Featured Artist:
Jack Swanson

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).

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.

After high school, Jack studied voice at the University of Oklahoma, where he had many performance opportunities. During his sophomore and junior year at Oklahoma, he performed with the Seagle Music Colony, where he sang the roles of Tobias Ragg in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Albert in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Jack’s other operatic roles included Nemorino in L’elisir d’Amore (Donizetti), Fenton in Falstaff (Verdi), and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Mozart). His concert credits include Handel’s Messiah and the tenor role in Dubois‘ The Seven Last Words of Christ.”

Update: November 2014

In Summer 2014, Jack participated in the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program, where he performed the roles of the First Japanese Envoy in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Brian in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2013. Jack received the Richard Tucker Foundation Award from the Santa Fe Opera for his performances as an apprentice.

Jack is currently a graduate student in Voice with renowned voice teacher Stephen King, at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, in Houston, Texas. Upcoming performances include solos in Handel’s Messiah (Albany, NY) and the Bach Magnificat (Houston, TX), both in December 2014. In March 2015, Jack will perform in the Houston Grand Opera’s 60th anniversary celebration, featuring HGO alumn Joyce DiDonato.

Be sure to check out Jack’s new website and performance videos, of which his highly spirited and effortlessly natural interpretation of Ah! Mes Amis from Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment (with its nine high C’s) is a true highlight (note: the room’s acoustics are not ideal for the size of Jack’s voice).

We encourage you to follow Jack’s career as a vocal artist and will provide additional updates on this website.


Jessica Faselt headshot

Jessica Faselt

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 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.

​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 and plans to return to the program in the summer of 2017.

Jessica was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the summer of 2015 and was again engaged with the company of 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 Rosenkavalier under the baton of 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 was a semi-finalist of the Eleanor McCollum Voice Competition with the Houston Grand Opera in February of 2016.

 Jessica has been a consecutive four year Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition District and Regional Winner. Jessica most recently competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Minnesota District and advanced to the Upper Midwest Regional where she was awarded the first place honor and competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semi-Final round at the Metropolitan Opera in March of 2017. In February of 2016 Jessica competed in the Mid/East Tennessee District and moved on as a finalist for the Mid-South Regional receiving the second place award. In October 2015 Jessica competed in the Cincinnati District and moved on to receive the third place award at the Chicago Regional. In January 2015 Jessica advanced to the Upper Midwest Regional where she received the Encouragement Award.

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