Opera Philadelphia

Residency Program

Welcome a residency from Opera Philadelphia to your school and see how the magic of opera can leave a lasting impact on your students.  

Spanning over the course of ten weeks, the Residency Program energizes students around the performing artsspecifically opera. Students have the opportunity to learn from Opera Philadelphia’s engaging Teaching Artists as they develop important skills. This cross-curricular offering draws connections to history, literature, and moreStudents are ultimately empowered to create, design, and perform an original opera of their own. 

With a focus on social and emotional learning (SEL), the program allows students to grow in an inclusive environmentIn addition to academic skillsstudents develop their abilities to understand emotions, show empathy, maintain positive relationships, and more as they work through an opera with their classmates. 

Beyond developing a greater appreciation for the arts, participating teachers have found that the program helps to foster creativity, increase literacy, and enhance critical thinking. Students of the program continue to speak of their experiences today!  

 

“I have seen so much growth in my students as a result of this experience. I continue to reference this program in the work we do in the classroom today. I would highly recommend this program to all schools.”  

Celina Velez, Pan American Charter School

                            Teaching Artists

Nick Harmantzis
Nick Harmantzis
Elise Mark
Elise Mark
Amy Spencer
Amy Spencer
Karina Sweeney
Karina Sweeney
D’quan Tyson
D’quan Tyson

Nick Harmantzis

Nick is an active performer and educator in the Philadelphia Area. He has taught K-8 music general music in diverse communities and settings in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Philadelphia. Along with classroom teaching, Nick maintains a private studio of voice and piano students and currently music directs productions at the Upper Main Line YMCA. As a classically trained tenor, Nick performed numerous operatic roles ranging from “Rinuccio” in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi to “Apollo” in Monteverdi's L'orfeo. Nicholas has an affinity for Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and has spent three summers in Ithaca, New York performing with the Cornell Savoyards. In the summer of 2015, he attended the OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program in Los Angeles, CA. Nick currently attends The University of the Arts and is the recipient of the Presidential Fellowship and will receive his M.A. in Music Education in the Spring of 2020. Nick holds a M.M. from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a B.M. in Voice Performance from Ithaca College. He is a native of Harrisburg, PA.

 

Elise Mark

Elise Mark, described as a "lively presence” with a "clear, expressive lyric soprano voice," was recently engaged in New York as Annina in Amore Opera’s La Traviata, and Kitty Bell in Utopia Opera’s production of Martha. Past seasons include roles such as Adelaide (The Enchanted Pig) with Steamboat Opera, Notary’s Wife (Intermezzo) with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Adele (Die Fledermaus) with PA Lyric Opera, and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Opera Libera. Ms. Mark has had the privilege of working as a Young Artist with CoOPERAtive at Westminster Choir College, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and Steamboat Opera. Ms. Mark is also an active music teacher, maintaining a private studio, directing community musicals and concerts, and holding various classes and workshops throughout the year. Ms. Mark is passionate about creating community through music, and helping others find inspiration through art as both audience members and performers.

  

Amy Spencer

Amy received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to serving in the classroom as a Teaching Artist for Opera Philadelphia since 2014, she has created curriculum, taught master classes, and authored content for Opera Philadelphia’s popular Sounds of Learning books. Amy has been a member of the chorus of Opera Philadelphia since 2007, where she recently appeared in Lucia di Lammermoor, and will appear in La bohème this spring. Through her private teaching studio, Amy has partnered to serve students through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and has coached young artists at the special request of Pharrell Williams. She has appeared with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Kentucky Opera Rudd Young Artists, New Texas Music Works, Austrian American Mozart Academy, Colorado Lyric Theatre Festival. In the Philadelphia area, Amy has appeared with Bristol Riverside Theatre, the Philadelphia Singers, Children’s Opera Box, and in solo cabaret performances.

 

Karina Sweeney

Karina Sweeney is a mezzo-soprano from Annapolis, Maryland. Ms. Sweeney has been a member of the Opera Philadelphia chorus since 2013, and a Teaching Artist with Sounds of Learning since 2016. Her roles include Marilyn Monroe/Canny in the world premiere of ANDY: A Popera (Opera Philadelphia and Seattle Symphony), Mrs. Nordstrom (A Little Night Music), Siebel (Faust), Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Hippolyta (A Midsummer’s Night Dream), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Flora (La Traviata), and Marcellina and Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro). Recent concert engagements include the Soloist in the Duruflé Requiem, Soloist in the Bach Mass in B minor, Soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and other choral concert engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra Symphonic Voices and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Towson University, and a Masters of Music from West Virginia University.

 

D’quan Tyson

D’quan Tyson is a freelance performing and teaching artist hailing from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. In 2016, he graduated with his Bachelors of Music; Vocal Performance degree from Ithaca College and has actively been pursuing outlets to express his passion for music both within the opera and commercial realm. Through Opera Philadelphia’s Sounds of Learning program, D’quan has had the opportunity to go into a myriad of classrooms to engage students in the multi-dimensional art form that is opera! While his background is not necessarily in education, he has found it immensely rewarding getting to work with students and seeing their growth and retention from class to class. He is in his second year as a teaching artist and hopes to actively start auditioning and performing with local professional choirs in the near future. He strives to continuously incorporate Andrea Bocelli’s idea that “All this is well worth it because opera offers such deep sensations that they will remain in a heart for a lifetime.”

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