Andres Cladera, a native of Uruguay, is the Artistic Director of Opera Steamboat in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. His responsibilities for Opera Steamboat are to plan and cast opera productions, provide direction for the Education and Outreach programs including the summer Opera Artist Institute for emerging singers, and programs for music education in public and private schools in Northwest Colorado. He will also be involved in production management, fund raising, development, and public relations.
Mr. Cladera, who began singing in opera productions at the age of seven, is the former Associate Conductor with Opera Colorado, former Resident Conductor at San Antonio Opera and is the founder and Artistic Director of The Microscopic Opera Company in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Cladera holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Piano and Vocal Performance from the College of Charleston. In 2007 he received the Outstanding Young Conductor award of the Association of Choral Directors of America. He has prior conducting experience with Opera Colorado, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Edgewood Symphony, Pittsburgh Early Music Consort and Chatham Baroque, and formerly was Director of the Swallow Hill Music School.
Beth Blaskovich has always made music an integral part of her life. From a very young age, a desire to play piano turned into a lifelong passion. Upon earning her music degree at the University of Montana, Beth had the opportunity to tour throughout Europe performing in both a piano trio and vocal ensemble. While residing in the music capital of the world, Vienna, Austria, Beth broadened her musical resume studying orchestral conducting, opera history and pedagogical technique through the Orff and Kodaly Institutes.
Her strong ethic of service to her community has drawn her to roles in homeless outreach, education outreach in West Africa and hurricane Katrina relief/rebuild efforts. Beth has provided the leadership and direction for the start up of both local and international nonprofits.
Beth has a passion for travel and has followed this throughout the world. She strives to bring this ethic of service and a desire to discover new music throughout her travels. Her graduate studies in Public Administration/Nonprofit Management have provided an extensive and diverse skill set that enable Beth to successfully wear the many hats of a leader.
Before relocating to Steamboat, Beth shared her love of music with students of all ages, operating her own piano studio and music immersion summer camps. As a musician and nonprofit leader, Beth feels there is no better way to be of service to the community than through creating and sharing music.
Michelle Engleman is the newly appointed Production Director for Opera Steamboat. She regularly works in Stage Management, Production Management, House Management & Special Event Management for numerous companies. Michelle lives & works in Pittsburgh, PA.
Recent projects include; Stage Manager for Quantum Theatre’s The Hard Problem and world premiere of Inside Passage & Undercroft Opera’s La Rondine and The Impresario / Djamileh. Michelle has also worked for, Bricolage Production Company, No Name Players, Pittsburgh Opera, August Wilson Center, New Hazlett Theater, Lincoln Park PAC, Summerfest and been apart of National and Independent Film shoots. Nationally, she has worked with Tulsa Opera, Ballet San Antonio, OPERA San Antonio, Northern Stage, ECU/Loessin Summer Theatre, Missouri State Tent Theatre, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and toured nationally with Chamber Theatre Productions.
Michelle received a B.A. in Theatre from Indiana University.
Keri founded Emerald City Opera in 2002 as a non-profit corporation with the vision that it would be possible to bring world-class operatic artists to Steamboat Springs in a format that could appeal to a broad spectrum of the community. Thus she determined that the mission of the Emerald City Opera would be to promote professional opera and the vocal arts in Northwest Colorado through educational and musical opportunities in collaboration with world-class artists.
To those ends she succeeded beyond all expectations. Beginning with a few fundraising concerts performed by working professional opera singers she quickly transitioned to fully staged opera productions beginning with W. A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute in 2003, with casts of artists from major companies including the NY Metropolitan Opera. She followed with stunning staged productions of a major opera every year, including La Boheme, The Merry Widow, Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Elixir of Love, Le nozze di Figaro, and concert performances of Carmen and Die Fledemaus.
Over the years Keri expanded its programming to include youth programs such as the Touring Opera Troupe which introduces elementary school audiences to the opera form with entertaining stories and costumes, and more familiar opera tunes. She also formed the Opera Youth Chorus to give local youth training in classical choral singing and performance. For adults Keri added the Vocal Master Class series offering singers an opportunity to work under the tutelage of visiting opera professionals.
In 2008 Keri founded the Opera Artist Institute, a summer training program for emerging professional performers. Each year this highly successful program draws up to 75 applicants who Keri personally auditioned for 15 student spaces. Several of the participants have gone on to perform leading roles in major opera companies.
Keri poured her considerable talent, administrative skill, heart and soul into building a sustainable performing arts organization with a growing national reputation for superior quality professional productions. Several patrons rated the 2014 Opera Steamboat production of Falstaff the best yet, so she leaves us on a high note (no pun intended).