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IVAI Participants
- Robert Lipsyte and Louise B. Morris of The New York Times
IVAI-NYC 2016 Participants


Participants for the 2016 Summer Program in NYC are as follows::

PARTICIPANTS: Faculty | Pianists | Singers: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Lyric soprano Katja Pennypacker Katja Pennypacker
Lyric soprano Katja Pennypacker is a high school junior at North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. She performs regularly and has been a soloist with her high school chorus, Women’s Choir, and Chamber Choir. She recently placed first chair in the National Association for Music Educators All-Eastern Honors Ensembles after placing second chair in the 2016 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Chorus Competition.  In recent years she attended the Solo Vocal Artist summer program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Music Horizons program at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Nicholas Petroski, tenor Nicholas Petroski
Nicholas Petroski, tenor, is a student at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. He has been involved with their opera program for three years, performing in Falstaff, Candide, and Lakmé. He was a participant in the Castleton Festival in 2015, performing in Roméo et Juliette, as well as scenes from Falstaff (Bardolfo) and L’Enfant et les sortilèges (Black Wedgwood). He has also performed with the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir in Alice Tully Hall and toured in 2015 with the Rutgers Glee Club around England, Wales, and the Netherlands.

Soprano Yulan Piao Yulan Piao
Soprano Yulan Piao was last seen performing as Mimì at the Manhattan School of Music. She is a second-year master’s student at MSM. Previous credits include Gilda and Fiordiligi. Her opera scene work includes Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Frau Fluth) and the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Manon. She also performed at the 11th Kukminilbo Young Artist Concert. Her prizes in competitions include third prize in the 22nd Music Journal Concours, fourth prize in the 44th Nanpa National Music Concours, and first prize in the Concurso Internacional de Canto 2012 Teatro Colón Korea regional round. She also sang the title roles in Luisa Miller and Magda in an opera scene of La Rondine at MSM.

Soprano Meghan Picerno Meghan Picerno
Soprano Meghan Picerno recently made her Kennedy Center debut as the Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel and her David Geffen Hall and role debut as Lucia di Lammermoor. She was a quarter-finalist in the Operalia competition in London and performed the Queen of the Night at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She sang at Alice Tully Hall and in Beijing, China, as a young artist of I Sing Beijing. Meghan received first prize in the Arkadi International Vocal and New York Lyric Opera’s vocal competitions and the Forte International Competition; second prize in the American Prize vocal competition; and awards from the Alfredo Silipigni, Benjamin Matthews competitions, and the Career Bridges grant program.

Baritone Ivan Plazačić Ivan Plazacic
Baritone Ivan Plazačić, from Belgrade, Serbia, holds a bachelor's degree in music pedagogy from the University of the Arts, School of Music, and is currently completing a degree in vocal performance. He sings regularly at the Madlenianum Opera as Papageno, Belcore, Lesgle (Les Miserables), and Gindelbach (Wiener Blut). Other roles include Mercutio and Guglielmo. Ivan won awards in opera courses in Beeskow, Germany, and Gmunden, Austria (Baroque Akademie). Other activities include music type setting and arranging, design, photography, video and audio recording, and nonprofit work.

Mezzo-soprano Margaret Potter Margaret Potter
Mezzo-soprano Margaret Potter’s recent engagements include Charlotte in Werther for Martha Cardona Opera, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte for Festival of the Arts BOCA, and Tebaldo in Don Carlo for Vocal Productions NYC. Her other roles include Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), Mercedes (Carmen), Flora Bervoix (La Traviata), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), and Meg Page, Concepcion (L’Heure Espagnole), and the beggar woman (Sweeney Todd). Margaret is a recipient of awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council and the Young Musicians Foundation. She has been a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Cathedral, and the OK Mozart International Festival.

Visnja Radosav, mezzo-soprano Visnja Radosav
Visnja Radosav, a mezzo-soprano from Belgrade, Serbia, is a graduate of Belgrade University of Arts, School of Music, where she obtained her bachelor's and performance certificate degrees. She performed as Fenena (Nabucco) and Suzuki with the Belgrade Opera National Theater and Maddalena with Macedonian Opera in 2013-16. Her other concert and stage appearances have taken her to Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Yerevan (Armenia), Skopje (FYR of Macedonia), and Piran (Slovenia). She has won awards from many competitions, including the Ronaldo Nicolosi (Rome), Bruna Spiler (Montenegro), and the 38th Jeunesse Musicales (Belgrade).

Kati Claire Richer, Mezzo-soprano Kati Claire Richer
Mezzo-soprano and Washington, D.C., native Kati Claire Richer is currently attending the Mannes School of Music for her M.M. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 with a bachelor of fine arts in vocal performance and an Advanced Music Certificate. Kati has appeared as Suzuki, Bradamante (Alcina), Florence Pike (Albert Herring), Ma Moss (The Tender Land), and premiered roles in two new operas with Co-Opera Pittsburgh. She has also performed in scenes as Hänsel, Charlotte (Werther), and Anna (Les Troyens).  Kati has participated in summer programs, including SongFest in Los Angeles, California, and VOICExperience in Savannah, Georgia.

Tenor Benito Rodriguez Benito Rodriguez
Tenor Benito Rodriguez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and began to pursue a career in opera after finishing his studies in industrial engineering in 2010. In 2011 he successfully debuted in New York City in an opera concert, Revealing Mexico. In the same year he was awarded a Plácido Domingo scholarship and was selected to take part in the international operatic training program SIVAM in Mexico City. That same year he sang Rodolfo. Notable performances also include Rodolfo with Vancouver Opera, Don José (La Tragédie de Carmen) with Florida Grand Opera, Mario Ruopolo (Il Postino) in its New York premiere, Fritz (L’Amico Fritz), and Alfredo with Stockton Opera. In addition, his repertoire includes leading roles in L’Elisir d’amore, Faust, Die Zauberflöte, and Die Fledermaus.

Mezzo-soprano Gina Ruzhansky Gina Ruzhansky
Mezzo-soprano Gina Ruzhansky is currently a sophomore at the New England Conservatory. She is a member of the Undergraduate Opera Studio Program at the New England Conservatory and was the soloist in this past year's performance of Leonard Bernstein's Missa Brevis.

Elizabeth Sarian, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Sarian
Elizabeth Sarian, mezzo-soprano, is pursuing her master’s degree in vocal performance at Peabody Conservatory. This season, she performed as Mae Jones in Weill’s Street Scene, Third Lady in Die Zauberlöte, andpremiered the role of Hattie Lawton in The Baltimore Plot by Kyle Krause. Elizabeth was also a finalist in Peabody’s concerto competition, performing selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn. This summer, she will be Cherubino at the Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy. She previously attended Songfest and the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute.

Soprano Sladjana Saric Sladjana Saric
Soprano Sladjana Saric studied at the  National  Theater, Belgrade, Serbia; the Opera Studio Borivoje Popovic; the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest,  Hungary; and the Faculty of Music, Belgrade. She has a master’s in vocal performance and in flute performance. She was a finalist in the 2011 Grandi Voci competition in Salzburg. Her roles include Senta, Suor Angelica, Mimì, and Giorgetta in Il Tabarro.

Virginia Sheffield, soprano Virginia Sheffield
Virginia Sheffield, a soprano from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Music. She is a soprano section leader in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has appeared as a soloist with the Carnegie Mellon Chorus. Virginia’s operatic roles include the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at the Russian Opera Workshop, Donna Anna in a program of Mozart scenes, and, most recently, Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto at Carnegie Mellon.


PARTICIPANTS: Faculty | Pianists | Singers: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


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