Announcing the Second Round of Holland Community Opera Fellows

May 16, 2018

We are pleased to announce that two additional resident Fellows have been selected for the Holland Community Opera Fellowship for the 2018-2019 Season: Kate Pomrenke and José Maldonado. Pomrenke and Maldonado will join first-year Fellows Jessica Johnson Brock and Chabrelle Williams, bringing the program to its full capacity of four resident Fellows for the second year of the program. All four artists will participate in the season-long residency, which has vastly expanded Opera Omaha’s ability to serve the community with professional opera programs, while honoring long-time Opera Omaha benefactor Richard D. Holland.

Kate Pomrenke
Soprano Kate Pomrenke recently completed her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Bowling Green State University and is also a graduate of Aurora University. In the spring of 2016 she won 1st place in the Graduate Division of the annual Conrad Art Song Competition and 3rd place in The Marni Nixon International Vocal Competition. Kate has performed the roles of Rose Maurrant in Street Scene, Célie in Signor Deluso, Lola in Gallantry, and as the soprano soloist in Mozart's Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Handel’s Messiah, and Hadyn’s Missa Brevis in F Major. Along with appearing in Schubert’s Mass in C Major this spring, she will also be the soprano soloist in Stanford’s Magnificat.

José Maldonado
Baritone José Luis Maldonado received his Master’s degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Maitland Peters. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, he has toured in schools all over Southern California performing "Songscapes on Tour," under the direction of Ann Gresham. At the Manhattan School of Music, he performed the role of Haraschta in Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen and the role of Kalmán Zsupán in the main stage production of Die Zigeunerbaron by Johann Strauss II in 2017. He recently has performed the roles of Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, by W.A. Mozart in March 2018 and the role of Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola in April 2018. In July he will be performing the title role of Falstaff in Falstaff, by Giuseppe Verdi for the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance Opera Festival in New York City. Mr. Maldonado is a recipient of the Opera Buffs Inc. Career grant and was recently awarded the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation.

About the Holland Community Opera Fellowship
The second year of the Holland Community Opera Fellowship will commence in August 2018, with a full cohort of four singers who will be in residence in Omaha to perform, teach and conduct service-oriented activities to benefit the community. A two-year commitment, the program’s admission is staggered so that each year consists of two singers in Year One and two singers in Year Two. The Fellowship’s community-minded, entrepreneurial artists serve as ambassadors of the company by developing relationships with community leaders, and by designing and implementing unique projects combining artistry and musicianship, leadership, advocacy, and citizenship. The Holland Community Opera Fellowship fulfills unmet needs in the community for arts experiences, education, and appreciation, and stimulates dialogue around issues that are central to the lives of Omaha’s citizens.

To help guide the Fellowship, Opera Omaha has convened a Community Artist Panel, a body of individuals that represent a cross-section of the community. The Community Artist Panelists contribute to program development and relationship building, as well as the needs-assessments and evaluation processes. Making the Fellowship a true community partnership, it is the Community Artist Panel – not the company – that makes the final determination on which artists are selected to become Fellows. Current panelists are Amanda DeBoer Bartlett / Omaha Under the Radar, Amy Mather / Omaha Public Library, Mike McGuire / ONE Omaha, Brigitte McQueen Shew / Union for Contemporary Art, Paula Wallace / Artist & Writer, Merica Whitehall / Fontenelle Forest, Roberta Wilhelm / Girls, Inc., Gwynette Williams / Collective for Youth, Nancy Williams / No More Empty Pots and Suzanne Wise / Nebraska Arts Council.

Increasing and diversifying Opera Omaha’s genuine connections to the community through the Holland Community Opera Fellowship is making the company more relevant to its citizens than ever before. Community partners for the first year of the Holland Community Opera Fellowship include: Collective for Youth, Completely Kids, Girls, Inc., Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, Kids Can Community Center, Learning Community Center of South Omaha, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals - Omaha Campus, Nelson Mandela Elementary, Ollie Webb Center, Inc., Omaha Children's Choir, Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, Omaha Public Library, Omaha South Magnet High School, Quality Living, Inc. (QLI), Siena/Francis House and UNMC Nebraska Medicine Healing Arts Program.

“I am thrilled that the first year of the Holland Community Opera Fellowship made new and impactful connections with over 7,800 individuals from all over the city,” said General Director Roger Weitz. “I look forward to the arrival of Kate and José who will uniquely and significantly expand the meaningful work of the Fellowship.”

Opera Omaha expresses gratitude to the Fred and Eve Simon Charitable Foundation for their generous support of the Holland Community Opera Fellowship.

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