|Nicolas Aliaga, baritone, has performed many roles in the Bay Area since moving here five years ago. He has performed the role of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro for West Marin Music Festival and Pocket Opera. Also, for Pocket Opera, he has performed among others, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Calchas in La Belle Helene, Zuniga in Carmen, Crespel in TheTales of Hoffmann and Gazella in Lucrezia Borgia. Mr. Aliaga has also played the role of Maxmillian in Townsend Opera’s Candide, as well as Samuel in the Lamplighters production of The Pirates of Penzance. Mr. Aliaga recently spent six months singing in Switzerland, touring with a quartet. Three years ago he was seen as Maestro Spinelloccio, the hippie doctor in Oakland Lyric Opera’s production of Gianni Schicchi and the role of Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas.
Christine Antenbring, mezzo-soprano, was born into a musical family in Winnipeg, Canada, and is hailed by the international press for her magnificent voice, superb timbre and intense temperament. She has receivd ovations for her performances in song recitals and festivals in Canada, the United States, Italy and Belgium as well as high acclaim for her performances of Ottavia in Montevrdi’s Il Coronazione di Poppea, Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. She has performed the Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Haendel’s Messiah, Jeanne D’Arc au Bucher (Honegger), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler), Les nuits d’ete (Berlioz) and the Durufle Requiem. Other concert works included in her repertoire are Das Lied von der Erde and Kindertotenlieder of Mahler; and Ravel’s Sheherazade. Miss Antenbring worked with special needs children while studying Economics at the University of Winnipeg when she first began to sing. After graduating with honors she went on to the Performer Diploma Program at Indiana University, under the direction of renowned soprano Virginia Zeani and American mezzo soprano Martha Lipton. Finalist and winner of the Verdi Award at the 2000 Orpheus Vocal Competition, finalist and winner of the Edna Wells Luetz Memorial Scholarship at the 1999 Liederkranz Competition in New York, and winner of the 1999 Bellini International Voice Competition, she was also awarded the Commune di Santa Croce Premio Speciale Award at the 1999 Ibla Grand Prix. She has been a regional finalist in both the 2000 and 2001 Metropolitan Opera Competitions.. Upcoming performances include the role of Farnace in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto (New York Chamber Opera). She currently studies with soprano Sheri Greenawald.
RAVIL ATLAS, tenor, debuted with Oakland Lyric Opera in the role of Luigi in Il Tabarro. Mr. Atlas has earned the attention of Bay Area opera audiences for his portrayals of the leading roles in La Boheme, Un Ballo in Maschera, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Magic Flute, Gianni Schicchi, II Tabarro, Cosifan Tutte, II Trovatore, and the role of Hippolytus, which he created for the world premier of Phaedra by George Romanis. He has also performed lead roles in Carmen and La Traviata with Washington's Tacoma Opera. Company credits include Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Festival Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, Opera Peninsula, Pocket Opera, and the Mendocino Music Festival. Mr. Atlas has the distinction of having been a cast member of two of San Francisco's record-breaking musicals, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. He was first seen as Brujon and then as the lead role of Jean Valjean, in Les Miserables, and he is currently appearing as opera star Ubaldo Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Atlas earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in vocal performances from San Jose State University, and was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and The San Francisco Opera Center auditions. He is also a former member of the world-renowned vocal ensemble Chanticleer.
Robert Ayres, tenor, has returned to the Bay Area theatre scene this year. An actor/tenor, he debuts with Oakland Lyric Opera in this role. Earlier this year he was cast as the understudy to the role of William Blake in the acclaimed George Coates Production Works' production of 20/20 Blake, He went on to play the role of Blake in eight subsequent performances. He trained as an actor at Stanford University where he received his B.A. in drama and communications. His principal roles include Einstein in Durrenmatt's The Physicists and Serebryakov in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. He is a former member of the acting company of The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts where he appeared in My Fair Lady, Cyrano de Bergerac and Pirardello's Six Characters In Search Of An Author. He is a vocal student of Dr. Letha Loyd Wayne and aspires to operatic tenor roles. His most recent voice-over (unseen narration for videos) credits include several character voices for a popular Playstation game for Sony Computer Entertainment.
BuffyBaggott, mezzo-soprano, has been a featured soloist with UCLA and SFSU symphonies and choirs. She has also been a soloist with the McGiluray chorale and Sacramento Master Singers. She has performed the roles of Paquette in Candide, Gazella in The Happy Prince, and The evil sister in The True Story of Cinderella. She recently apprenticed with the Santa Fe Opera where she sang the roles Idamante in Idomeneo and Nancy in Albert Herring. Her most recent concert appearance was as the soprano soloist rn Handel's Messiah at U.U. Church of Berkeley. With Oakland Lyric Opera she has sung the roles of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Frugola in Il Tabarro.
JOHN KENDALL BAILEY, baritone, is the founder, music director and conductor of the Berkeley Lyric Opera. Since its birth in 1994, he has led the company in acclaimed production of Mozart's Apollo et Hyacinthus, Bastien andBastienne, and Xter Schauspieldirector, the premiere of Sarah Michael's The Seahvoman, the musicals Into the Woods and Cabaret (both with BareStage Productions), Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors (with Goat Hall Productions), as well as orchestral concerts featuring the opera orchestra. He studied conducting with Michael Morgan, David Ramadanoff and John Miner. He has guest conducted the Oakland Youth Orchestra and will be conducting performances of the Nutcracker for the Oakland Ballet this December. Mr. Bailey is also a composer, and his work has been performed and commissioned in the Bay Area. In 1996 he directed his music for Much Ado About Nothing at the new Shakespeare Globe Theater in London, and his Sanctus for unaccompanied mixed chorus was performed throughout Scotland in 1997. Mr. Bailey also maintains a busy performance schedule as a bass-baritone, oboist, and pianist, and has performed with the Berkeley, Oakland-East Bay, Redding, Napa, Sacramento Prometheus symphonies, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, Midsummer Mozart and West Marin summer music festivals, American Classical Soloists, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, California Vocal Academy, Coro Hispano de San Francisco, the Mark Morris and Merce Cunningham dance companies, the Berkeley and Oakland Lyric Opera companies, and numerous other groups. He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi, Koch International, and Centaur labels. He is also a pre-performance lecturer for the San Francisco Opera. A Berkeley native, Mr. Bailey attended U.C. Berkeley where he was a member of the U.C. Chamber Chorus and sang on tours of the east coast, Germany, England, and Scotland. He also performed with the U.C. Symphony, Chorus, and Collegium Musicum, and in eleven Noon Concert programs. He was the director of the Undergraduate Composers and a frequent performer of new student works.
Hope Briggs, soprano, is well known for her dramatic portrayals and her distinctive soprano voice. In her recent performance of Donna Elvira with Opera San Jose in Don Giovanni, The San Jose Mercury News said, Briggs' strong personality dominates her scenes, blending ire and fire. Her tour-de-force aria, "Mi tradi’ delivered with a ringing dramatic soprano voice with excellent control was a high point." Ms. Briggs was Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly with the San Francisco Opera's A La Carte Series. She has sung with Houston Grand Opera, Festival Opera, North Bay Opera, Apollo Opera and has been an apprentice artist with Sarasota Opera. Operatic roles include: Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rosalinda in Die Fledennaus, First Lady in Die Zauberflote and Bess in Porgy and Bess. On the concert stageMs. Briggs has performed Mozart's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria, Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras, and Rachmaninoff's Vocalise. She has been featured in recital by African-Americans for Los Angeles Opera and has been privileged to work with conductors, John DeMain, Murray Sidlin, Barbara Day Turner, Michael Morgan and Victor Di Renzi. She has been the recipient of numerous awards which indlude: Metropolitan Opera National Finalist, Metropolitan Opera International Vocal Competition Award, and Study Grants from the Opera Buffs of California. She has had the honor of performing for Ms. Jessye Norman and has been a featured soloist for the Rev. Billy Graham Crusade. She most recently sang the title role of Suor Angelica for the Pacific Repertory Opera.
PAUL CACCAMO, piano accompanist, is an East Bay native and has recently returned to the Bay Area to begin a music career after a twelve-year absence. In the time since his return he has performed regularly in a wide variety of musical settings: opera arias with the Festival Opera of Walnut Creek, orchestral piano with Cantare Con Vivo, Chinese folk songs with bass-baritone Chi Yuen Wang, choral recitals with the Orinda Women’s Choral and the Cantare Chamber Ensemble and “Opera in October” concerts with Oakland Lyric Opera. He also teaches piano at his home in Benicia. Paul began accompanying choral groups in high school and has never stopped performing with numerous ensembles, including Cantare Con Vivo, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Cal Poly Women’s Chorus and several church and children’s choirs. At the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Paul gained experience as a dance accompanist at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan in the summer of 1997, and he has performed several solo piano recitals. Paul received a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo. His principal instructors include Jean Barr, Douglas Humphereys, Jeanine Jacobson, John Russell and local teachers Mary Jo Hotten and Carol Snell.
Don C. Coles, an accomplished Bay Area stage actor, has also appeared in motion pictures and commercials, Some of his feature film appearances include Mrs. Doubtftre. «nd Hearts & Souls. Mr, Coles studied Shakespeare under the Russian playwright Anatoly Antohin at the University of Alaska, and lived in Alaska for fourteen years, He recently appeared as a principal actor in Oakland Lyric Opera's production Holiday Miracle. :
ANDREA DANIEL,soprano, made her debut with the Oakland Lyric Opera with The Impresario. She just recently performed this role with the Opera Workshop at California State University, Hayward, under the direction of Timothy Morningstar, where she is finishing her B.A. in vocal performance. She has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, The Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus, the Atlanta Opera Company, and Berkeley Opera. As a student, Andrea was very active in the Opera-Theater Department. Scenes and roles she has performed include Bess, Porgy and Bess; Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro, and Princess Fe Ah Nich Tan, Ba Ta Clan. Ms Daniel also performed with the chorus in The Medium and Leonora.
DONNA DeAMARAL, Mezzo-Soprano began her career in theater in Southern California. She has appeared in numerous Los Angeles productions including Lady Thiang in The King and I, and Lady Angela in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. She is twice a winner of the Opera Guild of Southern California competition, and also has been a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition. Her European credits include a concert appearance of Madarna Butterfly with conductor Steven Mercurio. Her recent credits include the title role in Manon Lescaut for Berkeley Opera, as well as upcoming appearances as Leonora in Il Trovatore for Lyric Opera of San Francisco and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana for Oakland Lyric Opera.
MARCELLE DRONKERS, Soprano Her recent solo concert appearances include Midsummer Mozart, SONOS Handbell Ensemble, the University of California Chorus and Orchestra, Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, Bella Musica, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera and the Jeffrey Ballet. Operatic roles performed include Norma in Don Pasquale (Donizetti); Despina in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte; the title role in von Flotow's Martha; and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss, Jr.) with Donald Pippin's Pocket Opera, Festival Opera, West Bay Opera and Berkeley Opera. Ms. Dronkers holds degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington and the Royal Conservatory at The Hague, The Netherlands. She maintains a private voice studio in Kensington.
SCOTT EVENSON, tenor, hails from San Francisco and makes his debut with Oakland Lyric Opera in this production. He has been studying voice since the age of twelve, and presently studies with Maria Greco in San Francisco. His roles include Ganio (/ Pagliacci), Caspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Columbus (the world premier of Eric Stokes' Apollonia's Circus), Jonas Fogg (Sweeney Todd), Mayor of Leadville (Ballad of Baby Doe), Cavaradossi (Tosca). Mr. Evenson was the principle tenor soloist for the Voices of Vienna in St. Paul, Minnesota. Through that organization, he received a scholarship for study in Austria, where he attended the AIMS in Graz Experience. He has had numerous concert experiences throughout Minnesota and California. In 1994, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. In 1995, Mr. Evenson attended the Des Moines Metro Opera's artist apprentice program.
RICHARD FLORES, Guitarist, has performed extensively throughout the San Francisco Bay Area as both soloist and as a member of various ensembles, including the Austin Chamber Ensemble and the Coro Hispano de San Francisco. He graduated from California State University at Hayward with a Master’s degree in Guitar Performance and has studied with such renowned artists as Julian Bream, Manuel Barrueco, and lutenist Paul O’dette. He currently teaches at California State, Stanislaus and Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. His repertory ranges from traditional Spanish and Latin-American pieces by Rodrigo, Falla, Villa-Lobos and others, as well as transcriptions of 17th, 18th, and 19th century songs, to pieces written originally for voice and guitar by 20th century composers such as Britten and Argento, with oral or written program notes and translations.
CARL FORTIER, piano accompanist, became the executive music coordinator for the San Francisco Christian Center at the age of 20 years. He is experienced as a senior recording engineer and producer, working for Frisco Studios for four years. As a professor of music theory in contemporary and gospel piano. Carl worked with 4-T-A Music School for two years at the Bayview Opera House. Carl has played for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area in diverse venues and has been an accompanist for many artists. He is experienced primarily in the area of gospel music, but plays many genres. He has produced several recorded works for solo artists and choirs. He is presently running a music school, teaching the fundamentals of contemporary music and gospel piano. Carl is presently enrolled in college in pursuit of a music degree.
Carl Franzen, tenor received his education from San Francisco State University and Skyline Community College. He has performed in many different venues including opera, musical theater, symphony concerts and competitions. He has sung with the Berkeley Opera, the Cinnabar Opefe and Pocket Opera. His most recent roles include Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Emesto in Don Pasquale, Chaplain in Dialogue of the Carmelites and Jaquino/Florestan in Leonora. Mr. Franzen won first place at the Metropolitan Opera Apprentice Auditions as well as the NATS CMEA Vocal Division.
James Gilman, tenor was born in Los Angeles, California and has studied music at the University of Redlands, the University of California and currently as a scholarship student at California State University, Hayward. He has studied with Jess Thomas and currently studies with Timothy Morningstar. Equally at home in recital work as well as opera, he has received critical acclaim for his performances of Schumann's Dichterliebe and Schubert's Die Winterrelse. His opera roles range from Monostatos in Mozart's Magic Flute to 20th-century works such as Fables and Three Sisters who are not Sisters by Ned Rorem Mr. Gilman is a well-known tenor soloist with many Bay Area churches and currently serves as a cantor with All Saints Catholic Church in Hayward.
WILLIAM GORTON , tenor, debuts with OLO and has performed with Opera Pacific, Sacramento Opera, Pocket Opera, West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, North Bay Opera, Cinnabar Opera, Livermore Valley Opera and Townsend Opera Players. He was a member of the Apprentice Artist Program for Singers at Santa Fe Opera and was a finalist in the Merola Opera Program auditions. Mr. Gorton's repertoire includes Rodolfo (La Boheme), Edgardo (Lucia), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Fernando (Cosifan (Martha), Jenik (Bartered Bride), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), (Don Giovanni) and Roberto (Maria Stuarda) with Pocket Opera.
Charles Gravenhorst, tenor, has performed in many local opera companies including Novatp Lyric Opera, Berkeley Opera, The Lamplighters, Pocket Opera, Pleasant Hill Civic Opera, and San Jose Opera. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he received a BA in Music. He has won awards from the East Bay Opera League and has performed concerts with the Oakland Ballet, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Arnador Valley Opera. This is his second production with Oakland Lyric Opera, having recently appeared as Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Keiko Hamilton, soprano, A native of Japan, now resides in Millbrae with her husband, and 2 year old daughter. Keiko has a BA in Voice and a Teaching Credential in Music Education from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo and an MA in Voice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Balancing the demands of motherhood with a career in piano and voice instruction, Keiko also works as a professional television make-up artist. Vocal work includes solo performances at Davies Symphony Hall, Marin Civic Center, and San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She has made television appearances and recorded contemporary Christian music both here and in Japan. Keiko has appeared in productions by City Light Performing Arts, danced with Infinite Reflections, and has directed many student productions. Keiko studies voice with Nancy Loder of San Rafael and dance with Laura Hunter of Walnut Creek. She returns to the stage this winter having been featured in Oakland Lyric Opera's December production HolidayMiracle.
FRED ISOZAKI, bass-baritone, made his Oakland Lyric Opera debut in the production of Orff's Die Kluge. Recently, he performed with Opera San Jose in the roles of The Commissioner in Puccini's Madame Butterfly and the role of Dr. Grenvil in Verdi's La Traviata. Mr. Isozaki has performed with the Lyric Theater of Santa Cruz in the role of Balthazar in Menotti's Amahl and, the Night Visitors. He has also been a winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. Mr. Isozaki can also be seen in West Bay Opera's upcoming production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville as Basilio.
JERRY JOHNSON, Actor/Director, made his debut into the world of opera in the role of Vespone in Oakland Lyric Opera's showcase production of La Serva Padrona. He is a resident of Orinda and has been directing since 1982 for many of the local community theaters including Chanticleers, Castro Valley; California Conservatory Theater, San Leandro; Dramateurs (now Town Hall), Lafayette; Masquers Playhouse, Point Richmond; and Phoenix Players, Vaflejo. Productions he directed include The Heiress, The Sunshine Boys, Born Yesterday, A Thousand Clowns, Play It Again, Sam; Crimes of the Heart, Plaza Suite, On Golden Pond, The Wake of Jamey Foster, A Curious Savage, and Tribute. Past acting assignments include Dr. Sloper, The Heiress; Sergeant and General Zandek, The Great Sebastians; Sir Henry, She Stoops to Conquer; Nathan Detroit, Guys and Dolls.
Kristen Jones, soprano, recently moved from San Diego where she was singing with the San Diego and La Jolla Symphony Choruses. Ms. Jones has performed the role of Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors as well as several concerts and recitals in Northern and Southern California. She has a degree in music from Principia College and is continuing her vocal studies at the Oakland Center for Musical Arts with Zachary Gordin. Kristen is currently soloist at the Swedenborgian Church in San Francisco..
Karen Jones, soprano, previously performed the role of First Witch in Oakland Center for Musical Arts’ Dido and Aenaes in October of 2000, also under the direction of Zachary Gordin. In August, participating in a Victory Over Violence celebration, she was a soloist in the finale to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Ode to Joy, with the SGI-USA Orchestra and Chorus. In addition to frequent recitals in the Bay Area, Ms. Jones has performed with Berkeley Opera, Lamplighters Music Theatre, College of Marin Opera, Dominican College Opera and Paradise Orchestra and Chorus. Upcoming performances include The Secretary in Menotti’s Pulitzer Prize winning opera, The Consul and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.
GEMMA KAVANAGH, soprano, started her singing career with Dublin Opera.In her native Ireland, she progressed as a resident singer/actress with the Bunratty singers, performing in three medieval castles in the west of Ireland for four years. She has also had the pleasure of singing with the Dublin Symphony Orchestra in several of their seasonal concerts at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, including recitals and television appearances. She moved to California in October '92 and the following year sang with Opera San Jose performing the role of Musetta (La Boheme) before returning briefly to Ireland to sing the roles of Tosca, Magda (La Rondine), Rose (Street Scene), and The Merry Widow with Leinster Opera, Dublin. She sang at the Midsummer Mozart Festival in January, and Pamina in The Magic Flute with Berkeley Opera in the spring of 1996.
Sharon Kaye, mezzo-soprano, began her singing career at the age of five, appearing for several seasons with the San Francisco Children's Opera. A music performance major at Brigham Young University, Sharon lived in Munich for eight years, returned to the Los Angeles area, and started a family before returning to San Francisco stages. Miss Kaye sang with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus for the 1991 and 1992 seasons. She has held engagements with the Pocket Opera, been a participant of BASOTI1992 and 1993 and a NATS competition winner for 1993 and 1994. Sharon was guest artist, in die role of Dorabella, with the Opera at Hayward Slate University and also participated in Opera Workshop with Miss Irene Dalis at Sna Jose State University. Miss Kaye just sang the role of Buttercup in Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore with the San Jose Lyric Theater. After completion of a whirlwind tour of Germany and Austria in December, she presented a Christmas concert at Temple Hill in Oakland. Besides her love of opera performance, Miss Kaye is an accomplished oratorio and recital singer giving numerous concerts throughout the Bay Area and donating her performances to community service groups. Miss Kaye maintains a vocal studio in Santa Clara and will be giving a performance at Star Classics in February.
MADELINE ABEL-KERNS, Stage Director, Most recently directed Bizet's Don Procoprio, Offenbach's Marriage by Lantern, and Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for Pocket Opera's 1996 season. Other directional credits include An Evening ofRodgers & Hammerstein, Love Songs & Sonnets, and Magical Broadway for Camelot Theatre Company; and Opera Gala Under the Stars, a co-production with Rogue Opera and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. With Opera to Broadway Productions, abridged versions of Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Guys & Dolls, Brigadoon, and It Takes Ttuo, a comedic view of relationships set to the songs of Sondheim & Bernstein (with book written by Abel-Kerns) toured southern Oregon. Madeline has also directed numerous scenes for concerts and master classes from such operas as Masked Ball, Carmen, Norman, Tales ofHoffman, Samson & Delilah, Die Walkure, Marriage of Figaro, Dido & Aneas, and The Merry Widow. Die Kluge and // Tabarro mark Madeline's directorial debut with Oakland Lyric Opera.
BRIAN KERNS, tenor, makes his debut with Oakland Lyric Opera in this production. His professional performance career ranges from non-musical theatre to opera, spans fifteen years, and has taken him throughout the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean. In addition to his performance credits, Brian is an accomplished composer, arranger and musical director, and has worked extensively with wife, Madeline Abel-Kerns, on over twenty-five productions. With a little encouragement from the director, Brian happily contributes his energies to the Oakland Lyric Opera team as assistant to the director, and in the role of the Jailer.
FRANCINE LANCASTER, soprano,is originally from Tampa, Florida but makes her home in Berkeley, California. After her studies in New York at Juilliard with Jennie Tourel, she moved to San Francisco to sing with the San Francisco Opera. She was a member of the Merola Opera Program, won the San Francisco Opera and Metropolitan Opera Auditions, as well as winning first in the Fuchs Competition and being a lifetime winner of a William Sullivan Foundation Grant. She has sung with the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco as featured artist in “Nanna’s Lied” singing the music of Kurt Weill, in San Francisco, at the Paris Opera House and Lincoln Center in New York City. Her credits also include the Oxford Music Festival and a debut at Belles Artes in Mexico City singing Mahler’s 4th Symphony. Ms. Lancaster was a featured artist for “Classical Action” at Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus in “When We Last Touched” as well as the featured role of the Mother for the West Coast Premier of “Prayers for Bobby” at the San Jose Performing Arts Center. Her local credits also include singing as the soprano soloist for Carmina Burana with the Oakland Ballet at the Paramount Theatre. Her love or music has extended to creating a series of national award wining recordings and books for children: Francine Sings The Keepsake Collection, Nursery Songs & Lullabies, Favorite Animal Songs, Favorite Holiday Songs and Mother Goose & Other Nursery Songs. These recordings include over 100 of the most famous and popular songs for children. Her production work has also earned her five more national awards in the children’s book and music market: An American Library Book and Recording Award; Parent’s Choice Gold & Silver Award, Catholic Book Award, Benjamin Franklin Award for Design and an international award for product design. Her work with children includes over 60 concerts with the San Francisco Opera in the schools program, Mendocino Music Festival, The Los Angeles Zoo, The Oakland Zoo, Kids Concerts-Julia Morgan Theatre and many more. Her recordings can be found at the Smithsonian Institute. Ms. Lancaster has participated and sung leading roles in numerous operas, musicals and theater workshops and productions including: The Sound of Music, The Fantastiks, Suor Anglica, The Tenderland, Candide, West Side Story, A Little Night Music, New Moon, Rigoletto, Elisir d’amore and Lucia to name a few. Ms. Lancaster has also worked with many theater directors, coaches including Jennie Tourel, Frank Corsaro, Blanche Thebom, Martin Katz, and Estell Liebling. Ms. Lancaster toured as a featured artist singing the music of Kurt Weil in Paris, New York City and San Francisco.
Mark D. Lew, tenor, is a veteran of the opera stage, both as a chorus singer and a soloist. He has sung solo roles with several opera companies in the Bay Area, including Pocket Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Festival Opera and Berkeley Opera. Most recently he sang the roles of Cochenille and Nathanael in West Bay Opera’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. In February of 2001 he created the role of Dan White in Oakland Opera Theatre’s world premiere of Tom Dean’s White Darkness. In addition to singing, Mr. Lew has served the Bay Area music community as accompanist, vocal coach, choral director, translator, composer and arranger. He will direct the chorus for Oakland Opera Theatre’s upcoming production of Four Saints in Three Acts in December.
STEVEN LICHTENSTEIN, Music Director/Piano Accompanist, received Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School of music and the University of Illinois where he studied with the internationally renowned accompanist, John Wustman. He has performed widely throughout the Midwest with such artists as baritone William Warfield, soprano Evelyn de la Rosa and cellist Nathaniel Rosen. As coach and accompanist he worked for two seasons with the Greater Miami Opera where he was in charge of programming, editing and running the surtitles. Mr. Lichtenstein's current associations include Oakland Lyric Opera, Berkeley Opera, Walnut Creek's Festival Opera, The Lamplighters of San Francisco, and "Opera a la Carte," an educational program sponsored by the San Francisco Opera Guild. He accompanied soprano Montserrat Cabatte and mezzo-soprano Julia Migenes (who played the title role in the 1984 film version of Bizet's Carmen opposite Placido Domingo) for the Eleventh Annual American Cinema Awards Show in Los Angeles.
Tyler Lincoln, piano accompanist, grew up amidst the avacado groves of Fallbrook, California, but dreamed of playing piano concertos with orchestra (because you get to wear tails!) By age 21 he had earned a Master of Arts degree in music from San Diego State University in addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Riverside. He then ended up in Mendocino where the dream was eventually realized when Tyler founded Symphony of The Redwoods in 1983. Yes, Tyler did get to wear tails, played numerous concerts and also learned to conduct along the way. In 1990 he uprooted himself and moved to Vancouver, B. C. to work on a DMA in piano at U.B.C. He dropped out of the program to study singing with baritone Joseph Shore who later introduced him to veteran Metropolitan Opera bass, Jerome Hines, with whom Tyler also studied. In 1994 he moved to San Francisco where he began auditioning as a singer and began a study of arias with Ed Hooks. Further vocal studies led to a stint in Italy in the 1997 summer class of Gianni Raimondi at Santa Margherita-Ligure where Tyler did more accompaning than singing because the 6 hour daily repetoire class had no accompanist! During his 10-month Italian “permanenza” Tyler also orchestrated 300-plus pages of full score for recording artist, Spencer Brewer, which was performed by the Ukiah Symphony. He also began composing music and works on various opera and other musical projects in the Bay Area as they arise.
Daniel Linden-Cohen, baritone, has appeared with many Bay Area opera companies. His recent appearances include: with Pocket Opera, the roles of Bluebeard in Popolani> and Mars in Orpheus in the Underworld, with San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Theater, the roles of Falstaff in the Merry Wives of Windsor, No. 8 in Transformations, and Benoit in La Boheme, with the Cantata Singers the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni and Alcindoro in La Boheme, and with West Bay Opera, the roles of Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata and Tutor in Count Ory. Mr. Linden-Cohen received his BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University and recently graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with his BMA.
JUDITH LOZADA, Mezzo-Soprano, has been singing professionally since the age of 17, both locally and in Latin America doing concert, oratorio, and opera. She is a natural born contralto which has afforded her the opportunity to perform many character roles in both opera and light opera, as well as perform with Maestro Krepts and the San Francisco Symphony, West Bay Opera under its founder Henry Holt, Monterey Opera, The Ina Chalis Opera Ensemble, and the Schola Cantorum under its founder, Dr. Royal Stanton. Among the roles she is best known for are Baba in Menotti's The Medium, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and The Old Gypsy in Tchaikovski's Illeko (sung in Russian) to name a few. Ms Lozada is presently planning a one-woman show in conjunction with S.R.O. Productions presenting The Life and Times of Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink.
JAMES McGOFF is a Bay Area native and received his B. A. in Music at California State University, Hayward, where he studied voice with Susan Witt. A newcomer to Oakland Lyric Opera, he made his company debut in the role of Mr. Bluff in Mozart's Impresario. He has appeared in numerous productions in the Bay Area, most recently in the role of Frank Maurant in Kurt WeilTs Street Scene, sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation. He has sung with the Opera Theater of Lucca, Italy where he studied with Lorenzo Malfatti. No stranger to comedy, he performed the role of Bob in Beyond Therapy, San Francisco's longest running comedy. His next appearances will be in The Merry Widow with Livermore Opera Company.
MICHAEL P. MENDELSON, tenor, was most recently seen as The Devil in Pocket Opera's production of The Soldiers Tale by Igor Stravinsky. He has appeared with various companies around the Bay Area. Some of the roles he has performed include the title role in Candide, Spalanzani in the Tales ofHoffman, Midas in My Fair Galatea, Ralph in H.M.S. Pinafore, Nanki-poo in Mikado and Torquemada in The Spanish Hour by Ravel. Last holiday season he was heard on the radio as the tenor soloist in Rossini's Petitite Messe Solonette with the San Francisco Concert Chorale. Besides having an extensive background in Rock and Roll music, Mr. Mendelson is also a Gong Show winner.
JOSEPH MEYERS, tenor, made his debut with Oakland Lyric Opera.in Die Kluge. A regular performer with Opera San Jose, Mr. Meyers performed as Goro in their most recent production of Madama Butterfly and will be performing the role of Bepe in I Pagliacci which opens Opera San Jose's 1996-97 season. Other roles performed include Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi, Monostatos Die Zauberflote; under San Francisco Pocket Opera audiences, he has been heard as Orpheus in Orpheus in the Underworld, Vasek The Bartered Bride, and Don Basilio The Marriage of Figaro. For the past six years Mr. Meyers has performed with the San Francisco Opera Guild's Opera Ala Carte outreach program singing such roles as Edgardo Ravenswood Lucia Di Lammermoor, Nemorino L'Elisir d'Amore, and Prince Ramiro La Cenerentola.
LANCE A. MICHEL, Stage Manager, has a B.A. in theater arts, with an emphasis in stage management/design, from San Francisco State University, and has worked previously with Oakland Lyric Opera. Mr. Michel has worked in varous capacities within the realm of theater and sound production in the past, and looks forward to the continued pursuit of his passions for the arts and his expression therein.
SHOUVIK MONDLE, baritone, makes his debut with Oakland Lyric Opera in this production. Mr. Mondle is a native of Calcutta, India, and received a B.M. with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. No stranger to the audiences of Northern California, Mr. Mondle has been seen on the stages of Sacramento Opera, Pocket Opera, West Bay Opera, North Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, Theaterworks and his alma mater, S.F.C.M. Credits include Germont and Baron Douphol (La Traviata), the title character in Don Giovanni, Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Marcello (La Boheme), Belcore (L'Elisir d'Amore), Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Rimbaud (Count Ory), Ernesto (Don Procopio), Count Almaviva and Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mr. Ford (Merry Wives of Windsor), Dancairo and Escamillo (Carmen), Marullo (Rigoletto), Melisso (Alcina), Dig-Dig in Offenbach's (The Cat that Turned into a Woman), "number seven" in Conrad Susa's Transformations and Lieutenant Torasso in the west coast premiere of Steven Sondheim's Passion. Mr. Mondle is proud to have created the role of General Vallejo in the recent world premiere of David Conte's Dreamers.
ANDREW MOORE, baritone, makes his debut with Oakland Lyric Opera this season. A master's graduate of the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, he enjoys performing in operas and musicals, and has appeared in the Bay Area in La Dolorosa and La Gran Via (Jarvis Conservatory Zarzuela Festival), The Game of Love (The White Barn); Cole and Noel (Showley's) and He Plays, She Sings . . . Jerome Kern! (New Conservatory Theatre). Upcoming productions include Tosca with West Bay Opera. Andrew is also a voice and theatre instructor, and has been the musical director for several Bay Area productions with such companies as 42nd Street Moon, New Conservatory Theatre, Oakland Civic Theatre, and Onstage Theatre.
TIMOTHY MORNINGSTAR, Stage Director, made his directing debut with OLO as stage director for Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. He earned a Master's degree in Music (Voice and Opera) from the University of Michigan where he studied chamber music and song repertory with Martin Katz, and opera with Gustav Meier. He has sung principal roles with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre, Papagena Opera, Arkansas Opera Theatre, Des Moines Metro Opera and the Opera De Lille, France. He has worked with stage directors Jay Lesenger, Robert Larsen and Robert Altman. Quite active in concert, Mr. Morningstar has sung with the National Arts Chamber Orchestra, the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, San Francisco Chamber OrchestraARTEA and the Baroque Magnificat Orchestra. He specializes in the works of Monteverdi, Bach, Britten and Stravinsky. Bay Area recitals include Noontime Concerts-Old St. Mary's, San Francisco Performances at Six, Westcoast Weekend-KQED. He presented a concert of music by British and American composers for Performances Today broadcast on National Public Radio. As an opera director, Mr. Morningstar has staged over twenty standard and contemporary operatic works, some of which include Cosi Fan Tutte, Madama Butterfly, The Coronation of Poppea, Il Segretto di Susanna and The Impresario. He has directed for California Chamber Opera Theatre, Livermore Valley Opera, California State University, Hayward and Donald Pippin's Pocket Opera. Mr. Morningstar presented a staged piece for the National Opera Association's 38th Annual Convention. He is a frequent adjudicator and clinician at vocal competitions and workshops. He has served as Director of the Opera Program for Summer Song, a vocal workshop for young singers. Mr. Morningstar is currently on the music faculty of California State University, Hayward, where he teaches voice and directs the Opera Workshop. He is also past president of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
SALLY MOUZON, Mezzo-Soprano, is a native of Virginia, but is well-known to California audiences. Comfortable in many different styles, she has performed leading roles in opera, operetta, musical theater, and zarzuela with companies ranging from Opera San Jose to the Lamplighters of San Francisco. Her roles include Ariniria and Flora in La Traviata, Nicklaus in The Tales of Hoffmann Maddalena in Rigoletto and Alcibiade in Satie's Socrate, performed at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. Most recently Ms. Mouzou was seen in performances with the San Francisco Lyric Opera as Ines in Il Trovatore and as Adalgisa in Norma Her experience in the lighter genres include, Marie Blanche in Messager's Les Petites Michu and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus as well as many Gilbert and Sullivan roles such as Pitti-Sing in The Mikado and Mad Margaret in Ruddigore She was featured in tile, inaugural Zarzuela Festival at tile Jarvis Conservatory. Oratorio credits include Handel's Messiah, Britten's Abraham and Isaac and Rachel in the Lamb, Bach's Mass in B Minor, and the Durufle Requiem. Ms. Mouzon has won awards from the East Bay Opera League and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of San Jose, as well as the Young Artist of the Year Award from the San Jose Opera Guild. Recent engagements include Phoebe in The Yeomen of the Guard, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Charlotte in Werther.
DOUGLAS NAGEL, baritone, returned last June to the Berkeley Symphony to perform the title role of Doktor Faust. He has performed with the Virginia Opera; Germont (La Traviata), along with creating the role of Francisco de Santander in the world premiere of Thea Musgrave's Simon Bolivar, Mr. Nagel then sang excerpts from this production at the Royal Albert Hall, London, which were recorded for broadcast by the BBC. The role of John the Baptist (Salome) is one of Mr. Nagel's signature roles. He made his European debut in 1993, in Rostock, Germany, in this role. Earlier this year he sang John the Baptist with Opera Columbus; 1995 with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and 1994 with the Virginia Opera. Mr. Nagel debuted with the Virginia Opera as Scarpia in Tosca, a role he repeated in the 1994 premiere production of The Opera Company in El Paso, TX. In 1994 he was featured hy the Wagner Society of Northern California as Wotan in Das Rheingold, having sung with the company in 1993 in the title role of Der Fliegender Hollander. Douglas was a Principle Artist in Residence at Opera San Jose for four years and expanded his repertoire to over 30 roles. With OSJ, he was featured as Marcello (La Boheme), Michele (II Tabarro), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera), Zurga (Les Pecheurs deperles). He created the role of Theseus in George Roumanis' Phadra later broadcast on PBS throughout the U.S.
Elyse Nakajima, soprano, most recently performed in L’incoronatione di Poppea with Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute where she also performed in scenes as Änchen from Der Freischutz and Zerlina from Don Giovanni. Originally from the Seattle area, she currently studies at Stanford University. She has also performed with the Stanford Savoyards Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Stage One Productions, Vocal Arts Northwest and Oakland Lyric Opera as Louise in The Opera Rehearsal.
MARK NARINS, Director of Music Co-Principal Conductor Artistic Director, brings with him 30 years of conducting experience. He has studied under distinguished conductors and teachers such as Sixten Ehrling, Golfredo Corradetti, Boris Goldovsky, Walter Hendl and Henry Johnson. He served as assistant to internationally renowned Swedish Maestro, Sixten Ehrling, at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, in an important revival production of Carl Nielsen's Saul and David. He is one of only three conductors chosen nationally by the famous opera impressario and innovator, Boris Goldovsky to conduct at the Goldovsky Cederdell Opera Festival. In San Francisco, Mr. Narins studied the Italian opera style with Maestro Golfredo Corradetti, himself a student of Arturo Toscanini, and conducted a complete performance of Un Ballo in Maschera.Mr. Narins served as the music director of the former Oakland Opera from 1987 to 1990, under general director Claude Heater, where he conducted an acclaimed La Traviata with a national cast. He completely rebuilt the Oakland Opera Chorus considered at the time to be the second best opera chorus in the Bay Area (after the San Francisco Opera Chorus). This was credited as one of the main factors in the success of Carmen and scenes from Boris Godonov, with Metropolitan Opera bass Jerome Hines and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. On the latter program, Mr. Narins conducted a dramatic renditon of the Polevetzian Dances from Prince Igor. Other positions he has held include assistant conductor of the Arizona Opera under James Sullivan, preparing productions of Otello, II Trovatore and Madama Butterfly. As a symphonic conductor, Mr. Narins founded and conducted The Arizona Festival Orchestra. Born into a musical family, Mr. Narins' mother, Margaret Gaudiani Narins, studied as a concert pianist and served on the staff of the renowned NBC Orchestra as the executive assistant to Walter Toscanini, the son and manager of the great Maestro, Arturo Toscanini.
Erina Newkirk, soprano, made her debut with Oakland Lyric Opera in the role of Lauretta in the company's 1997 Summer Opera Festival production of Gianni Schicchi. Other roles include Blondchen, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Pocket Opera; Clara, Porgy and Bess, Townsend Opera; Josephine, H.M.S. Pinafore, and Celia, lolanthe, Lamplighters; as well as solo performances for The Marin Symphony, Co-Opera, and Townsend Opera. She has performed with Opera in the Ozarks as Lakme and Mrs. Davis, Street Scene. As a Young Artist for Opera North, she performed the role of Cis, Albert Herring. Miss Newkirk received her Masters degree at W.V.U. and sang Madama Herz, Der Schauspieldirektor, Susanna, Figaro; Fiorilla, Turk in Italy; Sleep-Fairy, Hansel and Gretel, and First Lay-Sister, Suor Anglica. Ms. Newkirk was awarded Third Puce in the Pacific Regionals of the 1996 MET Competition, Second Place in the National Leontyne Price Competition, and won the Marin Symphony Competition. She studies with Blanche Thebom.
CHRISTA PFEIFFER, soprano, has extensive experience in opera and concert performance. She has appeared in the role of Kate Pinkerton in the Music from Bear Valley production of Madame Butterfly. She has performed various opera scenes at the Mozart Opera Studies Institute, Opera Scenes Workshop with Monroe Kanouse, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her concert work includes feature performances at many colleges, churches, festivals, and recital series. She graduated with a BM in Vocal Performance from Eastman School of Music and also has heen trained as a flute and piano player, actress and dancer.
VIVIAN POOLE, soprano, debuts with Oakland Lyric Opera in the role of Giorgetta. Ms. Poole is a versatile artist spanning the operatic and concert repertoire. She has appeared throughout the United States and Germany in over a dozen roles, including performances at the Nuremberg Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, Brooklyn Opera, and the Los Angeles Music Center in the Los Angeles area. She performed the world premier of Thomas Cain's prize winning opera, The Lesson, in New York City. Ms. Poole has performed to great acclaim as guest soloist for the Northwest Chamber Orchestra in Seattle, the Modesto Symphony, and the Alhambra Chamber Orchestra; and appears often as soloist for oratorio and concert performances in the area. Her frequent solo recitals have taken her to major cities in the United States and abroad. Ms. Poole presently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Susan Powers, soprano, received her BA in Drama in 1985, and has been performing in musical theater for the last 14 years. Since moving to the Bay Area in 1991, Susan has appeared as a soloist with SFSU College Chorus, SF City Chorus and the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley Chorus. Favorite musical theater roles include Guinevere in Camelot, Luisa in The Fantastiks, and Marsinah in Kismet. Susan recently appeared in the ensemble of Oakland Lyric Opera's Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Scott Raines, baritone, Georgia born received his masters degree in vocal performance from Florida State University and continued opera studies at USC. Since moving to California he has performed professionally in musical theater, opera, and oratorio. He has performed with San Diego Opera and spent three seasons in over 200 performances with the San Diego Educational Opera. His operatic roles include Guglielmo in Cost fan tutte, Tonio in I Pagliacci, Papageno and the Speaker in The Magic Flute and Grandpa Moss in The Tenderland. In oratorio, he has been a soloist with the Santa Barbara Choral Society, and the Los Angeles Camerata and Consortium Angeli in such works as the Brahms Requiem, Messiah, St. John Passion, The Mozart Requiem, the Rossini Stabat Mater, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, and the Vaughn Williams Five Mystical Songs. Scott will be performing in the role of Ford m USC's upcoming production of the Merry Wives of Windsor.
Roberta Kay Rigney, soprano, holds a B.A. in music and a teaching credential in music education from Sonoma State University where she pursued a special study of 20th century vocal music and initiated the Opera Guild . Opera roles include Huntress in Notre Dame des Fleur, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, Freia in Das Rheingold and Ortlinde in Die Walkure. She will sing Foreign Woman in The Consul with Goat Hall Productions in November. As well as performing in churches and concertizing around the Bay Area, Ms. Rigney teaches music to young children and is co-director of the Marin SGI Chorus
Martha Rodríguez Salazar, flautist, graduated with a Bachelors Degree, with honors, from the National School of Music in Mexico City. She came to the United States to attend graduate school as Mills College, in Oakland, where she earned a Masters of Fine Arts Degree. As both flutist and singer, she has toured extensively in America, Mexico and Europe with classical, baroque and folk ensembles. She has performed in master classes with renowned artists, including Alain Marion, James Galway, Elena Duran, Emmanuel Pahud and Robert Stallman. As an enthusiastic musician and someone who takes great pride in her cultural background, Ms. Rodríguez has organized several Flute Festivals in Mexico and is the co-founder of the Mexican Flute Association. She has conducted flute classes and choirs in Mexico and the United States and has produced four full length recordings of her own. Together with teaching flute and voice at Young Performers International, a children's educational arts organization, at her studio in Mills College, and at the San Francisco Community Center, she works at the Coro Hispano de San Francisco as the director’s assistant, in addition to performing with the organization. Martha also performs with the Quinteto Latino, a woodwind quintet specialized in the interpretation of Latin-American music.
John Rose, bass-baritone, began playing the piano at age five and soon stopped. At age nine he took up the trombone and at nineteen he began singing. He now holds masters degrees in both fields. He recently worked with George Coates Performance Works, appearing in Box Conspiracy and The Desert Music and with the Eugene Opera Company's production of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette. Other roles have included Betto in Gianni Schicchi Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte. This is his second production with Oakland Lyric Opera this season, having appeared as Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors.
TODD JAMES SCHAFER, Tenor, is a 1992 graduate of California State University, Sacramento. He graduated with honor's as a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. As a student of Dr. Lynn Stradley, Todd was active in the opera-theater program at CSUS. Scenes and roles include the following: Brack Weaver, Kurt Weill's Down in the Valley; Janik, The Bartered Bride; Bastien, Bastien and Bastienne; Tamino The Magic Flute. Since graduating, Todd has performed with various local opera companies including the Voice Fitness Institute, Charnbermade; Opera, Village Opera Theatre, and Sacramento Opera. Roles include Prince Danilo, The Merry Widow; Alexius, The Chocolate Soldier; Harley in the world premier of William MacSem's Mardi-Gras; Elvino, LaSonnambula; Peppe (Harlequin) in Ruggiero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci Nemorino in Gaetano Donizetti's L'Elisir D'Amore.
Bharati Soman, soprano, recently made her debut with Sacramento Opera as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She holds a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University, and a Master of Music and Performer Diploma from Indiana University. Other roles include The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Sean/Zhong (Zoe’s Musical Fairy Tale: Upon a Time), and Léïla (Les Pecheurs de Perles). Bharati has also performed concert works with the Washington Chamber Symphony, Golden Gate Philharmonic and Kensington Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, she was the winner of the East Bay Opera League Competition, and a Pacific Region Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards. Upcoming engagements include a concert with the UC Davis Symphony (February 2005), the title role in Handel’s Semele with Pocket Opera in San Francisco (March 2005), and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro with Cinnabar Theater in Sonoma (March/April 2005). In addition to performing, Bharati maintains a private voice studio in Davis, CA.
ROBERT STEEVER, baritone, has been performing since childhood, first as a member of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, then as a child actor on N.B.C. radio and television. He has had principal roles in numerous musicals and operas, including The Music Man, A Christmas Carol, Kismet, L'Heure Espagnol, and Dialogues of the Carmelites. He sang for a number of years with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, and was a solosit with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. He currently lives in Contra Costa County where he teaches voice in a private studio.
KAMALA STROUP, soprano, completed her musical studies and earned two language degrees before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a career as a musician. Kamalahas sung widely throughout Northern California with companies such as Pippin's Pocket Opera, Golden Gate Opera, Cinnabar Opera Theater, Oakland Lyric Opera, and the Lamplighters. Recent performance roles include Cupid in Pocket Opera's Orpheus in the Underworld; Gretel in Golden Gate Opera's Hansel and Gretel, and Countess Ceprano and the Page in Verdi's Rigoletto for the BearValley Music Festival Past roles include Sister Constance in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmalites, Monica in The Medium, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, the Sandman and Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, and the Wife in the premier of The Hot Iron by Bay Area composer, Michael Kimbell. In performance with members of the Philharmonia Baroque and the Humboldt Early Music Society, Kamala has showcased many early chamber works including J. S. Bach's Coffee Cantata, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Handel's German Arias. Widely recognized on the concert stage, Ms. Stroup frequently appears with the Highwater Trio performing 20th century works often featuring works by Bay Area composers. She was a guest of the Alumni Benefit Recital Series at Humboldt State University and has performed solo benefit recitals for Redwood AIDS Information Network and the North Coast AIDS Project. Upcoming engagements include an appearance with San Francisco Lyric Opera as Nedda in their production of Pagliacci, with Golden Gate Opera as Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera and a reprise of Gretel in their annual production of Hansel and Gretel.
Shawnette Sulker, soprano, earned a full-time position as a member of the San Francisco Opera chorus, shortly after graduating from Bennington College with a Bachelor’s in Music in 1995. She has since gone on to work with many other Bay Area opera companies. She made her Berkeley Opera debut in 2001 in the role of Susanna in their production of The Marriage of Figaro. She sang the part of Clara in a concert version of Porgy and Bess and the soprano solo in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, both for Redwood Symphony. Other roles performed include Oscar in Golden Gate Opera’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Frasquita in San Francisco Lyric Opera’s Carmen. Ms. Sulker made her San Francisco Opera debut during its 1999-2000 season in Louise as La Plieuse. The young soprano has also performed in various area recitals including benefit concerts for the Millenium Opera and Berkeley Opera. She attended the Contemporary Opera and Song Training Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada on a scholarship-awarded basis. She has also participated in the Opera Works Summr Intensive Program, another scholarship-awarded residency. Shawnette is a native of the country of Guyana in South America. As a student at Bennington College in Vermont where she began her vocal studies, Ms. Sulker performed roles such as Belinda from Dido and Aeneas and Sophie from Der Rosenkavalier. She also sang as a soloist at the National Shrine in Washington, D. C., performed in numerous recitals and premiered some new works by Vermont area composers.
RON VALENTINO, piano accompanist, is proud to make his Oakland Lyric Opera debut. As an accompanist/vocal coach, Ron has worked with many outstanding international vocalists and has performed with companies ranging from the San Francisco Opera to Phantom of The Opera and American Conservatory Theater. Ron is also a graduate of the Merola Opera Program and the Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers of Opera.
MARIS VIPULIS, bass-baritone, from New York, debuts with OLO in Die Kluge. Mr. Vipulis has performed with several opera companies in the Bay Area including Pocket Opera of San Francisco, West Bay Opera, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Theater and Music from Bear Valley. His repetoire includes Bottom (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Commendatore (Don Giovanni) Antonio (The Marriage of Figaro), Colline (La Boheme), Guglielmo (Colsi fan tutte), Raimondo, Lucia di Lammermoor, Alidor (La Cenerentola), Falstaff (The Merry Wives of Windsor), and Tutor (Count Ory). Mr. Vipulis has performed in oratorio and concert apearances. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is currently pursuing a master of Music degree at the same institution. He was recipient of a full scholarship for undergraduate/ graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Blanche Thebom Outstanding Young Singer of the Year Award in 1992. He also received the Young Artist Award in 1992.
SHAWN MARIE WILLIAMS, mezzo-soprano, a native Alaskan, came to this area in 1987 to pursue her studies in voice. A graduate of San Srancisco State University, Shawn has recently sung a variety of roles throughout the Bay Area, including: Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with West Bay Opera and BASOTI, Berta in Rossini's The Barber of Seville with Townsend Opera Players and Pocket Opera, and Annina in Verdi's La Traviata, also with Townsend Opera Players. Other roles include Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Arminda in Mozart's La Finta Giardinera. Shawn has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including NATS, Kohl Mansion, East Bay Opera League, Marin Symphony, and the Mayflower Choral Society. In addition to her operatic endeavors, Shawn is an avid devotee to the recital and the art of the song.