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American soprano Jessica Stecklein (The Sandman/The Dew Fairy) is a graduate of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program (2002-04). She was last seen at WNO as Essy Baker in the world premiere of Democracy: An American Comedy (2005) and in La traviata (2004). Her first stage role was in 2003 as Gilda in Rigoletto for Opera International. In 2005 she performed I puritani for Opera International in their 2005 Operatic Vocal Gala at the Music Center at Strathmore. She performed Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the National Symphony Orchestra as the 2003 winner of their Young Soloists Competition at the Kennedy Center. Other engagements with the NSO include Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges and Gounod’s Messe solennelle à Sainte Cécile. She recorded the duet “Belle nuit” from Les contes d’Hoffmann with Denyce Graves for a PBS television special and performed with her in Grendel at Lincoln Center and at LA Opera in 2007 as a Resident Artist.