Meet our Class of 2008. We are proud and delighted to be able to support and provide a “career bridge” for these talented young performers.

YoungJoo An, Received his Bachelor of Music degree from Yonsei University in Korea and Master of Music Degree from Mannes College this year, where he made his operatic debut as Michele in Il Tabarro. He will be appearing in the San Francisco Merola program this summer. He is 2006 New York District winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and Second Place winner of the Chester Ludgin International Verdi Competition.

Thomas Cannon, Baritone, born in Hahnville Louisiana, is a graduate of Baylor University, and just received his Master of Music degree from the Julliard School. He has performed the role of Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca with Opera North, and the role of Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen.

Valentina Fleer, soprano born in Russia, Valentina received her Bachelor of Music from Barnard College, Her Masters from Manhattan School of Music and is completing her Professional Studies Certificate this year. She is a laureate Winner of the George London Foundation as well as the recipient of an Anna Sosenko Grant. She has performed as featured artist with the National Orchestra of Lima, Peru , as well as the “Dreams Fulfilled Concert” in Weill Hall.

Su Jung Kim, soprano, earned her Bachelor of Music degree at Kyung-Hee University at Seoul, Korea, and her Masters of Music at Mannes College of Music. She is a winner of the Liederkranz Foundation and recently starred in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Opera Company Brooklyn. She participated as a studio artist with the Jersey Opera Theater Summer Program.

Jessica Stavros, soprano, is a current member of the Opera Institute at Boston University and hold a master’s degree the Manhattan School of Music.Ms. Stavros has performed featured roles at the Music Academy of the West under the guidance of Marilyn Horne and Warren Jones. In 2006, she covered the title role in the US stage premiere of Schumann’s Genoveva at Bard Summerscape Festival. Her many awards include an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Middle Atlantic Regional Finals and first place in the 2004 IOV competition.

Jorell Williams, baritone, is completing his Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. This summer he will be joining the Apprentice Artist program with the Des Moines Metro Opera, as well as performing Street Scene as a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera.Mr. Williams is a winner of the third annual David Adams Vocal Competition, as well as the Charles A. Lynam Vocal competition

Lauren Woody, soprano, holds both Bachelor and Master of music degrees from the University of Connecticut. She portrayed Lepido in the U.S. Premiere of Handel’s Opera Silla with the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute in San Francisco. She made her professional debut with the singing opera scenes with the Hartford Festival Orchestra. She was featured prominently as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel with the Opera Theater of Connecticut.

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