News & Info

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Young Artist Residency Introduces Opera Across the Region Opera Colorado offers one of the most robust and comprehensive arts education programs in the state, reaching over 35,000 students and adults during the 2011-2012 school year. Opera is one of the most universally accessible of the performing arts, serving as a bridge into many different disciplines including history, language, movement, and culture. Opera Colorado’s education programs are designed to entertain while educating. Teachers are provided with resources, including training and curriculum materials, and the programs themselves are aligned with Colorado’s new Academic Standards. Both in-school visits and field trips to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House are offered and presented by the Opera Colorado Education Staff, special guests, and the Young Artists. The Opera Colorado Young Artists are at the core of these arts education programs. Each year, five talented emerging singers are selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in a seven-month residency program with Opera Colorado. The 2012-2013 Young Artists include soprano Morgan Harmison, mezzo-soprano Cassidy Smith, tenor Joshua Bouillon, and baritones Alex DeSocio and Jared Guest. The Young Artists are a vital part of Opera Colorado’s mission to bring opera into the community through the following Education and Community Programs: Opera in a Trunk Filled with hands-on materials like costumes, props, and recorded music, Opera in a Trunk is an interactive program to teach students about opera or prepare them to attend a performance. Trunks are presented to students by an Opera Colorado Education Specialist and then left with the classroom for one week for students to explore in their own way. Four trunks are featured in conjunction with the upcoming opera season: Carmen and The Barber of Seville (Young Artist touring productions), Romeo and Juliet (main stage production in February 2013), and Opera for Beginners. Backstage Workshops Students travel to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to experience the backstage workings of an opera production. Experiential learning stations include lessons in stagecraft, professional singing, wigs and makeup, costume construction, conducting, and fight choreography. POPera and Arias & Ensembles POPera is an introduction for young students to opera through movies, cartoons, and television clips in today’s popular culture. Arias & Ensembles is a concert-style program of operatic and musical theater highlights performed by our Young Artists. Opera on Tour The Young Artists tour Colorado and Southern Wyoming with abridged, English versions of two beloved operas, Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Performances take place in schools, libraries, and community centers. A recent fall tour traveled to Fort Collins and Cheyenne, while a longer March 2013 tour will make stops in Buena Vista, Gunnison, Lake City, Crested Butte, and Estes Park. Generation OC This unique residency initiative provides students with a well-rounded opportunity to explore careers in the arts as they experience the inner workings of Opera Colorado. Participating classes learn from staff working in all aspects of the company including directors, professional singers, development, marketing, education, and production. Student Dress Rehearsals Students come to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for a preview of Opera Colorado’s main stage productions. Teachers are provided with guidebook materials to prepare classes for their night at the opera. Student Matinee The Young Artists perform a special two-hour abridged version of our main stage production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Some Education and Community Programs are open to the public and those will be included on our website calendar at Arrangements can be made for media interested in attending school or non-public performances. Please contact Erin Acheson, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, at 303.698.2334 or for a schedule and more information. For additional information on Opera Colorado’s Education & Community Programs, please contact: Cherity Koepke, Director of Education & Community Programs and the Opera Colorado Young Artists Tel. 303.778.0371 | Meghan Benedetto, Manager of Education & Community Programs and the Opera Colorado Young Artists Tel. 303.778.7350 | The 2012-2013 Opera Colorado Young Artists Morgan Harmison, soprano graduated with a Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in June 2010 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. In the spring of 2010 at CCM, she played the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus. While at Carnegie Mellon, she played Anna Gomez in The Consul and Fredrika in A Little Night Music. Previous summer programs include Opera Theater and Music Festival of Spoleto 2010, Songfest, Aspen, and Emerald City Opera Institute, where she performed Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. Roles this season: Berta (The Barber of Seville), Micaëla (Carmen), and Juliet (student matinee production of Romeo and Juliet). Cassidy Smith, mezzo soprano is a Colorado native, and recently received a Performance Certificate from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, where she also earned a Bachelor of Music in 2010. Cassidy has performed Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, Giannetta in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, and The Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Cassidy has also performed Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy. She then reprised the role of Cherubino at Lamont in April of 2012. Roles this season: Carmen (Carmen), Rosina (The Barber of Seville), and Stephano (student matinee production of Romeo and Juliet). Joshua Bouillon, tenor grew up in Upstate New York. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Liberty University and is a recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music Masters of Music program where he performed the roles of Des Grieux in Massenet's Manon, Paolino in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto and Jeník in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. Mr. Bouillon has performed as a concert soloist with orchestras and ensembles throughout New York, including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to coming to Opera Colorado, Joshua sang the title role in Mozart’s Impresario with Opera North in New Hampshire and covered Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème with the Green Mountain Opera Festival in Vermont. Roles this season: Don José (Carmen), Count Almaviva (The Barber of Seville), and Romeo (student matinee production of Romeo and Juliet). Alex DeSocio, baritone is originally from Wichita, KS. He received his BM in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University in 2010 and just completed his MM at the University of Maryland with the Maryland Opera Studio. During his college career, Alex performed the roles of Antonio in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Figaro in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Michele in Puccini's Il tabarro. Other recent performances include Silvio in I Pagliacci with the In Series, and Ben Budge in The Beggar's Opera with the Castleton Festival under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel. This past summer, Alex was a resident artist with Pine Mountain Music Festival and performed the roles of Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte and Carl-Magnus Malcolm A Little Night Music. Roles this season: Escamillo (Carmen), Figaro (The Barber of Seville), and Mercutio (student matinee production of Romeo and Juliet). Jared A. Guest, baritone grew up in the suburbs of Orlando where he learned to love and appreciate classical music and opera. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Florida State University in Tallahassee. After moving to Texas, Jared earned his Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Opera from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. He has performed in a wide range of operas such as Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Der Rosenkavalier, Falstaff, Amelia, Il Postino, Der Zauberflöte, La Vie Parisienne, Don Giovanni, Tosca, and more. Roles this season: Zuniga/Narrator (Carmen), Bartolo (The Barber of Seville), and Friar Laurence (student matinee production of Romeo and Juliet).

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