Header image: ©Dave Jones, Empire West Photo

In 2018, Finger Lakes Opera established its Young Artist Program to feature up-and-coming musicians around the Finger Lakes region and beyond. In its first two seasons, the Young Artists performed in a scenes program and as chorus members for FLO's main-stage productions. Following the 2019 season, a local benefactor provided seed funding to facilitate the expansion of FLO’s Young Artist Program.

Today, FLO’s Young Artist Program has flourished into one of Finger Lakes Opera's greatest strengths with applications for the 4-week summer session increasing annually, representing an increase of nearly 500% from 2019. Young Artists now receive weekly stipends, travel allowances, and housing, as well as performance opportunities beyond the summer session.

This expansion has provided FLO the opportunity to bring more opera to more people through community engagement events (performances at nursing homes, in cafes, etc.) and an in-school presence. As the program continues to grow, Finger Lakes Opera is proud to be a launching point for these amazing musicians' careers.

Applications for FLO's 2024 Young Artist Program are now open. Please visit YAP Tracker to learn about program requirements and expectations. If, after reading through the guidelines, you still have questions, please email auditions@fingerlakesopera.org for more information.

Anna Donnelly has performed with Chicago Opera Theater, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Miami Music Festival, and Bloomington Chamber Opera. Recent credits include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore. In January 2023, Anna was granted an Encouragement Award from the St. Louis District of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. She recently completed a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and a Graduate Certificate in Vocology at Indiana University. While at IU, Anna portrayed Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Soeur Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, in addition to singing in several opera choruses. Anna is currently living in Chicago, Illinois, where she works as a singer, teaching artist, and youth worker.

Goitsemang Lehobye was born in Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa, and followed her dreams by joining the South African Black Tie Opera Ensemble, working her way from chorus member to soloist. In 2011, Goitsemang won a scholarship to study at the University of Cape Town’s College of Music. Productions include La bohème, Postcards from Morocco, Don Giovanni, and La Traviata. Goitsemang moved to the US at the beginning of 2017 to continue her studies at the University of Michigan. Her career highlights include touring to Argentina as Serena in Porgy and Bess and premiering a new work with the Minnesota Orchestra, “Harmonia Ubuntu” by Bongani Ndodana Breen.

Originally from Murfreesboro, TN, Ellen Robertson is now active in the Chicago area. Most recently, she appeared as an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera in their 2023 Winter Season. While at Sarasota, she sang the role of La Zia (Puccini’s Madama Butterfly) and performed in several choruses. Ellen received her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. She sang the roles of Mimì (Puccini’s La bohème) and Diana (Jake Heggie’s If I Were You, Midwest premiere) with Northwestern Opera Theatre. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, she sang the roles of Euridice (Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice) and Virtù (Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea).

Kaswanna Kanyinda has been praised for her dramatic presence and as a “talent to keep a sharp lookout for.” In the midst of 2020, she portrayed Flosshilde in Michigan Opera Theatre’s Twilight: Gods. Earlier, Kaswanna finished an active season with Opera MODO’s with lead roles in their productions of La Gioconda and Dialogues of the Carmelites. She won the Oscar Wilde Award for her performance as the Mother in Opera MODO’s 2019 production of The Consul and had joined Pittsburgh Festival Opera as a member of their Mastersingers Program the previous summer. Kaswanna earned her masters degree in 2016 from the University of Michigan, where she performed several leading roles. 



Meet Alexandra - watch her introduction video!

Praised for her colorful voice and sparkling stage presence, Alexandra Sanchez has been dazzling audiences in her hometown of San Antonio and across the United States. This season, Alexandra joins Pensacola Opera as a studio artist singing Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) and covering Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). Last season, she made her San Francisco Opera debut singing Sister Claire in Dialogues of the Carmelites under the baton of Music Director Eun Sun Kim. Alexandra was also selected to be a Fellow at the Festival Napa Valley’s Manetti Shrem Opera Program, where she participated in the 2022 Summer Festival which included a concert with celebrated violinist Joshua Bell. 

Conor Brereton is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He has performed a wide variety of roles on the operatic stage, such as Ouf I in L’Étoile (Indiana University), Sroufe in Adolphus Hailstork’s Rise for Freedom (University of Michigan), Gabriel von Einsenstein in Die Fledermaus (University of Michigan), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Miami Music Festival), L’imperatore in Turandot (Opera Grand Rapids), and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi (Festival Napa Valley). Conor holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, a Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and is now completing further graduate work at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Michael Celentano is a former young artist at Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance and Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY. Recent appearances include Stony Brook Opera Theater’s production of Britten’s Albert Herring as Albert and Gustav Holst's Savitri as Satyavan, Max in Bronx Opera’s production of Der Freischütz, Miner in La fanciulla del West and Ensemble in L’Amore dei tre re, both with New York City Opera, as well as a Nibelung Vassal in The Metropolitan Opera's 2019 production of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. Upcoming performances include a Festival Artist position with TUNDI Wager Festival in Brattleboro, Vermont. Michael is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University and is a student of Jeremy Little.

Pedro Valdez is gaining attention for his effortless lyrical range. He graduated from Texas State University with his Masters in Music Vocal Performance and from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with Bachelor degree in Music. Pedro is currently in the Madison Opera’s Studio program, where he is scheduled to sing the role of Don Curzio in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Pedro was also in the apprenticeship program with Northern Lights Music Festival in 2021, where he sang the role of Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La cenerentola. Pedro’s other roles are Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Alberto in La Curandera, First Sailor in Dido and Æneas, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte.

Steven M. Warnock, of Glasgow, Scotland, is completing his performance diploma at the Jacobs School of Music. Steven’s operatic roles include Dr. Pangloss in Bernstein’s Candide, Captain Corcoran in Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore, Sam in The Pirates of Penzance, Friedrich Bhaer in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Steve Sankey in Kurt Weill's Street Scene. Steven performs regularly in operas and musicals, engages with his community through music forward volunteering, and collaborates frequently with composers and creatives to bring new works to life. In summer 2022 Steven worked as a Young Artist with Cedar Rapids Opera and participated in Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute in January of 2023. 

Casey Germain has appeared in opera productions with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, University of Maryland, New England Conservatory, and Bel Cantanti Opera. Casey has performed the roles of Capellio in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Gus O’Neil in Later the Same Evening, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Littore in L'incoronazione di Poppea, the Jailer in Tosca, and Colline in La bohème. Casey earned his Master’s of Music with the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland, and previously attended the New England Conservatory of Music, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.



Anna Donnelly, soprano

Goitsemang Lehobye, soprano

Ellen Robertson, soprano

Kaswanna Kanyinda, mezzo-soprano

Alexandra Sanchez, mezzo-soprano

Conor Brereton, tenor

Michael Celentano, tenor

Pedro Valdez, tenor

Steven M. Warnock, baritone

Casey Germain, bass


Danielle Beckvermit, soprano

Kayla Oderah, soprano

Erika Vasallo, mezzo-soprano

Robert Hartfield, tenor

Geoffrey Schmelzer, baritone

Jeremy Harr, bass

Jenny Choo Kirby, piano


Veena Akama-Makia, mezzo-soprano

Danielle Beckvermit, soprano

Nathaniel Catasca, tenor

Jongwon Choi, baritone

Imara Miles, mezzo-soprano

John Allen Nelson, baritone

Robert H. Riordan, baritone

David Soto Zambrana, tenor

Robin Steiz, soprano

Natasha Talukdar Elam, piano

Edward Forstman, piano


Sydney Anderson, soprano

Matthew Campisi, tenor

Nathaniel Catasca, tenor

Jongwon Choi, baritone

Nicholas Danker, baritone

Stephanie Doche, mezzo-soprano

Robert H. Riordan, baritone

David Soto Zambrana, tenor

Robin Steiz, soprano

Victoria Thomasch, mezzo-soprano

Brock Tjosvold, piano


Rachel Abrams, mezzo-soprano

David Fournie, baritone

Julianna Grabowski, soprano

Rose Kearin, soprano

Anders Namestnik, tenor

Starletta Noll-Long, soprano

Evan Stenzel, tenor


Jordan Bachmann, baritone

Caryn Crozier, soprano

Caroline Nielson, mezzo-soprano

Susannah Thornton, mezzo-soprano

Evan Stenzel, tenor

Alison Wahl, soprano