FLORENTINE OPERA 2014-2015 STUDIO ARTISTS PERFORM A NEW CHILDREN’S OPERA by John Davies

FO News Brief:

The Florentine’s Artist-in-Residence program returns for a seventh season with newly commissioned children’s opera by John Davies

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin—June 9, 2014—The Florentine Opera Company has selected Julie Tabash (soprano) of St. Louis, MO; Lindsay Metzger (mezzo-soprano) of Mundelein, IL; Aaron Short (tenor) of Kansas City, MO; and Pablo Siqueiros (baritone) of San Diego, CA, as Studio Artists for the Florentine Opera Company’s 2014-2015 season.

Approximately 200 aspiring opera singers audition for the Florentine Opera Company’s four Studio positions. From September through May of each year, the Florentine Opera Studio Program offers a residency for four singers beginning their professional careers, providing stage experience and training essential to their career development.

“I am delighted that this seventh class of exceptional artists will join the Florentine for the 81st season as Studio Artists as we continue this important professional development initiative,” notes General Director William Florescu. “We are happy to welcome mezzo-soprano Lindsay Metzget along with the return of soprano Julie Tabash, tenor Aaron Short, and baritone Pablo Siqueiros, all of whom bring a wealth of career potential to the Florentine. These young artists are representative of the exciting talent that is in the field today. The Florentine’s artistic team looks forward to helping these artists achieve their career goals during the coming season.”

The 2014-2015 Studio Artists will sing choral, supporting and comprimario roles during each of the Florentine Opera’s mainstage performances; Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights, Aldridge and Garfein’s Elmer Gantry and Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love. They will also serenade audiences with classic Viennese Operetta to Broadway revue, From Vienna to the Great White Way, on February 13, 14, and 15, 2015 (Valentine’s Day Weekend).

A major focus of the Studio Artist Program will be to bring the Florentine’s 2014-2015 season children’s touring opera program, Goldie B. Locks & The Three Singing Bears, to over 90 schools and community venues throughout southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to educational programs for younger students, the Studio Artists will also be featured in programs targeting older students.

Through the generous support of the US Bank, Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Charitable Trusts, Sun Lighting, Artbar, and Café Corazon, the Studio Artists will also appear in the @ The Center concert series at our Opera Center in Riverwest. The Studio Artists will participate in four (4) in-studio concerts (with Friday and Saturday evening performances) featuring a variety of repertoire, including selections from the 81st Season, as well as opera classics, holiday songs and cabaret hits. For more information on the @ The Center series, see www.florentineopera.org

ABOUT THE 2014-2015 STUDIO ARTISTS:

Julie Tabash ~ Soprano

Julie Tabash is thrilled to be returning to the Florentine as a second year Studio Artist. Last season, she performed the roles of Annina in La Traviata, and Olympia/Old Blue Lady in John Davies’ children’s opera, Pinocchio, appeared in Festa Fiorentina, a concert featuring the Studio Artists, and @ The Center Series. This past summer, Julie was an Apprentice Artist at Central City Opera, where she performed the role of Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Sister Catherine in Dead Man Walking, and Liesl in The Sound of Music. Other recent roles include Despina in Così Fan Tutte, Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, and solo performances for both musical theater reviews and concerts featuring the music of Verdi with the Pine Mountain Music Festival. Past roles include Rosasharn in the Chicago premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Maureen Reagan in the world stage premiere of the opera-oratorio Reagan’s Children, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring and Papagena in The Magic Flute. Prior to being a Studio Artist with the Florentine, Julie has been a Studio Artist at Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy; a Studio Artist at Opera Theatre of the Rockies’ Vocal Arts Symposium; and an Advanced Artist at the Los Angeles-based OperaWorks. Recent non-operatic roles include soprano soloist in J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, and a series of concerts with Chicago-based ‘no tiny birds’ led by Mr. Alan Darling. She was a winner of Northwestern University’s Concerto and Aria Competition, the recipient of the Central City Opera 2014 Iris Henwood Richards Award, and was awarded three alumni scholarships from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Artists-In-Training program.

Lindsay Metzger ~ Mezzo-Soprano

Our newest addition to the Florentine Opera Studio Artist program, Mezzo-soprano Lindsay Metzger, hails from the Chicagoland area. She most recently finished her second summer with Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist. She will perform the role of Giannetta in Florentine’s production of The Elixir of Love in 2015. Some of her recent roles include: Flora Bervoix cover in Verdi’s La Traviata, Béatrice in Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict, Ariodante in Händel’s Ariodante, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and Beppe in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. With the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s outreach program, Opera in the Neighborhood, Lindsay performed the role of Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. A featured soloist in Chicago, Lindsay debuted with the Grant Park Symphony as the soprano soloist in Fauré’s Requiem. Lindsay was recently awarded the Paul Collins Fellowship from University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Virginia Cooper Meier Award from the Musician’s Club of Women, and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Next year, Lindsay will be a member of the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Aaron Short ~ Tenor

Aaron Short is excited to return for a second year as a Studio Artist with the Florentine. Mr. Short spent the summer of 2014 at The Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering and singing the role of First Prisoner in Fidelio. This season, Aaron performed the role of the Steersman in The Flying Dutchman with the Florentine Opera. He has also been a Young Artist with Chautauqua Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, and Opera in the Ozarks. Aaron is a recent graduate of Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he sang Bégearss in The Ghosts of Versailles, Nicias in Thaïs, and Jimmy Mahoney in Aufstiegund Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, for which the New York Times praised him for his “simultaneously subtle and shattering performance.” Other opera credits include Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Des Grieux in Manon and the title roles in Faust and Albert Herring. He was the recipient of the Singer of the Year award at the NATS Regional Competition (2010), a two-time finalist at the Naftzger Young Artist Competition sponsored by the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and was recently a winner at the Milwaukee District Met Competition.

Pablo Siqueiros ~ Baritone

Pablo Siqueiros is pleased to be returning for his second year in the Florentine Opera Studio Artist program. In his past season with the Florentine he performed roles including Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Curio in Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Dr. Dulcamara and The Wolf in John Davies’ children’s opera, Pinocchio; and he appeared in La Bohème, Festa Fiorentina, and the @ The Center Series. Additionally, he was a Young Artist with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, where he performed the roles of Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Jean Paul in the world premiere of French Suite, and covered Schlemil in The Tales of Hoffman. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Siqueiros sang the title role in Don Giovanni with Bay View Music Festival. In 2011 he participated in the Los Angeles-based OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program under the direction of Ann Baltz. Mr. Siqueiros has received top awards from the Virginia Hawk Vocal Scholarship Competition, NATS San Diego Chapter Auditions, and SDSU Symphony Orchestra Soloist Competition. The San Diego native received his Bachelor of Music Degree from San Diego State University, where his passion for opera began. While at SDSU, he performed the roles of Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief and Ko-Ko in The Mikado. He also received his Master of Music degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he performed the roles of Interpreter/2nd Doctor in Daron Hagen’s Amelia, Silvester in Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters, and the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte.

 

INFORMATION / INTERVIEWS

For additional artist information or to schedule an interview, please contact Richard Clark, Director of Marketing & Communications, by telephone at 414/291.5700 ext 213, or via email at rclark@florentineopera.org.

 

ABOUT THE FLORENTINE OPERA COMPANY

The Florentine Opera Company’s productions reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a leader in Wisconsin’s art community and the nation’s sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Audiences enjoy beautiful mainstage productions that include first-rate vocal artistry brought to life by established and emerging international, national and local opera stars. With a foundation of fiscal responsibility, the company continues to grow its artistic and educational programs. Through its outreach and in-school educational programming, the Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences, and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from the Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin, as well as support from corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of Opera America.

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