Artists-in-Residence Program

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. Since its inception, over one hundred young artists have participated in this program. Artists are selected by audition and, in addition to their training schedule, they work together to perform education and outreach programs in our community, helping to ensure the future of this magnificent art form in our area.

2022-2023 Dayton Opera Artists in Residence

Naomi Brigell, Mezzo-soprano

Naomi Brigell, mezzo-soprano, has sung with opera companies across the country including Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera in the Heights, Chicago Opera Theater, and Opera Naples.  Favorite past roles include Hänsel, Cherubino, and Olga (Eugene Onegin). She looks forward to joining Dayton Opera as an Artist in Residence this fall to perform the roles of Nica in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, Dulcamara in the touring production of The Elixir of Love, and alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Later this season, Brigell joins Nashville Opera as a Mary Ragland Emerging Artist, where she will be seen on the mainstage as Edith in The Pirates of Penzance. Naomi Brigell is currently based in Chicago. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University and a Master of Music degree from University of Houston. 

Sankara Harouna, Baritone

Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, baritone Sankara Harouna, began his musical journey in the traditional arts of West African culture, music and drumming. He went on to study music at Kentucky State University. For Dayton Opera this season he sings Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and will be an Artist in Residence singing Belcore in their touring version of The Elixir of Love. This summer he sang Nelson in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Des Moines Metro Opera and was a member of their Apprentice Artist Program. Recent credits include his Atlanta Opera debut as Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance and Fiorello in The Barber of Seville. For Cincinnati Opera he sang The Officer in The Barber of Seville and the role of Derrick Wheatt in the World Premiere of Blind Injustice. Upcoming will be a return to Kentucky Opera for The Gift of the Magi and La Cenerentola and to The Atlanta Opera for The Snowy Day

Lauren Nash Silberstein, Soprano

Lauren Nash Silberstein, soprano, is making her Dayton Opera debut as Chan Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and will be the Soprano Soloist for Handel’s Messiah with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in December 2022. She most recently joined The Ohio Light Opera as a summer Resident Artist singing Kathie in The Student Prince, Selma in Lehar’s The Mock Marriage, and The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Upcoming engagements include Winter Opera St. Louis as Lisette in La rondine and Margot Bonvalet in The Desert Song. Lauren is a graduate of The Eastman School of Music with a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Literature. Performances there include Soprano 1 in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Tibetan Book of the Dead and Franca Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza.  She currently resides in upstate New York.

Carl Rosenthal, Tenor

Tenor Carl Rosenthal has performed a wide range of operatic repertoire, from Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Ferrando in Così fan tutte to Don José in Carmen and Rodolfo in La Bohème. Other favorite roles include Alfredo in La Traviata, Ruggero in La Rondine, and the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS. He has performed with a number of professional U.S. regional companies, including MIOpera, MassOpera, Loudoun Lyric Opera, and Franklin Light Opera. He is thrilled to join the Artists-in-Residence program at Dayton Opera, where he will sing Nemorino in the tour version of The Elixir of Love and King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. He will also perform with Dayton Philharmonic as Tenor Soloist for Handel’s Messiah. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Rosenthal holds a Master of Music from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University. He worked as a mathematics teacher in New York City before pursuing a career in classical music. 

Sarah Stembel, Soprano

Lyric Soprano, Sarah Stembel, a New Orleans native, has performed across the Gulf South and in the Northeast regions of the United States. Having completed her Masters of Music degree in Opera Performance at the Maryland Opera Studio in spring of 2021, she recently performed Violante (Sandrina) in the Maryland Opera Studio’s production of La Finta Giardiniera and Miss. Wingrave in Owen Wingrave with the Maryland Opera Studio and the National Orchestral Institute. With Dayton Opera this fall, she sings Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and Adina in the resident artist production of Elixir of Love. In 2019, she sang Musetta in La Bohèmewith The Natchez Festival of Music and Mississippi Opera. She holds a BM in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi  where roles included Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera and Yum-Yum in The Mikado.   

Alison Hsieh, Pianist

Pianist, Alison Hsieh, a Philadelphian native, has collaborated with some of the foremost artists of our time, including Dawn Upshaw, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, and the Pacifica and Brentano Quartets, among others. Recently, she was invited to play at Rocky Ridge Music Center College Intensive as staff pianist, and is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Centrum Foundation Chamber Intensive. Currently, Alison is a doctoral candidate in the Collaborative Piano program at Arizona State University, studying with Dr. Andrew Campbell. She completed her second Master’s degree as a student of Virginia Weckstrom at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she regularly collaborated with the studios of Cho-liang Lin, Julie Simson, and Robin Rice. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Kathryn Brown and Dr. Daniel Shapiro.