* Notes *
The Adler Fellows for 2012 are likely to be announced next month, so it is time to speculate on which Merolini (pictured left in the 2011 Grand Finale, photograph by Stefan Cohen) will return to San Francisco. Tamara Sanikidze will have completed her two years as an Adler this Fall, so we will get a new collaborative pianist. As for singers, the outgoing Adlers are sopranos Leah Crocetto, Susannah Biller, and Sara Gartland; mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani; countertenor Ryan Belongie; and tenor Brian Jagde.
This year there were many fine low voices. Bass-baritones Peixin Chen and Philippe Sly were perhaps the most impressive of the 20 singers. Chen does lack in diction and in English proficiency, but his low notes are incredible. All 6 baritones had lovely voices, but Suchan Kim and Johnathan Michie were exceptional. One should, however, note that only baritone called back during the General Director Auditions was Gordon Fang. As for tenors, though they could all sing pleasantly, they all had their various weak points, and none were really up to the bar of other recent Adler tenors.
The strongest soprano was probably Suzanne Rigden, she was the most consistent week over week. However, one suspects she is already in another apprentice program, as she was the only soprano not called back during the General Director Auditions. Marina Boudart Harris had the most memorable performance in the Finale. For the mezzo-sopranos, Renée Rapier has the warmest and darkest sound. Rapier is a Domingo-Thornton Young Artist, which leaves Deborah Nansteel and Laura Krumm. Both have pretty voices, with much brightness. Nansteel's voice is more dramatic, but Krumm has the advantage of being fit.
* Tattler Guesses *
Marina Boudart Harris