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Faculty and Staff

The 2018 Faculty

Please note that the 2019 faculty contracts are being negotiated presently.
Daniel Helfgot
Stage Director

Daniel Helfgot' credits include well over 200 productions of over 100 operas, operettas and zarzuelas from the Baroque to several world premieres.  His international credits include shows in Argentina, Albania, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Panama, and Sweden. 

In the US he has directed for such companies as Baltimore; Billings, Festival Opera (California), Chattanooga, Eugene, Knoxville, Memphis, Orlando, Shreveport, Pennsylvania Festival, Sacramento, Spring Opera and Western Opera Theater of San Francisco, Utah Opera, Utah Festival, Virginia Opera, etc.

Daniel Helfgot is the author of The Third Line, a book that aims at developing acting skills and actual construction and use of a ‘third line’ for a given role.  In addition to techniques of interpretation, Helfgot’s method offers strategies on how to best approach stage performances, auditions, recitals, and competitions.

Maestra Barbara Day Turner is the founder and music director of the San José Chamber Orchestra. An ardent advocate for new music, she has premiered more than 140 new works with San José Chamber Orchestra alone, as well as leading the first performances of 5 American operas. She  has become well known for creative and engaging programming.  Named a 2012 Silicon Valley Arts Council “On Stage” Artist Laureate, Maestra Day Turner recently completed 15 seasons as Music Administrator and Conductor of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. She frequently guest conducts for orchestras and opera companies in the US, Germany and Mexico, and conducted for Opera San José for 18 years. Day Turner regularly serves as a judge for the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and on the advisory boards of OperaNeo in San Diego, the Delphi Trio, and on the board of directors for the National Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy association. The Maestra holds a masters degree in harpsichord performance from San José State University, with advanced studies with the legendary Fernando Valenti.

Anton Belov, Festiva Coordinator
Anton Belov
Festival Coordinator

The voice of Baritone Anton Belov has been called “rich and mellifluous” by the New York Times, while his recent appearance as the soloist in Carmina Burana was described by Florida Weekly as "captivating in every way, casting a mystical spell over the audience." He earned praise from critics and audiences alike for his portrayals of Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Don Giovanni, Germont (La Traviata), Count di Luna (Il trovatore), Eugene Onegin, Escamillo in Carmen and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. Belov is the first-place winner of eight vocal competitions including the George London Competition and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A native of Moscow, Anton Belov holds a Doctorate of Music degree from the Boston University and a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School.  Dr. Belov is an associate professor of music at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

Hannah Penn, mezzo-soprano, enjoys a diverse career as a performer of opera, oratorio, and recital literature. Frequently praised for her musicality and the timbre of her voice, Ms. Penn has recently been called “…a major talent”, and “…an intelligent and wonderfully musical singer” by Portland’s Willamette Week, and was praised for having “…intriguing colors at both ends of her range” by The Oregonian. She has sung more than twenty operatic roles with Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Tacoma Opera, and other companies.  Ms. Penn frequently performs with Portland Opera, most notably as the title role in Carmen, Julie in Show Boat, and L’enfant in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges.  Ms. Penn also enjoys a full concert schedule, having been featured with orchestras around the country, including several appearances with the Oregon Symphony, , and the Seattle Baroque, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the Florida Philharmonic. Ms. Penn is also a dedicated and passionate teacher, on faculty at Portland State University and Linfield College.

Ian Pomerantz
Historical Performance

Music director and bass-baritone Ian Pomerantz is a specialist in the French baroque vocal repertoire, and is the co-founder and artistic director of Les Enfants d’Orphée, an ensemble dedicated to bringing the music of the French Baroque to North American audiences.   With Les Enfants, he also revived cantatas by Clérambault as a part of the John Kleshinsky Concert Series in Boston. Pomerantz joined the GRAMMY Award-winning Boston Early Music festival in the North American premier of Campra’s opera Le Carnival de Venise. Pomerantz leads a revival of Louis Saladin’s Canticum Hebraïcum of the 1680’s, and joins Byron Schenkman and Friends as a guest soloist in reviving Handel’s cantatas for bass voice. Pomerantz holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College, Masters of Music in Voice from Longy School of Music of Bard College, and is completing a doctorate focused on French repertoire at the Hartt School, with additional study in France.

Byron Schenkman

Historical Performance


BYRON SCHENKMAN has recorded more than thirty CDs of 17th- and 18th-century repertoire, including recordings on historical instruments from the National Music Museum, Vermillion, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A recipient of the Erwin Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society for Early Music "for outstanding achievement in the field of early music," he was voted “Best Classical Instrumentalist” by the readers of Seattle Weekly, and his piano playing has been described in The New York Times as "sparkling," "elegant," and "insightful." He was founding co-director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and currently directs “Byron Schenkman & Friends,” a Baroque and Classical chamber music series at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, he received his master's degree with honors in performance from Indiana University. He currently teaches at Seattle University and has been a guest lecturer in harpsichord and fortepiano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Dr. Natasha Roule
Historical Performance

Versatile musicologist, historian, music director, and viola da gamba player Natasha Roule received her PhD in Historical Musicology from Harvard University. Her research explores the interplay between politics and opera in the 17th- and 18th-century French provinces. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Irene Alm Memorial Prize, the American Graduate Fellowship from the Council of Independent Colleges, the Anne Louise Barrett Fellowship from Wellesley College, and a Pforzheimer Fellowship at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, for which she contributed extensively to the music database RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales). She is co-director of the acclaimed French baroque ensemble, Les Enfants d'Orphée.

Wenwen Du
Collaborative Piano

Pianist Wenwen Du trained with Dan Zhaoyi at the Shenzhen Arts School and with Lee Kum Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She has given piano recitals in Europe, North America and Asia and recorded solo piano repertoire for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Wenwen has frequently appeared in concert with tenor Ian Bostridge. The Vancouver Sun wrote, "Du and Bostridge are not just on the same page, they anticipate each other's every nuance in perfect synchronization."  Their recitals have included Dallas Opera, Herbst Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center at Princeton, Hertz Hall and Spivey Hall in the USA, the Vancouver Recital Society in Canada, Schloss Elmau in Germany, a private gala in Shanghai, and the Suseong Artpia and the Cheonan Arts Center in South Korea.
Wenwen served as artistic coach and advisor for the premiere of Tang Kang Nian's opera "Thunderstorm," and performed the piano part under the baton of Maestro Tang Muhai. The work was presented by the Tianjin Grand Theatre in Tianjin, China.

Alexis Silver
Baroque Choreography

ALEXIS SILVER is a New York City based dancer. She is a member of The New York Baroque Dance Company, and has toured the US and abroad, performing in Handel’s Teseo at the International Handel Festival in
Göttingen, Germany, Festival de Música Antigua Esteban Salas in Havana, Cuba, and in Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. As a member of the Boston Early Music Festival Dance
Company, Alexis performed in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Charpentier’s La
Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleur, Handel’s Almira,
and Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise. She performs with Balam Dance
Theater, Sarah Skaggs, and has presented her solo choreography at the Washington National Cathedral. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, she grew up in Berkeley, CA and Boston, MA. She trained with Ronn Guidi’s
Oakland Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet School, Marcus Schulkind, and Nordic
Baroque Dance Company’s International Summer Academy. Alexis is also an accomplished photographer, Sarah
Lawrence College: B.A. Liberal Arts; London Contemporary Dance School:
Certificate of Higher Education.

Jeffrey Williams has been hailed by Baltimore Sun, as “very likable, a winning performance sung with much confidence, phrasing everything stylishly,” by Miami Herald as possessing a “commanding, 

sizeable, effortless, manly baritone” and by Opera News as a “versatile, fearless performer.” He has portrayed Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Marschner’s Lord Ruthven in Der Vampyr, Lionel in the Philadelphia premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, Mozart’s Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Tchaikovsky’s Prince Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, Mozart’s Figaro, many of Gilbert & Sullivan’s baritones and others. Williams has been a Nashville Opera Mary Ragland Young Artist and a Seagle Music Colony Young Artist.  Williams is a frequent soloist in the diverse oratorio and concert works of Adams, Bach, Barber, Brahms, Fauré, Handel, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Vaughan Williams and others. 

He appears on two world-premiere recordings, both with Albany Records, Thomas Sleeper’s series of mini-operas Einstein’s Inconsistency and Michael Dellaira’s The Death of Webern, with the latter being recognized as a Critic’s Choice and one of the Five Best New Works of 2016 by Opera News.

Williams received his D.M.A. in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, M.M. in Voice Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, and B.A. in Music from Muhlenberg College. 

Mr. Zeller made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1989 and has appeared there for 11 seasons. In 2002–03, he appeared in lead roles in three new productions: Ernesto in Bellini’s Il Pirata with Renée Fleming and Marcello Giordani, Eddie in William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge (based on the play by Arthur Miller), and Chorebe opposite Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, conducted by Maestro James Levine.

His other assignments at the Metropolitan Opera have included the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth, the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Barak in R. Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Carlo in Verdi’s Ernani, Rangoni and Schelkalov in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov in two different productions, Thoas in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride, Kothner in Wagners’s Die Meistersinger, and Sprecher in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, as well as performances of Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, Gounod’s Faust, and his Met Opera debut as Count Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto.

He has appeared in lead roles with the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Opera am Rhein, English National Opera at the Barbican in London, the Edinburgh Festival, and Vienna Festival, as well as many other international and regional opera houses throughout the world, including the Philadelphia, Minnesota, Cincinnati, San Diego, Portland, New Orleans, and New Jersey opera companies.


Mr. Zeller was featured in 2001 in an Emmy-nominated nationwide TV broadcast of Live from Lincoln Center singing Mozart’s Requiem with the Mostly Mozart Festival, conducted by Gerard Schwarz.

Mr. Zeller has sung with nearly all of the major orchestras in the U.S., including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, and the National Symphony at Kennedy Center. Highlights of past seasons include appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Levine in Berlioz’s Les Troyens and the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with both the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and in a nationwide radio broadcast over 500 stations with the Cleveland Orchestra.

His performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bloch’s Sacred Service, Catalani’s La Wally, Faure’s Requiem, and many others.

On the concert stage, he has performed with the Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Minnesota, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, St. Louis, Oregon, and St. Paul chamber orchestras; the Colorado, San Antonio, Nashville, Tulsa, Toledo, Buffalo, Columbus, Richmond, Tampa, Huntsville, Florida, New World, Grant Park, Indianapolis, Johnstown, Rochester, Akron, Wichita, Kalamazoo, Baton Rouge, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Charleston, Memphis, Phoenix, and San Diego symphonies; and many other orchestras, professional choruses, and gala events.


His international orchestra credits feature appearances with the Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Ottowa symphonies; the Nord Deutscher Rundfunk (Hanover); the MDR Symphony Orchestra (Leipzig); the Dresden Staatskapelle; the Czech, Tokyo, Korea, and Rotterdam philharmonics; the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway); the Orquesta Sinfonia de Mineria; and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte- Carlo, among many others.


Richard Zeller’s recordings include the critically-acclaimed Merry Mount by Howard Hanson, Deems Taylor’s Peter Ibbettson with Naxos, and the world premiere of Henri Lazarof’s Fifth Symphony on Centaur Records – all recorded with Gerard Schwartz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He has also recorded Dvorak’s Te Deum with Zdenec Macal and the New Jersey Symphony for Delos, David Schiff’s Gimpel the Fool for Naxos, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Centaur Records, and Virgil Thompson’s Lord Byron and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land for Koch International. He has recorded Luigi Dallapiccola’s opera Volo di notte with American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein, and his most recent release is Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Martingale Ensemble on MSR classics.

Hideki Yamaya
Lute and Theorbo

Hideki Yamaya is a performer of lutes, early guitars, and early mandolins based in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Born in Tokyo, Japan, he spent most of his career in the West Coast before settling in New Haven, where he is a freelance performer and teacher.  He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied with Robert Strizich, and an M.F.A. in Guitar and Lute Performance from University of California, Irvine, where he studied with John Schneiderman. He also studied with James Tyler at University of Southern California and with Paul Beier at Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan, Italy.

In demand both as a soloist and as a continuo/chamber   player, Hideki has performed with and for Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Opera, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Baroque Northwest, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Opera, California Bach Society, Oregon Bach Festival, and the Astoria Music Festival.    

He is one half of the Schneiderman-Yamaya Duo and is the artistic director for Musica Maestrale, an early music collective based in Portland.  He is an internationally acclaimed musician and has performed in Canada, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy.

Linda Mattson
Costume Design

Linda Mattson designs costumes for Anton Belov’s Opera Workshops at Linfield College. A playwright, actress, and producer of her own comedy plays, she also won many Best Costumer awards from the Gallery Theater. She enjoys historical research, and especially loves to dress student performers in 18th and 19th century styles. She has written several novels which are set in that time period.

In fact, Dame Barbara Cartland of Great Britain recognized Linda’s love of historical clothing when she gave her this front cover endorsement for her novel, A LADY IN DISGUISE: “This is a charming, delightful costume romance with a plot that keeps one surprised until the end.”  Writing under the name Mellyora Ashley, Linda also published FORBIDDEN ARABELLE, set in 1752.

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