Kyle Tingzon

Rochester International Vocal Competition 2020-2021 Finalists Announced

The Rochester Oratorio Society announced today that 13 finalists have been selected for the Rochester International Vocal Competition.

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Danielle Beckvermit, Soprano

Soprano Danielle Beckvermit, praised for her “ Immaculate diction and shimmering soprano” (Seen and Heard International) made her Mainstage Carnegie Hall debut as the Soprano Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Cecilia Chorus of New York and was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2018. In February of 2020 she made her International Debut as a soloist with The Kurt Weill Fest in Dessau, Germany alongside Rolando Villazon. Danielle has been recognized by several other major competitions including being a Finalist in the Lotte Lenya Competiton (2019) Finalist in The Jesnsen Foundation Competition (2018) and Award winner in The George London Foundation Competition (2020). She was First prize winner in The Classical Singer Competition (2017) and The Civic Morning Musicals Competition (2017).

Danielle holds degrees from The Mannes School of Music and SUNY Fredonia. She has been most recently seen as Annina in La traviata, Anaide in the Italian Straw Hat, Madeline Audebert in Silent Night and Bianca/Gabriella and off-stage voice in La rondine with Minnesota Opera. Other notable roles include Alice in Falstaff, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte, the title role in Susannah and both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.

Danielle has attended the Chautauqua Voice Institute and has been featured with with Ashlawn Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, SongFest and Crested Butte Opera. Danielle was an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera for the summer of 2019 just completed her two year residency at Minnesota Opera

Michelle Capano, Soprano

Canadian soprano Michelle Capano is a recent graduate from the Manhattan School of Music studying with Marlena Malas. Recent credits include Cathie in Romberg’s operetta The Student Prince and Adina in a scene from Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amore at the Chautauqua Voice Program. Favorite roles include the Lay Sister in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, the Rooster in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen and the title role in Isourad’s Cendrillon with Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre.

Michele Navarro Currenti, Soprano

Michele Navarro Currenti (Mountain Lakes, NJ), soprano, is a second-year Master’s student at the University of Maryland. She will sing the roles of Dalinda (Ariodante) and the Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen) in her 2019-20 season at the Maryland Opera Studio. Her recent roles include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with the NJ Vocal Arts Collaborative, Ismail (Hajar: World Premier) with the Maryland Opera Studio, and covering the role of Rose Maurrant (Street Scene). Additionally, Currenti was the soprano soloist with the University of Maryland Bach Cantata Series (Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248), ChorSymphonica (Jesu, meine Fruede, BWV 227), and was the First Prize winner of the Camille Coloratura Awards (2019). Currenti completed a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Brain & Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. Currenti is a student of Delores Ziegler.

Kara Dugan, Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan has been praised by The New York Times for her “vocal warmth and rich character.” Recent highlights include her Los Angeles Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall debuts with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting his new work, Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with poetry by Carl Sandburg. Ms. Dugan’s work with living composers also includes performances in the roles of Amadora and Stelladora in John Musto’s opera Bastianello for Festival Napa Valley, and a final workshop performance as Mrs. Van Buren in Ricky Ian Gordon’s new opera Intimate Apparel, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater.  Additional orchestral work includes three international tours with Juilliard415 and conductors Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, and Nicholas McGegan, culminating in a performance as the Soprano II soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor. Ms. Dugan also enjoys recital work with her husband, pianist Peter Dugan. The husband and wife duo perform together at festivals throughout the United States. Their recent recital appearances include the Joye in Aiken Festival, Charles Ives Concert Series, Moab Music Festival, and Portland Chamber Music Festival. In her 2020-2021 season she will make her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. Ms. Dugan has sung with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, Boston Early Music Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, Alice Tully Hall, and Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Dugan earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School. 

Allison Gish, Mezzo-Soprano

Praised for her “full-flavored mezzo,” (Parterre Box), “substantial instrument and stage presence” (Voce di Meche) and “plushy instrument of vast range” (Oberon’s Grove), Allison Gish is a mezzo-soprano based in NYC. Recent roles include Apollo in Handel’s Terpiscore (American Bach Soloists Academy), Lucia in La gazza ladra (Teatro Nuovo), The Mother in The Consul (Bronx Opera), Lisotta in Salieri’s La cifra (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), Giunone in Cavalli’s La Calisto (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble) and Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (New Camerata Opera), a performance deemed a “knockout” (Reaction, Operawire). On the concert stage, Allison has been alto soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor (American Bach Soloists Academy, Ars Musica), Mozart’s Requiem (Ars Musica), Handel’s Messiah (Bourbon Baroque), as well as numerous solo cantatas. Last season, prior to COVID-19, she created the roles of Leonora Goosling in Felix Jarrar’s Mother Goose, Athena in Kaley Lane Eaton’s Psychographics, and was in final rehearsals for Only Remains Remain, an experimental piece by Freya Powell set to premiere at MoMAPs1 and The Green-Wood Cemetery. After the pandemic put a stop to staged performances, Allison sang in the inaugural season of Social Distance Opera (an initiative of BARN Opera) as La Frugola in Puccini’s Il tabarro. She joined the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association this summer for her first season as mezzo-soprano soloist and alto section leader. During the pandemic, Allison has kept busy by performing in virtual song salons, recreating famous paintings on Instagram, and subtitling full-length operas for this season of virtual watch parties. Allison resides in New York’s Upper West Side with her husband and two perfect orange cats.

Emily Helenbrook, Soprano

Soprano, Emily Helenbrook recently appeared as the Dew Fairy and covered Gretel in Hansel and Gretel as an Apprentice Artist with Palm Beach Opera. She has performed as L’Eternitá in La Calisto (Rice Opera Theatre), Adele in Die Fledermaus (Opera in the Ozarks), Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Eastman) and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro (Eastman). Emily attended the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester receiving undergraduate degrees in Vocal Performance and Political Science. Emily recently graduated from Rice University with a Master’s in Vocal Performance. Emily has performed numerous times with the Buffalo Philharmonic as a soloist under the direction of Maestra JoAnn Falletta. Last summer, Emily was a Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellow where she performed as the Sun and Vole in the U.S. premiere of Richard Ayres’ The Cricket Recovers with Maestro Thomas Adès and will return to Tanglewood this coming summer.

Stephen Martin, Tenor

Stephen Martin has enjoyed operatic engagements spanning throughout Italy, China, and the United States with roles including Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, Hoffmann in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Casey in Ricki Ian Gordan’s The Grapes of Wrath, Tybalt in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. Stephen has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, and was most recently a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera where he covered Ruggero in La Rondine, performed as the Kronprinz in Silent Night, created the role of Ray “Cracker” Shalk in the world premiere of Joel Puckett’s The Fix, and debuted the role of Alfredo in La Traviata, and will be performing Alfredo for Opera in the Rock in May, 2020. Stephen has twice won the East-Tennessee district Met competition, received an encouragement at the Mid-South regional competition, was a semi-finalist for the Opera Birmingham competition, Opera Index competition, and Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and won first place at the Charlotte Ruppel memorial voice competition.

Keymon Murrah, Countertenor

Keymon W. Murrah, a countertenor, native to Louisville, Kentucky, received a degree in Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky with a minor in Music Performance.

Mr. Murrah has performed with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and the Bluegrass Opera. He has performed in Die Fledermaus, Die Zauberflote, Tales of Hoffman, and La Boheme. His most notable roles are Mingo in Porgy and Bess and creating the role of the Spiritual Man in Ernst Bacon’s A Tree on the Plains and recently sung the role of Tolomeo from Handel’s “Giulio Cesare with the Red River Lyric Opera. He will be performing Asprano in Vivaldi’s Motezuma with the America Baroque Opera Co. in 2019.

In 2009 Mr. Murrah received the Second Place Undergraduate Award at The Alltech Vocal Competition. In 2010 he won the second place award at the National Association of Negro Musicians and Bellarmine’s University’s “Traditional Negro Spiritual” Voice Competition. In 2014, Mr. Murrah was a finalist in the Juanita Peterson Vocal Competition. In 2018, he won the Encouragement Award for the Metropolitan Opera Council Central District Auditions.

Mary Beth Nelson, Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-Soprano Mary Beth Nelson is a 2019 Career Bridges winner in New York City. She has been praised for singing with “virtuosic abandon… joyous flair and assured beauty of tone” (Opera Today) at The Glimmerglass Festival, where she sang the role of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Derrick Wang’s comedic opera Scalia/Ginsburg. Following her success as the operatic Supreme Court Justice, she was invited to Washington D.C. to perform in the winter Judicial Congressional Dialogue, as well as the Bipartisan Chiefs of Staff Initiative, where she sang for members of the Senate, House Legislation and their staff, and both the Supreme Court and Federal Court judiciary.

Scott Purcell, Baritone

Baritone Scott Purcell most recently made his debut with Sarasota Opera as part of the Studio Artist program. While there, he covered Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème and Mercutio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. This past summer, while a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera, he performed Figaro in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles. As a Resident Artist with Tri-Cities Opera, he performed a large variety of roles, most notably: Marcello (La bohème), Older Thompson (Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied), Ramiro (L’heure espagnole), and the Baritone in Hydrogen Jukebox. In summer 2017, Scott was a featured apprentice artist with Opera Saratoga, where he sang the role of Dauber, The Artist in Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock, which was also recorded and released by Bridge Records in 2018In summer 2016, Scott created the title role in Roscoe, a new American opera by Evan Mack, premiered by Seagle Music Colony to critical acclaim.

Anna Schubert, Soprano

Anna Schubert begins 2020 by returning to the Prototype Festival as Fury 1 in Julian Wachner’s REV 23. She debuted at Prototype last season, creating the role of Bibi in the world premier of Ellen Reid’s opera p r i s m, after a hugely successful run at LA Opera. Following a Pulitzer win and an album release, she reprises her “revelatory” performance in p r i s m this season at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo and the Kennedy Center.

In addition to modern music, Anna is an accomplished Baroque and classical singer, and has performed as the soloist in Handel’s Messiah ten times in the last five years. Other performance highlights include Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Alexander’s Feast, Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate and Mass in C, Bernstein’s Mass, Orff’s Carmina Burana, BWV 199, and roles such as Pamina in Die ZauberflöteMadame Herz in The Impresario, and Adele in Die Fledermaus.

Kyle Sanchez Tingzon, Countertenor

Kyle was a member of the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club (ACGC) from 2011 to 2015; the group that represented the Philippines in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Maribor, Slovenia in 2012.

Kyle’s curiosity towards countertenor singing started in 2012 when he joined Aleron, a Philippine male choral ensemble that has garnered numerous successes in choral competitions in Asia and Europe. He was featured as a soloist in the 41st, 42nd, and 43rd International Bamboo Organ Festival, conducted by Prof. Eudenice Palaruan and Dr. Beverly Shangkuan-Cheng. He was also featured as a soloist at the 25th Sweden Boys Choir Festival, conducted by Mr. Christopher Arceo, in Rättvik, Sweden.

Kyle is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, minor in Economics. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying under César Ulloa.

David Walton, Tenor

David Walton has made numerous appearances across the country as an up-and-coming lyric tenor. Recent roles include Count Almaviva with “requisite Rossini high notes” (The Wall Street Journal) in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at The Glimmerglass Festival and Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Minnesota Opera, where David was hailed as “a true lyric tenor with strong Italianate stylings” and credited with “the sweetest singing of the evening” (Star Tribune). As the title role in Albert Herring with Union Avenue Opera, Broadway World called David “the perfect voice for this role.” He sang Belmonte with “appealing warmth and richness” (Capital Times) in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Madison Opera.

Upcoming roles include Belmonte with Livermore Valley Opera, Tonio in La fille du régiment at Opera Carolina, Jaquino in Fidelio with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Tom in the world premiere of Rachel Peter’s Companionship at Fort Worth Opera and a return to Minnesota Opera as Happy Felsch in the world premiere of composer Joel Puckett and librettist Eric Simonson’s The Fix. and select finalists will perform in a virtual showcase to be streamed live on May 1, 2021. During the live stream, members of the public may vote on the Audience Favorite Award.

More information is available at or at (585) 473-2234.


Founded in 1945, the Rochester Oratorio Society is the region’s leading choral ensemble. The Oratorio Society has toured the world, commissioned and premiered major works and collaborated with the region’s finest vocalists, instrumentalists and ensembles. The organization produces four to six performances annually as well as the Rochester International Vocal Competition each spring. Information on the Oratorio Society and its productions may be found at or at (585) 473-2234.


The Rochester International Vocal Competition is widely regarded as an essential step to advanced careers in professional vocal performance. Proceeds from the annual gala event support the artistic and educational agenda of the Rochester Oratorio Society, which is producing the competition for the 14th year. For more information on the Rochester International Vocal Competition, visit

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