Overview

Michigan Opera Theatre Studio Artists, 2017-18

The five resident artists of Michigan Opera Theatre Studio – soprano, Monica Dewey; mezzo-soprano, Briana Elyse Hunter; tenor, Michael Day; baritone, Harry Greenleaf; and bass-baritone, Erik Van Heyningen represent some of the most exciting emerging talent in opera today. Coming to Detroit from all different areas of the country, from September to June these young opera professionals gain valuable experience through myriad performance opportunities in main stage and community productions, and regional outreach presentations. Throughout their residency, studio artists benefit from advanced individual training and guidance from MOT’s Director of Resident Artist Programs, American tenor, Richard Leech, and Studio Coach/Accompanist, Tessa Hartle, and hone their skills through master classes and instruction from an array of world class professionals, guest artists, and coaches.

Supported by a major grant from the William Davidson Foundation, the program serves as a central component of MOT’s enhanced presence in the community through our productions in the Detroit Opera House, community venues, and through recitals and special events. An important and unique element of the program is that MOT’s community initiative productions are now selected and mounted specifically for the Studio Program. The artists will fill the leading roles in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 (MOT’s fourth consecutive season of producing an opera in a community venue). Marc Scorca, President and CEO of Opera America said the program “adds an important dimension to the American training infrastructure, and another element to MOT’s broad community service.”

Throughout the 2017-18 Season, the studio artists will also fill essential roles in all main stage productions.

Artists

Monica Dewey

Soprano

Atlanta native Monica Dewey is Michigan Opera Theatre Studio’s resident soprano. She recently performed her second season with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she made her role debut as Servilia in Titus (La Clemenza di Tito). She has been a young artist with Chautauqua Voice Institute, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar and Harrower Opera Workshop. Monica was recently named the first place winner of the Hilde Zadek International Voice Competition in Vienna, Austria. She received her Master of Music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and a dual bachelor’s degree in Music and Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky.  This fall, she makes her debut with San Francisco Opera singing Poussette in Manon. She will perform the role of Alice Toklas in MOT’s 27 in March.

 

Monica Dewey

Soprano

Briana Elyse Hunter

Mezzo Soprano

Originally from Malvern, Pennsylvania, Briana Elyse Hunter returns for her second year as MOT Studio’s resident mezzo-soprano Her MOT credits include Wowkle in The Girl of the Golden West, Jo March in Little Women, Madeleine Audebert in Silent Night and Mercedes in Carmen. She has been on the rosters of Santa Fe Opera, Knoxville Opera, American Opera Projects, Opera in the Heights, the I SING BEIJING festival, Sarasota Opera, El Paso Opera and Music Academy of the West. She most recently performed at The Glimmerglass Festival as Annie in Porgy and Bess and covered Arsamenes in Xerxes. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in vocal performance and a bachelor’s degree in theater from Davidson College. This season, she will perform Giovanna and cover Maddalena in Rigoletto and star as Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 with MOT.

 

Briana Elyse Hunter

Mezzo Soprano

Michael Day

Tenor

Tenor Michael Day comes from Rockford, Illinois. His performance credits include singing with Indiana University Opera Theatre, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Indianapolis Pro Musica, the Bloomington Chamber Singers and Utah Festival Opera, where he worked as a young artist. He recently returned to the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this summer as a Richard Gaddes Festival Artist, singing the role of Al Joad in a new performing version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal performance from Indiana University and is currently completing a master’s degree from the university. This season, Michael will perform Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, the dual role of Pablo Picasso/F. Scott Fitzgerald in Gordon’s 27 and Spoletta in Tosca at MOT.

Michael Day

Tenor

Harry Greenleaf

Baritone

Wixom, Michigan native Harry Greenleaf is Michigan Opera Theatre Studio’s resident baritone. He made his debut with Michigan Opera Theatre in 2016 in the role of Top in The Tender Land. His credits with MOT also include Le Bret in Cyrano, Jack Wallace in The Girl of the Golden West and Morales in Carmen. He has been a Studio Artist with the Wolf Tap Opera Company, an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and a Young Artist with the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is an alumnus of the Michigan State University College of Music. This season, Harry will perform with MOT as Marullo in Rigoletto, Sciarrone in Tosca and the roles of Leo Stein and Man Ray in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27.

Harry Greenleaf

Baritone

Erik Van Heyningen

Bass

A native of Poway, California, Erik Van Heyningen is Michigan Opera Theatre Studio’s resident bass-baritone. He has sung with opera companies across the country, including performing as a Richard Gaddes Festival Artist and Gerdine Young Artist with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at Boston University and is completing a Certificate in Opera Performance from the university’s competitive Opera Institute. Erik performed as an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera this summer. This season at MOT, Erik will perform Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro (cover), Ernest Hemingway et. al in 27 and Angelotti and the Jailer in Tosca.

 

 

Erik Van Heyningen

Bass

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