degree in Vocal Performance at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She received a Master’s degree in Music from the Brooklyn College Conservatory and a bBachelor of Science degree in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University.

Alexis received the Gold Medal from the Five Towns Music Foundation, and won Second Prize in the Jenny Lind Competition for Sopranos. In 2003 she was selected to participate in the inaugural season of the Renata Scotto Opera Academy in New York. This summer she will perform the Role of Laurie in “The Tender Land” at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel.

Nili Riemer, coloratura soprano, has been recognized as one of the nation’s most promising young singers by the Presidential Scholars Committee and won first place in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search Competition funded by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts. She is a recent graduate of a five year dual degree program, at the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University, majoring in Vocal Performance and International Relations.

In 2003, she attended the summer programs of BASOTI in San Francisco, and the Bel Canto Institute in New York. She traveled to Israel to sing the role of Miss Silverpeal, from Mozart’s “Impresario” with the International Vocal Arts Institute.

Meredith Skinner, Soprano is from Massachusetts. Recently she received her Masters of Music Degree from Boston University. She is a Semi-finalist of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, and winner of the Opera Lirica Aria Competition in Orvieto, Italy. She has extensive opera and oratorio experience, and this summer will appear as Soprano Soloist in Anton Bruckner’s Requiem in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Marsha Thompson, soprano, was born in Corpus Christie, Texas. She majored in violin and voice at the University of Houston. Marsha is a winner of grants from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, the George London Foundation, and won the Reyfuss Singer Actor Award from the Orlando Opera in 2000. She sang the role of Bess in “Porgy and Bess” with the New York City Opera, and will sing Mimi in La Bohéme and the title role in “Tosca” with the New Opera Festival di Roma in Rome this summer.

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