Met Opera to bring 'Rising Stars Concert Series' to Purdue

September 2, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Metropolitan Opera is known for taking young artists and bringing them to prominence through the marriage of opera and theatre. The Met Opera Rising Stars Concert series will bring some of these newcomers to Purdue for a look at opera's next generation of stars at 8 p.m. on Sept. 18 in Loeb Playhouse. This performance is presented by Purdue Convocations.

The Metropolitan Opera (New York City) Rising Stars Concert Series offers an opportunity for opera fans nationwide to hear young artists beginning their careers. The concert will feature popular arias, duets, and ensembles by opera's greatest composers, as performed by the Met's next generation of voices, which will include Amanda Woodbury, Sean Panikkar, David Won, Kevin Short, and Brent Funderburk.

Amanda Woodbury, soprano

Soprano Amanda Woodbury is an alumna of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist program and has degrees from Indiana University and the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. She received a second place award and an Audience Choice award in Plácido Domingo's Operalia competition. This past summer, Woodbury performed Donna Anna in Mozart's "Don Giovanni," with the Merola Opera Program. Other recent performances include Lauretta in "Gianni Schicchi" at the Aspen Music Festival.

Sean Panikkar, tenor

Tenor Sean Panikkar, an American of Sri Lankan heritage, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2007-08 season in "Manon Lescaut." He is a member of "Forte," a new operatic tenor group combining voices from different cultures into one sound that debuted on "America's Got Talent." A former member of the Pittsburgh Opera Center, Panikkar has had past engagements with the MET Opera, with roles including Tybalt in "Roméo et Juliette" and Arturo in "Lucia di Lammermoor." 

Kevin Short, bass-baritone

Bass-baritone Kevin Short has performed with several opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Indianapolis Opera. He also enjoys an active concert schedule and has worked with orchestras around the world including the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and the New York Pops Orchestra. Short's concert repertoire includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Verdi's "Requiem" and Mendelssohn's "Elijah."

David Won, baritone

Korean-American Baritone David Won made his Seattle Opera debut in the spring of 2010 as both Ford in "Falstaff" and the Doctor in Daron Hagen's world premiere of "Amelia." He also made his Nashville Opera debut as Escamillo in "Carmen," and his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut as Guglielmo in "Così Fan Tutte." Recent engagements include Prince Yamadori in "Madama Butterfly," Dr. Malatesta in "Don Pasquale," and his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in "Don Carlo."

Brent Funderburk, piano

Pianist Brent Funderburk has partnered with world-class singers and instrumentalists in concert and on recordings. He has been broadcast on New York's WQXR radio with mezzo-soprano Naomi O'Connell and currently serves as piano fellow in the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School. Funderburk performed with O'Connell in 2013 at Purdue.

Tickets are $28 for adults and $22 for children 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Group tickets are also available to groups of 10 more. Call 765-496-1977 for more details or visit

Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Convocations offers the region performances of widely varying genres. Connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media. 

Contact: Abby Eddy, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, 765-494-9712, 

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