Five young singers from around the country have been named to the 1995-96 Utah Opera Ensemble.
A revision of the company's Young Artists Program, the 10-month training program will give the five singers performing, coaching and master-class opportunities available only through a professional company. The five are:- Bass-baritone Frank Basile of Alexandria, Va. A graduate of Indiana University, he has appeared in chorus roles with Washington Opera and Augsburg Opera and performed as a soloist and member of the Air Force Singing Sergeants.
- Soprano Karen Early Evans of Salt Lake City. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has appeared with Utah Opera in chorus roles and preview extracts from the opera "Dreamkeepers" and is a finalist in this year's Pavarotti International Voice Competition and Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
- Mezzo-soprano Robin Murphy of Texas. A graduate of Baylor University and the College Conservatory of Music - Cincinnati, she has sung with Cincinnati Opera, Sarasota Opera, Liederkranz Opera Theater and the New York Opera Project.
- Tenor Steven Paul Spears of Louisville, Ky. He has performed with Utah Festival Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Theater of St. Louis and Cincinnati Opera.
- Baritone Marc Weagraff of Saegertown, Pa. He holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is a two-time recipient of the Boris Goldovsky Prize.
Since its initiation in 1992, Utah Opera's Young Artists Program has involved 25 singers in intensive three-month sessions of coaching, classwork and performance. Ensemble participants will be integrated with earlier young artists in the company's school and community programs as well as chorus and comprimario roles onstage.