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2019 Winners

Edmond Rodriguez

Edmond Rodriguez is a senior at the USC Thornton School of Music.  He is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Arts and is currently in the studio of international tenor, Thomas Michael Allen.  Edmond has performed several operetta roles and loves performing in multiple genres.  He is an alumni of the Young Arts Foundation in Popular Voice.  At USC, he has previously sung with the Chamber Singers choir under the direction of Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe.  Along with the Chamber Singers, he sang with the Rolling Stones during their Desert Trip tour in 2016.  Edmond is also a scholarship recipient of the Latino Alumni Association of USC.  He has participated in several conducting recitals and oratorio works on campus.  His first role at USC was as Ruggiero in Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero through the Chamber Opera of USC.  He has performed scenes by Sondheim, Hoiby, Britten and Mozart in the Opera Scenes program.  On the main stage theater, he performed the lyric tenor role in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco in 2018 and performed a lead role as the Fisherman in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and as La Rainette in Ravel’s L’Enfant et Les Sortilegas last fall.  This spring, he will be playing the roles of Basilio and Don Curzio in USC’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart.  Just recently, Edmond was chosen to be on the Auxiliary List for the LA Master Chorale and debuted his first performance with the professional ensemble in March.  Edmond plans to continue singing and is excited to keep music active in his life and career.

Marlaina Owens

Marlaina Owens, soprano, is a second year MFA student at UC Irvine.  She received her B.A. in Music from Loyola Marymount University in 2016.  At the end of her undergraduate career, in addition to presenting her senior recital, she had many successes such as being one of the students chosen to sing at her undergraduate graduation for both Bill and Hilary Clinton, among other honors.  Other than vocal training at the university, she has also participated in programs such as Opera Lucca, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and Patti and Allan Herbert Frost School of Music at Salzburg.  Since graduation, she has performed as the Soprano Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Los Angeles Inner City Youth Orchestra and she has been a guest soloist with the UCI Symphony.  She is a member of the prestigious Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers where she has performed with Kathleen Battle.  Previous opera roles include Zweite Dame (Mozart’s Die Zauberflote), Mrs. Gibbs (Ned Rorem’s Our Town), Nella (Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi), and the title role in Suor Angelica (Puccini).  In 2019, she will be Rosalinda in UCI’s Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus and present her master’s recital, with a focus solely on repertoire by African American composers.

Liana Wopschall

Christy Lee Peterson (soprano) is a Salt Lake City native. She graduated with her Vocal Performance B.A. from Westminster College in 2015 where she was honored as the Top Graduate and has since been traveling and performing internationally. She is a current student in the studio of Dr. Linda DiFiore and she is beyond thrilled to be starting her graduate studies this fall at University of California Santa Barbara. Some of Christy’s previous roles include Susanna from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Clara Johnson in Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza, Lisette from Puccini’s La Rondine, and the title role from Handel’s Semele.