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Participants of the 2016 Prelude to Performance - Young Artist Opera Program
Hunter Aldridge SeokJong Baek Chelsea Bonagura Thaddaeus Bourne Jeff Byrnes Holly Cameron Claire Coolen
Dangelo Diaz Eric Delangrange Jenny Anne Flory Siobhan Fitzgerald Etta Fung Sarah Geocaris Jessi Goebel
Shana Grossman Paul Grosvenor Spencer Hamlin Stephanie Jabre Youna Jang Shabnam Kalbasi JungYong Kim
Alexander Lee Alexander Adams-Leytes Chunfeng Li Briana Meese Carlton Moe Maria Natale Thomas Petrushka
Jose Rubio Joseph Sacchi Jessica Sandidge Haley Sicking Ethan Simpson Joanna Stolzenburg Jonathan Tetelman
Hongni Wu  
Hunter Aldridge (Dr. Blind Cover - Alfred Auditor) hails from Hickory, North Carolina, and is pursuing the Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has sung lead roles with the UNC Charlotte Opera Workshop, including Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi, Camille in The Merry Widow, Father in Hansel and Gretel, and Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera (excerpt). In the summer of 2015 Hunter won 1st Place in the National round of the NATS vocal competition, Upper College Men’s Division. Previous years saw him winning multiple prizes in the NATS competition at the State and Mid-Atlantic Regional competitions, including “best undergraduate male singer, North Carolina,” in 2013, a special award designated by all the attending judges after the winners’ recital. Hunter has also received two State Farm encouragement awards in the Heafner Williams Vocal competition. “Aldridge's voice is so clear and robust it feels like the windowpanes are shaking in their frames as he hits the top notes - without Aldridge seeming to break a sweat…he makes it look downright easy,” says the Hickory Daily Record. Hunter has big plans for 2016 with many competitions and auditions for Young Artist programs. After his undergraduate degree he plans to pursue graduate studies in opera performance.
 
SeokJong Baek (Marcello Cover) was born and raised in South Korea, and went to Canada to pursue his career. He has won 1st prize the Peel Music festival in Canada, Brampton. He is a senior undergraduate degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam. And he is a recipient of Merit-based scholarship. Previous credits with Manhattan school of Music, include the title role Ford in Opera Falstaff, Tschang, Colonel in Das land des lächelns. He was honored to work with prominent musicians in master classes with Thomas Hampson, John Cheek and Eric Owens. He is a very dramatic and expressive singer who has a bright future.
 
Chelsea Bonagura (Ida) is recognized for her "beautifully warm and rich" voice. On the operatic stage, she has performed with companies including Opera Roanoke and Greensboro Opera Company. Highlights include 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’Elisir d’amore, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in The Medium, La Princesse in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge. Equally adept and In 2014 agile singing new music, Ms. Bonagura created the roles of Princesa and Bambina in Car Crash Opera by Michaela Eremiasova and Jairo Duarte-Lopez, and Mei in A Dream of Flight by Sarana Chou. In 2011 Ms. Bonagura made her Charlotte Symphony début as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Warren-Green. She is a graduate of the famed Eastman School of Music in Rochester and University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Her many accolades include top awards in the Rosen-Schaffer Competition (2013) and the Opera Guild of Charlotte Voice Competition (2011). In 2012 she participated in the Martina Arroyo foundation’s “Prelude to Performance” in New York City. Ms. Bonagura has also received additional music and language training at the “International Vocal Arts Institute” (Tel Aviv), “Oberlin in Italy”, L’Université Paris Sorbonne- Paris IV, and the Goethe Institute in Berlin.
 
Thaddaeus Bourne (Dr. Falke) sang Bob in Menotti’s The Old Maid & the Thief with Alessandro Siciliani (Opera Project Columbus), the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (New York Lyric Opera), and Orff’s Carmina Burana (Butler Arts Festival) as well as concerts in Hartford, Indianapolis, and at Lincoln Center. Recent performances include Perizonio in Cimarosa’s L’impresario in angustie, Perichaud in Puccini’s La Rondine and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly as part of the Montefeltro Festival (La Musica Lirica), Happy in La fanciulla del West (Indianapolis Opera) with James Caraher and John Hoomes, El Dancaïro in Bizet’s Carmen (Long Island Opera), Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (Hartford Opera Theatre), Reverend Hale in Ward’s The Crucible conducted by Willie Anthony Waters, Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (New York Lyric Opera), Peter in Hänsel und Gretel (Connecticut Lyric Opera), Dr. Falke and Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus (UConn Opera & Opera del West), Major-General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance (Simsbury Light Opera), and the title role of Le nozze di Figaro at Gottischer Saal in Salzburg. He completed his bachelors and masters degrees as a flutist at Butler University under the mentorship of Karen Mortaz where he played in the university orchestra, toured with DeRusha’s New Millennium Philharmonic Orchestra, and appeared as a guest artist at the International String Bass Convention. After studying voice with Mary Anne Scott ‘as a hobby’ he continued with doctoral work in vocal performance at the University of Connecticut.
 
Jeff Byrnes (Marcello) is excited to join Michigan Opera Theatre this season as a Studio Artist where he has appeared as Schaunard in La Bohème and Top in The Tender Land. He has also performed the role of Owen Hart Dead Man Walking with Dayton Opera, and he covered Germont in La Traviata and Balstrode in Peter Grimes with Des Moines Metro Opera. Other operatic highlights include Leporello in Don Giovanni and the title role in The Mikado with the Natchez Opera Festival, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, and Pilate in St. John Passion with CCM Opera. He was a Regional finalist of the Great Lakes Region (2016) and Rocky Mountain Region (2014) of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions as well as being awarded the Encouragement Award in the New Orleans district in 2010. Jeff has also participated in the young artist programs at Dayton Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Seagle Music Colony. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Louisiana State University.
 
Soprano Holly Cameron's (Musetta cover) performance of the role Abigail Williams (The Crucible) won great critical acclaim with her “rip roaring high notes” (Boston Globe). Other operatic roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Sofia in Il Signor Bruschino, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music, the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, and Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief. On the concert stage she has appeared as a soloist in works such as Carmina Burana, Brahms’ Requiem, Bach’s B minor mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s St. John’s Passion among others. In addition, she performed in the Casals Festival with Boston Baroque in San Juan, Puerto Rico and in Bermuda with the Copley Singers. A recipient of numerous honors, Ms. Cameron was a 2010 New England Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Second Prize winner of the Sarasota Artist Series Vocal Competition. She was a 2009 semi- finalist in both the Palm Beach Opera Competition and the Peter Elvins Competition. In 2008 she was awarded the Verdi Award in the National Orpheus Vocal Competition. Ms. Cameron was a regional finalist in the NATSAA competition and has won both 1st and 2nd place awards at Boston NATS. She was also the grand prize Pathinder Award winner in West Palm Beach, FL. Ms. Cameron completed degrees in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She currently studies with Penelope Bitzas and resides in Boston, Massachusetts..
 
Claire Coolen (Musetta) recently sang the role of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto for Tampa Opera where The Tampa Bay Times quoted “The escalating trills in her performance of the aria!Caro Nome!are chill-inducing.” She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where she has performed Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Die Zauberöte, Nanetta in Falstaff, and Rose in Street Scene . As Mrs. Winemiller in Lee Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke the New York Times described her performance as “Winningly portrayed” and the New York Daily Post quoted “Claire Coolen stole the show”. In 2014 she debuted Opera Tampa as Papagena in Die Zauber?öte. She performed Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando with the Siena Music Festival in Siena, Italy, and the role of Hannah in Martin Bresnik’s new opera My Friends Story at The International Festival of Arts and Ideas. She has also performed the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw at the Banff Opera Theatre in Banff, Alberta wherethe Calgary Herald quoted “Best of all, though, was the convincing portrait created by soprano Claire Coolen’s in the central character of the opera”. Upcoming engagements: Beethoven's 9th Symphony,Binghamton Philharmonic. Knoxville Opera debut, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance.The Opera Den, Web TV series 2016, and Musetta in the motion picture ?lm The Bohemians, a modern adaptation of Puccini’s La Bohème due for release in 2016. (www.thebohemiansmovie.com).
 
Dangelo Diaz (Rodolfo), born in the city of Chiclayo, Peru, commenced his musical education at The National Conservatory Carlos Valderrama in the City of Trujillo, Peru. In 2006, he began working at the Romanza Association and later in televised concerts at The National Cathedral of Lima. In 2010, he joined “The Opera Joven del Peru”, where it premiered as Nemorino in L'Elixir d'Amore in 2012. The same year he performed gala recitals with the Symphony Orchestra of Piura and Trujillo and also gala concerts with the orchestra of San Borja. In 2013, he performed in a tribute to the Composer Giuseppe Verdi, for the bicentenary of his birth. He competed in a singing competition at the Radio Philharmonic, where he placed third. Dangelo also participated in the National Singing Contest “City of Trujillo”, where he earned two awards for the Best interpretation of Peruvian music concert, and won first place in the National Singing Contest – “City of Trujillo.” In the year 2013 he became part of the cast of the Romanza Association for opera and zarzuela. In 2014, he studied to at the Greek Opera Studio in Greece where he debutted the role of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. Later the same year was asked to join the Berlin Opera Studio in Germany. In Germany he performed in various cities, such as Bayreuth and Wittenberg. In 2015, he was invited to the "Accademia Rossiniana" Rossini Festival sponsored by the Maestro Alberto Zedda, and the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance of Canada (LAMP). This year the tenor Dangelo Diaz, was invited to the International Young Artists Festival (ISING) in Suzhou, Beijing, China.
 
Eric Delangrange's (Alcindoro/Benoit) recent engagements include The Puffed-Up Prima Donna, a world premiere production commissioned by Houston Grand Opera where the young bass-baritone performed the role of Giacomo. He is also happy to return to Prelude to Performance after performing the role of Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata, and covering Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2014. Mr. Delagrange has also been seen as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Falstaff in Verdi's self-entitled work, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, The Drunken Poet in The Fairy Queen with DePaul Opera Theatre, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Gianni Schicchi in Puccini's self-entitled work, and Mr. Gobineau in The Medium with D'Angelo Opera Theatre. In 2014 he was the first place winner of the American Opera Society of Chicago competition, and in 2015 was the second place winner for the Kleinmann scholarship competition. He has also been featured as a soloist in works such as Rossini's Stabat Mater with Houston Camerata, Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Mozart's Requiem, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, and Handel's Messiah. Future engagements include Kochubey in Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa with Russian Opera Workshop, as well as Norton in Rossini's La cambiale di matrimonio with Operativo. Mr. Delagrange is a native of Buffalo, New York and received his masters degree at DePaul University.
 
Siobhan Fitzgerald (Auditor) is a graduate of The Hartford Conservatory (jazz voice) and Western Connecticut State University (classical voice). Siobhan has enjoyed performing in various productions in central park with New York Grand Opera under Maestro Vincent La Selva. Equally at home singing, dancing and acting in musicals, she is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
 
Mezzo-soprano Jenny Anne Flory (Auditor), from Dayton, Virginia, is currently in the first year of her MM in Opera Performance, as a member of the University of Maryland Opera Studio. She holds a BM in Vocal Performance from James Madison University (May 2015). She was recently in the chorus of MOS's production of Don Giovanni, and this spring she will be participating in the MOS New Work reading and the MOS Opera Scenes, along with covering the role of Regina in Regina. Her previous roles at JMU include Lady Angela in Patience, Musetta in La bohème, Buttercup in HMS Pinfore, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Edith in Pirates of Penzance. With the Trackside Theater she performed the roles of Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. Flory has also performed as the alto soloist for Handel's Messiah (Ovation Singers, St. Anne’s Episcopal, JMU), Mozart's Requiem (JMU), Haydn's Maria Theresa Mass (First Pres. Charlottesville) and Vivaldi's Gloria (JMU). Ms. Flory is currently the first and only recipient of the Maryland Opera Studio Scholarship, started in 2015. She sang the National Anthem at the inauguration of University of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret, and at the school wide 2015 graduation at James Madison University. Ms. Flory previously studied voice with Dr. Carrie Stevens and currently studies with Delores Ziegler.
 
Etta Fung (Adele cover) is quickly establishing herself as a versatile singer with a powerful stage presence. Etta made her European debut as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel at the Neue Eutiner Festspiele in Eutin, Germany and received critical acclaim in the Hamburger Abendblatt: “(Fung) acted with great enthusiasm, her powerful soprano voice underscoring the Wagnerian sounds of the score”. Since then Etta has performed actively in Europe. She appeared as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in Trentino Music Festival at Mezzano, Italy; and La Fée in Cendrillon in Siena Music Festival. Etta made her American debut as Peep-Bo in The Mikado during her Apprenticeship with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City after performing the role of Musetta in La Bohème at Brevard Music Festival. At the University of Kansas, Etta has performed the roles of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Lucia in Rape of Lucretia, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Atalanta in Serse and Anne Trulove in Rake’s Progress. Etta was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions and the Vocal Division of the Naftzger Competition. She was a semi-finalist in the Marcello Giordani Competition and a finalist in Opera Ebony’s Benjamin A Matthews Vocal Competition.
 
Soprano Sarah Geocaris (Mimi - Auditor), is a promising young artist about to embark on her professional career. A native of Newport Beach, Ca, Ms. Geocaris has been competing and performing since she was a young girl. Her love of music led her to Massachusetts where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and French from Wheaton College. While studying at Wheaton College, she performed in many recitals and concerts and was awarded the prestigious the Ellalou Dimmock Award in Voice Performance in 2011. After completing her undergraduate studies, Ms. Geocaris returned to Southern California and had the privilege of performing as a Young Artist with both the OperaWorks and Songfest training programs. After two years, she continued her education at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where she received her Masters degree in Voice Performance in May of 2015. Most recently, Ms. Geocaris performed the role of Cendrillon in Cendrillon with the Miami Summer Music Festival. She also performed the role of La Principessa in the Chicago premiere of La bella dormente nel bosco by Respighi with the CCPA Opera Ensemble and the role of Eurydice in Orphée aux Enfers with the Franco-American Vocal Academy in Texas. This spring, she looks forward to performing the role of La Prima Converse in Suor Angelica with Opera West and covering the roles of the Dew Fairy and the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel with the New Moon Opera Company.
 
This season,Jessi Goebel (Adele Auditor) sings Euridice with New York Opera Forum. Previously, she sang with Empire Opera, and enCANTA Collective. In 2012, she joined the Colorado Music Festival to sing Aninku in Hans Krása’s Brundibár with Maestro Michael Christie and joined CU NOW in the world premiere of Act I of Lori Laitman’s Ludlow. She earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying with mezzo-soprano Julie Simson; highlights with CU Opera included Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Ms. Goebel earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music where she sang the role of Eurilla in the U.S. premier of Händel’s Il pastor fido, directed by Dona D. Vaughn, among other scenes programs and recitals. Other notable performances include recitals in Oslo and Salzburg, master classes with Ken Merrill (NYC) and Wolfram Rieger (Salzburg), and as a soloist with composer and conductor Eric Whitacre in Beijing. Honors and awards include the Nancy and Ted Anderson Scholarship as well as the Anthony and Dorothy Riddle Lyric Theater Performance Prize at CU Boulder; the President’s Scholarship at Manhattan School of Music; and First Place in the University of Miami’s Summer in Salzburg competition.
 
Shana Grossman (Adele) recent winner of the Anita Cerquetti International Opera competition made her Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Ellie Mae in Remarkable Theater Brigade’s opera shorts production of Barab’s In Questionable Taste. Other prizes include Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges award and The Cohen Family Scholarship. In the summer of 2015 Ms. Grossman made her Italian debut at Perugia’s Teatro del Pavone, singing Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Under the baton of Richard Barrett, she has sung Nannetta in Falstaff, the title role in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, Contessa di Folleville in Il viaggio a Reims, and Gilda in Rigoletto with Brooklyn College Conservatory. Highlights from Ms. Grossman’s 2014 performances include singing Musetta with and Opera Experience Southeast in their production of La Bohème, and concerts with Sherrill Milnes’ V.O.I.C.Experience program as an Outreach Artist. In 2013 Ms. Grossman sang Madame Herz with the International Institute of Vocal Arts in their production of Mozart’s The Impresario, and was selected to sing in AIMS, Graz concert “Das Element Feuer”. Ms. Grossman holds a Bachelors of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Brooklyn College Conservatory and studies with Patricia McCaffrey.
 
Paul Grosvenor (Frank/Dr. Falke cover) was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, N.Y. His love for music and his budding skills were expressed often while singing with his family, church and community choirs. His excellent preparation gained him acceptance to the famed LaGuardia High School of the Arts in New York City. While there his repertoire expanded, ranging from oratorio to gospel, Negro Spirituals to Contemporary, and Opera. Paul received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan studying with Daniel Washington, With the University of Michigan he performed, the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni, and Lakai in Ariadne auf Naxos. In addition to his studies at U-M, he has studied at the “Music in the Marche Opera Program”, in Mondavio, Italy. He was also given the privilege of singing for the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards 2011 and 2013 as their Performing Arts Scholarship recipient. Paul was invited and sang on the Millennium Stage of The Kennedy Center, February 2013. In 2014, Paul performed the role of Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Martina Arroyo’s young artist program Prelude to Performance. Paul is currently in his last year of graduate school at the University of Michigan. In his first year he had the pleasure of being featured as the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem. In his final year Paul performed his first title role in Gianni Schicchi. In spring of 2016, Paul will play the role of Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte.
 
Spencer Hamlin (Alfred) is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Connecticut studying under Dr. Constance Rock. Spencer was named one of the Graduate Winners of the 2013 UConn Concerto Competition. He received 1st place in the College II Division of the 2012 NATS Competition. Most recently he received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Amici Competition with Opera Theater of Connecticut. While at UConn, Spencer’s roles have included Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Albert Herring, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Judge Danforth in The Crucible, Fritz (cover) in The Grand Duchess of Gérolstein, and Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus. Spencer sang the role of Percy Grainger in the U.S. premiere of Justin Dello Joio’s Blue Mountain. He sang the role of Laurie in Little Women as well as Henrik Egerman in A Little Night Music with Hartford Opera Theater. This past Summer Spencer made his debut with Opera Theater of Connecticut as Parpignol in La Bohème, and will be singing the role of Dr. Blind in their 2015 production of Die Fledermaus. Spencer also recently debuted with Connecticut Lyric Opera as the Vendor of Pets in Der Rosenkavalier, and Count Almaviva in Barber of Seville. Spencer also sings with VOCE. This Spring, Spencer will sing the role of Nemorino in Elixir of Love with UConn Opera Theater. Mr. Hamlin returns to Prelude after having performed role of Tonio in the 2015 production of L'Elisir d'Amore.
 
Stephanie Jabre (Ida cover) was recently seen performing the role of Mrs. Segstrom in Theater 20/20’s production of A Little Night Music. She is a graduate of The Manhattan School of Music where she received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance. She has debuted several roles including Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice, Giuditta in La Giuditta, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Stephanie was also previously and emerging artist with the Operaworks training program in Los Angeles. Upcoming performances include the roles of Alcina in Alcina and Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito.
 
Youna Jang (Mimi cover) made her professional debut as Madama Butterfly in Opera Delaware and returned to the company to sing Mimì in La Bohème. She graduated from Temple University, where she performed Natalia Petrovna in Hoiby’s A Month in the Country, Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Climene in L'Egisto, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. She received the Boyer Merit scholarship in recognition of her musical excellence and was the soprano soloist in Bruckner's Te Deum at the Kimmel Center – Verizon Hall. She participated in the Apprentice and studio programs in Sarasota Opera and sang the title role of Madama Butterfly at the Sarasota Chalk festival. She has won awards from the Fritz & Lavinia Jensen Foundation, the Annapolis Opera Competition and Gerda Lissner International Competition. She was accepted to the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia as a resident artist and sung the roles of Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in voice performance and teaches applied voice at the University of North Texas.
 
Shabnam Kalbasi (Orlofsky cover) will be seen next as Second lady this November in Opera Memphis's production of Die Zauberflöte. In 2016 she will make her Kennedy Center recital debut as a prize winner of the Vocal Arts D.C. Competition. A 2015 recipient of the Agnes M. Canning Memorial Award from the Santa Fe Opera. She sang Countess Cerprano in Rigoletto and debuted the role of Olivia in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain. This past spring she performed in the Palm Springs Opera Guild's “Opera in the Park”, and as soloist in Verdi's requiem with Southeast sympony. Kalbasi most recently was a regional finalist in the Rocky Mountain Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. In late 2014, She was a finalist in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition. She was awarded with a Stern Fellowship at Songfest and was a resident artist with the French-Chamber Music Festival in Missilac, France. In 2013 she placed 1st both in the NATS-LA competition and the Long Beach Mozart Festival Competition. Other roles include the title role in Dido and Aeneas, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Mrs. Nolan in The Medium. A scholarship recipient of USC's Thornton School of Music, Ms. Kalbasi earned her Master of Music there and earned her Bachelor of music degree at UC Irvine as a Bette and Steven Warner Performing scholarship recipient. Kalbasi currently studies with Laura Brooks Rice.
 
JungYong Kim (Alfred cover), was born in Seoul, Korea. In 2007, Mr. Kim made his operatic debut in Orfeo at theater Mantov (bibiena) in Italia. He holds a Master ’s degree(Diplom) at Conservatory Of Giuseppe in Milan (Italy) and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University, Seoul, Korea. He has been the receipient of various honors, including 1st prize ESCOUNESCO UNESCO International Competition , '34th (Without 2nd prize) 3rd prize of JOONG -ANG Competition, 47th Dong -A Competition Finalist, 1st prize and Prize of Best performance at Sungjung Competition, (Without 1st prize) 2nd of Ehwa kyunghyang Competition, 2nd prize, Music journal Competition, Prize of Best Singer ' Competition of Nanpa Competition SURI, of Competition of Um jung haeng. He has been various operatic Performances in Italy, L'elisir d'amore and also he performed in Gianni Schicchi, La traviata, and Lammermoor di Lucia. He presently lives in Norwood, NJ with his wife.
 
Alexander Lee (Eisenstein cover) is D.M.A. (Doctor of Music Art) candidate at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey under the tutelage of Dr. Frederick Urrey. This year he performed Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte with Opera at Rutegrs. In recent 2 years, he has performed Lakmé as Gérald, Candide as Candide, Acis and Galatea as Acis, Madama Butterfly as Goro. Mr. Lee was a Soloist of Korea National Theater and K.B.S. (Korean Broadcast station). Also, he was a Sergeant of M.N.D. (Ministry of National Defense) band as composer&arranger and singer. Moreover, his solo work includes work with Turkish National Symphony Orchestra and Korea National Korean Music Symphony. He is teaching theory and voice in EF Academy in NY. Also he is parttime voice teacher in Mason Gross School of Music and assistant of University Choir. Lee has been conducted choir for many years and he is music director of Grace and Love Church in Tenefly, NJ. Lee was a Pianist of K.B.S. and he was the winner of the Korea Singing Competition, Seoul. Mr. Lee returns to Prelude to Performance after having studied and performed the role of Goro in the 2015 production of Madama Butterfly.
 
Buffo bass-baritoneAlexander Adams-Leytes (Alcindoro/Benoit cover), in making his professional debut in 2013 with Pacific Opera Project, in Los Angeles, CA, was described as being "transcendental" and "never missing a syllable or pitch.....always creating a plausible motive for his insane vocal and physical acrobatics" in his specialty area of comic patter singing as Dr. Bartolo in a modern-day Hollywood version of Il barbiere di Siviglia. He has continued his up-and-coming career, performing in the Natchez Music Festival in Mississippi, performing the role of Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore. Originally educated at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN under the teaching of Patricia Kent, he then received his Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota where he was a student of Philip Zawisza. For several he has trained in the Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar, Germany under the direction of European buffo star Damon Nestor Ploumis, and there he performed roles including Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count, Bartolo, and reprising his original role of Antonio in Figaro and Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovanni. In December, 2014 he was part of the first production for the new Gulfshore Opera in Naples, Florida, where he sang father and Witch in Hansel and Gretel and made his European professional debut in 2015 as Don Alfonso with Passion Artists of Vienna.
 
Chunfeng Li (Colline), Chinese bass-baritone, is a dramatic and very expressive singer. He had sung the roles of Bartolo in Le Nozze Di Figaro, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Masetto in Don Giovanni in concert settings in Italy and France and he had performed the role of Osmin role from Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Peabody Opera Theater in Baltimore Lyric Opera House in 2015. He was invited to perform the Sulpice from Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment in Martina Arroyo Foundation Young Artist Program where he worked with music director Laura Alley and Mo.Imre Pallo. He also sang in masterclass with Mo. Richard Bonynge. He recently performed the role Osmin with St. Petersbug opera company in the Emerging Young Artist Program. At the beginning of 2016, ChunFeng was a Fanalist in the New York Lyric Theater 2015 Vocal Competition. That same year, he has also performed in Carnegie Hall. He won a silver award in Jilin division of the CCTV National Young Singers’ Competition organized by China Central Television in 2010. He was awarded the Best Performance at Italy Orvieto International Vocal Competition in 2007; the same year, he participated in Marmande International Vocal Competition in France and obtained a Full scholarship from Marseille Opera Institute. He graduated from Xinghai Conservatory of Music with a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance. He currently working on a double Degree Masters and GPD in Peabody Institute under the tutelage of Dr. Stanley Cornett, where he was the recipient of Merit Scholarship.
 
A New Jersey native, sopranoBriana Meese’s (Adele Auditor) credits include Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Papagena in Die Zaberflöte, Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Dew Fairy in Hansel und Gretel. She mostly recently performed with MetroWest Opera as a cover of Amy March in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. Brianna completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia where she graduated with Highest Distinction and performed for the Tallis Scholars, Philip Glass, and Claude-Michel Scho¨nberg. While in Virginia, Brianna was a two time first-place winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition and a finalist in the Mid-Atlantic Regionals. She performed the role of Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Three Notch’d Road Orchestra, and was a shepherd in Ash Lawn Opera’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. An avid lover of art song, Brianna placed third in The 2015 American Prize- Art Song division and was a finalist in the Hawaii Public Radio International Art Song Competition. Brianna is currently pursuing her master’s degree at The Boston Conservatory where she will be portraying Adina in the upcoming scenes performance and Barbarina in the spring production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
 
Carlton Moe (Rodolfo cover) made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as the Brother in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Also in 2013, he was a 2nd place winner of the National Opera Association Vocal Competition. Mr. Moe has performed as soloist in major works such as Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, and Handel’s The Messiah with such orchestras as the Oregon Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Walla Walla Symphony, and the Charlottesville Symphony Society. Previous opera credits include Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette with Aspen Music Festival, John Adams in The Mother of Us All, Tebaldo in I Capuletti e I Montecchi, Malcolm in Ernest Bloch's Macbeth, Gerald in Lakmé with Manhattan School of Music Opera Studio, ALbert in Albert Herring with Napa Music Festival, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with Student Opera Association of PSU, Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites with Portland State University Opera. Carlton also sang the role of Sparky in the premiere recording of Kenneth Froelich’s opera Valentine with Heretic Opera. He completed his B.M. in voice at Portland State University and his M.M. in classical voice at The Manhattan School of Music.
 
Maria Natale (Rosalinde cover) is quickly becoming noticed as a rising talent in the NYC area. She recently received a professional studies certificate from the Manhattan School of Music, where she sang the role of Lady Macbeth in Ernest Bloch’s only opera Macbeth This year, she was selected by OPERA NEWS to sing in Lincoln Center in a Masterclass with legendary tenor Placido Domingo. She was a winner of the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades vocal competition at the Manhattan School of Music and a two time grant recipient from the Gerda Lissner Foundation. In 2014 she was a Metropolitan Opera Council district winner. She has also sung with companies such as Sarasota Opera, Knoxville Opera and Nashville Opera. Her portrayal of the role Liù in Turandot with Sarasota Opera was highly celebrated and was noted for her “unequivocal Italian sound” (New Outpost). She received her Master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and was a studio artist with Knoxville Opera where she sang the roles of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Pousette in Massenet’s Manon. Other credits include the Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Genovieffa in Suor Angelica and Nancy in Albert Herring with the University of Tennessee Opera Theater. Ms. Natale is a California native and received her Bachelors in Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
 
Thomas Petrushka (Colline cover), a “notable, resonant bass-baritone” (Brooklyn Eagle), continues to distinguish himself as an important presence in the emerging young artist field. He has performed with Opera Columbus, Opera Project Columbus, The Ohio State University Lyric and Opera Theatre, and Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance. Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include a concert of Puccini scenes under the baton of Maestro Alessandro Siciliani with Opera Project Columbus, appearance in a Kurt Weill cabaret, Moon over Alabama and Scène de Beaumarchais with The Ohio State University Lyric and Opera Theatre. In January 2016, Thomas will again appear with Opera Project Columbus as King Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and in April 2016 he will perform the role Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd at The Ohio State University. Recent appearances include the role of Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni at The Ohio State University, and participation in Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance in New York City where he presented the role of Corporal in La fille du regiment under the baton of Maestro Imre Palló. Mr. Petrushka is dedicated to developing new audiences for opera and in this capacity has represented Opera Columbus in their outreach program. He is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at The Ohio State University in the studio of Robin Rice.
 
Jose Rubio (Schaunard) made his Carnegie Hall Recital Debut which was met with great acclaim. His recent engagements have included company debuts with Asheville Lyric Opera singing Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Skagit Opera singing Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte. He was seen on tour in China with the ISING! Internatioal Festival in 2014. Other engagements this season have included a return to Portland Opera singing Morales in Carmen, a reprisal of Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tiresias with Brava! Opera Theater, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia with Vespertine Opera, and the title role in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Tacoma Opera. In past seasons was seen with Cincinnati Opera as Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte for Tacoma Opera, Marcello in La Bohème and Le Mari in the US premiere of the Benjamin Britten adaptation of Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias with Vespertine Opera, and Portland Opera for the West Coast Premiere of Galileo Galilei, by Philip Glass. He also made his New York City operatic debut in Angel of the Amazon by Evan Mack, a world premiere production with Encompass Opera. He received his Artist Diploma and Master’s degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and holds a Bachelor’s from the University of Washington. Mr. Rubio has been a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Competition. He is featured in two of Philip Glass's operas that were recorded on the Orange Mountain Music label: Galilei in Orpheé and Galileo. He can also be heard on Albany Records' recording of Evan Mack's American Opera, Angel of the Amazon.
 
Joseph Sacchi (Dr. Blind) is a second-year Master’s degree candidate from Salem, Oregon. He is currently under the tutelage of Mark Oswald. Previous credits include Priest/Armoured Man in Die Zauberflöte with Manhattan School of Music, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music with Central Washington University Opera. Scene work includes Snout/Wall in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Manhattan School of Music, Duke in Rigoletto with Savannah Voice Festival, Candide in Candide, Rodolfo in La bohème, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, and Vašek in The Bartered Bride with Central Washington University Opera. Upcoming performances include Albert in Albert Herring and Persée in Persée et Andromède at Manhattan School of Music.
 
Jessica Sandidge's (Mimi) recent performance as Micaela was described as having: “…giant, almost tsunami-like waves of purity and beauty in her voice and character” (Nino Patano, Brooklyn Daily Eagle). Other recent performances include her Carnegie Hall debut as Soprano in Fauré's Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions and Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Long Island Opera. She has performed such roles as, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Micaela in Carmen, Violetta in La Traviata, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Musetta in La Bohème, Freia in Das Rheingold, Janthe in Der Vampyr, and a New York Times acclaimed performance of Colette in The Reformed Drunkard with Little Opera Theater of New York. She has performed with such companies as Opera New Jersey, Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance, New York Grand Opera, Opera Ischia, SongFest, Chelsea Opera, Lowell House Opera, and the Liederkranz Opera Theater. She recently made her second appearance at Carnegie Hall singing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with NY Opera Theater and the New York Chamber Ensemble. Upcoming performances include Mimì in La Bohème with Amore Opera, Valencienne in Regina Opera's The Merry Widow, and Soprano soloist in R. Vaughn Williams' Pastoral Symphony with the Shelter Rock Orchestra and Choir.
 
Soprano Haley Sicking (Rosalinde) soprano, earned a Master’s in Music from The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music while studying with Dr. Barbara Paver. During her time at the University of North Texas, where she completed her Bachelors with a major in Vocal Performance and a minor in Music Theory, Haley was awarded the prestigious Winspear Opera Fellowship and the McKinley award. She is a performer experienced in opera, oratorio, chamber music and art song. She has performed leading opera roles such as: Pamina in Die Zauberflöte; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus; Juliette in Roméo et Juliette; and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Haley has performed supporting or partial roles such as: a handmaiden in Turandot, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Liù in Turandot, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Amina in La Sonnambula, Lakmé in Lakmé, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Violetta in La Traviata. Haley has experienced several opportunities performing and studying in Europe, traveling through Italy and London. After working with the Cincinnati Opera, Haley returned to Dallas and is currently working with the Dallas Opera, having made her debut with the Dallas Opera as a Handmaiden in Turandot last season.
 
Ethan Simpson's (Schaunard cover) recent engagements include Don Giovanni as an artist in residence with the Academy of Vocal Arts and the title role of Joseph de Rocher in the Chicago premiere of Jake Heggie's Dead Man walking. Other recent works include Le nozze di Figaro and The Sound of Music as a young artist with Central City Opera's Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. He has also performed works including Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, and L'incoronazione di Poppea as a part of La Musica Lirica's Voci Del Montefeltro Festival under the baton of Joseph Rescigno in Novafeltria, San Marino, di Montegridolfo, Cesena, and Pesaro, Italy. Featured roles at Northwestern University include Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte and John Brooke in Little Women. Upcoming engagements include Albert in Werther and Manfredo in Montemezzi’s L’amor dei tre re with the Academy of Vocal Arts. He is a regional level prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a national semi-finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Compeition, an Emerging Young Artist award winner from The Lotte Lenya Competition, a winner of The Hal Leonard Competition, a winner of The Southern Illinois Young Artist Competition, Bella voce award winner from the Bel Canto Foundation Competition, NATS Mid-Atlantic Region Winner and recipient of the Jane M. Dillard Scholarship and is a recipient of Northwestern University's Eckstein Award. The Kansas City native holds a master's degree in voice performance from Northwestern University under the tutelage of W. Stephen Smith.
 
Joanna Stolzenburg (Adele cover) is a graduate of Houghton College (2011) with a degree in Music Education. She has been involved in a variety of musical activities from a very young age. Her first experience with opera was in 2002 with Opera Pro Voce as part of their children’s chorus for the production of Hansel and Gretel. She continued to perform fully staged and costumed operas with OPV through 2005 in productions such as Il Trovatore, Mefistofele, Tosca and Suor Angelica. Since her introduction to opera, Joanna began to study voice, obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, and began a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance. During her time at Houghton College, Joanna was actively involved in performances. She participated in several performances with Houghton College Lyric Opera Theater, such as Le nozze di Figaro and Into the Woods. After college, Joanna continued to pursue performance opportunities. She debuted on Long Island with Amadeus Opera in The Impresario as Miss Silverpeal. Joanna has also worked with New York Lyric Opera Theater in their performances of Die Zauberflöte and The Telephone, as well as in their Young Artist Program. She toured with an outreach program through All Access Productions across Long Island to bring their original production of No More Victims to public schools. She has been performing concerts with a new company, Operanomaly, that strives to bring opera to the general public. Most recently Joanna covered the role of Zerlina with Sing Through Central’s production of Don Giovanni.
 
Jonathan Tetelman (Eisenstein), graduated from Manhattan School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in 2011, where he studied as a baritone for four years. He has completed the graduate Performance Studies program at Mannes College The New School for Music in May of 2013, where he studied as a tenor. In 2013 he attended IVAI in Blacksburg, Virginia and was a resident artist in VOICExperience in Savannah, Georgia and New York City. Most recently, Jonathan covered the role of Alfredo from Verdi’s La Traviata with Opera North in 2014 along with performing Freddy EynsfordHill in My Fair Lady & Steve Sankey in Street Scene. Jonathan performed the baritone roles of the Count in Paisiello's 'Nina' while at MSM, Falke in Die Fledermaus, the Drunken Poet in Fairy Queen, and Tireno in Il Pastor Fido. Jonathan covered the role of Dorvil in Mannes’s opera, La Scala di Seta in 2012. Jonathan was a finalist in 2010 in the MeisterSinger Competition at the AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria, performing Rossini's Largo al Factotum.
 
Born in 1994, mezzo-soprano Hongni Wu (Orlofsky), is a first-year Master’s student at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam. Ms. Wu entered the Vocal Music Department of Xinghai Conservatory of Music with honors in 2011, studying with mezzo-soprano Xiao Chen, the associate professor. She has participated in contests and performances and also participated in Master Classes held by Guangzhou Grand Theatre on behalf of the Vocal Music Department. She entered Manhattan School of Music with honors in 2015. She is currently the recipient of the Manhattan School of Music Scholarship in Voice. This past December, she was cast as Orlofsky from Die Fledermaus under the baton of Maestro Domenico Boyagian.