Finger Lakes Opera names Young Artist roster


After receiving almost 400 applications from all over the world, Finger Lakes Opera Inc. announced its 2021 Tomita Young Artist roster. 

"This year's audition process was completely virtual due to the pandemic and we received a record number of applications to our program,” said Gerard Floriano, FLO artistic director and founder. “The level of singing and artistry was extraordinary, and I am confident that the FLO Tomita Artists for 2021 will be among the best group of young artists anywhere.”

These young artists will be featured in live productions over the summer, including “Summer Scenes,” “Opera HITS!” and the children's opera “Three Little Pigs,” all of which will be held in July at various locations throughout the Finger Lakes region. 

Select members of 2021 Tomita Young Artist class will work with the mainstage artists for FLO's August production of “The Barber of Seville,” whether it be singing in comprimario roles, the men's chorus or serving as understudies for mainstage artists. 

Dates, times, locations and ticket price information for all these events will be released at the end of May. 

Returning artists include tenors Nathaniel Catasca and David Soto Zambrana, bass Jongwon Choi, baritone Robert Riordan and soprano Robin Steitz. New to the program are mezzo-sopranos Veena Akama-Makia and Imara Miles, soprano Danielle Beckvermit, baritone John Allen Nelson and collaborative pianists Natasha Talukdar Elam and Edward Forstman.

This summer’s artists are from all over the U.S., including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin, as well as San Juan and South Korea. Akama-Makia, Catasca, Forstman and Steitz have degrees from the Eastman School of Music. Beckvermit received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Fredonia and Choi will be a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University this fall. 

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Stock photo.