Release date: 9/26/2012

San Francisco Opera Center Announces 2013 Adler Fellows

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SAN FRANCISCO (September 26, 2012)––San Francisco Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald announced the thirteen recipients of the 2013 Adler Fellowship. The Adler Fellowship Program is a performance-oriented residency offering advanced young artists intensive individual training, coaching, professional seminars and a wide range of performance opportunities throughout their fellowship. The Adler Fellows are selected from the young artists who have participated in the Merola Opera Program. The prestigious resident artist training program has nurtured the development of more than 150 young artists since its inception.
The eleven singers selected as 2013 Adler Fellows are sopranos Jennifer Cherest (La Plata, Maryland) and Marina Harris (Los Angeles, CA); mezzo-sopranos Laura Krumm (Iowa City, Iowa), Renée Rapier (Marion, Iowa) and Erin Johnson (Washington, New Jersey); tenors A.J. Glueckert (Portland, Oregon) and Chuanyue Wang (Hei Long Jiang, China); baritone Ao Li (Dezhou, China); and bass-baritones Joo Won Kang (Seoul, South Korea), Hadleigh Adams (Palmerston, New Zealand) and Philippe Sly (Ottawa, Ontario). Harris, Krumm, Rapier, Li and Kang are returning as Adler Fellows. The outgoing 2012 Adler Fellows are soprano Nadine Sierra, tenor Brian Jagde, bass-baritone Ryan
Kuster and coach and accompanist David Hanlon.
The two pianists selected for Apprentice Coach Fellowships are Sun Ha Yoon (Seoul, South Korea) and returning Adler Fellow Robert Mollicone (East Greenwich, Rhode Island). The Adler Fellow Apprentice Coaches work closely with Mark Morash, Director of Musical Studies of the Opera Center and John Churchwell, Head of Music Staff at San Francisco Opera. The Coaches participate in the musical activities of both San Francisco Opera and the Opera Center, and they are involved in all aspects of the Adler Fellows’ training by acting as pianists for classes, playing for other master coaches and preparing the Adler Fellows for concerts and main stage roles.
“It’s always exciting to welcome a new group of Adlers, as the types of voices are always so varied and different, and this year, we are getting a bit of everything,” said San Francisco Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald. “From young dramatic voices to charming soubrettes, the wonderful talent pool continues at the Opera Center!”
Adler Fellows gain valuable professional experience by participating in roles of increasing importance in San Francisco Opera’s repertory season, and also enjoy a variety of performance opportunities throughout their fellowship. The 2013 Adlers will perform with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra on April 26, 27 and 28 in A Night at the Opera, an eclectic program of sung and spoken musical stories from Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne. Selected Adler Fellows will also be featured in the Schwabacher Debut Recital Series (at Temple Emanu-El’s Martin Meyer Sanctuary in San Francisco), which was created to spotlight artists who have participated in the programs of the San Francisco Opera Center.
The Adler Fellows’ season culminates with a special year-end concert featuring the singers in an evening of opera scenes and arias with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. This year’s concert, The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Gala Concert, showcasing the acclaimed 2012 Adler Fellows, takes place on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
Further details about upcoming 2013 Adler Fellow performances will be announced at a later date. Biographies of the 2013 Adler Fellows follow below.

2013 Adler Fellow Biographies

Bass-baritone HADLEIGH ADAMS is a first-year Adler Fellow and graduate of the 2012 Merola Opera Program. The New Zealand native was a member of New Zealand Opera from 2004 to 2008 and performed frequently as an oratorio soloist. He made his debut with London’s Royal National Theatre in 2011 as Christ in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Awards include a 2010 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonyge Scholarship and first runner-up in the Australian Singing Competition. Upcoming engagements include Pollux (Rameau’s Castor et Pollux) with Pinchgut Opera.
A native of La Plata, Maryland, first-year Adler Fellow JENNIFER CHEREST was a participant in the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where she sang the role of Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera. The soprano’s other career highlights include Micaëla (La Tragédie de Carmen) with Dayton Opera,  Sylvianne (The Merry Widow) with Kentucky Opera, as well as Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and the First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) with Rome’s Internationale Lyrica Academie. In 2011, she took second place in the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition and was a finalist in the Fritz and Lavinia Jenson Vocal Competition.

Tenor A.J. GLUECKERT is a first-year Adler Fellow hailing from Portland, Oregon. He is an alumnus of the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where he performed Mr. Owen in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. As a resident artist with Minnesota Opera, he performed Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and created the role of the Crown Prince in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’s Silent Night. He is also a graduate of the young artists programs at the Santa Fe Opera and Utah Opera. A two-time winner of the regional Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, he holds a degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and appeared as the Drum Major (Wozzeck) with San Francisco’s Ensemble Parallèle.

Soprano MARINA HARRIS, a second-year Adler Fellow and a Harris is an alumna of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, where she performed the role of Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The Los Angeles native is a three time soloist with the Los Angeles Bach Festival. In 2010, Harris was chosen as a Western regional finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and was the second place winner in the finals. She was also a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions regional finalist in 2009 and took home the Special Encouragement Award. She was selected as an Encouragement Award Winner at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition in 2010 for her performance of art song repertoire.

Mezzo-soprano ERIN JOHNSON is a first-year Adler Fellow and was a participant in the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where she performed as Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena) and Mab (La Jolie Fille de Perth). A native of Washington, New Jersey, she holds a master’s degree from Rice University. While at Rice, Johnson was also awarded to study in Florence through the Margaret Pack Italian Language Study Program in 2012. In 2009, Johnson was accepted into the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, where she was seen in scenes from Roméo et Juliette, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. She also holds bachelor’s degrees from Cairn University.

Baritone JOO WON KANG is a second-year Adler Fellow who made his San Francisco Opera debut this past summer as the Second Priest in The Magic Flute. Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, Kang appears in the Company productions of Rigoletto, Lohengrin, Moby-Dick, and Tosca this fall. A 2011 Merola Opera Program alumnus, he recently earned first prizes from the Gerda Lissner International Competition and the Palm Beach Opera Competition. Recently he sang Count Monterone (Rigoletto) and the Duke of Verona (Roméo et Juliette) as a member of the young artist program with Florida Grand Opera.

A native of Iowa City, Iowa, mezzo-soprano LAURA KRUMM is a second-year Adler Fellow who made her San Francisco Opera debut as Countess Ceprano in this fall’s Rigoletto. Her recent repertoire includes Charlotte (Werther), Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), and the Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte). A graduate of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, she has performed in concerts and operas with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy and OperaWorks in Los Angeles, and she was a finalist in the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Competition.

A native of Dezhou, China, AO LI made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2011 as Ascanio Petrucci (Lucrezia Borgia) and returned as Le Dancaïre (Carmen for Families). The baritone is a third-year Adler Fellow and 2010 Merola Opera Program alumnus, where he sang the role of Belcore in their production of L’Elisir d’Amore. A frequent recitalist in China, Li is a past recipient of the Youth of China award and the bronze award in the People's Republic of China Ministry of Culture's Eighth National Vocal Competition. He appears in the Company’s 2012 productions of Tosca and I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

Coach and pianist ROBERT MOLLICONE is a second-year Adler Fellow. He was a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where he served on the music staff for Don Pasquale, Tosca, and Lucia di Lammermoor on the main stage. A Rhode Island native Mollicone has served as a vocal coach and pianist for Boston Lyric Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Opera Collaborative, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Opera North. He was a Spectrum Resident Artist at Virginia Opera in 2009, and a participant in the Merola Opera Program in 2010. Mollicone worked on San Francisco Opera’s productions of The Magic Flute and Moby-Dick in 2012.

American mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier is a second-year Adler Fellow who made her Company debut as Giovanna in this fall’s Rigoletto. The Marion, Iowa native has performed with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. She is a frequent performer with the Boston-based early music ensemble La Donna Musicale, and appeared on their latest CD, Anna Bon: La virtuosa di Venezia. Rapier was a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera in 2009, and a participant of the Merola Opera Program in 2010 and 2011. The mezzo was a national semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in 2011.

A winner in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, bass-baritone PHILLIPE SLY is a first-year Adler Fellow and makes his San Francisco Opera debut in 2013 as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. A native of Ottawa, Ontario and a graduate of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Recent and upcoming engagements include Marcello (La Bohème) and Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress) at McGill University and Masetto (Don Giovanni) at the University of Ottawa. Sly appeared with the Canadian Opera Company in the 2011­–12 season singing roles in The Tales of Hoffmann, A Florentine Tragedy, Gianni Schicchi, and Semele.

A native of Hei Long Jiang, China, CHUANYUE WANG is a first-year Adler Fellow and graduate of the 2012 Merola Opera Program. The tenor’s awards include first prize in the Chinese Culture Ministry’s WenHua Competition, the Mandova Competition, the China International Vocal Competition, and the Chinese National Young TV Singers Competition. Wang is a graduate of China’s Central Music Conservatory. Roles in his repertory include Alfredo Germont (La Traviata), the Steersman (Der Fliegende Holländer), and Ernesto (Don Pasquale).

Pianist and vocal coach SUN HA YOON is a first year Adler Fellow hailing from Seoul, South Korea. In the summer of 2012 she was participant in the Merola Opera Program. Prior to that, she was a vocal piano fellow at the Music Academy of the West, where she coached Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Don Giovanni. In January of 2012, she collaborated with soprano Megan Hart in a duo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of Marilyn Horne’s “The Song Continues…” series. Sun Ha recently graduated with a doctorate in collaborative piano performance from the University of Maryland and worked as a coach for the Maryland Opera Studio in two world premiere performances: Later the Same Evening by John Musto and Shadowboxer by Frank Proto.


About San Francisco Opera Center and Merola Opera Program

San Francisco Opera Center was created in 1982 by then-General Director Terence A. McEwen to oversee the operation and administration of the education and training programs initiated by Kurt Herbert Adler in 1954. Providing a coordinated sequence of performance and study opportunities for young artists, San Francisco Opera Center represents a new era in which young artists of major operatic potential can develop through intensive training and performance, under the aegis of a major international opera company. Now under the guidance of its fourth director, Sheri Greenawald, and San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley, the Opera Center has trained and introduced many young stars from around the world to the international opera stage through its resident artist programs.

One of the oldest and most acclaimed training programs of its kind, the Merola Opera Program for aspiring opera professionals offers up-and-coming singers, coach-accompanists and stage directors the opportunity of intense study and performance during an eleven-week summer program. Named for San Francisco Opera’s first general director, Gaetano Merola, the program began during the 1954-55 Season and established its full training program in 1957. Alumni of the program include Sylvia McNair, Anna Netrebko, Patricia Racette, Ruth Ann Swenson, Carol Vaness, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick, Brian Asawa, Thomas Hampson, Rolando Villazón, and Patrick Summers. An independent non-profit organization, the Merola Opera Program operates in collaboration with San Francisco Opera Center and San Francisco Opera.

Initially founded as the San Francisco Opera/Affiliate Artists program in 1977, the Adler Fellowship Program is one of the nation’s most prestigious performance-oriented residencies for the most advanced young singers and coach/accompanists. Each year, Adler Fellows are sponsored by individual donors to help cover the cost of their fellowship, and sponsors affiliated with the Adler Program have the opportunity to attend private studio classes with the Fellows and develop nurturing relationships with them. Alumni from the Adler Fellowship Program include sopranos Laura Claycomb, Nicolle Foland, Nancy Gustafson, Mary Mills, Patricia Racette, Ruth Ann Swenson and Deborah Voigt; mezzo-sopranos Zheng Cao and Dolora Zajick; countertenor Brian Asawa; baritones Mark Delavan and David Okerlund; and bass-baritones Monte Pederson and John Relyea.

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