Carmine Aufiero made his New York conducting debut with Chelsea Opera's Suor Angelica and has led performances of Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci and Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors which was performed in New York and Los Angeles to rave reviews. A New Jersey native, he became assistant conductor to New Jersey's Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea under Alphonse Stephenson in 1999, conducting at the Festival of the Atlantic, the Trenton War Memorial and in 2001 at Carnegie Hall. In opera, Maestro Aufiero conducted the premiere of Kyle Gann's Cinderella's Bad Magic in St. Petersburg, Russia. The summer of 2003, he was engaged as pianist and assistant conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra's production of Janacek's Osud under Maestro Leon Botstein. Mr. Aufiero studied orchestral conducting with Harold Farberman and composition theory and improvisation with Robert Abramson. He has been a guest conductor with Regina Opera for Die Fledermaus, and conducted Espresso Opera's second production, Rigoletto. Maestro Aufiero has acted as conductor for El Dorado Opera in Los Angeles and is on the faculty of Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance program. He recently made his debut as guest conductor in Dicapo Opera Theater's production of Beauty and the Beast.




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 THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES in Hannover, Germany, and the American premieres of KINKAKUJI and THE DREYFUS AFFAIR for the New York City Opera. Among the opera companies for which she has directed much of the standard repertoire are New York City Opera, Syracuse, Kansas City, San Francisco, Austin, Cleveland, El Paso, Chautauqua and Connecticut Opera and most recently The MARRIAGE OF FIGARO for the New Orleans Opera. Miss Alley has taught and directed opera workshop productions at Louisiana State University, the Kansas City Conservatory, Temple University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Converse College, Rutgers University and New York University. She is currently associated with the Mannes College of Music. Future engagements include a return for the third season of Martina Arroyo’s summer program, Prelude to Performance.





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.






Mihaela Bogdan,  a Fulbright Alumni and the recipient of the 2007 Dr. David Farrar Assistant Stage Director Grant for The Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance®  , is the resident stage director of Romanian National Opera Cluj and is currently the founder and stage director of ExArt organization. She has directed opera and theatre productions in Romania, Germany and USA, such as Die Fledermaus, Rake’s Progress, The Magic Flute, Lakme, Horarius with the T-Bob company, Henze’s Moralities, Susa’s Transformations, Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and the acclaimed production of Piazzolla - Maria de Buenos Aires. Her activity includes leading acting workshops at Indiana University Bloomington (IU Summer Opera Workshop 2005 and 2006 editions) and at Miami University of Ohio (culminating with The Magic Flute production of 2007). As an assistant stage director she was involved in projects with IU Opera Theater, Vancouver Opera Company, Indianapolis Opera, Martina Arroyo Foundation NYC, and her participation in the acclaimed Festival Junger Künstler in Bayreuth, Germany.







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.







Kristan Cassady was born in Winter Park, Florida and began playing the violin at the age of five. Since then she has traveled with numerous orchestras throughout Europe, England, and the United States including the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Florida International Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de Siena, Orlando Philharmonic, and played a summer season with The London Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with a myriad of artists ranging from opera to rock. In addition her musical skills for The Martina Arroyo Foundation, she is also Concertmaster of The Chelsea Opera Chamber Orchestra, as well as an active teacher, chamber musician, recitalist, and freelance violinist in, and around, New York City. Her former teachers and coaches include Lisa Kim, Arnold Steinhart, and Ayako Yonetani.







Steven Horak, Makeup and Wig Designer, has been on the Makeup Department Staff of the Metropolitan Opera for twelve 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.








Molly Johnson, soprano, is an active performer-teacher. Professional opera and music theatre credits include roles with Opera East Texas, Asheville (NC) Lyric Opera, Baton Rouge Opera, Nebraska Theatre Caravan, Music Theatre of Wichita, and Lyric Theater of Oklahoma. Favorite roles range from the maternal to the manly to the maniacal, including The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance and the Old Lady in Candide. In concert, Ms. Johnson has appeared as soloist in Handel's Messiah, Rutter's Magnificat, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Tippett's A Child of Our Time, and Mendelssohn's Elijah. Classical recitals, sacred concerts, musical theatre cabarets, and duo programs with her husband, Mark (a tenor), are among the smaller forms she enjoys preparing and presenting. The Johnsons have recorded two CDs of sacred music: Simply Christmas and The Majesty of Thy Name. When not on stage, Dr. Johnson is in the classroom or studio at the University of Texas at Tyler, where she teaches applied voice and related courses and is Director of the Opera Workshop. Prior appointments include The University of North Carolina-Asheville, Montreat (NC) College, and Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. Dr. Johnson holds the Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma City University, and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Louisiana State University.





Joan Krueger was named “2004 Coach of the Year” by Classical Singer magazine. She has accompanied such artists as Cecilia Bartoli, Sumi Jo, and Vinson Cole through her association with New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and was seen on A&E’s Breakfast With The Arts, accompanying soprano Carol Vaness. Ms. Krueger has performed collaborative recitals in Avery Fisher Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The United Nations, Weill Recital Hall, the Donnell Library, and numerous other venues in the New York City area where she maintains an active coaching studio. She has been an Assistant Conductor for the Sarasota Opera, Music Director for NYU’s Opera Workshop, and on the faculty of the Intermezzo Opera Festival. Ms. Krueger is the pianist for many prestigious vocal competitions including the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Competition, the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, and the Chester Ludgin Verdi Baritone Competition. She was recently a judge for the Classical Singer Vocal Competition. Ms. Krueger is on the faculty of Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Opera New York’s Making It In Opera, and the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute. She has been a guest artist at many U.S. Universities and Conservatories. Currently on the faculty of SUNY Purchase, Ms. Krueger teaches French and Italian Diction, Operatic Styles and coaches. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Michigan State University and her Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan.




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.








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 Co., 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, HB Studios, Showtix: Behind the Scenes Broadway and Southern Connecticut State University. He is resident fight director for REV Theatre Co.  www.thefightguys.com









Ellen Rievman has a performing career spanning nearly three decades. For twenty-four years, as a member of the Metropolitan Opera, she performed in over 100 productions alongside some of our generation's greatest opera stars. Since leaving the Met in 1995, she has worked with singers to coach the drama, explore the text, and incorporate these skills with gesture, movement, stagecraft, and physical eloquence. Ms. Rievman coaches privately, directs, and also presents on-going classes and workshops in audition preparation, dramatic presentation, song/aria interpretation and performance.

A partial list of her accomplishments includes teaching Master Classes for Apprentice Artists of the Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, National Opera Company, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National and Regional Conventions, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Utah Festival Opera, UNC, Greensboro, and New York Singing Teachers' Association (NYSTA) National Symposium. April, 2006, she was featured in an interview in Classical Singer Magazine and presented two Master Classes in May, 2006, for the Classical Singer Convention in Philadelphia. July, 2007, features her in Opera News Magazine. Ms. Rievman is a former board member of NYSTA and was a consultant and coach to the Richard Tucker Foundation in assisting participants in this annual competition.

As a director, she has staged scenes, directed cabaret acts, produced and directed opera evenings of such contemporary composers as Seymour Barab, William Mayer and Philip Hagemann, directed concerts and recitals, and worked for 3 years with the Manhattan School of Music's Baroque Aria Ensemble in their annual productions. The summer of 2006 she directed Don Pasquale and Falstaff for Martina Arroyo's summer program, Prelude to Performance. This summer she will direct Cosi’ Fan Tutte.

In addition to directing, teaching and coaching for Prelude to Performance, she is faculty, director and consultant to Arlene Shrut's New Triad For the Collaborative Arts and in November, 2006, she directed a recital workshop for New Triad. In February, 2007, through New Triad, she presented a workshop for the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh, and May, 2007, she directed a piano recital performed at the Icosahedron Gallery in Soho. Ms. Rievman is a Senior Coach and Associate at TAI Resources, The Actors' Institute, in New York City.



Susan Stout holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in French and Romance Philology from Columbia University, and has devoted her entire career to the teaching and translating of French. In recent years, her focus has been on teaching French and French diction to singers, as well as to directors, stage directors, and assistant conductors preparing for productions of French operas. She has served as French diction coach for productions of Carmen, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Faust, and Werther for One World Symphony, National Lyric Opera, and Dicapo Opera Theatre. Her private students have included those preparing for roles or directing/conducting at the New York City Opera, l’Opéra National de Lyon, le Grand Théâtre de Genève, Nashville Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Orlando Opera and Taconic Opera, as well as for master classes in France with Jessye Norman and Dalton Baldwin.







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








Warren George Wilson Since completing his erudition with a Master of Science Degree from the Juilliard School of Music, Mr. Wilson has pursued a multi-faceted career as conductor, pedagogue, vocal coach and vocal chamber music partner on the inter national stage. Further studies with Pierre Bernac in Paris, France and with Darius Milhaud at the Aspen, Colorado Music Festival, eventually led to artistic collaborations with innumerable internationally renowned artists among whom are Alexan der Kipnis, William Warfield, Shirley Verrett, McHenry Boatwright, Anna Moffo, Mary Costa, Leopold Simoneau, Reri Grist and Jennie Tourel. Mr. Wilson has been the recipient of many important awards among which are grants from the Hattie M. Strong Foundation, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation, the National Association of Negro Musicians, and a John Hay Whitney Fellowship.
For nine years Mr. Wilson was the Music Director of the Opera Theatre at Boston University, at which institution over time, he con ducted multiple performances of 27 operas as well as semi-annual scene recitals.
His conducting activities have taken him from the world of opera at Wolf Trap (at which institution he inaugurated the then new Barns Theatre), to the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and an auspicious debut with the Moscow Philharmonic at Tschaikowski Hall in Moscow. His impressive debut with the Dallas Symphony afforded Mr. Wilson the Key to the City presented by the Mayor of Dallas.
In acknowledgement of his extensive artistic capabilities, Mr. Wilson has been privileged to perform at state dinners at the White House for the Italian Premier and the Japanese Prime Minister.
Maestro Wilson’s operatic/orchestral repertoire is both varied and extensive and includes many important rarities including “Calisto” and L’Egisto of Francesco Cavalli and the “Chamber Symphony” of Howard Swanson and the “Organ Concerto” of Francis Poulenc.
In culmination of a mutually fulfilling musical liaison in excess of twenty years, Mr. Wilson has become conductor and Department Chairperson at the Choir Academy of Harlem (the school of the Boys’ Choir of Harlem, Inc.).
During his tenure at the Choir Academy of Harlem, Mr. Wilson was able to create an opportunity for gifted students over a ten-year period to receive full scholarships to the prestigious Tanglewood Festival Youth Program; affording them the opportunity to partake of the quality training so necessary for students with artistic aspirations.
Coupled with his relatedness to the music of the past, Mr. Wilson has a profound affinity for the music of today. He has commissioned or been responsible for the commissioning of important works for the vocal and orchestral repertoire by outstanding composers of our time, among whom are George Walker, Thomas Pasatieri, Henri Sauget, Ned Rorem and Hale Smith.

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This site was last updated 06/24/09