Mosher Studio Artist Program


Opera Santa Barbara is seeking young artists with exceptional career potential and some professional experience for its 2017-18 Mosher Studio Artists Program. Studio Artists perform and cover roles in mainstage productions, perform in educational and outreach programs, and coach with Artistic Director Kostis Protopapas and guest artists and instructors. Weekly stipend, performance fees, travel stipend and patron-hosted housing provided. Studio Artists must have their own vehicle. Live auditions are by invitation only and will be held in Santa Barbara on October 9 and Chicago on December 3. For consideration please submit one-page resume, a website link or two video/audio clips, and your audition date preference by email to Submission should not exceed 10MB. Artists selected for a live audition will be required to pay a $25 audition fee and submit additional materials.

Opera Santa Barbara’s Mosher Studio Artist Program provides high-level performance opportunities and valuable training to some of the country’s most talented up-and-coming opera singers. These singers work with top industry directors, conductors, and coaches in masterclasses, individual coachings, and public performances including cover and mainstage role assignments. Going into only its seventh year, alumni have gone on to perform roles with companies around the world including the Metropolitan, Washington National, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Sarasota, Fort Worth, and Virginia Operas, and internationally with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Heidelberg Opera, Hong Kong Opera, Teatro Regio of Torino, Aix-en-Provence, Beijing’s Reignwood Theater and Austria’s Bregenzer Festspiele as well as appearances with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh Orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Orchestra and the Opera Orchestra of New York.

2016|2017 Mosher Studio Artist Participants


Evan Bravos


Evan Bravos has been praised for his "strong singing and acting" and marked as "a young talent to watch" (Chicago Tribune). Last season at Virginia Opera, he covered the roles of Paris/Gregorio (Roméo et Juliette). Other notable performances include Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) at Central City Opera, Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with Lyric Opera of Chicago's Outreach, Martin (Candide) at the Aspen Music Festival and Tom Joad (The Grapes of Wrath) with Northwestern University Opera Theater. Concert works: Macmillan: St. John Passion, Orff: Carmina Burana, Brahms: Requiem, Faure: Requiem and Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel. Symphony credits: Colorado, Madison, Lake Geneva, Elmhurst and Elgin Symphonies. Recent concert engagements include Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs (Wilmington, DE) and Faure: Requiem with the Colorado Symphony Chorus (Paris, Strasbourg, Munich, Summer 2016). Awards include the 2014 Apprentice Artist Award at Central City Opera and the Encouragement Award in the 2014 Metropolitan National Council Auditions. A native of St. Charles, Illinois, Evan Bravos studied at Lawrence University Conservatory (B.M.) and Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music (M.M.). He resides now in Chicago and performs regularly in and around the greater Chicago area.

Learn more about this studio artist online at:


Molly Clementz


Molly Clementz, mezzo-soprano, is returning to Opera Santa Barbara as a Mosher Studio Artist, singing Mercédès in Carmen, Lapak the Dog and the Woodpecker in The Cunning Little Vixen, Suzy in La Rondine, and covering the title role in Carmen. Molly made her 2016 debut as a Mosher Studio Artist, singing the role of The Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, and covering Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore. Born in St. Charles, Illinois, Molly studied in Germany this summer and was thrilled to participate in Opera Santa Barbara's 2015 production of Don Giovanni, and in the Amalfi Coast Music Festival's summer production in Naples, Die Zauberflote. Molly first sang with Opera Santa Barbara as the Page in Rigoletto in the fall of 2015.  Last year, in the West Coast Premier of Joel Feigin's Twelfth Night , she performed the lead role of Viola. Studying abroad in Austria, Molly was a finalist in the American Institute of Musical Studies' Meistersinger Competition in Graz. In 2013, Molly performed as the title role in Cendrillon at the University of North Texas and currently she studies with Dr. Linda Di Fiore in the MM/DMA program at University of California, Santa Barbara.


Elizabeth Kelsay


Elizabeth Kelsay, praised by Opera News for her warm, Italianate sound, studied at Westminster Choir College and Florida State University. This season she will join the roster at Opera Santa Barbara as a Mosher Studio Artist, and will be seen on the mainstage as Frasquita (Carmen), the Rooster and Bluejay (Cunning Little Vixen), and Lisette (La rondine). Miss Kelsay was previously the soprano studio artist at Tulsa Opera, where she "flounced, pouted, preened, and schemed with gusto" as Clorinda in La Cenerentola (Watts for Tulsa World), performed lead roles in contemporary operas (Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas and Mamah Cheney in Shining Brow), and covered many roles, most notably Blanche in A Streetcar named Desire, Mimì in La bohème, and Curley's Wife in the company's highly acclaimed production of Of Mice and Men. Before becoming a regular solo artist, Miss Kelsay performed with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus for three seasons where her favorite productions were Verdi's Macbeth and the Grammy winning Parsifal. While in New York, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in the title role of Puccini's Suor Angelica with New York Lyric Opera, where her "confrontation with the Principessa was the dramatic highlight of the evening" (Opera News), and for the Martina Arroyo Foundation's production of La Traviata was a "dutiful Annina, whose voice and countenance were barometers of love and loyalty" (Opera-L). Miss Kelsay is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, and a student of Patricia McCaffrey.

2016|2017 Mosher Studio Artist Coaches


Catherine Miller

Pianist/coach Catherine Miller returns to Opera Santa Barbara for her third production (Aida in 2013 and The Consul in 2014). She is a staff member of the U.C.L.A. Herb Alpert School of Music and Artistic Consultant for the Pasadena Opera Guild. Active as a recital accompanist, she has performed in Wigmore Hall in London, England; The Modavi Center in Davis, California and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  Active as a vocal competition accompanist, she has played for the Metropolitan Opera District Competition, the Zachary Vocal Competition, The Dalis Vocal Competition and Operalia. A frequent accompanist for the Opera performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, she has also worked with Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Santa Fe Opera, The Spoleto Festival, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile and for the San Diego Opera Ensemble. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, was a Fulbright Scholar at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary and holds a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School.


Christopher Turbessi

Christopher Turbessi is a freelance collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and conductor based in Houston.  For the 2015-2016 season he was an Assistant Conductor and the Musical Supervisor of HGOco at Houston Grand Opera, where he shepherded the workshops and world premiere performances of Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players, Gregory Spears' O Columbia, and David Hanlon's After the Storm, among other new works.  He also cultivated and performed on the first Veterans' Songbook recital, a project to turn the words of Houston-area veterans into song cycles by local composers.  In July 2016 he will coach and conduct for the inaugural American Opera and Musical Theater Summer Institute at Augusta University; he has also served on the staff of the Castleton Festival.  Mr. Turbessi is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, as well as young artist programs at Virginia Opera, the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and Syracuse Opera.  He was Assistant Conductor for Virginia Opera's production of Le nozze di Figaro and Chorus Master for Syracuse Opera's Madama Butterfly, Les pêcheurs de perles, and Virginia Opera's Carousel.  Mr. Turbessi holds a master of music degree in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz.

Photo by David Bazemore