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.
Praised as “explosively eloquent,” (Memphis Flyer) and beholding “fervent, commanding vocal prowess,” (San Diego Story), French-American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Doche (rhymes with posh) is increasingly recognized for her “darkly shaded voice.” During the 2018/2019 season Stephanie was a Handorf Company Artist with Opera Memphis where she sang the roles of Toledo (The Falling & the Rising, professional premiere), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), and Cousin Hebe (H.M.S. Pinafore). Critically acclaimed for her fioratura singing, Stephanie performed her “triumphant” portrayal of the title role in La Cenerentola with both Opéra Louisiane and Opera NEO in 2019. For the 2020/2021 season Stephanie is slated to appear with Florida Grand Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury, and Finger Lakes Opera, as well as her role debut as Bizet’s iconic femme fatale, Carmen.