“Oh Mr. Sousa!”
(artists selected per availability, several roles double cast)
Michael Abts, John Philip Sousa, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State Univ. and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy, Oxford. He has appeared on stage with the San Francisco, Livermore and Marin Shakespeare companies, Ross Valley Players, Naked Masks and others. Favorite roles include: Benvolio (Romeo & Juliet), Duke of Burgundy (King Lear), Estragon (Waiting for Godot), Hal (Proof), Treplyov (The Sea Gull), Richard the Lionheart (Lion in Winter) and Daniel Kaffee (A Few Good Men). www.michaelabts.com
Caroline Altman, Jennie, has appeared with 42nd St. Moon, Playhouse West, California Shakespeare Company, Woodminster Summer Musicals, San Diego Comic Opera and others, has performed in Switzerland, Germany and Holland, and has directed many musical theatre productions, including West Side Story and Oklahoma! She also is Director of Education head for San Francisco Opera Guild and tours nationally with Savoy Express* Favorite roles include Fanny, Nymph Errant, Monica (The Medium), Luisa (Fantasticks!) and Becky Thatcher (Tom Sawyer, Nat’l Tour).
Ann Assarsson, soprano, has performed in the United States and abroad, with the major hilite of singing for HRH Princess Christina of Sweden! Holding degrees from Santa Clara and Notre Dame de Namur Univs. as well as American Musical Theatre Artists Institute, Ann is also a winner of the Redwood Symphony 2004-2005 Aria Competition. Leading roles include: The Merry Widow, Hansel & Gretel, Merrily We Roll Along, and An Ideal Husband. Ann is featured on Ardenwood Records.
Cheryl Blalock, Jennie, has sung most of the G&S soprano roles with Lamplighters Music Theatre, Lyric Theatre of San Jose, and Stanford Savoyards, and claims Queen of the Night (Magic Flute), Adele (Fledermaus), Eurydice (Orpheus), Anna and Valencienne (The Merry Widow), Cunegonde (Candide) and the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Rodgers & Hart/Hammerstein as additional credits. Cheryl is on the Board of Directors of Lyric Theatre of San Jose and also tours nationally with Savoy Express.*
Kathi Brotemarkle, soprano, has starred with Lamplighters
Music Theatre for 12 years. Her roles in- clude: Phyllis (Iolanthe), Tessa
(The Gondoliers), Pitti-Sing (The Mikado), Lady Psyche (Princess Ida, which
she also performed in England, at the 1995 International G&S Festival)
and more. Other roles include Cunegonde (Candide), Sally Bowles (Cabaret),
Venus (Orpheus in the Underworld), and Dolly Levi (Hello, Dolly!). Kathi is
also a regular touring member of the Savoy Express troupe.*
Grant Halsing, tenor’s appearances with Contemporary Opera Marin, 42nd St. Moon, Novato Theater Company, and many other companies, have included roles in Fiddler on the Roof; Brigadoon; The Threepenny Opera; Bye Bye, Birdie; Annie; Inherit the Wind; Plain and Fancy; Working; Send for Mr. Plim; the long-running Keyhole Mystery Theater and the equally long-running revue, For Whom the Bridge Tolls. Most recently he appeared in the premiere of Thunderbabe! and (coincidentally to a scene in our production) as Prof. Harold Hill, in Meredith Willson’s ever popular The Music Man.
Nicki Petruzzella Kerns, pianist, has performed in Australia, New York, Guatemala, all over the state of California, and has appeared as a soloist with Redwood Symphony, with whom she has also played string bass for many seasons. She has worked with Actor's Theater, Novato Lyric Opera, Mendocino Music Festival, and accompanied workshops for American Musical Theatre of San Jose, as well as opera/musical theater productions for all ages. Nicki also tours nationally with Savoy Express*, a G&S potpourri troupe.
Lavinia Livingston, pianist, has performed with the Jupiter Trio and as soloist with Yuba-Sutter Symphony. A former staff/faculty member at Yuba College, she collaborated with the Music/Theater Arts Departments in A Little Night Music, The Fantastics!, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Three Penny Opera, and a Stephen Sondheim review. Presently she is a collaborative pianist at Bethany University, associate organist at Holy Cross Church, Santa Cruz, CA, operates a thriving piano studio, and is a frequent judge at piano competitions and auditions throughout the state.
Lester Lehr, Conductor, received his DMA at USC (CA) and his MM of Music Lit. from Eastman School of Music. He has been Director of Bands at American River College for 34 years; now retired; and is founder of both the California Wind Orchestra, 1995-2001, and the Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band Association, the largest community band organization in the U.S. He is currently the Director of Sacramento Symphonic Winds: www.sacwinds.org. and listed with Price Rubin Partners for conductor exchanges all over the world: http://pricerubin.com/classical
Michael Morris, Antonio Sousa etal, has been performing, conducting and teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area for 30 years. A highly sought after soloist, he has performed with various orchestras and sung lead roles in over 60 operas, operettas and musicals: Scarpia (Tosca), Germont (La traviata), Mephistopheles (Faust), Dutchman (Flying Dutchman), Tonio (I pagliacci), Lindorf/Copplelius/Dappertutto/Dr. Miracle (Hoffmann), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Don Bartolo (Figaro), and many, many more. He is a past winner of the prestigious George London Award.
Ken Malucelli, writer-director, 18-year veteran of San Francisco Opera, has also done lead and feature roles with Lamplighters, Lyric Theatre, West Bay Opera, etc.; and has directed for Lamplighters, Lyric, Redwood Symphony, Chanticleer, and others. His ballet, The Midway!, will receive its world premiere by DTO/Dance Theatre of Oregon, and his song cycle, Soul Journey, set to poems by Elisabeth Eliassen, debut’d in 2005. *He is also writer-director of Savoy Express’ nationally touring potpourri/ revue, G&S: The Aspects of Love, featuring songs and scenes from 11 of the 14 G&S comic operas.
Douglas Mandell, tenor, has not only appeared in Lamplighters’ and Goat Hall Productions’ shows and the world premiere of Candace Forest’s acclaimed new opera, “Viva Concha!” (Commandante Arguello), he has also performed in marching bands playing trumpet, cornet and alto horns! Favorite roles include MacHeath (Threepenny Opera), Governor and Vanderdendur (Candide), and The Magician/Nika Magadoff (Menotti’s The Consul).
John Minagro, Antonio Sousa etal, has appeared with both San Francisco Opera and Symphony, at Lincoln Center, Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle, on PBS and concert halls and theaters both here and abroad, in a wide variety of Opera, Oratorio, Concert and Musical Theater roles, including over 2000 performances in Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco. He created the role of Confederate General Howell in the World Premiere of the Philip Glass opera, Appomatox, and can also be heard as Juan Peron on the 2005 Grammy nominated CD, Corpus Evita.
Kathleen Mulready, soprano, recently finished her Master's degree at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has appeared as soloist with Hartford Symphony Chamber Orchestra and most recently as The Figurehead in 42nd Street Moon's production of The Golden Apple. Favorite Roles include La Fee (Cendrillon), Cinderella (Into the Woods), Mme. Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor) and Becky LaRue (The Passion of Rita St. James, world premiere).
Nicholas Patton, tenor, has appeared with Lyric Theatre of San Jose, The Independent Production Group, Foothill College Music Theatre, Reed College Theatre, and currently teaches at the Music School of Sunnyvale. Favorite roles include Richard Dauntless (Ruddigore), Alexis (The Sorcerer), Matt (The Fantasticks! ), Anthony (Sweeney Todd), Tom Tom (Babes in Toyland), Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Robin Hood), Lt. Bluntschli (The Chocolate Soldier), Jerry (The Zoo Story) and Xanthias (Sondheim’s The Frogs).
Stephanie Rhoads, Jennie, Producing Artistic Director of San Francisco’s famed 42nd St. Moon, is also winner of two Dean Goodman Choice Awards (Irene, Hello, Dolly!; Helen, Out of This World). Appearances with American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Beach Blanket Babylon, Theatre Phoenix, Redwood Symphony, Royal Cruise Lines and many others have included Venus (One Touch of Venus), Jenny Lind (Barnum), Ninotchka (Silk Stockings), Elvira (High Spirits), Alisande (Connecticut Yankee), being featured in Simply Sondheim at the new SFJCC Kanbar Hall,and more.
Clifton Romig, bass baritone, no stranger to the opera stage, has performed over 30 roles, from Mephistopheles and Figaro to Don Alfonso and Mustafa and beyond, with Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Colorado and more. He has also sung with symphony orchestras, including Berkeley Symphony with Kent Nagano.
Brian M Rosen, John Philip Sousa, has appeared with the Lamplighters, 42nd Street Moon, Playhouse West, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and Cinnabar Opera Theater, for which he was commissioned to compose an operatic adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Princeton University, and Music Director of the Richter Scales a cappella group, he is developing a solo opera. Roles include Martin (Candide), Carl Magnus (A Little Night Music), etc., and he sang in the ensemble in PBS’ Great Performances series production of Sweeney Todd.
Brett Ruona, soprano, has sung with San Francisco Opera Guild, Golden Gate and Pacific Repertory Opera companies, Symphony Silicon Valley and tours nationally with Savoy Express. Holding a Master of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she has been heard as Papagena (Magic Flute), Atalanta (Serse), La Fee Cendrillon), Frasquita (Carmen), Tytania (Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Baby Doe (Ballad of Baby Doe). Next summer Brett makes her Redwood Symphony debut as Paquette in Leonard Bernstein’s legendary comic opera Candide.
Todd Schurk, President Chester Alan Arthur etal, has performed with Lamplighters Music Theatre, Lyric Theatre of San Jose, Stanford Savoyards, West Bay Opera, and is founder of the Bay Blues Bar- bershop Quartet. Among the many roles he has sung in the G&S canon, his favorites include Ko-Ko (The Mikado), Jack Point (The Yeomen of the Guard), Lord Chancellor (Iolanthe), Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance) and Strephon (Iolanthe). Todd is a founding member of Savoy Express.
Catherine Sheldon, mezzo-soprano, Maria Sousa etal, has sung with Light Opera of Manhattan, Highfield Theatre of Cape Cod, Lyric Theater of San Jose, American Musical Theatre, 42nd Street Moon and others. Favorite roles include Katisha (The Mikado), Marie (The Most Happy Fella), Desirée (A Little Night Music), Jenny Diver (Threepenny Opera), Emma Goldman (Ragtime) and Mrs. Peachum (The Beggar's Opera). Cath also tours nationally with Savoy Express.
Matthew Smart, pianist, most often works as a music director, but can be found composing, arranging, and conducting, as well. He has played with bands and choirs, and for nearly three dozen musicals theatre productions. His own musical theatre piece, Little Women, was given its world premiere in 2004 by Contra Costa Civic Theatre, and was a huge hit.
Krista Wigle, soprano, has sung lead roles with West Bay, North Bay, Berkeley, Stockton, Festival, Livermore Valley and Pocket Operas, and with the San Francisco Opera Guild and Santa Rosa Symphony. She has been heard as soloist in Handel's The Messiah at Davies Symphony Hall. Favorite roles include Musetta (La bohème), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Yum-Yum (The Mikado) Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Frasquita (Carmen), as well as roles in musical theater: The Music Man; Phantom of the Opera; Candide; The Sound of Music; A Little Night Music; and others.