San Francisco Opera Center Announces 2019 Adler Fellows

By David Salazar

The San Francisco Opera Center has announced its 2019 Adler Fellows.

The 12 recipients this coming year include sopranos Mary Evelyn Hangley and Natalie Image; mezzo-sopranos Ashley Dixon and Simone McIntosh; countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen; tenors Zhengyi Bai, Christopher Colmenero, and Christopher Oglesby; baritone SeokJong Baek; and bass-baritone Christian Pursell. Hangley, McIntosh, Bai, Colmenero, Oglesby, and Baek are entering their first year as Adler fellows while Image, Ashley Dixon, Cohen, and Pursell are entering their second year.

The pianists selected for Apprentice Coach Fellowships include first-year fellow Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad and returning second-year Adler César Cañón.

The fellows are selected from participants of the Merola Opera Program, giving them a multi-year performance-oriented residency that will include performance opportunities and intensive training and coaching.

The current crop of fellows will be performing on Dec. 8, 2018, in a showcase concert entitled “The Future is Now.” Graduating 2018 Fellows include Sarah Cambridge, Amitai Pati, Kyle Van Schoonhoven, Andrew Manea, director Aria Umezawa, and pianist/apprentice coach John Elam.

“Every January, it’s always very exciting to welcome a new group of singers and pianists to the Adler program,” said Sheri Greenawald, director of the San Francisco Opera Center. “I look forward to watching all of them navigate the language, acting, dance and stage combat classes, and then working to synthesize it all for their main stage assignments later in the season.”