DIRECTOR, CONDUCTOR, COMPOSER, & LIBRETTISTS

Gabriel Oliva, Director

Gabriel Oliva is a professional actor/singer/director/producer. Having been raised by two accomplished opera singers, he became very familiar with the arts, particularly music and theatre. After performing in various professional operas and plays during his childhood, Gabriel attended the University of Southern California where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. He then quickly became a member of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland, where he sings barbershop music to this day. In addition to singing, he is a lead actor in East L.A. Classic Theatre’s (ECT) touring productions of Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Ugly Betty’s Tony Plana. Gabriel also produced and acted in the original musical “Invasion: The Musical” which won two LA Weekly awards in 2008. Gabriel has directed several productions in the Los Angeles area, most notably: Burn This, Arcadia, and most recently a workshop production of the original play Violetta Dying at the Village Gate Theatre. He is incredibly excited to be at the helm of directing Luisa Fernanda, and is eager to present a wonderful production at such a beautiful theatre as the Ricardo Montalban.

Damián Berdakín, Conductor / Musical Director

A native of Cordoba Argentina, Damián Berdakín began his love of music at a young age. Damian’s first professional position was at age 20 with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Córdoba as a Contrabass player. In 2002 Damián received sponsorship to study at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge Massachusetts. Continuing his education, in 2006 he moved to Los Angeles to study at the California Institute of the Arts where he received his MFA in Orchestra Conducting. While at CalArts Damián had the opportunity to lead the CalArts Chamber Orchestra in concerts and rehearsals. Damian is assistant conductor with The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestras, The Santa Cecilia Orchestra and is an Artist Teacher for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


Federico Moreno Torroba, Composer

Federico Moreno Torroba is one of the most important composers of Spanish zarzuela. He was born in Madrid, Spain on March 3, 1891 into a family of musicians. His father was a famous organist in Madrid. Moreno Torroba became an exceptional student of the Spanish nationalistic composer, Felipe Pedrell, under whose guidance he learned to com­pose zarzuelas and guitar pieces. Moreno Torroba composed many zarzuelas; the most famous of which is Luisa Fernanda. Moreno Torroba was also a conductor, and created a touring company, which brought zarzuela to the United States and Central America during the1930s and 1940s. Among the singers who worked in Moreno Torroba's touring company were the parents of world famous singer, Placido Domingo. After a long and successful career as a com­poser and conductor, Federico Moreno Torroba died in September 1982.

Federico Romero & Guillermo Fernandez Shaw, Librettists

A libretto is the story of a zarzuela or opera, and Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernandez Shaw joined together to write over 70 libretti. While the two would sometimes base their libretti on existing plays (often changing character names and sections of the stories) they generally wrote original texts that were based on Spanish themes. Romero and Fernandez Shaw wrote the libretti to most of the famous zarzuelas of the 20th Century, including Luisa Fernanda. Romero and Fernandez Shaw represent the most important collaboration of librettist in the history of zarzuela.

 
CAST
 

TERESA HUGHES-OLIVA (Luisa Fernanda)

Teresa began her musical studies as a small child singing in choruses and plying the flute. She began formal vocal training at 18 while pursuing a degree in foreign languages. She won a scholarship through the University of California to study in Madrid and while there joined the National Chorus and Symphony and did five years of graduate work at the Superior School of Voice in Madrid.  She had the great fortune to participate professionally with some of the greatest singers of our time during her stay in Europe. Under the baton of Fruebeck de Burgos, she starred in a world premier and recording of the "Atlantida" in Madrid and in Granada. After returning to the U.S she studied with the U.S.C. Opera and privately.  She has much experience in opera, oratorio, recital concert and musical theatre. Recent performances include Maddalena in Verdi's Rigoletto  in Argentina, Rosina from the Barber of Seville and concerts in the San Diego area as well as Mexico.

 

GABRIELA CROWE (Luisa Fernanda)

Gabriela Crowe hijo de padre Ecuatoriano y madre Mexicana, nacio en Los Angeles.  Cuando fue para Nueva York, ella tuvo la suerte de poder cantar en el escenario de Carnegie Hall, y ahi fue donde decidio dedicarse al canto.  Gabriela fue a la Universidad de Santa Barbara y tambien estudio en Venezia, Italia. Aunque se ha preparado en musica clasica, tambien tiene aptitud para cantar otros generos de musica, de las cuales ha grabado en un disco de Gospel en un estudio en Italia, aqui en los EU ella canto en un CD de reggae en ingles y tambien en el 2005 fue cantante de Rudy Regalado y su grupo de salsa, Chevere.  En el escenario como actriz, la han visto en el Patronato del Teatro Club Cubano, en obras como "Un Lila Muy Suave," "Homenaje a Tres Patines," "Una noche en su casa senora," y interpretando la protagonista en "La Tercera Palabra."  En la Fundacion de Artes Bilingues (osea BFA) ha participado en "Introducion a la Zarzuela,"  "Solamente una Vez," (obra sobre la vida de Agustin Lara), tambien la han visto como la "abuelita," en la obra navide–a de "Too Many Tamales" y tambien interpreto la protagonista en la Zarzuela cubana "Maria La O," y en la Zarzuela espa–ola.

 

RENÉE RULON CORTEZ (Carolina)

The 2010 winner of the American Institute of Fine Arts Award, the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, and the American Liszt Society Award, soprano Renée Rulon Cortez’s recent engagements include singing Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Intimate Opera at the Pasadena Playhouse, Isabel in Cecilia Valdés with the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, and performing in the workshop of Ken Roht’s commission of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker with Center Theatre Group. In Spring 2010 she was featured in a national story on NBC Nightly News - Making a Difference. In coming months she will give recitals in honor of the bicentennial of Franz Liszt for the Hungarian Consulate in New York, and the American Institute of Fine Arts in Los Angeles; and she will sing opera and oratorio arias in concert with the Orange County Symphony the and the Orange County Wind Symphony. In 2009 she sang the role of Carolina conducted by the son of the composer, Federico Moreno Torroba Larregla, and recorded the role of Bildad in the new opera Job's Truth by Darius Holbert.

 

EDNA CEBALLOS (Carolina)

Edna Ceballos is a lyric soprano from Los Angeles, Ca. She is a graduate from the USC Thornton School of Music and currently holds a private vocal studio. She made her Zarzuela debut in 2007 as “La Nina Tula” in Lecuona’s Maria la O at The Alex Theatre. Ms. Ceballos has performed leading roles in Operas such as The Hand of Bridge, and The Beggar’s Opera and has been referred to as “The Voice of Fine Velvet” from La Opinion. She has trained with accomplished musicians from around the world and regularly performs in concerts and recitals throughout California. In addition she is a winner of the vocal scholarship competition from the Opera Reading Club of Hollywood, the Phi Beta Chapter Award, and also the USC Mexican American (TELACU) Arts Scholarship Award. Currently, Edna is anticipating the debut of her classical album “Edna Ceballos: Opera and Art Song”, which will feature some of the most beautiful vocal repertoire from various popular classical composers. It debuts this February of 2010. Go to www.ednaceballos.com
 

VINCENTE SOLBES (Javier)

Born in Alicante, Spain, Vicente became interested in music at the age of 9, beginning his formal musical education immediately. Graduated from the “Conservatorio Superior de Musica Oscar Spla” in Alicante, Spain, in the specialty of piano at age 18.
He began his formal vocal training in the mid eighties. Vicente has performed in numerous occasions throughout the Bay area in concerts and opera productions.
Some of the roles that he has performed are, the “Duke “ in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in “La Boheme” Pinkerton in “Madama Battherfly” the latter directed by Madam Licia Albanese.  He has recently auditioned for the renowned conductor Marco Armilliato and was very positively received.  He was hired by San Jose opera in California to performed the role of Canio in the opera Pagliaci.

 

RAFFI KERBABIAN (Javier)

Born and raised in Lebanon, Raffi began his musical studies as a teenager singing in the choir of the local church, and participating in inter-scholastic competitions and garnering several awards, learning classical guitar at the same time. After relocating to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1979, Raffi took private voice lessons and attended Teatro Colon’s musical programs and introductory workshops, where he later auditioned and was admitted for operatic chorus performances. In the United States, Raffi has been involved in the musical program of the United Armenian Congregational Church, where he has been performing as a section leader and tenor soloist. On occasion, Raffi has also been involved in the productions of "Lark Musical Society" of Glendale since 1996, under the direction of Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian. Some of his choral and solo performance credits include oratorios such as Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and others.
Raffi currently studies voice with renowned soprano and voice teacher Elisabeth Pehlivanian.
This will be his debut in a Zarzuela production.

 

CARLOS OLIVA (Don Vidal)

Carlos Oliva, a Spanish national attended the Superior School of voice in Madrid before he began private vocal study with tenor Juan Oncina in Barcelona and posteriorly with Gualtiero Negrini in Los Andeles.. He performed for two years as a member of the Spanish National Synphonic Orchestra and Chorus before moving to the U.S.A.. Here, he has performed throughout Southern California and Northern Mexico, appearing in Faust with the Opera Comique and in Cosi Fan Tutte with Pacific Opera Theater, both in Los Angeles. Mr. Oliva other credicts include his role as Count Almaviva in Mozatr’s La Nozze di Figaro with Pacific Chamber Opera in San Diego, an La Tabernera del Puerto, a Spanish operetta performed with University of San Diego. With Bel Canto Opera he has performed La Boheme, Pagliaci, Cavalleria Rusticana and Ballo in Maschera. With Opera Pacific he was the male lead in the world premier of El Camino de Fe by Hector Armienta. In the last three years he has been invited to sing in Constanza Opera of Rumania where he has performed Il Trovatore, La traviata, Rigoletto and Un ballo in Maschera.

 

BERNARDO BERMUDEZ (Don Vidal)

Latin American Baritone Bernardo Bermudez, raised in Venezuelan, has been involved with music throughout his life, starting his musical education at the age of seven at The Conservatory of Music in Caracas Venezuela.  After relocating  to the United States at the age of twelve, he continued his musical education, and as a child participated in musical theatre productions of The Music Man, Oklahoma, and The Beauty and the Beast. During his professional career, he has performed all over the United States as a guest artist in many musical events and concerts.  Opera productions experience include, Tannhåuser, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, and Aida for San Diego Opera.  Roles include “Aeneas” from Dido & Aeneas, and “Gianni Schicchi” from Gianni Schicchi. for CSU Summer Arts.  Awards and Achievement include 1st place in NATS LA 2009 singing competition.

 

JOHANNA SIEGMANN (Mariana)

Johanna is a 30-year theater veteran, appearing in over 30 stage productions, both in the US and abroad.  Her love affair with the boards commenced at age 5 in a tiny town in the north of Mexico where she did the twist.  Highlights of her career include Play it Again, Sam, and Follies in Mexico City; Crime on Goat Island, Open Couple, Very Open, in New York; and Cross in the Mirror, Is it Hot In Here or Is It Me?, and La Chunga in Los Angeles.  She has appeared in everything from the classic (Euripides’s The Frogs) to the absurd (Saroyin’s Anybody Plus Anybody Else), enjoying drama as much as comedy, and has originated numerous roles in original productions.  In addition, she is a published author, a playwright, and a director (Oye Juana, a Spanish-language comedy pilot, The Fence, a political satire, and four yet-to-be-produced plays).  Her book, The Tao of Tango (www.TaoOfTango.com), is a philosophical look at life’s lessons through her experiences as a Tango dancer.

Johanna is delighted to be rejoined with Gualtiero and Racquel, and a truly terrific cast and is currently seeking representation.

 

MARCELA PAN (Mariana)

Marcela Pan is a native of Argentina and has performed in the most preeminent theaters in her homeland, including the Colon Opera House, Teatro San Martin, Centro Experimental de Opera del Teatro Colon and Teatro Argentino de La Plata among others. Her roles have included Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, Cherubino in The marriage of Figaro, Ottavia in The Coronation of Poppea, and Rosina in Barber of Seville. She has also appeared regularly in recitals and has sung in numerous oratorios in her country and abroad. Ms Pan has sung under conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta and Helmut Rilling. In recognition of her talents, Ms Pan was granted a scholarship by the Colon Opera House Foundation to specialize in Baroque Opera and was also awarded Special Prize of the Jury at the Athens Singing competition. She holds a Master’s in Musicology specialized in Performance Practice. She is also a Gluck Fellow and an Artsbridge Scholar. Ms Pan has performed as a guest singer with the UCR orchestra in de Falla’s El AmorBrujo and the Siete Canciones EspanÞolas, with the LA Camerata in Haydn’s Paukenmasse, Mozart’s Requiem and Vivaldi's Stabat Mater, with the All Saints Episcopal Church chorus Handel’s Messiah, and has appeared in solo recitals for different institutions. In the United States, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Disney Hall, as well as the Redlands Bowl Summer Festival.. Among her future engagements, Ms Pan has scheduled performances in London, Mexico and Buenos Aires. She will soon be featured by the Westwood Symphony performing excerpts from Orfeo ed Euridice. In February of 2010 she will perform the role of Mariana in Moreno Torroba's Luisa Fernanda and in September of the same year she will perform the role of Laura in Ponchielli's La Gioconda in Los Angeles.

 

RUBEN RABASA (Don Florito)

Ruben Rabasa participated in sixty-four theatrical performances and over thirty-five films.  One of his most recent film credits is “The Lost City”, directed by Andy Garcia.  Ruben has also worked in television and performed everything from stand-up comedy to singing and dancing in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.  Ruben is one of the founders of several organizations that have created many jobs for Hispanic artists, including the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA), the Cuban Cultural Center and the New York Theatre of the Americas.  They have been able to expose audiences to the wide range of Spanish cultures in the United States through performances of numerous plays from different South American countries.  In Miami, Ruben starred in the critically acclaimed film “Amigos”, performed in thirty-nine episodes of “Corte Tropical” for Univision and was the voice of seventy-nine episodes of USA’s “Duckman” for Spanish audiences.  In Los Angeles, Ruben made many kids laugh on Nickelodeon’s “Taina” as Papito, and he performed in various plays including “Abuelo’s Legacy”, “Spaghetti”, and “Apple Pie” and “In Search of Me”.

 

ARMANDO ORTEGA (Nogales)

COMING SOON.

 

GABRIEL OLIVA (Anibal)

Gabriel Oliva is a professional actor/singer/director/producer. Having been raised by two accomplished opera singers, he became very familiar with the arts, particularly music and theatre. After performing in various professional operas and plays during his childhood, Gabriel attended the University of Southern California where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. He then quickly became a member of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland, where he sings barbershop music to this day. In addition to singing, he is a lead actor in East L.A. Classic Theatre’s (ECT) touring productions of Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Ugly Betty’s Tony Plana. Gabriel also produced and acted in the original musical “Invasion: The Musical” which won two LA Weekly awards in 2008. Gabriel has directed several productions in the Los Angeles area, most notably: Burn This, Arcadia, and most recently a workshop production of the original play Violetta Dying at the Village Gate Theatre. He is incredibly excited to be at the helm of directing Luisa Fernanda, and is eager to present a wonderful production at such a beautiful theatre as the Ricardo Montalban.

 

KIKO MAHECHA RATHORE (Nogales and Don Floro)

Kiko Mahecha Rathore is a poet, actor and flamenco singer born in Coria del Río, Spain. From his ancestry (Gypsies from Andalucía and Rajputs from India) he inherited a natural disposition towards the fine arts and literature. His credits include “Blood Wedding”, “The Last Adventure of Don Quijote”, “Don Mendo’s Revenge”, “Introduction to the Zarzuela”,”Zarzuelas Under The Stars” at the Ricardo Montalbán Theater, “Don Quixote, the Last Adventure”, “Salon Mexico” with Mexican actress Meche Carreño, “You Belong To My Heart: Agustin Lara” with a resounding success at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood, all these productions with BFA. He also played Diego Rivera in the musical “Viva la Vida: Frida Kahlo”, with Provost and Mesquite Productions. He sang for the soundtrack of the internationally awarded movie “No Turning Back”, which won the Audience’s Award at the 2001 International film Festival in Málaga, Spain. His most recent and successful appearances were at “Yerma” , “A Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda”, “The Bird Cage”. In this hilarious play heperformed an Andalucian and provocative version of Agador, the central American butler.  Mr. Mahecha is the flamenco singer in the CD “A gypsy’s tale” which can be obtained in the internet under Ted Owens and/or “Gypsy’s tale”. He recorded with his personal style a version of “Bamboleo” for the world tour of Holiday On Ice.

 

EDWARD PADILLA (Saboyano / Chorus)

Edward Padilla (Saboyano / Chorus) has performed extensively throughout Los Angeles with Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, Grupo de Teatro Sinergia, Ethical Arts Company, and with Blank Theatre Company in the smash hit production of Michael John LaChuisa's Wild Party.  He was in the workshop productions of two stage musicals Sister Act (Pasadena Playhouse) and Zorro (LA, SF, NY - Zorro Productions).  He graduated with honors from the USC School of Theatre where he received his BA in 2005 and the David Dukes Scholarship for Acting in 2004.  Film and TV credits include roles in Spider-Man 3, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and appearances on Dirt (FX), The Shield (FX), Bones (FOX), Windfall (NBC), King of Queens (CBS), Drew Carey Show (ABC), and more.  He is Artistic Director for Casa 0101 Theater, teaches and coaches Acting everywhere, and has directed numerous productions in Los Angeles and San Diego.

 

ELIEZER ORTIZ (Bizco)

Eliezer Ortiz received his BA in Theater from the University of Puerto Rico and a MFA in Acting from UCLA; at UCLA he trained with Sir Anthony Hopkins, Mel Shapiro, Gil Gates, Ellen Geer, etc. He also trained with the Moscow Art Theater School at Harvard University and BADA at Oxford University. His most important Theater credits including The Angel Project at Lincoln Center under the direction of Deborah Warner, The Gas Heart and Act without Words II at the Geffen Playhouse,The Air over Omaha and The Will of the World’s Way at Highways Performance Space as part of the Susan Lorry Parks 365 Festival, Pleasant Ave at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Tell Me A Story Papi at the Spanish Repertory Theater, etc. Other theater credits including; Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Green Bird, Krapp’s Last Tape, Greenly High, Electra, A Grand Guignol Cabaret and (dub) zeck. In his native Puerto Rico he performed in over 16 plays. He has appeared in several films like Chapter 21, Shady Lane, The Knowing of Ali, Limmikin Ranch, Archive of Horror, The Last Transformation of Francisco, 2042, Debbie and Desdi, Kwame, Level 7, Wardog, Morbid a Love Story, The Box, Brothers in Blood, Just Another Homicide, Circumstances, Benazir Bhutto Project and Finding God in the City of Angels. He won the Best Actor Award in the LA 48 Hours Film Project Festival for the film 2042. He has been honor with the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and with the UCLA Jack Okie “It’s All in Fun Award” for Excellence in Acting. Luis Fernanda is Mr. Ortiz zarzuela debut.

 

LAURA MARSHALL (Rosita / Chorus)

Laura K. Marshall (Rosita, Chorus) Born in New York City, Laura has been actively engaged in all aspects of music and theatre performance as long as she can remember.  This past fall, Laura relocated to Los Angeles from Boston where she completed her Undergraduate and Masters degrees in Vocal Performance and Early Music, respectively, and has delighted in her first winter without shoveling snow. She has sung principal Opera and Musical Theatre roles with companies and festivals around the U.S. as well as many Lieder, Oratorio and New Music concerts in the U.S. and abroad. Laura is grateful to be making her Los Angeles and Zarzuela debuts with Luisa Fernanda and looks forward to more wonderful work in this beautiful city.

 

BLANCHE RAMIREZ (Vendedora / Chorus)

Since graduating from UCLA, Blanche Ramirez, a soprano, has performed in several theatrical, musical and operatic productions in the United States and Europe - including Hansel and Gretel, Jesus Christ Superstar, Working, Chekhov Mania, The Body Washer, HMS Pinafore, Julius Ceasar, The Mikado, The Magic Flute, La Boheme, Gaveston, Favourite of the King, The Rimers of Eldritch, Henry IV part 1 and The Pirates of Penzance. Ms Ramirez has had the pleasure of performing in concerts with the California Philharmonic as well as British rocker Billy Bragg. She can also be heard on the original cast recording of the cult hit, Lilith – The Rock Opera. Ms Ramirez is happy to be making her debut with the Pacific Lyric Association.

 

JUVENTINO ZAPATA (Vendedor, Chorus)

Tenor Juventino Zapata is a frequent performer with many of the local opera companies around town. A former baritone, Juventino is now starting to perform some of the standard tenor operatic roles. These include Tamino in Die Zauberflote, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni,  and Alfredo in La Traviata. Other roles include Pong in Turandot and Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors.

 

REBA LAWLESS BERDAKIN (Chorus)

A native of Portland Oregon, Reba Lawless Berdakín began her love of music as a child.

In 1999 she moved to Boston Massachusetts to pursue music. While studying vocal performance at the Longy School Music and at the Berklee College of Music, Reba performed in chamber ensembles, staged performances, special events, churches and conducted children's choirs throughout her training in Boston. Additionally, Reba is a professional chef, having honed her craft in cooking at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.

In 2006 Reba moved to Los Angeles where she currently teaches culinary arts classes and sings in local venues.

 

 

MARIA CEBALLOS (Chorus)

Soprano Maria G. Ceballos, born in Mexico City, now resides in Los Angeles.  Her greatest influence in the arts was her mother, who when residing in Mexico, would take Maria to see countless productions of Zarzuelas, Operas, and Plays throughout the city. In the United States, Ms Ceballos became involved in singing and commercial acting; she also developed a private entertainment business where she sang in various private gatherings singing different genres of music. She has been a member of various Church choirs as a leading soprano. This will be her debut in a Zarzuela production.

 

 

BRADLEY CHAPMAN (Chorus, Tenor)

Bradley Chapman is a newlywed of just one year, and a natural tenor. He has been singing and harmonizing since the age of three, when it was discovered that he had perfect pitch. His formal training began with piano lessons at the age of five; since junior high school, he has since concentrated on his voice.

Following many madrigal honor choirs in high school, he studied at Brigham Young University and sang with the BYU Men's Chorus for two years. He returned to Los Angeles, to pursue a degree in Digital Media Arts and Audio Recording.  Bradley lives in Pasadena and is employed full time as a Computer Systems Administrator for a 90-person creative studio in Hollywood.

 

 

ALDO PUCCINI (Chorus)

Aldo J. Puccini (Ensemble) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, where he studied Performing Arts. In March 2007, he was awarded 1st place in the adult musical theatre category for NATS (National Association of the Teachers of Singing). Last fall he debuted as a lead in the Los Angeles produtcion of Junk: A Rock Opera, which will be going to New York next spring for its first Broadway staged reading. Aldo is honored and thirlled to be a part of Luisa Fernanda, his first classical piece!

 

ASHLEY STANBURY (Chorus)

Ashley Stanbury is currently earning her B.M. in Vocal Performance at The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University of Long Beach. She is studying voice with Shigemi Matsumoto and is a member of the Classical Singers Association. This last fall Ashley sang Tisbe from La Cenerentola with the Opera Institute on campus, and this spring she will be in the opera chorus for La Clemenza di Tito.

 
PRODUCTION TEAM

Jef Olson (Producer Assistant)

Jef Olson’s career has encompassed virtually every aspect of the performing arts: Actor, Director, Producer, Playwright, Author, Teacher, and set and costume design and execution. ACTOR: Olson earned a B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and did graduate work at Northwestern, Evanston Illinois. As a member of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Co. and the Chicago Shakespeare Co. he performed many of THE BARDS great roles including Hamlet, Petruchio, Cassius in Julius Caesar, Benedict (Much Ado), Leontes (Winter’s Tale) among others. He was also lauded for his more modern theatrical characterizations, especially Sherlock Holmes, a role he performed in five separate productions and which the Kansas City Star called “perfect in every detail”. DIRECTOR: Olson has directed numerous plays and is known for his creative adaptation, such as his Mafia inspired TAMING OF THE SHREW. He has also directed opera and radio drama. PRODUCER: Jef has produced many of the productions he starred in or directed. He is the founder of West Coast Radio Theatre (WCRT) – a group of actors dedicated to keeping radio drama alive. Called “California’s premiere radio troupe” by the Entertainment Roundup- Olson adapted the majority of the scripts as well as writing original material for the company. TEACHER: Mr. Olson has taught acting on the college level and was the teacher of the most advanced level of film acting offered at the Actor’s Studio, San Diego Ca. He is the creator of TRANCEACTING, a method of actor training utilizing self-hypnosis (Olson is a certified Hypnotherapist) which has been called the most revolutionary and effective actor training program since “The Method” and Stanislavski. In the past few years Jef Olson has turned to music, quickly becoming a well known church soloist, and a popular interpreter of Neapolitan Songs and Opera arias, especially in San Diego’s Little Italy, where he is known to many as simply “Jeferino” and “The Blonde Boccelli”. Olson served on the La Jolla guild of the san diego opera 1999. He has been on the board of Torrey Pines Theatre 1996-present.

Joel Daavid (Set Designer)

Native Texan / LA resident since 1993. Joel has become an award-winning set designer since attending AFI where he was nominated for the Kodak Scholarship in Cinematography & received the Blum-Kovler Scholarship. His career accomplishments include shooting commercials, feature & short films as well as stage directing and set design. Joel's most notable awards include the Ovation, LA Weekly, NAACP and LADCC Theater Awards. He was awarded the LADCC Career Achievement Award in 2007.  Joel has directed opera, musical theater and a local production of the ballet “The Nutcracker”.  He is proud to be directing the talented group of actors and artists for the production of “The Miracle Worker”.

Sharell Martin (Costume Designer)

Brings her design experience to Luisa Fernanda from the distinct pleasure in Designing for Production Companies/Stages like Theatre Planners, Signature Productions, Limon/Carr, Crazy Pup, ABC, AFI, Mad Dog, Turning Leaf, FCLO, South Bay, MTW, Moonlight Stage Productions, Visualliner, Brooklyn Reptyle Films, Juber Productions.  For those she has designed costumes from concept to fabric and finally to the actor for JEKYLL & HYDE (West Coast Premiere) PILGRIM (World Premiere) MY FAIR LADY (National Tour) AIDA & BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Touring shows) THE MELODY LINGERS ON (Premiere w/ Katherine Crosby)! BARK (Chicago) THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES (West Coast Premiere) DOLLYWOOD (World Premiere) PROVE IT ON ME (World Premiere) THE NEXT BIG THING (World Premiere) IT’S THE HOUSEWIVES (World Premiere) And just finished with “SILK STOCKINGS” with Stuart Ross.  Included in there are several films, which can be seen at www.sharellmartin.biz

Lindsay Martin (Choreographer)

Lindsay is honored to part of this beautiful production. Regional Choreography credits; A Muholland Christmas Carol, Sona Tera Roman Hess (Critic's Pick), Urinetown! (Garland nomination), A Night on Broadway; A Musical Revue, Stepping Out, Company, Footloose, A Chorus Line, The Music Man.  Once Upon A Mattress, Oklahoma and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She also Choreographed a Journey tribute show at the O.C. Pavilion last year. Performance credits; Seussical, The Musical!, Pazzazz!, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Annie Get Your Gun, Jekyll & Hyde, Children of Eden and A Chorus Line. Lindsay teaches dance at SCHACA (Southern California's Homeschool Academy for the Creative Arts) as well as R.I.C.A. dance fusion in Santa Fe Springs. You can watch her ongoing project on you tube entitled Backstreet Musical. www.lindsaysaramartin.com

Angelica Estevez (Production Stage Manager)

Angelica Estevez (Production Stage Manager) was born and raised in the sizzling city of Miami, FL. As a kid, she would go to Spanish theatre with her parents. Angelica was captivated by the magic of each production, secretly wishing that she could be part of it. Well, her wish came true when she was hired as the stage manager for Luisa Fernanda. It has been a wonderful experience from the beginning. She would like to thank the super-talented cast and crew for all their hard work on this production that she is proud to be part of. Angelica dedicates these shows to her mom and dad who have always believed in her, and knew that she would make her dreams come true. Mil gracias Mami y Papi. Siempre estan en mi corazon.

 
Website Designed and Maintained by: Ben Giroux Design
Get Started at www.BenGirouxDesign.com