Participants 2007
Martina Chylikova André Courville John Dominick III Joseph Flaxman Rodrigo Garciarroyo Jee-eun Hong Darnell Ishmel Cynthia Leigh Karp
Eui-Jin Kim Choong Hun Lee Daniel Lee Yelena Lewenson Aleksandra Lukowski Phandulwazi Maseti Jonathan Matthews Samantha Mowery
Gabriel Nochlin Gargari Alexis Pomierski Leandra Ramm Basia Revi Nina Riley Lillian Roberts Allison Brooke Robertson Anthony Russell
Rachel Sliker Carol Adrienne Stanton Taylor Stayton Noah Van Niel Lauren Sangwon Woo      
Martina Chylikova (Muse/Nicklausse in Hoffmann) was born and raised in the Czech Republic and holds a Bachelor's Degree in performance and soon will earn Master's degree from the University of Arizona. She has placed first in a number of Arizona vocal competitions including The Amelia Reiman Opera Competition and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) state auditions. In the Czech Republic, Martina has sung the role of Rosina in the Barber of Seville with F.X. Salda Theater, the role of Old Lady in Bernstein's Candide with the State Prague Opera, and she soon return to State Opera to sing the role of Idamantes in Mozart's Idomeneo.

André Courville Herman/Crespel/Schlémil in Hoffmann & Guglielmo in Cosi (Alt)) a Louisiana native, is a vocal performance senior at Loyola University New Orleans. Recent performances include Schumann's "Liederkreis" Op 39, and the bass solos in Haydn's "Lord Nelson Mass" and Mozart's "Requiem" with the Loyola Chorale and Orchestra. In 2006, he sang the roles of Bartolo in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia", Simone in "Gianni Schicchi" and Marquis d'Obigny in "La Traviata" at Opera in the Ozarks. He performed roles in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Gondoliers" and Delibes's "Lakmé" with the Loyola Opera Theatre, and performs regularly with the New Orleans Opera Association. In addition, André is an accomplished organist and holds that position at St. Charles Ave. Baptist Church in New Orleans.

John Dominick III (Lindorf/Coppélius/Dapertutto/Miracle in Hoffmann) was born and raised in Central Louisiana. He began his career with a sixteen voice troupe known as the Lake Junaluska Singers in North Carolina in 1991. Touring with this group, he sang in Brazil, Alaska, England, Australia, and Indonesia. John studied voice at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Southeastern Louisiana University, and sang such roles as Simone in Gianni Schicchi, and showed his range of talent in opera scenes from Mozart to Verdi. He has performed with the Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Delaware Valley Opera, New York Opera Forum, Sarasota Opera, New York City Opera in their debut of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and the Natchez Opera Festival. His roles include Colline in La Boheme, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Pistola in Falstaff, and Frank Maurrant in Street Scene, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. In 2005, He won grants from both the Licia Albanese Foundation, and the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges. Last Summer, he participated as a featured soloist in “Passion” – the First International Masterclass for Classical Singers, held in Gummersbach, Germany. Last December, he made his Carnegie Hall debut singing Mozart’s Requiem.

Joseph Flaxman (Gugliemo in Cosi) is currently earning his Master’s in vocal performance at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Mark Oswald. Earlier this year he performed Figaro in scenes of Le nozze di Figaro, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, and Milord Arespingh in Cimarosa’s L’Italiana in Londra. He has previously performed at the Brevard Music Center, the Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Opera Festival, and at Fredonia State University. A few of his operatic credits include Marcello in La Bohème, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Marullo in Rigoletto, Pangloss in Candide, John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld, Dr. Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Kromov in The Merry Widow, and Joel Coles in the world premiere of Sean Doyle’s one-act opera Crazy Sunday. This summer he will be performing in Così fan tutte with Martina Arroyo’s “Prelude to Performance” program in NYC, as well as his first Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Project Opera Manhattan.

Rodrigo Garciarroyo (Hoffmann (Alt)) began his musical instruction as a guitarist at age 13 and soon discovered that what he really liked was singing. He studied music at the Escuela Superior de Música in Mexico City and later was granted the Plácido Domingo scholarship to study at the SIVAM, the young artist program run by Teresa Rodrígues and supported by Pepita Serrano, where he started working with the extraordinary musician César Ulloa, his voice teacher, Lucy Arner and Joan Dornemann, whose musical and personal generosity has been of unparallel inspiration. He sang Nemorino, Spoleta and Don Ottavio in the last two years and has given concerts in all the major theatres and concert halls in Mexico. In the last few months he has been invited to Puerto Rico, Israel and New York to study and perform.
Jee-eun Hong (Antonia) is a graduate of Indiana University. She has performed Violetta in La Traviata with Válogatás a Pécsi Symphony in Italy. In Rochester, NY she sang Sieben Fruhe Lieder by Alban Berg. She is a winner of Young singer's competition in Seoul, Korea. Recently she performed Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder in Gilden Horn Hall in Maryland. And in this June, she sang Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Stony Hill Players in New Jersey. Her repertoire includes Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème, Micaela in Carmen and Petrovna.

Darnell Ishmel (Luther/Crespel/Schlémil in Hoffmann) 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.

Cynthia Leigh Karp (Giulietta in Hoffmann) “With a high voice that is a gift” (Charles Riecker-MET) Cynthia has performed a variety of leading roles with various companies. She has sung Violetta in La Traviata for Opera in the Ozarks, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor for Capitol Opera, Sacramento, Manon in Auber’s Manon Lescaut for Lyric Opera of Los Angeles and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute for Cabrillo Opera. Most recently she covered both Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in production of Don Giovanni with New York Opera Society in Castres, France .Also, an experienced concert soloist, she has performed in the Brahms, Faure and Verdi Requiem, as well as in many recitals. Cynthia is thrilled to appear as Giulietta in The Tales of Hoffmann and to work with the esteemed Prelude to Performance staff. For more information on Cynthia check

Eui-Jin Kim (Lindorf/Coppélius/Dapertutto/Miracle in Hoffmann) is a native of Masan , South Korea . Mr. Kim is a 2007 New York district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2006, he was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow where he performed Der Pfleger des Orest in Elektra under James Levine, and sang in Opera Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall's Weil Recital Hall in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He received his master's degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he performed the role of Brent Freeman in The Village Singer, Simone in Gianni Schicchi and Il Talpa in Il tabarro, and a recent graduate of Yonsei University in Korea , where he performed the roles of Colline in La bohPme, and Sarastro in The Magic Flute. In addition, Mr. Kim has performed in scenes from Cosi fan tutte (as Don Alfonso), Don Carlo (as Inquisitor), Marco Polo (as Dante), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (as Don Basilio) and Don Giovanni (as Leporello).

Choong Hun Lee (Hoffmann) 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.

Daniel Lee (Guglielmo in Cosi) is an exceptional young lyric baritone who is a recent graduate of the Daniel Ferro Voice Program and the Santa Cecilia Opera Academy directed by Renata Scotto. He performed a number of roles under their guidance, including Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Silvio in I Pagliacci, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and the title role in Don Giovanni to name a few. He has also pursued professional studies at the Juilliard School of Music with whom he appeared on stage as Marcello in La Bohème. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Opera Orchestra of NewYork at Carnegie Hall conducted by Eve Queler and Teatro Grattacielo at Lincoln Center. Prior to relocating to the U.S.A., Mr. Lee was a student of voice at the Korean National University where he also performed a number of roles, including Rodrigo in Don Carlo. He has taken master classes with Renata Scotto, John Fisher, Sherrill Milnes, Joan Dornemann, Dalton Baldwin, Lucine Amara, and Gabriella Tucci.

Yelena Lewenson (Salenko) (Olympia in Hoffmann) made her operatic debut as Snow Maiden in Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov with Exprompt Opera Theater in Moscow, Russia. She has been a critically acclaimed favorite artist with Exprompt Opera Theater for four seasons where she won a nomination for prestigious Golden Mask ’97 Award. Ms. Lewenson (Salenko) has sung leading roles with Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theater in Moscow, Russia including Ludmila in Ruslan and Ludmila by Glinka and Musetta in La Bohème by Puccini.

Aleksandra Lukowski (Muse/Nicklausse in Hoffmann) was born in the Netherlands up with a musical background. She started singing at the age of sixteen at the Hilversum Conservatorium. Upon completion of a Masters Degree in Slavic Languages, Ms. Lukowski returned to her vocal studies. She began these studies in the Hague, then at the famous Rimsky Korsakov State Conservatoire in St.-Petersburg, Russia, and privately in New York. She has since performed in Europe and the U.S. The role of Nicklausse in this performance of The Tales of Hoffmann is Ms. Lukowski’s New York debut.

Phandulwazi Maseti (Ferrando in Cosi) graduated with a Performer’s Diploma in Opera at the University of Cape Town College of Music where he studied voice with Dr. Brad Liebl and opera with Professor Angelo Gobatto. During his study at UCT he was featured as Conte Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Vasek in The Bartered Bride, Arturo in Lucia di Lammemoor, Pang in Turandot and Jaquino in Fidelio. He was a semi-finalist in the Neue-Stimmen International Competition in Germany and in 2004/2006 was invited to the Neue-Stimmen International master-class series with Francisco Araiza, Katia Ricciarreli, Siegfried Jerusalem and Gustav Kuhn. In 2004 he performed the role of Oronte in Alcina with Cape Town Opera. In August 2004 he sang the roles of Nemorino in the SMU Opera production of Donizetti‘s L’elisir D’amore and Peter Quint in the production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. In 2005, he was Second Place winner of the Dallas Opera Guild 2005 Competition and in 2007 he was also a Finalist in the Houston Opera Young Artist Program. He was named as one of the four Young Artists in the Dallas Opera/SMU Emerging Artists Program in 2005-2006 and was name again in 2006-2007.

Jonathan Matthews (Hoffmann) is pursuing a Master of Music in Voice under the tutelage of Timothy Noble. A native of Salt Lake City, UT, he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at The University of Utah, where he received the Pike Scholarship, the highest award given to the most improved male singer in the school of music. A performer in many different genres, his operatic roles include the title role in W. A. Mozart’s Idomeneo, Lippo Fiorentino in Weill’s Street Scene, Gastone in Verdi’s La traviata, Don Ottavio in W. A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni, El Remandado in Bizet’s Carmen, and The Circus Director in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. With the Utah Opera Chorus, he appeared in several operas and has numerous chamber and oratorio solos, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, W. A. Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Handel‘s Messiah, and Argento’s The Tomb of Edgar Poe.

Samantha Mowery (Olympia in Hoffmann) Following recent performances of Adina in L’elisir d’amore the Columbus Dispatch quoted Samantha Mowery as “handling the role of Adina with equal skill and conviction…with unusual confidence and savy.” Ms. Mowery is currently the soprano member of Opera Columbus's Education and Outreach Program and plays Little Red in their production of Little Red's Most Unusual Day and performs frequently with Opera Columbus in mainstage productions. Recently she has performed the role of Frasquita in Carmen with Akron Lyric Opera Theatre. Some of her other roles include Miss Titmouse in Too Many Sopranos, and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Gianetta in The Gondoliers, Laurie in Oklahoma, and Liesl in The Sound of Music. Ms. Mowery, is a student of Dr. John Robin Rice and vocal coach Edward Bak. Mowery also has a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia.

Gabriel Nochlin Gargari (Andreas/Cochenille/Pitichinaccio/Frantz in Hoffmann) As a first generation Mexican-American, he first caught judge’s attention at the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition in Seattle by receiving an Encouragement Award. He received his Bachelor’s of Music from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA where in 2005 he sang the role of Alfred in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. He graduated with his Masters in May 2007, while with Mark Oswald at the Manhattan School of Music. While at MSM, Gabriel was part of their production of Massenet’s Cendrillon as The Dean and the scenes program as Don Basilio from Le Nozze di Figaro. Tom Muraco and Dona D. Vaughn also noticed his potential as he sang the roles of Gherardo and Il Venditore in their productions of Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi. He also sang the role of the L’Aumônier in their production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites last year. The Seattle Opera Guild noticed his accomplishments and awarded him a grant to further his studies in 2006. Next season, Gabriel will make his professional debut with the Acapulco Filarmonica in Acapulco, Mexico.

Alexis Pomierski (Despina in Cosi) born in New Orleans, developed an interest in the art of singing from a young age. She attended an art’s high school, Alabama School of Fine Arts, where she studied music theory, performance and history. From there she attended Indiana University where she received her Bachelors of Music under the tutelage of Mary Ann Hart. While at Indiana Alexis appeared in many performance including; Don Pasquale, The Ballade of Baby Doe, Tosca and La BohPme. Alexis then joined the esteemed institution of New England Conservatory of Music where she received her masters degree and studied with the renowned tenor Vinson Cole. During her masters degree Alexis performed scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro as Suzanna, Pirates of Pinzance as Mabel, Turn of the Screw as Jessel and Washington Square as Catherine. She was also privileged to sing Pernille in the world premier of The Beautiful Bridegroom by Dan Shore. Alexis has also performed professionally with companies including the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and United Way.
Leandra Ramm (Dorabella in Cosi) has spent the last few years performing regularly across the country. She most recently completed apprenticeships at Toledo Opera, Opera Carolina, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and New Jersey Opera Theater. This winter, she sang Hansel in Hansel und Gretel and Meg in Little Women, both with Center City Opera Theater at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Upcoming engagements include the role of Leila in Iolanthe at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at the Buxton Opera House in England. She also will have the honor of singing in a masterclass with renowned American composer Jake Heggie as part of the Long Leaf Opera Festival. A winner of many competitions, She has already sung at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Additionally, she has performed with Aspen Opera Theater Center, Opera Orchestra of New York, American Symphony Orchestra, The St. Petersburg Opera Company, Opera Company of Brooklyn, and Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. Additional roles include Rosina, Cherubino and Siebel among others.

Basia Revi (Giulietta  & Voice of the Mother in Hoffmann) has performed internationally since receiving her MM with distinction from the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. In Poland, she sang the roles of Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and the mezzo solo in Missa Criolla by A. Ramirez in televised performances. In U.S.A she performed the title role of La Cenerentola, Flora in La Traviata, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Romeo in I Capulleti e I Montecchi, Maddalena in Rigoletto and Charlotte in Werther. She worked with Dicapo Opera, National Lyric Opera, Mercury Opera and Pacific Opera. A passionate recitalist, she has performed at Weill Recital Hall, the 92nd St. Y, Kosciuszko Foundation. Her oratorio credits include: Handel's Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and C-minor Mass. Most recently, Ms. Revi performed the roles of the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with Queens College Chamber Orchestra (period instruments) and the Nurse in Bruce Saylor’s New York premiere of Orpheus Descending based on the play by Tennessee Williams. In the spring of 2007 she sang in L. Bernstein’s Songfest under maestro Maurice Peress.

Nina Riley (Despina in Cosi), originally from Japan, received her BM and her MM at the Manhattan School of Music. She was involved with several of the Outreach productions; has sung Romilda from Xerxes, scenes from Alcina, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, and West Side Story. She has also sung with the TACTUS Contemporary Ensemble. Nina has participated in summer programs, such as the International Vocal Arts Institute (Puerto Rico); Centro Studi Lirica ( Italy), the Assisi Music Festival (Italy), where she sang in the new opera Il Poverello by Francesco Santelli as Madre Pica. Nina's voice can be heard on the film Cherry Bloom (2006, UVphactory), directed by Alexandre Moors. This film has been shown in various renowned film festivals across the U.S. and has won several awards. Master classes include Martin Katz, Joan Dornemann and Gloria Bandetelli. She will be singing in Die Zauberflöte as Papagena with the Project Opera of Manhattan in August. Nina would like to thank her Mom, Dad, Eric, Kent, and Kurt for their support.

Lillian Roberts (Fiordiligi in Cosi) has been hailed as a true Verdi and Puccini soprano. Her voice possesses rare beauty and size with an infinite color palate that is capable of reaching the very core of her audiences. The 2006-07 season began with Ms. Roberts’ Concert performance of Miranda in Leslie Adam’s Blake which she will perform at Queens College in New York. In the summer of 2006, Lillian was heard in the title role of Aida with Hudson Opera Theater (NY). In May, she performed excerpts from Leslie Adams’s Blake which will be a prelude to her concert performance of the entire opera in New York. In August, she traveled to Spain where she toured with the American Spiritual Ensemble. In the past several seasons she has performed in numerous operas, concerts, and competitions. She appeared as Fidelia in Edgar at their special preview event and as featured soloist on their concert series. Lillian won 1st place in the AVA Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, an in house competition which served as her debut at the Kimmel Center in Perleman Hall (PA), and later in Verizon Hall as the Marian Anderson Classical Artist Prize winner at Oprah Winfrey’s Marian Anderson Humanitarian Award Ceremony Concert. She appeared as soloist in the UK live broadcast on KET/PBS.

Allison Brooke Robertson (Dorabella in Cosi) looks forward to her second appearance with Prelude to Performance Last summer she made her operatic debut as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She has won first place in the NATS vocal competition in New York City. She has toured Europe with both her chamber chorus and church choir and, had the honor of meeting and singing for Pope John Paul II. An Honor Student and graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, she earned a degree in psychology and theatre, Ms. Robertson carried out her graduate studies at New England Conservatory. She is grateful for the many years she has worked with her voice teacher Mme. Patricia Sheridan of New York City.

Anthony Russell (Don Alfonso in Cosi) has been singing with various opera companies in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past eight years. In 2005 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Holy Names University in Oakland, California. The same day he graduated, Anthony was awarded the Chamberlain Memorial Competition Scholarship, which he had won previously in 1998. Recent performances include the West Coast premier of Anthony Davis's landmark opera X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X with Oakland Opera Theatre and Le Nozze di Figaro with Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Instiute.

Rachel Sliker (Fiordiligi in Cosi), American soprano, winner of the 2007 Philadelphia District Metropolitan Opera Competition, received her MM from Manhattan School of Music where she studies with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell and BM from Oberlin Conservatory. Her most recent engagement was with Virginia Opera covering the roles of Michaëla and Frasquita in Carmen. She also performed the roles of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly at Manhattan School of Music, Pamina in The Magic Flute with Pine Mountain Music Festival, and Ann Putnam in The Crucible with Utah Festival Opera. Ms. Sliker organized and performed in New York City The Many Faces of Women, a solo recital program, and Poulenc’s one-woman show, La Voix humaine. . In summer 2003, she sang at the Bard Summer Music Festival in the American premiere of Osud by Janáček under the baton of Leon Botstein. Ms. Sliker was a finalist in the most recent New Jersey Verismo Opera Competition and this fall becomes a young artist in Virginia Opera's Spectrum Program.

Carol Adrienne Stanton (Olympia in Hoffmann (Alt) is a native of Long Island, New York. She has performed in over fifty theatrical productions, consisting of drama, musicals and operatic scenes throughout Europe and the United States. She is currently a pupil of the renowned soprano legend Ellen Faull in Camas, Washington, and Marianne Weltmann, dramatic coloratura of Seattle, WA. Carol received her certificate of performance from the International Academy of Music in Biarritz, France under the guidance of the titillating renowned French soprano, Mady Mesple, while on a music scholarship from South Carolina State University.

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.

Noah Van Niel (Nathanael/Spalanzani in Hoffmann & Ferrando in Cosi (Alt)) is a rising senior at Harvard University where he is a major in English and American Literature. He has performed as the Italian Tenor in the Lowell House Opera's Der Rosenkavalier and as Chevalier in the Dunster House Opera's Dialogues of the Carmelites. He has also appeared in numerous Gilbert and Sullivan Productions, most recently as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore. Last summer he sang in the Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy where he worked with acclaimed Bass Julian Rodescu as well as participating in Master Classes with Benita Valente and Marco Balderi. He was the recipient of the Peter Elvin's Vocal Competition Encouragement Award and has been a soloist with the Longwood Opera Company. He studies voice with Sharon Daniels of the Boston University Opera Institute to whom he owes more than just his vocal technique. He would like to thank God, his Family, and Melinda for their continued love and support.

Lauren Sangwon Woo (Antonia in Hoffmann) is a native of Seoul, Korea and studied at Seoul National University, Indiana University, and Boston University. She has participated in Prelude to Performance since its inaugural season and performed the roles of Alice Ford in Falstaff and Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro under Maestro Willie Anthony Waters. She also performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Harvard University’s Lowell House Opera and appeared in Longwood Opera’s Rising Stars Concert in 2006. She was awarded at Boston NATS Competition in 2005 and was the second place winner at NATS Artist Award New England Regional in 2006.