Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artists Fill Fuller Lodge

Santa Fe Opera apprentices Rocky Sellers of Memphis, Tenn., and Kate Tombaugh of Streator, Ill., performed to a stand room crowd at Fuller Lodge Sunday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The 57th season for the Santa Fe Opera opened Friday, June 28 and two apprentices performed Sunday afternoon to a full house at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos.

Bass Rocky Sellers and Mezzo-Soprano Kate Tombaugh were accompanied by Kirt Pavitt on piano.

Tombaugh recently made her solo debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall upon winning the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition. She is currently singing for her second time as Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera this summer 2013 where she is covering “Flora” in Verdi’s La Traviata and “Amelie” in Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein.

Sellers is from Memphis, Tenn., and closed out the 2012 season with Opera Saratoga. He joined Concert Opera of Philadelphia in its 2013 production of Un Ballo in Maschera as Sam. Sellers is pursuing his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music.

The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program for Singers is internationally recognized as one of the finest programs of its type. On average each year, approximately 40 apprentice singers are chosen from a competitive applicant pool. Those who are selected will participate in a rigorous program of training and performances, which includes supporting roles in mainstage operas, starring in two evenings of apprentice scenes, vocal coachings, auditions and many other activities.

The Apprentice Singer Program has been helping young singers establish their careers since 1957. The 2012-2013 season will see former Santa Fe apprentices in principal roles at The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Opéra National de Paris, San Francisco Opera and other prominent companies.

Visit The Guilds of the Santa Fe Opera, Inc., here.

Los Alamos Opera Guild President Stephanie Sydoriak, center left, and Past President Mary Cunningham with Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artists Kate Tombaugh and Rocky Sellers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

From left, Santa Fe Opera Music Associate Kirt Pavitt, Director of Apprentice Singer Program David Holloway and Volunteer Liaison Kyle Gray. Carol A. Clark/

The crowd chats with Santa Fe Opera apprentices and staff following Sunday’s performance. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


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