Participants 2009
Erik Bagger Fleur Barron Evan Bennett Wonwhi Choi Omar Contreras Joseph Flaxman Ignacio Gama Rodrigo Garciarroyo
Gabriel Nochlin-Gargari Angela Gribble Katharina Hagopian Jun-Bum Heo Bevin Hill Don Jin Jung Keiko Kai Yuri Kwak
Jeung Min Lee Choong Lee Seung Hee Lee Scott Lindroth Clarissa Lyons Meredith Mecum Erica Moon Seungwan Oh
Barry Robinson Fabian Robles Travis Sherwood Alexandra Smith John Torres Gennady Vysotsky Sun A. Yeo  
Erik Bagger (Dr. Blind) recently completed his undergraduate studies at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, and is currently enrolled as a Masters of Music candidate there now.  Roles performed in Brooklyn include: The Schoolmaster in Comedy on the Bridge, 1st Sailor in Dido and Aeneas, Mr. Pàsek in The Cunning Little Vixen, and President Chester A. Arthur in The Ballad of Baby Doe.  Erik has also performed with Bronx Opera, The Intermezzo Young Artist Program, Electronic Music New York, Lied, Austria, Opera Ischia, The Remarkable Theatre Brigade and The New Opera Festival di Roma.

Fleur Barron (Orlofsky) graduated with a MM from Manhattan School of Music in 2008. With MSM Opera Studio, she appeared as Olga Olsen in Street Scene and Elasti-girl in Discover Opera: The Singcredibles, and performed as Isabella, Niklausse, Dorabella and Third Lady in scenes. This spring, she was seen as Concepcion in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole (Encanta Opera), covered the roles of la Zelatrice and la Suora Infermiera in Suora Angelica (Chelsea Opera), and learned the role of Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri with Martina Arroyo's Role Prep Class. Other performances include the title role in Handel's Orlando and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado. She will portray Ptolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare.

Evan Bennet (Schaunard) is a baritone from Springfield, Missouri. He is currently at the Manhattan School of Music pursuing a Master’s in Vocal Performance and studying with Maitland Peters. This last year he created the role of Mr. Smedley for “DISCOVER Opera” through the outreach department and played the role of Cecil from Maria Stuarda in Opera Scenes. He completed his Bachelor of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. While at Oberin, he was fortunate to perform several roles which include: Valetto in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, John Brooke in Adamo’s Little Women, and Alessio in La Sonnambula with Oberlin in Italy.

Wonchi Choi (Eisenstein) a native of Korea, is a young tenor on the threshold of a major career in opera and concert performance. He has performed various leading roles including: Alfredo in La traviata and Chevalier in Dialogues of Carmelites with the Mannes Opera, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Korean National University of Arts Opera Theater. He has understudied the role of Radames in Aida for the prestigious Opera Pa Skaret festival in Sweden. He has a bachelor of music degree from the Korean National University of the Arts and a master of music degree from Mannes College of music. This fall he will join Mannes’s PSD program where he studies with Arthur Levy.

Omar Contreras (Eisenstein) was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. He has studied with tenor Jesus Li Cecilio. He attended the University of Sonora, school of music to continue his vocal preparation. He made his operatic debut by singing the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at University of Sonora School of Music. He has performed the role of King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Spoletta in Tosca in a production of Bellas Artes Opera Company of Mexico. He has also performed in scenes as Luigi in IL Tabarro with Sinaloa Opera Company. He has performed Zarzuela and opera galas throughout the Sinaloa, Mexico area and as soloist in Ariel Ramirez Criolla Mass. He has studied with Gail Massaro, Michael Wilson, Luis Ledesma, Martha Felix, David Ramirez.  
Joseph Flaxman (Marcello) possesses a voice that “exudes good health and promise” (NY Times). He has been described as a “robust and powerful” baritone (NY Daily News). He recently earned his Master’s degree under the guidance of Mark Oswald at the Manhattan School of Music. A few of his roles include Il Conte and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and others. He has performed with Opera Memphis, the Ash-Lawn Highland Summer Opera Festival, Brevard Music Center, Chelsea Opera, Brooklyn Opera, and at Fredonia State University. Recently he has been heard on NPR performing Valentine in Faust. Upcoming performances include Baron Douphol in La Traviata with Opera Manhattan, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Opera Memphis.

Ignacio Gama (Colline) is a young bass-baritone from Mexico City. Originally trained as an international lawyer, he is currently pursuing a Bacherlor’s Degree in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music. It was his passion for theatre and opera that lead him to make such a dramatic career change and move to the US.. He studies voice with Patricia Misslin. He performed the roles of the Armchair and the Tree in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and Sleep in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with performances at Brown Hall as well as some outreach projects in Boston.

Rodrigo Garciarroyo (Rodolfo) was born in Mexico in 1976. Later he studied music at both the National and the Superior Schools of music in Mexico City, where he has been coaching with Mario Alberto Hernández. He was awarded the Plácido Domingo Scholarship to study at the Sociedad Internacional de Valores de Arte Mexicano (SIVAM). Since then he has been invited to study at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Puerto Rico and Israel, in NY where he has studied with some of the most renown .In Mexico he has sung Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore,  Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Alfredo in La Traviata. In NYC he performed Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann , Gustavo in Un Ballo in Maschera, The Verdi Requiem was his Debut in Alice Tully Hall.

Gabriel Nochllin Gargari (Alcindoro) is a first generation Mexican-American, and just sang at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall with Pacific Encore Performances. He also sang for actress Marian Seldes where she was given the Erwin Piscator Award by Elysium. He has the support and patronage of Mexico’s Manuel S. Leyva Martinez, a world renowned poet from the state of Guerrero. He was interviewed on Sandra Villerias’ “Plática y Café” on " with Mr. Leyva. He sang the "Four Servants" in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman with Prelude to Performance. He received his Bachelors from Western Washington University and Masters from Manhattan School of Music. He's performed in Gianni Schicchi, Die Fledermaus, Dialogues des Carmélites, and Le Nozze di Figaro to name a few.

Angela Gribble is currently a Master’s degree candidate at the Manhattan School of Music. Recently, she was seen in Kenneth Merrill’s production of Les Mamelles de Tiresias. She has performed roles including Dorinda  in Orlando and Giannetta in L’Elisir D’Amore. Other performance experience includes scenes as Cuenegonde in Candide, Christel in Der Vogelhändler, Lady Ella in Patience and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel. Ms. Gribble has participated in many summer music festivals including The Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, International Lyric Academy of Rome, OperaWorks, and Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. She is studies with Maitland Peters.

Katharina Hagopian (Rosalinda) originally from Mainz, Germany, has performed as soloist in Lied Recitals including Schumannfest Düsseldorf and Carnegie Hall as well as International Festivals for Contemporary Music in Germany and Belgium, where she was featured in radio and CD recordings. She sang Mme Lidoine in Poulenc´s Dialogues of the Carmelites, which was praised by the NY Times. She is the 1st Prize Winner of the European Lieder-Competition “Euriade Vocal Concours Kerkrade” and the Mannes Concerto Competition, for which she will perform Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs with the Mannes Orchestra. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a DAAD grantee in NY. She has studied voice with Amy Burton at Mannes College of Music and earned her M.M. degree in vocal performance. 

Jung-Bum Heo (Dr. Falke) a Korean baritone, is a graduate student at SUNY Purchase. In 2006, after completing a degree in English in his native Korea, he turned to singing. He earned a Bachelor degree in voice from Hanyang University in South Korea, studying under Prof. Jooho Woo. Since 2008, he has continued his music studies with Jacque Trussel and made his main stage debut as Gianni Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi last April in New York. Then, he has appeared on Purchase College German Scenes from Die Zauberflöte by Mozart (Papageno). Last fall, he participated in recording of Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest as the role of Alonso at Purchase college.

Bevin Hill (Musetta) recently graduated Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Vocal Performance. While at CMU, she was able to participate in NINE (Luisa), The Consul (Anna Gomez), A Little Night Music (Petra/Charlotte Cover), Alcina (Ensemble). She is currently attending Manhattan School of Music to pursue her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. At Manhattan School, Bevin has been work in the Baroque Aria Ensemble and the Opera Outreach Program.

Do Jin Jung (Colline) is a native of Seoul, Korea. He earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in 2005 from the Korean National University of Arts and his Master of Music degree at Mannes. He is Winner of the New York District at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008 and Grant winner in The Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition in 2007. He was also finalist in the Brescia International voice Competition in Italy. He has performed the roles of Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Jailor in Dialogues of Carmelites. In addition, He has performed Dr. Dulcamara in scenes of L’elisir d’amore, Osmin in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte and Mefistofele in Faust. He has taken master classes with Sherrill Milnes, Nico Castel and Bonaldo Giaiotti.

Kaiko Kei (Orlofsky) mezzo-soprano, made her operatic debut by singing the role of the Third spirit in The Magic Flute. She has performed the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sister Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. She has also performed in scenes as Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, Mercedes in Carmen, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Chralotte in Werther. She received Master of Music and Professional Artist Diploma from Mannes College, the New School for Music. She will be a resident artist at Opera Company of Brooklyn from September.

Yuri Kwak, (Musetta) a native of Seoul, Korea, began her career in singing as a member of Seoul City Children's Chorus. She earned her Bachelor of Music from Yonsei University. She received MM and Professional Studies degrees from Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Patricia McCaffrey. She has performed roles including Ilia in Idomeneo, Pamina in Magic Flute, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and many more. Yuri won the World Symphony Orchestra Competition in Korea and is the award winner of Orpheus National Vocal Competition. She will begin her DMA studies in Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Baritone Jeong Min Lee (Marcello) is a first-year master of music degree student at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Mark Oswald. He made his professional debut in 2005 singing Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore as part of my school music department’s 50th anniversary celebration in KBS Hall. He has performed the main roles of Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote in Jeon-Ju Art Center. Mr. Lee has appeared as guest artist with Chunchon Orchestra for ‘Reunion Festival for the Residents of Province’ in amphitheater. In 2004, he won the prize in the Young Artist Competition, in Korea. He studied with Young Doo Cho and received his bachelor of music degree from Kyunghee University in Korea.

Choong Lee (Alfred) received an encouragement award at the Metropolitan National Council Audition and won the Washington-Idaho Vocal Competition. He began his formal training at the Eastman School of Music with a full scholarship. He has performed such roles as Rodolfo in La Bohème and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicci. In the NY area he has appeared in the role of Hoffmann in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with Prelude to Performance and repeated it as a guest artist at Rutgers University. He was the recipient of Teresa Stratas Special Award at the Lotte Lenya Competition and an encouragement award at the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. He received his Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and is currently studying with world renowned tenor, Edwardo Villa, and Maestro Steven Crawford.
Seung Hee Lee (Mimi) a native of south Korea and currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the guidance of Elaine Bonazzi at Stony Brook University. She was a prize-winner at the 2008 David Adams Art Song Competition. Her previous credits include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, and Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. She received her BM degree from Chonnam National University in South Korea. She continued her studies at Chonnam National University pursuing her MM degree in Music Education. During that time she performed as a member of the Gwang-ju City Chorus. She received a second MM degree from Manhattan School of Music in 2007. She has performed Hager in The Binding of Isaac and the Countess in scenes of Le Nozze di Figaro at MSM.

Scott Lindroth, (Frank) graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music in 2008 with a degree in Voice Performance and Music Education. Since moving to New York, he has performed as Wagner in Faust, Javert from Les Miserables and Sir Richard from Yeomen of the Guard. Last Spring, Scott was Charlemagne in the New York City premiere of the opera Il Tassilone. He also sang the role of Edgardo in the modern opera Il Caso Mortara with DiCapo opera. Currently, he is pursuing a Masters in Music in Voice Performance at the Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Mark Oswald.

Clarissa Lyons (Mimi) born in California, received her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She appeared as Elaine O’Neill in the NY Premier of Musto’s Later the Same Evening, as Greta Fiorentino in MSM’s outreach production of Street Scene, and covered Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She has sung scenes from Dialogues of the Carmelites, Rusalka, Falstaff and others. She has appeared as soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at UC Berkeley and as soloist with the Vermont Philharmonic. She has received the Bel Canto Institute Orchestral Performance Award, the James Schwabacher Jr. Memorial Award, and the Eisner Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. She will be at Dawn Upshaw’s Vocal Arts Program at Bard College Conservatory. She studies with Patricia Misslin.

Meredith Mecum (Rosalinda) is a graduate student at the Manhattan School of Music where she studies with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. She was on the MSM stage as Rose Segal in the NY premiere of Musto's Later the Same Evening, which has been recorded by Albany Records. She completed her BMA degree at Penn State University in voice performance and art history.  While at Penn State, she performed in a variety of recitals, opera scenes and operas, including Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring.  She has also presented recitals at the State Street Academy of Music in Harrisburg, PA, Theatre Harrisburg, and the Third Street Music School Settlement in NYC. She has studied at the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy and the Chautauqua Institution School of Music.

Erica Moon (Adele) a native of Seoul, Korea, received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music, studying with Mignon Dunn. In April 2009, she performed Musetta in La BohPme with Amato Opera. Her stage credits in MSM Opera Studio include Ida in Die Fledermaus, Cupcake in All that Glitters by Dona D. Vaughn and Minerva in Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria. Other performances include Despina in Cosi fan Tutte with New York Soloist Ensemble, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel in International Institute of Vocal Arts, Italy, Ruggiero in Alcina as well as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro and many others. Other highlights include soloist appearances in Carmina Burana and Chichester Psalms at the Carnegie Hall.

Seunghwan Oh (Rodolfo) is a native of Seoul, S. Korea. He made his professional debut singing Nemorino in Donizetti`s L`elisir d`amore with the KNUA Opera at Universal Arts Center. He has performed in concert and opera in S.Korea, China, Italy, Germany, Austria and the United States. He has performed Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermmor, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tonio in La fille du regiment and Verdi`s Requiem. He won 1st place winner in the 2007 Korea Brahms Association & Germany International Brahms Gesellschaft Competition in Seoul as well as other major competitions in Italy, the United States and Austria. He received his BM degree from Korea National University of Arts. He is currently studying in Mannes College P.S.D. program.

Barry Robinson (Frank) is a native of Greenville, SC. He holds a M.M. from The Shepherd School of Music of Rice University and a B.M. from Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Robinson has performed the roles of Henry Davis in Street Scene, Giove in La Calisto. In Opera Scenes programs he has performed Frank in The Postman Always Rings Twice, Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri, The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Il Conte and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, and both Don Giovanni and Leporello in Don Giovanni. He was the Second Place and Audience Choice winner of the Harlem Opera Theater’s 2008 Emerging Artist Competition. This fall he will be the Resident Artist Baritone for The Opera Company of Brooklyn.

Fabian Robles (Rodolfo) is winner in the Aspen Music Festival's Concerto Vocal Competition. He is also a winner of the District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Regional as well as many other awards. Career Highlights include a "Zarzuela Gala" at Carnegie Hall/Weill Recital Hall. He was featured with the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra. He was featured with Ballet Concierto in their "25th Anniversary Gala", singing in Orff's Carmina Burana.  Future engagements Beppe in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci in Puerto Rico. His repertoire includes Prince Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola, Il Duca di Mantova in Verdi's Rigoletto, among others. A native of  Puerto Rico, he graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with degrees in Biology, Pharmacy and Music.

Travis Sherwood (Dr. Falke) is currently pursuing a Master of Music Degree in vocal arts and opera at the University of Southern California. While at USC he has performed Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Masetto in Don Giovanni under the baton of Brent McMunn and the direction of Ken Cazan. He holds a BM Degree in vocal performance and music education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. During his studies, he performed in Westminster Opera Theater and Opera Workshop in Beatrice and Benedict, Der Vampyr, and La Bohème. He appeared as an Associate Artist with Opera New Jersey in Rigoletto, Roméo et Juliette and Die Zauberflöte. He is a student of Rod Gilfry.

Alexander Smith (Adele) is pursuing a Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music studying with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, she completed her undergraduate degree in Chicago at Roosevelt University. She attended the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca in the Studio program. She returned as a Lorenzo Malfatti Memorial scholar to sing concerts as Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro and Magda in La Rondine. Other roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni with American Opera Group and Soprano in The Fairy Queen at Roosevelt. She was a finalist in the 2008 Elgin Opera Competition in Illinois. Most recently she was a finalist in the Harlem Opera Vocal Competition in NYC. This winter she will be a part of the studio artists outreach program with Kentucky Opera.


John Torres (Schaunard)  is currently pursuing a Master's in Vocal Performance at Manhattan School of Music and studying with Arthur Levy. This past year Mr. Torres performed in various scenes with the Contemporary Opera Ensemble, He completed his Bachelors of Music at SUNY Purchase where he performed in scenes from Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, and the role of Sebastian in the East Coast Premiere of Lee Hoiby's The Tempest".

Gennady Vysotsky (Benoit/Sergeant) was born in the beautiful sea-side city of Odessa, which is located in southern Ukraine. Gennady graduated from the Odessa School of Music. He became interested in acting at an early age, and began to explore that interest by participating in numerous musical theater performances, as well as appearing in several major motion pictures. After emigrating to the United States, Gennady graduated from the University of California at Davis, earning a double degree in Economics and Mathematics. At the same time Gennady continued his musical education. In the last few years Gennady has participated in the productions of the Magic Flute and Macbeth in the San Francisco Lyric Opera. Gennady has recently moved to New York to further pursue his musical career.

Sun A Yeo (Mimi) was heralded as “the extraordinarily beautiful singing and acting of Yeo as Amelia, who is on the brink of a major career” (The NY Amsterdam News,), for her performance in Un Ballo in Maschera with Prelude to Performance. She has appeared as Fiordiligi in scenes from Cosi fan tutte and the title role of Arabella at Manhattan School of Music and Chautauqua Institution. She has appeared in various opera ensembles, voice festivals and recitals and has participated in master classes of Marilyn Horne and Stephanie Blythe. In Korea, she sang in the New Artist Concert sponsored by Cho-sun Daily. She is the recipient of MSM scholarship and Cathy Bonner scholarship for Soprano at Chautauqua Institution, received her Master’s degree from MSM.