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.

For the 2020 Winter Opera Festival, Sarasota Opera's Apprentice Program consists of 24 professional singers.

Winter 2020 Apprentice Artists

Ariel Andrew Headshot

Ariel andrew

mezzo-soprano
Tampa, Florida
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mallof

Evan K. Brown Headshot

Evan K. Brown

Tenor
Fort Worth, Texas
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Dean Scarborough and Janice Bini

Jose Cuartas Headshot

Jose Cuartas

Baritone
Queens, New York
2019 Fall Apprentice 
Sponsored by Victoria L. Rich in memory of Alexander Rich

Benjamin DaCosta-Kaufman

Benjamin DaCosta-Kaufman

Tenor
Richmond, Virginia
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Eleanor Faber in memory of Barry Faber

Alyssa Dessoye Headshot

Alyssa Dessoye

Soprano
Lithia, Florida
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Pat Starke in memory of John Starke

Tori Patricia Franklin Headshot

Tori Patricia Franklin

Soprano
Greenville, Tennessee
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Mark Appel

Robert Gerold Headshot

Robert Gerold

Tenor
Queens, New York
2019 Fall Apprentice
Sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. William Llyod

Brittany Graham Headshot

Brittany Graham

Soprano
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Gilbert and Ann Roth

Kevin Harvey Headshot

Kevin Thomas Harvey

Tenor
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2019 Winter & Fall Apprentice 
Sponsored by Joan Mathews

Paul LeLand Hill

Paul Leland Hill

Bass
Ogden, Utah
Sarasota Opera Debut
The Joey Frye Endowed Artist

William Hulyer Headshot
WILLIAM HULYER
Baritone
Florham Park, New Jersey
2019 Fall Apprentice
Sponsored by Hank and Melinda Foster

Sydney Kucine

Sydney Kucine

Soprano
Portland, Maine
2019 Winter Apprentice
Sponsored by Katherine Benoit and John Brooks

Travis Lucas Headshot

Travis Lucas

Baritone
Tampa, Florida
2019 Winter Apprentice
Sponsored by Peter and Louise Shimkin

James Anthony Mancuso Headshot

James Anthony Mancuso

Baritone
West Islip, New York
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Mary McGrath in memory of Bob McGrath

Madison Montambault Headshot

Madison Montambault

Mezzo-Soprano
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Alain and Helene Lebleu

Kara Morgan Headshot

Kara Morgan

Mezzo-Sporano
Andover, Minnesota
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Anonymous

Elissa Pfaender Headshot

Elissa Pfaender

Soprano
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2019 Winter Apprentice
Sponsored by Paul and Sharon Steinwachs

JoAnna Pope Headshot

JoAnnA Pope

Mezzo-Soprano
Jackson, Mississippi
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by John Suhre and Carla Koeffler

Juliet Powar Headshot
Juliet Powar

Soprano
Palo Alto, California
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Anonymous

Abigail Raiford Headshot

Abigail Raiford

soprano
Queens, New York
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Sally H. Foote and Forrest S. Crawford

Patrick Shelton Headshot

Patrick Dean Shelton

Tenor
East Northport, New York
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Margaret Renner in memory of Ernst Renner

David Smolokoff Headshot

David Smolokoff

Tenor
West Long Branch, New Jersey
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Mr. Alan Kesten and Ms. Melba Jimenez

Tzytle Steinman Headshot

Tzytle Steinman

Mezzo-Soprano
San Diego, California
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by Helen Panoyan

Reno Wilson Headshot

Reno Wilson

Baritone
San Diego, California
Sarasota Opera Debut
Sponsored by A. Scott Bushey