Meet the 2008/09 Portland Opera Studio Artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 12, 2008
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
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Hannah Penn Sharin Apostolou Brendan Tuohy Jonathan W. Kimple Jose Rubio

Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano is pleased to announce the 2008/09 Portland Opera Studio Artists.  Now in its fourth year, the Portland Opera Studio program boasts three returning members and the arrival of two new artists.  Returning from last year’s program are mezzo soprano Hannah Sharene Penn who sang the role of Mercedes and the title role in Carmen, Tisbe in Cinderella and Nancy in Albert Herring, along with soprano Sharin Apostolou, who sang Frasquita in Carmen, Clorinda in Cinderella, the title role in Rodelinda, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring and the High Priestess in Aida, and tenor Brendan Tuohy who sang Remendado in Carmen, the title role in Albert Herring, and Messenger in Aida.  Joining them will be newcomers bass Jonathan W. Kimple from New York and baritone José Bernardo Rubio, originally from Vancouver, WA.

“We are delighted to have such a talented group of young artists with us this season,” Mr. Mattaliano said.  “It will be a pleasure to share their talents with our public in many appearances throughout the community—at the Keller Auditorium, in the Newmark Theatre for La Calisto, and at various venues throughout the region.”

The 2008/09 Portland Opera Studio Artists

Returning for her second season as a Studio Artist is mezzo soprano HANNAH S. PENN.  She has an upcoming engagement with Oregon Symphony singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  Recently she performed the title role in Carmen at Teatro National Sucre in Ecuador.  Before joining the Studio program, she was an apprentice at Florida Grand Opera and also participated in the Young Artists Programs at Glimmerglass Opera.  Her credits include Teresa in La Sonnambula for Florida Grand Opera, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and The Maid in Jenufa for Glimmerglass Opera.  She has made numerous concert appearances and was the Boston Regional Finalist in the 2006 Metropolitan National Council Auditions.  Her roles this season include Flora in La Traviata, Diana in La Calisto, and Giovanna in Rigoletto.

Soprano SHARIN APOSTOLOU also returns for her second season as a Studio Artist.  In addition to her work at Portland Opera, she recently performed the role of First Fairy in Oregon Symphony’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Miss Silverpeal in Der Schauspieldirektor with Portland Chamber Orchestra and Walla Walla Symphony.  A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Apostolou was also a member of the Studio Artist Program at Tulsa Opera where she sang Carolina in Luisa Fernanda and covered Frasquita in Carmen.  Her concert experiences include appearances with Manhattan School of Music, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and New England Baroque Soloists.  Her roles this season include Annina in La Traviata, Calisto/Eternity in La Calisto, and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

Tenor BRENDAN TUOHY, also in his second season as a Studio Artist, will be joining Hannah S. Penn in singing Beethoven’s Ninth for Oregon Symphony.  He was the winner in the Northwest region of the 2008 Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and went to New York as a finalist.  In 2007, he was the Southern Ohio winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. He graduated with a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati, where his numerous roles included the title role in Albert Herring, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, The Doctor in The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe and Il Podesta in La Finta Giardiniera.  At the University of Washington, Tuohy sang Tamino in The Magic Flute as well as tenor soloist in several concerts.  His roles this season will include Gastone in La Traviata, First Prisoner in Fidelio, Prologue in The Turn of the Screw, Nature/Pane in La Calisto and Borsa in Rigoletto.

New this season is bass JONATHAN W. KIMPLE who received his Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music.  His credits include Ceprano in Rigoletto for Sarasota Opera, where he also covered the role of Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Sergeant of Police in Pirates of Penzance with Virginia Opera, Alcindoro/Benoit covers in La Bohème for Santa Fe Opera, Talpa in Il Tabarro, as well as Simone in Gianni Schicchi, for Muraco/Vaughn Seminar, William Emmons in The Village Singer for Manhattan School of Music Opera Studio, Grande Prêtre in Oedipe à Colone and Scholar in Il Mondo della Luna for Opera Lafayette, and Hermann in Les Contes d’Hoffman, along with covering the role of Colline in La Bohème, for Maryland Opera Studio.  His roles this season include Marquis d’Obigny in La Traviata, Second Prisoner in Fidelio, Jove in La Calisto, and Count Ceprano in Rigoletto.
Also new to the program, but not to the Portland area, is baritone JOSÉ RUBIO.  He was born in Portland and grew up in Vancouver.  He saw his very first opera, Rigoletto, at Portland Opera.   He received his Masters of Music from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from University of Washington.  This summer, he performed the title role in La Hija de Rappaccini for the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and Marcello in La Bohème for Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca in Italy.  Also at Cincinnati College, he sang Bailli in Werther, Pausanias in Une Education Manqueé, and Son Beau-Pere in Le Pauvre Matelot.  Other credits include Big Bad Wolf in Three Little Pigs for Rising Star Opera Theater, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Betto in Gianni Schicchi for Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, and Colline in La Bohème for Tacoma Opera.  In 2002 he sang for the opening day of the Legislative Session in Olympia, WA and also for Archbishop Desmond Tutu Convocation in Seattle, WA.  His roles this season include Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Mercury in La Calisto, and Marullo in Rigoletto.

The Portland Opera Studio Program

In 2005, the Company established the Portland Opera Studio program, designed to train the next generation of opera singers by providing a “bridge” from the conservatory world to the professional stage.  Selected at auditions around the country, young singers fresh from some of the nation’s finest vocal conservatories join the company for a rigorous nine-month training program, during which they are featured in their own production. Patrons also enjoy their work in supporting roles in Company mainstage productions.

The Portland Opera Studio Artist program is made possible through the generous support of Gwen Burns, Jeannine B. Cowles, Martha Fletcher McCourt, PGE Foundation, The Portland Opera Guild, and a generous Friend of Portland Opera.

In addition to supporting roles on the Keller Auditorium mainstage and numerous local appearances and concerts, these young artists are scheduled to perform in Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto March 13, 15m, 19 and 21 in the Newmark Theatre.  The production will be directed by Ned Canty, and conducted by Robert Ainsley.




Sharin Apostolou Calist/Eternity
Brendan Tuohy Pane/Nature
Hannah S. Penn Diana
Jonathan W. Kimple Jove
José Rubio Mercury


in the Newmark Theatre (NEW!)


March 13, 15m, 19, 21, 2009

All performances will take place at:
Newmark Theatre (located inside the Antoinette Hatfield Hall)
1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

For information about tickets or the Portland Opera production of
La Calisto, please visit our web site at: