Opera San José Names Seven Artists-in-Residence for 2023-24 Season

By David Salazar

Opera San José has unveiled its 2023-24 Artists-in-Residence.

The resident company, which includes Melisa Bonetti (Mezzo-soprano), Michelle Ainna Cuizon (Director), Vartan Gabrielian (Bass-baritone), Johannes Löhner (Conductor), Courtney Miller (Mezzo-soprano), Joshua Sanders (Tenor), and Melissa Sondhi (Soprano), will be introduced in a virtual showcase scheduled for August 13, 2023.

Of these artists, the company spotlighted Sondhi as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for the Wadhwani Chair for South Asia Artists; this new initiative focuses on “incubating the incredible talent of the South Asian opera community.” As such, Sondhi, who started her relationship with the organization as a member of the chorus, will take on leading roles in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Rigoletto,” and “Florencia en el Amazonas.”

Meanwhile, the other Artists-in-Residence, including Sondhi, will all appear in the company’s four mainstage productions as well as concerts, recitals, in-conversations, and “Meet the Artists” events. They will also workshop the new opera “Zheng” by Shinki Eshima.

“We are thrilled with the cohort of artists joining us this year. They are each heading into a brilliant career in music, and our audiences will cherish the opportunity to see the international opera stars of tomorrow in our productions this season,” said Opera San José General Director Shawna Lucey in an official press statment. “From sparkling role debuts, to conducting and directing debuts, our community is the home of these artistic ‘firsts.’ Because our audiences listen with their hearts, our artists learn to fly, and this is the beginning of a deep artistic collaboration between our new company of artists and the audiences and community of San José.”

The new Opera San José season kicks off on Sept. 9, 2023 with a production of Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliette.”