SOL JIN, BARITONE
Recently selected by Opera News as one of their “25 rising stars”, Korean baritone Sol Jin was last seen performing as Giorgio Germont in La traviata at Carnegie Hall and was a 2016 grand prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions. He is currently a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. In 2015, he was a participant of the Merola Opera Program where performed in the Schwabacher Summer Concert in the title role Gianni Schicchi and Prince Yeletsky in Pique Dame. Mr. Jin has been praised for his “singing of mature refinement, buoyed by such commanding amplitude and projection that a visible jolt went through the audience each time he sang” (New York Times), “incisive performance, evenly and beautifully sung” (Opera News), and “resonant, powerfully projected voice” (SFCV). In 2014, Mr. Jin made his opera debut singing with Long Island Opera as Giorgio Germont in La traviata and sang The Count in Le nozze di Figaro. He also sang the title role in Macbeth with The Manhattan School of Music. His other awards include the top prize in The Gerda Lissner Foundation’s International Vocal Competition, 2nd prize in The Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition, 4th prize in The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition, Emerging Artist awards for Opera Index Competition, 2nd Prize in XIV Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition, 3rd prize in The Dallas Opera Competition, as well as the Hugh Ross Annual Singer award from Manhattan School of Music.
KIRILL KUZMIN, PIANO
Kirill Kuzmin is currently a pianist and vocal coach in the Houston Grand Opera Studio. He has worked with HGO on the productions of Eugene Onegin (also as diction coach), Le nozze di Figaro, and Siegfried, as well as the modern American opera The Little Prince by Rachel Portman and the world premiere of David Hanlon and Stephanie Fleischmann’s After the Storm. In the 2016-17 season, he will coach Faust, Verdi’s Requiem, and Götterdämmerung with the Houston Grand Opera. He will perform in recital at Opera America in New York, Balliol College in Oxford, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A Russian native, Mr. Kuzmin spent three years with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, first as a young artist and then as a full-time member of the music staff. During his time with the company, he served as opera coach and accompanist on a number of Russian operas, including Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride, as well as works from the standard operatic repertoire, such as Turandot, Der Rosenkavalier, La traviata, and La sonnambula. While in Moscow, he also served as pianist and coach for a number of operatic undertakings by the acclaimed Moscow Philharmonic, including Le nozze di Figaro, Maria Stuarda, and Orphée et Eurydice. He has appeared in recital in the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre Beethoven Hall and Carnegie Hall, where he collaborated on Marilyn Horne's art song initiative, The Song Continues. In 2014 and 2015, he served as an apprentice coach with the Merola Opera Program under the baton of Martin Katz, Warren Jones, and Ari Pelto in productions of Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, The Medium, and Gianni Schicchi. In the summer of 2016, he was engaged as a coaching fellow with the Wolf Trap Opera for La bohème with maestro Grant Gershon. Mr. Kuzmin holds degrees in piano performance from the Moscow Conservatory and in collaborative piano from the Moscow Conservatory and the University of Michigan, where he studied with renowned collaborative pianist Martin Katz.
Program Selections* (subject to change)
Featured Composer – Francis Poulenc, Paolo Tosti, & Ludwig van Beethoven
*(program subject to change)