There were three casts for the show, for each major role the first person listed appeared Sunday March 11th and Saturday March 24th 2001. The second person listed appeared Saturday March 10th and Sunday March 18th 2001, and the third person appeared Saturday March 17th and Sunday March 25th 2001.
Nancy Lee Johnston
Kate Van Eck
Ann Marie King
|Ann Marie King
|Mary Lou Pierron
* Christian Nolen also performed as King Ahashveros on Saturday March 10th.
** David Sandberg also performed as King Ahashveros on Sunday March 18th.
Charlotte Ames (Chorus) age 8, is in third
grade. She enjoys art, humorous literature, bike rides, soccer,
basketball, girl scouting, and collecting cute animals. She has a pet
hamster named Nibbles.
David Bass is the founder and musical director of the North
Cambridge Family Opera company. He was a prolific composer of
preteneious music as a teenager, but became discouraged in college and
pursued a career in chemical engineering instead. After a 20-year
hiatuus from musical composition, David has written two distinctly
unpretentious operas for the enjoyment of his three young children,
their friends, and their families: Space Opera, which he produced and
directed May 1999 and May 2000, and the Coronation of Esther. David
plans to continue writing music for as long as he can avoid taking
himself too seriously.
Lonnie Bass (Esther) is almost 9 and is a
3rd-grader. Lonnie studies Suzuki violin, sings in a chorus, and
studies gymnastics. Lonnie also likes playing soccer, Barbies, and
computer games, writing and illustrating her own stories, and playing
with her little sister and big brother. She was Jabba the Hutt in the
1999 production of "Space Opera" and Luke Skywalker in the
Robert Bass (Mordechai) is 11 and a
6th-grader. Robert enjoys music: he plays clarinet and drums and
sings in a chorus. Robert also likes programming his computer, video
games, jumping on the trampoline, and building Legos. He was Luke
Skywalker in the 1999 production of "Space Opera" and Han
Solo in the 2000 production.
Jonathan Beit-Aharon (Chorus) enjoys doing
things with his children. Having been but a lowly shepherd in the
Middle East, he has definitely come a long way to become an invitee to
the great kings feast.
Miriam Beit-Aharon (Hegai) is a 9-year-old
home-schooler, first in her grade. Having been killed twice by
Chewbacca in last years performance of Space Opera, this year,
Miriam has acquired a more peaceful job as a eunuch. Down at the
kings gate, Miriam is a mover.
Nathan Beit-Aharon (Chorus) is a 17-year-old
High School Junior, but Esther is still his first bacchanalia. Last
year he helped choreograph the storm-troopers in David Bass
Space Opera. There being no Lord Low Priest of Persia, Nathan has no
solo. Down at the kings gate, Nathan is a Shaker.
Noah Beit-Aharon (Chorus) is a 13-year-old
home-schooler, head storm-trooper last year in Space Opera. Noah has
been celebrating for half a year in preparation for The Coronation of
Esther, and he really enjoys the kings most reginal splendor.
Phil Budne sang in the chorus in the 1999 production of Space
Opera, and appeared as Sunday-Won Kenobi in the 2000 production. When
he's not avoiding work altogether, he maintains this web site, and is
always ready to respond to David's late night calls for extra hands
Joe Cesario (Memucan): Joe is the Human Resource
Coordinator at Coolidge House Genesis Elder Care in Brookline. He is
the Music Director at Saint Peters in Malden, studies voice with
Hanni Myers of Newton, sings with and occasionally solos with the
Avenue of the Arts Chorale, Boston and Polymnia Chorale Society,
Melrose. Joe has also sung with the Brookline Chorus and Boston Lyric
Diana Dill (Chorus) is a Cambridge
psychologist. She likes to bike, garden, design interior spaces,
read, write, and sing. This is her first opera, and her first time on
stage since age 14, and it revives her childhood interest in theatre,
when she used to write plays for the neighborhood.
Evie Dill (Mehuman) is 6 1/2. She likes to
sing, play violin and song flute, read, write songs, and act. Past
roles have included Terry the Pterodactyl in Prehistoric Pork,
Nightmare Girl in Superman, Princess in The Singing Ringing Tree, and
a bouncing baby opposite Alan Alda in Its a Kids World.
Anne Dow (High Priest) is a veteran of many
years singing in oratorios and cantatas with Bostons Chorus Pro
Musica and the Cantata Singers, but had not sung opera since college.
It took her grandson Indigo to bring it about. (He has succeeded in
persuading this kindergarten art failure to join him in potting on a
wheel, too!) Other interests include folk music (she accompanies
herself on guitar and mountain dulcimer), sea kayaking, SCUBA,
cross-country skiing, travel, and food. Around the edges, she develops
multi-media programs to teach English in Asia - making as much use as
possible of music!
Indigo Dow (Bizzetha) is a 4th grader. He has
played djembe (a Senegalese drum) since he was in diapers and often
accompanies African dancing. He also plays the piano and the steel
drum. As a kindergartner, he made his singing debut at Symphony Hall
in a performance of Amistad under the baton of its composer, John
Williams. He loves attending musical theater and is excited about
getting to be on the other side of the footlights in The Coronation of
Esther. In addition to music, he likes video and computer games,
magic, snowboarding, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling - and spicy food!
Jennifer Dudley (Mehuman) is a 10 year old
home-schooler who likes to act and sing. She has 3 cats and she loves
them all. Some of her favorite activities are skiing and swimming.
Last spring she appeared as Luke Skywalker in the North Cambridge
Family Opera production of Space Opera. Her most recent shows are The
Miracle Worker and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Leilah Feinstein (Esther) enjoys theatre very
much, and when she was in 5th grade she played the role of
Scheherazade, the storyteller in Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, a
production of the Hennigan School. She is a member of the Riverside
Theatre Works company in Hyde Park, where she recently played he role
of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof and Rizzo in Grease. She is currently
working on the role of Fastrada in Pippin, to be presented in June.
She has devoted her time to dancing, her life to singing and acting,
and hopes to have her own punk-rock band sometime in the near future.
Some of her hobbies include: talking to her friends on the phone,
hanging out with her friends, and doing impersonations of Manny the
Crocodile Hunter and Ms. Swan from Mad TV. She is in 7th grade at
Boston Latin School.
Shoshana Feinstein (Vashti) is the founder of
"Impromptu Music Studios" In Providence, R.I. where she
tutors private voice and piano. An advocate of the "Bel
Canto" school, Shoshana studied voice at Boston University, The
Bel Canto Institute under the direction of Jane Bakken-Klaviter, and
received her degree in Music and Theatre from Roger Williams
University. Bostons distinguished Tenor Mr. Kaji Aso is her
vocal coach and she has performed the roles of Carmen, Violetta Madama
Butterfly and most recently Donna Anna with him. As well as
performing with The Bel Canto Opera Company of Rhode Island and The
Opera company of Boston, Shoshana performs with her original band
"Shoshanas Anam Cara" She released her first CD
"Anam Cara" available on Judith Records and has begun
production of her second CD. To find out much more about Shoshana,
please visit her web site
Chad Green (Bizzetha) is 11 and in the sixth
grade. This is Chads second North Cambridge Family Opera
performance. He made his debut in the 1999 production of "Space
Opera" as Stormtrooper #4 and Rebel #4. In his spare time, Chad
loves to play sports, read, sleep and play video games.
Sue Hall (Chorus) is the mom of Lonnie and Robert
Bass (as well as 3-year-old future star Reina Bass). David may be
king of the Bass household, but Sue is the power behind the throne.
Before her transition to stay-at-home mom, she taught math and
operations to undergrad and MBA students at Babson College. She
enjoys playing the piano and playing on the computer and was also in
the chorus in the 1999 and 2000 productions of Space Opera.
Violet Haszonics (Chorus) Violet is 8 years
old. It is Violets first time in the Opera. Violet has a big
sense of humor and is very creative. She likes to draw, read, and
build things. She wants to be an archaeologist and/or computer game
maker when she grows up. Violet takes Tae Kwon Do lessons.
Nancy Lee Johnston (Vashti) studied opera
performance at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in
Graz, Austria, and most recently coached in Vienna with Kristin
Okerlund of the Vienna State Opera. Nancy Lee has found herself drawn
to the Viennese Operetta and song and always includes them with her
concert repertoire. She has sung in Boston, California, Connecticut,
and Vermont and she has performed with the San Diego and Connecticut
Opera choruses. For her other life, Nancy Lee is the Technical Writer
for Kaplan College Online Colleges.
Ann Marie King (Monica) is very excited to
be performing as Monica in "The Coronation of Esther". She
has performed in many musical theater productions in the New England
area. Some of her favorite roles are Philia in A Funny Thing Happened
on the Way to the Forum, Miss Jones in How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Trying, and Morgan le Fey in Camelot. Other favorite
roles include Bianca in Taming of the Shrew, and Peg in Peg O My
Heart, and Valentines Day in a dinner theater production of
Holidays, Inc. In her spare time, she is also a cantor at
church, a performer in road shows, a spokesmodel, and an actor in
commercials. She would like to thank her family, friends, and
theatergoers for their support, especially her parents, brother, the
Dalys, Tim, and Steve.
Kieran Kinnare (Chorus): This is Kierans
second year with the NCFOC. Now that he is in second grade, he signs
up for 3 slices of pizza instead of just 2 after rehearsals; that is,
when he doesnt have to rush back home to Ipswich.
Nina Krane (Hegai) is 8 years old and is a 3rd
grader. She sang the role of C3-PO in her opera debut, the 2000
Family Opera production of Space Opera. Nina loves reading, classic
crooners, and funny movies. To her family and friends, Nina is
already a STAR!
Shellie Léger (Monica) is a
40-year-old single mom of three. Two of her children join her for
Coronation of Esther, Estee and Levon Schpeiser. Isobel cheers them
on from the audience. Shellie has an MSW and an MBA. Although she
has a lot more fun singing and dancing and directing, she is not ready
to leave her day job. In her first life she acted in NYC in several
productions, mostly under the Manhattan Bridge in a loft with no
heat...ah...to be young again. Greek tragedy was her favorite,
because she got to wear really cool clothes. Shellie is having a
blast singing Monica, the Persian version of trailer trash, and a
woman after her own heart - still trying to marry up.
Kathy Lindsay (High Priest): Engineer by day,
mother of two by night, Kathy is glad to have such an artistic outlet
to fill in the gaps. Tired of the paranoia involved with being a
droid, she has found religion, and where else to start but at the top!
Jeff Moore (Memucan) is a Waltham softwaresmith,
is in his third season with NCFOC. This is the first time he
wont be playing Darth Vader, and its quite an adjustment.
Hes not allowed to order King Ahashveros around, and he has to
learn to sing without a helmet. An MIT grad, Jeff has been singing
David Basss music for nearly twenty years, including the last
two years nonstop around the house; just ask his wife Kathy Lindsay or
his two daughters.
Cheryl Moreau (Chorus) performed in the 2000
production of "Space Opera" as a Storm Trooper and
participates in publicity, graphics, fund-raising, and administration
for the opera company. Her other interests include gardening, fine
cuisine, knitting, nineteenth-century literature, early music,
volunteer work for the Cambridge Friends School, camping, reading,
yoga, and taking care of Dan and Adam..
Jenny Mosely (Chorus) is a software consultant
and homemaker in Belmont. She is also an expert on origami made from
business cards. This is her first performance on a public stage in
over 30 years.
Garrett Murphy (Mordechai), age 11 is a 5th
grader in Wellesley. Hes in his fifth year with the Boston
Childrens Opera, and also has sung with Youth Pro Musica,
Revels, and the B.U. Grad. School of Opera. He "moonlights"
in musicals- most recently as Young Josh in Big at the Footlight Club.
Chace Nolen (Mehuman) is a third-grader. This
is his first performance in an opera, and not his last!
Christian Nolen (Ahashveros) has been
singing the music of David Bass since 1978. This is his first musical
theatre performance since 1975. Singing the role of King Ahashveros
has proved to him that Mel Brooks was right. Its good to be
Patrick OSullivan (Mordechai) This
twelve-year-old debuted as "Han Solo" in last years
production of "Space Opera". Patrick is a member of the
Handel and Haydn childrens chorus, Somervilles Openair
Circus, the Boy Scouts, and editor and restaurant critic for Dr.
Information, a home schooling newspaper. Patrick enjoys history,
double-diamond skiing, gourmet food, and telling his mother shes
singing off pitch.
| Mary Lou Pierron (Chorus, mother of
Timmy) is a psychologist at Somerville Mental Health Center. This is
her first performance with the Opera. Her previous theatrical credits
occurred so many years ago that they have been lost in the mists of
Timmy Pierron (Chorus) is an 8-1/2-year-old 3rd
grader. This is his first performance with the Opera although, at age
5, he was a terrific mischievous monkey in Too Many Hats.
Timmys passions include Nintendo, Pokemon, and whistling. (Ask
him for a demonstration!)
William Pike (Chorus) is a Physicist/rocket
scientist for a defense company in NH, was born in New York City,
raised in rural Maine, and currently resides in the metropolis of
Arlington. This is Williams first appearance in an opera and,
in fact, he has never seen or heard opera before (except for Bugs
Bunnys "Barber of Seville"). His current hobbies
include contra dancing, studying for Bar Mitzvah, and commuting to
Paul Raila (Memucan) is now in his third season
with NCFOC. His musical theater credits include the roles of: Obi-Wan
Kenobi in Space Opera, Matt in the Fantastiks, and the Barber in Man
of LaMancha. He has sung in the Chorus for productions of Pirates of
Penzance, Trial by Jury, and Camelot. He currently sings with the
Cambridge Community Chorus (mixed voice chorus), and in his distant
guilty past also sang with the MIT Logarhythms (mens a cappella
ensemble). When not dispensing questionable advice to biblical Kings
he provides first rate advice for the development of New Media
technologies and applications.
Chris Reif (Monica): Chris is not new to
disappointment. She has been snubbed by some of the best, including
"Slick Willy" Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Stephen Stills, Jeff
Bridges and Mel Gibson. Says Chris, "Well, I guess Ill
have to make due with my husband (Tom Kinnare, stage crew)."
Chris is also not new to the NCFOC, having given a startlingly
life-like performance as a Stormtrooper in last years production
of Space Opera. She attributes her success in the earlier role to her
many years of motherhood and project management.
David Sandberg (Ahashveros) has been performing
light opera and other musical theater since high school, including
playing the Major General in a Hebrew production of the Pirates of
Penzance. He is the unofficial cantor of Temple Beth Shalom on
Tremont Street in Cambridge. During the week, he is the in-house
counsel of a Cambridge software company and is also half-way through
his courses for a PhD in English literature.
| Ilana Sandberg (Chorus) will be seven
years old in May. She likes gymnastics, swimming and ice-skating.
She enjoys playing with her cats, dog and mouse. She also likes her
little sister Lilly, who wishes she were old enough to be in the show.
Estee Schpeiser (Chorus) is an 8-year-old third
grader. She loves acting and singing, though her first love is
writing, and she hopes to both write and illustrate books about
animals when she grows up, in addition to being a veterinarian and a
Levon Schpeiser is a 12-year-old sixth grader.
He loves vintage rock and roll, Napster, Baldurs Gate II, and
the comedy studio at the Hong Kong in Harvard Square. Hes a
great DJ and wants to go to Stanford when he grows up to study law.
Tarsha Stacke, MS Ed. (Chorus) has a budding
complementary Healing Arts Practice called Stepping Stones and a cozy
Bed and Breakfast called Patchwork Quilt. She is a practitioner of the
following modalities: movement, tai chi and chi kung - bodywork,
shiatsu and reflexology - herbal remedies, homeopathy and education, a
teacher of young children with special needs. She is a part-time
faculty member of the Waldorf School in Lexington and the Boston
Shiatsu School in Cambridge. Encouraged to take up singing by her
teacher Nancy Johnston, this is Tarshas first singing endeavour.
Kathryn Van Eck (Vashti) is excited to make her
debut with NCFO. Originally from the Chicago area, she recently
graduated from Indiana University School of Music with a Bachelor's
Degree in Voice Performance. She has sung many roles; a few of which
are Sorella Ingirmiera in Puccini's Suor Angelica, Julie in Showboat,
and the Matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof. Specializing in
contemporary music, she has been chose to sing the work premiers of
pieces by Alexander de Varon, Lincoln Hanks, Jason Bahr, Molly Klein,
and Donald Freund, the chairman of the composition department at IU.
In addition to contemporary music, her oratorio experience includes
soloing with the University Singers in their performance of the
Messiah and the "Wachet Auf" cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, under
the baton of Dr. Jan Harrington, performances of "The Last Seven
Words" by Thomas Dubois and "King David" by Arthur Honehher. M.s Van
Each singes with the Boston Coro di Camera at 1st and 2nd Universalist
Chana-Sophie Vester (Chorus) was born in
Freiburg, Germany in September 1994. At age 2 she returned to the
United States with her mother, Devorah. Since 1997, Chana-Sophie and
Devorah have been living in Cambridge and Arlington. Chana-Sophie is
a lover of the arts: music, dance and, especially, all creative crafts
such as painting, drawing, ceramics and constructive design.
Chana-Sophie also has a passion for literature and animals, above all,
cats and horses. She is an active member of the Tremont Street Shul in
Cambridge and is currently in the first grade at Moimonides in
Jodi Waldron (Chorus) has received a B.S. degree
in Human Resourcs Management fom U.Mass. She likes singing as a hobby
(a stress reliever) and studies voice with Barbara Morash (Stoneham)
and Linda Papatopoli (Somerville). She has most recently sung with
North Reading Community Chorale, North Regional Theatre Workshop, and
Polymnia Chorale Society of Melrose. She was a member in the
productions of "Carousel" and "Ben Franklin in Paris" presented by
Wakefield Repertory Theatre. She is enjoying being a part of North
Cambridge Family Opera.
Frank Walker (High Priest) currently resides in
Watertown. Mr. Walker attended the New England and Boston
Conservatories of Music. He has appeared with the Boston Lyric Opera,
Longwood Opera, and the Opera Company of Boston. He was Darth Vader in
last years production of Space Opera.
Martha Wechsler (Chorus) is a 9 year old
student in 3rd grade. She is learning to play the cello, and she likes
to draw and visit art museums..
Adam Weinreb (Bizzetha) is a 9-year old
3rd-grader. He and Lonnie encouraged their friends to join the opera
company. He performed in the 2000 production of Space Opera as a Jawa
and a Storm Trooper. He also appreciates the music of The Beatles,
Eiffel 65, and Blue Man Group. He likes reptiles, Legos, computer
games, and anything from Australia.
Dan Weinreb (Chorus) performed in the 2000
production of Space Opera as General Dodonna, a Storm Trooper, a
Rebel, and an Alien. His other interests include object-oriented
databases and other computer software, kites, reading, progressive
rock, Cheryl, and Adam.
Martha Wechsler (Chorus) is a 9-year old
student in 3rd grade.. She is learning to play the cello, and she like
to draw and visit art museums..
Cindy Woolworth (Chorus) is an artistic
Lexington matron whose previous singing credits include the New Jersey
All-State Chorus, the Chorallaries of MIT, and two seasons of Space
Opera. Her other interests include parenting Charlotte and Harry Ames,
spending time with Mike Ames, software testing, costumery, gardening,
photography, sky events...and playing.