Asheville Lyric Opera welcomes young artists for summer program

Press release from Asheville Lyric Opera:

The Asheville Lyric Opera Summer Young Artist Program is in full swing! As is the case every year, six young artists from around the country are in residence for five weeks studying with our opera staff, performing a series of concerts around Asheville, and performing roles in our upcoming production of “Béatrice et Bénédict” at the Diana Wortham Theatre on July 6 (8 p.m.) and July 8 (3 p.m.). This year’s group was cast from our largest pool of applicants ever, and we have been pleased with the high quality of their work.

“I love the small-town feel that Asheville still has. Being able to walk through downtown and experience local shops, food, and drinks is really something special,” says Chelsea Seener, a soprano with a master’s degree from Boston University who currently lives in Los Angeles. “Artistically, it’s great to have the opportunity to focus on an opera role and scenes I’ve never done before. I am reassured by working with the directors that my voice is going in the direction it’s supposed to be.”

Baritone Joshua Glasner agrees: “It has been a joy to work with this group of artists and to learn more about our craft in a positive and uplifting environment. Asheville’s surroundings are beautiful, of course, but the most enjoyable part about being in Asheville has been talking with the people who live here and hearing their stories. Everyone is so genuine and welcoming!” Joshua is a PhD candidate at NYU.

Asheville Lyric Opera is pleased to welcome these two rising talents, along with tenor Kevin Harvey (a master’s graduate of LSU), mezzo-soprano Kaitlyn Tierney (a doctoral student at Temple University), soprano Kelsey Debner (a master’s graduate of Boston University), and Joseph Parrish (an undergraduate at Cincinnati Conservatory). Elizabeth Truitt, who directs the program along with Director of Summer Programs Jon Truitt, says: “This group is one of our strongest and comes from all over the country. It’s a unique year in that the program participants also have a lot of important parts in the opera, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for them all.”

In this novel adaptation of Shakespeare’s lively comedy “Much Ado About Nothing,” the original English dialogue is paired with an incredible score by Hector Berlioz, so students will be able to develop their dialogue skills along with their singing. As an added bonus, the students will be working alongside Metropolitan Opera tenor Jeremy Little in the role of Benedict and mezzo-soprano Dawn Pierce, who is a popular singer with our audience following her performance in Madama Butterfly a few years ago, as Beatrice.

For more information, contact Jon Truitt, director of summer programs, at or 812-483-8430.

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