The Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence Program was established in 1987 to serve as a professional training program for young singers as a bridge to move from the university/conservatory education experience into the arena of a professional opera company. The four artists in the program are selected from national auditions and reside in Dayton for 3 months.
The young professional artists in Dayton Opera’s 2016–2017 Artists-in-Residence Program are soprano Chelsea Friedlander, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Frey, tenor Brian Skoog and bass-baritone Vincent Grana. The four Artists-in-Residence will be appearing at numerous schools and presenting musical programs throughout the community, as well as performing in main stage productions for the company.
Chelsea Friedlander, a New Jersey native, makes her Dayton Opera debut as Blonde in The Abduction from the Seraglio. She will also appear in Carmen as Frasquita and makes her Dayton Philharmonic debut as the soprano soloist in this season’s Messiah. Chelsea received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. Performance highlights include appearances with The Ohio Light Opera Company, Opera Saratoga, Opera in the Ozarks, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (current company member), Light Opera of New York, Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance, Light Opera of New Jersey, Women’s Theater Project, and Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live!.
Elizabeth Frey completed her graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she performed many leading roles including Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Originally from California, she has been active in the opera community of Cleveland, performing with Cleveland Opera Theatre and Opera Circle Cleveland, as well as serving as Assistant Director for the Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theatre. Elizabeth makes her Dayton Opera debut this season and will perform the role of Mercedes in Carmen and understudy the title role as well as debut as mezzo-soprano soloist in this season’s Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic. She has been an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, Maryland Opera Society, and Opera Western Reserve. Last year, she was awarded the prestigious Boris Goldovsky Prize in Opera.
Brian Skoog will make his Dayton Opera debut this season as Remendado in Carmen and makes his Dayton Philharmonic debut as the tenor soloist in this season’s Messiah. He was recently acclaimed for his portrayal of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Circle Cleveland, with whom he previously appeared as Jenik in The Bartered Bride, Ruiz in Il trovatore, and Goro in Madama Butterfly. Brian is a previous Bonfils-Stanton Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera and a graduate of the Aspen Opera Theatre Center. He recently sang Tamino with Toledo Opera on Wheels. Originally from Alabama, Skoog completed his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he sang many leading roles including Tito in La clemenza di Tito, Paolino in Il matrimonio segreto, and The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel.
Vincent Grana is a native of New Jersey and received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Rutgers University. In 2013, he was a Philadelphia District winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. His credits include Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Elder Ott (Susannah), Annibale Pistacchio (Il Campanello di Notte), Nilakantha (Lakme), Mephistopheles (Faust), and Colline (La bohème). Most recently Vincent sang with Sarasota Opera as one of their apprentice artists for the final season of their Verdi Cycle. He will make his Dayton Opera debut in the role of Zuniga in Carmen as well as debuting as the bass soloist in Dayton Philharmonic's Messiah.
In addition to performing in both major and supporting roles with the Dayton Opera, these four talented young artists will work together over the next few months to perform education and outreach programs in our community, helping contribute to the future health of this wonderful art form in our area. We congratulate our new Artists-In-Residence, and we wish them the very best of luck in their stay here in the Dayton area. Bravo!