Sung in English with a new libretto by Josh Shaw

27-Piece orchestra and cast of 44


Brian Cheney is one of today’s most versatile, and exciting tenors. The protégé of legendary tenor, Jerry Hadley, Mr. Cheney is quickly gaining international acclaim for his portrayal of characters such as Don José in Carmen, Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La Boheme, the Duke in Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Candide in Candide. “It is tenor Brian Cheney as the brave painter Cavaradossi who really blew me away. Cheney has that terrific tenor sound: the power, richness, and vocal color of a high baritone combined with ringing, awe-inspiring high notes." Stage and Cinema


Following Mr. Cheney’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007, he has been performing concert works and oratorio throughout the country. The Daily Gazette in Albany, NY had this to say about his recent performance of the Messiah, “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney's voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato." Mr. Cheney has performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with his most recent performance in 2013 performing a world premiere and US premiere of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein. In 2011, Mr. Cheney also made his Lincoln Center debut as tenor soloist for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Avery Fisher Hall appearing with acclaimed soprano, Jessye Norman. He recently made his return to Lincoln Center performing in the popular televised New Year’s Concert, Salute to Vienna.


Engagements in 2015 include Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca in Illinois, Don José in Carmen with Knoxville Opera, Tenor Soloist in Salute to Vienna and Verdi’s Requiem at Dartmouth College.


To watch his 6 part documentary and to purchase his critically acclaimed album please visit for more details. “Cheney exhibits a robust, ringing tenor with a sure sense of style, firm tone and excellent diction.”  OPERA NEWS




Acclaimed for her “heart-breaking poignancy” and “beautifully tuned soprano” by the San Francisco Chronicle and for her “enchanting vocal splendor” by the Leipziger Volkszeitung, soprano Shawnette Sulker is a sought after artist in the United States and abroad.  A consummate performer on both the operatic and concert stages, her recent performances include singing Clara/Serena/Bess in concert versions of Porgy and Bess with both Music in the Mountains Festival and the Eugene Symphony and two US Premiere performances of new operas: Mila in Anya17 with Opera Parallèle and La Voix Intérieure in Bonjour M. Gauguin with West Edge Opera.  International credits include singing Adele (Die Fledermaus) with Internationale Opera Producties in the Netherlands and an orchestra concert featuring Porgy and Bess highlights and Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and Prague’s Smetana Hall.


Ms. Sulker has been a soloist with the San Francisco Opera, Mark Morris Dance Group, American Bach Soloists, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Naples and the Natchez Opera Festival to name a few.  The soprano’s roles include Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Musetta (La Bohème), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi).  Some works on her concert repertoire list are Mozart's Grand Mass in C minor, Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen and Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate.  Upcoming engagements will feature performing Cunegonde in Candide with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, singing in the American Premiere of Heart of Darkness with Opera Parallèle, debuting as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Festival Opera and singing the soprano solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Santa Rosa Symphony.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Having been praised for comedic skills with "impeccable timing to match an equally admirable tenor," Mr. Norman is making a name for himself as a character tenor on the rise. He has performed nationally with L.A. Opera, Opera San José, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Las Vegas, and Rimrock Opera. He received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from CSU Northridge, and is an alumnus of the Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist Program. Robert is an L.A. District winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and winner of David W. Scott Memorial Competition.

In the 2013-14 season, he appeared at Opera San José as Goro in Madama Butterfly and Dr. Caius in Falstaff, and at Opera San Luis Obispo as Remendado in Carmen. He also made role debuts as Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desirewith Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglioand Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Southern Illinois Music Festival. He is a frequent performer with L.A. Opera's outreach programs, and has thrilled audiences as a monster hot dog, a game show host, and Mr. Mozart himself. 

Performances for 2014-15 include Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire first in a joint production with Townsend Opera and Fresno Grand Opera, followed by Opera Santa Barbara where Mr. Norman will additionally cover the role of Harold Mitchell (Mitch). Mr. Norman will also perform with Pacific Opera Project as Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Brighella and Officer in Ariadne auf Naxos. For more information visit

Claire Averill is a Los Angeles based soprano that brings a fresh and expressive energy to the stage.  Her operatic roles include the title character in La Calisto, Madame Goldentrill in The Impresario, Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel.  Ms. Averill recently starred as Olivia in Scope Toy Theater Company's "Star in a Glass Jar" which played in Los Angeles and Moscow last year.  The production was reprised for a three week run at the Automata Arts Festival in Los Angeles this December.  She has worked on several semipclassical recording projects including the role of Eugenie in a recording of the The Count of Monte Cristo.  Ms. Averill has sung in production of Le nozze di Figaro and The Mikado with Pacific Opera Project.  Last season she sang the title role in POP's bawdy production of La Calisto, a Los Angeles premiere of the 1653 Cavalli opera.


Phil Meyer is a founding member of the Pacific Opera Project, playing the self-obsessed Sam in its opening production of Trouble in Tahiti.  Also with POP, Phil has sung the Demon Barber himself in Sweeney Todd; the drug addled Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia; a multiple-personality prone Poo-Bah in The Mikado; and most recently, Sylvano, God of the Woods, in La Calisto.


Other leading roles in the Los Angeles area include Mephistopheles, in the Center Stage Opera production of Faust; Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Kecal in The Bartered Bride and Achilla in Giulio Cesare with the Celestial Opera Company; and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Olin Blitch in Susannah and the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Los Angeles Met.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

An actor with tremendous range, Gregg has played just about every role imaginable, from a cigar chomping Cupid, to prospector, to sea captain, to business man, to pastor, to zombie!   On television, he has appeared on the soap operas Days of our Lives, General Hospital and Generations, as well as portraying courtroom bailiff Officer Collins for the last two seasons of Santa Barbara. In his over forty-five years of performing theatrically, Gregg has worked all across the Western US, including originating the role of Brigham Young in the outdoor musical ‘Utah!’  In Las Vegas, his characterization of Col. Gorak at Star Trek: The Experience made such a splash it inspired a character in an episode of South Park.  In the cinematic realm, Gregg can be found in the tongue-in-cheek new horror classic The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, playing the iconic Captain Olaf and will be co-starring in Cidonia Productions upcoming feature “The Cabin”.  Gregg is a proud member of MENSA , Actors Equity and SAG/AFTRA.




Alexandra Sanfilippo

Lena Mirandi

Rachel Li

Karen Sarames

Marcia De Vere

Jenna Jacobson

Sammantha Merevick

Jessica Gonzalez-Rodriguez

Devi Bhatti

Mary Zastrow

Amanda Achen

Jenna Friedman

Slave Girls collected from around the galaxy:


Kelci Hahn

Shannon Cooper

Jessie Massoudi

Jennifer Weiss

Alyssa Brode

Jessica Berns

Tyler Graves

Katherine Bruton

Ail Borboa

Mindi Ehrlich

Aubrey Scarr

Yayra Sanchez

Gabrielle Shulman


Their Klingon captors:


Andrew Paster

Alex Perkins

Daniel Cheng

Bruce Anderson

Daniel Charleston

Randy Lee

Kyril Kasimoff

Robert Wargo

David Vallejo

David Fetterman

Cedric Drake

Colin Gibson

Elias Scarr

Bryan Dahl




Promotional Pictures 

  production pictures

photos by martha benedict 



Tickets $15-50 

All seating assigned!




$100 ticket for the best seats in the house, unlimited wine and beer before the show and at intermission; Post-show champagne reception with the cast.  This special night will help sponsor our 27-piece orchestra.







Or call the El Portal box office at 818-508-4200.


For general inquiries call POP at 323-739-6122



El Portal Theatre is a historic landmark in the San Fernando Valley located in the heart of North Hollywood.  Since its  first opening in 1926 -- first for Vaudeville, then Silent Movies, and then Academy Award winning films, as the primo movie house in the valley -- the theatre has weathered the Jazz Age, the Depression, 4 wars, and finally the great earthquake of 1994. The lobbies boast luscious carpeting secured in 2004 from the now demised Los Angeles Shubert Theatre and comfortable new seats were installed in 2010.


After the earthquake the El Portal was meticulously rebuilt in the late 90's and opened in January of 2000, the once 1400-seat movie palace now houses three theatres -- the 42-seat Studio Theatre (the permanent home of Stuart Roger's Theatre Tribe); the 99-seat Monroe Forum Theatre, and the 360-seat Main Stage -- along with the Judith Kaufman Art Gallery, featuring many of Los Angeles’ top visual artists. There is complimentary parking behind the theatre at the Lankershim Elementary School in addition to two lots within walking distance that charge a small amount.


El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA  91601



Parking is available at the following locations:


--Lankershim Elementary School Lot on the corner of Weddington and Bakman.  FREE LIMITED PARKING


--The Art Institute of CA located at 5250 Lankershim Blvd. (across from the El Portal).  Enter on Weddington St. just east of the building.  Closed Sunday.  $4 Secure parking after 5:30pm


--The Federal Restaurant at 5303 Lankershim Blvd.  Enter on Weddington St.  

  $8 Wed-Sat

  $6 Sun-Tues

  $3 with validation from The Federal 



CLICK HERE for a list of 23 local restaurants.






Full Production 

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5040 Onteora Way  Los Angeles, CA  90041



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© 2019 by Pacific Opera Project