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Leonarda Priore (President/General Manager/Artistic Director) (mezzo-soprano) whose primary loves are singing and performing, also enjoys the "behind the scenes" hands on of each production. Most productions will find her creativity being directed also to prop design where she magically helps to design and supply whatever props are needed. Wearing many hats is a pre-qualifier for the position of co-founder and co-producer where Lee handles the graphic design of the company and acts in the capacity of webmaster to name a few of the many jobs she tends to. She has co-directed the company's first production of Suor Angelica and has assisted in directing at Central Florida Lyric Opera's Le Nozze di Figaro and Carmen. Her roles include Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Katisha (The Mikado), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Lady Jane (Patience), Witch (Hänsel and Gretel), Augusta (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Dame Quickly (Falstaff), Mother/Grandmother (Little Red Riding Hood), Ma Moss (Tenderland) and the title role of Carmen. Companies include Mohawk Valley Opera, Regina Opera, Rockland Opera, Silver Dollar Opera, Central Florida Lyric Opera, New Rochelle Opera, American Singers Opera Project to name a few. In 2002 Leonarda debuted at Carnegie Hall as the soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass and has returned to the Weill Hall stage twice to date. Musical Theater credits include Nettie (Carousel), Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music), and Fanny Brice (Funny Girl). She also has appeared Off Off Broadway in Pearl Cleage's Hospice performing as Suzuki and Billie Holiday. Leonarda has extensive oratorio credits in addition to performances in the jazz genre. Leonarda and Lynne Hayden-Findlay co founded the company together in 2004.
 
 

Lynne

Lynne Hayden-Findlay (Treasurer) pursued a diverse business career (advertising sales and fundraising) before returning to music in 1991.  She made her operatic debut as an Aztec God in Darius Milhaud's Christoph Colomb with Brooklyn College Opera Theater and went on to sing several roles at Amato Opera including Nannetta, Susanna, Zerlina, Oscar, Musetta, and Adele.  She premiered Dan Welcher's Vox Femina in Europe (1995) and New York City (2000). With Operafestival di Roma, she sang Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) and Erste Dame (Pamina cover) in Die Zauberflöte. She was an ensemble member with Opera Orchestra, joined San Diego Opera for Verdi's Requiem in May 2001, and sang Barber's Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with West Islip Symphony in 2002. Before retiring from singing, Ms. Hayden-Findlay had been the soprano soloist for St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Riverside, CT), for twelve years.  In the 90s, she produced several concerts as a founding member of Colla Voce.  That plus her business acumen has sustained her as a co-founder and co-producer of Chelsea Opera until her retirement as of December 2015. Over her twelve seasons she has overseen a variety of tasks, including fund raising and grants, list management, public relations, and scheduling.  During most productions, she would most often have been found designing costumes and stage directing (Don Giovanni, The Scarf/The Bear, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Le Nozze di Figaro, and many others). She holds a B.A. in Theatre from SUNY/New Paltz where she directed and choreographed several productions, and earned an MBA with Distinction from Pace University.  In 2002 she became a certified English-as-a-second language trainer and continues to teach new immigrant populations. Lynne and Leonarda Priore co founded the company in 2004 and both remained the driving force until Lynne's retirement in December 2015.
   
   
   
Resident Production Staff
 
Music Director/Principal Conductor.   Conductor Benjamin Grow has worked with a wide array of ensembles in New York City, from Chelsea Opera to The Broadway Chamber Players, and new music groups Ensemble Échappé and counter)induction. As music director of Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied in 2015 at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia, Grow "expertly coached the singers and led the orchestra" (Broad Street Review), and his "fine detailing delivered the ferocious power of this score" (Huffington Post), in what The Philadelphia Inquirer said was the "most unforgettable opera" of the year. He conducted the recording of I Have No Stories To Tell You, a new work by Opera Philadelphia's Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher. He also conducted Beecher's oratorio, And Then I Remember, in "an expert performance" (WKCR) at the DiMenna Center in Manhattan. In 2015, Grow won the International Conducting Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, GA. He has participated in masterclasses with Kurt Masur and Larry Rachleff, and assisted conductor Jeffrey Milarsky at the New York Philharmonic in June 2015. A dedicated music educator, Mr. Grow was the founding conductor of the 92nd Street Y Youth Orchestra, and currently conducts the chamber orchestra at the School for Strings and Berkshire Summer Music. For several years, Mr. Grow co-presented an annual lecture at the 92nd Street Y, "The Physics of Music," as part of their Mysteries of Science series, and has given pre-concert talks at the Museum of Biblical Art. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and studied with Jeffrey Milarsky at the Manhattan School of Music.
   
   

Klay-James Enos (Administrative Business Manager). Klay-James Enos joins Chelsea Opera as an Administrative Business Manager. A newcomer to Chelsea Opera’s administrative staff, he is a practicing visual artist with a background in several creative fields. He has served as an assistant to the director on A Certain Quiet, a new opera that premiered at Theater for the New City in 2015; and as an assistant on operatic and orchestral programs at Opera America, Howl Arts, St. Mark’s Church, Westbeth Community Center, and Clemente Soto Velez. Enos also works as an assistant scenic painter on Theater for the New City's Summer Street Theater productions.

As a painter, Klay is a member of the Art Loisaida artist group and regularly shows his work in community spaces throughout the East Village. His essays on other artists' work have been featured at NYU's Kimmel Stovall Gallery and Bouduin College in Maine. 

Klay graduated with a B.A. from Alfred University in 2012, where he studied English literature and art history. He In 2015, he presented a solo exhibit, “Details,” at the Ottendorfer Library in Manhattan. Enos has been featured in group shows at Station Independent Projects, Theater for the New City, the Tompkins Square Library Gallery, and Michael Mut Project Space.

   
 
Michael Berg (Grants Consultant). Michael Berg joins Chelsea Opera as a Grants Consultant.  He will help to identify new  funding directions, will research new grant funding opportunities for production and administrative support, and will assist in maintaining the company's relationship with current foundations and government funders. Since completing his graduate studies in music history at Baylor University, Michael has worked with a variety of arts-based organizations in development, marketing, and administration, including LOOK Musical Theatre, Greenville Light Opera Works, Mobile Opera, the Market Street Arts Festival, Wichita Grand Opera, and the Birmingham Boys Choir. Michael is also currently the Managing Director of the Chautauqua Opera Company.
   
Michael Megliola (Resident Lighting Designer), continues to lend his talents in light design to Chelsea Opera! NYC highlights include Hell's Kitchen, The Musical (Hudson Guild), Follies and Some Enchanted Evening (St. Bart's Players), The Scarf/The Bear, and The Ballad of Baby Doe (Chelsea Opera), What is to be Dead? (Castillo Theatre), and Dance at Bataan (Phare Play Productions). He was a Production Assistant on God of Carnage ( Jacobs Theatre), Mary Stuart (Broadhurst Theatre) and The Consequences (Williamstown Theatre Festival) where in 2009 he was a part of their Lighting Design Internship Program.
   

 Robert J. Saferstein (Resident Production Photographer)
Is thrilled to return to Chelsea Opera after working on Suor Angelica and Amahl and the Night Visitors. Originally from Akron, Ohio, Saferstein currently works in New York City as a Photographer, Composer, Art Director, Property Master, and Web Designer. In addition to his work as Resident Production Photographer, Saferstein’s theatrical production credits include: Broadway: All About Me (Ad Campaign), Race, Superior Donuts, Reasons to be Pretty, Hair, Blithe Spirit, You’re Welcome America, Speed-the-Plow, and August: Osage County (B’way & Nat’l Tour). Off-B’Way: Still Life (MCC), The Last Smoker in America (NYMF), The Wiz (City Center Encores!), and Damn Yankees (City Center Encores!). His photographic versatility has also led him to cover President Obama’s Inauguration, international photo essays, editorial spreads, fashion, and fine art photography. Robert’s photographs have been featured in a number of textbooks and international publications including The New York Times, and his works have been exhibited in The AAF Contemporary Art Fair and are currently held in private collections that include Barclay’s Capital Bank. In 2006 his musical score was featured in the sold-out NYMF production of Oedipus For Kids! (Samuel French). In film, Saferstein is a proud member of IATSE’s Local 44 union in Los Angeles, and recent projects include The Second Bakery Attack, directed by Carlos Cuaron and starring Kirsten Dunst; Beware the Gonzo (2010 Tribeca Film Festival); and TiMER (2009 Tribeca Film Festival). In 2009, Saferstein was hired as the Creative Director of Broadway’s marketing and advertising website, Broadway’s Best Shows. Saferstein also designed the websites for the Broadway plays Superior Donuts, by Tracy Letts, and Race, by David Mamet. Robert holds a BFA in Photography & Imaging from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he also completed graduate coursework in the Interactive Telecommunications Program. www.robertjsaferstein.com


Nick Lamm (Administrative Volunteer Coordinator)
   

David Satz (Resident Production Audio Engineer)
David Satz studied with Rudolf Kolisch and Felix Viscuglia at the New England Conservatory, and was associated with Emmanuel Music in Boston under the late Craig Smith for a number of years both as a clarinettist and as a recording engineer. After moving to New York in 1981 he became a staff engineer at RCA Studios where he worked mainly on compact disc reissues of classical LPs; in 1995 he received a Grammy Award for one such project. Currently he is employed by day at Penguin Random House while maintaining a secret identity on evenings and weekends as the recording engineer for Chelsea Opera and the vocal studio of Dr. Michael Warren.



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