2015 International Vocal Competition
Winners Biography
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Top Prize
Marina Costa-Jackson, Soprano, a 2015 Metropolitan National Council Audition winner, top prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation, first prize winner with the Giulio Gari Foundation. Recently a special guest artist with Hvorostovsky and Friends in Minsk, and with Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden. She is a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Her upcoming roles include Musetta in La bohème with Michigan Opera Theatre and Mimì with the Welsh National Opera.

First Prize
Michael Adams, Baritone, first prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation is in his second year as a Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Michael joins the Deutsche Oper Berlin next season for a number of roles including Ping in Turandot, the Marquis in La traviata, Harašta in The Cunning Little Vixen, and Erste Priester in Die Zauberflöte. Also next season, he makes his debut with the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Melisso.

Second Prize
Andrew Stenson, Tenor, continues as a member of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He debuts with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Arizona Opera, and Fort Worth Opera, and returns to the Glyndebourne Festival in a leading role. He performed Demetrius in The Enchanted Island at the Metropolitan Opera, and also made a return to Seattle Opera as Tonio in La fille du regiment.

Third Prize
Yungeng Wang, Baritone, first prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation 2014 and member of the Lindemann Program he was last seen making his Carnegie Hall debut, collaborating with The Musical Olympus Festival. In February, Wang made his Alice Tully Hall debut singing with the I Sing Beijing Program and The New York City Opera Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Paul Nadler.

Fourth Prize
Patrick Guetti, Bass, named grand prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2014, before completing his studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts. First prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation. The 2014 – 2015 season appeared in Tosca at Lyric Opera of Chicago before joining the Ryan Opera Center program. He will make his company debut with Dallas Opera in Francesca Zambello's production of Salome.

Fourth Prize
Sol Jin, Baritone, received his Masters degree from The Manhattan School of Music. He was the recipient of the Edgar Foster Daniels Full Scholarship in Voice. He won first prize in The Gerda Lissner Foundation. He opens his 2014 -2015 season with his debut at the Long Island Opera Company as Germont in La traviata. Joined Merola's summer 2015 opera program as a Young Artist.

Fifth Prize
William Davenport, Tenor, made his role debut of Nemorino with Opera Delaware and the Baltimore Concert Opera. He made his debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème at Opera Naples. Winner of the Opera Orchestra/Agnes Varis Competition, National Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Completed young artist programs with Chautauqua Opera, Glimmerglass Opera. First prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation.

Marta Eggerth Kiepura Award
Mario Rojas, Tenor, is presently a sophomore at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Cesar Ulloa. Mr. Rojas is the recipient of the Placido Domingo scholarship from SIVAM, Mexico's most prominent young artist program and one of the youngest singers to receive this scholarship. Most recently he performed the role of Nemorino in L'Elisir D'amore with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Theater.

Grant Winners
Jared Bybee, Baritone, first prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation is currently in his second year as a Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts and was last seen as Valentin in Faust. Received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Utah where he also completed a minor in music. Won 4th prize in the Loren L. Zachary and 5th prize in the Giulio Gari Foundation competitions 2015.
Dominic Chenes, Tenor, in his 3rd year at AVA recently seen as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Academy of Vocal Arts a role in which he also just made his professional debut in with Austin Lyric Opera. Next season he makes his debut at Grand Theatre de Genéve as Iopas in Les Troyens with Maestro Dutoit. A 2013 second prize winner at the Gerda Lissner Foundation.
Andre Courville, Bass Baritone, appeared at Carnegie Hall in Opera Orchestra of New York's production of Roberto Devereux and Caramoor International Music Festival as Monterone in Rigoletto. 2013 debuts with The Santa Fe Opera, singing the Marquis d'Obigny in their production of La traviata as a member of the Apprentice Singer Program. Received first prize in the Loren L. Zachary and second prize in the Giulio Gari Foundation.
Cullen Gandy, Tenor, 2014 Los Angeles Opera debut as Young Messenger in A Streetcar Named Desire; singing opposite Renée Fleming. Debuting with Virginia Opera, as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore. Returned as a second year apprentice singer artist at The Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2015, where he will be performing the role of 3rd Jew in Strauss' Salome.
Joo Won Kang, Baritone, first prize winner of Fort Worth Opera's 2014 MacCammon Vocal Competition and The Gerda Lissner Foundation. Appeared with San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House as Captain Gardiner in Heggie's Moby Dick, which was televised nationally on PBS and released on DVD. 2014-15 season includes a return to San Francisco Opera as Marcello of La Bohème.
Alasdair Kent, Tenor, AVA second-year Resident Artist, first place in the Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition, Regional Finalist and Encouragement Award, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Middle Atlantic, Grant winner in the Giulio Gari Foundation. Roles at AVA, Parpignol, La Bohème; Manon; Gastone, La traviata; Chekalinsky, Pique Dame; Ferrando, Così fan tutte. Roles at Merola Opera Program, summer 2015 Gherado, Gianni Schicchi; Ernesto, Don Pasquale.
Alison King, Soprano, third prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation is a student of the Yale Opera Studio. At 16 she debuted with the Oregon Symphony in their Young Artist Concert Series, and the Coeur D'Alene Symphony. Upcoming roles include Musetta in La Bohème, Clorinda in La Cenerentola with Yale Opera. In 2015 Ms. King will perform in the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration at Carnegie Hall.
Dogukan Kuran, Baritone, third prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation, professional studies Certificate Candidate at The Curtis Institute of Music. Studies with Mikael Eliasen and Marlena Malas. He won the final of the 30th November 2012 II° Concorso Internazionale di Canto Lirico premio Città di Saluzzo - dedicato a Magda Olivero. Has participated in numerous Vocal recitals, chamber concerts, opera & musical productions.
Mingjie Lei, Tenor, appeared as Conte de Lerma in Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia. Joined the Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago in May 2015. Holds a Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and is Professional Studies Certificate candidate at the Curtis Institute of Music. Second prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation, awards from Opera Index, and Giulio Gari Foundation.
Yasmine Levi-Ellentuck, Soprano, a native of Israel appeared at Deutsche Oper Berlin as Erste Dame in a production of The Magic Flute. Sang Leonora in Il Trovatore, at Opera in Williamsburg in Williamsburg, VA, and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with IVAI in Tel Aviv. Sang Soprano Solo part in Dvorak's Stabat Mater, and in Verdi's Requiem. Second prize winner at the Gerda Lissner Foundation.
Joseph Lim, Baritone, completed his second season as resident artist in the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Performed as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Schaunard in La Bohème under The baton of Sir Andrew Davis with the Civic Orchestra at Symphony Center. Grand Prize Winner 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, second prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation.
Kirsten MacKinnon, Soprano, second prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation studying under the mentorship of Prof. Edith Wiens, Ms. MacKinnon currently holds the Alfred Greenberg Memorial Fellowship at Curtis Institute of Music. Covering Micaela in Glyndebourne Festival's production of Carmen and appeared as Countess Madeleine in Opera Philadelphia's Capriccio.
Megan Marino, Mezzo Soprano sings Miriam and Ruth in the American premiere of Weill's The Road of Promise with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Saint Petersburg Opera. Joins the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Anna Bolena and San Francisco Opera as Partenope. Has made her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fort Worth Opera and Florida Grand Opera.
Chloe Olivia Moore, Soprano, performed Donna Anna at Loren Maazel's Castleton Festival. Graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts she has received many awards, 1st Place in the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the George London competition, 2nd place in the Giulio Gari Foundation. Awards from the Loren L. Zachary, the Liederkranz Foundation. Made her debut as LeËla in Les pêcheurs de Perles with Dayton Opera, 2014-15.
Mia Pafumi, Soprano, recently began her professional career as an Apprentice Artist for the Sarasota Opera's Winter Festival season, which included Verdi's "Il Trovatore," "Jersualem" and Wagner's "Der Fliegende Holländer" in Sarasota, Florida. She has been accepted by the Tennessee Opera Young Artists Program in 2015-16. A third prize winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation 2015.
Hyesang Park, Soprano, made her debut as Violetta in La traviata with Korea National Opera, where she also performed in L'elisir d'amore. Performed in Don Giovanni, Cavelleria Rusticana, Tosca, and Un ballo in maschera with Seoul Metropolitan Opera. Will perform in the Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital in Alice Tully Hall, and will make her Juilliard Opera debut as La Fée in Cendrillon.
Heather Phillips, Soprano returned to Lyric Opera of Kansas City to sing Elvira in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri. Will be seen as Katie in the world premiere of Cold Mountain as a member of the Santa Fe Opera apprentice program. Received 3rd prize in The Gerda Lissner Foundation, grant winner in the Giulio Gari Foundation. Continues her studies with renowned soprano, Diana Soviero.
Reginald Smith, Baritone, Winner 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Top prizes in The Gerda Lissner Foundations, The George London Foundation. Winner of People's Choice Award, Dallas Opera Guild Competition, first place in the National Opera Association Competition Scholarship Division and the Orpheus Vocal Competition Young Artist Division, the 2015 Sarah Tucker Grant. Has been A Studio Artist with Houston Grand Opera.
Vanessa Vasquez, Soprano, AVA first-year Resident Artist received her B.A. in Vocal Performance, The Catholic University of America; M.M. in Opera Performance, University of Los Angeles, California, UCLA. Third Place winner of the Violetta DuPont competition, Grant winner in the Giulio Gari Foundation. Appeared as Mimì, La Bohème at AVA, Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni, Opera UCLA.