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Lyric's Ryan Opera Center announces 2019/20 Ensemble
Source: Lyric Opera of Chicago
02/10/2018

Dan Novak, director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, the professional artist development program at Lyric Opera of Chicago, is pleased to announce that soprano Mathilda Edge, mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty, and bass Anthony Reed, have been accepted into this prestigious program for its 2019/20 Ensemble.

These singers will join current Ryan Opera Center soprano Emily Pogorelc; mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker; contralto Lauren Decker; tenors Eric Ferring and Mario Rojas; baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo José Rivera; bass-baritone David Weigel; and pianist Madeline Slettedahl, all of whom will return for another year in the world-renowned program. 

Each year, the Ryan Opera Center holds preliminary auditions around the country; a small group of gifted young singers, mostly from the post-graduate level, are selected from approximately 400 applicants worldwide and invited to final-round auditions in Chicago each September. This year’s Final Auditionswere held on Sunday, September 30, in the Ardis Krainik Theatre of the Lyric Opera House.  For the sixth year in a row, the Final Auditions were attended by an invited audience of some 1,200 Lyric subscribers and donors, who also participated by voting for the Audience Favorite Award. The award and $500 cash prize went to tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro. 

Lyric’s dramaturg Roger Pines served as master of ceremonies for the Final Auditions, and the audience was treated to a performance by tenor David Portillo, a Ryan Opera Center alumnus (2007-2010) who performs extensively in the U.S. and abroad. Lyric’s general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and vice president, artistic planning Andreas Melinat joined Novak, as well as Ryan Opera Center music director Craig Terryand director of vocal studies Julia Faulkner, in serving as judges for the day. 

The 2019/20 Ensemble members will begin their tenure next spring and will spend the summer studying – voice lessons; language, acting, movement classes; and instruction from guest artists, in addition to performing in various concerts and recitals. Later, they will participate in Lyric’s mainstage season, performing and understudying a variety of roles, as well as additional Ryan Opera Center concerts and recitals.

Current Ryan Opera Center members who will depart after the 2018/19 season are sopranos 
Whitney Morrison and Ann Toomey; tenor Josh Lovell; and bass-baritone Alan Higgs.

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