News of Our Singers
We have wonderful news to share about our Career Bridges Winners. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our singers, and our three-year mentoring and nurturing program has enabled many of them to fulfill their dream of a career. Barbara and I are deeply appreciative of your continuing interest and support which makes this all possible and look forward to seeing you at our future events.
Wishing you the very best,
Barbara and David
Russian-American soprano Valentina Fleer continues to draw widespread attention for the unique timbre and shimmering quality of her voice. As a member of the Domingo-Thorton Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera, she made her debut as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, and returns this season as Musetta in La Bohème. She also covered the leading soprano roles in Il Postino, Rigoletto, and Il Turco in Italia, filling in for Nino Machaidze during the initial week of rehearsal. Throughout her time in Los Angeles, Valentina has received strong encouragement and guidance from Plácido Domingo and James Conlon.
2011 included performances as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Opera Saratoga, and a US tour with the Munich Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Philippe Entremont as the soprano soloist for the Mozart Requiem. In 2010 she completed the prestigious Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where she sang the role of Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, and performed scenes from Lucia di Lammermoor with the San Francisco Opera Symphony Orchestra. That year she also made her Carnegie Hall debut as young Mary in Marcos Galvany’s contemporary operatic tableau, Oh My Son. In 2008 and 2009 Valentina trained at the Young American Artists Program at Glimmerglass Opera, performing Anna Gomez in The Consul and covering the role of Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. She helped promote the company’s 2009 season by participating in a master class with Sir Jonathan Miller on the final act of La Traviata (as Violetta). That year she also made her debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Alla Borzova’s contemporary work, Songs for Lada, which has recently been released on the Naxos label.
Originally from Moscow, Russia, Valentina grew up in New York City, where she studied liberal arts and music at Columbia Unviersity and did her graduate work in vocal performance at the Manhattan School of Music. She is a recipient of the 2009 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, and the second place winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera Eastern Region National Council Auditions.
During the 2009-2010 season, Jorell sang as a guest artist with the Verein Opera in Zürich, performing in a Gala concert of Opera under the direction of international Tenor Francisco Araiza. He created the role of Tomás Cabral in the premiere of composer John David Earnest’s The Theory of Everything with Encompass New Opera Theater, performed as a guest artist at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine’s Concert for Peace with soprano’s Lauren Flanigan and Amy Burton under the baton of Maestro Glen Cortese, and created the role of the Presenter of the Church in a workshop reading of composer Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, which was a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Opera Theatre. He also had the honor of performing with the Chorale Le Chateau of New York in “A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA” in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the occasion of the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19, 2009.
He finishes the season with the Opera Company of Brooklyn as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus at the American Ballet Theater, lead by award-winning dancers Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Aaron Copland School of Music, a concert series with the Career Bridges Foundation at the Gerhard Theater at the “Osterreicische Gesellschaft für Musik” in Vienna, and will participate as a Young Artist at the Caramoor International Music Festival performing the role of de Fiesque in Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan.
Mr. Williams is a graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, where he sang the roles of le Directeur in Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias, the title roles in Robert Sirota’s The Tailor of Gloucester and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Tarquinnius in The Rape of Lucretia, Gabriel von Eisenstein (Cover) in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Milord Arespighn in Cimarosa’s rare comic opera L’italiana in Londra, Ronaldo Cabral in John Musto’s New York premiere of Later the same evening, and Robert Garner in a preview of Richard Danielpour’s New York premiere of Margaret Garner with the production team of New York City Opera.
Jorell received his undergraduate education at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where he performed the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, le Marquis de la Force and le Geôlier in Poulenc’s les Dialogues des Carmélites, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, King Melchior in Amahl & the night visitors, Peter (cover) in Hänsel und Gretel, Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen, and Pontevedrian Councellor Kromov in Lehar’s The Merry Widow.
Other performances include the Sergeant of Police in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, Sciarrone (cover) in Puccini’s Tosca, and Henry Davis in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, with Chautauqua Opera, Cal (cover) in Mark Blitzstein’s Regina with Des Moines Metro Opera, Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Dr. Stone in Menotti’s Help! The Globolinks, and Dromio of Ephesus/Syracuse in Richard Roger’s Musical The Boys from Syracuse with EnCanta Opera, Ping (cover) in Turandot with Opera North, L’horloge Comtoise & Le Chat in Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with the Project Opera of Manhattan.
As a concert artist, he has sung the Fauré Requiem, Brahm’s Requiem, the Bach Magnificat, BWV 243, Vaughn Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli (Paukenmesse), and excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass and St. Matthews Passion.
Jorell is a recipient of multiple awards, including 2nd place in the Gerda Lissner International vocal competition, 2nd place in the Harlem Opera Vocal Competition, the Harold Bauer award from Manhattan School of Music, an Encouragement award grant from the Lotte Lenya Foundation, the Schuyler Career Bridges Foundation, a Hermann Lissner Foundation Scholar, David Adams art song competition, National Association of Negro Musicians Competition, winner of the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition, and a Liberace Foundation Scholar.