Benjamin Bliss Makes MET Opera Debut

Also a member of Los Angeles Opera’s Young Artist Program, tenor Benjamin Bliss made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Vogelgesang in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” with Maestro Levine in the pit, in November and December 2014. In April 2014, Benjamin entered the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition in New York City, where he won the top prize – the Rose Braverman Trust Prize. The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition is regarded as a major American competition, requiring the highest standard of vocal performance. Since 1974, this fine organization has given awards to hundreds of young singers, many of whom have since risen to international stardom.


Master Classes by David Roode

In 2013, grant recipient and trombonist David Roode returned to Memphis from London to hold a series of free master classes at Memphis area high schools and colleges. IFS assisted with a $2,000 grant. David, accompanied by his wife, pianist Mika Komuro, found the students to be especially curious about life outside the USA. David states that moving abroad was a life-changing experience for him, and he is passionate about sharing the benefits of international exchange.