Filene Artists | Wolf Trap
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About the Filene Artist Program

Meet the 2022 Filene Artists


Kidon Choi
KIDON CHOI
Baritone
Chanae Curtis
CHANAE CURTIS
Soprano
Joseph Leppek
JOSEPH LEPPEK
Tenor
Cory McGee
CORY MCGEE
Bass
Sunwoo Park
SUNWOO PARK
Soprano

Christian Pursell
CHRISTIAN PURSELL
Bass-baritone

Alexandria Shiner
 ALEXANDRIA SHINER  
Soprano

Richard Trey Smagur
 RICHARD TREY
SMAGUR

Tenor
Robert Stahley
  ROBERT STAHLEY  
Tenor
Ann Toomey
 ANN TOOMEY  
Soprano
Tiffany Townsend
  TIFFANY TOWNSEND  
Soprano
David Weigel
 DAVID WEIGEL 
Bass-baritone

Named for Wolf Trap’s founder, Filene Artists are already on their way toward significant careers. Many alumni credit Wolf Trap Opera with preparing and propelling them down the path to success.

Unlike most residency programs, Wolf Trap Opera casts all featured and leading roles with emerging artists. Filene Artists get to experience the rigorous demands, and of course the thrill, of performing center stage in expertly produced operas.

The most dramatic evidence of WTO’s artist-driven philosophy is its audition and casting process. WTO is one of the only companies in the world to select each season’s operas after choosing singers and determining their strengths. That is to say, when 2 countertenors, a contralto, and a mezzo-soprano walk into a bar, Wolf Trap goes for Baroque! Handel’s Giulio Cesare was just right for 2014’s mix of artists. A more lush, romantic repertoire is what works for 2022’s artists.

All principal roles in Wolf Trap Opera productions are performed by the singers selected as Filene  Artists (FAs). FAs are at an interim point between academic training and full-time professional careers. They have recently finished graduate or professional degree programs from the top music schools in the country and have often participated in year-long young artist companies or summer apprenticeships. Many of them have already won prestigious awards and are on their way to significant careers. Approximately 15-20 singers are chosen annually from an initial pool of approximately 800 applicants. If you are just beginning graduate study or haven’t done any of the paid young artist residency programs, it’s probably too early to be competitive. Conversely, if it has been more than 2 years since you were last involved in an academic or full time young artist program, you have already moved beyond the reach of our program. 

Looking for audition information? Start here