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Dayton Opera Proudly Welcomes New Singers and Staff for Its 2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence Program

Communications & Media Manager 
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 

DAYTON, OH (December 19, 2017)Dayton Opera is pleased to welcome four young opera singers to the Dayton area for its 2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence Program.  They are: soprano Olivia Yokers, mezzo-soprano Noragh Devlin, tenor Michael Anderson, and baritone Alexander Harper. The four singers, selected from national auditions, arrived in Dayton this December to perform in the Dayton Philharmonic’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah and in the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s New Year’s Eve Concert.  They will begin their official residency at the beginning of January 2018, joined by their new music director and accompanist, Carol Walker.

The Dayton Opera Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program was established in 1987 as a professional training program for young singers, providing a bridge for the move from the university/conservatory education experience into the arena of a professional opera company.  This season marks the 31st year of this successful opera training program with Dayton Opera.

During January and February, the Artists-in-Residence and music director Carol Walker will be appearing at numerous schools throughout the community to present educational programs that introduce Dayton area students to the art of opera. WYSO Development Director Luke Dennis is writer and director of “OMG–It’s Opera,” the program that the AIRs will be presenting this winter. “OMG–It’s Opera” is being presented in Dayton area schools in cooperation with Dayton’s nationally recognized arts education organization, The Muse Machine.  

The four AIRs will be appearing in a wide variety of Dayton Opera productions and Dayton Philharmonic concerts in the 2017-2018 The Great Ones Season.  In addition to their Messiah and New Year’s Eve Concert appearances, in the new year, all four Artists-in-Residence and accompanist Carol Walker will perform in the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Concert Bernstein Songfest on January 28, 2018 at the Dayton Art Institute. They will also perform roles in Dayton Opera’s mainstage productions of The Barber of Seville and Turandot.

Soprano Olivia Yokers, a native of Hamilton, OH, made her recent DPAA debut in a performance of “Green Eggs and Ham” in Dayton Philharmonic’s PhilharMonster Family Concert this past October. Prior to this engagement, Olivia was most recently seen performing the role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with The Utah Festival Opera. Her other recent credits include Berta in The Barber of Seville with the Virginia Opera and Laurey in Oklahoma! with Indiana University Opera Theatre. This past year, Olivia was a Herndon Emerging Young Artist with Virginia Opera. She earned both her Master of Music degree and her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. 

Mezzo-soprano Noragh Devlin has been called “gifted” by Opera News and praised for her “powerful, rangy mezzo-soprano” by the New York Times. She is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where she was the recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Opera Scholarship and the Hugo Ross Award “for a singer of unusual promise”. is a recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and has been a young artist at Caramoor, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School, the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program and Operaworks. Previous operatic credits include roles in Sir John in Love, Second Nature, The Bartered Bride, Roméo et Juliette, The Dangerous Liaisons, Luisa Miller, Albert Herring and The Mother of Us All among others.  She has had the pleasure of recording three commercial CDs. Noragh will sing the role of Berta in Dayton Opera’s February production of The Barber of Seville.

Tenor Michael Anderson hails from Little Silver, New Jersey and currently lives in New York City, where he received his BM and MM from Manhattan School of Music. Michael has performed with Opera Saratoga, Central City Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. Previous operatic roles include Bardolfo in Falstaff; Jimmy in Later the Same Evening; Mayor Upfold in Albert Herring, Le Journaliste in Les mamelles de Tirésais, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi. Oratorio works include Bach’s St. John Passion, Gounod’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Honegger’s King David, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Michael was honored to receive the Christopher Kiryluk Memorial Award from Central City Opera. He was a finalist in the New Jersey State Opera Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition and the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition. Michael will make his Dayton Opera debut as the role of the Sergeant in The Barber of Seville this February, and he will return in May to sing the role of Pong in Turandot.

Baritone Alexander Harper is a native of Richmond, VA.  After discovering his love of opera and vocal music early in high school, he went on to college at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he sang such roles as Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers. Alexander received his Masters degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he sang such roles as the Innkeeper in The Cunning Little Vixen and Germont in La Traviata. Prior to being selected for  the Artist-in-Residence role with Dayton Opera, he has been performed with Dayton Opera in a few recent roles, including Morales in last May’s production of Carmen and Assan in October’s production of The Consul, an opera for which he also covered the role of John Sorel. He will appear in the role of Fiorello in Dayton Opera’s The Barber of Seville.

Pianist Carol Warner, Music Director and Accompanist for the 2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence program is an experienced and sought-after accompanist and opera and song repertory coach in the region. She has worked extensively in that capacity for Cincinnati Opera and has been principal accompanist for past Dayton Opera productions of Porgy and Bess, The Tragedy of Carmen, The Glory of Wagner, Lucia di Lammermoor, Dead Man Walking, and The Consul and will do the same for the upcoming productions of The Barber of Seville and Turandot.
Dayton Opera and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance welcome these artists and their contribution to the educational and season programming for 2017–2018.


About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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