Artistic Staff 2012
Linda Ade Brand
Stage Director — A Little Night Music, Studio Artist Program
Linda Ade Brand is delighted to return to Opera in the Ozarks for her fourth season as stage director. Previous productions at Opera in the Ozarks are Die Fledermaus, Little Women. Carmen and Don Giovanni. Linda is a director whose varied repertoire includes over a hundred plays, musicals and operas. She studied music (voice and trumpet) and theatre at Bethany College, in Lindsborg, Kan., and then received her M.F.A. in directing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with Will Graham and Francis Culinan as her primary directing mentors. After graduating, she studied with the innovative director Wesley Balk at his Music Theatre Institute in St. Paul.
A lover of contemporary opera, she was delighted to help introduce Mark Adamo’s Little Women and Conrad Susa’s The Wise Women to Kansas City while resident stage director of the Civic Opera Theatre of Kansas City. Both Adamo and Susa were in residence for these productions. When Carlisle Floyd directed his Susannah for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Linda was his assistant director. Last summer she directed his Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair for the Des Moines Metro Opera with Floyd in residence. She looks forward to directing the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s production of The Giver by Susan Kander, based on the award-winning book by Lois Lowry. It will be premiered in January.
An active director in Kansas City, her Lyric Opera of Kansas City credits include The Elixir of Love, H.M.S. Pinafore, Hansel and Gretel, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, plus many productions with the Lyric’s education department. Kansas City Rep credits include Master Class and All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, along with nine seasons leading the talented casts of A Christmas Carol. Most recently she directed Enchanted April for the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, and Transformations for Civic Opera of KC. She has also directed for the Coterie Theatre, the American Heartland Theatre, Theatre League’s New Music Theatre Festival and the Quality Hill Playhouse, where she will direct Noël and Gertie this fall.
She has had the pleasure of directing in many other regional theatre and opera companies including the Nashville Opera, Voices of Change in Dallas, Sante Fe Concert Artists, Stephens College, Okoboji Summer Theatre, Springfield Regional Opera, the Light Opera of Oklahoma and 13 seasons with the Des Moines Metro Opera. She taught for five years in the Theatre Department at Avila University and for 10 years in the Conservatory at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Stage Director — Die Zauberflote, La Boheme
Robert Swedberg is director of the opera studio program at University of Michigan, where he also regularly directs main stage opera productions and teaches The Business of Music and Yoga for Performers. Since his first year at U-M in 2008, he has also produced ‘Green Opera’ productions on campus, making University of Michigan the first in the U.S. to create eco-friendly opera by taking steps to lower the carbon footprint in rehearsal and performance.
From 1990 through 2007, Robert Swedberg was the general director of Orlando Opera, responsible for the artistic direction and management of one of the largest opera companies in the Southeast. Prior to that, he held positions as general director of Syracuse Opera; manager/artistic director of Opera Carolina; and director of educational projects and assistant stage director of the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Wagner Festival. During his tenure at Syracuse Opera and Orlando Opera, and in adjunct appointments at Syracuse University and the University of Central Florida, Professor Swedberg developed training programs that have helped many emerging performers make the transition from university programs to professional careers.
After entering university on a tuba scholarship, Robert Swedberg switched to vocal studies with a minor in theater, which led to several years as a professional singer and voice teacher. He has performed with New York City Opera, Long Beach Opera, the L.A. Philharmonic, Hidden Valley Opera, Seattle Opera, and the San Francisco Merola Program. He was a voice student of Dr. David Scott, and studied Vocal Pedagogy with Elisabeth Parham. Mr. Swedberg became active as a stage director while on the Seattle Opera staff, where he was assistant director for the Ring Cycle from 1978-1982. Since then, he has produced or directed more than 125 productions for several opera companies in the United States, including the double bill presentation of I Pagliacci and Carmina Burana for Orlando Opera, which featured choreographer Debra Brown and her troupe of Cirque du Soleil performers. More recently, he has been working on the international stage, directing productions for companies such as the Macau Music Festival, and the Beijing Music Festival in China; Calvia Music Festival in Mallorca, Spain; the William Walton Music Foundation in Ischia, Italy; and at several theaters in Germany, including those in Hof, Bamberg, Pforzheim, and Bayreuth.
Professor Swedberg has BA and BM degrees from California State University, Northridge, and earned a MBA from the University of Central Florida. Additionally, Professor Swedberg has participated in Opera America Seminars from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the Wharton Management and Behavioral Science Center. He founded the Heinz Rehfuss Singing-Actor Awards, was co-founder of the ”Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation, and hosted Opera with Robert Swedberg on 90.7 WMFE-FM, for over 15 years. He was on the Board of Directors of OPERA America from 2002-2007, and continues to be active as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts. He is also a certified yoga instructor, and is author of the book Yoga for Performers.
Adam Kerry Boyles
Conductor/Music Director — Die Fledermaus & Music Director — The Pirates of Penzance
Adam is thrilled to be returning to Opera in the Ozarks after conducting performances during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Adam is currently Director of Orchestras at MIT, Music Director of MetroWest Opera (Weston, MA), Staff Conductor with the Boston Opera Collaborative, and Music Director of the Brookline Symphony Orchestra. He recently completed a three-year tenure as Music Director of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and the University of Texas-Austin University Orchestra. Other guest conducting engagements include performances with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Austin Chamber Ensemble, Audio Inversions, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, University of Arizona Opera Theater, and the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra. Adam has worked with such conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Kurt Masur, Sir Roger Norrington, Gunther Schuller, and Helmuth Rilling. Adam has held Instructor/Guest Lecturer positions at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona. An experienced singer, Adam performed in numerous operas with the Indiana University Opera Theater, and as a chorister in Arizona Opera’s first complete presentation of Der Ring des Nibelungen. He has performed with professional choral ensembles across the country such as Conspirare, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Apollo’s Voice, Mon Choeur, Cantique, and Tucson Chamber Artists.
Senior Vocal Coach
Michael Dauphinais has been hailed in the press as “a marvelous collaborative pianist” (ITEA Journal), and has garnered praise for his “superbly realized continuo” (Arizona Republic) as well as his live renditions of orchestral reductions: “pianist Michael Dauphinais enables one to forget the lack of an orchestra almost immediately” (Newark Star-Ledger). His versatility has led to collaborations with several opera companies in the U.S. including Arizona Opera, Sarasota Opera, Kentucky Opera and New Jersey Opera Theatre, and he has served as the music director for the Young Artists’ Ensemble at San Diego Opera. He has also performed duo, chamber, choral and vocal repertoire throughout the U.S., Mexico, Ireland and Austria. Dauphinais has also served as a staff pianist for both regional and international conferences held by ITEA (International Tuba Euphonium Association) as well as the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.
An advocate of contemporary music and multidisciplinary collaboration, Mr. Dauphinais has played music by John Cage with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has also collaborated with choreographer Yanira Castro, Art.If.Act Dance Project and ACME (Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble). He has performed recent premieres of works for piano and live electronics by Stephan Moore and John King, and he recently played an evening of Moore’s works at Brown University. He has also been featured in symposiums at The
University of Arizona celebrating the music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Olivier Messiaen and George Crumb. Mr. Dauphinais’s most recent collaborative project, the site-specific dance and sound installation Wilderness with sound artist/composer Stephan Moore and choreographer Yanira Castro and company, premiered at the 2010 Filament Festival at EMPAC (Troy, NY). Further performances have taken place at Vanderbilt University, Franklin and Marshall College (PA), The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn, NY), and at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Michael Dauphinais holds degrees in music from Western Michigan University and Arizona State University, and will complete his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University in 2011. His teachers have included Andrew Campbell, Eckart Sellheim, Sylvia Roederer and Phyllis Rappeport. He currently serves on the music faculty at The University of Arizona where he teaches solo and collaborative piano, and is the vocal coach for UA Opera Theater. Mr. Dauphinais can be heard on the Mark Records Classical label with tubist Kelly Thomas.
Scenic Designer, Technical Director
William Spencer Musser is pleased to join Opera in the Ozarks. He is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute where he received his B.F.A. in sculpture in 2000. He received his M.F.A. in theatre scene design from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2003. While a student at UMKC, he was awarded the Honorary Dr. Patricia McIllrath Scholarship. He also received a travel grant to attend and present work at the Prague Theatre Design Quadrennial in 2003. After graduating he continued his career as an instructor with the graduate program at UMKC and as a scene designer and technical director with Rockhurst University as well as other local theaters in Kansas City. At Rockhurst University he worked on productions including Spring Awakening, The Crucible, Working, Urinetown, The Threepenny Opera, The Madwoman of Chaillot, and Dr. Faustus. Other past professional design credits include The Cripple of Inishmaan and Absurd Person Singular for the inaugural season of The Kansas City Actor’s Theatre, Crowns and The Exonerated for the Unicorn Theatre, The Diary of Anne Frank at the Olathe Community Theatre, and The Promise at the Germantown Performing Arts Center in Memphis. He has also taught special workshops on theatre and design for the Kansas City Art Institute. He worked with the Artsounds program, a collaborative event between visual artists affiliated with the Kansas City Art Institute and musicians in the Conservatory at the University of Missouriin Kansas City, to produce a theatrical adaptation of a traditional Japanese folktale collected by Lafcadio Hearn that was followed by works of his original animation. Spencer has been awarded a year-long artist studio residency by the Urban Culture Project in Kansas City, and he continues to work as a fine artist as well as designer. He has shown his work in Pennsylvania, New York and California, as well as in venues around Kansas City. In addition to this year’s season at Opera in the Ozarks he is currently working on several projects including writing and illustrating for children’s books.
Costume Designer, Head Costumer
Miriam Patterson-Smith holds a Master of Fine Arts in theatre and a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of Memphis, where she studied costume and lighting design, dramaturgy, and theatre history. Her designs were seen in the plays Sueño and the Ostrander Award-nominated Twelfth Night during the course of her graduate studies. During the academic year, she is employed by Rhodes College in Memphis, where she teaches humanities to first and second year students and serves as the costume shop supervisor. In addition to instructing students on design and costume construction techniques, she designs costumes for many of the season productions on the McCoy Theatre stage, including Seven, Taming of the Shrew, Lysistrata, Reckless, and Skin of our Teeth, for which she was honored with an Ostrander Award nomination. Most recently she had the privilege of designing costumes for Rhodes College’s Edwardian-themed production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Miriam has designed costumes for more than 30 Memphis area productions. Her costumes have been featured in Germantown Community Theatre’s The Mystery of Irma Vep, Harvey, Smoke on the Mountain, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged, as well as Theatre Memphis’s Hamlet and Cloud Nine. She also has designed costumes for a number of opera productions in Memphis at the Rudi Scheidt School of Music, including Albert Herring, La Bohème, Christopher Sly, Don Giovanni, and Suor Angelica.
This summer marks another return for Miriam to Opera in the Ozarks, where she enjoys the challenge of coordinating costumes for the repertory opera season. In past seasons, she has worked on costumes for Tosca, Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus, Postcard from Morocco, and Hansel and Gretel at Inspiration Point. She is excited to once again be working with a talented cast and crew on the 2011 season’s productions.
Production Stage Manager
Brandon Ehrenreich is a Phoenix native and a recent theatre design and production graduate from Arizona State University. Brandon spent his first year out of school working as an assistant stage manager for Utah Festival Opera (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Guys and Dolls), and as the first assistant stage manager for Arizona Opera’s 2010-11 season (The Pirates of Penzance, Carmen, Turandot, Otello, Die Entführung aus dem Serail). While in school, Brandon worked frequently with ASU’s Lyric Opera Theatre as a production stage manager (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Turn of the Screw, Suor Angelica), assistant stage manager (La Cenerentola, Gianni Schicchi, Urinetown, Candide), and lighting designer for The Rocky Horror Show, which won the 2009-10 ariZoni Award for Best Lighting Design in Non-Contracted Theatre. During his “free time” Brandon enjoys working as a freelance lighting designer in the Phoenix area (Winnie-the-Pooh, Hamletmachine, James and the Giant Peach, among others). In the fall, Brandon will return to Arizona Opera for its 2011-12 season.
Stephen Variames is a graduate vocal coaching student at Oklahoma City University, currently studying with Brian Osborne. This past year he music directed The Medium and Dido and Aeneas for the school’s student-run program, Operations. He received his B.M. in composition from Baylor University and is still an avid composer. There, he also served as assistant vocal coach, and directed A Little Night Music. He was a finalist for the New York City Opera Competition for New American Opera for his one-woman opera, The Face in the Wall. While at Baylor, he also served as adjunct faculty at McLennan Community College. He is currently composing an opera for Oklahoma City University. Stephen is very excited to be a part of Opera in the Ozarks and work with such incredible talent.