Meet the Singers and Judges - Region Finals 2019

Judges

Currently Senior Director and Artistic Adviser for Carnegie Hall, Jeremy Geffen will assume the position of Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances at the University of California at Berkeley on April 1, 2019. His responsibilities at Carnegie Hall include overall program planning and thematic development for the entirety of the approximately 150 performances comprising the Carnegie Hall concert season, as well as the creation of a wide range of audience education programs.

During his tenure he has overseen the expansion of Carnegie Hall festivals, multi-disciplinary citywide explorations devoted to a specific topic ranging from the geographic (China, Japan, Latin America, and Vienna), to the retrospective (Leonard Bernstein 90 years after his birth), to the historical (South African culture 20 years after the election of Nelson Mandela, the Venetian Republic, the United States in the 1960s, and the upcoming festival of the impact of large scale migrations on American culture). Through festivals Carnegie Hall has partnered with cultural, academic and media organizations around New York City – and, increasingly, across the country - attracting many new audience members. Jeremy has steered Carnegie Hall’s ambitious 125 Commissions project marking the Hall’s 125th anniversary with at least 125 new works co-commissioned or commissioned between the 125th (2015-16) and 130th (2019-20) seasons, which has included three commissions for Sō Percussion.

At Carnegie Hall he is responsible for maintaining key creative relationships between established artists and ensembles, identifying and cultivating associations with artists and ensembles which expand Carnegie Hall’s programmatic scope, and actively seeking out those performing and compositional voices who will play an important role in the Hall’s future. In addition to developing Carnegie Hall festivals, Jeremy has been responsible for selecting artists for the other season-long large-scale artist-curation projects that give each season its unique identity - Carnegie Hall Perspectives and the Debs Composers Chair - and supporting those artists in programming these series. Under his guidance both series have expanded from being focused almost exclusively on classical music to include jazz, world music, American Roots, pop and other non-classical musics. A passionate advocate for giving emerging talent the defining opportunities necessary for high-level careers as performers and educators, he is part of the team responsible for the auditioning, selection, programming and creation of career development curriculum for Ensemble Connect, Carnegie Hall’s two-year fellowship program for the highest-caliber young artists-advocates.

Jeremy leads multiple audience development initiatives, including programming and delivering pre-concert lectures, hosting symposia, special events, and public discussions with some of the world’s great artists and thinkers. He has served as both moderator and host for donor-appreciation and development events, and from 2007 until its end in 2013, served as on-stage host for Carnegie Hall’s Making Music concerts, each devoted to the works of a single living composer.

Prior to his appointment at Carnegie Hall, Jeremy was Vice President of Artistic Administration for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (2005–2007) and Artistic Administrator of the New York Philharmonic (2000–2005). From January 1998 until September 2000 he was Associate Artistic Administrator for the Aspen Music Festival and School where, beyond his regular scope of activities, he taught courses in music at Colorado Mountain College, hosted a weekly classical music radio show on KAJX, and at age 26 became the Aspen Institute’s youngest-ever seminar moderator in February and March 2000.

Jeremy currently serves on the advisory entities for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program (previously CMS Two) and the Avery Fisher Career Grant; on the Advisory Board of the Fondazione delli Arti – Venezia, the National Advisory Council of the Music Academy of the West, and - as of November 2018 - the board of The House Foundation, devoted to the preservation and future of Meredith Monk’s artistic legacy. A frequent adjudicator of competitions, Jeremy has served on the jury of the 2015 Honens International Piano Competition, 2011 Wigmore Hall / Kohn Foundation International Song Competition, the nominating jury for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and district, regional and national final levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In addition, Jeremy chaired the nominating jury for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, awarding the prize to Caroline Shaw, then the youngest recipient in the Prize’s history. In June 2015 Jeremy was honored at Bang on a Can’s annual gala with their Visionary Award.

A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Jeremy was raised in Newport Beach, California. While pursuing a bachelor of music degree in viola performance at the University of Southern California, Jeremy developed problems with his right hand that led him away from performance and into arts administration, which combines his curiosity for and love of the breadth of artistic expression, the artists who bring that work to life, and the transformative ways in which the arts enrich all of our lives.

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Jennifer Ringo is known internationally as a language coach and teacher of vocal diction. She has prepared productions for the Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, The Atlanta Opera,  The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Cincinnati May Festival, Aspen Opera Theater, USC Thornton School of Music . Ms Ringo taught French, Italian, German and English vocal diction at Bard College Conservatory of Music from 2005 to 2008. She frequently coaches The Israeli Summer Arts Festival, Song Fest, the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Program of the Los Angeles Opera, and the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival. In the current season , Ms Ringo will be coaching two world premiers, as Spanish coach for Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and English Diction at the Santa Fe Opera for Poul Ruders' 13th Child. 

An internationally acclaimed soprano, she has sung leading roles with the San Francisco Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Houston Grand Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company, among others. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa and continued graduate studies in voice at The Juilliard School. Jennifer Ringo  was a member of the San Francisco Opera Merola program , the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and was a finalist the in regional Metropolitan Opera auditions. 
She has studied diction privately with Nico Castel, Robert Cowart, Janine Reiss, and Pierre Vallet and  maintains vocal studios in New York and Los Angeles.

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Melissa Wegner joined the artistic staff of the Metropolitan Opera in 2011 and currently serves as Executive Director of the National Council Auditions (MONC). She auditions hundreds of young singers annually and is passionate about assisting them with their career development. Ms. Wegner hears artists in stage and screening auditions at the Met and is responsible for casting the Met’s New Opera Commissions workshops. In addition to judging the District, Region and National rounds of MONC, Ms. Wegner has also adjudicated the Belvedere Competition in South Africa and Russia, the SAI Vocal Competition, and the McCammon Voice Competition. She is a faculty member at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Program for Singers, has been visiting faculty for Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and is a frequent guest speaker at conservatories, universities and summer festivals. As a soprano, Ms. Wegner performed opera, concerts and recitals in the United States and Europe.

She worked at New York City Opera as a Supertitles Associate and continues this work on a freelance basis with organizations including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Wegner is a member of Families of FANA WNY, which fundraises to support the orphanage in Colombia from which she was adopted. She is a Trustee of the Foundation Board of SUNY Potsdam, an Advisory Board Member of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a founding member of its Vocal Arts Program Alumni Association. Ms. Wegner holds degrees from Bard College, The Manhattan School of Music, and The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.


Singers

Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times) and for his “vivid and powerful” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Countertenor Daniel Moody has appeared in the title roles in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, Arsamene in Handel’s Xerxes, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and most recently, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Cincinnati Opera alongside Anthony Roth Costanzo. Mr. Moody has performed with renowned groups Les Violons du Roy (w/ Bernard Labadie) in Québec City, Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra (w/ Jeannette Sorrell), Portland Baroque Orchestra (w/ David Hill) and at the Boston, Indianapolis and Washington Early Music Festivals. A graduate of the prestigious Yale Voxtet at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music – he has performed as soloist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, London’s St. John’s Smith Square and, Cambridge’s Trinity College, with conductors Masaaki Suzuki, Simon Carrington, and Matthew Halls with performances broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in the United Kingdom, on Boston’s WGBH, Indiana’s WFIU, and WSHU’s Sunday Baroque.

Recent highlights include Carnegie Hall debuts with Oratorio Society of New York and with Musica Sacra (w/ Kent Tritle) and the American premiere of George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song (w/ Stefan Asbury) at the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood Festival. In 2019, Mr. Moody premieres with the Atlanta Symphony in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in a duet concert with famed mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter. Mr. Moody is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (BM ’14), Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music (MM ‘16). He has won awards from the George London Competition, Sullivan Foundation, Handel Aria Competition, New York Oratorio Society Competition and Russell Wonderlic Competition.

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Korean Soprano, Joowon Chae, was most recently awarded first place in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Competition in January 2019. She is also a Metropolitan Opera National Council Eastern Region Finalist, fifth place winner of the Cooper-Bing Competition 2017 at Opera Columbus, Audience Award recipient of Opera Libera Competition 2016, and the winner of Kennett Symphony Voice Competition in 2015. Ms. Chae will perform the role of “Gretel” in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel at Opera Saratoga this upcoming summer. She has performed at many prestigious summer programs and venues, including the Aspen Music Festival, Opera Naples, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Opera House of Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Arts center, the Mannes School of Music, and Temple University. Ms. Chae’s repertoire includes roles such as “Adina” in L’elisir d’amore, “Mimi” in La Bohème, “Hanna Glawari” in The Merry Widow, “Giunia” in Lucio Silla, “Serpetta” in La finta giardiniera, and “Maia” in The Cows of Apollo. 
Ms. Chae recently graduated from Mannes School of Music in Voice, PDPL, under the tutelage of Ruth Falcon. She completed her M.M. in Opera at Temple University in Philadelphia, U.S.A. and her B.M. in vocal performance at Seoul National University in Seoul.

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Tenor Joseph Tancredi from Bayville, New York is completing his final undergraduate year at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam. Previous credits include I due timidi (Raimondo) with Manhattan School of Music, L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino) and The Student Prince (Detlef) with the Chautauqua Voice Institute. Scene work includes Die Zauberflöte (Tamino), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Belmonte), Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio), Street Scene (Sam Kaplan), and Vanessa (Anatol) with the Manhattan School of Music. He was named a winner of the 2018 Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies Inc. Competition at the Chautauqua Institution this past summer. In April, Joseph will be singing the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring with the MSM Senior Opera Theatre. This summer, he will be a Young Artist in the 2019 Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program where he will be covering the role of Benjamin in the world premiere of Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child. Mr. Tancredi is a recipient of the Emily M. Voorhis Scholarship at Manhattan School of Music.

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Soprano Carolina López Moreno, a versatile, award winning soprano known for bringing ‘drama, soft colors and empathy’ (Stuttgarter Zeitung) to every performance, is a New York District Finals Winner of Season 2018/19 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition and First Grand Prize winner of the Berliner International Music Competition 2018. She was awarded the Special Prize at the TV production SWR Young Opera Stars 2018. She is a recipient of the DAAD Scholarship, Richard Wagner Federation Scholarship of Richard Wagner Federation and the German Talent Scholarship of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Ms. López is currently studying under Edith Bers at Manhattan School of Music in her first-year Master Degree where she made her New York City Debut and starred as the leading soprano Mariuccia in the production I Due Timidi at the Neidorff-Karpati Hall. Other principal roles in Germany include; Street Scene (Rose Maurrant), Dialogues des Carmelites (Blanche) and Die Zauberflöte (Pamina). She has performed as a soloist in major works such as Bizet’s Te Deum and Orff’s Carmina Burana. In addition, she has given recitals in prestigious concert venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie and the Jugendstil-Festhalle Landau. Ms. López has recently released her debut album ‘Il bel sogno’ with ARS-Production Records. Future engagements in NYC include her Carnegie Hall Debut in April 2019.

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Hubert Zapiór – baritone from Brzesko, Poland, is an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at The Juilliard School in New York City, where he studies with Edith Wiens. He graduated from Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. He was also a participant of The Opera Academy - Young Talents Development Program at The Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera. Mr. Zapiór is a recipient of various international competition awards: The Opera Index Award at The Opera Index Vocal Competition 2018, First Prize at The Gerda Lissner Foundation Lieder/Song Vocal Competition 2018, First Prize Winner at The Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition, First Prize Winner at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Voice Competition 2018, Winner of The Career Bridges 2018, Third Prize and Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists Programme Special Award at the 8th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition in Turkey (2015) and The Second Prize and 3 Special Prizes including For The Best Interpretation of a Paderewski's Song in The Kosciuszko Foundation Marcela Sembrich International Voice Competition 2018 in NY.


He is also a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Region Finalist and he will challenge for a place in the semifinal on February 6th. Since his operatic debut in the title role of J.J. Rousseau’s Der Dorfwahrsager at the Rheinsberger Schlosstheater in 2013, he has appeared in the Polish premieres of J.F. Handel’s Agrippina as Lesbo and S. Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici as Servo. He performed the title role in W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni, sang as Conte in Le nozze di Figaro and as Prosdocimo in Il Turco in Italia by G. Rossini at the Warsaw Chamber Opera.


Last season Mr. Zapiór made his debut as Papageno in Barrie Kosky’s production of Die Zauberflöte at The Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw, and as Herr Fluth in Otto Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor and as Neptune in Rameu’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Juilliard Opera in New York City. In the season 2018/2019 Mr. Zapiór sings the baritone part in Britten’s “War Requiem” with The Albany Symphony and returns to Warsaw to perform in Die Zauberflöte and make his role debut as Marullo in Verdi’s “Rigoletto”. He will finish his education at The Juilliard School by singing the title role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in April 2019.

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Chinese soprano Xueyan Fan recently completed her Professional Study Diploma at Mannes School of Music. In the past summer, Miss Fan sang the role of Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine with Miami Music Festival and Liu in Puccini’s Turandot with Opera New York. She has been heard previously as Fiorlidigi in Così Fan Tutte at Verona Conservatory in Italy. She also sang Queen of Night in Die Zauberflöte with Manhattan Opera Studio and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Mannes school of Music. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Liu and Juliette. She was a Verismo Opera Competition Finalist and New York International Vocal Competition Finalist. Ms. Fan earned her Bachelor degree from Jiangxi Normal University and Master degree from Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

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Hailed in Opera News for her “poise” and “vocal purity”, soprano Mary Evelyn Hangley has been featured on concert and opera stages across the United States. In 2019, she begins a prestigious Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera. Most recently in Summer 2018, Mary Evelyn performed the role of Anna Sørensen in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night at The Glimmerglass Festival. Ms. Hangley spent two seasons as a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera and has appeared as Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Musetta in La Bohème, and Woglinde in Das Rheingold among other roles with the company. She has been seen at prestigious summer music festivals including the Merola Opera Program, a division of the San Francisco Opera Center, and The Glimmerglass Festival. When a colleague fell ill during Conrad Susa’s Transformations, the San Francisco Chronicle noted Mary Evelyn “came to the rescue, giving a vibrant vocal performance from the pit”. Upcoming performances include Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at SUNY Fredonia. Mary Evelyn holds a BM in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and a MM in Voice Performance from Florida State University.

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In 2012 Jeremy Brauner received a BFA in musical theatre from Montclair State University, where he had his first opera experiences. He began his opera career in 2013 as a baritone participating in Sarasota Opera's young artist program, originating new works with the International Brazilian Opera Company and placing in the semi finals of New Jersey State Opera's Alfredo Silipigni vocal competition. In 2015, he began work with his teacher Carol Yahr to make a transition from baritone to tenor. In 2016 he made his Tenor debut as Alfredo in Dell’Arte opera’s production of La Traviata, and received the first place prize of the Martin Jeiven award from the company. In 2017 Jeremy performed the role Cavaradossi in TOSCA and Fernando in the American premiere of La Zingara, produced by Amore Opera, and returned to Dell’Arte to perform the role of Rector in Příhody lišky Bystroušky (The Cunning Little Vixen) in Czech. Jeremy Covered the role of Faust in FAUST with Natchez Festival of Music.

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Soprano Stephanie Jabre most recently sang Lauretta with the Metropolitan Opera Guild in their lecture performance of Gianni Schicchi. Stephanie has sung with several nationally recognized companies including The Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York City Opera, Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Nashville Opera, St. Petersburg Opera Company, American Opera Projects, The Westchester Oratorio Society, and others. This past 2018 season, Stephanie was a resident artist with St. Petersburg Opera Company. She performed the role of Papagena in their production of Die Zauberflöte this past February and covered the role of Marian Paroo in The Music Man this past summer. Stephanie also sang the role of Philia in The Heights Players production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and made her solo debut with the Westchester Oratorio Society in their concert performance of Bach: St. John’s Passion. Past Roles include: Gianetta (L’elisir d’amore), Giuditta (La Giuditta), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Amore (Orfeo ed Euridice) Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Mabel (Pirates of Penzance), Mrs. Segstrom (A Little Night Music), Ida/Dancer (Die Fledermaus), Cinderella (Into the Woods), Hope Cladwell (Urinetown), and Babette (Beauty and the Beast). In concert, Stephanie has performed solos in the Messiah, Bach St. John’s Passion, Handel’s Samson, and Vivaldi’s Gloria, among others. She has made solo guest appearances with the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra performing both concert and operatic works of Mozart and most recently performed as a featured soloist in the Seasonal Sparkle Concert with St. Petersburg Opera Company where she sang "The Lusty Month of May" and Musetta in the famous Act 3 quartet from La Boheme.

She is currently a Regional Finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the New York Eastern Region. She will be returning to St. Petersburg Opera in May to sing Lauretta and Suor Genovieffa in the Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi double bill. Stephanie earned her graduate degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Dayton where she received both an honors scholarship and performance and education grant.

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Korean tenor WooYoung Yoon recently distinguished himself in competitions. He won the Grand Prix prize and the Audience favorite award in Talents of the World International Voice Competition, and he was granted 3rd prize and a Special Prize for a role in an opera/operetta production at Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, Poland in the 2019/2020 season (offered by Maestro Maciej Figas) in The Kosciuszko Foundation Marcella Sembrich International Voice Competition. He also has been a Eastern Regional Finalist in Met National Council 2019. In the spring of 2019, he returns to San Francisco Opera taking part in the Schwabacher Recital Series, then he joins New Jersey State Opera as Rodolfo in La Bohème. Last summer he debuted as Tonio in the Merola Grand finale on the stage of San Francisco Opera, as Nadir in Schwabacher concert of Merola Opera Program. In Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Neil Rosenshein, he performed as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte for the spring 2018, earning Professional studies. He also performed as Tito in La clemenza di Tito for the fall 2016 on the main stage opera at MSM earning a Master of Music.

“Among singers from South Korea, the first to score big was tenor WooYoung Yoon, with eight pure and glorious high C’s in Tonio’s aria “Ah, mes amis!” from The Daughter of the Regiment. Unlike famous performers of this knotty aria — which brought Luciano Pavarotti to the world’s attention — Yoon didn’t rush into the climaxing ninth C. He paused, took a big breath with a sigh — bringing friendly laughter from the audience — and then hit the rafters and held the note right into the inevitable ovation.” – 2018 Merola Finale Was Grand Indeed, JANOS GEREBEN – San Francisco Classical Voice


“In the title role, WooYoung Yoon's dark voice and verismo aesthetic lent a touch of melancholy to the enlightened Emperor. Yoon's many recitatives were thoughtful and well delivered, and his vocal poise helped convey nobility and anger in the aria "Se all'impero.” – La Clemenza di Tito, Judith Malafronte – Opera News
He has covered Don Jose in Carmen for the Martina Arroyo Foundation 2017 Prelude to Performance. In the summer of 2016, he made his Italy debut as Don Jose in Carmen with the Trentino Music Festival. WooYoung previously had credit tenor roles, including Luisa Miller(Rodolfo), Die Entführung aus dem Serail(Belmonte) with MSM, Un ballo in maschera (Riccardo), La Bohème (Rodolfo) with KyungHee University in the Republic of Korea. He was an Eastern Regional Finalist in the Met Council 2018, a finalist in Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition 2017, in the Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition 2017, and he received Honorable Mention from Metropolitan International Vocal Competition in 2016.

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Soprano Julia Wolcott of State College, Pennsylvania is a second year Boston University Opera Institute student studying under the tutelage of Penelope Bitzas. She received her undergraduate degree with distinction from the Pennsylvania State University and her master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Recent engagements at Boston University include the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata and Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring. Other favorite roles performed include Tulip in Bolcom’s A Wedding, Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Giunone in Cavalli’s La Calisto. She performed in Dublin and London as of part of Iain Burnside’s Drums and Guns concert honoring the 1916 Irish Uprising, and she lived in Vienna, Austria in 2014-2015 as she attended the Deutsch Akademie. Ms. Wolcott has been a young artist at the Aspen Music Festival, Charlottesville Opera, and the Castleton Festival. She performed as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Juilliard Orchestra and Westminster Chapel Choir under the baton of Maestro Gary Thor Wedow and made her Alice Tully Hall debut on Brian Zeger’s Songfest. Ms. Wolcott was previously a semi-finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Competition and Premiere Opera Vocal Competition and has participated in live-streamed masterclasses with Stephanie Blythe and Maestro Fabio Luisi. This summer, Ms. Wolcott will attend the Glimmerglass Festival.

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New York City based opera singer William Guanbo Su, bass, currently pursuing his Master’s degree at The Juilliard School under the guidance of Cynthia Hoffmann. In 2018, he was a member of GYA young artists at Opera theatre of Saint Louis, also a voice fellow at The Aspen Music Festival and School, where he played as the principle role of Don Basilio in Il barbiere di siviglia. Other roles that he has performed in opera productions includes Pluton in Hippolyte et Aricie; Herr Reich in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor; and Seneca in L'incoronazione di Poppea. He has also concentrated on German Lieder at the Franz Schubert Institute in Vienna, where he was coached by Emmy Ameling, Helmut Deutsch, Robert Holl and others. In December, 2017, Mr. Su has made his Carnegie Hall Solo debut with The Cecilia Chorus of New York, and also the 1st prize winner for the Gerda Lissner Lieder competition the same year.

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Soprano Anna Dugan has been praised for her “pliant soprano, as powerful in her chesty low register as in her creamy middle and top” (Opera News) and the “astonishing fullness of her sound, a luscious richness that filled the stage” (New York Classical Review). Previous credits include the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, which was recorded commercially for the first time by Albany Records, Violetta in La traviata with Aspen Opera Center, the soprano soloist in Dvorak’s Te Deum and Stabat Mater with Maestro David Rosenmeyer and the Fairfield County Chorale. Ms. Dugan was a National Semi-finalist in the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and has received prizes from the Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition, Opera at Florham’s Violetta Dupont Competition, the George London Competition, the Deborah Voigt International Vocal Competition, and the Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song competition. She is a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. Ms. Dugan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, and was a participant in its Joint Exchange with the Juilliard School. She also holds a Master’s Degree from MSM.

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Toronto native Charles Sy has been recognized internationally as a promising young artist with a “softly lyric sound, a natural sense of phrasing coupled with a rare willingness to project beyond the apron” (National Post). He is described as “vocally and dramatically mature with a delicious dark tenor sound that [stretches] easily into shining high notes” (Schmopera). Charles completed his BMus and MMus degrees at the University of Toronto and is an alumnus of several opera training programs including Music Academy of the West, The Merola Opera Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program, and the Opera as Theatre program at the Banff Centre. He is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and is currently completing an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at The Juilliard School. The 2018/2019 season includes performances of Peter Quint/ Turn of the Screw with Juilliard Opera, Messiah with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Nemorino/L’elisir d’amore in Chengdu, China and Ramiro/Cenerentola with Vancouver Opera. Last season, Charles sang Nemorino with ARE Opera and Agenore/Il re pastore with the Merola Opera Program.

He made his Juilliard Opera debut as Belfiore/La finta giardiniera and also made his Carnegie Hall debut as the Evangelist and Tenor Soloist in Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium. Previous opera roles include Grimoaldo/Rodelinda, Tamino/Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni, Mr Owen/Postcard from Morocco, and Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto. Charles was a finalist for the Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018 and won both First prize and Audience Choice in the Canadian Opera Company’s 2014 Centre Stage Competition. He received First Place in the Ottawa Choral Society’s 2014 New Discoveries Oratorio Competition and is also the recipient of the 2013 Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artist Grant for Classical Voice.

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Soprano Alaysha Fox is an emerging artist based in New York City.This season, Ms. Fox will rejoin Kathleen Battle as she tours her recital: The underground Railroad. Ms. Fox will also join Lincoln Center Theater in a workshop of Intimate Apparel, a new opera by Ricky Ian Gordon. Recently, Ms. Fox sang in Kathleen Battle’s Underground Railroad Recital and was a featured artist at the annual Verdi Square Festival. Some previous credits include: First Lady (Die Zauberflӧte), Dee Legendary (Legendary, Beck), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, Bloch), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Penelope (Penelope), and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Featured artist in Lee Mingwei’s exhibit Sonic Blossom with MetLiveArts. Ms. Fox has been honored with several award including: an encouragement award in the Eastern Region Metropolitan Opera council auditions, 2015 winner of the Joan Taub Ades Vocal competition, an encouragement award at the North Carolina District Metropolitan Opera Council auditions, and the Lotte Lenya emerging artist award. She holds a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

2018 Launch Event

Cellist Julia Bruskin

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Since her concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 17, cellist Julia Bruskin has established herself as one of the premiere cellists of her generation. She performed Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto with conductor Jahja Ling at Avery Fisher Hall and has also been soloist with the Nashville Symphony, Utah Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Pacific Symphony among others. Her recent CD of music by Beethoven, Brahms, and Dohnanyi was praised by Fanfare Magazine for its “exquisite beauty of sound and expression”.

A founding member of the critically acclaimed Claremont Trio, Ms. Bruskin won 1st prize in the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and was awarded the first ever Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award. The trio tours extensively, including recent concerts at the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Museum and Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Bridge Records released the Claremont Trio’s recording of the Beethoven “Triple” Concerto with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and Beethoven’s Trio Op. 1 No. 1 to rave reviews.

Ms. Bruskin plays frequent solo recitals with her husband, Aaron Wunsch, and together they are joint artistic directors of the Skaneateles Festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York. A frequent guest at summer music festivals, Ms. Bruskin has performed at Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Summerfest, Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Saratoga, Bard, and Norfolk, and toured with the Musicians from Ravinia. Ms. Bruskin has taught at the Juilliard Pre-College and Queens College, and given master classes at the Eastman School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory, and Duke University.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Ms. Bruskin's teachers have included Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, Andres Diaz, Norman Fischer, and Nancy Hair. She completed the five-year double degree program at Juilliard and Columbia University. Since 2014, Ms. Bruskin has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Soprano Mary Claire Curran

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Mary Claire Curran is a lyric soprano known for her charismatic stage presence and sparkling high notes. Praised as a “voluminous soprano” (South Florida Classical Review), Mary Claire is the winner of the 2017 Rohatyn Great Promise Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Eastern Region. In the fall of 2017, she covered the roles Madeline Usher, Young Madeline, and Virginia Otis in the double bill of Gordon Getty’s Usher House and The Canterville Ghost with the Center for Contemporary Opera in conjunction with LA Opera. In addition, she was a 2017 grant recipient of the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust. In the spring of 2018, she premiered scenes from the new opera The Warrior’s Wivesby composer Matthew Evan Taylor in New York City.

Mezzo-Soprano Samantha Hankey

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Praised as “luscious,” “amber-toned,” and “dazzling” by Opera News, American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey is quickly establishing a name for herself both at home and abroad. In the 2018/19 season, Samantha will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Pantalis Mefistofele, and returns to the Met throughout the year in Adriana Lecouvreur, Carmen, Das Rheingold, Götterdämmerung, and Rigoletto. She will also make her company debut at Opernhaus Zürich as Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro. In addition to these debuts, Samantha will cover the title roles in Agrippina at the Bayerische Staatsoper and the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie at the Metropolitan Opera.

Highlights of Samantha’s 2017/18 season included important role debuts as both Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia at Den Norske Opera and Siébel Faust at Grand Théâtre de Genève. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program, Samantha sang the role of Angelina La Cenerentola to enthusiastic critical acclaim, with the SF Gate praising her performance as “dark-hued, confident...formidable.” Equally at home in classic repertoire and contemporary music, Samantha took part in two significant workshops last season: Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel, in association with the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre, and David Hertzberg’s The Wake World, commissioned for Opera Philadelphia. Samantha enjoys a close collaboration with composer David Hertzberg and was instrumental in developing the title role of his opera The Rose Elf, which was written for her, and which she will premiere in New York this season.

Samantha’s growing career includes awards in a vast number of national and international competitions. In 2018, she won both First Prize and the Media Prize at the Inaugural Glyndebourne Cup. The Arts Desk wrote of her victory: “Polished, golden of tone, and convincing.... She has a natural charisma, centering on the voice itself...allowing her unfailing musicality to shine through.” In 2018, Samantha also received a Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, following an earlier 2016 award of a Sara Tucker Study Grant and both 2nd Prize and the Birgit Nilsson Prize at Operalia. In 2017, she was named a Grand Finals Winner by the Metropolitan Opera National Council, took First Prize in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and received a Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship in that foundation’s final year.

In addition to her stage performances, Samantha is an accomplished recital and concert artist. In 2017, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with Musica Sacra and performed Rossini’s Stabat Mater in North Carolina. Prior to that, Samantha was heard at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in “Juilliard Songfest: Songs of Richard Strauss,” curated by Brian Zeger, as well as a program of Liszt, Schumann, and Strauss songs that she presented as winner of the Vocal Arts Honors Recital. Her voice has also been heard on the radio, including broadcasts from PlayRTS, BR-Klassik, WQXR, and NPR. In 2012, Samantha was featured in HBO’s documentary A YoungArts Master Class with renowned soprano Renée Fleming.

Samantha is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. While there, Samantha performed in no fewer than six productions. Her highlighted roles included Diana in La Calisto, Varvara in Katya Kabanova, and the title role in Agrippina, of which Musical America wrote, "Samantha Hankey sang Agrippina in a lustrous, commanding mezzo soprano." Samantha’s academic and vocal accomplishments at Juilliard were recognized with several distinctions, including the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music and the Juilliard Kovner Fellowship. During her training, Samantha also participated in several summer programs, such as The Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy, and The Aspen Music Festival. Samantha is a native of Marshfield, Massachusetts and attended the Walnut Hill School for the Arts high school in Natick.

Pianist Doug Martin

Mr. Martin conducts Fledermaus this Holiday season for Amore Opera. Last season Maestro Martin conducted a gala at Amore which featured Met singers Francisco Casanova and Aprile Millo.

Mr. Martin has treasured an association of almost 20 years with the astounding Eve Queler who will celebrate her 50th year with Opera Orchestra of New York this coming season.

Mr. Martin is one of the not many people who can say they've conducted 100 performances of Puccini’s La Boheme. Doug was one of two conductors of Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme on Broadway. The opera was sung without cuts in Italian with 28 piece orchestras in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

Mr. Martin has a Performer’s Certificate in piano from SUNY Fredonia, and a Masters of Music degree in piano performance from University of Indiana Bloomington - where he worked extensively with Virginia Zeani, and John Wustman.

As an Associate Instructor at IU - he coached productions including Wozzeck, and Love for Three Oranges; while attending classes alongside Gayletha Nichols!

Soprano Emily Misch

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A coloratura soprano praised for her "scintillating precision" (Opera News), Emily Misch is establishing herself as a clear-voiced, versatile, and intelligent performer. Her 2017-2018 season included the Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Olympia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Opera North), Valeria in the workshop of Tom Cipullo's Mayo (National Opera Center), and the soprano solos in Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Paukenmesse (Huntington Choral Society), and Carmina Burana (Altoona Symphony Orchestra). She has been awarded prizes from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Mannes College, and Yale University, and has participated in young artist training programs at Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera North (NH), and Opera on the Avalon.

Tenor Brian Michael Moore

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Tenor Brian Michael Moore will make his Met debut singing the role of the Song Seller in Il Tabarro. He completed the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera, where he was seen as Le Remendado in Carmen, The Governor in Candide, Spoletta in Tosca, and Nathanaël in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. During the summer of 2017, he performed the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with James Conlon at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi and The Prince in Luke Bedford's Seven Angels at the Aspen Music Festival. He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in 2017 singing the First Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel.

Other recent appearances include the Shepherd in Oedipus Rex at the Cincinnati May Festival, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with the New York Opera Exchange, several roles in Conrad Susa’s Transformations as part of the Merola Opera Program, and the Animal Tamer in Der Rosenkavalier as a young artist at the Cincinnati Opera. In 2015, he performed the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto at the Asheville Lyric Opera and the Brevard Music Festival.

Mr. Moore is a winner of the 2018 Sara Tucker Study Grant, and was recognized as Una Finestra Sui Due Mondi from the 2017 Spoleto Festival Dei Due Mondi. This summer, he returned to the Merola Opera Program to participate in the Schwabacher Summer Concerts.

He completed his bachelor and master degrees at the Manhattan School of Music.


Soprano Marjorie Owens

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A former member of the Sächsische Staatsoper in Dresden and a Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, soprano Marjorie Owens is receiving a great deal of acclaim as one of the most exciting young dramatic sopranos to have recently come to the public’s attention.

This season, Marjorie Owens returns to the Metropolitan Opera’s roster for a variety of roles and makes her debut with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Fabio Luisi in her signature-role of Senta in Der fliegende Holländer. She will also be heard with Utah Opera as the title-role in Norma. Finally, Ms. Owens will appear in recital with her alma mater, Baylor University. Future projects include debuts with the Canadian Opera Company and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Last season, Ms. Owens made her Hong Kong debut in the title role of Aida with Opera Hong Kong, returned to the Semperoper as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer and to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. She was heard in recital with the George London Foundation with baritone Quinn Kelsey.

In the 2016-2017 season, Marjorie Owens returned to the Semperoper Dresden as Dorotka in Schwanda, to the Washington Concert Opera for the title-role in Beethoven’s Leonore, and to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. In concert, she was heard as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson. Future projects include debuts with the Canadian Opera Company and Opera Hong Kong and returns to the Metropolitan Opera and the Semperoper Dresden.

Ms. Owens’s 2015-2016 season included her role and company debut in the title-role of Norma at the English National Opera, her company debut with Opera Theatre of St Louis in the title-role of Ariadne on Naxos, her return to the Semperoper as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer, a production she premiered in that theater, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera’s roster.

Ms. Owens has won many awards and competitions; including being a Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Top Prize in the 2010 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, the 2009 Leonie Rysanek award from the George London Foundation, Second Place in the 2009 Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, a William Matheus Sullivan Grant, First Place in the Ft. Worth Marguerite McCammon Competition, First Place and the Audience Choice award in the Dallas Opera Guild Career Development Grant for Singers Competition, and Second Place in the McCollum Competition. Ms. Owens attended the Aspen Opera Theater Center in the summer of 2003, where she sang scenes from Tosca with David Zinman, and again in 2004 where she performed Ms. Jessel in The Turn of the Screw with Richard Bado. She also performed Viktor Ullmann’s Sechs Lieder with James Conlon and the Aspen Chamber Orchestra and then again with the Maestro and the Cincinnati Linton Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2005 at Wolf Trap, Ms. Owens sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Ari Pelto. In past summers, she sang Fiordiligi in a concert version of Cosi fan tutte with the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists and Mimi in La Bohème with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.

Tenor Kevin Ray

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Kevin Ray is praised by Opera News for his “commendable style” and abilities with “subtle coloristic nuance.” This season, he joins the roster of the Metroplitan Opera for their productions of AidaLa fanciulla del West, and Das Rheingold. Last season, he sang his first performances of King Charles VII in Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans with Odyssey Opera. Other recent performances include his role and company debuts as the Prince in Rusalka with Arizona Opera, Erik in Der fliegende Holländer with Estonian National Opera, and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Berkshire Opera Festival. He also recently made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut singing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy under the baton of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, joined the Phoenix Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Florida Orchestra for Rachmaninov’s The Bells, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem, and was a resident artist at the Ravinia Festival Steans Music Institute.

The tenor recently returned to Houston Grand Opera to sing performances of the company’s new commission of Iain Bell’s one-man opera, A Christmas Carol in addition to returning to the company for Roderigo in Otello, Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, and both the First Armed Man and Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte. He is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and his previous roles with the company include Eisenstein inDie Fledermaus, the Third SS Officer in Weinberg’s The Passenger, Melot in Tristan und Isolde, and the Messenger in Aida, in addition to being responsible for responsible for both Froh and Loge in Das Rheingold as well as Don José in Carmen. He also sang the Defendant in a special performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury presented by the company at the Harris County Courthouse and scenes of Heggie’s Moby Dickand Carmen in concert.

Mr. Ray’s other recent engagements include his first performances of the title role of Peter Grimes with Chautauqua Opera; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos presented by his alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music, in association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; as well as Don José in Carmen with Wolf Trap Oprea and the Lyrique-en-Mer/Festival de Belle-Île. While a Santa Fe Apprentice Artist, he created the role of the Second Clubman in the world premiere of Moravec’s The Letter. Also with the company, sang the role of the Poet in Menotti’s The Last Savage, covered the Drum Major in Wozzeck, and performed scenes of the title role of Idomeneo. On the concert stage, Mr. Ray has joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Sunriver Music Festival for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He has also sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and has appeared in numerous concerts with the Opera Orchestra of New York.

He is a 2016 second prize winner in the Wagner division of the Gerda Lisnner Foundation’s International Vocal Competition and a 2015 winner of the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award. The tenor was one of eight finalists in Seattle Opera’s 2014 International Wagner Competition. He is a 2012 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as a three-time district winner of the competition in previous years. He has also received second prize from the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and third prize in the Wagner division of the Liederkranz Comeptition. Additionally, he is a two-time recipient of study grants from the Wagner Society of New York.

The Cornwall, New York native earned his Master of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, at which his roles included Don José in La tragédie de Carmen, the Schoolmaster in Cunning Little Vixen, and Toni Reichsmann in The Elegy for Young Lovers. He is also a former participant in the Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera, where he sang scenes of Jenik in The Bartered Bride. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and completed further studies at the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro and the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Salzburg.


Soprano Tamara Wilson

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With a voice that is a “veritable force of nature” (Chicago Tribune), American soprano Tamara Wilson is quickly gaining international recognition for her interpretations of Verdi, Mozart, Strauss and Wagner. She is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and Olivier Award nominee.

In the 2018-2019 season, Tamara Wilson will return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing the title role in Aida conducted by Nicola Luisotti and makes her mainstage debut at Teatro alla Scala in a new production as the Prima Donna/Ariadne inAriadne auf Naxos conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, a role she will first sing with him conducting the Cleveland Orchestra as well. Ms. Wilson makes her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Leonora in Il trovatore, returns to the Canadian Opera Company as Verdi’s Desdemona in Otello, and returns to the Zurich Opera to sing Chrysothemis in Elektra. Her concert performances will hear her in Bruckner’s Te Deum with the La Scala Orchestra conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Welser-Möst, and her debut in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. In the summer of 2019, she will sing the title role of Aida in the famous Franco Zeffirelli production at Arena di Verona.

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