The Holland Community Opera Fellowship is the centerpiece of Opera Omaha’s strategic vision for the future.

In today's world, the arts play a pivotal role in shaping our communities and the quality of life of our citizens. This impact increasingly crosses the boundaries from traditional arts programming to intersect with lives in all sectors of business and commerce, where creativity is a driving force in workplace culture, productivity, and wellness. Opera Omaha’s Holland Community Opera Fellowship offers the opportunity to bring opera into new environments that illustrate and promote the value of creativity in both the arts and non-arts sectors.

Mission

The Holland Community Opera Fellowship brings community-minded, entrepreneurial artists to live and work in Omaha, to serve as an ambassador of the company by developing relationships with community leaders, and to design and implement unique projects combining artistry and musicianship, leadership, advocacy, and citizenship. The Community Artist Fellows:

ENGAGE in meaningful dialogue with the community on issues and ideas of social relevance.

FULFILL unmet needs in the community for arts experiences, education, and appreciation.

EMPOWER communities through music and culture.

CREATE reciprocal relationships between Opera Omaha and different sectors and neighborhoods benefiting residents and communities.

EXPAND Opera Omaha’s civic impact and relevancy to the community.

DIVERSIFY and grow Opera Omaha’s impact through performance and social interactions.

Fellowship Overview

The Holland Community Opera Fellowship consists of four national artists who will be in residence in Omaha to perform, teach, and create and sustain social value through community-based programming and service opportunities. As a two-year commitment with a staggered start, each year there are two new artists and two in their second year.

Opera Omaha works with community partners to create collaborative programming that meets partner and community needs. Each project and program is different as it co-designed with partners to help meet their goals.

Some of these projects include: Masterclasses with individuals from the Ollie Webb Center, supporting the Meerkat Melodies Choir at Nelson Mandela Elementary, Creativity Workshops at the Siena/Francis House, Healing Arts Concerts at the Buffet Cancer Center, supporting Gotta Be Me Heartlight Choir’s Original Rock Opera, just to name a few.

All our community partners are listed on our Community Partnership Page

Community Partners

2017-2019 Fellows

Jessica Johnson Brock

Mezzo-soprano Jessica Johnson Brock, a Holland Community Opera Fellow in her second year, performed the role of Polinesso in Ariodante for Opera Omaha’s inaugural ONE Festival and also performed in a concert with composer Missy Mazzoli and the 2017 Opera Outdoors Concert. Ms. Johnson Brock has worked with companies such as Aspen Opera Center, Commonwealth Lyric Theater, MetroWest Opera, Opera Providence, Odyssey Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Greensboro Opera, performing roles such as Nettie/Aunt Bea in A Wedding, Mamka in Boris Godunov, Jo in Little Women, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillon, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Juno/Ino in Semele, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. Upcoming performances include the role of Widow in The Handmaid’s Tale at Boston Lyric Opera, where she has recently been identified as an Emerging Artist.

Chabrelle Williams

Soprano Chabrelle Williams is a two-time District winner of the New York Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a second year Holland Community Opera Fellow. Ms. Williams performed the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Elle in La voix humaine, La Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro and the soprano solo in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony at the Shepherd School of Music. Other recent engagements include her debut at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Cousin Blanche and Sadie Griffith in the world premiere of Champion by Terence Blanchard; Marenka in The Bartered Bride, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Pamina in The Magic Flute at Oberlin Conservatory; Annie in Porgy and Bess with Cincinnati Opera, and the soprano solos in Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate and Schubert's Mass in G at CityMusic Cleveland.

2018-2020 Fellows

José Maldonado

Baritone José Luis Maldonado, hailing from Los Angeles, California, is currently a first year Holland Community Opera Fellow. Mr. Maldonado has performed Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Baron Mirko Zeta in The Merry Widow, il Marito in G.C. Menotti’s Amelia Goes to the Ball, and the role of Mr. JJ Peachum in The Threepenny Opera at Cal State Fullerton. At the Manhattan School of Music, he performed as Haraschta in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Kalmán Zsupán in Die Zigeunerbaron, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, and Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. In July 2018, he performed the title role in Falstaff 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 in Los Angeles, California, as well as the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation in New York City.

Kate Pomrenke

First year Holland Community Opera Fellow Kate Pomrenke received her M.M. in Vocal Performance at Bowling Green State University and is also a graduate of Aurora University. She participated in Toledo Opera Chorus, Toledo Opera on Tap, the Rosary Cathedral Choir, and the Black Swamp Opera Ensemble. In 2016, she won 1st place in the Graduate Division of the Conrad Art Song Competition and 3rd place in The Marni Nixon International Vocal Competition. Ms. Pomrenke has performed with BGSU Opera and Aurora University Opera, in roles such as Rose Maurrant in Street Scene, Célie in Signor Deluso, and Lola in Gallantry. She also performed with BGSU Choral Society, Defiance College Choral Union, Heidelberg University, and Saint James (Grosse Ile, MI) as a featured soloist in a variety of sacred works, including Mozart's Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Missa Brevis in F Major, Schubert’s Mass in C Major, and Stanford’s Magnificat.

Community Artist Panel

This panel represents a cross-section of the community including organizations, businesses, and community groups with whom Opera Omaha forms new and reciprocal partnerships. With this panel, residents from neighborhoods across the greater Omaha metro area have a voice in choosing who and how artists interact with their diverse districts and constituent groups.

2018-2019 Community Artist Panel

Colleen Heavican, UNMC Nebraska Medicine Healing Arts
Mike McGuire, ONEOmaha
Rachel Morgan, Nebraska Arts Council
Paige Reitz, Union for Contemporary Art
Paula Wallace, Artist/Hot Shops
Merica Whitehall, Fontenelle Forest
Roberta Wilhelm, Girls, Inc.
Gwyn Williams, Collective for Youth
Nancy Williams, No More Empty Pots

Interested in becoming a Holland Community Opera Fellow?

Opera Omaha is currently accepting applications for 2019-2021 Holland Community Opera Fellows.

Learn How to Apply

Holland Community Opera Fellowship Sponsors