Handorf Company Artist Program
Opera Memphis' Handorf Company Artist program is generously sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Charles Handorf.
The Opera Memphis Handorf Company Artist Program provides career building experiences to emerging singers through robust performance opportunities and personalized goals. Beyond the pursuit of artistic excellence, it seeks to provide the tools and entrepreneurial mindset necessary for citizen-artists to champion opera in the 21st Century.
Our Handorf Company Artists receive a wide variety of performance opportunities including numerous appearances during 30 Days of Opera - Opera Memphis's award-winning program that brings a month of free performances to every corner of the Mid-South; comprimario, supporting, and sometimes principal roles in our Masterworks Opera series and the Midtown Opera Festival; and numerous recital and cabaret performances at an array of venues throughout the season. In addition to performing, our Artists engage with our diverse audiences by facilitating and participating in community talks about opera and its civic value, and working extensively as part of Opera Memphis outreach and advocacy.
Many of our artists have completed their graduate studies, but at Opera Memphis we continue their education with coaching sessions from Music Director Michael Sakir and General Director Ned Canty, as well as visiting artists and coaches. They are learning not just skills and techniques for opera as an art, but also tools for opera as a profession. From topics like social media branding and public speaking, to tax-preparation and audition wardrobe consultations, these various training sessions are crafted by Opera Memphis professionals to suit each artist's needs and ensure their success.
A native of Sri Lanka, mezzo-soprano Tahanee Aluwihare made her debut with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka at the age of 17 and has since performed in Asia, Europe and North America. She made her operatic debut as Lola in Mascagni’s Cavelleria Rusticana in Germany with Opera Classica Europa.
In the 2017-2018 season, she sang Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo in Crete with Lidal North, and Beppe in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz as an alumna artist with the Longy School of music of Bard College. Venturing outside of the traditional operatic canon, she sang the role of Sinang in the Tagalog language production of Felipe de Leon’s Le Opera Noli Me Tangere with Opera Brittenica, as part of a national revival of the work. Ms. Aluwihare has also sung the roles of Zita in Gianni Schicchi, and La Badessa and La Maestra della Novizie in Suor Angelica, while covering La Zia Principessa, in a double-bill of Puccini’s works in Germany with the Berlin Opera Academy. In the summer of 2017, she covered the title role in Carmen with Opera Noord-Holland-Noord. In the same season, she premiered the roles of the Monkey Queen and Lord of the Tigers in Houston Grand Opera’s (HGOco) touring Spring 2018 production of the new work Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers by Kamala Sankaram.
She is a young artist with Opera Idaho for the 2018-2019 season, where she has covered the role of Donna Elvira in Fall 2018, and will cover Amneris in the company’s Spring 2019 production of Aida. Later in the season, she will make her debut as Carmen in City Lyric Opera’s production of Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen in New York City.
Ms. Aluwihare received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College with concentrations in Music and Anthropology, and her M.M. in Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College under the tutelage of Carol Mastrodomenico.