Santiago Ballerini just returned from The Atlanta Opera to debut Tonio at Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment, the Teatro Colón from Buenos Aires singing Lindoro from Rosssini’s L’italiana in Algeri and La Nonne Sanglante from Gonoud at La Comique Ópera in Paris. Last October he made his European debut at The Bordeaux National Opera in France singing Il Pirata from Bellini, and Don Pasquale at the ABAO, Bilbao Opera. Ballerini made his United States debut at the Caramoor Festival in New York as Fernand in “La Favorite” to rave reviews. He returned to Caramoor in July 2017 to sing Gualtiero in Bellini’s “Il Pirata”, and will return in 2018 to debut Rossini’s Tancredi. Ballerini has also performed concerts with The Dallas Opera, Naples Opera, Savannah VOICE Festival and Compañía Minaz in Sao Pablo, Brasil. Read More
Future engagements: Rossini’s Tancredi at Teatro Nuovo in NYC, A Midsummer night’s Dream at Teatro La Zarzuela in Madrid, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amor at Toulon Opera in France, Barber of Seville at The Atlanta Ópera and also at Canada Opera Company.
In 2014, Ballerini was awarded the “Upcoming Opera Singer” in Argentina by the Congress of Argentina and the Argentine Association of Critics. He also was a featured soloist for the “50th MET Anniversary Gala” honoring Sherrill Milnes, and was a scholarship recipient to study with Mr. Milnes. Grand Prize at the “Laguna Magica” international Vocal Competition; He won First Prize at the National Competition of “Festivals Musicales,” Before starting his professional singing career, Ballerini was a pianist for nine years, and also graduate as a Music therapist at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, specializing in addiction treatment.
Jessica Ann Best
Jessica Ann Best is a versatile artist, known for her dramatic interpretation and an easy, beautiful sound that crosses the operatic, musical theater, and concert stage. Ms. Best debuts Gordon Getty’s The Canterville Ghost and Usher House with LA OPERA in June 2018. Best has recorded the new opera, Jane Eyre, on the Naxos label by composer Louis Karchin anddebuted International Carol Suites by Mark Hayes, a DCINY production at Carnegie Hall. Best premiered the role of Alice Ryley, by Michael Ching, with the Savannah Voice Festival. Best is a returning artist, teacher, and director at the Savannah Voice Festival Recently, Ms. Best is touring with Velvet Caravan; an award-winning, cross-discipline gypsy-jazz ensemble. Best has been a featured artist with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, and The Rochester Oratorio Society. She has performed with The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Tampa, The Center for Contemporary Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Nickel City Opera, and Finger Lakes Opera. For more information, please visit: www.jessicaannbest.com.
Sean Christensen has been recognized as a tenor with a full, warm, and lyrical timbre, steadily establishing himself professionally in New York City. He has recently appeared as Itulbo in Caramoor Opera’s production of Bellini’s Il pirata, Le Chevalier de la Force in Sarasota Opera’s production of Les dialogues des Carmélites, Des Grieux in Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s production of Manon, Fernando in Bare Opera’s production of Granados’ Goyescas, as well as Don Ottavio in Opera in Williamsburg’s production of Don Giovanni. Other recent performances include Azael in Bare Opera’s production of Ravel’s L’enfantprodigue, Gastone in Long Island Opera’s La traviata, as Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera in Williamsburg, as well as Tamino in The Magic Flute with the Metropolitan Opera Guild. He was a young artist at Caramoor Opera in 2017 and 2016, where he performed as Oraspe in Aureliano in Palmira. He was an studio artist at Sarasota Opera in 2017 and 2016, where he covered the role of Jaquino in Fidelio, and was awarded the Leo M. Rodgers for Outstanding Apprentice Artist. He was also a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera in 2015, and has performed as a soloist with the American Symphonic Orchestra and with the Mannes Opera. Read More
Mr. Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in music with a focus on singing at Bard College (’11) and received a master’s degree in music at Mannes College in Manhattan (’14). Awarded the Margaret Creal Shafer Prize in Performance and the Dr. Richard M. Siegel Memorial prize for Music as recognition of his talent, both at Bard College, Mr. Christensen has given several recitals at Bard and Mannes, with repertoire focusing on Strauss, Duparc, Tosti, Poulenc, and many others. He has sung under the baton of William Crutchfield, Victor DeRenzi, Jorge Parodi, Joseph Colaneri, James Bagwell, Leon Botstein, and Louis Burkot. He currently studies with Michael Chioldi.
Soprano Megan Cleaveland is thrilled to return to the Savannah Voice Festival as Flora in La Traviata. The 2016-2017 season included a company and role debut with North Carolina Opera’s production of Cold Mountain, return performances to Piedmont Opera as Madeleine Audebert in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night and Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, and a Festival Apprenticeship with the Savannah Voice Festival and Opera as Drama. A recent graduate of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), Ms. Cleaveland’s roles included Micaëla in La Tragédie de Carmen, Elena in Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, Olympia in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera, and The Foreign Woman in The Consul. Previous seasons’ highlights include Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, the soprano solo in Carmina Burana with the UNCSA symphony, the role of La Vierge Marie in Berlioz’s rarely performed L’enfance du Christ with the North Carolina Master Chorale, and a performance of the title role in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, where she studied with soprano Renata Scotto in Mezzano, Italy.
Originally from Miami, Cuban-American soprano Ana Collado has been praised for performing with “dramatic projection, deft coloratura and variegated coloring” (South Florida Classical Review). Most recently, she won VOICExperience’s Opera Idol Award, the Judy Drucker 2018 Artist of the Year award and first place in the Florida district of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
In years past, she has won the Encouragement Award at the Florida district MONC auditions twice and an Encouragement Award at the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria. She was also the First place winner in the 4th year University level at the South Florida district NATS Student Auditions and received an Honorable Mention prize at the Schloss Mirabell Competition in Salzburg, Austria.
Ms. Collado completed her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Miami, where she previously completed the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and earned the Outstanding Music Student of the Year award. She sang the roles of Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Nuria in Ainadamar with the Frost Opera Theater at the University of Miami.
William Desbiens is a young baritone in a long line of baritones (Wellie Desbiens and his father Michel Desbiens). He began singing at the age of sixteen and now, at the young age of twenty, possesses a voice of exquisite beauty and lyric-dramatic quality. In the days where baritones rarely ring with the true full-bodied chiaro scuro, William’s ringing, warm timbered baritone reminds us of the Zancanaro days.Read More
Starting in the fall of 2017 Desbiens has been studying at Mannes School of Music (The new School) under the tutelage of voice teacher Mr. Arthur Levy. Previously he was at the Cegep de Ste-Foy, in Quebec City with Mrs. Danielle Demers. William Desbiens has been chosen to perform at one of the Mannes music festival events next November in the Concert “Mannes Sounds Festival at All Souls Church.” He will perform The Prophet for baritone from the young Mannes alumni composer Stanislav Fridman, a contemporary Russian composer, and an excerpt of the “Prorok” written by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin. In February 2016 Desbeins won first place of a singing contest held in Quebec City called the “Concours de la relève musicale de Québec.” In March of the 2016, he won the first place of the national vocal competition of New York Lyric Opera Theater in New York (High School Division). His winner’s performance took place in April 2016 at Symphony Space on Broadway. William held his first main role as Ange Pitou in the operetta La fille de Mme Angôt by Charles Lecocq.
In July 2016, he performed the role of the Conte di Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart, with the Narni International Vocal Arts Program held in Narni, Italy with Maestro Lorenzo Porzio Principal Conductor of the Orchestra Filarmonica di Roma.
In February 2017, The Lyric Opera Studio Weimar granted him a scholarship to sing the role of Dandini in La Cenerentola by Rossini in Weimar (Germany) from January 21 to February 19, 2017 under the direction of Damon Nestor Ploumis.
Soprano Jessica Fishenfeld, hailed for her “dramatic voice,” “refined sound” (Palm Beach ArtsPaper) and “firmly placed soprano” (Opera News) made her Carnegie/Zankel Hall debut this spring in “Music of Georgia Shreve” with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and is a 2018 Festival Artist with the Savannah VOICE Festival. She recently premiered the role of Kim in Big Jim & the Small-Time Investors with Gramercy Opera/Cutting Edge Concerts, May Fielding (Il gri
Natalie Rose Havens
Natalie Rose Havens, Mezzo-soprano, was most recently seen this summer as the Mezzo in Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox with Chautauqua Opera. Recent roles have included Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Martha Cardona Opera in New York City’s Merkin Hall. Natalie has also been seen as The Marquise of Berkenfield in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment with Opera North. Other roles include the Old Prioress in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with UNCG Opera, the title role in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with Harrower Opera, Miss Todd in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief, Harriett in The Clever Artifice of Harriett and Margaret (Scenes Competition Winner for National Opera Association), Scribe/Maria Magdalena in Phillip Glass’s Galileo Galilei, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, and Marian Paroo in The Music Man. She obtains a Bachelor’s degree from The Florida State University and a Masters degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She currently resides in New York City.
Peter Lake just finished performing as a Resident Artist for Opera North in his role and house debut as Paris in La belle Hélène. Last summer Peter worked as a young artist at Central City Opera where he won the 2016 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Award. In the fall he travelled to Virginia Opera as a Herndon Foundation Young Artist where he covered Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. During the spring of 2017 along with multiple concert engagements Peter performed the Duke in Mississippi Opera’s youth/cover performance of Rigoletto. In May he made his role debut as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Natchez Festival of Music. Other notable roles for Peter include: Spoletta in Tosca and Vogelsang in The Impresario with Central City Opera, Remendado (José cover/youth performance) in Carmen with Mississippi Opera, and Triquet in Eugene Onegin with Chautauqua Opera.
Ting Li, Tenor, is from Zhejiang Province, China. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he studied with Professor Bo Song. In 2016, he received a master of music degree from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Professor Richard Cross. He is currently attending at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University as a first year P.D. student, under the guidance of the legendary soprano Carol Vaness.
Ting has performed as leading tenor role in major opera productions, including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberflüte, Lysander in Midsummer nights dream; Rinuccio/Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi; Young Gypsy in Aleko; Guillot in Manon; Alfredo/Gastone/Guiseppe in La Traviata; Don Curzio in La Nozze di Figaro. Ting continued to perform main role in opera scene performances, including Rigoletto; Il Travatore; Adriana Lecouvreur; Romèo et Julliet; Les Contes d’Hoffmann; L’elisir d’amore; Così fan tutte; Barber of Seville; Die Fledemaus; Hamlet; and West Side Story.
He was invited by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) as one of the soloist to perform at the world renowned Carnegie Hall. In 2014, Ting sang Handel’s Messiah for his debut with the Hartford City Symphony Orchestra.
American soprano Helaine Liebman recently graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music in London with a Masters of Performance, where she studied with Janis Kelly, Simon Lepper, and Gary Matthewman. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, studying with Pamela Hinchman, Alan Darling, and Kenneth Smith. Helaine participated in the Castleton Music Festival 2013 in their Young Artist Training Seminar under the direction of Lorin Maazel and Nancy Gustafson. In May 2015, Helaine was a finalist in the Lies Askonas Competition. Her recent engagements include singing Rosalinda in Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus with Amore Opera in New York City, Suor Angelica at Carnegie Hall for New York Lyric Opera Theatre’s Opera Gala 2016, Fiorilla (cover) in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia with Southwest Opera, Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Westminster Opera, Zaïre in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes with Woodhouse Opera, a recital of new works entitled The Avian Eye at the National Gallery in London, a recital at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a concert of opera scenes in Mumbai.
Puerto Rican soprano Meechot Marrero, hailed by El Nuevo Día as, “a revelation…a young Puerto Rican star with a great career ahead” is a recent master’s degree recipient of the Yale School of Music, and in the 2016/17 season, will join the Deutsche Oper Berlin ensemble, after being awarded the American-Berlin Scholarship from the Opera Foundation. At Deutsche Oper Berlin, Ms. Marrero will perform the roles of Frasquita in Carmen, Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Bianca and Gabriela in La Rondine. She will also return to the Savannah Voice Festival as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Read More
In past seasons, Meechot Marrero has performed extensively in Puerto Rico, performing with the Festival Casals as Trujamán in de Falla’s El retablo del Maese Pedro, Despina in Così fan tutte with the Teatro de la Opera, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Concepción in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, and Rafaela in Vásquez’ La Mina de Oro with the Teatro Repertorio, UPRRP. Concert engagements have included soprano soloist with the Festival Casals in Menotti’s Muero porque no muero, de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileras No. 5 and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Coro de Niños de San Juan and Haydn’s Creation with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Bayamón.
Professionally and during her education at Yale School of Music, Meechot Marrero has performed Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Yale Opera, Despina in Così fan tutte and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Savannah Voice Festival, Norina in Don Pasquale at Opera in Williamsburg in Virginia, Mimi in La Bohème in concert with the Savannah Philharmonic. Concert appearances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Handel’s Messiah with the Hartford Chorale in Connecticut.
A native of Corozol, Puerto Rico, Meechot Marrero is the recipient of the Career Bridges grant from the Schuyler Foundation, and the Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize from the Yale School of Music. Ms. Marrero began her musical studies with the San Juan Children’s Choir, and, after completing a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology at the University of Puerto Rico, received further training from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory and Yale Opera at the Yale School of Music.
Bass-Baritone Jeffrey Martin, a native of Maryland, recently finished his Masters Degree at The Peabody Conservatory at The Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Martin’s Peabody career took flight with The Peabody Conservatory as The Man with the Cornet Case/Puppet-master from Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, of which The Baltimore Sun said: “Jeffrey Martin brings solid tone and exemplary diction…”Read More
This formidable voice was heard singing the roles of Osmin (Die Entfürung aus dem Serail), Sam (Trouble in Tahiti), Sergeant Bouncer (Cox and Box), and the Speaker (Die Zauberflöte) with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater in Cambridge, NY. Jeffrey has soared in opera scenes as Cecil (Maria Stuarda), Leporello, Osmin, and Colline (La Boheme). During his tenure in Baltimore, Jeffrey performed Leporello (Don Giovanni) in Peabody’s collaboration with Lyric Opera Baltimore on the Lyric Opera stage. Recent concert performances include Mozart’s “Great” Mass in C Minor, Mozart’s Requiem Mass, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin and other guest soloist engagements with groups around the country. Internationally, Jeffrey was found performing the role of Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) with La Musica Lirica Festival in Novafeltria, Italy. Perforamnces with the University of Minnesota include Escamillo in the Peter Brooks adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro and the role of Rev. Olin Blitch in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. Most recently he sang the role of Jesus in a staged version of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the University of Minnesota in Collaboration with the Hochschule für Musik Detmold in Detmold, Germany. Jeffrey is currently attending the University of Minnesota pursuing his Doctorate in Vocal Performance.
Marco Nisticò, baritone, joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in 2009-10, where he made his debut as Dancaire (Carmen). Recent engagements include Ford in Falstaff with Colorado Opera, Ping in Turandot with San Diego Opera. Upcoming engagements: Germont with the Savannah VOICE Festival and Opera in Williamsburg, Solo recital with The Savannah VOICE Festival and Musique à Beauregard (France), roles in a comic double bill (Rita+Il Segreto di Susanna) with Sarasota Opera. Mr Nisticò is making his stage directing debut with Opera Southwest (Albuquerque) where he will direct Puccini’s Tosca. Mr Nisticò has collaborated frequently with the Savannah VOICE Festival and VOICExperience since his first appearance as Leporello in 2014, both as singer (Escamillo, Bartolo and concerts) and faculty member. He is frequently seen with Sarasota Opera in roles including Giacomo in Giovanna d’Arco, Germont in La Traviata, Rodrigue in Don Carlos, Francesco Foscari in I Due Foscari. In 2011-12 Mr Nisticò was heard as Dulcamara at the Landestheater in Bregenz, as Gugliemo at the Teatro Regio of Torino and Rigoletto with Sarasota Opera. His appearances with NYCO include Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Schaunard in La Bohème and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. Marco Nisticò is a frequent guest lecturers and coach with various education institution, including McGill University, Manhattan School of Music, IVAI (Tel Aviv), Lidal North (Oslo), VOICExperience and NYU, among others.
Nan Qin, bass-baritone, is a native of Yucheng city, Shandong Province, China. Mr. Qin got his Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from University of North Texas, where he performed the roles of Balli in Werther, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, Devin in Le Devin du Village, and Pandolfe in Cendrillon. He is the finalist of Classical Singer Competition and Lois Alba Aria competition.
Costa Rican baritone Luis Quiros is known for his beautiful voice, brilliant high notes and exceptional musical sensitivity. Quiros’ voice is well suited for the lyric baritone repertoire.
Demonstrating outstanding affinity for singing from a very young age, he made his professional debut at the age of 22 years old singing the role of Schaunard in Puccini’s “La Boheme” with Costa Rica’s National Opera Company (2016). Soon after, he was engaged to sing at a national level a variety of principal and secondary roles including: Melchor froms Menottis’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (2016), Antonio from Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” (2016), the principal baritone part in Orff’s Carmina Burana (2016), Ben from Menotti’s “The Telephone” (2017), and the title role and the role of Masetto in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” (2018). More recently Quiros won the first price in the II Central American Singing Contest and was invited to give a series of concerts in Sicily, Italy with the Erasmus Orchestra under the baton of Italian conductor Elio Orcioulo, marking his professional international concert debut.
Following an excellent performance as a Studio Artist in the Savannah Voice Festival, he was invited as Festival Artist to the 2018-2019 season of the same Festival, marking his professional concert debut in the United States.
Quiros is currently on his second year of his bachelor’s degree in the University of Costa Rica.
Daniel Scofield, a native of Binghamton, NY, debuts with Annapolis Opera as Gideon/Dashwood, after. Earlier this season were performances as Schaunard with Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, Malatesta with Opera at Featherstone in Martha’s Vineyard and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Pacific Opera Project. Later in 2017/2018 Daniel debuts as the title role in Rigoletto with Gulfshore Opera, and Marcello in La Boheme with Opera San Antonio, Germont with the Independent Opera and Hudson Opera Theater; and soloist in the Plano Symphony’s Carmina Burana.
Chad Sonka is quickly becoming a sought after American baritone. His most recent accomplishment is his First-Place win during the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In the Summer of 2016, he joined Central City Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering Scarpia in Tosca. Previous performing credits: Gianni Schicchi (Marco) with Savannah Music Festival; Man of La Mancha (Don Quixote) and Carmen (Dancïro) with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; The Mother of Us All (Virgil T.), The Rape of Lucretia (Junius), Faust (Wagner), Elijah (Elijah) with Manhattan School of Music, and Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Melchior) with Nevada Opera. Mr. Sonka has been a chosen participant of Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, as well as Sherrill Milnes’ VOICE Programs for six years. He was also a featured bass soloist with the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale and Oneota Valley Community Orchestra. Chad is also an active voice teacher and currently serves on faculty at Iowa State University.
Praised for his “verismo” voice, tenor Jonathan Walker-VanKuren has enjoyed a successful career both on and off the operatic stage performing works of the jazz, musical theatre, art song, and opera repertoires. His operatic performances include appearances as Martin in The Tender Land, Reverend Eager in A Room With a View, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, and most recently covering the role of Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon and performing the role of Donald Hopewell in Douglas Moore’s Gallantry. Mr. Walker-VanKuren will spend his summer as a Festival Artist with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre performing a myriad of operatic and musical roles. He will also return for a second year to the Savannah VOICE Festival where he will be a Sherrill Milnes Studio Artist performing the role of Giuseppe in their upcoming production of La Traviata.
Mr. Walker-VanKuren holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Music degree from Michigan State University. He is also an alum of the Chrisman Studio Artist Program with Opera Santa Barbara. During the 2018-2019 season Mr. Walker-VanKuren will be joining Fort Worth Opera as a Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Artist.
Described by critics as “tremendous,” “entertaining” and “talented,” baritone James Wright is a favorite among audiences for his charismatic presence and warm tone. His recent operatic roles include the Sacristan in Tosca, Rev. Gruffydd in Roger Ames’ How Green was My Valley with El Paso Opera, Angelotti in Tosca with Nickel City Opera and Papageno in The Magic Flute with Undercroft Opera of Pittsburgh. This season James will be appearing as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and Bob inThe Old Maid and the Thief with Nickel City Opera and Richard White in Michael Ching’s Alice Ryley with The Savannah VOICE Festival.
Other operatic roles include The Pilot in Portman’s The Little Prince, John Sorel in The Consul, Valentin in Gounod’s Faust, Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Schaunard in La Bohéme and King Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Mary Catherine Wright
Mary Catherine Wright is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she received her Bachelors in Vocal Performance and a certificate in Musical Theatre under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey. She is a 2015 Metropolitan National Council Audition Mid-South Region Finalist and was the first-place winner of the 2012 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. Most recently, Mary Catherine won the Gail Robinson Encouragement Award at the 2017 Metropolitan National Council Auditions. Ms. Wright has enjoyed playing roles such as: Susanna (Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro), Second Woman (Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas), Zerlina (Mozart’s Don Giovanni), Nuria (Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar), Olympia (Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), Carrie (Carousel) Princess (Little Nemo in Slumberland) and Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. In recent years she has also covered the roles of Sister Catherine (Heggie’s Dead Man Walking), Servilia (Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito), and Cosette (Les Miserables). Mary Catherine continues to sing in the Kentucky Opera chorus and enjoys performing Handel’s Messiah throughout the holiday season. On occasion, she enjoys traveling to New York to sing with the National Chorale.
A few of her awards include first place in both the Musical Theatre and Classical divisions of Regional and Divisional NATS from 2010-2016, first place at the Peterson Undergraduate Vocal Competition in November 2014, the 2014 Gail Robinson Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and a national finalist in the High School Division at the Classical Singer Conventions in both New York and California.
Nicholas Giovanni Yaquinto is an American singer praised for his strong stage presence and charismatic voice. 2018 summer engagements include residency with Opera Saratoga, performing Assan in The Consule, Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, and Prince Gabriel in the world premiere of David Little’s Vinkensport. Mr. Yaquinto is returning to The Savannah VOICE Festival for his second year, performing in various concerts throughout the season. In his debut year with the Savannah VOICE experience he performed the role of Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Yaquinto is currently enrolled in his Master’s Degree at Florida State University. Recent engagements include The Wolf in Florida State University Opera’s educational outreach tour of Little Red Riding Hood, Voltaire/ Pangloss/ Martin/ Cacambo in Florida State Opera’s production of Candide, and Il Conte Almaviva in Prague Summer Night’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Since receiving his BMA from Georgia State University in May of 2015 Mr. Yaquinto was named a winner of the 2015 Atlanta District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performed as a featured soloist with the Atlanta Symphony, and made his professional debut at the Atlanta Opera as Paris in Roméo et Juliette.