Meet The Singers: Region Finalists 2018 Full Bios

Malorie Casimir

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Malorie Casimir is a Region Finalist in the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the eastern region. She was recently seen at the Aspen Music Festival where she sang in opera scenes and as the soloist in George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny with the Aspen Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Jonathan Haas. Prior performances also include Despina in Mannes Opera’s production of Cosi fan tutte, and the New York premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s chamber opera, A Coffin in Egypt alongside internationally renowned mezzo-soprano, Frederica von Stade. Upcoming performances include the role of Marzelline in Heartbeat Opera’s production of Fidelio.

She holds awards from the Kristin Lewis Foundation Vocal Scholarship Competition, Harlem Opera Theater Competition, the Crescendo International Competition and Joy in Singing’s Positively Poulenc Competition.  With the Crescendo International Competition, Malorie made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Winners' Concert after receiving first place honor.

Malorie spent a year studying and performing at the Palais Corbelli in Vienna, Austria with the Music Performance Workshop of IES Abroad Vienna. She also performed in Hungary with the Crescendo Summer Institute.

A native of Brooklyn and of Haitian lineage, Malorie began her musical training at the age of 11 as a member of the prestigious Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy.  Her time there included singing under the batons of Lorin Maazel, John Adams, and James Levine.

Malorie holds degrees from The Hartt School in Connecticut and Mannes School of Music in New York.

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 includes Olympia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with Opera North, Valeria in the workshop of Tom Cipullo's new opera Mayo at the National Opera Center, the soprano solos in Mozart's Requiem and Haydn's Paukenmesse with Huntington Choral Society, and the soprano solo in Carmina Burana with Altoona Symphony Orchestra.

Recent engagements include the Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute (Vocal Fellow), Leah in Joel Mandelbaum's The Dybbuk at Queens College, Mahler's Symphony No. 8(Mater Gloriosa) with Berkshire Choral International, Carmina Burana with the Westchester Choral Society, and Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165 with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Her 2015-2016 season included Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera in Williamsburg and Le feu, La princesse, and Le rossignol in L'enfant et les sortilèges with Opera on the Avalon. She is a recent graduate of Mannes College of Music, where she was heard as the Controller in the New York premiere of Jonathan Dove's Flight and Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia.

Concert performances include Respighi's Deità silvane (Ravinia's Steans Music Institute), Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire (Neue Galerie New York), and Benjamin Britten's Les illuminations (Garden City Chamber Music Society). She was a featured soloist on the New York City Opera gala in honor of Julius Rudel alongside Fredericka Von Stade, Christine Goerke, Placido Domingo, and others.

She has been awarded prizes from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, the Gerda Lissner Foundation in association with the Liederkranz 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. She received a BA in Music from Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Anna Laurenzo

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Mezzo-soprano Anna Laurenzo has gained experience in a wide ranging repertoire in her young career, with a strong accent on contemporary American work. A veteran of multiple world premiere productions, she has collaborated with composers such as Carlisle Floyd, Jeff Myers, Scott Wheeler, David T. Little, and Libby Larsen. With Fort Worth Opera, Ms. Laurenzo participated in the company's new works initiative Frontiers as well as workshops of Libby Larsen's A Wrinkle in Time and David T. Little's JFK. She performed in the company's 2016 and 2017 festival seasons as GPS in Patrick Soluri's Embedded, the Undertaker in Jeff Myers' Buried Alive, and Alycia Simpson in Matthew Peterson's Voir Dire.

Ms. Laurenzo made her initial appearances on the New York classical performance scene in the autumn of 2017. She joined New York Theatre Ballet as mezzo-soprano soloist for La Malinche, a rarely-performed work by famed choreographer José Limón, and appeared as the featured artist on a concert program with the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

In the classical operatic repertoire for mezzo-soprano, Ms. Laurenzo has most recently performed Mercédès in Carmen and covered Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. She has also been heard as Pedrillo in a rare mounting of Telemann's Don Quichotte, Farnace in Mozart's Mitridate, re di Ponto, Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Ida in Die Fledermaus, Emma Jones in Street Scene, and Paquette in Candide.

Ms. Laurenzo fulfilled young artist residencies with Fort Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Madison Opera, and the Seagle Music Colony. In 2017 she was second place winner for the Fielder Grant, and in 2016 she won an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

A native of Urbandale, IA, Ms. Laurenzo holds a Master of Music degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

WooYoung Yoon

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“In the title role, Woo young 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

A Professional study’s student at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Neil Rosenshein, Korean tenor WooYoung Yoon recently has contracted as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Empire Opera for the fall 2018. He will be performing as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte for the spring 2018 with MSM opera department.

He has performed in as cover role of Don Jose in Carmen for the Martina Arroyo Foundation 2017 Prelude to Performance under the baton of Maestro Daniel Lipton, also as cover role of Ottokar in der zigeunerbaron for the spring 2017, and as Tito in La clemenza di Tito for the fall 2016 with the main stage opera at MSM. In the summer of 2016, he made his Italy debut as Don Jose in Carmen with the Trentino Music Festival.

WooYoung previous had been credits tenor roles, including Luisa Miller(Rodolfo), Die Entführung aus dem Serail(Belmonte) with MSM, Un bello in maschera (Riccardo), La Boheme (Rodolfo) with KyungHee University in the Republic of Korea. Mr. Yoon is currently the recipient of the MSM Scholarship in Voice and was the recipient of the Dean’s scholarship as an undergraduate at KyungHee University. He was a finalist in Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition 2017, and in the Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition 2017, And he received Honorable Mention from Metropolitan International Vocal Competition in 2016.

Britany Nickell

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Soprano Brittany Nickell, is a graduate of Jacksonville University where she received herBachelors in Vocal Performance and Manhattan School of music where she obtained both aMasters in Music and a Professional Studies degree. In October of 2017 Brittany was awardedthe Opera Index award a top prize at the Opera Index Competition in NYC. In January MissNickell made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Song Continues Series under the direction ofMarilyn Horne. In 2016 Brittany was one of four soprano fellows with the Music Academy of theWest, where she performed Ludmila in The Bartered Bride and Elizabeth in Second Nature, anopera written and conducted by Matthew Aucoin. Previous credits include Madame de Volangesin the MSM Opera Theater production of The Dangerous Liaisons under the baton of GeorgeManahan, Lady Macduff in Bloch’s Macbeth with MSM Opera Theater, Helen in Three SistersWho Are Not Sisters, and Sancta Susanna (Susanna cover), also at Manhattan School ofMusic. Other credits include Street Scene (Anna Maurrant), The Gondoliers (Fiametta), and DerVampyr (Emmy Perth) with Jacksonville Univeristy.

Danielle Beckvermit

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Soprano Danielle Beckvermit is a Professional Studies student at Mannes The New School for Music in Manhattan where she developed a strong affinity for new music. She previously received her Master’s Degree from Mannes in 2017 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice from SUNY Fredonia in 2015. She has sung with several festivals including Charlottesville Opera, Chautauqua Festival, SongFest and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. While at SongFest Danielle sang the west coast premiere of John Musto’s Song Cycle, “Be music, night”. Complete roles include, Fiordiligi (Mozart), Donna Anna (Mozart), Donna Elvira, (Mozart), Susannah (Floyd), Beth (Adamo), and Madeline Usher (Glass). Future roles include Anne Trulove (Stravinsky) with Mannes Opera and Alice (Verdi) with the Crested Butte Opera Studio. Danielle has been recognized in several competitions including The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as an encouragement award winner and regional finalist, a finalist and award winner in The George London Foundation Competition, first place winner in The Classical Singer Online Competition and was also the first prize winner in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition in 2017. Danielle is a proud student of Amy Burton.

Bryan Murray

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Baritone, Bryan Murray, is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts degree in Opera performance at Yale University’s School of Music under the tutelage of Richard Cross and Doris Yarick-Cross. Mr. Murray received an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music where he studied with Bonnie Hamilton and Jacque Trussel; and a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Stony Brook University where he studied with John Fiorito. Bryan is excited to be a recipient of the Berlin Opera Foundation Scholarship to join Deutsche Oper Berlin in their 2018/19 season. Bryan is also the grand prize winner of the 2016 Heida Hermann’s International Voice Competition, the winner of the “Sachi Liebergesell” award from the Opera Index Competition, a finalist in the Eastern Region of the Met Council auditions, and the winner of an Encouragement Grant from the Premiere Opera International Voice Competition.

During his studies, Bryan appeared as Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Smirnov in William Walton’s The Bear with Yale Opera; John Proctor in Robert Ward’s The Crucible, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Father in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with Purchase Opera; and the Consul in Pier Francesco Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with Stony Brook Opera. Following the production of the The Crucible, Bryan recorded John Proctor in Albany Records’ new CD recording of The Crucible, released in January, 2017.

On the concert stage, Bryan was recently the baritone soloist in the Fauré Requiem with the Jacksonville symphony, bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the New Haven Symphony, the baritone soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Yale Symphony, and the baritone soloist in the world premiere of Transfiguration by Robert Kyr with the Yale Camerata and orchestra. Bryan is looking forward to singing Bernstein’s Opening Prayer with Marin Alsop conducting the Yale Philharmonia in April 2018.

Jacob Scharfman

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Baritone Jacob Scharfman will soon complete his Master of Music at the Juilliard School. Opera News has lauded his “attractive, rounded baritone” and Voce di Meche proclaims him “irresistible… Mr. Scharfman’s performance was marked by the expansiveness of a generous spirit and a personal involvement with the text and music.” Jacob has won prizes at competitions held by the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Metrowest Opera, the Arlington Philharmonic Society, and Piccola Opera. This year at Juilliard, Jacob sang Nardo in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera and covered Fluth in Nicolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor. Honored with Juilliard’s Risë Stevens and Mitzi Foundation Scholarships, he traveled to Taiwan for a recital tour in December 2017. Jacob spent the summer of 2017 as a Studio Artist with Central City Opera in Colorado, winning the Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award for his dedication and collegiality. During the 2016-17 academic year at Juilliard, Jacob enjoyed his Alice Tully Hall debut as Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina and covered Steward in Jonathan Dove’s Flight. He sang masterclasses with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Pablo Heras-Casado (both available at Medici.tv) and participated in a recital of protest songs with the New York Festival of Song, repeated at his Merkin Hall debut in February 2018. Recent operatic credits include Charlie in Heggie’s Three Decembers with Opera Fayetteville; Rugby in Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love with Odyssey Opera; Mr. Webb in Rorem’s Our Town with Boston Opera Collaborative; and Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades with Harvard’s Lowell House. Jacob has enjoyed concert engagements with Boston Baroque, the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus, the Brown University Chorus, Boston University’s Marsh Chapel, and Trinity Church Boston. Follow his progress at jacobscharfman.com.

Nathan Matticks

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American baritone Nathan Matticks is rapidly establishing himself as one of opera’s brightest young prospects. The 2018/2019 season include important role debuts as Figaro in Palmetto Opera’s production of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at the Koger Center for the Arts followed by a Tour of MADAMA BUTTERFLY as Sharpless, and capping off the end of Winter with a return to Taconic Opera as Renato in Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. The 2017 season also saw major role debuts as Verdi’s RIGOLETTO with Teatro Lirico d’Europa at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts and the Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. Nathan has also bowed with Opera North as Yamadori in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, a role he recently performed on tour with Teatro Lirico d’Europa and assumed the role of Sharpless for outreach performances of MADAMA BUTTERFLY in addition to performances of Offenbach’s LA BELLE HÉLÈN and Porter’s KISS ME KATE with the company.


Critically acclaimed for his “suave baritone” (Broadway World) and the “sonorous, full-voiced”(Parterre) quality of his singing, Matticks has recently appeared as Valentin in FAUST for Taconic Opera in addition to metro New York City productions of DON GIOVANNI (DonGiovanni), LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (Enrico), CARMEN (Escamillo), MANON LESCAUT(Lescaut), I PAGLIACCI (Silvio) and THE MERRY WIDOW (Danilo). In 2013, Nathan made his professional operatic debut as Morales in CARMEN opposite Denyce Graves with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Louis Salemno and was selected by Marilyn Horne as a participant in THE SONG CONTINUES programming at Carnegie Hall. A recipient of a BM in Vocal Performance and Artist’s Diploma at College of Charleston in South Carolina, Nathan appeared there in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (Almaviva), GALLANTRY (Dr.Gregg), THE MIKADO (Poo-Bah) and GIANNI SCHICCHI (Simone). While at the College of Charleston, the baritone was selected as a featured performer for the Jussi Bjorling Society annual conference in Minneapolis and to appear in masterclass with Christa Ludwig at Carnegie Hall. Additionally, he was a district and regional winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Vocal Competition and finalist of the Metro West Opera Vocal Competition. On theconcert stage, Nathan has performed frequently with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and appeared at Charleston’s renowned Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

Hayan Kim

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Hayan Kim, Soprano

Impressive was the light, effortless-sounding soprano of Hayan Kim(Servilia). –Marc Shulgold, Opera News

Sopano Hayan Kim, as Servilia, Sesto’s sister, brought silvery tone and youthful presence to her assignment. –Harvey Steiman, AspenTimes

Her soprano is full and she sang of love in a light, lively and spirited manner with some adolescent awakening and carried us all with her newfound joy. Ms.Kim was a delightful Juliette of bright vocal potential and a visceral Veronese enchantress. Nino Pantano, Brooklyn Discovery

Hayan Kim, soprano, recently graduated with her professional studies degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Korea National University of Arts and her master’s from the Manhattan School of Music. Ms.Kim was recently appeared as Servilia in La Clemenza di Titio conducted by Jane Glover at the Aspen Music Festival and George Manahan in this past December at Manhattan School of Music. Previous credit include Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Konstanze), L'Elisir d'Amore(Adina), Così fan tutte(Despina), Die Fledermaus(Rosalinde) and La Bohème(Musetta), Hansel and Gretel(Dew Fairy) with Korea National University of Arts and Manhattan School of Music. Also, She was the Soprano soloist in Haydn's Die Schöpfung (Gabriel). She has also been invited to sing in many concerts in Korea and the United States. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Winners’ Recital after receiving first place honor. Ms.Kim has received awards and recognitions from the Opera Index Competition, East Coast International Competition, Berliner International Music Competition and awarded the Minister for Culture Prize in Korea. She has been received a full scholarship for both her undergraduate and graduate careers. She has also been awarded the AOC Fellowship, in honor of Renée Fleming.

Hongni Wu

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Mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu is a Professional Studies degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. Previous credits include La clemenza di Tito (Sesto) and L’enfant et les sortilèges (La Libellule) with Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Die Fledermaus (Orlofsky) with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to performance program, Carmen (Carmen) with Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Chinese opera Qingling song (Mrs Umeya) with Guangzhou Opera House. Scene work include Die Fledermaus (Orlofsky) and Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian)with Manhattan School of Music. This past summer she performed with Scuola di Belcanto in Urbania and Bel Canto in Tuscany in Italy with scholarship. Plans include appearances with La Cenerentola (Cenerentola) for Manhattan School of Music, the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of St Louis and Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino) for Opera Maine. She will join the Jette Parker Young Artists Program of the Royal Opera House in September 2018.

            

Natalia Kutateladze

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Mezzo-soprano Natalia Kutateladze was born in the Republic of Georgia and graduated from the Central Music High School in Tbilisi as a pianist before being accepted on full scholarship to the Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi Conservatoire as a classical opera singer, where she graduated with honors. In 2015 she was accepted into Juilliard where she is currently studying towards her master’s degree with Edith Wiens. Ms. Kutateladze appeared last season as the Minskwoman in Juilliard Opera’s production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight. Ms. Kutateladze has also participated in the Baltic Season Music Festival, Spivakov International Music Festival, and the International Classical Music Festival of Georgia.

Courtney Johnson

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Courtney Johnson, soprano, is currently a graduate student at Mannes College of Music in New York. A native of Chesapeake, Va., she studied at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts and was a chorus member in Virginia Opera’s 2008 production of Il Trovatore. In 2009, she won the Silver Award at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Young Arts program in Miami, Fla., and in 2010 she participated in La Lingua della Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.  In the summer of 2011, she participated in the International Vocal Arts Institute.  She received an Encouragement Award for the 2012 George London Foundation Competition, and Second Place in the 2012 Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition.  She is also a 2013 grant winner of the Opera Index competition and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.

Recent engagements for the young Ms Johnson include her being a Studio Artist in Wolf Trap Opera's 2012 and 2013 season.

In 2013 she made her Opera Orchestra of New York debut in Avery Fisher Hall under Eve Queler as Sofia in I Lombardi.