|Wichita Grand Opera to Open|
Opera Academy of the Midwest in 2015
(WICHITA, May 7, 2015) In Summer 2015, Wichita Grand Opera launches an ambitious new project: the Opera Academy of the Midwest. In cooperation with the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, the McPherson Opera House, Century II Performing Arts Center, Central Christian College, Newman University, and the City of McPherson, the Academy will become an intensive training ground for the next generation of opera singers and production personnel. The Academy will open on July 1, 2015,and run through October 19, 2015, though singers may take part in just the July training period if they wish.
|July 1-24, 2015||McPherson Opera House|
WGO Opera Productions:
|Aug. 6, 2015||1st day of rehearsal|
|Aug. 28, 2015||Performance: Century II Concert Hall, Wichita KS|
|Aug. 30, 2015||Performance: Carlsen Center, Overland Park KS|
|Verdi’s Don Carlo|
|Sept. 3, 2015||1st day of rehearsal|
|Sept. 25, 2015||Performance: Century II Concert Hall, Wichita KS|
|Sept. 27, 2015||Performance: Century II Concert Hall, Wichita KS|
|Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess|
|Sept. 24, 2015||1st day of rehearsal|
|Oct. 16, 2015||Performance: Century II Concert Hall, Wichita KS|
|Oct. 17, 2015||Performance: McPherson Opera House, McPherson KS|
|Oct. 18, 2015||Performance: Century II Concert Hall, Wichita KS|
|July 17, 2015||“A Night at the Opera”||McPherson Opera House|
|July 18, 2015||“Opera on the Lake”||Bradley Fair Plaza|
|August 7, 2015||“A Royal Enchanted Evening”||Stiefel Theatre|
|July 12, 2015||Private residence||McPherson, KS|
|Aug. 16, 2015||Private residence||Wichita, KS|
|Sept. 13, 2015||Private residence||Wichita, KS|
|Oct. 11, 2015||Private residence||Wichita, KS|
|In its initial year, Academy enrollment will be capped at 32 participating singers. 18 scholarships have been awarded to outstanding candidates based on audition. Aspiring young opera singers will be classified into one of three categories based on experience and ability:|
Academy Fellows will be outstanding talents with a superior musical education, ready to transition to a fully professional career. Selected artists will receive full scholarships for their participation and will be given the opportunity to cover opera roles, sing in the WGO Chorus, perform as soloists in concerts and recitals, and may be given an opera role in one of this season’s productions. They will also receive advanced training in role interpretation and musical analysis.
Studio Artists will be promising young singers with a strong musical education, ready for advanced training, and may receive partial scholarships. Studio Artists may be given the opportunity to understudy roles and sing in the WGO Chorus.
Apprentices will be those still in the early stages of their vocal and musical development, who will pay a tuition fee for their training, and may be chosen to sing in the WGO Chorus.
Also, Production Internships offer valuable hands-on experience for chosen participants in all production departments, mentored by WGO’s experienced staff, and will help create the magnificent productions seen on the WGO stage throughout the season. Interns will receive a weekly stipend.
Depending on the artist’s category, the Academy curriculum includes private voice lessons, coaching sessions, masterclasses, stage movement, acting, language diction, chorus, choreography, stage safety and weaponry, career planning and development, and performance opportunities. Academy tuition for the three-week July training period is $3,250 which includes the cost of all lessons, classes, masterclasses, and training, in addition to housing and meals in McPherson.
Featured Masterclass Guest Artists:
|SAMUEL RAMEY, bass-baritone|
The most-recorded bass in history, Mr. Ramey’s career spans over 40 years, encompassing virtually the entire standard bass-baritone repertoire at every major opera house in the world.
|ANNALISA RASPAGLIOSI, soprano|
Ms. Raspagliosi was the late Luciano Pavarotti’s co-star ofchoice for many years, and has enjoyed a stellar career in theaters including Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bolshoi Opera, and Teatro Real de Madrid.
|ALAN HELD, bass-baritone|
Mr. Held is one of the world’s foremost Wagnerian baritones, starring in roles such as Wotan, Amfortas, and the Dutchman at theaters including the Vienna Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera, and Bavarian State Opera.
|ZVETELINA VASSILEVA, soprano|
One of the world’s top Verdi specialists, Ms. Vassileva has sung leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden, Houston Grand Opera, and the Berlin Staatsoper.
|GASTON RIVERO, tenor|
Since starring in Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway production of La boheme, Mr. Rivero has become one of the world’s leading tenors, starring with artists including Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko.
|RICARDO TAMURA, tenor|
Mr. Tamura earned rave reviews for his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2013. He starred in opera houses all over Europe, including a stellar debut at Arena di Verona.
Ms. Davis is an internationally-renowned concert organist and a world authority on French musical repertoire. She was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of Arts & Letters by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.
|MARCUS DELOACH, baritone|
Mr. DeLoach is currently a voice faculty member at Temple University. An advocate of contemporary music, he has appeared in concert with the New York Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel and Riccardo Muti.
|SARAH HELTZEL, mezzo-soprano|
Ms. Heltzel is a crossover artist, performing roles in opera and musical theater with Seattle Opera, Syracuse Opera, American Lyric Theater, and the Boston Philharmonic, among others.
|MARTIN MÁZIK, Conductor, Opera Coach|
Mr. Mazik is a guest conductor in high demand, conducting more than 200 performances every year in opera houses worldwide.
|WILLIAM POWERS, Vocal & Acting Interpretation, Diction|
Mr. Powers’ distinguished career includes more than 100 roles in leading theaters worldwide, including world premieres at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera Chicago.
|PARVAN BAKARDIEV, Career Planning|
Mr. Bakardiev has previously served as Apprentice General Director of San Francisco Opera; Artistic Administrator of Houston Grand Opera; Founder & General Director of the San Antonio Festival, Director of Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center, and consultant to the Kennedy Center, and the Berlin and Sakai Operas.
|MARGARET ANN PENT, Staging, Voice|
Ms. Pent, winner of the Vienna Opera Competition, performed lead roles in Europe and the US while teaching voice. Founder and Artistic Director of the WGO, she has directed and designed many of its productions.
|DIANE GANS, Choreography, Stage Dancing|
Ms. Gans has choreographed performances for the WGO, Friends University, Wichita State University, and Wichita Collegiate School for over 20 years, and she is owner and director of the Kansas Dance Academy.
|SHAYNA LEAHY, Stage Movement, Social Coordinator|
Ms. Leahy, a WGO resident stage director, served on the staff of Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program, and is Director of Vocal Studies at Highland Community College.
|MATTHEW SCHLONEGER, Chorusmaster, Voice, Diction|
Mr. Schloneger teaches voice & choir and serves as Chair of the Division of Humanities at Hesston College, and has appeared in tenor roles in several WGO productions.
|NYLE MATSUOKA, Opera Coach, Accompanist|
In addition to the WGO, Mr. Matsuoka also serves as principal coach for Austin Opera, and has previously coached for Arizona Opera and Wolf Trap Opera.
|EDWARD LADA, Working with Conductors|
Mr. Lada joined the WGO in 2007 as Music Administrator, and made his opera conducting debut last season in WGO’s Tosca. As WGO’s resident conductor he has served as Associate Conductor and Chorusmaster.
|YING ZHU, Rehearsal Accompanist|
Ms. Zhu is an adjunct instructor of piano at Wichita State University, and previously served on rehearsal staff at Ash Lawn Opera.
For information on how to apply to the Academy, or for any other questions, please visit Wichita Grand Opera’s website at wichitagrandopera.org/academy or contact the WGO Artistic Department by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at (316) 683-3444.
CLICK HERE to dowload this press release as a PDF.
CLICK HERE to downlaod a copy of the Academy informational brochure. (8 MB)
WGO’s Opera Academy of the Midwest is sponsored in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Dennis & Ann Ross, Central Christian College, the Naftzger Fund for Fine Arts, the McPherson Opera House, the Ross & Marianna Beach Foundation, and the Charlotte Brickler Trust.