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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.


2022 Arlyn M. Brewster Education Teaching Artists


Dr. Miriam Schildkret, PN1, mezzo-soprano

Dr. Miriam Schildkret, pn1, mezzo-soprano

This Miriam's fourth season as a Teaching Artist; She has performed Third Lady/Queen of the Night/Papagena (The Mini-Magic Flute), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), and The Sea Witch (Rusalka: The Littlest Mermaid). Most recently, Miriam covered the role of Cherubino in Arizona Opera's production of The Marriage of Figaro. Other favorite roles include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Tisbe (La Cenerentola), Third Lady (The Magic Flute), and Kate (Owen Wingrave). Miriam was featured in the Arizona PBS series Desert Canvas, a collection of stories about local artists and their impact on the community, and was also a speaker with TEDx Scottsdale Women.


Jennifer Hoppe

Jennifer Hoppe, pianist

Jennifer Hoppe, pianist, is an active vocal coach, teacher and pianist based in Phoenix, Arizona. Since moving to Phoenix in 2013, Ms. Hoppe has worked as a pianist with the Arizona Opera Orchestra and also as principal pianist of the Phoenix Boys Choir. In the winter of 2016 she was on coaching staff at Opera Works in Los Angeles, California. From 2010-2015, Ms. Hoppe was on the Metropolitan Opera staff as a score consultant for their "Live in HD" Series. In the same period, she joined the staff of the Dallas Opera for their production of Romeo and Juliet.  During her 15 years in New York City, Ms. Hoppe maintained a private coaching studio and was also on the music staffs of the Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Tulsa Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. She has also taught at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, the Westchester Summer Vocal Arts Institute and the Intermezzo Young Artist Development Program.

Ms. Hoppe, previously an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix has also been an adjunct professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education and has been on staff at the Mannes College of Music. She has also been a performer on the Tuesday Musical Concert Series in Omaha Nebraska, the Donnell Library Concert Series and the MOSA Concert Series in NYC, the Tappen Zee Music Festival and the Town and Gown Concert Series in New Jersey. In 2006 and 2007 she was heard on the Joey Reynolds Show, WOR Radio, NY, with Dicapo Opera Theatre.

Ms. Hoppe presently runs Jennifer Hoppe Studios, her own private voice and piano studio in Phoenix, Arizona.  Ms. Hoppe holds Master of Music Degrees in Collaborative Piano and Vocal Performance from Arizona State University and the University of Connecticut, respectively.


Mauricio Perusquia

Mauricio Perusquia, Baritone

Mauricio Perusquia, baritone, holds an MM in Opera Performance from Arizona State University and a BM in Voice Performance from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has engaged in many new Opera works such as Arizona Opera’s Silent Night and the New Works reading of the jazz interactive opera, Marie Begins, as well as concert works such as Cipher. With ASU’s Music Theatre and Opera, Mauricio performed the roles of Frank in Street Scene, and Simone in Gianni Schicchi as well as participating in many productions including Trouble in Tahiti, Bernstein’s Mass. He has also performed many roles with Gilbert and Sullivan Company of El Paso for which he is on the board of directors, and is a past Joan Quarm Scholarship winner. Mauricio is a proud alumnus of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a former member of First Presbyterian Church of El Paso’s scholarship singer program, and a current Valley Singer at Valley Presbyterian Church.


Helen Hendricks

Helen Hendricks, Soprano

Coloratura Helen Hendricks is a native of Phoenix Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance in 2021. For the last three years Ms. Hendricks has been studying with the globally renowned baritone, Gordon Hawkins. While at ASU she appeared in the 2021 production of Hansel und Grëtel as the Dew Fairy, and the 2019 production of Suor Angelica as Suor Clarlario. In addition to her Operatic engagements, Ms. Hendricks has thoroughly enjoyed working for the Mystery Mansion Dinner Theatre playing the role of Fanny Fanciful. Ms. Hendricks has a strong affection for the music of Strauss, Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart, and Massenet. When she is not learning roles, Helen enjoys learning new languages and spending time with her lovely cat, Mendelssohn. To stay up to date with Helen’s latest recordings and performances you can find her online at or follow her instagram account @helen.hendricks.soprano.


Diana Peralta, mezzo-soprano

Diana Peralta, mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano from Mexico City. Graduated from the National Conservatory of Music with Degree in Opera and Concert Singing. Obtained her Masters Degree in Voice Performance in the University of Arizona.

In July 2019 she sang the role Cherubino from “Le Nozze di Figaro” by Mozart with the Jerusalem Opera Studio in Israel. She made her debut in Carmen in a production with the San Luis Opera Festival in July 2018 and sang it again in a new production for “Opera de Mexico” Company. Her roles also include Donna Elvira, Cherubino, Mercedes, Mme de la Haltiére, Hansel, Charlotte, Lady Rhondda, 2nd and 3rd lady of The Magic Flute among others. She has been the mezzosoprano soloist at The Messiah, 9th Symphony, Requiem of Mozart and Petite Messe Solennelle in New York City.

Winner of the 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. Winner of the "Gertrude Brownlee Bitner Memorial Award” in Guanajuato and "Opera of Panama" Award in San Luis Potosi in 2018. In December 2019, she 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. Future projects also include the postponed Greek Opera Studio and concerts in Germany for 2022.


Chia-Chun Ko, pianist

Chia-Chun Ko, Pianist

Chia-Chun Ko is a collaborative pianist and piano teacher. She has served as the teaching artist for OperaTunity at Arizona Opera since 2019 and the collaborative pianist for the Helios ensemble. Dr. Ko has performed actively in solo and chamber music concerts, and has also participated in various competitions. She was the winner of the University of Arizona President’s Concerto Competition and performed as soloist with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra in 2012. Chia-Chun Ko received a D.M.A. degree in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona, where she studied with Prof. Tannis Gibson. She is the recipient of various scholarships from NTUE, University of Arizona, the Yamaha Music Foundation, and Ivancovich Music Scholarship.


Joshua Borths, writer

Joshua Borths, Writer (

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 and Community Engagement, Cassie Robel, at

The 2021/22 Season of the Arlyn M. Brewster OperaTunity program is sponsored, in part, by: Dr. Rex Brewster, Invest in Kids Charitable Fund, The City of Peoria, and the Fillman Gorin Fund held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.
Arizona Opera’s Education and Community Engagement programs are made possible, in part, thanks to the support of: Karen Fruen, The Molly Blank Fund, Dr. Rex Brewster, Invest in Kids Charitable Gift Fund, The Moreno Family Foundation, The Arizona Republic, Fillman Gorin Fund held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Cardinals Charities, The City of Peoria, Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, Kiwanis of Litchfield, 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