By Stefanie Hew, Florida Grand Opera
Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio has gained worldwide recognition as one of the leading operatic training programs in the nation. The highly competitive program accepts only 6-10 artists from over 600 applicants each year and has trained more than 150 young professionals, who now appear on the stages of the nation’s leading operatic and theatrical organizations. The respected program provides talented young singers with an opportunity to refine the skills developed during formal music education, targeting those areas necessary to develop a successful opera career.
The selected artists receive extensive coaching and instruction during the 6-9 month residency. During their residency, the Young Artists perform recitals and concerts for the community and outreach programs for area students, inspiring a new generation of artists and gaining valuable feedback. The Young Artists also sing principal and supporting roles and serve as understudies in the opera company’s main stage performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
In the 2012-2013 season, FGO’s Young Artist program welcomes back two second-year artists and introduces five new voices to South Florida’s opera scene.
Our two returning singers are soprano Lacy Sauter and baritone Ryan Milstead. Sauter, a graduate of Arizona State University, was seen last season as Bianca in FGO’s La Rondine. She returns to sing 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte and Flora in La Traviata in addition to covering the roles of Mimi, Musetta, Violetta, and Pamina. Milstead performed the roles of Don Lucas inLuisa Fernanda, Périchaud in La Rondine, Marullo in Rigoletto, and Gregorio in Roméo et Juliette last season. Come the fall, he will be performing the roles of Schaunard in La bohème and Baron Douphol in La traviata.
Korean soprano Hye Jung Lee is an alumna of the 2010 Merola Opera Program and holds degrees from Indiana University, Mannes College of Music, Seoul National University, and Dresden Musik Hochshule. Her 2012-2013 roles with FGO include Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Lisa in La sonnambula. Mezzo-Soprano, Carla Jablonski, has been hailed a “seasoned and multi-dimensional” young performer. She received her Masters Degree from The Juilliard School and has sung with Wolf Trap Opera Company, Central City Opera and, most recently, made her Carnegie Hall debut. She joins FGO as Lady #3 in Die Zauberflöte and Annina in La traviata.
Tenor Matt Maness returns to FGO after his debut as Benvolio in Romeo et Juliette and will perform the roles of Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte and Gaston de Letorieres in La traviata come the fall. Tenor, Matthew Newlin, has been praised as a “pleasing, pliant tenor” with “easy stage manner” who delivers solos with “warmth” and “clear diction,” which he will employ as Priest #1 and Armored Guard in Die Zauberföte and The Notary in La sonnambula. Bass Adam Lau received a Bachelor’s degree at Whitman College and recently completed his Master of Music degree at Rice University. He will be heavily featured in his first season with FGO, singing the roles of Colline in La Bohème, Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Alessio in La sonnambula, and Marquis d’Obigny in La Traviata.
In addition to the aforementioned singers, the Young Artist Studio will feature two new accompanists who also double as voice choices. Eun-boram Ahn studied solo piano performance, composition and collaborative piano at McGill University, which includes studies with renowned Canadian collaborative pianist Michael McMahon. Recent engagements include accompanist for voice studio and recitals, vocal coach and rehearsal pianist for Opera VMana’s world premiere of Le Quatrième Enfant Lune, and vocal coach and rehearsal pianist with the Gustav Klimt Ensemble. Lyndon Meyer has distinguished himself as a musician with great versatility and insight. As a pianist and vocal coach, Lyndon has held positions with the Eastman School of Music and Mercury Opera Rochester, and has been on the faculty of the Druid City Opera Workshop, St. Thomas More Church and also performed in recital with such noted artists as Ani Schnarch, Kevork Mardirossian, Dennis Parker, and Ben Pierce.