Apprentice Artist Program

Lyric Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program offers Kansas City-area graduate voice students valuable training in the opera industry. Students selected from partner universities gain performance experience through chorus work, comprimario and principal roles in mainstage productions, and involvement with education and community engagement initiatives. Many Lyric Opera Apprentice Artist alumni maintain professional careers in the industry.

To be considered for Lyric Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program, contact the voice department chairperson at your respective institution.

PArtner Universities

2024–2025 Apprentice Artists

Alexis Merry, Soprano (University of Missouri-Kansas City)

Alexis Merry returns as a second-year Lyric Opera of Kansas City Artist Apprentice. Recent roles include Mrs. Zegner (Proving Up) and Galatea (Handel’s Acis and Galatea) with University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Pepperdine University, and Dolcina (Suor Angelica) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Mission Opera. Merry has participated in masterclasses with Jake Heggie, William Bolcom, and Stephanie Blythe. Merry holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Pepperdine University and a master’s degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City. Merry is currently seeking an artist certificate at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Deanna Ray Eberhart, Mezzo-Soprano (The University of Kansas)

Mezzo-soprano Deanna Ray Eberhart is a second-year Lyric Opera of Kansas City Apprentice Artist. Previous roles include Alidora (Cinderella), Little Buttercup (H.M.S. Pinafore), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Clorinda (Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda), and Arsamene (Serse). Upcoming roles include Gertrude (Roméo et Juliette). Eberhart is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and received her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Northern Iowa where she studied with Dr. Jean McDonald. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at The University of Kansas under the direction of Joyce Castle and Dr. Genaro Mendez.

Angelo Silva, Tenor (University of Missouri-Kansas City)

Tenor Angelo Silva’s recent engagements include Miles in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up and the Conservatory Singers Choir Ensemble at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Upcoming roles include Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) with Amarillo Opera in 2024. Silva holds a bachelor’s degree in applied voice from Pepperdine University and is currently seeking a master’s degree in voice performance at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Riley Findley, Baritone (William Jewell College)

Baritone Riley Findley’s recent roles include Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi) with Opera Lucca, James Mills (The House Without a Christmas Tree) and Albert (Werther) with William Jewell College. Notable roles include Sam (Trouble in Tahiti), Peter Quince (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Melisso (Alcina). Findley holds a bachelor’s degree in music from William Jewell College where he is currently obtaining an artist performance certificate. Findley plans to continue graduate study in voice performance at Indiana University.