Participants 2008
Adrienne Alexander Sarah Beckham Rosa Betancourt Benjamin Bloomflield Diana Cataldi So Young Choi Joseph Dietrich Kristen DiNinno
Rosella Ewing Audean Farmer Joseph Flaxman Rodrigo Garciaarroyo Silvan Hilaire Jee-eun Hong Choong Hun Lee Samantha Jeffreys
Keiko Kai Miriam Kushel Deepak Marwah Claudio Mascarenhas Stephanie McGuire Camille Ortiz Jacob Pence Eric Chistopher Perry
Alex Pikarsky Enrique Pina Nina Riley Ricardo Rosa Dominique Rosoff John Tedeschi Sally Ann Thibedeau Victoria Vargas
Vince Wallace Chelsea Watts Martina Woods Anna Yelinzarova Sun A Yeo      
 
Adrienne Alexander (Ulrica) professional credits include appearances as a soprano soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and as a mezzo-soprano soloist in Honegger’s King David, Handel’s Messiah, and Durufle’s Requiem. In 2006, as the runner-up in Rutgers University’s Concerto Competition, she performed as a soloist in Alban Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. She was also a featured soloist in Bernard Rogers’s Three Japanese Dances on  “Dance Mix,” a recent recording by the Rutgers Wind Ensemble. Ms. Alexander has performed numerous opera roles including Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Anna Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene, Susan B. Anthony in Thomson’s The Mother of Us All, and Giulietta in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffman.    Ms. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Norfolk State University and master’s degrees in composition and vocal performance from Michigan State University and a doctorate in music education from Rutgers University.

   
Sarah Beckham (Susanna) soprano from Amarillo, Texas, received her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Baylor University in 2005, and her Masters in Music from Boston University in 2007.  In 2006, Sarah won second place in the Leopoldskron Competition in Salzburg, Austria.  In the summer of 2005, she joined Opera North as a young artist where she performed the roles of Fiametta in The Gondoliers, covered Casilda in the same, and performed La Princesse in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges.  At Boston University she has performedMusetta in La Bohème, Genevieffa in Suor Angelica, The Lady with the Hand Mirror in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco.  Sarah is currently a member of the Opera Institute in Boston, where she has performed Pamina in The Magic Flute, and the role of Laura in the world premiere of Hostage composed by Boston University professor, Samuel Headrick. Other operatic roles to date include Gilda in Rigoletto, Papagena in The Magic Flute, and Hélène in Hindemith’s Hin und Zurück.

   
Rosa Betancourt (Susanna) The puertorrican soprano's first experience in opera was at the tender age of 16 in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has been performing with outstanding dominion on stage and a high level of musicianship, being praised by the public for her beautiful lyric soprano voice and receiving great acclaim in the top newspapers in her native Puerto Rico. Ms. Betancourt was the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with Ballet Concierto as part of their 25th anniversary celebration and made her professional début in 2005 with Ópera de Puerto Rico as Musetta in La Bohème. With Fundación Puertorriqueña de Zarzuela y Opereta, Ms. Betancourt performed the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus and Rosita in Luisa Fernanda, among others zarzuelas. In August 2007, Ms. Betancourt performed the role of Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Compañía Lírica de PR as part of the project Ópera al Fresco at the Cuartel Ballajá in Old San Juan. This past summer, she had the opportunity to cover the role of Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with New Jersey Opera Theater. Her most recent performance was this past April when she appeared as Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Teatro de la Ópera. Ms. Betancourt is the winner of the 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, District of Puerto Rico and the Third Prize winner of the Gulf Coast Regional competition. In 2006, she was also a finalist in both the Licia Albanese - Puccini Foundation Competition and the Giuglio Gari Foundation Competition. In October 2007, Rosa won the Judge’s Award at the Opera Index Competition. Rosa obtained her Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College of Music in New York City, where she studied with renowned professor Ruth Falcon. During her studies, with Mannes Opera she performed Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. Ms. Betancourt received her BA in Voice Performance at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.

   
Benjamin Bloomfield (Dr. Bartolo, Antonio) is a young bass baritone from Bow, New Hampshire. He has worked with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under James Levine, as well as multiple performances with Ken Kiesler and the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra. He is known for his comic acting, in roles such as Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Don Polidoro in the rarely performed L’Italiana in Londra by Cimarosa. His flexibility as a performer is apparent in his casting history, which includes such diversity as Il Conte in Le Nozze de Figaro, Michele in Puccini’s Il Tabarro, and Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi. In the 2008 season, Mr. Bloomfield is engaged to perform Bartolo and Antonio in Le Nozze de Figaro with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program. In 2009 he has been asked to return to the Opera Theatre of Weston to perform the Father in Hansel and Gretel by Humperdink. Recent engagements include Santa Fe Opera’s workshop of the new opera “The Letter” by Paul Morovec, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and The Policeman in Lucas Foss’ Griffelkin at Manhattan School of Music. In 2007 he performed Frank in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus at Weston Opera Theatre, and completed a residency at the Music Academy of the West, where he covered Benoit and Alcindoro in their new production of La Boheme while performing Taddeo(L’Italiana in Algeri) and Hobson(Peter Grimes) in scenes. Recent oratorio work includes Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and the Durufle Requiem with the Pro Arte Choral, and the Brahms Requiem with St. John’s Episcopal Church. An active recitalist, Mr. Bloomfield has performed both Schubert’s Die Winterreise and Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel in New York. He will be performing the Brahms Vier ernste Gesänge in recital with other selections this spring. While music is by far his main and favorite activity, Mr. Bloomfield works hard to keep himself a well-rounded person. He can often be found playing his accordion or writing science fiction when he is not singing.

   
Diana Cataldi (Countess) received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in vocal performance from the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio.  Ms. Cataldi’s performance credits include the roles of Mercedes in Carmen, Hippolyta in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Della in Gifts of the Magi.  She has also performed in excerpt the roles of the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Carmen in Carmen, and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, as well as singing recitals nationally. Ms. Cataldi has been privileged to do solo oratorio work in Italy and Switzerland, as well as the former Soviet Union. In the summer of 2007, Ms. Cataldi was the soprano soloist for the Brahms Requiem with the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra near Sandusky, Ohio.  She has also just completed the soprano solos in the Mozart Vespers at Wright State University in June.  Ms. Cataldi will be doing five performances as a soprano soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008: two performances of the Schubert Mass in A flat Major D.678 on October 10 - 11 and three performances of Handel's Messiah on December 13 - 15. 
   
Born in Daegu, Korea, (Silvano) baritone So Young Choi obtained a Bachelor degree in Voice Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Choi was recently presented by Rabi- Warner Concert series performing French and Italian art songs. He has taken master classes by Daniel Ferro, Charles Riekers, and Dalton Baldwin. As a promising opera singer, he is currently studying opera roles such as Count Le Nozze di Figaro under the instruction of Martina Arroyo. Operatic roles he is studying include Belcore, Guglielmo, Harlekin, and Papageno.

   
Joseph Dietrick (Giudice/Amelia's servant in Ballo) is a recent graduate of the George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, summa cum laude.  Recent performances include Benjamin Britten's Serenade, tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah and Orff's Carmina Burana, the title character in Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata with the Cantate Chamber Singers, and Uriel in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Washington, DC’s Choralis Ensemble.  In the fall, Joseph will begin graduate studies at Mannes College of Music where he will continue to work with Arthur Levy.

   
Kristen DiNinno (Cherubino (Alt)) mezzo-soprano, is a Master’s degree candidate at The Manhattan School of Music. She performed the role of the “Girl” in The Manahattan School of Music’s 90th anniversary production of “Griffelkin” by Lukas Foss. In 2008, she  performed excerpts from Gregg Wrammage’s Premiere of Death in Summer, as well as Mrs. Jones in the Opera Studio Outreach program of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Other performance experience includes scenes from Dialogues of the Carmelites ( Blanche) and Elektra (Third Maid.) Past roles include Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Clorinda in Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, and Rapunzel in Into the Woods and scenes from Il Matrimento Segreto and The Mggic Flute. Ms. DiNinno was a finalist in the 2006 NATS vocal competition. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at Otterbein College. She is currently studying under the direction of Hilda Harris.

   
Rosella Ewing (Cherubino) a mezzo soprano from Tennessee, is making her debut performance of Cherubino in this production.  Chief among the many roles Ms. Ewing has performed in her career are Charlotte in Werther, Meg in Little Women, Mother Marie in Dialogues des Carmelites, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Mrs. Page in Merry Wives of Windsor, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel.  Ms. Ewing has performed professionally with New Orleans Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, and at the Rose Theater with Lincoln Center.  She has participated in the apprenticeship programs of Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera for two consecutive summers, the Studio Artist program at Chautauqua Opera, and the Resident Artist program at Tri-Cities Opera for three years.  At the Santa Fe Opera Ms. Ewing covered Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes, and performed in the world premier of Ainadamar, by Osvoldo Golijov, directed by Peter Sellars.  She also performed in the New York premier of Ainadamar at Lincoln Center.   Ms. Ewing received her MM in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ in 1999, where she made her opera debut in the title role of Xerxes, which she followed with her second opera performance as Sesto in La clemenza di Tito.  Ms. Ewing is currently working on her DMA in Voice and Opera from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  Ms. Ewing has been a district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and she was chosen as first alternate for the Louisiana chapter of NATSAA in 2006.

   
Soprano Andrea Farmer (Barbarina) currently studies at the Manhattan School of Music under Dr. Cynthia Hoffmann. Prior to her studies in New York City, Miss Farmer was a student at the Walnut Hill School of the Performing Arts where in 2005 she made her main stage debut as Alice in Alice and Wonderland. Since then she has appeared on Manhattan School of Music stages performing scenes from Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro. Miss Farmer has had the privilege of studying and performing abroad in Salzburg, Austria and with Daniel Ferro in Greve, Italy.

   
Joseph Flaxman (Count) Possessing a voice that “exudes good health and promise” (Bernard Holland, NY Times), Joseph Flaxman has been described as a “robust and powerful” baritone (Howard Kissel, NY Daily News).  Recently earning his Master’s degree under the guidance of Mark Oswald at the Manhattan School of Music, he has already earned numerous opera credits.  A few of his roles include Il Conte and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Marcello in La Bohème, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Pangloss in Candide, Milord Arespingh in Cimarosa’s L’Italiana in Londra, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld, Marullo in Rigoletto, and Kromov in The Merry Widow.  Also, Joseph performed a concert of arias with the South Orange Symphony in New Jersey, and has been broadcast on NPR performing  “Avant de quitter ces lieux”this past April.  He has performed at Opera Memphis, the Ash-Lawn Highland Summer Opera Festival, Brevard Music Center, Chelsea Opera, Brooklyn Opera, Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program, the Manhattan School of Music, and at Fredonia State University.  Upcoming performances include Wagner in Gounod’s Faust with Opera Memphis, April 2009.

   
Rodrigo Garciarroyo (Gustavo) 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. Last summer he appeared as Hoffmann with Prelude to Performance.

   
French baritone Silvan Hilaire (Renato) studied in Paris at the National Superior Conservatory of Music and at the Sorbonne University. He sang Germont in La Traviata, Escamillo in Carmen, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore. Then he obtained a scholarship to study under the direction of Richard Cowan in Northern Kentucky University, where he sang the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro. After graduating, he came to New-York for further training. He obtained a Master’s Degree at the Brooklyn College Conservatory where he performed Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, Tarquinius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and the Clock in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortileges under the direction of Professor Richard Barrett and coach Jorge Parodi. Last summer, he sang El Dancairo in Carmen for the Hudson Opera Company in Di Capo Opera theater. Recent concert engagements include the Liebeslieder Waltzer by Brahms at the SGI Center , a Carmen concert at the Taiwanese Cultural Center and a guest appearance at a Jes Louise Productions performance, in NYC.

   
Jee-eun Hong (Countess) 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.

   
Tenor Choong Lee (Gustavo (Alt)) began his formal training in classical singing at the Eastman School of Music with a full scholarship. Formerly a political science major, Lee decided to pursue a career in opera after receiving the encouragement award at the Metropolitan National Council Audition and won the Washington-Idaho Vocal Competition. With a timbre likened to that of Jussi Bjorling, he has appeared in several performances with the Martina Arroyo Foundation, most recently at its role class concert as Des Grieux in Manon earlier this year. He was Hoffmann in Les Contes d'Hoffmann in July 2007 at the foundation's Prelude to Performance and repeated the role as a guest artist at Rutgers University's opera production in February 2008. He was the recipient of Teresa Stratas Special Award at the Lotte Lenya Competition in 2003 and an encouragement award at the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition in 2008. Lee received his Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 2007 and is currently studying with Ms. Mignon Dunn and Maestro Steven Crawford.

   
Samantha Jefferys (Countess (Alt)) soprano, earned her M.M. from Manhattan School of Music in 2007.  A 2007-2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award winner, Ms. Jeffreys, presented by Artists International Presentations, will make her Carnegie Hall recital debut in May 2009.  She is a 2008 National Opera Association Vocal Competition Winner, 3rd place, both a 2007 and 2008 Career Bridges Award Finalist, and a 2008 Connecticut Opera Guild Competition Finalist.  Samantha recently sang Alice Ford in Intermezzo Opera Festival’s Falstaff and Donna Elvira with the Martina Arroyo Foundation Young Artist Program’s Don Giovanni.  She earned her B.M. from Purchase Conservatory in 2005 and performed leading roles in Purchase Opera’s National Opera Association’s award winning productions of Dialogues of the Carmelites (New Prioress), Hansel und Gretel (Die Mutter), and Amahl and the Night Visitors (Mother).  Other appearances include The Merry Widow (Olga) and scenes from La Boheme (Mimi), Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna and Contessa), I Pagliacci (Nedda),  Rape of Lucretia  (Female Chorus), and Ariadne auf Naxos (Nayade).  Samantha will be a member of Nashville Opera’s Young Artist Program during the 2008-2009 season, where she will sing Pamina in The Magic Flute. A native New Yorker, Samantha recently performed in concert with The Queens Opera Association.

   
A native of Japan, Keiko Kai, (Cherubino) mezzo-soprano, made her operatic debut by singing the role of the Third Spirit in The Magic Flute. She has performed the role of Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. She has also  performed in scenes as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Charlotte in Werther. She is going to appear as Sister Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites at Kaye play house in May.

   
Miriam Kushel (Amelia) described as “brilliantly confident” in Opera News, is a rising young dramatic soprano equally at home with challenging new music, the standard opera repertoire, and musical theater.  She made her professional opera debut as Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors.  Since then, she has performed with Glimmerglass Opera, Motor City Lyric Opera, Bard’s Summerscape (Janaček’s Osud under Leon Botstein), and in a concert presentation of Bernstein’s Candide at the Michigan Theatre starring Fredericka von Stade.  Miriam recently appeared as a guest artist at Ohio University as Mother in Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel.  She made her New York musical theatre debut in a showcase performance at the Dramatists’ Guild and presented her first professional solo recital in New York City last year.  Miriam has received training from Binghamton University (BA, Highest Honors in Music), University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor (MM, Voice Performance), The Cleveland Art Song Festival (including a live broadcast on Cleveland Public Radio), Opera Works and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria where she performed excerpts from Street Scene with the Festival Orchestra.  In December 2007, Miriam was the featured soloist in a program of works for soprano and chorus with NYC choir The Glass Menagerie.
   
New York City native, Deepak Marwah (Don Basilio, Don Curzio) has recently completed his M.M. in Voice Performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he studied with Metropolitan Opera soprano, Judith Haddon. Recent performance activities include the role of Mr. Owen in Argento's Postcard from Morocco, performances in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, Mozart’s The Impresario, the New York City Premiere of Bruce Saylor’s Orpheus Descending, and the Brooklyn Conservatory’s production of Dido and Aeneas. In musical theater, Deepak appeared in the world premiere of Julie Mandel’s Subway Suite, new productions at the Manhattan Theater Club and in Sweeney Todd. In concert, Deepak has performed art song, operetta and oratorio repertoire throughout the New York area. This summer Deepak can be heard singing the role of Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, in Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to a Performance program in New York City. He can also been seen singing the role of Damon, in Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Staunton Music Festival (VA) this summer.

   
Claudio Mascarenhas, (Samuele) baritone, was born in Rio de Janeiro, where he made his operatic debut as Masetto with the Brazilian Conservatory of Music. He followed as Mandarino in Turandot, where he was called "a great new voice of Brazil." Upon moving to Europe in 1997, Claudio was the recipient of the Danish Free Education grant which took him to Italy. He subsequently received a grant from the Queen Margarethe and Prince Henry Fund and an Opera Ebony Fellowship, bringing him to his present home of New York. Claudio frequently performs in New York, where he was lauded as a “powerful voice and a powerful presence” for his portrayal of Zuniga (Carmen) with Regina Opera, a role also performed with One World Symphony. He also received praise in The Italian Review for his performance as Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore with Regina Opera. Recent engagements include the role of Scarpia in the Opera Company of Brooklyn's concert production of Tosca sponsored by NorthsidePiers, as well as select Brazilian repertoire at the the New York launch party for Guillheme Parreira's book, "Pensamentos Poéticos sobre a Vida e a Morte." Claudio currently studies under David Jones and William Hicks in New York City..

   
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie McGuire  (Marcellina) most recently sang in productions of Margaret Garer and Cavalleria Rusticana at New York City Opera. With the Martina Arroyo Foundation, she has performed the roles of Flora in La traviata, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Dame Quickly in Falstaff. This summer, at Ms. Arroyo's Prelude to Performance, she will sing the Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and study Ulrica in Un ballo in Maschera. Additional opera roles include Miss Todd in Old Maid and the Thief, Third Lady in Di Zauberflöte, Emilia in Otello, Gertrud in Romeo et Juliette, and Maddalena in Rigoletto. On May 11th, she will participate in New York City Opera's new composers' showcase, Vox. Later that evening, she appears in recital at St. Mark's in the Bowery with soprano Jee-Eun Hong and pianist Steven Crawford.

   
Camille Ortiz (Oscar) a native of Vega Baja, P.R., completed her Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell.  While at MSM, she was seen as Miriam in the world premier of Elijah and the Magic Kite, Lucia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, Muffin in Dona Vaughn’s production of All that Glitters…, Susanna, Adina, and Gretel.  During the summer of 2006, Miss Ortiz attended Scuola di Leonardo da Vinci in Rome, an intensive Italian language school, Festival of  Interpretation of Spanish Song in Granada, Spain, where she studied with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza, and Centrostudilirica, a festival in Novafeltria, Italy, directed by her voice teacher, where she appeared as Adina, Norina, and Musetta.  Miss Ortiz presented her Mexican debut in June 2007 with pianist Juan Pablo Horcasitas at the Carlos Chavez Hall of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, D.F. She has appeared in other venues such as the Sala Manuel de Falla (Spain), Queens Museum of Art, Steinway Hall’s Henry Z. Steinway Hall, as well as on national television broadcast network Telemundo.  She participated in the Martina Arroyo Fall 2007 role learning class appearing as Blondchen.  She acquired her Bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts Univeristy, Tulsa, OK, where she double-majored in voice and violin, and is a graduate of the pre-college division of the Puerto Rico Conservatory.  She participated in Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia 2004-2005 season, directed by Matthew Glandorf, where she was a soloist in the Monteverdi Vespers.  She is also an active singer of Amigos de la Zarzuela, an NYC based organization dedicated to the promotion of the not so known Spanish operetta.  Miss Ortiz was the winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation 2008 Encouragement Award.  As an educator, Ms. Ortiz is the general music teacher and co-founder of after-school music programs at St. Paul School in East Harlem and St. Thomas Aquinas School in the Bronx as well as holding her own studio. 

   
A native of Crestwood Kentucky, Jacob Pence (Dr. Bartolo, Antonio) has been active on stage in numerous operatic productions.  At the collegiate level, Mr. Pence has held the roles of Aeneas, Mr. Peachum, Orgon Pernelle, King Melchoir, and Count Almaviva in performances of Dido & Aeneas, The Begger’s Opera, Tartuffe, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Le nozze di Figaro in addition to performing smaller roles in other operas and numerous opera scenes including Don Giovanni, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Die Fledermaus, Il barbiere di Siviglia The Merry Wives of Windsor, Eugene Onegin, and The Magic Flute.  In the professional sector Mr. Pence has been featured as a cover artist and has held smaller roles in productions of Don Giovanni and in Il barbiere di Siviglia while performing principal roles with the St. Petersburg Opera in Die Fledermaus and in La Bohéme. Mr. Pence has also engaged in a variety of opera related young artist programs offered by the Lexington Opera Society, the Kentucky Opera, “The Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts,” “The Crested Butte Music Festival” in Crested Butte, Colorado and “Music by the Lake” in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.  Outside of his stage work, Mr. Pence has featured as a concert soloist in performances of the Duruflé Requiem, Cristobal Morales’ Missa di Pro Defunctis, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Theodore Dubois The Seven Last Words of Christ, and multiple performances of the Fauré Requiem. Mr. Pence has received coaching and masterclasses from conductors Roland Kluttig and Mark Sforzini, performers David Mallis and Keith Miller, pianists John Wustman and Edward Bak, and educators such as Richard Miller of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Dr. John van Cura formerly from Lousiana State University and Arlene Shrut of the Julliard and Manhattan Schools of Music among other professionals.

   
Eric Christopher Perry (Don Basilio, Don Curzio) received his undergraduate degree at Fredonia State University and is working towards his Master’s Degree at Arizona State University under the tutelage of David Britton.  He has performed with Oswego Opera, Hillman Opera and Opera New Jersey’s 2006 Summerfest. Roles include Inquisitor/Charles Edward in Candide, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte, Camille in The Merry Widow, Tobias in Sweeney Todd and Friar I in the East Coast Orchestral Premiere of Buoso’s Ghost by Michael Ching.  His concert repertoires includes Bach’s Magnificat and select Advent cantatas, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and musical revues of the works of Sondheim and Rodgers & Hart with ensembles such as Utica Symphony, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Fredonia Bach Consort and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2007 he made his debut at the annual Bach and Beyond Festival under the direction of M. Grant Cooper. Mr. Perry has studied with Thea F. Wheeler, Dr. Gerald Thomas Gray, José Meléndez, Danielle Orlando, Brent McMunn, Mark LaManna and Timothy Reynish. He is a 2007 Singer’s Club of Cleveland Vocal Competition winner, a 2006 Fredonia State University Concerto Competition finalist as well as the first place winner of the 2004 National Association of Teachers of Singing Vocal Competition of Central New York. Mr. Perry hails from Waterville, New York.

   
Alexander Carlos Pikarsky (Il Guidice and Amelia's servant in Ballo) is thrilled to come back to Prelude after singing in the chorus of Les Contes D'Hoffmann last summer. Since then, he has sung in the NJMEA All State Choir, the ACDA All Eastern High School Honors Choir, and most of the choral ensembles at J.P. Stevens High School in Edison, New Jersey. In April, he played Beadle Bamford in Stephen Sondheimâ's Sweeney Todd. Alex has been accepted into the Vocal Performance program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where he will study with Eduardo Chama.

   
Enrique Pina, (Gustavo) tenor, began his vocal studies at the Santo Domingo National Conservatory of Music. He continued his private vocal studies in New York City before immigrating to Italy. During his 18 years in Italy, Mr. Pina studied voice with many operatic luminaries. He later became  protégé of the legendary tenor, Franco Corelli, until the tenor’s death in 2003. In Italy, Mr. Pina obtained a Doctorate with high honors in Political Science at the La Sapienza University. Mr. Pina is fluent in English, Italian, French and Spanish, and is proficient in Portuguese. Enrique Pina’s performance experience began with the role of “Arturo” in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, at the Teatro Nacional of Santo Domingo. Also with the Teatro Nacional, he sang the role of “Niño Alberto” in El Cafetal, by Ernesto Lecuona. In Italy he sang in several operas: L’Elisir d’Amore, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly. His intensive concert activity in Italy included presentations in very important venues. He gave numerous presentations at the Spanish Palace, the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See and the British Embassy of Rome. On two occasions he sang at the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Basilica, one occasion in the presence of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. He recorded a compact disc of opera arias, sacred pieces and Latin American songs in the Vatican Radio Studios. Mr. Pina has performed on various occasions for official visits of Chiefs of State to Italy and the Holy See, which have included the President of the Dominican Republic, of Colombia and of Panama. He has sung on various television channels including the prime National Italian Television (RAI). He was invited to sing at the Coliseum of Rome, Italy, during United Nations Day, organized by the eight agencies of the United Nations that are present in Italy. This concert was sponsored by the Mayor of the City of Rome.

   
Nina Riley (Oscar) Heralded as "the kind of Despina one hopes for: diminutive, agile and with just the right clear, slender soprano voice." -(Bernard Holland, New York Times July 21, 2007) Nina Riley participated with the Martina Arroyo Foundation last summer where she sang the above role from Cosi Fan Tutte.  In August 2007 she sang Papagena from Die Zauberflöte with the Project Opera of Manhattan. In March 2008, Nina sang scenes from Falstaff, Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Rosenkavalier, L'elisir D'amore and Hansel und Gretel with the Minato Mirai Opera Project's Co-repertory workshop at the Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama, Japan. Nina's voice can be heard on the film Cherry Bloom (2006, UVphactory, dir. Alexandre Moors.) which was shown in film festivals across the U.S.  Nina recieved her BM and MM at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, and was an Apprentice Artist with the Center City Opera Theater this past year.

   
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, baritone Ricardo Rosa (Count) began his musical studies as a clarinetist at the Escuela Libre de Musica Antonio Paoli. There he earned a Bachelors in Musical Education and there he discovered his vocal talents. He continued his vocal studies with Justino Diaz and Enid Gonzalez at the Conservatory of Puerto Rico.  He sung a variety of roles including John the Baker in the world premiere of The Queens Mirror, an opera composed by Roberto Milano, David in Samuel Barbers A Hand of Bridge”, David in Mascagnis Lamico Fritz, the Mandarin to Alessandra Marcs Turandot for the Casals Festival and, the baritone solo in Carmina Burana for a 25th Anniversary Gala of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico. In Connecticut, he sang Morales and Dancairo from Carmen with Gateway Classical Music Society. In New York, he sang Giorgio Germont from La Traviata in Martina Arroyo Summer Program , Escamillo with Brooklyn Conservatory Summer Program . Mr. Rosa was invited to sing the pricipal Baritone in the Zarzuela “El Asombro de Damasco” in the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes in Puerto Rico. He sang Frank from “Die Fledermaus” with Zarzuela and Operetta Foundation in P.R. , Rigoletto and Monterone with Gateway Classical Music Society in New York,Marullo with New Rochelle Opera  in  New York and Teatro de la Opera de Puerto Rico Father from Lost childhood in Telaviv,Fernan from Macias in the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes and Jose Dolores Pimienta from Cecila Valdes withZarzuela & Operetta Foundatioin Puerto Rico and  Marcello from La Boheme with Tribeca Opera Company in New York.

   
Dominique Rosoff (Tomaso) bass, grew up in New York City and moved to Maine to go to school and now splits his time between the two. This season he joined the Amato Opera Company in New York City where he performed the role of  “Benoit” and “Alcindoro” in La Boheme and “ The Notary” in Don Pasquale.  He spent three summers with P.O.R.T.’s young artists program in Portland, Maine, singing the role of “Don Pippo” in L’oca del Cairo, “Mayor” in Dr. Miracle, and “Simone” in Gianni Schicchi. On P.O.R.T.’S main stage he covered the role of  “Il Commendatore” in Don Giovanni and “Zuniga” in Carmen.  He played “Sarastro” in The Magic Flute as a guest artist for the University of Southern Maine as well as for Opera New Hampshire and from the same opera sang the role of “Second Armored Man” for Maine Grand Opera.  He has performed “King Balthazar” in several productions of Amahl and the Night visitors, “Major Murgatroyd” in Patience with The Franklin Center for the Arts in New Hampshire. Dominique also performs as a concert soloist in the New England area and won first place in the 2005 Boston NATS advanced avocational division.  While at USM he played “Dr. Bartolo” in The Marriage of Figaro and “Speaker” and “First Priest” in The Magic Flute. Also at USM he has been a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Misa Brevis, Regina Coeli, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia and Handel’s Messiah. He is very excited to be a part of Prelude to a Performance.

   
John Tedeschi (Renato) is an emerging Verdi baritone who includes Rodrigo , Enrico, Figaro, Count Di Luna, Escamillo, Sweeney Todd and Prince Yeletsky among his repertoire.  He is currently enjoying his fifth year as a professor of voice at the University of Hartford/Hartt School, Theater Division.  He has appeared with the Baltimore Orioles singing the National Anthem as well as numerous concert endeavors throughout America including Carmina Burana, Messiah, St. Matthew Passion and the Brahms Requiem. Mr. Tedeschi is a graduate of Boston University, College for the Arts and is a student of Arthur Levy.

   
Sally Ann Thibedeau (Barbarina)is originally from Alaska and recently graduated with her Bachelors in Music Education from University of Northern Colorado. Past roles include Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto, Maîtresse de la maison in Paris à Nous Deux and  Mme. Silberklang in The Imresario. Last summer she was honored to play Kate Pinkerton opposite Eduardo Villa in the European, Opera Classica’s production of  Madama Butterfly.

   
Victoria Vargas (Marcellina) is currently finishing her BM in Music Performance from SUNY Fredonia. Her previous credits include The Witch ( Hansel and Gretel), Carmen (Carmen), and Così fan tutte ( Dorabella) with the Hillman Opera Company  and The Old Maid and the Thief ( Miss Todd)  and scenes from Falstaff ( Dame Quickly), and Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza) with the Student Opera Theater Association. Her solo work includes recitals as well as work with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra conducted by Glen Cortese and international tours of Japan and Italy with the Lyric Arts International program. Ms. Vargas was a finalist of the 2005 NATS-NYFL competition as well as the 2007 Fredonia School of Music Concerto Competition and a recent winner of the Erwin Johnson award for upcoming young artists at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions held in the Four City District. She is currently a student of Dr. Gerald Gray. In the fall of 2008 Ms. Vargas will be pursuing her M. M. at the Manhattan School of Music.

   
Vince Wallace (Figaro) is a native of St. Louis, Missouri.  There, he was a member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus as well as the Black Repertory Theater. Before attending Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY for a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance, Vince starred in musicals such as The King & I (King), Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye) and The Sound of Music (Uncle Max). While at Eastman, Vince’s orchestral performances included Pilatus from St. John’s Passion and Judas in St. Mathew’s Passion. He also performed in choruses for Così  fan tutte and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. While obtaining his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ he played Superintendent Budd from Benjamin Britten’s  Albert Herring in the fall of 2005 and covered the role of Bartolo in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in the Spring ’06. He sang with the world famous Westminster Choir during 2005 as well as participated in the 2006 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC. Vince was also a member of Vox Vocal Ensemble in NYC in 2007 and also performed in the chorus of the Princeton Festival during the summer of 2007 (Carmen). For the 2008 season, Vince will participate in Opera Lyric of Chicago in their production of Porgy & Bess as a member of the chorus with a small understudy role.  As student of Mark Moliterno, Vince aspires to continue auditioning for touring opera companies here and abroad.

   
Chelsea Watts (Cherubino (Alt)) is a recent graduate of Portland State University where she completed her Bachelor if Arts in Music. Her previous roles include Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Elmire in Tartuffe and the Second Spirit in The Magic Flute. She has also been a featured soloist in university productions of Mozart’s Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana. In 2005 she was one of three students to win the Concerto/Aria competition at the University of Montana and was awarded the honor of performing with the orchestra in a joint recital. She also received National Talent Award at the 2003 America’s Junior Miss for her performance of O mio babbino caro. Chelsea is currently continuing with private vocal lessons and preparing for graduate school auditions in the fall.

   
A Native of Chicago, Illinois Martina L. Woods (Silvano) is a classically trained yet multifaceted Vocalist who has studied and performed at the Dorolyn Academy in Oak Park, IL and the Oxbridge Academy in Paris, France. Martin is a recent graduate of the internationally celebrated institution, Morehouse College. Martin was a member of the Morehouse College Quartet and touring member (soloist) of the Morehouse College Glee Club. In the summer of 2001, Martin was selected as a member of the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Festival where he performed operatic and musical theater roles. In 2002, Martin was a featured soloist with the Moses Hogan Singers on their last recording “This Little Light of Mine”. Martin is also featured on the compact disc companion to the award-winning book “No man can Hinder me” written by M.Thomas. Because of his outstanding performances with the Morehouse Glee Club, Martin was invited to make his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut in January of 2003 as the bass soloist for the National Public Radio broadcast of Scenes from the Life of a Martyr by Undine Smith Moore. While in Atlanta, he has also performed ensemble work with the Atlanta Opera. Since his ASO debut, Martin has made solo performances on programs throughout the country as well as Europe and in Bermuda. Martin has lent background vocals to such artists as Michael McDonald, Kim Burrell and DeAndre Patterson. He has performed studio background vocals for several artists including Beyonce Knowles for the Paramount motion picture film “The Fighting Temptations”. In January of 2007, Martin made his Chicago Symphony Orchestra Debut as the baritone in “All Rise!” with Wynton Marsalis. In the fall of 2008, Martin will join the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Other upcoming performances include Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute through the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s outreach program, “Opera in the Neighborhood”.

   
Anna Yelizarova (Ulrica) is originally from Moscow, Russia. After moving to the United States, she studied voice at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and at New Jersey City University. While working on her Master’s degree, she performed a variety of roles including Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Flora in Traviata, Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirector, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. Throughout her career, Ms. Yelizarova was heard in many concerts and recitals in the United States and Europe. Anna Yelizarova has appeared as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Bay Area Summer Opera conducted by Maestro Mattias Kuntzsch, and as the Second Woman and Nereid in Dido and Aeneas at the Intermezzo Opera Festival conducted by Maestro David Jackson. Also, she has sung Principessa in Suor Angelica with Queens Opera. The roles in preparation include Suzuki from Madama Butterfly, Olga from Eugine Onegin, Maddalena from Rigoletto, and Rosina from Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  She has also performed opera scenes from such operas as Carmen, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Samson et Dalila, Hensel and Gretal, Lakmé, Le Nozze di Figaro, Boris Goudonov, Eugene Onegin, and Pique Dame.Ms. Yelizarova is currently working on the role of Orlofsky from Die Fledermaus, which will be performed in October with Queens Opera, and Ulrica from Un Ballo in Maschera for the performance in July (Martina Arroyo Foundation, Prelude to Performance). In addition, she is a part of the Pacific Opera group, which performs staged opera scenes in concerts in the New York and New Jersey area. In the summer of 2008, Ms. Yelizarova will participate in the Pacific Opera concert-TV show on NJN. There will be a professional CD recorded by the group, where she will also be featured. The recording will be followed by the concert of opera scenes at the Carnegie Hall.

   
Sun A. Yeo (Amelia) a soprano from Korea, is a Master’s degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Sun A began her musical instruction as a pianist when she was in college and soon discovered her talent for singing. In Korea she sang in the Cho-sun Daily New Artist Concert, which is one of the four major newspapers. She has appeared in scenes from Cosi fan tutte by Mozart (Fiordiligi), Arabella by R.Strauss (Arabella) at Manhattan School of Music and Chautauqua Institution. She has appeared on various opera ensembles, voice festivals and recitals and has participated in master classes given by such notables as Marilyn Horne and Stephanie Blythe. She received a scholarship from Manhattan School of Music and the Cathy Bonner Scholarship for Soprano at Chautauqua Institution. She is currently studying under Marlena Kleinman Malas.