Florida Grand Opera Announces the 2018-19 Season Studio Artists

Florida Grand Opera Announces the 2018-19 Season Studio Artists

After a national search, Florida Grand Opera (FGO) has chosen three new singers for the 2018-19 FGO Studio. One of the most respected and highly competitive studio programs in the nation, the FGO Studio, led by Artistic Directors Diana Soviero and Bernard Uzan, provides comprehensive career development to emerging artists who have demonstrated potential to make major contributions to the field of opera:

First-year FGO Studio Artists:

  • Isaac Frishman, Tenor
  • Sean Galligan, Baritone
  • Zaray Rodriguez, Mezzo-soprano
  • Returning FGO Studio Artists:
  • Dominick Corbacio, Tenor
  • Benjamin Dickerson, Baritone
  • Simon Dyer, Bass
  • Jessica E. Jones, Soprano
  • Mariya Kaganskaya, Mezzo-soprano
  • Evan Kardon, Soprano
  • Rafael Porto, Bass-baritone

The FGO Studio received applications from over 500 singers; of those, close to 200 were heard in live auditions in Miami and New York. For singers, the audition process begins with a prescreening process that includes a resume plus audio and/or video recordings.

During a residency of up to two years, FGO Studio Artists receive specialized training in voice, acting, movement, language, repertoire development, and style across the traditions of composers. Studio Artists are afforded numerous performance opportunities in major and supporting roles in mainstage productions allowing them to work with world-renowned singers, directors, and conductors. They also participate in a series of concerts, recitals, and educational outreach events, performing in numerous venues across Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

"We have a lot in store for the Studio next season!" said Mitch Roe, Studio Manager. "Not only will the artists will be spending a lot of time on the mainstage, but with seven returning artists, one new artist originally from Miami, and two newcomers to South Florida, we will really be able to collaborate and innovate to connect our audiences to opera."

Founded in 1984, the FGO Studio was established to help emerging artists transition from their academic training to careers in opera. Members commit to an intense, individualized study program while living in Miami from September through May.

2018-19 FGO Studio Artist biographies:

Dominick Corbacio, Tenor, performed Normanno in Lucia di Lamermoor and4th Jew in Salome during the 2017-18 Season at Florida Grand Opera. In 2018, Mr. Carbacio received third place in the Gulf Coast region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. During the summer of 2018, he made his debut as Monostatos in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with The Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, MN. In 2015, Mr. Carbacio was lauded by the New York Times as having given, "one excellent performance after another of the sublime 'Du bist die Ruh,'" after being featured in Mingwei's Sonic Blossom at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Other recent credits include: Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff, The King of Venice in Glass' The Witches of Venice, Prince Sou Chong in Lehár's Das Land des Lächelns, Ernesto in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Steven Todd/Arnold Murray in Chen's The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing, and The Sailor in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Opera Saratoga, Venture Opera, Manhattan School of Music, and American Lyric Theatre. Mr. Corbacio returns to Florida Grand Opera for a third season as Alejandro/Trotsky in Frida, Schmidt in Werther, and to cover Rodolfo in La bohème. For more information about Mr. Carbacio, visit www.dominickcorbacio.com.

Benjamin Dickerson, Baritone, performed 1st Jew in Salome during the 2017-18 Season at Florida Grand Opera. A winner of the 2015 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, Mr. Dickerson has recently been seen in recital on the stages of Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Caramoor Center, Greene Space/WQXR, and Hahn Hall in Santa Barbara. In the summer of 2018, he performs Count Almaviva under the baton of James Conlon in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro directed by James Darrah at Music Academy of the West. In the 2017 season, he returned to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, performing roles in Salome, The Grapes of Wrath, and Ariadne auf Naxos. A native of Vermont, Mr. Dickerson enjoys frequent collaboration with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and the Burlington Choral Society, recently appearing as soloist in Haydn's The Seasons, Handel's Messiah, and François-Joseph Gossec's Messa di Requiem. Other recent roles include the title role in Don Giovanni, Dandini (La Cenerentola), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Valmont (Dangerous Liaisons), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Gaudenzio (Il signor Bruschino), and Ottone (L'incoronazione di Poppea). Mr. Dickerson returns to Florida Grand Opera this season as Schaunard in La bohème, Mr. Rockefeller/Mr. Kahlo in Frida, and Albert in Werther. He will study-cover Marcello in La bohème and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. For more information about him, please visit www.benjamindickersonbaritone.com.

Simon Dyer, Bass, performed Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and 2nd Soldier (Salome) in the 2017-18 Season at Florida Grand Opera. Previously, he was a 2016-17 Emerging Artist at Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) while completing his studies at Boston Conservatory. He was seen at BLO as Keeper of the Madhouse (The Rake's Progress) and Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro). Mr. Dyer has also participated in summer training programs at the Glimmerglass Festival and Santa Fe Opera. Recent appearances include Giorgio (La gazza ladra) at Glimmerglass; Luka (The Bear) and Mr. Grinder (The Zoo) at Odyssey Opera; Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring) with the Boston Opera Collaborative; and Prophet/King (Dark Sisters), Melisso (Alcina), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Immigration Officer (Flight), and Nick Shadow (The Rake's Progress) while at Boston Conservatory. In concert, he recently appeared in Grammy-nominated composer Orlando Jacinto García's Una marea creciente at Faena Forum in Miami Beach. In recital, he has been seen at the Museum of Fine Art (MFA) in Boston and as curator of John Cage's Song Books, also at the MFA. Mr. Dyer received his undergraduate training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in his native London, England. He returns to Florida Grand Opera this season as Colline in La bohème, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, and Calavera #3 in Frida. For more information about him, please visit www.simondyeropera.com.

Isaac Frishman, Tenor, is already making a name for himself with quick-witted stage antics and a voice described as "truly sweet and graceful" (Broadway World). His performance as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola was praised as "a true Rossini tenor with fine coloratura and great high notes" (St. Louis Post). In the 2018 summer season, he made his Spoleto Festival debut as Ghino in Donizetti's Pia de' Tolomei. He has appeared with Kentucky Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis, Merola Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Chautauqua Opera. His role credits include: Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Nemorino (L'elisir d'amore), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), and Henrik (A Little Night Music). He holds a master's degree in vocal performance from Michigan State University and is a student of Metropolitan Opera tenor Richard Fracker. Mr. Frishman makes his Florida Grand Opera debut this season as Basilio/Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, Mr. Ford in Frida, and will study-cover the role of Schmidt in Werther. For more information about him, visit www.isaacfrishman.com.

Sean Galligan, Baritone, is a native of West Des Moines, Iowa. In the summer of 2017, he returned to Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist covering the role of Mr. Redburn in Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd. In the summer of 2018, Mr. Galligan joins Opera Saratoga as an Apprentice Artist, performing the role of Basset in the American premiere of Gareth Williams' Rocking Horse Winner and covering the role of John Sorel in Menotti's The Consul. Other operatic roles include: Germont cover (La traviata) with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, the title role in Eugene Onegin, Joseph De Rocher (Dead Man Walking), and Herr Fluth (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor) with Boston Conservatory Opera; Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), the title role in The Mikado and Sam (Our Town) with Drake Opera Theater, and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) with the Tuscia Operafestival. Mr. Galligan received his master of music degree at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and his bachelor of music degree from Drake University. He makes his Florida Grand Opera debut this season as the Barker in Frida and Brühlmann in Werther. He will study-cover Schaunard and Marcello in La bohème and Albert in Werther.

Jessica E. Jones, Soprano, is quickly establishing herself as a leading American soprano. Her repertoire includes Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Elvira (L'italiana in Algeri), Desdemona (Rossini's Otello), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Corinna (Il viaggio a Reims), Chrisann Brennan in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Musetta (La bohème), the Governess (The Turn of the Screw), Beatrice (Catán's Il Postino), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Lightfoot McClendon (Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree), Lulu (Aldridge's Elmer Gantry), and Rosasharn (Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath). She has performed with Opera San Antonio, Santa Fe Opera, American Lyric Theater, Sarasota Opera, Utah Opera, Utah Symphony, Opera Idaho, Sun Valley Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera in the Heights, Sugar Creek Symphony & Song, and Crested Butte Music Festival. She was an audience favorite and regional finalist of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions and holds a master's degree in performance from the Moores School of Music. Ms. Jones returns to Florida Grand Opera this season as Musetta in La bohème and Cristina in Frida. She will study-cover the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. For more information about her, please visit www.jessicaejones.com.

Mariya Kaganskaya, Mezzo-soprano, performed the roles of Paula (Florencia en el Amazonas) and Page (Salome) in the 2017-18 Season at Florida Grand Opera. She was recently an Apprentice Singer at the Santa Fe Opera, where she premiered the role of Teacher in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, covered the roles of Amelfa in The Golden Cockerel and Wowkle in La fanciulla del West, and was featured in Justice at the Opera, hosted by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, Ms. Kaganskaya appeared as Tisbe (La Cenerentola), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), and Third Wood Sprite (Rusalka). Her other recent roles include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Ottavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea), Serse (Serse), Olga (Eugene Onegin), Hostess (Boris Godunov), Marta (Iolanta), la Nourrice (Milhaud's Médée), Mexican Woman (A Streetcar Named Desire), Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti), and Julia Bertram (Mansfield Park). Mariya earned her master of music degree and postgraduate diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Catherine Cook. Ms. Kaganskaya returns to Florida Grand Opera this season as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Ford/Natalia in Frida, Kätchen in Werther, and will study-cover Charlotte in Werther. For more information about her, please visit www.mariyakaganskaya.com.

Evan Kardon, Soprano, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, performed the roles of Slave (Salome) and Amor (Orfeo ed Euridice) in the 2017-18 Season at Florida Grand Opera. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Kardon will be volunteering at the animal shelter in Doral, Florida, and will be traveling to San Francisco to study at the Goethe Institute and to sing Act II of Die Fledermaus as Adele with the Festival Opera of Walnut Creek. In June of 2017, Ms. Kardon was honored to receive First Prize and Top Audience Choice in the 2017 Lois Alba Aria Competition in Houston, Texas. Last summer, Ms. Kardon returned to the Middlebury Language Institute to continue pursuing fluency in the German language, as well as to sing Susanna in a condensed version of Die Hochzeit des Figaro. Ms. Kardon has participated in numerous young artist programs, including Opera Saratoga, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and IVAI in Montréal, Canada. In January of 2016 she was a district finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Kardon returns to Florida Grand Opera this season as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Ford in Frida, and Sophie in Werther. She will study-cover Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. For more information about her, please visit www.evanlaceykardon.com.

Rafael Porto, Bass-baritone, performed Capitán in Florencia en el Amazonas with internationally acclaimed soprano Ana María Martínez and 1st Nazarene in Salome in the 2017-18 Season at Florida Grand Opera. In 2018, Porto made his debuts at Lincoln Center singing Grenvil (La traviata) and at Nashville Opera singing the Sacristan and Jailer (Tosca). He also returned to Indianapolis Opera in the role of Carrasco (Man of La Mancha). This season, Porto makes his debut at the Northern Lights Music Festival as Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and returns to Nashville Opera to sing Crespel and Luther (Les contes d'Hoffmann). He has been a regional encouragement award winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, grand prize winner of the Orpheus National Music Competition for Vocalists, and a semi-finalist at the Eleanor McCollum Competition with Houston Grand Opera. Porto earned a master of music degree from Indiana University, a bachelor of music degree from Butler University, and trained as a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. Mr. Porto returns to Florida Grand Opera this season as Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro and Johann in Werther. He will study-cover Colline in La bohème and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. For more information about him, please visit www.rafaelwporto.com.

Zaray Rodriguez, Mezzo-soprano, is quickly making her mark as an emerging artist in operatic and concert work. Ms. Rodriguez has been a recipient of multiple grants and competitions including Career Bridges, the Heida Hermanns International Vocal Competition, Society of Arts and Letters National Competition, and most recently, a regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Recently performed roles at the Boston University Opera Institute include Geneviève (Pelléas et Mélisande). Aunt Hannah Watkins (Emmeline), and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro). Other favorite roles include Carmen (Carmen), Mezzo (Philip Glass's Hydrogen Jukebox), L'enfant (L'enfant et les sortilèges), and Federico García Lorca (Ainadamar). In the summer of 2018, she performs the role of Dinah in Bernstein's iconic opera, Trouble in Tahiti, at Aspen Music Festival. Zaray holds a bachelor of arts degree in music from Palm Beach Atlantic University, a master of music degree in vocal performance from the University of Miami, and a certificate in opera performance from the Boston University Opera Institute. Ms. Rodriguez makes her Florida Grand Opera debut this season as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Dimas' Mother/Lupe Marin in Frida. She will study-cover Frida in Frida. For more information about her, please visit www.zarayrodriguez.com.

www.FGO.org

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