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Creative Bios

JOSEPH A. HODGE - Conductor - Praised for his "musicianship and energy on stage" (Manchester Journal Inquirer), Joseph Hodge currently serves as the Music Director of Hartford Opera Theater, Manchester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, and the Connecticut Valley Symphony Orchestra. As Music Director of Hartford Opera Theater, Joseph recently led performances of Robert Ward's The Crucible, and will conduct Copland's The Tender Land in May, 2017. Guest conducting engagements bring him to Texas each year to work with the Abilene Opera Association, and he is the Assistant Conductor of the Ash Lawn Opera Festival in Charlottesville, VA. He has previously studied conducting with Edward Cumming, Christopher Zimmerman, and Kate Tamarkin.

KRISTY CHAMBRELLI - Stage Director - Kristy Chambrelli has mounted Operatic and Musical Theatre productions throughout the United States and Europe. She is the Associate Artistic Director for Hartford Opera Theater and a previous resident opera director for the Asolo Art Song and Aria Festival in Asolo, Italy. She has taught and directed for New England Conservatory, The Hartt School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Florida State University, Clark University, and The College of New Jersey. Her production of Jekyll & Hyde was awarded the 2014 Moss Hart Award in the College/University Division for "...fresh, imaginative, creative treatment within the intent of the playwright". (NETC) She recently directed plays at 13th Street Rep, Leela NYC Festival and Manhattan Rep She was named to the SDCF Observership Class for 2015-2016. Kristy has been nominated for several Broadway World CT & RI awards in Directing. She is a semi-finalist for this year’s American Prize in Opera Direction. She was an SDC Respondent for  KCACTF Region 1. Kristy served as the Youth Director assisting Maxwell Williams on A Christmas Carol(Hartford Stage). She worked with Michael Bolton, Shelton Becton and the New Haven Choir in preparation for BBC/NBC’s Clash of the Choirs. Kristy is a Co-Founder and Artistic Director of IN MEDIAS ARTS - a new media and performance art collective. She has a BM from The Boston Conservatory. She studied Film Scoring and Composition at Berklee College of Music and Opera Directing at Florida State University.  She is a Directors Lab North Alum and is a proud associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. 


ELENA BLUE - ASL Director - Elena Blue traveled nationally and internationally for over 30 years as an actress, director, educator and consultant. A strong advocate who is committed to equal access to communication arts, her early efforts began at the Julliard School of Drama where she revived the training of future performance interpreters. Elena has consulted on numerous productions for The Shakespeare Company, Dance Theatre Workshop, Hartford Stage Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Gloucester Stage Company, Kennedy Center, Canadian National Arts Center, Southern Jersey Regional Theatre, Mark Tamper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, Deaf West Theatre and National Theatre of the Deaf. From the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism, Elena was the first deaf person to be nationally certified as a Master Teaching Artist. She was the Integrative Arts Director for SummerArtsSedona, in Sedona, AZ for both national and international artists. Taught young artists at the Youth Scholar Program in Washington, DC and at the New School for the Arts, in Tempe, AZ, integrating American Sign Language and Deaf Culture from photography to dance.

CAITLIN LEIGH FLEMMING -  Assistant Director/Stage Manager - Caitlin Leigh Flemming is a stage director with a primary focus in Opera. Caitlin was selected for the Summer Directing Seminar at Yale University. She has served as Assistant Director on several productions with Hartt Opera Theatre, Opera Connecticut and Hartford Opera Theater. Some of her favorite credits include The Crucible (2016 Broadway World Nominee), Owl Moon (World Premiere), Prescription and Tosca. Caitlin recently directed Amahl and the Night Visitors for Hartt Opera Theater this fall. This season, she will also be assisting Kristy Chambrelli on the World Premiere of David Wolfson’s The Faith Operas and a new multilingual production of The Tender Land which will feature both sung English and ASL. Caitlin studies Vocal Performance at The Hartt School and is a student of Claude Corbel. 


DAMIAN DOMINGUEZ - Costume Design 

ASHLEY ATENCIO - Scenic Design - Simsbury, CT native Ashley Atencio studied architecture at Columbia. She is an artist who specializes in woodworking and furniture design. This is her first credit in scenic design for the theater. Ashley would like to thank HOT for for the opportunity to work with such a unique production with a talented, dedicated cast and crew. 

PAIGE NEE - Lighting Design - Paige Nee is a lighting designer (and often times, Master Electrician) from South Windsor and this is her first time working with the Hartford Opera Theater. A recent graduate from ECSU with her BA in Theatre, she freelances with various theatres, including Hartford Stage and Playhouse on Park. She spends most of her time working at Mohegan Sun Arena as part of the lighting department helping to set up and take down tour shows and other events around the casino as well as running spotlight for concerts. Her favorite shows she has worked on have all been at ECSU and include Love of One’s Neighbor (lighting designer), Whacked (lighting designer), and Johnsonville (assistant lighting designer). Other credits include master electrician for A Chorus Line, Moon for the Misbegotten, and Stop/Time at Playhouse on Park. Outside of hiding behind a lighting board or climbing ladders, she enjoys hanging out with her pet hedgehog, Eugene and photography. 

RILEY BLAAKMAN - Assistant Stage Manager - Riley Blaakman will be a Senior Vocal Performance major at The Hartt School this fall. She is a mezzo soprano in the studio of Maureen O'Flynn, and is thrilled to be a part of this production. Riley grew up in Rochester, NY, where she started to learn ASL from an early age. Through her friend Sarah, and her interpreter, she grew to love the language and began signing at age 6. Since then, she has taken part in studies through the Rochester Institute of Technology, examining the life of deaf and hearing students in public schools, and has worked for families with deaf and/or hard-of-hearing children during the summer. She is very excited to have this opportunity to combine her love of opera with her appreciation for the deaf community. 


PETER MEYER REIMER - Peter Meyer Reimer is a recent graduate of Goshen College.  Growing up in the Midwest, his interest in theater has been perennial, but has evolved from acting (in such productions as "Urinetown," "The Boys Next Door," and "Oliver") to backstage work.  Peter worked as a director and a designer before finding his niche as a stage manager, most recently managing "The Marriage of Figaro." as well as assistant stage managing for various smaller shows. Peter is particularly enthusiastic about working with musical and operatic productions, and also about working out East, and so is excited for his first time working with the Hartford Opera Theater!

MARYSUE OWENS - ASL Interpreter and Production Consultant -  MarySue Owens has been an interpreter and educator all of her life.  Her love of language and teaching has been evident since she was a little girl playing school with her siblings and neighborhood friends.  She formalized her education with degrees in Sociology and Education and has obtained national professional interpreting certifications (RID CSC and SC:Legal. and NAD V.)  Mary Sue has provided training and workshops for over 20 years and believes that it is through her teaching that she continues to learn.  It is her goal to keep learning, and teaching for many more years. She has also incorporated her love for theater into her work, interpreting shows with The Bushnell, Hartford Stage, and Yale Repertory.  She is currently the mainstay interpreter for the Colin McEnroe's "Radio for the Deaf"  installments on WNPR. MarySue is very excited to be involved in this production with Hartford Opera Theater and the opportunity it is providing for Deaf/HH actors, consultants and audiences.   May it be only the beginning!



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