Five Talents Join Metropolitan Opera's Young Artists Development Program

Five Talents Join Metropolitan Opera's Young Artists Development Program

Five Talents Join Metropolitan Opera's Young Artists Development ProgramBeginning in the 2017-18 season, the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program welcomes five new young artists into the acclaimed program established by Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine in 1980. Along with the returning nine participants, the program will train a new generation of artists, including opera singers, coaches, and pianists.

The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, named after Mr. and Mrs. George Lindemann in recognition for their generous support, was founded to help young artists transition to careers in opera. Since then, 173 artists have graduated the program with notable alumni including Stephanie Blythe, Christine Goerke, Nathan Gunn, Mariusz Kwiecien, Sondra Radvanovsky, and Dawn Upshaw. The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program is considered one of the most prestigious programs for artists because of the quality and scope of resources available to its participants.

This year's participants starting the program include Kidon Choi, baritone, (Seoul, South Korea); Emily D'Angelo, mezzo-soprano, (Ajax, Canada); Gabriella Reyes de Ramírez, soprano, (Meriden, CT); Nate Raskin, pianist/coach, (Boston, MA); and Adrian Timpau, baritone, (Chisinau, Moldova).

The roster of young artists returning to the program are Michelle Bradley, soprano, (Versailles, KY); Rihab Chaieb, mezzo-soprano, (Sousse, Tunisia), Zalman Kelber, coach/pianist, (New York, NY); Ian Koziara, tenor, (Chicago, IL); David Leigh, bass, (New York, NY); Petr Nekoranec, tenor, (Nové Dvory, Czech Republic); Hyesang Park, soprano, (Seoul, South Korea); Valeriya Polunina, coach/pianist, (Tashkent, Uzbekistan); and Kang Wang, tenor, (Harbin, China).

Along with access to daily rehearsals and advanced studies, singers are presented with the unique opportunity to perform on the Met's stage and serve as covers for featured artists. Pianists are considered for assistant conductor duties on the company's music staff.

During the 2017-18 season, all returning young artists will be featured in the following productions: Bradley will sing Clotilde in Bellini's Norma; Chaieb will sing Sandman in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Lola in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, and Laura in Verdi's Luisa Miller; Koziara will sing Enrique in Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel and the Fourth Esquire in Wagner's Parsifal; Leigh will sing le Surintendant in Massenet's Cendrillon; Nekoranec will sing the Third Esquire in Parsifal and le Doyen in Cendrillon; Park will sing Barbarina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel; Wang will sing Mitrane in Rossini's Semiramide; Polunina will be on the music staff of Puccini's La Bohème; and Kelber will be on the music staff of The Exterminating Angel. First year artist Choi will also sing Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly during the upcoming season.

About the 2017-18 Met Opera Lindemann Young Artists:

Michelle Bradley: Soprano, 3rd year

(Versailles, Kentucky)

Soprano Michelle Bradley will sing the role of Clotilde in the Met's new production of Norma to open the 2017/18 season. Other highlights of the upcoming season include her role and house debut as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni at Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Chile), a return to Santa Cruz Symphony for Strauss's Vier letzte Lieder, and a debut with the New World Symphony as part of their chamber music series. She made her Met house debut this past season as a Cretan Woman in Mozart's Idomeneo and performed the High Priestess in Verdi's Aida, all of which was preceded by her company debut as part of the Summer Recital Series in 2016.

Her recent concert appearances include Verdi's Requiem and a Russian tour featuring the music of Gershwin. An avid recitalist, Ms. Bradley has appeared at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Park Avenue Armory, Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concerts, and with Miami Chamber Music. She was the 2014 grand prize winner of The Music Academy of the West's Marilyn Horne Song Competition and completed a nationwide recital tour in May 2015. She earned a master's degree from Bowling Green State University and is a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant and Hildegard Behrens Award.

Michelle Bradley's participation in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program is sponsored by the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.

Rihab Chaieb: Mezzo-soprano, 3rd year

(Born in Sousse, Tunisia, raised in Montreal, Canada)

Mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb will sing the roles of Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Laura in Luisa Miller, and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel in the Met's 2017-18 season. She debuts with Opera Philadelphia in the world premiere of David Hertzberg's The Wake World in fall 2017. She made her Met debut this past season as Zulma in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri and appeared as a Cretan Woman in Idomeneo, both under the baton of James Levine. She was recently featured in recital at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Ms. Chaieb made her debut with Glyndebourne Festival in summer of 2015 as Mercédès in David McVicar's production of Bizet's Carmen and returns there this summer to sing Flora in Verdi's La Traviata. Other notable appearances include Tebaldo in Verdi's Don Carlo at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and Waltraute in Atom Egoyan's production of Wagner's Die Walküre at the Canadian Opera Company, where she was an Ensemble Studio member for two seasons. She was a grand prize winner of the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards Vocal Competition, as well as a prize winner of the George London Foundation Competition and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Chaieb earned her bachelor's degree at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.

Rihab Chaieb's participation in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program is sponsored by the Kern Family, in memory of Ralph W. Kern.

Kidon Choi: Baritone, 1st year

(Seoul, South Korea)

Kidon Choi will make his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2017-18 season as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. Prior to joining the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, he was most recently a student at Mannes School of Music, where he sang Don Alfonso in Mozart's Cosí fan tutte and Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. He has appeared at the Chautauqua Music Festival in the title role of Verdi's Rigoletto and as Marcello in La Bohème. At the Manhattan School of Music, he was heard as Rodomonte in Haydn's Orlando Paladino and as Peter in Hänsel und Gretel. He has performed the role of Amonasro in Aida with the Seoul Metropolitan Opera,and appeared in concert at the Smetana Hall in Prague.

Kidon Choi received First Prize in the 2017 Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition, Third Prize in the 2017 Opera at Opera at Florham Vocal Competition, Second Prize in the 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, the Major Award in the 2016 Opera Index Vocal Competition, and was a grant winner in 2016 The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition.

Mr. Choi earned his professional studies diploma from the Mannes School of Music; he completed his master's degree at Manhattan School of Music, and his bachelor's degree at Hanyang University in Seoul.

Emily D'Angelo: Mezzo-soprano, 1st year

(Ajax, Canada)

Italian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D'Angelo made her European debut in the summer of 2016 at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as her North American debut in the winter of 2017 with the Canadian Opera Company as Zweite Dame in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and covered the title role in Handel's Ariodante. In June 2017, she made her American debut with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Annio in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito.

A winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals, Ms. D'Angelo was also a First Prize winner of the 2017 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, the 2017 Canadian Opera Company Christina and Louis Quilico Awards Competition, the 2016 American National Opera Association Competition, and the 2015 Canadian Opera Company Centre Stage Competition.

In the 2016-17 season, Ms. D'Angelo gave the world premiere of Ana Sokolovi?'s song cycle dawn always begins in the bones in Toronto, as well as the Canadian premiere of Matthew Aucoin's The Orphic Moment with the COC Orchestra. She was invited by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall to sing in The Song Continues and was a two-time fellow at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute in 2015 and 2016.

Ms. D'Angelo received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto, where she was the winner of the Norcop Prize in Song and the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award. She is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.

Zalman Kelber: Coach/pianist, 2nd year

(New York, New York)

Zalman Kelber makes his Met debut in the 2017/18 season joining the music staff for the new production of The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès. This summer Zalman Kelber serves as coach/pianist for the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado and Ravinia's Steans Music Institute in Illinois.

Last summer, Mr. Kelber served as coach/pianist for Summer Opera Tel Aviv's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. In the 2015-16 season, he was a Young Artist with Palm Beach Opera, where he served as assistant coach on Carmen, Don Pasquale, and Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. He was also pianist and continuo player for Don Giovanni at New York's Venture Opera and was on the Music Staff at American Lyric Theatre for their workshop of The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing. In the summer of 2015, he was a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, assisting on productions of Verdi's Macbeth, Vivaldi's Catone in Utica and a workshop of Philip Glass's revised version of Appomattox. Mr. Kelber has been an Opera Coaching Fellow at Aspen Music Festival (L'incoronazione di Poppea and Eugene Onegin) and Resident Artist Pianist and Chorus Master at Shreveport Opera (L'Elisir d'Amore, The Mikado, and Turandot). He also spent several summers under the tutelage of Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival as coach, pianist and harpsichordist (Suor Angelica, El Retablo de Maese Pedro and A Little Night Music) and served as Music Director for the educational outreach tours of both Shreveport Opera and Opera Saratoga.

Zalman Kelber gained his Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Bachelor of Arts in African History from Northwestern University. He earned his Master of Studies in Harpsichord and Musicology at the University of Oxford, UK.

Ian Koziara: Tenor, 2nd year

(Chicago, Illinois)

Tenor Ian Koziara will make his Met debut in the 2017-18 season singing the roles of Enrique in The Exterminating Angel and Fourth Esquire in Parsifal. He also appears with pianist Bradley Moore in recital under the auspices of Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts. This summer, he joins Aspen Music Festival to sing the title role of La Clemenza di Tito. Recent appearances include Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in Weill Recital Hall, Ezekiel Cheever in Ward's The Crucible at Glimmerglass Festival, The Marquis in John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles at Wolf Trap Opera, and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel at Rice University. He was a fellow at Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute and completed training programs at Glimmerglass Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera, Houston Grand Opera's Young Artist Vocal Academy, and Carnegie Hall's The Song Continues.