2016 Chautauqua Opera Young Artists
Cooperstown, NY native Quinn Bernegger (tenor) can be seen this year at Tri-Cities Opera, where he is a resident artist until June. He recently finished performing the role of Alméric in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta there and will go on to sing the Jazz Trio in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Beadle Bamford in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. In August, he completed his first summer as a young artist at the prestigious Seagle Music Colony. There he made his operatic debut as Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff. A versatile artist, Mr. Bernegger has also performed the music theater roles of Jack and Cinderella's Prince in Sondheim's Into the Woods and Jean Valjean in Schönberg's Les Misèrables. Mr. Bernegger also spent two years as a Young Artist at the Opera Company of Middlebury where he performed in the ensemble for Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri and Puccini's Turandot. Mr. Bernegger was a finalist in the 2015 FAVA Grand Concours competition and is a graduate of Middlebury College. In the Fall of 2016, he will be pursuing graduate study in opera.
Mezzo-Soprano Rachael Braunstein was most recently seen this fall as an Emerging Artist with Virginia Opera. This past summer she performed the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly as a Young Artist with Ash Lawn Opera. Previous credits include the Witch in Humperdink’s Hänsel und Gretel and Mrs. Ott in Floyd’s Susannah at Seagle Music Colony, Flora in La Traviata with New York Opera Exchange, Anna Hope in Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of Us All with Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, covering Lucretia in Ken Merrill’s production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Manhattan School of Music. Equally at home in the recital hall as the opera stage, favorite concert credits include performances with Joan Tower’s Music Alive! series, and Sur la route performances with Orford Academy of the Arts in Québec. Rachael recently completed a session of study with Dawn Upshaw at Bard College and holds a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music.
Soprano Chelsea Miller, a native of Memphis, is in her final year as Artist-in-Residence at Opera Memphis, where she has sung the roles of Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Thérèse/Tiresias in Les mamelles de Tirésias, Jamie the Adventurer in The Christmas List and Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario. Chelsea will finish this season with the role of Anna Reich in the University of Memphis’ production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Her additional credits include the roles of Nannetta in Falstaff at the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, and Micaëla in La tragédie de Carmen and Tisbe in La Cenerentola at Louisiana State University. Chelsea received a bachelor’s degree in music education at Drury University and a Master of Music in vocal performance from Louisiana State University.
Baritone Brian James Myer’s recent engagements include the roles of Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Florida Grand Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera San Jose and Sin City Opera, Gino Carella in Where Angels Fear to Tread with Opera San Jose, Silvio in I Pagliacci with Sarasota Opera, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly with Opera Las Vegas, Angelotti in Tosca with Opera San Jose, and Masetto in Don Giovanni with Opera San Jose and Opera Las Vegas. Other leading operatic roles include Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas and Count Robinson in Il matrimonio segreto with the CIM Opera Theater, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with the Tuscia Opera Festival, and Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief as part of Sun City Summerlin’s performing arts program at the Starbright Theater. He holds bachelor’s degrees in music education and romance languages from UNLV and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. An active composer, Mr. Myer’s “Go Lovely, Rose” (for SATB chorus) is published by Santa Barbara Music. www.brianjamesmyer.com
Mezzo-Soprano Deanna Pauletto recently performed the role of Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor with Voicebox Opera in Toronto, Ontario. This past summer she performed the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola at Music Academy of the West under the guidance of Marilyn Horne and conductor Jayce Ogren. Previous roles include covering the title role in Carmen with Music Academy of the West, Giulietta in Tales of Hoffman with Escales Lyriques, Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina, Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina and Salud in La Vida Breve. Deanna recently performed in The Song Continues, where she sang in masterclasses for Marilyn Horne and Stephanie Blythe at Carnegie Hall. Deanna is a graduate from York University’s Fine Arts department and received an artist diploma from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatorio in Milan, Italy.
Abigail Rethwisch, Soprano and Iowa native, is currently a Resident Artist with Tri-Cities Opera, where she is singing the roles of Iolanta in Iolanta, Lucy in The Telephone, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. In the fall, Abigail joins Utah Opera as a Resident Artist for their 2016-2017 season. Past engagements include Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Iowa, Opera MODO, and the Trentino Music Festival, and recent roles include Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, and Eurydice in Orphée aux enfers. Gaining significant recognition in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Abigail has been a regional finalist three times, most recently in the Great Lakes Region where she won Second Place. Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Abigail’s recent oratorio work includes Soprano Soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Dvořák’s Te Deum and Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor and the Queen of Sheba in Handel’s Solomon and as well as a number of performances of Handel's Messiah. www.abigailrethwisch.com
Tenor Dennis Shuman, a native of Georgia, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in vocal performance at Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, Mr. Shuman performed the roles of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. In New Orleans, he has performed the role of Gastone in La traviata with New Orleans opera and been a chorister for Dead Man Walking and Le Nozze di Figaro. Dennis earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he performed the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Dennis began his undergraduate education at Shorter College in Rome, GA. There he sang the roles of Pluto in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. In Atlanta, Dennis performed the role of Little Bat in Floyd’s Susannah with Capitol City Opera in Atlanta and sang for two seasons as a chorister with the Atlanta Opera, appearing in productions of Aïda, The Magic Flute, and La bohème.
Bass Hans Tashjian, has been described as having “a firm, resonant instrument and a gravid stage presence,” and has most recently appeared as a young artist with Sarasota Opera, as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at Carnegie Hall with Manhattan Opera Studio, Biterolf in Tannhäuser with Apotheosis Opera, and as a 2nd Boyar in The Golden Cockerel with Sarasota Opera. Before that he performed as King René in Iolanta, Banquo in Macbeth, and as a Young Artist with the Caramoor Music Festival singing Gazella in Lucrezia Borgia and the usciere in Rigoletto. Other credits include the roles of Daland in Der fliegende Holländer, Wurm in Luisa Miller, Seneca in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier at Chautauqua Music Festival, Méphistophélès in Faust, and Truffaldin in Ariadne auf Naxos. He has also appeared as soloist with the Cathedral of St John the Divine, the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, the Bach Music Festival of Canada, the Canadian Chamber Orchestra of NYC, at La Maison Française of NYU, and as basso profondo and soloist with the New Jersey Conservatory’s Rachmaninoff Vespers. Hans is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and Carnegie Mellon University.