Miles Mykkanen                        Artist WEBSITE 

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A winner of the 2019 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Miles Mykkanen has garnered recognition on the world’s concert and operatic stages for his “focused, full-voiced tenor” (The New York Times). Of his performances in Eugene Onegin at the Juilliard School, Opera News wrote, “Mykkanen was a knockout as Lensky. The lyric intensity of his singing made each moment count, and the duel- scene aria was a stretch of sheer vocal gold.”
The 2018-19 season sees Miles Mykkanen making debuts at Minnesota Opera as Lt. Sprink in the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, at Opera Philadelphia as Flute in Robert Carsen’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by Corrado Rovaris, and with Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra singing Brighella in fully-staged performances of Ariadne auf Naxos. The tenor joins the roster of the Bayerische Staatsoper covering the role of Admète in Gluck’s Alceste in a new production by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui led by Antonello Manacorda. On the concert stage, Messiah brings the tenor together with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center and to the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium under the auspices of the University Musical Society, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 marks his return with Anu Tali and the Sarasota Orchestra. Mr. Mykkanen also joins the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Gilbert Kalish in Shostakovich’s “Songs of Jewish Folk Poetry.”
​Miles Mykkanen was heard throughout the 2017-18 season in the title role of Bernstein’s Candide with performances at Arizona Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and at Tanglewood with The Knights. He bowed as Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for Opera Columbus in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth and the music of Stravinsky served the tenor’s debut at the Canadian Opera Company in Robert Lepage’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. The tenor made a New York Philharmonic debut in a program of excerpts from West Side Story conducted by Leonard Slatkin and joined the Bard Music Festival for performances of Moniuszko’s Halkaand Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Leon Botstein conducting the American Symphony Orchestra.
Miles Mykkanen spent the past two summers at the Marlboro Music Festival where his performances have spanned from art songs of Brahms and Britten to chamber music of Brett Dean with distinguished guest artists Mitsuko Uchida, Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles, and many others.
​Additional highlights include performances of Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony and IndianapolisSymphony, Verdi’s Otello with Robert Spano leading the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Bernstein’s Songfest with his frequent collaborators, Steven Blier, Michael Barrett, and the New York Festival of Song. He also has collaborated with Juilliard415, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New World Symphony, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Opera credits include performances of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Columbus, Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová in a new Stephen Wadsworth production at Juilliard conducted by Anne Manson, as well as Die Zauberflöte, Eugene Onegin, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Les mamelles de Tirésias, La finta giardiniera, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Cunning Little Vixen, and Dialogues of the Carmelites. Miles Mykkanen is a champion of new music and has given the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Twenty-Seven, Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown, and of Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing at the American Repertory Theatre directed by Diane Paulus. Opera News wrote, “Miles Mykkanen’s work was especially distinctive: his burnished high tenor seemed like the organizing principle around which the other voices cohered.”
PBS Great Performances produced a documentary of Renée Fleming’s American Voices festival in 2015, featuring Miles Mykkanen in a master class with Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster. He also was seen on in Juilliard’s live-stream master classes with Renée Fleming, Fabio Luisi, and Emmanuel Villaume, respectively. The tenor is a 2019 Sara Tucker Grant Award winner, a youngARTS Gold winner, and the recipient of prizes from the Sullivan Foundation, Toulmin Foundation, Novick Career Advancement Grant, and Juilliard’s Joseph W. Polisi Award. Recently graduated from The Juilliard School with an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies, Miles Mykkanen earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the school under the tutelage of Cynthia Hoffmann.

Jessica Faselt                                            artist’s WEBSite

American soprano, Jessica Faselt, is gaining stature as a promising young professional with an exciting voice. Jessica is known for her “keen expression and impressive delivery” in performance (Music in Cincinnati). 

Jessica was announced as a winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing in the Grand Finals Concert with the Met Orchestra.  The previous year in March of 2017 Jessica was a Semi-Finalist in the MONC Auditions. 

Jessica was a Studio Artist with the Florida Grand Opera in Miami for their 2017/2018 season covering the roles of Salome in Richard Strauss’s Salome and Florencia in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.

Jessica was an Emerging Young Artist with the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices in Reno, NV where she studied with internationally-acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Dolora Zajick in the summers of 2016 and 2017.

Jessica was a Semi-Finalist in the Elizabeth Connell Prize International Vocal Competition. She received the 2nd Place Award at the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Voice Competition in 2017. She received an Encouragement Award at the Marcello Giordanni International Voice Competition in 2017. She was also a Semi-Finalist of the Eleanor McCollum Voice Competition with the Houston Grand Opera in February of 2016.

Jessica was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the summer of 2015 and was again engaged with the company in the summer of 2016 covering the title role of Ariadne, in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos.  In Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2nd annual Center Stage Concert of 2016 Jessica sang Donna Anna in the first Act duet of Don Giovanni and The Marschallin in Strauss’  famous trio of Der Rosenkavalierwith the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra lead by conductor, Stephen Lord.

Jessica performed the role of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the McAninch Arts Center in Chicago with the New Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2016. Other roles performed include Hanna in The Merry Widow, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, and Mrs. Grose in The turn of the Screw. 

Jessica completed her Masters Degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she was the recipient of the prestigious Corbett Award. Jessica received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa with honors.



Jack Swanson                             artist’s website

Jack Swanson, lyric tenor and Stillwater, Minnesota native, is a rising star in the world of opera. He has already won several competitions and in February 2013, placed second in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions – Midwest Region (based in Tulsa, OK).

Stillwater, Minnesota native and 2018 Richard Tucker Career Grant Winner Jack Swanson is quickly becoming one of the most sought after young tenors in the opera world. His distinctive high lyric voice is known for singing the acrobatic arias of Rossini and the legato melodies of Donizetti.

Jack comes from a musical family and first began singing in high school choirs. During his junior year at Stillwater High, he studied voice with Obed Floan, who encouraged him to pursue a career in opera. Jack’s tenor voice has a brilliant resonance and a thrilling timbre; his presentation is natural and engaging.

2018 Richard Tucker Career Grant winner Jack Swanson has seen debuts this season with Glyndebourne Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and the Los Angeles Opera in the title role of Candide. Mr. Swanson’s 2017-2018 season, in which he was named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2018 Orpheus Competition, continues with debuts at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Almaviva and his main stage debut with the Santa Fe Opera as Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri. On the concert stage, Mr. Swanson was heard in Bernstein on Broadway concerts with the Orchestre National de Lille and will appear with the Choral Arts Society of Washington for Rossini’s Stabat Mater in May. Future projects include debuts with the Norwegian Opera as Nemorino in L’elisir d’Amore, Théâtre des Champs-Elyséesas the title role in Candide, Palm Beach Opera as Alfred in Die Fledermaus, and the Portland Opera in leading roles.

In 2016-2017, Mr. Swanson was heard as Camille in The Merry Widow with Winter Opera St. Louis, Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Memphis, Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Opera Delaware, and Albazar in Il Turco in Italia with Garsington Opera. In concert he sang Messiah with theIndianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Other appearances included Washington Concert Opera’s 2017 gala, the Rising Stars of Opera concert series with the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, and on a recital program at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.

In the 2015-2016 season, Mr. Swanson made his Des Moines Metro Opera debut singing the role of Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff and performed the role of Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Opera Fort Collins. Mr. Swanson earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Oklahoma, where he performed the roles of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore. In May of 2016 he received his Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at Rice University. While at Rice, Mr. Swanson performed the roles of Almaviva in il Barbiere di Siviglia and Eurimaco in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. Additional opera roles include Tonio in La Fille du Régiment and Count Belfiore in Mozart’s La Finta Gardiniera, and two years as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Swanson spent two summers as a young artist with The Seagle Music Colony, where he performed the roles of Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd and the title role in Britten’s comedic opera Albert Herring.

Also known for his concert work, Mr. Swanson’s credits include Handel’s Messiah, Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ, Mozart’s Requiem and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Other engagements include Holiday Favorites with the Arizona Opera and Birmingham Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera’s 60th anniversary gala where Mr. Swanson performed alongside HGO’s studio artists and world-renowned mezzo- soprano, Joyce DiDonato. Swanson made his Kennedy Center debut singing selections from Schumann’s Dichterliebe.

Mr. Swanson is the competition winner and recipient of several prestigious awards including first place in Florida Grand Opera’s Young Patroness Competition, The San Antonio Music Club Competition, The National Opera Association Competition and The Hal Leonard Art Song Competition. He twice received the Richard Tucker Memorial award from the Santa Fe Opera. He was a finalist in both Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum competition and Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Competition. Recently, Mr. Swanson was featured on National Public Radio”s Young Artist in Residence program, Performance Today.

James Valenti

James Valenti

James Valenti, tenor, won the Upper Midwest Region Auditions in 2002 and was a Grand Finals winner at the National Council Auditions at the Metropolitan Opera. Since then, he has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House (London), La Scala (Milan, Italy), Opera National de Paris, Sydney Opera House, Minnesota Opera, the Schubert Club in St. Paul, and many other prestigious venues. Valenti’s recent leading opera roles include Rodolfo (La Bohème) and Lt. Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) at the Met, and the title roles in Werther and Dream of Valentino at Minnesota Opera.

James Valenti