Apprentice Artist Program
The Apprentice Artist Program offers students valuable experiences in training to become a professional opera singer. Students selected from partner universities have numerous opportunities to gain performance experience through chorus, comprimario and principal roles, and with community outreach and activities.
Lyric Opera has a proven track record of casting Apprentice Artist alumni in leading roles when appropriate. Apprentice Artists have appeared with opera companies around the world, including: Chautauqua Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Florida Grand Opera, English National Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Israeli Opera, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and many others.
University of Missouri-Kansas City
The UMKC Conservatory/Lyric Opera Apprentice Artist Program is a collaboration between the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The program prepares the exceptional young singer for a professional operatic career while they are enrolled in a Master’s, Doctoral, Performer’s Certificate or Artist’s Certificate degree program at the Conservatory.
Through UMKC Conservatory, Apprentice Artists will have the opportunity to perform in two fully-staged opera productions per year, along with workshop programs, premieres and outreach activities. For more information, please contact the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.
University of Kansas
Building on a history of excellence in training young singers, the University of Kansas, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is proud to offer students the opportunity to join the Apprentice Artist Program. Selected Masters and DMA students combine musical and theatrical training at the university with outstanding career preparation through Lyric Opera. Through the University of Kansas Voice and Opera program, Apprentice Artists have the opportunity to perform in three fully-staged opera productions per year from a wide ranging repertoire. They also attend audition and role preparation classes and master classes with guest artists of international fame. For more information, please contact the KU School of Music – Voice and Opera Department.
William Jewell College
Led by Daniel and Kathleen Belcher, The new Artist Diploma in Voice at William Jewell College builds on a long tradition of vocal excellence, including Cardinalis, the Concert Choir, and the Harriman-Jewell Series. The program incorporates lessons, coachings, one-on-one acting lessons, two fully produced operas from the standard and contemporary American repertoire, and professional seminars led by industry leaders from the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Minnesota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Colorado, Glimmerglass Opera, and others. The Artist Diploma program is designed around the individual student’s needs and promises to connect their artistry into the community and beyond. This season, Apprenticeships will begin with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Landlocked Opera. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jewell.edu.
2021 – 2022 Apprentice Artists
Brianna Perez, Soprano (KU)
Soprano Brianna Pérez is a first-year Apprentice Artist with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. A native of Miami Beach, Florida, Brianna recently graduated from the University of Kansas, where she received a Master of Music in Opera Performance. Notable roles include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Susannah (Susannah), First Lady (The Magic Flute), and Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors).
Aimee Stuart-Flunker, Soprano (UMKC)
Soprano Aimee Stuart Flunker is a first-year Apprentice Artist with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She received her Master of Music degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College. Notable roles include Mimì (La bohème), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), First Lady (The Magic Flute), and Mrs. Jaffett (Noye’s Fludde). A recipient of numerous awards in Chicago National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitions, she was also awarded the Stotler Fellowship while attending the University of Illinois. This fall, Aimee will begin her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at UMKC, studying with Dr. Maria Kanyova.
Katarina Galagaza, mezzo-soprano (UMKC)
Mezzo-soprano Katarina Galagaza is a recent graduate of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and a second-year Lyric Opera Apprentice Artist. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. Notable roles include Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Mrs. Soames (Our Town), La suora infermiera (Suor Angelica), Suor Pazienza (Mese Mariano), Prince Charmant cover (Cendrillon), Mrs. Webster (Sweets by Kate), Nancy (Albert Herring), Flora Bervoix (La traviata), and Fox Goldenback (The Cunning Little Vixen). Katarina is currently pursuing an Artist Certificate at the UMKC Conservatory, where she studies with Dr. Maria Kanyova.
Zachary Devin, Tenor (KU)
Tenor Zachary Devin is a first-year Apprentice Artist with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. After receiving degrees in music from Millikin University and Rice University, he continued his training at the Royal Academy of Music. Zachary made his European debut in Budapest as Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw). After years of performing abroad, he returned to the states where he performed with Nashville Opera, Dayton Opera, Salt Marsh Opera, and The American Kantorei. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Vocal Pedagogy at the University of Kansas, where he serves as a graduate teaching assistant.
Louis Tiemann, Baritone (William Jewell College)
Baritone Louis Tiemann is a first-year apprentice artist with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He has recently appeared as Mr. Gobineau (The Medium) and Don Giovanni in the new work, Rest In Pieces. Mr. Tiemann has also performed as Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief), and Dr. Gregg (Douglass Moore’s Gallantry). In 2017, he participated in the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Mr. Tiemann recently completed his master’s degree at Bard College and is currently pursuing an artist diploma at William Jewell College where he studies with Daniel Belcher.
Turner Staton, Bass-Baritone (William Jewell College)
Turner Staton, bass-baritone, joins Lyric Opera of Kansas City as an Apprentice Artist after making his company debut in Baseball: A Musical Love Letter. A native of Liberty, Missouri, he is currently finishing his artist diploma with William Jewell College under the tutelage of Daniel and Kathleen Belcher. His other degrees include a master’s degree from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University. Notable roles include Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), and Mercurio (La Calisto). In 2021- 2022, he will perform Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) and Uncle (Elizabeth Cree) with William Jewell College.