Apprentice Artists 

The Sarasota Opera Apprentice Artists Program was started in 1982. Like similar programs throughout the country, it is meant to help trained singers in the important transition from student to professional life.

The program functions within the aesthetic of Sarasota Opera by focusing on the standard operatic repertoire from Mozart to Puccini.

The company provides many performing opportunities throughout its fall and winter seasons. The training aspect of the program focuses on encouraging singers to give impassioned performances through vocal expression with an understanding of the meaning of the text, the poetry, and the music. In private coaching’s and classes, acting is approached through an efficiency of movement that brings out the meaning of the work rather than obscuring it.

The company aims for a consistent teaching approach that is supported by the artistic staff and the productions we produce on our stage.

Applications for the Winter 2023 Apprentice Program are being accepted now through August 20th. The program runs from January 11 through March 26, 2023, and includes participating in the chorus of the four Main Stage productions of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Verdi's Ernani, and Massenet’s Thérèse. In addition, Apprentice Artists will:

  • Participate in classes given by Victor DeRenzi (Artistic Director of Sarasota Opera), Lindsay Woodward (Chorus Master/Program and Music Director of the Apprentice Artists), Martha Collins (Apprentice Artists Program stage director), Stephanie Sundine (Apprentice Artists Program stage director), Marco Nisticò (artistic administrator), and other members of the Sarasota Opera staff.
  • Coach music with members of the music staff
  • Coach foreign languages with native-born speakers
  • Participate in master classes
  • Network with experienced colleagues
  • Perform at concerts during the season
  • Perform and cover main stage roles.

For more information or to apply, please visit Yaptracker.

2023 Winter Apprentice Artists

Rosario Armas
ROSARIO ARMAS
, Mezzo-Soprano
Tlaxcala, Mexico
Sponsored by Steve and Lynn Blackledge

Mary Burke
MARY P. BURKE
, Mezzo-Soprano
Centreville, Virginia
Sponsored by Hank and Melinda Foster

Scott Clark
SCOTT HETZ CLARK
, Baritone
Leesburg, Virginia
The Lynn and Steve Blackledge Endowed Artist

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LIZ CULPEPPER
, Mezzo-Soprano
Austin, Texas
Sponsored by Ruth Kreindler

Olivia Currier
OLIVIA CURRIER
, Mezzo-Soprano
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sponsored by Amanda and Dick Smoot

Jerek Fernandez
JEREK FERNANDEZ
, Tenor
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sponsored by Forrest Crawford

Steele Fitzwater
STEELE FITZWATER
, Bass-Baritone
Dawson, West Virginia
Sponsored by Larry and Carol English

Helen Hendricks
HELEN HENDRICKS
, Soprano
Phoenix, AZ
Sponsored by Ms. Katherine Benoit and Mr. John Brooks

Mark Hosseini
MARK HOSSEINI
, Baritone
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sponsored by Felicia and Andrew Hall

Melina Jaharis
MELINA JAHARIS
, Mezzo-Soprano
Winnetka, IL
Sponsored by Janis and Hobart Swan

JW Keckley
JW KECKLEY
, Tenor
Carl Junction, Missouri
Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Lloyd

Karen Kelley
KAREN KELLEY
, Mezzo-Soprano
Tempe, Arizona
The Joel D. and Ellen S. Fedder Endowed Artist

GIOWOOUNG KIM
GIOWOOUNG KIM,
Tenor
Seoul, South Korea
Sponsored by Joey Frye, in memoriam

AMANDA LEVY
AMANDA LEVY
, Soprano
Smithtown, New York
Sponsored by Eleanor Faber

JAMES MANCUSO
JAMES MANCUSO
, Tenor
Shoreham, NY
Sponsored by Margaret Renner

MANDUJANO
SERGIO MANDUJANO
, Tenor
Norwalk, CT
Sponsored by Janet Stern Solomon and Lewis D. Solomon

Randell's McGee
RANDELL MCGEE, Baritone
Saint Louis, Missouri
Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mallof

Virginia Mims
VIRGINIA MIMS
, Soprano
West Palm Beach, FL
Sponsored by Alan Kesten

AMANDALYNNE PERZYK
AMANDALYNNE PERZYK
, Soprano
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Sponsored by Helena Panoyan

SAMUEL RACHMUTH
SAMUEL RACHMUTH
, Bass-Baritone
New York, New York
Sponsored by Alain and Helene Lebleu

JUSTIN RAMM-DAMRON
JUSTIN RAMM-DAMRON,
Bass-Baritone
New York, New York
Sponsored by William C. and Joyce K. Fletcher

ELLEN ROBERTSON
ELLEN ROBERTSON
, Soprano
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Joey Frye Endowed Artist

VERONICA ROBINSON
VERONICA ROBINSON
, Soprano
Los Angeles, California
Sponsored by Paul and Sharon Steinwachs

ESTEBAN SENZIG
ESTEBAN SENZIG
, Tenor
Provo, Utah