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Press Release: 2014/15 Young Artists

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Plácido Domingo announces 2014/15 members of
LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program

Ten incoming artists will join two returnees
for the prestigious program’s eighth season

(Los Angeles) July 28, 2014 — After receiving a record-breaking 600 applications in a single season, General Director Plácido Domingo has selected ten new participants who will enter LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program in the 2014/15 season. Approximately 250 of the original applicants were selected to sing live semi-final auditions in Los Angeles and New York before a panel of LA Opera's music staff and artistic administration. From those auditions, 21 singers were invited to sing a final audition for Mr. Domingo, who made the ultimate selection of the incoming participants.

Incoming Young Artists
Joining the program will be sopranos Vanessa Becerra, Summer Hassan and So Young Park; mezzo-soprano Lacey Jo Benter; tenors Frederick Ballentine, Rafael Moras and Brenton Ryan; bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee; as well as pianists Paul Jarski and Peter Walsh.

Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists

From top left: Frederick Ballentine, Vanessa Becerra, Lacey Jo Benter, Nicholas Brownlee,
Joshua Guerrero, Summer Hassan, Paul Jarski, Rafael Moras,
So Young Park, Brenton Ryan, Peter Walsh, Kihun Yoon

These incoming new artists have emerged from some of the finest training institutions in America and abroad, including Juilliard, the Music Academy of the West, the Wolf Trap Opera's Filene Young Artist program, the Manhattan School of Music, USC's Thornton School of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Rice University, San Francisco Opera Center, Santa Fe Opera, and the New England Conservatory, among others.

They will join two returning members of the program: tenor Joshua Guerrero, returning for a third season after LA Opera appearances including Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor and Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire; and baritone Kihun Yoon, returning for his second season after making his LA Opera debut as the Servant in Thaïs while understudying Mr. Domingo for the role of Athanaël. This makes for the largest class of participants in the program since the 2008/09 season.

About the Program

Created and overseen by Plácido Domingo, LA Opera’s young artist program is a paid residency for performers of exceptional talent who are in transition from academic training to a professional career in opera. After only eight seasons, the program has already established itself as one of the world's premiere training grounds for the opera stars of tomorrow.

LA Opera provides extensive training for participants and gives them the opportunity to further develop their skills through performance opportunities that include performing mainstage roles, covering principal roles, and appearing in young artist concerts and productions. The curriculum includes language training, acting and movement classes and frequent vocal coaching sessions. In addition to working directly with Mr. Domingo, Mr. Conlon and the world-class singers appearing with LA Opera, participants work with faculty members who make up one of the most impressive rosters of industry experts at any opera company in the world: voice teacher Stephen King (Houston Grand Opera, Rice University, Aspen Music Festival), director and acting teacher Paul Curran (Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden), theater instructor Phyllis Katz (Groundlings Theater), vocal coach Yelena Kurdina (Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera) and a host of other leading instructors.

Graduates of the Program
A number of alumni of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program have built prominent careers with important opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Glyndebourne Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Australia, San Francisco Opera, Theater an der Wien, Savonlinna Opera Festival and many others. Recent alumni have also been winners of prestigious voice competitions including Operalia and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and have received grants from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. In LA Opera’s 2013/14 season, principal artists included several former members of the program returning to Los Angeles in major roles—including soprano Janai Brugger as Pamina in The Magic Flute, mezzo-soprano Ronnita Nicole Miller as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff and mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser as Meg Page in Falstaff—as well as several additional alumni returning in supporting roles.

For more information about the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and for bios of all the young artists participating in the program during the 2014/15 season, please click here.

The Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program is generously underwritten
by the Colburn Foundation and Eugene and Marilyn Stein.

Special support for young artist stipends is graciously
provided by Lenore and Richard Wayne.

The program was created with funding from the Flora L. Thornton Foundation.

LA Opera Media Contacts:
Gary Murphy, Director of Communications and Public Relations
gmurphy@laopera.org | 213.972.7554

Shannita Williams, Associate Director of Communications, Social Media
shannita@laopera.org | 213.972.7347


Rolex is the Official Timepiece of LA Opera.
Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.

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