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ALUMNI SUCCESS

Anthony Ciaramitaro, '12, won the 2017 Florida District of the Metropolitan Opera National Coucil Auditions, and has been engaged with Arizona Opera as a Studio Artist for the 2017-18 season. He also won the Florida District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2015, and performed the roles of Ferrando in Florida Opera Theatre's production of Cosi fan tutte and Marius in a production of Les Miserables in that year. A master's student at Florida State who will graduate in spring 2017, he spent summer 2015 as a Studio Artist at Wolf Trap Opera, performing the roles of Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro and the Messenger in Aida, and summer 2016 as a Studio Artist at Chautauqua Opera. At Florida State he performed the roles of Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola and Alfredo in La Traviata . 
Raul Escalona, '12, appeared as Papageno in a production of The Magic Flute at Southern Methodist University. He performed the role of Olin Blitch in SMU’s spring 2015 production of Floyd's Susannah, where he is working on his master's degree in vocal performance.
Maria Laetitia Hernandez, '14, performed with Sarasota Opera as a 2015 Apprentice Artist, appeared as a guest recitalist at Middlebury's Spanish Language school and also was featured in a solo recital with Florida Opera Theatre's Opera in the Park series in summer 2015. She performed the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera de Puerto Rico and has recently enjoyed numerous concert and opera engagements in Puerto Rico and in Florida.
Christian Pursell, ’15, won the Ohio District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last November, and went on to win the MONC Central Region Finals in Chicago, advancing to the Met Semi-Finals in March 2016. He is pursuing his master’s degree at Cinncinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he has appeared in several operatic roles, and he also recently made his debut with Cincinnati Opera and with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
Rebecca Wood, '12, performed the role of Cendrillon in the 2014 production of Massenet's Cendrillon at Peabody Conservatory, where she completed her master's degree in vocal performance and is continuing her graduate studies. She performed the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at a 2015 summer program in Italy, and last November performed the role of Rose Marrant in Peabody Opera Theatre’s production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene.
Jeremiah Strickler, ’13, recently performed the role of Cinderella’s Prince in the Muncie Civic Theatre’s production of Into the Woods.
Zoe Johnson, '13, won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions LA District, and advanced to the 2015 Western Region finals, where she won an Encouragement Award. She is continuing her graduate studies at Bard College Conservatory of Music. 
Nicki Hodgins, '13, performed the solo one act opera Before Breakfast at Baltimore Theatre Project in February 2014. She began her master's degree work at Cincinnati Conservatory this fall.
Nicole Pietrangelo, ’13, performed the role of Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown and the title role in The Drowsy Chaperone at Thunderbay Theatre in Michigan last summer.
Juan del Bosco, '13, won the Jose Mujica Award for best tenor in the San Miguel Concurso 2014, a competition for the best young Mexican opera singers.
Rachel Newman, '11, has been acting in New York City, where she works in development for The Public Theater, and in 2014 toured with the National Tour of Calculus the Musical.
Karlos Piñero-Mercado, ’13, won 3rd place in the Central Region NATS competition (Graduate school men category) and advanced to compete in the National NATS competition in July 2016. He is pursuing his master’s degree at Chicago College of Performing Arts
Emily Geller, '11, was a Tyler Young Artist at Opera on the James for the 2012 season, where she covered the role of Giannetta in their mainstage production of L'elisir d'amore, and performed roles in two community productions. She recently was a Resident Artist at Tri-Cities Opera, where she performed the role of Mercedes in their 2013 production of Carmen, and appeared as Orlofsky in their 2014 production of Die Fledermaus. She completed her MM in Opera at Binghamton University, and was selected as an Opera North Young Artist for summers 2014 and 2015.
Eric Carey, '13, has been contracted by Baltimore Lyric Opera as a chorus member through 2015 and has joined AGMA. He made his debut with Concert Artists of Baltimore in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, replacing another tenor on two weeks notice, and was engaged for his first Bach B Minor Mass, singing with orchestra in both Baltimore, MD and Harrisburg, PA in 2015. Eric also works as an Administrative Assistant for Ken Benson Artists.
Simone Lewis, '12 and '13, performed the role of Susan in Company at Catholic University of America, and was also cast in "The Music of Frank Loesser" at the Kennedy Center. She performed the role of Cinderella in Sondheim's Into the Woods at CUA.
Jacklyn Riha, ’14, was named Assistant Conductor of Berklee’s Musical Theater Orchestra.
Alana Ferraro, ’15, performed the role of Clio/Kira in TheatreZone’s production of Xanadu in Naples, FL last fall, followed by performing the role of Jean McKeith in TheatreZone’s November production of Brigadoon.
Zohaniris Torres, '09, earned her Masters in Vocal Performance at Ithaca College, where she was cast in leading roles in Gianni Schicci and in Suor Angelica. She was a member of the voice faculty of Davis College in New York, and is now a voice faculty member at Bethune-Cookman University in Florida.
Justin Gaudoin, ’15, performed the role of Escamillo in San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s production of La tragédie de Carmen last December.
Abigail Kempson, ’11, performed the role of Alice Ford in Westminster Choir College’s graduate school production of Verdi’s Falstaff in Spring 2016.
Janice Van Dyk, ‘07, won Gold and Silver Medals at the World Tap Championships held in Riesa, Germany, in 2007. After two years at Boston Conservatory, she earned a theater degree at Rollins College, where she choreographed student performances. She is now performing in New York City and Toronto.
Justin Su’esu’e, ’15, was cast as Bacchus in the University of Southern California’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Austin Eyer, '00 & '02, completed his musical theatre degree at NYU. On Broadway he has been seen in CurtainsEvitaHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, as the Prince in The Little Mermaid and toured in the national cast of Billy Elliot. Austin served on the faculty of the CAP 21 musical theater conservatory in New York, where he was Dance Department Coordinator. He is now Assistant Professor of Theatre at Penn State University, and served for several years on the MTB faculty.
Lindsay Swann, ’13, performed the role of Ms. Pinkerton in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief at the U. of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she is now studying for her master's degree, followed by appearing as the Mother in their production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Amanda Leakey, '11, was cast in the leading role in the musical Miss Nelson Is Missing at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, as well as in several smaller roles in their repertory productions. She has recently appeared as Tracy in Hairspray, and in Sunday In The Park With GeorgeThe Light in the Piazza and Jame's Joyce's The Dead at Orlando's Mad Cow Theatre. She then toured in the National Tours of the children’s musicals From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Chicken Dance.
Julia Hemp, ’15, performed the role of Caroline Neville in the musical Titanic at Penn State last fall.

Kimberly Hawley, ’13, ’14 and ’15, is sang the role of Fiordiligi in San Francisco Conservatory’s production of Così fan tutte in February 2016, where she completed her master's degree last spring.
Gina Perregrino, ’13, sang the title role in Mascagni’s Zanetto in Montreal, Canada, and appeared in the role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Susa’s The Dangerous Liasons with Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater. She recently was engaged as a young artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and now is engaged as a young artist with Minnesota Opera, where she recently performed the role of Stéphano in Romeo & Juliet.
Paul Wolf, ’14, recently completed the Opera Roanoke Young Artist Apprentice program, and recently performed the roles of Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Fenton in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, and Mr. Erlanson in a production of A Little Night Music at the University of Alabama, where he is completing his master’s studies. He has covered roles for Opera Birmingham and Mobile Opera, and also won the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Young Artist Vocal Competition for the state of Alabama.
John Murray, ’15, appeared as Nemorino in the UCF Opera production of L’Elisir d’Amore in spring 2016 and will complete his master's degree from the University of Central Florida this spring.
Gail Bennett DeJesus, ’01, began her professional career performing multiple roles in The Producers in Las Vegas. She appeared on the national tour of Mary Poppins as understudy to the title role, which she performed extensively. Gail has worked continuously in regional theaters across the country, and also does film and voiceover work. At Utah's Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Gail recently played both the lead role in Mary Poppins, and the role of Dinah in Starlight Express.
Sasha Piastro, '03, earned her MM from Penn State and has performed with many regional opera and musical theater companies, including Emerald City Opera, Pittsburgh Music Theater, Center Stage Opera and Pittsburgh Opera. She is now working on her DMA in voice performance at Shenandoah Conservatory and is an adjunct voice instructor at Lycoming College and at Susquehanna University. 
Lauren Gibbs, '01, danced the role of the Serpent in the World Premiere of the opera Altes Testament in Austria following the 2001 season. Back in New York, after flying high for three seasons in Wicked on Broadway, Lauren joined the Rockettes as a member of the special show troupe.

Carolyn Balkovetz, '12, was cast as Meg in Little Women in her sophomore year at Georgia State, followed by Flora in Turn of the Screw. In 2014 she was seen in the role of Sophie in the GSU production of Werther, and performed as Musetta in GSU's outreach production of La Boheme in 2015. She recently performed the role of Papagena in The Magic Flute at GSU, and is now a grad student at the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Maggie Frei, '12, was cast in the role of Olive in the University of Denver's production of The 25th Annual Spelling Bee after returning from her training at MTB. She is now continuing her training in New York City at the CAP 21 Conservatory.

Westley Holiday, '02, graduated from the University of Central Florida and returned to Bavaria the same season to perform a leading role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He subsequently saw Europe from north to south performing with Carnival Cruise Lines. Westley has performed in regional theaters and off-Broadway, and now leads the creative New York cabaret group, Bending Threads.

Isabella Ward, ’13 and ’14, performed the role of Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 at Fringe Festival, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland (August 2016) and Miss Adelaide in the Rollins College production of Guys and Dolls (Spring 2015). Isabella graduated in October 2016  with a Master's in Musical Theatre Perfomance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Frank Holmes, '05 & '06, following his performance with MTB of the role of Jesus in Godspell, toured Europe performing Hair in Germany, Holland and Italy. He subsequently joined the cast as a lead in the show Lekkerr Los!!! in the Netherlands, and is now performing in New York.
Keston John, '04, after graduating from the University of Central Florida has now moved to LA, where he has begun a promising film career with over five nationally released films to his credit. He has appeared on the television shows Lie to Me24Southland, and Switched at Birth. Keston may be seen in a leading role in the film The Retrieval, released in theaters across the country in 2014.
Lauren Rader Moore, '11, won first place in her division at the South Texas NATS competition, as well as the Alice Dutcher Thornton Award for the singer with the most career potential. She is now focusing on a career teaching voice and singing contemporary Christian music, and she performed the title role in Mary Poppins last summer at Harbor Playhouse in Corpus Christi, TX.
Rebekah Lane, '04, graduated from the University of Central Florida and continues as lead actress with the MicheLee Puppets, performing health education shows annually for thousands of Central Florida youth. In addition she has appeared in several regional theater productions, including Company with Orlando's Mad Cow Theater.
Stephanie Leone, '10, was cast as Sandy in a production of Grease at the Annie Russell Theater, and performed the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago, at Titusville Playhouse. She now performs onstage and in film and theatre in New York City, and tours internationally as a member of The American Bombshells, entertaining our troops.
Isai Jess Muñoz, '03, debuted with the New York City Opera in King Arthur and as a vocal soloist with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. He has sung roles with many regional opera companies, excelling at character tenor roles, and has appeared several times as a soloist at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He earned his Doctor of Music degree at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and after several years performing and teaching voice in New York City, served as Associate Professor of Voice and Opera Theater at Indiana Wesleyan University. He now is Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at the Universisty of Delaware and has been elected to the board of directors of the National Opera Association.
Jennie Siriani, '01, was in the cast of the World Premiere of the opera Altes Testament in Austria following the 2001 season. She performed for several months in the New York production of Tony and Tina's Wedding, and has presented her one-woman show, Liza and Me, in Orlando.
Katherine Tokarz Calvert, ‘03, went from Bavaria to a full season at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. She returned to the U.S. the following year and then appeared on Broadway in WickedA Chorus Line and in Rock of Ages. She also appeared in LA in the musical Leap of Faith. She now is appearing in the national TV series The Neighbors.
Brandi Russell, '06, became the leading singer and choreographer for the show Lekkerr Los!!! in the Netherlands. In 2008 she won Holland's Popstar television show and is now a celebrity in Europe. She has had several hit singles, released her first album, explored the world while performing on a cruise ship, and is now performing internationally with her husband Max, as the Braximusic duo.
Tamia Zuleta, '00, graduated from the University of Central Florida, then returned to Germany the following year to perform the role of Anita in West Side Story for a full summer season of 24 performances. 
Sara Jones, '02, '03, graduated from the University of Central Florida where she performed in Dancing at Lughnasa her senior year, receiving an Irene Ryan Award. She subsequently performed a leading role in Jacques Brel at Orlando's Mad Cow Theater and performed her One-Woman Show in New York. She has received great reviews for recent performances at the Orlando Fringe Festival.
Patrick Hagen, ’15, appeared last fall in the role of Spoletta in Opera San Jose’s production of Tosca. He is also under contract with the ensemble of the San Francisco Opera.

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