The Young Artist Program (YAP), is a part of Madame Rose Palmai Tenser Developing Artist Program and provides area college and university students with an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge of professional opera. Auditions, at times announced by Mobile Opera, are free. Selection is made by Mobile Opera’s General Director and Chorus Master. YAP students perform in the Mobile Opera Chorus or in minor roles, working with professional singers and design artists. “YAPPERS” also perform in gala and recital settings, Night of Song, and educational venues, allowing students a chance to hone their skills, seek advice, learn how an opera is produced, and obtain exposure and experience. Mobile Opera provides a cash scholarship to the participants of $250 per semester. YAPPERS are expected to participate in various programs of Mobile Opera consistent with their academic schedule. Two to four students are selected for the Young Artist Program, one of whom is designated the Susan B. Gardberg Artist.
The Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser Developing Artist Program is designed to foster the next generation of opera singers by providing a “bridge” from the university and conservatory world to the professional stage. Selected by audition, these talented young singers help us to reach parts of the community we were unable to reach in the past. Our education and outreach programs have a dynamic edge and our artistic vision is accessible and meaningful. Designed to bring opera to the broader community, the program is the cornerstone of Mobile Opera’s education and outreach programming.
Music is one of the hardest ways to make a living, but also one of the most personally rewarding endeavors humans can undertake. These young artists came to an appreciation of their art by exposure. This is a great opportunity for them to start their musical journey at the same time they introduce yet more young people to the possibilities of a life enjoying classical singing as a singer, a listener, or both. It is an opportunity for Mobile Opera and its audiences to hear new talent who may well become the stars of tomorrow.
Joseph O’Shea is a sophomore at The University of South Alabama. He studies with Dr. Thomas Rowell, earning his degree in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance. Mr. O’Shea has performed in several operas including The Gondoliers (in which he performed his first role as Antonio), Dead Man Walking, and as the Sergeant in La bohѐme. In addition to opera, Mr. O’Shea has regularly participated in community musical theater performances with Chickasaw Civic Theater. He is grateful for the support and opportunities provided by Mobile Opera and wishes to continue his involvement, expanding to new opportunities in other areas of the world. He plans to continue performing with Mobile Opera for the remainder of his education at The University of South Alabama. Mr. O’Shea is the Mobile Opera Ronnie Kole Scholar for 2018- 2019.
Megan Zuhowski is a senior at the University of South Alabama, majoring in music with a concentration in vocal performance, and studying with Dr. Thomas Rowell. She has been involved with USA Opera Theatre since 2015 and Mobile Opera since 2016. Ms. Zuhowski has enjoyed roles such as The Baroness in Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne, Le prima cercatrice in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Caslida in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. She has recently participated in Si Parla, Si Canta; a summer program focused on young singers’ Italian language and music skills, held at Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania, Italy. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Ms. Zuhowski plans to pursue a master degree in vocal performance. She is grateful for the love and support she has received from Mobile Opera over the past three years and would like to thank them for this opportunity. Ms. Zuhowski would also like to thank Dr. Thomas Rowell for his unwavering support of her musical education. Ms. Zuhowski is the Mobile Opera Susan B. Gardberg Scholar for 2018-2019.