Opera Colorado’s Young Artists are post-graduate emerging professional opera singers in an seven-month residency with Opera Colorado. Young Artists play a vital role as the voice and face of Opera Colorado in the community. They perform throughout the season in school and community centers across the State.Young Artists Welcome
Leah Bobbey (Soprano) is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She received her bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan and completed her master’s degree in Voice Performance at the University of Houston this past spring. Leah is a two-time recipient of the Encouragement Award from the Michigan district at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She was recently seen as Lightfoot McClendon in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree and the Foreign Woman in The Consul. Other past roles include Anaïde (Il Cappello di Paglia di Firenze), Adult Kim (Showboat), Lady in the Balcony (Our Town), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Despina (Così Fan Tutte), Bubikopf (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro). This summer, Leah is an apprentice artist with Central City Opera, performing the Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music and a Bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro. In this season’s Opera Colorado mainstage productions, she will sing in the Chorus in Madama Butterfly and sing the role of First Lady in The Magic Flute, She will also sing the role of Pamina in the Student Matinee production of The Magic Flute. In the company’s touring productions, Leah will sing the roles of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. Leah is thrilled to join the Opera Colorado Young Artist Residency Program for the 2014-2015 season.
Katherine Sanford (Mezzo-Soprano) is originally from Annapolis, MD. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland. While pursuing her graduate degree, she was a recipient of the University of Michigan Stevenson Friends of Opera Scholarship. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Michigan, studying under Freda Herseth. Recently, Katherine performed the role of Barbarina in the Hub Opera Ensemble’s performance of Le nozze di Figaro in Hagerstown, MD. She also sang the role of Lola in the company’s concert performance of Cavalleria Rusticana. Other opera credits include the roles of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, and Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the University of Michigan, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Mercédès in Carmen with Bel Cantanti Opera in Washington, D.C. Katherine also performed as an apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera in the summer of 2013, where she covered the Third Lady in Elektra. Katherine is looking forward to joining Opera Colorado as a Young Artist during their 2014-2015 season. She will perform on the main stage as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Second Lady in The Magic Flute. For the Student Matinee of The Magic Flute, Katherine will sing the role of Papagena. She will also perform the roles of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Stephano/Gertrude in Romeo & Juliette in touring productions with the company.
Brett Sprague (Tenor) is originally from Lakewood, WA. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Chapman University and received his Master’s Degree in Classical Voice from the Manhattan School of Music in 2012. He has performed extensively in the United States and Europe. Brett’s past credits include Peter Grimes (Chautauqua Opera), Don Pasquale, (Amore Opera), The Most Happy Fella (Dicapo Opera), Die Zauberflöte (New York Lyric Opera Theatre), The Ghosts of Versailles, Cosi fan tutte, Thais, and La Vida Breve (Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Theatre), Lucia di Lammermoor and Falstaff (MSM’s Opera Repertory Ensemble), L’elisir d’amore (Tuscia Opera festival), and Signor Deluso, Gianni Schicchi and Die Fledermaus (Opera Chapman). As a member of the 2014 Opera Colorado Young Artists, Brett sang the roles of Almaviva (The Barber of Seville) and Romeo (Romeo & Juliet) in the company’s touring productions and in the student matinee of Carmen, he sang the role of Don José. His mainstage roles in Opera Colorado’s 2014 season included in Borsa Rigoletto and Rememdado in Carmen. His roles in the 2014-2015 season include a reprisal of Romeo and The Witch in the companies touring productions of Romeo & Juliet and Hansel and Gretel, respectively. He will also sing the roles of the Registrar (Madama Butterfly) and 1st Man in Armour (The Magic Flute). For the Student Matinee of The Magic Flute, Brett will sing the role of Tamino. Brett is extremely excited to be back with Opera Colorado for a second year as a Young Artist.
Andrew Paulson(Baritone) is a native of Great Falls, VA. He received his undergraduate degree from Westminster Choir College and in 2014 he received his Master’s Degree in Voice Performance at Florida State University. Recent opera credits include First Prison Guard cover in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at Central City Opera, Giorgio Germont (La Traviata) with Opera on the Avalon, Clayton McAllister and Luther in Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at Sugar Creek Symphony and Song, Clayton McAllister and Mercutio (Romeo et Juliette) with Florida State Opera, and Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutte) and Peter (Hansel und Gretel) with Florida State Outreach Opera. He has gained recent recognition in competitions, placing 2nd in the Mobile Opera Competition and received Encouragement Awards from both the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges and Florida District of the Met Competition. At Opera Colorado Andrew very much looks forward to his upcoming performance opportunities. His roles in the mainstage season include The Imperial Commissioner in Madame Butterfly, 2nd Armored Guard in The Magic Flute and Papageno in the Student Matinee of The Magic Flute. In the company’s touring productions, Andrew will sing the roles of Mercutio and the Prince in Romeo & Juliet, and the Father in Hansel and Gretel.
Leo Rado (Bass-Baritone) is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He holds a B.M. with scholastic distinction and M.M. in voice from The Juilliard School. At Juilliard, he has been seen on stage in many operatic roles such as Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Tobia Mill in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio. In November of 2011, he performed the role of Willi Graf as both singer and pianist in the U.S. premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen! at Juilliard, which brought him critical acclaim from The New York Times. In addition to working with his teacher Dr. Robert C. White throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies, Leo has had the opportunity to work with many of the world’s leading conductors including Riccardo Muti, Charles Dutoit and Stephen Lord. This season, Leo is thrilled to join the roster at Opera Colorado as a Young Artist, where he will be heard in the roles of Capulet/Friar Lawrence in Romeo & Juliet and the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel; the company’s touring productions. In the mainstage productions, Leo will sing the roles of the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and 1st Priest in The Magic Flute. Leo will also perform in the Student Matinee of The Magic Flute in May 2015.