Sunday, June 09, 2013

Meet the Merolini

Meet the MeroliniFriday afternoon the Merola Opera Program introduced this summer's artists at an event for Merola members & supporters. The 29 singers, coaches & stage directors were selected from nearly 1000 applicants & come from the United States, Canada, Ireland, Iran, New Zealand, & Latvia. They took turns sitting at a table with Board Chairman Jayne Davis, Director Sheri Greenawald, & Board President Donna Blacker & were asked brief questions, in the style of a Miss America pageant.

Though young, the Merolini arrive with a lot of experience behind them. Apprentice director George Cederquist told a funny story about playing one of Norma's children in a production starring Joan Sutherland & expressed his desire to present Carl Orff's Der Mond to American audiences. Mezzo Rihab Chaieb began singing when she was in a Goth band in high school. Baritone Alex DeSocio told us that football & singing "both hurt a lot" & was admonished for confusing the 49ers & the Giants. Tenor Matthew Newlin humorously demonstrated how he waves his arms wildly when he needs to distract attention away from his singing. Bass-baritone Thomas Richards has already been a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Tenor Robert Watson was working at a Starbucks in Kansas City when he got the call to sing in Lohengrin at SF Opera.

The interviews lasted 90 minutes, & a reception followed. We'll have a chance to hear the Merolini sing in public performances in July & August.

§ 2013 Merola Artist Listing

Linda Barnett, Greeneville, Tennessee
Aviva Fortunata, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Alisa Jordheim, Appleton, Wisconsin
Jacqueline Piccolino, Palatine, Illinois
Maria Valdes, Atlanta, Georgia

Kate Allen, Dublin, Ireland
Rihab Chaieb, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Daryl Freedman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Katie Hannigan, Newburgh, New York
Zanda Švēde, Valmiera, Latvia

Casey Finnigan, Austin, Texas
Matthew Newlin, Georgetown, Illinois
Darren Pene Pati, Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand
Issachah Savage, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Robert Watson, Kansas City, Missouri

Chris Carr, Quasqueton, Iowa
Alex DesSocio, Wichita, Kansas
Joseph Lattanzi, Mableton, Georgia
Efraín Solís, Santa Ana, California

John Arnold, Cumming, Georgia
Thomas Richards, Burnsville, Minnesota
Rhys Talbot, Cedar Falls, Iowa
David Weigel, Asheville, North Carolina

Apprentice Coaches
Timothy Cheung, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Noah Lindquist, Brooklyn, New York
Sahar Nouri, Tehran, Iran
Michael Shannon, London, Ontario, Canada
Jeremy Weissmann, Culver City, California

Apprentice Stage Director
George Cederquist, Ann Arbor, Mi

§ Meet the Merolini
Merola Opera Program
5:30 p.m. Friday, June 7
Nourse Theatre

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