Farewell Recital

José Meléndez, piano

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bid a fond farewell to our departing Resident Artists as they embark on their international careers.

AVA alumni have won five of the past eight Richard Tucker Awards;

Five of eleven Metropolitan Opera Beverly Sills Artist Awards;

and eight AVA Resident Artists have been named National Winners in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions since 2007.

Graduating Resident Artists: 

Dominick Chenes is a fourth-year Resident Artist from Las Vegas, Nevada. He received a B.M. and M.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2014, Dominick won Second Place in the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition and in 2012 won Second Place from the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition. At AVA, Dominick performed the title role in Faust, Rodolfo in La bohème, Hermann in Pique Dame and Gustavo III in Un ballo in maschera, among other roles. Previous roles include Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca with Minnesota Opera, Don José in Carmen with Palm Beach Opera and Iopas in Les Troyens with Le Grand Théâtre de Genève. Dominick also made his professional debut with Austin Opera as Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera.
On his past four years training at AVA, Dominick said, “AVA afforded me the opportunities to work with world class coaches, my teacher and mentor, Bill Schuman, and the brilliant Maestro Macatsoris, to refine my technique and artistry. That refinement led me to become a more sensitive artist who feels the deeper meaning in each note on the page. My journey began as a singer ‘in a box;’ AVA opened my world and led me to become an artist without limits.”
This summer, Dominick plans to perform as Don Jose with Utah Opera in Carmen, Rodolfo in La boheme opposite fellow fourth-year Marina Costa-Jackson with Welsh National Opera, and B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with both Austin Opera and Seattle Opera in 2017.

Marina Costa-Jackson is a fourth-year Resident Artist from Sandy, Utah. She studied Vocal Performance at Utah State University and Music Studies at the University of Utah. In 2015, Marina won both the Top Prize for the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition and Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition. That same year, Marina also became a National Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. At AVA, Marina has performed Fiora in L’amore dei tre re, Marguerite in Faust, Mimì in La bohème, Liza in Pique Dame and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera.
Of her valuable time spent at AVA, Marina said, “AVA is the forge that refined my craft. Studying with masters like Maestro Macatoris and Bill Schuman gave me ownership of my talent. Though there will always be much work to do, AVA has given me the tools to move forward and hopefully have a long, successful career.”
This summer, Marina will compete in Placido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition. Next season, Marina will cover the role of Mimì in Zeffirelli’s production of La bohème at The Metropolitan Opera. Following this commitment, Marina will perform Mimì in Cologne Opera’s production of La bohème and will then perform the role opposite fellow graduating Resident Artist, Dominick Chenes at the Welsh National Opera.

Alexandra Schenck is a fourth-year Resident Artist from Los Alamitos, California. She received a B.A. from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. Alexandra is a Grant Winner from the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition in 2015 and the International Vocal Competition of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation in 2014. At AVA, Alexandra sang Charlotte in Werther, Siébel in Faust, Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri, Rosette in Manon, Pauline/ Governess/ Milovzor in Pique Dame, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Dulcinée in Don Quichotte and Larina in Eugene Onegin.
Regarding her training at AVA, Alexandra said, “AVA has prepared me for the challenges of the coming years in countless ways. I have a much better understanding of what it takes to be a singing artist, of how important it is to be connected to each word and to make each note special because of the training I received at this incredible institution.”
Next season, Alexandra is scheduled to perform the role of Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Merola Opera Program in San Francisco.

Mackenzie Whitney is a fourth-year Resident Artist from Janesville, Iowa. He earned a B.M. from the University of Northern Iowa. Mackenzie is both a 2015 District Winner and a 2014 recipient of the Encouragement Award (Philadelphia) from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. At AVA, Mackenzie performed the title roles in Werther and Faust, Rodolfo in La bohème and Chevalier des Grieux in Manon, among others. Previous roles include Mackenzie’s professional debut as Rodolfo in La bohème with Madison Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni withOpera in the Heights and Nika Magadoff (cover) in The Consul with Opera New Jersey.
Regarding his time spent training at AVA, Mackenzie said, “AVA has provided all the tools and the perspective a younger singer needs in order to take the next step in their career. AVA’s high standards have inspired me to always continue learning and strive to be the best version of myself that I can be. I’ll always fondly remember my days at AVA and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
Mackenzie’s summer includes the portrayal of Anthony in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera in July 2016, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Lakes Area Music Festival in August 2016 and Rodolfo in La boheme with Hawaii Opera Theatre in October 2016.



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