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Opera Memphis Welcomes 2022 Ensemble Of Handorf Company Artists

The incoming ensemble represents an exciting first for the company: welcoming a collaborative pianist alongside two talented rising stars of opera.

Opera Memphis Welcomes 2022 Ensemble Of Handorf Company Artists

The Opera Memphis Handorf Company Artist program will welcome three exciting new talents to Memphis this February. Since the inaugural 2018 roster of young artists completed their tenure, the HCA program has continued to serve as a training program for rising talent from across the country, welcoming a half dozen artists to this impactful, community-oriented program.

Opera Memphis is keenly focused on cultivating the talent, skills, and stewardship required to ensure a thriving career in the arts through robust performance opportunities and community engagement in a vibrant, multi-disciplinary music scene. Beyond the pursuit of artistic excellence, it seeks to provide the entrepreneurial mindset necessary for citizen-artists to champion opera in the 21st century. The incoming ensemble represents an exciting first for the company: welcoming a collaborative pianist alongside two talented rising stars of opera.

Soprano Keely Futterer has been praised by Opera News as a "high-quality lyric soprano with a keen verbal nuance" and by WAMC Northeast Public Radio as having "one of the most gorgeous voices you can imagine with charm to match." She has performed extensively in China, Italy, and the United States, with career highlights including Elle in La Voix Humaine, the title role of Suor Angelica, Adina in L'elisir d'amore, and Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. A champion of new works, Ms. Futterer has also performed a wide array of contemporary opera, including Isabella Beecher in Victoria Bond's Mrs. President, the Witch Mother in the American premiere of Philip Glass's The Witches of Venice, and Sara Turing in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing as a part of the New Works Forum in New York City with the American Lyric Theatre. Ms. Futterer received her BA from Arkansas Tech University and her MM in Voice Performance and Opera Stage Direction from the Eastman School of Music. In 2021, Ms. Futterer returned to the Eastman School to complete her doctoral degree in Vocal Performance and Literature. She will make her company debut with Opera Memphis as Maya in The Companion, an operatic rom-com about designing the perfect robot lover, at Playhouse on the Square in March. In addition to 30 Days of Opera, which provides a month of free, live opera performances throughout the city of Memphis, Ms. Futterer will also be seen as Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte this spring.

Sergio F. Mandujano is a talented young Mexican-American tenor making his company debut with Opera Memphis as Joe in The Companion. Later this spring, he will perform Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte and participate in 30 Days of Opera. Sergio attended the Seagle Festival in 2021 where he made his company and role debut as Rodolfo in La bohème and performed Broadway excerpts from Hamilton, Follies, and Company. A versatile performer, Mr. Mandujano's favorite roles include Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Tamino in die Zauberflöte, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Harry in Company, Burrs in The Wild Party, and Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone. He received an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nomination for his portrayal of Burrs in The Wild Party and received a Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his interpretation of Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone.

A native of Fairhope, Alabama, Arthur Bosarge is a pianist and coach whose experience spans a variety of styles, including opera, recital, ballet, and musical theater. Career highlights include productions with Opera Birmingham, Mountain Rep Theatre, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Kentucky Opera, Virginia Opera, and Opera North. Mr. Bosarge holds degrees from Mannes School of Music and the University of Alabama.

"Opera is a collaborative art form," says Cris Frisco, Director of the Handorf Company Artist Program. "One of the things we can contribute to the industry is developing the next generation of collaborative musicians. While there is a more easily identified career track for singers, young musicians are often left to cobble together freelance careers. I think it's important to offer emerging musicians the opportunity to come and work in a community and develop their skills as part of the organization."

These distinguished artists will join Opera Memphis for the remainder of the winter and spring season. Keely Futterer and Sergio F. Mandujano can be seen in March in Pygmalion 2.0, a dynamic double bill featuring Donizetti's Pygmalion and Robert Paterson's The Companion, and this spring in Mozart's Cosí fan tutte, a comedic romp filled with hijinks, trickery, and glorious music.

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