Arlyn M. Brewster OperaTunity Program
Experience an opera performance at your school, community center, or library through a fully staged, 40-minute adaptation of a classic, or an original story! Performances are presented in English and designed for K-8 audiences.
2023/24 Arlyn M. Brewster Education Teaching Artists
Logan Talarico, Phoenix Tour Supervisor, tenor
From choirs to concerts to operas, Logan Talarico has been singing since the age of 12. He was most recently seen as a featured soloist in Scottsdale Philharmonic’s performance of Handel’s Messiah and can be seen on-stage performing in the opera choruses of Arizona Opera and Chandler Opera. He studied vocal performance at Arizona State University under the teachings of Dr. Amanda DeMaris and had his operatic debut as Spinelloccio in ASU’s 2019 production of Gianni Schicchi. Talarico can also be found singing at Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale and is a board member for Arizona North Star Arts.
Clarissa Smith, soprano
Clarissa Christina Smith is a native of Tucson, Arizona. It was during Smith's undergraduate studies at Oregon State University that she became infatuated with opera and her musical talents flourished. Smith is a very determined performer whose discipline and preparation has earned her several opera roles such as La Contessa in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Emily Webb in Rorem’s Our Town, and the Princess in Louis Aubert’s Le forêt bleue. Smith obtained her masters degree in voice performance from the University of Arizona and during that time was featured as the principal character in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and La Contessa from The Marriage of Figaro. Smith will be starting her doctoral studies this fall under the tutelage of Dr. Kristin Dauphinais after singing Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Berlin Opera Academy.
Diana Peralta, mezzo-soprano
A mezzo-soprano from Mexico City, Diana Peralta graduated from the National Conservatory of Music with Degree in Opera and Concert Singing. Peralta obtained her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance in the University of Arizona and currently studying her Doctoral Degree.
In July 2019, Peralta sang the role Cherubino from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart with the Jerusalem Opera Studio in Israel. Peralta made her debut in Carmen in a production with the San Luis Opera Festival in July 2018 with the conduction of Dr. Linus Lerner and sang it again in a new production for “Opera de Mexico” Company. Peralta’s roles also include Donna Elvira, Cherubino, Zita, Zia Principessa, Ma Moss, Mercedes, Mme de la Haltiére, Hansel, Charlotte, Lady Rhondda, 2nd and 3rd lady of The Magic Flute among others. Peralta has been the mezzo-soprano soloist at The Messiah, Symphony No. 9, Requiem of Mozart and Petite Messe Solennelle in New York City. Peralta was awarded 2nd place in the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition and 1st place in “Opera Guild Quest for the Best”, both in the University of Arizona in their 2019 Edition.
Peralta was named winner of the "Gertrude Brownlee Bitner Memorial Award” in Guanajuato and "Opera of Panama" Award in “Linus Lerner Competition” San Luis Potosi in 2018. In December 2019, Peralta won the 1st Place of the Vienna Summer Festival Vocal Competition and she got the role of Carmen for Vienna, Austria for July 2020, but because of the pandemic it was postponed. In the summer of 2022, Peralta sang the leading role of Carmen in Bodrum, Turkey with the VAO Vocal Academy of Opera with a full orchestra production and later, she offered in Jerusalem concerts of French and Mexican music. Future projects include and adaptation of Cinderella and the role of Cherubino.
Micheal Jackson, tenor
Micheal Dewayne Jackson is a tenor out of Las Vegas, Nevada, and received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada-Reno. Jackson is currently completing his Master’s at the University of Arizona. Jackson’s recent roles include Goro in Madama Butterfly, Riniccio in Gianni Schicchi, Don José in La tragedie de Carmen, and Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro. Before Jackson’s interest in starting a career as an opera singer, Jackson enjoyed a career singing Jazz and R&B in Northern Nevada. New to the greater Tucson area, Jackson is beyond excited to be working with Arizona Opera Education Teaching Artist in his debut role of the Beast/Prince in their upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast.
Yongjae Lee, baritone
Yongjae Lee, a South Korean baritone, received a bachelor's degree in classical voice from Seoul National University (SNU) and a master's in Voice Performance from the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) in New York. Lee won the 1st Prize in 'The 5th New York International Music Competition', got an 'Edward C. Braunstein, New York Assemblyman Award,' and he performed in 'The 5th New York International Music Concours of Winner's Recital' at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center, New York. In addition, Lee got 1st Prize from 'Dr. Larry Day Memorial Voice Competition' and a President's competition voice winner at the University of Arizona with 'Distinguished Baritone in the Voice Area Concerto Competition Award for Outstanding Academic and Musical Achievement.'. Recently Lee got a Platinum medalist in Classical Voice in Quebec Concours International de Musique et des Beaux-Arts and Second Prize winner of 2023 Charleston International 19th Century Music Competition. Lee performed the roles Gianni Schicchi, Leporello, and Grandpa Moss' in the University of Arizona Opera Theater production and 'Peter' in Hänsel und Gretel at the Chicago Summer Opera Festival. Lee is 'The Arizona Opera Ambassador performing Artist' from 2022. He is pursuing a D.M.A. as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Arizona (UOA), Fred Fox School of Music, under the tutelage of Professor Yunah Lee.
Yukyung Hwang (Rachael), pianist
Yukyung Hwang is a chamber musician and collaborative pianist. She has performed solo and collaborative piano recitals throughout her career across the United States, China, and South Korea. As an enthusiastic pianist, she has performed for the Arizona Symphonic Choir and the South Dakota National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition. Recent performances encompass a selection of songs by Emile Naoumoff at Music+Festival: Nadia Boulanger and Her Students in 2021.
Moreover, Yukyung also accompanied faculty members, voice studio classes, instrumental and voice degree recitals, and various voice competitions including Larry Day Competition, Marguerite Ough Competition, Amelia Rieman Competition, and President competition at the University of Arizona and Concerto Aria Competition at the University of South Dakota. Also, she worked as a pianist and vocal coach for opera singers at two opera productions: Cendrillon by Jules Massenet and L’isola Disabitata by Joseph Haydn as a graduate assistant at the University of South Dakota. In addition to collegiate experiences, she worked for Tucson Girls Choir, Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson Youth Music Center, and West High School (Sioux City, IA), as an accompanist and class piano teacher.
Yukyung is currently pursuing her D.M.A. in keyboard performance with ensemble emphasis at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. Before moving to Tucson, AZ, she earned a M.M in collaborative piano from the University of South Dakota, and a B.M. in piano performance from China Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers include Dr. Fanya Lin, Dr. Susan Keith Gray, Professor Min Li, and Professor Minsook Kim.
Joshua Borths, Writer (operaclassroom.com)
Joshua Borths is a stage director, writer, educator, and administrator with over a decade of experience in the opera industry.
Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Borths currently works with Des Moines Metro Opera and Virginia opera after having served as the Director of Opera & Musical Theater and Professor of Music History at Capital University in Columbus, OH and as Director of Education at Arizona Opera. His children's opera adaptations have been seen by hundreds of thousands of students across the country, and he is a frequent guest lecturer.
At Capital University, Borths produced and managed all of the opera and musical theatre programming while also serving as the Professor of Music History. Additionally, he created a joint Resident Artist Program with Opera Columbus creating innovative programming for both institutions. With Arizona Opera, Borths more than doubled the reach and scope of the department through innovative programming and cultural engagement.
As an educator, Borths has taught at Shenandoah University, been a Visiting Professor at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam), directed Maryland Opera Studio, and been guest panelist at the Opera America Conference. He collaborated with TED Ed on their first opera resources and was featured in Opera News for his innovative approach to opera education.
For more information about Arizona Opera Education Programs, please contact Director of Education, Cassie Hollerbach, at email@example.com.
Arizona Opera’s Education and Community Engagement programs are made possible, in part, thanks to the support of: The Molly Blank Fund, Dr. Rex Brewster, Invest in Kids Charitable Gift Fund, The Moreno Family Foundation, The Ted Stephan Teaching Artist Endowed Fund, The Arizona Republic, Cardinals Charities, The City of Peoria, and a consortium of individual donors.
If you are passionate about continuing the traditions of opera for the next generation, this is your opportunity! For more information about supporting this program, or to inquire about sponsoring an apprentice, contact Ashley Parks at 602.218.7337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.