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Cast and Production Team Bios

Aiko Vapor and Keara Arnold

Cast List

Head shot of Kylie Smith

Kylie Smith is a fifth-year music and environmental studies double major studying under Emily Sincliar. This is her fifth opera with UCSC, and she believes that this project will never be forgotten amongst all of her mentors and peers. She is thrilled to be watching this film alongside all of... [more]

Kelsea Maloney-Johnson

Kelsea Maloney-Johnson is a fourth-year neuroscience and music double major. She studies voice under Sheila Willey, and is thrilled to play 'Adina' in this production. She was previously in Orpheus in the Underworld and The Pirates of Penzance. Zoom opera has had its challenges, but filming was... [more]

Randy Smith

Randy Smith is a recent graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Music Department. He studied under Dr. Emily Sinclair. His most recent role was Fredric in The Pirates of Penzance. He previously served as the tenor chorale scholar of Calvary Episcopal Church and Singularity.

Spencer Greene

Spencer is a fourth-year music/biochemistry double major. His past roles at UCSC have included the Speaker in The Magic Flute, King Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. He hopes that everyone enjoys Santa Cruz's first-ever digital... [more]


Robert Jeffrey is a fourth-year music major and dance minor, who studies voice with Emily Sinclair. He has performed in three prior operas at UCSC, including The Pirates of Penzance. Robert is currently preparing for UCSC's production of Semele and his senior recital. Approaching... [more]


Rubina Hovhannisyan is a fourth-year music major who studies voice under Dr. Emily Sinclair. She has been involved in the opera program since her first year, performing as First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Edith in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, as well as... [more]


Luna Gulisano is a second-year music and environmental studies major. She is a member of Emily Sinclair’s voice studio. Luna is very excited to be involved in a show that is one of its kind this year. Her hobbies include going to the beach, writing music, and dancing. This is her first... [more]

Aiko Vapor

Aiko Vapor is a fifth-year music major at UC Santa Cruz. She is studying classical voice as a soprano in Sheila Willey's studio. This will be her third performance in the UCSC Opera Program and has been involved with Concert Choir and the Hightones a capella group during her time at... [more]


Olivia Adolph is a fifth-year music major. This is her fourth year participating in the opera program, and she's excited for everybody to see the work that the entire cast and crew have put into this show. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and playing video games. Over the course... [more]


Ike Alexander is a third-year music major who studies vocal performance and composition at UC Santa Cruz. He is a member of Emily Sinclair’s voice studio, and he is excited to continue performing with the UCSC Opera Program in its new virtual form. Before attending UCSC, he spent 11... [more]


Keara Arnold is a fourth-year theater arts and music double major at UC Santa Cruz and has been studying classical voice under Sheila Willey for the past three years. She was most recently cast as The Fairy Godmother in UCSC-adapted performance of Massenet’s Cinderella. Keara is... [more]

Grace Blair

Grace Blair is a second-year sociology and music student at UC Santa Cruz. Grace loves singing in opera and also sings a capella in the UCSC Hightones. Previously, they performed the role of the step sister Esmeralda in the UCSC Opera production of Cinderella. Grace is a member of... [more]


Barbara Goza Chemers is delighted to be in her first opera, this creative pandemic production. After a 3-decade hiatus, Barbara’s joy in singing was rekindled and sustained by UCSC music faculty members Patrice Maginnis, Michael McGushin, Sheila Willey, and Emily Sinclair, with whom... [more]


Pippa Fuschich is a third-year music major studying voice under Emily Sinclair. She’s an affiliate of Porter College, and this will be her third production with the UCSC opera. Her past UCSC opera roles include Chorus in The Pirates of Penzance and Cinderella in Massenet’s Cinderella.... [more]

Hannah Goodwin

Hannah Goodwin is a second-year theater arts/history of art and visual culture major who has been studying voice with Emily Sinclair for the past year. She has been previously cast as Prunella in the production of Jules Massenet's Cinderella. She continually looks forward to her... [more]


Caroline Hines is a fifth-year music major, who has been involved with opera performances throughout her time at UCSC. Such performances include Orpheus in the Underworld (2017), The Magic Flute (2018), Amahl and the Night Visitors (2018), and Cinderella (2019). When they aren't... [more]


David Kronenberg  is a fifth-year music major who studies classical voice under the tutelage of Emily Sinclair. This will be his sixth opera with UCSC; he was most recently seen as Prince Charming in Massenet's Cendrillon. He will soon be appearing  in UCSC's opera production of Semele... [more]


Jennifer Park is a first-year proposed music major studying with Dr. Emily Sinclair. Previously, she had been a part of the San Francisco Girls Chorus since 2012, touring domestically and internationally, and gained her experience in solo singing with the San Francisco Girls Chorus’... [more]


Nyla Rizvi is a third-year transfer student, with an Associate’s degree in music from West Valley College in Saratoga. They are a voice major in Dr. Emily Sinclair’s studio. Nyla has been singing since the age of six, both in choirs and in private studios. They also have experience on... [more]


Blake Danner is a recent graduate who studied vocal performance at UC Santa Cruz. He was cast as Javert in his high school production of Les Miserables. He was cast as the Sergeant in UCSC’s 2019 spring production of The Pirates of Penzance, Cinderella’s Father in the 2020 winter... [more]


Nungrutai Mullennix is a fourth-year visual arts major and has performed in UCSC’s The Magic Flute, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Xochitl and the Flowers, The Pirates of Penzance, Elixir of Love and Cinderella. Nungrutai has also done scenic design for Amahl and the Night Visitors as... [more]


Josiah has been happy and excited to lend his voice to UCSC’s production of Elisir!  He is a former student and member of the opera department, and has recently moved from Santa Cruz to Denver.  Currently he works in operations for a ghost kitchen company and he is looking forward to being able... [more]

Production Team


Sheila Willey is familiar to Santa Cruz audiences as a soprano, appearing frequently with New Music Works, Santa Cruz Chamber Players, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival. In opera, she has sung diverse roles throughout the San Francisco Bay area with companies such as Cinnabar Theater... [more]

Bruce Kiesling
Music Director

Bruce Kiesling is Assistant Professor of Music at UC Santa Cruz where he conducts the orchestra and opera program, previously leading Die Zauberflöte, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Pirates of Penzance and Dido and Aeneas. Other current appointments include Music Director of the Adrian... [more]

Director of Photography & Video Editor

David Murakami is a projection designer and film director focused on the union between the cinematic and theatrical. Recent productions include Luis Valdez’ Zoot Suit and Valley of the Heart at the Mark Taper Forum, Bronco Billy at Skylight Theatre Company, Singin’ in the Rain with McCoy Rigby,... [more]

Costume Director

Alina Bokovikova is an artistically diverse costume designer with more than seventy professional productions for live performances in her portfolio. She has several regional Best Costume Design awards and presented her works at the "Costume Design at the Turn of Century" exhibition in Moscow... [more]

Costume Designer

Ge Jia is originally from China and moved to San Francisco to get her MFA in costume design from Academy of Art University. Previous credits include Fen and Cloud Nine at 620 Sutter Theater (costume designer), Aida at Broadway By The Bay Presents (associate costume designer), The... [more]

Assistant Costume Designer
Hair and Makeup Design

Jessica is a Santa Cruz native who has been working in theatre for twenty-plus years. She received education both at Cabrillo College and San Francisco State University. She began as a costume technician at her home theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, but later forayed into hair and... [more]

Production Diction Coach

Lydia Werthen studied linguistics at UC Santa Cruz, receiving her B.A. in 2017 and M.A. in 2018. As a student, she performed with Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers and in the chorus of The Magic Flute; as an alumna, she has previously returned to the opera program as a... [more]

Teaching Assistant

Nelsen Hutchison is a PhD Candidate in UC Santa Cruz's Cultural Musicology program. He's presented research from his MA Thesis on the critical reception of jazz organ throughout the United States and abroad. His dissertation will examine the working lives of jazz musicains in the Bay Area and... [more]