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Meet the Team - BWW Opera

Amanda Etchison

Amanda Etchison is a sophomore at The Ohio State University, where she is pursuing a double major in journalism and Chinese within the university Honors Program. Amanda writes as a staff reporter for The Lantern, the student-run daily news publication of Ohio State?s Columbus campus. A lover of music and theater, Amanda has played the French horn in a variety of pit orchestras and music ensembles. When she is not writing, Amanda enjoys playing the piano and trying out new nail art designs.
Audrey Liebross

Audrey Liebross writes legal briefs for a federal agency in the daytime and fiction at night, although some folks don?t see the difference. Audrey?s short stories and nonfiction pieces have been published in magazines and mystery collections. She has completed two mystery novels (as yet unpublished ? her writing is MUCH better than her marketing) and is currently working on a ?fan fiction? retelling of ?The Phantom of the Opera.? Audrey is married with three grown sons and two beautiful granddaughters.
Barry Lenny

Born in London, Barry was introduced to theatre as a small boy, through being taken to see traditional Christmas pantomimes, as well as discovering jazz and fine music at a very young age. High school found him loving the works of Shakespeare, as well as many other great playwrights, poets and novelists. Moving to Australia, he became a jazz musician, playing with big bands and his own small groups, then attended the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, playing with several orchestras. This led to playing in theatre pits, joining the chorus, playing character roles, playing lead roles (after moving into drama), then directing, set and lighting design, administrative roles on theatre boards and, finally, becoming a critic. After twenty years of writing he has now joined the Broadway World team to represent Adelaide, in South Australia. Barry is also a long time member of the prestigious Adelaide Critics Circle.
Benjamin Tomchik

Ben is an avid theatergoer who has seen over 115 musicals and plays. Some of his most memorable theatrical experiences include: accidentally insulting Andrew Lloyd Webber at a performance of Love Never Dies, attending the last Broadway performance of Elaine Stritch at Liberty and watching George Bizet?s opera The Pearl Fishers from the Presidential Box at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Originally from Pittsburgh, Ben works in public affairs for a Washington, D.C.-based trade association and previously served in The White House. Ben has a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University and a Master?s degree in strategic public relations from The George Washington University.
Carla Maria Verdino-S?llwold

Born and raised in the metropolitan New York area, Carla Maria Verdino-S?llwold took her degrees at Sarah Lawrence College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She began her career as a teacher and arts administrator before becoming a journalist, critic, and author. In addition to contributing to Broadway World, her theatre, film, music and visual arts reviews and features have appeared in Fanfare Magazine, Scene 4 Magazine, Talkin? Broadway, Opera News, Gramophone, Op?ra International, Opera, Music Magazine, Beaux Arts, and The Crisis, and her byline has headed numerous program essays and record liner notes. She also authors the blog, Stage, Screen, and Song (www.stagescreensong.wordpress.com). Among her scholarly works, the best known is We Need A Hero! Heldentenors from Wagner?s Time to the Present: A Critical History. She helped to create several television projects, serving as associate producer and content consultant/writer, among them I Hear America Singing for WNET/PBS and Voices of the Heart: Stephen Fosterfor German television. Her first novel, Raising Rufus: A Maine Love Story appeared in 2010. Her screenplay version of the book was the 2011 Grand Prize Winner at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. She is also the author of a second novel, The Whaler's bride, and a collection of short stories, BOOKENDS Stories of Love, Loss, and Renewal. Ms. Verdino-S?llwold now makes her home in Brunswick, Maine.
Chris Gibson

Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.
David Clarke

David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined BroadwayWorld.com running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013.
David Fick

Born and bred in South Africa, David has loved theatre since the day he set foot on stage in his preschool nativity play. He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Performance) degree from the University of Cape Town in 2005, having previously graduated from the same university with a First Class Honours in Drama in 2002. An ardent essayist, David won the Keswick Prize for Lucidity for his paper "Homosexual Representation in the Broadway Musical: the development of homosexual identities and relationships from PATIENCE to RENT". Currently, he teaches Dramatic Arts at a high school in Cape Town and also freelances as a theatremaker and performer.
E.H. Reiter

If you were to go to Urban Dictionary and search for "theater nerd," you may find a photo of ErinMarie as an example of the term. By day, ErinMarie manages the concierge desks at multiple luxury high-rises... but, really, this is just a sneaky way for her to stay close to theater while at work--allowing her the chance to tell people about all the theatre options in San Diego. By night, she sings, dances, acts and performs around town, sometimes even in theaters! Her love for theater and the performing arts started at a young age and hasn't abated since. In 2011, ErinMarie saw a personal record of seeing 56 live shows, in addition to being a judge for the National Youth Theatre Awards.
Ellen Dostal

In addition to being part of the west coast Broadway World team, Ellen also publishes two popular Southern California Theatre Blogs - Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA. An actress, singer and voiceover artist, she is also a producer with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and works with the development of new musicals across the country.
Emma Cambey

Emma Cambey is a primary school teacher in Sydney, Australia whose greatest passion is the Arts and in particular, musical theatre.
Erica Miner

Violinist turned author ERICA MINER has had a multi-faceted career as an award-winning screenwriter, author, lecturer and poet. A native of Detroit, she studied violin at Boston University with Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Joseph Silverstein, where she graduated cum laude; the New England Conservatory of Music, and the Tanglewood Music Center, summer home of the Boston Symphony, where she performed with such celebrated conductors as Leonard Bernstein. She continued her studies with Mr. Silverstein at the New England Conservatory of Music, and went on to perform with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for twenty-one years, where she worked closely with much-respected maestro James Levine and numerous other luminaries of the opera world. After retiring from the Met, Erica drew upon her lifelong love for writing as her creative outlet and studied screenwriting in Los Angeles with screenplay guru Linda Seger. Erica?s screenplays awards include such recognized competitions as Santa Fe and the Writer?s Digest. Her debut novel, TRAVELS WITH MY LOVERS, won the Fiction Prize in the Direct from the Author Book Awards. Subsequent published novels include the first in Erica?s FOUREVER FRIENDS novel series chronicling four teenage girls coming of age in the volatile 60s. Her suspense thriller MURDER IN THE PIT, a novel of assassination and intrigue at the Metropolitan Opera, has won rave reviews across the board. Erica?s lectures, seminars and workshops have received kudos throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, and she has won top ratings as a special lecturer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. An active contributor to OperaPulse.com (http://www.operapulse.com/author/ericaminer/) and LAOpus.com (http://www.laopus.com/search/label/Erica), she also contributed a monthly ?Power of Journaling? article series for the National Association of Baby Boomer Women newsletter (http://nabbw.com/expert-columns/books-and-authoring/journaling/the-power-of- journaling-part-2/). Other writings have appeared in Vision Magazine, WORD San Diego, Istanbul Our City, and numerous E-zines. Erica?s lecture topics include ?The Art of Self- Re-invention,? ?Journaling: the Write Way to Write Fiction,? ?Solving the Mystery of Mystery Writing,? and ?Opera Meets Hollywood.? Details about Erica?s novels, screenplays and lectures can be found on her website (http://www.ericaminer.com.
Harmony Wheeler

A theater lover since childhood, Harmony Wheeler has done Marketing and Public Relations work for Sierra Repertory Theatre, Hillhouse Opera Company and other companies. She graduated with high honors from Biola University with her degree in Journalism and an emphasis in Public Relations. In addition to working for the Gallo Center for the Arts, MJM Entertainment Group, Biola University Marketing and Communications, 6th Street PR, and Zimbabwe Gecko Society, Wheeler has written for The Modesto Bee, The Chimes, Static MultiMedia, BullyPulpit.com, TUFW Alumnus Magazine, Christian Book Previews, The Christian Communicator, and Church Libraries Magazine. Her photos appear in The Dominican Dream, a book available for purchase through Biola University's Journalism Department. Her photography and video work can be found at http://photographybyharmonywheeler.shutterfly.com/. To learn more about Harmony Wheeler, or to contact her for work possibilities, visit www.harmonywheeler.com.
Heather Nadolny

Heather Nadolny is a DC-based singer, actress, writer, and storyteller. A Memphis native and Chicago transplant, she is a regular performer and guest co-host at LaTiDo. She has also appeared at Strathmore Mansion, Bloombars, Busboys and Poets, Speakeasy, Story League, with the Washington Revels at the National Cathedral, and for the Gay Men's Chorus Board of Trustees.
Herbert Paine

Herb Paine is President of Paine Consulting Services, now in its twenty-sixth year of operation, specializing in organizational development, strategic planning, turnaround management, mergers, and governance. He is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of nonprofit organization management and has consulted extensively with arts and cultural organizations on strategic positioning and branding. For more, visit http://www.UpYourNonprofit.com. His social and political commentaries are aired monthly on KJZZ/91.5 FM, NPR?s Phoenix affiliate. Herb?s most recent acting credits include roles as Sgt. Jeff Pugliese in the National Geographic Channel?s April 2014 docudrama "Inside the Hunt for the Boston Bombers;" the King of France/Chaudron the forger/Ser Piero, DaVinci's father in Theater Works' "Finding Mona Lisa;" Inspector LeStrade in Fountain Hills Theater?s "Sherlock?s Last Case;" and Berry Bernard in the short film "Living Will."
Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Theater with an emphasis in Directing.
Jeffrey Walker

Jeffrey Walker is a former hometown newspaper man who now lives his life as a high school theatre teacher, husband and father. Currently he is a regular contributor to DC Theatre Scene and Broadway World's DC region, writing reviews and feature stories. He has recently added television coverage to his purview, as well. He will be one of the BWW-TV's new recappers for the current season. A developing playwright, his play "Dracula: An Undead Romance" has been performed in two venues so far. He co-wrote "Fleet Street Horrors," inspired by the original penny dreadful account of Sweeney Todd. Jeffrey is also an experienced director and actor and has performed in musicals, Shakespeare, classics, operettas, and contemporary works. He is a graduate of Roanoke College.
Jill Schafer

A native Minnesotan, Jill is an enthusiastic theater-goer in the Twin Cities area and an advocate for local theater companies small and large. After becoming a Guthrie season subscriber in 2003, she found herself attending more and more theater, so decided to start an independent theater blog called Cherry and Spoon in 2010. With no background or training in theater (other than a few stints in the pit orchestra in high school), Jill writes from an audience perspective. Read more of Jill?s writing on cherryandspoon.com.
Johnna Leary

Johnna Leary is a vocal performance musical theatre major at Shepherd University. She is the Arts and Styles Section Editor of the Shepherd University newspaper, The Picket. She previously wrote for The Brooke Scene as a student news correspondent and interned at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Johnna frequently performs in educational and local theater productions. Her favorite roles include Johanna (u/s) and Young Lucy in Sweeney Todd at Shepherd, Isabel in Scrooge! The Musical and Mallory/Avril in City of Angels at the Old Opera House, Amy March in Little Women at the Apollo Civic Theater and Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Lily St. Regis in Annie at the Washington County Playhouse. Johnna is also active in many performing organizations, serving as secretary for Scene Stealers, the student-run musical theatre performance group and a member of the Vocal Jazz Octet, Women's Camerata, Masterworks Chorale and Sigma Alpha Iota at Shepherd University.
Kaitlin Milligan

Kaitlin Milligan is from Fort Lauderdale, FL, but is currently a Sophomore studying Telecommunications Production at The University of Florida. She has aspirations to be a playwright and television scriptwriter in New York City. In her free time she writes, sings, plays guitar, watches too much TV, and sees as many Broadway shows as possible.
Katricia Lang

Katricia arrived in Houston to attend Rice U in the fall of 2004 and never looked back. She loves all the things about Houston that you hate - the heat, the traffic, even the humidity. She also loves the things you love - our cultural melting pot, huge portions of Tex-mex and Beyonce. A shortlist of her other loves include writing, acting, singing and googling shirtless pictures of basketball players. She is delighted to share these loves with the world.
Keith Tittermary

Keith Tittermary is a Washington DC based music director, pianist, and actor. He recently appeared as Horton in Damascus Theatre Company's Seussical and as Brian in Red Branch Theatre's Avenue Q, which he performed for the composer, Jeff Marx. He is currently a faculty member at the Levine School of Music, where is the music director for the Pre-Professional program, having recently conducted Parade at the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage. As an orchestrator, he works extensively with Joan Cushing, and provides arrangements and orchestrations for new musicals, as well as jazz and big band charts.
Libby Ryan

Libby Ryan is a lifelong theater fan from Minneapolis, where she studies journalism and works as a magazine intern. Growing up, she was a dance and theater geek and not much has changed since. She loves the Minneapolis arts scene but barely tolerates the city?s polar vortex. When she?s not working, writing or seeing shows, she?s driving her roommates crazy by singing show tunes in the kitchen.
Maggie Yates

Maggie Yates is a writer, editor, and theatre artist. She studied theatre at UC Berkeley and writing at the University of San Francisco. She is an editor at Rocky Nook Inc., a Santa Barbara-based publishing company. She previously worked with The Shotgun Players at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley, and currently works for Out of the Box Theatre in Santa Barbara. She is enthusiastic about all kinds of drama, from petty and absurd to universal and thematic of the human condition.
Marakay Rogers

America's most uncoordinated childhood ballet and tap student before discovering that her talents were music and writing, Marakay Rogers finally traded in her violin for law school when she realized that she might make more money in law than she did performing with the Potomac Symphony and in orchestra pits around the mid-Atlantic. A graduate of Wilson College (PA) with additional studies in drama and literature from Open University (UK), Marakay is also a writer, film reviewer and interviewer for the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Independent Gazette, science-fiction publications, and other news outlets, and is listed in Marquis' "Who's Who in America". As of 2014, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Beaux Arts Society, Inc. of New York. Marakay is senior theatre critic for Central Pennsylvania and a senior editor for BWWBooksWorld as well as a classical music reviewer. In her free time, Marakay practices law and often gets it right.
Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern has lived in Denver and been active in it's theater scene for over 10 years. He is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and graduated with a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Currently he performs in one to two shows a year and is a proud member of the Denver Gay Men's Chorus. Some of Michael's favorite performances include - Lend Me a Tenor, Guys and Dolls, The Shadow Box, Buried Child, and Jeffrey. He is proud to represent Denver and it's growing theater community on BroadwayWorld.com!
Michelle Hache

Michelle Hach? moved to Austin after completing her Graduate Diploma at the Juilliard School in New York. While at The Juilliard School, was awarded the Bori Prize Grant for language study, and she has appeared in many leading roles in both opera and music theatre in New York and around the country. Since arriving in Austin, she been nominated for the B. Iden Payne three times, winning in 2010 and 2013, for roles such as Maria in Zilker Theatre?s The Sound of Music, Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Princess Ida in Princess Ida. Additionally, Michelle has been an instructor in voice for over 12 years and has directed music theatre productions in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon.
Oliver Oliveros

Oliver Oliveros received a master's degree in public relations and corporate communication from New York University while serving as regional director for BroadwayWorld.com, where he accepted an Award for Excellence: Best International Editor in 2013. In the last 20 years, Oliver has been handling either public relations, corporate communication, or integrated marketing communications for numerous brands (including Pepsi), Broadway shows, Broadway stars, non-profit organizations, and mainstream celebrities. He is the editor-in-chief of Fil-Am Who?s Who magazine, and a board member, handling publicity and communications, for the annual The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York Awards held in Carnegie Hall.
Pat Cerasaro

Pat Cerasaro is BroadwayWorld's Chief Interviewer and Senior Editor, contributing exclusive columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Flash Fridays as well as additional special features and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more.
Peggy Sue Dunigan

Peggy Sue Dunigan earned a BA in Fine Art, a MA in English and then finished with a Masters of Fine Art in Creative Fiction from Pine Manor College, Massachusetts. Currently she independently writes for multiple publications on the culinary, performance and visual arts or works on her own writing projects while also teaching college English and Research Writing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her other creative energy emerges by baking cakes and provincial sweets from vintage recipes so when in the kitchen, at her desk, either drawing or writing, or enjoying evenings at any and all theaters, she strives to provide satisfying memories for the body and soul.
Peter Danish

Peter Danish is a Media Marketing Consultant and Classical Arts Presenter. He is a founding member of ArtsRock, where he presented concerts with such world renowned artists as Grammy winning Classical Guitarist Sharon Isbin, Grammy winning Violinist Marc O'Connor, The Eroica Trio, The American Brass Quintet, The New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet, Alec Baldwin, Louis Black and Robert Klein. At The Riverspace Performing Arts Center, he presented such artists as Meryl Streep, Jonathan Demme, Bill T. Jones, Bill Irwin, Mike Nichols, Ani Di Franco, Eve Ensler, Pete Seeger, Ellen Burstyn, Edward Albee and Kathleen Turner. He has programmed concerts and educational programs for a multitude of local arts organizations including the American National Opera and the Westchester Hudson Opera, and has lectured on opera and classical music in schools and libraries as part of their outreach programs. For over two decades he has served as Director of Marketing for NBC, Vice President of Marketing for Telemundo, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Azteca TV Network, and Marketing Consultant to PBS. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, The Wagner Society of N.Y. and Board of Trustees of the award-winning classical concert series, The Carnegie Room Concerts at the Nyack Library. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ad Age, Ad Week and Media Week.
Peter Nason

An actor, director, and theatre teacher, Peter Nason fell in love with the theatre at the tender age of six when he saw Mickey Rooney in ?George M!? at the Shady Grove in Washington, D.C. He has appeared in dozens of productions around the country, helmed several films and directed over thirty plays. His love of the theatre, and his passion for the craft of acting and directing, has led him to reach hundreds of Florida teenagers to help make the stage their home. In 2014, he is starting a new theatre program for disadvantaged kids who he hopes will find the same joy of performing that he found. A graduate of the University of Alabama and the Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy, Peter is an award-winning playwright and has written for various periodicals and newspapers, including ?The Tampa Tribune,? where he was a book reviewer and community columnist. One of his literary heroines, the late great Pauline Kael, summed up his philosophy of reviewing: ?In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.? Peter resides in Wesley Chapel, Florida with his beloved Boston Terrier, Ike.
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Richard Sasanow

Richard Sasanow is a long-time writer on art, music, food, travel and international business for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, among many others. He also interviewed some of the great singers of the 20th century for the programs at the San Francisco Opera and San Diego Opera and worked on US tours of the Orchestre National de France and Vienna State Opera, conducted by Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein.
Shari Barrett

Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in local secondary schools, working in marketing for several studios, writing, directing, producing, and performing in productions for several non-profit theaters, Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as an independent publicist to "get the word out" about smaller theaters throughout the Los Angeles area. As a founding member of the LA Stage Alliance Leadership Council Task Force, she and reps from theaters throughout the city work together to articulate a vision for the theatre community of Greater Los Angeles. Shari has received recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication of heart and hand to the needs of friends, neighbors and fellow members of society for her devotion of service to the people of Los Angeles. Shari is honored to serve her hometown as a contributor to Broadway World.
Stephen Raskauskas

Stephen Raskauskas is passionate about the performing arts. As a performing artist, he has collaborated on productions acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Huffington Post. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, and holds degrees in music from the University of Chicago and Princeton University.
Steve Callahan

A native Kansan I have a BA (Math and Theatre) and MA (Theatre). I was working on a PhD in Theatre when IBM sniffed my math background and lured me away with money enough to feed my (then two) children. Nevertheless I've been active in theatre all my life--having directed fifty-three productions (everything from opera in Poughkeepsie to Mrozek in Woodstock to musical melodrama in Germany) and I've acted in seventy others. Now that I'm retired I don't have that eight-to-five distraction and can focus a bit more. I've regularly reviewed theatre in St. Louis for KDHX since 1991 and am tickled now to also join BWW.
Veronica Bruscini

Veronica Bruscini is an avid theatergoer with a passion for the written word. She occasionally steps behind the curtain as a puppeteer and stage manager, and she has worked as the assistant director for three productions sponsored by the Holocaust through the Arts educational initiative. Psalm 111:10.

BWW Reviews: LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK is 'Opera Noir' and Utterly Wonderful at the MetBWW Reviews: LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK is 'Opera Noir' and Utterly Wonderful at the Met

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BWW Reviews: LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK is 'Opera Noir' and Utterly Wonderful at the MetBWW Reviews: LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK is 'Opera Noir' and Utterly Wonderful at the Met
by Richard Sasanow

   
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