The Little Opera Team

STAFF

EB Headshot 1Erin Bregman
Founder & Director

Erin is a San Francisco playwright and Teaching Artist. As an educator, she has led nearly 100 classes through the creation of original operas. She has taught and developed curriculum for San Francisco Opera’s ARIA program, where the astoundingly high quality of mini-operas her classes kept churning out became the impetus to begin Little Opera. Her own work has been produced throughout the Bay Area, and developed across the country. Erin is a proud recipient of a 2014 Individual Artist Commission Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission for an upcoming musical collaboration with composer Alex Stein.

Albert HeadshotAlbert Montañez
Teaching Artist

Colombian-born countertenor Albert has most recently been awarded a post-graduate diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and brings many years of opera experience to the Little Opera collective. He is a vocal coach at the Kipp School and Little Opera’s resident music and voice teacher.

 

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Eva Langman
Teaching Artist; Development Associate & Online Content Manager

Eva’s background is in theatre and cultural anthropology, and she’s had training in counseling psychology and drama therapy. In addition to teaching at Little Opera, she currently works as a freelance ghostwriter and editor, and is collaborating on a musical comedy in which, finally, she confesses to being a clown.

 

Ariana StrahlAriana Strahl
Associate Artist; Events Manager

Ariana Strahl is a Bay-Area based soprano.  Her recent stage work includes two seasons as a young artist at the Komische Oper in Berlin, Germany, where she sang such roles as Micaela in Carmen and Ännchen in Der Freischütz.  She is excited to help Little Opera participants explore the magnificent world of opera, and brings 10+ years of singing and stage experience to the Little Opera team.

 

Suzanne HeadshotSuzanne Vradelis
Teaching Artist

Suzanne Vradelis brings 23 years of classroom experience to Little Opera. She is a recipient of the 2007 SF State University Alumni Award for Teacher of the Year, and 826 Valencia’s Teacher of the Month prize. During her tenure at West Portal she wrote, directed, and produced 13 original musicals with 1,000 students. Suzanne trained in ballet and modern dance — she taught dance at Antioch college in Ohio and worked as dance director for Otrabanda Theater Company in New Orleans before coming to San Francisco.

 

RESIDENT COMPOSERS

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Danny Clay

Danny is a composer and general noise-maker based in San Francisco who works in a variety of media. He “daylights” as an elementary school music teacher, where he has curated collaborative projects between young creative minds and professional organizations around the country, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), 826 Valencia, Nonsemble 6, the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival, and Friction Quartet. As a teaching artist, he works with Little Opera and the San Francisco Opera ARIA Network. He has been commissioned by groups such as Kronos Quartet, Phyllis Chen, Sarah Cahill, and many groups throughout the Bay Area.

 

Jenny Hanson small

Jenny Hanson

Jenny comes from a family of folk musicians and grew up listening to her large family playing guitar and singing harmonies at family gatherings. She began studying flute in high school with Ruth Giles, professor at Minnesota State University at Mankato/Gustavis Adolphus College, and completed her degree in Flute Performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities studying with Julia Bogorad Kogan, Adam Kuenzel and Keith Underwood. Jenny holds a Masters Degree at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities n Flute Performance studying with Julia Bogorad Kogan and Immanuel Davis.

After graduating, she started an all girl punk rock band called Eufio. You can read more about her and her work in this interview in the Mount Olivet School of Music newsletter.

 

alex headshotAlex Stein

Alex Stein is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. Alex’s works have seen premieres by at the Bowdoin International Music Festival and by the Mimesis Ensemble and Choral Chameleon. He was a 2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Among his many activities as a music educator, Alex works as a teaching artist with the San Francisco Opera’s ARIA program, helping children create original mini-operas.  Alex holds a Master’s Degree in composition from the Mannes College of Music where he studied with David Loeb. While at Mannes, he was a winner of the 2008 Jean Schneider Goberman composition competition, the Martinu prize for orchestral composition, and the Composer-in-Residence Chamber Ensemble commission.

He is currently working on a musical about startups.

Advisory Council

Caitlin Brune
Program Officer, AdminiTrust

Paul Cello
Organization and Learning Consultant, Board President Playwrights Foundation, Producing Artistic Director of 2by4 Theatre Company

Heath Marlow
Chair, Center for Professional Development and Performing Arts Leadership, New England Conservatory

Melissa Smolensky
Director of Communications and Marketing, Core OS

Claire Shaw
Nonprofit Organization Manager & Music Educator

Carolyn Spitz
Probono Consultant & Music Educator

Jesse Taggert
Founding Member, Dean and Trustee of the Awesome Foundation, Product Strategy/Research/Design at18f at GSA

Kaitlyn Trigger
Mobile Product Designer and Product Manager

Jonas Wright
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, San Francisco Conservatory of Music