"Santa Fe's objectives are distinctly American, and by making opera more compelling and more relevant, it has changed the map of musical America..."

                         Phillip Huscher
                         The Santa Fe Opera
     An American Pioneer

    2009 Apprentice Singers Announced


    This summer, 37 young singers came from as far as Germany, Spain, Korea and Buhler, Kansas to the high desert of New Mexico to participate in The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer Program, one of the most respected in the nation.  These talented young vocalists were selected from among a record 1,458 applicants to perform with The Santa Fe Opera during its 53rd season.

    When John Crosby founded The Santa Fe Opera back in 1957, he also created the Apprentice Program for Singers – the first young artist program of its kind.  At that time, many of our country’s finest young voices had to go to Europe to train and often stayed there to pursue their careers. John Crosby believed in the importance of an American opera company that would train and employ young American singers in a diverse repertory – a tradition that continues to this day.

    The Apprentice Singer program affords these young artists the opportunity to work and perform with some of the most respected conductors, directors and singers in the classical music world.  The apprentices form the backbone of the season’s five operas as members of the chorus and in supporting roles.  They receive coaching, lessons in diction and performance and master classes by leading teachers and esteemed artists such as Gianna Rolandi, Corradina Caporello, Gerald Moore, Scott Gilmore, Diane Richardson and Kathy Kaun. 

    Throughout the summer, the apprentices work towards the Apprentice Scenes (August 16 and 23), which give each apprentice a chance to star on the main stage in a review of fully-staged and costumed scenes from favorite operas.  Each Apprentice Scene is designed and costumed by a team of Technical Apprentices, making it an original collaboration between the Opera’s programs for young singers and technicians. 

    For many young artists, the Apprentice Singer Program is a significant benchmark in their professional development.  The program has launched numerous distinguished careers and many former apprentices return to star on the main stage.  This year’s former apprentices include Jennifer Black, Dimitri Pittas and Patrick Carfizzi in The Elixir of Love; Keith Jameson in La Traviata and The Letter;  and Susanna Phillips, Kate Lindsey and Corey McKern in Don Giovanni.

    The Santa Fe Opera’s 53rd summer festival season features 37 performances of 5 operas and runs from July 3 through August 29.  The 2009 repertory consists of La Traviata by Guiseppe Verdi, The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Letter by Paul Moravec and Alceste by Christoph Willibald Gluck. 

    The 2009 operating budget for the Apprentice Singer Program is $627,500.  The program is funded in part by proceeds from the Gala Opening Weekend Celebration, income generated from endowment funds, and contributions to the annual operating fund. Individual singers who have received named apprenticeships are indicated on the list below.


    Complete roster of 2009 Apprentice Singers:


    California                *Aaron Blake (tenor), Palos Verdes
                                         The Newcomb Gladney Seitz Memorial Fund                                                        
                                 *Tom Corbeil (bass-baritone), San Diego
                                   Carin Gilfry (mezzo-soprano), Rancho Cucamonga
                                         de Compiegne-Wallace Foundation
                                 *Lucas Harbour (bass-baritone), Sacramento
                                         Lois C.A. Smith
                                 *Nicholas Pallesen (baritone), Riverside               

    Colorado                  Maria Lindsey (soprano), Fort Collins
                                         Donald & Luke Graham Endowment      

    District of Columbia  *Deborah Selig (soprano), Washington, D.C.

    Illinois                     *Katherine Drago (mezzo-soprano), Western Springs                                                                    
                                          Lois C.A. Smith
                                    Thomas Forde (bass-baritone), Chicago
                                          Mr. & Mrs. Terrence A. Tobias
                                    David Govertson (bass), Chicago
                                   *Erin Snell (soprano), Libertyville             
                                          Drs. Ray & Nancy Lutz

    Iowa                         *Kyle Albertson (baritone), Ankeny
                                           Jim & Jeanne Manning
                                     Heath Huberg (tenor), Milford

    Kansas                       Jessica Dold (soprano), Kansas City
                                   *David Lara (baritone), Buhler
                                           Deborah L. Berkman

    Louisiana                   Brandy Lynn Hawkins (mezzo-soprano), Baton Rouge

    Maryland                    Matthew Morris (baritone), Baltimore
                                            50th Anniversary Apprenticeship

    Michigan                   *Siân Davies (soprano), Rochester
                                            Anne S. & Wade C. Harrison II

    Minnesota                  Andrew Stenson (tenor), Rochester

    Mississippi                 Daniel C. Shirley (tenor), Jackson

    New Jersey                 Kiri Deonarine (soprano), Fair Lawn
                                             Hale Matthews Foundation                                                       
                                    Erin D. Johnson (mezzo-soprano), Washington

    New Mexico                Audrey Walstrom (mezzo-soprano), Los Alamos
                                              The William Randolph Hearst Fund

    New York                   Kevin Ray (baritone), Cornwall
                                              Melody Damon Endowment

    Oregon                     Albert J. Gluekert (tenor), Portland

    Pennsylvania             Joseph Barron (bass-baritone), Pittsburgh
                                   Emily Lorini (mezzo-soprano), Pittsburgh
                                   Emily Grace Righter (mezzo-soprano), Clarion
                                              Isabel & Sam Jewell

    Texas                      Jason Slayden (tenor), Plano

    Washington              *Jennifer Forni (soprano), Seattle
                                   Brendan Tuohy (tenor), Tacoma

    Wisconsin                 *Emily Fons (mezzo-soprano), Milwaukee
                                              Dr. & Mrs. Robert M. Zone

    CANADA                    Michael Nyby (baritone), Hamilton, Ontario
                                              Donald & Luke Graham Endowment

    GERMANY                  *Jennifer Jakob (soprano), Kempten
                                    Rachel Schutz (soprano), Berlin
                                              The Vilcek Foundation, Inc.

    KOREA                      *Sung Eun Lee (tenor), Seoul

    SPAIN                        Jorge Prego (tenor), Vigo
                                              The Vilcek Foundation, Inc.

    *Second-year apprentice


    Press Contact: Joyce Idema, Cindy Layman, Dolores McElroy                                                       press@santafeopera.org

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