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Jose-Maria Condemi

Jose Maria Condemi | Stage Director

Jose Maria Condemi’s directorial work, which has been presented by companies in North America and abroad, encompasses an eclectic range of styles and repertoire and has been consistently praised for its creatively theatrical and innovative approach.

Notable engagements include Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Faust, Tosca, Così fan tutte, Un Ballo in Maschera, The Elixir of Love for Families and the world premiere of The Secret Garden (San Francisco Opera), Ernani, Tristan und Isolde and Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Families (Lyric Opera Chicago), Aida (Houston Grand Opera), Luisa Miller (Canadian Opera Company), Orphee et Eurydice, La Bohème, Tosca and Il Trovatore (Seattle Opera), Frida (Michigan Opera Theater), Tosca, Ainadamar, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Il Trovatore and Maria de Buenos Aires (Cincinnati Opera), A Streetcar Named Desire (Kentucky Opera), Don Giovanni (Portland Opera), Cosi fan tutte and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Atlanta Opera), Cendrillon (New Orleans Opera), The Elixir of Love (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), Maria Padilla (Minnesota Opera), Florencia en el Amazonas (Opera Colorado and Utah Opera), Simone Boccanegra (Teatro Colon/Buenos Aires), Il Trovatore (Austin Lyric Opera), Tosca and Maria de Buenos Aires (Florida Grand Opera), La Traviata (Wolftrap Opera), Carmen (Lyric Opera of Kansas City), Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte, L'elisir d'amore, La Rondine, Don Pasquale and La Traviata (Opera San Jose), Susannah and Roméo and Juliette (Festival Opera) and the San Francisco Opera Western Opera Theater's national tours of Die Fledermaus and Don Giovanni. As Associate Director, he has worked on The Ring Cycle and Les Troyens (San Francisco Opera), Così Fan Tutte (Lyric Opera Chicago) Ballo in Maschera (Canadian Opera Company) and Falstaff (Houston Grand Opera.) Collaborations with contemporary composers include directing the world premieres of Hector Armienta's River of Women and The Weeping Woman and the workshop performance of the San Francisco Opera commissioned piece Earthrise by 2000 Pulitzer Prize Lewis Spratlan.

His theater directing credits include Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Dürrenmatt's The Physicists, Dorfman's Death and the Maiden and Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba.

Mr. Condemi is also in high demand as a trainer of young artists and has been a guest lecturer, master teacher and stage director for the San Francisco Opera Center, Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Houston Grand Opera Studio, Indiana University, University of Cincinnati/CCM, University of Houston Moores School, Opera Theater of Lucca and the New National Theater Young Artists Programme in Tokyo. Highlights of his educational directing assignments include new productions of Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, La Bohème, La Cenerentola and A Streetcar Named Desire for the Merola Opera Program, Così fan Tutte for the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program and Dead Man Walking for Indiana University.

Originally from Argentina, Mr. Condemi received an undergraduate degree in Opera Stage Direction at the Teatro Colón/Buenos Aires and completed a Master of Fine Arts in Directing at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He was also a first-time Adler Fellow in Stage Direction at the San Francisco Opera and a Fulbright Fellow

Upcoming directing engagements include new productions of Le Portrait de Manon and Suor Angelica (San Francisco Conservatory of Music), Frida (Cincinnati Opera), Carmen (Central City Opera), Tosca (L’Opera de Montreal) as well as return engagements with Indiana University and Michigan Opera Theater.

Condemi is the Carol Franc Buck Distinguished Chair and the Director of Opera and Musical Theater at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He was also the Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara from 2010 until 2015 where he oversaw artistic planning and the Studio Artists Program.

Vernon Hartman

Vernon Hartman | Stage Director

Vernon Hartman returns to CCM Summer Opera, bringing forty-five years of experience as a performer, director, educator, producer and administrator. As a singer, he was a leading baritone at the Metropolitan Opera for two decades, and has sung with virtually all of North America’s major opera companies, orchestras and festivals, mixed with frequent international appearances. He has produced and directed for over thirty opera companies, universities, symphony orchestras, presenter houses and festivals worldwide. Recent activities include a return to Cincinnati Opera last summer after a twenty-one year absence, singing the role of Senator Charles Potter in the world première of Fellow Travelers. He also directed the world première of Eric Sawyer’s opera The Garden of Martyrs at the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA (a co-production with the Springfield Symphony), additionally singing the role of James Sullivan, and his new adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s play The Servant of Two Masters was performed at Smith College under his direction.

Ben Makino

Benjamin Makino | Coach

Conductor and Pianist Benjamin Makino is the current Music Director at Opera Memphis. Previously he was Assistant Conductor at the Long Beach Opera where he conducted that company’s highly praised productions of David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Michael Gordon’s Van Gogh as well as the U.S. premieres of Gavin Bryars’ The Paper Nautilus and Stewart Copeland’s Tell Tale Heart. He also led the U.S. professional premiere of Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth at the Los Angeles harbor.

He has previously been a director of the New York based Orchestra INSONICA, and is the founder of the Blackbird Music Project, which presents rarely performed works of vocal chamber music in Orange County, California. Under his leadership the Blackbird Music Project collaborated in a multimedia performance of Pierrot Lunaire with photographer and artist Jeff LeFever, and produced performances of vocal works by Luciano Berio, Marc-André Dalbavie, Tōru Takemitsu and Dmitri Shostakovich.

During the fall of 2012, Ben was the Music Director for Opera Memphis’ 30 Days of Opera, an innovative program of 30 days of free concerts around the greater Memphis metropolitan area, including performances at several local library branches, the Cooper Young Festival, Trolley Night and at various points along the route of The Color Run, in which he ran the 5km course, stopping to perform arias on a portable keyboard that he carried with him during the race.

Ben is a graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera where he was hand selected by Director Plácido Domingo. He made his main stage debut with that company conducting Hansel and Gretel at the historic Lincoln Theater. Other appearances with the WNO included a sold out run of performances of Così fan Tutte at the Washington National Opera Studio, and concerts at the Opera House of John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Music Center at Strathmore. He was the only U.S. citizen selected to participate in the 50th Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors. Ben completed studies at Chapman University and the University of California, Los Angeles and pursued advanced studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. In 2014 he was identified by Opera America as a future leader in the field of Opera in the United States.

In his extra time, Ben enjoys running, cycling, languages and reading Stan Sakai’s inimitable Usagi Yojimbo. He recently competed in his first XTERRA (off-road triathlon) happily completing the event without injuring himself or any others.

Steven Mosteller

Steven Mosteller | Coach

Steven Mosteller made his New York City Opera debut at Lincoln Center in 1993 conducting the original 1904 version of MADAMA BUTTERFLY. A conductor at City Opera for twenty seasons, he has conducted at both the David H. Koch Theater and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and served as Music Director for the Festival de Otoño in Madrid, Spain, in a joint presentation by City Opera guest artists and the City Orchestra of Madrid. He has also toured with the NYCO National Company throughout the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Mosteller has conducted productions with major regional companies and conservatories including The Manhattan School of Music and The Wolf Trap Opera. He was the Music Director of The New Jersey Opera and of the Depaul University Opera Theater. In addition, he has taught and conducted for the Music International Academy at the 2014 Trentino Music Festival in Italy, the Musica Nelle Marche 2015. Mr. Mosteller will join the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the fall of 2016.

Louise Pelletier

Louise Pelletier | Coach

Quebec native Louise Pelletier has led a dynamic and remarkable career as a teacher and collaborative pianist. Her principal teachers were Nina Svetlanova in New York and Jacqueline Richard in Montreal. Louise has taught piano at the University of Quebec in Montreal and the CEGEP Vincent D’Indy. She currently serves as accompanist and vocal coach at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. She has played Hansel and Gretel in the collaboration between “Théâtre sans fil” and the Orchestre Metropolitaine de Grand Montreal (OMGM) and Pelléas et Mélisande with Montreal Opera while under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She is regularly contracted for the OMGM and the McGill Chamber Orchestra as a rehearsal pianist and acts as répétiteur to the OMGM Choir. Louise has recently worked as a vocal accompanist with the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute. In addition, she records regularly for Radio-Canada programming: Début, Jeunes Artists as well as Les Grands Concerts.

Annunziata Tomaro

Annunziata Tomaro | Conducting Instructor

Praised as a “rising light in the musical firmament” and a “brilliant young Maestra,” Annunziata Tomaro is equally at home in symphonic, operatic, and contemporary repertoire. Born in New Jersey, USA, she is currently an assistant conductor in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As founder and music director of The Phoenix Ensemble in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ms. Tomaro collaborated with international distinguished artists. For almost a decade, Tomaro was music director and principal conductor of the CCM (College-Conservatory of Music) Concert Orchestra and contemporary ensemble Café MoMus in Cincinnati. During that time, Tomaro held various other posts, including music director of the Central Kentucky Youth Symphony, associate conductor of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, conductor and music director of the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, and the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

After several years of guest conducting in South America, in 2014 Tomaro was appointed assistant conductor and head of stage music of the Orquesta Estable of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Top prize winner of the 2010 International “Antonio Pedrotti” Conducting Competition, Ms. Tomaro’s honors also include a Robinson Award, presented by the Conductor’s Guild, Presser Award, and a Fulbright grant to Berlin. She was awarded an “Outstanding Woman Conductor” grant by the League of American Orchestras. Since beginning her musical studies at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, Ms. Tomaro has worked with some of the world’s most recognized conducting pedagogues, including Gustav Meier, Kenneth Kiesler, Mark Gibson, Larry Rachleff, Jorge Perez-Gomez, and Jorma Panula.