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.

Elliott Deasy


Elliott Deasy grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma the son of Mike and Lisa Deasy. He came from a musical family; his grandfather being a guitarist in the Nashville Hall of Fame and father being a jazz saxophonist. He was in his first choir at the age of 10 in the Tulsa Children’s Chorus and eventually with the Tulsa Youth Opera. The first operatic work he was exposed to was Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten in which he played the role of Sem. In 2002 he performed with the Tulsa Opera Chorus in Rigoletto. In the same year he graduated from high school and left for college on scholarship to the University of Tulsa. After taking a brief hiatus from college, he returned to finish his degree in 2009 graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Music. For the next 3 years Elliott studied with Peter Strummer honing his craft. He attended the Land of Enchantment Opera Institute in New Mexico and studied with excellent coaches and teachers such as Steven Crawford, Julian Reed and Alan Glassman. In 2013 when he moved to New Jersey to begin auditioning for professional engagements and studying with Frank Lopardo. He then sang with Iride Martines with the Jovannes Cantantes in Costa Rica in the San Jose premier of Ariadne auf Naxos. He then sang Basilio in The Bronx Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro and then spent the 2015-1016 season singing as the resident artist tenor for Tulsa Opera. He now travels to Santa Barbara as the Mosher Artist Tenor with Opera 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.


Byron Mayes


American baritone Byron Mayes is a student at the University of California-Santa Barbara in pursuit of both a Masters of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal performance under the guidance of Dr. Linda Di Fiore. He received his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance  from Columbus State University where he studied with Professor Earl Coleman. While attending Columbus State, he performed the role of Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Bill Bobstay in Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, and Melchior in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. Following graduation, Byron returned to his hometown of Houston, TX where he performed with the Houston Grand Opera chorus, participating in HGO's productions of Verdi's Otello, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. He has since been apart of Opera Santa Barbara's chorus performing in their productions of Bizet's Carmen and Janá?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen.

2016|2017 Mosher Studio Artist Coaches

Sandra Nam

Having performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia and the United States as a solo pianist, Sandra Nam’s recent performances have been at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angles performing Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto and at the University of Music in Vienna, Austria in cooperation with Vienna’s Classical Radio Station Ö1.

Ms. Nam has gained a reputation as a collaborative pianist and performs regularly with instrumental and vocal artists, choirs and in chamber music groups. Opera Santa Barbara marks her first collaboration with an opera company. Additionally, Ms. Nam is an avid supporter of young musicians and launched a concert series that provides opportunities for aspiring musicians under the age of 21 to perform frequently in public.

Born in Los Angeles, Ms. Nam relocated to Vienna, Austria at the age of 10 to pursue her musical studies. Fluent in four languages, she holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria and Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France. Upon earning an additional Master’s degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, Ms. Nam was awarded the Ensemble Award and Outstanding Graduate Departmental Award and graduated Pi Kappa Lambda. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate and a Teaching Assistant of the Keyboard Department at USC.

Photo by David Bazemore