Artistic Staff


Mihai Vâlcu

Anne Hagan BentzStage Director - Anne Hagan Bentz has been involved with the professional world of opera since her debut in 1984 at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Germany. As a performer she learned her craft from the best German stage directors over a span of fourteen years. Her major roles include Pamina, Gilda, Countess Mariza, Csardasfurstin, Rosalinde, Adele, Blonchen, Anna (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) and Susannah (The Secret of Susannah by Ermano Wolf-Ferrari).

Upon completion of her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland in vocal performance, she began working on the collegiate level teaching voice and direction opera first at the University of Opera in Omaha, Nebraska (1999-2001)and then at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA (2001-2011)where she is now a tenure track faculty member of the Department of Music, Head of the voice area and the director of the very popular Opera Westminster. Full scale operas that she had directed are Carmen, Hansel and Gretl, Wiener Blut, Zigeuner Baron and Die Fledermaus. In addition she has designed and staged many opera scenes evenings including "When the Lights Go Down", "Opera Italiana", "Magically Mozart", "L'amour, l'amour", "A Night at the Opera" and Brides and Wannabees. Her creativity and enthusiasm for the genre reaches no bounds and comes from a sincere love and dedication to the art of opera.

photoConcert Master

Ethan Howard

Bill AmbertChorus Master - William Ambert is a native Hubbard, Ohio and comes to us with a list of credits from NYC as well as local appearances. Currently Bill teaches voice in the Music Department at Westminster College and is the Director of Music of Boardman United Methodist Church in Boardman, Ohio. He also serves as Cantor at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown. He is the tenor soloist at Congregation Rodef Shalom Synagogue in Youngstown. Mr. Ambert has appeared as a soloist the Youngstown Symphony Chorus and Orchestra as well as the Astabula Symphony under the direction of Michael Gelfand. Theatrically, Mr. Ambert has performed major roles in Guys and Dolls, Three Penny Opera, Carousel, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Merry Widow and Der Zigeunerbaron. His most recent stage appearances have been with Opera Westminster in such operas as La Bohème, Il Trovatore, Faust and The Pearlfishers. He hasalso stage and musical directed The Pirates of Penzance, Into the Woods, She Loves Me, The Pajama Game, Barum, Damn Yankees, Annie, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell and Guys and Dolls.

While in NYC Bill performed with the Pro Arte Chamber Singers, The Canterbury Choral Society. The Choir, The Choir of St. Ignatius of Antioch and other professional groups in the New York City area. Bill maintains an active membership in the Tri-State Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He has also served as the chapter Vice President.

Bill AmbertOpera Chorus Pianist - Sarah Phillips Kopp is a graduate of the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University from where she holds both a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Performance, studying piano with the late Delores S. Fitzer of Poland, Ohio. Both classical music and jazz are her passions. Sara is the Organist/Director of Music at Westfield Presbyterian Church, New Castle, Pa. , the Accompanist/Director of the Concordia Chorus, Youngstown Saxon Club, Youngstown, Ohio and the accompanist for the Wade Raridon Singers, a professional chamber choir in the Youngstown area. Currently a music educator ( 1980-2011 ) in the Youngstown City Schools teaching vocal ensembles and choirs, Sarah is especially proud of her former student, Lawrence Brownlee, who sings at the New York Metropolitan Opera, most recently as Rinaldo in Rossini's Armida opposite Renee Fleming during the 2010-2011 season.

Kenneth ColeGraphic Artist - Kenneth B. Cole is an instructor of Commercial and Advertising Art at the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, has taught at the Art Institute, International Academy of Design, Hoyt and BC3. Ken has been involved in local theater productions for over 25 years. A firm believer that "art forms the world in which we live, the past that we remember, and the future that we dream of." Opera is the quintessential medium of art.