Robert Stahley, tenor – Robert Lauch Memorial Fund Award: $6,000
Tenor Robert Stahley, known for “bringing vociferous ring to the tenor line” (South Florida Classical Review), is making waves throughout the operatic industry. He was a member of the Benenson Young Artist Program at Palm Beach Opera for their 2018-2019 season. Mr. Stahley was a third prize winner in the 2018 Gerda Lissner Vocal Competition, placed first in the 2017 Piccolo Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in the 2018 Mildred Miller Competition. He completed his Artist Diploma and Masters at the College Conservatory of Music. He has bowed with opera companies such as Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Arbor Opera Theater, Palm Beach Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. Click here to learn more.
Jessica Faselt, soporano – Ursula Springer Award: $3,000
American soprano Jessica Faselt is gaining stature as a promising young professional with an exciting voice. Jessica is known for her “keen expression and impressive delivery” in performance (Music in Cincinnati). Jessica is the recipient of a 2019 Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. She was awarded the Tito Cappobianco Memorial Award of 2019 by Opera Index. Jessica completed her Masters Degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she was the recipient of the prestigious Corbett Award. Jessica received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa with honors. Click here to learn more.
Errin Duane Brooks, tenor – $1,500 Encouragement Grant. Errin Duane Brooks is quickly gaining momentum as an American tenor from Detroit, Michigan, who received his Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University and his Bachelor of Music degree from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. While spending the summer of 2016 with Utah Festival Opera, Brooks placed first in the Michael Ballam Concorso Lirico in Logan, Utah. This sent him to the National Semi-Finals in Alessandria, Italy, where he was able to advance to the National Finals, place 4th, and win the Audience Favorite Award. Brooks has had success in several competitions including winning the Grand Prize in The Bel Canto Competition, 2nd place in the Luminarts Cultural Foundation Competition, and Regional Finalist in the 2014-15 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Click here to learn more.
Jessica Sandidge, soprano -$1,500 Encouragement Grant. Jessica Sandidge’s soprano voice has been described as “plush” by The New York Times. She first joined the Metropolitan Opera in their 2016-17 season as Jano(c) in Janácek’s Jenufa. In 2017 she returned as Sylvainne in The Merry Widow, and again in 2018 season as Dawn in the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie. Of her recent New York City Opera debut in Donizetti’s Il Pigmalione, The New York Times wrote: “Jessica Sandidge’s belated entrance as Galatea came as something of a relief, all the more so for the loveliness of her singing.” Click here to learn more.
Zhanna Alkhazova, soprano – $1,000 Encouragement Grant. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Ms. Alkhazova grew up in the New England area where she completed her studies, graduating with a Master of Music Degree from Boston University. Ms. Alkhazova was most recently awarded top prizes in the NJ Verismo Opera Competition. Other awards include top prizes in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, the Arkadi Foundation Competition and the Rhode Island NATS Competition. She was named finalist in the Career Bridges Competition, Kaliningrad International “Nightingale” Competition and a semi-finalist in The Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition and the Elizabeth Connell International Competition for Dramatic Sopranos. Click here to learn more.
Jeremy Brauner, tenor – $1,000 Encouragement Grant. A finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition, Northeast Region 2019, Jeremy Brauner is often described as having a brassy, rich, powerful and flowing tenor. Jeremy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre from Montclair State University where he had his first experience with opera. As a baritone, he was a finalist in New Jersey State Opera’s Alfredo Silipigni vocal competition for 2014 and 2015. Click here to learn more.
Elisabeth Rosenberg, soprano – $1,000 Encouragement Grant. American soprano Elisabeth Rosenberg has been praised for her “nicely colored, well- produced soprano” (Opera News). Elisabeth recently participated in the quarter finals of the Twenty Third Edition of Placido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition which took place in London, United Kingdom, and was hosted by the Royal Opera House. Ms. Rosenberg studied at Rice Univeristy and the University of California, Los Angeles. She recently transitioned from Lyric Soprano repertoire to Dramatic Soprano repertoire. Click here to learn more.
Mary Hollis Hundley, soprano – $1,000 Encouragement Grant. “Mary-Hollis Hundley brought a sophisticated sauciness to Musetta, and she gave a sparkling rendition of Musetta’s signature waltz, “Quando me’n vo.” – Tulsa World (La bohème, Tulsa Opera Nov ’15). Ms. Hundley has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation, Gerda Lissner Young Artist Institute, and Sarasota Opera Guild. She holds degrees from Mannes College the New School for Music and the University of Kentucky. Click here to learn more.
Joseph Sacchi, tenor – $1,000 Encouragement Grant. New York City resident Josepht Sacchi was a Participant of the 2016 Prelude to Performance – Young Artist Opera Program presented by the Martina Arroyo Foundation, and a 2019 Resident Artist at Opera North, where he sang the role of Malcolm in Macbeth. He is a Master’s degree candidate from Salem, Oregon, currently under the tutelage of Mark Oswald. Click here to learn more.
The annual auditions for singers who are promising in the Wagner repertoire were organized by Scott Carlton, Artistic Director of Singer Programs, and were held on Tuesday, Oct. 29. A total of 19 singers were heard. The panel of judges consisted of Scott Carlton, Ken Benson, Carole Farley, and Eve Queler. Nathalie Wagner attended ex officio. The Ursula Springer Award was increased from $2,000 in 2018 to $3,000 this year.