Pensacola Opera’s Artists in Residence program, now in its fifteenth season, continues to provide training and performance experience for young opera professionals. In residence in Pensacola from September through March, these artists perform comprimario roles and cover principal roles in the mainstage productions, sing for numerous educational and community outreach programs, and present an annual showcase at the Pensacola Opera Center.  The Artist in Residence coach/pianist works as the music director for the educational outreach performances, in addition to serving as rehearsal pianist for mainstage productions.

In addition to numerous performance opportunities, Artists in Residence also receive regular musical coachings from Pensacola Opera’s music staff, as well as guest coaches and voice teachers, who work to prepare these artists for a successful professional career. This year, the Artists in Residence presented Maria de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla.

Auditions are held every May for the Artists in Residence Program. 

Ami Vice Soprano
Candra Savage, Mezzo Soprano
Patrick Kelley-Alvarado, Tenor
Jason Coffey, Baritone
Sarah Coffey, Stage Manager
Joshua Pepper, Pianist​

Ana Steenerson, Soprano
Dawn Pierce, Mezzo Soprano
Patrick Kelley-Alvarado, Tenor
Justin Hopkins, Baritone
Jenny Bossa, Stage Manager
Cate Doss, Music Director/Pianist

Ana Steenerson, Soprano
Dawn Pierce, Mezzo Soprano
Zechariah Baker, Tenor
Todd Van Felker, Baritone
Jarod Wilson, Stage Manager
Melissa Gilbert, Music Director

Shelia Murphy, Soprano
Alissa Anderson, Mezzo Soprano
Zechariah Baker, Tenor
Sean Damm, Baritone
Sarah Stanley, Stage Manager
Christian Crans, Music Director/Pianist

Kimberly Monzon, Soprano
Alissa Anderson, Mezzo Soprano
Nicholas Larson, Tenor
Carlos Monzon, Baritone
Jaira Jorcha, Stage Manager
Blake Riley, Music Director/Pianist

Annie Burridge, Soprano
Elise Quagliata, Mezzo Soprano
Kelly Markgraf, Tenor
Chip Cothran, Baritone

Katherine Jolly, Soprano
Kelli Geogham, Mezzo Soprano
Thomas Rowell, Tenor
Patrick Jacobs, Baritone

2017 - 2018 Artists In Residence

Evelyn Saavedra, Soprano

Evelyn returns to Pensacola Opera from Miami, FL. She recently graduated with a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music and holds her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida International University. She spent her summer at the Brevard Music Center where she was a part of the Janiec Opera Company. In her spare time, Evelyn enjoys watching movies, cooking, and going to the beach.

Camille Sherman, Mezzo Soprano

Bay Area native Camille earned her Master's Degree at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied under the tutelage of mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook. She also holds her Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance from The Boston Conservatory and was an Emerging Artist in the nationally renowned Opera Works summer program. Camille joined the Janiec Opera Company last summer, performing Hermia in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream alongside world-renowned countertenor David Daniels

Eric Dean Wassenaar, Tenor

Eric is a native of South Dakota graduated with a Master’s Degree in vocal performance at the University of Colorado Boulder. There he was a featured soloist in Leonard Berstein’s Mass. In 2010 he performed the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflote with The Opera Theatre of the Rockies and again in 2012 with The Sounds of South Dakota. Eric earned his bachelor’s degree at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As a 2013 Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at Sugar Creek Opera he sang Lenny in Of Mice and Men and Sam in Susannah.

Brent Hetherington, Baritone

Brent returns to Pensacola Opera from Gladewater, TX. He recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with his Masters of Music degree in Vocal Performance and graduated with his Bachelor of Music from East Texas Baptist University. For the past two summers, Brent was seen as a Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist with Central City Opera, as well as a Young Artist with Knoxville Opera for two seasons. In his spare time, Brent enjoys reading, fishing, hiking, and playing with his dog, Rosie.

Nola Strand, Music Director/Pianist

Canadian pianist Nola Strand comes to Pensacola by way of Texas, where she earned a Master’s Degree
in Collaborative Piano from UNT. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the
University of Victoria. Nola has appeared as pianist and music director with Denton Community Theater,
Opera Breve, UNT Opera, and Opera-on-Tap North Texas. A lover of art song, she recently participated
in Source Song Festival, playing for Julius Drake, Olivier Godin, and François Le Roux. When not making
music, Nola enjoys gardening, learning languages, and trying new foods.



Evelyn Saavedra, Soprano

Gillian Lynn Cotter, Mezzo Soprano

Frederick Schlick, Tenor (Fall)

John Riesen, Tenor (Spring)

Brent Hetherington, Baritone

Joshua Horsch, Music Director/Pianist


Allison Nicholas, Soprano

​Amanda Fink, Mezzo Soprano

​​Nicholas DeMeo, Tenor

Thaddeus Ennen, Baritone

Xavier Suarez, Music Director/Pianist

Jessica Myers, Stage Manager

Ariana Wehr, Soprano
Juliana Curcio, Spring Mezzo Soprano

Eliza Bonet, Fall Mezzo Soprano
Eamon Pereyra, Tenor
Matthew Konopacki, Baritone
Karl Anderson, Stage Manager
Nick Place, Music Director/Pianist

Anne Slovin, Soprano
Eliza Bonet, Mezzo Soprano
Eamon Pereyra, Tenor
Ted Federle, Baritone
Karl Anderson, Stage Manager
Nick Place, Music Director/Pianist

Jennifer Juilfs, Soprano
Ashley Cutright, Mezzo Soprano
Joe Shadday, Tenor
Mitchell Hutchings, Baritone
Ashleigh Dawn Kriegh-Fleming, Stage Manager
Emily Senturia, Music Director/Pianist

Jennifer Juilfs, Soprano
Samantha Korbey, Mezzo Soprano
Joseph Shadday, Tenor
Mitchell Hutchings, Baritone
Carrington Konow, Stage Manager
Dana Sadava, Music Director/Pianist

Ami Vice, Soprano
Jennifer Trombley, Mezzo Soprano
Eric Bowden, Tenor
Gabriel Preisser, Baritone
Emilia Allen, Stage Manager
Michael Sakir, Music Director/Pianist