Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 7:30pm
1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
The Orlando Light Opera makes its highly anticipated debut alongside your Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. Central Florida music lovers of all ages are invited to enjoy The Student Prince, Sigmund Romberg's beloved operetta of forbidden love and student hi-jinks. Performed in English, operetta is an entertaining genre, blending light opera and musical theater. Follow Prince Karl Franz as he goes to Heidelberg University in search of adventure and falls in love with Kathie, the barmaid. The audience won't soon forget songs like "Drink, Drink, Drink" and "Deep in My Heart Dear," in the family-friendly musical favorite. Joining the Orlando Light Opera are musicians from the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor, Aaron Collins, recently honored for his cultural leadership. Soprano Marina Jurica, tenor Samuel Hall, and baritone Gabriel Preisser are joined by a cast of 30, with stage direction by Eric Pinder. Orlando Light Opera kicks off its inaugural season partnering with Central Florida Vocal Arts, best known for nurturing musical talent throughout Florida. Tickets start at $25. See the website for groups discounts and special offers.
Orlando Light Opera Artistic Director, Marina Jurica, talks about the special inaugural performance.
"Orlando Light Opera was founded because I saw the need to bring operettas back to life here in Florida," said Jurica. "What better operetta to launch our Season than Romberg's incredible The Student Prince? In the US, there are only a handful of operetta or light opera companies performing these beautiful shows. So OLO's goal is to bring these beautiful operettas back to life in a summer operetta series that will eventually perform three shows during the months of June to August. We are so grateful to Central Florida Vocal Arts for their support and partnership. We have incredible soloists, an all-star cast, an amazing pit orchestra under the direction of Aaron Collins and beautiful staging by Eric Pinder."
Marina Jurica will be performing the lead role of Kathie in The Student Prince. She is also the weekend morning meteorologist at WFTV Channel 9 and is honored to be the Artistic Director of Orlando Light Opera. No stranger to the stage, her first role was Young Cossette in the first Canadian Tour of Les Miserables. She studied both opera performance and meteorology at UCLA, and has been able to pursue both her passions in life. Favorite roles include Belle in Beauty & the Beast, Nellie in South Pacific, Amalia in She Loves Me, Polly in Crazy for You, and Anna in The King & I. Locally she has played Nancy in Oliver & Emma in Jekyll & Hyde. Marina has performed as a soloist with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra.
A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, tenor Samuel Hall went on to study with John Maloy at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Since reaching the semifinals of Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Idol competition in 2011, Sam has performed on the concert stage, in musical theater, operetta, and opera. In 2015 Sam had his Opera Columbus mainstage debut as Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro. Sam then went on to work as an Emerging Artist with St. Petersburg Opera, covering the roles of Calàf in Turandot and Don José in Carmen. This year, he worked as an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera, helping to complete the final season of their 28 year Verdi Cycle, and appeared as Benvolio in Opera Grand Rapids' production of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in April. This fall he will return to St. Petersburg Opera to cover the role of Manrico in Il Trovatore. Other opera credits have included Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi), King Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and Nelson Deadly (Too Many Sopranos), as well as covering the role of Canio (Pagliacci), all with Opera Project Columbus. In addition to his operatic roles, Sam played Monsieur Thénardier in Mansfield Renaissance Theater's production of Les Misérables, was the tenor soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the New Albany Symphony, and performed excerpts from Madame Butterfly with the Tampa Bay Symphony.
A 2016 League of American Orchestras Emerging Artist Gabriel Preisser has been praised by Opera News for his “handsome voice, charismatic energy, and timbral allure” and The New York Times called his performance as Lt Gordon “wonderful.” His resume includes over 40 operatic and musical theater roles including Danilo in The Merry Widow with Utah Festival Opera, Billy Bigelow in Carousel with Minnesota Orchestra, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with St Petersburg Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with Lyric Opera of the North, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Shreveport Opera, Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tiresias with Opera Parallele, Albert in Werther with Minnesota Opera, Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera Naples, and Bob Baker in Wonderful Town with Skylark Opera to name a few. He has been praised for having a “matinee idol’s charm and charisma,” “a beautiful, luscious baritone,” and “a compelling, commanding stage presence.” Mr. Preisser has made a name for himself as a versatile, cross-over performer and has especially been active in new works. He created the role of Lt. Gordon in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera with subsequent performances at Opera Philadelphia and Cincinnati Opera. His performance as Lt. Gordon with Minnesota Opera was also broadcast nationally on PBS in 2013 and 2014. He recently took on the role of Farmer Bean in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox both with Opera San Antonio and Odyssey Opera of Boston. He can be heard on the first official audio recording of Fantastic Mr. Fox under the baton of Gil Rose with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He has also performed the title role in Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, Tom Joad in Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Riolobo in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Antonio in Hagen’s New York Stories at Kentucky Opera, John Brooke in Adamo’s Little Women at Pensacola Opera, and the Shoe Salesman/Puppet role in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco also at Pensacola Opera. He is a frequent recitalist throughout the US and a proponent of American composers such as Charles Ives, Carlisle Floyd, Aaron Copland, John Duke, and others. On the concert stage he is garnering a reputation for his dynamic interpretation of Orff’s Carmina Burana which he has performed with the Winter Park Bach Festival, Atlanta Ballet, Gulf Coast Symphony, and others. He has also been heard as a soloist in William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Jacksonville Symphony, Bach’s Coffee Cantata with Orlando Philharmonic, Bach’s St John’s Passion with the Houston Bach Society, and Handel’s Messiah with Ars Lyrica and The Messiah Choral Society. Outside of his performance career, Mr. Preisser serves as executive & artistic director of Opera Orlando and is co-founder and CEO of Angels & Demons Entertainment. He was a district winner in the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition and won the American finals of the International Lirico Concorso Competition in 2011. Mr. Preisser was a resident artist at Minnesota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Pensacola Opera, and an apprentice artist at Des Moines Metro Opera. He graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University with a double major in Vocal Performance and Commercial Music and completed a Masters in Voice at the University of Houston.
Joseph Ryan graduated from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Masters in Vocal Performance. Earlier this year, Mr. Ryan covered the role of Pizarro in Fidelio with Sarasota Opera. Other recent credits include the Mandarin in Turandot (St. Petersburg Opera, 2015); Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, King Dodon (cover) in The Golden Cockerel, and Rodrigue (cover) in Don Carlos (Sarasota Opera, 2015); German Soldier #3 in Silent Night (Cincinnati Opera, 2014); Morales in Carmen (Opera Tampa, 2014); and the Sacristan in Tosca (Natchez Festival of Music, 2014). He was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Opera Birmingham Competition and won 2nd place in the 2014 American Prize Competition Opera Division. Mr. Ryan is thrilled to be debuting with Orlando Light Opera this season. Upcoming performances include Dandini in La Cenerentola with Winter Opera St. Louis in January 2017 and Don Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto with Cincinnati Chamber Opera in March 2017.
Erin Elizabeth Stillson (Gretchen) is delighted to make her debut with Orlando Light Opera in the role of Gretchen. She recently played Kathy Selden in the Garden Theatre's production of "Singin in the Rain". Other credits include Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Flora/Annina (La Traviata), Sandy (Grease), Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank), and Jackie Bouvier (Grey Gardens) with Sundance Theatre Laboratory Project. She holds a M.M. in Voice Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and works as a private voice/piano teacher and professional chorister.
Andrew LeJeune (Count Hugo Detlef) is excited to be a part of this very talented cast, and for the opportunity to take part in this, the inaugural production of Orlando Light Opera! He has a degree in Music Education with a concentration in Vocal Performance from Appalachian State University, and currently lives in Orlando with his wonderful and awesome wife Elizabeth, who is the greatest partner and support he could ever ask for. He's performed in several groups/shows at both Universal Studios and Seaworld, and several of his favorite shows/roles have been Les Miserables (Enjolras), Into the Woods (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf), and The Music Man (Harold Hill). He was last seen at the Fringe Festival as Nick Garrison in Soap Opera with Central Florida Vocal Arts. He'd like to thank Eric and Marina for involving him in this project, and for all of the work they've put into it, and he hopes you thoroughly enjoy the show!
Justin Morrison (Lucas) is thrilled to perform the role of Lucas in The Student Prince! Justin holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Voice Performance. He recently appeared as the Speaker, Priest, Armored Man, and Papageno cover with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in their production of The Magic Flute as well as Belcore in UCF Opera's L'elisir d'amore. Justin also had a blast performing the role of Don Giovanni with Central Florida Vocal Arts in their original production of Soap Opera at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He looks forward to musical year ahead where he will sing with the Tampa Opera chorus. Justin also teaches music, directs musicals, and holds a cantorial position in the area. He sincerely hopes that you enjoy The Student Prince!
Frank Siano (Ruder) has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over 45 years, as a Performer, Director, Producer and Artistic Director. Although classically trained Frank has focused on musicals and has been a part of over 300 productions throughout the United States. Besides his New York credits, Frank has worked at the Goodspeed Opera House, Papermill Playhouse, Northshore Music Theatre and the Cape Playhouse to name a few. In Florida he has worked at the Orlando REP, Winter Park Playhouse, Mad Cow Theatre Cabaret Festival, Garden Theatre, TheatreWorks Florida, Florida Opera Theatre, and with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in their operas and musicals. Frank can also be seen portraying Isidor Straus at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition on International Drive.
Theresa Leigh Smith-Levin (Princess Margaret) is thrilled to be singing the role of Princess Margaret. Theresa is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization, Central Florida Vocal Arts and a UCF and Univ. of Miami alumni, who performs regularly throughout the area. She cantors weekly at St Margaret Mary Church and maintains a music studio of 40+ students. In addition to her private studio, Theresa teaches voice at West Orange H.S. Dr. Phillips’ H.S. and Dr. Phillips’ PAC School of the Arts. Theresa was most recently seen singing the role of the Baroness in Sound of Music, Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and will be appearing in Jekyll and Hyde with Greater Orlando Actors Theater this September. Theresa would like to thank her teachers, friends, family and husband for their love, support and patience! Visit www.CFLVocalArts.com and TheresaLeighSoprano.com for more info.
Kevin Romero (Captain Tarnitz) received his A.A. in Music Performance from Valencia College this summer. During his time at Valencia he studied voice and piano with his vocal teacher and mentor, Juan Martinez. Jose was an active member and frequent soloist in several of Valencia’s vocal ensembles, the Valencia Singers under the direction of Alan Gerber and Opera-Theatre Workshop under the direction of Carla DelVillaggio. While a member of the Opera-Theatre Workshop Jose sang several roles, including Donald Hopewell, in Douglas Moore’s Gallantry, and Gabriel von Eisenstein, in Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss. Additionally, Jose sang in segments of Operatic arias and duets, as well as some scenes from Musical Theatre. He was also quite involved in the “Theatre-Opera Project” club, which focused on helping others pursue a career in music performance by giving them hands on experience on live theatrical productions. Mr. Romero attended the University of Central Florida’s Opera Institute, during which time he had the opportunity to work with Adam Diegel (Metropolitan Opera) and Breathing Therapist, Janice Stieber Rous. Outside of Valencia, Jose has performed with the Central Florida Vocal Arts organization and was recently accepted into the prestigious vocal program at Stetson University, where he will continue his studies, working towards a Bachelor degree in Vocal Performance. He is excited to be making his debut with Orlando Light Opera, and he is grateful to be part in its first production of “The Student Prince”.
Erik Branch (Lutz) Last seen as Sister Rosemary in Angelina Sings! at the Orlando Fringe Festival, Erik Branch (Lutz), a native of New York City, has been seen as Beadle Bamford (Sweeney Todd), Ralph Rackstraw (HMS Pinafore), Alexis (The Sorcerer), and Mordred (Camelot), as well as in CFVA's Life of the Party and The Quest (Sarastro); in an assortment of non-musical roles including Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Étienne (Vampire Lesbians of Sodom), and Dr. Brodsky (A Clockwork Orange); in over 20 films, and in commercials. He appeared in 11 operas with the Orlando Opera Company, and has appeared in 9 operas with the Orlando Philharmonic, in association with Mad Cow Theatre Company and Opera Orlando. Erik holds a BA in Music and an MA in Composition from Hunter College. He is active also as a pianist and musical director in the Orlando area. Erik’s music has had performances in such cities as New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Bucharest, Bordeaux, and Athens, and at West Point, at Harvard University and at the Crane School of Music. He is delighted to be taking part in Orlando Light Opera's initial production, and thanks his family, friends, and castmates and crew for their support.
Curtis Tucker (Hubert/Dr. Engel cover) tackles his third role in The Student Prince, having played Detlef and Von Asterberg in earlier productions. He serves First Coast Opera in Saint Augustine as Artistic Director, where next season he will conduct Madama Butterfly and lead the Florida premiere of his new family opera, The Trial of B. B. Wolf. The Kansas City native recently relocated to Florida from upstate New York, where he served ten years as General Director for Opera Saratoga.
Maeghin Mueller (Grand Dutchess Anastasia) is excited to make her debut for the Orlando classical arts community. She currently attends University of Central Florida and studies vocal performance with Beverley Rinaldi. She most recently performed the role of Collette at the Garden Theater in their production of La Cage aux Folles. Her favorite roles include Nancy in Oliver!, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, and The Witch in Into the Woods. She is honored to work alongside such a talented cast in this lively and entertaining production of Student Prince.
Christie Duffer (Countess Leyden/Barmaid) is thrilled to make her debut with Opera Light Orlando as Countess Leyden and a barmaid at the Inn of the Golden Apples. Ms. Duffer has been seen in several productions with the Midwest Institute of Opera, such as the title roles in Rossini’s Cenerentola and Bizet’s Carmen, as well as the productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. She also holds a BA in Vocal Performance from Illinois State University. During her time at ISU, she has been seen in Puccini’s La Bohéme, Laurey in Oklahoma!, alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and the featured soloist for the song cycles Labyrinth of Love.
Todd Preston (Von Mark) is overjoyed to be a part of Orlando Light Opera’s inaugural production of The Student Prince. He was last seen as Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps and John Utterson in Jekyll & Hyde at Osceola Arts. Prior to moving to Florida, he performed in productions throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, and Minnesota. Although he loves being on the stage, he also spends much of his time behind the scenes, working in Technical Direction and Scenic Design. As a structural engineer, he has also worked for several large theatrical rigging manufacturers. With his wife, Marina, he is thrilled to bring you this beautiful show. Thank you, the audience, so much for sharing this experience with Orlando Light Opera!
Chuck McLendon (Baron Arnheim) now in his 17th stage production since getting back into theater in 2008 after a 40-year absence, his prior roles at Osceola Arts (f/k/a Osceola Center for the Arts), his home venue, included The Music Man (B’shop Quartet), The King & I (King), Bye Bye Birdie (Harry MacAfee), Man of La Mancha (Padre), My Fair Lady (Harry), Fiddler on the Roof (Mordcha), Anything Goes (Captain), and Jekyll & Hyde (General Lord Glossop). He recently performed as George Banks in the Spotlight Theater of Central FL’s production of the musical, Mary Poppins. Currently serving as President of the Osceola Arts board of directors, he is also a vocalist/soloist with the Ovation Singers chorus there as well. As a member on the board of Orlando Light Opera, he serves as Treasurer of the BOD and Director of Finance & Budgeting for all productions. He wishes to thank his lovely wife for her support and putting up with his long hours of production meetings, fundraising, rehearsals and set construction. He would also like to thank his good friends, Marina and Todd, for the opportunity to be included in the makings of OLO and The Student Prince. Special thanks also to our outstanding cast and crew for all of their hard work in showing off their amazing talents for all in attendance to enjoy.
Sloan Friedman (Toni/Student/Court Member) is ecstatic to be working with Opera Light Orlando for their inaugural production of The Student Prince. Sloan was last seen in EAT (It’s Not About Food), which was performed in conjunction with the University of Central Florida and the Orlando Repertory Theater’s Youth Academy. Sloan would like to thank Eric Pinder, Marina Jurica, Joyce Lemos, Connie Williamson, as well as the entire cast and crew for all their hard work and dedication to this production. Sloan would also like to thank all of his friends and family who made time to come out to support him and the arts here in Orlando. Enjoy the show!
Arleen Ramirez (Barmaid/Princess Margaret cover) is a member of the Opera Orlando Chorus and is currently completing her Masters degree at the UCF Opera Performance Grad Program. Arleen has performed on the concert stage, in opera, music theater, flamenco and Hindustani music theater. She has performed with the Puerto Rico Lyric Opera, the Boston Conservatory OperaTheater, the Florida Opera Theater and she has been a soloist with the Arlington Philharmonic, the Puerto Rico Phillarmonic, the Interamerican University of PR Choir, and the Boston Conservatory Concert Choir. In 2012, she was the recipient of the PR Cultural Institute Award for young artists and in 2015 she won the first place on her division at the NATS singing competition at UCF. Arleen has performed with international tenor Cesar Hernandez, who sponsored her to pursue grad studies at UCF, and with International Flamenco singer and choreographer Antonio Santaella, performing as a flamenco singer. In the operatic field, Arleen has sang the roles of Despina in Cossi fan tutte, Amahl and the mother in Amahl and the night visitors, Pamina in The magic flute, among others. In addition to her performance career, Arleen has worked as a vocal coach and singing teacher for the last 13 years; she is one of the vocal coaches of the TV singing reality show The Voice and is currently working for the Orlando Opera Community outreach teaching summer camp kids about opera.
Danniele K. Smith (Barmaid/Kathie cover) holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from Rollins College and a Master’s of Music degree in Voice Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Her favorite roles include Violetta (Life of the Party: Choose Your Adventure) with Central Florida Vocal Arts, Brigitta (Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta) and Nella (Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi) with Westminster Opera, and Jenny (Sondheim’s Company) with Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park. Danielle is a vocal performance instructor for CFLVocal Arts and the Dr. Phillips Center School of the Arts, and also teaches private voice lessons out of her home studio in Winter Park. Danielle is delighted to be part of this fantastic cast in her first production with Orlando Light Opera.
Jillian Kate Marini (Barmaid, Gretchen cover) is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. Her favorite roles include portraying Rosina from Rossini's 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia' and Adele in Johann Strauss's 'Die Fledermaus'. Her past operatic roles include Frasquita in George Bizet's 'Carmen', Young Lizzie in Thomas Albert's 'Lizbeth', Princess Nekaya in the Pittsburgh premiere of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Utopia Limited', Sister Genovieffa in Puccini's 'Suor Angelica', and Barbarina in Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro. She created the role of Judy in the world premiere of Todd Goodman's opera, 'Night of the Living Dead' with Pittsburgh’s Microscopic Opera and also created the role of Reina in the world premiere of 'Goldsmith of the Kingdom' by composer Andrew Jamieson. Ms. Marini is thrilled to be back in Central Florida and proud to be a part of Orlando Light Opera’s inaugural production.
Natasha Harrison (Lady of the Court) is thrilled to be a part of the very talented cast of the Student Prince. It has been a long time since she has been part of an operetta. She has done mostly community theater recently as a featured soloist in Oliver and Jekyll and Hyde. One of her favorite musicals she has performed in was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She is a longtime Disney cast member.
Benjamin Ludwig (Lackey/Student/Court Member) is a lover of both opera and musical theater, Benjamin Ludwig graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance. While at UCF he performed professionally with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Florida Opera Theatre (now Opera Orlando) in productions of La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Rigoletto, and Il barbiere di Siviglia. He was seen on stage most recently in TheatreWorks Florida’s production of Sweeney Todd as Adolfo Pirelli. Those who just can’t get enough Ben Ludwig can find him cantoring at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud on Sunday mornings. Ben is delighted to be a part of OLO’s inaugural production and hopes you are too.
Jonatan Rodriguez (Lackey/Student/Court Member) is a local tenor and a senior at the University of Central Florida, where he studies vocal performance with Jeremy Hunt. He worked with Central Florida Vocal Arts from 2012 to 2015. Last year, he performed in then Florida Opera Theater’s production of Tosca as part of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2014-2015 season. More recently, he performed as a chorus member in Opera Tampa’s production of La Traviata. He will continue to perform with Opera Tampa throughout their upcoming season. When he is not singing, Jonatan enjoys becoming the very best Pokémon master the world has ever seen.
Bryan Hayes (Lackey/Student) 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 major roles in numerous operas, oratorios and theatrical productions, including two separate productions in the Czech Republic, and has toured with different groups in many different countries. He has performed with such noted performers and ensembles, including but not limited to; The Royal Symphony of England, Reggie Wooten and Ben Folds. In 2015 Bryan released his first album of original compositions entitled “This Is Me”. Bryan aspires to continue a career of performance and composition.
Kenneth Nisbett (Lackey/Student) is a Valencia College Student and shall be playing a student and lackey in this wonderful light opera with a grand Salute to the king of Karlsberg and to Youth the true King of Spring!
Bryant Williams (Student/Court Member/Von Asterburg cover) is a Senior Bass-baritone Voice Major at Rollins College. At Rollins he has appeared in recitals and performed in Mozart’s The Magic Flute as Sarastro. In 2014, he attended Music Theater Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany, where he sang the role of Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. He has been requested widely for his interpretive singing of Spirituals. Williams is also widely known for solo and choral connections with the United Methodist church in Louisiana and the Epiphany Youth corrections ministry. He sung fifteen concerts with the Shreveport Opera and the 105 Voices of History choral group. He has been appreciated and honored by Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston, Louisiana where He served for 3 years. He's a devoted musician and a huge lover of Spirituals and Opera.
John Sublette (Student/Court member) loves performing on stage, and has done so since middle school. In addition to acting and singing, he plays multiple instruments. During high school, John was fortunate to be able to participate in nine shows with an award winning drama department. John will be studying at UCF this fall, with a double major in Vocal Performance and Computer Science. He would like to have a career performing opera or musical theatre.
Eric Pinder (Director) has acted, written, and directed in Orlando for over 20 years. He has performed at Mad Cow, Theatre Downtown, Orlando Shakes as well as 18 of 25 Orlando Fringe Festivals. As Director in Residence for Opera Orlando he has directed Trouble In Tahiti, Carmen, Gianni Schicci, and Les Mamelles De Tiresias. His next project with them is Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Lydia Jurica (Music) is so excited to be a part of The Student Prince team, having played the role of Princess Margaret years ago. A retired opera singer, she has loved the operetta repertoire for a long time and is thrilled to help bring these beautiful productions back to the stage! She is so happy that she’s sharing this adventure with daughter Marina and son-in-law Todd. After performing for over 25 years around the world, she now teaches private piano, voice, and guitar lessons with her studio Music in Motion in Orlando. She has also been the music director for Annie, White Christmas, and Children of Eden.
Kenneth 'Kenne' Ledford (Rehearsal Pianist) received his BA Music Southern Illinois University, 1993. Has worked as a Pianist, Vocalist, Music Director and Voiceover artist in the USA, Europe and Asia, on Cruise ships, Resorts , Churches and Theatres before and after University. He continues to seek new challenges in perfoming , songwriting and teaching.
Conny Williamson (Stage Manager) is happy to be working on the Orlando Light Opera/Central Florida Vocal Arts Debut production of The Student Prince. Her previous credits include The Magic Flute! With The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Madama Butterfly with Opera Tampa last Spring, Samson and Delilah, Madama Buterfly, Pirates of Penzance, and Elixir of Love at the Orlando Opera, three Seasons at the Winter Park Playhouse doing some fun Musicals, including Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits; 8 Track: The Sounds of the 70’; and Musical of Musicals: The Musical. When she is not Stage Managing, Conny is a Textile Services Manager at The Walt Disney World Resort. She is also a team Member at Universal Studios, and works closely with the Events Team as a Sub Coordinator for Halloween, Christmas, and Mardi Gras. Conny is also a Manager (MOD) and Trainer at Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Shows. In the Orlando area, She has worked with Yow Dance, The IceHouse Theatre, Ibex Puppetry, The Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Theatre Winter Haven, Baggy Pants Theatre Company, and Polk State College. Conny is currently a panelist for the Small Budget Category for United Arts of Central Florida.
Joyce Lemos (Choreographer) is a native of Brazil, Joyce has studied dance and performance under some of the most prestigious and globally known instructors. Joyce has performed in Brazil in many national productions such as A Chorus Line (Diana) and the Rocky Horror Picture Show (Columbia). Joyce made her international debut as an aerialist and dancer with Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. Her local credits include Arabian Nights as a stunt rider and Pirates Adventure as a featured aerialist and soloist. Joyce's artistic and professional vision has allowed her to bring many shows to life as choreographer for many regional productions such as The Producers, RENT, The Jungle Book, and Once Upon A Mattress. www.joycelemos.com
Sean Duncan (Assistant Stage Manager & Lighting Designer) - Sean is thrilled to be involved in his first production with Orlando Light Opera and his fourth with Central Florida Vocal Arts. He's extremely humbled to be around such talent and a wonderful production team. An Outback server by day, Sean plans to attend Seminole State College majoring in theatre, minoring in education. Sean would like to thank Theresa and Marina for the opportunity and his family and friends for their love and support.
Timothy Beltley (Costumer) has been designing costumes for more than a decade. He has acted directed and designed for the Dorset Theatre Festival Vermont, surflight Theatre New Jersey, Osceola Arts Kissimmee, Theatre Winter Haven, and various theaters in Sarasota. He's had the pleasure to work with and the circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota with Dolly Jacobs designing their spring and winter programs. he has spearheaded a Troupe of actors to go to local libraries in Central Florida who presented stories by Charles Dickens.