Meet our 2017 Chautauqua Opera Young Artists

Apprentice Artists

Chelsea Friedlander, Soprano

Chelsea Friedlander

This season at CHQ: Euridice in L'Orfeo and Soprano 1 in Hydrogen Jukebox
A New Jersey native, Ms. Friedlander’s 2016-2017 season included: Dayton Philharmonic debut; Soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, debut as Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Dayton Opera) and debut as Frasquita in Carmen (Resident Artist Program, Dayton Opera), and Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone with Light Opera of New Jersey. Performance highlights: Ohio Light Opera Company, Saratoga Opera, Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance, Opera in the Ozarks, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Light Opera of New York and Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live! Consecutive Encouragement Award Winner at Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Connecticut District). Ms. Friedlander is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association. M.M. Manhattan School of Music, B.M. Cleveland Institute of Music.

Arnold Livingston Geis, Tenor

 Arnold Livingston GeisThis season at CHQ: Apollo in L'Orfeo and Ernesto in Don Pasquale

Mr. Geis graduated in May 2014 with an MM in vocal arts from USC and immediately began working as a full-time professional singer making a career in TV and film soundtracks, concert, and on the opera/theater stage. Recent debuts include numerous solo performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Other performances include Candide and Fallujah with Long Beach Opera. He made his mainstage debut with LA Opera under the baton of Placido Domingo and closed their 2016-17 season singing Parpignol in La Boheme with conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Arnold debuted as a guest soloist for Beethoven's missa solemnis with the LA Master Chorale in January and Beethoven's 9th with Pasadena Symphony in April. In 2016, Arnold won the LA district of the Met competition and shortly after, made his company debut at New York City Opera as Corpsman Harris in the East coast premier of Fallujah. Geis made his national television debut on America's Got Talent in 2015 and has since sung for TV and film soundtracks including American Crime, Godzilla, Sing, and Star Wars: Rogue One.

Helen Hassinger, Soprano

 Helen HassingerThis season at CHQ: Nymph/Spirit 3 in L'Orfeo and Soprano II in Hydrogen Jukebox 

Ms. Hassinger's roles include the title role in Emmeline, Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Helena (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Soprano II (Hydrogen Jukebox), St. Francis' Trainer (Vinkensport...or the Finch Opera), and The Angel (Angels in America). Other projects include the title role (cover) in the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Madame White Snake, as part of the Ouroboros Trilogy presented by Beth Morrison Projects. A graduate of St. Olaf College (BA) in Northfield, MN and Boston University (MM), she continues her development at the Boston University Opera Institute, where she studies with Dr. Lynn Eustis. Ms. Hassinger is also a classically trained violinist, formerly studying under Dr. Andrea Een (St. Olaf College) and Busya Lugovier (Viterbo University). A native of Wisconsin, Ms. Hassinger currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Before moving to the East Coast, she spent five years in Minneapolis as a corporate sales analyst.

Natalie Rose Havens, Mezzo-soprano

 Natalie Rose HavensThis season at CHQ: Shepherd 3/Spirit 2 in L'Orfeo and Mezzo in Hydrogen Jukebox

Ms. Havens was most recently seen as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Daniel Cardona Opera in New York City. This past summer she was seem performing as The Marquise of Berkenfield in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment with Opera North. Natalie has also been seen as the Old Prioress in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with UNCG Opera and the title role in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with Harrower Opera. Other roles include Miss Todd in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief, Harriett in The Clever Artifice of Harriett and Margaret (Scenes Competition Winner for National Opera Association), Scribe/Maria Magdalena in Phillip Glass’s Galileo Galilei, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dolly in Hello, Dolly!, and Marian Paroo in The Music Man. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from The Florida State University and a masters degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Mario Diaz-Moresco, Baritone

 Mario Diaz MorescoThis season at CHQ: Chorus/L'Orfeo(cover) in L'Orfeo, Malatesta (cover) in Don Pasquale, and Baritone in Hydrogen Jukebox

Mr. Diaz-Moresco is garnering attention for his versatility and strong stage presence in both Opera and Art Song. Mr. Diaz-Moresco studied at the University of Colorado and the University of Southern California. He has been a young artist with Central City Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival and a Stern Fellow at Songfest. Roles include Papageno, Guglielmo, Schaunard, Joseph De Rocher, Mercutio, Sid and Silvio. An active recitalist, his Art Song repertoire includes works by Schumann, Vaughan Williams, Poulenc, Beethoven, Bolcom and Musto. In recent seasons, Mr. Diaz-Moresco has given recitals with pianist Spencer Myer on California’s “InConcert Sierra” series, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival, and the Rocky River Chamber Music Society of Ohio. Passionate about new music, Mr. Diaz-Moresco has premiered Laura M. Kramer’s song cycle The Miracle of the Walking Fish, for voice and guitar, Julia Adolphe’s opera Sylvia, and John and Abigail by Ben Moore. In 2016, Mr. Diaz-Moresco was invited to the Professional Studies Diploma program at Mannes School of Music, where he studies with Diana Soviero and played the lead role in Robert Ashley’s Dust under the music direction of Joan La Barbara.

Evan Ross, Bass-Baritone

 Evan RossThis season at CHQ: Pluto in L'Orfeo, Don Pasquale (cover) in Don Pasquale, and Bass in Hydrogen Jukebox

Originally from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Mr. Ross is quickly making a name for himself in the operatic world. This season Mr. Ross will be seen as Falstaff with Opera Modo in Detroit. Recent credits include Benoit/ Alcindoro in La Boheme with Madison Opera and Selim (cover) in Il Turco in Italia with Opera Sothwest. Last season, Mr. Ross joinined the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Program singing Sid in La Fanciulla del West. He was also a member of the OperaIowa touring troup singing Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola and Osmin in The Billy Goat’s Gruff. Previously Mr. Ross made his debut with Opera Grand Rapids as Dancairo in Carmen and with Opera Modo as Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte. Mr. Ross was an Apprentice Artist with Michigan Opera Theater where he sang Marquis D’obigny in La Traviata and the First Immigration Officer in A View From the Bridge. Mr. Ross received his Masters of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory.

Laura Soto-Bayomi, Soprano

 Laura Soto BayomiThis season at CHQ: Chorus in L'Orfeo, Norina in Don Pasquale

Ms. Soto-Bayomi, a New Jersey native, has spent the past two seasons as a Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera, and was most recently seen as Peep Bo in The Mikado and Soprano I in Song from the Uproar. As the Governess in The Turn of the Screw at Bard College, she “portrayed a conflicted character with expert conviction.” (The Millbrook Independent). Other roles include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus,, Climene in L’Egisto, and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte. In 2014, she performed as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Maestro Ádám Fischer. In concert, Laura has sung the soprano solos in De Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos, and selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the New England Conservatory Symphony under the direction of Hugh Wolff in Jordan Hall. Laura was a New England District Finalist in the 2015 Metropolitan National Council Auditions and a finalist in the 2014 NJ State Opera “Silipigni” Vocal Competition. As the 2012 winner of the Orchestral Performance Award from the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy, Laura performed as a soloist with the Vermont Philharmonic. Laura holds degrees from Bard College Conservatory (MM ’15) and New England Conservatory of Music (’13.)

Eric Wassenaar, Tenor

 Eric WassenaarThis season at CHQ: Shepherd 1/Spirit 1 in L'Orfeo, Tenor in Hydrogen Jukebox

Mr. Wassenaar is a native of South Dakota graduated with a master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Colorado Boulder. There he performed the roles of Mr. Snow in Carousel, Sam Polk in Susannah, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and was a featured soloist in Leonard Berstein’s Mass. In 2010 he performed the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflote with The Opera Theatre of the Rockies and again in 2012 with The Sounds of South Dakota. Eric earned his bachelor’s degree at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As a 2013 Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at Sugar Creek Opera he sang Lenny in Of Mice and Men and Sam in Susannah. In 2014 he was seen as Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking with DePaul University opera, Alfredo in La Traviata with the South Shore Opera Company, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Sounds of South Dakota.