About the Program

The Finger Lakes Opera Young Artist Program is an outstanding opportunity for young singers to be featured in various Finger Lakes Opera productions. This program has garnered welcome recognition from singers and teachers from around the country, and we are confident that it will continue to elevate the national profile of Finger Lakes Opera and reinforce our reputation as one of the most exciting and engaging opera companies.

Sponsor a Young Artist

If you would like to become an integral part of this exciting program, please consider sponsoring one of our exceptionally talented Young Artists. For a gift of $2,500 you will get to meet with your Young Artist and learn firsthand how your support makes an immense impact on their career as they study, rehearse, and perform as part of the Finger Lakes Opera. As there are limited opportunities for this sponsorship, we encourage you to contact us directly at info@fingerlakesopera.org.

2019 Young Artists

Rachel Abrams, mezzo

Rachel Abrams, mezzo

American mezzo-soprano Rachel Abrams has been praised for her dynamic stage presence and sensitive interpretations of opera, oratorio, art song, and new music. Last December she was the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah with Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut and at Cappella Cantorum's annual Messiah: Sing or Listen at the Katharine Hepburn Performing Arts Center. In 2018 Rachel performed the roles of Sesto in Handel's Giulio Cesare with Connecticut Lyric Opera, Annina in Verdi's La Traviata with Panopera in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Greater Worcester Opera. In the summer of 2017, Rachel joined the Nahant Music Festival as an apprentice artist, where she was featured as the alto soloist in Bach Cantata BWV 94 accompanied by members of the Emmanuel Music Orchestra, performed the role of Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore, and sang in the world premiere of Nahant Calling, a song cycle by Francine Trester. Rachel has also performed with Salt Marsh Opera, Berkshire Opera Festival, Opera Theater of Connecticut, NEMPAC Opera Project in Boston, Hartford Opera Theater, Southern Illinois Music Festival, Winter Opera St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera, and with the St. Louis Symphony as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. This spring Ms. Abrams returns to Connecticut Lyric Opera to sing Der Trommler in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, covers Lepido in Handel's rarely performed opera Silla with the Cambridge Chamber Ensemble, and joins the Finger Lakes Opera Young Artist Program for its 2019 summer season. She lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

David Fournie, baritone

David Fournie, baritone

David Fournie, baritone, is entering the second year of his master of music degree at Eastman School of Music. He received his bachelor of music from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where he appeared in many performances throughout his SIUE studies. His credits included Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress and KoKo in The Mikado. He was also featured as Father in Union Avenue Opera's PNC Arts Alive 2017 production of Hansel and Gretel. His recent accolades include The Encouragement award at the 2018 Saint Louis District Metropolitan Opera Nation Council Auditions and 1st place in the 2017 Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization competition.

Julianna Grabowski, soprano

Julianna Grabowski, soprano

Soprano Julianna Grabowski, a native of Baldwinsville, New York, is a graduate student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where she is pursuing a degree in vocal performance. She is a 2017 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia with degrees in vocal performance and music education with a concentration in piano. Her recent performance credits include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Duquesne University's opera program; Jo (cover) in Little Women and Alma Hix in The Music Man with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and 2nd Witch in Dido and Aeneas with Fredonia's Hillman Opera. Julianna's professional credits include her solo performances with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra in their 2016 Holiday Pops concert and 2018 Mr. Tambourine Man concert. For the past two summers, she has worked professionally as a Lake Junaluska Singer at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina. Currently, Julianna is the assistant conductor and soprano section leader of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, as well as the conductor of the Pittsburgh Girls Choir adult community choir, Women of Song.

Rose Kearin, soprano

Rose Kearin, soprano

Soprano Rose Kearin is a native of Houston, Texas, where she lives with her husband. During the 2018-19 season, Rose performed Micaela in Bizet's Carmen Suites with Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and covered Donna Anna in Eastman Opera Theatre's Don Giovanni. Her other roles include La Contessa d'Allmaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Micaela (Carmen) with Opera in the Ozarks, Violante/Sandrina (La finta giardiniera), Flaminia (Il mondo della luna), and Ms Huffstedler (Angry Birdsong) with Oberlin Opera Theater. Rose has participated in many competitions, advancing to the semi-finals of the Classical Singer Competition 2010-13 and again in 2018. This spring Rose was designated alternate for the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition. She is currently pursuing her masters in vocal performance and literature at Eastman School of Music, where she studies with Anthony Dean Griffey. Rose received her bachelor of music from Oberlin Conservatory.

Anders Namestnik, tenor

Anders Namestnik, tenor

Anders Namestnik is a tenor vocalist who recently completed his studies at the Eastman School of Music, earning a double major in vocal performance and music education. Anders has performed roles such as Gèrard in Eastman Opera Theatre's production of Les enfants terribles and a cover role of Don Ottavio in Geneva Light Opera's 2017 production of Don Giovanni. In addition, Anders received The Noble Hirsh Award in the 2014 Rochester Philharmonic Young Artist Competition and achieved 1st place in the 2015 NATS competition: sophomore division. A lover of art song and Lieder, Anders earned honorable mention in the Eastman Jessie Kneisel 2018 Lieder competition. In the choral world, he has sung in NAFME All National Choir, Eastman Chorale, the University of Rochester Yellow Jackets, ACDA Eastern Division Honor Choir, and is currently a soloist and tenor section leader in Rochester's Third Presbyterian Church Choir.

Starletta Noll-Long

Starletta Noll-Long, soprano

Soprano Starletta Noll-Long, a Pennsylvania native, studied music performance in voice at Susquehanna University and Binghamton University. In her studies, Starletta's roles have included Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica, La Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica, most recently performed with Tri Cities Opera, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, and Giulietta in Les contes d'Hoffmann in scenes. In recent years, she has been actively performing in local theater, choral and orchestral venues across the Greater Susquehanna Valley, including the Susquehanna Valley Chorale, and the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Starletta has auditioned for programs such as the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) at the chapter and regional levels, where she placed as a first-place finalist and the 2018 Classical Singer Vocal Competition as the regional finalist in the Emerging Artist category. She has also had opportunities to participate in masterclasses with prestigious musicians and composers, including soprano Dawn Upshaw, mezzo-soprano Delores Ziegler, and contemporary composer Libby Larsen.

Evan Stenzel, tenor

Evan Stenzel, tenor

Evan Stenzel is an American lyric tenor from Iowa Falls, Iowa. In his return to Finger Lakes Opera for a second summer, he will perform the role of Parpignol in La Bohème. Within the 2018 season, he was seen as Dudley the Forest Ranger in Little Red's Most Unusual Day and in the chorus of Die Fledermaus.

Evan is an active and avid performer of both opera and musical theater. Recent opera credits of his include Jenik in Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff, and numerous opera scenes both at Finger Lakes Opera and Westminster Choir College, where he received a master's degree in 2017. In his musical theater career, he has most recently portrayed Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, by Boublil and Schönberg.

Other recent highlights of his performance career have included being a soloist in Bach's Magnificat and performing a recital of Schumann's Dichterliebe at Drew University. He currently is an adjunct associate professor of voice at Drew University, where he teaches voice lessons, aids in choir, and teaches musical theater history and technique. He is happy to announce his involvement in Drew University's Spring Awakening this upcoming year as music director.

Become a Young Artist

The application deadline for our 2019 season has passed. Please stay tuned for information about Young Artist opportunities for our 2020 season.

Finger Lakes Opera is pleased to share news of our Young Artist Program for the 2019 production season. We will be holding live auditions in Rochester, NY and New York City, as well as accepting auditions by recording. The program cost includes housing and a travel stipend. Scholarships are also available.

The deadline for accepting applications is December 17.

Click here to apply now!