Ethiopian-American baritone and Kansas City, MO native, Yonathan T. Astatke is a rising interpreter of operatic and musical theater repertoire, performing a variety of different roles within those genres. Roles include Billy Bigelow in Carousel (LSU Opera), Papageno in Die Zauberflöte (LSU Opera), Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (Mizzou Show-Me Opera), Ford in Falstaff (Mizzou Show-Me Opera), Man I in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Opera Saratoga), Demitrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mizzou Show-Me Opera), among others. Yonathan was a winner of the Arkansas District of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition in 2024, and would go on to take second place in the Midwest Region. He was a Festival Artist at Opera Saratoga in 2023, and will be a 2024 Tomita Young Artist at Finger Lakes Opera. Yonathan is a Master’s student at Louisiana State University in the studio of Robert Grayson and Paul Groves. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Yonathan is a fervent believer in the power of music as an effective means to show our humanity. He hopes to use his abilities as a way to empower and encourage others coming from backgrounds like his own to find their own creative fulfillment through musical performance despite the numerous roadblocks placed in their paths towards chasing their dreams. He believes that this work is absolutely critical in ensuring the sustainability of performing arts for future generations.