Artist Bios

Gounod’s Faust

John Kun Park

A native of Los Angeles, John Kun Park is making his strides as an emerging professional who “sings with a tenor voice that floats its high notes with ease and emotional fervor.” John makes his company debut with VOPA at the beginning of 2020 as the title role in Gounod’s Faust, and recently debuted as Ismaele in West Bay Opera’s Nabucco.  He will be joining Des Moines Metro Opera for their 2020 summer season, where he will be involved in their production of Sweeney Todd, and various other concerts. John appeared as the Erste Könige (Der Liebe die Danae, R. Strauss) and covered Siegmund (Die Walküre) with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and debuted with Sarasota Opera as Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte).  He has also appeared as Don José (Carmen) with Central City Opera and Italy’s Trentino Festival.

Patrick Blackwell

Patrick Blackwell sings regularly with Los Angeles Opera. This is his fifth season with the Company. Having studied on a full Scholarship at the Juilliard School, Patrick came to Los Angeles in 2013 and debuted at LA Opera singing Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd. Other roles include; Opera Box Ghost in John Corligiano’s Ghosts of Versailles for which he won a Grammy Award) Aye in Phillip Glass Opera Aknahten, Imperial Commissioner in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Krishna in Phillip Glass’s Satyagraha and this season, Le Docteur in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande. Patrick is very excited to sing with VOPA in this Production of Gounod’s Faust.

Adrien Roberts

Adrien Roberts is excited to return to the role of Marguerite with this incredibly talented group. Adrien recently performed Zofe in Der Zwerg with Numi Opera and Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with VOPA. She made her Opera Santa Barbara debut ruling the roost as the Rooster in The Cunning Little Vixen and returned to perform Yvette in La Rondine. Adrien performed the Habanera from Carmen with the Metropolitan Master Chorale. She performs seasonally with Pacific Chorale. She performed as the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd with Santa Barbara DANCEWorks as part of the Adam Barruch Residency Program. Ms. Roberts opera roles include: Cio Cio San in Madame ButterflyMimi in La BohemeRosalinda in Die FledermausAdina in L’elisir d’amoreFrasquita  in Carmen and Violetta in La traviata.

Gabriel Manro

Gabriel Manro has been described by San Francisco Classical Voice as “a knock-down baritone.” Indeed, Manro regularly sings dramatic baritone roles such as Don Carlo di Vargas (La forza del destino), Andrei Shchelkalov (Boris Godunov), and Tonio (I Pagliacci). The multiple Grammy Award winning baritone made his professional operatic debut in Jake Heggie’s ground-breaking opera Dead Man Walking for Opera Pacific with Frederica von Stade. He went on to perform the role of Inquisitor in Opera Pacific’s Candide. Mr. Manro made his European operatic debut as Doctor Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with Corfu Opera in Greece. His extensive repertoire and engagements have also included the roles of Duke Bluebeard (Bluebeard’s Castle), Frédéric (Lakme), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Schaunard, Coline, Marcello (La bohème), Dandini, Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana), Escamillo (Carmen), and Scarpia (Tosca). Equally at home in Musical Theater, he has performed numerous roles including Curly (Oklahoma!), Tony (The Most Happy Fella), and Abner (Li’l Abner). See Mr. Manro next as Osmund in the world-premiere stage production of Siegfried Wagner’s Rainulf and Adelasia during this summer’s Bayreuth Festival in Germany.

Karin Wilcox

Karin Wilcox, mezzo-soprano, first discovered her love of classical singing as a youth growing up in Germany, which developed into a passion for opera upon starting her studies at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. There, she performed the roles of “Zweite Dame” in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, “La Ciesca” in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, “Second Witch” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and “Madame de la Haltière” in Massenet’s Cendrillon with Point Loma Opera Theatre. Karin has distinguished herself as District Winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in San Diego, and has sung with Opera Theatre of the Rockies (“Miss Bentson” Delibes’ Lakmé and “Peep-Bo” in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado), Boulder Opera (“Madame de la Haltière” in Massenet’s Cendrillon), and Denver Immersive Opera (“The Secretary” in Menotti’s The Consul). Karin is currently a participant in the Young Artist Training Program at San Diego Opera.

Anna Pflieger

Anna Pflieger, dramatic mezzo-soprano, is a vocal artist recognized for her dramatic timbre and compelling stage presence. Her interpretations are undeniably bold, moving and simply unforgettable. Always an especially intuitive performer, Ms. Pflieger also commands an exceptional vocal technical ability combined with strong dramatic intention. Recently Ms. Pflieger was a Western Region semi-finalist and encouragement award recipient for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2019, Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Young Artist Competition finalist, 2019, is an artist grant recipient of The Opera Buffs Inc., 2016, 2018 & 2019 and recipient of the Bell T. Ritchie Award for Advanced Students in Music, 2017 & 2019. Ms. Pflieger has also been invited to compete as a semi-finalist in the Metoris Voice Vocal Competition, 2020. Ms. Pflieger currently studies under the direction of Timothy León, Marilyn Zschau and Catherine Miller and is alumni to Pepperdine University and to the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy High School for the Performing Arts. 

Janina Salna

Janina Salna started dancing at the age of two in Dothan, Alabama where she performed with the Southeast Alabama Dance Company. She earned her BFA attending AMDA in New York City and Los Angeles. Her favorite roles include Shotsy’s Dancer #1 in the film Dancin’ It’s On, and Solo Contortionist in the musical Carousel. In her free time she enjoys training at her taekwondo dojo and taking stage combat classes. She thanks all of her AMDA instructors for inspiring her to work hard and persevere.

Michael Mantone

Michael Mantone is an east coast transplant who has been dancing professionally for 20 years, including the Intl. Ballet Festival and the Intl. Hustle & Salsa Competition in Miami, FL. Michael has been sought as a dancer and choreographer, traveling around the world doing concerts, adagio, commercial work and musical theatre, recently winning a Best Lead Actor in a Musical award for his portrayal of Bert in Mary Poppins. With a transition to film and television, Michael has focused more on acting and stunts while simultaneously working to publish his first children’s book,  “Lily’s Rose”. He would like to dedicate his performance to raise awareness for those affected by and fighting the devastating wildfires in Australia. It is a blessing to breathe, and to dance, for me, is to breathe.

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