2024 Young Artists
Eric Botto, Tenor
Chautauqua Opera Company Studio Artist 2020, 2022
David in Pepito
“Praised for his “robust voice,” Mexican American tenor Eric Botto has triumphed in romantic leads as Rodolfo (La bohème), Alfredo (La traviata), and Roméo (Roméo et Juliette). 2023 provided Eric with multiple debuts as Gennaro (Lucrezia Borgia) with New Amsterdam Opera, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Central City Opera) and Benvolio (Roméo et Juliette) with Opera San Antonio.
Possessing an avid passion for contemporary works, Eric directly shaped the role of IRS Agent Cordero with the renowned composer Tom Cipullo in his latest project: The Calling (working title). In March of 2024, Eric will participate in a new workshop with LOLA Austin and Venezuelan Composer Carlos Cordero in their semi-staged production of Un Cuento de Luces y Sombras.
Eric has received accolades from esteemed competitions in recent years, receiving 2nd place in Lyra New York’s International Vocal Competition, a Career Advancement Award from Pikes Peak Opera League, and was deemed a finalist in the Lotte Lenya Competition.
Perri di Christina, Mezzo-Soprano
Young Woman in Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us, Echo (Covering Hansel and Covering Mother) in Hansel and Gretel
Mezzo-soprano Perri di Christina has been praised for her ‘rich, surprisingly dark’ sound (Parterre Box) and ‘precise coloratura’ (Cleveland Classical).
23/24 season highlights include the role of The Dragon in the world premiere of the opera Iceland at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, the alto soloist in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with The Greenwich Choral Society, the alto soloist in Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Manhattan Choral Ensemble, the role of Liza Elliott in Weill’s Lady in the Dark with Bronx Opera, and the role of Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina with Immersion Repertory.
Perri has sung in training programs across the country, including Teatro Nuovo, Aspen Music Festival, SongFest, and The Emmanuel Music Bach Institute. She is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Mannes School of Music.
Perri is the co-creator of Thrilled to Announce, an esoteric opera podcast and collective. TTA’s mission is to foster solidarity within the classical singer community by opening dialogues about our souls, our shadows, and our futures.
Nicole Koh, Soprano
Chautauqua Opera Conservatory 2020-2022
Gretel in Hansel and Gretel
Nicole Koh is a Vietnamese-Filipino-American soprano. Koh most recently performed the title role in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with Chautauqua Opera Conservatory and covered the role of Winnie in Beecher’s Sky on Swings at Opera Saratoga. She is a graduate of The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she performed the title role in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of British Columbia, performing the roles of Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and as a soloist with The Vancouver Symphony. She received the Encouragement Award at the 2023 Colorado District Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.
Seoyong Lee, Bass-Baritone
Pepito in Pepito, (Covering Father) in Hansel and Gretel
Bass Soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Chautauqua Symphony
Bass-Baritone from South Korea, Seoyong Lee is a candidate for Doctor of Musical Arts at College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Lee received his Bachelor of Music degree with distinction at Eastman School of Music under Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff and a Master of Music degree at Northwestern University under W. Stephen Smith. Opera roles Lee performed include the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro, Colline from La Bohème, Nick Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Death from Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Puppet Master from Postcard from Morocco. One of Lee’s greatest passions is advocating for operas by living composers. He gave voice to Ginger Chap from Lincoln in the Bardo by Missy Mazzoli at the Cincinnati Opera Workshop and Woodcutter from In a Grove by Christopher Cerrone of its Midwest Premiere at Northwestern.
Joseph Canuto Leon, Baritone
Father in Hansel and Gretel, (Covering Young Man) in Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us, (Covering Pepito) in Pepito
Praised for his “Outstanding Singing” and “Big, bass-y baritone” by The Dallas Morning News, baritone Joseph Canuto Leon is an emerging artist beginning to make strides in the classical voice world. Originally from Des Moines, Joseph has been featured with the Florida Grand Opera, The Dallas Opera, the Charlottesville Opera, the American Baroque Opera Company, the Painted Sky Opera, and Opera on the James. Major roles in Joseph’s repertoire include Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Tonio and Silvio (I Pagliacci), Ford (Falstaff), Onegin (Eugene Onegin), Marcello and Schaunard (La bohème), Il conte d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) The Four Villains (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Donner (Das Rheingold), The Father (Hansel and Gretel), Baron Zeta (The Merry Widow), and Belcore (The Dallas Opera’s abridged production of The Elixir of Love). Joseph is a graduate of the University of North Texas (MM 2017) and Iowa State University (BM 2013) and is a voice student of baritone Michael Chioldi.
Brennan Martinez, Mezzo-Soprano
Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, (Covering Young Woman) in Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us, (Covering Angie) in Pepito
Brennan Martinez has been described as “a mezzo-soprano to be watched” (Opera Lively) and sings with “power, authority, and a most intriguing color to her wide-ranging voice” (Classical Voice of North Carolina).
Recent role credits include Flora Bervoix in La traviata and Second Lady in The Magic Flute (Quisisana Resort), Mother in Ragtime (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), Third Wood Sprite in Rusalka (Milwaukee Opera Theatre), and Woman in the world premiere workshop of La Jetée (Chicago Fringe Opera). Other credits include roles at Cedar Rapids Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Piedmont Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. She trained at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a Fletcher Fellow at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.
Hilary Grace Taylor, Mezzo-Soprano
Chautauqua Opera Company Young Artist 2020, Apprentice Artist 2022
Mother and Echo (Covering Witch) in Hansel and Gretel, Angie in Pepito
Hilary Grace Taylor is a native of Dallas, TX and has most recently performed with Painted Sky Opera, Opera Las Vegas, Chautauqua Opera, and Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Hilary spent three seasons as an Education Outreach Young Artist with The Dallas Opera.
Hilary was a Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is frequently a finalist or semifinalist in national competitions, including the Fort Worth Opera McCammon Voice Competition and the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition, among others. Having a passion for traditional and contemporary repertoire, including Oratorio and Music Theater, her role credits include Carmen (Carmen), Mrs. Gross (Turn of the Screw), Taller Daughter (Proving Up), Sappho (Lysistrata), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Desirée Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Regina (Regina) and Gertrude Stein (After Life by Tom Cipullo). Hilary is often engaged as a recitalist and enjoys regular performances as the soloist in the Verdi Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. She holds degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Austin.
Öznur Tülüoğlu, Soprano
Sandman and Echo in Hansel and Gretel, Young Woman in A.E. Reverie, Camila in Pepito
Soprano Soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Chautauqua Symphony
Praised for her “ravishing voice” and “compelling” stage presence, Turkish-American soprano Öznur Tülüoğlu is establishing herself as a young, rising artist “destined for bigger things.”
Öznur’s most recent season showcased her versatility with roles such as Gilda at Mobile Opera, Young Alyce (Glory Denied) at Annapolis Opera, Aspasia (Mitridate) at Opera Neo, and Barbarina at Annapolis Opera. Additionally, she performed at the Washington National Opera to premiere the role of The Pigeon in Carlos Simon’s new children’s operetta, Don’t Let the Pigeon Sing Up Late! alongside Renée Fleming and Mo Willems.
In concert, Öznur appeared with Washington Concert Opera and achieved recognition as a finalist in the esteemed competitions: Jensen Foundation, Opera Mississippi, John Alexander National Vocal Competition, and Music International Grand Prix. Notably, she made her international debut as Sandrina (La finta giardiniera) at The Hungarian State Opera in collaboration with Opera Neo.
Tyrese Byrd, Tenor
(Covering David) in Pepito
Tyrese Byrd is a native of Greenville, South Carolina known for his musicianship and expressive tone. His operatic roles include Miles in Proving Up, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro and Ragnar Kjartansson’s BLISS, The Prince in Cendrillon (Massenet), Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pluton in Orphée aux enfers, Police Buddy 1 in Blue, Jesse in the premiere of Undying Love (Steve Wallace), and Julius in the U.S. premiere of Eintänzer (Aran O’Grady). He has appeared at companies such as Madison Opera, Toledo Opera, Detroit Opera, Hearing in Color, and the University of Michigan. Equally as comfortable on the concert stage, Tyrese has performed concert works with the Toledo Symphony, Akron Symphony, The SC Bach Choir, and other organizations. Tyrese is also passionate about uplifting the music of Black composers who are often excluded from the canon of art music
Alexander Granito, Baritone
Young Man in Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us
Alexander (Alex) Granito, originally from Orange County, California, is currently an Artist in Residence at Opera Colorado for their 2023-24 season, most recently performing the roles of Don Giovanni in Mozart’s Don Giovanni during their student Matinee performance and Dandini in Opera Colorado’s touring production of Rossini’s Cinderella. He will soon perform the role of Belcore in Opera Colorado’s touring production of Donizetti’s Elixir of Love and Second Philistine in the mainstage production of Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. Last summer Alex was a 2023 fellow at Music Academy of the West, where he performed the role of Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème. Alex received his Bachelor of Music in 2019 and Master of Music in 2021 from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Cesar Ulloa.
Amia Langer, Soprano
Dew Fairy and Echo (Covering Gretel) in Hansel and Gretel
Amia Langer, soprano, is a recent graduate of the University of Houston, where she studied with Melanie Sonnenberg. Most recently, she was a soloist with Ars Lyrica Houston. Previous roles include Margarita Xirgu (Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), and Anne (A Little Night Music). Past awards include the Encouragement Award at the Upper Midwest Region, and North Dakota-Manitoba District Winner in the 2023 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, finalist in the inaugural Duncan Williams Voice Competition, semi-finalist in the 2023 Houston Saengerbund Vocal Competition. Previous young artist programs include the Festival Napa Valley Opera Program, the Brevard Music Festival, and the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Vocal Academy. Upcoming events include being a part of Houston Grand Opera’s 2023-2024 Opera to Go! season, as a supernumerary/Melissa (Cover) in Ars Lyrica Houston’s production of Amadigi di Gaula.
Kelsey Watts, Soprano
Echo (Covering Dew Fairy and Sandman) in Hansel and Gretel, (Covering Young Woman) in A.E. Reverie, (Covering Camila) in Pepito
Filipina-American soprano Kelsey Watts is a Binghamton University graduate with degrees in Opera, Vocal Performance, and Chemistry. She has performed with Tri-Cities Opera, Syracuse Opera, Delaware Valley Opera, and the BU Opera Ensemble in roles including Clorinda (Rossini’s La Cenerentola), Pamina (Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte), Gilda (Verdi’s Rigoletto), and Gretel (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel). Her penchant for contemporary works has led to her performances in Jorge Sosa’s I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams and Leif Haley’s Prunella, though her fondest experience was in self-producing a performance of Jake Heggie’s Another Sunrise paired with a collection of songs written during, in response to, and by victims of the Holocaust.
Kelsey has performed as a soloist with ensembles including the Philadelphia Chorus and the Binghamton Philharmonic and has placed 1st in the 2021 Civic Morning Musicals Competition and in three consecutive Eastern Regional NATS competitions from 2017 to 2019. Currently, Kelsey works as a Scientific Writer in the corner of the world where art and science collide.