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Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in new articles, News | 0 comments

WNO presents The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in Concert on Thursday, February 27

WNO presents The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in Concert on Thursday, February 27

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Washington National Opera (WNO) presents The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in Concert, the first annual performance featuring the rising stars of WNO’s renowned artist training program, on Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Accompanied by the WNO Orchestra under the baton of Anne Manson, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists will perform arias and scenes from some of opera’s most beloved works, including The Marriage of Figaro, La bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Faust, and many others. The performance will be directed by Nicholas Olcott.

Current Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists performing in the concert include sopranos Jacqueline Echols and Shantelle Przybylo, tenor Yi Li, baritones Christian Bowers and Norman Garrett, and basses Soloman Howard and Wei Wu. Two former Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists will return to Washington to perform in the concert. Soprano Keri Alkema (2002-2004) has sung leading roles with New York City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Minnesota Opera, and makes her debut this season with Austin Lyric Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Palm Beach Opera. Baritone Javier Arrey (2010-2013) recently returned to WNO for Tristan and Isolde and will be seen this summer as Don Giovanni at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival in

Rappahannock County, Virginia. He will also be featured on a new studio recording of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with Ana María Martínez and Andrea Bocelli, conducted by Plácido Domingo.

The WNO Orchestra will be conducted by Anne Manson, who is also a mentor for WNO’s American Opera Initiative. She has conducted the world premieres of six 20-minute operas as part of that program. The concert will be directed by Nicholas Olcott, the interim director of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland School of Music, where he has directed many full-length operas.

All tickets to The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in Concert are $15 and are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324, or online at

WNO’s production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick, the work’s east coast premiere, opens on Saturday, February 22 and runs through March 8. The 2013-2014 season also includes a revival of Donizetti’s comedy The Elixir of Love and a new English-language production of Mozart’s classic The Magic Flute. A performance of The Magic Flute will be simulcast to Nationals Park in May as part of M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield. A second season of the American Opera Initiative will continue WNO’s efforts to commission new American works with the world-premiere performances in June of An American Soldier by composer Huang Ruo and librettist David Henry Hwang. WNO’s 2014-2015 season will be announced in the coming weeks.


Founded in 2002 by Plácido Domingo with the support of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a leading resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers. As a cornerstone of WNO’s commitment to the future of opera, the program is dedicated to cultivating successful careers for its young artists and sharing their talents with audiences around the world. All young artists in the program participate in vocal and dramatic coaching sessions, voice lessons, daily intensive language classes, and master classes with renowned artists. This year’s visiting artists include Artist in Residence Deborah Voigt, as well as voice teachers Diana Soviero and William Stone, guest master teachers Carol Vaness and Peter Kazaras, and visiting vocal coach Kathleen Kelly.

In addition to many performances on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists have performed at the White House, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Opéra de Monte Carlo, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, the United States Senate, the Music Center at Strathmore, the Smithsonian Institution, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and numerous embassies. They have also appeared in concert with Maestro Domingo at the Reignwood Theatre in Beijing.

Each year, the Young Artists sing a fully staged performance with orchestra in the Kennedy Center Opera House as part of the WNO season. Past productions have included La traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Madama Butterfly conducted by Maestro Domingo, and Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni conducted by WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin.

Graduates of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program—including soprano Keri Alkama, baritone Trevor Scheunemann, and pianist/coaches Tamara Sanikidze and Nino Sanikidze—have gone on to successful careers including performances at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, National Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Bayreuth Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Berlin State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Opéra de Monte Carlo.

Auditions for places in the program’s 2014-2015 season expanded to a series of national auditions held throughout the fall of 2013 in San Francisco, Washington, New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago. More details on next season’s program will be announced in the coming months.

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