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Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio

In residence all season, Studio Artists can be seen performing on both our main stage and throughout Arizona. The Studio also provides well-rounded, personalized instruction that propels each artist to the next level. These opportunities help bridge the gap between academic studies and a professional career. Over 650 applications were received for these seven coveted positions.

2014-2015 Studio Artists

andrea shokery Andrea Shokery, Soprano 
 Sponsored by: Norman C. & Donna L. Harbert

 Hometown: Gahanna, OH

Andrea Shokery is a dynamic young performer quickly garnering attention for her “magnetic stage presence” and “tangy soprano… [that is] simply delicious.” In the 2014/15 season, Ms. Shokery returns to Arizona Opera for exciting debuts as Gilda (Rigoletto), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), and Marie (La fille du régiment). She also returns as the Featured Soloist on the Phoenix Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Celebration Concert.

Ms. Shokery began her tenure as a Studio Artist with Arizona Opera in 2013. She made company debuts last season as Musetta (La bohème) and Norina (Don Pasquale), and covered Violetta (La traviata) and Josephine (HMS Pinafore). She also created the role of Bess in Bohmler’s Rider’s of the Purple Sage in workshop performances and made her debut with the Phoenix Symphony.

Recently, Andrea was seen in Opera Iowa's production of L'elisir d'amore (Adina) and as an Apprentice Artist for two seasons with Des Moines Metro Opera. She was a member of the Studios at Kentucky Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, and created the role of Bobachina in the World Premiere of Musto's The Inspector with the Wolf Trap Foundation. She also made her European debut as Musetta (La bohème) with The Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy.

Ms. Shokery has been recognized by multiple competitions, including the Opera Birmingham Competition, Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, Tri-State Vocal Competition, Irma Cooper/Opera Columbus Vocal Competition. She is also a three-time District Winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Originally from Gahanna, Ohio, she received both her Master's and Bachelor's Degrees from The University of Cincinnati, College- Conservatory of Music.

Sarah Tucker

 Sarah Tucker, Soprano
 Sponsored by: David E. Dodge

 Hometown: Houston, TX

 Noted for her intelligent musicality and warm vocal color, Sarah Tucker is gaining momentum as a stand-out young soprano.

As a first  year Studio Artist with Arizona Opera, Ms. Tucker will sing Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She will also perform Countess  Ceprano/Paggio in Rigoletto and cover Tatiana in Eugene Onegin.

 This year, Ms. Tucker competed in the Metropolitan Opera National  Council Semifinals on the Met stage in New York City.  Ms. Tucker was a finalist in the 2014 Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Voice  Competition.  She debuted with Gotham Chamber Opera singing the role of Memory I in the well-received world premiere of Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You and joined Crested Butte Music Festival as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist, singing Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Suor Dolcina in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. 

Ms. Tucker was a Finalist and Encouragement Award winner in the 2013 Licia Albanese Puccini competition as well as a Semifinalist in the 2013 Loren L. Zachary Competition.  She is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).  

Beth Lytwynec

 Beth Lytwynec, Mezzo-Soprano
 Sponsored by: Dr. Judith G. & Edwin Wolf

 Hometown: Ilion, NY

American mezzo-soprano Beth Lytwynec most recently returned to The Glimmerglass Festival, singing the role of Dryad in Francesca Zambello's new production of Ariadne in Naxos. Following her first season as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera, Ms. Lytwynec returns to Arizona Opera for the 2014/15 season, singing the roles of Maddalena in Rigoletto, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and Second Lady in The Magic Flute. Later this season, Ms. Lytwynec debuts with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The 2013/14 season marked Ms. Lytwynec's debut performances with The Phoenix Symphony, singing excerpts from Bizet's CarmenWest Side Story, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

In previous seasons, Ms. Lytwynec has performed with Chautauqua Opera, Nashville Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera New Jersey, Lyric Opera Virginia, Boston Opera Collaborative and Seagle Music Colony. Roles include Jo March in  Little Women, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, Wowkle in La fanciulla del West, the title role of Handel’s Serse, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas

Andrew Penning

 Andrew Penning, Tenor
 Sponsored by: Anonymous

 Hometown: St. Paul, MN

 Andrew Penning is currently a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival performing in Ariadne auf Naxos and Carousel. He will sing the  roles of Mateo Borsa in Rigoletto, Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin, and First Armored Man/First Priest in The Magic Flute. Andrew  will also be the tenor soloist with the Tucson Symphony’s performances of Handel’s Messiah in December 2014.

chris carr headshot

 Chris Carr, Baritone
 Sponsored by: Dan A. Klingenberg

Hometown: Quasqueton, IA

Raised in the small town of Quasqueton, IA, Mr. Carr has performed roles with Arizona Opera, Merola Opera Program, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. He made his company debut with Arizona Opera last season as a Studio Artist singing several roles including Schaunard in La bohème and Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, as well as John Lassiter in the workshop of The Riders of the Purple Sage, a new opera by composer Craig Bohmler. This season, Mr. Carr returns as a Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artist to sing Marullo in Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin in Eugene Onegin, the Corporal in The Daughter of the Regiment, and cover Papageno in The Magic Flute.

Mr. Carr spent his summer at the Glimmerglass Festival where he made his debut as Billy Bigelow in Carousel. In December of this year, he will also make his Kennedy Center debut with Washington National Opera as The Pilot in their production of  The Little Prince. Mr. Carr won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Arizona District in October and in February Mr. Carr was announced the recipient of the 2014 Igor Gorin Memorial Award in February.


calvin griffin

Calvin Griffin, Bass-Baritone
Sponsored by: Karen Fruen

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Calvin Griffin, bass-baritone, is a second year Studio Artist with Arizona Opera.  This season, he will perform Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, and Hortensius in La fille du régiment. In December, Mr. Griffin will perform in Santa Fe Opera’s Holiday Concert Series and make his Richmond Symphony debut as the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah. Mr. Griffin made his Santa Fe Opera debut this past summer singing the Notary in Don Pasquale as an Apprentice Artist.  Last season at Arizona Opera, his roles included Colline in La bohème and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. On the concert stage, he sang the 1st Apprentice in Wozzeck with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Previous engagements include apprenticeships with Des Moines Metro Opera and Wolf Trap Opera Studio.  The Columbus, Ohio native earned his BM Voice from The Ohio State University and his MM Voice from Rice University.



sara chiesa

Sara Chiesa, Pianist/Coach
Sponsored by: Sandra Werner & Anonymous

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Sara Chiesa is currently an Apprentice Artist at Opera Saratoga. In the 2013-14 season she worked as a pianist and coach for Virginia Opera where she music directed the outreach education productions of Jack and the Beanstalk and Pinocchio’s Sister as well as played in  the orchestra for Ariadne auf Naxos.  Ms. Chiesa has worked with the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Prague International Piano  Masterclasses, the CoOPERAtive Program, V.O.I.C.Experience, CCM Spoleto Summer Festival, Virginia Opera, and Opera  Saratoga. This season, she will work on the Arizona Opera music staff for productions of Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin, The Magic Flute and  The Daughter of the Regiment.



Applications for the 2015/16 Season are now available. Visit the following links to apply. Applications are due on October 14, 2014

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Special Thanks

Arizona Opera extends its gratitude to Marion Roose Pullin, whose continued and sustaining support reflects an unwavering dedication to the emerging talent of today and the stars of tomorrow.

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