Santa Fe Opera Apprenticeships
Founded in 1957, the Santa Fe Opera aims to promote and develop the careers of talented young opera singers by working closely with Santa Fe’s acclaimed and nationally recognized roster, performing and rehearsing on the Opera grounds and giving them the opportunity to return as a principal artist.
From 2004 to 2011, the Vilcek Foundation supported Santa Fe Opera Apprenticeships to recognize vast talents of foreign-born vocalists and technicians.
2011 Apprentice Singers
Randall Bills, Apprentice Singer
Tenor Randall Bills returns for his second season with The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singers Program. A native of Fresno, California, he earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from La Sierra University, and completed his Master of Music in Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California. His repertoire at USC included Prince Charmant in Cendrillon, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Reverend Parris in The Crucible, Tamino in The Magic Flute, and Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola. He apprenticed with the Opernstudio, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany, where he performed Pacuvio in Die Liebesprobe, Tierhandler in Die Rosenkavalier, andParpignol in La Bohème. Most recently, he has been associated with Theater Bremen, where he has appeared as Tamino in The Magic Flute, Iskra in Mazeppa, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Arbace in Idomeneo. This summer he will perform the role of the Orthodox Priest in The Last Savage and the Fool in Wozzeck.
Cynthia Esparza, Apprentice Technician
Mexico native Cynthia Esparza joins the 2011 Apprentice Technician Program as a member of the stage crew. A student at the University of Texas-El Paso, Ms. Esparza is working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design/Tech (2012). She has practiced her craft as a stage carpenter, working on scenery and props for the Studio Theatre and the Wise Family Theatre at UTEP, as a carpenter and welder for Jesus Hopped the A Train, as assistant designer for Alice in Wonderland, and as a carpenter for Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, and Billy the Kid. For the production of The Glass Menagerie, she wore three hats: as carpenter, manager of the light board, and member of the running crew. Ms. Esparza worked under former Apprentice Technician, Juan Ontiveros, who was the designer for The Balcony; for this production she again juggled multiple responsibilities, as carpenter, light board programmer, operator, and member of the stage running crew.
Sara Heaton, Apprentice Singer
First-year apprentice Sara Heaton is a soprano from Newton, Massachusetts. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, she shifted her focus to music and went on to earn her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Boston University. There, Ms. Heaton sang the role of Musetta in La Bohème. During her apprenticeship with the Central City Opera, she performed Madeline and Isabel in The Face on the Barroom Floor, Mrs. Hayes in Susannah, and the First Witch in Dido and Aeneas. She also was Esmeralda in Opera Boston’s production of The Bartered Bride;and she was Despina in Così fan tutte for Boston Midsummer Opera. Ms. Heaton was a semifinalist in the Competizione dell’opera in Dresden, Germany. This season, she will cover the role of a Concert Singer in The Last Savage.
2010 Apprentice Singers
Marcos Carrero, Apprentice Singer
Marcos Carrero, tenor, comes to Santa Fe Opera from Maracaibo, Venezuela. He will be covering the role of the First Priest in The Magic Flute. Mr. Carrero received his initial voice training from the Conservatorio Nacional de Música Juan José Landaeta. He earned a Master of Music and a Professional Studies Certificate in Classical Voice from the Manhattan School of Music (MSM). While there, he performed the roles of Antinoüs in Pénélope and Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro. Mr. Carerro's concert roles include Jupiter in Semele, Lurcanio in Ariodante, Paolino in Il Matrimonio Segreto, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. Equally comfortable with Oratorio, he has been a featured soloist in both Handel's Messiah and Haydn's Die Schöpfung. Mr. Carrero was the recipient of a full scholarship to attend MSM by The Secretary of Culture of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela & The "Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" Foundation. This made him the only Venezuelan singer pursuing postgraduate studies outside Venezuela under governmental sponsorship (2007-2009). He was also granted the Manhattan School of Music President's Award in 2008 and 2009.
Jorge Prego, Apprentice Singer
Spanish tenor Jorge Prego recently finished his Diploma in Opera at Roosevelt University. In April 2010 he made his debut with Chicago Opera Theater as Aronne in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto. In the summer of 2009 he covered Alfredo in Santa Fe Opera’s production of La Traviata, and sang with soprano Susanna Phillips at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in a Bach Cantatas program.
This summer, Mr. Prego returns as an Apprentice to Santa Fe Opera, where he sings Nathanael in The Tales of Hoffmann and First Armored Man in The Magic Flute. In the fall he will join the Yale Opera Program to start an Artist Diploma.
Mr. Prego’s future engagements include the 2011 New Year’s Eve Gala with Chicago’s New Philharmonic Orchestra and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with DuPage Opera Theatre, and his Austin Lyric Opera debut in the 2011/2012 season, singing Edgardo inLucia di Lammermoor. A 2nd Price winner in the 2008 Heida Hermanns International Competition, Mr. Prego is also a Graduate in Piano from Hartt School of Music.
Jorge Eduardo Munoz Vera, Apprentice Technician
Jorge Eduardo Munoz Vera is a lighting and sound design technician who originally comes from Mexico. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Design and Technology with a minor in music from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has worked in sound and as a master electrician with the University of Texas at El Paso Theater in their productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Diary of Anne Frank, and all UTEP Music Theater performances. He was an electrician for the UTEP Theater production of Cloud Tectonics. He was also the master electrician for the UTEP Theater production of The Glass Menagerie. He served as an assistant lighting designer for UTEP Theater when they produced The Three Penny Opera, Il Trittico, and Gallantry and the Telephone Short Operas. He has done lighting design for the music and dance studios at UTEP in such performances as The Man of La Mancha, La Cantarina, Romeo and Bernadette, and Songs of a New World. Currently he is working as a Teacher’s Assistant in the field of lighting in the University of Texas at El Paso Department of Theater and Dance.
2009 Apprentice Singers
Uluwehi Mills, Apprentice Technician
First-year apprentice technician, Uluwehi Mills (Ulu), received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Japanese Language from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2007. Since February 2008, Ulu has served as a stage manager for the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and has worked on productions such as Ferdinand the Bull, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and A Christmas Carol. While still in school, she stage managed Hawaii Theatre’s production of James and the Giant Peach. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she gained a breadth of experience as a carpenter, scenic artist, and set and prop designer in various productions. In addition to her experience behind the scenes, Ulu performed as a cast member in Girl’s Choice, a program in conjunction with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii, and Kyogen: Timeless Comedy. She was also an guitarist for her university’s productions of Little Shop of Horrors and A Night of Hawaiian Music. Ulu is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, speaks Japanese and Hawaiian, and is skilled in woodwork, sewing, and welding.
Jorge Prego, Apprentice Singer
Spain is the country that tenor Jorge Prego calls home. From the Hartt School of Music, he holds two degrees, a GPD and a Master of Music in Piano Performance. He has had a solo recital at the Chicago Cultural Center as well as participating in a production of Les Contes d’Hoffman at the Chicago Center for Performing Arts. For Santa Fe this summer he sings the role of Giuseppe in La Traviata and covers the role of Alfredo in the same production.
Rachel Schutz, Apprentice Singer
Welsh soprano, Rachel Schutz, returns to The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer Program for a second season. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Stony Brook University and a Master of Music from Bard College. While at Stony Brook University, she performed Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro and Flora in Turn of the Screw. For the Music Theatre Wales, she appeared as the Child-Alien in the premiere of The Roswell Incident. In 2006, she was a New York District winner and Regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Competition. Recently, she portrayed St. Settlement in the Four Saints in Three Acts for Bard College, appeared as Euridice in the Berkshire Bach Society’s production of Orfeo ed Euridice and was Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for The New Opera Company. In May she made her Carnegie Hall Zankel Hall debut singing the world premiere of Songs at the Well by Elena Langer. This summer she performs the role of Gianetta in L’Elisir d’amore.
2008 Apprentice Singers
Jennifer Kelsey Jakob, Apprentice Singer
Soprano Jennifer Kelsey Jakob is a native of Kempten, Germany and is currently pursuing her Masters degree at Indiana University, where she studies with acclaimed Professor of Singing Costanza Cuccaro. Since starting her studies at Indiana University, Jennifer has performed the role of Rita Billingsley in the collegial premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding for which she was hailed by Opera News as “strongest and funniest of all”. In October she will be performing the role of Frau Fluth in Otto Nicolai’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor.
She received her Bachelor degree from Oberlin College under the tutelage of Marlene Ralis Rosen. In Oberlin she won the Senior Concerto Competition with Benjamin Britten’s Les illuminations and was chosen to participate in Oberlin’s Danenberg Honors Recital in which she performed a set of Richard Strauss Lieder. In addition, Jennifer had the honor of participating in numerous master classes with the renowned mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. Her experience in the Oberlin Opera Theatre program allowed Jennifer to perform the roles of Beth (Little Women), Adina (L’Elisir d’amore), Anna Reich (Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor), Sister Mathilde (Les Dialogues des Carmélites) as well as scenes from Roméo et Juliette, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il Matrimonio Segreto.
In 2005, Jennifer debuted in Italy as Clarina (La Cambiale di Matrimonio) as part of the Oberlin in Italy program and was chosen to sing for the famous Italian soprano Mirella Freni. After having been invited to participate in the 2005 Master Class Series of the Schubert Institut in Baden, Austria, specializing in German Lied, Jennifer worked with Elly Ameling, Rudolf Jansen and Robert Tear. For two seasons Jennifer has been a Gerdine Young Artist for Opera Theatre of St. Louis where she covered the title role in David Carlson's Anna Karenina in 2007 and Rose Maurrant (Street Scene) in 2006. This past summer Jennifer joined the Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) as an apprentice singer.
Jennifer’s performances with orchestra include concerts with the Newark Symphony Orchestra as well as the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Jennifer’s passion for art song has led her to perform numerous recitals in Oberlin, St. Louis, Baden (Austria) and her hometown Kempten.
Jennifer is the recipient of the Pi Kappa Lambda Prize for Musicianship (Oberlin Chapter) and recently won 1st Place in the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, where she received the Sophia and Robert Marks Memorial Graduate Voice Award.
Sung Eun Lee, Apprentice Singer
Sung Eun Lee, a tenor from South Korea, joins the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singers Program. He received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Classical Voice from Yonsei University. He earned a Master of Music Degree in Classical Voice from the Manhattan School of Music. Currently, he is participating in a Vocal Arts Graduate Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. While enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, he performed Sumers in L’italiana in Londra and Wilson in Village Singer. He participated in Oberlin in Italy where he performed Elvino in La Sonnambula. Mr. Lee was a Metropolitan Opera National Council, New York district winner in 2006 and 2008. He will return to Santa Fe in 2009 and perform the headman in the world premiere opera "The Letter," cover Ong in the same opera, and cover admete in Gluck's opera Alceste.
Uldarico Sarmienton, Apprentice Technician
Peru is the home of Uldarico Sarmiento who will work with the props/crafts department in the Technical Apprentice Program. He received an International Baccalaureate from Markham College in Lima, Peru. He began studying architecture at the University of Oklahoma and is currently in their scenic design program. While at the University of Oklahoma, he served as the scenic designer for Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout. He was the props crew head for OU's productions of An Evening of Moliere and Romeo and Juliet. Currently, he is serving as the undergraduate scene shop assistant for the University of Oklahoma School of Drama. For the Waco Children's Theatre he was both the assistant designer and puppet craftsman for Leonardo and the Flying Machine. He has received the Doug Getzoff Up and Comer Award in Region VI Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) as well as an honorable mention for excellence in scenic design.
2007 Apprentice Singers
Claudia Huckle, Apprentice Singer
British mezzo-soprano Claudia Huckle is a 2004 Grand final winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a recent graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera.
Engagements this season included Irene in Tamerlano (with Plácido Domingo and David Daniels) 2nd Maid in Elektra, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Zerlina in the Young Artist performance of Don Giovanni. Miss Huckle sang further performances of Zerlina with Opéra de Monte-Carlo. Concert engagements included Handel's Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC
During the 2006-2007 season she made her Washington National Opera debut as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly conducted by Maestro Plácido Domingo, was seen as Siegrune in Francesca Zambello's production of Die Walküre (with Plácido Domingo as Sigmund) and covered the role of Karolka in Jenufa. She also performed La Ciesca and Dorabella in the Young Artist performances of Gianni Schicchi and Così fan tutte. Ms. Huckle spent the summer of 2006 as an apprentice artist at Santa Fe Opera where she sang the Page in Salome, covered Anne-Sofie von Otter as Carmen and the Third Lady in The Magic Flute. She returned to Santa Fe last summer to cover Dorabella in Così fan tutte.
2006-2007 concert performances included Mozart's Requiem on a US and European tour with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Ms. Huckle performed Handel's Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony and the role of Emilia in Rossini's Otello with Washington Concert Opera. She was also seen as the Slave in a concert performance of Salome with the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington DC and also sang with Sarah Walker in a private recital in the UK.
In the 2005-2006 season she sang Nancy and Mrs Herring in Albert Herring, Third Lady in The Magic Flute and Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, all for the Curtis Institute Opera Theater. She also performed the role of the Fox in The Little Prince for Boston Lyric Opera and sang Bach's St. Matthew Passion on a European tour, again under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. During the summer, Ms. Huckle joined the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival where she performed solo song recitals.
Ms. Huckle has been a recipient of the Sybil Tutton Award, a prize winner at the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and the Sullivan Foundation Competition, and the Grand final winner of the Thelma King Award for Singers.
Ms. Huckle studied at the Royal College of Music (Foundation Scholar), New England Conservatory (Presidential Scholar), and the Curtis Institute of Music. Between 2000-2004 she worked as a street musician singing arias in Florence, Venice, Rome and Covent Garden. She is a student of mezzo-soprano Heidi Skok.
Jesús León, Apprentice Singer
Tenor, Jesús León, a native of Hermosillo, Mexico, most recently sang the role of Edgardo in Riverside Lyric Opera's May, 2008 performances of Lucia di Lammermoor. He had just returned from Europe where he sang the role of Rudolfo in La Bohème and Alfredo in La Traviata in Viterbo, Italy and covered Cavaradossi in Tosca at Royal Albert Hall in London, England. In January he sang at the Solti 10th Anniversary Concert at Wigmore Hall in London.
Upcoming engagements in 2008 include a recital for the American Institute of Fine Arts in Los Angeles in September, a concert with Opera del Noroeste and the Sonora Philharmonic in October and 4 concerts with the Orchestra of Bangkok in Thailand in November. In 2009, Jésus will cover Don José in Carmen with Raymond Gubbay Ltd. at Royal Albert Hall in London in February and sing 6 concerts at the Classical Spectacular concert also in Royal Albert Hall in March.
In the summer of 2007, Jésus joined Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Singer Program and covered the role of Ferrando in Così fan Tutte. He was an inaugural member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program for 2006/2007 at LA Opera.
In April 2007, Jesús performed concerts for the Italian Ambassador in London and for the Princess of Chimay in Brussels. He was a member of the 2006 Solti Accademia di bel Canto where he was coached by Mirella Freni and performed three concerts under the conductor Gianna Fratta in Castiglione della Pescaia, Grosseto and Firenze, Italy. Also in 2006 he covered Lindoro/Almaviva in The Opera Theatre of St. Louis's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
At the 2005 New Opera Festival di Roma, Jesús performed the roles of Rodolfo, and The Duke of Mantua under the conductor Stefano Vignati. With the Festival Euromediterraneo he sang the tenor solo in Carmina Burana in the Roman Amphitheater Ostia Antica under the conductor Laura Simionato. Soon after, he joined the prestigious Boston Opera Institute where he performed the leading tenor roles in Weill's Mahagonny and Youkali, as well as in Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, and A Month in the Country under the conductor William Lumpkin.
In 2004, Jesus performed the role of Nemorino in L'Elisir d'amore with the Sonora Philharmonic in Mexico and sang the lead tenor role of Leonardo in the world premiere of Ian Krouse's opera, Lorca, Child of the Moon with UCLA Opera Studio in Los Angeles.
In addition he has performed concerts in Los Angeles's Herbert Zipper Hall, the Ernesto Lecuona Hall, the Teatro America, the Museo de la Musica in Havana, Cuba, at Arizona University, and in Palm Springs. He performed as featured soloist at the 2005 and 2007 Equestrian World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, an event televised by NBC Sports. Subsequently, Jesus has been invited frequently to perform at other prominent equestrian events around the United States. He has won grants from the Peretti Foundation, Vilcek Foundation, Solti Foundation, Palm Springs Opera Guild, Institute Sonora of Culture and Opera Buffs of Los Angeles.
He has studied with Vladimir Chernov, Juliana Gondek, Mark Oswald, Cesar Ulloa, Sharon Daniels, Stephen Lord, William Vendice, Tito Capobianco, Jesus Li and Marybel Ferrales.
2006 Apprentice Singers
Hak Soo Kim, Apprentice Singer
Tenor Hak Soo Kim is in his first year of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at LA Opera. In his debut season at LA Opera, Mr. Kim will perform the roles of Remendado in Carmen, First Priest in Die Zauberflöte, and Gastone in La Traviata in which he will also cover the role of Alfredo. Mr. Kim graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in German and wrote his thesis on German postunification literature at Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany. While at Northwestern University, he sang Fenton in Falstaff and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. As a member of Opera Colorado’s Outreach Ensemble, he performed the roles of Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, and Alberto in La Curandera. Recently he appeared in apprentice performances at Santa Fe Opera as Matteo in Arabella and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a concert artist, Mr. Kim sang the tenor soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Monmouth Civic Chorus. In the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Kim was the second place winner of the Rocky Mountain Region.
Paula Murrihy, Apprentice Singer
Mezzo-Soprano Paula Murrihy is a native of County Kerry, Ireland. She received her Bachelor in Music from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin before going on to study for a Masters in Vocal Performance at New England Conservatory, where she was the recipient of the prestigious John Moriarty Presidential Scholarship and the Presser Award.
Paula has participated in many young artist programs including the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program, the Tanglewood Music Center, William Walton Foundation, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Santa Fe Opera and the 2007 Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera.
Recent operatic performances include the title role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Messagiera in Monteverdi’s Orfeo with the Handel and Haydn Society, Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote with the Santa Fe Opera, the title role in Ariodante for Emmanuel Music, the Good Witch in Susa’s Transformations with Wexford Festival Opera and Lucy Perez in the World Premiere of Hotel Casablanca by Thomas Pasatieri.
An accomplished recitalist, Paula has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, UK, Wexford Festival and was featured in this season’s New York Festival of Song with Steven Blier at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall.
Recent engagements include performances as Dido in Italy at the Teatro Comunale, Bologna and Ino in Opera Boston’s production of Semele. In 2008 Paula appears as 2nd Lady Die Zauberflöte and Tebaldo Don Carlo for Oper Frankfurt and will also make her Royal Opera House debut as Tebaldo in the new production of Don Carlo with Antonio Pappano.
2005 Apprentice Singers
Richard Cox, Apprentice Singer
American tenor Richard Cox possesses a remarkable voice that combines lyric and heroic qualities, equally suited to opera, concert, and recitals.
In the 2008-2009 season, Mr. Cox will debut a number of important roles as a member of the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt. These roles will include Florestan in 'Fidelio', Matteo in 'Arabella', Peter Quint in 'The Turn of the Screw', and Aegisth in 'Elektra'. In addition to his performances in Frankfurt, Mr. Cox will be seen as Sergei in 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk' at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile. Mr. Cox will perform a National Artist Residency in Hammond, Louisiana under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
Last season, Mr. Cox made his Los Angeles Opera debut as Ruprecht in Viktor Ullmann's 'Der zerbrochene Krug' conducted by Maestro James Conlon. He was the tenor soloist for a series of Beethoven Ninth Symphony performances with the Seattle Symphony (Gerard Schwarz, conductor). Mr. Cox performed Marc in the United States premiere of Dame Ethel Smyth's 'The Wreckers' with the American Symphony Orchestra and also performed recitals at Tennessee Technological University and Austin Peay State University under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Mr. Cox sang Claudio in the first fully-staged North American production of Wagner's 'Das Liebesverbot' at Glimmerglass Opera.
Mr. Cox recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Erster geharnischter Mann in Julie Taymor's highly acclaimed production of 'Die Zauberflöte'. He also participated in 'Idomeneo' at the Metropolitan Opera and 'Jenůfa' at both the Metropolitan Opera and Washington National Opera. Richard Cox also returned to the Staatsoper Dresden in Germany for his formal debut as Adolar in Weber's 'Euryanthe'.
A seasoned recitalist, Mr. Cox has been seen at New York's Austrian Cultural Forum and Brown University, in the recital program 'Traum' with pianist Thomas Bagwell. He has also performed in 'Spring Will Come Again' with pianist Steven Blier at Lincoln Center's Stanley Kaplan Penthouse. In December 2006, the versatile tenor joined the roster of the Marilyn Horne Foundation for their On Wings of Song recital series.
Highlights of past seasons include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony, and Laredo Philharmonic, concert performances of 'Fidelio', 'Turandot', and the "Verdi and Shakespeare" concert with the Collegiate Chorale and Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, Don José in 'Carmen' with Central City Opera, New Jersey's Westfield Symphony Orchestra and the North Jersey Philharmonic, the title role in Igor Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex', Lensky in 'Eugene Onegin', Sam in Carlisle Floyd's 'Susannah', and Canon Fulbert in the world premiere of Stephen Paulus's 'Heloise and Abelard' with the Juilliard Opera Center.
The recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, Richard Cox has earned grants from the George London Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, Opera Index Inc., the Olga Forrai Foundation, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and the Shoshana Foundation. He has been honored with a Lucrezia Bori Grant for foreign study, the Vocal Arts Honors Recital at Alice Tully Hall, and the Campbell Watcher Memorial Award for singers from Santa Fe Opera. Richard Cox holds degrees from Tennessee Technological University, Florida State University, and The Juilliard School.
2004 Apprentice Singers
Christopher Bolduc, Apprentice Singer
Young baritone Christopher Bolduc recently sang the Faure Requiem and Bach Cantata 106 for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. He also recently performed Lescaut in Puccini's Manon Lescaut at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. He is currently a third year resident artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he has performed Figaro in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Lescaut in Massenet's Manon and Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte. Prior to his studies at AVA, Mr. Bolduc earned his Bachelor of Music from the State University of New York at Purchase and both a Master of Music and an honorary Performer's Certificate from Indiana University. At IU, he performed Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Demetrius in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Bolduc completed young artist apprenticeships at the Santa Fe Opera.
Mr. Bolduc has won prizes in numerous competitions, including Licia-Albanese Puccini Foundation, the Loren Zachary Society, the Opera Index Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Fritz and Lavinia Jenson Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Liederkranz Foundation, the Classical Singer Convention, the Florida Grand Opera Voice Competition and the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition. He was a national semifinalist in the 2007 and 2008 Metropolitan National Council Auditions.
In 2007-08 at AVA, he performed Lescaut in Manon and Gugliemo in Così fan tutte. This season will see him as Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Upcoming in the 2009-10 season at Fort Worth Opera is Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore. Other roles in preparation include Marcello in La Boheme, Valentin in Faust and Silvio in I Pagliacci. He is a student of Bill Schuman.
Sonja Bruzauskas, Apprentice Singer
Praised for a 'lustrous' voice with 'gorgeous timbre' and 'youthful vigor', Mezzo Soprano Sonja Bruzauskas 'entrances audiences' throughout the United States.
Ms. Bruzauskas most recently performed two recitals at the Mainely Music Festival in Boothbay Harbor, the role of the Sorceress in Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' as well as the Alto solo in Stravinsky's 'Les Noces' with DA CAMERA Houston, the Alto solo in Händel's 'Messiah' with the Symphony of Southeast Texas and a one-woman- show with the title: 'One Woman's Voice'.
Other appearances include Monteverdi's 'Madrigals of Love and War' with Ars Lyrica Houston, a Musical Gala, the Alto solo in Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and several solo recitals. Upcoming engagements include Mozart arias with the Houston Chamber Symphony, Cantata 79 with Houston's Bach Society, a concert with Ars Lyrica and several Cabaret shows and solo recitals.
Sonja's repertoire embraces a wide range of operatic roles (Rosina in 'The Barber of Seville', Hänsel in 'Hänsel und Gretel', Nancy in 'Martha', Beatrice in 'Beatrice et Benedict', Orlovsky in 'Die Fledermaus', The Mother in 'Amahl and the Night Visitors', to name a few), Musical Theatre ( Eliza in 'My Fair Lady', Anita in 'West Side Story', Mary Magdalene in 'Jesus Christ Superstar', as well as Concert (Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Händel's Messiah, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, St. John's Passion, Christmas Oratorio, Caldara's Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi's Gloria, Durufle's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and many more).
Sonja made her professional Opera debuts singing Hänsel in 'Hänsel und Gretel' with the Nordharzer Staedtebundtheater as well as Nancy in 'Martha' with the Staatsoperette Dresden, Germany, where she was under a full-time soloist contract for several years prior to her move to the United States. In the US, Sonja made her debut covering Beatrice in 'Beatrice et Benedict' and singing the Maidservant in 'Simon Boccanegra' during her stay as Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.
Sonja holds a diploma in Voice, Dance and Acting from the 'Folkwang Hochschule', Essen, Germany, and a Master of Music degree in Opera from 'Manhattan School of Music' where she studied with Marlena Malas.
Besides being a performing Artist, Sonja serves as Artistic Director for the non-profit organization 'Divas World Productions', an organization that produces Sonja's artistic creation known as the Song Salon Series.
Sonja lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Houston Haymon, and their two daughters, Clara Sophie and Emilia Marie.