Monday, April 19, 2010

May 7th performance coming up! Here are some bios....


Linda Garrity, lyric soprano, has performed with the New Metro Vocal Arts Ensemble, dell’arte Opera Ensemble, Regina Opera, Hartt Opera Theater, Janiec Opera at the Brevard Music Center, Rockland Opera and The Opera Workshop at Hunter College. In 2006, Ms. Garrity performed the role of the First Lady in the Die Zauberflote with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. Other operatic roles include Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte, Amy in Little Women, Rose Murrant in Street Scene, Pousette in Manon, Suor Genevieffa and Infermiera in Suor Angelica. Recently, Linda participated in a series of master classes at Lincoln Center given by Maestro Peter Mark of Virginia Opera. For the past few years, Ms. Garrity has performed works by Schubert, Scarlatti, Granados, and Schumann in the chamber music concerts at the 92ND Street Y in New York City. She has also been a guest artist at performances throughout Long Island with The West Islip Symphony Orchestra and The Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra. Ms. Garrity obtained her Bachelor of Music Degree from Hunter College.

Lauren Nicole Haber, Soprano, graduated with a Masters of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 2006 and earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from C.W. Post, Long Island University in 2004. Last summer, Lauren was a participant at the International Vocal Arts Institute ,Canada, under the direction of Joan Dornemann, This summer, Lauren will participate at the four week intensive OperaWorks program in California under the direction of Ann Baltz. She will also be a participant in the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute under the direction of Dr. Sherry Overholt. This coming Fall, Lauren will learn the role of Violetta from Verdis La Traviata with the Martina Arroyos Role Performance Seminar.

Kimberly Iannuzzi, soprano, was a member of the Dicapo Opera theatre Young Artist Program and has performed with the New York Opera Forum and with New York Opera Productions. Roles performed include: Suor Genovieffa, Suor Angelica, Nella, Gianni Schicchi, Despina, Cosi fan tutte, Barbarina, The Marriage of Figaro and Zerlina, Don Giovanni. She has given several recitals and has performed with ensembles including the Western New York Chorale in its performance of Mozarts Vesperae solennes de confessore. Kimberly was a finalist in the Rising Star Opera Competition.Currently, Kimberly is the soprano soloist of the Community Church of Douglaston where she has performed Vivaldis Gloria, the Mozart Requiem, Brittens A Ceremony of Carols and Faures Requiem. Kimberly has enjoyed performing in the Douglaston Concerts series and at Northports Opera Night for the past five years.

Young Ha Kim (tenor) received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from Stony Brook University. He has performed the role of Reuel in the Red Scarf, Sam in Street Scene, Apollo in L'orfeo and Basilio in Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho. Kim has been a guest artist with Indiana Opera North in Pagliacci and performed in Main Opera Theater, Michigan. Currently, he is a contracted singer of the New York Art Song Association and a music director of New York Bible Church.

Lauren Klimek holds a bachelors degree in music performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Lauren has performed in various roles such as "The Dew Fairy" from Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel, "Blanche" from Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites, "Belinda" from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and "Cherubino" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Lauren studied under Dr. Sherry Overholt and coached with Steve Crawford and William Hicks of the Metropolitan Opera House. Lauren has also performed with the local chamber group Canta Libre and featured the world premiere of Paumonock, composed by Northport-native Dr. Jerry Ulrich, at such venues like The Boulton Center in Bayshore, New York, The Walt Whitman House in Huntington, New York and The Sunwood Estate at SUNY Stony Brook University. Lauren is currently finishing a Masters degree in Music Therapy at Molloy College in Rockville Center, with hopes of sharing the healing power of music with her patients and clients.

Marie Michalopoulos, mezzo-soprano, holds a double degree from Ithaca College in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She has a MM in vocal performance from the University of Maryland at College Park. Some of Marie's performances have been with the Ithaca Opera Association, Northern Virginia Opera Theatre, the Thomas Circle Singers, Old Bethpage Restoration Singers and soloist with the North Shore Chorus. Since 1993, she is a choral director at East Northport Middle School with her musician husband, Dana where she directs the musicals and 6 and 7/8 grade choruses and the select Chorale. She looks forward to singing at Northport Opera Night each month. Marie has three children, Ariana, Andrew and Zoe who also love to sing!

Mary-Elizabeth O'Neill, age 16, is a Junior at Huntington High School where she participates in choral groups, concert band, and drama club productions. Mary-Liz was the 2008 inaugural recipient of the Northport Choraleâs âYoung Artist Incentive Award,â a national semifinalist in the 2009 Classical Singer High School Vocal Competition, and has qualified for the 2nd round of the 2010 Competition to be held May, 2010 in NYC. She is in her second year at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. This past summer Mary-Liz studied voice at the Academie Internationale dâEte in Nice, France with Dalton Baldwin and Lorraine Nubar. She has been the youngest regular performer for the past three years at the Northport Opera Night series. Besides Opera Night, upcoming public performances include Meet me in St. Louis (Esther Smith) April 16-17th at HHS and Juilliard Pre-College Opera Scenes April 24th.

Jeanny Schwartz, born in Hong Kong and graduated from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, has appeared as an alto solo in vocal concerts such as The Christmas Oratorio, Le Roi David, Hymne au Soleil, Gloria, and many more. She also has performed in operas and musical productions like Quilters, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Tour Guide in Orphee aux Enfer. She has joined Opera Night since December 2008.

Bruce Solomon-tenor
Began his studies at the Juilliard school pre-college division. He then received music degrees from Queens College and the Manhattan School of music. Bruce did his apprenticeship at The Lake George Opera festival where he appeared in fully staged performances of Opera. He continued his studies in Europe studying at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Bruce has sung at Alice Tully hall, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer and has sung in churches and synagogues throughout the country.
Bruce is a frequent performer at Opera Night and is a resident of Huntington.

Dawn Zahralban made her professional debut as Young Pocahontas in the world premiere of Linda Haugen's Pocahontas, at the Virginia Arts Festival. She has had the pleasure of performing with the New
York Summer Opera Scenes in Manhattan for three consecutive summers and performed several roles at Shaker Mountain Opera for two summers. Miss Zahralban has also performed as a concert soloist, in such varied works as Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem and Schubert's Mass No. 2. She is now preparing for her second performance as Najade in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos with The German Opera Project to be performed in Manhattan. Miss Zahralban is a versatile performer, showing her talents in many ways including concert, opera and operetta.

Marianna Benedict, Lyric Coloratura Soprano
Marianna Benedict has been training in classical voice for 10 years under renowned Lincoln Center Recitalist and Ms. Senior New York winner, Florence Hechtel. She holds a BA in vocal performance from SUNY Stony Brook, and has won several competitions, including 1st Place in the Music Teacher's National Association's NYS Collegiate Voice Competition. She has performed in various concerts and fully staged operas around the NYC and LI area, including 3 solo performances at Carnegie Hall. In addition to providing private music instruction at The Stony Brook College Preporatory School, and running her own Marianna's Music Studio, where she teaches voice, violin, piano and acting to over 60 pupils, Mrs. Benedict is currently in the process of preparing the newly formed Amadeus Opera of Long Island for their debut performances this Spring. Mrs. Benedict will be directing and starring in "A Mozart Double Bill", which includes fully staged opera scenes, as well as Mozart's "The Impresario," while sharing 50% of ticket sale profits with her fellow performers.

Naomi Pierro, Soprano
Naomi Pierro is thrilled to be making her opera debut with the Amadeus Opera Company of Long Island. She is a 27 year old first soprano and currently teaches voice lessons to students who share the same passion for singing as she does. She has been under the vocal tutelage of an amazing singer and teacher, Florence Hechtel for the last 15 years , and has performed in many recitals, including one in the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. Naomi has her Bachelor's in Music and has been in various musicals in the community, is a soloist at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle as well as a part of the choir , a featured soloist at various performances at Five Towns College, and has performed in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” as Piti-Sing with the Babylon Chorale. She looks forward to many more opportunities to express her gifts and talents in the future to come!

Denise Fillion, Accompanist for the trio
Denise Fillion received her B.M. from Western Washington University in 2003. She was the Head of Staff Accompanying at Western Washington Universityin 2004. In 2006, she received her M.M. from SUNY Stony Brook, and is currently working towards finishing up her DMA degree at SUNY Stony Brook.

Isabella Eredita Johnson, pianist, lives in Northport, and accompanies and teaches piano professionally. She was awarded a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music where she received both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees, studying with Constance Keene. She has won both the prestigious George Schick award for outstanding musicianship and 1st prize at the Mason & Hamlin Piano competition. Among her proudest accomplishments are the presentations of the Diabelli Variations and the Goldberg Variations. Each of these two concerts involved the gathering of over thirty fine pianists, each performing a single variation. Ms. Eredita is an active advocate for the arts on Long Island, and regularly hosts the "Opera Night series in Northport.

James Besser, piano accompanist, is originally from South Orange, N.J. He studied piano and accompanying at Stanford University, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. He is associated with several local opera companies and performs frequently as an accompanist throughout the Tri-State area.

Scrim Designer:
Bob Flanagan is founder of Den Design Studio, a puppet, prop and special effects studio. Among his better known creations is “Toonces: the Cat Who Could Drive a Car,” a recurring character on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live..Mr. Flanagan's recent theatrical endeavors, includes the design and construction the 40 foot Time Dragon Puppet which resides on the proscenium of the Tony Award winning WICKED the Musical. Off Broadway Mr Flanagan designed and directed: Rafferty Rescues the Moon, Oscar Wilde’s the Happy Prince, and recently Emperor Jones, (produced in relation with NY’s Irish Repertory Theatre). His design work on The Irish Rep’s “The Hairy Ape” earned him a nominaton for a 2007 Henry Hewes Design Award. Mr. Flanagan won an Emmy Award in 1986 for outstanding achievement in costume design for his work on Sesame Street.

The Opera Night Costume Designers for this concert:
Doris Rowe
Michael Krazowitz
Thea Lanzisero
Maddalena Harris
Kelly Powell
Karen Zahralban

T.J. Di Misa will be designing a dress for Isabella Eredita Johnson, director. With the assistance of Rosalba from "Rosalba Alterations, Kings Park" a dress will be made in chiffon. T.J. is a long time friend and Opera Night audience member. He studied design at the High School of Fashion Industry, and at F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City. He has worked in the garment district during the 1960's and 70's, designing dresses. For a number of years, he worked under designer, Bill Blass.

Maddalena Harris, lives in Northport, and actively helps out with Opera Night each month. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Stony Brook University. Maddalena attended the School of Visual Arts, during the time it first became accredited. She enjoys listening to good music, watching old movies, and doing creative projects. For many years, she has been the president of East Northport Home Extension, a group of women who enjoy sewing and making crafts, and various charitable projects. She collects Depression glass, and is a member of the Long Island Depression Glass Society. Maddalena bakes breads almost every day and gives them away to friends and family.

Michael Krasowitz is a visual artist working in a variety of media. His background is in photography and has been published worldwide for commercial and editorial clients. Throughout his career he has been working with painting, printmaking, as well as digital imagery. Currently he is working on various ways to expand the language of painting through ideas such as animating a single image and painting on three dimensional surfaces. His work can be seen at

Thea Lanzisero creates work in sculpture and installation. Favored materials for her temporary installations are bamboo and other natural elements including solar powered light effects. She also works with steel, paper and ceramics. Her upcoming interactive outdoor piece this summer in Huntington will involve knitting on a giant scale. Thea has received grants from NYSCA, JP Morgan Chase, NYFA SOS, and has had numerous exhibits, commissions and public art installations in varied sites locally, as well as NYC, Brooklyn, Governor's Island, Key West, Florida and Virginia. She teaches in the summer at USDAN Creative and Performing Arts Center. Contact Thea for a studio visit at 631-988-8373.

Doris Sjögren Rowe (aka Dojoro) focus is to combine symbols that respond to the state of American society. You may have seen her recent work in shows on Long Island ... Earth Matters - LICG; Tease Shirt Factory - NAC; Works on Paper - L I Art Museum; A Passion for Pixels - Islip Art Museum; or Embracing Our Differences Billboard Show - CHDHU. Designing posters, program covers, videos, and costumes for Opera Night is her fun activity. After an art teaching career at Northport High School her portfolios now brim with art waiting to be seen. Doris welcomes you to view her work at and an archive with over 100 original posters. Enjoy.

Karen Zahralban, back in the day, made and decorated the Christmas decorations for many department stores such as Lord& Taylor, A&S, Macy's, and ultimately, store & window display for Swezey's. She helped make and decorate the original Christmas decor for Disneyworld stores and hotels their first year.Upon the birth of her daughter Dawn,she became a stay- at- home Mom and enjoyed making clothes for her. She later went into Eldercare and taught Autistic pre-schoolers. She now enjoys making Dawn's costumes for her various Arias.

"Symmetry Qunintet"
Debra Kalabza-Balsamo, flute
Collete Galante, clarinet
Laura Koski, oboe
Susan Babcock, horn
Robert Price, bassoon

Debra Kalabza-Balsamo, flutist, resides in St. James, and holds a Bachelors degree in performance and education from Hofstra University, a Masters degree in education and a Professional Diploma in Educational Administration from Long Island University, C.W. Post and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Accountability with an emphasis on music education from St. John’s University. Presently, Dr. Kalabza is teaching at Smithtown High School East, where she directs the Symphonic Band, the Jazz Ensemble, percussion ensemble and small chamber groups for various wind instruments.

Collete Galante, clarinetist, is a Northport community member. Mrs. Galante received her education at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) in education with an emphasis on clarinet performance. She is currently a band director in the Half Hollow Hills School District where she works with middle school students. Collete can be heard performing with the C.W. Post Band for the 2008-2009 concert series.

Laura Koski, oboist, lives in Seaford and teaches music in the Levittown School District. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Ithaca College, and a Master of Science in Music Education from Queens College. Laura is currently principal oboist with the West Islip Symphony, and will be performing on clarinet and tenor sax on May 22 with the Seaford Community Band and Jazz Band.

Susan Babcock, hornist, resides in Great Neck, NY. She is a professional musician and teacher. Ms. Babcock is currently in her fourth year of teaching elementary band in West Islip, NY. She holds degrees from Interlochen Arts Academy, the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and Hunter College.

Robert Price, bassoon, lives in East Patchogue, NY. He received his BM from the Manhattan School of Music and his MM from the Mannes College, both in performance on the bassoon. He is the music director and organist at the Setauket Presbyterian Church. He teaches piano and bassoon, and works as an accompanist.

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Opera Night in Lindenhurst