Twenty-four Extraordinarily Talented Opera Singers Have Been selected for the Semi-Final Round of the 18th Biennial Competition
Fort Worth, TX – The 2018 McCammon Voice Competition judges have chosen the semi-finalists for the eighteenth biennial competition, to be held on March 16, 2018 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The finals will be held March 17, 2018 at Bass Performance Hall. This year’s competitors are David Araujo, Amanda Blue, Nicolette Book, Ryan Bradford, Rachael Braustein, Kathleen Buccleugh, Chelsea Coyne, Danielle Davis, Peter Scott Drackley, Helen Huang, Hao Hu, Emily Michiko Jensen, Abigail Kempson, Chonghwa Kim, Abigail Levis, Brandon Morales, Elizabeth Moran, Langelihle Mngxati, Chong Yoon Noh, Brittany Nickell, Yulan Piao, Anthony Reed, Michael St. Peter and Andrew Wannigman.
Since its debut in 1985, the McCammon has become one of the most prestigious operatic events in the world. Every two years the contest showcases some of the most compelling young singers of the 21stcentury, and many past winners and finalists now enjoy stellar careers with major opera companies throughout the United States and across the globe. In addition to the coveted prize money, many competitors are offered a role in future Fort Worth Opera productions. The 2016 McCammon Voice Competition First Place Prize winner, Brent Turner, was the first tenor in the competition’s history to earn the top award.
The 2018 judges are a distinguished group of opera professionals from many aspects of the operatic business: Joe Illick, Artistic Director of Fort Worth Opera; Katherine Olsen, collaborative pianist and founder of Encompass Arts, LLC; Talise Trevigne, American operatic soprano; Justin Werner, of Couret and Werner Artist Management; and Hector Armienta, composer and Artistic Director of Opera Cultura in California.
2018 MCCAMMON VOICE COMPETITION SEMI-FINALIST BIOS
DAVID ARAUJO Tenor
DAVID ARAUJO is a Brazilian tenor currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Georgia State University. He has a Bachelor in Music in Vocal Performance from Universidade de São Paulo. He sang in 2010 and in 2013 in the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany. He often performed with Orquestra Sinfônica de Ribeirão Preto and in 2014 he was a soloist in Mozart’s Solemn Mass in C minor. He performed in a tour with USP Filarmônica as Bastien in the Mozart’s Opera Bastien und Bastienne. He is currently on tour with Peach State Opera as Don Ramiro in Rossini’s Opera Cinderella. Also, he was a finalist in the 2017 Opera Guild for Atlanta Competition and winner of the Georgia NATS Adult Men category in the fall of 2017.
AMANDA BLUE Soprano
AMANDA BLUE is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy (Performance Emphasis) at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. She is studying under the tutelage of Dr. Christopher Arneson. Amanda has had the privilege to perform the roles of the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte at the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. Along with performing these roles in her undergraduate career, Amanda participated in Wichita State University’s summer program Canta in Itali where she worked with opera director Marie Allyn King and voice instructors Pina Mozzani and Claudia Catania along with many other distinguished faculty members.
In the spring of 2017, Amanda won 2nd place in Westminster Choir College’s Voice Awards. Amanda participated in the Respiro Opera program in the summer of 2017 where she performed and worked with many distinguished guests and artists along with working on the Alexander Technique and Body Mapping. During the fall of 2017, Amanda performed the role of the New Prioress in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites at Westminster Choir College. Amanda has also had the privilege of working with distinguished opera professionals such as Beth Greenberg, Ruth Golden, Joan Patenaude Yarnell, David Sytkowski, Katy Matzke, David Holkeboer, Bill Connington, Roger Malouf, LeAnn Overton, Sylvia McNair, JJ Penna, and Marlena Malas. She greatly thanks her teacher, Dr. Christopher Arneson, for all of his help and support and her parents, Steven and Ann Blue, for their love and support.
NICOLETTE BOOK Soprano
American soprano NICOLETTE BOOK is currently an Artist Diploma candidate and recipient of the Corbett Award at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She recently won Second Place in Houston Grand Opera’s 2017 Eleanor McCollum Competition and First Place in the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s 2017 Annual Opera Scholarship Competition. Recent roles include, Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica), Dalinda (Ariodante), Elettra (Idomeneo), Hanna Glawari (The Merry Widow), Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Cropper Woman (The Grapes of Wrath) and Gossip #2 (The Ghosts of Versailles).
She has been a winner of multiple Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition District Competitions and has received an Encouragement Award at the Regional level. Nicolette participated in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist program and Artist in Residence program where she covered the roles of Mimí and Musetta (La bohème), Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), Wolf Trap Opera’s Studio Artist program where she covered Micaëla (Carmen), and the prestigious Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy. Passionate about bringing new operas to fruition, she has workshopped the roles of Ann Mitchell in the late Daniel Catàn’s Meet John Doe and Margie in Laura Kaminsky’s Some Light Emerges with Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works.
RYAN BRADFORD Baritone
Hailed as an “outstanding baritone” (Oregon Music News) RYAN BRADFORD recently made his debut with Opera Colorado singing Happy in La Fanciulla del West and covering Hannah Before in As One. He appeared as Jake Wallace and Sid (La fanciulla del West) at the Castleton Festival, Virginia under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel. He made his Virginia debut as John Brooke in Little Women with Opera on the James and performed a German Lieder recital series with legendary mezzo-soprano Fredericka Von Stade. He was a Mosher Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara for the 2015-2016 season singing Masetto in Don Giovanni as well as covering the title role. During 2014-2015 he completed a residency at Shreveport Opera singing the Baron in La Traviata, Samuel in Pirates of Penzance and Dandini in La Cenerentola.
Other 2013 engagements for the San Francisco native came as John Brooke (Little Women) for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) for both SFCM and the Santa Cruz Symphony, and Masetto (Don Giovanni) for Hidden Valley Opera, Carmel, CA. A strong proponent of new opera, this past summer he made the West Coast premiere of Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein with West Edge Opera and last year made his Canadian debut in the world premier opera, Ours with Opera on the Avalon. A DePaul University alumnus, he received a master of music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has received distinction from the East Bay Opera League, Florida Grand Opera Young Patronesses and Pacific Musical Society.
RACHAEL BRAUSTEIN Soprano
Soprano RACHAEL BRAUSTEIN is at home on both the recital and opera stages. She will be returning to Chautauqua Opera this coming summer as Paquette in Candide. In addition she will be attending Stephanie Blythe’s art song seminar Fall Island. Braunstein was most recently engaged with Virginia Opera’s production of Der Freischütz as the Agathe cover. Past opera credits read as Flora in La Traviata and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado with Chautauqua Opera, Opera in the Park concerts and Educational Tours with Virginia Opera, the Witch and Mother in Humperdink’s Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Pomme Rouge and the Kennedy Center Children’s Outreach, Mrs. Ten Brock in Jerome Kern’s Sally with Light Opera of New York, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Ash Lawn Opera’s Young Artist Program, Mrs. Ott in Floyd’sSusannah at Seagle Music Colony, Flora in La Traviata with New York Opera Exchange and Anna Hope in Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of Us All with Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater.
Favorite concert credits include performances with Joan Tower’s Music Alive! series, and Sur la route performances with Orford Academy of the Arts in Québec. Braunstein was a Vocal Arts Fellow with Dawn Upshaw at Bard College Conservatory and holds a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music.
KATHLEEN BUCCLEUGH soprano
KATHLEEN BUCCLEUGH is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in vocal performance. In 2017, she was awarded First Place in the Michael Ballam Concorso Lirico International Opera Competition. She has a strong background in German, French, Italian and Spanish. Ms. Buccleugh also has appeared on stage as a dancer in various productions. Her other skills include stage combat, social media/writer management, marketing and magazine writer.
She has performed as Isabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Mobile Opera, Lady Jane Seymore in Rex with Utah Festival Opera, Ines in Il Trovatore, with St Petersburg Opera, Fresquita in Carmen with the Peach State Opera. Ms. Buccleugh’s concert appearances include soloist in Elijah, John Rutter’s Requiem, Bach’s Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme.
CHELSEA COYNE Soprano
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, CHELSEA COYNE holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Texas Christian University in addition to a Master of Music Degree and an Artist Diploma Certificate from The Cleveland Institute of Music. Chelsea is quickly leaving a profound mark on the modern classical music world with her mission to educate and expose people from all walks of life to both opera and classical music.
Chelsea has been performing almost exclusively at sea for the past four years as a headliner for major cruise lines in her one woman show entitled “The Siren of the Seas.” This original production showcases Chelsea’s superlative vocal versatility and ability to crossover between various musical genres, including opera, contemporary classical, musical theatre and jazz. She actively performs across the United States and abroad with composer and pianist, Eric Genuis, as the soprano soloist in his “Concerts for Hope” Tour. She is also a current resident artist with the Kolkata Classics, a non-profit organization based in Kolkata, India, that exposes the underprivileged to high-quality, western classical music in an effort to inspire hope and social change.
Chelsea’s most notable operatic roles include Angelina (La Cenerentola), Jo (Little Women), Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénénict], Carmen and Dorabella (Così fan tutt). Musical theatre roles include Ilona Ritter([She Loves Me), Rona Lisa Peretti (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Mrs. Squires (The Music Man), Cinderella’s Mother (Into the Woods and Dorothy (The Wiz).
DANIELLE DAVIS soprano
In 2015, DANIELLE DAVIS sang the roles of Cio- Cio- San in Madama Butterfly, Grand Priestess in Aida and Chrysothemis in Electra for the Opera Company of Brooklyn. Suor Angelica is also in her repertoire, a role she has sung for the New York Lyric Opera Theatre. She has performed the role of Tosca for the West Side Opera Society. Her awards include Finalist for the 2017 Bethpage’s Best of Long Island:Best Singer, Semi-finalist in the Premiere International Vocal Competition in 2017 and Finalist in the New York Lyric Opera Theatre National Competition of 2016.
Mrs. Davis has served as Professional Fellow, Guest Artist and Admissions Director and Artists Assistant with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. She has attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and the Mahler Festspiel in Vienna, Austria.
PETER SCOTT DRACKLEY tenor
Lauded by Opera News as having “showed vocal confidence […] his luminous head voice blooming with expansive and penetrating phrases,” PETER SCOTT DRACKLEY has performed such roles as Rodolfo (La Boheme), Alfredo (La Traviata), Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), Macduff (Macbeth) and Justice Scalia in Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg, a role he performed in concert at the Supreme Court and was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
Mr. Drackley also frequently performs concert work, including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in G in which he appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Drackley studied at Peabody Conservatory, was a Studio Artist with Sarasota Opera where he covered Avito (Montemezzi’s L’amore dei Tre Re), and an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera where he covered Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Alfredo (Die Fledermaus). He debuted Riccardo (Un Ballo in maschera) with Opera in the Heights, and Nemorino (L’eslisir d’amore) with Winter Opera St. Louis.
Mr. Drackley looks forward to performing the tenor solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Helena Symphony in Montana, Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana) with Boheme Opera in New Jersey and Fernando (La Favorita) with New York City’s New Amsterdam Opera.
HELEN ZHIBING HUANG Soprano
HELEN ZHIBING HUANG is a Chinese-born soprano with a wide range of musical interests spanning from the Baroque period to the present day. In 2018, Helen joins Portland Opera as a Resident Artist, performing Clorida in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Past operatic credits include Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe as a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, La fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Poppea in Handel’s Agrippina, Carolina in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, and Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. She also workshopped the role of Madam White Snake in Paola Prestini’s opera Gilgamesh and Adam in Julian Wachner’s Rev. 23. Concert credits include Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Symphony No. 5 and Earl Kim’s Where Grief Slumbers.
A firm believer of music as an aid for social causes, Helen is a co-founder of Voices of the East, a musical collective that promotes and advocates young Asian and Asian-American musicians’ voices in the contemporary classical music world. Helen holds a Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory and is a graduate of soprano Dawn Upshaw’s Bard Vocal Arts Program. She graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a B.M. in Vocal Performance and the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Economics. In her spare time, Helen enjoys cooking traditional Chinese dishes, traveling and making new friends.
HAO HU tenor
Born in China, HAO HU began his training in the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China which he attended between 2010 and 2015. Hao Hu is a second year Master degree candidate at the Mannes School of Music under the tutelage of Arthur Levy. In 2018 he is engaged in May to sing the role of Pong in Turandot with Verismo Opera Company.
He was a finalist in The World Chinese Vocal Music Competition. He also participated actively in the event organized by the Central Conservatory of Music including the Seiji Ozawa program in Shanghai and Beijing. Roles he includes in his repertoire are Tamino in The Magic Flute, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Des Grieux in Manon. Mr. Hu attended the Bel Canto summer program in Tuscany, Italy with full scholarship in 2016.
EMILY MICHIKO JENSEN Soprano
Soprano EMILY MICHIKO JENSEN is establishing herself as a versatile performer. She was most recently an Apprentice Artist at Sarasota Opera during their Fall and Winter seasons last year. Additionally, she was a Studio Artist at Chautauqua Opera where she sang the role of 2nd Soprano in Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar with Steven Osgood, and returned the following season to cover the role of Soprano 2 inHydrogen Jukebox.
EMILY made her company debut with Boston Opera Collaborative as Marguerite in their production of Faust et Marguerite where she was hailed as a “a gifted singing actress blessed with fine theatrical instincts and an unusually well-rounded, intriguingly versatile instrument.” Other roles include Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Stephen Lord, Foreign Woman in The Consul with Gil Rose, Suzel, in L’amico Fritz,Governess in Turn of the Screw with Douglass Kinney-Frost, and Tiny in Paul Bunyan with Lord.
In 2016 EMILY was a semi-finalist in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year competition. She was a Young Artist at Opera Company of Middlebury and in the Opera Studio at the Académie d’été de Nice. Originally from San Diego, California, EMILY received a Graduate Diploma and Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory where she studied with her current teacherLorraine Nubar. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Rita Shane.
ABIGAIL KEMPSON soprano
Winner of the Cheryl and Richard Hack Award from the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition and Third Place winner of the 2015 Festival of Singing, NATS, New Jersey Chapter, ABIGAIL KEMPSON received her BM in Vocal Performance from Gettysburg College. In 2016, Westminster Choir College awarded her a MM. Ms. Kempson has attended training programs at Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in Germany, the Florence Voice Program in Italy, CVAT in Montreal, Canada and CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster Choir College.
In 2018, Ms. Kempson is engaged to sing Queen of the Night for CoOPERAtive Program’s production of The Magic Flute. She also sang this role for Lyric Opera Studio in Weimar, Germany. She has performed Violeta in La Traviata and Alice Ford in Falstaff.
CHONGHWA KIM baritone
Korean baritone, CHONGHWA KIM won First Prize in the 15th OSAKA International Music Competition in 2014, Second Prize in the La Bella Concorso di Canto Lirico in 2015 and First Prize in the T and B International Artist Concourse in 2015. He was a Finalist in the 2017 Premiere Opera International Voice Competition and received the Finalist Award in the 63rd annual Washington International Competition for Voice in 2016.
In 2012 Mr. Kim received a Diploma from Accademia di Arena. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Seoul National University in 2015. Currently he is working on a Master of Music degree at Mannes College of Music. His opera experience includes singing the role of Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Volkskammer Opera, Papageno in The Magic Flute and Marcello in La Boheme at the Bethesda Summer Festival.
ABIGAIL LEVIS mezzo-soprano
Named “Debut Artist of the Year” by the Joy in Singing Foundation, ABIGAIL LEVIS has emerged as one of the most exciting young singers of today. Critics the world over have described her artistry as “fearless,” “impressive,” “witty” and “breathtaking” in styles as diverse as Monteverdi, Mozart, Britten and Leonard Bernstein.
As a professional singer, Ms. Levis has appeared as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony, the Handel and Haydn Society, Florida Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, Portland Baroque, American Symphony Orchestra, Utah Opera/Symphony, Opera Parallele, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Philadelphia and Ars Lyrica Houston. This past year she sang Flora in La Traviata in Dallas, Texas.
She is also a prize winner of several competitions both at home and abroad including the Klaudia Taev Competition, the William Mattheus Sullivan Foundation, the New York Oratorio Society Competition, The Classical Singer Competition, The Gerda Lissner Competition and the William C. Byrd Concerto Competition. A native of Portland, Maine, Ms. Levis holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, The University of Houston and Bard College. She has completed residencies at Utah Opera and Los Angeles Opera.
LANGELIHLE MNGXATI bass-baritone
LANGELIHLE MNGXATI is a native of South Africa, born, raised and educated in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). He received his BA from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. As a sophomore in 2011, he was awarded First Place in the voice category of the National Competition for singers among South African Universities, called SATIC (South African Tertiary Institutions Choral Association). Langelihle’s first role was Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, a role he repeated in July 2014 with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy.
In his junior year, he was the bass soloist in Haydn’s Missa Sanctae Caeciliae with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. He also sang the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute at UKZN in the same year. Langelihle performed the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah with the Pietermaritzburg City Orchestra and Mass choir in 2011 and 2013. His final role at ULZN was Emile in the Southern Methodist University/UKZN production of South Pacific in June 2013, working with Professor Hill-Moore, faculty and students from the Study Abroad Program at SMU. He earned his Performance Diploma from SMU in 2015.
Since 2014, he has sung the roles of Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Colas in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne with the Dallas Opera’s Outreach/Young Artist Program. He completed his Masters in Voice Performance in fall of 2017 and is currently singing the role of Vertigo in Offenbach’s Pepito with TDO Outreach Program.
BRANDON MORALES bass-baritone
BRANDON MORALES has performed with opera companies all over the United States—stretching from the Pacific Northwest’s Portland Opera to Virginia Opera on the East Coast. Morales has recently completed two years with the Virginia Opera’s Foundation Emerging Artist’s Program with highlights including Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jose Castro/Billy Jackrabbit in The Girl of the Golden West and Mother in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins. A graduate of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, he has been highly active in the Ohio area performing with Daytona Opera, NANO Works, Cincinnati Chamber Opera and Queen City Chamber Opera.
Mr. Morales has participated in Toledo Opera’s Resident Artist program and is a member of the Wagner Society of Cincinnati’s blooming studio. He will soon move on to join Arizona Opera’s Roose Pullin Opera Studio for their 2018-19 season. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Mr. Morales currently enjoys the vagabond life of performing.
ELIZABETH MORAN Soprano
ELIZABETH MORAN received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received extensive training abroad. Internationally, as an artist, she received training and education at Lotte Lehmann Akademie, Perlebert, Germany, L’Art du Chant Francais, France, and Tuscany. As a young artist, she also received training from the Martina Arroyo Foundation and the Manhattan Opera Studio in New York.
She appeared in numerous operatic roles, performing as the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with Amore Opera and Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Theatre of Montclair. Some of her partial roles include Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, both sung with Lotte Lehmann Akademie. Other notable roles include Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with the Martina Arroyo Foundation and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with Manhattan Opera Studio.
ELIZABETH has performed in concerts as soloist in Mairie de Fleurance, France, Lotte Lehmann Akademie and L’Art du Chant Francais. She has an upcoming recital scheduled at the Clovis Point Winery in 2018. She is the winner of the Young Artists’ Competition with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra in 2017and a Semi-Finalist at the International Vocal Competition with both the Giulio Gari Foundation and the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing in 2016.
CHONG YOON NOH tenor
Tenor JOHN CHONG YOON NOH, from South Korea, is in the master’s program at The Juilliard School where he studies with Dr. Robert C. White Jr. He has performed the role of Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor and covered Bill in Flight and Tichon in Katja Kabanova at Juilliard. He was seen on Medici.tv in Juilliard’s live-stream master classes with Emmanuel Villaume and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. He also was featured soloist for the Juilliard Lab Orchestra master classes, singing Romeo from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette led by Fabio Luisi and as Lenski from Eugene Onegin led by Alan Gilbert. Mr. Noh received his bachelor’s degree at Peabody Conservatory where he performed Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Buchanan in Street Scene and Ferrando in Cosi’ fan tutte.
His recent performances include Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall, Juilliard 415 The Genius of Monteverdi led by William Christie at Peter Jay Sharp Theater and a concert version of L’elisir d’amore in which he sang Nemorino in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West. As a concert soloist, Mr. Noh has performed numerous pieces including Mass in C Minor by Mozart with Concert Artist of Baltimore, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Amy Beach’s Mass in E Flat with Columbia Pro Cantare, Bach’s Magnificat and Schubert’s G Minor Mass with the Peabody Concert Orchestra. He has been awarded prizes in the Metropolitan Opera Council (D.C.), Annapolis Vocal Competition and Gerda Lissner Liederkranz, Russell C. Wonderlic Voice Competition.
BRITTANY NICKELL soprano
Soprano BRITTANY NICKELL is a graduate of Jacksonville University where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and the Manhattan School of Music where she obtained her Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees. In October 2017 Brittany was awarded The Opera Index Award, a top prize at The Opera Index Competition in New York City. Miss Nickell was also seen as a finalist for the inaugural Premier Opera Competition also in New York City. January of last year brought her Carnegie Hall debut in the Song Continues series under the tutelage of Marilyn Horne. In the 2016 season, Brittany was one of four soprano fellows with the Music Academy of the West where she performed Ludmilla in The Bartered Bride and Elizabeth in Second Nature an opera written and conducted by Matthew Aucoin.
Previous credits include Madame de Volanges in the Manhattan School of Music opera theatre production of Dangerous Liaisons under the baton of Maestro George Manahan, Lady Macduff in Bloch’s Macbeth, Helen in Three Sisters and Sancta Susanna in Susanna, all with the Manhattan School of Music opera theatre. Other credits include Street Scene (Anna Maurrant), The Gondoliers (Fiametta) and Der Vampyr(Emmy Perth) all with Jackson University.
YULAN PIAO soprano
Korean-Chinese soprano, YULAN PIAO, completed her Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mignon Dunn. In 2017, she received First Prize in both the Verismo Opera Competition and Vienna Summer Music Festival Competition. Ms. Piao was the winner of Career Bridges Grant Awards, an encouragement grant from the Giulio Gari Foundation, Third Prize in the Connecticut Opera Idol Competition and First Prize in the Five Towns Music and Art Foundation. She made her professional debut singing the role of Gilda in Rigoletto in South Korea.
Recently, she has been contracted to sing Liu in Turandot with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, Musetta in La Boheme with the New Rochelle Opera and Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio with the Empire Opera. She has performed with the ICAV program in Montreal as Lauretta and as Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme. Previous credits include Pamina in The Magic Flute, Luisa Miller and Flordiligi in Cosi fan tutte.
ANTHONY REED bass
Hailed for his supple and dynamic shading Classical Voice, Anthony Reed is making his mark on stages throughout North America. Most recently, Mr. Reed was seen on stage at the San Francisco Opera as an Adler Fellow. He will be joining Wolf Trap Filene Artist Program to perform Frere Laurent in Romeo and Juliette as well as appearing in Weil’s Seven Deadly Sins. His operatic roles include King of Egypt (Aida), Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Don Magnifico (La Cenerentola) and Don Basilio (Il barbiere de Siviglia) among many others.
Concert appearances include performances of Haydn’s Creation and Missa in tempore belli, Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Schwanegesang. He has perfomed with Grammy award winning symphonies and some of the world’s esteemed conductors including Nicola Luisotti and Donald Runnicles. He is a notable alumnus of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Merola Opera Program.
MICHAEL ST. PETER tenor
Tenor, MICHAEL ST. PETER received his Bachelor’s degree from the Julliard School and is currently in his last year of Graduate School at Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Marlena Malas. Previous credits include Le Petit Vieillard in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and Mercurio in Cavalli’s La Calisto. (Juilliard Opera). Mr. St. Peter has also performed the roles of Schmidt in Massenet’s Werther, Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante, Monostatos in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Borsa in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. (Chautauqua Institution School of Music). Credits with Manhattan School Music include Schoolmaster in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Ottokar in Johann Strauss II’s The Gypsy Baron and most recently he performed Le Prince, in Cendrillon, the rediscovered opera by Nicolo Isouard.
Michael was a finalist and recipient of an Encouragement Award from The Gerda/Lissner Foundation Lieder/Song Competition. Future engagements include the final round of the Joan Ades and Alan M. Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music and joining Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist.
ANDREW WANNIGMAN baritone
Baritone ANDREW WANNIGMAN studies with Kim Josephson. 2018 will be a busy year for him singing Le Dancaire in Carmen for Mill City Summer Opera, Valentine in Faust and Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music at the Natchez Festival of Music and John Buchanan in Summer and Smoke as a guest artist at Converse College. Other roles Mr. Wannigman has sung in recent years include Figaro in Il Barbieri di Siviglia, Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Mr. Gobineau in The Medium, Eugene Onegin and the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance.
Mr. Wannigman has been soloist in the November 2017 World Premiere of L’ultimo viaggio di Ulyss with the Manhattan School of Music, Five Mystical Songs of Vaughan Williams, Christmas Oratorio of Saint Saens, J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Seven Last Words of Christ of Dubois. In 2017, Mr. Wannigman received a Pavel Lisitsian Award and in 2016 he won the Third Place in the American Prize in Voice (men in opera-professional division).