Friday, June 08, 2012
Meet The Merolini 2012
San Francisco's Merola Opera Program, a summer-long professional training program for opera singers along with the occasional accompanist/coach and director, began its season on Thursday with its traditional meet-and-greet at the Veterans Building between older donors and younger artists.
As a veteran of a number of these affairs, I'd say this year's crop is more photogenic than usual, as evidenced by the witty New Zealand bass-baritone Hadleigh Adams in the first photo and Maryland soprano Jennifer Cherest above.
When the Signal Mountain, Tennessee bass-baritone Seth Mease Carico above mentioned that he is a massage therapist on the side, the three female interviewers looked like they were ready to jump onto the table immediately for a demonstration.
The format of a quick little interview with each of the 29 participants wasn't particularly kind to non-native English speakers, such as apprentice coach Francesco Fraboni from Singallia, Italy.
Possibly the most satisfying moment of the evening was when tenor Chuanyue Wang above from Hei Long Jiang, China was asked whether he sang Eastern or Western music, and he seemed to reply with "both" before launching into an a capella version of a Chinese folk song that was lovely.
After the interviews had wrapped up, with as much talk about food and cooking as there was about music, the suddenly starving crowd was treated to lovely finger food and wine as they mingled with the aspiring opera stars of the future such as mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule above from Montreal.
Axel, above left, and Charlise, above right, also wrote about the affair and as part of the Opera Standees Association are even sponsoring two of the singers. Good luck to all.