Participants 2006
Andrea Arias Luis E. Cabrera Eleni Calenos Andrew Cummings Tanying Dong Sequina DuBose Derrick Gay
Jay Gould Isaac Grier Darnell Ishmel Jason McKinney Seung Young Moon Alicia H. Moran Jorge Ocasio
Kenneth Overton Allison Robertson Lucia Salas DeAndre Simmons Jonathan Spuhler Taylor Stayton Sara Thomas
Alia Waheed Bradley Wisk Lauren Sangwon Woo Dino Wu      
 
Andrea Arias is a second year Graduate Student at Manhattan School of Music. She is in the studio of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. In her first year at Manhattan she was able to perform a World Premiere Children's opera called Elijah's Kite and also was a part of the cast of Dialogues of the Carmelites as one of the Carmelites.

   
Luis Emilio Cabrera, Cuban born, studied at The Boston Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts.  He has performed leading tenor roles in such operas as L'elisir D'amore, Die Zauberflote, Il Turco in Italia, La Traviata, Orpheus in the Underworld, Sorry Wrong Number (world premiere) and in the zarzuela, El Barberillo de Lavapies.  Concerts and recitals have led to noted venues such as Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Town Hall, CAMI Hall and Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center.

   
Eleni Calenos has a master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Queens College. Her first degree is a diploma in Cello Performance from the Municipal Conservatory of Salonika in Greece, where she was born. She has concertized in Europe, the US and Israel. Her performances include the mother in Hansel and Gretel, Vee Talbott in Saylor’s Orpheus Descending and Mimi in La Boheme. Her repertoire includes: Pamina, Elvira, Nedda, Liù, Violetta and many more. She recently appeared with the Portland (ME) and Albany Symphonies, in Tsontakis’ Mirologhia . She is a winner of the “Career Bridges” voice competition 2006.
   
Andrew Cummings, born in Maine, is performing on concert and opera stages in the US and Europe. He performed to a rave review in a world premier of To One in Paradise with the Bachanalia Orchestra at Merkin Hall in NYC. He sang in the world premier of The Last Leaf with the North Czech Philharmonic in the Czech Republic. He has sung with Opera Delaware, Lake George Opera, the Janiec Opera Company and many more. Recent roles include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Escamillo in Carmen, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Il Re in Aïda, and Colline in La Bohème. He lives in NYC and studies with Dr. Thomas Houser.
   
Tanying Dong trained in voice in Chicago and Vienna, Austria, before coming to New York to study with Monica Harte. She has sung recitals and concerts in Vienna, with the University of Chicago, and with Columbia University in New York, as well as in productions by the Remarkable Theater Brigade. She is completing a Master's degree at Columbia.
 
   
Sequina DuBose most recently performed as Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with George Mason Opera Theatre. She has also performed with the Philadelphia Opera Company in their production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. She performed as Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, with the “Prelude to Performance” program in 2005. Additional roles include Erisbe in Francesco Cavalli’s Ormindo and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote. She is a recent graduate of George Mason University and intends to enroll at the Manhattan School of Music for post-graduate studies this fall.
   
Derrick Gay was born in Chicago where he studied piano, conducting, violin and viola. A graduate of The Oberlin Conservatory and College of Arts and Sciences, he has been an active performer in the US, Europe and Latin America. His performances include: opera scenes in Spoleto Italy; Baritone Soloist in the Messiah; Soloist in Judas Maccabeus at 92nd Street Y; and Balthasar and Melchior in Chelsea Opera's Amahl and The Night Visitors. He is also a Spanish teacher at the Nightingale-Bamford School where he is Music Director and heads a Gospel Choir. He is a native speaker of Spanish, and speaks fluent French, Italian and Portuguese.
   
Jay Gould has performed in Carnegie Hall (Debut - Mrs. H.H.A. Beach Mass; also soloist - Beethoven 9th Symphony, Japan 9th Symphony Society) and Avery Fisher Hall (Masterwork Singers, soloist Messiah). His operatic roles performed with full orchestra include Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Amonasro in Aida, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Tonio in I Pagliacci, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Oreveso in Norma, appearing with Brooklyn Lyric Opera, and Empire State Opera. Most recent appearances include Dr. Frodhi in Sam Belich's The Eglantine and Marcello in La Bohéme at Queens College.
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Isaac Grier, a native of Flint Michigan, received his Bachelors of Music from Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans) and his Masters of Music at the Manhattan School of Music. At MSM he sang: Quince in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Bonze in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, excerpts from the title character in Don Pasquale and Colline in La Boheme. Last summer he also had the opportunity to work with Opera North where he performed the Jailer in Tosca, and Giorgio in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.
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Darnell Ishmel is a native of Lansing, MI, and received both a BM and MM at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He studied voice with Dr. Willis C. Patterson and Daniel Washington. He has performed The Policeman in The Consul, the Parson/Badger in The Cunning Little Vixen, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Simone in Gianni Schicchi, and De Organizer in James Dapogny's revival of the James P. Johnson blues opera. Other roles include Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte in Anghiari, Italy and Masetto with the Houston Ebony Opera Guild's Don Giovanni with Maestro Willie Anthony Waters.
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Samantha Jeffreys is a Masters student at MSM, where she recently appeared in Cendrillon. A 2005 B.M. graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase, she performed leading roles in Dialogues of the Carmelites (New Prioress), Hansel und Gretel (Die Mutter), and Amahl and the Night Visitors (Mother). Other credits include The Merry Widow (Olga), and scenes from La Boheme (Mimi), I Pagliacci (Nedda) and Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi). A native of NYC, she has been a soloist at Avery Fischer Hall. She studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute and has won an award from the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts.
 
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Min Chul Ji was born in Korea. He has sung in such roles as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata and Monostatos in Mozart’s Magic Flute. He spent several years in Italy and studied at Conservatorio di Brescia, Scuola Musicale di Milano. Most recently, he sang Basilio in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at Hartt School in Connecticut where he is pursuing an Artist Diploma in Opera Performance.
 
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Byungwoo Kim, born in Korea, has a Bachelor's of Music Degree from Kei-Myung University and his Master's from MSM and Artist Diplomas in opera from both Mannes and University of Hartford. He was commended as Cat in Tanglewood Music Center's production of Renard as an “excellent baritone”(Boston globe). Recently, he was heard as Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni; Faure's Requiem and Prince Tarquinious in The Rape of Lucretia. He was also heard with the New Haven Chorale Orchestra in Mozart's C-Minor Mass at Woolsey Hall, Yale University. He made his New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
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Peter Hakjoon Kim, a native of Seoul, Korea, immigrated to the US at the age of sixteen. He sang his first opera at the age of seventeen as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. While attending the Juilliard School, he worked with Frank Corsaro and Christopher Mattaliano. He performed the role of Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte and the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. He also sang the role of Marco in Gianni Schicchi. His most recent opera engagements include the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore. Future performances include the title roles of Don Giovanni in NYC and Rigoletto with Opera in the Heights in Houston.
   
Tracy Marie Koch> appeared in the Chicago Cultural Center's summer opera The Bewitched Child in 2004. Ms. Koch made her Chicago Opera Theater debut in 2004 in Britten's Death in Venice.  Roles include Mìmì in La Bohème with the Music by the Lake Festival in 2002 and Blanche in the Dialogues of the Carmelites at Northwestern University where she completed her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance. Ms. Koch was a winner of the 2003 Bel Canto Foundation of Chicago. She resides in Bloomington, Illinois and is Director of Vocal Music at Lincoln College.
   
Lisa Komara, a native of California, moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music where she completed her graduate studies in Classical voice. While in New York, she sang with the Bronx Opera Company in productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Der Freischütz, and abroad with the Centro Studi Italiani Opera Festival in Urbania, Italy. Her previous roles include Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel.
   
Chia-Wei Lee, a native of Taiwan, received his doctoral degree in voice from Ohio State University. Currently on the faculty of Trinity University, he has appeared in several productions of the Lyric Opera of San Antonio. His performances of Ford in Falstaff and Don Giovanni in NYC have earned him considerable artistic attention. He recently made his Alice Tully Hall debut as the soloist in the Yellow River Cantata. He was also seen as Marcello in La Bohème with the North Jersey Symphony, Monterone in Rigoletto for Lyric Opera San Antonio and Germont in La Traviata for Opera Kent. He recently performed Don Giovanni in Taipei, Taiwan.
   
Choon-Hun Lee began his formal training in classical singing at Eastman School of Music which he attended on a full scholarship. Before entering Eastman School, he received the encouragement award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after eight months of voice lessons while studying political science. He is currently at Manhattan School, pursuing master degree while studying with his teacher, Neil Rosenshein.
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Robert Mack is a native of New Jersey. His career highlights include: Goro in Madama Butterfly, Remendado in Carmen, the Ballad Singer in Of Mice and Men, Pong in Turandot, Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, Spoletta in Tosca, Arturo in Lucia Di Lammermoor and Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess, all at New York City Opera. Mr. Mack also made his Opera Carolina debut as Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess. He was formally tenor soloist for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company. Robert toured with the Nationally claimed “Three Mo’ Tenors” and is co-founder of Opera Noire.
 
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Stephanie McGuire is thrilled to be a part of Prelude to Performance 2006.  In addition to Dame Quickly, Stephanie’s opera roles include Miss Todd, Marcellina, La Zia Principessa, The Sorceress, Berta, Flora, and La Maestra delle Novizie.  Stephanie also enjoys performing sacred repertoire including Handel’s Messiah, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater
 
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Jason McKinney comes to New York from South Carolina. He performs regularly with North Carolina's Regional opera companies and Symphony Orchestras. Jason also enjoys singing spirituals, folk songs and Jewish sacred music. He sang the premier of A Chanukah Cantata by Shelley Olson at the White House. He has performed such roles as Colline in Puccini’s La Boheme, Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Count Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto. In concert he has performed; Carmina Burana, Elijah, The Messiah. Mozart’s Requiem and Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Five Mystical Songs.
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Seong Young Moon has studied at Mannes College of Music for his Master's Degree and Professional Studies Diploma. He has performed in the following fully staged operas which include: Magic Flute as Tamino (cover) and Monostatos, Gianni Schicchi as Rinuccio (cover) and Gherardo, Don Giovanni as Ottavio (cover) and several opera scenes with Maestro Joseph Colaneri and the Mannes opera and orchestra. He advanced to final-round of The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation competition this spring. He is a student of Arthur Levy.
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Alicia Hall Moran, Soprano, a versatile vocalist, has recently enjoyed performances as soprano and composer (at Symphony Space featuring bestselling author Simon Schama), in cabaret (at New York City's esteemed Café Sabarsky), and on record (for husband and jazz pianist Jason Moran's September 2006 Blue Note Records release, "Artist In Residence"). She's thrilled to sing in her first Mozart opera under the direction of Maestro Waters/Maestro Crawford this summer!
 
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Jorge Ocasio (guest) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He studied voice at the Conservatory of Music PR and NYC. He has performed Monterone (Rigoletto), Sacristan (Tosca), Coline (La Bohème), Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Figaro and Bartolo (Nozze di Figaro/Rome, Italy & NYC), Geronimo (Il Matrimonio Segreto/Tel-Aviv, Israel), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Balthazar (Amahl and the Night Visitors) and Dulcamara (L'Elisir d'Amore). He was a soloist in M. Haydn’s Requiem, Mozart's Requiem and Brahms's Requiem. Future engagements include Leporello (Don Giovanni) and Balthazar.
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Kenneth Overton (guest) made his Broadway debut in Baz Lurhman’s critically acclaimed production of La Boheme. He has performed leading roles in Die Zauberflote, La Boheme, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Porgy and Bess, L’italiana in Algeri and Turandot with Connecticut Opera, Opera Delaware and many other regional companies. He made his European debut with the Bregenz Festival in Porgy and Bess. Future engagments include Opera Memphis as Leporello, Mobile Opera as Schaunard and a debut with the Sacarmento Opera as Ping in Turandot. He is a winner of both the Leontyne Price and the Liederkranz Foundation Competitions.
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Allison Robertson won First Place in the 2006 NATS vocal competition (Professional/Graduate division) in NYC. She has had leading and supporting roles in numerous operatic, musical and legitimate theatre productions. She has toured Europe with the Westhill Chamber Singers and, while in Italy with the Saint Cecilia Choir, had the memorable opportunity of singing for and meeting Pope John Paul II. A Dean's-list Honor Student at Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in psychology and theatre, she did her graduate work at New England Conservatory. She has been studying with Mme. Patricia Sheridan in NYC and upstate.
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Lucia Salas is a winner of the Forderpreis of the “Silvia Geszty” International Coloratura Singing Competition and has received several other distinctions in Mexico and abroad. She has performed as soloist with the Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Paul Constantinescu Philharmonic in Romania, as well as the most important orchestras in Mexico including Bellas Artes National Opera Orchestra, New World Orchestra and Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra. Her 2005/2006 seasons includes the Vermont International Opera Festival, the Illinois Symphony, and the New Philharmonia of Hong Kong.
 
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DeAndre Simmons (guest) is a young artist at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is an alumnus of the MSM and the Philadelphia Music Academy. Recent engagements include Angelotti with the New Jersey Concert Opera, Simon in Treemonisha with the Collegiate Chorale of New York, and Le Chamberlain with the Curtis Symphony. His upcoming season includes Jim in Porgy and Bess with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. His roles include, Leporello, Gugliemo, Alidoro in Cenerentola, Figaro, and Schaunard, among others. He is a recipient of a grant from the Singer's Development Foundation and the George London Encouragement Grant.
 
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Jonathan Spuhler is a second year vocal performance major at Ohio State University. He has been studying baritone repertoire only for the past year, under the instruction of Dr. Robin Rice. He considers his experience with the Martina Arroyo Foundation an invaluable step to achieving his dream as a performer. This being his debut in opera, Jonathan wants to thank his friends and family for their endless support. Without them he would not have been able to achieve what he had only dreamed of as a micro-biology major, three years ago. At 23 years of age he is beginning to realize those dreams.
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Taylor Stayton (Ferrando in Cosi) a native of Ohio, is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in voice at The Ohio State University. His most recent role was Nerone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at The Ohio State School of Music. He plans to obtain a Masters degree in voice after his final year of undergraduate school in 2007. Presently Taylor is a student of Professor Robin Rice.
 
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Sara Thomas has sung leading roles in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Puccini's La boheme, and Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. She has soloed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Tanglewood and on their nationally televised weekly broadcast. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Ms. Thomas has been seen in concert in Italy, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Austria under the baton of Edoardo Mueller.
 
   
Alia Waheed began her career as Serena in Porgy and Bess throughout Germany and Switzerland. Some of her roles include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutti, title role of Suor Angelica, Magda in La Rondine and Countess in Le Nozze Di Figaro. She has been heard at the Kennedy Center, the Meyerhoff Concert Hall and others. Her concert repertoire includes the Messiah, the Requiem (Mozart and Verdi), and Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio. She is the first place winner in the Omega Psi Phi Vocal Competition and the NATS (Regional). She received her BSM from Morgan State University and is currently in the graduate program at George Mason University.
   
Bradley Wisk, tenor, is entering his second year at Manhattan School of Music Master’s program and currently studies with Mark Oswald. He received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University May 2004, where he studied with Giorgio Tozzi. While at IU Bradley sang his first tenor role as St. Brioche in The Merry Widow. After graduating he was admitted into the Toledo Opera’s Young Artist Program.
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Lauren Sangwon Woo is a native of Seoul, Korea and currently resides in Boston, MA. Her recent operatic roles include Countess (Marriage of Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Giunia (Lucio Silla), and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos). She studied voice and music education at Seoul National University, Indiana University and Boston University. She is the 2nd place winner of the NATS Artist Award Competition New England Regional (2006) and Song & Aria Competition (2005). She will be heard in Longwood Opera’s Rising Stars Concert in August.
 
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Dino Wu studied the role of the Count (Le nozze di Figaro) in Martina Arroyo’s role class. He has performed Marullo in Rigoletto with Connecticut Grand Opera and Sciarrone in Tosca with the National Lyric Opera. With Dicapo Opera Theatre, he was Marchese in La Traviata, the Voice of General Legare in Ward’s Claudia Legare, the Father in Giannini’s Beauty and the Beast and Yakuside in all three versions of Madama Butterfly. He also sang Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Escamillo (Carmen) and the Count with the New York Opera Forum. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he studies with Dr. Robert White.