HIGHLAND PARK EBELL CLUB
Josh Shaw, Director and Designer
Parisa Zaeri, Music Director
Carson Gilmore, Assistant Director
Maggie Green, Costumer
Tiffany Strong, Stage Manager
Friday August 16 8pm
Saturday August 17 2pm
Saturday August 17 8pm
Thursday August 22 8pm
Friday August 23 8pm
Saturday August 24 8pm
Wednesday August 28 8pm
Friday August 30 8pm
Saturday August 31 8pm
WATCH THE PERFORMANCE!
Gilbert & Sullivan’s most enduring work and one of POP’s most popular productions returns for three weekends of performances at The Highland Park Ebell Club. What could possibly make this production better than POP’s sold-out run in 2013? Food and wine of course! Table seating will be available for all performances and of course you can expect new updated lyrics for all your G&S favorites.
Chorus: Brooke Iva Lohman (Yum-Yum cover), Kelly O'Shea, Megan Lindsey McDonald (Pitti-Sing cover),
Samantha M. Lawrence, Alexandra Bass, Devi Bhatti, Emily Kerrigan, Rachel Labovitch (Peep-Bo cover),
Cynthia Nitrini Stary (Katisha cover), William Lyons, Brandon Mautz, Philip Pritchard (Nanki-Poo cover), Patrick Putnam, Colin Gibson, Takuya Matsumoto, Anthony Moresi, Jarrod Rogers, Andrew Dana Walker
Parisa Zaeri (Music Director) A native of Dallas, Parisa Zaeri maintains an active career as a conductor, collaborative pianist, and vocal coach. Her recent musical engagements include serving as Staff Coach/Accompanist of Opera Colorado’s Artist in Residence Program, as Music Director for Parker Performing Arts’ The Addams Family, as well as Music Director for Pacific Opera Project’s La Bohème. Additional special honors include Parisa’s premiere of two new operas by Michael Vince and Spencer Arias in NYC, as well as her participation in the second season of The Dallas Opera Hart Institute for Women Conductors. When not performing, Parisa spends her time advocating for arts education, most recently as the former Manager of Education & Community Engagement at Opera Colorado, and also as Piano Faculty at Rocky Ridge Music Center. Parisa is an alumnus of NYU and Southern Methodist University, and currently resides in Westminster with her husband, cellist Zack Reaves, and two dogs, Cassie and Blue.
E. Scott Levin (Ko-Ko) Bass-Baritone, E. Scott Levin, described as having a “smooth, buttery voice,” “incredibly sharp timing,” and “a gifted comic actor,” has been making audiences laugh for the past seventeen years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Since 2002, Scott has sung in over twenty productions with Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis. He has also sung with many companies in California, including Opera Santa Barbara, Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, Townsend Opera, Long Beach Opera, Center Stage Opera, OperaWorks, Orange County Opera, and Celestial Opera. In 2015, Scott made his Los Angeles Opera mainstage debut as Dr. Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, starring Placido Domingo, and in May of this year, he made his feature role debut as Hormigon in El Gato Montes, also starring Placido Domingo. Scott is thrilled to return to POP after previously appearing as Don Pomponio in La gazzetta, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Pane in La calisto, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, the Sacristan in Tosca, KoKo in The Mikado, Maestro Biscroma Strappaviscere in Viva la Mamma!, and Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow (Widder).
Phil Meyer (Pooh-Bah) Phil Meyer’s opera repertory consists of Bad Guys, Old Guys, and Funny Guys. For the Pacific Opera Project, Phil sang the role of Mr. White (Old, Unintentional Bad Guy), in the world premiere of The Monkey’s Paw. Also with POP, he has played the alcoholic Impresario in Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma (Funny Guy); a narcoleptic Pistola in Falstaff (Funny Guy); the title role in Sweeney Todd (Bad Guy); Osmin in the Star Trek themed The Abduction from the Seraglio (Old Guy/Funny Guy/Bad Guy); Pooh-bah in The Mikado (Funny Guy); and Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti (Bad Guy). Other leading roles in Los Angeles include King Filippo in Don Carlo with the LA Met (Old Guy); Mephistopheles, in Center Stage Opera’s Faust (the Baddest Guy); the title role in Don Pasquale (Funny, Old, Bad Guy) with the Angel City Opera; Kecal in The Bartered Bride (Old Guy) and Achilla in Giulio Cesare (Bad Guy) with Celestial Opera; and Leporello in Don Giovanni (Funny Guy), Olin Blitch in Susannah (Bad Guy) and the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with the Repertory Opera Company (Old Guy/Funny Guy/Kinda Bad Guy). In his spare time, Phil directs an HIV education program for medical professionals at Charles Drew University, runs a small global health non-profit, teaches in the School of Social Work at USC, and is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice.
Charlie Kim (Nanki-Poo) Charlie Kim is making his debut with Pacific Opera Project in his appearance as Nanki-poo. Recent stage appearances include soloist in Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in: Big Sing! California and the Dia de los Muertos. He also recently appeared as “Grandfather/Mojave Boy” in The White Bird of Poston with Los Angeles Opera Education Department on their in-school tours of LA Unified School District. Charlie recently returned home from a world tour of Los Angeles Master Chorale’s innovative production of Lagrime di San Pietro, featuring a chorale of 21 select singers.
Charlie is also a professional pianist, collaborator, conductor, and teaching artist. Due to his versatility as a musician and teacher, Charlie serves in several musical functions throughout Southern California, including: Artistic Director of San Fernando Valley Master Chorale, and guest adjudicator and clinician for Southern California Vocal Arts Association. He has served as music director and pianist for several productions for LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement Department since 2014. He also serves as rehearsal conductor and teaching artist for the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Janet Szepei Todd (Yum-Yum) Janet Szepei Todd is an Australian soprano based in Los Angeles. She recently completed her Master of Music at the Manhattan School of Music in New York where she performed roles including Cecile in Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liaisons, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Noemie in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Angelica in new work The Leopard with New York Opera Projects. Other New York highlights include soprano soloist in both Mozart’s C Minor Mass, and Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand in a collaboration with MSM and the New York Oratorio Society. Janet made her POP debut earlier this year in the title role in Madama Butterfly at the Aratani Theatre. In 2018 Janet also performed Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly with Opera Columbus, she was the soprano soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass with The Sydney Philharmonia, soloist in the Messiah with Perth Symphonic Chorus, performed recitals with Melbourne's Peninsula Summer Music Festival, and performed a leading role in the Los Angeles premier of Mark Lanz Weiser’s opera The Place Where You Started. In her home country, Janet has performed with several major companies including Opera Australia (Pamina, The Magic Flute, Zerlina, Don Giovanni, Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni), Victorian Opera (Pamina, The Magic Flute, Sophie, Der Rosenkavalier, The Prince in Cinderella (Gill), Liesgen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata), Pinchgut Opera, Sydney (Miss Hawk, Salieri’s The Chimney Sweep, and Zelmira, Haydn’s Armida, Canberra’s Handel in the Theatre (Esther Esther, Iole Hercules), The Production Company, Melbourne State Theatre (Marsinah in Kismet). Janet has also appeared as a soprano soloist for productions with The Australian Ballet.
Matthew Ian Welch (The Mikado) While customarily stomping his feet, clapping his hands, and exclaiming: "ah-so!" Matthew Ian Welch is extremely happy to be reprising his role as the Mikado for POP. This reboot marks Matthew’s eighth collaboration with POP - singing in Carmen (2014), Viva la Mamma (2015), and L’elisir d’amore (2017), and assisting with the broadcasts of The Magic Flute (2019), La gazzetta (2018), and La bohème (2018). Beyond Highland Park, Matthew has sung in televised concerts on PBS and the Korean Broadcast Service (KBS), and in live shows at Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Zipper Hall. In 2017, Matthew toured Japan as a soloist with The Roger Wagner Chorale. If career ADD were a sport, Matthew would be an Olympic champion. Matthew has appeared as an actor in commercials for Dodge, General Motors, and Porsche, and was nominated for “Best Supporting Actor” in the 2016 Los Angeles’ 48-Hour Film Festival. He is currently narrating the audiobook trilogy, Keys of Life, while running an independent studio that provides services ranging from audio recording to photography and film production. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys soldering vintage microphones, cooking elaborate curry dishes, and drinking rye. For more information, please visit: matthewianwelch.com.
Abbe Drake (Pitti-Sing) Abbe Drake hails from Oregon and earned her Masters in Vocal Arts from USC in 2014. Her viral YouTube musical comedy videos have appeared in Glamour Magazine, Funny or Die, and Russell Crowe’s Twitter feed. She's produced internet craft videos that have reached over 200 million people. Recently, Abbe played Madame de la Grande Bouche and Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast with Casa 0101 Theatre. Other favorite stage roles include Hope, Urinetown; Hansel, Hansel and Gretel; and Valetto, Il coronazione di Poppea. She regularly volunteers with First Congregational Church Cathedral Choir and Urban Encore, a community outreach ensemble.
Tiffany Ho (Peep-Bo) With a voice praised as “light and flawless” and a stage presence applauded as “charming and engaging” (Lauri’s List), east coast native, Tiffany Ho is rapidly gaining attention as an up-and-coming soprano in Los Angeles. Past opera roles include Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Prilepa in Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya dama, Bellezza in Handel's Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Clarice in Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna, Little Matchgirl in Williamson's The Happy Prince, and Sandman/Dew Fairy in Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel. In addition to her involvement in opera and solo classical work, Tiffany has an extensive choral background. She is on the current Roster of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir which performs exclusively with the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra. Tiffany sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale on the Auxiliary Roster and also performs as a Walter Fox Singer in the Verdi Chorus. She was a professional member of the choir-in-residence for Spoleto Festival USA in 2016. Tiffany earned her Master of Music degree, with distinction, in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College; she received her Bachelor of Music degree, cum laude, in Music Education at Nazareth College of Rochester.
Adelaide Sinclair (Katisha) ADELAIDE SINCLAIR has sung with opera companies that include The Met, New York City Opera, Santa Fe, Seattle, Arizona, San Antonio, Central City, and Chicago Lyric. She has soloed with most major U.S. symphonies under the batons of such luminaries as Shaw, Abravanel, and Slatkin, and locally with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, L.A. Chamber Orchestra, and the L.A. Philharmonic (at both the Music Center and Hollywood Bowl). Abroad she was soloist for the mainland China premiere performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah and was invited to the prestigious Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. She toured nationally for a decade with Opera a la Carte, a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, and has recorded Wagner and Verdi for Telarc. Honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award at both the University of Utah and USC, she is on faculty at several summer music festivals and serves as a Regional judge for the Met Auditions. On air at KUSC, Jim Svejda referred to her as “one of the great voices in captivity today!”
William Vallandigham (Pish) William Nathan Vallandigham (Baritone) originally hails from a small horse farm in South Sutton, New Hampshire. William is delighted to make his debut with Pacific Opera Project, singing the role of Pish in The Mikado. Recently, William was a featured soloist at the Microsoft Theatre, performing the music of Nobuo Uematsu. Previous performance credits include Maximillian/Cacambo (Candide), Eugene Onegin (Eugene Onegin), Barone Douphol (La traviata), Yeletsky (Queen of Spades), Strephon (Iolanthe), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Editor Webb (Our Town), and Jupiter (Orphée aux enfers). William is also an avid chorister, having had the pleasure to sing for the likes of Joseph Flummerfelt, Joe Miller, and Daniel Harding. William received his M.M. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. William currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his opera singing wife, and calico cat. William regularly performs across southern California.
Benjamin Howard (Tush) Marked as a “standout” (Chicago Tribune) and praised for his “intelligence, nuance, and heart-melting tone” (Chamber Music in Historic Sites), baritone Benjamin Howard is quickly becoming a sought-after young talent to watch. Earlier this spring, Howard was named a first-place winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance--The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, 2018-2019 in the men's art song division. In the summer of 2018, he made his debut with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, singing the roles of Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods and the Sergeant in The Barber of Seville. Other recent roles include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at Opera in the Ozarks and the title role in Don Giovanni at the University of North Texas. At Fort Worth Opera, Mr. Howard has performed in Don Pasquale and The Barber of Seville. He has also sung with the Dallas Opera Education & Outreach program. As a concert soloist, Mr. Howard has performed with such organizations as the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Abilene Philharmonic, and Chicago's Main Street Opera. A Los Angeles native, Benjamin is a recent recipient of an Opera Buffs Inc. grant as well as The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award, 2018. He received his Bachelor of Music and Musical Theatre Certificate from Northwestern University and Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas. For more information, visit www.bhowardbaritone.com.
Josh Shaw (Director/Designer) One of Musical America’s Top 30 Innovators in Classical Music in 2016, Josh Shaw is the Executive and Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Project, a Los Angeles based company dedicated to presenting accessible, affordable, and ENTERTAINING opera. Over the past eight seasons, he has directed over 30 productions at POP including The Rake’s Progress, Ariadne auf Naxos, La calisto, Tosca: A Moving Production, and La bohème: AKA “The Hipsters”. Mr. Shaw’s reimagining of Die Entführung aus dem Serail as an episode of Star Trek has gained national attention and has been produced by eight companies selling out houses with record-breaking numbers. Since turning his attention to directing in 2011, he has directed over 70 productions at companies including Opera Santa Barbara, New Orleans Opera, The Southern Illinois Music Festival, Opera Neo, Alamo City Opera, Queen City Opera, Opera Orlando, and Salt Marsh Opera. In addition to the rewrite of Tabasco and the new book and lyrics for Abduction from the Seraglio, Mr. Shaw has written several English version librettos for operas including a Wild West setting of Die Lustige Witwe, a contemporary setting of Die Schauspieldirektor, and The Magic Flute, which set the show in the worlds of Mario Bros. and Zelda. He most ambitious and recently completed production to date was the bilingual Madama Butterfly, which enjoyed national support from the NEA and Opera America. Other upcoming productions include Il trovatore at The Southern Illinois Music Festival, Gianni Schicchi at Opera Columbus, I pagliacci at Salt Marsh Opera, and Le Docteur Miracle at Opera Santa Barbara. More details at joshshaw.org.