Bass Adam Lau recently completed his Master of Music degree at Rice University. In 2012, he performed Leporello in Don Giovanni with West Bay Opera. He also made his debut with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra singing Boris in the “Coronation Scene” from Boris Godunov. In May 2012, he covered Masetto in the LA Philharmonic’s first fully produced opera of Don Giovanni led under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. During the 2012-13 season at FGO he performed the roles of Colline in La Bohème, Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Alessio in La Sonnambula, and Barone Douphol in La Traviata. In April 2013 he won the First Place Troy Moss Memorial Award in the Young Patronesses of Opera competition. He also returned to the LA Philharmic to cover the roles of Antonio and Bartolo in their production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
His participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. David Melin
Cuban-American soprano Betsy Diaz has been a Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2011 and 2013) and a Semi Finalist in the Marcello Giordani International Voice Competition (2013). Ms. Diaz was recently seen with the Symphony of the Americas in “Hispanic Heritage: An Evening of Zarzuelas” where she performed the title arias from two of Ernesto Lecuona's zarzuela classics, Rosa la China and Maria la O. Last year, Ms. Diaz was seen with the Miami Symphony Orchestra performing music from Massenet's Hérodiade. Previously, as a Resident Artist at Palm Beach Opera, she prepared roles including Desdemona in Otello, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Micaela in Carmen. Ms. Diaz currently resides in Miami where she studies with Manny Perez.
Her participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by R. Angel and Alba González
Mezzo soprano Caitlin McKechney’s most recent engagements in 2013 include the roles of Third Lady in The Magic Flute and Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Nashville Opera, and Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera Memphis. Other operatic credits include the title role in Carmen, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, the title role in Cendrillon, Nancy in Albert Herring, Meg Page in and The Mother in Stravinsky’s Mavra. Equally versed in musical theater and operetta, Ms. McKechney has been seen in such roles as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Lilli/Katherine in Kiss Me Kate, Tessa in The Gondoliers and the Witch in Into the Woods. Additionally, she is a member of the new music ensemble “Hotel Elefant” in New York City and is one of the founding members of “The Opera Cowgirls,” a performing group that aims to bring opera to the masses.
Her participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by Terry and Louise Moore.
American baritone Carlton Ford recently made his international debut at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet singing the principal role in John Adams’ I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, as well as with the Crested Butte Music Festival in the title role of Victor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis. In the 2011-12 season, Mr. Ford made his Houston Grand Opera debut as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and sang John in the company’s world premiere of John Glover’s New Arrivals. Other highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut during the 2008 opening night gala, “A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein,” under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas alongside Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, and Thomas Hampson, which was filmed for PBS and released on DVD. Mr. Ford can also be seen and heard on the “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcast of Carousel with the New York Philharmonic, and in the HBO series Masterclass with Plácido Domingo.
His participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by Ms. Linda T. Smith.
American tenor Casey Finnigan has performed numerous roles and garnered awards and accolades on a national level. Notable competition prizes include First Place (Collegiate Level-Men’s Opera Division) in The American Prize Competition, and Grand Prize (Collegiate Level-Men’s Voices) in the Federation of Music Clubs National Competition. In the past five years he has performed over fifteen roles, including Rodolfo in La Bohème, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don José in Carmen, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. Mr. Finnigan recently completed his tenure as an apprentice with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, where he performed the role of the Steueman in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, and appeared as the tenor soloist in the Kansas City Ballet’s production of Carmina Burana.
His participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by Harriet G. Mertz.
Haitian-American soprano Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste is fast-emerging in the opera world, well-suited to the roles of Puccini, Verdi, Strauss, Mozart, and the operas of the verismo genre. She recently made her debut with Orchestra Miami in the role of The Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and completed her second and final year as a Principal Resident Artist with Opera San Jose. During her time there, she appeared as Marguerite in Faust, Violetta Valery in La Traviata<, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Mimi in La Bohème, and the title roles in Tosca and Anna Karenina. She has sung in masterclasses for Marilyn Mims and Sherrill Milnes, and was a finalist and Wagner Society of Northern California Award Winner in the 2011 Irene Dalis Vocal Competition.
Her participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by the Leibowitz-Greenway Family.
A native of Uruguay, tenor Martin Nusspaumer has performed throughout South America, the United States and Europe. He was recently a finalist in both the Southern Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition. In his home country he performs chamber music, solo recitals, and operas roles regularly such as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, Alfredo in La Traviata, and Florville in Il Signor Bruschino. He moved to the United States in 2006 and has since appeared in productions with the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the College of Charleston, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in Copland’s The Tender Land, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, and Fenton in Falstaff with the National Opera of Uruguay, among others. He recently appeared as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Solis of Montevideo, as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Orchestra Firenze, and in concert with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and Miami Symphony Orchestra.
His participation in the Young Artist Studio is generously sponsored by Marvin and Isabel Leibowitz.
Mezzo soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis’ numerous opera credits include the Owl in the American Premier of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland with Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Zita in Gianni Schicchi at Aspen Opera Theatre Center, the Nurse in Decoration by Mikael Karlsson with the Manhattan School of Music and American Opera Projects, the Countess in Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame with the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera on the Avalon. Also a frequent recitalist, Ms. Bryce-Davis has studied at the Franz Schubert Institute, and worked with Elly Ameling, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, Marilyn Horne, Deborah Polaski, Kenneth Merrill, Rudolf Piernay, Barbara Bonney, Robert Holl, and Rudolf Jansen.
Her participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by the Estate of Curtis and Grace Panvini Rice.
Rebecca Henriques holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois and is an award-winning scholarship graduate of Wake Forest University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in vocal performance. She is the recipient of numerous honors, awards and scholarships for vocal artistry. She has performed the roles of Casilda in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers and Virgin Mary in the Ramon Dominguez’s world premiere of Bernadette in Lourdes, France. She has also performed partial roles including Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème, Ella in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance. Ms. Henriques was an Encouragement Award recipient in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. She recently participated in the Aspen Music Festival on a full scholarship, where she performed in scenes from Così fan tutte, La Bohème and . She was also a participant in the Barcelona Festival of Song. Ms. Henriques is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
Riley Svatos is a lyric soprano who recently graduated from the Master of Music program at Indiana University, where she studied with Costanza Cuccaro. Originally from Lake Andes, South Dakota, she received her Bachelor’s in Music Education from South Dakota State University in 2011. In 2012, Ms. Svatos was the grand-prize winner of the Franco-American Vocal Academy Grand Concours de Chant, and was awarded the Winston Scholarship from the National Society of Arts and Letters. She also won an encouragement award at the Indiana District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in the 2012-13 season. Ms. Svatos appeared with Indiana University Opera Theater as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni this past September, and in June she made her professional debut as Countess Almaviva in Arbor Opera Theater's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Other performance credits include Diana in Orphée aux Enfers, Mimi in La Bohème, and Daughter in Philip Glass’ Akhnaten.
Her participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by The Anne E. Leibowitz Fund.
Baritone Thomas Lehman recently received his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he sang leading roles in Assassins, Il matrimonio segreto, Manon, and The Bartered Bride. A student of Carol Webber, he has worked with coaches and conductors including Benton Hess, Margo Garrett, Martina Arroyo, Graham Johnson, Russell Miller, Jean Barr, Brad Hougham, Enza Ferrari and Brian DeMaris. Mr. Lehman won first place and the Lynne Clarke Vocal Prize at the 2010 Friends of Eastman Opera Competition, and first place in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition. This past summer, he made his debut at Chautauqua Opera as a studio artist, won an encouragement award at the 2013 MONC Auditions, and received the Grand Prize at the Orpheus Competition in Nashville, TN. He made his professional debut in 2010 as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with the Delaware Valley Opera. Mr. Lehman earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College.
His participation in the Young Artist Program is generously sponsored by Anonymous
We also thank the following Young Artist sponsors for their support of the program:
Ms. Alicia Celorio, Do Unto Others Trust
for underwriting the Young Artist master classes and recitals in the community
Estate of Curtis and Grace Panvini Rice
for underwriting FGO’s Young Artist program in perpetuity
Mr. Samuel M. Townsend
for underwriting the cost of health insurance for the Young Artists