Staff and Faculty 2010
Martina Arroyo Mark Rucker Willie Anthony Waters Laura Alley Elena Araoz Brad Barnett
Charles Caine Jen Joyce Davis Elena Doria Nicholas Fox Ian Paul Guzzone Stephen Mo Hanan
Laura Hirschberg Steven Horak Molly Johnson Hee Kyung Juhn Joan Krueger Matthew Lata
Brad Lemons Robert Lyall Kathy Olsen Lydia Popper Ellen Rievman Joel Rudzinski
Amire Soloman Sergio Stefani Anne Troy
 
 
MA Martina Arroyo, Artistic Director. For many years, Martina Arroyo's name has been synonymous with music making of the highest order. She has performed at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, London's Covent Garden, Milan's La Scala, the Vienna State Opera and the Buenos Aires Teatro Colon, and in the concert halls of Salzburg, Berlin, Rome, Paris and New York. She was appointed by President Ford as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts, where she served for six years. Ms. Arroyo is a trustee emerita of the Hunter College Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. She is a recipient of the 2009 Opera News Award and 2010 NEA Opera Award. Her teaching credentials include Indiana University in Bloomington, University of California Los Angeles, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Ms. Arroyo was the first recipient of the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Other organizations that have honored her include The Chester Ludgin Foundation, Orpheus Orchestra, Opera Noire, The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and most recently the Gerda Lissner Foundation. She was also inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has delighted television and radio audiences with appearances on "The Odd Couple" and over 20 appearances on the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson; she is a frequent guest and host on the "Singers' Roundtable," the intermission feature of live radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.
   
MR Mark Rucker, Administrative Director first sang Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Luciano Pavarotti. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in Aida and returned as Don Carlo in La forza del destino, Rigoletto and Tonio in Pagliacci. His Italian debut was Rigoletto in Bologna and he returned to Italy for such roles as Macbeth and Nabucco. Recent appearances have included Stankar in Stiffelio at Wiener Staatsoper, Macbeth and Rigoletto for Opera Liege, Nabucco for the Savonlinna and Bregenz Festivals and Amonasro for Arena di Verona. He has sung major dramatic baritone roles throughout North America. His Carnegie Hall debut was Don Carlo in La forza del destino, Antonio in Linda di Chaumonix at the Concertgebouw and Rigoletto in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic. Future engagements include the title role in his first Der Fliegende Holländer in Belgium. www.markrucker.com
   
WW Maestro Willie Anthony Waters, Music Director, is formerly General and Artistic Director of Connecticut Opera. He conducted numerous noteworthy productions for the company, including the Arena production of Aïda in 1991, Otello, Porgy and Bess and Salome. He has been a guest conductor for numerous American and European opera companies and symphony orchestras, including several in South Africa. In 2002, Maestro Waters debuted at New York City Opera, and in 2008, he made his debut at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford. This season he conducted Die Fledermaus for Opera Hamilton (Ontario) and University of Connecticut Opera Theater, Il trovatore for Opera Naples, and Carmen for Florida Grand Opera.
   
Alley Laura Alley enjoys a distinguished career in opera direction. She has a current repertoire of over fifty operas, which she has directed throughout the United States. Highlights include the European premiere of Ghosts of Versailles in Germany, and the American premieres of Kinkakuji and The Dreyfus Affair for New York City Opera. Among the opera companies for which she has directed are Syracuse, Kansas City, San Francisco, Austin, Cleveland, El Paso, Chautauqua, Connecticut, and New Orleans. Ms. Alley has taught and directed opera workshop productions at Louisiana State University, Temple, Rutgers, New York University, and is currently on the faculty of Mannes College The New School for Music.
   
Enn Elena Araoz has directed on the international, Off-Broadway and regional levels. Her operetta War Music toured around the country. As a member of the 2009 Glimmerglass Opera directing staff, she choreographed Steven Blier’s “Latin Lovers” concert. She directed a semi-staged production of Falstaff starring Sir Thomas Allen, with Maestro Robert Spano, for the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She regularly serves as Associate or Assistant Director to Sir Jonathan Miller on his Broadway production of King Lear, and his opera productions at Lincoln Center, Seattle Opera, BAM, Glimmerglass Opera and upcoming at Vancouver Opera. She will direct new plays for the Negro Ensemble Company in New York and the Underground Railway Theater in Boston. www.elenaaraoz.com
   
BB Brian Barnett is delighted to be returning to Prelude to Performance after his prior work on La bohème, Die Fledermaus, Le nozze di Figaro, and Un ballo in maschera. He has previously lit The Play of Daniel, a medieval opera at The Cloisters; Prudence, world premiere at Connecticut Repertory Theatre; Crazy for You at Maine State Music Theatre; Babes in Arms at Seven Angels Theatre; Dying City at The Barrow Group Theatre; The Meaning of Life…, NYC Premiere; Orange, NYC Premiere; Albany Berkshire Ballet’s Nutcracker Tour, 2006-present. He frequently works as Associate Lighting Designer to Jeff Davis in such companies as Palm Beach Opera, Mannes Opera, NYC, Indianapolis Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, the Manhattan School of Music, and Berkshire Opera. www.bwbstudio.org.
   
CC Charles Caine brings his talents and experience to our program for our sixth season. He started his illustrious career at the Metropolitan Opera, as resident costume designer for sixteen seasons, and since then has designed for many other opera companies, including Canadian Opera, Montreal Opera, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Opera, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and New York City Opera. His designs have appeared in the acclaimed PBS-TV production of Luisa Miller starring Domingo, Milnes and Scotto. Aside from design projects he now adds lectures to his schedule, recalling the glories from the Golden Days backstage at the Met.
   
JD Jen Joyce Davis (Photographer) “I grew up a military kid, we were always moving around.  My Dad "the great explorer" as I like to call him, gave me my first camera when I was 9, and I began my own explorations through a viewfinder. Now 33, and living in NY, a hobby in youth has now turned into a profession as an adult. To capture and moment of time in a single frame, and to successfully convey what I was seeing and feeling at the time is my biggest challenge. Photographing the Opera brings me these challenges every second. I love being able to get close and into the singers world as they perform, I am shadow in the darkness of a theater, feeling the rage of gentlemen dueling over a lady love, the sadness of lost love, the evil of a hated tyrant,  and the humor of a jester.  The moments are never ending.”
   
EMM Elena Doria received her degree at Juilliard before winning a Fulbright scholarship to study in Italy where she made her debut in La traviata. Returning to the US, she sang with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus for twenty years, and then served as director of the Metropolitan Opera’s Children’s Chorus for additional twenty years. Ms. Doria has also been a long-time trainer of the children’s chorus for Covent Garden, and in 2004 coached Met Children’s Chorus alumna Emmy Rossum for her starring role in the movie, The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Doria retired from the Met in January 2009 and continues teaching.
   
NF Nicholas Fox began studying piano and composition at the age of twelve. He was a much-in-demand vocal coach and accompanist in the Southern California area. Since graduation from Mannes, he has remained an extremely in-demand accompanist, coach, teacher, and conductor in the New York area. He has led several fully staged operatic productions. He has been music director and conductor of Opera at Rutgers Church. In May 2007 he assisted Maestro Yves Abel, principal guest conductor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in a series of performances of Rameau’s ‘Castor et Pollux’ with Mr. Abel’s L’Opera Francais de New York. He led the Mannes Chorus and Orchestra in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at the church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in Manhattan. He was appointed Assistant Chorus Master at New York City Opera in September, 2009.
   
P3 Ian Paul Guzzone is an MFA Scenic Design candidate at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Ian was formerly the resident Props Master at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. Recent credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare and Company, set design); Rent (Temple University, assistant set design), and Thirst: A Spell For Christabel (First Light Theatre Group NYC, props master). Ian is very excited to be participating in is first project with The Martina Arroyo Foundation.
   
P4 As the original Gus/Growltiger in Broadway’s Cats, Stephen Mo Hanan received a Tony nomination and subsequently published his rehearsal journal, A Cat’s Diary. He was co-author and star of Jolson & Company at the York Theatre, off-Broadway’s Century Center, and Miami’s Coconut Grove Playhouse. He has sung Gustavo in ballo in maschera at the Amato Opera, and is author of Scarpia’s Kiss, a novel of opera’s world. He has just returned from portraying the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance, a production in Yiddish by Montréal’s Segal Centre for the Arts. His blog posts are archived at huffingtonpost.com.
   
LH Laura Hirschberg is delighted to be a part of this production. Past stage management experiences include Magic & Mayhem (WorkShop Theater), Henry V at Harvard University), Are You There, Zeus? It's Me, Electra with Looking Glass Theatre, Bleecker Street Theater, Abby & June (The Tank), and Orestes 2.0 (BoCoCa Festival). Laura is a graduate of Harvard University
   
P6 Steven Horak, has been on the Makeup Department Staff of the Metropolitan Opera for fourteen 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 journeyman included seasons as Wig and Makeup Designer for Michigan Opera Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre, 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 constructor for Studio E.I.S., a Brooklyn-based company which furnishes realistic human figures to museums across North America. These include the new Education Center at the Mount Vernon Estate in Virginia which features forensically age-regressed figures of George Washington.
   
MJ Lisa Jablow is a singer and conductor based in Vermont and NYC. For 10 years she was a company member of NYCO, where she is currently on the supertitle staff. A two-time alumna of the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik and the director of her solo company “microscOPERA,” she will be creating the title role in the world premiere of Dennis Báthory-Kitsz’s monodrama Erzsébet next October. Currently she is the Assistant Conductor and Chorus Director of the Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra and the Music Director of the Vermont Symphonic Winds.
   
HK Born in South Korea, pianist Hee-Kyung Juhn lived her teen-age years in South America, and made her orchestral debut at age 16 playing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Ciudad de Asuncion. After coming to the U.S., Juhn attended the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and participated in music festivals such as Tanglewood, Aspen, among others. She recorded J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations on MSR Classics (available at www.amazon.com), and has performed as soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist in various venues. Currently, she is the Director of Keyboard Studies at Henderson State University in Arkansas.
   
JK Joan Krueger was named “2004 Coach of the Year” by Classical Singer magazine. She has accompanied Cecilia Bartoli, Sumi Jo, and Vinson Cole at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, was seen with Carol Vaness on A&E’s Breakfast With The Arts, has performed collaborative recitals in Avery Fisher Hall, The Met Museum of Art, The United Nations, and many other venues across the U.S. She was an Assistant Conductor for the Sarasota Opera, Music Director for NYU’s Opera Workshop, and a coach for Intermezzo Opera Festival. Currently, she is on the faculty of SUNY Purchase and the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute. She is the pianist for the Jensen and the Chester Ludgin Verdi Baritone competitions and was a judge for the Classical Singer vocal competition. She maintains an active coaching studio in NY.  
   
Headshot Matthew Lata made his professional debut with Otello for the Florida Grand Opera. Dozens of invitations followed, including Carmen in Baltimore, Turandot in Los Angeles and Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He received international recognition for Hugo Weisgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author at the Chicago Lyric's Center for American Artists. Recent productions also include Der Rosenkavalier for the Portland Opera, Aida for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Fille du Régiment for New York City Opera, Der Fliegender Holländer in Alaska and Don Giovanni in New Orleans. His Kennedy Center debut in Washington was with Don Giovanni and the world premiere of Anton Coppola's Sacco and Vanzetti for Opera Tampa. He is currently Professor of Music and Resident Stage Director at Florida State University.
   
BL Brad Lemons has served as Fight Director on Random Violence at the Brooklyn Lyceum, productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream for Circle in the Square Theatre School and REV Theatre Co., Witch of Edmonton also for REV Theatre Company, as well as a series of student films at the New York Film Academy, working in tandem with emerging young film directors. He was Assistant to B.H. Barry on Broadway's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. His work as a fight performer has been seen in Carmen and Otello at the Metropolitan Opera and on “All My Children” at ABC. He has taught for Circle in the Square, the New York Film Academy, Showtix: Behind the Scenes Broadway and Southern Connecticut State University. He is resident fight director for REV Theatre Company. www.thefightguys.com
   
RL Robert Lyall was named General/Artistic Director of New Orleans Opera in 1998, and has been the Artistic Director of Michigan’s Opera Grand Rapids since 1989. He was General Director of the Knoxville Opera and the Mississippi Opera, served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Istanbul State Opera in Turkey, and was the Music Director of the Victoria and Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestras. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1998, has guest conducted recently at the Arena di Verona (Italy) and made his Russian debut with the Rostov State Theatre in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-na-Danau.
   
KO Katherine 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.  Career highlights include staff positions at the Juilliard School of Music, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Baz Luhrmann’s on Broadway. Six years ago she founded Encompass Arts artist management.  Kathy represents Marcello Giordani, Cheryl Studer, Harolyn Blackwell, Wolfgang Brendel, Lisa Vroman, John Cullum, and Anthony Laciura, among many others. www.EncompassArts.com<
   
LP Lydia Popper was born in Vienna. She acquired a doctorate in European Law. She has translated libretti and acted as German diction coach on several early Richard Strauss operas for Opera Orchestra of New York and later fulfilled the same functions for New York City Opera under Beverly Sills. Her work there included an all-new German production of Die Zauberflöte, which was telecast on PBS, and the first staged NY production of Moses und Aron. In addition to private coaching, together with Neal Goren of Gotham Chamber Opera, she conducted courses at Mannes College of Music on the inter-relationship between European cultures and certain specific periods of music, as well as their significance in the interpretation of song and opera. In 2009 she was the coach for Prelude’s production of Die Fledermaus.
   
ER Ellen Rievman, Libretto Class, has a performing career at the Metropolitan Opera spanning 25 years. Since leaving The Met she has worked with singers to coach the drama, explore the text, and combine these skills with stagecraft. She is a Senior Associate at The TAI Group working with business clients internationally, is a core consultant of New Triad for the Collaborative Arts, and was a founding faculty member of Prelude to Performance. She has been featured in articles in Opera News and Classical Singer Magazine and has presented Master Classes for, among others, Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School and Mannes College The New School for Music. In 2007 she directed Cosi fan tutte for Prelude to Performance.
   
Joel Joel Rudzinski is excited to be working with the Martina Arroyo Foundation. A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in theatrical production and design, Joel has been stage managing for eight years for companies in CT, MA, and NY. Favorite past shows include Memoirs of Madness (My Fair Heathen Productions), You Can’t Take It With You, Guys and Dolls, As You Like It (Northeastern Studio Theatre), The White Album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Brookline Music School), A Street Theater Named Desire (The Theater Offensive). Thanks to Joe, Laurie, Kurt, and Rebecca for all the love and support.
   
Amire Amire Solomon was awarded this year’s prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship while attending Long Island University. The three-year program offers paid summer internships, mentoring, and enhanced educational opportunities to NYC undergraduates who demonstrate exceptional promise, outstanding leadership skills and commitment to the common good. He plans to major in both English and accounting. He has worked with the MTA Arts for Transit-Music Under New York program where he traveled to various locations to monitor the program’s musicians. A bass player, his interest in music is both professional and personal. He has also acted as a docent for the NY Transit Museum. His most notable achievements, however have come in track and field–he won the triple jump event at the NEC Indoor Championships.
   
SS Sergio Stefani was born in Bologna, Italy and grew up in Rome, where he studied Liberal Arts at the 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 to learn 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 for opera singers. Sergio has enjoyed being a supernumerary at the Metropolitan Opera, and is proud to have had among his students some members of that company.  http://www.italianwithsergio.com
   
AT Anne Troy has for two years assisted Elena Doria in recruiting and coordinating the children’s and adult choruses, including opening a partnership with LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. Anne is currently Executive Director of the Martina Arroyo Foundation with a background that includes Development Director for the Mayor’s Office of New York and the Marilyn Horne Foundation, as well as extensive experience in both advertising and social services. Her daughter, Zoe Soumkine, was with The Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus for nine years, and is in her second year with the chorus of Prelude to Performance.