Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 3:00pm

1901 23rd St, Vero Beach, FL 32960

RODGERS Some Enchanted Evening
LLOYD WEBBER Love Changes Everything
RODGERS I Have Dreamed
LLOYD WEBBER Unexpected Song
WILDHORN This is the Moment
SONDHEIM The Sun Won't Set
LLOYD WEBBER Beneath a Moonless Sky
LLOYD WEBBER Don't Cry for Me Argentina
WEILL What Good Would the Moon Be? from Street Scene
LLOYD WEBBER Starlight Sequence
WEILL Lonely House from Street Scene
LLOYD WEBBER  Selections from Phantom of the Opera

Michelle Knight, soprano
Sarah Purser, mezzo soprano
Kit Cleto, tenor
Michael John Foster, baritone
Stephanie Newman, mezzo soprano
Stephanie McCranie, soprano
Brian Hayes, tenor
Andrew Lejeune, baritone

Orlando Light Opera, a Central Florida Vocal Arts company, in collaboration with Space Coast Symphony and Opera del Sol will present a star-studded cast of singers to present Music of the Night — a tribute to the composer of The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and many other hits.   Other composers will also be highlighted including Sondheim, Rodgers, Weill, and more.   Broadway Superstar Michelle Knight (Disenchanted, Jersey Boys, Finding Nemo) headlines this thrilling show along with mezzo soprano Sarah Purser, tenor Kit Cleto and baritone Michael John Foster.  Also featured on this powerful concert is Stephanie Newman, Stephanie McCranie, Brian Hayes, and Andrew Lejeune.  This enchanting program will embody the glamour, magic and mystery of beloved musical theater and opera repertory.   Opera del Sol will offer interactive performances upon arrival and throughout the performance.    The visual artistry of Ashley Willsey, designer of CFCArts Hunchback of Notre Dame, will dazzle in her original projected sets inspired by the larger works from which our music will be excerpted.

Artist Information

Michelle is an Orlando native and UCF grad. After being on Broadway with Jersey Boys, Michelle premiered and starred in the off Broadway musical Disenchanted (Lucille Lortel award Nominee-Lead Actress). Other credits include national tours of Grease(Rizzo) and the 30th anniversary tour of Annie.

Most recently, Michelle was the lead vocalist in national concert tours such as The Golden Age of Broadway and Rhapsody and Rhythm. Michelle was often a leading player with the Orlando Philharmonic (My Fair Lady, Carousel, Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed.) You can see Michelle singing at Walt Disney World as Dory in Finding Nemo the musical and with the Voices of Liberty.


Michael's twenty year career in the arts spans a wide and diverse array of experiences. He began as a musical theatre performer in his late teens before attending Liberty University for a general degree in music. He subsequently attended Florida State University and the University of Illinois where he studied with leading baritone, Nathan Gunn. An Actor's Equity Member, Michael has performed many roles including Edward Bloom in Big Fish, Tony in West Side Story, The Baker in Into The Woods, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Sid in Albert Herring, the title role in Don Giovanni and Gaston in Beauty and the Beast with the Walt Disney Company. He has written and produced a successful one man show called 'Heroes and Villains' which he tours. Michael has appeared as a singer and actor for many commercials, recorded projects and concerts, most notably with the Nashville Chamber Singers and as the baritone soloist for Michael Dougherty's Letters From Lincoln.

Michael has taught voice and directed theatre productions for several colleges including Rollins College, Seminole State College and the University of Illinois to name a few. His directing credits include shows such as The Light In The Piazza, Sondheim's Company, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Magic Flute and Berlioz's Beatrice et Benedict. Michael also founded the Program for Lyric Theatre in Italy, a summer language immersion program for singers which teaches students the skills of marketing, business, and performance techniques . His acting students have landed national TV and film jobs while many of his classical voice students have found international success. Michael is on the board of several arts organizations for whom he is always searching for new talent. Most recently, Michael became the chairperson of the new festival, The Playalinda Festival Of The Arts. See for more information.

Kit Cleto was born in Chicago, Illinois and showed interest in music at an early age. He actively sang in choirs from elementary school through high school. He received a BM in vocal performance from the University of Central Florida, studying under Dr. Jeremy Hunt and Priscilla Bagley. During his time at UCF, Kit sang solos with the University Chorus, Chamber Singers, and UCF Symphony Orchestra. He also performed operatic roles with UCF Opera, the Orlando Opera Company, and Valencia Opera Theater Workshop. Kit received a MM in Voice Performance & Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under full scholarship, studying with Jerold Siena, an internationally acclaimed tenor who has appeared regularly at the Metropolitan Opera and the world's leading opera houses. He performed operatic and musical theatre roles with the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, U of I Opera Studio & Opera Scenes, Station Theatre, Sinfonia da Camera, and the Allerton Music Barn Festival. Kit spent the summers of 2010 and 2013 performing operatic scenes and studying the Italian language with La Scuola Italia per Cantanti Lirici in Urbania and St’Angelo in Vado, Italy. Recently, Kit has successfully crossed over into the musical theatre genre as well, performing leading and supporting roles with many Central Florida theatre companies such as the Garden Theatre, Athens Theatre, Mad Cow Theatre, Central Florida Community Arts, and Titusville Playhouse. He currently serves on the voice faculty at Valencia College and the Orlando School of Music.

Mezzo soprano Sarah Purser has been a familiar face in the Orlando music world since 2001 when she began singing with the Orlando Opera Company. She is currently a studio artist with Opera Orlando and serves as the company’s Assistant Director of Education where she coordinates opera outreach programs bringing the art form to students in Orange County Public Schools.

Ms. Purser, whose voice has been described as “at once sultry yet vulnerable,” feels equally at home in the classical, jazz, and contemporary music genres. She earned her Master of Arts in Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from the University of Central Florida where she studied vocal performance and conducting. Currently, Ms. Purser is on voice faculty at Valencia College and she is also the choral director at Bishop Moore High School in Orlando, and runs her own voice studio.

Recent performances consist of several roles with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Light Opera, UCF Opera and Musiktheater Bavaria including Tibse in La Cenerentola, Meg Page in Merry Wives of Windsor, Olga in The Merry Widow, and Third Spirit and The Magic Flute, as well as mezzo-soprano soloist in Vivialdi's Gloria, Lori Laitman’s Vedem, Handel’s Messiah, and Saint Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio. She recently sang the role of the Dominatrix in Opera Orlando’s premier Fringe Festival production, Safe Word and was a soloist in UCF’s production of Bernstein’s Mass. She is looking forward to singing the role of Hansel in Opera Orlando’s production of Hansel and Gretel in December of this year.

Ms. Purser is a founding member of the professional women’s vocal ensemble, Helena, and she sings with the 8-voice Basilica Choir at the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, and frequently performs in a jazz band along with her bass-player husband, Marco.

A Florida native, Ms. McCranie has an extensive background in the arts, from performing on stage to teaching and working in arts administration. In addition to a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Stetson University, Ms. McCranie has a Masters in Vocal Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.  Ms. McCranie had the privilege of serving as faculty at Texas A&M University Commerce, University of the Incarnate Word and University of Tampa.

While in Texas, Ms. McCranie was a member of the esteemed Dallas Opera Chorus and was also chosen as a Semi-Finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild competition. Favorite roles include Beauty (Beauty and the Beast), Miss Silverpeal (Impresario), and Micaela (La Tragedie de Carmen).


Stephanie Paige Newman (mezzo-soprano) performs in operatic and symphonic performances across the United States. Highlights include the title roles CARMEN, HANSEL AND GRETEL, and PINOCCHIO ; Amneris AIDA, Suzuki MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Romaine Patterson NOT IN MY TOWN, Elizabeth Proctor THE CRUCIBLE, Giulietta LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, Meg LITTLE WOMEN, Mrs. Herring ALBERT HERRING, The Nurse STRAWBERRY FIELDS (Michael Torke), Flora LA TRAVIATA, and Hodel FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

The Palm Beach Arts Paper praised Newman's CRUCIBLE performance, noting that she “sang impressively, handling the music with confidence and flair.”  Awards include 3rd Place nationally in the New York Lyric Opera Competition, where Newman made her Carnegie Hall debut; the winner of the Miami-Dade artist access grant award, and winner of the Concerto Competition at New World School of the Arts.  Stephanie has also placed in the semi-finals of the Florida Grand Opera/Young Patroness of the Arts competition, and the Palm Beach Opera Competition. Recently, Newman performed with The Princeton Festival (NJ), Connecticut Lyric Opera, Klezmer Orchestra, and Quisisana Resort (ME). Other appearances include Cedar Rapids Opera, and distinguished opera programs such as the Miami Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, International Vocal Arts Institute, Opera Academy of California, and the Manhattan School of Music Voice Institute.  A native of Miami, Florida, Newman began her musical studies at New World School of the Arts in South Florida, then earned her Bachelor of Music degree from University of Florida. She then received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami.

Bryan Hayes is a working vocalist with a background ranging many genres including Classical, Jazz, Blues, Soul, R&B, Rock, Pop and more. In fall 2013 he received bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Florida in the studies of Classical voice and in Jazz Studies, primary instrument being voice.

He has performed and continues to perform in countless concerts, he has performed major roles in numerous operas, oratorios and theatrical productions, and has toured with different groups in many different countries, including but not limited to; the University of North Florida and University of British Columbia Opera ensembles in two separate productions in the Czech Republic, the University of North Florida Chorale 2010 tour of Italy, the St. John’s Cathedral Choir of Jacksonville 2014 tour of Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral, a contract with Carnival Cruise Lines in 2014, and numerous shows with the Orlando Philharmonic and Opera Orlando.  He has performed onstage with such noted artists and ensembles, including but not limited to The Royal Symphony of England, Reggie Wooten, Ben Folds and Andrea Bocelli.   In 2015, Bryan released his first album of original compositions entitled “This Is Me”   He currently resides in Orlando, Florida.

A native of North Carolina, with a degree in voice from Appalachian State, Andrew has performed in 20+ shows across Central Florida. Some recent roles include Curly in Oklahoma! (The Athens Theater), Skip Henderson in Life Could Be a Dream (Winter Park Playhouse), and Radames in Aida (Cocoa Village Playhouse), and he also has a recurring role in the Blues Brothers at Universal Studios.

Andrew would like to thank his wife of 12 years, Elizabeth, for being the most awesome support and partner in life he could ask for, and their 2-year-old daughter (and future performer?) Sophie, for being adorable and amazing.