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.
2023-24 SEASON RESIDENT ARTISTS
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 (The 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. In her first year as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera she had the opportunity to cover Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment, sing the Page in Rigoletto, and was featured ensemble in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Jasmine’s other hobbies include Latin dancing and happy hour.
French American mezzo-soprano Sarah Scofield (she/they) received her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in the spring of 2023. Her recent roles include Narciso(Agrippina), Die Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte), and Messaggiera (l’Orfeo). Dedicated to the creation of new works, Sarah performed the role of Uta Hagenin a workshop of Scott Davenport’s opera Robeson in Moscow with Cincinnati Opera Fusion: New Worksin 2022. An art song enthusiast, Sarah spent the summer of 2022 at the Music Academy of the West and as a Stern Fellow at Songfest. As a Stern Fellow, Sarah premiered Anna Weesner’s 3 Simple Songs and appeared alongside Graham Johnson in a recital of Schubert Lieder. In 2023 Sarah was a part of the LYNX Project’s Amplify Series, performing settings of texts by non-speaking autistic youth with the Cincinnati Song Initiative. When not singing Sarah is likely to be found with her dog Cricket and her phone pressed to her ear, straining to hear whale song as a participant in the citizen science initiative: OrcaSoundLab.
American tenor, Jeremiah Tyson, from Dallas, TX, performed the role of Andy (Treemonisha) in his 2023 debut with Opera Theater of St. Louis, also covering Ferrando (Così fan tutte) and Sam Polk (Susannah)as a Gerdine Young Artist. Other training programs include Opera Saratoga, the Dallas Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival where he appeared as Raphael in the world premiere of Holy Ground, and Bus Driver/Donnie/Preacher (Taking up Serpents) in 2022. Recent roles include Grimoaldo (Rodelinda), Nemorino (The Elixir of Love), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Basilio (Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho), and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas). Tyson was a New Orleans District Encouragement Winner of the 2022 Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition. He has performed with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as the tenor soloist in Messiah, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra as the Second Nazarene(Salome). Offstage, Tyson can be found enjoying the fresh air on a hiking trail or in the kitchen whipping up flavorful dishes to share with family and friends.
South African baritone Tshilidzi Ndou holds degrees from North-Western University in South Africa, and a Performer’s Diploma in Voice and Master of Music from Southern Methodist University. Past roles include Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mr. Webb (Our Town), Luther Billis (South Pacific), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), John Proctor (The Crucible), and the baritone soloist in Bach’s Magnificat. As part of Dallas Opera’s Educational Outreach program, he performed the Mayor in Doctor Miracle and Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore. Tshilidzi has won numerous awards, including First Prize of the Pre-Professional Division and the Spiritual and Contemporary Art Song prizes in the 2022 George Shirley Vocal Competition, and District Winner and Western Region Encouragement Award Winner in the 2021 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. As a second-year Resident Artist, he has previously appeared with USUO in La fille du régiment as the Corporal, in Rigoletto as Marullo, and as the baritone soloist in Messiah. Tshilidzi joined Chautauqua Opera this past summer where he performed Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen and as a soloist in their Opera Pops concert with the Chautauqua Symphony.
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 just finished up this summer as a Young Artist with The Glimmerglass Festival, also acting as the principal coach and performance pianist for the world premiere of The Rip Van Winkles. She was also a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, as well as a Festival Artist with Opera Saratoga. She is excited to be returning to Utah Opera for her second year as a Resident Artist.