Current Lesley Apprentices
The Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Artists is our resident young artist training program, and is made up of four young artists chosen for their special talents and future potential.
At the heart of our educational programs are the Lesley Apprentices. This group of four highly talented and driven young opera singers is selected through a nation-wide audition process. The singers have all completed master’s level training and have participated in additional training programs for young artists. They come to Fort Worth Opera in order to work for a professional opera company in the hopes of launching their full operatic careers.
Praised for her “astounding vocal expressivity” and “soaring full voice,” American soprano Christina Pecce joins Fort Worth Opera as a Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Artist for 2016-2017 to perform all of the soprano roles in Voir Dire and Frasquita in Carmen during the Festival. A singing-actress who spans multiple genres, she was seen recently as a quarterfinalist in the 2016 American Traditions Competition in Savannah and played the role of Anne in Jake Heggie’s To Hell and Back with Boston Opera Collaborative where she also held the position of Concert and Outreach Coordinator. Additional Boston theatre credits include Show Boat (Dottie) with Fiddlehead Theatre and Legally Blonde (Vivienne) with The Company Theatre. In 2015, Christina took part in the U.S. premiere of Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom, a performance art piece featured at The Museum of Fine Arts, was awarded 3rd place at the Philharmonic Society of Arlington’s Young Artist Competition, was a finalist in The Classical Singer Competition (Music Theatre Division) in Chicago, was an international semifinalist for The Lotte Lenya Competition, and played the roles of Armida (Rinaldo) with Boston Opera Collaborative and Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins) at The Company Theatre. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in opera performance from the Boston Conservatory.
Anna Laurenzo, a lyric mezzo-soprano, returns to Fort Worth Opera for her second year as a Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Artist for 2016-2017. For the 2017 Fort Worth Opera Festival she will perform all of the mezzo-soprano roles in the Opera Unbound production of Voir Dire, as well as sing Mercédès in Carmen. In the 2016 Festival she covered Rosina in The Barber of Seville and made her debut in the regional premiere of Buried Alive | Embedded. Her 2015 company debut with Haymarket Opera Company as Pedrillo in Telemann’s Don Quichotte was praised as “appealingly sung” by the Chicago Tribune. In the 2014-2015 season, she was engaged as a Studio Artist with Madison Opera. Among her assignments, Anna covered Rosina (The Barber of Seville) and performed as a soloist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in excerpts from Candide and their annual Opera in the Park concert. A frequent collaborator on new works, Anna sang Jackie Onassis in the orchestral workshop of David T. Little’s JFK. Other recent projects include scenes with Fort Worth Opera’s new works initiative Frontiers, and Mrs. Who in the workshop of Libby Larsen’s A Wrinkle in Time. Formerly a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, Anna is also a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
New to the Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice Artist program for 2016-2017, tenor Andrew Surrena has performed with companies across North America. He will perform all of the tenor roles in Voir Dire and appear as Lillas Pastia and cover the role of Don José in Carmen in the 2017 Fort Worth Opera Festival. Most recently, Andrew performed with Opera North in the summer of 2016 as Tonio in Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment and as an Apprentice Artist for Sarasota Opera during their 2015-2016 season, performing the roles First Prisoner in Beethoven’s Fidelio, and the Messenger in Verdi’s Aida. In the summer of 2015, he sang with the Cantos de Taos in New Mexico as their Resident Artist. Andrew was also in Central City’s production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as Don Curzio. At the Seagle Music Colony, he performed the role of Sam Kaplan in their 2013 production of Weill’s Street Scene and remained at the Seagle as an outreach artist, and sang the role of Calvin O’Keefe in Fort Worth Opera’s workshop for A Wrinkle in Time by Libby Larsen. In the summer of 2012, he was a voice fellow in Marilyn Horne’s summer program Music Academy of the West. He holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from Northern Arizona University where he studied with Dr. Ricardo Pereira.
Returning Fort Worth Opera’s Hattie Mae Lesley Apprentice baritone Trevor Martin will perform all of the baritone roles in Voir Dire and the role of Moralès in Carmen in the 2017 Fort Worth Opera Festival. He made his role debut as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville at Madison Opera in 2015, and he performed the role again in Fort Worth Opera’s production of the opera during the 2016 Festival. He also covered the roles of Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Victor in Jeff Myers’ Buried Alive, and the Producer in Patrick Soluri’s Embedded. He spent the summer of 2015 with Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist covering Jake Wallace, Bello, and Happy in their production of The Girl of the Golden West. He was an Emerging Artist at Virginia Opera in 2014-2015, where he covered the role of Baron Douphol in La Traviata, performed with the educational tour, and sang for various concerts and performances. He was recently seen as a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony in the roles of Arthur in Camelot, Elder McLean in Susannah, and Bernardo in West Side Story. Trevor graduated with his Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he studied under Joseph Evans.
Stephen CareyPrincipal Pianist & Vocal Coach
Now entering his fifth season as Fort Worth Opera’s principal coach, for eleven seasons Stephen Carey was the assistant artistic director, director of the artist-in-residence program, chorus master, and principal pianist/vocal coach for Opera Memphis. This summer he finished his eighth season with the Utah Festival Opera, serving as cover conductor, chorus master, and as part of their coaching staff. Stephen’s conducting credits include The Barber of Seville with Mississippi Opera; a performance of the world premiere of Michael Ching’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Opera a cappella with Opera Memphis; The Barber of Seville and Annie with Ash Lawn Opera; and cover conductor for The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Boris Godunov, and Don Giovanni with Utah Festival Opera. He has served on the artistic staffs of summer programs such as the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria; Opera in the Ozarks; Ash Lawn Opera; Chautauqua Opera; and the Utah Festival Opera.