Meet the Prelude to Performance participants for 2019



(Rosalinda cover)

Hailed by the New York Times “conveys the inner resilience of this tragic heroine through the bright tones and strong delivery of the vocal lines” and “enjoyable audibly with a nice pearly quality” by the Opera News. Born in Shandong, Chinese Soprano Banlingyu Ban made her American debut at the Carnegie Hall in 2015 followed by a series of concerts at the Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, National Opera Center, Carnegie Hall, United Nations, Bryant Park, Gammage Auditorium, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Fitzgerald Theatre, etc.

As an opera singer, Ms. Ban was chosen as the study cover of Tosca, Le nozze di Figaro and La Traviata by Arizona Opera 2017-2019 season. She sang the role “Mimi” in La Bohème, “Romilda” in Xerxes with ASU Music Theatre and Opera, a featured soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. The title role “Cio-Cio-san” in Madama Butterfly with Heartbeat Opera, “Monica” in The Medium and “Genovieffa” in Suor Angelica with Chicago Summer Opera. She had also performed “Giannetta” in L’elisir d’amore with The Mannes Opera and sang “Lauretta” and “Nella” in Gianni Schicchi with Burletta Opera Festival in Shanghai Lyceum Theatre.

Ms. Ban received a magazine cover by Music Life News and interviews with New York Lounge, The New Yorker and Opera News. Her competition awards include, winner of Lois Alba Aria Competition 2018, the Platinum Award in Forte International Music Competition; Winner of New York Lyric Opera Theatre Competition; 3rd Place and Best Puccini Performance Award of Tuscia International Opera Competition in Italy as well as the Excellence Award from Asia International Vocal Festival in Hong Kong. Ms. Ban is currently a DMA candidate at Arizona State University. She graduated with Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes School of Music and held B.M and M.M Degrees from Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

BanlingYu Ban, soprano



Amy Guarino is a soprano, music educator, and videographer based in New York City. She is a recent graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens, having earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She is currently pursuing a post-baccalaureate certificate in Music Education from ACSM and will be graduating in May 2019. This past semester Amy student taught at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn under Robert Lanaghan, as well as at the United Nations International School in Queens under Ellen Cava-Haag. Next fall, Amy will continue her studies at ACSM, pursuing a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Amy is a student of H. Roz Woll.

Amy's roots as a performer are in musical theatre. She is the former director (2016-17, Assistant Director 2015-16) of the Musical Theater Organization at ACSM, which puts on two shows a year. In MTO’s most recent production, Amy performed “I Don’t Care,” as well as “If I Loved You.” In December, Amy performed in It’s A Grand Night For Singing with Queens College Opera, where she also staged the show’s finale, “So Long, Farewell.” Amy has also performed with community theater companies in the NYC area. Credits include: Summer Serenade (Soloist/Dance Captain), Nunsense: The MEGA Musical (Sister Mary Leo/Assistant Choreographer) Fiddler on the Roof (Chava), Les Miserables (Ensemble/Worker Woman), Anything Goes (Ensemble/Featured Dancer), The Claus Family Christmas Spectacular (Mandy), The Sound of Music (Louisa von Trapp).

Amy Guarino, soprano



Michael Parham, a young baritone hailing from Chattanooga, Tennessee found his passion for music through his choral experiences with the Chattanooga Boys Choir and the Oakwood University Aeolians. It was not until he performed Schaunard in Puccini’s La Boheme, while participating in the Manhattan School of Music’s Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, that he discovered his passion for operatic repertoire. Thenceforth, Michael has vigorously studied Bel Canto technique and both operatic and oratorio repertoire. Last season, he made professional role debuts in Cavalleria Rusticana and Rigoletto. As well, he made his debut in the eponymous role of Don Giovanni with UNLV Opera Theater. During his time as Artist-In-Residence at the Grace Presbyterian Church of Las Vegas, Michael was a featured soloist in Theodore Dubois’ 7 Last Words of Christ. Prior to his fach change, Michael performed leading tenor roles in various opera and scene programs including: The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. In 2012, Michael he was a soloist in Haydn’s Creation at the Moscow International House of Music for the US Ambassador to Russia. This season you may also hear Michael portraying the roles of Peter in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel with Opera Las Vegas. Michael’s past teachers include Dr. Julie Foster, Richard Heard, and Timothy Noble. He recently finished his Masters of Music at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he continues to study privately under the tutelage of Dr. Alfonse Anderson, whom he met while studying abroad at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

Michael Parham, baritone

YICHEN XUE, Baritone


Yichen Xue, baritone from Anshan, China. In 2014, he graduated from Middle School attached to China Conservatory; In the summer of 2014, he had his first official performance at National Centre in Beijing. The biggest TV Station CCTV described this concert in the most famous TV show <Daily News>, “ Yichen has Incredible and powerful voice, he pushed classical music to the public in a brilliant way.” He continued his Bachelor of Music Degree at Manhattan School of Music, study with Mr. Maitland Peters. He had his first recital “Mozart’s Aria” at Manhattan School of Music in his first year of B.M. Degree. In 2016, he had his recital of Schubert’s “ Winterreise ”. he had his junior recital at Manhattan School of Music with another wonderful singer Ziyi Dai. Yichen appears in “Le nozze di Figaro” as Count Almaviva with International lyric academy at summer 2017. Yichen has performed in “Snow Maiden” as Bermyata at Manhattan School of Music and he graduated from Manhattan school of Music in 2018. Mr. Xue continue his M.A degree at Hunter College Study with Ron Raines, Yichen will appear in “ Patience& Sarah” as Pa Dowling at Hunter College Opera this May 2019.

Yichen Xue, baritone


(Alfred cover)

Michael Celentano is a former young artist at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY. Recent appearances include Max in Bronx Opera’s production of Der Freischütz, Miner in La Fanciulla del West and Ensemble in L’Amore de tre Re, both with New York City Opera. Upcoming performances include Ismaele in Nabucco with David Serero Productions, and Ensemble for The Metropolitan Opera's upcoming 2019 production of Götterdämmerung.

Michael Celentano, tenor



Originally from Brighton, Michigan, Michaela Larsen is currently in the third year of her undergraduate degree in Music Education, studying with Marc Embree. Ms. Larsen has appeared in MSU Opera Theater’s productions as Jennie Hildebrand in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, and is currently working on the role of Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and will cover Giulia in Rossini’s La Scala di Seta in their upcoming Spring productions. She has been featured as a soloist with University Chorale on Tarik O’Reagan’s Tryptich. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Larsen sang in the Masterclasses at Centro Studi Della Giacoma with Richard Fracker in Todi, Italy.

Michaela Larsen, soprano

JIMIN PARK, Baritone


Jimin Park is from Seoul, Korea. He earned his BM from Yonsei University and is pursuing his Masters at Manhattan School of Music in Vocal Performance. He is under the tutelage of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. He has performed Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro) at Yonsei University, Gianni Schicchi (Marco) in a part of Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Theater and Les pêcheurs de perles (Zurga) of Manhattan School of Music's Opera repertoire ensemble. He has going to perform Emmeline (Mr. Maguire) of Manhattan School of Music's Opera Theater.

Jimin Park, baritone


(Adele cover)

Soprano Yoonjeong Yoo is currently pursuing her Professional Studies Diploma in Opera at Mannes, studying with Amy Burton. Yoo received Master's degree in Opera at New England Conservatory where she played Queen of the night in The Magic Flute and Ruth in Later the same evening. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Sookmyung Women's University.

Yoonjeong Yoo, soprano

LINDA COLLAZO, Mezzo-Soprano

(Orlovsky cover)

Ecuadorian and Puerto-Rican Mezzo-Soprano Linda Collazo is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College, having studied Vocal Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. A graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, Linda has been studying opera since a young age and has performed in venues all over New York City and abroad. Her most recent engagements include being an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera for their Winter 2019 season, performing as a solo Handmaiden in their production of Puccini’s Turandot and as Carmen from Bizet’s Carmen in their scenes program. Her latest performances have also included being the mezzo-soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Queens College Choral Society, performing as a soloist in the Cantanti Project’s Cantamos at the United Palace Theater, and being a soloist at the United Nations and the Repetorio Español for their galas. Throughout 2018, Linda has performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Forest Hills Choir, has covered the role of Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff as a part of Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, and has played the roles of Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti as a part of the Queens College Arts Festival and Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Queens College Opera Theater. Linda also recently performed as the mezzo soloist in Bernstein’s Symphony no. 1: Jeremiah and Songfest, and Frank London’s 1001 Voices with the Queens College Orchestra. In 2017, Linda made her operatic debut in Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania, Italy, performing as La Cesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi as part of “Si parla, si canta.” Prior to this, Linda made her main stage operatic debut as Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with the Queens College Opera Theater. During this time, Linda was also a soloist in Mozart’s Alma Dei Creatoris and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Cornerstone Chorale. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Linda performed many times with the New York Lyric Opera Theater, performing as the 3rd Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, performing in opera scenes in their opera galas in Carnegie Hall, and understudying the role of Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel for a performance at the Opera America’s Marc A. Scorca Hall.

Linda’s hard work ethic has also earned her many awards and scholarships in the past years. Along with winning first place in both the Friday Woodmere Music Club’s Young Artist Competition in 2018 and the Bronx Arts Ensemble Young Artist Contest in 2016, Linda has been awarded honorable mention in the Five Towns Music Competition, and was a finalist in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition and the New York International Voice Competition. Additionally, she has been awarded the Queens College’s Jane and Paul Smaldone Memorial Scholarship, the Hélène B. Guidice Award, Erik Horlick Memorial Award, and Claire Bartels Freshman Award. In the Spring of 2019, Linda will play María Magdalena in a new Spanish opera by Rafael Grullon titled El Caminante with the Mimesis Ensemble. Linda is from the Bronx, New York and is a student of Dr. Sherry Overholt.

Linda Collazo, mezzo-soprano



New Zealand mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Harris is a second-year Master’s degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Professor Shirley Close. Previous operatic credits include: Così fan tutte (Dorabella); La Cenerentola (Tisbe); Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino); Eugene Onegin (Madame Larina); Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky); Dido and Aeneas (Witch I), and partial roles in Gianni Schicchi (Zita), Falstaff (Mrs Meg Page), and Iphigénie (Iphigénie, cover). Ms Harris has performed as a soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Auckland Choral; Orchestra Wellington; the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra; Napier Civic Choir; and the Kāpiti Chamber Choir in works including: Handel’s Messiah; Beethoven Symphony No. 9; the Mozart Requiem; Haydn’s Paukenmesse; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Donizetti’s Messa Di Requiem; Schumann’s Requiem; Brahm’s Liebeslieder Waltzes and Bach’s B Minor Mass. In April this year, Ms Harris is looking forward to performing the role of Aunt Hannah in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline.

Elisabeth Harris, mezzo-soprano

DAEWON SEO, Baritone

(Falke cover)

Baritone Daewon Seo is Native of South Korea. He has performed many roles throughout his career including Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss with Miami Music Festival, Il conte in Le Nozze di Figaro with Oberlin Opera Theater and Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Vater in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Butler Opera Center, and the title role in Don Giovanni with the Seoul National University Opera Theater. An experienced concert artist, he has been a featured soloist in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He won the S.Livingston Mather Competition, The Lois Alba Aria Competition and William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition and earned first prize at the Korean Art Song Competition, and Third prize at the Ewha-Kyunghyang Competition, also in Korea. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and Artistic diploma from Oberlin Conservatory.

Daewon Seo, baritone


(Dr. Blind)

Hailing from Costa Rica, tenor Esteban Zuniga is currently pursuing a Master of Music at Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Maitland Peters.

At the National University of Costa Rica, Zuniga earned his Bachelor of Music with emphasis on vocal performance and teaching. While studying, he dedicated years to teaching voice to beginners of all ages in a private music academy. He also had many opportunities to sing important roles, appearing as Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de perles, Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro. He also sang leading roles in Zarzuelas, including El Huesped del Sevillano by Jacinto Guerrero and El Poeta Calculista by Manuel García. As a soloist, Zuniga has performed in Camille Saint Saens’s Oratorio de Noël, J.S. Bach’s Der Kaffekantate, Mozart’s Requiem, and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Esteban Zuniga, tenor



Lisa Faieta is a Canadian soprano from Toronto who currently lives in New York where she has been actively working, training, and competing. Last year, she received an Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. This winter, she will be covering the role of Magda Sorel (with performance) with Bronx Opera.

Her expressive voice and stage presence infuse her performance with emotional weight.

Lisa began her professional career as a coloratura performing such roles as The Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute, and Baby Doe from The Ballad of Baby Doe. She has continued to grow into larger repertoire, becoming a Verdi soprano to watch. She made her professional debut with Opera Nova Scotia in their production of The Beggar's Opera as Lucy. Known for her "very distinctive voice, powerful with lots of slice" she has performed with many local, emerging companies such as Loose TEA Music Theatre and Bronx Opera and has also produced and directed two performances in Toronto. Some of her other roles include the cover of Alice Ford with Bronx Opera, Micaëla with Loose TEA Music Theatre, Donna Elvira with Opera by Request, and Elettra with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre.

Lisa Faieta, soprano

YEJIN LEE, Soprano


Yejin Lee is a first year graduate student in classical voice performance at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam. She holds Bachelor and Master's degrees of Music in Voice Performance in Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea (based on Full-Scholarship.) She most recently sang the role of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel at the Manhattan school of Music and performed Echo in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos in Opera Scene at Manhattan School of Music. She received Honorable mention at Kenett Symphony voice competition. Also She was the Eastern regional winner of NATS Competition 2018 and recently won at the competition of New York Lyric Opera Theatre.

Yejin Lee, soprano



CongJu Song is a graduate student at the Mannes school of Music, student of Bonnie Hamilton and Joshua Greene.
CongJu's roles include: Tony in Leonard Bernstein(National Centre for the Perfoming Arts,National Music Hall of China Conservatory; MSU Opera Theatre,(Detroit Opera House),Turiddu in Mascani’s Cavalleria rusticana(Beijing Concert Hall),General in Guan’s Mu Lan(Jiangsu Grand Theatre),Ge San in WeiDong’s Valley of Red River (National Music Hall of China Conservatory),Su Wu in WeiYa’s Su Wu in Han dynasty(National Music Hall of ChinaConservatory), Eisenstein in Karl Haffner’s Die Fledermaus (National Centre for the Performing Arts,Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre),Immortal in The Three orphans(National Music Hall of China Conservatory).
Other recent credits include:Don José in Carmen’s “C’est toi!C’est moi!” (National Music Hall of China Conservatory), Rodolfo in La Bohème’s act 3 (China Conservatory of Music), Alfredo in La Traviata’s “Parigi,O cara” (China Conservatory of Music),Monsieur in Der Schauspieldirektor “Schlußgesang” (Mannes school of Music),Max in Der Freischütz“Trio”(Mannes school of Music).
Some important concerts CongJu sang include: “Exploring Sonic Frontiers” in Carnegie Hall(soloist), “Chang’An Gate” in Musikverein (soloist),“Travel Faraway Across the Sea to See You” in Sydney Opera House (Duet), “José Carreras Final World Tour (Life in Music)” in Beijing
Poly Theatre(Soloist),Classical also prevails National Tour in Chinese Poly Theatre (Soloist).

CongJu Song, tenor

DANIEL NOONE, Tenor  (Eisenstein cover)  Daniel Noone, tenor, is an exciting young full voiced tenor. A two time Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera, Daniel has covered roles in their productions of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, D’Albert’s Tiefland, and most recently Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot.   A graduate of Catholic University MM '16. While at Catholic University Daniel performed leading roles in  Lucia di Lammermoor, Romeo et Juliette, Madama Butterfly, Die Zauberflöte, Rigoletto , and  Gianni Schicchi . An active performer in the Washington DC area, Daniel has performed at many Embassies including Australian, Italian, and Bulgarian. Past summers have included The Castleton Festival (Romeo Cover  Romeo et Juliette ) and Miami Music Festival (Judge Danforth  The Crucible ). Daniel has also performed in staged theater most notably Tony in Terrence McNalley's Masterclass at Alexandria's Metrostage.


(Eisenstein cover)

Daniel Noone, tenor, is an exciting young full voiced tenor. A two time Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera, Daniel has covered roles in their productions of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, D’Albert’s Tiefland, and most recently Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot.

A graduate of Catholic University MM '16. While at Catholic University Daniel performed leading roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Romeo et Juliette, Madama Butterfly, Die Zauberflöte, Rigoletto, and Gianni Schicchi. An active performer in the Washington DC area, Daniel has performed at many Embassies including Australian, Italian, and Bulgarian. Past summers have included The Castleton Festival (Romeo Cover Romeo et Juliette) and Miami Music Festival (Judge Danforth The Crucible). Daniel has also performed in staged theater most notably Tony in Terrence McNalley's Masterclass at Alexandria's Metrostage.

Daniel Noone, tenor