Indianapolis Opera Ensemble
Indianapolis Opera’s young artist career development program provides a wide variety of performance opportunities as well as training for its resident company, the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble. In individual coaching sessions, master classes and group classes, young emerging artists are trained in musical style, interpretation, diction, role and repertoire preparation, acting, and stage combat. They are also given career guidance, including classes in résumé preparation and tax information for performing artists. The five members of the Ensemble—four singers and a coach/accompanist—represent Indianapolis Opera in many different venues. In addition to performing in educational outreach programs, they are featured in the IO Studio Series and, depending on the season, perform secondary roles and/or cover lead roles in main stage productions.
Rachel Sparrow first drew attention in 2012, winning regional and national competitions with the coloratura showpiece “Bell Song” from Lakmé. In Italy, Sparrow performed the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoorwith La Musica Lirica. Favorite Chicago area roles include: Jenny Lind inBarnum, La Fée in Cendrillon and Drusilla in L'incoronazione di Poppea. After earning her master's degree from Northwestern University in 2013, Sparrow made her Indianapolis Opera debut this fall, as the "dewily sweet" Polly in The Threepenny Opera. This promising young soprano is looking forward to her debut this summer with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre as Gretchen in The Student Prince.
Meaghan Sands is making her principal debut with the Indianapolis Opera as Wowkle in Fanciulla del West. This summer, Meaghan will serve as a festival young artist for the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater. She recently made her York Performance Hall debut as the title role in Elizabeth and the Water Troll by Randy Courts. Other new work premieres include Alice in Rick Vale’s The Vagrant, Frank Felice’s If two were ever one, Matthew Kennedy’s Ford’s Theater and Six Encounters of Mistrust and Coffee. Other operatic roles include Cendrillon in Cendrillon, Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera, and Nancy in Albert Herring. She has performed with Beef & Boards Theater in several productions, including It’s a Wonderful Life, Pinocchio, and A Christmas Carol. Meaghan was recently seen on stage with the Indianapolis Fringe Festival, Acting Up Productions, The Mainstage Theater, and was a co-writer and director for a Spirit & Place Festival production.
Joseph Diehl began his early training at Bowling Green State University. Under the tutelage of Andreas Poulimenos, Joseph was heard in roles including Ferrando in Cosi fan tuttè, Prince Charming in Cendrillion, Sam in Susannah, and the title role in Albert Herring. At Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music he was heard in the collegiate premiere of William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge and Edwin Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos. Joseph was awarded the Mendel Opera scholarship, earned a performer’s diploma, and began a Master’s degree in voice and opera, which he finished at Ball State University. BSU performance credits include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Fritz Kobus in L’amico Fritz and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. Joseph currently sings with The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s chorus and is finishing his D.A. in voice and choral conducting at Ball State University.
A native of Vernon Hills, Illinois, baritone Nathaniel Olson is actively performing recitals and concerts throughout the United States and excitedly joins the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble. Currently finishing a Master’s of Music in Voice at Indiana University, Nathaniel studies with Timothy Noble, coaches with Kevin Murphy, and is an alumnus of Wheaton College and the Franz Schubert Institute. This season’s engagements included a solo concert as part of Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series, PBS Special Series partnered with the Peoria Symphony entitled The American Songbook with Kevin Murphy airing fall 2014, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with the IU Opera Theater, Bach’s Ich habe genung and Old American Songs with the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestral, recitals in Cary, North Carolina; Bloomington, Wheaton, Tuscon with the Desert Song Festival, BrahmsRequiem with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and Old American Songs with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra.
Miyeon Choi is a native of South Korea and began studying piano at the age of three. At the age of 16, she performed a concerto with Rumania Symphony Orchestra. Miyeon has won numerous national and international piano competitions and has served as a coach, chorus master and assistant conductor at the Opera North, Opera Louisiane, University of Illinois and Louisiana State University (The Rape of Lucretia, Falstaff, Gianni Schicchi, A Little Night Music, The Magic Flute, Romeo and Juliet, Paradise Lost, Il Barbier de Sevilla, L’elisir d’amore, The Little Cunning Vixen, King and I, My Fair Lady, The Threepenny Opera and Florencia en el Amazonas). Miyeon holds degrees in Piano Performance (B.M.), Collaborative Piano (M.M.) and Vocal Performance (M.M.). She studied choral/wind/orchestral conducting at University of Illinois. This spring, Miyeon will complete her doctorate degree at UIUC. Next summer, she will appear both at Aspen Music Festival as an opera coach and with Opera On the Avalon (Canada) as a soprano and collaborative pianist.