Opera Fusion’s BootCamp: Emerging Artists Project

It was a great night! Twelve of the most gifted classical singers from South Florida the finale show from Opera Fusion’s monthlong BootCamp: Emerging Artists Program at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale on August 27, 2017.  Four weekends of training — with maestro Steven M. Crawford and stage director Martha Collins — culminated in a staged performance of “the opera” from Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and scenes from four operas by Giuseppe Verdi: Aida, Rigoletto, Falstaff and La traviata.  Here are some pictures from the rehearsal process and the performance.  You can tell that they were having fun!

Photos: Kristin Pulido

About the Creative Team behind our Emerging Artists

Among the most versatile musicians on the classical scene today, Crawford has conducted in opera companies and orchestras around the United States and accompanied the world’s finest singers. He is in the top tier of coaches in the opera world.  His conducting engagements include performances with the Metropolitan Opera of “La Bohème,” “Cavalleria rusticana,” “Pagliacci,” “Faust” and “Madama Butterfly.” He also has conducted with the Cincinnati Opera, Greater Miami Opera, Syracuse Opera, Kentucky Opera, Dayton Opera, Nevada Opera, Chelsea Opera and Opera Idaho. He conducted world and New York City premieres that include “A Chekhov Trilogy” by Richard Wargo, “Honor” by Christian McLeer, and “The Mark of Cain” by Matthew Harris.  Crawford’s positions have included serving as principal conductor of the Greater Miami Opera, music director and principal conductor of Land of Enchantment Opera, senior coach for the Vann Vocal Institute and principal conductor/artistic adviser of Opera Idaho. He has been engaged as conductor by the New World Symphony, as well as cover to Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic.  He also has conducted at the University of Illinois, Portland State University in Oregon and Prelude to Performance in New York City, and in 2009 spearheaded the training of instrumentalists for the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy.  An active accompanist, Crawford has worked extensively as a coach with baritone Sherrill Milnes, the late bass-baritone Tom Krause and soprano Aprile Millo.  He has performed in recital with baritone Håkan Hagegaård, contralto Ortrun Wenkel, soprano Sue Patchell, the late tenor Mallory Walker and others.
Reviewers have praised Collins for “world-class, magical staging,” “mastery of zany, comic fun” and “her direction of insightful character portrayals.” Last season she directed “The Dialogues of the Carmelites” at Sarasota Opera, where she previously directed productions of “Carmen,” “Tosca,” “Madama Butterfly,” “La traviata” and “L’elisir d’amore.” As part of the company’s Verdi Cycle, she directed productions of “I Lombardi all prima crociata,” “I due Foscari,” “Attila,” “Giovanna D’Arco,” “I masnadieri,” “Jerusalem,” “Un giorno di regno” and “La battaglia di Legnano.”   For Sarasota Youth Opera she directed the world premiere of “Little Nemo in Slumberland” and the American premiere of Dean Burry’s “The Hobbit,” and this fall will direct the world premiere of “Rootabaga Country” by Rachel Peters. She created a new prologue for the Youth Opera’s productions of “The Little Sweep” and “Brundibár.”  She has been stage director of the Sarasota Opera Apprentice Program since 2004.  At New York University Collins directed “The Magic Flute,” “Orpheus in the Underworld,” “L’enfant et les sortilèges,” and productions of her libretto translations of “The Audition,” “The Finishing School” and “Cinderella,” among others. Her other productions include “Cavalleria rusticana,” “Pagliacci” and “Faust” at Tri-Cities Opera, “Side by Side by Sondheim” and “A Talent to Amuse – An Evening of Noel Coward” at New England Conservatory, “Il Tabarro” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors” with Opera North, “Susannah” and “The Elixir of Love” for Opera Mozart in New Jersey, and “Dido and Aeneas” at Brevard Music Center.  Collins has taught acting at New York University, Swarthmore College, Ryder University, Manitoba University and the Florence Voice Seminar in Italy, and maintains a private studio for vocal and dramatic coaching in New York City. As a singer, she performed extensively throughout her native Canada as both a concert and operatic performer, and has been heard on CBC’s Arts National Radio in numerous recitals and orchestral concerts.   Her televised appearances include as Micaela in “Carmen” with Vancouver Opera and at the opening gala of the World Expo in Vancouver; both aired internationally. She was a finalist in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition where she represented Canada, and can be seen in the film “Moonstruck” in the role of Mimi.