2018 - 2019 Opera Naples Academy

Session 1: October 29 – November 7, 2018
Session 2: March 31 – April 9, 2019


Faculty: Sherrill Milnes, Ramón Tebar, Bruce Ford, Manny Perez, Verónica Villarroel, Alexandra Naumenko, and Maria Zouves.
Testimonials from participants of the Opera Naples Academy:

“It was simply the best operatic program I have ever attended. I felt like the teachers and coaches really cared about my development and pushed me to be better. Everyone in the program improved. It was truly an empowering experience.”

“The Opera Naples Academy allowed me the opportunity to work with a world class faculty, sing with exceptional singers from all over the world, and develop my artistry at the highest possible level.”

“Each day I received individual attention from extremely effective faculty. I could not believe how much my peers and I improved in such a short time. This is the best value and the best results for 10 days that I have ever experienced.”

The Opera Naples Academy offers a unique opportunity for exceptional singers to immerse in a ten day program that provides individual vocal instruction and coaching from master teachers. Singers receive private voice lessons as well as participate in various masterclasses presented by the teachers and special guests, Sherrill Milnes and Ramón Tebar. Various lectures and classes will be presented by internationally recognized artists. The session concludes with a public concert in which all participants perform.
Program fee: $850.00
Partial and full scholarships are available to assist with the program fee as well as housing and travel to and from Naples, FL. Housing and travel are the responsibility of the participant.
September 22, 2018 for Session 1
February 1, 2019 for Session 2
Academy Concert
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 – 7:30 pm
Wang Opera Center


Meet Our Academy Students:


Teresa Albero. Awarded with the Palau de la Musica de Valencia Prize (2013), this young soprano singer is also a pianist and graduate in Musicology from the Superior Conservatory Valencia (2007). Teresa Albero has also realised several opera performances, such as the roles of Second Woman (Dido and Aeneas), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Mercedes (Carmen), and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Segreto di Susanna (Susanna), as well as Contesa (Nozze di Figaro), La Voix Humainne by Poulenc, to point out just a few. It is worth stressing her participation at the Opera Studio under the direction of the Italian conductor Alberto Zedda and in colaboration with the Teatro Real Madrid (February 2016). It also needs to be pointed out that she will give a large number of concerts at different place in Spain this year, Ausburg and Berlin (Germany) and the role of Nedda (Paggliacci).
Accordion Sample DescriptionAlejandro Cardona, Costa Rican Bass-Baritone, has worked his vocal, performance and interpretative development with a scholarship in the Young Singers Foundation Program in vocal refinement, under Íride Martínez and Siegmund Weinmeister, and has received Master Classes with Sherrill Milnes, Howard Watkins, Carsten Wittmoser, among others. In 2018 and 2019, he performed Tobias Mill in Rossini’s Cambiale di Matrimonio in a private production in Costa Rica. In 2018 he also participated in the Costa Rican National Opera's production of Don Giovanni, as cover for Il Commendatore, and was invited to the Milnes Voice Studio in Savannah, where he participated in Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight!
Samantha Farmilant. Recognized for her “authenticity” and “attention to text,” American soprano Samantha Farmilant appears regionally as a recitalist and on the opera, oratorio, and concert stages. Favorite roles include Fire in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges and Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. International credits include Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica (Viterbo, Italy) and Ascanio in Pergolesi’s Lo frate ‘nnamorato (Rome, Italy). She is a recipient of the 2018 American Opera Society Award. For more information, please visit www.samanthafarmilantsoprano.com.
Lauren Frick, a native of Central Pennsylvania, is a graduate of The Longy School of Music of Bard College. She holds both a Masters of Music degree and Graduate Performance Diploma in Opera from that institution. She was a resident artist with Thompson Street Opera in Louisville, KY, and has performed and premiered several operas with them over the last few years. She also recently debuted with Orchestra Miami as Second Lady in their production of The Magic Flute. Lauren was thrilled and honored to be asked to perform alongside Christine Goerke and Alan Held in the inaugural season of the Wagner Institute at the Miami Music Festival. Her most notable roles include, Mrs. De Rocher in Dead Man Walking, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, the Old Lady in Candide, and Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica. She is currently under the tutelage of the formidable pedagogue, Manny Perez in Miami, FL.
Jianghai Ho has appeared most recently as Oronte in Handel’s Alcina with Fargo Moorhead Opera. Previous engagements have included the tenor solo in the DePaul Symphonic Choir’s presentation of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Orfeo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with DePaul Opera Theater. He has also performed with Chicago Symphony Chorus under Maestro Riccardo Muti, and the Duke Vespers Ensemble in Dietrich Buxtehude’s rarely performed Membra Jesu Nostri at the Boston Early Music Festival.
Marlina Karimi graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelors in Music Education-Instrumental Concentration and Minor in Voice. Karimi was awarded the Jeanie Queen 2018 from the Florida Federation of Music Club’s Stephen Foster State Awards and first place in the voice category for Jillian Prescott Competition in 2017. Karimi performed selected scenes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte playing the roles of Donna Anna and Fiordiligi in Verona, Italy with the Opera Viva 2018 summer program. She is working with the Opera Naples company for the 2018-2019 in the choir. Karimi will be attending Boston University to study her Masters in Vocal Performance in Fall 2019.
Florida-born soprano Lois Larsen will complete her Masters in Vocal Performance at the University of North Florida this April. Recent roles include Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro in a collaboration with the Jacksonville Symphony and the title role in Seymour Barab’s opera for children, Little Red Riding Hood. Lois will perform as Queen of the Night with the European Opera Academy in their production of The Magic Flute this July.
Baejoon Lee is a baritone. He has performed as a soloist in many concerts, including performances and performed as the bass soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mozart Requiem in the United States. He has also participated in several opera scene works , and joint recitals at New York and churches.
American soprano Brenna Markey has been gaining acclaim for her vocal artistry, singing a richly varied repertoire in both opera and concert. Ms. Markey enchanted audience as she performed as a finalist in the 2018 Violetta DuPont Competition receiving their encouragement award. Ms. Markey has appeared in various concerts and operas including Bach's Magnificat, Rusalka in Dargomyzhsky's Rusalka, Pamina in Die Zauberflote, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, and most recently Brahms’ Requiem.
Rachel Moon has appeared on many stages including the Dallas Opera, Red River Lyric opera, Opera Breve, the historic opera theater of Cagli in Italy, and more. Rachel has participated in summer training programs at OperaWorks and the Opera in Concerts. Her repertoire includes Musetta in La Bohème, Beth in Little Women, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Don Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Madame Pompous in Too Many Sopranos.
Jessica Moss is an emerging artist residing in Houston Texas. Praised for commitment to character, she dives into each role like it is a new adventure. This summer she will be exploring the lead role of Zina in Nico Muhly's Dark Sisters at the Miami Music Festival. When Jessica is not performing, she finds inspiration through organizing local events and recitals to help raise funds for charities: the most recent being for the Star of Hope.
Katiuska Rodríguez is one of the best-regarded Venezuelan artists, where her performances of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana garnered her much acclaim. She was chosen and has furthered her vocal studies in master classes with Mirella Freni, soprano (Italy) receiving excellent reviews about her performance and work. Her extensive concert work has always showcased her rich mezzo-soprano voice and in 2016 she moved to Miami to continue her studies with Manny Pérez.
Dennis Ryan is a native of Florida and currently resides in Connecticut. He’s had the privilege of having three professional careers, as a professional chef, in construction management, and on the opera and concert stage. He received his BA from Florida International University in 2015, MM in opera performance from The University of Kansas 2018, and is currently an Artist Diploma student at the Hartt School of Music.
Recently named a New York Finalist for the 2018 International Talents of the World Competition, Alyson Spina has performed with the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Utopia Opera, Amore Opera, The New York Opera Forum, Metro Youth Opera, the New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Ars Totus, the Metro Chamber Orchestra of Brooklyn, The Astoria Choir, the Rockland County Choral Society, and the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra. A proud Canadian, Ms. Spina’s opera travels have taken her to Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, Austria, across Canada, and the USA. She resides in New York.


Sherrill Milnes is universally acclaimed as the foremost operatic baritone of his generation. With his powerful voice, commanding stage presence and rugged handsomeness, he received the kind of adulation that is usually reserved for tenors. He sang over 650 performances at the Met, where he was honored with sixteen new productions, seven opening nights, and ten national telecasts. As a leading artist in all of the world’s great opera houses, Mr. Milnes performed and recorded with the likes of Domingo, Pavarotti, Sutherland, Sills, Horne, Price, and Tebaldi. He is the winner of three Grammy Awards, and the most recorded American singer of his time. In 2008 he received the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement.
Born on January 10, 1935 in Downers Grove, Illinois, Sherrill Milnes made his critically acclaimed debut at the Metropolitan Opera on December 22, 1965 as Valentin in Faust, an auspicious night that also featured the Met debut of Montserrat Caballé. He was launched to stardom, however, in 1968, when his riveting performance as Miller in Verdi’s Luisa Miller literally stopped the show at the Met and immediately made him the dominant baritone of his time. Throughout his remarkable career, Mr. Milnes showed an affinity for Verdi, whose works formed the cornerstone of a repertoire of some 70 roles. His autobiography, American Aria: Encore, is available from Amadeus Press.
Driven by his dedication to make the vocal arts vibrant, vital and entertaining in today’s world, Mr. Milnes continues to give masterclasses, judge competitions, and mentor new generations of singers. With his wife, Maria Zouves, he co-founded and runs the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs: VOICExperience Foundation and the Savannah VOICE Festival, which provide training and performance opportunities for aspiring young artists while fostering new audiences for the arts.


Veronica Villarroel- Click Here to View Bio






Manny Perez- Click Here to View Bio





Bruce Ford- Click Here to View Bio



Opera Naples fund raisingRAMON TEBAR Acclaimed for his musical versatility, compelling interpretations and orchestra building skills, conductor Ramón Tebar’s international reputation in both the opera and orchestral arenas continues to expand.
A popular guest conductor worldwide who has lead operatic and orchestral repertoire for major opera houses and orchestras throughout Europe and South America, Tebar is considered one of the leading Spanish conductors of his generation. He has the distinction of being the first Spanish conductor to be appointed Music Director of an American opera company, the Florida Grand Opera (FGO). Among his posts are Principal Guest Conductor of Spain’s Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia; Principal Conductor of FGO; Artistic Director of Palm Beach Symphony and of Opera Naples, and with the Dominican Republic’s Santo Domingo Music Festival (2009-2015).
Born in Valencia, Spain, Ramón Tebar began working as a pianist and Assistant Conductor in his hometown at the age of fifteen. He has conducted orchestras such as Philharmonia Orchestra, Het Gelders Orkest, Malaysian Philharmonic, Moscow State Symphony, Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra di Bari, Spanish National Orchestra, Spanish Radio Television Orchestra. In 2014, Ramón Tebar was honored to be granted the Cross of Office of the Order of Mérito Civil in recognition of his cultural accomplishments by His Majesty, the King of Spain Felipe VI.


ALEXANDRA NAUMENKO Pianist Alexandra Naumenko is a highly sought-after artist and opera collaborator who enjoys an exciting career as a pianist and vocal coach. She has served on the music staff of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera and has taught at festivals and summer programs including International Vocal Arts Institute, Miami Summer Music Festival, Opera Naples Academy, amongst others. From 2014 to 2017 Ms. Naumenko was a faculty member of the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Ms. Naumenko’s students have been finalists and winners of major vocal competitions such as Metropolitan Opera National Finals, Belvedere Singing Competition, Queen Sonja International Music Competition, as well as members of young artist programs such as Santa Fe, Merola, Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, and Chicago Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center. As a 2013 The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program graduate, Ms. Naumenko worked under the baton of Maestro James Levine and also accompanied for master classes and workshops led by artists such as Maestro Fabio Luisi, Sir Thomas Allen, Ramon Vargas, Gerald Finley, Carol Vaness, Renata Scotto, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Eric Owens, Luca Pisaroni, Dwayne Croft, Matthew Polenzani, John Fisher and Stephen Wadsworth. In 2008 Naumenko was the head coach for the Bolshoi’s production of Eugene Onegin that opened the season at the Opera Garnier de Paris. Widely acclaimed as a recitalist, she has performed in numerous recitals and concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, Israel and Japan.Ms. Naumenko holds degrees from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Collaborative Piano and Piano Performance.


Apply through YAPtracker.com.
Required materials:
  • Headshot
  • Resume
  • Video or audio files of two arias.
  • Payment of an application fee of $20.
September 22, 2018 for Session 1
February 1, 2019 for Session 2
Academy Concert
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 – 7:30 pm
Wang Opera Center