Presenters and Judges

May 24-27: Masterclasses, Presentations, Competitions, and Exhibiting
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Convention Presenters & Judges

Kirsten Arnold

Kirsten Arnold is most known for her portrayal of the title role of SALOME, which she has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Hong Kong, and with Florida Grand Opera. Her Carnegie Hall debut came on two days’ notice when she sang the fiendishly difficult role of Maria in Richard Strauss’ FRIEDENSTAG with the American Symphony Orchestra. She first joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in 2016 as a cover of Isolde in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE and rejoined the Metropolitan Opera roster for DIE WALKÜRE.

Highlights for 2019-23 include a return to the Metropolitan Opera as cover for Marie in WOZZECK, a return to Odyssey Opera to sing the title role in Strauss’ DIE ÄGYPTISCHE HELENA, creating a new opera with White Snake Projects in Boston and a new feature opera film FREYDIS AND GUDRID. In concert, she performed scenes from the title role of LORELEY by Catalani for Teatro Grattacielo, GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG for both the Vienna Summer Music Festival and the University of Houston, and bel canto and verismo concerts with Maestra Eve QuelerOpera at FlorhamOpera Orlando, and Permian Basin Opera.  She returned as Guest Soloist for the International Summer Opera Festival of Morelia and Shreveport Opera’s 25th Anniversary Gala. Later she made both her house and role debut with Indianapolis Opera as Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI and with Opera Orlando as Marchesa del Poggio in UN GIORNO DI REGNO. She most recently sang Leonore in FIDELIO with St. Petersburg Opera, selections from AIDA, LA WALLY, and THE MERRY WIDOW with Orchestra Ogden at Weber State University, and selections from DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN and NABUCCO at the University of Maryland.

Chris Cano, Washington National Opera

Christopher Cano is the Director of the Cafritz Young Artists (CYA) and American Opera Initiative (AOI). He is a recitalist, orchestra soloist, and collaborative pianist who has performed throughout the U.S., Mexico, Israel, Europe, and Asia. Cano is a sought-after coach for leading singers, having prepared vocalists for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, and orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Berlin Philharmonic among others.

As a collaborative artist, he has played in the master classes of Marilyn Horne at Carnegie Hall, Licia Albanese, Fedora Barbieri, Anna Moffo, Lauren Flannigan, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, and Susanne Mentzer. As a studio pianist, Cano worked with some of the great artists and teachers of singing including Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Luciano Pavarotti, Marni Nixon, Patricia McCaffrey, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Rita Shane, and Diana Soviero.

Beginning in the 2017–2018 season, Cano was appointed as the Head of Music and Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio of Arizona Opera and promoted to the position of Director of Artistic Operations in the spring of 2022.

Martin Fisher

Martin Fisher is an American actor, singer, and martial artist originally from Camden, New Jersey. Martin most recently appeared as Alfred P. Doolittle in the Broadway National Tour of My Fair Lady, directed by Bartlett Sher. He is the first Black actor in history to portray Doolittle. Upcoming include a recurring role on Season 3 of American Rust (Amazon Freevee), Special Ops: Lioness (Paramount+) and Sinking Spring (AppleTV+). Other Television credits include Extrapolations (AppleTV+), a recurring role in Season 1 of Wu-Tang: An American Saga (HULU), New Amsterdam (NBC), The Blacklist (NBC), Blue Bloods (CBS) and Monsterland (HULU). He studied theater at the Black Arts Intensive founded by Stephen McKinley Henderson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, Michele Shay and Sonia Sanchez at the Stella Adler School of Acting in New York.

Though focused on his acting career, Martin maintains a busy concert schedule, appearing in Carmen at Syracuse Opera and as soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Massapequa Philaharmonic. Career highlights include concert debuts at The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. He can be heard on the album Barrelhouse to Broadway, which won a Grammy Award for Best Producer.