Meet our Class of 2006. We are proud and delighted to be able to support and provide a “career bridge” for these talented young performers.

Ross Benoliel, Baritone, is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts and the University of Michigan. Mr. Benoliel has performed with Chautauqua Opera, Portland Opera (Oregon), and Lake George Opera. He will be a Young American Artist with Glimmerglass Opera for 2006. Mr. Benoliel was a finalist of both the 2005 Jensen Foundation Competition, and the 2004 New England Regionals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Laurence Broderick, Tenor, recently completed an engagement with the New York City Opera, singing Trin in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. He has performed with the Sarasota Opera in Falstaff, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. He is an accomplished organist, pianist and choral conductor.

Eleni Calenos, Soprano, obtained her master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Queens College. Her first degree is a diploma in Cello Performance from the Municipal Conservatory of Salonika in Greece, where she was born. Eleni has performed as a professional cellist for the Municipal Orchestra of Salonika. At Queens College,she played the role of the mother in Hansel and Gretel, and Vee Talbott in Orpheus Descending by Bruce Saylor. Ms. Calenos recently appeared with the Portland (ME) and Albany Symphonies, under the direction of David Alan Miller, in *Mirologhia* by George Tsontakis.

Rachele Gilmore, Soprano, received her Bachelor of Music from Indiana University and is a recipient of the Anna Sosenko Trust Scholarship at Boston University College of Fine Arts.She sang the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Center City Opera Theater in Philadelphia . She has been a member of the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Ensemble, And the Glimmer Glass Opera Young American Artist program.

Albert R. Lee, Tenor, received his B.M. from the University of Connecticut, and M.M. from The Juilliard School. He was featured as tenor soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, and has been a member of the Kentucky Opera Rudd Young Artist Program as well as the Palm Beach Opera American Young Artist Program. Mr. Lee is a national finalist in Palm Beach Opera*s Vocal Competition, and a recipient of the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists.

Jennifer Marshall, Soprano, received her Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where she performed the title role in the North American premiere of Martinu’s opera Mirandolina. Originally from Huntington, Long Island, Ms. Marshall received her Bachelor of Music from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music and holds a second Bachelors degree in Italian from Stony Brook University. She is also an alumna of Renata Scotto’s U.S. Opera Academy.

Angela Meade, Soprano. is a native of Centralia Washington, is currently a resident artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, PA, with a master’s degree in vocal performance from The University of Southern California, and a Bachelor*s Degree from Pacific Lutheran University.Ms. Meade is an International Grand Finalist with the Gerda Lissner Foundation in New York. She is also a finalist in the upcoming James Parkinson Opera-Foundation Competition as well as being a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, in 2005.

Florin Olimpio, Tenor, Born in Bistrita, Romania, a graduate of the National University of Music, Bucharest, Romania. with a Masters of the Performing Arts from Indiana University, Florin has performed in the United States and Europe. He has been awarded the Vienna ProArte International Prize, the Ioan Holender Deutsche Bank Special Prize and the Trian Grozavescu, International Voice Competition. Recently, Florin appeared in the film, Callas Forever, directed by Franco Zefferelli.

Francesca Mondanaro, Soprano, is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, She has appeared with Anchorage Opera, The Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Nashville Opera, Sarasota Opera, New York Grand Opera, She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New England Symphonium in Schubert’s Mass in G and Haydn’s Mass in B-Flat Major. In 2006 she was soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem under the baton of Maestro Paul Nadler for the Southwest Florida Symphony. Rachel has been the winner of awards from institutions such as the Mario Lanza Vocal Competition, the 5 Towns Art and Music Competition, and the Anna-Maria Saritelli Bel Canto Competition.

Noah Stewart, Tenor, Recent debuts this season include the role as The Wizard in Conrad Susa’s Transformations at The Wexford Festival, and with The Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. He many awards include first place winner of The Florida Grand Opera Competition, The Outstanding Vocal Potential Award given by The Kurt Weill Competition, The Opera Index Award Grant, Finalist of The George London Competition and Puccini Foundation Study Grant. Mr. Stewart will join The San Francisco Opera as an Adler Fellow in the spring of 2007

Rachel Watkins, Soprano, Born in Beaumont Texas, she received her Bachelor of Music Performance, and Master of Music at Yale University, completing her studies at the International Opera Studio with the Opernhaus in Zurich, Switzerland. She is a winner of the MacAllister Opera Competition, The Jenny Lind Soprano Competition, the Rosa Ponselle Foundation, the Giulio Gari Opera Competition, and the Liederkaranz Competition in New York. This year she made her debut to great acclaim as Julliette in Gounod’s Faust, under the baton of Maestro Anton Coppola.

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