Utah Opera’s Resident Artists Program for singers and pianists provides an integral step between graduate studies and a career. Participants spend nine months with Utah Opera developing professional skills through mainstage performances with Utah Opera and Utah Symphony, coachings, workshops, and masterclass sessions. Resident Artists also travel throughout the state to perform in-school presentations and teach students about the art of opera.


Jasmine Rodriguez, soprano

Jasmine Rodriguez is a Latinx crossover artist from Santa Fe Springs, Southern California. She received a BM in Vocal Performance from Chapman University and her MM in Musical Theatre and Opera Performance from Arizona State University. Some of her favorite operatic roles performed include Musetta (La Bohème), Laetitia (Old Maid and the Thief), Susannah (Susannah), Rose (Street Scene), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi).  She is an Encouragement Award winner from the 2020 Met Opera National Council Auditions. She’s had the pleasure of studying at the Taos Opera Institute, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, and the Seagle Festival for the last 2 years. Most recently, she covered the role of Michaela in Arizona Opera’s production of Carmen and performed Musetta in Chandler Opera Company’s inaugural performance of La Bohème. Jasmine’s other hobbies include latin dancing and happy hour.

Winona Martin
Winona Martin, mezzo-soprano

Winona Martin (she/her) is a mezzo-soprano born and raised in Dallas, TX. She is the Jost J. and Reine C. Fleck Opera Scholar at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where she will earn her Master of Music in Opera Performance this spring of 2022. Her notable recent roles include Nancy (Albert Herring), Sesto (La clemenza di Tito), The Mother (Thumbprint), and El gato (El gato con botas). Ms. Martin has had significant success in competitions, including the Shreveport Opera Mary J. Smith Singer of the Year, Denver Lyric Opera Guild, Regional and National NATS, National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey Argento, and Classical Singer competitions. Most recently, she was named an Encouragement Award Winner at the Rocky Mountain Region of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. This summer, she joins renowned Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist, where she will sing the role of Mrs. McLean in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.

Jehu Otero
Jehu Otero, tenor

Tenor Resident Artist at Utah Opera, Jehú Otero is an upcoming singer from Puerto Rico. He completed his Master’s degree at Rice University (2020) and two Bachelor’s degrees (2014, 2018) at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. He was a District Winner of the Laffont Competition (2021) in Puerto Rico. He has sung the roles of Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Pane in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Mr. Erlanson in the Sondheim’s Musical A Little Night Music, Miles Zegner in Proving Up, among others. He has sung with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Grand Opera, Pro Arte Musical, and will soon debut as Bazile at the Kennedy Center with Lafayette Opera’s production of Silvain by Grétry and in Lafayette Opera’s Concert Spirituel aux Caríbes at the Kennedy Center. Jehú will also be debuting the role of John in the world premiere of the opera ¿Y los pasteles? by Johanny Navarro. Jehú is a founding member of Fourte Guitar Quartet.

Tshilidzi Ndou
Tshilidzi Ndou, baritone

Baritone Tshilidzi Ndou is from Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a B.A in Vocal Performance, a Diploma in Music from NWU, South Africa, and a Performers Diploma in Voice, from Southern Methodist University, where he is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Vocal Performance under Professor Barbara Hill-Moore. Tshilidzi has performed roles including Count Almaviva, from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro; Mr Webb, from Ned Rorem’s Our Town, Luther Billis, from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, Guglielmo, from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, the Mayor from Bizet’s Doctor Miracle,  Belcore, from Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore,  John Proctor, from The Crucible by Robert Ward, and the baritone soloist in Mozart’s Requiem. Tshilidzi was named District Winner and Western Region Encouragement Award Winner, at the 2021 MONCA competition; First Place District Winner at the Mary E. Singletary NVAC, 2021; First Place at NATS National, 2020; Second Place and the Legacy Award winner at the NOA 2022 Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition.

Laura Bleakley
Laura Bleakley, pianist

Hawaii born Laura Bleakley, received her Masters in Collaborative Piano at the University of Houston, where she’s currently a Doctoral Candidate. She received her Bachelors of Organ and Piano performance from the University of Puget Sound.

Ms. Bleakley has won competitions in both instruments including the MTNA State Piano Solo Competition, first alternate in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition regionals, and the American Guild of Organists Competition.

Laura has performed in masterclasses for distinguished artists such as Howard Watkins, Martin Katz, and Kathleen Kelly. She has performed on the National Public Radio for From the Top, was featured in Houston Public Media’s Skyline Sessions and recorded an album of rare Russian art songs for KNS Classical.

She was a Festival Artist with Opera Saratoga for their 2020-2021 seasons, as well as being the resident artist at Opera in the Heights since 2019. She is joining Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this summer as an apprentice pianist, and is very excited to be joining Utah Opera this fall as one of their resident artists.