JTVA is pleased to announce the 7 finalists in each tier for our third annual Vocal Competition. These fine singers will come to Oakland, CA to participate in the master classes and competition finals on June 24 and 25 at Holy Names University. This video, which was shown at The Finalists Revealed!, our annual gathering of wine cheese and song, on Sunday, April 24, is a brief compilation of excerpts from the finalists’ applications. We are thrilled with the wonderful talent displayed by all of our applicants and are looking forward with great excitement to the competition weekend! All events are open to the public and tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.
Yelena Dyachek • Soprano
Yelena Dyachek, Ukrainian-American soprano, is currently a participant of the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. Commended by the Opera News for her “impeccably focused singing” and noted by the LA Times for her commanding character portrayal, Dyachek has been a part of numerous productions. As a student at University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she received her MM degree, she performed Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito, the title role in Iphigénie en Tauride, and Madama Cortese in Il viaggio a Reims. With the Aspen Opera Theater Center, she sang Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. While an undergraduate student at University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, Dyachek appeared in a National Opera Association Award–winning production of The Merry Wives of Windsor as Mrs. Ford, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. She has won awards in the Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias, National Mondavi Young Artists Competition and the Pacific Musical Society Competition. In March, Dyachek took the Grand National Winner title in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in New York. Dyachek's forthcoming operatic engagements include Fiordiligi in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, this August, as well as the role of Dominique de Menil in the world premiere of Some Light Emerges, and First Secretary in Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, where she will be a studio artist for the 2016-2017 season.
Arnold Livingston Geis • Tenor
Coveted for his versatility and musicianship, Arnold Livingston Geis is fast rising as one of the premiere tenors of his generation. 2015 marked his LA Opera solo debut in Pagliacci under the baton of Plácido Domingo and he will return in 2016 as Parpignol in La Bohème. Other 2016 credits include Vanderdendeur in Candide and Corpsman in the World Premiere of Fallujah at Long Beach Opera. As a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale he has appeared as a soloist at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Handel's Alexander's Feast. Arnold is the founding tenor of VOX, a crossover vocal quartet, and was featured singing Nessun Dorma on America’s Got Talent in 2015. Mr. Geis also enjoys a growing studio career singing on films like Goosebumps and Minions. He is an alumnus of Biola University and USC.
Veronica Jensen • Mezzo-Soprano
San Jose CA
Mezzo-soprano Veronica Jensen has gained recognition as a versatile and compelling singer, engaging audiences with her commanding stage presence, alluring vocal tone, and sincere expression. During her education at Western Washington University (BM) and Indiana University (MM), Ms. Jensen performed the roles of Isabella in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri, the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the titular role in the world premiere of the Tale of Lady Thi Kinh by PQ Phan, and Edith in Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. This past year Ms. Jensen was seen as Dorabella in Peoria Symphony’s production of Cosi fan tutte and as Orfeo, Octavian, and Mercedes in The Des Moines Opera Center Scenes Festival.
Kisma Jordan • Soprano
Kisma is a native of Detroit, Michigan and holds degrees in music from Peabody Conservatory, Bowling Green State, and Kentucky State University. Characterized by The New York Times as a “shimmering soprano voice”, Kisma has enjoyed appearances with Annapolis Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New Jersey Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Sought after on the concert stage, Kisma has made solo appearances in works including Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony no. 2 with Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate with Lima Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, she captured 1st Prize in National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition and Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh’s Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition. This summer Kisma will tour with her fusion project Beyond Classical: Opera Soul.
Jennifer Lindsay • Soprano
Long Beach CA
Praised for her ‘clever comic ability’ and ‘vocal athleticism’ (Naples Daily News), Jennifer Lindsay made her European debut last year in Prague as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni under the direction of renowned baritone Sherrill Milnes and his wife, soprano Maria Zouves. She has been a featured soloist in concert with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. Last fall she appeared as Lucha in the world premiere of HOPSCOTCH with The Industry, directed by Pulitzer Prize nominee Yuval Sharon, and this past spring she was a Resident Artist at Opera Naples in Florida, covering Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata and performing the untitled lead soprano role in Tom Johnson's The Four Note Opera. Upcoming engagements include Carmina Burana with the Southeast Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles and an appearance at the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York as a Bel Canto Young Artist. Ms Lindsay has been awarded prizes in numerous opera competitions, including the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition and the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and she was recently named an Opera Buffs Career Grant recipient. She is also an accomplished orchestral violinist who records regularly throughout Los Angeles, and her contribution can be heard on the soundtracks to TV shows, commercials and miniseries.
Aundi Moore • Soprano
American Soprano, Aundi Marie Moore hailed by The Washington Post for possessing a voice of “Clarion Beauty” has captured the hearts of many audiences and critics alike with her rich warm expressive tones. Celebrated for being a 2016 winner of the American Traditions Voice Competition in Savannah, Georgia and 2015 winner of the American Prize in Voice. Career Highlights on the opera stage include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with L'Opéra de Monte Carlo for her international operatic debut, Nedda in Pagliacci with Sarasota Opera, Soprano 2 in Facing Goya with the Spoleto Festival USA, Serena in Porgy and Bess with Atlanta Opera ,Young African American Soprano in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County with Virginia Opera, and Odessa Clay in the World Premier of Approaching Ali with Washington National Opera. Aundi is an alumni of the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program.
Cody Quattlebaum • Baritone
New York NY
Bass-Baritone Cody Quattlebaum, from Ellicott City, Maryland, is currently earning a master’s degree in Voice Performance at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Marlena Malas. Mr. Quattlebaum has recently performed Der Lautsprecher in Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Sylvano in La Callisto in New York City at The Juilliard School. During his bachelor’s at College Conservatory of Music, he performed the roles of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Fischer in Matsukaze, Melisso in Alcina, as well as Colonel in the Cincinnati Opera/CCM cooperative unstaged premier of Daniel Catán’s Meet John Doe. There, he was also awarded the Seybold-Russell Award in the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition. This summer, he will be performing the role of Guglielmo in Merola’s production of Così fan Tutte in addition to several other concerts at San Francisco Opera.
Greg Allen Friedman • Tenor
Tenor Greg Allen Friedman has been heard throughout California, Chicago, Wyoming and in Brussels, Belgium. In 2014 he completed a successful seven-recital tour in California and Wyoming with a program titled Songs of Longing and Belonging, accompanied by harpist Dominique Piana. Last year they toured the bay again, performing in Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco. In June 2015, Mr. Friedman sang the part of Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation in collaboration with the Orchestre Hainaut-Picardie and two choruses in Brussels. Most recently, in February he sang the role of Rodolfo in Opera on Tap SF's production of La Bohème. He currently studies with Robin Taylor. Mr. Friedman received his M.M. in vocal performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and received a B.M. with the same emphasis from San Francisco State University. In a recent review, he was lauded for his “emotional sincerity and sensitive interpretive skills.”
Aaron Gallington • Tenor
Tenor, Aaron Gallington, is distinguishing himself throughout California as a powerful and communicative vocal artist. Mr. Gallington is a native of Bakersfield, California. He began his vocal studies with Henry Price at Pepperdine University where he completed his bachelor degree in theatre and music. During his studies Mr. Gallington sang the leading tenor roles in La Bohème and Little Women. As an undergraduate student Mr. Gallington was the recipient of several academic and performance awards. Mr. Gallington continued his vocal study at the University of California, Santa Barbara completing his Master of Music degree in 2015. During this time Mr. Gallington appeared as Duke Orsino in the West Coast premier of Twelfth Night composed by Joel Feigin in collaboration with the UCSB Opera Theatre Program. He also portrayed Javier in the UCSB Opera Theatre production of Luisa Fernanda. In June Mr. Gallington was a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts competition. In August he began his professional career by singing with the Lamplighter’s Music Theatre company in their production of H.M.S. Pinafore in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Gallington continues keep an active performance schedule engaged for concerts and recitals.
Eva Gheorghiu • Soprano
Soprano Eva Gheorghiu, a native of Olympia, Washington, will be a first year Master’s student at Guildhall School of Music & Drama this fall under the tutelage of Sarah Pring. This past spring, she graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music as a student of Edith Wiens. Ms. Gheorghiu has previously appeared at Juilliard as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (2013), and as Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge (2014). Additionally, she has covered the roles of Young Vixen, Young Frog, Cricket, Grasshopper, Pepik, and Frantik in The Cunning Little Vixen (2013), and 3rd & 4th Spirit in Cendrillon (2014). In 2013, Ms. Gheorghiu was a soloist with The Olympia Symphony in their concert Operatic Treasures, and attended The Franz-Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria. In 2014, Ms. Gheorghiu attended Songfest in Los Angeles, California, where she was named a SongFest Colburn Fellow. Ms. Gheorghiu has also participated in master classes with Elly Ameling, Helmut Deutsch, Jake Heggie, Rudolf Jansen, Graham Johnson, Susanne Mentzer among others.
Timothy Madden • Bass Baritone
Bass-baritone Timothy Madden, hailed by the Chicago Stage Standard as "endlessly fun, full-voiced, totally physicalized", is quickly becoming noted for his work in comedic roles. He gave "an excellent comic performance" in his debut as Sir Despard in Theater at Monmouth's Ruddigore (David A. Sargent, Sun Journal), and Aaron Hunt of Newcity Stage was delighted by his "terrific Bottom, both vocally and theatrically" in Chicago Summer Opera's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mr. Madden has recently made company and role debuts as the Marchese d'Obigny in La traviata with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and Maximilian in Candide with Emerald City Opera. He has been heard on the concert stage as the bass soloist in Bach's G Minor Mass, Orff's Carmina Burana, and the Fauré Requiem. In August, Mr. Madden will return to Emerald City Opera to perform the Crippled Sailor and cover Il Capitán in Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas and Farmer Boggis in Tobias Picker's The Fantastic Mr. Fox, with performances conducted by the composer.
Madelaine Matej • Soprano
Mill Valley CA
Soprano Madelaine Matej made her professional stage debut at age thirteen, singing Flora in The Turn of the Screw with Oakland Opera Theater. She made her San Francisco Opera debut the following year, creating the role of Dory Kamen in The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Miss Matej has won numerous competitions and grants, including the Avanti Award, the Lotfi Mansouri Vocal Award from Pacific Musical Society, and a merit award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She graduates from University of the Pacific this May, as an Honors Student and Powell Scholar. At Pacific, Madelaine sang Gabrielle in Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne, Titania/Fairy 2 in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sparrow/Božka in Krása’s Brundibár, Celidora in Mozart’s L’Oca del Cairo, and Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. She also published “Don’t Look Back! A Eurydice Retrospective,” a research paper exploring the poor treatment of the leading lady throughout operatic history.
Julia Metzler • Soprano
Julia Metzler is currently pursuing her Master’s of Music in Opera from UCLA, and holds a Bachelor's of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Metzler’s recent and upcoming roles include Micaëla in Bizet's La tragédie de Carmen, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, the Countess in Mercadante’s I Due Figaro, the roles of Ortensia, Ettalina and Stelladora in Musto’s Bastianello, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, 2nd Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Blanche de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites. A frequent opera competitor, Ms. Metzler has appeared in the Western Region finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2015 and 2012. In 2011 she was the 1st Place winner of the Pacific Musical Society Competition, the Grand Prize winner in the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition, and a finalist in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition.
Alexander Taite • Tenor
A resident and native of Oakland California, Alexander Taite graduated in April 2007 from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor’s Degree in music theory and composition. He emphasized in vocal performance with a minor emphasis in jazz piano. He spent 4 years teaching music courses, and conducting choirs at the Oakland School for the Arts. He is currently singing full time with the SF Opera chorus, and teaching private piano and voice lessons out of his home in Oakland. He placed third in the inaugural JTVA competition in 2014. He was a finalist in the East Bay Opera League scholarship competition in 2015.