Hailed by The Washington Post as a singer with a “beautifully rich and spirited” voice, Taylor-Alexis DuPont has performed internationally from China to Italy, and in 2019 in NYC as a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy award-winning production of Porgy and Bess. Soon after, she joined Santa Fe Opera to perform the role of Moth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and later debuted as a featured soloist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. In spring of 2023, Taylor-Alexis was awarded first place at the 25th Lotte Lenya Competition. She then debuted with Washington National Opera as Phoebe in The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson. Taylor-Alexis has performed substantial roles with Virginia Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Heartbeat Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and more. She earned a Master’s Degree in Voice from Peabody Conservatory while studying with Denyce Graves. She made her Florida Grand Opera debut as Flora in the season-opening La traviata, and is looking forward to playing Musetta in the upcoming La bohème.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Sara Kennedy, a specialist in both opera and musical theatre, is celebrated for her lush, colorful sound, her commanding stage presence, and her powerful interpretations of Mozart heroines. Ms. Kennedy joins Florida Grand Opera for the 2023–24 season where she will perform Annina in La traviata, Musetta in La bohème, and cover the role of Nedda in I pagliacci. This past summer, Sara made company debuts with Shreveport Opera, Opera Arlington, Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy, and Painted Sky Opera. In the summer of 2022, she won the prestigious Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition at Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Sara holds a Graduate Artist Certificate in Opera from the University of North Texas as well as a BM in Music Education and an MM in Vocal Performance. She currently studies with Soprano Jennifer Rowley.
Keith Klein, a native of Kanas City, MO, began his career by winning the 2014 KC Superstar competition and appearing on Season 10 of America’s Got Talent. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music in 2018 and Florida State University in 2020, Keith’s wide musical background and rich singing voice led him to be a Studio Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 2021. Then, in 2022, he accepted the position of Artist in Residence with Opera Colorado. The following year, he sang as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Keith is the recipient of the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera’s Laffont Competition as well as the Barbara and Stanley Richman Memorial Award from Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Mr. Klein’s most recent engagements include performing the roles of Dr. Podsnap in Tobias Picker’s Awakenings and Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Opera Colorado. As a Studio Artist with Florida Grand Opera for the 2023–24 season, Keith played Dr. Grenvil in La traviata, and will play Colline in La bohème.
Joseph Canuto Leon
Praised for his “outstanding singing” and “big, bass-y baritone” by The Dallas Morning News, dramatic baritone and Des Moines native Joseph Canuto Leon is an emerging artist making major strides in the world of opera. In FGO’s 2023–24 season, he will sing the roles of Barone Douphol in La traviata and Schaunard in La bohéme. In addition, he will cover the roles of Giorgio Germont, Silvio, and Marcello in La traviata, I pagliacci, and La bohème respectively. Joseph has been featured with The Dallas Opera, Charlottesville Opera, American Baroque Opera Company, Painted Sky Opera, Opera on the James, and Opera in the Rock. Some of Joseph’s performance credits include the roles of Giorgio Germont in La traviata, Ford in Falstaff, Onegin in Eugene Onegin, Schaunard in La bohéme, Il conte d’Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, The Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Donner (Das Rheingold), The Father (Hansel and Gretel), Baron Zeta (The Merry Widow), and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore. Joseph is a student of dramatic baritone Michael Chioldi.
Praised for her “fire” and “vocal drama,” Hayley Lipke is a rising young dramatic soprano hailing from Wisconsin. Hayley made her professional debut in the title role of Madama Butterfly in Indianapolis Opera’s 2020 virtual production, which began her residency with the company. Ms. Lipke’s extensive repertoire includes Violetta in La traviata, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, with institutions such as Quisisana, Cedar Rapids Opera, Out of the Box Opera, Music on Site, and Indiana University. Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Lipke performed as the soprano soloist in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Händel’s Messiah. A proud Hoosier at heart, Lipke is an alumna of the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Jane Dutton and Gary Arvin. In her free time, Lipke is an avid camper, thrifting enthusiast, and a firm advocate for educating children on the joys of music.
Described as having a “voice like honey,” tenor Joseph McBrayer from Dallas, Georgia returns to the Florida Grand Opera Studio, where he will perform the roles of Gastone in La traviata and Beppe in I pagliacci. Mr. McBrayer made his FGO debut last year as Paolino in El Matrimonio Secreto. Joseph has worked with several companies, including The Atlanta Opera, Capitol City Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he performed the roles of Alfredo in La traviata, Woz in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. As a Resident Artist with Indianapolis Opera, Mr. McBrayer performed the role of Goro in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Indianapolis Zoo. Joseph excels in performance of the works of Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, and Puccini, as well as many Broadway musical composers like Sondheim and Bernstein. He earned his BM from Kennesaw State University and continued with his graduate studies at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
Jared Peroune is a Doctor of Musical Arts student in collaborative piano at the University of Miami. Quickly becoming an established collaborative musician, Jared has collaborated with a number of vocalists and instrumentalists throughout South Florida. He has been heard in concerts and recitals throughout Florida, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and in his hometown of Georgetown, Guyana. Broadening his abilities to other keyboard instruments, Jared recently was featured as harpsichord soloist in a benefit concert at Corpus Christi Church to raise money for a new instrument.
In years past, he has been accompanist and continuo organist for Miami Collegium Musicum, a group for which he was also Assistant Conductor, often in collaboration with the Miami Bach Society and the German Consulate. He has performed with Vero Beach Opera, Miami Lyric Opera, Amici dell’arte, the Hispanic-American Lyric Theater, the Frost Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Miami, and with The Symphonia, Boca Raton. Jared was pianist, répétiteur, and coach for four past seasons of the Miami [Classical] Music Festival during which time he also served as chorus master for the 2017 productions of Les contes d’Hoffmann and Le nozze di Figaro. He was recently principal accompanist of the Master Chorale of South Florida as well as previously with Miami Choral Academy, an afterschool initiative by Seraphic Fire. Jared recently completed his third year as Music Director of the Young Patronesses of the Opera In-School Opera Program. He is staff pianist-coach at Florida International University and piano faculty at Barry University in Miami Shores. He is also on the music staff of Florida Grand Opera as pianist-coach.
Aside from his work as a keyboardist, Jared is a rising artist in opera as well. His most recent performances include double-billed roles Il Tinca in Il tabarro and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi, and El Remendado in Carmen all with Miami Lyric Opera, Gaston in La Traviata, Cochenille/Franz in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Camille de Jolidon in The Merry Widow with Riuniti Opera, Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi with the Frost Opera Theater. His singing has been heard in over a decade of fully staged productions at Colony Theater on Miami Beach, Broad Center for the Performing Arts, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center, The South-Dade Cultural Arts Center, and in Fort Pierce with a cameo appearance in La Bohème with Treasure Coast Opera all in conjunction with the South Beach Chamber Ensemble, Alhambra Orchestra, and Frost Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
He has also sung in productions with Amici dell’arte, the Hispanic-American Lyric Theater, and Pro-Arte Grateli. In the spirit of collaboration, Jared is an active choral singer with choruses that have performed a wide range of choral works internationally throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom as well as at noted halls including, the Arsht Center in Miami, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.