Adriana Manfredi (she/her)
Singer, Voice Teacher
Long Beach, CA
Adriana Manfredi, proud roster member of LA Master Chorale and LA Opera deeply enjoys her varied and adventurous musical life. Recent solo credits include Berg's Lyric Suite (Diotima Quartet; Jacaranda Music), as well as appearances at the Hear Now festival, Ravinia Festival, and as featured soloist on the David Lang/ Calder Quartet/ LA Master Chorale album, National Anthems. In 2018-19 she joined the Peter Sellars/LAMC international tour of Lagrime di San Pietro by di Lasso (The Tears of St. Peter), a staged concert for 21 a cappella voices, which was received with accolades at the Salzburg Festspiele. Her voice can be heard on numerous feature film soundtracks, including Frozen 1 & 2, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker, and Minions. She maintains a community teaching studio in Long Beach, CA and is the project manager for the first Sing for Hope piano in her community. Additionally, Adriana is a dedicated rhythm tap dancer, early childhood music educator, mother to two sons, and producer of community music gatherings. Follow her at @mezzomanfredi and @wearethe_musicmakers.
Melissa Misener (she/her)
Singer, Stage Director, Voice Teacher
Melissa Misener is currently the resident stage director for Opera Tampa, as such she’s directed the world premiere of Anton Coppola’s Lady Swanwhite, Gilbert and Sullivan’s, The Pirates of Penzance & Trial by Jury plus countless original shows for the Opera Tampa. Next season she’ll be directing Madama Butterfly by Puccini. Other directing credits include several shows for the Saint Petersburg Opera Company. Verdi’s La Traviata, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. She got her start directing at the University of South Florida with Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck and Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. As a performer she’s enjoyed the following roles at Saint Pete Opera, Baba in Menotti’s The Medium, Mrs. McClean in Floyd’s Susannah, Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Anderssen in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Marcelina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Narrator in Into the woods by Sondheim and Bloody Mary in South Pacific by Rogers and Hammerstein. Misener enjoys a beautiful collaborative partnership with Alix Faulhaber, together they comprise Cackling Harpies Productions.
Nina Yoshida Nelsen (she/her)
In the 2019-2020 season, mezzo soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen will make her Portland Opera debut as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She will also perform the world premiere of Blood Moon at Prototype Festival in New York City. Nina will return to Chicago Lyric Opera to cover Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and will return to the Santa Barbara Symphony to perform Beethoven's Mass in C. Ms. Nelsen will reprise the role of Khanh in Huang Ruo's Bound at The Juilliard School. In previous seasons, she has sung at Chicago Lyric, Seattle, Houston Grand, Atlanta, New York City and Utah Opera companies, amongst others.
Judith Rodriguez (she/her)
Producer, Singer, Voice Teacher
My time in Spain and here in the US has been dedicated to sharing with music lovers the inspired beauty, music, and culture from Spain and Latin America. After studying with the Spanish mezzo-soprano, Belén Genicio, I made it my mission to share the vast repertoire of Spanish songs, opera, and Zarzuela with all audiences. My journey has taken me to all corners of Spain, France, Mexico, Washington D.C., and Texas, showcasing the wonderful repertoire of Zarzuela. My goal is to share with as many people as possible my love of classical music in Spanish. I now have the opportunity of making my first compact disc in Spanish, which will showcase the masterful works of Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, one of Spain's greatest composers. The city of Arlington has taken note of my journey and featured a story in their "American Dream City" series, available on YouTube. I will be making my debut in Fort Worth Opera's premiere of Zorro, composed by Mexican composer, Hector Armienta.
Stephanie Sanchez (she/her)
Praised by Opera Today as “major talent” Stephanie Sanchez is quickly creating a name for herself as an exciting mezzo-soprano on the rise. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner and has championed premieres of contemporary American works. Ms Sanchez is currently engaged as a digital studio artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, performing as Ruth in Pirates of Penzance and also as a featured soloist. For the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Sanchez joined Opera San Jose as a resident principal artist where she was seen as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and Azucena in the student matinee of Il trovatore.
In 2018, Ms. Sanchez was chosen as the sole recipient of the prestigious Igor Gorin Award, given out once a year to help gifted vocalists begin successful careers in opera. Ms. Sanchez joined Arizona Opera as a Studio Artist for the 2017-2018 season and was also a member of the Young Artist and Festival Artist programs at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis from 2014-2016. Other notable companies of engagements include The Glimmerglass Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Brava Opera Theater, Intermountain Opera, Teatro Nuovo, Sarasota Opera, Opera Maine, and Atlanta Opera. Ms. Sanchez won first place in the 2016 Young Texas Artist Music Competition, second place in Opera Connecticut’s 2016 Opera Idol Competition, and was a finalist in the 2019 Brava Opera Theater Competition.
Ms. Sanchez completed her artist diploma from Rice University in 2017. She was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM and currently resides in Houston, TX.
Laurel Semerdjian (she/her)
Singer, Voice Teacher
Laurel Semerdjian, an American mezzo-soprano of Armenian descent, was hailed as "a dramatic and musical tour de force" (Pittsburgh Tribune) for her portrayal of Asakir in Pittsburgh Opera's production of Mohammed Fairouz's Sumeida's Song.
During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Pittsburgh Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterly, sang the title role of Benazir Bhutto in a workshop of Mohammed Fairouz’s Bhutto with Pittsburgh Opera/ Beth Morrison Projects, joined Symphony Tacoma as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, rejoined Tacoma Opera for her debut in the title role of The Rape of Lucretia, and performed with Syracuse’s Symphonia as mezzo soloist in Haydn’s Mass in Time of War and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. In the summer of 2019, Ms. Semerdjian made company debuts as Flora in La Traviata with Summer Garden Opera and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Inland Northwest Opera. In the Fall of 2019, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Pittsburgh Symphony in the Bruckner Te Deum and made her Opera Southwest debut in Bottesini’s rarely performed Ali Baba. In January 2020, she returned to Pittsburgh Opera, debuting the role of Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina. In Spring of 2020, Ms. Semerdjian made a company debut with Florentine Opera, singing the title role in Le Tragédie de Carmen.
Jaime Sharp (she/her)
Arts Administration, Singer, Voice Teacher
Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Jaime Sharp is a mezzo-soprano currently in her Masters at University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM).
She has sung with a number of companies including; the Chautauqua Music Festival, Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit Song Collective, Opera MODO, and the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center. She won the 2019-2020 Buffalo/Toronto district Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and went on to receive the Audience Choice Award at the Great Lakes Regional Finals. She was a finalist in the 2019 Opera MODO Aria Competition and the 2018-2019 University of Michigan Concerto Competition. She also received the Hilda Harris Mezzo-Soprano award at the 2018 George Shirley Vocal Competition.
Jaime has a strong passion for social justice and incorporating activism into her performance. She continues this work offstage as well. She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hear Us, Hear Them Ensemble, a Black-led Cincinnati based choral ensemble dedicated to performing repertoire by marginalized composers. Additionally, Jaime is serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Opera NexGen. Opera NexGen is an entirely virtual opera company dedicated creating an inclusive and welcoming that places vocal ability above all other credentials. For more information visit: www.operanexgen.org.
Jaime holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan.
Nandani Maria Sinha (she/her)
Singer, Voice Teacher
Los Angeles, CA
German-Indian American mezzo-soprano Nandani Maria Sinha is internationally acclaimed for her passionate performances and presence. She is a favorite mezzo-soprano in Southern California, performing regularly with Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, Santa Barbara Opera, California Philharmonic, and Redlands Symphony. Her 2019-20 season includes: Ruth in Invisible for the Eurydice Found Festival and a workshop and concert with Renée Fleming (Los Angeles Opera); Hera and Drum in Sweet Land (The Industry); and high demand as a mezzo-soprano and alto soloist on concert works (Azusa Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, Joanna Medawar Nachef Singers, Palisades Symphony, Music at Westwood). She has been a first prize winner of the Franz Liszt International Competition and a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest. Ms. Sinha’s upcoming engagements include a return to Opera Santa Barbara as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette and two reprisals of critically acclaimed and wildly successful roles from her 2018-19 season, Netty in Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon at the McCadden Place Theatre (2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival, Best of Fringe and Producer’s Award winner) and Ella in Romance Sonambulo with Mojacar Flamenco at the El Portal Theater. For the 2020 season she can be heard weekly in concert with LA Opera in Music to Remember.