Opera Al Fresco
Sept. 22, 2023 at 6 PM
Beautiful Music in the Beautiful Outdoors
Sept. 22, 2023 at 6 PM
Free - No Tickets Required
Nicole Heinenas Soprano
In the 2022-23 season, Nicole Heinen made her debut with Opera Louisiane as the soprano soloist in the double bill of Bernstein’s “Bonne Cuisine”/Hoiby’s “Bon Appétit!”, New Orleans Opera as the Dew Fairy (Hansel & Gretel), and returned to Florentine Opera for a role debut as Despina (Così fan tutte). She also made her debut TV appearance as “Iolanta” in AMC‘s “Interview with the Vampire.” In the 2022 summer season Ms. Heinen made her Chautauqua Opera debut as Henrietta M. (The Mother of Us All) and covered Mukhtar Mai (Thumbprint), Lillian Russell (The Mother of Us All).
Ms. Heinen has won Mary Ellen Clancy Memorial Award (MIOpera Competition), the Wisconsin District twice (Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition) and 4th place in the Mary Jacob Singer of the Year Competition. She has competed as a finalist in the John Alexander Vocal Competition and Handel Aria Competition, and a semi-finalist in the Premiere Opera Foundation Competition and the Orpheus Vocal Competition.
Alexandra Sanchezas Mezzo-Soprano
Praised for her colorful voice and sparkling stage presence, American mezzo-soprano Alexandra Sanchez has been dazzling audiences in her hometown of San Antonio and across the United States. Ms. Sanchez is thrilled to join Pensacola Opera as a Studio Artist in the 2023/3024 season where some of her assignments include singing Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) and covering Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). Ms. Sanchez will also be a young artist with Finger Lakes Opera during their 2023 Summer Season, where she will be covering Amneris in Aida.
Ms. Sanchez made her San Francisco Opera debut singing Sister Claire in Dialogues of the Carmelites under the baton of Music Director Eun Sun Kim. Ms. Sanchez was also selected to be a Fellow at the Festival Napa Valley’s Manetti Shrem Opera Program where she participated in the 2022 Summer Festival which included a concert with celebrated violinist, Joshua Bell.
Ms. Sanchez earned her Artist Diploma (2022) and Master of Music Degree (2021) in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the guidance of mezzo-soprano, Catherine Cook. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance (2019) from Louisiana State University.
Zachary Tayloras Tenor
Tenor Zachary Taylor is a New Jersey native and a recent Master’s graduate of UNC Greensboro, where he studied under tenor Robert Bracey. Previously, he received his Bachelor’s from Towson University, where he studied with tenor Min Jin. Zachary just completed his summer as an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera for their 2023 season, where he covered the Master of Ceremonies in The Love for Three Oranges. In 2022, Zachary performed Don José in Carmen with Music on Site, the Father in Kurt Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden with the Charlotte Symphony, and sang with the Aquilon Music Festival, Greensboro Opera, and North Carolina Opera. Other recent roles include Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Vašek in The Bartered Bride, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Mozart in Mozart and Salieri with UNCG Opera Theatre. Zachary received an Encouragement Award in 2023 from the North Carolina District of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.
Bernardo Medeirosas Baritone
Brazilian-American baritone Bernardo Medeiros has performed multiple roles in his young professional career. Bernardo was a 2021 Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera and portrayed the titular role in Rigoletto. He then performed Jigger (Carousel) and Masetto (Don Giovanni) with Indianapolis Opera. In 2022, Bernardo worked with BARN Opera, Opera Project Columbus, and Chautauqua Opera. Roles performed include Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Sciarrone (Tosca), and Virgil Thomson/Donald Gallup (Mother Of Us All). As a current Resident Artist with Syracuse Opera and Tri-Cities Opera, Bernardo will portray Mr. Gobineau (The Medium), King Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors) and Antonio (Le nozze di figaro). As a 2023 Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, he is covering the Shepherd (Pelleas et Melisande) and Jailer (Tosca). Next season, Bernardo is a Resident Artist with Pensacola Opera, where he’ll cover Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), and perform Frank (Die Fledermaus).
Tongyao Lias Pianist
Tongyao Li is a Chinese pianist and opera coach who joins the 2023 Songfest Program and Opera Coaching Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer. Ms. Li has performed on stages throughout China and US, including Carnegie Hall, Harris Hall and Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Music Hall, and Shanghai Concert Hall. Additionally, she was a vocal coach while studying at the Manhattan School of Music, and held the position of opera coaching fellowship in the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS of Aspen Music Festival in 2022.
In addition, Ms. Li has worked with some of today’s finest artists like Andy Einhorn, Hartmut Höll, Chìa Patiño, and she played masterclasses of Anthony Roth Costanzo, Isabel Leonard, Rachelle Fleming, Renée Fleming, Rod Gilfry, and Thomas Hampson. Tongyao Li studied piano performance at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China and collaborative piano at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and Michigan State University. She studied with Keng Zhou, Kenneth Merrill, and Zhihua Tang.
This season at Pensacola Opera, she will serve as music director and pianist for all education performances, as well as music staff and pianist for Lucia di Lammermoor and Die Fledermaus.