The Glynn Studio Artists
The Glynn Studio Artists join The Atlanta Opera as company members are selected through a rigorous audition process. Each year, four singers and a stage director receive the opportunity to apprentice by performing in various roles or directing, learning roles to act as “cover” or “understudy” performers, and learn from a close affiliation with the experienced professionals in all productions.
Each of the Studio Artists is an early career professional with significant training and stage experience, some with lead performances and major concert appearances on their resumé. The program builds on The Atlanta Opera’s commitment to provide opportunities for performers at all stages in their careers.
“We founded our Studio Artist program in 2016 with a simple goal to discover and nurture talented performers,” says Tomer Zvulun, the Carl W. Knobloch General & Artistic Director of the company. “Singers expand their skills and knowledge with the training and opportunity they get here, and many have gone on to significant careers. This year, we continue our program with the confidence that these amazing young artists are the foundation of the future of opera.”
Throughout the season, these artists will have the opportunity to work with established performers and coaches to improve their skills in all aspects of their field. Master Vocal Teacher Laura Brooks Rice has been part of the Studio Artist program since 2021 and is an acclaimed performer and voice teacher and acting coach whose students are currently singers at The Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Sarasota Opera, and internationally at most of the world’s opera houses. “I am a native of Atlanta, and spent my childhood in this wonderful town,” explains Rice. “It gives me so much pleasure to be back working with The Atlanta Opera and I am filled with anticipation to work with our new singers in the Glynn Opera Studio.”
An experienced group of coaches and clinicians are engaged in the training and support of the Glynn Studio Artists. These experts include David Okerlund – Principal Vocal Clinician, Kevin Burdette – Principal Dramatic Clinician, Walter Huff – Principal Guest Coach, Stefano Baldasseroni – Italian Diction Coach, Marianne Barrett – German Diction Coach, and Pierre Vallet – French Diction Coach.
The name sponsors of the young artist program are Beth and Gary Glynn. Significant support is also provided by the Donald and Marilyn Keough Foundation, John and YeeWan Stevens, and Jerry and Dulcy Rosenberg.
Kameron Lopreore, (tenor), joined The Atlanta Opera as a Young Artist for the 2022-23 season after a summer season with the Santa Fe Opera where he was seen in Carmen, The Barber of Seville, Tristan and Isolde, and Falstaff. Hailed by Opera News as a “fresh voiced” tenor, Lopreore will be heard in upcoming performances of The Shining and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Atlanta Opera. A New Orleans native, he was featured as The Tenor in AMC’s television drama Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Recently, he sang Tamino in The Magic Flute and Panatellas in the world premiere of Songbird at the prestigious Glimmerglass Festival.
Aubrey Odle, (mezzo-soprano), is known for her “luscious” sound and as a competitive up-and-coming vocalist. The 2022-23 season featured Aubrey in roles with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, including Flora (La traviata), Mercédès/Carmen cover (Carmen) and Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors). She competed successfully this past year, winning 2nd place in the Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition, as well as 2nd place in the Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition with the National Opera Association (Marjorie Gordon Award). In summer 2023, Odle joins Des Moines Metro Opera, covering Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, in addition to other performances. As a Resident Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in the 2021-22 season, Odle performed Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and A Teacher in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Other operatic role experience includes La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Gertrude (Roméo et Juliette), Dame Quickly (Falstaff), and others. She also has great interest in new opera and has sung leading roles in the US Premiere of Evan Fein’s City of Ashes, as well as the world premiere of Frank Pesci’s Royal Flush.
Amanda Sheriff, (soprano), is a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival for the 2023 summer season where she will debut as Calista in the youth opera The Rip Van Winkles. Next spring, Sheriff will make her company and role debut as Musetta (La bohéme) with Opera Bozeman. Earlier this year, Sheriff performed as the soprano soloist in Carmina burana and Brahms’ Requiem and was a grant winner in the Gerda Lissner Competition. Sheriff was awarded first prize in the highly esteemed Lotte Lenya Competition (2022) and returned to Opera Delaware to perform Despina (Così fan tutte) and rejoined Opera Baltimore as Miss Jessel (Turn of the Screw). During 2021, she served at Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist and made her debut as Miss Lightfoot (Fellow Travelers), and covered Clarine and L’amour in Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Platée. Previous roles include Beatrice (Three Decembers), Celie (Signor Deluso), and roles in and Trouble in Tahiti and New York Stories while she was a Studio Artist at Florida Grand Opera. Sheriff holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Nora Winsler, (stage director), is a versatile and accomplished director who has made significant contributions to numerous productions across the United States. For the past two years, Winsler held the position of Resident Assistant Director at Virginia Opera. After touring seven productions with the company and directing their 2022 outreach show, Jack & The Beanstalk, Winsler returns to Virginia Opera to direct Il Barbiere di Siviglia this fall. Tapped as an assistant director by leading directors, Winsler has worked with Tara Faircloth, Kevin Newbury, Joachim Schamberger and Mary Birnbaum. Most recently, Winsler’s work has been seen at Des Moines Metro Opera where she was the assistant director on Carmen and directed several scenes for the Apprentice Artist Scenes Concerts. In 2022, she contributed to the success of two productions at the Glimmerglass Festival working with Francessca Zambello and Brenna Corner (Tenor Overboard) and Kimille Howard (The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson). Previous directing credits include All is Calm and Extraordinary Women at Opera North and Hänsel und Gretel at Luray Opera in 2017. She was honored with the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize for Choreography by Opera America in 2022. During her time at James Madison University, she received an Undergraduate Research Grant for her project titled “Best Practices in Interdisciplinary Arts Collaboration… and Tea” in 2017.
Jason Zacher, (bass-baritone), is a native of New Jersey and is quickly gaining national attention as a rising new talent. He comes to Atlanta after a season with the Studio Artist program at Kentucky Opera where he was featured as Colline (La bohéme), Henry (The Gift of the Magi), and Alidoro (La Cenerentola). In addition, he was selected as a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival for summer 2023. Zacher has been featured in roles on the stages of companies including Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera in the Heights, Ars Lyrica Houston, and Opera NEO. Zacher holds degrees from the University of Houston and Montclair State University.
Laura Brooks Rice, Master Teacher
Mezzo-soprano Laura Brooks Rice has won acclaim on the opera and concert stage for her rich, warm voice, musicality, charm and sensitive acting ability and is an interntionally recognized vocal pedagogue. From 1985-2019 Miss Rice was on faculty at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey where she was Professor of Voice. In addition to teaching private voice, she was the creator and director of the CoOPERAtive Program for 15 years, taught courses in opera: The Singing Actor: Opera and Opera Auditions: Techniques and Preparation. Along with her teaching at Westminster, Miss Rice has a private studio of professional singers and has been a vocal consultant to the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Program the Cafritz Program with the Washington Opera. She is a voice teacher for the Glynn Studio with The Atlanta Opera, voice teacher for Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and is an artistic advisor for Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. She has been an adjunct voice faculty member at The Curtis Institute of Music, In the summers of 2012-2019 she was on the faculty of the distinguished program IVAI in Montreal and Virginia and New York. She has taught at Santa Fe Opera and at the Bel Canto Institute in San Miguel, Mexico.Read More
Her private students are currently singing as regular principal artists at The Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Ft. Worth Opera, Dayton Opera, Minnesota Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Mobile Opera, Maggio Musicale, Opera Omaha, Portland Opera, Knoxville Opera, San Diego Opera, Lake George Opera, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Opera North, Central City, The Atlanta Opera, and Aix en Provence and most of the world’s opera houses and orchestras. Miss Rice has been on the steering committee for the Singer Training Council under the auspices of Opera America. She has been member of the board of advisors of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Astral Artistic Services as well as the Princeton Festival. She has served as a judge on the panels of the National NATSAA Competition, Astral Artistic Services Annual Auditions and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is the director of the newly launched Sewanee OperaFest, a four week opera/vocal/chamber music training program in Sewanee Tennessee and is a part of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. In a diverse repertoire, including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Miss Rice has appeared from coast to coast in the United States in concerts and recitals. In recent seasons, she has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on several occasions in works including Handel’s Messiah, which she has also performed with numerous other orchestras nationwide. Miss Rice has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, Bethlehem Bach Festival, and Boulder Bach Festival. She made her Mostly Mozart Festival debut singing the role of Apollo in Mozart’s Apollo and Hyacinth, has been heard in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with San Francisco, Atlanta, San Diego and New Jersey Symphonies with conductors, Kurt Masur, Kurt Sanderling, Robert Shaw, and Hugh Wolf. In the 1992-93 season Miss Rice made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Wowkle in La Fanciulla del West. Following her debut in 1981 with the San Francisco Opera as Grimgerde in Die Walküre she has appeared with that company in several productions, performing such roles as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Varvara in Katya Kabanova, and Suzuki in Madame Butterfly. She has also performed with the Spoleto Festival (Italy) in Honneger’s King David. A participant in the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, she sang numerous performances ad an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera Center.