Vanessa Becerra

Vanessa Becerra

Vanessa Becerra, soprano

Vanessa Becerra

Emerging soprano Vanessa Becerra has received acclaim for her “opulent” and “silvery” voice, and for her dynamic stage presence. A graduate of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, her performances during her tenure included Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Annina in La traviata. She was also featured as Gossip 2 in the Grammy-nominated recording of The Ghosts of Versailles. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Ms. Becerra made her professional debut with Fort Worth Opera in 2014, in the highly acclaimed production of With Blood With Ink for which she was praised for her “passionate theatrical intensity” (Wall Street Journal) and her “irresistible characterization” (Opera News).

Most recently she made her Opera San Jose debut as Musetta in La bohème, sang in Hercules v. Vampires for North Carolina Opera, was heard in Handel’s Messiah with San Antonio Symphony, and returned to The Glimmerglass Festival as Laurey in Oklahoma!.

The 2017-2018 season brings a year of many debuts for Ms. Becerra. She begins the season with the LA Phil in a concert of selections from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in which Ms. Becerra sings Papagena under the baton of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. Other debuts include her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in their Lyric Unlimited production of Greg Spears’ Fellow Travelers as Miss Lightfoot; her Opera Omaha debut as Glauce in Medea conducted by Jane Glover; and her Atlanta Opera debut as Johanna in Sweeney Todd. Further performances include a concert of music by Donizetti with The Dallas Opera at the Winspear Opera House and Sophie in Werther with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Delaware.

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Ms. Becerra enjoys a long relationship with The Glimmerglass Festival where she was a member of the famed young artist program. In the summer of 2015 she covered Pamina in The Magic Flute and returned as a young artist the following summer to portray Musetta where she was described as a “scene-stealing minx with a glorious soprano voice.” Other training programs for Ms. Becerra include the Apprentice Program at Des Moines Metro Opera (2014) and Wolf Trap Opera’s Studio Artist Program (2013). Ms. Becerra also studied at the Seagle Music Colony where she performed the roles of Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Johanna in Sweeney Todd.

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Pureum Jo

Pureum Jo

Pureum Jo, soprano

Pureum Jo

Her tone and presence described as “riveting,” “mesmerizing,” and “ravishing” by Opera News, the New York Times, and Time Out New York, soprano Pureum Jo is an alumna of Houston Grand Opera’s Studio Program, where she captivated audiences as Pamina and Papagena in Die Zauberflote, and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Equally at home in contemporary music, Ms. Jo appeared with the company as the Rose in Rachel Portman and Nicholas Wright’s The Little Prince, Becca in the world premiere of Gregory Spears and Royce Vavrek’s O Columbia, and as Miss Frayne in the latest world premiere by the legendary Carlisle Floyd, Prince of Players. In the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Jo made her San Francisco Opera debut in the company’s latest commission as Dai Yu in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber, which also traveled to the Hong Kong Music Festival in the Spring. Additional performances included her fourth appearance with New York City’s Voices of Ascension in performance of Mozart’s Esultate Jubilate and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, her debut with Sarasota Orchesta in performances of Mozart’s Requiem, and as Pamina with Opera Naples under the baton of Music Director Ramon Tebar.

In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Jo joins Lyric Opera of Chicago for the first time in their production of Orphée & Eurydice. She also returns to the Sarasota Orchestra for an evening of Mozart concert arias with Music Director Anu Tali, returns to Opera Naples for her role debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and sings Micaëla in Carmen with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she will be heard in recital in San Antonio, TX with baritone Michael Sumuel.

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Ms. Jo appeared in the title role in Toshio Hosokawa’s Matsukaze with the Lincoln Center Festival and the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., a performance for which Opera News wrote, “You could take neither your eyes nor your ears off her.” She recently sang with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and made her San Francisco Symphony debut in their 16th annual Chinese New Year Concert. She has performed regularly at the Aspen Music Festival as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Micaëla in Carmen, the High Priestess in Aida, and most recently as Musetta in La bohème. Other roles include Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, Fraarte in Radamisto, and Sandrina in La finta giardiniera.

An accomplished concert soloist and recitalist, Ms. Jo has appeared in recital with Houston Grand Opera, Alice Tully Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival. She sang in “A Concert of Comic Operas,” co-presented by The Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School and conducted by James Levine, and was the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem Mass and Coronation Mass, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, and in a concert of Mozart and Mendelssohn oratorio arias with New York City’s Voices of Ascension. Additionally, she has performed at Carnegie Hall in Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues. Originally from South Korea, Ms. Jo holds two degrees from the Juilliard School.

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Toni Marie Palmertree

Toni Marie Palmertree

Toni Marie Palmertree, soprano

Beth Lytwynec

Toni Marie Palmertree is currently a second-year member of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera. During her time in the program, she has been heard as Barena in Jenufa, Voice of Heaven in Don Carlo, and High Priestess in Aida. Additional assignments include covering Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Violetta in La traviata, and the title role in Madama Butterfly. In November of 2016, Ms. Palmertree was called to step onto the War Memorial stage as Cio-Cio San on three hours’ notice. Of her performance, Janos Gereben from San Francisco Classical Voice wrote: “The young soprano not only met the challenge, but she claimed her place among the finest vocal interpreters of the role heard here recently.” During the coming season, Ms. Palmertree will return to the San Francisco stage as Liu for six performances of Turandot.

Other recent performances include Giorgetta in Il tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica for West Bay Opera’s production of Puccini’s Il trittico, and a recital performance with pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg in Berkeley, CA. A 2015 participant of the Merola Opera Program, Ms. Palmertree is also a recent recipient of the The Richard F. Gold Career Grant by the Shoshana Foundation. She is proud to hold many awards including winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council District Awards, finalist in The International Moniuszko Voice Competion, and The Classical Singer Voice competition.  Further awards include First place in the Long Leaf Opera of North Carolina voice competition, The Kennett Square Symphony Voice Competition, and The Marcella Sembrich competition.  She was awarded third place in the National Opera Association Voice Competition, the James Parkinson Opera Competition and was second place winner of the Sylvia Green Voice Competition.

'Tu, tu piccolo iddio'

by Giacomo Puccini | Excerpt from "Madama Butterfly"

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Heather Phillips

Heather Phillips

Heather Phillips, soprano

Beth Lytwynec

High lyric soprano Heather Phillips, whose recent performances of Nannetta in Falstaff with Arizona Opera were described by Opera News as “beautiful” and “shimmering”, is continuing to garner critical acclaim with reputable performances on the opera and concert stage.

During the 2017-2018 season, Miss Phillips debuts with Austin Lyric Opera as Micaëla in Carmen and on the concert stage appears as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic, soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with both the Boise Philharmonic and the Valley Symphony Orchestra in Texas and makes her New York Philharmonic debut as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Future engagements include debuts with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Canton Symphony Orchestra and a return to the Boise Philharmonic. During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Phillips made her Arizona Opera debut as Nannetta in Falstaff and also debuted with Opera Philadelphia reprising the role of Katie in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, a role she created at the Santa Fe Opera and on the Grammy nominated original cast recording. She returned to Opera Philadelphia later that same season for performances of the composer workshop series, Double Exposure. On the concert stage she appeared as the soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Grammy nominated ensemble True Concord and returned to the Ravinia Festival and the Tucson Desert Song Festival as a recitalist in collaboration with pianist Kevin Murphy. Other recent previous performances include Elvira in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Micaëla in Carmen with Kentucky Opera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Opera Southwest, Musetta in La bohème at the Crested Butte Music Festival and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro at Cincinnati Opera.

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An alumna of the Santa Fe Opera apprentice program, she joined the company for their 2014 and 2015 seasons, covering Micaela in Carmen and then Gilda in Rigoletto. She also performed as a soloist in a lieder recital with Harry Bickett at the piano for the chamber music series, Performance Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Opera apprentice scenes showcase saw her as Luisa (Verdi’s Luisa Miller) and as La Contessa (Rossini’s Il Viaggio A Reims). While as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, she sang the role of Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under the baton of Jane Glover.

Ms. Phillips has received many awards including top honors in the 2015 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition. She is also the recipient of one of the Santa Fe Opera’s outstanding apprentice singer awards. Also in 2014 Ms. Phillips advanced in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, winning the Connecticut district and advancing to the New England Regional Finals where she was awarded the 3rd place prize. In previous years, she has also received recognition and awards from the George London Foundation, Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition, Marcello Giordani Foundation, Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition, Schuyler Foundation Competition for Career Bridges, National Opera Association Vocal Competition,  Orpheus Vocal Competition, Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition, and the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust. In 2013 she made her Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut as a finalist in the Nico Castel Master Singer Competition and in the same year was selected to represent the United States as a finalist in the Queen Sonja International Vocal Competition in Oslo, Norway.

Ms. Phillips received both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Before her collegiate operatic studies began, Ms. Phillips trained and performed as a pianist and flautist for 10 years, performing as an adolescent with the Canton Youth Symphony Orchestra as a flautist and throughout the community as a volunteer outreach performer on piano, flute and voice with the McDowell Music Club of her hometown of Canton, Ohio. She currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Elizabeth Sutphen

Elizabeth Sutphen

Elizabeth Sutphen, soprano

Elizabeth Sutphen

“Impressive coloratura soprano” (The New York Times) Elizabeth Sutphen has garnered praise for her sparkling voice and her ability to “soar deftly through stratospheric trills and arpeggios” (Financial Times). As an “astonishing mature member” (Frankfurter Neue Presse) of the Opera Studio at Oper Frankfurt, Ms. Sutphen’s 2016-2017 season included her debut as Tiny in Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan (directed by Brigitte Fassbaender), Romilda in Handel’s Xerxes, Die Heilige Jungfrau in Honegger’s Jeanne D’Arc Au Bucher, all new productions, and Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. This September, she will make her debut at Kentucky Opera singing the role of Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. Her 2017-2018 season at Oper Frankfurt includes representing the theater in the prestigious Stella Maris Competition, and performances as Ines in Il trovatore and Lisa in La Sonnambula.

A recent graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Sutphen has already made professional debuts on concert and opera stages in the United States and Europe. In the summer of 2015, she joined Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist where she made her debut as Bianca in Puccini’s La rondine under the baton of Music Director Stephen Lord. The following summer, she returned to the company as a Richard Gaddes Festival Artist where she was heard as Najade and covered Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. Further performances in the 2015-2016 season included Handel’s Messiah in her debut with Milwaukee Symphony and her first performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana with Allentown Symphony.

 

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During her time at Juilliard, Ms. Sutphen earned critical acclaim for her performances as La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon under the leadership of Emmanuel Villaume and as Tigrane in Handel’s Radamisto led by Julian Wachner with Juilliard415, the school’s principal period-instrument ensemble. In the fall of 2015, she joined Juilliard415 in performances with Maestro Nicholas McGegan in Telemann’s Die Tageszeiten at Alice Tully Hall before touring with the ensemble to Vancouver and Berkeley, CA, where they performed with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Additional performances at Juilliard include her Alice Tully Hall debut in Juilliard’s Wednesday at One series and covering Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in the Met+Juilliard production of Concert of Comic Operas under Metropolitan Opera Music Director James Levine. Further performances include a concert as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at Aspen Music Festival’s Harris Hall; Suor Genevieve in Suor Angelica and Frasquita in Carmen with Aspen Opera Theater Center; and Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Albany Symphony and New York City’s Little Orchestra Society.

A frequent grant recipient and competition winner, Ms. Sutphen has been recognized by The Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition (2nd prize 2014), The George London Foundation (Encouragement Award 2014), The Dallas Opera Guild National Vocal Competition (Finalist 2015), The Richard Gaddes Fund for Young Singers at OTSL (2015), The Novick Career Grant at The Juilliard School (2014-15), The National Society of Arts and Letters (1st Prize) and The Gerda Lissner Song Competition (2015). She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the Juilliard School and received additional training as a resident artist at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt, Germany in 2015. In the summer of 2016, she will be a participant in the Sir George Solti Accademia for Bel Canto performance.

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