Merola Opera Program Concludes Summer Program with Gala Concert

By Francisco Salazar

The Merola Opera Program’s Summer Festival ends with the Merola Grand Finale, a concert featuring the 31 young artists of the 2022 program.

The program will see the artists performing some of opera’s most thrilling arias and ensembles. Directed by 2022 Merola Stage Director Matthew J. Schulz, this performance will be conducted by Patrick Furrer, a Metropolitan Opera staff member since 2011, who made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2021 with Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte.”

The repertoire for the Merola Grand Finale will showcase selections from a wide variety of operas, including Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro;” Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” and “La bohème;” Bizet’s “Les pêcheurs de perles” and “Carmen;” Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” and “Faust;” Pietro Mascagni’s “L’amico Fritz;” Handel’s “Amadigi di Gaula;” Berlioz’s “L’enfance du Christ;” Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” “L’elisir d’amore,” and “Lucia di Lammermoor;” Jeanine Tesori’s “Blue;” William Grant Still’s “Highway 1, USA;” Britten’s “Albert Herring;” John Adams’s “Doctor Atomic;” Verdi’s “Falstaff;” and Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos.”

The concert will be performed on August 20 at the War Memorial Opera House.

Here is a list of all the artists participating in the concert:

Veena Akama-Makia (Mezzo-soprano)
Amanda Batista (Soprano)
Cody Bowers (Countertenor)
Le Bu (Bass-baritone)
Andres Cascante (Baritone)
Shawn Chang (Pianist/Coach)
Edwin Jhamaal Davis (Bass)
Daniel Luis Espinal (Tenor)
Adia Evans (Soprano)
Gongming Jiang (Pianist/Coach)
Chance Jonas-O’Toole (Tenor)
SeungYun Kim (Bass-baritone)
Maggie Kinabrew (Soprano)
Scott Lee (Baritone)
Chelsea Lehnea (Soprano)
Yang Lin (Pianist/Coach)
Celeste Morales (Soprano)
Artyom Pak (Pianist/Coach)
Jonghyun Park (Tenor)
Olivia Prendergast (Soprano)
Nikola Adele Printz (Mezzo-soprano)
Maggie Reneé (Mezzo-soprano)
Deborah Robertson (Pianist/Coach)
Ashley Marie Robillard (Soprano)
Arianna Rodriguez (Soprano)
Sahel Salam (Tenor)
Moisés Salazar (Tenor)
Matthew J. Schulz (Stage Director)
Olivia Smith (Soprano)
William Socolof (Bass-baritone)
Erin Wagner (Mezzo-soprano)