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Bravo Nights is a performance series we began in 2018 to introduce opera to newcomers in a friendly and accessible way. We invite emerging and seasoned local opera talent to perform beloved opera arias and musical theatre selections.

Bravo Nights are appreciated by both seasoned opera fans and newcomers who enjoy the casual atmosphere and the chance to see top local talent. You can show your appreciation of our performers by contributing to our virtual tip jar.

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Meet the Finger Lakes Opera Tomita Young Artists who performed at our live Bravo Nights event on October 17, 2021.

Victoria Thomasch, mezzo

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Victoria Thomasch recently performed the title role in Cendrillon with the Miami Music Festival this summer and is excited to return to FLO after singing the role of Cat in Pinocchio as a Tomita Young Artist last season. In 2021, she placed first in her division for the North International Music, third for the Internationaler Online Gesangswettbewerb Basel, and is also a current Finalist for the Lyra New York International Online Competition. This fall, Victoria will produce and sing in her 5th Annual Recital for Refugees gala in NYC to raise money for the refugee crisis.

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John Allen Nelson, baritone

Known for his “deliciously hearty sound,” baritone Irish-American John Allen Nelson has appeared with companies throughout the United States, including Opera Santa Barbara, New York City Opera, Utah Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, the Minnesota Opera, and more. An active interpreter of concert works, Nelson has sung the solos in John Rutter’s Mass of the Children with Masterworks Chorale (Boston) and has been the featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Hyperion Singers and the Heartland Symphony and Fauré’s Requiem with Masterworks Chorale and as a special guest artist at his alma mater, St. John’s University. He completed his residency at Boston University Opera Institute in 2016, holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from St. John’s University in his native Minnesota.

Rose Kearin, soprano

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Soprano Rose Kearin received her Masters in Performance and Literature from The EastmanSchool of Music in 2020. There she studied with ProfessorAnthony Dean Griffey. Kearin was also a Young Artist with Finger Lakes Opera in the 2019-20 season. While at Eastman she performed

Eleonora in Prima la Musica, e poi le parole by Salieri and covered Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, as well as being the alternate for the 2019 Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition. 2018 saw her performing with the Eastman School of Music Symphony Orchestra and covering roles on the main stage of the Eastman Theater. In July of 2017, Kearin was a Young Artist at Opera in the Ozarks. Her roles include La Contessa d’Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen, Violante/Sandrina in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera and Flaminia in Il Mondo della Luna by Haydn. Kearin currently lives in Houston, Texas where she teaches private voice.

Robert H. Riordan, baritone

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Robert H. Riordan, a Wisconsin native, is a versatile performer who has sung on operatic stages across the United States and Europe. He is at home on grand mainstages as well as intimate cabaret venues. In the 2020/21 season Robert has performed the Wolf/Dr. Dulcamara in Finger Lakes Opera’s recorded production of Pinocchio and he also sang in the chorus of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. He was selected as a Tomita Young Artist with Finger Lakes Opera for the summer of 2020 and will return in the same capacity in the summer of 2021 to sing Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Wolfgang Bigbad in Three Little Pigs. In the previous season he appeared as the Sergeant in Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s La Bohème as well as Norton in La cambiale di matrimonio and Sid in Albert Herring, both with the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In the summer of 2019, he covered the roles of Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and Carl-Magnus in Sondheim's A Little Night Music with the Aspen Music Festival. Some of Robert's other credits include Frank in Die Fledermaus, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Yamadori and the Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly, and Top in the Bulgarian premiere of The Tender Land. He is currently the 2019/21 Baritone Apprentice Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

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Julie Covach (Musical Director and pianist) is well known to Rochester audiences as a pianist, conductor and educator. She previously was musical director for Finger Lakes' Opera's presentation of Jack and the Beanstalk (2019). Julie taught public school vocal music for many years and is now an adjunct instructor at the University of Rochester, where she directs the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. She also teaches and serves as collaborative pianist in the musical theatre program at Nazareth College. She holds a master’s degree in keyboard instruments from the University of Michigan as well as undergraduate degrees in choral music education and psychology. Some of her most recent music directing credits include Smokey Joe's Cafe, Guys and Dolls, Little Women (Blackfriars Theatre), Vinegar Tom, Legally Blonde (Nazareth College), and Cinderella (Pittsford Musicals).

Julie Covach, pianist

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2022 Bravo Nights calendar at the Little Cafe to be announced soon!

Many past Bravo Nights performances are available on our YouTube channel.
Hope to see you at our future Bravo Nights events!