Utah Opera Resident Artists to Perform in Carbon and Emery Schools


Press Release

Students in Carbon and Emery Counties can enjoy live professional opera in their own schools when Utah Opera’s Resident Artists perform for them throughout the week of April 8-12, 2019. The culminating event of the week is a concert of music by Leonard Bernstein performed by the five artists in Helper’s Rio Theatre on Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m. During their five-day visit to the area, Utah Opera Resident Artists will offer age-appropriate performances of the lively and colorful “Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?” in area elementary schools as well as “Opera 101” for secondary school students.

Based on the format of popular game shows, “Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?” allows the visiting artists to teach the fundamentals of opera to younger students. The artists act as contestants who demonstrate their answers with vocal selections while the children serve as the studio audience. Students actively participate when they join the contestants in clapping rhythms, singing melodies, and identifying emotions in the music. In-school performances for students are offered free-of-charge to Utah schools thanks to partial funding through the Utah State Legislature’s Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS) program and the Elizabeth Brown Dee Fund for Music in the Schools.

On Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Rio Theatre, the Utah Opera Resident Artists will perform “Bernstein at 100,” a celebration of music for the theatre composed by Leonard Bernstein. Featured scenes include music from “Candide,” “Trouble in Tahiti” and “West Side Story.” The concert is approximately one hour in length and will be performed without intermission. Ticket prices for the concert are $5 for individuals or $10 for families (up to six people) and are available in advance at Helper City Hall and on the evening of the concert at the theatre.

“Leonard Bernstein at 100” is the world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, the composer, conductor, educator, musician, cultural ambassador, and humanitarian. The celebrating began officially on Aug. 25, 2017, Bernstein’s 99th birthday, and continues through his 100th year until August 25, 2019. Utah Opera would like to express appreciation to Helper Mayor Lenise Peterman for her enthusiasm, creativity and generous welcome to Utah Opera, and to all of the local sponsors who are supporting this week of arts activities in the community, including The Helper Project, the Juliano Group, Washington Federal and the Helper Art Workshops.

Full Schedule of Events
Monday, April 8 – 10:00 a.m. – Wellington Elementary
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Monday, April 8 – 2:15 p.m. – Cottonwood Elementary
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Tuesday, April 9 – 10 p.m. – Pinnacle Canyon Academy
“Opera 101”

Tuesday, April 9 – 1 p.m. – Sally Mauro Elementary School
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Wednesday, April 10 – 11 a.m. – Bruin Point Elementary School
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Wednesday, April 10 – 2:18 p.m. – Helper Middle School
“Opera 101”

Thursday, April 11 – 2 p.m. – Castle Dale Elementary
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

Thursday, April 11 – 7 p.m. – Rio Theatre
“Bernstein at 100” community concert

Friday, April 12 – 9:30 a.m. – Creekview Elementary School
“Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?”

The Utah Opera Resident Artist Program
Utah Opera’s Resident Artist program employs five Resident Artists who are selected through national auditions to spend nine intensive months with Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. During this time, they participate in vocal and dramatic coaching sessions; in workshops on important aspects of operatic performance, such as stage deportment, movement, and language study; and in master classes with acknowledged opera professionals. While they are with the company they also perform in Utah Opera’s main stage productions in the Capitol Theatre, Utah Symphony concerts, and in-school presentations and community concerts throughout the state. The program’s objective is to prepare young singers for the rigorous and competitive world of professional opera, and, through their performances, to introduce Utah’s students to the lively and exciting world of opera.

2018-19 Utah Opera Resident Artist Biographies
Praised for her “crystalline voice and flawless intonation,” soprano Grace Kahl recently completed her Artist’s Diploma at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During her participation in the Apprentice Artist Program with Des Moines Metro Opera she was featured in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music as Mrs. Anderssen. Most recently she performed the role of Nannetta in Falstaff with Intermountain Opera Bozeman. Dedicated to performing new music, Grace debuted the role of Lucy in the world premiere of Austin Jaquith’s Dracula: Bloodlines. Grace was the first prize winner of the 2017 American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition. Grace returned to Des Moines Metro Opera in summer 2018 to portray the roles of Laurie in The Tender Land and the Kitchen Boy in Rusalka. Grace was featured in Utah Opera’s productions of Candide, The Little Prince, and The Magic Flute this season. During summer of 2019, Grace will be part of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program.

Lebanese-American mezzo-soprano Melanie Ashkar is known for the “rich texture” of her voice and her “delightfully expressive” stage presence. Last season at Utah Opera, she portrayed Ida in Die Fledermaus and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi. This past summer she made her Central City Opera debut as Third Lady in The Magic Flute. Melanie has appeared across New York City as Earth (Los Elementos) with New York City Opera, Olga (Eugene Onegin) and Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia) with Utopia Opera, Bradamante (Alcina) with OperaRox Productions, and as Jo (Little Women), Older Woman (Flight) and La Zia Principessa/Zita (Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi) with Mannes Opera. A Washington, DC native, Melanie holds a BA in Music and Linguistics from the University of Virginia, an MS in Linguistics from Georgetown University, and an MM in Voice from Mannes College. For Utah Opera’s 2018-19 season, she was featured as The Fox in The Little Prince, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and will appear as Clotilde in Norma; she joined the Utah Symphony as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. During summer 2019, Melanie will be a young artist for Central City Opera.

Addison Marlor, dubbed the “sweet-toned tenor” by SF Gate, heralds from Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a two-time participant in the Merola Opera Program, and was praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice as having a “wonderfully warm and engaging voice and presence” for his performance as Satyavān in Holst’s Sāvitri. Other roles include Sellem in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, the title role in Bernstein’s Candide, Ruggero in Puccini’s La Rondine, and Parîs in the rarely-performed Hélène by Saint-Saëns. Addison holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Utah Valley University and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Utah, where he represented the School of Music in the Graduate Vocal Quartet. His musical theatre credits include Curly in Oklahoma! and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. This fall Addison debuted with the Utah Symphony in the roles of the Archbishop and Slave Driver in Bernstein’s Candide and also with Washington Concert Opera, singing Phaon in Gounod’s first opera, Sapho. With Utah Opera this season, he was featured in The Little Prince, The Magic Flute, and will also appear in Norma.

Detroit native bass-baritone Jesús Vicente Murillo made his professional debut at the age of eighteen with Michigan Opera Theater as The Android in The Very Last Green Thing. In Utah Opera’s 2017-18 season, he appeared as Captain Gardiner in Moby-Dick, and Ser Amantio di Nicolao in Gianni Schicchi, and also performed the bass solos in Messiah with the Utah Symphony. In Utah Opera’s 2018-19 season he has already performed Romeo and Juliet and Candide; he has roles in The Little Prince and The Magic Flute in the spring. Other recent credits include the roles of Jose Castro (La Fanciulla del West) and L’Inconnu (Cyrano) with Michigan Opera Theater. Jesús received his Master of Music degree in Opera and Voice from McGill University in Montreal and his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan. During the summer of 2019, Jesús will play the title role in Figaro 90210 for Chatauqua Opera.

Pianist Robert Bosworth is thrilled to be returning for a second season with Utah Opera. Robert has participated in the Merola Opera Program, Music Academy of the West, and Opera Saratoga. He has also been on staff with Chicago Summer Opera and the Utah Vocal Arts Academy’s Summer Opera Festival. Most recently, he served as the chorus master for Disney in Concert: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, with Utah Symphony. In addition to his love for opera, Robert exhibits a
strong passion for art song repertoire, and was a pianist for Carnegie Hall Presents: The Song Continues. He holds a Master of Music in Vocal Accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with a minor in Vocal Performance from the University of Kentucky. During the summer of 2019, Robert will join Wolf Trap Opera, and in the fall he will work with Arizona Opera.

About Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Education Department
The Education Department of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera creates and oversees opportunities in music for audiences of all ages, with special emphasis on musical experiences for K-12 students and teachers. As the largest performing arts organization in Utah, USUO promotes a broad public knowledge and appreciation of music through more than 30 state-assisted community outreach programs, amounting to more than 600 performances annually. USUO Education serves more than 7,000 teachers and 145,000 students each year throughout Utah by offering both symphony and opera programs, free of charge, to every school district in Utah over a three- to five-year rotation. For more information, visit www.usuoeducation.org or call 801.869.9091.

scroll to top