JTVA is pleased to announce the 7 finalists in each tier for our fifth annual Vocal Competition. These talented singers will travel to Oakland, CA to participate in the master classes and competition finals on June 15 and 16 at Holy Names University. This video, which was shown at The Finalists Revealed, on Sunday, April 29, is a brief compilation of excerpts from the finalists’ applications. We are thrilled with the remarkable talent of all these singers and look forward with great excitement to the competition weekend! All events are open to the public and tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.



Kelsey LauritanoMezzo-Soprano
San Francisco CA

Japanese-American mezzo-soprano Kelsey Lauritano, from San Francisco, is a graduate student at Juilliard studying with Edith Wiens. This season she appears in Il Ballo delle Ingrate (Venere), L’enfant et les Sortilèges (L’enfant), Hippolyte et Aricie (Diane) at Juilliard and Le nozze di Figaro (Cherubino) at Music Academy of the West. Past performances include Kept: A Ghost Story (Ghost/Bride) with Virginia Arts Festival, Mozart’s Requiem (Alto soloist) with the Juilliard Orchestra, Handel’s La Resurrezione (Cleofe) with Boston Early Music Festival and Berio’s Circles with New World Symphony. Lauritano received her B.M. from Juilliard. She joins Frankfurt Opera Studio in 2018/19. 


Hannah Ludwig • Mezzo-Soprano
Sacramento CA

Mezzo-soprano Hannah Ludwig is currently in her fourth year at the Academy of Vocal Arts where she has performed the roles of Charlotte in Werther, Isabella in L’italiana in Algieri, Maddalena in Rigoletto and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte. She has also performed Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito at the Aspen Music Festival. In the 2017-2018 season, she will perform Azucena in Il Trovatore, Fricka in Das Rheingold, and the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos all with AVA, Isaura in Tancredi with Teatro Nuovo, and will make her debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah.


Andrew Manea • Baritone
Troy MI

American Baritone Andrew G. Manea has been praised for his, “…robust baritone…” He has recently been seen at the San Francisco Opera performing Marchese D’Obigny in Verdi’s La Traviata as well as Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto. In the summer of 2016 he appeared at the Merola Opera Program as Iron Hans in Conrad Susa’s Transformations. Other noteworthy performances in 2016 include Escamillo in Carmen in Wuhan, China, The Forester in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni. Andrew has competed in competitions such as the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition (6th place), the MONC auditions (National Semi-finalist), the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition (finalist), the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Voice Competition (2nd and audience favorite), the Giulio Gari Foundation (career grant recipient), and the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition (1st and audience favorite). He is currently a second year Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera. In 2018 at San Francisco Opera he will be covering Donner in Das Rheingold, Günther in Götterdӓmmerung, Nottingham in Roberto Devereux, Silvio in I Pagliacci, and performing Sciarrone in Tosca. He has worked with opera greats such as Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones, Lorin Maazel, and James Morris. Andrew is a student of Michael Paul.


Brian Michael Moore • Tenor
Cincinnati OH

Brian Michael Moore is a tenor from Cincinnati, Ohio. He completed his bachelor of music and master of music degrees at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Mark Oswald. He has been a soloist with both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops! Orchestra. He was a finalist of the 2014 Eastern Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and first place winner of the 2014 Classical Singer Competition.

In the summer of 2015, he performed the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto at both Asheville Lyric Opera and Brevard Music Festival.

In the summer of 2016, he participated at the Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera, performing in Conrad Susa’s Transformations. He has also appeared as the Shepherd in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex at Cincinnati May Festival under the baton of James Conlon, as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with New York Opera Exchange and as the Animal Tamer in Der Rosenkavalier at Cincinnati Opera.

In the summer of 2017 he had two important engagements: Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni conducted by James Conlon at Festival dei Due Mondi di Spoleto (Italy) and Luke Bedford’s Seven Angels at Aspen Music Festival with Yves Abel as conductor.

At the moment he is member of the Young Artists Program at Los Angeles Opera, where he sang Salome (Jude) and Tosca (Spoletta) under the baton of James Conlon; at the LA Opera he sang also the role of Nathanael in Les Contes d’Hoffmann conducted by Placido Domingo. At LA Opera he will sing in Carmen (Remendado) in the Autumn of 2017, again under the baton of James Conlon


Bryan Murray • Baritone
West Babylon NY

Bryan Murray, baritone, is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts degree at Yale University While at Yale, Mr. Murray appeared as Smirnov in William Walton’s The Bear and Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Murray received an Artist Diploma and MM in vocal performance from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. While at Purchase, Mr. Murray appeared as John Proctor in Robert Ward’s The Crucible (with a recording done by Albany Records), Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Father in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel.


Mariya Kaganskaya • Mezzo-Soprano
New York NY

Russian-American Mezzo-Soprano Mariya Kaganskaya returns to the Studio Artist Program at Florida Grand Opera in the 2018-19 Season, performing Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Mrs. Rockefeller/Natalia (Frida), and Käthchen (Werther), and covering Charlotte (Werther). In the 2017-18 Season, she performed the roles of Page (Salome) and Paula (Florencia en el Amazonas) at FGO. As an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera, Mariya premiered the role of Teacher in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs; as a Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, her roles included Tisbe (La Cenerentola) and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly). Her awards include a Western Regional Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, and First Place from the Gershwin International Competition and the Pacific Musical Society.


Emmett O'Hanlon • Baritone
New York NY

Irish-American baritone Emmett O’Hanlon is a recent alum of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2017 – 2018 season sees Mr. O’Hanlon’s final season as a member of the Ryan Center with roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago including Wagner in a new production of Faust, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. Mr. O’Hanlon’s cover assignments including Marullo in Rigoletto and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte.

The 2016 – 2017 season saw Mr. O’Hanlon’s debut on the Lyric Opera of Chicago stage as 2nd Priest in Die Zauberflöte and Dancaire in Carmen. Additional assignments include covering Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Captain in Onegin. Mr. O’Hanlon also made his debut at Des Moines Metro Opera in a new production of Britten’s Billy Budd singing Novice’s Friend and covering the title role. Concert work includes the Rising Stars concert at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Timothy Myers.

In addition to his operatic and concert career, Mr. O’Hanlon has been a lead singer on Celtic Thunder’s 2014 Celtic Cruise, 2014 Christmas Symphony Tour, and 2015 ‘Very Best Of’ Tour.

Mr. O’Hanlon holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.



Ben Brady • Bass-Baritone
Denver CO

Bass-baritone Ben Brady has been recognized for his “sonorous” tone by SF Classical Voice, and “commanding” stage presence by SF Gate. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he received his BM in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan and moved to the Bay Area soon after graduating. He currently sings in the San Francisco Opera chorus and will appear as the Page in Roberto Devereux this September.

Other opera roles include Rocco (Fidelio) with West Bay Opera, Silvano (Un ballo in maschera) with Livermore Valley Opera, Dottore Malatesta (Don Pasquale) at the Mendocino Music Festival, and the title role in Lamplighters’ The New Mikado. Mr. Brady also teaches regularly at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.


Clare Demer • Soprano
Tucson AZ

Clare Demer (soprano) is a vocal performance Masters student at the University of Houston, where she performed Maria in the world premiere of Robert Nelson’s The School for Scandal. Other operatic performances have included L’Enfant (L’Enfant et les sortilèges), Monica (The Medium), and Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte). Clare has participated in numerous music festivals including IVAI in Montreal, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, and Aspen Summer Music Festival. This summer she will be an Apprentice Artist with Teatro Nuovo. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Clare is a two-time finalist of the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


Cara Gabrielson • Soprano
Portland OR

Soprano, Cara Gabrielson, recently graduated with her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she also received her Bachelor's. This season, she makes her San Francisco Symphony debut as the Soprano Soloist in Bach's Magnificat, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and Ives' Psalm 90. Cara is a 2017 Oregon District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. As a Studio Artist with Opera Saratoga, she sang Second Woman (Dido and Aeneas) and covered Clorinda (La Cenerentola). Favorite roles include Musetta (La bohème), Norina (Don Pasquale), Atalanta (Serse), and Drusilla (L'incoronazione di Poppea). Cara is an alumna of Houston Grand Opera's Young Artists Vocal Academy and the International Vocal Arts Institute.


Taylor Haines • Soprano
La Habra CA

Taylor Haines, soprano, will graduate from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Master of Music in May 2018. Her favorite roles include Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Suzel (L’amico Fritz), Musetta (La Boheme), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), and Madame Cortese (Il Viaggio a Reims). Taylor has sung with various academic music programs, including Lingua e Canto in Italy, Respiro Opera in New York, Berlin Opera Academy, and the Renata Scotto Opera Program in Naples, Florida. This summer she will attend Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. In 2017 Taylor was a finalist in the Brava! Opera Theatre Competition and received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in San Francisco. While completing her Bachelor’s degree at Sacramento State, Taylor received the Joan and David Traitel Vocal Scholarship (2016) and Baden-Württemberg Stipend (2013) for her yearlong study in Trossingen, Germany, where she sang Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro.



Kyu Young Lee • Tenor
Ulsan, Korea

Tenor Kyuyoung Lee, a native of South Korea, earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal arts from Seoul National University, and a Master of Music degree in vocal arts from the University of Southern California, under Professor Elizabeth Hynes. He received the Seoul National University Alumni Development Fund Scholarship, as well as the Music Merit Scholarship for excellent academic record at USC. Lee also graduated from the professional study program in vocal arts at the Manhattan School of Music, under Professor Marlena Kleinman Malas. He has performed with the Korea Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and in many concerts throughout Korea. A district winner in Colorado in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, Lee has sung at the Aspen Opera Theater Center and has performed Tamino (Magic Flute) and Chaplain of the Monastery (Dialogues of the Carmelites) for USC Thornton Opera, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) at the Manhattan School of Music, and Lucarnio (Ariodante) with Chautauqua Opera. Last summer, Lee covered the roles of Rodolfo (La Boheme) and Luigi (A Wedding) at the Aspen Music Festival. He recently enrolled as a graduate program student at Boston University, under the tutelage of Professor Jerrold Pope, and this summer will attend the Music Academy of the West


Matthew Soibelman • Bass
Los Angeles CA

A Los Angeles native pursuing a BM in Vocal Performance at California State University Northridge. Recently, he was awarded the Ben DeBolt Memorial Scholarship at the Henry and Maria Holt Memorial Scholarship Competition, Regional and National Scholarship Winner fromNational Society of Arts and Letters Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Scholarship Competition, he received theS. Livingston Mather Scholarship from The Singers Club of Cleveland Competition , 2ndin Center Stage Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Competition and honored to receive the LA Opera Encouragement Award. He was a Finalist in the Kristen Lewis Foundation Scholarship Competition, as well as the Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition at the 2017 National Opera Association, also taking first place with Pepperdine University in NOA’s Opera Scenes Competition and first place in the Cal-Western Freshman Division of NATS in 2016.

Matthew has had the honor of participating in Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy, OperaWorks and the past several years in Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. He is excited to start this summer participating in Songfest followed by Chautauqua Institute’s Voice Program. 

Roles performed include Falstaff in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Surin in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Mr. Slocum in Nice Day for the Races, The Speaker/2ndArmored Guard in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Giorgio in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliersand several other productions. Matthew can also be heard on the film soundtracks of Star Wars: The Last JediStar Wars: The Force Awakensand Transformers: The Last Knight.


Sean Stanton • Baritone
Chicago IL

The twenty-seven year old baritone Sean Stanton received the Lola Fletcher Award for outstanding voice from the American Opera Society. He also received awards from the New York Lyric Opera Theatre National Competition, Classical Singer Competition, Bel Canto Foundation, James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, and the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in 2017. Sean has also placed first at the Central Region, Illinois, Chicago, and Northern NATS competitions. An active performer, Sean has sung with Dupage Opera, American Chamber Opera, Ignite Opera, Schubertiade Chicago, VOX3, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and Grant Park Chorus. Currently he is finishing his master of music degree at North Park University where he won the 2014 and 2016 School of Music Performance Awards. Sean and his life long teacher Annie Picard founded the Picard Stanton Singers Institute in 2017, teaching holistic techniques for musicians based on Informatics Qi Gong.