Biographies

Camille Assaf (costume designer) is a New York based designer whose opera credits include: Fidelio (Santa Fe Opera, upcoming), Cosi fan tutte (Met Lindemann/Juilliard Opera), Don Giovanni (Juilliard Opera), all directed by Stephen Wadsworth, Elmer Gantry (Florentine Opera), A Midsummer Night's dream, The Curious Women (Wolftrap Opera), Cosi Fan Tutte (Stony brook University). She has also designed costumes for many regional theaters including Syracuse Stage, Yale Repertory Theater, Playmakers' Rep, Two River theater, Asolo Rep, Shakespeare on the Sound, and in New York: Mint theater, Joyce theater, New York City Ballet, Park Avenue Armory, Guggenheim museum. In addition, she made design contributions to the Beijing Olympicopening ceremony.

Guillaume Bernardi (stage director) is a director, dramaturg and teacher based in Toronto. His directorial work covers a wide range of genres, from theater and opera to movement pieces. Recent directorial projects include the staging of La Giuditta, a Baroque Oratorio, for the Frankfurt Oper and two different productions of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for the Frankfurt Oper and the Canadian Opera Company.  Bernardi has collaborated with several important early music groups, such as the Yale Baroque Opera Project and Stephen Stubbs’ Pacific Musicworks. In Toronto he has worked with the Toronto Consort, the Toronto Continuo Collective and I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble. Bernardi’s strong connection with opera and dance was established from 1996 to 2000, when he collaborated with American choreographer Trisha Brown on her opera projects, including the highly-acclaimed 1998 production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, conducted by René Jacobs. With Jacobs, Bernardi directed semi-staged production of Handel’s Belshazzar  and Saul with Andreas Scholl. He regularly conducts workshops on the declamation and delivery of Italian Baroque librettos, in particular on the operas of Francesco Cavalli, as he did at Stony Brook University for their production of Eliogabalo. Bernardi holds a doctorate from the Paris-Sorbonne University. He teaches in the Drama Studies Programme at Glendon College, the bilingual faculty of York University

Ien DeNio (video designer) is a freelance technical theater artist working in and around New York City.  Her particular loves are Sound Design and Puppet Making, and she is resident sound designer for Godlight Theater Company, Going to Tahiti Productions, and Puppet Cinema.  This is her first production here at Stony Brook, and she is grateful to Maruti, Guillaume, and David for bringing her on and for all of their support.  [Neverbugs... Littles Ones.]

Maruti Evans (set and lighting designer) has been nominated for Drama Desk Awards in Outstanding Lighting Design in 2007, 2008, and 2009 for the 59E59 productions: In the Heat of the Night, Slaughterhouse 5, and Blindness. He has also been nominated for Audelco Awards for Best Lighting and Set Design Relativity with Ensemble Studio Theater, Audelco Awards for Best Lighting and Set Design Noon Day Sun with Diverse City Theater, and Winner Best in Design First Irish Theater Festival. His work includes An Oresteia (Classic Stage Co), Room 17b by Parallel Exits -nominated Unique Theatrical experience Drama desk 2011-( Lincoln Center and tour), Exit Stage Left  by Parallel Exits (Lincoln Center and tour), Mouth Wide Open American Repertory Theater, Alice vs. Wonderland (American Repertory Theatre), Nutcracker Turbo (Moscow Art Theater and American Repertory Theatre),  On the Way to Timbuktu (Ensemble Studio Theater), The Traveling Lady (Ensemble Studio Theater, OBIE Award for Best Revival), In Paradise (Cherry Lane Theater/INTAR Theater), Mother Gun (Lincoln Center), Excelsior (Lincoln Center), Tumor (Lincoln Center ), Siddhartha (New World Stages), Tosca (Opera Colorado), Turn of the Screw (Stony Brook Opera), Le Nozze Di Figaro (Stony Brook Opera + Miami Opera), L’ Orfeo (Stony Brook Opera), Greek (Stony Brook Opera), The Boor and The Scarf (Stony Brook Opera), and others.

Arthur Haas (conductor) is one of the most sought-after performers and teachers of Baroque music in the U.S. today. Mr. Haas was awarded the top prize in the Paris International Harpsichord Competition in 1975, and then lived for a number of years in France, performing in many of the major European early music festivals and teaching at the Ecole Nationale de Musique in Angoulême. He is a member of the Aulos Ensemble, one of America’s premier early music ensembles whose recordings of Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Rameau have received critical acclaim in the press.Known for his expertise as a continuo player, Mr. Haas has toured with such distinguished early musicians as Marion Verbruggen, Jaap ter Linden, Julianne Baird, Laurence Dreyfus, Bruce Haynes, and Wieland Kuijken. Mr. Haas is professor of harpsichord and early music at Stony Brook University, where he directs the award winning Stony Brook Baroque Players, and is also on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music and Juilliard’s recently created historical performance program. In Fall 2012, he will begin teaching harpsichord and early music courses at the Yale School of Music.

Malinda Haslett (soprano) has performed over thirty operatic roles and was noted by Le Soir for her signature role Violetta as, “…one of elegance, grandeur and refined power.  Brilliant, Mademoiselle Haslett misses not even a drop of emotion to perfect each tableau.”  Other roles of note include Mimí, Musetta, Nedda, Juliette, Susanna, Norina, Adina, Pamina, Micaëla, and Nannetta.  Internationally, Ms. Haslett has led performances in Berlin's famed Konzerthaus, Paris' Jardin du Luxembourg, Liege' Pal­ais des Prin­ces-Eveques, Brussels' Chauteau de la Hulpe, as well as Atlanta Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Sarasota Opera, Nashville Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Utah Opera. Outside of the musical arena, Malinda is also an award winning Pastry Chef, has been Co-Guest of Honor on Capital Hill with President Barack Obama, is certified by the American Sailing Association, speaks three languages and will run the New York City Marathon in 2013.  Ms. Haslett holds degrees from Loyola and Temple Universities, and Accademia Internazionale delle Arti (Rome) and the Institute of Culinary Education.  This is Malinda’s first year at State University of New York Stony Brook, pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts. 

Ryu-Kyung Kim (Mezzo-Soprano) highlighted her recent seasons with two Avery Fisher Hall performances as Alto Solo in National Chorale's and Peniel Concert Choir’s Messiah and Alto Solo in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Staatskapelle Halle in Germany. In recent premier performances of two contemporary operas in NYC, Ms. Kim performed the role of Anya in Sheila Silver’s The Wooden Sword, Giuliano in Francesco Cavalli’s Eliogabalo and the role of Naomi in Philip Hagemann’s Ruth for which she received numerous critical acclaims. Ms. Kim also worked with Baltimore Opera, Cleveland Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Antonio Opera, Caramoor Music Festival, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Virginia Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in the performances of Madama Butterfly, Mozart Requiem, Carmen,Rigoletto, Tristan und Isolade, La Cenerentola, Otello, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Magic Flute, La Traviata, Arianna in Creta, Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena, Idomeneo, Béatrice et Bénédict, The Floating Box: A Story of Chinatown, Così fan Tutte, L’Italiana in Algeri, Don Giovanni, Pelléas et Mélisande, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lakmé, Der Rosenkavalier, Ermione and  Die Fledermaus.Ms.Kim received her Doctor of Musical Art (DMA) Degree from SUNY at Stony Brook, Artists Diploma in Opera from the Academy of Vocal Arts and Master's and Bachelor's Degrees in Voice from Manhattan School of Music where she got a Scholarship Award, President Award and Alumni Award.

David Lawton (producer) is a frequent guest conductor in regional American opera companies. Recent engagements include Macbeth for Baltimore Concert Opera, and Macbeth, Little Women, Carmen, Rigoletto, Turandot, Aida, Les contes d’Hoffmann and Otello for OperaDelaware, where he served for many years as Artistic Consultant. In 2004 he made his Chautauqua Opera debut, conducting Verdi’s Stiffelio. Mr. Lawton has conducted many productions for Summer Opera Theatre in Washington, D.C. In 1996 he made his Sarasota Opera debut, leading the American premiere of Bizet’s La jolie fille de Perth.  Other regional credits include The Washington Opera (Don Carlo), Cincinnati Opera (Rigoletto), The Tulsa Opera (Rigoletto, and Le Trouvère), the Berkshire Opera Company (La finta giardiniera), National Grand Opera (Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La traviata, and Carmen) and the Teatro comunale di Modena in Italy (La traviata).  A noted Verdi scholar, David Lawton is volume editor for Il trovatore, Le trouvère, and Macbeth in the critical edition of the Works of Giuseppe Verdi, a joint publication of the University of Chicago Press and the Casa Ricordi, Milano. He is Professor of Music at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he served as Director of Graduate Studies from 1986-1996, and Department Chairman from 1996-2000.

Kathleen O’Rourke (soprano)  is excited to be making her opera debut in Stony Brook Opera’s production of Orlando.  An avid singing traveler, Ms. O’Rourke has participated in several summer vocal programs in the United States, Austria and the Czech Republic. Throughout her travels, she has had the delightful opportunity to work with Russel Ryan, Paulette Herbich, Corradina Caporello, Margo Garrett and Marianne Barrett. Ms. O’Rourke received her Bachelors of Music degree from Barnard College, Columbia University, graduating magna cum laude.  Her principal teachers and coaches are Randall Scarlata and Tim Long. Ms. O’Rourke will be graduating this May with a Master’s degree in vocal performance from SUNY Stony Brook.

Monica Sciaky (mezzo soprano) is a first-year doctoral student, studying with Brenda Harris.  Here at Stony Brook, she was seen as The Prince Charmant in Cendrillon and as Charlotte in Werther in the fall production Great Romances, and as the Mother in the chamber production of Hansel and Gretel in February.  Professionally, she has sung the role of Rosina in Toledo Opera’s outreach production of The Barber of Seville as well as the role of Pitti Sing in The Mikado with Michigan Opera Theater.  She has been a member of the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Emerging Artists Program at Opera New Jersey as well as a soloist in the Opera and Music Theater Festival of Lucca, Italy.  In 2008, she made her professional debut in The Beggar’s Opera in the inaugural season of the Castleton Festival under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel.  This coming summer, Monica will sing Suzuki in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Opera in the Ozarks Festival.

Douglas Williams (bass-baritone) made his European opera debut last season in Alessandro Scarlatti’s Tigrane at the Opéra de Nice. He is frequently recognized for his theatrical abilities in music. The New York Times has called him a “powerful singer” with “a superb sense of drama.” He has worked with the conductors Sir Neville Marriner, John Nelson, Helmut Rilling, Stephen Stubbs, Sir David Willcocks, and Christpher Warren-Green, and with the stage directors Guillaume Bernardi, Gilbert Blin, William Kentridge, and Mark Morris. In concert Douglas has appeared with the Houston Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, and the baroque orchestras Tafelmusik and Les Talens Lyriques in venues such as the Paris Salle Pleyel, the Frankfurt Alte Oper, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Washington National Cathedral. He has collaborated with the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Charles Wuorinen on the 2011 premiere of his work It Happens Like This at Tanglewood and the Guggenheim Museum. Douglas made his musical debut with the Mark Morris Dance Group in the 2012 revival of Four Saints in Three Acts at Brooklyn Academy of Music. He will join the company onstage next season in a new production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea in Berkeley and Boston.