JTVA is pleased to announce the 7 finalists in each tier for our sixth annual Vocal Competition. These talented singers will travel to Oakland, CA to participate in the master classes and competition finals on June 14 and 15 at Holy Names University. This video, which was shown at The Finalists Revealed, on Sunday, April 28, 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.


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Kara Dugan • Mezzo-Soprano
Temecula, California

Mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan has been praised by The New York Times for her “vocal warmth and rich character.” Her 2018/19 season included her Los Angeles  Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall debuts with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. Ms.

Dugan also sang the role of  Mrs. Van Buren  in a workshop performance of Ricky Ian Gordon’s new opera, Intimate Apparel, with a libretto by Lynn Nottage. She has recently sung with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, and New World Symphony, Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Boston Early Music Festival, Wolf  Trap Opera, and Aspen Music Festival and School.

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Andrew Manea • Baritone
Troy, Michigan

Romanian-American baritone Andrew Manea is praised for his “…charming, robust baritone…” He recently performed  the  Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux  at  the San Francisco Opera. Noteworthy performances include Escamillo in Carmen, the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, and Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni. Andrew has won awards in competitions such as the Francisco Viñas International  Competition, the MONC Auditions, the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Voice Competition, and the JTVA Competition. Andrew is  currently performing the Hunter in Rusalka at the San Francisco Opera and will be Figaro in Palm  Beach Opera’s upcoming production of Il barbiere di Siviglia.

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Brian Michael Moore • Tenor
Cincinnati, Ohio

Brian Michael Moore is a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his debut this year as The Song Seller in Puccini’s Il Tabarro as well as Second Priest in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. He completed the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera, where he was seen as Le Remendado in Carmen, The Governor in Candide, Spoletta in Tosca, and Nathanaël in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Brian is a winner of the 2018 Sara Tucker Study Grant, and was recognized as Una Finestra Sui Due Mondi from the 2017 Spoleto Festival Dei Due Mondi

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Felicia Moore • Soprano
Princeton, New Jersey

American soprano Felicia Moore recently earned an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School and has won top prizes from the Sullivan Foundation Competition, the Jensen Foundation Competition and the George London Competition. Next season, Ms. Moore joins the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, debuts as the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos at Arizona Opera, performs with MetLiveArts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and joins the San Diego Symphony for performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Ms. Moore’s training has included resident artist apprenticeships at Merola Opera Program, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Portland Opera.

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Alexandra Nowakowski • Soprano
Chicago, Illinois

Polish-Americn soprano Alexandra Nowakowski is currently a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist at the Washington National Opera. An alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts, she has taken first prize at the Marcella Sembrich International Voice Competition, Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, Vocal Arts DC Competition, and Violetta DuPont Competition. She has performed premiere roles in several operas both nationally and internationally, including the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Gilda in Rigoletto, Sophie in Werther, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role she will reprise this summer with Wolf Trap Opera.

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Mario Rojas • Tenor
Torreón, Mexico

Tenor Mario Rojas is a third-year member of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he recently stepped in for an ailing colleague as Alfredo in La traviata.

Originally from Torreón, Mexico, Rojas is an alumnus of the San Francisco Conservatory  of Music and recipient of the  Plácido Domingo scholarship from SIVAM, Mexico's most prominent young-artist program. He has sung Rodolfo in La bohème at Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. Among the honors Rojas has received are a 2018 William M. Sullivan Foundation Award, third place in the 2018 Dallas Opera Vocal Competition, and winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Illinois District Auditions.

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Camille Sherman • Mezzo-Soprano
Petaluma, California

Mezzo-soprano Camille Sherman joins Portland Opera this season as a Resident Artist, performing Flora Bervoix in La traviata and Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, as well as covering roles Hannah After in As One and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Ms. Sherman also returns to Pensacola Opera in 2019 to make her role debut as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette, where she was an Artist in Residence during the 2017/18 season. She was recently a National Semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Sherman holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Boston Conservatory.



David Catalano • Baritone
Downer’s Grove, Illinois

David Catalano is currently a master’s candidate at the University of Houston, studying voice with Professor Hector Vasquez. Previous roles for David include Doctor Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, the title role in Giulio Cesare, Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. David has spent the last two summers performing as an Emerging Artist with Seagle Music Colony. In 2017, David was the recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions held in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Cara Gabrielson • Soprano
Portland, Oregon

Cara Gabrielson made her San Francisco Symphony debut last season as the Soprano Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Previously, Cara was the Oregon District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was presented by the Portland Opera Guild in recital. Her upcoming engagements include singing with the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Festival, Boise Baroque Orchestra, and Opera Idaho. Cara graduated with her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory  of  Music and is an alumna of Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy and the Opera Saratoga Young Artist Program.


Taylor Haines • Soprano
Sacramento, California

Taylor Haines, soprano, has displayed the reach of her talent in a wide range of roles, including Alice Ford (Falstaff), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), and Older Alyce (Glory Denied). Taylor has participated in prestigious music festivals such as Music Academy of the West and the Renata Scotto Opera Program. Awards include Second Prizes at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finals, New York Lyric Opera Theater Competition, James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, and Robert S. Dinsmore Opera Competition, and Third Prize at the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition.


Madeleine Lew  • Soprano
Los Angeles, California

California native Madeleine Lew is a young soprano and will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music this spring. Madeleine has sung the roles of Beth in Adamo’s Little Women and Dew Fairy in a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the  San Francisco Opera, as well as Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. This past season, she excerpted the roles of Adina from Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, Eurydice from Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers, and Cunegonde from Bernstein’s Candide to mention a few.


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Lindsey Reynolds • Soprano
New Orleans, Louisiana

American soprano Lindsey Reynolds is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, under the tutelage of Marlena Malas. A versatile young artist, her favorite roles include Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Monica (The Medium), Carrie (Carousel), and Cathleen (Riders to the Sea). She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including first place in the Junior Division of the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera National Voice Competition, Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and the National Association of Negro Musicians Vocal Competition. Ms. Reynolds has attended Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy and will be singing Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Chautauqua Institute.


Thomas West • Baritone
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Baritone Thomas West’s 2018-2019 season includes covering Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera San Jose and his role debut as Morales in Carmen with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. Recent career highlights include Bill in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Mississippi Symphony, and the world premiere of Wayne Oquin’s Meditation in Alice Tully Hall. Organizations performed with include the New York Festival of Song and the Chautauqua Institution. In 2014, President Obama named West a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He holds a BM in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School.

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Jason Zacher • Bass-Baritone
Livingston, New Jersey

Praised for his “stirring resonance” (San Diego Story), bass-baritone Jason Zacher is a graduate of the Moores School of Music (M.M. Vocal Performance) and John J. Cali School of Music (B.M. Music Education). This year, Jason has performed roles including: Oliver Jordan (Dinner at Eight), Don  Pasquale  (Don Pasquale), William Jennings Bryan (The Ballad  of Baby Doe), La Voce (Idomeneo), and Kromow (The Merry Widow). This summer, Jason will return to Opera NEO as an Apprentice Artist to perform Alidoro (La Cenerentola) and Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin). Jason is a student of Dr. Timothy Jones and previously studied with Karen Driscoll.