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May 10

WNO ​Announces the 2013-2014 Class of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

  • Roster increases to 10 singers and 2 pianist/coaches
  • Program includes mentorship by new Artist in Residence Deborah Voigt, voice teachers Diana Soviero and William Stone, and guest master teachers Carol Vaness and Peter Kazaras
  • Performance highlights include:
    • Several world premieres throughout the season
    • A showcase on February 27, 2014
    • A special performance of The Magic Flute on May 16, 2014
    • Free concerts at the Kennedy Center
    • and more 
Washington National Opera has just announced the roster of emerging artists and renowned vocal coaches engaged for the 12th season of its Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Under the leadership of new program director Michael Heaston, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program will grow from 10 artists to 12, increase its number of performances throughout the season, and expand its training regimen to include mentorship by its new Artist in Residence, the acclaimed American soprano Deborah Voigt, as well as voice teachers Diana Soviero and William Stone, guest master teachers Carol Vaness and Peter Kazaras, and visiting vocal coach Kathleen Kelly. The new class of young artists will participate in several world premiere productions during the 2013-2014 season, including new commissions from WNO’s American Opera Initiative and Jeanine Tesori’s new family opera The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me. The program will also continue its exchange with the Bolshoi Young Artists Opera Program and will send several artists to Moscow for a two-week period in 2014.
The 2013-2014 Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists are:
Christian Bowers, United States (baritone, first year)
Jacqueline Echols, United Sates (soprano, first year)
Norman Garrett, United States (baritone, second year)
Yuri Gorodetski, Belarus (tenor, second year)
Soloman Howard, United States (bass, third year)
Yi Li, China (tenor, first year)
Kevin Miller, United States (pianist/coach, second year)
Tomoko Nakayama, Japan (pianist/coach, first year)
Deborah Nansteel, United States (mezzo-soprano, first year)
Patrick O’Halloran, United States (tenor, first year)
Shantelle Przybylo, Canada (soprano, second year)
Wei Wu, China (bass, first year)
Both Mr. Gorodetski and Mr. Li will represent their home countries in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition later this summer.
“The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a vital part of Washington National Opera’s mission, and I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken to revitalize and grow the number of participants as well as increase their involvement in our programming,” said WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello. “Michael Heaston has selected an excellent group of singers and pianists for next season, and I look forward to introducing our new WNO ‘home team’ to audiences in Washington.”
A world-class coaching roster
Joining the coaching roster for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program’s 2013-2014 season is Deborah Voigt, the acclaimed American soprano best known for her dramatic interpretations of the leading roles in operas by Wagner, Strauss, and Puccini. Ms. Voigt also stars as Isolde in WNO’s season-opening production of Tristan and Isolde in September 2013. In the newly created role of Artist in Residence, Ms. Voigt will work with the young artists throughout the season, conducting individual coaching sessions, presenting group classes on a variety of repertoire, and leading career roundtable discussions. In the summer of 2011, Ms. Voigt served as the first Artist in Residence at the inaugural season of the new Glimmerglass Festival and worked with the young artists there; the new WNO position will be her first long-term mentoring role with a young artist program.
“I look forward to working with these talented young artists and sharing the lessons I’ve learned throughout my career with the next generation,” said Ms. Voigt. “Francesca Zambello and Michael Heaston have exciting plans for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, and as the Program’s first Artist in Residence, I’m proud and eager to be a part of this effort.”
The young artists will continue to work with voice teachers Diana Soviero, one of the foremost interpreters of the verismo repertoire and now one of the most in-demand voice teachers in New York, and William Stone, esteemed baritone and member of the voice faculty at the renowned Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Lyric soprano Carol Vaness will have a weeklong residency in January 2014 as a guest master teacher focusing on interpretations of Mozart.  The young artists will welcome guest vocal coach Kathleen Kelly, who has led the music staffs of the Vienna State Opera and Houston Grand Opera, for a series of residencies throughout the season, and will continue their work with resident vocal coach Louis Salemno. The coaching faculty, led by principal coach Ken Weiss, also includes Michael Baitzer, Anthony Manoli, and Yelena Kurdina, among others. WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin will also work with the young artists during the season.
Stage director Peter Kazaras, the artistic director of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program and the director of Opera UCLA, will do intense dramatic work with the young artists as a guest master teacher. Nick Olcott, interim director of the Opera Studio at the University of Maryland at College Park, will continue as the program’s drama coach.


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