Juilliard Opera Presents W.A. Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote”

Mike Lawson • ChoralUncategorized • March 18, 2016

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David SternNEW YORK –– The Juilliard Opera season concludes with W.A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, conducted by alumnus David Stern and directed by Mary Birnbaum. The opera features singers from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts with the Juilliard  Orchestra. The opera had its premiere on September 30, 1791, roughly three months before Mozart died. Mozart conducted the orchestra at the performance, and librettist Emanuel Schikaneder sang the role of Papageno.

Performances take place on Tuesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 21, at 7:30pm; and Saturday, April 23, at 2:00pm in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Tickets for Juilliard Opera productions are $30, available at events.juilliard.edu or at the Juilliard Box Office. Free tickets are available for Juilliard students; non-Juilliard students with valid ID may purchase tickets for $15.

The cast of Die Zauberflöte, in order of vocal appearance, includes: Miles Mykkanen (Tamino); Alexandra Razskazoff (1st Lady); Caitlin Redding (2nd Lady); Avery Amereau (3rd Lady); Theo Hoffman (Papageno); Liv Redpath (Queen of the Night); Alexander McKissick (Monostatos); Christine Taylor Price (Pamina); Christine Oh (1st Spirit); Sophia Kaminski (2nd Spirit); Kelsey Lauritano (3rd Spirit); Thesele Kemane (Speaker); Fan Jia (1st Priest); Önay Köse (Sarastro); Matthew Swensen (2nd Priest); Kara Sainz (Old Woman/Papagena); and Samuel Levine (Armed Man).

Scenic design is by Grace Laubacher; costume design is by Moria Sine Clinton; and lighting design is by Anshuman Bhatia. Adam Cates and Sean McKnight are co-choreographers.

This performance is part of Juilliard Opera, a program dedicated to the education and training of future generations of singers at Juilliard. Juilliard Opera is supported by the vision and generous lead funding of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture and its Chairman, Dr. Haruhisa Handa.

Meet the Artists

David Stern (Conductor)

David Stern is a born communicator. Whether conducting a major symphony orchestra, Baroque opera, teaching vocal master classes or defending cultural activities, Mr. Stern keeps his musicians, students and audiences riveted by sharing his strong musical convictions. He is the founder and director of the Paris-based opera studio and period-instrument ensemble Opera Fuoco, as well as adviser of the Shanghai Baroque Festival and director of opera at the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado. In 2015, he was appointed chief conductor of Palm Beach Opera. Highlights of the 2015-16 season are opera productions with Palm Beach Opera, Drottningholm Opera Festival and Crested Butte Music Festival. With the Opera Fuoco ensemble, Mr. Stern will lead opera projects at the Shanghai Baroque Festival, Telemann Festival Magdeburg and at the Philharmonie in Paris.

Mary Birnbaum (Director)

Nominated for “Best Newcomer” at the 2015 International Opera Awards, Mary Birnbaum is an opera and theater director whose credits include the world premiere of Jeremy Denk and Steven Stucky’s The Classical Style (Carnegie Hall and the Ojai Festival), The Rape of Lucretia and Eugene Onegin (with conductor Matt Aucoin) at Juilliard, Barber of Seville and Hansel and Gretel (Houston), L’elisir d’amore (Teatro Nacional, Costa Rica), plays by Lauren Yee and Joe Tracz at New World Symphony, and assisting Stephen Wadsworth on King Roger (Santa Fe Opera) and the Ring (Seattle Opera). Upcoming, she directs La Traviata (Columbus and Ashlawn), Le Villi/La Navarraise (Bard), and Kristin Kuster/Megan Levad world premiere (Virginia Arts Festival). She teaches acting for singers at Juilliard and is associate director of the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program.

Avery Amereau (3rd Lady)

Mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau, a native of South Florida, studied at Mannes College and Juilliard, where she is currently pursuing her Artist Diploma in Opera Studies under Edith Wiens. She is the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Ms. Amereau made her operatic debut at Juilliard as Olga (Eugene Onegin), followed by the title role in The Rape of Lucretia. Ms. Amereau also fosters a love for historical performance, having performed under the batons of renowned early music conductors Helmut Rilling, William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, and Jordi Savall. Ms. Amereau has performed numerous recitals in New York, Florida, and Germany, the latter of which were broadcast on Bavarian Radio. Upcoming engagements include debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival. Ms. Amereau is represented by Markus Beam at IMG Artists.

Theo Hoffman (Papageno)

Theo Hoffman is a first-year master’s student under the tutelage of Sanford Sylvan. This season, Mr. Hoffman sang Le Directeur (Les mamelles de Tirésias) at Juilliard, debuted with the Atlanta Opera as Schaunard (La bohème) and advanced to the finals of the Met’s National Council Auditions. At Juilliard, he performed Count (Le nozze di Figaro), Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief), and covered Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia). He is a regular with New York Festival of Song, and performed Juilliard’s 2015 Vocal Arts Honors Recital. Mr. Hoffman made his professional debut with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis covering Major General (Pirates of Penzance) and Tomeš (The Kiss). Last season, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Cecilia Chorus of New York in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and joined the Portland Symphony Orchestra as Jailer (Dialogues of the Carmelites). Mr. Hoffman holds the Robert and Marion Merrill Voice Scholarship, the Dr. and Mrs. Gottfried Karl Duschak Scholarship, and the Philo Higley Scholarship.

Fan Jia (1st Priest)

Baritone Fan Jia (Jinan, China) is a second-year master’s degree candidate at Juilliard under the tutelage of Sanford Sylvan. Mr. Jia is a two-time regional winner of the Neue Stimmen Competition in Beijing, China and the first-prize winner of the 8th Youth Voice Competition. Previous credits include Le Gendarme (Les mamelles de Tirésias) at Juilliard; Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Rodrigo (Don Carlo), and Qi shu.gong (Dang de Nu.er) with Shandong Normal University; Collatinus (The Rape of Lucretia) and Peter (Hänsel und Gretel) with Manhattan School of Music; Albert (Werther) at The Chautauqua Institute; and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) with The Aspen Opera Theater Center. Mr. Jia returns to The Aspen Opera Theater Center in 2016 as Marcello (La bohème). Mr. Jia holds the Michael L. Brunetti Memorial Scholarship in Voice, the Philo Higley Scholarship, and the Risë Stevens Scholarship.

Sophia Kaminski (2nd Spirit)

Soprano Sophia Kaminski, originally from Pasadena, California, is currently a fourth-year undergraduate studying with Cynthia Hoffmann. Ms. Kaminski made her Juilliard opera debut in 2013 as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, directed by John Giampietro and conducted by Miloš Repický. While studying at the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria, she had the privilege of studying with such renowned artists as Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, and Christa Ludwig. This year, Ms. Kaminski performed the roles of La Bergère and La Chouette in Juilliard’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. Ms. Kaminski holds the Patricia Haspert Scholarship in Vocal Arts and the Bernice Cingolani Scholarship.

Thesele Kemane (Speaker)

Bass-baritone Thesele Kemane, a native of South Africa, is an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at Juilliard, studying with Edith Wiens. Mr. Kemane is the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Mr. Kemane participated in the young artist program at the Glimmerglass Festival and attended the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia where he attended masterclasses with Renata Scotto. His operatic roles include the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Don Prudenzio (Il viaggio a Reims), Procolo (Viva la mamma), Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), the title role in Don Giovanni, Lindorf (Tales of Hoffmann) and Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia). This year at Juilliard, he covered Der Tod (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) and performed Alessio (La sonnambula). Mr. Kemane has previously studied with Kamal Khan and Virginia Davids.

Önay Köse (Sarastro)

Bass Önay Köse, a native of Turkey, is a Master of Music graduate and current Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at Juilliard, studying with Robert C. White, Jr. Mr. Köse has worked with Eralp Kiyici, Nicola Giuselev, Rockwell Blake, Bonaldo Giaiotti, Neil Shicoff, and Fugen Yigitgil, among others. At the Solti Accademia, he worked with Dennis O’Neill, Daniela Dessì, Luciana Serra, and Sir Richard Bonynge. His appearances include Priest/Badger (The Cunning Little Vixen)Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin), and Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro) with Juilliard Opera, The Cappadocian (Salome) at Opera San Antonio, and the bass solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. Next season, he will début at Komische Oper Berlin and Frankfurt Opera singing leading roles. Mr. Kose holds the Ahmet Ertegun Scholarship, the Paola Novikova Memorial Scholarship in Voice, and is supported by the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Kelsey Lauritano (3rd Spirit)

Mezzo-soprano Kelsey Lauritano, from San Francisco, is a fourth-year undergraduate studying with Edith Wiens. This season, she was seen as the title role in Juilliard’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. In addition, she joined NYFOS@Juilliard for their “Harry, Hoagy, and Harold” program. This past summer, Ms. Lauritano made her professional debut as a Gerdine Young Artist with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she also covered Oronte (Richard the Lionheart). She then joined the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria, where she worked in master classes with artists including Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Helmut Deutsch, Andreas Schmidt and Rudolf Jansen. In 2012, she was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts by President Barack Obama. Ms. Lauritano holds the Philo Higley Scholarship, the Sabina and Samuel Taranow Scholarship in Voice, and the Lorraine Rita Grunin Memorial Scholarship.

Samuel Levine (Armed Man)

Samuel Levine (Boston, MA) is a first-year Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student studying with Robert C. White, Jr. Juilliard credits include Le Mari (Les mamelles de Tirésias) and NYFOS@Juilliard. Other recent highlights include Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Boston Lyric Opera (BLO), Don José (Carmen) with Savannah Voice Festival, Narraboth (Salome) with Virginia Opera, and Testo (Il Combattimento) and Noah (I Have No Stories to Tell You) with Gotham Chamber Opera. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, Yale University, and the training programs of Tanglewood Music Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and The Santa Fe Opera. Upcoming performances include Opera Philadelphia, Nashville Opera, BLO, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Bard SummerScape. Mr. Levine holds the Dr. and Mrs. Gottfried Karl Duschak Scholarship,, the Risë Stevens Scholarship, and is supported by the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Alexander McKissick (Monostatos)

Alexander McKissick, tenor, is currently pursuing his master’s degree under the tutelage of Marlena Malas. Recently, at Juilliard, Mr. McKissick performed the roles of Linfea in La Calisto, Le Journaliste in Les mamelles de Tirésias, and Ein Soldat in Der Kaiser von Atlantis. Mr. McKissick spent the past summer as a soloist in the New York Festival of Song’s Orient Point Residency in a concert of Latin American song and at the Aspen Music Festival where he performed the role of Benvolio and covered the role of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette. Mr. McKissick holds the Toulmin Scholarship.

Miles Mykkanen (Tamino)

Tenor Miles Mykkanen received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard and continues in the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program studying with Cynthia Hoffmann. Highlights of the current season include a Carnegie Hall recital debut, Bach’s Magnificat, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos and the Juilliard Honors Recital in Alice Tully Hall. He has appeared with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, American Repertory Theatre, Wolf Trap Opera Company, and New World Symphony. Mr. Mykkanen appeared on the PBS Great Performances special of Renée Fleming’s “American Voices” festival at The Kennedy Center. He was awarded the Joseph W. Polisi Prize at Juilliard for exemplifying the values of the “artist as citizen.” Mr. Mykkanen holds the Allen and Judy Brick Freedman Scholarship, the Rise Stevens Scholarship, and is supported by the Hardesty and Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Christine Oh (1st Spirit)

Soprano Christine Oh, hailing from Los Angeles, California, is a third-year undergraduate student at The Juilliard School where she studies with Marlena Malas. At Juilliard, Ms. Oh performed as one of the Due Donne in last season’s Le nozze di Figaro. She also performed in a Juilliard showcase as Papagena and sang in the Juilliard Songbook. This past summer she had the honor of covering Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante and Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème at the Chautauqua Institute. Before pursuing her bachelor’s degree Ms. Oh participated in charitable recitals and sang for the Pasadena Opera Guild upon invitation. Ms. Oh holds the Bertha Levin Scholarship, the Jennie Tourel Memorial Scholarship in Voice, and the Lester Lanin Scholarship.  

Christine Taylor Price (Pamina)

Soprano Christine Taylor Price, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a second-year master’s candidate in voice at Juilliard, where she studies with Edith Wiens. In 2016, Ms. Price was featured in the NYFOS@Juilliard program with Steven Blier. In March, she performed in the live-streamed master class with Fabio Luisi and was first-place winner of the 2016 Rocky Mountain Region, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, advancing to the New York Semi-Finals. In May, Ms. Price makes her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cecilia Chorus of New York. Ms. Price was a studio artist at Wolf Trap Opera where she performed Lucien (The Ghosts of Versailles) and covered Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro). At Juilliard, she sang Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia. Ms. Price holds the Alice Tully Scholarship, the Cecelia Entner Scholarship, and the Joseph E. and Grace W. Valentine Scholarship.

Alexandra Razskazoff (1st Lady)

Soprano Alexandra Razskazoff, from St. Paul, MN, is a second year M.M. student in voice at Juilliard, studying under Robert C. White Jr. Ms. Razskazoff received her B.M. from the Peabody Conservatory while studying with Dr. Stanley Cornett. While in Baltimore, Ms. Razskazoff portrayed Abigail Williams (The Crucible) and Blanche de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites). This summer, Ms. Razskazoff will return to the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for a second season to cover the role of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). Ms. Razskazoff will join the Minnesota Opera as a Resident Artist beginning in August 2016. Ms. Razskazoff holds the Toulmin Scholarship.

Caitlin Redding (2nd Lady)

Maryland native Caitlin Redding, mezzo-soprano, is a second year Master of Music student at Juilliard, where she studies with Edith Bers. Ms. Redding holds dual undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland in Vocal Performance and Italian literature, where she studied with mezzo-soprano Delores Ziegler and baritone Dominic Cossa. She has performed as a concert and oratorio soloist both in the U.S. and abroad under the batons of Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, and Dr. Kenneth Slowik. Recent roles include La Marchande de journaux (Les mamelles de Tirésias) and Satirino (La Calisto) with Juilliard Opera. Ms. Redding will join the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this summer as a member of the Gerdine Young Artist Program. Ms. Redding holds the Mildred H. Kellog Scholarship, the Joseph E. and Grace W. Valentine Scholarship, and the Raymond-Cryder Scholarship.

Liv Redpath (Queen of the Night)

Liv Redpath is a soprano M.M. candidate from Minneapolis, MN studying with Marlena Malas. Ms. Redpath is the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Roles at Juilliard include Thérèse (Les mamelles de Tirésias), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Diane (Iphigénie en Aulide). With Juilliard415, she portrayed the Angelo in La resurrezione under William Christie. Ms. Redpath debuted at Carnegie Hall in Poulenc’s Gloria and returned this year for Handel’s Messiah. This summer, she returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Echo (Ariadne on Naxos) and Aspen Opera Theater as Héro (Béatrice et Bénédict). Ms. Redpath is a Harvard graduate, where she received the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. Other favorite roles include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), La Fée (Cendrillon), and Cunégonde (Candide).

Kara Sainz (Papagena/Old Woman)

Mezzo-soprano Kara Sainz is a Master of Music student at Juilliard where she also received her undergraduate degree studying with Edith Bers. Ms. Sainz is a native of California and has spent her summers with the Aspen Music Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, and pianoSonoma. Performance highlights include the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and a recent appearance on Canadian Broadcast Company while on tour with Juilliard415 and conductor Nicholas McGegan. Ms. Sainz is dedicated to community outreach and sharing the arts with the next generation. Ms. Sainz holds the Bertha Melnik Scholarship, the Regina Sarfaty Rickless and Miriam Sarfaty Babin Voice Scholarship, the Leona Gordon Lowin Memorial Scholarship in Voice, and the Pfeiffenberger Memorial Scholarship.

Matthew Swensen (2nd Priest)

Tenor Matthew Swensen is a first year Master of Music student at Juilliard, studying with Robert C. White, Jr. This past January Mr. Swensen sang at Carnegie Hall as part of The Song Continues Festival. Previous performances include Lacouf/Le Fils in Les mamelles de Tirésias and Pane in La Calisto, both at Juilliard; a performance of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin in Paul Recital Hall; and a recital of Scandinavian songs at Alice Tully Hall for Juilliard’s Wednesdays at 1 concert series. This summer Mr. Swensen joins the 2016 Wolf Trap Opera Studio. Mr. Swensen holds the Constance Gleason Furcolo Scholarship, the Risë Stevens Scholarship, and the Olia and Michael Zetkin Scholarship in Voice.

Anshuman Bhatia (Lighting Designer)

Mr. Bhatia’s designs for opera, dance and theater have been seen at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Soho Rep, The Public, The Atlantic, Arena Stage in Washington D.C., The Juilliard School, HERE Arts Center, LoftOpera, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Infinity Theater Company, The University of Denver, and The New School for Drama. His associate designs have been seen at the New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Central City Opera in Colorado, Gotham Chamber Opera Washington Ballet, Roundabout Theater, and the Barbican Center. Upcoming work can be seen at Bard, Brown, La MaMa, 59e59, and Adirondack Theater Festival. M.F.A. NYU. www.bhatiadesign.com

Adam Cates (Co-Choreographer)

Adam Cates returns to Juilliard Opera where he has choreographed Ms. Birnbaum’s Eugene Onegin, The Rape of Lucretia, and two concerts for the New York Festival of Song. Recent New York credits include Cinderella & the Prince (Avery Fisher/co-choreographer), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Broadway & Tour/associate choreographer), Hansel & Gretel (Avery Fisher/associate director) and PBS Live from Lincoln Center: Richard Tucker at 100 (with Susan Graham). Regional theater credits include Maria de Buenos Aires (Anchorage Opera), The Little Mermaid (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), and Gypsy (New London Barn Playhouse). Mr. Cates is the associate choreographer for the new Ahrens & Flaherty musical Anastasia. He teaches for Broadway Dance Center and has been a guest artist for several universities, conservatories, and studios across the U.S., Canada, and Spain.  www.adamcates.com

Moria Sine Clinton (Costume Designer)

After designing La finta giardiniera (2012) and Down in the Valley (2011),  Ms. Clinton returns to Juilliard to work again with Mary Birnbaum, with whom she won the 2015 Opera America Director-Designer Showcase for Four Saints Three Acts. Her credits include The Public Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre, Atlantic Theater Co, Playwrights Realm, NAATCO, Women’s Project, Theatre for a New Audience, Dallas Theatre Company, People’s Light, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Jungle Theatre, The Zach, Syracuse Stage, Asolo Repertory, Palm Beach Opera, La Jolla Playhouse, and Yale Repertory Theatre. She was the winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Set Design (2014) and Live Design magazine’s “Young Designer to Watch” (2012). She is a graduate of The Yale School of Drama, and a member of USA829. www.moriaclinton.com

Grace Laubacher (Scenic Design)

Grace Laubacher is a New York City-based set designer for theater and opera. She is excited to be collaborating again with the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard, following The Rape of Lucretia (2015) and Eugene Onegin (2014). Recent other credits include: The Whole Truth / The Cask of Amontillado (American Modern Ensemble/Dixon Place); The Barber of Seville (Shepherd School, Rice University); and Noises Off on Broadway (as associate to Derek McLane). Ms. Laubacher was recently named a “Young Designer to Watch” by Live Design magazine (November 2015 issue), and was a winner in Opera America’s 2015 Robert L.B. Tobin Director Designer Showcase. She holds an M.A. in Performance Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London) and an A.B. from Harvard University. www.gracelaubacher.com

Sean McKnight (Co-Choreographer)

Sean McKnight made his New York City debut directing/choreographing Broadway Classics at Carnegie Hall. His work on Hot Mikado earned him Best Choreography nominations for both the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award and the Ovation! Award. Other choreographic credits include: Dance Austria! – The Big Waltz at Lincoln Center, A Chocolate Avenue Christmas at the Hershey Lodge, A Little Night Music and Pursuit of Persephone for the University of Michigan, Footloose and Thoroughly Modern Millie for ONU, and Spelling Bee for the University of Nebraska. He serves as choreographic mentor for Northwestern University’s WaaMu shows. Mr. McKnight was co-associate director/choreographer to Kathleen Marshall on the NETworks Theatricals National Tour of Anything Goes. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from the University of Michigan and currently is on the faculty of Pace University.

About the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard

Brian Zeger, Artistic Director

One of America’s most prestigious programs for educating singers, The Juilliard School’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts offers young artists programs tailored to their talents and needs. From bachelor and master of music degrees to an advanced Artist Diploma in Opera Studies, Juilliard provides frequent performance opportunities, featuring singers in its own recital halls, on Lincoln Center’s stages, and around New York City. Juilliard Opera has presented numerous premieres of new operas as well as works from the standard repertoire.

Juilliard graduates may be heard in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world; diverse alumni artists include well-known performers such as Simon Estes, Renée Fleming, Leontyne Price, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, and Shirley Verrett. Recent alumni include Paul Appleby, Sasha Cooke, Isabel Leonard, Erin Morley, and Susanna Phillips.

Pianist Brian Zeger has built a distinguished international performance career in addition to appearing as artistic administrator, educator, and radio broadcaster. In a career spanning more than two decades, Mr. Zeger has enjoyed collaborations with many of the world’s top artists and enjoys an active career as a chamber musician. Currently he is artistic director of the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School and the executive director of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.


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