Contralto Daphne Alderson
It is Daphne Alderson’s vision to bring cabaret to people everywhere. Critically acclaimed as an artist of “dignified passion” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, her warm, contralto voice has moved and delighted audiences of all ages. Her debut recording A Matinee at the Love Cafe has been called, “An enchanting and mesmerizing” collection of American, French, and Latin song standards.
An acclaimed performer in many different musical genres, Daphne Alderson has managed to cross the great divide between Classical and non-Classical music. She is as comfortable with Handel, Vivaldi, Pergolesi and Mendelssohn as she is with Cabaret, which she wants to bring to people everywhere. Most recently, she has performed as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, and has premiered many new works, including Michael Moricz’s O Sapienza and Elegy, Luke Mayernik’s Requiem.
Opera credits include Central City, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera North, Berks Grand Opera and the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, among others.
- A native of Calcutta, India, Bob came to the US at a young age. He chose to learn violin in 5th grade because it was the lightest instrument to carry – and he could annoy almost anyone when he played it. His musical legend grew as he outgrew 20 years of classical violin to go to the “dark side” of playing improvisational performances in country, bluegrass, folk, reggae, jazz, rock, and Celtic.
Cellist David Bennett
David studied cello with Shirley Trepel at Rice University, and also with Henry Elman of the Royal Philharmonic. He performs locally with the duo, Cello Cello, the Rosewood Trio and with Daniel May at the Fairmont Hotel and the Mansions on Fifth.
Emmy-award winning correspondent and producer Tonia Caruso
An award winning journalist who now serves as Assistant Deputy Directorof the Office of Community Relations for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Tonia began her 25 year in Pittsburgh television in local news and later spent 14 years at WQED Multimedia as a reporter, producer and host. She is a multiple nominee and winner of two Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for Outstanding Community Service Reporting. Her storytelling excellence was recognized with four Pennsylvania Golden Quill Awards. Tonia was the recipient of the Women in Film and Media’s Patti Burns Award for Excellence.
Actor and writer David Crawford
David portrayed Maxo Vanka in 2008 and 2011 in Dr. David Demarest’s play, Gift to America. He most recently played Edgar Allan Poe in Poe’s Last Night here in Pittsburgh; at the Edinburgh, Scotland, Festival Fringe; and at the 200th anniversary of Poe’s schoolboy days in Irvine, Scotland. Among film roles, he was Dr. James Foster in George Romero’s zombie epic Dawn of the Dead. He recently portrayed Herr Schaaf, an irascible German tutor, in Three Days in the Country for Kinetic Theater at the New Hazlett in Pittsburgh.
A native of North Caroline, Faye made her piano debut at the age of 14 at Steinway Hall in New York City. She performed her first concerto with the N.C. Symphony that same year. Faye has performed internationally and as part of the Shadyside Presbyterian Concert Series. Currently Mrs. D’Ippolito and Dr. Edith Humphrey are a two-piano team in residence at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
- Brian has been baritone soloist at Shadyside Presbyterian Church since 2010. He’s also a soloist and member of the Pittsburgh Camerata and Pittsburgh Opera chorus and made his stage debut as Giuseppe in La Traviata in 2016.
Historian Dr. Charles McCollester
The retired director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations and professor in the department of Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Charlie was a machinist at Union Switch & Signal, Swissvale, and chief steward of UE Local 610. The long-time activist and author of Point of Pittsburgh (2008) has published in Monthly Review, The Nation, Labor’s Heritage, Pittsburgh History, The Encyclopedia of Irish in America, with many op-eds in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The University of Pittsburgh Press published his Fighter with a Heart: Writings of Charles Owen Rice, Pittsburgh Labor Priest in 1996. He is an emeritus member of the Battle of Homestead Foundation and authored original poetry celebrating the lighting of the 1941 Murals — Justice, Injustice, Prudence and Mati 1941 — in March 2016 and the 1937 Murals — The Crucifixion, The Pieta, Croatian Mothers Raise Their Sons for War and Immigrant Mother Raises Her Sons for American Industry.
Vladimir Mollov was born in Bulgaria to a family of self-taught musicians. His father, also an accordionist inspired the sounds of the accordion since early childhood. Winning prizes at both International Competition for Accordion and Guitar in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria World Accordion Competition in Castelfidardo, Italy eventually led him to the United States as a member of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans. He has numerous recordings: Dreams, Cuidado (his Arginitinean tango band) and has recorded with artists throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Mollov lives in Pittsburgh with his Anne and daughter Elitza.
Composer, Scholar & Performer Zvonimir Nagy
Zvonimir is a Croatian-born, American composer, music scholar, and performer. His creative and research work extends into interdisciplinary contexts and perspectives on music and embodiment, forging connections between music, technology, psychology, and philosophy. He has written for and received commissions from performers and ensembles, such as the Seattle Symphony, musicians from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Contemporary Chamber Players.
Nagy is also an award-winning organist, pianist, and conductor with interests in contemporary music and improvisation, and has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. He is an Associate Professor of Music composition at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, music theory and analysis, orchestration, as well as seminars on musical creativity, cognitive music theory, and contemporary music.
Soprano Anna Singer
WQED fm89.3’s “Drivetime Diva,” Anna is an accomplished and world-class soprano having sung theleads in operas such as Tosca, Salome, Aida, Madama Butterfly, Susannah, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, La Boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lohengrin, Die Walkure, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, and The Consul. She has sung with the New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Opera, Palm Beach Opera and New Bulgarian Opera, to name a few. Also popular on the concert stage, Anna made her Carnegie Hall main stage debut with the Manhattan Philharmonic. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in recital, as a result of her First Prize-winning performance at the Center for Contemporary Opera Vocal Competition. She has won awards and grants from the Minna Kaufman Ruud Foundation, the Bel Canto Foundation and the Puccini Foundation and was a finalist in the Luciano International Vocal Competition.
Singer-Songwriter Mike Stout
Mike Stout debuted on stage in New York City in 1968, in the midst of a cultural revolution. But in the late seventies, the musician made Pittsburgh his home and quickly became the union’s top grievance man at the Homestead steel mill where he toiled. Now retired, this dedicated community leader has enjoyed a music career spanning over two decades and performed all across the United States and Europe with “the message of human solidarity and peace.” Working with all-star casts of nationally known Pittsburgh musicians and producers Mike has released 13 independent CDs and recorded over 150 songs. He tells stories from his heart about people who are affected by unemployment, social injustice, environmental hazards, or war. Mike is not out to be a rich rock star. As he’s stated on numerous occasions,“the kind of ‘change’ I’m interested in ain’t coins or money, but social movements.”
Associate Artistic Director, Resident Choreographer and Dancer Kelsey Bartman
Originally from Pittsburgh, Kelsey began her formal training with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School (PBTS) and Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). She spent summers studying at American Ballet Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow Jazz Program and PBTS. Kelsey joined Nashville Ballet 2 in 2007. She is a co-creator of Works in Progress (WIP) Choreography Project, and has choreographed for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Ballet 2, Arova Contemporary Ballet, Columbus Modern Dance, and Texture Contemporary Ballet.
Kelsey has taught for the School of Nashville Ballet, Evolve Productions, Alloy School, Laurel Youth Ballet, Xtreme Tumbling and Dance and is currently teaching for Millenium Dance Complex. She has recently had the privilege of teaching a workshop for the group Yaledancers at Yale University.
Founder and Artistic Director Alan Obuzor
Originally from Pittsburgh, Alan began dancing at the age of nine and started at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School (PBTS) two years later. He was a recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Foundation Dance Honorarium and received a contract to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT’s) professional company at the age of 17. During his seven years in PBT’s Company, he danced a wide array of ballets including principal and soloist roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Symphony in C, Carmina Burana and Divertimento 15
Alan began teaching in 2002 and from 2007-2012 he was on the faculty of PBTS as one of the primary Pre-Professional Division teachers and choreographers. In 2011, he won first place in the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Dance/Choreography competition. Alan went on to join the teaching faculty of Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and was named one of the “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2013.
Producer/Writer: Lynne Squilla
Lynne Squilla presents her fifth production honoring Maxo Vanka’s dramatic murals at St. Nicholas Church in Millvale.
For 30 years, Squilla has been an Emmy- and International film-award-winning freelance Producer-Writer-Director, crafting programs for PBS, Nova, Discovery, National Geographic, SyFy, Fox, A&E, TLC, Kazakh TV, and Channel 4 London. In addition, she has created original content for universities, corporations, non-profits, and for the stage, working with artists such as Shakespearean, Broadway and movie actor Mark Rylance, and Michael Feinstein, keeper of the Great American Song Book. Her roster of clients include the National Institute of Justice, National Inventors Hall of Fame and US Patent Office, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History The Battle of Homestead Foundation, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Symphony Orchestras and many others. Her awards include a National Emmy, multiple regional Emmys and Tellys, Birmingham Film Festival and Vienna International Film awards, and more.
Dennis Robinson, Jr.
Dennis is a sought after director, stage manager, and arts administrator. He continues to create a diverse body of work with experience in opera, musicals, theater, and special events. Dennis‘ engagements have included “Shakespeare and The Battle of Homestead” with Broadway, TV and film actor Mark Rylance for The Battle of Homestead Foundation; events for The Glimmerglass Festival, New Jersey State Opera, Pittsburgh CAPA, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Toledo Opera, Trilogy Opera Company, Undercroft Opera, and the Virginia Arts Festival. Dennis continues to organize events for The Battle of Homestead Foundation, The Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, and Jason Kendall Productions. Dennis is currently the Manager of Community Programs for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.