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2023 Young Artists

AnABella petronsi, Mezzo-Soprano
Columbus, OH. 

Native of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, is a 3rd year DMA student in Voice Performance with the Singing Health Specialization at OSU under the tutelage of Dr. Blosser, where she serves as a Graduate Teaching Associate. She graduated from the National University of Arts in Argentina with a BM in Voice Performance and from The Ohio State University with a MA in Music Education, Choral Education. She has sung Giovanna (Verdi), Sorceress (Purcell), L’ Enfant (Ravel), Barbarina (Mozart), Dame 2 (Mozart), Serpetta (Mozart), Papagena (Mozart), Despina (Mozart), Poesiè (Charpentier), Berenice (Rossini), Mrs. Webster (Candey), Mirror 1 (Albinarrate), Mariquita Sánchez (Scher), and Heraldo (Lambertini). She worked as an Artistic Administrator, Director of Operations, and Special Projects and Events for the College of Music at the National University of Arts in Argentina. She also sang with Enhorabuena Company, Ensemble Tempus, and Opera Columbus. She is a member of the Columbus Symphony Choir. 

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Andrea Morokutti, Pianist
Ithaca, NY

Andrea Morokutti is currently studying Piano Performance with a Collaborative Emphasis at Ithaca College. This past year she has collaborated with several instrumentalists, vocalists, choirs, and was the rehearsal pianist for the premiere of our main-stage opera We Wear the Sea Like a Coat by Sally Lamb McCune. She studies with Dr. Vadim Serebryany and Dr. Dianne Birr.

Angelina wood, Soprano
Natchitoches, LA


Angelina Wood is an actress, singer, mover, and writer who recently graduated from Northwestern State University in the spring of 2023 with a Bachelors of Science in Theatre concentrating in Performance and Directing. She is currently located in her hometown of Saint Rose, Louisiana, and is incredibly excited to be studying Musical Theatre as a student of the International Performing Arts Institute this summer. She hopes to make many new bonds and connections with people in her field as they work to create lots of new, fun; weird art together.

anna sternaman, mezzo-Soprano
hitoches, LA

Anna Joy Sternaman is an actress, singer, & dancer who has just graduated from Northwestern State University of LA with a degree in Theatre (and a concentration in Musical Theatre).  She has been performing in musicals since the age of 9 and is currently located in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  Anna is thrilled to be a part of the MT IPAI program this summer and to grow as a Musical Theatre artist!

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Cami moses, soprano
New Orleans, LA. 

Cami Moses is a soprano from Houston, Texas. Currently, she attends Loyola University New Orleans where she is majoring in Vocal Performance and performs in various locations in the city. Her most notable performances were the production of Suor Angelica by Puccini and Magic Flute by Mozart.

Carolyn orr, soprano

Soprano, CAROLYN ORR, from Montgomery, Texas, is a vibrant musician who is passionate about spreading her love for opera. Carolyn is pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute where she is studying with Dr. Marilyn Taylor. In last season’s Fletcher productions, Carolyn was featured as Iphis in Handel’s “Jephtha,” Angelica in Haydn’s “Orlando Paladino,” and Lydia Larkspur in Kirke Mechem’s “The Rivals.” Carolyn received her undergraduate training from Baylor University, where she studied under Dr. Robert Best.

Darren Templeton, Bass-bariotne
Columbus, O

Darren Templeton, bass-baritone, is a current graduate student in The Ohio State University’s Master of Music Voice Performance Program. A recent winner of both the University’s Vocal Concerto Contest and their Wilson Voice Competition, Darren is a current student of Dr. Helen Allen, Dr. Ed Bak, and Professor Eric Gibson. Prior to joining the military, Darren taught music and coached soccer in high school. He recently retired as a Major after serving 27 total years in the Marine Corps and the Army in the Military Police and Logistics Corps while receiving a master’s in management. Darren was the bass soloist in a 2016 performance of the Mozart Requiem with the Richmond Chorale and Orchestra in Richmond Virginia. Recently performing as a bass soloist in M. Haydn’s Requiem in c with Trinity United Methodist choir and orchestra in Columbus, OH, Darren also sang the role of King Balthazar in December 2022 in the one-act opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors in Marysville, OH. Darren performed the role of Count Ceprano in Opera Columbus’ performances of Rigoletto in April 2023 under the direction of Ms. Eve Summer. In April 2023, Darren sang the lead role of Aeneas in The Ohio State University’s performances of Dido and Aeneas under the direction of Professor Eric Gibson. 

This summer in May 2023, Darren will be studying abroad with The Ohio State University’s summer educational Music and Arts Program in Vienna, Austria. Darren was the National Anthem singer for multiple Ohio State University sports teams during the 2022-2023 school year. Most recently, he sang the National Anthem at the Major League Soccer Columbus Crew’s Military Appreciation Night in Columbus, OH.   This summer of July 2023, Darren will be attending the summer opera training program at, International Performing Arts Institute (IPAI) in Bavaria Germany.

David maize, Tenor
Winston-Salem, NC. 

Hailing from Iowa City, Iowa David Maize is currently studying at the A.J. Fletcher Opera institute in
Winston-Salem North Carolina. Notable performances include Medoro in Haydn’s Orlando Paladino and
Gastone in Verdi’s La Traviata, as well as guest performances throughout North Carolina. David will be
receiving his Master’s Degree in the Spring of 2024.

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deshawn stevens, bass-Baritone
Columbia, SC. 

Growing up singing and performing in productions and concerts at a young age, Deshawn Stevens had developed a certain passion for the stage life. Born in Augusta, Georgia, and raised in Aiken, South Carolina, Deshawn graduated from Silver Bluff High School with the realization that he wanted to have the performer's life in his future. He now attends the University of South Carolina as a senior pursuing Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal performance and a minor in business.

Mr. Stevens has been involved with events including the Southern Exposure New Music Series, “At War With Ourselves,” composed by Michael Abels with poetry by Nikky Finney, where he had a featured solo. He has also been featured in summer programs inlcuidng the role of El Dancaïro in Bizet's CARMEN. Mr. Stevens, after graduating, plans to achieve his main aspiration in life to entertain and inspire crowds of people no matter the time and place with the voice that he was given.

Douglas flores, tenor
hitoches, LA

A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Douglas Flores is grateful for the opportunity to study music at NSULA. He is a member of the NSU Chamber Choir, Cane River Singers, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Douglas has also performed with the NSU Opera Theater as Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro), Leopold (Im weissen Rössl), and most recently Frederick in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzace. Douglas is excited to join the opera studio at the International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany for the summer season. He is the second place winner of the Graduate TBB Division in the 2022 Southern Regional NATS Conference, and a winner of the 2022 and 2023 Guillory Scholarship Award at NSULA. Douglas Flores is a student of Dr. Robert Cardwell.

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Ellen mitchell, mezzo-soprano
Memphis, TN

Ellen Mitchell is a mezzo soprano currently residing in Memphis, TN. Celebrated for her warm tone and expressive singing, she was most recently seen on stage as Veronique in Bizet’s comedic one act Docteur Miracle, and as Ruth in Pirates of Penzance. She is currently pursuing at Doctorate of Musical Arts in Opera the University of Memphis. Ms. Mitchell holds a bachelor’s and masters degree from Samford University and the University of South Alabama respectfully. 

Elyssa leslie, soprano
Boulder, CO

Elyssa Leslie is a 23-year-old soprano from Lexington, Ohio. In May of 2023, she graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has been involved in several productions and choirs in both Colorado and her home state of Ohio.

Emilie Comeaux, soprano
Natchitoches, LA

Emilie Comeaux is a soprano from Lafayette, LA. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Education K-12 at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She studies voice with Dr. Marcy McKee. After graduating, she plans on becoming a music educator. 

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erica ancell, soprano
Webster Groves, MO

From St. Louis, Missouri, Soprano Erica Ancell recently received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Webster University. She had the pleasure of being the Soprano Young Artist of the Bach Society of St. Louis this year. Performances in 2022/2023 included Soprano Soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Greenville University of Illinois, Macbeth at Winter Opera St. Louis, and Falstaff with Union Avenue Opera St. Louis. This fall Miss Ancell will continue her studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing her Masters in Voice Performance.

erin smith, Soprano

Erin Smith is just beginning her journey as an operatic soprano at the University of Southern Mississippi. Hailing from Collierville, Tennessee, she enjoys gardening and playing boardgames in her free time. Erin is so excited to broaden her musical and cultural horizons in Germany this summer!

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fiona schmeelk, Soprano
Chicago, IL. 

Fiona Schmeelk is a coloratura soprano who currently studies Vocal Performance at Roosevelt University. She studies under the countertenor Mark Crayton. Outside of opera, Fiona has been in countless musical productions of shows such as Beauty and the Beast, Once Upon a Mattress and Sister Act where she played Sister Mary Patrick. As for her future in education and performance, she plans to move to Germany and continue with her graduate degree there.

heather lott, soprano
Natchitoches, LA. 

Heather Elain Lott is an actress, singer, and mover that attends Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where she currently located. She intendeds to graduate in the fall of 2023 with a Bachelors of Science in Theatre with a concentration in Performance and Directing. Heather is looking forward to joining the team of Musical Theatre Students at the International Performing Arts Institute over the course of the summer and growing as a performer.

Hutson Rollins, tenor
Hattiesburg, MS. 

Hutson Rollins is working on his Bachelor of Arts in music at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. From Gulfport, Miss., He is a composer, singer with the Southern Chorale under the direction of Dr. Gregory Fuller, and also studies voice with Dr. Meredith Johnson. Rollins has had many of his pieces premiered by choirs in Mississippi, including the USM Concert Choir and the Gulfport High School Singers. He hopes to one day teach choir groups at a collegiate level and continue his passion of composition.

Isaiah marshall, baritone
Elizabeth City, NC. 

Isaiah Marshall is a recent graduate of Elizabeth City State University with a bachelor's degree in Music with a concentration in vocal performance. Although animated and goofy, he is hard working and excited to learn and is gracious that IPAI chose him to travel with them to Germany. He is fairly new to musical theater however, he has performed with the College of the Albermarle's COAST Players in their productions of Once on this Island, Sing Down the Moon, and Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella. His goal in life is to perform in musical theater productions on Broadway, bringing a smile to his audience as he does what he was born to do.

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watcharit kerdchuen, pianist
Bloomington, IN

Watcharit (Jean) Kerdchuen is a highly versatile pianist from Thailand with extensive experience
collaborating with instrumentalists and singers of all levels in both classical and musical theatre genres.
He was a pianist for numerous opera and musical theatre productions. Currently, he is an associate
instructor and doctoral student in collaborative piano at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. IPAI
2023 is his third time joining the IPAI!

Joanna percy,soprano
Wheaton, IL. 

Joanna Percy is a rising junior undergraduate performance major at Wheaton college, IL. She has a passion for storytelling and music. She has been blessed with the opportunity to study at Songfest and IPA Germany during the summer of 2023. Her previous undergraduate roles and studies have included Miss Todd in The Old Maid and The Thief, Jo in Little Women, Opera in Concert in Italy, and Orvieto Musica. She looks forward to returning to Wheaton in the fall and performing the role of Frau Fluth in Otto Nicolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor. 

Jordan Bevels, baritone
atchitoches, LA

Jordan Bevels is a junior Music Business major at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. He is currently located in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He is so excited to share his talents with everyone and be apart of IPAI 2023. 

Judith Shelton, soprano
Marshall, TX. 

Judith Shelton, assistant professor of music, serves as the vocal chair and director of musical theater at East Texas Baptist University, where she thoroughly enjoys encouraging students to pursue excellence in their performance and technique. Ms. Shelton discovered her passion for vocal pedagogy at her first collegiate posting five years ago in Nashville. She is currently in the last legs of her Doctor of Music Arts degree at the University of Memphis's Rudi Scheidt School of Music, where she studies under Mary Wilson. A specialist in modern works, her performances include Libby Larsen's "Sonnets from the Portuguese," Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," Barber's "Hermit Songs," and a new work of sacred art song for modern audiences on which Ms. Shelton is collaborating with new composer, Rachel Leer.

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Juwan Stanford, Tenor
San Luis Obispo, CA

Juwan Stanford is a recent graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona with a bachelor’s degree in Music Industry Studies and an emphasis in vocal performance. He is a talented vocalist and music producer, who has been active in numerous vocal ensembles and productions. He is fairly new to musical theater, but has performed with the CPP Theater Group in Once Upon a Disney, in which he held multiple roles, and he also performed The New World as the opening act for CPP’s Scholarship Benefit Concert. As he has added musical theater pieces to his repertoire, he has developed a love for this musical style. He is excited to join IPAI in Germany this summer in order to continue to develop his musical theater chops.

Lee fortner,tenor
Hattiesburg, MS.

Lee Fortner Is a performer from Port Gibson MS. He has been in multiple theater productions through out his years of performing. His first role was as “Fritz” in The Nutcracker, and sense he has had roles as an “Lefou” in Beauty and the Beast, Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls”, “Ensemble member” in the University of southern Mississippi’s Viral Video Project , An “Ensemble Member” in Showbiz, “Quasimodo” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, “Davey Jacobs” in Newsies, “Ms. Azilee Swindle” in Radio Gals, “Ralphie/ Hubert” in Peace Like a River, “Gideon Pontipee” in 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, “The Jester” in Madrigal Singe Feaste, “Sundeep Agrawal Padamadan” in Legally Blonde, “IQ” in Hairspray, “Albert” in It’s a Wonderful Life, and “Arne” in I Remember Mamma. He has studied voice under the teachings of Samuel Lovorn, Eric Johnson, Jeanie Evans, Phitchaya Muangsukham, and is now studying under Doctor Johnothan Yarrington at The University of Southern Mississippi. He has also studied dance under Ashley Trousdale, Debra Franco, Bridget Hunt, and Genevieve Rushing. He has performed with the Madrigals Singers and served as the Total Sound Show Choir Dance Captain at Warren Central High School. He also performed with The All State Show Choir in 2019. He plans to continue his performing career, while also teaching.

leigha schumaker,Soprano
Columbus, OH

Soprano Leigha Schumaker, from Toledo, Ohio will be graduating from The Ohio State University with both a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Bachelor of Music Education, specializing in Choral Education. She currently studies with Dr. Kathrine Rohrer, and is a member of the OSU Chorale. Leigha also works as the Soprano section leader for University Baptist Church. 

Leigha is an active performer, and has been in several opera scenes programs, performing as Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), and Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music). She has also performed as Woman 2 in the opera Sweets by Kate, and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas. 

During her time at Ohio State, Leigha has been a finalist for the OSU Concerto Competition, has been awarded the Cooper Vocal Scholarship, and is the most recent winner of the Wilson Competition. She also was the Division 3 winner of the Ohio Art Song Competition in 2022. 

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madeline Fyock,mezzo-Soprano
Columbia, SC. 

Madeline Fyock is currently studying Vocal Performance and Russian Language and Literature
at the University of South Carolina. There, she has been part of the Opera at USC’s production
of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte;” she has worked as a member of the PR Posse for Opera at USC;
and she has participated in many performances such as Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” and Carl
Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

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Megan Rowan, pianist
Jackson, MS. 

Megan Rowan is a collaborative pianist and music director. She holds an undergraduate degree in piano performance from Belhaven University and a master’s degree in collaborative piano from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has experience working in a broad range of vocal and instrumental collaborative fields, including opera, wind ensemble, concert choir, show choir, and musical theatre productions. She lives in Jackson, MS with her art professor husband and their daughter where she serves as the Coordinator of Choral Music for Lakeland Presbyterian Church.

Nathaniel Worrell,Pianist
Ithaca, NY. 

Nathaniel Worrell is a nineteen-year-old American student studying piano performance and music education at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. He is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Nathaniel is an avid collaborative pianist, who frequently works with vocalists and instrumentalists at Ithaca College.

Samantha Sayar, soprano
Columbus, OH. 

Samantha Sayar is a soprano from Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently studying music education with a vocal performance and choral music emphasis at The Ohio State University, where she studies with the area head of the voice department, Dr. Laura Portune. In her collegiate career, Samantha has performed as the 2nd Woman in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and the Soufflé Lady in Griffin Candey’s Sweets By Kate. She is thrilled to be a part of IPIA this summer! 

shannon burr,Soprano
Harrisburg, PA. 

Shannon Kathleen Burr, Soprano, is an artist and educator currently residing in Harrisburg, PA. Known for her strong, naturally resonant voice with a vibrant color and natural depth, Shannon was most recently seen on stage in Amarillo Opera's production of "The Three Little Pigs" as Cherubino, and in WT Opera's "Die Zauberflöte" as the First Lady. After graduating with her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from West Texas A&M University in May of 22', she spent her last year as an Adjunct Instructor of Voice at WTAMU. She has now moved back to the Northeast to further pursue performance opportunities, as well as spending time with her family. 

stephanie ranallo,Mezzo-Soprano
Columbus, OH. 

Stephanie Ranallo, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a third-year student at The Ohio State University pursuing a Dual Degree in Voice Performance (BA) and Arts Management (BA). She is a mezzo-soprano and most recently studied the role of Dido in Purcell's Dido & Aeneas. She has loved spending her time at Ohio State and is so endlessly grateful for the opportunities provided to her. Outside of music, she enjoys reading and playing sand volleyball.

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