Houston Grand Opera Unveils 2024-25 Butler Studio Artists

By David Salazar

The Houston Grand Opera has announced its 2024-25 Sarah and Ernest Butler Houston Grand Opera Studio Artists.

Here is a run down of the first-year artists:

  • Alissa Goretsky, soprano 
  • Elizabeth “Hanje,” soprano
  • Shawn Roth, tenor
  • Sam Dhobhany, bass-baritone
  • Ziniu Zhao, bass-baritone
  • Laura Bleakley, pianist/coach  
  • Jenny Choo, pianist/coach

There are also four returning artists:

  • Ani Kushyan, mezzo-soprano
  • Michael McDermott, tenor
  • Demetrious Sampson, Jr., tenor
  • Navasard Hakobyan, baritone

“Thanks to extraordinary support from Sarah and Ernest Butler, we are entering a new era for the Butler Studio,” Houston Grand Opera General Director and CEO Khori Dastoor said in an official press statement. “No stone has gone unturned as we’ve sought out the young artists with the most potential to reimagine opera’s future. Under Colin Michael Brush’s leadership, the program will foster a creative environment where this new class will flourish and mature into the industry-leading artists they are poised to become. Supporting their development is critical to the future of our beloved art form—and at the very core of everything we do at HGO.” 

The artists will receive training with the company for up to three years in voice, movement, languages, and other major aspects of the profession. They will also get to perform at events around the city and state.