Brown Opera Productions is dedicated to the promotion and performance of classical vocal music both on campus and in the greater Providence community and is a space for singers and musicians to collaborate on exciting classical performance projects. Every year we produce a full-length opera and put on concerts of classical vocal music on campus and in local hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. We’re always looking for people who want to be involved. Welcome!
Brown Opera Productions was co-founded in 2005 by Michael Hadley ‘07 and Clara Schuhmacher ‘06. The inaugural Board consisted of Michael Hadley (Chair), Clara Schuhmacher (Opera Producer), Christie Gibson (Concert and Community Service Chair), Kathryn Wallem (Publicity Manager), Emily Dunne (Secretary), Kate Tsunoda (Treasurer), and Jonathan Ichikawa (Webmaster). Throughout its first year, the new organization produced a variety of on and off campus concerts. In April, BOP presented Gian-Carlo Menotti’s “The Medium,” Brown’s first-ever student-produced full-length opera.
Over the subsequent years, BOP has grown to be one of the premiere Brown performing arts organizations. Every year, BOP produces one operetta in the Fall and one full opera in the Spring. In addition to these fully staged productions, we produce a Scenes Concert, three Aria concerts, and a Children’s Opera for the local community.
The Brown Opera Productions Board
Jacob Klapholz ’13 is a Music Theory & History/Composition concentrator from Weston, Massachusetts. Jacob’s first experience in a BOP production was as director for the opening scene of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in the 2010 Fall Scenes Concert. Though he is a trumpet player, Jacob desperately wishes he had a voice worthy of performance outside the shower (preferably as a Wagner heldentenor). When he is not practicing trumpet, learning to actually play the piano, or working on his conducting, Jacob enjoys a good game of ping-pong and bike riding.
Zal Shroff is a sophomore and an intended Classics concentrator at Brown. His musical career started on defense in a kindergarden soccer game, a performance of ” The Sound of Music” altogether unappreciated by his audience. Since that time he has had the privilege of singing in a myriad of venues from shower to stage, and has loved every minute. He is very appreciative of the time he can spend working with BOP, especially because it keeps his dorm-mates from strangling him. Zal also plays Oboe on campus and is a member of the Brown University Madrigal Singers.
Jarrett Key ’13 grew up in the operatically stunted rural city of Seale. With dreams of expanding his horizons musically and appearing on a stage as a tenore, Jarrett dashed to the nearest airport and flew on that silver stork until he landed in the beautiful spring blossoms of browntown. Now he sings and acts with all his heart at any opportunity — leaving little time to eat. He began performing with BOP during his first week of freshmen year and hopes to continue to sing and act with them for several more semesters to come. As a concentrator in theater arts and sociology, he hopes to follow his dreams and one day appear on the many great stages around the world.
As a child, Katie dreaded the Sunday MET opera radio broadcasts, which her dad blasted from at least 3 radios at once. Now reformed, she enjoys listening, performing, and learning about this fine art. She first got involved with BOP as a freshman during the Fall Scenes concert. As stage manager for Turn of the Screw, her affair with BOP became more intimate- long phone calls, late nights in Alumni’s booth, and little sleep. When not furiously studying for Arlene’s music theory class, Katie thinks about her beloved WV, how to trick kids into liking opera, and what to make for dinner.
Natalie Kleeman ’13 hails from Lake Forest, IL and is concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience. Natalie became involved in BOP when she was Nella (or Nello, depending on where in the script) in Gianni Schicchi in the fall of 2010. She really knew she wanted to be on the board, however, when she was playing a Fishco lesbian in the 2010 Scenes Concert. She went to boarding school in an opera-deprived town in New Hampshire (where she only sang arias and art songs in front of her voice teacher) so she is very excited to be able to be a part of opera at Brown! Besides singing and music, she likes to read books about neurological disorders, dream about dissecting the brain, and travel.
Ivy is not a plant, she is a person, in fact, a lovely young lady who enjoys baking and ethnic cuisine. She can often be found in her room youtubing various portions of Madame Butterfly, just because. Ivy hails from Miramar Florida, but grew up in Boston and went to boarding school in New Jersey (nice New Jersey, not Jersey Shore New Jersey.) She is a mezzo-soprano who loves graphic design, vintage clothing, and small children.
Isaac Berkowitz ’14 is concentrating in Computational Biology. He enjoys playing the violin and lighting design.
Sophie is a Junior.
Member At Large
Ellie Siden ’15 is a Comparative Literature concentrator. Although she is not a singer, she has nonetheless become slightly obsessed with opera in the last few years. She attempts to make up for her lack of voice by playing flute in the Brown Orchestra, as well as increasingly large amounts of piccolo (to the dismay of her roommate). Ellie also enjoys snowshoeing in the Canadian wilderness and going on muddy adventures with her golden retriever.
On Leave Spring 2013
Ariana is a Junior.
You can read the Brown Opera Productions Constitution here.