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Artists-in-Residence Program

Auditions for 2019–2020 Season TBA 


The Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence Program
was established in 1987 to serve as a professional training program for young singers as a bridge to move from the university/conservatory education experience into the arena of a professional opera company. The four artists in the program are selected from national auditions and reside in Dayton for 3 months.

The young professional artists in Dayton Opera’s 2018-2019 Artists-in-Residence Program are soprano Marisa Karchin, mezzo-soprano Courtney Elvira, tenor Jacob Wright and baritone Michael Colman. The four Artists-in-Residence will be appearing at numerous schools and presenting musical programs throughout the community, as well as performing in main stage productions for the company. 

New York-based soprano Marisa Karchin is excited to join Dayton Opera’s Artists-in-Residence Program and make her debut as Edith in Pirates of Penzance. Last season, Marisa was featured in a new production of Moto Osada’s Four Nights of Dream in NYC and Tokyo, and she also performed with the Light Opera of NY, the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, and the Chelsea Music Festival. Other recent roles include Angelica in Orlando and Nanetta (cover) in Falstaff with Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program. An avid interpreter of new music and art song, Marisa is the winner of the 2018 Joy in Singing Art Song Competition and has been featured with the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society and Venice’s Agimus Ensemble. 

Courtney Elvira is a mezzo-soprano from St. Petersburg, FL. She recently finished her second summer with Des Moines Metro Opera, covering Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. Last spring, Courtney sang the role of Third Spirit in The Magic Flute with St. Petersburg Opera and covered roles in her second season with Opera Saratoga. She looks forward to making her debut performing Kate in Dayton Opera’s The Pirates of Penzance as a member of their Artist-In-Residence program. She’ll also be making her debut with Opera Ithaca next spring. She received her master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Emerging tenor Jacob Ryan Wright began 2018 with a “smashing Piedmont Opera debut as Frederic” (Winston-Salem Journal) in Pirates of Penzance. The 2018–2019 season includes Belmonte (cover) in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera San Jose and a return to Greensboro Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly. Jacob then debuts at Dayton Opera as Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and with the Dayton Philharmonic in Handel’s Messiah. His 2018 credits also include Opera Saratoga as an Apprentice Artist and Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola and Pelléas in Impressions de Pelléas with the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute. In 2017, Jacob performed with the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, Greensboro Opera, and Chautauqua Opera Company. Other credits include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Asheville Lyric Opera and Gastone in La traviata with North Carolina Opera. Jacob has also been a young artist with Sarasota Opera and Des Moines Metro opera where, as a cover, he sang Gastone in La traviata on the mainstage. 

Bass-baritone Michael Colman has performed across the country in roles ranging from the comedy of Mozart’s Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro to the drama of Britten's Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia. Michael made his professional debut as an Apprentice Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and has sung roles with many regional companies including Virginia Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Toledo Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Fayetteville Opera, and Utah Festival Opera. He earned degrees from Baylor University and the University of Kansas studying under Dr. John Stephens. Michael is proud to make his Dayton Opera debut as the Sergeant of Police in their production of The Pirates of Penzance. 


In addition to performing in both major and supporting roles with the Dayton Opera, these four talented young artists will work together over the next few months to perform education and outreach programs in our community, helping contribute to the future health of this wonderful art form in our area. We congratulate our new Artists-In-Residence, and we wish them the very best of luck in their stay here in the Dayton area. Bravo!


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