Dayton Opera adds artists-in-residence

Staff report

DAYTON — Dayton Opera is pleased has named four young opera singers who will join its 2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence Program.

They are soprano Olivia Yokers, mezzo-soprano Noragh Devlin, tenor Michael Anderson and baritone Alexander Harper. The four singers, selected from national auditions, arrived in Dayton this December to perform in the Dayton Philharmonic’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah and in the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s New Year’s Eve concert. They will begin their official residency at the beginning of January, joined by their new music director and accompanist, Carol Walker.

The Dayton Opera Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program was established in 1987 as a professional training program for young singers, providing a bridge for the move from the university/conservatory education experience into the arena of a professional opera company. This season marks the 31st year of this successful opera training program with Dayton Opera.

During January and February, the artists-in-residence and Walker will appear at numerous schools throughout the community to present educational programs that introduce Dayton-area students to the art of opera. WYSO Development Director Luke Dennis is writer and director of “OMG–It’s Opera,” the program which the artists-in-residence will present this winter. “OMG–It’s Opera” is being presented in Dayton area schools in cooperation with The Muse Machine.

The four artists will appear in Dayton Opera productions and Dayton Philharmonic concerts in the 2017-2018season. They will perform in the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Concert Bernstein Songfest, Jan. 28, at the Dayton Art Institute. They will also perform roles in Dayton Opera’s mainstage productions of “The Barber of Seville” and “Turandot.”

Yokers, a native of Hamilton, made her recent DPAA debut in a performance of “Green Eggs and Ham” in Dayton Philharmonic’s PhilharMonster Family Concert this past October. Prior to this engagement, she was seen as Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance” with The Utah Festival Opera. Her other recent credits include Berta in “The Barber of Seville” with the Virginia Opera and Laurey in “Oklahoma!” with Indiana University Opera Theatre. This past year, Yokers was a Herndon Emerging Young Artist with Virginia Opera. She earned both her Master of Music and her Bachelor of Music from Indiana University.

Devlin has been called “gifted” by Opera News and praised for her “powerful, rangy mezzo-soprano” by the New York Times. She is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where she was the recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Opera Scholarship and the Hugo Ross Award “for a singer of unusual promise.” She is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and has been a young artist at Caramoor, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School, the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program and Operaworks. Previous operatic credits include roles in “Sir John in Love,” “Second Nature,” “The Bartered Bride,” “Romeo et Juliette,” “The Dangerous Liaisons,” “Luisa Miller,” “Albert Herring” and “The Mother of Us All,” among others. She has recorded three commercial CDs. Noragh will sing the role of Berta in Dayton Opera’s February production of “The Barber of Seville.”

Anderson hails from Little Silver, New Jersey, and currently lives in New York City, where he received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. He has performed with Opera Saratoga, Central City Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. Previous operatic roles include Bardolfo in “Falstaff,” Jimmy in “Later the Same Evening,” Mayor Upfold in “Albert Herring,” Le Journaliste in “Les Mamelles de Tiresais,” Tamino in “Die Zauberflote” and Gherardo in “Gianni Schicchi.” Oratorio works include Bach’s “St. John Passion,” Gounod’s “Requiem,” Mozart’s “Requiem,” Honegger’s “King David,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” Anderson received the Christopher Kiryluk Memorial Award from Central City Opera. He was a finalist in the New Jersey State Opera Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition and the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition. He will make his Dayton Opera debut as the role of the Sergeant in “The Barber of Seville” this February, and he will return in May to sing the role of Pong in “Turandot.“

Harper is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He went to college at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he sang Bob in “The Old Maid” and the thief, Papageno in “Die Zauberflote,” Danilo in “The Merry Widow” and Giuseppe in “The Gondoliers.” Harper received his master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he sang the Innkeeper in “The Cunning Little Vixen” and Germont in “La Traviata.” Prior to being selected for the Artist-in-Residence role with Dayton Opera, he has performed with Dayton Opera in a as Morales “Carmen” and Assan in “The Consul.” He will appear in the role of Fiorello in “The Barber of Seville.”

Warner is an experienced and sought-after accompanist and opera and song repertory coach in the region. She has worked extensively in that capacity for Cincinnati Opera and has been principal accompanist for past Dayton Opera productions of “Porgy and Bess,” “The Tragedy of Carmen,” “The Glory of Wagner,” “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “Dead Man Walking,” “The Consul,” and will be for the upcoming productions of “The Barber of Seville” and “Turandot.”

Staff report