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.
Naya Chang is a theater director, actress, violinist and painter. She received her MFA in Theater Acting with a special emphasis in Directing and BA in Music Composition from Brandeis University. Her recent works include: director and narrator for Harmony of Nature by Bunun Mountain Traditional Music Chorus and Cellist Annie Chang in Esplanade Singapore, director and stage designer for the concert Wu Man and Aboriginal Friends, commissioned by the National Theater and Concert Hall, as part of the 2012 Taiwan International Festival of the Arts, and assistant director for the original opera La peintre, Yu-Lin produced by the Nations Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, premiering at the National Theater Hall in Taipei. She was assistant director for Stuck Elevator premiered at American Conservatory Theater (ACT) and traveled with the touring version of the production to International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven. Naya has a passion for education and taught a theatre course she developed called “Speak, Act, Because We Care” at the Urban Scholars Program at University of Massachusetts Boston. Naya is also devoted in connecting Eastern and Western cultures, as well as social issues and healing. www.nayachang.com
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 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.
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.
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.
Site Coordinator & Teaching Artist
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!
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.
- Lauren Fernandez (Treasurer) is currently a Program Manager at Google, and holds an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and a BA from Williams College. She has over 8 years of experience across a range of business operations, including management consulting, business development, corporate strategy, and user care. Lauren benefited from music education as a child in the San Francisco Unified School District, and wrote her undergrad thesis on the effects of school choice policies on student diversity.
- Carmen Ho has over 18 years of international brand and marketing management experience. She is currently the Founder and Director at Chic Consulting, a boutique brand consultancy specializes in lifestyle, luxury, and retail consumer products and service offerings. She spent 10+ years at Miele as Head of Marketing and Brand for the Hong Kong & Macau market. Prior to Miele, Carmen was the Marketing Events Manager, Asia, for a technology start up. Carmen is passionate about being involved and giving back to the community wherever she resides. In San Francisco, she is a current Board Member at Wu Yee Children’s Services, a city-scale non profit agency that provides child development (Early Head Start, Head Start, and State Preschool programs), family and provider services to diverse families throughout San Francisco. She is a committee member of the Asia-Pacific Affairs Forum at the Commonwealth Club. In Hong Kong, she was involved with Disciples Escoffier, an international chef’s association, and the Ambassadors of Design Strategy Committee.
- Frances Lee — 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.
- Calvin Parshad is currently the Director of Clinical Operations at early stage healthcare startup Hawthorne Effect, Inc. His dedication to the Operatic and Theatrical Arts followed him early on and matriculated at the University of California, Los Angles where Calvin received his B.S. and B.A. in Neuroscience and Theater. From there, he earned a certificate in business from the Harvard Business School, and an MHA from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. Integrating the arts and medicine have served as the beachhead for Calvin’s aspirations in healthcare, writing, and filmmaking, and his wish is to continue the development of the world’s future leaders through creative expression and the language of music.
- 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.
- Jane Zhu is currently an associate at TPG, a private equity firm in San Francisco, where she focuses on growth equity and middle-market investments. Prior to this role, she worked in mergers and acquisitions investment banking at Evercore in New York City. She received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Jane has been surrounded by music all her life, growing up playing four instruments, playing in orchestras throughout her childhood and in college, and having graduated from the pre-college program at the Eastman School of Music. Her wish is to spread the joy of music and artistic expression with children everywhere.
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