The Santa Fe Opera

Skip to main content Skip to search
Side view of theater at dusk with white baffles

Outstanding Apprentice Awards Announced at Santa Fe Opera


Santa Fe Opera recently announced the recipients of its annual Outstanding Apprentice Awards

Chorus in Vanessa

Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Opera recently announced the recipients of its annual Outstanding Apprentice Awards. Each season some of the most talented young singers and technicians take part in the Apprentice Program, where they receive intensive training and play critical roles in the creation, both on stage and off, of the season’s five mainstage productions. Their work culminates in two nights of fully staged and costumed Apprentice Scenes, created and performed solely by the apprentices.

Since the Opera’s founding in 1957, the company has worked to foster the development of young artists and technicians. The apprentice programs have grown in reputation to become some of the most rigorous and selective of their types, with many prominent singers, designers, and directors naming the program as an essential step in their careers.

The Apprentice Program’s 2016 budget was funded in part by the Opera’s annual fund, income from endowment funds, and proceeds from the Opening Weekend Celebration and Summer Gala. Of the 75 apprentice technicians, and the 44 apprentice singers, 24 won cash rewards, honoring their exceptional talent and hard work. The following young men and women, noted with their department or voice type, were the 2016 Outstanding Apprentice Award recipients:

Jared Bybee, Nicholas Davis, and Adrian Smith, all baritones, each received the Donald Gramm Memorial Award, given in the memory of the distinguished American bass-baritone who appeared with Santa Fe Opera over a period of a dozen years, as well as other leading opera companies.

Elise Christiansen, props crafts; Molly Langeberg, props run; and David R. Mortelitto, scenic art, each received the Gustave and Jane Baumann Technician Award, given in memory of the celebrated Santa Fe artist and his wife.

Sarah Coit, mezzo-soprano, and Tyson Miller, tenor, received the Lillian Caroff Mayer Award, given by Santa Fe Opera patrons Natalie and Barry Beller in memory of Mrs. Beller’s mother to assist young singers with the costs associated with auditions and career development.

Chris Cvikota, audio/video, received the Lawrence Reehling Technician Award, given in memory of the late scenic and costume designer who worked with Santa Fe Opera during many of its early seasons.

Alan Higgs, bass-baritone; Pascale Spinney, mezzo-soprano; and Sharne van Ryneveld, costumes, each received the Katharine Mayer Award, given in memory of the former president of the Santa Fe Opera Board of Directors.

Rebecca Krynski, soprano; Jarrett Ott, baritone; and Jacquelyn Stucker, soprano, each received the Anna Case MacKay Memorial Award, given in memory of the early twentieth-century prima donna.

Alyssa Martin, mezzo-soprano, and Derrek Stark, tenor, received the Campbell/Wachter Scholarship, given in memory of Santa Fe Opera patron Sam Campbell and his sister June Wachter.

Eric Mitchell, electrics, received the Craig J. Miller Award, given in memory of the late lighting designer.

Cooper Nolan and Galeano Salas, both tenors, received the Richard Tucker Fund Award, given in memory of America’s reigning tenor of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

Lisa Marie Pedraza, wigs and makeup, and Shimson Zeevi, electrics, each received the James Irven Staley Award, given in memory of the former member of the Santa Fe Opera Board of Directors and Foundation Board.

Calvin Starra, stage crew, received the Greg Teakle Memorial Award, given in memory of the late interior designer and long-time Santa Fe Opera volunteer.

The mission of Santa Fe Opera is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians, and arts administrators; and to foster and enrich an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.