Jordan Amato is a classical soprano from Long Island, New York. At Peabody Institute and Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, she is pursuing a BM in Voice Performance and a BS in Neuroscience.
Ms. Amato’s journey with voice began in her early years, performing in musical theater productions in Long Island, NY and at Stagedoor Manor Theatre Camp in Loch Sheldrake, NY where she performed roles such as Ursula in Little Mermaid and Widow Carney in Oliver!. Aside from musical theater, she performed in many regional choirs, and was accepted into the NYSSMA All State Treble Ensemble. Additionally, she placed first in the Long Island Duck’s Anthem Idol competition, and was subsequently invited to perform the National Anthem at Citi Field in 2018, and again in 2019.
Under the tutelage of Marianna Benedict, the owner of Amadeus Opera Company, Ms. Amato auditioned for Mannes Preparatory College in Manhattan in 2019. Here, she further developed her new love for classical voice studying with Judith Bettina. Also during this time, she performed in a masterclass with Daniel Neer, and placed first in the Soprano division of the American Fine Arts Competition at Weill Recital Hall.
Ms. Amato performed in an online adaptation of Hansel and Gretel in Bienen School of Music’s Intensive Vocal Performance Seminar in 2020, having just been accepted into Peabody Institute. She is currently in her 3rd year of Hopkins’ 5-year dual degree program where she studies with Ah Young Hong and is coached by Lester Green. In her free time, she works in a research lab studying contextually-expressed knowledge of an auditory task in mouse models of Alzheimer’s Disease.
A Filipino mezzo-soprano with a warm and inviting tone, Leisha Casimiro is an emerging singer from Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Masters in Voice and Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins. She received her B.A. from Whitman College in Voice Performance and during that time has gained accolades in the district and regional level for NATS, placing first in 2019 and 2021 (districts) then third in 2022 (regional). She also debuted as Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel for Whitman’s 2021 fall opera production. Casimiro takes joy in collaborating with other musicians’ new works, finding it an integral part of her artistic process. In 2019, she premiered Whitman student composer Kirk Lange’s Calypso: Variations on an Original Aria. She was also a featured soloist in Koby Haigerty’s debut of cabaret-style “It All Goes Tumblin’ Down.”
At Peabody, Casimiro continues to grow and explore musically. During the spring of 2023 she collaborated with colleagues in Ah Young Hong’s studio alongside Peabody composers for a unique performance in Hopkins’ Bloomberg Center, with the new music inspired by images from NASA. Later in the semester, she took part in the production of Don Giovanni as a chorus member. Casimiro is currently working on her role as Taller Sister in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up for Peabody’s double-bill fall production. As a second-year master’s student, Leisha continues to study with Ah Young Hong and looks forward to more collaborations and opportunities.
Chinese-American soprano Cynthia Hu strives to uplift Asian voices in opera and advocate for greater representation in the industry while striving for broader equity.
Growing up as a first-generation American, Ms. Hu has always carried a strong appreciation and connection with her culture. In 2018, she was selected to represent the United States in the China International Water Cube Competition. After months of rigorous preparation, she traveled to Beijing to compete and simultaneously fell in love with classical singing. She soon realized that the diversity that she saw on the stages in China did not translate to what she saw when she went back to her home country. This experience has since inspired her to find new opportunities to establish herself as an Asian voice in the opera industry.
Ms. Hu’s most recent operatic engagement was in the Vienna Summer Music Festival’s production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Originally performed in 1786, director Jennifer Davison put a twist on the classic, portraying the opera as a game where the setting centered around Team Susanna facing off against Team Count. Ms. Hu sang the role of Barbarina as well as Susanna.
In the same program, Ms. Hu sang the role of Venus as a part of the world premiere of PLUTO, an opera written by Michael Polo. Throughout this program, she performed in masterclasses with tenor Adam Diegel and maestro Gregory Buchalter.
Ms. Hu is currently a junior pursuing a BM in Vocal Performance at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, where she studies with Ah Young Hong and is coached by Eileen Cornett. She is the proud recipient of the Claire and Allen Jensen Endowed Scholarship.
Sooyeon Kim is a Soprano who tries to sing with strong passion and will. Born in South Korea, she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in February 2022 at Yonsei University and is currently pursuing for her Master of Music degree at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in the studio of Ah Young Hong.
When she was a sophomore at Yonsei University, unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, which led to her not having many opportunities to get on stage, but fortunately, she was an assistant to Dulcamara in her freshman year at Opera ‘L’elisir D’amore’ hosted by Yonsei University. She also performed a soprano solo at Symphony Choir while attending Yonsei University. While she was attending Yonsei University, she completed her Opera Acting and Opera Movement classes with very good grades. In the Opera class, she played the role of Countess and successfully completed a small performance with Baritone (Taewan Kim) as Count and Soprano (Suzy Choi) as Susanna.
She also visited Italy in 2017 and participated in the VIII Mask Festival to take a master class from Gian Luca Pasolini, a famous Italian tenor. She has been on stage twice during her time in the master class and has received much praise. She also attended Music Camp, hosted by Suwon University in 2016, 2017. She is also a performer for the Kim & Lee organization since 2017 and has performed in a few concerts hosted by Kim & Lee. In 2018, she also performed at the Young Artist Concert hosted by Young-san Art Hall, singing arias from many operas and art songs from Germany and Italy.
Sunghyun Lee is a lyrical coloratura soprano with a warm and shining tone. She wants to make the world warmer with her voice and believes in the great power that music gives to the world as it motivates people to live with content.
As a soloist, Sunghyun has performed on stages across multiple countries and continents. She performed in the highly competitive Annual Concert “A Night of Song” twice during her undergraduate studies. She successfully completed “Salon Konzert Recital” in Wien Korea Kultur Haus, Austria and Korea in 2018. She also worked with contemporary composers in 2020 to present contemporary art songs on the theme of “The Raven” at The Third Yeoro Concert Series. In 2022, as an artist belonging to the Art Dream Company, “The First Art Dream Rising Star Concert” was completed at the Sejong Art Center with great response from the audience. In each performance, she gives deep thought and consideration to musical communication with the audience.
Throughout her singing career, Sunghyun has won several awards. She won third place at the 2018 SaGye Music Competition and third place at the 2019 Haneum Music Concours. Also, in the same year, she won second place without first place at The Association of Korean Arts Assessment Concours and completed a great performance at the winner’s concert. In 2020, she won second place at the Seoul Orchestra Competition. Even at a young age, she was awarded a scholarship after being selected as an “Excellent Practical Performer.”
She graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Kookmin University with a focus on Voice in South Korea. Later, she started a Master of Music degree at Hanyang University but soon moved to the United States to pursue a degree at the prestigious Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. She is currently studying under Professor Ah Young Hong to fulfill the requirements of a Master of Music degree in voice.
Soprano Sophia Carmella Sorrentino is a first-year master’s student studying vocal performance under Professor Ah Young Hong at the Peabody Conservatory. During her undergraduate experience at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, she performed as the role of Adela in La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Griffin Candey, the role of Poppea in the production of L’incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi, the Solo Voice in Family Adventures Volume 2 by Josh Schmidt and Royce Vavrek, and the role of Enyo in We’ve Got Our Eye On You by Nkeiru Okoye and David Cote.
Sophia’s vocal versatility has allowed her to excel in other genres as well. For the last two years, she has sung, written, and produced 80’s synthwave music with her partner, Daniel Schuester. Under the name Lavallette, they have released many singles, their first album, American Summer, and are in the midst of working on their second album.
Sophia competed in the Ohio NATS competition her junior year of undergrad and won third place for the Third Year Treble Voice division. She also qualified and competed in the Baldwin Wallace Hakola Competition as well. Sophia served on the vocal performance student council, the conservatory’s student council, she was awarded membership in the Dayton C. Miller Society and is a proud alumnus of the Mu Phi Musicianship and Academic Fraternity and the Alpha Phi Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Sophia is grateful to her family and friends for their constant support of her passion as she continues her journey at the Peabody Conservatory.
Kayleigh Sprouse, soprano, is a first year Master of Music student studying Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Peabody Conservatory. Her undergraduate studies took place at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia in which she studied under the vocal instruction of Dr. Rachel Holland. Kayleigh received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with minors in Theater and Leadership Studies.
During her undergraduate education, she actively performed in the university and the surrounding area. Most notably, she performed as Pamina in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” with Maestro Nathan Matthews, Beth Moss in Aaron Copland’s “The Tender Land,” and originated the role of Avrémel in the world premiere of the opera “The Trial of God.” Kayleigh also performed as a chorus member and soloist in the Virginia Opera Chorus under the baton of Rob Fisher. During her sophomore year, Kayleigh won Christopher Newport University’s concerto/aria competition and performed Handel’s “Piangero, la sorte mia” alongside the CNU Orchestra. Outside of opera, she enjoyed spending much of her time as soprano and soloist in Christopher Newport University’s Chamber Choir and University Chorale under Dr. John Irving. She also worked as a soprano selection leader and soloist at the historic Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Virginia under Rebecca Davy. While at Bruton Parish, Kayleigh performed Bach’s “Magnificat in D Major,” “Christ lag in Todesbanden,” Dan Locklair’s “Requiem,” and the soprano solo in Purcell’s “O, sing unto the Lord.” Most recently, she was accepted into the Orvieto Musica: Art of Song music festival in Orvieto, Italy and received daily coachings from Dr. Evan Jones.
Kayleigh is currently the Vocal Ensemble Intern under Dr. Beth Willer and is very excited to be performing as a soprano with Peabody’s NEXT Ensemble. She is also studying voice with Ah Young Hong and is working to further her research in pedagogy and apply it to her own future studio.
Natalie Turner, Mezzo-Soprano, is a first-year Vocal Performance Master’s student under the guidance of Ah Young Hong at the Peabody Institute of Music at John Hopkins University. Natalie attended the State University of New York at Purchase College for her undergraduate degree, majoring in Vocal Performance and minoring in the French Language. While at SUNY Purchase, Natalie performed the roles of Mother Jeanne in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, La Badessa and Sour Zelatrice in Puccini’s Sour Angelica, and an alto chorus member in both Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Natalie also participated in several scene performances while at SUNY Purchase, performing “à deux genoux” from Massenet’s Cendrillon in the role of Prince Charmant, performing “Mir ist so Wunderbar” from Beethoven’s Fidelio as Marzelline, and Scene XII Trio from Handel’s Orlando as Medoro. Natalie also enjoyed singing in the Purchase Student Choir and was a soloist in several performances including the Alto Soloist for Charpentier’s Requiem and performing Elliott Carter’s “The Rose Family.”
Since graduating from SUNY Purchase, Natalie continued to follow her passion for Opera. In 2022, Natalie performed the role of Ottone in the Chicago Summer Opera’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea. In 2023, Natalie performed the role of Cherubino in the Saluzzo (Italy) Opera Academy’s Production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
Natalie is looking forward to performing the role of Hansel in Nicholas Hersh’s new Jazz arrangement of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Peabody Institute and Annapolis Opera Company.
Bryce Elliot Zimmerman, countertenor, is a native of Atlanta, GA. A lover of music, Bryce strives to live by a personal mantra he penned: “Music and all forms of art is like Cupid’s arrow. You pull back, release, and let the art speak for itself. Specifically you recognize the rhythms, and the work. Now you have to shoot the arrow into the audience’s heart.”
Bryce began his musical career when he joined The Atlanta Boys Choir (ABC) in the 5th grade. While a member of ABC, he toured Prague, The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Austria, Vancouver, and British Columbia. When visiting the Terezin concentration camp (Czech Republic), ABC gave a performance of “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Charles Davidson, with Bryce singing the role of the Shema. Recently, he performed before the Governor of Georgia during the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.
Apart from a choral career, Bryce performs as a soloist at many different churches throughout Georgia and North Carolina, including the All Saints Episcopal Church, where he was a choral scholar. Moreover, Bryce has twice been an artist in residence under the tutelage of Metropolitan Opera soprano, Indra Thomas.
Aside from his career in singing, Bryce enjoys playing jazz and old standards on the piano, as well as gardening with his mother.
Bryce is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Music (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD), under the mentorship, and guidance of Ah Young Hong.
Learn more about Ah Young Hong in her bio.