Our world-class faculty consists of professionals and teachers who have expertise in the operatic traditions and the evolving demands of the 21st century artist. Throughout the programs, they work together to ensure that participants receive well-rounded training that is reinforced program-wide.


David Aks

David Aks

Conducting / Visualization / Musical-Dramatic Analysis
  • OperaWorks faculty since 1987
  • Conducting positions in New York, Florida, Colombia (South America)
  • Assistant Conductor to Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood
  • Music staff at Altenburg Musiktheater Akademie in Germany
  • Guest Conductor with the Black Sea Philharmonic (Romania)
  • Former Music Director and Conductor of the CSUN Opera Theater at California State University, Northridge
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Dr. Michelle Alexander
  • OperaWorks faculty since 2016
  • Faculty at University of Missiouri-Kansas City
  • Former faculty at Boston Conservatory & Boston University
  • Music staff at Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, & Granite State Opera
  • Conductor for Marsh Chapel Collegium Soloists & Riverside Theatreworks
  • Pianist for Frederica von Stade’s farewell recital tour
  • [Winter Intensive & Advanced Artist Program – 2018]

Vida Alikani

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2005
  • Designs supportive classes to empower singers with tools for personal and artistic growth
  • Certified yoga instructor (Center for Yoga, Los Angeles)
  • Dancer and ballet teacher
  • English literature degree (Honors Program, CSUN)
  • Author of articles for health and fitness magazines
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Ann Baltz

Performance Techniques / Musical Improv / Career Planning
  • Founder and Artistic Director of OperaWorks
  • Master teacher of performance skills and operatic improvisation for opera companies, conservatories and universities
  • Speaker at National Association of Teachers of Singing, National Opera Association, and Classical Singer conferences
  • Steering committee for OPERA America’s Singer Training Forum
  • Panelist for OPERA America’s “Building a Career: Strategies for Success”
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Read Ann’s Full Bio

Kevin Bylsma

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2010
  • Head of music preparation at Toledo Opera
  • Music Director for Department of Community Programs at Michigan Opera, Lyric Chamber Ensemble of Detroit, Papagena Opera Company of Ann Arbor
  • Coach, accompanist, chorus master for OPERA!Lenawee
  • Lecturer of Opera, Bowling Green State University
  • Principal keyboardist with the Adrian and Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestras
  • [Advanced Artist Program – 2018]

Clara Cheng Stosch

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2013
  • Collaborative pianist in recitals and chamber concerts throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia
  • Faculty at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University
  • Faculty/opera coach at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB
  • Vocal coach at Fullerton College
  • Faculty at Idyllwild Music Academy Summer Festival
  • [Emerging Artist Program – 2018]

John Mario DiConstanzo

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2015
  • Music Director Tri Cities Opera
  • Guest Conductor for Sarasota Opera, Toledo Opera, Syracuse Opera, Opera Southwest
  • Artistic Director of Long Island Opera
  • Host of NPR radio show Operalogues
  • Principal Conductor for Jackie Evancho’s Dream With Me, Songs of the Silver Screen, & Awakening tours
  • Italian Language Coach for New York City Opera
  • Music Director & Conductor for Inland Valley Symphony
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Zeffin Quinn Hollis

Acting & Stage Direction / Social Media / Relationship Marketing
  • OperaWorks faculty since 2010
  • Principal artist at Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Pacific, Opera Theatre of Pittsburg, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera, New Orleans Opera, Hungary’s Szeged & Pécs National Theaters, and the Dicapo Opera Theater
  • Co-founder Singing Actors’ Lab in Los Angeles
  • Director and Acting Coach for Marina del Rey Summer Symphony, Cal State Long Beach, and Opera by the Glass
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Chun-Wei Kang

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2006
  • Artistic Director for Creative Voice Institute (Taiwan) and Vocal Coach Asia (Singapore)
  • Staff pianist for National Music Competition (Taiwan); Canadian Provincial Festival; International Vocal Arts Institute
  • Concert solo/ensemble pianist throughout United States, Canada and East Asia.
  • Faculty at Manhattan School of Music
  • [Emerging Artist Program – 2018]

AnneMarie Ketchum

Voice Teacher Certification Coordinator
  • OperaWorks faculty since 2018
  • Grammy-nominated recording artist of contemporary music
  • International performer of contemporary 20th century Latin American art music
  • Founding Artistic Director and Conductor – The Verdi Chorus
  • Former Voice Teacher (34 years) – Pasadena City Community College
  • Opera Program founder and stage director (22 years) – Pasadena Community College
  • OperaWorks Voice Teacher alumna – 2004, 2007
  • [Voice Teacher Certification Program – 2018]

Laura Parker

Acting Improvisation
  • OperaWorks faculty since 2015
  • Comedic, theatrical, musical, & hip-hop improvisation with Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre-NYC, Second City-LA, iO West, Artistic New Directions-NYC, & Magnet Theater-NYC
  • Operatic improv performances with OperaWorks at Classical Singer National Conventions, Opera America, & Hollywood Ford Amphitheater
  • Accredited Alexander Technique teacher
  • OperaWorks 2004 alumna
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Shane Schag

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2005
  • Manhattan School of Music Opera and Musical Theater faculty
  • Staff pianist with Weill Music Institute’s Musical Explorers and Link Up concert series; Lotte Lenya Competition
  • Faculty for Vocal Coach Asia (Singapore) and the Creative Voice Institute (Taiwan)
  • Concert soloist and ensemble pianist throughout the United States and Europe.
  • [Emerging Artist Program – 2018]

Eric Sedgwick

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2010
  • Music staff at Tanglewood Music Festival, Manhattan School of Music, Opera Singers Initiatives, the Art Song Preservation Society of New York, Riverfront Opera, Stonewall Chorale
  • Broadway Concerts Direct with Leona Mitchell, Sarah Rice
  • Accompanist for Cutting Edge Concerts, Thomas Stacy’s English Horn Seminar
  • Premieres by Seymour Barab, J. Mark Stambaugh, Joelle Wallach, Louis Hardin
  • [Winter Intensive – 2018]

Janet Crouch Shulman

Alexander Technique
  • OperaWorks faculty since 2014
  • Faculty at California State University, Northridge
  • Professor of Cello at The Master’s College
  • Previously taught at Cal Arts, University of Southern California, Theatricum Botanicum
  • Trained at Alexander Technique Studio with Karen Wentworth in London
  • Graduated from Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles in 2002
  • Advanced certification in Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Margaret Singer

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2013
  • Head of Apprentice Coach Program at the Atelier Lyrique of the Paris Opera since 1996
  • Founder of Apprentice Coach program at the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera
  • Assistant Conductor at New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Washington (D.C.) Opera
  • Solo coach at Opera Company of Hannover, Germany
  • Worked with artists such as Sharon Sweet, Beverly Sills and Leonard Bernstein
  • [Voice Teacher Certification Program – 2018]

Douglas Sumi

  • OperaWorks faculty since 2013
  • Music staff at LA Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Centro Studi Lirica in Novafeltria, Ash Lawn Opera Festival
  • Alumnus of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program
  • Music staff at UCLA
  • Music faculty at College of Music and Arts – Azusa Pacific University
  • Recital collaborator in United States, Europe and Canada
  • [Emerging Artist and Advanced Artist Programs – 2018]

Dr. Paula Thomson

Movement/ Choreographer
  • OperaWorks faculty since 2005
  • Artistic Director/Choreographer for Northern Lights Dance Theatre
  • Choreographer for Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage Company
  • Guest teacher at University of Cape Town, University of Limerick, Banff School of Fine Arts, Stratford Shakespearean Festival, Juilliard School of Music
  • Tenured faculty at York University’s Departments of Theatre and Graduate Studies
  • Associate Professor at California State University, Northridge
  • California licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • [All OperaWorks programs – 2018]

Eli Villanueva

Stage Director / Acting for Singers
  • OperaWorks faculty since 1998
  • Performer, director, composer
  • Baritone roles with San Francisco Opera Center, LA Opera, Cultural Arts Festival in Cortona, Italy
  • Resident stage director for LA Opera’s Education and Community Programs department
  • Popular compositions for LA Opera are Figaro’s American Adventure and The Marriage of Figueroa
  • Compositions ranging from solo vocal to choral works to popular handbell songs published by Fred Bock Music & Laurendale Associates
  • [Emerging Artist & Advanced Artist Programs – 2018]