Gabriel Preisser, Executive & Artistic Director
As newly appointed Executive & Artistic Director of Opera Orlando, Gabriel Preisser will take his performance experience of over 40 operatic and music theatre roles to serve the company in areas of growth and development, artistic vision and planning, and administration. Born and raised in Apopka, FL just outside of Orlando, Mr. Preisser has deep ties to the Central Florida area. He has served as board member for Opera Orlando (formerly known as Florida Opera Theatre) for two seasons and has served as artistic advisor to numerous arts organizations in the area. He graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University with a major in Vocal Performance and a minor in Business and completed a Master’s degree in Voice at the University of Houston.
Critically acclaimed by The New York Times and Opera News, Mr. Preisser has performed leading-man roles for various companies throughout the US including the Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Opera San Antonio, and others. Most notably, he created the role of Lt. Gordon in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera with subsequent performances at Opera Philadelphia and Cincinnati Opera and subsequent national broadcasts on PBS.
On the concert stage he has garnered a reputation for his dynamic interpretations of Orff’s Carmina Burana and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with such organizations as the Canterbury Chorale, Atlanta Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Jacksonville Symphony, and others. In addition, he is a frequent recitalist throughout the US and a proponent of American composers such as Charles Ives, Carlisle Floyd, Aaron Copland, John Duke, and others.
Outside of his performing career, Mr. Preisser co-foundedAngels & Demons Entertainment, an opera/music theater production company focusing on semi-staged and site-specific opera and music theater presentations. More info at http://angelsanddemons.org
He currently lives in Winter Garden, FL with his wife and son.
VinceNT Connor, General Director
A native of Winter Park, Florida, bass-baritone and stage director Vincent Connor holds a bachelor’s degree and performance certificate from The College of Music at Florida State University as well as a Master’s Degree in voice with emphasis in stage direction from The University of Arizona.
An experienced stage performer, Mr. Connor has also established himself in the directing world. This past year he made his television debut with WGN’s hit series Manhattan as a singing actor and director. He has been praised by Living at the Opera for his “...remarkable directorial touches.” and others for his productions containing “dynamic energy” and “nuance and balance.”
Mr. Connor is a passionate believer in opera outreach and education, and has continually directed full productions and scenes throughout his career working with universities and companies such as The University of Delaware, where he was Director of Opera Workshop, The University of Arizona, UMKC Conservatory, The University of Pennsylvania, Opera in the Ozarks, Marble City Opera, Brevard Music Festival; Janiec Opera, Arizona Onstage productions, and Opera North.
Aside from his operatic endeavors, Mr. Connor has a passion for fusing music and business as an active entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and managing director of the online publication Motivate! Educate! Resonate!, Sexi Soprano.
As a performer, Mr. Conner is at home both on the operatic and musical theater stages, He has mastered the roles of Pooh-bah in The Mikado, Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, Geronimo in Il Matrimonio Segreto, Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, among others. As an apprentice artist, Mr. Connor has appeared with Asolo Opera Festival, College Light Opera Company, Wichita Grand Opera, Opera in the Ozarks and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.
Eric Pinder, Director in Residence
An accomplished actor, writer and director, Eric Pinder has been part of the Orlando arts scene for 23 years. As a theme park performer, he has worked in all four Disney parks (including the legendary "Adventures' Club" on Pleasure Island where he played three different roles) as well as several stages at Universal. Originally from Michigan, Eric holds a BFA in Musical Theatre where he portrayed roles as diverse as Richard in "Ah, Wilderness", Marcellus in "Music Man", and the Police Sargeant in "Pirates of Penzance" to name just a few. He has an MFA In Theatre Performance from the University of Florida where a sampling of his parts there include the Major General in "Pirates of Penzance", "Chairman/Sapsea in "Mystery of Edwin Drood" and Lexy Mills in "Candida".
A professional Equity performer, Eric has been onstage at Mad Cow Theatre (Lockstock in "Urinetown", "Shipwrecked!", "The Explorers Club") Orlando Shakes ("The Luckiest People in the World", "The Exit Interview") and SAK Comedy Lab (Christmas Carol Invasion). He is best known for being a fixture of the International Orlando Fringe Theatre Festival having appeared in 19 out of 25 years. Besides appearing in works by others, he also penned his own one man shows, "Waiting For Napoleon" and "My Mislabeled Youth" as well as the critically acclaimed hits "Driving Miss Cherry Blossom" and "Skip Peril" both of which were named "Best Bets" by the Orlando Sentinel.
He was a supernumerary for Orlando Opera's production of "Salome" and has performed Antonio in two different productions of "Barber of Seville". Taking over as Director in Residence for Florida Opera Theatre, he directed "Gianni Schicci", "The Telephone", "Old Maid and the Thief", "Trouble in Tahiti", "Peter Brooks' Carmen", as well as several concerts and events. For Orlando Light Opera he directed "The Student Prince".
He was proud to be the director for the inaugural production of Opera Orlando, the double bill of Mozart's "Impresario" (for which healso wrote a new script) and Poulenc's "Mamelles de Teresias". Next up, he is directing "The Seven Year Itch" at Valencia College. He is at work on two different opera librettos, one of which is for a hockey opera called "Goaliedammerung".
Robin Jensen, Education Director
Robin Jensen holds a Masters in Music in Piano Performance from Drake University with additional opera and piano collaboration studies from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is the UCF Opera Program Artistic Director and coaches in the Rollins College Opera Workshop Program. Robin has been Music Director for MadCow Theater since 2004 and is in her 10th season as Artistic Director for Camp Madhatter, a summer intensive music theater camp in Minnesota. Robin also served as the first Director of Education and Music Administration with the former Orlando Opera Company where she served as the company’s Assistant Conductor. She was also the founder of the Children’s Opera Company programs from 1989-97.
More info on our Youth Company staff HERE
Nicole Dupré - Director of Hair and Makeup Design
Attend the opera, ballet, symphony or turn on the television in Central Florida and you are more than likely to see the work of Opera Orlando’s resident Hair and Makeup Designer Nicole Dupré. With over 20 productions under her belt, Nicole has turned her passion into a beautiful career. Her work has been viewed in every Opera Orlando production since 2014 and will again be featured in all three Dr. Phillips Center offerings in the 2016-17 season: “Don Pasquale,” “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” and “Don Giovanni.”
For the Orlando Ballet she set a new standard of excellence for their production of “Don Quixote” and then surpassed all expectations through her creature creations for “Beauty and the Beast.” The Orlando Philharmonic has and will continue to ask Nicole to prepare the performers for their semi-staged opera presentations including the 2016-17 offerings of “Candide” and “The Elixir of Love.”
For television and film she numbers NBC, WESH 2, Golf Channel and Odyssey among her clients throughout Florida. As a licensed Esthetician, Nicole approaches her actors, singers and newscasters with a deep understanding of their specific needs. She also takes responsibility for creating the next generation of makeup artists and will be forming a training/mentoring program through Opera Orlando.
KENN STAMP - PUBLICITY AND PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHER
MORGAN DAVIS PECKELS - SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Morgan Davis Peckels is an active teacher and performer in the Central Florida area. Most recently she was seen in Florida Opera Theatre’s production of Trouble in Tahiti and the Orlando Philharmonic’s production of Madama Butterfly portraying the role of Kate Pinkerton. Her other operatic credits include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Lola in Douglas Moore's Gallantry, Gianetta in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers, as well as roles in La Rondine, Louise, Susannah, and Postcard from Morocco. As a concert soloist Morgan has sung with the Messiah Chorale Society of Orlando, The Bach Festival Society Orchestra, Florida Opera Theatre, and The Orlando Philharmonic. Morgan also has an extensive music theatre repertoire, portraying such roles as Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, and Irene in Crazy for You. Morgan earned her B.A. from Elon University and a M.M. from The Boston Conservatory in Voice Performance. She is currently an associate member of the National Association Teachers of Singing and is on the voice faculty at Rollins College and Valencia College. In addition to her collegiate lessons, Morgan was a certified Kindermusik instructor and has a growing home studio out of Winter Springs, FL where she specializes in teaching classical and musical theatre to students of all ages.