Welcome to the 2018-2019 Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists

Washington National Opera (WNO) has announced the roster of emerging talent selected for the 17th season of its Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program (DCYAP), which begins in August 2018!

Program Director Robert Ainsley leads the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, which offers intensive training and mentorship in technique, repertoire, language, movement, finance management, and career development as well as extraordinary performance opportunities on the WNO mainstage and around Washington, D.C., for these rising stars.


The 2018–2019 Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists are:

Joshua Blue, Aurora, Illinois (tenor, first season)

Eliza Bonet, Atlanta, Georgia (mezzo-soprano, second season)

Joshua Conyers, The Bronx, New York (baritone, first season)

Arnold Livingston Geis, Chehalis, Washington (tenor, second season)

Hannah Meredith Hagerty, Washington, D.C. (mezzo-soprano, first season)

Christopher Koelzer, Sunnyvale, California (pianist/coach, second season)

Samson McCrady, Tucson, Arizona (baritone, first season)

Alexander McKissick, Madison, Connecticut (tenor, second season)

Thomas Morris, Atlanta, Georgia (pianist/coach, first season)

Marlen Nahhas, Houston, Texas (soprano, first season)

Alexandra Nowakowski, Chicago, Illinois (soprano, first season)

Alexandria Shiner, Waterford, Michigan (soprano, second season)

Samuel Weiser, Princeton Junction, New Jersey (bass, first season)


The DCYAP hosts a faculty of leading master teachers and coaches, which will be led in 2018-2019 by returning Artist-in-Residence Alan Held, the acclaimed bass-baritone known to D.C. audiences as Wotan during the highly-acclaimed 2015–16 WNO Ring Cycle, who will also star in WNO’s Tosca next season.

Through the year-long training and preparation program, the Young Artists will star in a special performance of Verdi’s La traviata, and perform in A Concert of Comic Masterpieces in the Kennedy Center Opera House; participate in several world premiere productions as part of WNO’s annual American Opera Initiative Festival in January 2019, including Taking Up Serpents, the new opera by the acclaimed team of composer Kamala Sankaram and librettist Jerre Dye; and appear in a masterclass series, recitals, and concerts in prestigious venues and communities across the region.

Stay tuned for performance dates and Young Artist updates throughout the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program’s 2018-2019 season.