Opera Parallèle presents compelling performances of contemporary operas with high musical and dramatic standards, embracing modern aesthetics, creative use of technology, and social relevance as essential to the future of the art form. Opera Parallèle’s interactive educational programs are dedicated to engaging increasingly diverse communities.
Cantor Roslyn Barak served Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco from 1987-2015, moving to California one year after her graduation and investiture from Hebrew Union College in New York City. Before entering the cantorate, she was a concert recitalist and opera singer, performing in the United States and in Israel, where she lived and concertized for three years. She received her Bachelors Degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and was the recipient of several prestigious vocal awards and honors.
Aside from her numerous cantorial duties at Congregation Emanu-El and the Jewish Community of the Bay Area, Cantor Roslyn Barak has appeared regularly in concerts around the country and in Europe and Israel. She toured Germany in recent years in conjunction with the release of her CD “The Jewish Soul”. She is also sought after as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence. She has taught and given master classes at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New
York, the North American Jewish Choral Festival , Boston Hebrew College, as well as seminars at the Hebrew Union College . She was a visiting professor and vocal coach at the Geiger College in Berlin, Germany. Cantor Barak returned to school in 1994 to
pursue a degree in psychology, and received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 1996. She was honored to receive a Doctor of Music, honoris causa, from the Hebrew Union College, in 2011, for her years of service as a full-time cantor. She now enjoys Emerita status as retired clergy of Congregation Emanu-El.
She is a former Board member of the American Conference of Cantors, serving as chairperson of its Publications Committee, and she was an ACC representative to the Commission on Synagogue Music of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. She has also served on the Executive Council of the Cantorial Assembly, the professional organization of cantors of the Conservative movement. At present she is a board member of Shalom Bayit, which aids families dealing with domestic violence issues.
Cantor Barak’s latest album release is “My Spirit Sings”, which is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and Spotify.
Marge Betley has worked for over 25 years in the arts as a producer, dramaturg, director and writer. She currently serves as Artistic Director of Stagebridge, the nation’s oldest theatre company devoted to creating performance, training and outreach opportunities for seniors. She was co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of Living Room Opera (in Minneapolis), a company devoted to the creation and production of chamber operas in intimate settings. Under her leadership of its new works program, Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY developed over 150 new plays and musicals and produced more than a dozen world premieres. She has worked with arts organizations around the country including the Sundance Theatre Lab, Houston Grand Opera, Denver Center Theatre, Arena Stage, the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been a contributing writer to Opera News and American Theatre, and has served as a grants panelist for the NEA, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the Rockefeller Foundation/MAP Fund. Ms. Betley is a former Fulbright Scholar in Dramaturgy and began her career in the dramaturgy office of the Stadttheater Aachen in Germany.
Kathleen Cardinal is a member of the board of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Nation’s oldest and largest women’s legal rights organization. For the last several years, she has spearheaded its support efforts in the Bay Area. For ten years she was an associate consultant with the Management Center in San Francisco working on organization and planning issues with nonprofit corporations in California. In 1977, Ms. Cardinal was elected to the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital in San Francisco and was named president in 1984. In 1991 she became Chair of the Board of California Pacific Medical Center, the largest nonprofit community medical center in Northern California. She has served as Trustee of Smith College and San Francisco University High School and as two-term President of the Junior League in San Francisco.
Michael Colbruno is a partner in the Milo Group of California, a public affairs firm and managing member of Iris Outdoor. From 1999-2010, Mr. Colbruno served as Vice President of Government Affairs for Clear Channel Outdoor/Northern California. He handled all interactions with government officials at the local, state and federal level, as well as managing staff, leading development teams, implementing new digital technology strategies, procuring land use entitlements, overseeing legal and public affairs budgets, managing litigation and spearheading community outreach efforts. Prior to Clear Channel, Mr. Colbruno worked in local and state government as a legislative director and chief-of-staff in the San Francisco Mayor’s office, San Francisco Board of Supervisors and California State Legislature. He was in charge of all legislative activities and interacted between various levels of government. He handled media, staff relations, budget issues, public policy and staffed various committees, as well as serving as the liaison between the Mayor’s office and the Board of Supervisors.
He was appointed by three mayors to serve on the Oakland Planning Commission and was selected to oversee the rezoning effort in Oakland. In 2013, he was unanimously approved to serve as a member of the Oakland Port Commission. He has also served as the chair of committees overseeing water quality and public art. In the non-profit world, he has served as chair of the Chabot Space & Science Center, chair/founder of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Corporate Counsel and chair of OakPAC. He was named the “Corporate Citizen of the Year” by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a board member of the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco and the Berkeley Music Group, which is renovating the UC Theatre.
Clifford Cranna, PhD
Clifford (Kip) Cranna, Dramaturg at San Francisco Opera, has served on the staff since 1979 and was Director of Music Administration for over thirty years. In 2008 he was awarded the San Francisco Opera Medal, the company’s highest honor, and in 2012 he received the Bernard Osher Cultural Award for distinguished efforts to bring excellence to a cultural institution. In 2014 he received the Star of Excellence Award for outstanding service to the programs of the San Francisco Opera Guild. He holds a B.A. in music from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University. For thirty years he was Program Editor and Lecturer for the Carmel Bach Festival. He lectures and writes frequently on music, teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory and the Fromm Institute at USF, and moderates the SF Opera Guild “Insight” panel discussions. He was Dramaturg for the 2016 production of Wagner’s “Ring” at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. He also serves on the board of Humanities West.
Jake Heggie is the American composer of eight operas, including Dead Man Walking (libretto by Terrence McNally), Moby-Dick (libretto by Gene Scheer), It’s A Wonderful Life (Scheer), Great Scott (McNally), Three Decembers (Scheer) and Out of Darkness: Two Remain (Scheer). He is currently at work on If I Were You (Scheer) for San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program. Heggie’s nearly 300 art songs and operas have been performed extensively on five continents with major productions in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Dresden, Vienna, Sydney, Montreal, Calgary, and Copenhagen. Dead Man Walking has received nearly 60 international productions since its premiere, as well as two live recordings. Moby-Dick was telecast nationally as part of Great Performances’ 40th Season and released on DVD (EuroArts). “Arguably the world’s most popular 21 st century opera and art song composer.” (The Wall Street Journal), Heggie lives in San Francisco with his husband, Curt Branom. www.jakeheggie.com
Patrice Maginnis has pursued a career in vocal performance, with an emphasis on contemporary music. Her recordings include the title role of Rapunzel by Lou Harrison. Other recordings feature the music of Milhaud, Satie, Cowell, and Talleferre. She has also sung with Ensemble Parallèle, the Santa Cruz County Symphony, New Music Works, the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and the Santa Cruz Chamber Players. She has performed and taught master classes in Europe, Canada, and the United States. She was a founding member of Opera San Jose where she sang several leading roles. She created and coordinated the Opera San Jose educational outreach program. Under her supervision for eight years, up to 100 one-act operas were performed each year for schools throughout the Santa Clara Valley. Ms. Maginnis has been on the faculty at UC Santa Cruz since 1986, teaching voice, opera performance, and pedagogy.
Patrick Markle serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Performing Arts/Media Facilities Planning and Design, and Auerbach Glasow French, Architectural Lighting Design and Consulting, one of the leading theatre, media facilities and lighting consulting firms in practice today. He is a graduate of both the Yale School of Drama and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. As a business leader, he has led production and technical operations at three of the most renowned opera companies in the world: The Metropolitan Opera, where he supervised the engineering and construction of stage scenery for all new productions; the Santa Fe Opera, where he was the Production Director and the project manager during construction of their new opera house, and the San Francisco Opera, where he managed all divisions of the production department. Mr. Markle co-founded Figaro Systems Inc., the global leader of multi-lingual text captioning displays for the performing arts, and most recently served as Managing Director for Teatro ZinZanni, a unique San Francisco arts institution focused on preserving and presenting the highest quality of European-style circus, theatre and cabaret.
Carey Perloff is the artistic director of American Conservatory Theater, which she has brought to success by rebuilding the earthquake-damaged Geary Theater (winning the Jujamcyn Theaters Award in 1996 when the Geary reopened); directing dozens of highly acclaimed classical and contemporary productions; revitalizing A.C.T.’s top-ranked Master of Fine Arts Program in acting; launching international collaborations with such artists as Robert Wilson and Tom Stoppard; creating a core acting company; and inaugurating a major new works program. Ms. Perloff’s work as a playwright has been seen across the country, including Kinship (with Cynthia Nixon at Williamstown and with Isabelle Adjani at Theatre de Paris) Luminescence Dating at the Ensemble Studio Theater (New York) and Magic Theater (San Francisco), The Colossus or Rhodes at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and A.C.T., Higher at New York State & Film, and Waiting for the Flood. In 2008, Perloff was awarded France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her contribution to the dissemination of French culture. Her book BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: A LIFE IN THE THEATER was selected as the 2016 “One City One Book” by the San Francisco Public Library.
John Roevekamp is Co-Founder and Chief of Engineering at Cyrun, which builds law enforcement and security data-management software systems. He has 35 years of experience in business development with 30 years in computer software design and engineering. John also holds a BA in Music from University of California, Santa Cruz, and performs with great pleasure, whenever possible, as a tenor in the chorus of Opera Parallèle productions.
Lawrence Siegel, JD
Lawrence Siegel is an attorney whose professional experience has focused on representing individual students with disabilities; representing and consulting regional, state, and national organizations regarding national and state law, policy and reform of special education; special attention has been devoted to students with hearing loss. He is the author of numerous books, including The Human Right to Language, was a Fulbright Scholar Specialist in Sweden, advised Gifu University in Japan on special education law and received an honorary chair @ Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. He has been an adjunct professor at Hastings College of the Law, has testified before state and congressional committees and served 8 years on the California Special Education Advisory Commission. Along with his wife Gail, Mr. Siegel co-founded ForWords, a nonprofit organization committed to providing enriched literacy opportunities for impoverished youth in the San Rafael, California area.
Frederica von Stade
Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and “Live from Lincoln Center” telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy’s Premio della Critica Discografica, and “Best of the Year” citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Miss von Stade was awarded France’s highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.
Ms. von Stade was the featured performer at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and also sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Cultural Olympiad held in conjunction with the games. She currently resides in Alameda, California where she gives performances supporting the arts in local schools.