Seattle—Seattle Opera welcomes the seven artists selected for the 2012/13 season of its Young Artists Program—a season given in celebration of the Verdi bicentennial.
“The world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth in 2013,” says Brian Garman, Music Director of the Young Artists Program. “Rarely has a composer been able to spin out melodies as skillfully as Verdi. Rarely too has a composer understood the theater as well, or possessed such a passion for the dramatic elements of opera. And no other composer has so fully understood the possibilities of the human voice. The Seattle Opera Young Artists Program is thrilled to dedicate the majority of its upcoming season to performing his music.”
Returning to the program, now in its fifteenth year of training promising young performers for a career in opera, are mezzo soprano Sarah Larsen, from Roseville, MN, and pianist Christopher Lade, from Santa Monica, CA.
New this season are baritone Hunter Enoch of Paris, TN; tenor Theo Lebow of Brooklyn, NY; mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel of Havelock, NC; soprano Dana Pundt of Liberty City, TX, and bass-baritone Matthew Scollin of Walled Lake, MI.
The Young Artists Program (YAP) offers a curriculum that includes public performances in YAP productions and concerts as well as select mainstage roles.
Last season, while a Young Artist, Larsen made her Seattle Opera mainstage debut as Mercédès in Carmen and also sang a critically-acclaimed Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.
This season, in addition to her YAP roles, she will sing Tisbe in La Cenerentola and the First Tourière in Suor Angelica on Seattle Opera’s mainstage.
This month’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio will feature Young Artists Lebow and Scollin (First and Second Prisoners).
In the spring, Nansteel and Pundt will sing the roles of the Nursing Sister and Suor Genovieffa, respectively, in Suor Angelica.
The Young Artists will also bring opera to communities around Washington state with their fall tour of Giuseppe Verdi’s early comedy, King for a Day (Un giorno di regno).
Never before produced by Seattle Opera, King for a Day is the story of a wily rogue who has been roped into impersonating a king.
Compelled to serve as the guest of honor at a double wedding, he adopts the role of matchmaker, provokes a duel, confounds an arranged marriage, and in the end facilitates the triumph of true love—including his own.
Directed by YAP Artistic Director Peter Kazaras and with musical preparation overseen by YAP Music Director Brian Garman, this production of King for a Day will visit Moses Lake (October 26), Ellensburg (October 28), Bellingham (November 1), Tri-Cities (November 4), and Walla Walla (November 8), before returning to Seattle for a one-night final performance at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall on November 17.
Tickets for the Seattle performance are $25 and can be purchased at seattleopera.org/tickets.
Tickets for the fall tour performances can be purchased through each individual venue; venue information can be found at seattleopera.org/yap.
Next spring the Young Artists will end their season with a one-night-only concert, with orchestra and chorus, celebrating this great composer: “Viva Verdi!” on April 6, 2013, at University of Washington’s Meany Hall.
The Young Artists, joined by the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program Orchestra and the Seattle Opera Chorus, will perform selections and scenes from beloved Verdi operas.
Special highlights of the evening include the Overture to La forza del destino, “Va, pensiero” from Nabucco, and the first act of La traviata.
Lead sponsor of “Viva Verdi!” is the Seattle Opera Guild.
About the Young Artists Program
Seattle Opera launched the Young Artists Program in 1998. Peter Kazaras became Artistic Director of the program in 2006 and Brian Garman became Music Director in 2008; Aren Der Hacopian, appointed Seattle Opera’s Artistic Administrator in July 2010, is Director of the Young Artists Program.
The new Seattle Opera Young Artists for the 2012/13 season were chosen from 583 applicants.
Each season, selected singers receive musical and vocal coaching and instruction in language, acting, and how to function effectively in the opera industry.
The Program has helped to launch the careers of many singers: former Young Artists have gone on to perform on Seattle Opera’s mainstage as well as at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, and many others.
Former Young Artists appearing on the mainstage at Seattle Opera this year include Marcy Stonikas (as the title roles in Turandot and Fidelio); Anya Matanovič (as Marzelline in Fidelio); Andrew Garland (as Schaunard in La bohème); and Michael Todd Simpson (as Marcello in La bohème).
Young Artists in Performance
Verdi’s King for a Day
Original Title: Un giorno di regno
Saturday, November 17, 2012, at 8:00 p.m.
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall
200 University Street, Seattle, WA
Box Office: 206.389.7676
Friday, October 26, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.
6989 College Parkway NE
Tickets: $30 reserved seating, $25 general admission, $10 students
Box Office: 509.793.2059
Sunday, October 28, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.
Central Washington University Concert Hall
1309 N Alder
Box Office: 509.963.1216
Thursday, November 1, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.
Western Washington University Performance Arts Center
516 High Street
Tickets: $16 adults, $10 students, $13 seniors
Box Office: 360.650.6146
Sunday, November 4, 2012, at 3:00 p.m.
Chiawana High School Auditorium
8125 Argent Road, Pasco
Tickets: $20, K-12 students free
Box Office: 509.460.1766
Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.
Walla Walla Community College Performing Arts Auditorium
500 Tausick Way
Tickets: $15 adults, $5 students
Box Office: 509.527.4575
“Viva Verdi!” Concert
Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.
University of Washington’s Meany Hall
15th Ave. NE and NE 40th St.
Lead Sponsor: Seattle Opera Guild
Tickets: On sale beginning November 1
For more information, visit seattleopera.org
About Seattle Opera
Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States.
The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon.
Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and 50 states.
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