Tenor Dominick Corbacio makes his debut with Florida Grand Opera this season. Previously, he was an apprentice artist at Opera Saratoga where he appeared in the American premiere of Glass’ The Witches of Venice in the role of The King, as well as the Sailor in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, both directed by Karole Armitage. Praised by the New York Times as having given “one excellent performance after another of the sublime ‘Du bist die Ruh,’” Dominick was also featured in Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Other recent credits include Prince Sou Chong (Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns), Ernesto (Don Pasquale), and Steven Todd/Arnold Murray (Chen’s The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing) with Venture Opera, Manhattan School of Music, and American Lyric Theatre. This season at FGO he sings Le Remendado in select performances of Carmen and Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin, while study-covering Lazaro and Pepe in Before Night Falls and the Judge in A Masked Ball.
Filipina-American mezzo-soprano Melissa Fajardo makes her debut with Florida Grand Opera this season. She has been a member of numerous young artist programs including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera North, Crested Butte Music Festival, and the CoOPERAtive Program. Recent roles include Maddalena in Rigoletto and Lady with a Hat Box in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco with Portland Opera, Paula in Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas with Tulsa Opera; and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Mother in Stravinsky’s Mavra with the Princeton Symphony. She is also a recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree from Westminster Choir College and her master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. This season at FGO, she sings Filipievna in Eugene Onegin, Mother/The Sea in Before Night Falls, and will cover both Carmen and Mercédès in Carmen, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and Ulrica in A Masked Ball.
Soprano Elena Galván returns to Florida Grand Opera this season for her second year with the company’s Young Artist Program. Last season on the FGO stage, she was seen as Yvette in The Passenger and Norina in Don Pasquale. Most recently, she participated as an apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, covering the role of Amour in Orphée et Eurydice. Additional roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Kentucky Opera, Mabel in Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with Lamplighters Music Theatre, Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen with Livermore Valley Opera, Musetta in La bohème and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the San Francisco Opera Guild’s “Opera à la Carte” series, and Norina in Don Pasquale with Opera Santa Barbara. Elena has sung in the young artist programs of Kentucky Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Opera Saratoga. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College and her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This season at FGO, she sings Frasquita in Carmen and Oscar in A Masked Ball.
Calvin Griffin, a native of Columbus, Ohio, debuts with Florida Grand Opera this season. This past summer, he made his Glimmerglass Festival debut singing Fabrizio and covering Gottardo in Rossini’s La gazza ladra, as well as covering Greer Grimsley in the title role of Sweeney Todd. He also completed his third year as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, where he appeared most recently as the Captain in Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Zuniga in Carmen, and Pistola in Falstaff. He recently made his Opera Columbus debut as Colline in La bohème, and returned to Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice artist where his assignments included Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and Hortensius in La fille du régiment. Additionally, Calvin has participated in the young artist programs of Des Moines Metro Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. This season at FGO, he can be seen as Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Victor in Before Night Falls, and Samuel in A Masked Ball, and will study-cover the roles of Escamillo and Zuniga in Carmen as well as Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin.
Tenor Michael Kuhn debuts with Florida Grand Opera this season. Recent credits include an off-Broadway debut as Basel in Guerrerio’s ¡Figaro! (90210), Male Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Loft Opera, Mr. Erlanson in A Little Night Music with the Princeton Festival, and numerous roles with Central City Opera including Padre in Man of La Mancha, Sancho in Don Quixote and the Duchess and the title role in Britten’s The Prodigal Son. Additional role highlights include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Tobias (Sweeney Todd), Piquillo (La Périchole), Hot Biscuit Slim (Britten’s Paul Bunyan) and Candide (Candide). Michael has been a young artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Central City Opera, and Virginia Opera. He is an alumnus of the New England Conservatory (Master of Music, Vocal Performance) and Syracuse University (Bachelor of Music, Music Industry and Communications Studies). This season at FGO, Michael can be seen as Le Remendado in select performances of Carmen, and as Lazaro in Before Night Falls, and will be study-covering Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin and Amelia’s Servant in A Masked Ball.
Laura Martinez León
Cuban soprano Laura Martinez León made her Florida Grand Grand Opera debut last season study-covering Norina in Don Pasquale and Yvette in The Passenger, in addition to countless outreach performances as Norina in the children’s program Don Pasqualito. This past summer, she was featured in a variety of concerts in Madrid and Badajoz, Spain and Lubeck, Germany where she performed Cuban and Spanish zarzuela pieces. Her most recent operatic roles include La Princesse Laoula in Emmanuel Chabrier’s L’étoile and Marguerita Fiorentino in Weill’s Street Scene with FIU Opera Theater, Königin der Nacht in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Miami Summer Music Festival, Musetta in La bohème and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Nyack College Opera. Her zarzuela credits include Charito in Reveriano Soutullo/Juan Vert’s La leyenda del beso with the Sociedad Pro-Arte Grateli, and soprano soloist in a tribute concert at FIU featuring rarely-heard works of Ernesto Lecuona. This season at FGO, Laura will perform the roles of Frasquita in Carmen and Peasant’s Mother in Before Night Falls, and will be study-covering Oscar in A Masked Ball.
Mezzo-soprano Courtney Miller debuts with Florida Grand Opera this season. Last season, her schedule included Hannah in The Passenger with Michigan Opera Theatre, Meg in Adamo’s Little Women with Madison Opera, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro as well as The Wind in Glass’ The Witches of Venice with Opera Saratoga. She made her Odyssey Opera debut as Mrs. Ford in Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love in 2015. As a young artist with Virginia Opera, her roles included Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Page in Salome, Meg Page in Falstaff, Flora in La traviata, and Mercédès in Carmen. As a young artist with the Glimmerglass Festival, she appeared as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and covered the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. An art song enthusiast, she has performed Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Brevard Sinfonia and selections of Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Chautauqua Symphony. A Wisconsin native, Courtney holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Boston
Conservatory. This season at FGO, she can be seen as Mercédès in Carmen and Olga in Eugene Onegin, and will study-cover The Moon in Before Night Falls.
Soprano Sarah Payne, a native of South Florida, returns to Florida Grand Opera for a second season in the company’s Young Artist Program. Last season at FGO, she was seen Clotilda in Bellini's Norma, while study-covering the title role in Norma as well as Marta in The Passenger Most recently, she reprised the role of the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with the Miami Music Festival. She also participated in the festival’s Wagner Institute led by soprano Christine Goerke, covering the role of Helmwige in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Sarah is a first-place winner of the St. Petersburg Opera Guild Voice Competition, a regional finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a semi-finalist in the Young Patronesses of the Opera Voice Competition. Previously, she appeared as Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with the Miami Music Festival, and studied under Helen Donath in Salzburg, Austria at the Mozarteum University where she was named a finalist in the International Richard Strauss Competition. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Florida International University. This season at FGO, she will cover Micäela in Carmen, and will study-cover the roles of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Mother/The Sea in Before Night Falls, and Amelia in A Masked Ball.
Romanian-American bass-baritone Alex Soare returns to Florida Grand Opera for a second year in the company’s Young Artist Program. Last season at FGO, he performed the roles of Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, SS Man #1 in The Passenger, and study-covered the title role in Don Pasquale. Most recently, he performed as Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Opera North. Additional roles include Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Iowa, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Candid Concert Opera, and Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte and Elisha Fitzgibbon/Legs Diamond in a world premiere workshop of Mack’s Roscoe with Opera Saratoga. Alex has also appeared with the Aspen Music Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Nashville Opera. He was a finalist in the Jensen Foundation and Marcello Giordani vocal competitions, and has received awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Bel Canto Foundation. He received his education at Universitatea Transilvania (Brasov, Romania), Universität Mozarteum (Salzburg, Austria), and Northwestern University. This season at FGO, Alex will sing Zuniga in Carmen, Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, and Tom in A Masked Ball, while study-covering Victor in Before Night Falls..
Baritone Benjamin Taylor debuts with Florida Grand Opera this season. Recent roles include Prior Walter in Eotvos’ Angels in America, Pandolfe in Cendrillon, Masetto in Don Giovanni and Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen with the BU Opera Institute, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos as a resident artist with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia as a young artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL), and Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with OTSL’s “Opera on the GO!” program. Benjamin was also a district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Most recently, he returned to OTSL to perform the role of Cowardly Giant in the world premiere of Perla’s Shalimar the Clown, and appeared in the Crested Butte Music Festival as Marcello in La bohème. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morgan State University and a Master of Music degree from Boston University. This season at FGO, he will perform the roles of Le Dancaïre in Carmen and A Captain in Eugene Onegin, while study-covering Moralès in Carmen, the title role in Eugene Onegin, and Reinaldo in Before Night Falls..
Baritone Nicholas J. Ward returns to Florida Grand Opera this season for a second year in the company’s Young Artist Program. Last season on the FGO stage, he was seen as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville, while study-covering the roles of Figaro in Barber and Tadeusz in The Passenger. In the summer of 2016, he sang the role of Pish-Tush in The Mikado with Union Avenue Opera, and debuted in two new works at Thompson Street Opera in Louisville, KY. Previously, he was a member of the young artist program at Central City Opera for three seasons, where his roles included the Elder Son in Britten’s The Prodigal Son, Marchese D’Obigny in La traviata, and the Trio Baritone in Trouble in Tahiti. He has also participated in the young artist programs of Toledo Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Seagle Music Colony. Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. This season at FGO, he appears as Moralès in Carmen and Silvano in A Masked Ball, while study-covering Le Dancaïre in Carmen and A Captain in Eugene Onegin.
Tenor Benjamin Werley debuts at Florida Grand Opera this season. He has been part of the young artist programs at Santa Fe Opera (Courier in La fanciulla del West and Diener 3 in Capriccio), Merola Opera Program (Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire), Opera Colorado (Messenger in Aida and A Farmer in the world premiere of Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter), Virginia Opera (Second Jew in Salome and Giuseppe in La traviata), and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. A graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, he appeared as Rodolfo (La bohème), Camille de Rosillon (Die lustige Witwe), and Fenton (Falstaff) during his collegiate studies at IU. Benjamin also was one of 20 national semi-finalists in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. This season at FGO, he will appear as the Judge and Amelia’s Servant in A Masked Ball, and will study-cover the roles of Don José in Carmen, Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Ovidio in Before Night Falls, and Riccardo in A Masked Ball.