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Faculty and Staff

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Michael Recchiuti is active internationally as conductor, pianist, and accompanist. He has collaborated with artists of the international opera stage, and Grammy and Tony award winners such as Carlo Bergonzi, Giuseppe Giacomini, Placido Domingo, Justino Diaz, Roberta Peters, Adrianna Maliponte, Renee Fleming, Ceclia Gasdia, Ghena Dimitrova, Fiorenza Cossotto, Dolora Zajick, Chris Merritt, Paolo Gavanelli, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Stuart Neill, and Vanessa Williams.

He was head of the musical staff at Venice’s Gran Teatro La Fenice, and Consulente Musicale for the Ente Lirico in Cagliari Sardegna, where he presented the first French language performance in Italy, of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, starring Chris Merritt. He was a Guest Conductor at the Budapest State Opera in the Spring Festival, and for the Summer Festival production of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino starring Giuseppe Giacomini in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

 

After winning the International Competition for Opera Conducting at Siena’s prestigious Accademia Chigiana, where he studied with Franco Ferrara, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Bruno Bartoletti, he was awarded the Diploma di Merito, and chosen to conduct performances of Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda with soprano Cecilia Gasdia. He has assisted many conductors, including Nicola Rescigno, Giuseppe Patanè, Placido Domingo, Bruno Bartoletti, and Alfredo Silipigni, who engaged him as Associate Conductor of the New Jersey State Opera, and invited him to conduct Puccini’s Le Villi, and Mascagni’s Zanetto. He also prepared productions of verismo rarities such as Mascagni’s Iris, and Lodoletta.

 

In North America, Mo. Recchiuti is the Artistic and General Director of the American Opera Theater, founding Principal Conductor of the New Jersey Opera Theater, and founding Music Director of Opera de las Americas, the national opera of the Dominican Republic. He has been a frequent guest conductor for many organizations including: Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Long Beach Opera where he collaborated with director Hugo DeAna, the Orlando Opera, the Korean Symphony of New York, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the National Lyric Opera.

His discography includes the newly released “Vaghissima sembianza”, a collection of the Arie di Stile Antico di Stefano Donaudy with soprano Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs; “Chris Merritt dal Vivo”, where he conducted the orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto, and was awarded the Palme d’Or, and chosen as “Best CD of the Year” by Opera News, and CD Classica; “English Art Songs” featuring Britten’s the Holy Sonnets of John Donne and Roger Quilter songs, with tenor Paul Austen Kelly; and Alberto Mizrahi’s “Voice of a People” a collection of Cantorial Showpieces, Ashkenazic and Sephardic art songs.

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Critics have praised her virtuosic bel canto technique, the beauty of her voice, her pyrotechnic coloratura, and her unerring theatricality. A brilliant interpreter of the most demanding roles in the spinto-drammatico soprano repertory, she’s recently appeared as Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West in Sergio Vela’s production at Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, Turandot in a new production mounted for her by Andre Heller Lopez at the Theatro Municipal of Sao Paolo, Brazil, for the Gala opening of the new Opera House in Xian, China, and for the Shanghai Grand Theater. Puccini’s Tosca with the Charleston SC Symphony, and also with the OFUNAM Mexico City, and the Orquesta del Estado de Mexico.

She sang Bellini’s Norma at the season opening at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, Strauss’ Elektra in the “Premio Abbiati” award winning production of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Gutrune in Götterdämmerung for Teatro Massimo Palermo, Salome with the Orchesta Sinfonica Nacional at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and Verdi’s Requiem with the OSN at Bellas Artes. In previous seasons she was Violetta in Willy Landin’s new production of Verdi’s La Traviata at the Teatro Argentina de la Plata, for which she was awarded the Argentine Music Critics Association Award as “Discovery of the Year.” She sang Verdi’s Lady Macbeth in Montevideo, and Abigaille in Nabucco and for the Grand Théâtre de Gèneve, which critics hailed as “simply extraordinary…” as well as in Nancy, France, and at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica.

 

She was the featured artist opening the Verdi Bicentennial Concerts at Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes and the OFUNAM, followed by her critically acclaimed role and house debut in Strauss’ Salome at Den Norske Opera in Stefan Herheim’s reprise of his Salzburg production. She appeared under the baton of Lorin Maazel as Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West at his Castleton International Festival, a role she had also performed under Mo. Bruno Bartoletti at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo and, for the Florida Grand Opera. She was heard internationally at the Metropolitan Opera as Tosca on a live Sirius Radio international broadcast with the tenor Marcello Giordani. She was Tosca at the Florida Grand Opera and Bellini’s Norma for Palm Beach Opera, La Fanciulla del West and Norma for Opera Holland Park, and sang the title roles in Aida, Madama Butterfly, and Suor Angelica, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Elena in I Vespri Siciliani, and Elvira in Ernani.

 

Hailed as one of the best young Verdi singers by Placido Domingo, she appeared with him at the Washington National Opera as Giordani’s Fedora in a gala performance. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Violetta in the Zeffirelli production of Verdi’s La Traviata under the baton of Marcello Viotti, and her Italian debut was the title role in Jonathan Miller’s production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at Torino’s Teatro Regio, conducted by Evelino Pidò.

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.

Anton Belov, Festiva Coordinator
Anton Belov
Festival Director

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.

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Sue Hinshaw
Soprano

Susan Hinshaw has been a professional opera performer and classical singer for over 30 years (1968-2000), with engagements singing leading roles in Europe, the USA, South America and Australia. Frequently described as a “singing actress,” her performances are characterized by sensitivity, dramatic intensity, musicality and passion. Her professional operatic debut was as Violetta in La Traviata at the Lucerne Opera in Switzerland, where she continued to perform many other leading roles including Mimi in La Boheme, The Countess in W.A. Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Ann Truelove in Igor Stravinsky's The Rake‘s Progress, Konstanza in W.A. Mozart's Die Entfuehrung, Norina in Don Pasquale, Margiana in The Barber of Bagdad, Maria in The Bartered Bride, and Lucrezia in I due Foscari. The Zuricher Nachrichten described her performances as “Unquestionably a soprano of the highest order,” and the Luzerner Neuest Nachrichten described her as a "strong yet delicate stage presence…not a prima donna, but a human being, with a wonderful blend of singing and acting."

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Alexis Silver
Choreography

Eric Mazonson received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Boston University, where he studied piano with Anthony di Bonaventure.  His chamber music coaches included Walter Trampler, Robert Marcellus, Leslie Parnas, Ralph Gomberg and Eugene Lehner. From 1979 to 1982, he was a member of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, where he performed with the concert band and founded a piano-woodwind sextet, the Olympus Chamber Players, which toured throughout the Northeast.  His extensive repertoire has been heard in many solo, chamber music and vocal recitals in the US, Canada and Europe.  He has appeared as soloist with several orchestras, recently performing Mozart’s Concerto in B-flat, K. 595, and Haydn’s Concerto in D Major with the South County Chamber Orchestra in Rhode Island, and two pieces by Mendelssohn with the Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra in Wilson, SC.  Eric has been a faculty member of Bradford College, the University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University, Providence College and Moses Brown School. He was a coach with the Crittenden Opera Studio Workshops in Boston and Washington, D.C. for over twenty years. 

Eric Mazonson

Collaborative Piano

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, www.asilverphotography.com. Sarah
Lawrence College: B.A. Liberal Arts; London Contemporary Dance School:
Certificate of Higher Education.

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