Riverside Lyric Opera’s Young Artist Internship program aims to enhance the education of students studying music and theater and to provide them with practical experiences. Riverside Lyric Opera uses its resources to provide extensive training for young artists and also to give them the opportunity to further develop their skills in main-stage roles, as principal artists’ covers, and in young artist concerts and productions.
For college student Dorothy Hatton, music has become a part of her identity, and the more she learns, the more she loves the art form many refer to as the universal language.
“Music has become a love and part of my soul,” said Hatton. “I sing and write music and I am learning to love all different kinds of music, from jazz to reggae to classical.”
An aspiring music therapist, Hatton is a music major earning an associate’s degree at Moreno Valley College with a future goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree and working with Alzheimer’s patients in private practice or a hospital setting.
She is also the first academic intern to work with Riverside Lyric Opera, an IRC 501(c)(3) opera company established in 2002 in Riverside. Hatton is a voice student with operatic soprano Natalie Mann who teaches applied voice and music appreciation at Moreno Valley College. Mann is also a resident artist with Riverside Lyric Opera and brought the opera company its first academic internship program with Hatton as its first intern in assistant stage management. Hatton assisted stage manager and director Gabriel R. Pazos, for RLO’s December 2014 production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” “HMS Pinafore” in May, and will assist with “Suor Angelica” in September.
Hatton also assists the opera’s librarian, Peggy Gomez, with distribution of musical scores, and aids the opera’s music director Dr. Stephen Tucker. She helps with logistical issues at opera chorus rehearsals, and is involved in the inventory and storage of props and costumes.
Hatton is joined by two voice student interns, Justin Corbett and Nick Fortin who are participating in the opera’s productions as part of their instruction with Mann.
“It’s important for voice students to get opportunities to perform as they are learning to sing,” said Mann. “Having RLO open to working with students is a great partnership that gives students much needed opportunities, and allows the company to find growing talent in the area.”
Nick Fortin, center, and Justin Corbett, far left, in "HMS Pinafore"