March 06, 2019

RARING TO GO: A New Group Joins the Ryan Opera Center

This month, six remarkably gifted young artists will join the Ryan Opera Center, Lyric's internationally celebrated artist-development program. They hail from all over the country, and come to Lyric having already amassed a wide variety of professional experience onstage.

Milwaukee native Emily Pogorelc comes to Lyric immediately following her Washington National Opera debut as Cunegonde/Candide. Later this summer, she'll participate in the prestigious Mozart Academy of France's Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Emily has been featured at The Glimmerglass Festival (XerxesSweeney Todd) and at New York's legendary Apollo Theater (Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD). She won the Most Promising Talent Award in this season's inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup competition. Emily graduates this spring from Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. 

Mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker, from Woodstock, Maryland, starred earlier this season as Rossini’s Cinderella at Cincinnati’s Queen City Opera. She recently earned her master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she sang numerous leading roles. She’s been seen at the Glimmerglass Festival (Oklahoma!, Ben Moore’s Robin Hood — world premiere) and is a former participant in the young-artist programs of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Utah Festival Opera. 

Tenor Eric Ferring, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, graduated from Drake University and The Boston Conservatory. In 2016/17 an 2017/18 he was a resident artist at Pittsburgh Opera (ToscaThe Marriage of FigaroThe Long WalkMoby DickL’elisir d’amore, world premiere of Douglas Cuomo’s Ashes and Snow). Eric has been an apprentice artist at The Santa Fe Opera and has performed at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Seagle Music Colony, and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. 

Baritone Christopher Kenney, a native of Hawley, Minnesota, was a member of the 2017/18 Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program (The Little PrinceThe Barber of Seville, world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up). He was also baritone soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest with the National Symphony Orchestra. Last summer he was an apprentice artist at The Santa Fe Opera. Christopher is an alumnus of Minnesota’s Concordia College and the University of Kentucky.

Puerto Rican baritone Ricardo José Rivera has been heard at the Aspen Music Festival, the International Vocal Academy in Rome, the American Masters of Opera Academy in Moscow, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel-Aviv, San Juan’s Performing Arts Center, and the University of Puerto Rico Theater. Ricardo has performed numerous roles with the opera department of The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he recently earned his master’s degree. 

Bass-baritone David Weigel, a North Carolina native, is an alumnus of Furman University (Greenville, SC) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received a Professional Artist Certificate from the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A former participant in San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, he has appeared at North Carolina Opera, Greensboro Opera, Piedmont Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, Opera North, and the Brevard Music Center.

Emily, Kayleigh, Eric, Christopher, Ricardo, and David – welcome to Lyric!