Palm Beach Opera Announces 2017-2018 Young Artist and Apprentice Artist Program Participants, and a New York City Concert

Palm Beach Opera is proud to announce the final roster of Benenson Young Artists and Apprentice Artists for the upcoming 2017- 2018 opera season, which includes nine returning artists and nine new participants.

During the 2016-2017 season, Palm Beach Opera increased its commitment to training the next generation of artists, where young opera talent is nurtured at every level. The program continues to grow in the 2017-2018 season.

The Benenson Young Artist Program is an opportunity for advanced emerging singers to launch their careers on the professional stage. During their five-month residency in Palm Beach, participants develop and polish essential stagecraft and performance skills, aided by musical and career guidance from Palm Beach Opera’s experienced artistic staff and distinguished guest faculty. The Benenson Young Artists appear on the mainstage in supporting roles, cover leading roles, and are featured soloists in the annual Opera @ The Waterfront concert.

The Apprentice Artists are Palm Beach Opera’s community ambassadors, performing throughout the region in education and engagement concerts, as well as adding strength and consistency to all of our mainstage production choruses. Also in residence for five months, the Apprentice Artists further their artistic development through regular coaching with the Palm Beach Opera music staff and guest faculty.

On October 5, four of Palm Beach Opera’s artists will perform at Opera America’s Emerging Artist Recital Series at the Opera America Center in New York City. These recitals reflect the joint efforts of OPERA America and its member companies to identify and nurture the careers of the most promising young artists. Each recital hosts emerging singers and pianists at the National Opera Center’s Marc A. Scorca Hall.

The concerts are streamed live to opera companies around the world, introducing these artists to a broad community of producers and other casting professionals who can help advance their careers, as well as to a worldwide public interested in tracking the accomplishments of aspiring artists who have achieved success through competitions and young artist programs. The recitals reach a growing, international audience through live streams from the National Opera Center. (

For information about OPERA America’s Emerging Artist Recitals, please contact Laura Lee Everett, director of artistic services, at [email protected]. For tickets, please go to

The October 5 concert will feature a broad repertoire from Handel and Mozart, to Strauss and Weill, and will include well-known arias, duets, and ensembles. The four participants will be Benenson Young Artists Kasia Borowiec, Derrek Stark, Joshua Conyers, and Apprentice Artist Kelsey Robertson. They will be accompanied on the piano by Timothy Cheung, Head Coach for Palm Beach Opera.


Here is the full roster of artists for the 2017 – 2018 Season (“*” indicates returning artist):

Benenson Young Artists

Chelsea Bonagura – Soprano

*Kasia Borowiec – Soprano

Francesca Aguado – Mezzo-Soprano

*Derrek Stark – Tenor

Brian Wallin – Tenor

*Joshua Conyers – Baritone

Andrew Richardson – Bass-Baritone

*Andrew Simpson – Bass-Baritone

Apprentice Artists

Maria Brea – Soprano

Sooyeon Kang – Soprano

*Brooklyn Snow – Soprano

*Kelsey Robertson – Mezzo-Soprano

Emily Spencer – Mezzo-Soprano

*Matthew Greenblatt – Tenor

*Elliott Paige – Tenor

Robert Gerold – Baritone

*Samuel Hinkle – Baritone

James Wright – Baritone