Fletcher Fellows

The Fletcher Institute is proud to welcome its class for 2014-15

Master of Music

  • Megan Cleaveland, soprano
  • Lindsay Mecher, mezzo-soprano
  • Simon Petersson, tenor

 Professional Artist Certificate

  • Matthew Arnold, baritone
  • Joshua Conyers, baritone
  • Jaclyn Surso, soprano


Matthew Arnold, tenor

Hailing from New Jersey, tenor Matthew Arnold is excited to begin his studies as a tenor at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute this coming fall with Dr. Marilyn Taylor. Winner of the Verdi Award at the 2014 Orpheus National Vocal Competition, his operatic credits include most recently, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with UNCG Opera Theatre, Papageno (cover) in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Roanoke, Jake Wallace (cover) in La Fanciulla del West with the Castleton Festival, Tony and Prof. Lavendergas (Help, Help the Globolinks!) with Greensboro Opera, Amonasro (cover) in Aida with North Carolina Opera, Gabriel von Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette), Vicar Gedge (Albert Herring), and the title role in Gianni Schicchi. [Read More]

Joshua Conyers, baritone

“Conyers poured forth a deliciously honeyed baritone that would seduce anyone. If his characterization was more hearty than suave, he still effortlessly summoned up a laser-beam look that communicated hidden danger and volatility” (Joanne Sydney Lessner- Opera News) as Don Giovanni at the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance Program. This past summer, Mr. Conyers covered Walt Whitman in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar and the Marquis d’Obigny in Verdi’s La traviata at Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Conyers sang Valentin in Charles Gounod’s Faust, Marcello in Giacomo Puccini’s La boheme, Germont in Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata and the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff at the Jacobs School of Music.  [Read More]

 Megan Cleaveland, soprano

Megan Ann Cleaveland, soprano, is a second year fellow with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) pursuing a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Dr. Marilyn Taylor. For the institute she has performed Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Serpetta in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. She completed her Bachelor of Music at UNCSA where she sang Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio with the Opera Workshop. [Read More]

Lindsay Mecher, mezzo-soprano

Lindsay Mecher, mezzo-soprano, graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from North Park University in her native Chicago, studying under Dr. Philip Kraus. In the North Park University Opera Scenes program, Lindsay has performed the roles of Elizabeth Proctor from Robert Ward’s The Crucible, Olga from Eugene Onegin, Mistress Quickly from Verdi’s Falstaff, Bianca from The Rape of Lucretia, Meg from Little Women, Dorabella from Così fan tutte, Rodrigo from Handel’s Rodrigo and Rosina from The Barber of Seville. Full operatic roles include the Third Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and The Mistress of the Novices and The Abbess in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. [Read More]

Simon Petersson, tenor

Tenor, Simon Petersson is an opera singer/musical artist and composer from Sweden.  Simon has always loved being on stage and enjoys telling stories and expressing emotions with the human voice. His interest in opera and musicals began when he had the opportunity to perform in local musical productions in his hometown of Karlskrona, Sweden. When Simon turned nineteen, his interest in opera grew when he began listening to the great Swedish tenors, Jussi Björling and Nicolai Gedda. After one year of studying classical singing and opera in the north of Sweden at Härnösands Folk high school, Simon continued his studies at the opera school in Gothenburg. [Read More]

 Jaclyn Surso, soprano

Jaclyn Michelle Surso is pursuing a Professional Artist Certificate fellowship with The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem.   While being an A.J. Fletcher fellow, she recently finished the role of Sandrina in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. During this performance, “Jaclyn Surso lacked nothing in vocal power and agility, conveying Violante/Sandrina’s emotional turmoil,” (William Thomas Walker of CVNC). In the fall she gave a successful performance of Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann.   [Read more…]