The Little Opera Team

STAFF

EB Headshot 1Erin Bregman
Founder & Artistic 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.

 

Me and Jess and Marks WeddingClaire Shaw
Development Director & Music Specialist

Claire is a trained opera singer and arts education professional with 10 years of arts management experience cultivated in organizations both in the UK and USA. She learned to create operas with children and guide teachers through the process during her 1.5 year tenure with the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Children Compose Opera and The Opera Learning Network. When not at Little Opera, she can be found writing children’s picture books and assisting the artistic director of The Calling All Choir.

 

leafEva Langman
Lead Teaching Artist

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.

 

 

1622672_834774792877_8268214034157258438_n(1)Ariana Strahl
Partner Teaching Artist

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
Partner 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.

2014-2015 Teaching Artist Apprentices

Felipe headshot smallFelipe Hernandez

Felipe grew up in the San Francisco’s Mission District, and took his first art classes as electives at City College of San Francisco. In the process he learned that the arts were something he wanted to explore more and was passionate about. This motivated him to move to New York to acquire his B.A in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College. His mediums of choice are acrylic and oil paints, polymer clays, plastilina, wood and stone. He deals with the world of fantasy. He has worked with college peers on short films and spent a summer interning for Basil Twist.

 

 

Riles HeadshotRiles Walsh

Riles Walsh is a piano teacher, arts administrator, and composer. He graduated in 2007 with honors, earning a B.F.A. in Music Composition and Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He writes tonal and post-modern chamber music, avant-garde pop music, and psychedelic garage rock.  2013 saw the premiere of his 45-minute magnum opus, NEW*EARTH: A Ballet for Ten Instruments, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.  This fall, he will lead a 2-hour “Music in Nature” hike as part of the East Bay Regional Park District’s “Healthy Parks Healthy People” campaign.

2014-2015 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

Mark Growden
Singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and the founder and artistic director of The Calling All Choir

Melissa Smolensky
Director of Communications and Marketing, Core OS

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