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30th Anniversary Season

LA Opera announces incoming members of
Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program

(Los Angeles) May 3, 2016 — General Director Plácido Domingo announced today that he has selected six singers to join LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program in the 2016/17 season. The artists were chosen from 650 applicants, 300 live auditions and, ultimately, 28 final candidates. The finalists auditioned in April for a panel led by Mr. Domingo that included Music Director James Conlon, President and CEO Christopher Koelsch and Senior Director of Artistic Planning Joshua Winograde, who directs the program, along with Nino Sanikidze, head coach for the program.

The six singers are baritone Theo Hoffman, tenor Brian Michael Moore, soprano Liv Redpath, tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli, mezzo-soprano Michelle Siemens and tenor Josh Wheeker. Pianists Aurelia Andrews and Milena Gligić will also join the program, selected via previous auditions for Mr. Conlon.

"I am passionate about discovering performers who show great promise, so the final auditions for our young artist program are a highlight of every season for me," said Mr. Domingo. "The singers that we have selected this year have a truly impressive combination of technical skill, interpretative insight and performance flair. I can't wait to start working with them in Los Angeles this autumn."

The new members of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program will join five current young artists who will return next season: tenor Migran Agadzhanian, bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee, soprano Summer Hassan, baritone Kihun Yoon and soprano Elizabeth Zharoff. Singers in the program will be featured in LA Opera's mainstage productions throughout the season.

About the New Members
Pianist Aurelia Andrews, originally from Olathe, Kansas, will spend the summer of 2016 with the Glimmerglass Festival, where she will serve as pianist for Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, Sweeney Todd and Wilde Tales. Most recently, she was a pianist for several productions at the Butler Opera Center. She has been a coaching fellow with Oberlin in Italy and a participant in the Aspen Music Festival.

Serbian pianist Milena Gligić  is earning her doctorate in collaborative piano at the University of Maryland. She is a core member of NYC-based ensemble Contemporaneous. She has worked with Aspen Music Festival and the Siena Music Festival in Italy. This summer she was awarded a fellowship at the Music Academy of the West, where she will perform Matthew Aucoin’s opera Second Nature.

This season, baritone Theo Hoffman performed Papageno in The Magic Flute and the Director in Les mamelles de Tirésias at The Juilliard School, and Schaunard in La Bohème for his debut with the Atlanta Opera. He has appeared with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the New York Festival of Song. A New York City native, he was a 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finalist.

Tenor Brian Michael Moore joins the Merola Opera Program this summer, appearing in Conrad Susa’s Transformations. A Cincinnati native, he performed the Shepherd in Oedipus Rex with James Conlon at the Cincinnati May Festival, and the Animal Tamer in Der Rosenkavalier as a Cincinnati Opera young artist. He performed the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto with the Asheville Lyric Opera and Brevard Music Festival. He completed his bachelor and master degrees at the Manhattan School of Music.

Soprano Liv Redpath is finishing her master's at The Juilliard School, where her roles include Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias, the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and Diane in Iphigénie en Aulide with MET+Juilliard. This summer, she will sing Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Héro in Béatrice et Bénédict with Aspen Opera Theater Center. A Minnesota native, she has appeared with Wolf Trap Opera and Houston Grand Opera's Young Artists Vocal Academy.

Tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli, a native of Orlando, Florida, holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He was a 2013 Gerdine Young Artist with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He most recently performed Ferrando in Così fan tutte with the University of Michigan Opera Theater and as Gonzalve in L’Heure Espagnole with Oberlin Opera Theater. This summer, he will be an Apprentice Singer with the Santa Fe Opera. 

Canadian mezzo-soprano Michelle Siemens pursued graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Recently, she was an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera and performed with the Greenwich Symphony, Fresh Squeezed Opera and Sherrill Milnes' Voice Experience. Her roles include Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. She has performed with Opera on the Avalon, Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Yorkshire Opera Workshop and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, tenor Josh Wheeker graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He recently was a studio artist with Kentucky Opera, and he has also performed with Des Moines Metro Opera, Dayton Opera and Opera Iowa. This summer, he will appear with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, performing the role of Gobin in La Rondine.

 About the Program
Identifying and encouraging talented young artists with enormous potential is essential to the future of opera. Since its inception, LA Opera has been committed to nurturing a resident ensemble of young singers who would benefit from long-term professional development. The Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, which builds on the success of the company’s earlier, highly respected Resident Artist Program, has the goal of developing the talents of exceptionally gifted young artists to become performers of potentially international stature, whose first loyalty would be to LA Opera.

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 The Lenore and Richard Wayne Young Artist Fellowship. The program was created with funding from the Flora L. Thornton Foundation.

To learn more about the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and its members, click here.

LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.

Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.

LA Opera Media Contact:
Fran Rizzi, Director of Public Relations
frizzi@laopera.org | 213.972.7554


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