Staff and Faculty 2006
Martina Arroyo Mark Rucker Willie Anthony Waters Laura Alley Carmine Aufiero Ed Bak
Charles Caine Steven Crawford Michael Fennelly Steven Horak Ronald Land Kathy Olsen
Ellen Rievman Sergio Stefani Lyudmilla Syrochkina      
MA Martina Arroyo, Artistic Director From the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses — New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, London’s Covent Garden, Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and the Buenos Aires Teatre Colón — to the concert halls of Salzburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris and New York — the name of Martina Arroyo has become synonymous with music-making of the highest order. Famous for her interpretations of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and Mozart, she is also at ease with contemporary music. Martina is a distinguished professor on the faculty of Indiana University, Trustee of Carnegie Hall and a member the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition she has taught in many universities throughout the United States and has made more than 50 recordings, including major operas and orchestral performances with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Karl Böhm, Rafael Kubelik, Zubin Mehta, Thomas Schippers, Ricardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine and Colin Davis. Her recordings of Barber's Andromache's Farewell, Verdi's Requiem, Aida, Ballo in Maschera, Forza del Destino (in both the standard and the 1862 versions), Vespri Siciliani, Mozart's Don Giovanni (both as Donna Anna and Donna Elvira), Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Handel's Judas Maccabeus, Mahler's 8th Symphony, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Schönberg’s Gurrelieder and Mahler’s 8th Symphony have all been recently reissued on CD.
MR Mark Rucker, Administrative Director, first came to the public’s attention as Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Luciano Pavarotti for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in Aida. Later he sang the title role of Macbeth in Trieste, Le Comte de Toulouse in Verdi’s Jerusalem for the VARA in Amsterdam at the Concertgebow and Rigoletto with Maestro Daniel Oren and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He closed the season as Macbeth in Bologna with Maestro Daniel Gatti. Recent engagements include his return to the Metropolitan as Don Carlo in La forza del destino and Amonasro and the title role of Nabucco in Bologna. Future engagements include Amonasro for the Arena di Verona, Rigoletto and Tonio in I Pagliacci at the Metropolitan and Nabucco in Baltimore.
Waters Maestro Willie Anthony Waters, Music Director, is currently General and Artistic Director of Connecticut Opera. He has conducted numerous noteworthy productions for the company, including the Arena production of Aïda in 1991, Otello, Porgy and Bess and Salome. In recent seasons he has been a guest conductor for numerous American and European opera companies and symphony orchestras, including several in South Africa. In 2002, he debuted at New York City Opera conducting Rigoletto, and returned the following season for Floyd’s Of Mice and Men. He also serves as Artistic Director of the Houston Ebony Opera Guild. In March, 2005, he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his conducting debut with Connecticut Opera, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford. In the 2005-6 season, he conducted The Italian Girl in Algiers, Cavalleria rusticana and Gianni Schicchi for Connecticut Opera and Carmen for Opera de Quebec.
Alley Laura Alley enjoys a distinguished career in opera direction, with a current repertoire of over fifty operas. Highlights include the European premiere of The Ghosts Of Versailles in Hannover, Germany; and the American premieres of Kinkakuji and The Dreyfus Affair for the NYCOpera. She has also directed much of the standard repertoire with Chautauqua, Syracuse, Kansas City, San Francisco, Austin, Cleveland, Connecticut, Raleigh and El Paso. She has taught and directed opera workshop productions at Louisiana State University, the Kansas City Conservatory, Temple University and many others. She is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music, where she most recently directed Die Zauberflöte. Future engagements include her debut with New Orleans Opera directing Le Nozze di Figaro.
CA Carmine Aufiero made his New York operatic debut in Chelsea Opera’s 2004 production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Since then he was made music director of the company, leading performances of Cavalleria Rusticana to rave reviews. From 1999 to 2002 he was assistant conductor to New Jersey’s popular Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, which Mr. Aufiero conducted in performance at Carnegie Hall in 2002 Mr. Aufiero conducted the 2002 world premiere of Kyle Gann’s opera Cinderella’s Bad Magic in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has recently been engaged as guest conductor for Regina Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus this fall. He recently conducted Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci for Chelsea Opera in New York City.
Bak Edward Bak is an accomplished and internationally respected pianist and vocal coach, with credits in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. He has performed widely in such venues as the Philips Collection, Tanglewood Festival, Lanaudiere Festival, Monnaie, Kolarac Hall, and Teatro Colón. He is in high demand as vocal coach and collaborative pianist. He has expertise in French, German, and Russian, as well as Italian and Spanish. He is currently on the faculty of The Ohio State University School of Music, and previously held faculty positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory, the Peabody Institute Preparatory. He has given master classes at the Escuela Moderna in Santiago and the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón. He was a visiting professor of piano in Seoul, South Korea.
Caine Charles Caine started his distinguished and illustrious career at the Metropolitan Opera as resident costume designer. During his 16 seasons there, he worked with many notable artists, including Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Franco Zeffirelli, Tyrone Guthrie, Marc Chagall, Callas, Tebaldi, Arroyo, Horne, Price, Scotto, Pavarotti, Gedda, Tucker, Domingo, Corelli, Bergonzi, etc. His Met designs for Luisa Miller appeared on PBS-TV. His work has also been seen on the stages of Chicago Lyric Opera, NYCO, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dallas Opera, and Canadian Opera. Recent productions have included Il Trovatore, Cavalleria Rusticana, Gianni Schicchi, and Le Nozze di Figaro. He is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, NYC.
SC Steven M. Crawford again joined the roster of conductors for the Metropolitan Opera this season with La Bohème. They included his second international radio broadcast from the Met, the first being his conducting debut last season in Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. Currently in his third year as a member of the conducting staff at the Met, he has just worked on their revivals of Turandot, Carmen, Il Trovatore and Ariadne auf Naxos. Upcoming engagements include Carmen at the Opera Company of North Carolina, as well as other cover assignments at the Met. Last summer he conducted La Cenerentola at the Cincinnati Opera, where he was called "the find of the evening" for stepping in on twelve hours notice to conduct Il Barbiere di Siviglia, while accompanying the recitatives on the fortepiano.
MF Michael Fennelly has appeared with orchestras throughout the US and Europe and holds many awards from international competitions. He has appeared many times on German public radio and television and his extensive recitals on the east coast culminated in a sold-out debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York City. Michael represented the US in the Horowitz Competition in Kiev, Ukraine. His position as staff pianist for CAMI and the Julliard School has led to innumerable recitals with every instrument and voice type. He has performed in Moscow Conservatory’s International Chopin Symposium, New York’s Schoenberg Music Festival and Italy’s Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Seminar. He was taught at age 5 by his mother and father. Later he was a pupil of Dr. Nellta True at the Eastman School of Music.
Partic6 Steven Horak, Makeup and Wig Designer, has been on the Makeup Department Staff of the Metropolitan Opera for eleven seasons, following twelve seasons as a wigmaker and makeup artist at the San Francisco Opera. Prior to joining the Met, his many years as a wig and makeup journeyman included seasons as Wig and Makeup Designer for Chicago Opera Theatre and the Lake George Opera Festival, and as a wig and makeup artist for the opera companies of Philadelphia, Miami, and St. Louis. He is currently also principal wig designer and executor for Studio EIS, a New York City company which furnishes realistic human figures to museums across North America.
RL Ronald Land, a Pennsylvania native, began his career as a child performer in musical theater and took his first singing lessons at age 8. Academically, he concentrated on the piano, having studied at the Hartt School of Music, the University of the Arts and Temple University. He has worked in a number of American Opera companies, including, Augusta Opera, Dicapo Opera Theater, Metro Lyric Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Utah Festival Opera Company, Baltimore Opera, and Connecticut Opera. He maintains a studio as a freelance coach, gives master-classes, and serves as a judge on competition juries. Ronald is also a published author and a frequent guest-lecturer.
Olsen Kathy Olsen is one of the most famous and sought-after opera coach/accompanists in the world today. Throughout her professional career she has been involved with every aspect of singer development and career counseling. With the creation of Encompass Arts, Ms. Olsen embarks upon the logical next step in her career path. Her opera credits include positions at many companies in both the United States and Europe. In 2001 she was offered the position of Principle Coach and Artistic Administrator for Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of Puccini’s La Bohème. She holds both a Bachelor of Music and a Masters Degree in Piano Performance.
Rievman Ellen Rievman has a performing career spanning nearly three decades. As a member of the Metropolitan Opera ballet, she performed in over 100 productions alongside some of our greatest opera stars. Since leaving the Met, she has worked with singers to coach the drama, explore the text, and to incorporate these skills with gesture, movement, stagecraft, and physical eloquence. She has been teaching Master Classes for Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, National Opera Company and many more. As a director, she has staged scenes, directed cabaret acts and recitals and produced and directed opera evenings of many contemporary composers. She has also directed concerts for, among others, NYSTA and the Baroque Aria Ensemble at MSM. She coaches privately and also presents ongoing classes and workshops.
Sergio Sergio Stefani was born in Bologna, Italy and grew up in Rome, where he studied Liberal Arts at Liceo “Pilo Albertelli” and Law at the University of Rome, before coming to the United States. About twenty years ago, he devised a unique approach for teaching his native language - the opportunity of learning at one’s own pace - a teaching program that must be the student’s learning program - individual lessons to cover grammar or special individual needs - conversation classes to hone one’s skills - diction and role interpretation to opera singers. Sergio has enjoyed being a supernumerary at the Metropolitan Opera and he is proud to have had, among his students, some members of that company. Today, his activity is concentrated on special programs, as he works on his own book “L ‘italiano a modo mio” .
LD Lyudmilla Syrochkina was born in Russia and studied at the Glinka Conservatory in Nizhniy Novgorod where she received a Master of Music degree as a concert musician. While there she studied with Edvard Zveig and Alexandr Benditsky. From 1981 to 1994 she was soloist, accompanist and coach with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Yaroslavel Russia. She then moved to New York and began working as Music Director/Organist at Presbyterian Church. She has accompanied many operatic performers including Angela Brown, Mariana Zvetkova, Anna Shafajinskaia, Marlena Delamorra and Kenneth Overton. She has performed in such places as Trinity Church (St. Paul’s Chapel), Liederkranz, Weill Hall, Mannes College and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.