In the 2017-2018 season, Opera Idaho established its first Young Artists program. The program is designed to provide training and performance experience for talented singers at the beginning of their professional careers. From September 2018 through April 2019, these young artists will be placed in a nurturing environment, treated as professionals and provided with compensation, and a comfortable place to live, freeing them to concentrate on their work.
The four selected Young artists will cover mainstage roles, fulfill comprimario roles, participate in choruses, perform in Opera Idaho’s Education Outreach Tour as well as in Operatinis, Fundraisers and other special engagements.
Meet the artists:
In the 2016-2017 season, soprano Anna Polum joined Madison Opera as their Soprano Studio Artist. She has covered roles with Madison Opera such as Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Chan Parker (Charlie Parker‘s Yardbird), and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), as well as sung Papagena in the same production. Other operatic roles include Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw) with University Opera at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor) with UW-Madison’s Student Opera, the Dew Fairy in (Hansel and Gretel), and Voluptua (La Pizza con Funghi) with Opera Fairbanks. Anna continues with Madison Opera as their Soprano Studio Artist for the 2017-2018 season, covering roles such as Micaëla (Carmen), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), and Florencia Grimaldi (Florencia en el Amazonas). She sang Frasquita in the same production of Carmen in November 2017. In July 2018, she will sing Nedda in I Pagliacci with Opera Fairbanks.
On the concert stage, Anna has performed the soprano solos in Beethoven’s Mass in C with the University of Wisconsin Choral Union, as well as Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Choir of the North. In May 2017, she joined Madison Symphony Chorus as the soprano soloist for their Germany Tour performing Brahms German Requiem with the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra.
Anna’s awards include the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Concerto Competition in which she sang Juliet’s Poison Aria from Romeo and Juliet. She has placed 1st and 2nd numerous times at the NATS competitions in both Wisconsin and Alaska.
Originally from Kodiak Island, Alaska, Anna holds a Master’s in Music in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Bachelor’s degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
A native of Sri Lanka, Mezzo-Soprano Tahanee Aluwihare made her debut with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka at the age of 17 and has since performed in Asia, Europe and North America. She has sung such roles as Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo (Greece), Lola in Mascagni’s Cavelleria Rusticana (Germany), Beppe in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz (USA), Sinang in the Tagalog language production of Le Opera Noli Me Tangere (USA), Zita in Gianni Schicchi and the roles of La Badessa and La Maestra della Novizie in Suor Angelica (Germany) in a double-bill of Puccini’s works. She has also covered the title role in Carmen (The Netherlands). Additionally, she has premiere roles of the Monkey Queen and Lord of the Tigers in HGOCo’s touring Spring 2018 production of the new work Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers by Kamala Sankaram and David Johnston.
She was a Resident Artist with Opera Pomme Rouge, New York for the 2017 season and will join Opera Idaho as a Young Artist for the 2018-2019 season.
Tahani began her study of music with instruction in piano and violin before formally pursuing classical voice. She holds a B.A. in Music and Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Ting Li, Tenor, from Zhejiang Province, China. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he studied with Professor Bo Song. In 2016, he received a master of music degree from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Professor Richard Cross. He studied at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University as a P.D. student, under the guidance of the legendary soprano Carol Vaness.
Ting has performed as leading tenor role in major opera productions, including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Rinuccio/Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi; Young Gypsy in Aleko; Guillot in Manon; Alfredo/Gastone/Guiseppe in La Traviata; Don Curzio in La Nozze di Figaro. Ting also continued to perform main role in opera scene performances, including Rigoletto; Il Travatore; Adriana Lecouvreur; Romèo et Julliet; Les Contes d’Hoffmann; L’elisir d’amore; Così fan tutte; Barber of Seville; Die Fledemaus; Hamlet; and West Side Story.
Ting was invited by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) as a soloist to perform at Carnegie Hall. At the same year, he sang Handel’s Messiah for his debut with Hartford Chorale. He also participated Aspen Music Festival And School, Prague Summer Nights Young Artist program, American Institute of Musical Studies. In 2018, he will be attending Savannah VOICE Festival.
Canadian-American baritone Micah Schroeder is a 2018 graduate of the Vancouver Opera Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program and an alumnus of the Aspen Opera Centre as well as The Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity. Micah recently completed a Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia. In the Summer of 2018, Micah returns to the Banff Centre to sing Pangloss in Candide and debuts with the Highlands Opera Studio as Schaunard in La Bohème.
With Vancouver Opera in the 2017/2018 season, Micah covers Belcore in L’elisir d’amore and the title role in Eugene Onegin, sings the role of David in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, and appears in the Vancouver Opera in Schools tour of Dean Burry’s The Scorpion’s Sting as well as the Vancouver premiere of Marcel Bergmann’s Requiem for a Lost Girl. Other notable roles in his repertoire include the title role in Pelléas et Mélisande, Don Giovanni, and The Barber of Seville, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Baryton-martin in Vivier’s Kopernikus, Schaunard in La Bohème, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Argenio in Handel’s Imeneo, and Pluton in Offenbach’s Orphée aux enters to name a few.
At home on the concert stage, Micah has appeared in recital in such repertoire as the Harfnerlieder of Schumann and Wolf, Finzi’s Let us garlands bring, Poulenc’s La fraîcheur et le feu, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel and Five Mystical Songs. Micah has also appeared with the Vancouver Symphony and the Victoria Newcombe Singers Orchestra.