Hello! Bonjour! Hola! Cześć!
AVA is very excited to welcome our seven new Resident Artists! These singers are coming to us from near and far, from the good old U.S of A to Québec, Mexico, Poland, and New Zealand. We know everyone is waiting anxiously to witness these new talents firsthand, so let's start some introductions!
First up we have Alexandra Razskazoff, coming to AVA from New Brighton, Minnesota. Alexandra is a soprano who holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Peabody Conservatory and a M.M. in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School.
Previous roles include Musetta, La bohème; Miss Alden, Dinner at Eight, Britomarte, L'arbore di Diana, Wellgunde, Das Rheingold, all with Minnesota Opera; First Lady, Die Zauberflöte, Music Academy of the West and Juilliard Opera Theater; Contessa Almaviva, Le nozze di Figaro, Juilliard Opera Theater; Suor Angelica, Suor Angelica, The Amalfi Coast Summer Music Festival; Blanche de la Force, Dialogues des Carmélites, Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni, Abigail Williams, The Crucible, and L’Écureuil, L'enfant et les sortilèges, all with Peabody Conservatory Opera Theater.
Alexandra has also competed in competitions, taking 3rd Place in HGO's Eleanor McCollum Competition (2016), and 1st Place in Sylvia Green Voice Competition (2014)!
We are thrilled to have Alexandra joining the soprano forces here at AVA, and can't wait for all of you to meet her!
Next we have Gabriela Flores, mezzo-soprano, joining us from Mexico! Gabriela has performed many times with the Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, including roles such as Alisa, Lucia di Lammermoor; Maddalena, Il viaggio a Reims, and Gianetta, L'elisir d'amore.
Also coming to us from Mexico, meet Daniel Gallegos! Daniel is a baritone who hails from Chihuahua, Mexico, where he studied at the Conservatorio de Música de Chihuahua, Taller de Ópera de Sinaloa and Sociedad Internacional de Valores al Arte Mexicano.
Previous roles for Daniel include Mr. Nohlan, The Medium; Baron Douphol, La traviata; Betto, Gianni Schicchi; and Papageno, Die Zauberflöte.
¡Bienvenido Gabriela y Daniel!
Meet Brent Michael Smith, bass, who is from Owosso, Michigan! Brent holds a B.M. from Hope College, and a M.M. from University of Northern Iowa. Brent has performed many roles in his career, including The Commentator, Scalia/Ginsburg, Ariodate, Serse, both at The Glimmerglass Festival; Ashby, La fanciulla del West, Friedrich Bhaer, Little Women, and Colline, La bohème, all with Michigan Opera Theatre; Dr. Grenvil, La traviata with Owensboro Symphony (KY) and Lafayette Symphony (IN); Harry Hopkins, A Woman in Morocco with Kentucky Opera. Coming up he will perform the God of Evil/Procrustes, Hercules vs Vampires with Arizona Opera. He also earned First Place in the Opera Grand Rapids Competition (2012).
Hailing from Pultusk, Poland, let's meet Lukasz Zientarski! A baritone who studied at The Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, Lukasz has perfomed as Don Magnifico, La Cenerentola at the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar. He has also competed and received First Degree Laureate in Salut International Performing Arts Web Competition, and Second Prize at III National Vocal Competition in Drezdenko.
Oliver Sewell is a tenor from Christchurch, New Zealand. He holds a B.M. from the University of Canterbury, and an M.M. from Manhattan School of Music. Oliver is no stranger to competitions; he is the Gerda Lissner Grant Award Winner (2017), Stan Sesser Career Award Winner (2016), Alan M. and Joan Taub Vocal Competition Finalist (2016), Lexus Song Quest Finalist (2015), and Kiri Te Kanawa Grant Recipient.
Previous roles for Oliver include Ramiro, La Cenerentola, ARE Opera; Gastone, La traviata, New Jersey Festival Orchestra; Benoit, Le Roi l'a Dit, Danceny, The Dangerous Liaisons, Tamino, Die Zauberflöte, all with Manhattan School of Music Opera Studio; Ernesto, and Don Pasquale, Crested Butte Music Festival.
And last, but certainly not least, meet Pascale Spinney! A mezzo-soprano, Pascale is originally from Montréal, Québec, and has a B.M. and M.M. both from McGill University in Montreal.
Previous roles for Pascale include Ruggiero (cover), Alcina, Santa Fe Opera; Cherubino, Le nozze di Figaro, Vancouver Opera; Hansel, Hansel and Gretel, Vancouver Opera; Clairon (cover), Cappriccio, Santa Fe Opera. She has participated in competitions such as the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where she was a National Semi-Finalist (2017), the Mrs. Edgar Tobin National Award (2017), and the Vancouver Opera Foundation Kurt Sickert Scholarship (2016).
Bienvenue à l'Académie Pascale!
There you have it folks, the new faces of AVA! Want to meet them in person? Join us at the New Artist Recitals on September 19th, and 21st to welcome them!
About the author: Caitlin McCarthy is the Administrative Associate at the Academy of Vocal Arts.