For singers at the start of their careers, Los Angeles Opera is an enviable place to be. Each year, the company welcomes a small, selective class of performers into its Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, where the work really begins.
Just a glance at the biographies of the three returning members to the program will give you a sense of what the young artists get up to. Sopranos Alaysha Fox and Tiffany Townsend both made their mainstage debuts with LA Opera this season, singing parts in Verdi’s Aida and Il trovatore, respectively. And pianist/coach Nicholas Roehler has gotten to know the ropes of his role, helping the company prepare major productions throughout 2021 and 2022.
Five new singers and two more pianists/coaches will join the ranks this fall. Mezzo-sopranos Deepa Johnny, Madeleine Lyon, and Sarah Saturnino; bass-baritone Alan Williams; and baritone Ryan Wolfe made the cut out of nearly 700 voice applicants. A big draw of LA Opera’s young artist program, in addition to performances on the company stage, is the chance to work with renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who’s acted as artistic advisor since 2017. (Plácido Domingo, who resigned from LA Opera in 2019 amid sexual harassment allegations, had previously overseen the program.)
The incoming pianists/coaches are Manuel Arellano and Lucas Nogara. Their auditions were heard by another crucial voice in LA Opera’s leadership, Music Director James Conlon.
“The Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program has earned a reputation as one of opera’s premier training grounds,” said President and CEO Christopher Koelsch, “and I can’t wait to introduce them to our audiences in the season to come.”