Simone McIntosh & Mario Rojas Announced Winners of Festival Napa Valley’s New Young Artist Initiative

By David Salazar

Festival Napa Valley has announced the launch of the Manetti Shrem Opera Program.

The new initiative will nurture the careers of young singers through fully staged opera productions and recitals, a summer vocal conservatory, and a $10,000 Manetti Shrem Prize.

The winners of the 2021 Prize include Mario Rojas and Simone McIntosh.

“The Manetti Shrem Opera Program enables Festival Napa Valley to build upon its rich history of championing the vocal arts, with a broad range of programs featuring international stars and the stars of tomorrow,” said Richard Walker, President & CEO of Festival Napa Valley, in a press release. “This initiative brings the Festival into the ranks of the world’s leading summer opera programs.”

Rojas and McIntosh will participate in a new production of “Gianni Schicchi” starring Lucas Meachem, as well as an opera gala led by James Conlon starring Michael Fabiano.

Rojas is an alumnus of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Meanwhile, McIntosh is an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera.