Jane & Steven Akin Emerging Artists2018-08-31T08:34:37+00:00

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA
JANE AND STEVEN AKIN
EMERGING ARTISTS

The pursuit of a successful career in opera is a challenging—and expensive—undertaking. Singers must continually hone their talent with regular coaching, expand their repertoire by learning new roles, and find opportunities to make themselves heard. BLO recognizes that the next generation of opera stars needs to be nurtured in order to flourish, and that the future of the art form depends on their success.

To that end, BLO has proudly expanded the opportunities we provide to Emerging Artists:

  • Public auditions allow hundreds of singers to be heard
  • Role and audition preparation in one-on-one sessions with both BLO’s Music Director, David Angus, and BLO coaches
  • Understudy key leading roles, serve on stage management staff and directing staff, to broaden their résumés
  • Perform principal and comprimario roles in BLO productions
  • Additional paid performance opportunities at BLO events
  • Stanford Calderwood General & Artistic Director, Esther Nelson, and other leaders in the field provide career guidance and support
  • Feedback auditions with Director of Artistic Operations Nicholas Russell provide invaluable advice on repertoire choices
  • Introduction of Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artists to key artists’ managers

Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artists are identified during the casting process of each Season’s repertoire. The Artists have, in most cases, already established themselves professionally and are drawn primarily from the post-graduate and post-young artist fields. In certain exceptional cases, younger candidates who are appropriate for specific repertoire with the Company are considered.

THE 2018 STEPHEN SHRESTINIAN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

This cash award was created to help an exceptional young artist in the BLO chorus further his or her career by supporting advancement activities such as coaching a new role; taking a movement, dance or acting class; or paying a portion of graduate school tuition or travel expenses. It is awarded annually in memory of one of BLO’s beloved chorus members who passed away suddenly at the age of 29.

Please check back this fall for the 2018 award announcement.

“ BEING AN EMERGING ARTIST AND BEING AT BLO IS LIKE BEING IN A BIG POND WITHOUT BEING THROWN INTO THE DEEP END.”

– SIMON DYER, EMERGING ARTIST ALUMNUS

2018/19 EMERGING ARTISTS

Brianna Robinson, soprano, Boston Lyric Opera 2018/19 Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist

Brianna Robinson
soprano

Jessica Johnson Brock, mezzo-soprano, Boston Lyric Opera 2018/19 Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist

Jessica Johnson Brock
mezzo-soprano

Brendon Shapiro, pianist, Boston Lyric Opera 2018/19 Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist

Brendon Shapiro
pianist

Nathan Salazar, pianist, Boston Lyric Opera 2018/19 Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist

Nathan Salazar
pianist

Melanie Bacaling, production, Boston Lyric Opera 2018/19 Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist

Melanie Bacaling
production

PRINCIPAL ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

Jesse Darden, Principal Artist-in-Residence, Boston Lyric Opera 2018/19 Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist

JESSE DARDEN

Sometimes, a Season offers opportunities to one particular voice type with recurring roles for the same fach in each production. BLO has the precedent of Emerging Artists appearing in each of the Season’s four productions—David Cushing and Chelsea Basler are two artists who have been Emerging Artists-in-Residence.

Jesse Darden joined the Company’s EA roster in the 2016/17 Season and has taken comprimario roles, as well as covering principal ones.

In taking on a small role with a major cover in Barber; a significant role in BLO’s World Premiere production of Schoenberg in Hollywood; as well as two further principal roles in Lucretia and Handmaid’s Tale, we felt that Jesse is well and truly emerging, and that the significance of this repertoire warranted new recognition—hence BLO’s first Principal Artist-in-Residence.

PAST CLASSES

2017/18

Antonia Tamer, Soprano
Sara Womble, Soprano
Emma Sorenson, Mezzo-Soprano
Jesse Darden, Tenor
Vincent Turregano, Baritone
Anderson Nunnelley, Director
Jon Jurgens, Tenor*

2016/17

Rachel Arditi, stage manager
Jesse Darden, tenor
Simon Dyer, bass
Felicia Gavilanes, mezzo-soprano
Jon Jurgens, tenor
Anderson Nunnelley, director
Vera Savage, mezzo-soprano*
Emma Sorenson, mezzo-soprano
Antonia Tamer, soprano
Maja Tremiszewska, piano
Nathan Troup, director
Vincent Turregano, baritone
Sara Womble, soprano

2014/15

Chelsea Basler, soprano*
Heather Gallagher, mezzo-soprano
Rachel Hauge, mezzo-soprano
Jon Jurgens, tenor
Omar Najmi, tenor
Brad Raymond, tenor
R . B. Schlather, director
David Wadden, bass-baritone

2015/16

Heather Gallagher, mezzo-soprano*
Omar Najmi, tenor
Brad Raymond, tenor
Vera Savage, mezzo-soprano
Emma Sorenson, mezzo-soprano
Bruce Stasyna, conductor
Nathan Troup, director
Vincent Turregano, baritone

2013/14

Chelsea Basler, soprano
David McFerrin, baritone
Liam Moran, bass
Omar Najmi, tenor*
So Young Park, soprano
Nicole Rodin, mezzo-soprano
Michelle Trainor, soprano

2012/13

David McFerrin, baritone
Nicole Rodin, mezzo-soprano
Alan Schneider, tenor
Michelle Trainor, soprano

2011/12

Julius Ahn, tenor
David Cushing, bass-baritone
Neal Ferreira, tenor
Meredith Hansen, soprano
John Irvin, tenor
Brett Hodgdon, pianist
Allen Perriello, pianist
Nicole Rodin, mezzo-soprano
Michelle Trainor, soprano*

*Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence

Past recipients of the Shrestinian Award include Molly Paige Crookedacre, Neil Nelson, Alan Schneider, Heidi Stober, Stephanie Chigas, Laura Choi Stuart, Andrea Coleman, Erica Brookhyser, Joseph Valone, Neal Ferreira, Meredith Hansen, and Jon Jurgens.