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Soprano Luana DeVol, Artistic Director Stephen Scovasso, KS Mezzo Soprano Tichina Vaughn  - Master Class at the National Opera Center

TEAM

Stephen Scovasso M.M. - Founder and Artistic Director

Alberto O. Benitez - Director of Operations

Thomas Ramos - Programs Director/Treasurer

Board of Directors

Stephen Scovasso M.M. - Chairman of the Board

Thomas Ramos

Alberto Benitez

Maria Giorgio

Cristina Ispas Charron

Artistic Advisors

Maria Giorgio

Dr. Isola Jones

KS Tichina Vaughn

Deborah Surdi

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Stephen Scovasso M.M.

Conductor/Director/Coach

Stephen Scovasso is a musicologist, conductor, director and author. He has directed operas including, Carmen, Tosca, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, Cosi fan Tutte as well operetta's such as The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. He has also directed American Musical Theater pieces such as Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Bernstein’s Candide. In the dramatic theater, Stephen has directed Garcia Lorca’s La Casa del Bernarda Alba, Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

In conjunction with SAS Performing Arts Company, he has produced and directed 6 full length virtual streams including Dracula: The Radio Play, Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as many virtual concerts and holiday concerts.

Stephen studied Operatic and Symphonic conducting under the tutelage of the late Vincent La Selva. Among the works he has conducted are Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 in D minor, Handel’s Messiah, Puccini’s Tosca, and Mozart's Don Giovanni

During his years at Arizona State University,  he taught classes on the Baroque Style, Opera, American Musical Theater, and Stephen Sondheim.
Mr. Scovasso has also published a treatise on Puccini's Il Trittico and the end of Italian Opera

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Joan Audric Nelson

Vocal Coach/Musical Preparation

Jon Audirc Nelson is a music director and pianist for musical theatre and opera. Recent career highlights include Music Supervisor for a production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives (which incorporated 1930’s arrangements of contemporary pop tunes), the 11th annual Colorado Theatre Guild HENRY Awards, Leonard Bernstein’s MASS at the Kupferberg Center, and a production of Rigoletto at Lincoln Center. Also a passionate voice coach, Jon dedicates a large portion of his schedule to working with singers of both musical theatre and opera. His clients can be found on Broadway, national tours, and at major regional theaters, in addition to the operatic stages of New York, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Berlin, London, Paris, and Bangkok, to name a few. However, his greatest devotion belongs to his precious French bulldog, appropriately named La Divina.

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Jonathan R. Parks

Coach/Accompanist

Jonathan K. Parks is a Manhattan-based music director, vocal coach and pianist, equally versed in musical theatre and opera. Broadway: Chicago. National Tours: Chicago, Young Frankenstein. Regional: Barrington Stage Company, Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Northern Stage, New London Barn Playhouse, Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Amarillo Opera. Favorite past shows include: West Side Story (New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Musical), Hair (Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Musical), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Colorado Theatre Guild Nomination for Best Music Direction), Mary Poppins, 42nd Street, Gypsy, and Street Scene. He is a proud graduate of Florida State University and is currently on the faculty of Marymount Manhattan College. www.jonathankparks.com

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Maria Giorgio

Vocal Coach

Maria Giorgio is lead vocalist and song writer of her band MG & the Orbs since 2011. Her musical forte is in the genres of Blues, R&B, Jazz, and the American Songbook all in her own personal style. Her vocal range is 3.5 octaves and she began studying in the classical Bel Canto style.  During the Pandemic, she appeared on Bernie Furshpan's "Live from the Metropolitan Zoom" and has also appeared in 3 concerts with SAS Performing Arts. Maria has also made special appearance in our production of Alice in Wonderland as a very sexy Cheshire Cat

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Nick Stamatakis

Music Director/Coach/Accompanist

Nick Stamatakis is a pianist, music director and composer who has worked with professional, educational and community organizations, striving to create collaborative environments that foster the exploration, interpretation and execution of music in theater. Credits include work with Pittsburgh CLO, City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Carnegie Stage, Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Arcade Comedy Theater and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Deborah Surdi

Vocal Coach

Deborah Surdi, soprano, is an experienced singer, voice teacher and coach, as well as an executive and consultant in the music and concert presenting business.  As a singer, she performed for many years in both local and regional opera companies in the Tri-State area. Her roles include Mimi, Musetta, Fiordiligi, Tosca, Rosalinda and Cio-Cio San, to name a few. She has also performed in Cabarets and American Musical Theater shows and worked with the late Barbara Cook on song presentation and style.

 For the bulk of her working career she held various positions at RCA Records/BMG Classics and Sony Classical, with her last position as Vice President of Artists and Repertoire.   Former Executive Director of The Opera Orchestra of New York, Deborah is currently working in executive capacities with the Martina Arroyo Foundation and The Queens Symphony Orchestra.

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Nick Wilders

Coach/Accompanist

Nick Wilders is an NYC-based music director, pianist, and vocal coach. NYC/National Tour: Emojiland, Jersey Boys, Smile, The Sound of Music, Medicine: The Musical, musical arrangements and performance for NBC, Disney, and Broadway Backwards/Equity Fights AIDS. He has collaborated on projects with Shoshana Bean, Laura Osnes, Alison Luff, Gavin Creel, and Jarrod Spector, performing at venues ranging from the Rainbow Room to the New Amsterdam and beyond. As a teaching artist, Nick has worked for theatres and schools around the country - in New York, he has worked with New York University, CAP21 Musical Theatre Conservatory, The Growing Studio, Applause NYC, Broadway Classroom and Camp Broadway. He brings a vocals-first attitude as an accompanist, and a focus in pop/rock and contemporary repertoire. Nick is a founding member of Musician Advocacy Group for Inclusion and Change (MAGIC), and graduate of Baldwin Wallace University.

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Paul Ferrara

Italian Coach

Paul Ferrara is delighted to volunteer as Italian Language Coach for SAS Performing Arts Concert of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.  Paul earned his Ph.D. in Italian from the University of California, Berkeley.  He lived two years in Florence, Italy, where he sang with the Coro del Quartiere 14.  He also performed with the Madison Opera Chorus (Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci) and served as its Italian Language Coach (Madama Butterfly).  In addition, he has served as Italian Language Coach for numerous productions with Amore Opera (Un ballo in maschera, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La bohème, Tosca, La traviata, La zingara).  Paul holds J.D. and LL.M. (Taxation) degrees from NYU School of Law.  He is a Managing Director/Wealth Strategies Advisor at Bank of America Private Bank.