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Raguel Gabriel (Hoffmann)
Equally passionate about music and drama, Raguel's was chosen from over 800 applicants to join the Stella Adler Studio of Acting NYC in 2015. His recent singing roles include Tamino (Magic Flute), Alfred (Fledermaus), Aeneas (Dido & Aeneas) with the CMDFTT & Marius (Les Miserables) with the Marionettes Chorale
Maegan Pollonais (Muse/Nicklaus)
Winner of the 2014 CMDFTT Music Competition, Maegan was featured in our 2015 production of Cosi fan tutte (Dorabella). Currently pursuing her Doctorate of Arts Degree in Music, with a Concentration in Educational Psychology at Ball State University, Maegan was featured recently in the role of Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas) with the Ball State Opera Theater, as well as Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). She was also recently won Ball State’s 10th Annual School of Music Vocal Competition.
Justin Welsh Lindorf/Copelius/Miracl
Canadian baritone of Trinidadian heritage Justin Welsh was featured as Guglielmo in our production of Cosi fan tutte last year. He is a winner of the prestigious Kurt Weill Competition and an encouragement award from the Louis and Cristina Quilico competition. He holds a Master’s of Music from the University of British Columbia and his many operatic appearances include Queegueg (Canadian premiere of MOBY DICK), Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Escamillo (Carmen)
Natalia Dopwell (Olympia)
Natalia has won many awards over the years including Most Outstanding Performer of the T&T Music Festival 2004 and 2nd Place at the 2012 Concurso Internacional de Canto Lírico in Trujillo, Peru. She holds a bachelors degree in vocal performance from Manhattan School of Music and is currently Creative Director of the CMDFTT. Recent appearances include recitals in London and Poland for the Chopin Society of Gdansk, and singing the title role at the premiere of Dominique LeGendre's 'Jab Molassie'
Stephanie Nahous (Guilietta)
Stephanie is a Boston University Graduate, who minored in Vocal studies while majoring in Communications. She debuted at the T&T Opera Festival as Despina (Cosi fan tutte) for which Simon Lee (Guardian) noted she "gave a dark undercurrent to her role inviting us to ponder the problematic gap between morality and intention, reality and desire". She won Third Place and Audience Favorite at the 2013 CMDFTT Music Competition.
Cara Adams (Antonia)
A Victoria Pacific Opera Company Young Artist Program alumnus, Cara's stage credits include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Mimi (La Bohème), and Celeste (Sunday in the Park with George). As Micaela, in Maritime Concert Opera’s production of Carmen, Opera Canada called her portrayal, “convincingly infatuated and innocent”. Most recently Cara played Mrs. Fezziwig (A Christmas Carole) for Curtain Call Players and she’s thrilled to make her debut as Antonia (Tales of Hoffman) at the T&T Opera Festival.
Krisson Joseph (Luther/Dappertutto)
Krisson holds a Masters in Music Business from New York University and is currently Programme Coordinator at the University of T&T. His rich baritone was heard recently in the premiere of 'River of Freedom' for which the Guardian review noted "his huge voice filling the acoustically challenging hall and inspiring ambitious echoes from male members of the crowd even as the show came to an end". Krisson has also tested the Calypso waters singing "Ting ah ling" by Steve Neaves for Panorama 2016
Rory Wallace (Cochenille/Frantz)
Rory is a currently pursuing a Doctor of Arts in Voice Performance with a concentration in Choral Conducting degree at Ball State University. Stage credits include Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Tamino (The Magic Flute), St. Brioche (The Merry Widow), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Don Basilio and Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro) and Tommy in the world premiere of It Could Be, part of Bowling Green State University’s MicroOpera program and Mr. Twimble (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying).
Shellon Antoine (Schlemil/Crespel)
Shellon began singing in his church choir, then later as a member of the Southernaires Choir. He made his operatic debut in the role of Sarastro for the CMDFTT production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute", gained critical praise from Anne Hilton "One has seen even professional singers appear to hesitate slightly before hitting the really low notes in the score, Shellon Antoine carried off the role very well". His roles since then have included Sorcerer (Dido & Aeneas) and Frank (Die Fledermaus).
Nigel Floyd (Spalanzani/Pitchinaccio
Nigel is a long standing member of the Marionettes Chorale and has appeared as a soloist with them on tours to the United States in 1997 and to Costa Rica in 2004. His vocal teachers have included the late Mrs Holitzia Seecharan-Lawrence and currently June Nathaniel. He has won several awards at the T&T Music Festival most notably the Norman Phillip Cup for Most Outstanding Tenor 2002. His operatic roles include Don Jose (Carmen) and Mingo (Porgy & Bess). He is also a practicing Attorney at Law
Shannon Navarro (La Voix)
Shannon holds a BA in Performing Arts from the University of Tampa and an MA in Music Theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In London she was featured in The Greene Card, which debuted at the Camden Fringe Festival before running at The Space Theatre, and participated in the workshop and reading of a new opera VEAL at Cockpit Theatre. Credits include: Candide, Jesus Christ Superstar, Monument, Pappy Show, Planass, L’enfant et les Sortileges, Beggar’s Opera & The Baker's Wife
Helmer Hilwig (Director)
A medical doctor by profession Helmer came to T&T in 1983 with the intention to stay for one year, but Trinidad remains home 33years later. At present he Heads the Arima Emergency Department and also serves as Chairman of the Queens Hall Board. As Director and Actor, he's been involved in over 100 theatre productions in Trinidad and his native Holland, even directing a very young Natalia Dopwell when she was a member of the Love Movement choir. He has directed all CMDFTT operas to date.
June Nathaniel (Musical Director)
Principal of Key Academy of Music, and Musical Director of the CMDFTT, June was a Trinity College of Music exhibition champion at age 17, continuing her studies at Royal College of Music, London where she obtained the A.R.C.M. in Piano Teaching and Singing Performing. She later trained at Hochschule Fur Musik in Munich studying opera, and Professor Frederick Husler's Scuola di Canto in Switzerland. She appeared in Schonberg's "Die Gluckliche Hand" at La Scala, Italy.
Jeff Middleton (Accompanist)
Pianist, vocal coach Jeffrey is very happy to be back in Trinidad, where he has participated in CMDFTT performances since 2006, including last years production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Ravel’s L’enfant in 2012. He has been music faculty for the School of American Ballet, Lincoln Center in NYC since 1986 and his recordings available on Amazon include JS. Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Book 2, and American composer Joseph Fennimore's Cathay (2006) and 24 Romances for Solo Piano (2015)
Byron Burford (Accompanist)
Pianist BYRON SEAN has performed across North America and Europe. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and then continued his studies as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy Music in London. He has been a featured performer at the Hot Springs Music Festival, the Centre d’Arts Orford in Montreal, the International Keyboard Festival in New York City, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris as part of the European American musical Alliance.
Margaret Sheppard (Costumes)
Margaret has over thirty years experience in the design and production of costumes for theatre and carnival, specializing in ballet and period costumes. She has worked with most of Trinidad's most celebrated designers, and nearly every local theatrical production company. She is the winner of multiple Cacique Awards, including the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT)'s Lifetime Achievement Award.