OPERA SAN JOSÉ INVITES THE PUBLIC TO ITS RESIDENT ARTIST SHOWCASE Premiere Live-Stream on August 30 at 1pm
By Iride Aparicio
A Personal Message From OSJ General Director Khori Dastoor
"Opera San José's (OSJ) mission has always been the development and support of emerging artists. By providing housing, professional development and performance opportunities like few opera companies in America do. Opera San José keeps the artist at the very heart of its creative life. During this ongoing health and economic crisis, Opera San José's mandate must be the continued support of these artists to serve as a lifeline, to preserve their immense artistry, and to keep producing art through any and all mediums available to us in this time apart from one another."
"Through innovation, determination and a sprinkling of luck, we have navigated these challenging times to create a stable, isolated cohort of singularly talented artists who will be sheltering and performing together in the weeks and months ahead. Virtual and outdoor concerts, live-streamed operatic events, and new, full-length operas produced for on-demand streaming - these artists will, in fact, have more opportunities to perform than ever before, and with our new FRED HAIMAN DIGITAL MEDIA STUDIO, we are able to share their gifts with audiences across the globe. With these artists, and your continued patronage and support, Opera San José will emerge from this time a strong, vibrant and innovative opera company. "
"I am so proud of the cohort we have assembled, and we can hardly wait for them to share their immense talents, stories and artistic perspectives with our patrons who make our work possible."
INTRODUCING OSJ's 2020-2021 RESIDENT ARTISTS
L-R Carlos Enrique Santelli, Christoper James Ray, Ashley Dixon, Efrain Solis, Maya Kherani, Eugene Brancoveanu, and Nathan Stark
CARLOS ENRIQUE SANTELLI
A Winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National and Council Auditions, Tenor SANTELLI is making his debut as OSJ 2020/21 Resident Artist. The tenor has appeared in the special ten-year anniversary gala celebrating the LA Opera Young Artist Program and has performed as tenor soloist with the Sacramento Choral Society.
SANTELLI considers a privilege to be a resident artist with OSJ during this extraordinary times and praises the company for taking the lead in moving forward with the arts to make "our corner of the world" a bit closer, with beautiful music.
CHRISTOPHER JAMES RAY
Conductor RAY, who made his professional debut with the Mississippi Opera, and have worked as assistant conductor at the Salzburg State Theater, North Carolina Opera,Sarasota Opera, Opera on the James, Opera on the Avalon, Syracuse Opera, and was part of the music staff of the renowned Bayreuth Festival in 2017, returns to OSJ for a second consecutive year in the company's resident ensemble.
The conductor, who during his time at OSJ had conducted contemporary American, German Romantic, a German Operetta and Italian and Verissimo operas, says that, as conductor, he continues looking forward to learning and performing other operas's genres.
Mezzo-soprano DIXON has quickly established herself as one of the most exceptional artist of her generation. In 2018, she was the Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A year later, in 2019, as alumna of the San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellowship, she made her SFO main stagedebut as 'Angel First Class' in JAKE HEGGIE and GENE SCHEER opera It' s a Wonderful Ife.DIXON made a critically acclaimed debut with Los Angeles Opera in February 2020, where The Los Angeles Times declare her "A young mezzo soprano worth paying attention to"
ASHLEY DIXON tells us that she is excited to work at OSJ and have the opportunity not only to make music, but to be involved in innovative projects.
Baritone SOLIS, who has been seen with opera companies throughout the nation, is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship and alumnus of the prestigious MEROLA PROGRAM. The baritone has been applauded by the San Francisco Chronicle for his "theatrical charisma and musical bravado. The baritone was also a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National council Auditionin 2013 as well as a finalist in Houston Gran Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition and the Loren L. Zachary Society for the performing Arts National Vocal Competition.
EFRAIN SOLIS feels that, as a person of color, he is looking forward to work with OSJ General Director Dastoor and a fantastic company as OSJ.
The soprano returns to OSJ where she made her company debit as guest artist during the 2017-18 Season. Her career highlight include starring in Handel's Partenope with Opera NEO; in the premiere of JACK PERLA's The River of Light, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, and in Don Quichote Chez la Duchesse with the Central City Opera. As soprano, KHERANI has been lauded for her vibrant voice and exciting characterization in Baroque to modern repertoire.
MAYA KHERANI feels honored to be a part of this innovative initiative and can't wait to share the beauty and catharsis of the operatic art form, both in-person and digitally.
Baritone BRANCOVEANU held a prestigious appointment as an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera for two seasons. As a singer, he has enjoyed a successful international career, earning critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe. He is also an actor and Tony®Award winner for Excellence in theatre, for his role in the principal ensemble of BAZ LUHRMANN's Innovative Broadway production of Puccini'sLa Bohéme. OSJ's audience is familiar with BRANCOVEANU. He sang the role of Eisenstein, in STRAUSS's Die Fledermaus, the father in HUMPERDINCK's Hansel and Gretel and of count de Lune in VERDI's IL trovatore. More recently, he appeared in OSJ virtual concert Dichterliebe (A poet's love.)
When talking about OSJ, BRANCOVEANU says that we would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated, kind and hardworking artistic group of enthusiastic professionals these days that seem to rise to the occasion of the global pandemic with such fervor.
Seen as a 'guest artist' before at OSJ, bass baritone STARK returns as a Resident Artist for the 2020/21 Season. The bass baritone has been praised for having a voice of "unearthly power' by the Washington Post as a "Blow-Away singer" by the Houston Press and as a "Natural comic actor" by The Mercury NewsSTARK has performed with opera houses throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, Atlanta Opera, Cincinnati Opera,Arizona Opera, Virginia Opera, Dayton Opera, HawaiiOpera Theatre and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
NATHAN STARK says that OSJ will always have a special place in his heart because it was the company where he saw his first opera, La Traviata in 1995, unaware that decades later he would be performing (and be part) of the OSJ family.
Watch Replay of the 2020/21 Resident Artist Showcase presented on Sunday August 31 below:
DURING THESE UNPRECENTED TIMES YOUR SUPPORT TO THESE INCREDIBLE WORKING ARTISTS WILL ENSURE THAT THE VIBRANCY OF THEIR CRAFT WILL CONTINUE BEING SHARED WITH EVERY OPERA LOVER IN OUR COMUNITY. You can send your donations to: 2149 Paragon Drive, San José,CA 95131-1312