The Little Opera Team

STAFF

EB Headshot 1Erin Bregman
Founder & Director (2011 – present)

Erin is a San Francisco-based playwright, librettist, and teaching artist. Over the last ten years, she has led over 100 classes through the creation of original operas with education programs that include the San Francisco Opera, the Randall Museum, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and the San Francisco Boy’s Chorus. Her own work has been produced around the country, including at Just Theater, Rorschach Theater, and Washington National Opera.

Education: BA, Literature

 

hehhhh-cropDanny Clay
Teaching Artist (2013 – present)

Danny is a composer and general noise-maker based in San Francisco who works in a variety of media. He works 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. Recent commissions include Kronos Quartet, Phyllis Chen, Sarah Cahill, and many groups throughout the Bay Area.

Education: MM, Music Composition

 

 

Jenny Hanson smallJenny Hanson
Teaching Artist & Registrar (2013 – present)

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.

Education: MM, Flute Performance

 

 

Eva Langleafman
Teaching Artist (2012 – present)

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.

Education: BA, Acting

 

matt headshotMatt Morgera
Outreach Coordinator & Teaching Artist (2015 – present)

Matt is an actor, singer, director, choreographer, sometimes playwright and teaching artist based in the Bay Area. He has directed and/or choreographed over 100 productions for high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in the Bay Area, New York, Massachusetts and Vancouver. Matt is currently the resident Drama Teacher at Prospect Sierra Elementary School, works with Bay Area Children’s Theater as a Teaching Artist and occasionally gets confused as to where he is. Matt loves that Little Opera utilizes another side of his brain as he logistically tries to make things happen in an orderly fashion and ensures that everyone is where they are supposed to be…or at least tries to!

Education: BA, Theater & Dance

 

 

 

Swerdlow-CPS photo fall 2013Susan Swerdlow
Teaching Artist (2019 – present)

Susan is thrilled to be part of the Little Opera team! A solo and choral singer, choral conductor,
and music teacher, she has worked in schools as well as at the San Francisco Girls Chorus, San
Francisco Conservatory of Music, SF Community Music Center, UC Berkeley Young Musicians
program, and Oakland Parks and Recreation. During her long tenure as choral director at the
College Preparatory School, she coached singers in 15 musicals. She also trained choruses for
more than 15 West Edge Opera and Oakland Opera Theater productions.

Education: BM in Music Education, MM in Choral Conducting, and teaching credential

 

Suzanne HeadshotSuzanne Vradelis
Teaching Artist (2012 – present)

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.

Education: Masters in Education

 

Board

  • Eliza Fox is an executive assistant at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM). She worked for a decade in the Executive Offices of the San Francisco Opera during the tenure of General Director David Gockley. Her passion for vocal music was fostered during childhood as a chorister in the St. Ignatius Loyola Choir in Manhattan under the leadership of Roger Evans. She looks forward to bringing music education into the lives of the next generation through Little Opera.

 

  • Frances Lee (Treasurer) — bio coming soon —

 

  • Elizabeth McGee — bio coming soon —

 

  • Joyce Ohgi (Secretary) worked as a user researcher/principal usability engineer at Oracle for 13 years with the objective of making Oracle software more intuitive for users. She studied Human-Computer Interaction at Stanford (BS in Symbolic Systems), so this was a natural fit. Joyce left Oracle in February 2015 looking for a more meaningful life. Part of that has meant getting involved with Little Opera. She has started tutoring one of the Little Opera students and hopes, as a board member, to help Little Opera grow and reach more students who want music, art and creativity in their lives.

 

  • Jonas Wright (President) went to work in film exhibition at US based film festivals after completing a degree in Film Studies, eventually leading to a position at the American Film Institute working with the graduate students. From there, he pivoted into the education sector where he has been since. He has also worked at the Presidio Graduate School, an MBA program, and is currently at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After hearing about Little Opera on a local NPR station, he found the avenue he was looking for to help promote arts education, particularly opera, to younger audiences. Jonas received his BA in Film Studies at the University of Buffalo. He is currently Associate Dean, Academic Affairs at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Advisory Board

Caitlin Brune
Program Officer, AdminiTrust

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

Simon Glinsky
Principal, The Glinsky Group – Management Consulting

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