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Greatest Hits: OPERA

October 28, 2011

Jacquelynne Fontaine

Jacquelynne Fontaine

Soprano and Narrator

In a recent review, soprano Jacquelynne Fontaine was hailed “elegantissima? piena di passione [full of passion]” for her portrayal of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, in Viterbo, Italy. Miss Fontaine has recently performed with orchestras ranging from the Orchestra di Roma del Lazio, to numerous Symphony Orchestras in Southern California. Last August, she performed Kathie in The Student Prince with the Pittsburgh and, this spring, she sang Violetta in La Traviata for the Rogue Valley Music Festivla.

Among her operatic lead roles Miss Fontaine is found most performing Mozart heroines: Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, with the Rogue Opera in Oregon; Pamina in The Magic Flute, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, both with the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy; and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Ilia in Idomeneo, with the USC Opera at the Thornton School of Music. At home on both the operatic and concert stage, Miss Fontaine was called “a soprano new to us, and all the more wondrous for that” by Alan Rich in his review of her Jacaranda Concert Series debut.

Recent awards include: Loren Zachary Grand National Finals top five Winner; Semi- finalist in the International Competitzione del’ Opera in Dresden; Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Western Regional Finalist; Rio Hondo Symphony “Young Artist of the Year”; and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Los Angeles, “Singer of the Year”.

In 2006, Miss Fontaine was crowned Miss California, and placed in the top ten at Miss America 2007, also winning the talent award for her performance of Puccini’s Vissi d’arte. She recently competed her second year of doctoral studies at the Thornton School of Music, studying with Gary Glaze.

Leslie Ann Cook

Leslie Ann Cook

Mezzo

Mezzo-Soprano Leslie Anne Cook has been praised for her sensitive musicality and her rich vocal color. Lauded by former New York Times music critic Alan Rich as “airborne” in her appearance as Cherubino in UCLA’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, she also performed the role at the La Musica Lirica Summer Festival in Novafeltria, Italy. Leslie made her professional debut last year with the Long Beach Opera Company as the Secretary to Chairman Mao in John Adam’s Nixon in China. Other operatic roles include Ottone (Agrippina) Jenny (The Threepenny Opera), Meg (Falstaff), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Soeur Mathilde (Dialogues des Carmelites) and Sorella Infermiera and Una Conversa (Suor Angelica).

Equally at home on the concert stage, Leslie’s performances with orchestra include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Asia America Youth Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Westwood Chamber Orcestra and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the UCLA Philharmonic, Willberg’s Death Shall not Destroy my Comfort and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the La Cañada Chamber Orchestra, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at St. Pasqual Baylon Catholic Church. A familiar and welcomed voice in the southern California area, she has been repeatedly engaged for recitals and benefit concerts.

In competition, Leslie was the second place winner of the Redlands Bowl Competition and placed third in the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation Competition. She is also a three-time recipient of the Leni Fe Bland Music Scholarship, a recipient of the Young Musicians Foundation Scholarship Competition and a two time participant in the Maxwell H. Gluck Fellows Music Performance Program, a charitable foundation which provides music outreach for senior centers and public schools. Leslie is currently earning her Master’s degree in music from the Herb Alpert School of Music, where she studies with Professor Vladimir Chernov.

H. Waring Sharpe

H. Waring Sharpe

Tenor

Hailed by opera legends such as Mignon Dunn, Florence Quivar and the late William Warfield as “one of the most promising young American tenors”, H. Waring Sharpe, a Chicago native, received his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Butler University, and continued his graduate studies in vocal arts at the University of Southern California. He is well known for his solo guest artist
performances with Opera Noir, the Opera League of Los Angeles, African-Americans for Los Angeles Opera, the William Grant Still Music Festival, the National Association of Negro Musicians, Opera Buffs, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and the Southeast Symphony.

Mr. Sharpe was a Western Regional Finalist in the Met National Council Auditions, a finalist in the Opera Guild of Palm Springs Competition and a 2008 finalist in the Loren Zachary National Voice Competition.

He has performed for Opera Pacific, Utah Opera Festival and San Diego State University where he is currently in collaboration of singing the title role in the highly anticipated opera of Paul Laurence Dunbar. He has also appeared with the Fresno Grand Opera, Westchester Symphony, Culver City Symphony, the Torrance Symphony Orchestra and the Redlands Bowl.

He appeared as Madison in the world premiere of Monticello at the Skirball Center. Additional
opera roles include Nate in W.G. Still’s Highway 1, Albert Herring, the title role, in Albert Herring, Monostatos in the Magic Flute, Vasek in The Battered Bride, and Des Grieux in Manon.

In addition to his vocal career, he was named the Indiana State Champion of Dramatic Prose and Poetry Reading. His interpretation of American classics from literary giants such as Dunbar, Hughes, Albee, and Uhry have kept the art of story-telling alive and well. Mr. Sharpe is also an accomplished writer of prose and poetry and is currently penning an anthology of comedic short stories detailing his childhood.

Yohan Yi

Yohan Yi

Bass-Baritone

Korean bass-baritone Yohan Yi is an alumnus of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program of LA Opera 2009-2011 season. He recently sang Haydn’s Heiligmesse in Cincinnati May festival and his Ravinia Festival debut in 2011 as Jailor in Tosca both conducted by James Conlon.
Yohan covered the role of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) conducted by Plácido Domingo and both Marullo and Monterone in the Rigoletto, Selim in Il Turco in Italia. Previously at LA Opera, Mr. Yi covered the roles of Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love and Alberich in Götterdammerung (cond. James Conlon), as well as both Basilio and Bartolo in The Barber of Seville (cond. Michele Mariotti). Also he performed King Belshazzar in The Festival Play of Daniel(cond. James Conlon). He sang at the ‘Opera Hilights and Zarauela’ concert conducted by Plácido Domingo, which was broadcast live on FM radio.

He is a graduate of Hanyang University in South Korea. Upon receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Hanyang University, Yohan began his Master’s Degree at the Korean National University of Arts. It was during this time that Yohan entered the 21st Music Association of Korea Competition, a competition where the Korean government grants exemptions from mandatory military service, for which he was a prizewinner. After attending KNUA for one semester, he was accepted into the graduate program of Vocal Arts at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Patricia Misslin, Dawn Upshaw, Kayo Iwama, and Jennifer Ringo and completed his Master’s Degree in 2008. After that, he worked at the Nyack College school of Music as Voice Adjunct professor from 2008 to 2009.

Mr. Yi has always been an enthusiastic advocate of opera and contemporary music. He made his American contemporary music debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2007, marking the culmination of the Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Workshop for Composers and Singers, an event under a Bard college and Carnegie Hall collaboration. Mr. Yi made his debut as a soloist at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts with the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College. In 2008, Yohan was selected as a participant in the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s master class with Dawn Upshaw at Zankel Hall. He made his professional opera debut at the 2008 Cincinnati May Festival where he performed as Alcade and Surgeon in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino under the baton of Maestro James Conlon. Mr. Yi also took part in a concert directed by Hakan Hagegard at the International Vocal Arts Institute’s workshop in Montreal, where he studied with Mignon Dunn, Diana Soviero, Rosemarie Landry and Joan Dornemann. Mr. Yi was selected to the Merola program of the San Francisco Opera for the summer of 2009. In this program, he performed as Hanezo in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz with Warren Jones and sang Aleko’s cavatina with San Francisco Opera orchestra in the Merola grand finale, where he worked with Martin Katz,Cesar Ulloa, Eric Harvarson, Sheri Greenawald, Mark Morash, Gerald Martin Moore, and George Darden.

Yohan Yi won first prize in 2011 Connecticut Opera Guild voice competition and 2011 5th winner of the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition. Yi was selected as a winner in 2010 Pasadena opera guild competition and won first prize in Heida Hermanns Voice Competition in 2008. Yohan has been awarded from Opera Buffs in 2011.