Strategic Development Manager

Strategic Development Manager Melissa Gerstein specializes in program management, marketing, and artistic administration. In addition to her work at The Conference Board, a nonprofit organization that specializes in global, independent business membership and research, she previously curated and managed public programs at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. Currently, she serves on the Board-of-Trustees for the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER). This past June she produced MAKE MUSIC NEW YORK MASS APPEAL: MIDSUMMER MOZART’S REQUIEM, the first event of its kind, working with partners including WQXR, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Ms. Gerstein most recently served as the Public Relations and Marketing Director for the Art Song Preservation Society, a company where she helped produce concerts, masterclasses and special events. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Underworld Productions Opera Company (2012-2015) and the Amore Opera Company (2009-2011).

Ms. Gerstein received her B.M. from SUNY Purchase Conservatory and her M.M. from Manhattan School of Music (Classical vocal performance). Her background includes training and performance at the American Singers’ Opera Project in New York City, Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice in France, University of Miami’s Summer in Salzburgand the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium in Italy. She has also performed with such opera groups as the dell’arte Opera Ensemble, the Little Opera Company of New York, Amato Opera, Chelsea Opera, and One World Symphony Orchestra.

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Human Capital Manager

Human Capital Manager Brittany Fowler advises on people programs and volunteer strategy at Cantanti Project.

As a mezzo-soprano, her recent and upcoming engagements include Dorothy Hindman’s Pillowbook with Fresh Squeezed Opera, Venere in the Cantanti Project’s Euridice, the alto soloist in Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostra in Pennsylvania, La Beata Vergine in Sances’ Le Lachrime di San Pietro with the New York Continuo Collective, and First Lover/Evil Tongue 2 in a workshop of Kate Soper’s The Romance of the Rose. Her operatic roles include Larina (Eugene Onegin), Ottavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Meg (Little Women), The Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and La Musica (L’Orfeo). She received her BA in Music and Italian Studies from Wesleyan University; her training includes young artist residencies with the Boston Early Music Festival and Opera North as well as studies at the University of Bologna in Italy.

Outside of opera, Brittany is an internal recruiter at Kickstarter. She was a Senior Strategist for several years at Team Theory, where she helped build teams for early stage seed and Series-A start-ups. Prior employers also include Napa Group, where she was an Assistant Vice President in Product Development, and Crimson Hexagon, where she advised on Italian social media analyses.

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Core Artist, Co-Founder & Operations Director

Operations Director Laura Mitchell holds a B.A. in Music and minor in Mathematics from UC San Diego and an Artist Diploma from the prestigious University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Her administrative background includes IT Project Management, Business Analysis and Systems Analysis & Integration. Her personal mission as an administrator of an arts organization is to create a space that celebrates the singer as much as the company; to create a space where singer’s opinions matter and where they can learn to make their own decisions as musicians. Laura is passionate about leveraging the booming market of free technologies to enhance the experience for both singers and productions in a cost-effective way.

At CCM, she performed the roles of Fiordiligi, Musetta, Susanna, and the title roles in Alcina and Manon. Laura has worked with Lyric Opera Virginia, Sarasota Opera, San Diego Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theater, along with programs in several other countries. Her performances are often praised for “captivating” performances (Classical Singer Magazine), and “nuanced delivery” (Oberon’s Grove).

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Angela Dixon

Soprano Angela Dixon is faculty of music at Ethical Culture School in Manhattan and holds a certificate in the Kodály method of music education. She currently studies voice with Hilda Harris, professor of music at the Manhattan School of Music. Angela holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts in voice performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Emeritus Dean Willis Patterson. Patterson compiled the Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers with Angela organizing and distributing this landmark song collection. Angela holds an M.A. in dance history and cultural studies from New York University. She combined her love of music and dance in her Masters thesis performance, exploring the intersection between flamenco and African-American music as she delved into the poetry of Langston Hughes and Federico Garcia Lorca. She is the proud mother of two daughters Luna (4) and Rose (1) and enjoys making music with them and her husband David.

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Jane Hoffman

Coloratura soprano Jane Hoffman is a true singing actor who brings an engaging stage presence and expressive voice to a variety of repertoire. She has performed with the Victor Herbert Renaissance Project, New Camerata Opera, Pasadena Opera, Utopia Opera, and the Emerald City Opera Artist Institute. She has sung roles such as Elizabeth ‘Baby Doe’ Tabor, Adele, Olympia, and Le Feu (Ravel). Jane is particularly in demand as a performer of new works; she has premiered multiple works as a Core Company Resident with the Fresh Squeezed Opera Company, and she recently premiered scenes from The Contract Player with OperaRox Productions. She is also a member of the chamber music duo Reed & Word. Jane is an alumna of Sarah Lawrence College and the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently a student of David Jones. She is thrilled to be a part of this concert, which will be her second appearance with Cantanti Project.

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Liz Bouk

Liz Bouk is a transgender man, living his life as a man in a female body. Pants roles afford Liz the opportunity to express his inner truth with his “silky mezzo” (New York Times): as Octavian, Komponist, Orlovsky, and now as Tristan Tzara! Liz is equally drawn to -and has won acclaim for- roles featuring women driven to extremes, from Lucretia to Carmen. Opera News praised Liz’s “impressive firmly-grounded contralto” as the cast-aside but merciful wife, Augusta Tabor, in Utopia Opera’s The Ballad of Baby Doe. He recently brought to life Fosca, a woman trapped by circumstances, society, gender, and her physical appearance, in Sondheim’s Passion. Liz has been featured in new works with Gramercy Opera, The Society for New Music, Anonymous Ensemble, and The Center for Contemporary Opera. With OperaRox Productions this August he will create the agender role of Eusebuis in Ghost Variations with music by Tony Manfredonia and libretto by Aiden Kim Feltkamp. 

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Megan Atchley

Megan Atchley is a New York based violinist dedicated to creating musical experiences that resonate with her audiences aesthetically, politically and bodily. She performs a wide array of styles from classical to jazz in venues such as Lincoln Center, the Bowery Ballroom and Le Poisson Rouge. As Artistic Director for the Firey Strings Company and a frequent performer with various new music ensembles including Wordless Music Orchestra, ShoutHouse and the International Contemporary Ensemble, Megan is dedicated to creating exciting contemporary music. A committed music educator, Megan founded and directs the violin program at Girls Prep Middle School in addition to holding faculty positions with InterSchool Orchestras and Third Street Music School. As a scholar and passionate feminist, Megan presented a lecture-recital at the 2011 Feminist Theory and Music Conference on the work of Kaija Saariaho. Megan’s credits as a recording artist include releases on Deutsche Grammophon and ShoutHouse.  She holds degrees from NYU Steinhardt and Ithaca College.

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Lydia Dahling

Soprano Lydia Dahling is an emerging singer known for her dynamic and intimate performances and her wide range of vocal colors. This season she sings Melinda in selections from Bánk bán and Proserpina in Caccini's L'Euridice with The Cantanti Project, for which she also served as dramaturg. Last season, she sang Dorinda (Orlando) and the title role of Dido and Aeneas, and joined the Academy of Sacred Drama as Obbedienza in Bassani's 1689 oratorio Giona. Her interpretation of Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Mannes Opera was called “sweet voiced” by Opera News. Other credits include Kate Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) with Sugar Creek Opera, Pamina (The Magic Flute) and the title role of Alcina. Also a performer of chamber music, she has performed works by Shostakovich, Berg, and Respighi. Dahling holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Mannes College. She is also the co-host of the podcast “Straight From the Wolf’s Mouth”. A native of Indiana, she currently resides in New York City.

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Maria Didur

Russian pianist Maria Didur holds a Bachelor's degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music and Master's degree in music education from Hunter College in New York City. Ms. Didur was in high demand as a collaborative pianist in the San Diego area for the past eight years. She was the primary accompanist for SDSU choirs, SDSU graduate conducting studio, as well as vocal and instrumental studios at SDSU and USD. She has also worked with San Diego Opera Chorus and other high profile choirs such as Bach Collegium San Diego, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, Sacra/Profana and the San Diego Summer Choral Festival. She moved back to NYC in August and currently holds the position of music director at Manhattan School for Children.

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Carlos Cordeiro

Portuguese clarinetist Carlos Cordeiro is stalwart in creating and broadcasting new music,
collaborating with composers and different disciplines, improvising, studying and performing on the different instruments of the clarinet family. Carlos is a freelancer based in New York City, equally as a soloist and chamber musician and a member of loadbang and TAK ensemble. He holds a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music, a Master’s Degree from Rice University and a Bachelor’s Degree from ESMAE (Portugal).

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Frank D. Fainer

Frank D. Fainer, Paraguayan-American singer and actor, is known for his venturesome acting choices on the stage and on screen. Frank’s favorite roles include Dandini (La Cenerentola), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), the Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance), Stephen Sondheim (Side by Side by Sondheim), Schaunard (La bohème), and Jesus (Godspell). In the summer of 2014 Frank attended Song Fest to perform contemporary works with John Musto, and in 2016 he earned a Bachelor of Music in voice at the University of Colorado at Boulder under the guidance of Patrick Mason. As a two year participant in the intensive Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre program, Frank fine-tuned the skills of theatre acting in the indepth role study of Tom in The Glass Menagerie. Frank resides in New York City.

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Eugenia Forteza

French-Argentinean Soprano Eugenia Forteza has been praised for her “soulful mood” (Opera Wire) and “fine tone and spirited acting” (Voce di Meche). Eugenia was a Finalist and Opera Role Prize Winner at the 2017 Concorso Internazionale di Canto Katia Ricciarelli in Cerisano, Italy. Recent career highlights include the role of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol by Jarrar-Goodwin with Gramercy Opera, La Suora Infirmiera in Suor Angelica with IVAI NYC and De Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas in Philadelphia. The summer season will take Eugenia to Italy, Colombia, and Canada for various projects. Eugenia is thrilled to be working with Jarrar-Goodwin again and to be a part of the original cast of Tabula Rasa. Eugenia is based in NYC, where she is a roster singer with Opera on Tap, the founder of 360° of Opera, and part of the Shoperatic and Lenny’s Studio PR teams. Please visit for more information and follow along on social media at @fortezaeugenia and @360ofOpera.

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Brittany Fowler

Noted for her lyrical pathos and comedic flair, mezzo-soprano Brittany Fowler has been praised by the New York Times for her “dynamically fluid characterization”. Recent and upcoming engagements include Venere in the Cantanti Project’s production of Euridice, the alto soloist in Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostra in Pennsylvania, La Beata Vergine in Sances’ Le Lachrime di San Pietro with the New York Continuo Collective, and First Lover/Evil Tongue 2 in a workshop of Kate Soper’s The Romance of the Rose. Her operatic roles include Larina (Eugene Onegin), Ottavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Meg (Little Women), The Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and La Musica (L’Orfeo). Brittany received her BA in Music and Italian Studies from Wesleyan University; her training includes young artist residencies with the Boston Early Music Festival and Opera North as well as studies at the University of Bologna in Italy.

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Kirsti Esch

Mezzo-Soprano Kirsti Esch is a versatile musician garnering notice for her interpretations of Baroque and Wagnerian repertoire. Roles include: Arnalta (L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Trentino Music Festival), Gerhilde (Opera Company of Brooklyn) and Waltraute (NYLOT) in Die Walkure, The Mother (Hansel and Gretel, Opera Oggi), Nireno (Giulio Cesare, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival), Laura (Iolanta, Opera Slavica), King Ajax I (La Belle Hélène, Opéra du Périgord), Mae Jones (Street Scene, Mittelsächisches Theater).  Miss Esch has also been seen in concert in NYC (with Lauren Flanigan), Minneapolis (Minnesota Opera), London (Royal College of Music), Boston (Symphony Hall), Germany, France, and Iceland. Miss Esch is a graduate of Boston University. She currently studies with Bill Neill, and resides in Brooklyn.

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Ari Evan

Ari Evan is a recent Masters graduate of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Timothy Eddy. His studies were made possible by Juilliard’s generous J. Victor Monke Scholarship and the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship. As a member of the Bordone Quartet, Ari performed recitals at WQXR's Greene Space, Alice Tully Hall, and the Harvard Club of New York. A versatile chamber musician, Ari has also performed with Atar Arad, Colin Carr, Ara Gregorian, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Ani Kavafian, and Itzhak Perlman. Festivals attended include Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, the Olympic Music Festival, IMS’ Prussia Cove, the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, East Carolina University’s Four Seasons festival, Kneisel Hall, and the Sarasota Music Festival. Recent notable performances include a premiere of Sean Shepherd’s new work for cello, violin and clarinet, and a collaboration with Esa-Pekka Salonen and performance of his string quartet “Homunculus,” as part of the Rolex Mentors and Protégé program.

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Allison Gish

Praised for her "agile and stylish" coloratura (Entertainment Hour), Allison Gish is a mezzo-soprano based in NYC.  She has made a number of role and company debuts this season, including Zita in Gianni Schicchi with ARE Opera and as Kathleen O’Fallin in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with Onsite Opera, and she will join Cantanti Project for a second season as Mrs. Prin/Wine Mom in the world premiere of Felix Jarrar’s Tabula Rasa. She will also debut with Ars Musica as alto soloist in Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil and Bach’s Mass in B Minor.  This summer, she will sing Lisotta in the American premiere of Salieri’s La Cifra (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), the title role in Cavalli’s La Didone (Haymarket Opera Company) and Junon in Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione (Amherst Early Music Festival). Ms. Gish is a recent graduate of the Professional Studies Diploma program at Mannes College and completed her Bachelor of Music at Louisiana State University.

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Alexandria Hoffman

Alexandria Hoffman has been the Millinery Assistant to Corrina Griffin for Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular since 2011, and the Costume Administrator at Glimmerglass Theater Festival since 2012. Alex hold an MA from NYU in Visual Culture: Costume Studies and a BA from UCSB in History and Theater, emphasis Costume Design. The Seafarer, (Floriday Repertory Theater); Anoush, Roudolf Kharatian (Ballet 2021); The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome, Brandon Stock (Outside Inside at NYCFringe); “Cross”, Gerry Maravilla (Isosceles Media). Assistant Costume Design- Off Broadway: That Poor Dream, Kate Fry (The Assemly); The Architecture of Becoming, Kate Fry (Women’s Project Theater); Philosophy for Gangsters, Sarah Cogan (Rotten Apples Theatrical); One Night, Jessica Jahn (Rattlestick at Cherry Lane Productions); F#%ng Up Everything, Melissa Trn; Totally Tubular Time Machine, Sarah Cogan. Other: “The Story of Vice”, Kama Royz (National Geographic Productions); “Cop Show”, Michael Bevins (M.E.G.A. Films); “How You Look at It”, Stefanie Genda (How You Look at It LLC); Marry Harry, Stefanie Genda (American Theater Group); The Cripple of Inishmaan, Stefanie Genda (Hartt School).

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