Studio Artist Program

Each year, Tulsa Opera contracts 4-6 young professional singers as the company’s Studio Artists. Studio Artists take residence in Tulsa from September through April and perform small roles and large role covers for Tulsa Opera’s mainstage productions, visit schools with the Opera on Tour! program, perform outreach functions for the company, and make up the cast for the annual Studio Artist production. Studio Artists are provided with housing, a travel allowance, and a weekly stipend during their time in Tulsa.

2014-15 Tulsa Opera Studio Artists

Timothy Petty

Tim Petty - web

Equally at home in a diverse range of repertoire from baroque to 21st century, Tim Petty is a fine singing actor with easy dramatic versatility and a rich, engaging voice. This year at Tulsa Opera he will be covering Dandini in Rossini’s La cenerentola and performing Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette and Slim in Of Mice and Men.  He will also be singing the roles of The Giant and The Trouble Man in John Davies’ Jack and the Beanstalk for Tulsa Opera’s Opera on Tour! outreach program, and The Giver in Susan Kander’s adaptation of the Lois Lowry novel of the same name with the Tulsa Youth Opera.

This summer he returned to the Land of Enchantment Opera Institute where he sang the role of The Husband in Poulenc’s The Breasts of Tiresias. Last season at Tulsa Opera he performed the roles of Antonio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, The Revival Singer in Aldridge and Garfein’s Elmer Gantry, and did double duty as Sergeant Morales and Le Dancaïre in Bizet’s Carmen.

Pedro Willis-BarbosaPedro Cropped - web

Pedro Willis-Barbosa is a Brazilian-American tenor who has run the gamut of performing arts. From performing Children’s theatre in Chicago, to appearing as a featured dancer in the Dance Chicago festival with the Frasz-Peskov dance company, to working with various musical theatre companies across the Midwest, Pedro has also found his artistic voice in an operatic setting. Most recently, Pedro has appeared as a young artist with such companies as Opera Louisiane, Cedar Rapids Opera, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. Pedro has also been seen in such roles as Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, Laurie in Adamo’s Little Women, Phillipe in The New Moon, Frankenboy in Frankenboy: A Monsteropera, Teapot in L’enfant et les sortileges, Fabrizio in Light in the Piazza, Magaldi in Evita, Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, Gideon in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods, and Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Pedro is excited to be appearing as a studio artist with Tulsa Opera, covering the role of Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La cenerentola, and playing the roles of Benvolio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and Balad Singer in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men

Elizabeth KelsayKelsay 2 - web

Elizabeth Kelsay, praised by Opera News for her warm, Italianate sound, trained at Westminster Choir College and Florida State University. The soprano has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus in Macbeth, Turandot, Otello, Les Troyens, Parsifal and Prince Igor­. In 2013 she made her Carnegie Hall debut in the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica with New York Lyric Opera. She has performed as a soloist with the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Asheville Lyric Opera, and The Bronx Opera among others. Miss Kelsay’s favorite roles include Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Julie Jordan (Carousel), Micaëla (Carmen), and Susannah (Susannah). She has placed in several competitions including the Classical Singer Magazine Competition and the Joy in Singing Art Song Competition. She is thrilled to join the roster at Tulsa Opera and to be seen this season as Clorinda in La Cenerentola, The Mother in Susan Kander’s adaption of The Giver, and the Giant’s Wife in John Davies’ Jack and the Beanstalk for Opera on Tour! She will cover the roles of Juliette (Romeo et Juliette) and Curley’s Wife (Of Mice and Men). Elizabeth is a native of Tallahassee, Florida and a student of Patricia McCaffrey.

Ashley Cutrightcutrightheadshotweb

Ashley Cutright, mezzo-soprano, was most recently seen in the roles of Cecilia March in Little Women and Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera North.  Earlier this summer Ms. Cutright sang with Skylark Opera, where she appeared as Katisha in The Mikado.  Ms. Cutright was a 2013 Artist in Residence with Pensacola Opera, where she performed the roles of Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Ashley was a studio artist with Tulsa Opera last season where she performed the role of Mercédès in Carmen, Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby, and Tour Guide in Elmer Gantry.  This season she will be seen in the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola, and Stephano in Romeo et Juliette.Ms. Cutright was a 2011-2012 Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, where she sang the role of Sister Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites and covered the role of Olga in Eugene Onegin. She also performed the roles of Papagena and Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Opera Iowa.  Other opera credits include Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Florence Pike in Albert Herring, Newspaper Woman in Les mamelles de Tirésias, Lolette in La Rondine, Woman 1 in Grapes of Wrath, Ellen in Three Sisters, and the role of Katia in the world-premiere of The Singing Violin. Other companies with which she has performed include Opera on the Avalon, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and Irving Community Theatre.

In 2012 Ms. Cutright was awarded the Encouragement Award in the Regional Metropolitan Opera Competition and was a finalist in the 2012 Dallas Opera Guild Competition. She has received artistic and academic scholarships for her college-level studies, and in 2010 she won a grant through the Schuyler Foundation.

Ms. Cutright holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Manhattan School of Music.  She is a native of Dallas, Texas, and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Methodist University.

Valerie PoolValeriePool 2 web

Valerie Pool has served as pianist, coach, and répétiteur for companies such as Cincinnati Opera, Opera Saratoga (New York), Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Nashville Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Capitol City Opera (Atlanta). Most recently, she served as rehearsal accompanist for Cincinnati Opera’s summer 2014 productions of Carmen and Madama Butterfly. Other recent engagements include Pianist and Music Director for Opera Saratoga’s Opera To Go program (March 2014); pianist and coach for Die Fledermaus at Maryville College in Tennessee (January 2014); coach and répétiteur for Haydn’s opera buffa Il Mondo della Luna with Cincinnati Chamber Opera (September 2013); and Apprentice Pianist for Opera Saratoga’s Lucia di Lammermoor (June-July 2013).

From 2012 to 2014, she served as the Studio Pianist for the Wagner Society of Cincinnati. Performances of recitals of arias, song, and opera include a musical analysis of Parsifal, the Wesendonck Lieder, and a collaboration with Cincinnati Opera of Die Walküre. She has served as pianist and music director for the Nashville Opera Mary Ragland Young Artist Program (2011) and the Atlanta Opera Studio Tour (2010). In the fall of 2014, Valerie will be joining Tulsa Opera’s Studio Artist Program for the 2014-2015 season as Studio Artist Pianist and Coach.

Valerie recently completed her Artist Diploma in Opera Coaching at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and also holds degrees in chamber music/accompanying from the University of Georgia and piano performance from Kennesaw State University. Valerie has participated in the collaborative piano and opera programs at SongFest at Pepperdine, the International Performing Arts Institute (Germany), Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Asolo Song Festival (Italy), the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz (Austria), and Brevard Music Center.