Resident Artist Program

Lyric Opera’s Resident Artist Program was inaugurated in the 2016–2017 season. Lyric Opera of Kansas City holds an extensive audition process to select emerging artists from around the world to participate in the Resident Artist Program. During their residency, Resident Artists appear in mainstage roles, serve as performing resources for education and community engagement initiatives, work with visiting guest artists, participate in masterclasses and career coaching, receive voice lessons and vocal coaching, and study leading roles. Resident Artists also receive training in acting, movement, and stage combat under the guidance of industry professionals. Many Lyric Opera Resident Artist alumni maintain professional careers in the industry.

Applications to Lyric Opera’s Resident Artist Program are accepted on an annual basis.

Lyric Opera’s Resident Artist Program is sponsored by the estate of Richard Hill, charter sponsor; the Ingram Family Foundation; and a generous anonymous donor.


Bethany Jelinek, Soprano

Bethany Jelinek, soprano, is a passionate performer and a dynamic competitor from Dallas, TX. In March 2024, Jelinek was a semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, and in May 2024, she was a finalist in the inaugural Heartland Sings Vocal Competition. She was awarded the 2023 Jonathan Pell People’s Choice Award from the Dallas Opera Guild Biennial Lone Star Vocal Competition, the 2022 Roy and Sue Johnson Opera Theatre Award, and the 2021 Thomas Hayward Memorial Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Singer at Southern Methodist University where she received her Bachelor and Master of music degrees in vocal performance. Recent credits include Micaëla (Carmen), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Abigail Williams (The Crucible), and Fiordiligi (Cosí fan tutte).

Virginia Reed, Mezzo-Soprano

A New York native, Virginia Reed was a recent finalist in the Southeast Region of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. Versed in lyric repertoire, recent roles include Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), the title role in La Cenerentola, Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), Olga (Eugene Onegin) and Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos). Reed was a scholarship recipient in the 2022 3rd Internationale Opernwerkstatt Waiblingen, performing with the Wurttemberg Philharmonic under Maestro Vlad Iftinca. She has worked as a Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, Central City Opera, and Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center. Reed is a champion of concert and oratorio work, having performed as a choral artist with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Jaemyeong Lee, Tenor

Tenor Jaemyeong Lee, a native of South Korea, graduated in 2024 with a Performer Diploma and Artist Diploma in Voice Performance with Performance Fellowship at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Carol Vaness, Kevin Murphy, and Gary Arvin. He is the 2021–2022 recipient of a Wilfred Bain Opera Award and the 2022–2023 recipient of Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship Award at Indiana University; he also took second place at the Indiana Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Voice Competition.  In the summer of 2024, Lee will perform the role of Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro at Aspen Music Festival. Lee has also been a Young Artist at Summer Opera Tel Aviv.

He earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance from Seoul National University as a student of Yonghoon Lee. While in Korea, he won the Chunchu Music Competition and won awards at the Joong-Ang Music Competition, the Sung-Jung Music Competition, the Suri Music Competition, and the Gwang-Ju Music Competition. Recent credits include Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Ruggero (La Rondine), Rodolfo (La bohème), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), and Ferrando (Cosí fan tutte). Recent soloist concert work includes Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Verdi’s Requiem.

Alex Smith, Baritone

Baritone Alex Smith received his Master of Music in Voice from the Yale School of Music in the spring of 2024, under Adriana Zabala. He received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Lorraine Manz. During his time at Yale, Mr. Smith performed the roles of Musiklehrer (Ariadne auf Naxos), Junius (The Rape of Lucretia), Raimbaud (Le Comte Ory), Father Trulove (The Rake's Progress), and Marco (Gianni Schicchi). In the summer of 2023, he attended The Glimmerglass Festival as a Young Artist where he performed in the chorus of La bohème and Roméo et Juliette, in addition to covering roles in Roméo et Juliette.

Matteo Generani, Coach-Accompanist

Matteo Generani is an acclaimed Italian pianist, recognized for winning several competitions such as the Villa Oliva National Piano Competition (Italy, 2018), White Lake Young Artist Solo Performance (Michigan, USA, 2019), and Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra Piano and Orchestra Competition (Missouri, USA, 2020). He performs across Europe and the United States, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Matteo co-founded the Medhelan Duo with violinist/violist Doriano Di Domenico and the Neo-Art Piano Duo with pianist Regina Tanujaya. In May 2020, he premiered and recorded the complete set of Études Op. 23 by Giovanni Albini. He looks forward to a CD and streaming release of his recording of piano works by Giuseppe Martucci, slated for December 2024 on the Naxos label. Matteo also serves as the festival coordinator and assistant to the artistic director of the Piano Lieven Foundation, and as co-artistic director of Classical Music Express.