About our 2024 Resident Artists

Elias Aguirre, tenor from Mexico, is passionate about Mexican ranchero, bolero and mariachi music thanks to an early start in music under his father’s instruction. In 2015 Elias began his vocal training with the baritone Ramón Calzadilla, considered one of the best singers of lyrical and popular music in Latin America. He has since collaborated with such important Latin American singers as Ricardo Montaner, Meli G, Manuel José. In 2019 he participated in the international program "The Voice: Mexico" in its largest edition worldwide and earned a place among the top three from among 500 participants. Also in 2019 Shenandoah University awarded a “Presidential Scholar” award for continued preparation in the operatic field and in 2021, representing Shenandoah University, he participated in the NATS’ singing competition where he was a semifinalist for the state of Virginia. In 2022 he was cast in the Seagle Festival Opera Program to play the role of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and has recently played the role of Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream in the US and Remendado in Argentina.

Simon Brea,
tenor, performs the roles of Mercury in Orpheus in the Underworld, Borsa in Rigoletto and Jack in Into the Woods while also covering Il Duca in Rigoletto. He holds a bachelor’s degree in voice and opera studies from Purchase Conservatory of Music where in performed as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte), Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon and as Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro. Simon is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with famed tenor and former Opera North Resident Artists Russell Thomas, and making his debut in the role of Camille de Rosillon in Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe.

Abby Brodnick, coloratura soprano, was described by South Florida Classic Review as "personable, pretty of voice [and] engaging." The winner of first prize in the 2023 Camille Coloratura Awards Student Division, she was a finalist in the 2023 Sherrill Milnes Opera Idol Competition, was a Study Grant Artist in the 2023 Savannah Voice Festival and received the 2022 Fitzpatrick Opera Award for stage excellence. Last January she performed as Sœur Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, directed by Malena Dayen and conducted by Kyle Ritenauer and in December debuted the soprano solos of Carmina Burana conducted by Dr. Heather Buchanan and in Handel’s Messiah with the South Orange Symphony. Currently finishing her graduate studies with Beth Roberts at the Cali School of Music, Abby earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with a musical theater minor at DePauw University, studying with Dr. André Campelo.


Seth-Emmanuel Clarke, bass-baritone, is pursuing a Performance Diploma in Voice Performance in Dallas at Southern Methodist University (SMU) with Professor Barbara Hill-Moore after having completed his Master’s in May of last year. Recent roles include The King in Martin’s The True Story of Cinderella and Collatinus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Seth is in his third season as an Education Artist at The Dallas Opera where he is currently performing the role of Vertigo in Offenbach’s Pépito. As a vocalist for the 2024 Hart Institute for Women Conductors Showcase Concert, he sang the role of Figaro in excerpts from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.


Angel Raii Gomez debuts the roles of Duca di Mantova in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Pluto in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. An emerging voice on the opera stage, he is currently a 2024 Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition and is a third-year resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA). Praised by critics for his "stage personality, tremendous wit and flare, and a heart-stoppingly pretty lyric tone," Angel won the 2023 first prize in the prestigious Meistersinger Competition at AIMS in Graz, Austria. At AVA he has performed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Gastone in La Traviata and Triquet in Eugene Onegin. Last fall he debuted the role of Percy in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and this spring debuted Conte Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Additionally, he has performed Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Don Jose in Carmen and Podesta in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera and has also appeared in concert with the Ocean City Pops.


Felix Jarrar, NYC-based composer/coach/pianist has created approximately 245 works including 200 songs, 13 operas, two string quartets, and a symphony. His song “Sun of the Sleepless” (text by Lord Byron) was written for and featured on the 2024 GRAMMY-nominated album 40@40 by Laura Strickling and Daniel Schlosberg. An in-demand collaborative pianist, Jarrar maintains coaching studios in NYC and Boston and was the coach for the 2021 production of Cerrone/Flesichmann’s In A Grove at Mannes Opera, where he is currently on staff. Last season, he debuted his ensemble The Jarrar and Brea Duo with award-winning Venezuelan soprano Maria Brea. He was a pianist for Santa Fe Opera’s workshop of The Righteous by Spears/Smith last December, worked as a répétiteur for Opera Ithaca and Penn Square Opera and last summer served as orchestrator and coach for Hogfish’s CarmXn, a new adaptation of Bizet’s masterpiece.

Joanna Kim
, soprano from Los Angeles, recently completed her master’s degree at the University of Southern California (USC) studying under the tutelage of Lynn Helding. Earlier this season, Kim performed the role of the Son in The Juniper Tree by Philip Glass and Robert Moran and a partial role of Norina in Don Pasquale with USC Opera. She also performed in a concert presentation of Star Singer by Juhi Bansal with Beth Morrison Project. Notable roles from her undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory (NEC) include Amore in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Amahl in Amahl in the Night Visitors, and partial roles of Despina in Così fan tutte, Ilia in Idomeneo, Mlle. Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor, and Lakmé in Lakmé. She was also the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the New England Conservatory Chamber Singers and Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer/Wings of a Dove with Harvard Pro Musica.

Sergio Manzo, baritone, noted by von Otter Masterclass for “a divine and natural voice,” recently performed Mr. Gobineau in Fort Worth Opera’s production of Menotti’s The Medium (premiered in Spanish), and took the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Texas Tech University Opera Theater. Sergio’s other roles include Publio in La clemenza di Tito and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus. He has also joined Portland Opera as Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème and Dr. Bartolo in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Native to Phoenix, Arizona, he has performed with NAU Lyric Opera as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, and Enrico in Donizetti’s short opera Il campanello. On the concert stage, Sergio was baritone soloist in Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. He was finalist in both the Texoma NATS Eduard Baird Singer of the Year competition and the Southwest Vocal Competition and received three Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council.


Elisheva Pront is a stage director and vocal artist who is drawn to stories that reflect and deconstruct our modern world. She regularly collaborates with living composers to create and perform new music, and to stage and direct new music theatre. She cares deeply about reimagining old stories in new and relevant ways. Through non-traditional casting and programming, Elisheva is committed to diverse representation on stage and off. Directing credits include: Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon (Peabody Institute 2023), My Dearest Jane: A Jane Austen Cabaret by Meg Huskin (premiere; Baltimore Theatre Project 2023), and Senior Year is Gonna Kill Me, by Ashna Pathan (premiere; Peabody Institute 2022). Assistant directing credits include: Les Mammelles de Tirésias by Francis Poulenc with Director Alison Moritz (Peabody Opera 2022), Hin und Zurück by Paul Hindemith with Director Gregory Keng Strasser (Peabody Opera 2022), and Le Nozze di Figaro with Director David Ronis (University of Wisconsin-Madison 2015).


Carlyle Quinn, “the assertive Mezzo” (in the words of the Wall Street Journal) and described by Cleveland Classical as a singer of “vocal prowess and acting acumen,” portrays Venus in Orpheus in the Underworld, Maddalena in Rigoletto) and a Stepsister in Into the Woods). She has performed the roles of Madame de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring, Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff, Ježibaba in Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Hermia and Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Carlyle made her Alto Soloist debut in 2023 in Mozart’s Requiem with the Lima Symphony Orchestra and has performed in galas with the CIM Orchestra and the Nürnberger Symphonikern. She was a semifinalist in the Dallas Opera’s Lone Star Competition in 2023 and has received Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.


Noah B. Rogers, baritone, is a current young artist with the Boston University Opera Institute and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan where he performed numerous lead roles, including Forester in UM Opera Theatre’s production of Janáček’s the Cunning Little Vixen in the original Czech and Henry Horatio Hobson in the world-premiere reading of Tom Cipullo’s 2023 opera Hobson’s Choice. As a young artist with the Ohio Light Opera in 2022, he starred as the Beast in the University of Missouri Summer Repertory Theatre’s 2020 production of Beauty and the Beast and as Hubert in the Student Prince. Other recent credits include Pandolfe in Massenet’s Cendrillon (BU Opera Institute), Maestro Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi (Cedar Rapids Opera), and Albert in UM Opera Theatre’s Werther.


Nathan Savant, “charismatic baritone” with “vocal power” returns to Opera North having sung Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata in Summerfest 2022. A Performance Diploma Candidate at Boston University: Opera Institute, Nathan recently performed the baritone role in Philip Glass's Hydrogen Jukebox and portrayed Pandolfe in Massenet's Cendrillon at the Opera Institute. Last summer, Nathan served as a Studio Artist at Chautauqua Opera Company, covering Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen and singing in the Ensemble for Sweeney Todd. Nathan holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, where he performed various roles, including Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Marcello in La Bohème and holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music.


Ilanna Starr, praised for her “lovely mezzo voice” (Berkshire Fine Arts) and “dramatically incisive” stage presence (Parterre Box), is currently an artist-in-residence with the Atelier lyrique at l’Opéra de Montréal. Her 2023-2024 season includes performances as Mercédès in Carmen with l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Orchestre de l’Agora, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, covering Cherubino in l’Opéra de Montréal’s Le nozze di Figaro, and her mainstage debut with l’Opéra de Montréal as Flora Bervoix in La traviata. Ilanna trained at SongFest and Chautauqua and was recently named a District Winner in the 2024 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. Passionate about exploring diverse human experiences through art music, Ilanna has curated and performed collaborative recitals centered around voices of women, domestic violence, and the resilience of Jewish culture during the Holocaust and throughout the 20th century. She holds degrees from Vanderbilt, Northwestern, and McGill University.

Siyi Yan
, soprano, is an Artist Diploma student at the Jacobs School of Music where she took the 2023-24 season leading role of Setsulo Kobayashi in An American Dream by Jack and debuted Yvette in Puccini’s La Rondine and Cunegonde in Bernstein’s Candide. Yan reached the semi-finals in the 2024 National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards Competition was a finalist in the Premiere Opera Foundation International Vocal Competition 2022 in NYC and clinched first prize in both the Indiana Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letter Voice Competition and the Tri-State College Vocal Competition. Yan demonstrated her versatility by performing as Königin der Nacht in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (2021) and has also done extensive scenes work, including as Ophelia (Hamlet), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Frasquita (Carmen), Adina (The Elixir of Love), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Violetta (La Traviata), Alice Ford (Falstaff), and Gilda (Rigoletto).