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Guest Artists & Faculty

Fernando Abbri holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Florence. Since 1981 he has been a professor at the University of Siena teaching History of Philosophy, History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, the History of Modern and Contemporary Music, and Philosophy of Music. 

At present he is the Chair of the Historical and Social Studies Department, Dean of Faculty and President of both Music and Theatre Degree Course and History of Philosophy Degree Course.

He was the head of the PhD course in Philosophy of the University of Siena and of the PhD course in “History of the ideas” of the SUM of Florence (Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa). 

In 1990 he was Visiting Scholar at the History of Science Department of Uppsala Universitet (Sweden). He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal «Nuncius. Journal of the material and visual History of science» (Brill, Leida, The Netherlands). 

His research has focused on the history of philosophical and scientific ideas with a particular attention to the history of alchemy, early chemistry, magic, and the European philosophical culture from Renaissance to Enlightenment. A particular attention was devoted to the cultural relationships between Italy and Sweden in the Eighteenth century, and to the history of music in the European context.

Abbri, Ferdinando

History of Italian Opera

Yo-EL Cassell, award winning choreographer, movement specialist and Head of/Assistant Professor at Boston University, has directed movement from the big screen to off-Broadway sensations. Cassell has choreographed and directed movement for Comedy of Errors, All’s Well That Ends Well, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, King Lear, Love Labours Lost, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night and Othello as Resident Choreographer for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC); Lilly’s Revenge for American Repertory Theatre; The Understudy and Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play for Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Sound of Music for Nantucket Dreamland Theatre; Kiss Me, Kate (featuring Kerry O’Malley and Marc Kudisch), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Boys from Syracuse, Symphonic Shakespeare, Footloose and Fancy Free (Movement Director/Curator), and Urban Sprawl for Boston Landmarks Orchestra/CSC; Violet for Suffulk University, Good Breeding for Emerson Stage, Sunlight Interior, Sweet and Sour, and The Distance Between for Walnut Hill School for the Arts; A Little Night Music, Alcina,and Orpheus in the Underworld for Boston Opera Collaborative; Sunlight Interior for San Antonio Repertory Ballet; Full-Noon Trill and Gravitate for Skidmore College; Die Fledermaus for New England Conservatory, and Laughs in Spanish(Intimacy work) for Boston Playwrights Theatre.

His previous teaching experience also includes the NY Acting School for Film and Television, Harvard University Dance Department, New England Conservatory, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Sunshine Cottage School For Deaf Children, Celebrity Series of Boston, Commonwealth Shakespeare Apprentice Academy, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Boston Ballet, Dance Complex, and Skidmore College, where he served as a guest teaching artist/choreographer in residence for three years.

In 2017, along with BU School of Theatre Director Jim Petosa, Yo-EL developed InMotion Theatre, an Initiative that highlights storytelling, either via an original work or an adaptation, primarily through the lens of many diverse approaches of movement, including design and music. He is also the artistic director and founder of Ensemble 360, a physical-theatre ensemble comprising male actors, dancers, and musicians whose mission is to highlight the importance of storytelling through movement. Cassell was born with a nerve deafness and discovered at the age of 3 that movement was his organic expressive channel for his personal and creative identity. His mission, as a performer, director, choreographer, movement director, educator, mentor, and human being, is to provide the same accessible physical entry point to other’s inner selves that he supportively received as a child and throughout life. He supports accessibility through movement practice in various communities throughout Boston and has served as Resident Choreographer for The Shadow Box Theater in NYC as well as Student Engagement Manager and creative producer for ArtsEmerson at Emerson College’s Office of the Arts. His teaching for movement practice, through a thoughtful fusion of various movement and theatre approaches, stresses the importance of incorporating personal identity with an integration of a strong technical foundation. Thus, balancing the importance of owning, in equal measure, the ecstatic and informative self in and outside the walls of movement study. Cassell is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME).

Cassell, Yo-El

Theatre, Movement

Nhandan Chirco is a performer, director, teacher, and choreographer. Her work has been presented at numerous festivals and institutions throughout Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, France and Austria. From ’94 to ’98 she was part of the artistic team at the Workcenter of Jerry Grotowski and Thomas Richards; afterwards she collaborated with directors Branko Popovic, Tomi Janezic and Zlatko Sviben. She worked as a performer and pedagogue with the choreographer Maja Delak, with contemporary dance company EN-KNAP in Ljubljana and collaborated in artistic creations with different choreographers.

Since ’99 she conducted numerous seminars collaborating with Universities of Urbino – Italy and of La Valletta – Malta and in numerous theatre institutions in Europe and beyond. In 2004 she taught the course Body and Voice Work in the post-graduate specialisation course Body Unlimited – University of Novi Sad, and she also taught the undergraduate course Body Work at the University of Osijek in Acting Department.

From 2009-2013 she developed the project STREAMLINE and the performances Quanta, More, Queens, and Hidden Sessions – from #00 to #14. She graduated in “Live Performing Arts” at DAMS in Bologna where in 2013 and 2014 she held theoretical lessons titled “On Live Creation.” In 2012 she launched the platform F.A.C.K. for the experimentation of new cultural and artistic modes of production. In 2014 she completed the artistic project ET L’EUROPE ALORS in collaboration with ZaLab filmmakers group.

Chirco, Nhandan

Theatre, Movement

Kevin Crawford is a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre company. He toured extensively with the company for over twenty years, and acted as a “gerant” of the troupe for a four-year period before moving to Ireland in 1993, where he was a member of faculty at the School of Drama, Trinity College. In Ireland he collaborated with a large number of theatre, dance and musical groups,as well as regularly contributing to programs at University College Dublin and University College Cork. He has been a guest facilitator at the Abbey (National Theatre of Ireland), The International Workshop Festival(London), The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art, (Ireland), and CIRA, (Strasbourg). In 2001 he was awarded an MA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

On his return to France in 2002 Kevin was appointed Lecturer at the Université d’Artois before joining the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy as a founding member of faculty. From 2009-2016 he directed the MFA in Physical Theatre at the Accademia. Directorial credits include “Wolf’s Bride “ for Kuopio City Theatre (Finland), “The Bacchae” and “Oedipus” for the Samuel Beckett Centre (Dublin) and “Bartholomew Fair” for the Baker Theatre (Muhlenberg College, United States). He wrote and recently performed “Montee” in collaboration with Caroline Boersma, Cellist, with performances in the US, Italy and France.

Crawford, Kevin

Theatre, Voice

Born in the South of Germany Sabine Fichter studied Modern/ Contemporary dance in Duesseldorf, Berlin and at the European Dance Development Centre (EDDC) in Arnhem (Netherlands). For ten years she had been working as a dancer with companies such as Neuer Tanz, Frey Faust Dance Company, Telos Dance Company and Exis Dance. She has presented her own choreographic work in Germany, Brazil and Argentina.

In 1997 she was certified as a Movement Analyst (CMA) by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS, New York) and is now a guest teacher on the European CMA training. In 2004 she received her Master Degree in LMA and Somatic Studies from Surrey University, UK. Since then she has taught somatic based movement classes, composition and Laban Movement Analysis at London Metropolitan University, the University of Limerick, Ireland and the Palucca Dance University in Dresden, where she has also been a research associate for InnoLernenTanz, a project which investigates innovative teaching and learning strategies.

She has been working as a somatic practitioner/movement therapist with children and adolescents at the Psychiatric Department of the Carl Gustav Carus Hospital, Dresden, for the past 15 years. Her main focus in the therapeutic work is on body oriented therapy for patients with eating disorders.

Fichter, Sabine

Dance, Laban, Somatic Work

After a Bachelor in Ethno Anthropological Sciences from the University of Bologna, he graduates as Actor in the Lecoq’s Scuola di Teatro di Bologna “Alessandra Galante Garrone” (2012) and as Director in the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica “Silvio d’Amico” in Rome (2015) where he covered the charge of Board member of the international organization E:UTSA (Europe:Union of Theatre Schools and Academies) for 3 years. Participant since 2012 at the International Summer Program of the Watermill Center, in Long Island, New York, founded by Robert Wilson in 1992, he collaborates with the Texan director in performances (dancer for Dom Perignon at the Palace of Versailles) and Opera: Verdi’s Macbeth in San Paolo (Brasil) and Bologna as movement coach, La Traviata in Linz (Austria) and Perm (Russia) and Le Trouvere in Parma and Bologna, and Turandot in Madrid as assistant director, Hamletmachine as co-director and stage manager in Spoleto (Festival dei 2 Mondi), which toured in Italy during 2017 and 2018 (Piccolo Teatro Milano, Auditorium della Musica di Roma, Teatro della Pergola di Firenze).

In 2016 he started teaching at the Scuola di Teatro di Bologna “Alessandra Galante Garrone” both Acting (with focuses on Mask and Music) and Organization and management.

Is Founder of Officine Montecristo, a company based in Arezzo for organization, production and distribution of Theatre and Music works, with which he toured his shows in Czech Republic, Germany, India and Italy in national and international Festival, like the ITFOK – International Theatre Festival of Kerala, India (2017), UWE, Munich (2015), SETKANI/ENCOUNTER, Brno (2015), Inventaria, Rome (2017), Salviamo i Talenti @ Teatro Vittoria, Rome (2017), Cosa sono le nuvole?, Lucca, (2017).

In 2018 his work LONELY was accepted among the finalists of the Premio Scenario Infanzia. Since May 2019 he is producer of the Arezzo Crowd Festival, the Partecipative Festival for Young Theatre. The Festival counts 40 shows and performances every year and more then 30 partners and focuses on creating an artistic committee of young non professionals that will learn how to create the event throughout the year with the tutoring of a network of companies and professionals.

In 2020 he created Arezzo Crowd Tv, a platform to share cultural meetings, talks, lectures during the pandemic which reached more than 200.000 contacts in the first 4 months of life and hosted more than 90 digital events in one year.

Firpo, Giovanni

Director (Opera)

Joe Fitzgerald is a native of Topeka, Kansas who has lived in Oklahoma City since 2015. He received his education at Washburn University in Topeka, KS (BA Music – Organ) and OCU (MM – Vocal Coaching) where he assisted in many opera and musical theatre productions. During his time as an OCU student, he assisted on all three award-winning shows during the record-breaking 2016-2017 season (Jackie O – Assistant Music Director, Don Pasquale – Chorus Master, and Evita – Orchestra.) His past teachers and mentors include Maestro Jan McDaniel, renowned handbell director and organist Jane Anderson, organists Dr. Elisa Williams Bickers & Norma Pettijohn, choir director Steve Eubank, and pianists Dr. Shiao-Li Ding, Dr. Linda Chen, & Jim Rivers.

With more than 30 show credits to his name as diverse as Spamalot and Gianni Schicchi, he is an accomplished répétiteur, vocal coach, chorus master, and music director. He has been Assistant Music Director for Painted Sky Opera in Oklahoma City from its inaugural season in 2016 through the present time, serving as chorus master and répétiteur for such productions that include Tosca, La Traviata, and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. His operatic music directing debut was a concert production of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda in 2015.

Equally at home as a church organist and vocal coach, Mr. Fitzgerald’s musical career spans back to childhood when he first started playing for church services. His first organist appointment was at the age of 17 at the North Topeka Baptist Church. He served several churches in Northeast Kansas as organist and/or choir director, including First United Methodist Church of Topeka, First Christian Church of Topeka, and Assumption Catholic Church. He is currently organist at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.

He has served as accompanist for a variety of academic and professional ensembles, including several years at Topeka High School as choral accompanist and as a music director for Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy. As pianist at Topeka High School, his audiences included two governors of Kansas, cabinet secretaries, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. For two summer seasons, he was a piano fellow at the Bay View Music Festival, and in 2018 served on the faculty of the Taos Opera Institute. Fitzgerald has also worked on productions at Helen Hocker Theatre, the Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka, the Pollard Theatre, and Poteet Theater and Academy. He has taught piano lessons and accompanied singers and instrumentalists for more than 15 years. Mr. Fitzgerald is currently a vocal coach, diction professor, and accompanist coordinator at the Bass School of Music.

Fitzgerald, Joe

Vocal Coach, Diction Professor, Accompanist

Lisa Reagan Love is a native of Oklahoma. She began studying piano with Dr. Clarence Burg at Oklahoma City University’s music preparatory school at the age of 7. She continued her musical training there studying voice with Florence Birdwell at the age of 15. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and a minor in piano from Oklahoma City University and her Master of Music in opera performance at the University of Maryland’s Opera Studio under the direction of Leon Major.

Lisa continued her musical training in piano with Maria Stoesser in Washington DC and vocal training with Marinana Busching (Peabody Conservatory of Music), Nancy Milnes, and John Fiorito in NYC. Lisa has been a member of AGMA and NATS since 1989.

Lisa performed as a soloist for many special events including the Smithsonian Awards, the Corcoran Concert Series, at the White House, and for Presidents and Heads of State around the world including President Reagan, George Bush, King Hussein of Jordan, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, and the Premier of China Li Peng amongst others. She became a resident member of the Washington National Opera in 1989 where she performed at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts until 2008. Lisa also performed with the Wolf Trap Opera Company and Catholic University’s Summer Opera programs.

Lisa worked as a professor of voice at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music from 1998 until 2008 when she moved to Oklahoma City to join the Wanda Bass School of Music’s faculty as a professor of voice. Lisa was invited to teach masterclasses in Salzburg, Austria as a part of the Frost School of Music’s summer opera program. Her style of teaching emphasizes the power of communicating the libretto with honesty and commitment. She believes that the classical singer should not only be a great singer but should also be a great actor. Lisa was influenced by her training with Florence Birdwell and opera director Leon Major (The Empty Voice) in a way that puts great importance on being in the moment and completely honest with every sung word.

Since returning to Oklahoma Lisa has had the privilege of performing as a soloist with Canterbury Voices and the Oklahoma Philharmonic at the Civic Center.

Lisa teaches a variety of styles of singing including classical, music theater and pop. She herself began in musical theater at the age of 16 where she played Amy in Where’s Charley? at Oklahoma City’s Lyric Theater. She went on to perform in many musicals including performances at the Lyric Theater, Wichita Music Theater, the Kennedy Center, Signature Theater, Terrace Theater, and the Folger Theater.

Lisa is also a composer and has composed 7 albums of original music. Her music can be found on www.lisareagan.com. Her song A l’infini was featured on Bravo TV’s reality series, Project Runway. She is currently recording a solo album of songs she has composed to some of her favorite poems which will be released in March 2022. Lisa is grateful to be working again with Grammy Nominated and Tony Award winner Jamshied Sharifi, who produced and arranged her last album Shunia, which is an album of chants and meditations.

Love, Lisa

Opera, Acting

Dory Rebekah Sibley is the Undergraduate Programs Associate and the professor of Voice and Ensemble Performance at the Accademia dell’Arte. She is the Co-Founder of the NYC based physical theatre company Tut’Zanni Theatre Company. Already in their sixth year, Tut’Zanni has performed and taught all over the world. She is also a founding member of the all-woman clown troupe Women From Mars and recently toured their ‘clown-noir’ cabaret SILENT REFLECTIONS through Italy and parts of the USA. Dory is one of the pioneer teachers of Voice in the Mask work and currently teaches and develops new projects in collaboration with colleague Torbjörn Alström, Head of Puppetry, Masks and Animation at the Frölunda Kulturhus in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Dory is a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and has over ten years of experience in various voice and bodywork fields including Roy Hart Experimental Voice, classical voice and opera theatre, Alexander and Feldenkrais techniques. She completed her teaching certification in the Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS) in 2013. She was an ArezzoFestival organizer for over 4 years, was the CrisisART Festival Collective Facilitator from 2012 – 2014 and serves as President of the ADA Alumni Association. As a freelance artist, she continues to perform her original devised work in the USA and Europe. Learn more about Dory’s ongoing projects and pedagogy on her website: www.doryrebekah.com

Sibley, Dory Rebekah

Theatre Voice

Ivan Truol is an actor, dancer, choreographer and teacher. He studied at the  Escuela de Teatro de la Universidad de Chile. He worked with  Sosta Palmizi, Corte Sconta, Adriana Borriello, Marco Baliani, Gigi Dall’Aglio, Giorgio Barberio Corsetti. He performed in Chile, Brasil, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, England, United States and Canada.  

In1997 he founded the Atacama company with Patrizia Cavola and they performed in theatres and international festivals in Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil and Poland. 

In 2009 he became artistic director of the La Scatola Dell’Arte in Rome. 

In 2010 he taught at the Instituto de Estudios Secundarios de la Universidad de Chile, in Santiago del Chile, Chile. 

In 2014 he was a member of the jury of the Premio MarteLive Danza.

In 2015 he worked in the movie, Per Amor Vostro directed by Giuseppe Gaudino and presented at the 72 Venice Film Festival. 

In Rome he taught at the Duncan 3.0, La Scatola dell’Arte, Accademia Internazionale di Arte Drammatica Teatro Quirino Vittorio Gassman, Q Academy Nuova Accademia Internazionale Arte Drammatica Teatro Quirinetta, and Accademia Arte Drammatica Cassiopea. 

He teaches courses, seminars and masterclasses in dance academies and theatres in Italy and abroad.

Truol, Ivan

Theatre, Dance

Silvia Vajente was born in Arezzo (Italy). She (soprano) graduated in opera singing at the Conservatorio Martini of  Bologna where she studied with Mrs D. Debolini. Afterwards, she attended several lyrical and chamber  musical theatre courses, and also some masterclasses with L. Serra, C. Desderi and J. Savall. Particularly  interested in ancient and baroque music, she continued studying with Jill Feldman and Gloria Banditelli.  

She won the I Concorso internazionale di canto barocco F. Provenzale, Napoli 2004 (she won the second  prize, the first one was not assigned); the Premio Bonporti, the IX edition of the Chamber Music International  competition on Period Instruments, Rovereto 2006, with the harpsichord player G. Barchiesi (she won the third  prize of the international jury and the special prize of the public). 

She sang as soloist in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Finland,  Brazil, Cile, Argentina, USA, Canada collaborating particularly with several groups specialized in the baroque  repertoire (as the Bozen Baroque Orchestra, Modo antique, L’arte dell’arco, Il canto di Orfeo, La Sfera  Armoniosa, La Venexiana, Orchestra barocca di Bologna, Il Rossignolo, Epoca Barocca,Cantar Lontano, L’Aura Soave, Cappella Artemisia, Athestis Chorus, Ensemble Homme Armè of Firenze, Concerto Palatino) and singing at important Festivals like the Festival Monteverdi of Cremona (where she sang as other soloist  soprano with Emma Kirkby), Folle Journée-Harmonie des Nations, Festival Fränkischer Sommer, Festival  internazionale “Da Bach a Bartok” of Imola, Pergolesi Spontini Festival of Jesi, Festival Opera BargaAltstadtherbstFestival of Dusseldorf, Settembre Musica of Teatro della Pergola in Firenze, Festival Musica  Antiga al Palau de L’Abat of Valencia (Spain), BolognaFestival, Stagione della Scuola Normale di Pisa, Festival S. Maurizio Musica e Poesia (Milan), Festival Potsdam-Sanssouci (Germany), Festival  Contemporaneamente Barocco of Siena, Settimane Musicali dell’Olimpico of Vicenza, Festival Barocco di  Viterbo, Sagra Musicale Umbra, Musik Festival of Brema, Festival Galuppi of Venezia, Festival Barocco of  Rome, Osterfestival of Hall in Tirol (Austria). 

She sang in operas and oratorios by Rossi, Cavalli, Haendel, Pergolesi, Piccinni, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Galuppi,  Rossini, Ravel, Britten, represented in various theatres all over Italy and foreign theatres.  She also sings contemporary music. In 2010 she sang Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg at Cantiere Internazionale  d’arte of Montepulciano. 

She also graduated in oboe and worked as a professional oboe-player until 2000 playing with Orchestra  Regionale Toscana, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Sinfonica Toscanini, Orchestra sinfonica of  Savona, Teatro lirico di Cagliari, Orchestra Verdi of Milan, conducted by great conductor as Sawallish, Metha,  Webb, Tate. Cd recordings were made with the Ensemble italiano fiati for Tactus, with the I virtuosi Italiani for the Chandos

She graduated in musicology at the Scuola di Paleografia e Filologia Musicale of Cremona (University of  Pavia) with a dissertation on the oratorio “La Resurrezione” by G. F. Haendel. 

Silvia Vajente graduated in Choral Conducting (3 years degree course) at the Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo. She studied with internationally renowned maestros such as Gary Graden, Ragnar Rasmussen, Lorenzo Donati, Carlo Pavese, Xavier Busto, Stojan Kuret, and Basilio Astulez.

She was a keynote speaker at the third national conference ‘Lo strumento coro, dirigere e cantare’ (Choir as an instrument, Conducting and Singing).

She taught singing at Istituto di Musica of Montepulciano (SI) for ten years and at the  moment she is teaching lyrical singing at the triennio of Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (CaMu) and  vocal technique at the High School for choir conductors of the Guido dʻArezzo Foundation. 

She is  also the founder and conductor of Viscantus vocal ensemble of Arezzo. She conducted I Cantori del Borgo of Sansepolcro and she is the creator of Recicanto, an experimental workshop to raise  awareness of opera for children and adults together. 

She is currently teaching Vocal Theory at the Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo. She is also a member of the judging panel of the Conducting department.

Vajente, Silvia

Conductor, Voice

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