Australian leggero tenor Alasdair Kent takes part in the Merola Opera Program this summer, covering Ernesto in Don Pasquale and singing Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi. Opera News praised his “sweet, limber tenor,” after recent performances as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance. In 2015, he was a Regional Finalist and Encouragement Award winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Middle Atlantic), was a Grant Winner in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s International Vocal Competition, a Grant Winner in the Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition, and won First Prize in the Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition. Mr. Kent is a current Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts, where his roles have included Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri and Ferrando in Così fan tutte.
Mezzo Soprano, Alyssa Martin, most recently completed her tenure as an Emerging Artist at Virginia Opera. She has also participated in the young artist programs of companies such as Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Utah Festival Opera. She has been the recipient of awards from the Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition, Dayton Opera Guild, the Orpheus Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Martin completed her studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Patricia Stiles and Carol Vaness. Upcoming events for Ms. Martin include engagements with the Santa Fe Opera and Arizona Opera.
Anne Marie is a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Last summer, she completed Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy and performed with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Recently, Anne Marie won First Prize in the Senior Division of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition. She will make her solo debut with the orchestra in their 2015-2016 season. Anne Marie is thrilled to be a member of the Apprentice Singer Program with The Santa Fe Opera this summer 2015. She studies with Lindsey Christiansen.
Ukrainian born soprano Antonina Chekhovskaya was recently named the winner of the Cooper-Bing Competition, Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship and a second-time winner of the Michigan District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In September, Ms. Chekhovskaya will make her New York City debut in recital at the National Opera America Center. In concert she will perform Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Ravel’s Sheherazade with Dexter Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s Second Symphony with Modesto Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Chekhovskaya was the Grand Prize winner of the Czech & Slovak International Voice Competition (2013) in Montreal, the University of Michigan Friends of Opera Competition (2013), and the U-M Concerto Competition (2014), which granted her a performance of Vier letzte Lieder (Strauss) with the USO. Antonina holds two Master’s Degrees in Performance (Voice) and Conducting (Choral) from the University of Michigan.
Bass-baritone Daniel Noyola is currently a second year resident artist at Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia. The San Luis Potosi, Mexico, native studied voice with Arturo Nieto at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City. He now studies with William Stone at AVA. Among his competition honors, Noyola lists Second prize at the Mario Lanza’s 2014 competition, Encouragement award and finalist in the New England Regional in the Met competition MONC 2015, the Youthful Potential Award of the XXXI Carlo Morelli contest at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City 2013; Audience Favorite prize at the Concurso Nacional de Canto de la Opera de San Miguel in 2013.
Mezzo-soprano Kara Sainz, recognized by the New York Times for her “vocal warmth and rich character”, is a first year Master of Music student at Juilliard, where she also received her undergraduate degree. She spent the summer of 2014 with Wolf Trap Opera, where she sang the role of Nireno in Giulio Cesare. At Juilliard she has performed as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zaida in Il Turco in Italia, and Clytemnestre cover in the Juilliard and Metropolitan Opera’s production of Iphigénie en Aulide. This summer, Kara will be on tour with Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Music singing the music of Bach under Maestro Masaaki Suzuki.
Lauren Michelle, soprano, is a USA Representative of The 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Originally from Los Angeles, she has appeared internationally as Musetta in La Bohème in Tel Aviv, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Banff Center, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at Teatro Romano di Fiesole, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Malibran in Italy. Lauren Michelle was a featured artist in the Britten-Pears Programme, Aspen Opera Theater and Stephanie Blythe’s Fall Island Song Program. Most recently, she was awarded a prize in The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition and First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Juilliard School.
Marie Civitarese, soprano, is a native of British Columbia, Canada. Marie is a graduating senior in the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College. Roles performed with Purchase Opera include: Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Gretel and the Dew Fairy (Hänsel und Gretel), Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Adele (Die Fledermaus), and l’esprit (Cendrillon). Opera scene performances include Norina (Don Pasquale), Zdenka (Arabella), and Marzelline (Fidelio). Marie has also appeared as a soloist in the Purchase College Chorus’s performances of the Fauré Requiem and Poulenc’s Messe en Sol Majeur. Marie currently studies with Bonnie Hamilton.
Megan Nielson (soprano), a Wisconsin native, most recently performed Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle/Ithaca Opera) and Chrysothemis (Elektra/ Manhattan Opera Studio). She has also been seen in the NYC area as Nedda (Pagliacci/Amore Opera), First Lady (Die Zauberflote/Amore Opera) and Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica/Manhattan Opera Studio) Mimi (La Boheme/CoOPERAtive). Future engagements include covering Tosca (Tosca/Chelsea Opera), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni/Amore Opera). Ms. Nielson studies with Ms. Laura Brooks Rice and coaches with Thomas Bagwell.
Baritone SeungHyeon Baek is quickly gaining recognition, throughout the American Opera circuit, recent engagements for SeungHyeon Baek include the title role of GIANNI SCHICCHI , Don Alvaro in IL VIAGGIO A REIMS and Di Cosimo in the New York Premiere of Daniel Catán’s IL POSTINO with Mannes Opera. SeungHyeon Baek performed as Monterone and covering Rigoletto in RIGOLETTO with Crested Butte Festival as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist, Schaunard(Cover) in LA BOHEME with Ash Lawn Opera as a Young Artist and Ford in FALSTAFF with Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance Program. This summer he is going to perform as Count in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble in NY. SeungHyeon Baek has Professional Studies Degree in Mannes College of Music, holds his Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree at ChungAng University in Korea.
Mezzo-soprano, Tatiana Ogan, is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado. She was an international level Irish Step Dancer and Division I track and field athlete before pursuing a career in Opera. Tatiana was a Studio artist at Chautauqua Opera in 2013, and joined the Central City Opera Apprentice Program in 2014, receiving the John Moriarty Award for Outstanding Apprentice Artist. She returns to Central City this summer. This May, she performs the role of the Minskwoman in Flight with Mannes Opera, where she is finishing her Master’s Degree. Next year, she returns to Mannes, continuing her studies with Ruth Falcon.
Born in South Carolina, Eugene was raised in southern California as the son of a San Diego Padres baseball player. An athlete himself, Eugene attended the University of Hawaii and played for the school’s baseball team. Working as a fashion model in Las Vegas & Los Angeles, he was only recently introduced to the world of opera and began studying with Luana Devol. He made his professional opera debut in Opera Las Vegas’ production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville as The Sergeant and has recently worked with the company again in their 2015 production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as The Bonze. Eugene was also recently selected to be a part of Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices in the American Wagner Project division.