The Atlanta Opera Studio

The Atlanta Opera Studio provides talented emerging artists with valuable performance experience working alongside internationally acclaimed operatic professionals. The artists will participate in masterclasses and specialized instruction, enhancing and deepening their professional education through coaching in language, stage skills, and career development. The Studio program has already helped launch the careers of 2016-17 season alums Brenna Corner and Santiago Ballerini, who returned to the Atlanta mainstage in 2017-18 as stage director for Carmen and as Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment, respectively.

During the 2019-20 season, artists in The Studio will appear in featured and supporting roles in mainstage productions at Cobb Energy Centre. The six members of the 2019-20 Atlanta Opera Studio are baritone Jonathan Bryan (Dallas, Texas); stage director Ellen Jackson (Cleveland, Ohio); bass Isaac Kim (Seoul, South Korea); pianist Álvaro Corral Matute (Jerez de la Fontera, Spain); soprano Jouelle Roberson (Washington, DC); and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Sarian (Long Island, NY).


Jonathan Bryan (Baritone)

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Jonathan Bryan returns to The Atlanta Opera for his second season as the company’s resident baritone. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Louisiana State University, and received his Master of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with world-renowned baritone, Wolfgang Brendel.

Mr. Bryan has performed many leading operatic roles, including the title character in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Danilo in Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Other roles include Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Owen Hart in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Rambaldo in Puccini’s La Rondine, among others. He has frequently appeared as a concert soloist in a number of master works, including Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Missa in angustiis, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and sung with orchestras such as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Bryan is a former member of the Wolf Trap Opera Studio, and recently returned for his second season as a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival, where he appeared as Beaumarchais in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Baron Douphol in Verdi’s La Traviata. This season at The Atlanta Opera, Mr. Bryan will be performing the roles of Guillermo and Mr. Rockefeller in Frida, First Nazarene in Salome, and Yamadori as well as covering the role of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. In addition to his upcoming engagements with The Atlanta Opera, Mr. Bryan will be reprising his turn as Beaumarchais in The Glimmerglass Festival’s production of The Ghosts of Versailles when it travels to France to the Petit Théâtre de la Reine at The Château de Versailles.


Ellen Jackson (Stage Director*)

Ellen Jackson is an opera director based in the US. She has worked with such companies as The Glimmerglass Festival, Arizona Opera, OperaDelaware, Westminster Opera Theater, and Opera Ithaca. Directing highlights include a new production of American opera for Westminster Opera Theatre, including A Flourish of Green (Mazzoli and Campbell), Avow (Adamo), Service Provider (Weiss and de los Santos), and Trouble in Tahiti; Make a Scene for OperaDelaware, a devised game-show featuring excerpts from the inherited repertoire, Opera Delaware’s Young Artists, and a participatory audience; a new production of Tosca for Opera Ithaca + Metropolis Opera Project (with performances in Ithaca and NYC); and a new production of Kristin Hevner and Royce Vaverk’s opera electronica Bully Pulpit, presented as installation at The Cherry Artspace in Ithaca, NY. Assistant directing highlights include the World Premiere of Blue (Tesori and Thompson) (dir. Thompson), Silent Night (dir. Zvulun) and Beyond Liberty (dir. Zambello) at The Glimmerglass Festival, Tosca (dir. Meeker) at Opera San Antonio, Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD (dir. Lamb) at Arizona Opera, and Thumbprint (Sankaram) and Song From the Uproar (Mazzoli and Vavrek) (dir. Borths) at Opera Ithaca. Ellen is very pleased to join The Atlanta Opera Studio for the 2019-20 season.

*The Jerry & Dulcy Rosenberg Young Artist Stage Director, given in honor of Tomer Zvulun

Isaac Kim (Bass)

Isaac Kim has developed himself as a professional and performed with various opera houses. His recent operatic credits include Dottore Grenvil in La traviata, Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict, Frére Laurent in Roméo et Juliette and Zuniga in Carmen with the Aspen Opera Center. During his tenure as a Resident Artist at the Opera Institute at Boston University, he performed as Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande, Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Pastor Avery in Emmeline, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mr. Kim also performed as Don Profondo in Il viaggio a Reims with USC Thornton School of Music. He has participated as a soloist at the DMZ International Music Festival. Kim was a winner of the South Carolina District Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition and won the Ben DeBolt Memorial Award at The Henry & Maria Holt Memorial Scholarship Competition, and the recipient of the prestigious Phyllis Curtin Award at Boston University.

Mr. Kim is a graduate of Kyung Hee University (BM), USC Thornton School of Music (GC), Boston University (MM) and Boston University Opera Institute.


Álvaro Corral Matute (Pianist)

A pianist, a conductor and a keen traveler, Álvaro Corral Matute has studied piano, vocal coaching and orchestral conducting at some of the most sought-after schools in Spain, Italy, UK and USA, completing his MM at Jacobs School of Music with professors Arthur Howard Fagen and David Neely at Indiana University funded by a Caixabank Foundation Fellowship, whilst serving as a Graduate Assistant Vocal Coach for the season 2018/19 at the IU Opera Theatre.

He started his relation with operatic repertoire at the opera workshop of his previous university Musikene (San Sebastián, Spain), under stage director Marina Bollain, which led to a long-term collaboration and a piano tour of La Voix Humaine with soprano Armelle Morvan in several halls in Madrid, Bilbao, San Sebastián (Spain) and Nantes (France). Since then, he has worked either as coach or as conductor with productions in Spain and the United States, in a repertoire as diverse as to embrace Spanish zarzuela La Gran Vía and Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, as well as early and new music works.

A versatile conductor, he has often been entrusted by different composition and conducting departments to work in performance or recording projects for a variety of contexts, which include a performance-masterclass led by composer Helmut Lachenmann or a soundtrack recording for Kalebegiak, premiered at San Sebastián International Film Festival.


Jouelle Roberson (Soprano)

Jouelle Roberson hails from Washington, D.C. She began her musical studies at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts where she participated in the Show Choir. Following graduation, she was accepted into the vocal studies program at Morgan State University where she graduated with her B.A and M.A studying vocal performance with Marquita Lister. Recently, ,she has performed the role of Marenka in Bedrich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride with the Bethesda Summer Music Festival. Following her successful performances as Marenka, she was invited by the AAMS Opera to perform the role of the Countess (excerpts) from Le nozze di Figaro in Ischia, Italy. With Morgan State University, she has performed in several scenes and fully staged productions, including the 2018 production of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows by Steven M. Allen, in which she portrayed the title role of Alice Ruth Moore. Most recently, by request of the composer, she repeated her portrayal of Alice Ruth Moore in an Opera Showcase presented by CAAPA.  She is the 2018 winner of the Emerging Young Artist Regional competition presented by the National Association of Negro Business Women and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., formerly known as the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition, and advanced to the semi finals of the 2019 Annapolis Opera vocal competition. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity.


Elizabeth Sarian

Elizabeth Sarian is proving herself a young artist to follow in the leading lyric mezzo-soprano repertoire. Ms. Sarian spent the 2018-2019 season as a member of The Atlanta Opera Studio, making her debuts as Flora in La traviata, Sister Lillianne in Dead Man Walking, and Olga (cover) in Eugene Onegin. She will return as a member of the Studio for the 2019-2020 season performing as Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Page in Salome, Kate Pinkerton and Suzuki (cover) in Madama Butterfly.

Ms. Sarian has spent two summers (2018, 2019) as a member of the prestigious Apprentice Singer Program at Santa Fe Opera, performing in the chorus and covering Pastuchnya in Jenůfa. In the summer of 2017, Ms. Sarian was a Studio Artist in Central City’s Bonfils-Stanton Artist Training Program, where she covered Mercédès in Carmen.

Elizabeth earned her Graduate Performance Diploma and Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. During her studies, she performed the title role in Massenet’s Chérubin, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (also performed at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival), Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Mae Jones in Street Scene—highlighting her eleven years of formal dance training—and covered Hansel in Hansel und Gretel and Dorabella in Così fan tutte.

Elizabeth has been awarded two Encouragement Awards from the Capitol District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is a two-time recipient of the George Castelle Memorial Award in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory.