Participants 2013
Meroe Khalia Adeeb David Baldwin Javier Bernardo Benjamin Bloomfield Chelsea Bonagura Richard Bozic Maria Fernanda Brea
Joseph Michael Brent Sharon Cheng Won Whi Choi Esteban Cordero Francisco Corredor Marcos Cuevas Stephen K Foster
Ignacio Gama Chantelle Grant Lenora Green Walker Jermaine Jackson Smitha Johnson Chae Seon Kim Eui Jin Kim
James Edgar Knight Yunnie Park Chelsea Parrish Blaise Pascal Tamara Rusqué Carlos Saenz Kirsten Scott
Maggie Sczekan Shelbey Snyder Janani Sridhar Brandie Sutton Mizuho Takeshita Samuel Thompson Nian Wang
Jorell Williams Yuriy Yurchuk Joanna Burke Mika Estrin Zachary Goldman Sheila Houlahan Aaron Kaswen
Dean Murphy Tais Szilagi          
Meroe Khalia Adeeb (Stella), is a native of Accokeek, Maryland. Ms. Adeeb began working on her degree in Vocal Performance at Louisiana State University in the studio of Robert Grayson in 2010. With the LSU Opera she has appeared in the chorus of Le Nozze di Figaro and La Bohème. Also she played the role of Cherubino Pig in The Three Little Pigs with the Louisiana Opera Outreach Program (LOOP), and the 1st Spirit in The Magic Flute with Opera Louisiane. In the summer of 2012 Ms. Adeeb attended the Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance program, where she performed in the chorus of Verdi's Falstaff and audited the role of Nannetta, then performed the role with Opera Louisiane in September 2012.


David Baldwin (Dulcamara cover) performed with such local institutions as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Opera for the Young, The Bailiwick Theater, and Light Opera Works. An accomplished pianist, he has accompanied cabarets, juries, recitals, competitions, and musicals. David is recently sang with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus in this new production of Parsifal and will be joining them this spring for a reprise of their Grammy-Award winning production of Wagner's Ring Cycle. In New York City, he also performs with The Collegiate Chorale and the choir at Church of the Transfiguration.

Javier Bernardo (Nemorino) is a 2012 winner of The Career Bridges Grant from The Schuyler Foundation and The Dennis Lo Bue Memorial Award from the Bel Canto Foundation. Described as “the lead with powerhouse singing” by Chicago Now, he is a lyric tenor in growing demand. The Peruvian tenor has been a soloist at Symphony Center, as well as main stage roles with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, a member of The Marc and Eva Stern Fellowship Program at Songfest, and part of the Chicago Opera Theatre Young Artist Program. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Folks Operetta, and Palm Beach Opera..

Bejamin BloomfieldCrespel/Luther/Schlémil) recently completed a Master’s degree at the Juilliard Scholl of Music. In recent seasons, he has understudied roles at both the Metropolitan Opera (Lewitsky, Boris Godunov) and New York City Opera (Baron Douphol, La Traviata). Other New York credits include Bartolo in Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro with the Lindemann Program at the Met; Marcello in La Bohème, and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, both with New York Lyric Opera. He made his international debut in 2011, singing Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore with Hong Kong’s Musica Viva Productions. Benjamin has appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under James Levine.
Chelsea Bonagura (Adina cover) is an American soprano whose voice has been described as “beautifully warm and rich.” She has sung roles with Greensboro Opera Company, Roanoke Opera, and has made solo appearances with the Charlotte Symphony. Recent roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Monica in The Medium. Ms. Bonagura has appeared as a soloist in numerous concert works including Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio, Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, and Vivldi’s Magnificat. Ms. Bonagura received her B.M. from the Eastman School of Music and M.M. from UNC-Greensboro.
Richard Bozic (Crespel/Schlémil) has appeared in productions with Cleveland Opera, Bronx Opera, Verismo Opera of New Jersey, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Fairbanks Summer Music Festival, Bethesda Summer Music Festival, and was a Studio Artist in NYC’s renowned Martina Arroyo Foundation, Opera New Jersey's Summer Artist program, and the CoOPERAtive program at the Westminster College of the Arts. Some of his opera credits include Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Dipsacus in The Poisoned Kiss, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Pistola in Falstaff, The Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Tom in Un Ballo in Maschera, Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict, and Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata.
Maria Fernanda Brea (Giannetta) is a current student at the Manhattan School of Music studying with of Catherine Malfitano. She comes from Caracas, Venezuela where she studied at Escuela Superior de Musica José Angel Lamas. In Caracas Ms. Brea has offered concerts at the Ateneo de Caracas (2011), Museo del Transporte (2011) and Museo de Bellas Artes (2011) and Hall Fernando Crespo Suñer (2012 ). She has performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (2009) and as the Governess in scenes from Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (2013) by Britten as the Governess.
Joseph Michael Brent (Hoffmann) a native New Yorker, was one of the first graduates from the Frank Sinatra School of Arts. While pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree from Purchase College S.U.N.Y., he was a member of the New York based Collegiate Chorale. In 2010, he received a Master of Music degree as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Georgia and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and continues as a Graduate Assistant under the tutelage of Metropolitan Opera Baritone, Frederick Burchinal. He has performed several leading tenor roles including Tamino in Die Zauberflote, and Rodolfo in La Bohème, a role that he performed in Italy with La Musica Lirica, in the summer 2012.
Sharon Cheng (Olympia) recently starred in two sold-out performances of Lucia di Lammermoor for Baltimore Concert Opera, she also successfully portrayed a wide variety of operatic roles, including La Musica, Proserpina in L’Orfeo, Atalanta in Serse, Alcina, Konstanze, Madame Goldentrill, Miss Silverpeal, Servilia, Königin der Nacht, Rosina, Adina, Gilda, Sandman, Dew Fairy, La Fée and Lucy in The Telephone. She was awarded first prizes in several major competitions including the Liszt International Competition, NTD Chinese International Vocal Competition and Civic Morning Musicals Vocal Competition. Among her teachers have been Sherry Overholt, Lauren Flanigan and William Neill.
Won Whi Choi (Hoffmann), has performed various leading roles including Alfredo in La traviata and Chevalier in Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Mannes Opera, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Martina Arroyo Foundation and the Korean National University of Arts Opera Theater. He has understudied the role of Don José in Carmen for the Crested Butte Music Festival as a member of their Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program. Mr. Choi was invited to Hawaii Performing Arts Festival as a professional fellow where he performed the role of Don José in The Tragedy of Carmen and the role of Le théière in L'enfant et les sortileges. Mr. Choi was one of eight finalists at the Montreal International Musical Competition in 2012.
Esteban Cordero (Spalanzani/Nathanaël) A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Puerto Rico and a finalist in the New Orleans Region, Mr. Cordero appeared as a soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Coro Nacional de Puerto Rico, and is a frequent guest soloist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico. He has been invited twice to participate in the International Summer Opera Institute in Tel Aviv. His roles include Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Javier in Luisa Fernanda, and the tenor solo in Carmina Burana. Upcoming performances in 2013 include the role of Count Vaudemont in Iolanta.
Francisco Corredor (Frantz/Andrès/Cochenille/Pitichinaccio) is a comprimario tenor born and raised in Queens, New York City. Currently obtaining his Masters degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music, he received his Bachelors from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase. He has opened for Tony Bennett at Radio City Music Hall and is a former participant of his Exploring the Arts Foundation A member of the Collegiate Chorale since 2006, He has performed at many of New York City's most prestigious venues as well as venues in Switzerland, Israel, and Austria. His operatic credits include Remendado in Carmen, King Kaspar in Amahl in the Night Visitors, and The Witch in Hansel and Gretel.
Marcos Cuevas (Frantz/Andrès/Cochenille/Pitichinaccio) a native of Queens, New York, is a second-year Master’s degree student at Manhattan School of Music studying with of Catherine Malfitano. Previous credits include Gherardo in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Ferrando in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, Monostatos in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Le Mari in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles De Tiresias. Scene work includes Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata and Pissandro in Monteverdi's Il Ritorno D’Ulisse as Patria.
Stephen K Foster (Dulcamara) is currently a junior enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado. He was the winner of the 2012-13 Colorado Wyoming District Student Auditions (NATS). He has performed in Germany and France as well as in the United States in roles such as: Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Duke Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the world premier of The Riddle by Alexander Pierce Hill and Count Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music.
Ignacio Gama (Dulcamara) form Mexico City, is currently pursuing a Master of Music Degree and studies with Arthur Levy at Mannes College, where he recently performed the role of Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia. Other roles with The Mannes Opera include Leporello in a concert version of Don Giovanni and the title role of Don Pasquale (Act I). As a previous participant in Prelude to Performance in 2009, he sang the role of Colline in La Bohème. Other credits include Leporello at the Sieur du Luth Arts Festival (Duluth, MN), as well as scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Rocco in Fidelio, Méphistophélès in Faust, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola and Falstaff.
Chantelle Grant (The Mother’s Voice) A former Mannes Opera young artist, Chantelle sang Mistress Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff, with Metropolitan Opera conductor Joseph Colaneri. Her other roles have included Mme Larina in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Moyra in Vaughn William’s Riders To The Sea, Tituba in Ward's The Crucible and Mrs Grose in Britten’s Turn of the Screw. She was heard on Chicago’s national radio program “LIVE” from WFMT”. She currently is a student of Arthur Levy. 2012 marked her debut with both Opera Company of the Highlands and Bel Cantanti Opera.
Lenora Green (Antonia) is participating in her second season with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance Program. Her roles include, Donna Anna, Suor Angelica, Eurydice (Offenbach), and Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Michigan Opera Theater and New Orleans Opera Association. She also performed in Postcard from Morocco; Dialogues of the Carmelites; and created the role of Joanne in Love Theories by Linda Lister. Ms. Green is a student of Metropolitan Opera Soprano, Carol Vaness, and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan.
Walker Jemaine Jackson (Spalanzani/Nathanaël) has performed with The Janiec Opera Company at Brevard, North Carolina, Opera Cleveland, and Cincinnati Opera. His roles include Tamino and 1st Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, Bénédict in Béatrice et Bénédict, Alfredo in La traviata, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, and the title role in The Impresario. He has also appeared with the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria, as well as a featured soloist on NPR’s From the Top. He holds degrees in Performance and Music Theory from the Universities of Cincinnati, Indiana, and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Smitha Johnson (Antonia Cover) is pursuing a Performance Diploma at Indiana University, where she studies with Dr. Robert Harrison. There, she has performed the roles of Clo-Clo in The Merry Widow and Concepción in L’Heure Espagnol. She received her Master’s degree from The Ohio State University, where she studied with Dr. Robin Rice. While at OSU, Smitha participated in the scenes programs, singing the roles of Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore and Ilia in Idomeneo; she also covered the role of Nannetta in Falstaff and was a winner of the OSU Concerto/Aria Competition.
Chae Seon Kim (Olympia Cover) is a native of Seoul, South Korea, and is currently a second year Master's degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Catherine Malfitano. She has appeared at Stuttgart Summerkurse and Mannheim Summer Master Class. Performance highlights include 'Vocalist Chae Seon Kim and Friends’ a concert at the Nowon Cultural & Arts Theater (Seoul), La Charmeuse in Thaïs, La Fée in Cendrillon, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Scenes include Emmie in Albert Herring, Semele in Semele and Cunegonde in Candide. She is a graduate of Korea National University of Arts and is a recipient the Dean's Scholarship.
Eui Jin Kim (Lindorf/Coppélius/Dappertutto/Miracle) is a New York district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was a Taaglewood Music Center Fellow where he performed under James Levine, and sang in an Opera Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. His operatic roles include: Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Ferrando in Il Trovatore. He has sung with Aspen Opera Theater, Virginia Opera, Music Academy of the West, Natchez Festival Opera and Kaliope Opera. Mr. Kim is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University and has received a Master of Music and a Professional Studies degree from Manhattan School of Music.
James Edgar Knight (Nemorino), recently completed his undergraduate studies at Mannes College the New School for Music (BM’13) and will be attending The Juilliard School (MM’15) in the fall. With an extensive background in theater and musical theater. He has performed the lead roles in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, West Side Story and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Last summer James participated in the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, where he performed with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester which was broadcast over Bavarian Radio in multiple recitals and concerts in Germany. Mr. Knight is a student of Mr. Dan Marek.
Yunnie Park (Adina) is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Arizona under the tutelage of Faye Robinson. Ms. Park made her international operatic debut in Pesaro, Italy as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème. She also made her debut in New York City as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine with the esteemed Martina Arroyo Foundation. Ms. Park has performed various leading roles including Violetta in La Traviata, La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Angelica in Suor Angelica. Additionally, She was a district winner of the 2012 Metropolitan Council Audition and was a recipient of Igor Gorin Memorial Award.
Chelsea Parrish (Nicklausse Cover) has recently achieved a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. Credits include Albine in Thaïs, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with MSM, Marthe Schwerlein in Faust, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor with Thomas Muraco’s Opera Repertory Ensemble, The Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Mittelsächsisches Theater, Getrude in Hänsel und Gretel with Luray Opera Theater and Mrs. Nolan in The Medium with James Madison University Opera Theater. She sang Nicklausse in scenes from Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Carmen in Carmen with James Madison University Opera Theater.
Blaise Pascal (Hoffmann Cover) hails from the beautiful southern tropical island of St. Lucia in the Windward Islands of the West Indies. A new transplant from the West Coast, he now resides in New York City. While in Sicily, Italy in September 2007 as a participant of the Citta di Alcamo Concorso Internazionale per Cantanti lirici, he was asked to perform the title role of Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Brasov, Romania for Opera Brasov. August 2007, Union Avenue Opera of St. Louis, MO engaged him as Sportin' Life in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. While residing in Los Angeles he was engaged by the Los Angeles Opera to sing the role of Nelson in Porgy and Bess. He was a first place winner of the NATS competition.
Tamara Rusqué`s (Giulietta) studies began in Toronto, Canada where she performed Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro and Polly Peachum in The Beggar`s Opera. Tamara then pursued further vocal training at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, Italy. In Canada, performance highlights have included Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, the soprano solo in Beethoven`s Opus 65, as well as two seasons in the Pacific Opera Victoria Young Artist Program. Most recently, Tamara has performed the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No.2, the role of Giunone in La Calisto and Diane in Orphée aux Enfers at the Manhattan School of Music.
Carlos Saenz (Belcore) Carlos Saenz is a 28-year old Texas native. He received his Bachelor of the Arts in Music from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Master of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Texas State University. Since he began singing in 2008, he has been a young artist with San Antonio Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, and the Prelude to Performance. Carlos has performed such roles as, Don Alfonso and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, and Moralès in Carmen. He performed the role of Guglielmo with Prelude to Performance in 2012.
Kirsten Scott (Nicklausse) performed Zerlina in Mannes Opera's 2012 production of Don Giovanni, as well as the role of the "Neighbour" in Mannes Opera's 2012 production of Stravinsky's, Mavra. Her concert credits include the world premiere of the 9/11 Commemorative oratorio, "Illuminessence: Prayers for Peace" in Boston's Jordan Hall, "Terrible Beauty" by David Matthews in Aspen's Harris Hall and multiple soloist appearances with the New Philharmonia Orchestra in Newton, MA. She received her Masters degree from Mannes College in 2013 and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College in 2011.
Maggie Sczekan (Adina) is thrilled to return to the Prelude to Performance, where she was seen last year as Despina in Cosí fan tutte. Favorite credits include Fanny (La cambiale di matrimonio) and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with CU Opera in Boulder, Colorado, Christine in Maury Yeston’s Phantom with Boulder’s Dinner Theatre, and Little Edie in Grey Gardens with the Vintage Theatre in Denver. Maggie is an alumna of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and former student of Marlene Rosen. Ms. Sczekan is also an avid dancer, and yoga practitioner.
Shelbey Snyder (Giannetta), soprano from Kansas City, Missouri, is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Most recently Ms. Snyder studied bel canto repertoire with the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, where she performed in multiple song recitals. In the summer of 2011, she sang the role of Baron von Puck in Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein with the Franco American Vocal Arts Institute (FAVA) in Périgueux, France and nearby cities. Shelbey had the pleasure of performing Second Lady in a staged concert version of The Magic Flute with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance summer 2010.
Singaporean soprano, Janani Sridhar (Antonia) is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory. Recent operatic credits include Noémie in Cendrillon, Musetta in La Bohème, and Clorinda in La Cenerentola. Competition credits include 3rd place in the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Young Artist Award in the Harold Haugh Competition, 1st place in the Youth Asian Music Competition, Gold with Distinction in the Youth Asian Music Competition, 1st place in the Llangollen Musical Eistedfodd, 1st place in the Young Singer of the Year Awards. Ms. Sridhar currently studies with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell.
Brandie Sutton (Giulietta) first embraced classical music during her undergraduate studies at Oakwood University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. She has performed in the United States, Bermuda and Poland in the annual Wratislavia Cantans International Music Festival in Wroclaw. As part of Centro Studi Lirica's Italian training program, she perform in concerts around the area. She sang in a solo recital the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. She has appeared as Pamina in The Magic Flute and Musetta in La Bohème. She completed her Master of Music degree at The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music.
Mizuho Takeshita (Olympia) is a first-year Professional Study Diploma candidate at Mannes College The New School for Music. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Ochanomizu University in Japan. She returns to Prelude after having sung Despina in the 2012 production of Così Fan Tutte . She appeared in the Japanese Opera Productions of Manon and Hamlet, performing the roles of Manon and Ophélie. She also appeared as Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte with the Ochanomizu Opera. She is an Eastern District Winner of the 2013 Metropolitan National Council Audition and 1st prize winner at the Iizuka Newcomer Music Competition. She currently studies with Amy Burton and Marcella Reale.
Samuel Thompson (Hermann) is currently a masters student at DePaul University School of Music. A St. Paul native, he began his studies at the Minnesota Opera Center before earning a Bachelor of Music from DePaul. Recently he has performed the roles of The Vicar in Britten’s Albert Herring, The Forester in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and appeared with Haymarket Opera, Chicago’s new and exciting baroque opera company, in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Upcoming engagements include Mr. Peachum in Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera, and Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème with DePaul Opera Theatre.
Nian Wang (Nicklausse), from Nanjing, China, is currently in the opera program at the Curtis Institute of Music. Credits include Rinaldo in Handel's Rinaldo, Kate in Britten's Owen Wingrave, The Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Siebel in Faust, and The First Witch in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Other recent performances include Cherubino (Act II) in Le Nozze di Figaro with Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Dawn Upshaw and Donnacha Dennehy Young Artists Concerts in Zankel Hall at Carnegie, and Mother in Missy's Song from the Uproar at Bard College Conservatory of Music. Ms. Wang is a Philadelphia district winner of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Jorell Williams (Belcore) was a guest artist with the Verein Opera in Zürich, performing in a gala opera concert under the direction of tenor Francisco Araiza. He created the role of Tomás Cabral in the premiere of John David Earnest’s The Theory of Everything with Encompass New Opera Theater and performed as a guest artist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Concert for Peace with sopranos Lauren Flanigan and Amy Burton, under the baton of Maestro Glen Cortese. He also created the role of the Presenter of the Church in a workshop reading of composer Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, which was a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Opera Theatre.
Yuriy Yurchuk (Lindorf/Coppélius/Dappertutto/Dr. Miracle) is currently a graduate student at DePaul University School of Music. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Yuriy moved to Chicago three years ago and after meeting professor Marc Embree decided to pursue his passion for classical singing. Before starting the program at DePaul, Yuriy was a financial consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers for seven years. Yuriy was a finalist in the 2012 Chicago National Association of Teachers of Singing vocal competition. In 2012 he appeared as Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème with DePaul Opera Theater last March.
Joanna Burke (Adina) graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012, where she studied under Nicole Sonbert House. In addition to singing with UNC’s Carolina Choir, Joanna performed several operatic roles at both UNC and Meredith College, including the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte and Catherine in Offenbach’s Le Mariage aux Lanternes. In 2012 she was the winner of the UNC Concerto Competition. She is an alumna of the Summer Voice Institute at the Manhattan School of Music, and in 2011 she sang as Student Artist at the Atlantic Music Festival under the direction of Carla Rae Cook.
Mika Estrin (Antonia) is thrilled to be a part of Prelude to Performance and in the company of so many talented individuals. Ms. Estrin will be a senior at Georgia State University School of Music and is a student of Magdalena Falewicz-Moulson. Ms. Estrin has appeared as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with GSU Opera Theater and performed Schubert's “Ave Maria” with the GSU Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Estrin won first place in her category in the 2012 and 2013 Georgia NATS Competition.
Zachary Goldman (Nemorino) is an undergraduate Vocal Performance Major at the University of Michigan class of 2014, studying with Rico Serbo. He grew up in Great Neck, NY where he was a student of Antonia Szilagi, and in Manhattan studied with Denes Striny. He has performed scenes from La Traviata, Così fan tutte, and Romeo et Juliette with the Colorado Springs Conservatory. He was a chorus member in The Rake’s Progress with the University of Michigan Opera Theater.
Sheila Houlahan (Nicklausse) hails from Bellevue, Washington. Notable performances include a Seattle Symphony debut, a duet with acclaimed jazz trombonist Robin Eubanks, and as a mezzo-soprano soloist with the Manhattan School of Music Baroque Aria Ensemble. She was named a first place winner with the American Protégé talent and voice competitions. She sang the Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica with the NY Lyric Opera Theatre at Symphony Space. She has also performed as Cherubino in scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro, Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea under Catherine Malfitano at MSM, Nannetta in Falstaff, and Frasquita and Mercedes in Carmen. She currently studies with Mignon Dunn.
Aaron Kaswen (Nemorino) is currently a Master of Music candidate at Texas Tech University where he studies with Karl Dent. This spring he was featured in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe and performed the tenor solo in Gounod’s “Messe de Saint Cécile.” Aaron received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in 2012, where he studied with Dr. Dean Southern. At the Frost School he performed in Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera and Michael Torke’s Strawberry Fields. Aaron can be heard on the Grammy-nominated recording of Brahms’ “Requiem” with Seraphic Fire.
Dean Murphy (Belcore) is a baritone from Maynard, MA. He will be graduating from The Hartt School in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. At Hartt, he has sung Tobias in The Hotel Casablanca, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and in 2014 he will be singing Frank Maurrant in Street Scene. In June he made his debut with Hartford Opera Theater as Gideon March/Mr. Dashwood in Little Women. He is the Bass Section Leader and Soloist for Trinity United Methodist Church in Windsor, CT. Dean currently studies voice with Cherie Caluda and coaches with Eric Trudel.
Tais Szilagi (Giannetta) began her musical studies playing the flute and studying voice with her mother. Her credits include L'enfant in L'enfant et les Sortilèges, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Maria in West Side Story. She performed in the New York premiere of En Mis Palabras for a “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS” fundraiser. She performed in the International Electroacoustic Music Festival last year, and has premiered over fifteen new works by rising composers. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Colorado Springs Conservatory/Central City Opera Summer Intensive for three years. Ms. Szilagi is currently a junior at the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College as a student of Anna Skibinsky.