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.
Lauded for his "big, heroic voice" and "powerful emotions," tenor Dane Suarez is in high demand across the country. Mr. Suarez was a 2014 National Semi-Finalist of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Suarez made his John F. Kennedy Center debut in 2015 with Washington National Opera as Ely Parker in Philip Glass's Appomattox. Other notable engagements include Mr. Suarez's New York City Opera debut in his "completely winning" performance as Joe in La fanciulla del West and his highly successful stint as resident tenor with Opera San José where he debuted the roles of Alfredo in La traviata, Ruggero in La rondine, Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Greenhorn in Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick, and the tortured Canio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Dane's 2019-2020 season included his return to West Bay Opera in his debut as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth. The season also anticipated his principal debut as Rodolfo in Fort Worth Opera's La bohème, his debut as the titular character in Gounod's Faust with Opera Neo, and his Festival Opera debut as Don José in Carmen (all have been postponed due to COVID-19.)