Opera does not just happen with the big guys, the future of opera is happening now in small opera companies with independent producers. Named one of the “The Must-Listen Podcasts for Opera and Classical Music Fans” by Playbill, one of OperaWire’s “5 Opera Podcasts You Should Be Listening To“, one of the top classical music podcasts by ARTaxMusic.com, and brianwise.com, the Indie Opera Podcast “…tackles touchy HR subjects, such as minority outreach or disability in opera, with frankness and nuance.” — Opera News. We focus on companies that are creating new operas and who are presenting the classics in new ways for wider audiences, no matter how big or small.
The Indie Opera Podcast was created in 2011 to focus on the heart and soul of opera production, in the trenches where new work is created and the future opera is being openly debated. Please become a regular listener and if you have projects that we need to know about email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Jew — President
Natalie Polito — Secretary
Pierre Frinault — Treasurer
Rosśa Crean, Theme and Incidental Music
Composing and creating music with a focus on the evocative and lyrical, Rosśa Crean began his professional music career as an operatic Bass-Baritone, specializing in avant-garde and Contemporary Classical music, many of which were his own works. A prolific collaborator, he has worked with numerous artists including Metropolitan Opera veteran Heidi Skok, Oberlin College Mozart Players, Opera on Tap Chicago, and Loyola University Museum of Art. His musical work has been featured on Skope TV, Much Music, Fuse TV, and Comcast OnDemand. Ross was most recently signed to Navona Records/Naxos of America to record his opera “The Great God Pan”, due out in Summer 2017. He is currently Resident Composer and Creative Director for Nebula Creatives, based in Chicago.
Brooke Larimer Business & Operations Manager, Co-host
Brooke is a Vermont-born mezzo-soprano with international stage credits, a passion for advocacy for art and artists, and an abiding affection for music of all genres. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and The Boston Conservatory, she now lives in The Bronx with her rescue dog, Cindy (#supermodelcindypawford), and a lot of plants. She serves as Foundation Administrator for The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation overseeing their day-to-day operations. She co-founded Boston Opera Collaborative and sits on the advisory board for Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. A lover of people, coffee, food, learning, stand-up comedy, travel, the scientific method, and breaking rules, she is always looking to meet fearless co-conspirators interested in performing, producing, or experimenting with new ideas.
Walker Lewis — Co-host
Hailed by the New York Times for his “imaginative staging,” Walker’s recent directing work includes the Apprentice Scenes at Santa Fe Opera (Enemies: A Love Story, The Pearl Fishers, Poppea, The Italian Girl in Algiers); The Companion (American Opera Projects); Glory Denied (Opera Idaho); The Pirates of Penzance and The Threepenny Opera (Amarillo Opera); The Whole Truth and The Cask of Amontillado (American Modern Ensemble); La clemenza di Tito (dell’arte Opera Ensemble); Tamar da Timna and Il Campanello (Garden State Opera); Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle Ingrate and The Christmas Oratorio (Musica Nuova); Le Nozze di Figaro and Radamisto (Manhattan Opera Studio); and Rise and Fall of the Cityof Mahagonny (Opera America Director-Designer Showcase).
Gregory Moomjy, Journalist and Contributor
Gregory Moomjy is a graduate of Columbia University with a Master of Science in Journalism and Fordham University with a degree in Musicology. He has written many reviews and commentary on opera for a variety of publications including New Jersey Monthly, Salon, PC Gamer, and Mexico’s Pro Ópera. He currently resides in New York City.
C. Colby Sachs, Associate Producer
Opera has been a major part of his life since early childhood when his parents would sing arias to him and his twin brother or watch Kukla, Fran and Ollie Presents with them. Chuck has had a widely varied career in the creative world as a Composer, Music Director, Arranger, Vocal Coach, Producers Assistant, Production Manager and House/Box Office Manager as well as in Customer Service/Business Management in the regular business world. As a composer, he’s written the scores to over thirty musicals including the notorious Amy Fisher: The Musical. He is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild and an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop.
Peter Szep — Executive Producer, Co-Host
Peter Szep helped create the New York Opera Alliance which includes over 50 participant organizations, and where he is the creator of the New York Opera Fest—last years festival involved over 35 companies. He has dedicated much of his conducting career to championing new works, including the premier of Harold Farberman’s Diamond Street, with Diamond Opera Company at the Hudson Opera House, conducting the New England premier of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, and Yoav Gal’s The Dwarf and Ben Yarmolinsky’s The Constitution at Vertical Player Repertory. Other engagements have included engagements with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, The Millay Sisters, Burt Dow: Deep Water Man and The Singing Bridge at the Stonington Opera House.
Ashley Renee Watkins
Ashley Renee Watkins is a classically trained multi-genre vocalist, songwriter and teaching artist facilitator. As an artist, she is a skilled music maker and performer influenced by Opera, R&B, Jazz, and Soul. The New Orleans born artist has been based in New York City since 2014 – the year she appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent with her opera and multi-genre duo ACTE II. Ashley Renee released her first EP project “Roux” under her artist name A. Renee in the fall of 2019. It captures the many experiences and narratives of her as an artist and a woman of color. Ashley Renee has worked nationally as a facilitator over the past several years, serving on the teaching artist faculty of Lincoln Center Education as well as consulting in arts education and equitable practices within cultural institutions throughout the United States.
We want to know what is happening in the world of opera, premiers, innovative independent producers, living composers and librettists… who are experimenting to find the future of opera. There are magazines and websites dedicated to opera, but they tend to focus on the same hand full of companies, and there are websites that feature collections, individual festivals, and individual opera companies work, but we want to focus on all of these great companies in one podcast. It may be impossible, but we’re going to try.
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