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Meet the Artists

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Francesca Federico, Soprano

 

Hailed as having a voice of “such strong presence and beauty of tone that she left one longing for more.” (Opera News), soprano Francesca Federico was born in Paris, and lives in New York City. She is a Fulbright Scholar, and recently completed a performance residency at the Irish World Academy in Limerick, Ireland, focusing on the origins of Irish traditional music in 20th century English-language art song.

 

Engagements this season include a return to the Teatro Nuovo bel canto festival at Lincoln Center to cover Anna in Rossini’s Maometto Secondo; Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld with Opera Ithaca; Soloist with Raylynmor Opera in their season-opening concert, and Soloist with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, performing Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses and the premiere of Clarice Jensen’s Enheduanna. She makes her Carnegie Hall debut in 2023, as Soprano Soloist in John Rutter’s Requiem with the New England Symphonic Ensemble.

 

Engagements in the 2021-22 season include Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Raylynmor Opera; Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera; La Donna in Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo with Teatro Grattacielo, and Sor Andrea in the East Coast premiere of Carla Lucero’s Juana with dell’Arte Opera. In concert, she was Soprano Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. She is also Lyric Soprano Soloist in the upcoming short film Reverie, with music composed by Brian K. Bowers, and also appeared on Clarice Jensen’s upcoming album Esthesis.

She made her European debut in 2020 with Wexford Festival Opera, performing the role of Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff in their inaugural Young Artist division, the Wexford Factory. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she appeared with the Children’s Philharmonic of New Jersey, as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and was named a finalist in the Vermont Vocal competition and The American Prize competition.

 

Highlights of her 2018-19 season included her debut at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center with the Teatro Nuovo bel canto festival under the baton of Maestro Will Crutchfield, where she covered the role of Ninetta in Rossini’s La gazza ladra, and joined their production of Bellini’s La Straniera; a company debut with Bronx Opera, performing the role of Anna Gomez in Menotti’s The Consul, and being named the winner of a 2018 opera grant from the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, as well as being a finalist for a Career Bridges grant.

 

In the 2017-18 season, Francesca created the role of “Lyric Soprano/Naftalina” in the world premiere of Constantin Basica’s Knot an Opera!, with the Fresh Squeezed Opera Company. She was also the Soprano Soloist in the world premiere of Brad Balliett’s multidisciplinary opera The Universal Drum, and an Artist Fellow with the Art Song Preservation Society Festival, specializing in French repertoire.

Ms. Federico received a Masters in Voice at the Mannes School of Music, where she studied with Bonnie Hamilton. She completed her undergraduate degree at New York University, where she majored in Global Politics. She currently studies with Mark Schnaible in New York.

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José Heredia, tenor

 

A 1st Prize Winner of the 2014 NJ Association of Verismo Opera International Vocal Competition, and a finalist/encouragement award winner of the Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition in 2015 and 2017, Dominican tenor José Heredia has thrilled audiences with his voice of "Pavarottian shimmer." Son of a Merengue singer, Heredia grew up surrounded by music. Although he enjoyed all genres, he had a special love for classical music.

Mr. Heredia started singing in a church in New York back in 2006. He attended Nyack College and the Manhattan School of Music, and studied with the tenor Dr. Dana Talley and the mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn of the Metropolitan Opera. After debuting as "Rodolfo" in Puccini’s La Boheme with the NJ Association of Verismo Opera in 2014, Heredia has sung the roles of "Rodolfo” in La Boheme (G. Puccini), "The Duke of Mantua" in Rigoletto, "Don Jose" in Carmen, "Alfredo" in La Taviata , "Riccardo" in Un ballo in maschera, "Nemorino" in L'elisir d'amore, "Marcello" in La Boheme (R. Leoncavallo), "Mario Cavaradossi" in Tosca, "Radames" in Aida, “Turiddu” in Cavalleria Rusticana, “Pinkerton” in Madama Butterfly, and “Canio” in I Pagliacci.

Heredia made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016, performing the song cycle Four Short Stories at the Standard Hotel, Op.6 by Colombian pianist, composer and award winning film director Julian De La Chica.

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Photo by Tom Benoit

Evangelia Leontis, soprano

 

Evangelia Leontis, soprano, has extensive experience on the opera, concert and recital stages.   She has been seen on the operatic stage as Frasquita with Panopera,  Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with UNCG Opera Theatre, Zerlina in Sieur Du Luth Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with both Longwood Opera and Riverside Theatre Works, as Lucy in The Telephone at Boston University, as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflote with Opera del West and Barn Opera, as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Boston Youth Symphony and as Le Feu in L'Enfant et les Sortileges MetroWest Opera.  On the concert stage Ms. Leontis has been the soprano soloist in works by Vaughan Williams, Berlioz, Britten, Schubert, Haydn, Fauré, Rossini, Bach, Grieg, Bizet, Charpentier, and Handel with ensembles such as Albany ProMusica, the Keene Chorale, Newburyport Choral Society, Newton Choral Society, Clear Lakes Chorale, Fine Arts Chorale, Polymnia Choral Society, Greensboro Opera, Greensboro Oratorio Society, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Symphony, and the UNCG Sinfonia.

 

Additionally, Dr. Leontis is an avid recitalist and has sung recitals in Rochester, NY, Greensboro, NC, Brownsville, TX, and Boston, as well as in her hometown of Bowling Green, OH.  She serves as Administrative Director for Calliope's Call, a New England-based ensemble committed to the performance and promotion of art song. She won the Bel Canto Award in the 2015 Orpheus Competition, was a finalist in the 2015 Kentucky Bach Choir Competition, a semi-finalist for the American Prize in 2015, and was a winner of the 2010 Greek University Women’s Club Music Competition.  

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Vladimir Odinokikh, piano

 

Vladimir Odinokikh began playing the piano at the age of four. He received his professional training at some of Russia’s finest music institutes, including the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Gnessin Institute of Moscow. 

Competitions and festivals included the First Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition, the Russia National Competition (Prize), Chamber Music Competition of Soviet Compozers (First Prize), International Ponce-Scriabin Festival, First Bach Festival in Peru, and the Isadora Duncan Festival in England. 

His reputation as a soloist and chamber musician developed as he performed with leading Soviet artists and prestigious organizations, in particular the Rosconcert and Moscow Philharmonic.

Mr. Odinokikh has performed in the concert halls of Europe, South America, and the United States; also with symphony orchestras in Russia and Mexico.

 

He has recorded for radio and television in the USSR, Mexico, and the United States. He has received international acclaim and awards for both his solo and collaborative performances, and his interpretation of works by 20th century composer Alfred Schnittke, himself an admirer of Vladimir's musical interpretation and technique.

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Michael Scarcelle, bass-baritone

 

Garnering praise for his combination of vocal beauty, musicality and charisma, bass-baritone Michael Scarcelle has proven his versatility in concert, recital, opera and theatre. Recent performances include Figaro THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Papageno THE MAGIC FLUTE and The Pirate King THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Anchorage Opera, Herrmann Augustus CANDIDE with Leipzig MDR Symphony Orchestra, Poo-Bah MIKADO with Mobile Opera, HYDROGEN JUKEBOX with Skylight Music Theatre, Poo-Bah MIKADO with Shreveport Opera. Other performance highlights include Demetrius A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Opera Naples, King Melchior AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS, Beaupertuis in Nino Rota's THE ITALIAN STRAW HAT and Don Pedro LA PÉRICHOLE with Amarillo Opera, Alidoro LA CENERENTOLA and Ceprano RIGOLETTO with Salt Marsh Opera, and the role of Death in Holst’s SAVITRI with Little Opera Theater of New York, for which The New York Times praised his “forbidding, resonant bass-baritone.”

In 2015 he made his Carnegie Hall debut as Masolino in American Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Schillings’ MONA LISA, then performed at the hall again with New York City Chamber Orchestra as soloist for both Duruflé Requiem and Fauré Requiem.  This season includes his Houston debut with Pangloss CANDIDE with Opera in the Heights, Vodnik RUSALKA with Resonance Works in Pittsburgh, Mozart Requiem with Westminster Orchestra, the bass soloist in Greenwich Choral Society's concert of Handel's JUDAS MACCABAEUS as well as a return to Carnegie Hall for the highly acclaimed concert of Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra showcasing the music from Final Fantasy.

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