Christian Pursell

Voice Type: Bass-Baritone

Hometown: Santa Cruz, California

Merola Roles: Dandini (La Cenerentola)

Schools: Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Caramoor Festival
Tom Baresel (CCM), Barbara Honn (SFCM), Daniel Mobbs (SFCM), Tony Dehner (Monte Vista Christian School)
Major Roles or Experience: Pandolfe (Cendrillon); Senator Potter’s Assistant (Fellow Travelers, world premiere); Harasta (The Cunning Little Vixen); Abdullah Shalimar (The Clown); Belcore (L’elisir d’amore); Marcello (La bohème)

Other Interests:

I grew up playing piano and switched to voice in high school. To keep me sane, the last 10 years I’ve owned a 1967 Chevy C10 pickup truck. I’ve always been working and tinkering with it, like when I moved to Ohio I installed a contemporary engine/transmission so it would run smoothly in the brutal Cincinnati winters!

Piano, videography and professional recordings, photography, computers, backpacking and grease monkey-ing.

Awards: Metropolitan Opera National Council, Central Region Winner, 2016; CCM Opera Scholarship Competition, Italo Tajo Memorial Award, 2016; CCM Opera Scholarship Competition, Seybold-Russell Award, 2015; Metropolitan Opera National Council, San Francisco District Winner, 2014

Upcoming: Tom (Some Light Emerges, world premiere); Pilate (St. Matthew Passion)

Cody Quattlebaum

Voice Type: Bass-Baritone

Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland

Merola Roles: Smirnov (The Bear)

Schools: The Juilliard School; Merola Opera Program; Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
Marlena Malas (The Juilliard School) , Kenneth Shaw (UC-CCM) , Carol Schuster Yunkunis
Major Roles or Experience: Immigration Officer (Flight); Guglielmo (Così fan tutte); Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte); Speaker/2nd Guard (Die Zauberflöte); Lautsprecher (Der Kaiser von Atlantis); Colonel (Meet John Doe); Der Fischer (Matsukaze); L’Horloge Comtoise (L’enfant et les sortiléges); Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro)

Other Interests:

Competed in Chess tournaments as a kid.

Weight-lifting, Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Cooking, Chess.

Awards: Eastern Region Winner Metropolitan Opera National Council, 2017; 2nd place CAM Heida Hermanns Competition, 2016; Encouragement Award Opera Index Competition, 2016; 2nd place Gerda Lissner Liederkranz Competition, 2016; 1st place & Audience Favorite James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, 2016; Seybold-Russell Award CCM Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition, 2015

Upcoming: Claudio (Agrippina), Juilliard Opera, 2017

Alexandra Razskazoff

Voice Type: Soprano

Hometown: New Brighton, Minnesota

Merola Roles: Schwabacher Summer Concert

Schools: The Juilliard School; Peabody Conservatory; Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Program; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program; Music Academy of the West
Dr. Stanley Cornett (Peabody Conservatory), Dr. Robert C. White Jr. (Juilliard)
Major Roles or Experience: Britomarte (L'arbore di Diana); Wellgunde (Das Rheingold); First Lady (Die Zauberflöte); Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro); Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica); Blanche de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites); Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni); Abigail Williams (The Crucible); L'Écureuil (L'enfant et les sortilèges)

Other Interests:

I used to be a hardcore punk/scene kid in high school and rocked a full-on mullet for a year. I'm also related to Louisa May Alcott.

Fishing, biking, hiking, experimental cooking.

Awards: Houston Grand Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition, 3rd Place, 2016; Peabody Conservatory's Sylvia Green Scholarship Competition, 1st Place, 2014; Metropolitan National Council Auditions Mid-Atlantic Regionals, 2nd Place, 2014

Upcoming: Minnesota Opera: Miss Alden (Dinner at Eight, world premiere), Musetta (La bohème)

Michael Sherman

Voice Type: Apprentice Coach

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Merola Roles: Not Applicable

Schools: Boston University; Royal College of Music (London); University of Michigan; Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program
Martin Katz, Linda Jiorle-Nagy, Edna Stern, Anthony Di Bonaventura
Major Roles or Experience: Don Giovanni; Le nozze di Figaro; La bohème; The Crucible; Lost in the Stars; Candide; The Magic Flute; Les mamelles de Tirésias; Il barbiere di Siviglia

Other Interests:

I'm completely deaf in my left ear. Instead of cats and dogs, I grew up with snakes and lizards. I'm emotionally attached to my 2002 Toyota Corolla, whose name is Nancy. I can't chop an onion to save my life.

Astronomy, massage therapy, stand-up comedy, understanding everything that happened in 2016.

Andrew Sun

Voice Type: Apprentice Coach

Hometown: West Windsor, New Jersey

Merola Roles: Not Applicable

Schools: New York University; Manhattan School of Music; Music Academy of the West
Warren Jones, Eduardus Halim, Grant Wenaus, Martin Katz, John Churchwell, Tamara Sanikidze
Major Roles or Experience: La Cenerentola; Macbeth; Luisa Miller; Falstaff (Salieri); Cendrillon; The Bartered Bride; Man of La Mancha; The Pirates of Penzance

Other Interests:

In 2012, I performed the radio broadcast premiere of the then newly-discovered <i>Albumblatt</i> by Johannes Brahms; the Bärenreiter score for the piece includes my name in the introduction.

I have not worn a Halloween costume in 20 years.

Cooking and eating food of all kinds, travel, museums, lazy Sundays.

Szymon Wach

Voice Type: Bass-Baritone

Hometown: Lublin, Poland

Merola Roles: Alidoro (La Cenerentola)

Schools: Moniuszko Academy, Gdansk, Poland; Lipinski Academy, Wroclaw, Poland; Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, UK; Glyndeboure Young Artist; Merola Opera Program
Piotr Kusiewicz, Bogdan Makal, Rudolf Piernay
Major Roles or Experience: Leporello (Don Giovanni); Samuel (Un Ballo in Maschera); Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte); Count Ceprano (Rigoletto); Germano (La scala di seta); Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore); Sharpless (Madame Butterfly); The Count (Francesca di Foix); Blinval (I pazzi per progetto); Clerk/Student/Policeman (The Nose)

Other Interests:

I was a leader of a blues rock band -“Frozen Catz” - you probably can still find some songs with me singing on the internet. I think they still play/sing without me though… :/ I love cliff walking and stars watching in Guernsey- one of the Channel Islands. I have a terrible sense of humour…

Yoga, Swimming, Cold showers, Long, long walks.

Awards: The George and Charlotte Balfour Award, The George and Charlotte Balfour Fund, London; Guildhall Full Scholarship, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London; Jerwood Foundation Award, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Glyndebourne; Governor’s Scholarship for Promising Young Artists, Lublin; Mayor of Lublin Scholarship Award, Lublin

Upcoming: Concerts in various locations (Jersey, Guernsey, London)

Kelsea Webb

Voice Type: Soprano

Hometown: Anderson, Indiana

Merola Roles: Sāvitri (Sāvitri)

Schools: Indiana Wesleyan University; Indiana University; Operaworks; Vancouver International Song Institute; Bay View Music Festival; The Song Continues; Reimagining Opera for Kids
Julia Faulkner (current), Patricia Havranek (Indiana University), Lisa Dawson (Indiana Wesleyan University)
Major Roles or Experience: Mrs. Patrick De Rocher (Dead Man Walking); Gertrude (Hansel and Gretel); Rose (At the Statue of Venus); Convoy/Sally (Intoxication: America's Love Affair with Oil); Rainbow Crow (The Firebringers); Alice Ford (Falstaff); Ana (Ana y su sombra)

Other Interests:

I am also a stage director and enjoy writing and producing original pastiche works, combining different genres to create interesting and dynamic stories.

Cooking/baking, crochet, autobiographies.

Awards: Metropolitan Opera National Council, Iowa District, Encouragement Award, 2016; Bel Canto Foundation, Bella Voce Bravo Awards, 2015; Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, First Place, 2014

Upcoming: Lady Avdotya Ignatyvna (Bobok, Thompson Street Opera)

David Weigel

Voice Type: Bass-Baritone

Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina

Merola Roles: Death (Sāvitri)

Schools: University of Michigan; A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute (UNC School of the Arts); UNC Greensboro; Furman University; Merola Opera Program; Opera North; Brevard Music Center
Stephen Lusmann, Kathleen Kelly, Martin Katz, Robert Wells
Major Roles or Experience: Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni); Colline (La bohème); Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia); Frère Laurent (Roméo et Juliette); Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream); Collatinus (The Rape of Lucretia); Spencer Coyle (Owen Wingrave)

Other Interests:

One of the best trips I have ever been on was with my aunt and uncle in Reykjavík, Iceland last summer. We went whale watching, spending an hour following a humpback whale named Picasso, and also took the Golden Circle Tour, which ended with a swim in Iceland’s oldest geothermal pool.

Fitness, Science Fiction and Fantasy Books/Movies/TV Shows, Teaching.

Awards: University of Michigan Friends of Opera, Winner, 2016

Andrew Moore

Voice Type: Bass-Baritone

Hometown: Point Pleasant, NJ

Merola Roles: Keeper (The Rake's Progress); Schwabacher Summer Concerts

Schools: Rutgers University; International Vocal Arts Institute NYC
Eduardo Chama, Mignon Dunn
Major Roles or Experience: St.Peter (Der Mond); Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro); Rocco (Fidelio); Adonis (Venus and Adonis); Guglielmo (Così fan tutte); L’arbre (L'enfant et les sortilèges)

Other Interests: Italian cooking, watching scary movies, traveling the world

Awards: Victoria J. Mastrobuono Scholarship Recipient, 2017; Michael Fardink Memorial Award 2017; MM Finalist, Curtis 2017; Alfredo Silipigni Competition with New Jersey State Opera, Finalist 2017

Alexandra Urquiola

Voice Type: Mezzo-Soprano

Hometown: Bergenfield, New Jersey

Merola Roles: Mother Goose (The Rake's Progress)

Schools: Yale University; Aspen Music Festival and School; Northwestern University
Doris Yarick-Cross , W. Stephen Smith
Major Roles or Experience: Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel); Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte); Paquette (Candide); Angel 3 (Seven Angels); Popova (The Bear); Mrs. Ott (Susannah); Zita (Gianni Schicchi); Jade Boucher (Dead Man Walking)

Other Interests: Fitness, family time, podcasts (the Moth, especially), travel, a great cup of coffee

Awards: Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions CT District: Encouragement Award 2017; Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation Award 2017