On Saturday, October 20, 2011, Chapman University Conservatory of Music graduates Ben Bliss and Ashley Faatoalia were finalists in the Western Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera. Of the 12 finalists, Ben and Ashley placed in the top five contenders!
Benjamin Bliss ’09, a student of Professor Patrick Goeser while at Chapman, is an artist in the Domingo/Thornton Young Artist Program of the Los Angeles Opera. During this paid, two-to-three-year program, Ben will have the opportunity to work with Placido Domingo, Maestro James Conlon, and members of the Los Angeles Opera music staff. This season at LA Opera, Ben has already covered the lead role of Ferrando in
ì fan tutte
, and will sing Benvolio in
éo et Juliette
and Parpignol in
Later in the season, Ben will be covering the lead role of Albert in
, a role he performed at Chapman University during his undergraduate studies. Ben recently made his NBC primetime debut with a guest appearance on the new sitcom
where he serenaded the lead characters Whitney and Alex.
Ashley Faatoalia ’06, a student of Dr. Peter Atherton while at Chapman, is a versatile and inspirational singer. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ashley has been singing for as long as he can remember. He has been actively writing music and performing throughout the Southern California area. Whether it’s opera, pop, soul or gospel, Ashley strives to take his listeners on a journey through the power of song. Ashley’s most recent engagements include:
Porgy and Bess
with Seattle Opera,
with The Los Angeles Philharmonic,
The Festival Play of Daniel
with Los Angeles Opera, and debut performances with San Francisco Opera as The Crab Man in
Porgy and Bess
and with San Francisco Lyric Opera as Don Ottavio in
. Ashley recently released his debut recording, “Steppin’ Out”, which features a collection of jazz standards and popular vocal tunes.