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Dayton Opera Proudly Welcomes Four Young Vocalists to Its 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence Program



CONTACT: ANGELA WHITEHEAD
Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138
awhitehead@daytonperformingarts.org 


DAYTON, OH (January 29, 2016) – Dayton Opera is pleased to welcome four young vocalists to the Dayton area for its 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence Program.  The four vocalists were selected from national auditions and arrived in Dayton this month to begin their residencies. The Dayton Opera Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program was established in 1987 as a professional training program for young singers, providing a bridge for the move from the university/conservatory education experience into the arena of a professional opera company.  The young professional artists in Dayton Opera’s 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence Program are soprano Kasia Borowiec, mezzo-soprano Melisa Bonetti, tenor Zachary Devin and baritone Andrew Pardini.

During January and February, the Artists-in-Residence will be appearing at numerous schools throughout the community to present musical programs in an effort to educate Dayton area students on the art of opera.  WYSO Development Director Luke Dennis is writer and director of a new program entitled “Shakespeare Sings!” which the AIRs will be presenting this winter. "It was so much fun to direct these talented Artists-in-Residence,” said Dennis.  “Not only are they great singers, they're also great actors, and they bring a sense of experimentation and playfulness to their performances. They are exactly the type of engaging performers you want to be sending into schools." “Shakespeare Sings!” is being presented in Dayton area schools in cooperation with Dayton’s nationally recognized arts education organization program The Muse Machine.  In addition, the AIRs will also be presenting a program entitled “Cooking up Opera,” also directed by Dennis, but geared more towards younger school-aged children.  The AIRs will be performing over 40 educational programs in total in schools and the community during their time in Dayton.

Additionally, the four AIRs will be appearing in Dayton Opera main stage productions in the 2015-2016 Ascend Season.  The four AIRs recently presented a beautiful Chamber Concert entitled Sound and Song with several Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra musicians this past Sunday, January 24 at the Dayton Art Institute.  In addition, they will have roles in the upcoming production of Giuseppe Verdi’s penultimate opera Otello, being presented February 26 and 28, 2016, at the Schuster Center.


Soprano Kasia Borowiec is a native of Summit, NJ and now resides in New York City.  She made her Dayton Opera debut in the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly as a member of the Artist-in-Residence Program, and she will understudy the role of Desdemona this February in Dayton Opera’s production of Otello.  Kasia received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Columbia University and her Masters of Music in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music.  She served as a Studio/Young artist with Chautauqua Opera, The CoOPERAtive Program and Songfest, where her operatic credits include roles in Macbeth, Eugene Onegin, I Capuleti e I Montecchi, The Mother of Us All, The Magic Flute and Faust.  

Mezzo-soprano Melisa Bonetti will make her Dayton Opera main stage debut this February as Emilia in Otello as a member of the Artist-in-Residence Program.  Last month, she made her Dayton Philharmonic debut as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah.  Melissa served as an apprentice/young artist at Des Moines Metro Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Columbus, Cincinnati Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, where she performed and covered roles in Rappaccini’s Daughter, Ainadamar, A Woman in Morocco, The Girl of the Golden West, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Baba the Turk and The Rake’s Progress.  Melisa received her undergraduate degree from Queens College and her Master of Music in Voice from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Born in Corona, Queens, NY, she now makes her home in Cincinnati, OH.

Tenor Zachary Devin, a native of Robinson, IL, now lives in St. Louis, MO. He received his Bachelor of Music from Millikin University, his Masters of Music from Rice University and a Masters of Arts from the Royal Academy of Music in London.  Zachary’s many credits include leading and supporting roles with Gulf Coast Opera, Western Plains Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis, Mid-Ohio Opera and the Janiec Opera Company in productions such as The Magic Flute, Rigoletto, Otello, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Yeoman of the Guard, I Pagliacci and Brigadoon.  He makes his Dayton Opera debut this February in the role of Roderigo and understudies Cassio in Otello as a member of the Artist-in-Residence Program.

Baritone Andrew Pardini has participated in young artist programs with the Utah Festival Opera and Ash Lawn Opera, where he performed and covered roles in Don Giovanni, La bohème, Carousel, Hansel and Gretel, Die Fledermaus, The Gondoliers, Carmen and The Marriage of Figaro.  A native of Modesto, CA, he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California and his Masters of Music in opera performance from the University of Maryland–Maryland Opera Studio.  As a member of Dayton Opera’s Artist-in-Residence Program, Andrew made his company debut this past November in the dual roles of Yamadori/Imperial Commissioner as well as understudying Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, and he will sing the role of the Herald and understudy Montano in Otello this February. He now lives in Maryland and serves as a collaborator with students in the Maryland Opera Studio. 

Conductor and Pianist Jeffrey Powell will once again serve as Music Director and Accompanist for the 2015-2016 Dayton Opera Artist-in-Residence program.  Jeff most recently conducted Dayton Opera’s 2013-14 production of Hansel and Gretel.  He has also conducted for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Des Moines Metro Opera, Ohio Light Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theatre and locally for The Human Race Theatre Company and Wright State University.  In addition, Jeff has conducted Dayton Opera productions of The Tragedy of Carmen, The Daughter of the Regiment, Merry Widow, Die Fledermaus, The Pirates of Penzance, Paul Lawrence Dunbar: Common Ground, Don Pasquale, The Barber of Seville, H.M.S. Pinafore, Madame Butterfly and Cosí fan tutte.  He holds a Master of Music in instrumental conducting from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Western Michigan University.  Jeff has also served as chorus master for Dayton Opera since 1991 and is the music director/organist at St. George Episcopal Church.

Dayton Opera and the entire Dayton Performing Arts Alliance welcome these four young artists to Dayton and wish them all the best in their residencies.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.
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