Ms. Castel’s career has taken her through the theater world from musical
theater to opera; from actress and singer to singing actress; from arts
administrator to opera stage director. Her directing career has included
over 55 opera productions in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition to
a studio of private voice students, Ms. Castel coaches and teaches classes
in acting, artistry and performance practices for the classical singer.
She is currently Artistic Director of the Delaware Valley Opera Company, on the faculty of OperaNUOVA in Edmonton, Canada and is founder of the New York Opera Studio. For more information about Ms. Castel visit her web site at www.castelopera.com.
Artistic Director and Language Master
A multi-talented artist and scholar, Nico Castel was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company as staff diction coach and artist for 40 years. Mr. Castel is the undisputed and internationally acclaimed expert on language, diction and style for singers. Currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School of Music, he teaches master classes in diction and style for singers at universities and opera companies throughout the world. Mr. Castel has authored 20 volumes of Opera Libretti translations as well as the "Manual for Spanish Lyric Diction". For more information about Mr. Castel visit his web site at www.castelopera.com.
Dr. Zabbi, accomplished pianist and coach is Chairman of the Piano Department of the long Island Conservatory (SUNY Old Westbury). She received a BM degree at Odessa State Music College, her MM degree from Odessa State Conservatory in the Ukraine and her doctorate at Odessa Academy of Music. In addition to her piano work, she also coaches Russian diction for singers and other coaches. Born in the Ukraine, she and her husband have recently become US citizens. Ms. Zabbi is Musical Director of the NYOS Summer Program.
About Opera Manhattan Repertory Theater's production of "Eugene Onegin:
The “unsung” heroine of the evening, Violetta Zabbi (on faculty at the New York Opera Studio), played a piano reduction of Tchaikovsky’s score with subtlety and panache. I heard things that I had missed when the opera was presented at the Met with, of course, full orchestra. I admit that my memories of the Robert Carsen production and Michael Levine’s sets and costumes were very much in my mind’s eye as I listened; but memories of Hvorostovsky and Mattila, of Fleming and Hampson, faded in my ear. What was lost in star power was definitely gained in immediacy and intimacy. -- The Opera Insider Blog, August 30. 2010.
Kristi Spessard is a performer and choreographer based in New York City. She is the Artistic Director of Kristi Spesssard Dance and is a 2010/11 Resident Artist at Mabou Mines. Ms. Spessard performed with Guta Hedewig Dance Company from 1998 to 2008 and with experimental choreographers Amy Sue Rosen and Amy Cox. She has been a guest artist at many Colleges and Universities in the United States and in Mexico and is currently on faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and Drew University. Ms. Spessard earned an MFA in Dance from Ohio State University and is a Certified Movement Analyst.
International Vocal Artist
PBS recently broadcast a documentary about Barbara called “When I Rise”. As a part of the Independent Lens series "When I Rise" is a feature-length documentary. Read more....
Her luscious, mezzo-soprano voice has captivated audiences in opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe and the US, including the Metropolitan Opera Co., NY City Opera, Weiner Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall, NY Philharmonic and the London Symphony. A recipient of the University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award, she has been honored with the founding of the Barbara Conrad Endowed Scholarship in Fine Arts. Ms. Conrad is on the faculty of the NYOS Summer Program as special guest artist.
Special Guest Conductor and Coach
Joshua Greene, Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City, has assisted James Levine in the MET's productions of Falstaff, The Magic Flute and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Prior to arriving at the MET, Mr. Greene was Music Director of the touring production of La Traviata for the New York City Opera National Company. He has been guest conductor for such opera companies as the Sarasota Opera, Augusta Opera, Westchester Opera, Aspen Festival Opera and prepared singers for the productions of Britten's Curlew River and The Prodigal Son at Venice's famed Teatro la Fenice.
In addition to his conducting career Mr. Greene is also an esteemed accompanist for song recitals, partnering such noted singers as Jerry Hadley, Franco Farina, Jane Bunnel, Joyce Guyer, Carolyn James, Amy Johnson, James Morris and Marc Embree, at such distinguished venues as New York's Merkin Concert Hall and Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.
In great demand as a coach, Mr. Greene maintains a busy studio in Manhattan which includes leading soloists of the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera. He also teaches piano and conducting privately. As a visiting artist, Mr. Greene has given master classes at schools throughout the country including Grinnel College at the University of Northern Iowa, The Mannes College of Music, The Hartt School of Music, University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music.
Mr. Greene is on the faculty of NYOS Summer Program as special guest artist.