Participants 2015

Jordan McClellan, Soprano
Seattle, WA. Sponsors: Jon MacLeod & Jayne Hulsey, Dr. & Mrs. Paul Flint,  Mrs. & Mrs. Austin Hills

McClellan, Jordan headshot

On a recent audition tour in Europe, Jordan got consistent  feedback that she was probably a soprano, not a mezzo.  So she has spent the past 6 months working on her high notes and learning the soprano repertoire.

“My first opera experience in Europe was in 2010 when my father was on business in Milan.  I was in college and I begged him to take me along so we could watch an opera at La Scala. It was Rigoletto, and I can still remember being so overwhelmed by the beauty of the theater that I choked up.  I knew I was in for something special. That was five years ago. Now when I think of what I want to do with my m usic as a singer I always think of that performance.  There is something truly magical about making music in place where it all began. My dream is to sing opera and concerts in the venues they were originally meant to be performed in, and to feel that inspiration that the composers and original artists must have felt when they were singing and playing this music for the first time.  I hope one day to inspire and move people in the same way I felt that night at La Scala in Italy.”

Read Jordan’s full story here…

Elena Egorenkova, Soprano
Moscow, Russia

Elena is anEgorenkova_Elena1 experienced coloratura soprano from Moscow, having sung in operas by Mozart, Donizetti and others. She is eager to learn more about the US and European opera scene, and possibly to audition for agents in Austria, Germany & Switzerland. Her summer at TOP will help her polish her repertoire so she is ready to take off on a European audition tour.


Glenn Healy, Bass
San Francisco, CA. Sponsors: Mr. & Mrs. Austin Hills, Mr. & Mrs Robert Ryan, Dr. & Mrs. George Barton, Ms. Jessena Finn

“The momeGlennHealyHeadshotnt I heard Luciano Pavarotti sing “Nessun dorma” as a nine year-old, I knew that I wanted to do what Luciano had done – I wanted to sing. Once my voice started to change, I realized that I was a bass, not a tenor. My dream of singing Calàf flew out the window but a more realistic dream of a life as a professional opera singer began to take flight.

To experience language and music in its country of origin as a young singer is priceless, and the prospect of attending the Tyrolean Opera Program in Austria is exciting to me because of the ways it will enhance my career. I am confident I will benefit immeasurably from TOP and become a far greater performer and asset to my generation of vocal artists.”

Samira Plummer, Soprano
Washington, DC

Plummer_blue_croppedSamira is an award-winning student at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington DC. Only 17 years old, she recently sang the role of Clara in Porgy and Bess. She is attending TOP to get a solid foundation as she prepares for her dream of becoming an opera singer.



Sylvia Twine, Mezzo-Soprano
Washington, DC


Sylvia is a voice teacher and choir leader at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. She leads the award-winning vocal ensemble, Sophisticated Ladies. She spends so much time helping others, that she is looking forward to a summer at TOP, where she will have the opportunity to concentrate on her own voice and her own artistry for a change.


Chan Mi Jean, Pianist
Madison, WI. Sponsor: The International Festival Society


“I want to attend TOP Opera to gain more working experience with professional
musicians who can help and guide me. I am especially looking forward to enhancing my
diction through this program. Studying German diction or language in the US doesn’t compare to being in a German-speaking country. I am very much looking forward to the amazing summer I will be having at TOP!”

Barbara Tschugmell, Mezzo-Soprano
Salzburg, Austria


Barbara Tschugmell, a regular participant at TOP since 2006, is a multi-talented artist, teacher and agent. As a member of the Salzburg Bach Choir, she is often in the opera chorus at the Salzburg Festival. “I spend all my time helping others” she says. “I never get enough time to work on my own vocal studies – except at TOP Opera. Coming to TOP is for ME”


Rita Becker, Soprano
Vienna, Austria


…has just graduated from St. Ursula Academy in her native Vienna. At 18, she is already an award-winning singer. This summer will be her first chance to add acting and dance to her singing. She is excited to learn more about the operatic world and to prepare herself for a Conservatory education.


Evgeniya Lapukhina, Pianist
Moscow, Russia

Lopukhina, Evgeniya Headshot

The talented pianist Evgeniya Lopukhina has performed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Azerbaijan and on many stages around Russia. She regularly accompanies leading singers of the Bolshoi Opera and other companies, as well as playing for master classes led by such renowned artists as Christa Ludwig (Germany), Elena Obraztsova (Russia), Elizabeth Bice-Cavalli (Austria) and Vincent Le Texier (France). Evgeniya is on the accompanying staff of the Moscow Conservatory, and is coming to TOP to broaden her horizons, work with our renowned faculty and to improve her English.

Michael Stafford, Pianist
Norman, OK. The International Festival Society


“I love working with vocalists because of the breath and expressiveness inherent in the music, and the different languages. Frankly, singers also make for great people-watching, and can be quite fun to work with. I am looking forward to the Tyrolean Opera Program, and am most anxious to learn more about the art of Opera, which is relatively new to me.

It will be so beneficial to my career to have training in vocal coaching and to immerse myself in the German language. I love the opportunity to meet people from different places, which I find very important as a musician and a global citizen.”

Danielle Smith, Soprano
Kennerdell, PA


Professional horse trainer and Tae Kwon Do black belt, Danielle never intended to be a singer until an injury forced her to stop training or riding for a few months. She started singing to pass the time, and got hooked.

“Singing is part of my soul and I am eternally thankful to my teachers for helping me discover that passion and talent was hiding inside me. I am grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities that continue to present themselves and I look forward to what lies ahead!” 

Read Danielle’s Story here…