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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.

Francois Racine

François Racine | Stage Director

Canadian director François Racine has led a career as opera director and teacher for many years.

Named "Artist of the Year 2008-09" by Seatle Opera, Mr. Racine received accolades for Cosi fan tutte with Pacific Opera Victoria and for his innovative interpretation of Dido and Aeneas in Chaux-de-Fonds, Swirzerland in 2010.

While a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, Mr. Racine assisted Robert Lepage on his productions of Erwartung and Bluebeard’s Castle, and later supervised and restaged performances at Edinburg, Hong Kong and Melbourne Festivals and later in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Cincinnati, Montreal, Quebec and Seattle.

François Racine as directed opera productions for Opéra de Montréal, the Festival Opéra de Québec, Seattle Opera, The Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opéra de Québec, La Jeune compagnie Opéra in La Chaux de Fonds, Swirzerland, Pacific Opera Victoria, Cincinnati Opera and Edmonton Opera Association.

In collaboration with Kent Nagano and l’OSM, Mr. Racine staged concert versions of Tannhauser, Norma, La Sonnambula, Das Rheingold and Saint-François D’assise; with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Orchestre Métropolitain he staged La Clemenza di Tito.

François directed in 2005 the opera Louis Riel at McGill University, and was awarded the Prix Opus for "Event of the year."

As Opera Acting guest professor at l’Université de Montréal, François directed many operas and is now teaching the specialized acting class for singers.

He has worked also as a guest professor for the McGill Opera Studio, staging operas and giving acting classes and coachings for the singers.

Valery Ryvkin

Valery Ryvkin | Coach

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valéry Ryvkin has become one of most respected opera conductors in the United States. During his tenure as Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara, Ryvkin developed the company into one of the country’s premier regional opera houses. He produced and conducted several festival opera seasons, launched the company’s Young Artist Program, and conducted the World Premiere of composer Stephen Schwartz’s first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon which was commissioned by Opera Santa Barbara. This past fall Ryvkin was the cover conductor for Placido Domingo at the Los Angeles Opera’s production of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. He has also guest conducted at the Chicago Lyric Opera and San Francisco Opera. Ryvkin has been a member of the conducting staff of the Metropolitan Opera and is currently Artistic Director of the Greensboro Opera of North Carolina.

Ryvkin has performed throughout the United States and in Europe. He conducted Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans at Theater Erfurt in Germany, and gave recitals in Zagreb, Croatia. Among his many engagements in the United States, Ryvkin has conducted productions of Aida, Boris Godunov and Die Fledermaus for the San Diego Opera, La Traviata and Barber of Seville for the Portland Opera, Tosca and Madama Butterfly for The New Jersey Opera, Don Pasquale for Kansas City Lyric Opera, Cosi fan Tutte for Austin Lyric Opera, Hansel and Gretel and Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night for Sarasota Opera and Otello and Macbeth for the Fresno Opera.

Since 1999 Mr. Ryvkin served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Santa Barbara.