Our People

Executive Team & Leadership Members

Drew Mittelman: Executive Director

Drew has been involved with the BOC for 5 years, first as an audience member and donor, and more recently as a member of the Board of Directors. He has recently retired from  47 years of practicing dentistry, predominantly in Dedham, MA. Over 37 of those years were spent with Dedham Medical Associates, a 100 physician/dentist group practice where he was chairman of the Board and on the finance committee for 25 years. The last 7 years were spent as a founding partner of Dedham Dental Associates. He is excited to assume this new role with the company. His focus will be to help continue the upward arc of this marvelous and talented group  and support the artists and other members of the executive team in any way he can.

Patricia-Maria Weinmann: Artistic Director

Patricia-Maria Weinmann has worked with many national opera companies and festivals including Utah Opera, Opera on the James, Syracuse Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Seagle Music Colony, Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Boston, Ashlawn Opera Festival, the American Opera Project, Opera Providence, and Mississippi Grand Opera.  She has collaborated on a number of premier performances including Daniel Pinkham’s The Cask of Amontillado, the staged orchestral premier of Scott Wheeler’s The Construction of Boston and Wheeler’s Democracy as a work-in-progress for the American Opera Project in New York.  Recent directing engagements have included Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night, Hansel and Gretel, Cosi fan tutte, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, Cole!, Cenerentola, Carmina Burana, L’elisir d’amore, Sweeney Todd, Don Pasquale and Faust and Marguerite (BOC). Over the past 20 years, Weinmann served on the faculties of both Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory of Music.  As a guest director and coach for Utah Opera’s Young Artist Program and a faculty member of American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, she continues to train some of the most promising young singers in the United States and abroad. 

Greg Smucker: Artistic Director

Greg Smucker is a director and teacher of theater and opera. He studied with the late Wesley Balk, a noted pioneer in the field of singer-actor training. Greg was co-founder and artistic director of 15 HEAD, a critically acclaimed experimental theater company in Minneapolis and served as managing director of Theatre for Young America in Kansas City, a professional theater for children. Greg served for seven years on the faculty of the Opera Studies Department at New England Conservatory of Music and is currently a faculty member of the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.  As a freelance director, Greg has directed productions and workshops for theaters and opera companies in Boston and the Twin Cities.

Tianhui Ng: Resident Music Director & Conductor

Tianhui Ng is Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony, the Victory Players, a contemporary music ensemble supported by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, and resident conductor of the Boston New Music Initiative. An advocate of new music, he has assisted in and premiered new works by Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners Curt Cacioppo, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Sanford, and Joan Tower among many others. Since his first opera, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress at age 20, he has conducted many new works including unusual firsts like the first Nigerian opera in Yoruba, Irin Ajo in 2018. His passion for inter-disciplinary and intercultural music making has led to a rich array of work for ballet, film, theatre, installation art, modern dance, animation, sculpture and even sand painting, in a career that spans Europe, Asia and North America. In 2020, he looks forward to the culmination of a three-year commissioning project, El Puerto Rico, celebrating the musical heritage of Puerto Rico, a collaboration with White Snake Projects on Elena Ruehr's Cosmic Cowboy, and the restoration of Thomas de Hartmann's Piano Concerto.  

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2020-21 Singers

Opera in the Gardens

John Bitsas: Baritone

John Bitsas, baritone, received his MM in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory, and his BM in Voice Performance from Simpson College. John has performed with Newburyport Choral Society, Boston Cecilia, Crested Butte Music Festival, Emmanuel Music, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Central Iowa Orchestra, and Orchestra Iowa. On the stage, he has been seen as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Owen Hart (Dead Man Walking), Betto di Signa (Gianni Schicchi), Herr Reich (Die lusitgen Weiber von Windsor), Melisso (Alcina), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Le fauteuil  (L’enfant et les sortileges), Endimione (La Calisto), George Jones (Street Scene), and The Abbot (Curlew River). Concert repertoire includes bass soloist in Bach Cantatas 113, 82, and 94, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Charpentier’s Messe de minuit, Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Duruflé’s Requiem, Handel’s Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate Deo, Beethoven’s Fantasia in C minor, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.

Junhan Choi: Baritone

Praised for his “splendid baritone voice, rich and rounded,” baritone Junhan Choi, a native of South Korea, is an active opera singer. In the 2018-2019 season, engagements included the roles of Tideo in Medea in Corinto, Roggiero in Tancredi rifatto, and Valdeburgo (cover) in La Straniera with Teatro Nuovo in the capacity of Resident Artist, the title role in Don Giovanni, Marcello in La Boheme with Boston Opera Collaborative, the title role in Don Giovanni with North End Music and Performing Arts Center and Escamillo with Opera51. He won the Gold Medal in the Berliner International Music Competition in 2018 and he was awarded extraordinary prize at the 54th Viñas international voice competition 2017 in Barcelona. As a first prize recipient of 2017 Talents of the World International Voice Competition, he made his Carnegie Hall debut for ‘Tribute to Dmitri Hvorostovsky’ concert as a baritone soloist. He also won first place in 2017 MetroWest Opera’s Vocal Competition. www.junhanchoi.com

Sarah Joyce Cooper: Soprano

Praised for her "meltingly beautiful" (Opera News) singing, soprano Sarah Joyce Cooper earned her Bachelor’s Degree in French from Princeton University and her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Previous performances include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (CoOPERAtive), Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro (Savannah Voice Festival), Micaëla in Carmen (Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance), Violetta in La Traviata (CoOPERAtive, New York Opera Studio/ Elizabeth R. and Co.), and Mimi in La Bohème (Boston Opera Collaborative). In 2016, Sarah was a first-place winner of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the Westminster Choir College Voice Scholarship competition. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. In January 2018, Sarah was awarded first place in the Opera and Operetta division for The American Prize. Sarah looks forward to another season as a Principal Artist with Boston Opera Collaborative, where she will perform the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni. www.sarahjoycecooper.com

Jessica Jacobs: Soprano

Described as having “pipes with real heft and warmth” and “an expressive face, ever interesting to watch” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), lyric soprano Jessica Jacobs is garnering attention for her “radiant” voice and “affecting” acting. This season, Ms. Jacobs makes her company debut with Long Island Opera singing Mimi in La Bohème, a company and role debut with Worcester Shubertiade singing the title role in the Merry Widow, and returns to Boston Opera Collaborative to sing Mimi. In the 2016-17 season, she sang with Boston Opera Collaborative in Tom Cipullo’s The Husbands and as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine. Notable previous engagements have included Rosasharn in The Grapes of Wrath and Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Sugar Creek Opera, Ilia in Idomeneo, Marguerite in Faust, Armida in Rinaldo, and Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring with Boston Opera Collaborative, and Mimi in La Bohème and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with NEMPAC Opera Project. Ms. Jacobs has won an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Second Place in the Peter Elvins Competition, and was chosen as a finalist in the Orpheus and MetroWest Opera Competitions, and a semi-finalist in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition. She currently studies with Dr. Rebecca Folsom. 

www.jessicajanejacobs.com

Brianna Meese: Soprano

Brianna Meese is a vibrant and versatile American soprano applauded for her “glittering timbre” and “beautifully-rich” voice. Currently based in Boston, Brianna was most recently seen as Adele in MassOpera’s Die Fledermaus with Sarah Meyers’ new immersive translation. She has also appeared with the company in their production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women as Amy (cvr)/Quartet. This fall she joins the roster of Boston's Opera on Tap for their virtual 2020 season, and will perform in Boston Opera Collaborative's Opera in the Gardens sold-out performances. Last season, Brianna was a Young Artist with Opera Steamboat, where she made her role debut as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Kuchtík (cvr) in Rusalka. A frequent collaborator with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, Brianna has appeared in Aida, La bohème, and as the second spirit in their production of The Magic Flute at Symphony Hall. Brianna has trained with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Atlantic Music Festival, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy. She has also performed with Russian Opera Workshop in the title role in Dargomyzhsky’s Rusalka, and with OperaHub as La Princesa in El Gato con Botas. Next summer Brianna will be a Young Artist with Opera Company of Middlebury where she will be featured in their production of Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans. www.briannameese.com

Brianna J. Robinson: Soprano

Soprano Brianna J. Robinson returns to Boston Lyric Opera as a Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist, having covered roles in BLO’s The Handmaid’s Tale and performed the role of Lucy in Spears’ Fellow Travelers. She served as a Rising Artist with Pegasus Early Opera, performing in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Ms. Robinson also sang the title role in Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’Isola d’Alcina with the Baroque performance ensemble, Collegium Musicum. Her most recent work includes singing the role of Florence Price in Florence Comes Home by Francine Trester with Shelter Music Boston and as a soloist with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Brianna has also participated in international programs such as the Berlin Opera Academy, Opernfest Prague and will make her international debut in Ruse, Bulgaria as Ophelia in Joseph Summer’s Hamlet in 2021. In January 2020 she was awarded 1st prize at the 6th ‘Getting to Carnegie’ Competition, at Carnegie Hall, New York City.

Fran Rogers: Tenor

Tenor Fran Rogers’ recent opera credits include Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme, Art in Solitro’s Triangle (world premiere), Dos Senores in I Am Easily Assimilated from Bernstein’s Candide (concert performance with Frederica von Stade and the Boston Symphony Orchestra), Ruggero in Puccini’s La Rondine, Danceny in Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, and Ramiro in Rossini's La Cenerentola. Fran recently made his Boston Symphony Hall solo debut singing a collection of songs by Pavel Haas and Gideon Klein. He is a regular national anthem soloist for Boston sports teams including the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots, having performed on multiple occasions for live audiences of up to 70,000 and international television audiences of up to fourteen million. In addition to solo performances across the country and the globe, Fran is in his third season as a roster artist with the Boston Opera Collaborative. Fran has been critically acclaimed for his “luscious tenor voice that stole the show every time he opened his mouth”, "open, free, and effortless high notes", his "athleticism", and "raw strength and natural timbre". For more information and details on upcoming performances, please visit franrogerstenor.com.

Emily Siar: Soprano

Emily Siar, soprano, hails from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing a DMA in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at NEC under the tutelage of Carole Haber and Ian Howell. At the age of twenty, Emily was the youngest of twenty-three Vocal Fellows chosen to attend Marilyn Horne’s prestigious Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. She was subsequently invited to participate in Ms. Horne's "The Song Continues" Masterclass series at Carnegie Hall, where she was seen on the stage of Weill Recital Hall as a participant in renowned collaborative pianist Dalton Baldwin’s masterclass. Emily holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was selected as a winner of the 2016 Eastman Concerto Competition and granted an award in the 2016 Friends of Eastman Opera vocal competition. While at Eastman, Emily sang the title role in Massenet's Cendrillon. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where, as a Kenan Music Scholar, she earned Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies.

Ryan Stoll: Baritone

Ryan Stoll, Bass-Baritone, is a performer displaying great promise on the opera stage both vocally and dramatically.  He is currently in his first year as a young artist with Chicago Opera Theater (COT) where he covered King René in the Chicago premier of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, while performing in the chorus.  COT’s new Vanguard Initiative gave Ryan the opportunity to cover various roles in Felicia Chen and David Simpatico’s The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing, a workshop co-produced with American Lyric Theater.  Finishing up his first year in the program, he will sing in the chorus of Jake Heggie’s epic Moby Dick and perform as The Magician in a Gala Preview of Stacy Garrop’s Grand Illusion, to be premiered in April 2020. Between his two seasons with COT, Ryan will join Central City Opera’s Bonfils-Stanton Apprentice Artist program, covering Mr. Flint in Billy Budd and singing in the chorus.  Afterwards, he will travel to Opera Steamboat to perform the Gamekeeper in Dvořák’s Rusalka.  www.ryanstoll.com

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Board of Directors

MEMBERS

Chelsea Beatty

Jennifer Caraluzzi

Josh Daniels
Dan Kaplan

Wendy Quiñones

Jonathan Saxton

Sasha Sherman

Margaret Suby

PRESIDENT
Drew Mittelman

VICE PRESIDENT
Jack Silversin
 
CLERK
Ann Welch

TREASURER

Dan Kaplan

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Erik Johnson 
ADVISORY BOARD
Katie DeBonville
Jake Heggie
Renée Hites
Brook Larimer
Natalie Polito
Dennis Sullivan
Patty Thom
Peter Wender
Graham Wright
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Boston Opera Collaborative, 

PO Box 301622, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

info@bostonoperacollaborative.org   (617) 517-5883