Maria Lazarova Completes Online Opera Role

Lecturer Maria Lazarova has wrapped on “Vireo” an opera created expressly for episodic release via broadcast and online media, by Lisa Bielawa, composer, and Erik Ehn, Librettist. Maria appears with the Kronos Quartet, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and the Orange County School of the Arts Middle School Choir, and several excellent vocalists. The opera won the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award.  In spring 2017, KCET will release all twelve episodes at once for free, on-demand streaming, which is a first for the network.

Nathan Stark Receives Rave Review from Hawaii Opera

Alumnus Nathan Stark received another terrific review, this one for his tole in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Hawaii Opera. “Nathan Stark made an auspicious role debut as an uncommonly fine Bottom. His stage demeanor was by turns pompous, genial, blustering, and endearing and he captured every bit of the part’s humor, especially when portraying the overwrought Pyramus. His well-schooled bass-baritone has a steely thrust, and its easy amplitude allowed it to ring out in the house. Mr. Stark’s authoritative impersonation made us love to be annoyed by this meddlesome tinker. His loose-limbed antics as the ass were the perfect partner to Tytania’s ‘gaga’ spoonin.” – James Sohre,

Elizabeth Queen to Sing in Hawaii

Alumna Elizabeth Queen was offered roles in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival this summer. She will sing Le Feu and La Pastorelle in Ravel’s “l’Enfant et les Sortileges.”

She has also been accepted to the Emerging Artists’s Program at OperaWorks. The Emerging Artist Program is for young singers who want to strengthen their performance skills, expand their stage experience, and learn how to market themselves.

Melinda Ehrlich Featured by Pacific Opera Project

Melinda Ehrlich Trimble was featured on the Pacific Opera Project’s (POP) Facebook page. “Mindi returns to POP to sing and dance as Maxim’s showgirl from the Far East, Cio-Cio. They wrote of her, “Described by the Long Beach Grunion Gazette as “astonishing, a large, gleaming soprano secure from top to bottom and thrilling to hear” in the role of Vitellia from Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, Melinda Ehrlich has established herself as a voice to hear in Southern California and beyond.

The 2014 LA International Liszt Competition winner most recently appeared in the chorus of critically acclaimed The Christians at the Mark Taper Forum and the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s nominee for Best Musical Annabella. 2015 also marked her debut with Center Stage Opera in Into The Woods, as well as with Pacific Opera Project in its Star Trek-inspired Abduction from the Seraglio. Last spring, Ms. Ehrlich ventured to New Orleans to sing Mme. Herz in Mozart’s Impresario. She has also appeared with Long Beach Opera, Pacific Symphony, and Repertory Opera, and her repertoire includes roles such as Micaela in Carmen, Violetta in La traviata, Pamina and Papagena in The Magic Flute, and the title role in Suor Angelica.”"

Megan Berti Receives Spectacular Review

Alumna Megan Berti received a spectacular review for her performance in Rossini’s La Cenerentola.

“Ahh, but what’s a Cenerentola without a Cinderella? A revelation two seasons ago at OH as a feisty Hansel in Humperdinck’s Wagnerian Hansel and Gretel, who knew Megan Berti could conquer – and triumph – in the dazzling fireworks of Rossini? She exudes that fairy dust I mentioned earlier; she glistens with it, tosses it in the air and envelops us. She holds us spellbound with flawless technique, perfect diction, absolute pitch and fearless attack. Even in her drab scullery uniform, she’s an eyeful. Wearing haute couture at the ball, she’s a knockout. What a diva! And I mean that in all sincerity. She knocks this role out of the park. After she meets the prince in disguise, she explodes in fiery roulades and filigree, each one more precise, each more ornamented. Her heart’s aflame, and she sounds it, happy in love, ecstatic in joy. So are we, pulled warmly into her vocal embrace. This is a defining performance. (This March Berti appears in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players at Houston Grand Opera. I pray they have given her a showstopping role. It’s what she deserves. If not, this consummate artist will make it so.)

Alyssa Wills in “Frau Schindler”

Alumna Alyssa Wills performed in the premiere of Thomas Morse and Ken Cazan’s new opera “Frau Schindler” at USC. Told from the perspective of Emilie Schindler, Frau Schindler is a serious, poignant opera about one woman’s survival and heroism in the heart of one of the darkest periods in human history. Alyssa wrote, “It’s such a profound and moving piece about these people who saved so many lives and I’m so proud to be part of it.”

Alexandra Schenck Accepted to Merola Opera Program

Alumna Alexandra Schenck was accepted into the 2016 class of the elite Merola Opera Program with San Francisco Opera. Merola includes fully staged operas with orchestra, a scenes concert and the Merola Grand Finale, which showcases all the participants in a gala concert on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. Merola pays all tuition, housing and travel expenses for each of its participants and also grants them a living stipend during their intensive training in San Francisco.

All graduates are eligible for Career Grants for five years after their Merola summer. These grants, for everything from audition travel to headshots to vocal coaching, help the young artists make the transition to the professional opera world.

Nathan Stark in Hawaii and Cincinnati

Alumnus Nathan Stark will be singing Rocco in Beethoven’s “Fidelio” at the Cincinnati Opera next Summer. He is recording an album of Strauss, Brahms, & Wagner lieder with Cincinnati Opera singers.

Most recently he has been performing the role of Bottom on A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Hawaii Hawaii Opera Theatre. While preparing for his role Nathan Stark was interviewed by Hawaii Public Radio’s Gene Schiller.

Amber Alarcòn in “Tsar’s Bride”

Alumna Amber Alarcòn performed in the Independent Opera Company’s production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Tsar’s Bride” at West LA’s Lutheran Church of the Master. She received an great review in Singerpreneur: “Amber Alarcon was delightful as Dunyasha, the darling confidante of the soprano lead, Marfa, singing with a warm, clean mezzo and a captivating stage presence.”

Ryan Ross Featured in Hometown Paper

Alumnus Ryan Ross’s hometown paper, the Lyon Country Reporter, published a retrospective of his career to date. The article notes his study at the Bob Cole Conservatory and his successes, such as singing “Fiddler on the Roof” with Bryn Terfel at the Royal Albert Hall in London for an audience of 6,000. After graduating from the Wales International Academy of Voice, Ryan has gone on to an international career in opera.