2022 Creators, Conductors, Directors & Designers
Omer Ben Seadia
Stage Director, Thumbprint
Israeli director Omer Ben Seadia is known for her inventive, thoughtful, and socially conscious productions. While garnering a name for herself in the classic repertoire, she has also won praise for developing and promoting new opera.
Recent highlights include the world premiere production of The Snowy Day (Thompson, Davis Pinkney) at Houston Grand Opera, The Magic Flute (Opera Theater St. Louis), The Merry Widow (Calgary Opera), Tosca (Utah Opera), Carmen and Ariadne auf Naxos (Cincinnati Opera), and Rigoletto (Florentine Opera).
Notable productions of contemporary work include Yardbird at Atlanta Opera; The Golden Spike (Dramaturg and Director) at Utah Opera; Tom Cipullo’s Josephine and After Life at Opera Colorado; the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me (Gerald Cohen, Deborah Brevoort) at Opera Colorado; and a double bill of Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Brundibar with Cincinnati Chamber Opera as part of the Theresienstadt Opera Project.
Ms. Ben Seadia began working extensively in the United States in 2012 after over a decade with the Israeli Opera. She is deeply committed to the development and training of young artists, and has taught acting at conservatories and young artist programs throughout the United States, Canada and Israel. She completed the prestigious opera directing program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and was an Apprentice Stage Director at the Merola Opera Program. Ms. Ben Seadia is also a graduate of Seminar Ha’kibutzim, School of Performing Arts, with a degree in theater directing, as well as a teaching degree in theater education.
Liliana Duque Piñeiro
Scenic Designer, Tosca and Thumbprint
Liliana Duque Piñeiro is both a sculptor and a scenic designer. Recent opera productions include a film of The Copper Queen, produced by Arizona Opera; Il Postino, co-produced by Virginia Opera, Opera Southwest and Chicago Opera Theatre; the world premiere of Sweet Potato kicks the Sun for Santa Fe Opera; the world premiere of If I were you by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer for the Merola Opera Program; Maria de Buenos Aires for San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera; Madama Butterfly for Opera de Colombia; La Flauta Mágica de los Andes for Teatro Sucre in Quito, Ecuador; Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon for The Vermont Opera Project; and La Cage aux Follies and Powder her Face for Skylight Opera Theatre. Upcoming productions include La Traviata (Fort Worth Opera), Don Giovanni (Minnesota Opera) and The Elixir of Love (Opera de Colombia).
Sarah Ina Meyers
Stage Director, Tosca
Sarah Ina Meyers is a stage director based in NY where she has been on the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera since 2006. Her diverse 20/21 season included a staging of Die Walküre for New Orleans Opera featuring a cinematic installation by filmmaker Samantha Aldana, and a new production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied which opened Berkshire Opera Festival to high acclaim.
In 2018, she directed the premiere of Gregg Kallor’s Dramatic Sketches from Frankenstein as part of the performance series, The Angel’s Share, at Green-Wood Cemetery. The production received rave reviews and was declared one of WQXR’s standout performances of 2018. Operawire described the performance as “riveting … an extraordinary experience” and Limelight extolled Meyers’s direction as “perfectly finessed…. Powerful and meticulous.”
In 2016, Meyers began working with Lesley Karsten and Stephen Wadsworth on That’s Not Tango, an unorthodox monodrama about Astor Piazzolla told through text and music. She directed performances of the show for Chamber Music Amarillo in 2021, and for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2019.
Ms. Meyers made her directing debut in South Korea in 2019 with a new production of Rigoletto at the Seoul Arts Center. Additional highlights from her recent work include Hansel and Gretel for Washington National Opera; the world premiere of Gallo by Ken Ueno; and a unique production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde produced by the Music School of Lighthouse International. She is also the author of a new translation and adaptation of Die Fledermaus, most recently performed by MassOpera.
Praised as “strikingly original” (NY Times), Kamala Sankaram moves freely between the worlds of experimental music and contemporary opera. Recent commissions include works for the Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera, the PROTOTYPE Festival, and Creative Time, among others. Kamala is known for her operas fusing Indian classical music with the operatic form, including Thumbprint, A Rose, Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers, and the forthcoming Jungle Book. Also known for her work pushing the boundaries of the operatic form, recent works include The Last Stand, a 10-hour opera created for the trees of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Only You Will Recognize the Signal, a serial space opera performed live over the internet, Looking at You, a techno-noir featuring live datamining of the audience and a chorus of 25 singing tablet computers, all decisions will be made by consensus, a short absurdist opera performed live over Zoom, and The Parksville Murders, the world’s first virtual reality opera. Kamala is the leader of Bombay Rickey, an operatic Bollywood surf ensemble whose accolades include two awards for Best Eclectic Album from the Independent Music Awards, the 2018 Mid-Atlantic touring grant, and appearances on WFMU and NPR. Awards, grants and residencies: Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, HERE Artist Residency Program, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center. Dr. Sankaram holds a PhD from the New School and is currently a member of the composition faculties at the Mannes College of Music and SUNY Purchase.
Stage Director, The Mother of Us All
Keturah Stickann returns to Chautauqua after having directed La traviata and L’Orfeo at the Amphitheater in 2016 and 2017. Recent directing credits include her distillation of La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers, for Virginia Opera, The Barber of Seville and La Bohème in Drive-in form for San Diego Opera, Carmen for the New Orleans Opera, the world premiere of If I were you by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer for the Merola Opera Program, Candide for Michigan Opera Theater, Turandot at Palm Beach Opera and San Diego Opera, L’Orfeo ed Euridice for Florida Grand Opera, and Norma for Opera Southwest. She is a frequent collaborator of Leonard Foglia’s, and their projects include Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life (Associate Director and Choreographer) and Moby-Dick (Associate Director and Movement Director), Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt (Assistant Director and Choreographer), Jose “Pepe” Martinez’ Cruzar La Cara De La Luna (Associate Director and Choreographer), and Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain (Associate Director).
Kristin Roach is a Grammy-nominated pianist and international conductor with 37 new operas and 21 world premieres under her baton. She serves as Opera Coach and Conductor at Lawrence University, and Conductor at Pacific Opera Project and Vocal Academy of Opera in Bodrum, Turkey.
As Founding Music Director of Alamo City Opera from 2012-2019, Ms. Roach conducted seventeen operas over seven seasons. She has recorded with the New World Symphony, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and violinist Daniel Kobialka. Salon Buenos Aires, recorded with Camerata San Antonio, was nominated for two Latin Grammy® awards.
She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. https://kristinroach.com/
Susan Yankowitz is a librettist and novelist, sometimes a screenwriter, most frequently a playwright. Among her best-known works are Terminal and 1969 Terminal 1996 (with Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre), A Knife in the Heart/Gun (published 2021 by Methuen), Night Sky, Phaedra in Delirium and Seven, a documentary drama about 7 remarkable women by 7 women playwrights which has been translated into 32 languages and performed widely in the U.S. and internationally. Night Sky, produced in NY, L.A. and 28 other cities has recently been translated and published in Hebrew and German. Her latest play is called The Crazy But True Tragical-Farcical Trial Of Madame P, A Theatrical Bestiary Inspired by Trials of the Middle Ages wherein a Pig and Various 4-Legged and Winged Creatures are Prosecuted for Theft, Murder, Bestiality and Diverse Crimes against Humankind and she has just completed her second novel, Birth Copulation Death. Her life in theater has been aided by support from the NEA, NYFA, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, Opera America, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Hermitage, and others. In the best of times, her work has been called “moving and poetic” (Los Angeles Times); “magnificent… scorching” (NPR); and “breathtaking” (New York Times). In the worst of times, she tries to remember the best of times. Her archive is held here.