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Welcome to Bel Cantanti, an opera company within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area devoted to giving performance experience to both seasoned and aspiring professionals. Between the beautiful singing and glorious music, you will find yourself thoroughly captivated.
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    Bel Cantanti Singers

    Anastasiya Roytman, soprano, Tatyana Larina (Eugene Onegin). Praised for her “dramatic intensity” and her "intelligent acting" (Opera News), soprano Anastasiya Roytman, is quickly establishing herself as one of the most exciting talents in the international opera world today. Anastasiya Roytman made her operatic debut when she was only sixteen in the title role of Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo und Euridice with the Kaliningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded for the radio broadcast. She became the youngest student of renowned mezzo-soprano, Zara Dolukhanova, at the prestigious Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow. While there, Anastasiya performed concerts as one of the guest soloists with the Bolshoi Theatre. The press wrote of her recent Carnegie Hall debut: “…she scaled her wonderful instrument to the size and acoustics of Weill Recital Hall. No wonder she has achieved acclaim worldwide! She has a gracious stage presence … superb control of dynamics and phrasing… without excessive theatrics. It’s all in the voice, which is most important (Meche Koop)”. Anastasiya started this season on a collaborative tour with the Royal Danish Ballet of the Royal Danish Theater and international concert soloists in Kenya, performing highlights from Manon and La Vierge by Massenet, and La Traviata by Verdi. Back in New York she could be seen performing works of Verdi and Mahler in joint and solo recitals, presented by Opera America, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Le Poisson Rouge and more. She appeared as a soprano soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the LCO orchestra and American Music Festivals in Chicago. Anastasiya could recently be seen in concert with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra members, performing excerpts from Mozart’s La clemenza Di Tito and works by Schubert. Upcoming engagements include Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Mahler’s symphony No. 4 with the New Hampshire Music Festival. Highlights of previous seasons included performances of Tosca in the title role with American Lyric Opera at the historic United Palace Theatre, Senta in the Flying Dutchman with the United Nations Orchestra and Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera at Symphony Space Theatre in New York. On the concert stage, she performed the highlights from Un Ballo in Maschera for her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Additional concert projects included the US premiere of Pushkin’s Winter Morning by L. Lehrman, and joint recital concerts with the singers of the Metropolitan Opera to raise funds for NYC public schools. She traveled with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Volgograd Opera Orchestra across South Korea with an all-Verdi program of concerts at prestigious venues, including the Seoul Arts Center. An active performer of contemporary music, Ms. Roytman created the role of Baroness Strahl in the opera Masquerade by the American composer J. Morgulas, that was first premiered at the International House of Music in Moscow. Her portrayal of the character won her rave reviews by Opera News, who praised the young soprano for her “solid high notes” and her “intelligent acting”. She returned to Moscow to repeat the role at the Pokrovsky Moscow Opera Theatre. Past season performances included a critically-acclaimed debut in the role of Elle in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine which was featured on Russian National TV from the prestigious Dramatic Arts Festival in Moscow; Pamina in The Magic Flute at the Salzburg Oper Im Berg Festival and with Opern Auf Schloss Amerang; and in projects of La Scala di Seta in Vienna as Guilia, and in Beggar’s Holiday in Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, as Lucy. Among other recent operatic roles performed are Magd 4 in Elektra, Violetta in La Traviata, Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with the Moscow Chamber Opera, Garden State Opera, New Jersey State Opera, One World Symphony and Seoul Opera. Ms. Roytman has sung numerous recitals in Austria, Germany, France, Finland, Japan, Russia and the Americas. She is the first prize recipient of the first international “Die Wiener Festivalbrücken” competition in Vienna, Austria, the Otto Edelmann Society competition finalist, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions encouragement award recipient, a semi-finalist of Competizione Dell'opera, a semi-finalist of the New York Lyric Opera competition, a finalist of Opera Idol competition, in New York and a recipient of Marcello Giordani grant.

    Rob McGinness, baritone, Onegin (Eugene Onegin) Baritone Rob McGinness has been praised by the Baltimore Sun for his impressive singing, supple phrasing and well-supported tone. Recent operatic roles include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. Other performances include Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a role lauded for his “bright baritone and winning jitteriness” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Jules Goddard in A Wedding by William Bolcom and world premieres as Ed Wall in Frances Pollock’s award-winning opera Stinney, and as Saul Hodkin/Price in The Ghost Train by Paul Crabtree. Rob’s concert credits include the baritone Solo in Durufle’s Requiem with both Oberlin College’s Musical Union and The Peabody Concert Orchestra and the bass soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G, with Concert Artists of Baltimore, a performance praised by the Baltimore Sun’s Tim Smith for its “poetic warmth.” Rob has had the honor of working in master classes with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, and John Musto. He has won awards and competitions including first place in the Sylvia Greene Vocal Competition, second place in the Piccola Opera Competition, the Ruth Cogan Memorial Scholarship and the Margot Bos Stambler Award. Currently based in Baltimore, Rob performs regularly with local ensembles, and has upcoming engagements this season as a featured soloist with Bel Cantanti Opera, and Columbia ProCantare, among others.

    Young Chul Park , tenor, Vladimir Lensky (Eugene Onegin.) Praised as having a “gorgeous tenor voice” by Paterre.com, lyric tenor Young Chul Park is happy to return as Lensky since he sang the role with Bel Cantanti Opera in 2012. Last season he also appeared as Nemorino in L’elisir D’amore and Don Octtavio in Don Giovanni with Bel Cantanti. His operatic roles include Arthur in Lucia di Lammermoor with Belleayre Music Festival, Beppe in Pagliacci with New Jersey Verismo Opera, Fenton in Falstaff, Ruggero in La Rondine, Rinuccio in Gianni Schichi with the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Michele in The Saint of Bleeker Street, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Mannes Opera, and Rodrigue in Le Cid with the Empire Opera. In concert, Mr. Park appeared in numerous venues including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. His concert appearance as soloist includes Verdi’s Requiem with New York Choral Society, Mozart’s Missa Brevis with Westchester Choral Society, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with Greenwich Choral Society, Mozart’s Requiem with the Hunter College Choir, Haydn’s Creation with Gloria Music Chapel Choir, and the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey. His collaboration with the New Haven Oratorio Choir has been continued since last year and he has also featured as a guest artist for Metropolitan Opera Guild Lecture Series since 2011. Mr. Park won the Bella Voce International Competition in Moscow and was awarded a special prize at the Sviridov International Competition. He completed his Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College and earned his M.M. and B.M. degrees from the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music.

    Elizabeth Sarian, mezzo-soprano, Olga Larina(Eugene Onegin.) Elizabeth Sarian, recently earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and is currently pursuing her Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Institute. Later in the 2017-2018 season, Elizabeth will be seen in the title role in Massenet’s Cherubin with Peabody Opera. Elizabeth’s engagements for the 2016-2017 season included Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Hansel (cover) in Hansel und Gretel with Peabody Opera, Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with Choralis, and Mercédès (cover) in Carmen with Central City Opera, where Elizabeth was a Studio Artist in the Bonfils-Stanton Artist Training Program. During the 2015-2016 season, Elizabeth’s opera credits included Cherubino with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival, Dorabella (cover) in Così fan tutte, Mae Jones in Street Scene, and Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Peabody Opera, and chorister with Lyric Opera Baltimore. In competition, Elizabeth has been awarded an Encouragement Award from the Capitol District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, selected as a Semi-finalist for the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, and selected as the Alto winner of the Choralis Young Artist Competition. Elizabeth has been a finalist in Peabody Conservatory’s Sylvia Green Concerto Competition, and has won First place in both the NATS Eastern Region Competition and the NATS-NYC student auditions. Originally from Long Island, NY, Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science from Hofstra University in Vocal Performance.

    Louisa Waycott, mezzo-soprano, Filippyevna (Eugene Onegin.) Louisa Waycott, mezzo-soprano, Filippyevna, is from the mountain town of Sun Valley, Idaho. During the 2016/2017 season she has performed Zita in Gianni Schicchi with Prague Summer Nights Festival, Emma Goldman in Love Songs, Mermaid in Oberon with the In Series, and chorus in Aida with Washington National Opera. She is a recent M.M. graduate from Maryland Opera Studio, where she performed the Shepherd (L’enfant), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte), and Regina (Regina). Other roles include Madame de la Haltière (Cendrillon) with Miami Summer Music Festival, Lady Saphir (Patience) and Meg (Falstaff) with Utopia Opera, Martha (Iolanta) with New Opera NYC, and La Zia (Madama Butterfly) with Amore Opera. She studied with Opera in the Ozarks performing Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), International Lyric Academy, AIMS, Neil Semer Vocal Institute, and Songfest. At University of Mississippi she performed Tessa (Gondoliers), Mercedes (Carmen), Estrella (La Perichole), and La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi). Future engagements include chorus in Don Carlo and a small role in Candide with Washington National Opera.

    Emily Crockett, mezzo-soprano, Filippyevna (Eugene Onegin.) Emily Crockett, is delighted to reprise the role of Filippyevna, which she last sang with Bel Cantanti in 2011. Also with Bel Cantanti, she has sung the title role in Carmen, La Badessa in Suor Angelica, and Tisbe in La Cenerentola. Other opera credits include Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon (MetroWest Opera), Older Alyce in the New England premiere of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied (Boston Metro Opera), and Third Lady in Die Zauberflote (Opera del West). Emily is a versatile DC-based performer of opera, theatre (recent stage credits: Agents of Azeroth and Young Romantics with the Washington Rogues, Socky Horror Puppet Show with Nu Sass Productions), and indie rock music (with her band Notaries Public). Emily holds a Masters of Music degree from Boston University, where she studied with Penelope Bitzas, with two Bachelors degrees in English and Music Performance from Northwestern University.

    Kwang Kyu Lee, bass-baritone, Prince Gremin, (Eugene Onegin.) Possessing a voice with the "power that one associates with much more mature basses" and "already uses his big, tonally opulent voice with intelligence and subtle control" (Joseph McClellan, Washington Post, Kwang Kyu Lee is an imposing and authoritative singer, ideal for portraying the "stalwart" bass roles. He has also received rave reviews from the Baltimore Sun: "Lee's arias revealed a dark, powerful voice- His word play of those wonderful coloratura passages brought out with admirable dexterity and flair." Notable roles include Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the title role in Don Pasquale, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, Colline in La bohème, Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore, Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Mustafa in L'Italiana in Algeri, Frère Laurence in Romeo et Juliette, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Companies with whom he has appeared on stage include the Annapolis Opera, Opera in the Heights in Houston, the Opera Camerata, the Summer Opera and the Opera International at the Washington D.C., Maryland Opera Studio, the St. Barthelemy Music Festival, St. Petersburg Opera, Southern Opera Theatre, and the Bel Cantanti Opera. He has presented solo recitals at The Kennedy Center in The Washington D.C. sponsored by the Korean Embassy and at Carnegie Hall in New York, Schumann's Dichterliebe at the Art Club of Washington D.C., and Schubert's Winterreise. He is the winner of several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the Classical Singers Auditions with the Audience Choice Award, Annapolis Opera Competition; the second prize at the New Jersey State Opera International Vocal Competition and the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition; third prize at the Metropolitan Opera Regional Competition, the Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, the Connecticut Opera Vocal Competition, and the Altamura Caruso International Competition. Dr. Lee earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in voice performance at the University of Maryland at College Park, also he has appeared in numerous productions in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera.

    Ethan Green Lee, bass, Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin.) Ethan Lee Greene is an emerging artist in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Mr. Greene is originally from Hamlet N.C. Mr. Greene has had the opportunity to perform in numerous opera roles, including Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, Jupiter in Orphée aux enfers, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Don Parmenione in Loccasione fa il ladro, and fauteuil and bergère in L'enfant et les sortilèges. Mr. Greene received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Wingate University and received his Master of Music in Opera Performance in the Maryland Opera Studio at University of Maryland, College Park. He recently placed first in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions and first in the Carolina Opera Guild vocal competition. Along with performing Prince Gremin and Sarastro with Bel Cantanti this season, he will perform Friedrich Bhaer in Annapolis Opera's Little Women.

    Peter Joshua Burroughs, tenor, Triquet, French tutor, (Eugene Onegin) Peter Joshua Burroughs, has performed Ezekiel Cheever in The Crucible, Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, Remendado in Carmen, Spoletta in Tosca, Maintop in Billy Budd, among others with Washington National Opera. For his portrayal of Lamparilla in Barbarillode Lavapiés, DC Theatre Scene described him as "terrific...his comic abilities were well matched with good singing form". Mr. Burroughs has performed with Washington Concert Opera, Baltimore Symphony, Opera Tampa, and St. Petersburg Opera among others, in repertoire including Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos, Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, Pedrillo in Die Entfürung ausdem Serail, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'amore, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Eisenstein and Blind in Die Fledermaus, St Brioche in The Merry Widow NLMF, Don Jose in Carmen en L’Havana with the Washington Ballet, Kaspar in Amahl and The Night Visitors with Opera Bel Cantanti, Gastone in La Traviata with Opera Tampa, Giuseppe Zangara in Assassins, Lieutenant Torasso in Passion, and Mr. Erlanson in A Little Night Music with Signature Theatre, Max Schmeling in the world premiere of Shadow Boxer and the role of Lopez in the world premiere of Megabucks. Recent performances include Niño Fernando in Maria La O en concierto with Compañía Lírica, Ernesto Lecuona, Pinar del Río, Cuba, Spoletto in Tosca with Opera Tampa, Fernando, in Goyescas with Inn Series, DC. Upcoming performances include, Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte) with St Petersburg Opera Company (FL).

    Aani Bourassa, soprano, Madame Larina (Eugene Onegin/) American soprano Aani Bourassa, is a versatile actress of emotional depth, praised for her “brilliant, yet sparkling high notes”. Noteworthy engagements this season include an artist in residency at the Ad Astra Music Festival where she will sing Lydia in Second Nature (Aucoin), soprano solos in Bach’s Cantata 115 and Body Maps by Paola Prestini; Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte) with Bel Cantanti; solo recitals featuring the works of Bach and Purcell; a world premiere performance by composer Griffin Candey, and the Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem with the Marquette Choral Society; as well as other oratorio and concert work. Ms. Bourassa trained at the Capital University Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign studying with Dr. Lynn Roseberry and Yvonne Gonzales-Redman. Her repertoire includes: Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), and Juliette (Roméo et Juliette). Equally comfortable in recital and concert settings, she has performed solos in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Bach’s Cantata 140, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, George Crumb’s Madrigal 2 and Steve Reich’s So-drumming. Ms. Bourassa is currently involved in a collaborative project to rediscover and record the vocal works of composer Carl Czerny with pianist Samuel Gingher. In addition to performing, Ms. Bourassa also works as a producer for Acis Productions, a classical recording label and sings with the Songs by Heart Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for those suffering with age-related memory issues through music therapy.

    Eric Gramatges, baritone, Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin.) Eric Gramatges, has performed the roles of Le Baron de Pictordu (Cendrillon), Hermann/Schlemil (Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Mr. Gobineau (The Medium), Prince Leopold Maria (Die Csárdásfürstin), Herald (Cendrillon), Don José (Carmen), Babylas (Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui le...), Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi), Gastone (La Traviata) with Bel Cantanti Opera; Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor), Gastone (La Traviata) with Opera International; Victorin (Die Tode Stadt) with The Summer Opera Theater Company; and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) with the Aria Club of Washington. He has also performed with the In Series in their Viva Zarzuela programs and has been a guest soloist for several regional choral ensembles. Eric is a of a graduate of The Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (B.M. Vocal Performance) and The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America (M.M. Vocal Pedagogy and D.M.A. Vocal Performance). At CUA, he has performed the roles of Uberto (La Serva Padrona), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Count Capulet (Roméo et Juliette), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Lucano (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Rodolfo (La Bohème), The Stage Manager (Our Town) , Nemorino L’Elisir D’Amore), Candide (Candide), Nireno (Giulio Cesare), Ferrando (Così Fan Tutte), and Mr. Marshal (Regina). Eric is on faculty at The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music of The Catholic University of America.

    Helen Aberger, stage director,(Eugene Onegin.) Helen Aberger, Stage Director, makes her Bel Cantanti debut with Eugene Onegin. An active stage director in the DC area, she takes pride in building community through opera and theater. Helen is a retired oboe player, a graduate of University of Miami's Frost School of Music, and brings the same collaborative spirit to her staging as when she played in an orchestra. She recently directed Death By Poinsettia in the 2017 Silver Spring One-Act Festival, which won the "Outstanding Ensemble" and "Outstanding Production (3rd Runner Up)" awards. Other highlights of 2017 include The Mikado with The Victorian Lyric Opera Company, updated and lauded as "a vivid and intensely humorous production – and not to be missed" by DC Metro Theater Arts. Helen also completed Joy Zinoman’s directing class at Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in January with a final presentation of an edgy abridged and adapted Act I of La Traviata. Previous collaborations with companies include Scena Theatre and Forgotten Opera Company can be seen at helenabergerdirector.com.

    Ksenia Litvak, stage designer,(Eugene Onegin.) Ksenia Litvak, Stage Designer, produces the design and props for Bel Cantanti Opera company. Ksenia is a theater designer, puppet designer, artist, and educator. She has created puppets, costumes, and set designs for several theaters in the DC area, including the Woolly Mammoth Theater, Theater J, the National Theatre, Adventure Theater, Round House Theater, and Classika Theatre. Currently she is working on creating bunraku puppets for upcoming Bel Cantanti’s production of W. Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) scheduled to open in November 2017. Ms. Litvak is the founder and artistic director of the Artichoke Art Studio in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She holds a DFA degree in Puppet Theater from The State Academy of Theatrical Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia.