Leah Crowne

Dramatic Soprano

American Soprano Leah Crowne is known for her powerful voice with a “metallic edge and rich color” (Forum Opéra[Blog], Béziers, France), “house-shaking power,” (The Rutland Herald, Middlebury, Vermont), and “impressive stage presence” (The Coloradan, Ft. Collins, Colorado). She delivers “fine artistry with legato, Italianate vocalism and musical precision” (Maestro Michel Plasson), as well as a “good mix of strength and vulnerability inher characterizations” (Director Anthony Pilavachi). 

Ms. Crowne will perform the role of Elsa in Lohengrin the spring of 2021 and Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with RAM Opera in New Jersey. Past operatic engagements span across the United States as well as Europe and include Puccini’s Turandot (Opera Bergen, Norway; Opera Company of Middlebury, Vermont; Opera Ft. Collins, Colorado; Opera Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, The Mediterranean Opera Studio; Caltagirone, Italy), Beethoven's Fidelio (Susquehanna Symphony, Maryland; New York Opera Forum, NYC), Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal (The Metropolitan Opera Guild), Strauss's Salome (Opera Fort Collins, Colorado); Tosca (Sarasota Opera, Florida); Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlos (Sarasota Opera, Florida); Ariadne in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (Hub Opera Ensemble, Maryland; Bay Area Opera Theater, San Francisco), Chrysothemis in Strauss' Elektra (New York Opera Forum), Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Contessa in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (Hub Opera Ensemble, Maryland; Towson University, Maryland).

Also known for her pedagogical work, she has taught masterclasses across Europe and the US. She has a large studio of talented opera and music theaters from across the United States and has been professor of music at Gettysburg College and Mount Saint Mary's University.


Anthony Pilavachi


Anthony Pilavachi, born in Cyprus, grew up in France and lives in Germany since 1987.

He is irish citizen.


In 1983 he directed „La serva padrona“ by Pergolesi in Monte-Carlo and was awarded a

grant by the „Foundation Princess Grace of Monaco“ for studies in Stage Management at the„Guildhall School of Music & Drama“ in London, graduating 1986.

2018 winner of the prestigious „ Österreichischer Musiktheaterpreises“ , (Austrian Music Theater Award), for the „ best Overall Opera Production“: Richard Strauss’s „Capriccio“.

This is not Pilavachi’s first distinction but the culmination of a successfull route to this

ultimate recognition. In 2012 he won the „ECHO Klassik Award“ ( european equivalent tot he British Grammy award) for the DVD of his world-wide aclaimed production of „Der Ring des Nibelungen“ at the time described as the „most successful, most innovative Ring des Nibelungen production of the last years“. Shown on Television in 22 countries by Unitel Classica.


In addition to the Klassik Award, a year earlier, 2011, he received the German Record Award

for the same production elected by music critics from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

After assisting many Stage Directors, he was appointed Assistant and House Director of the

Bonn Opera house, 1987-1992, from where he moved tot the Oper Köln as House Director ,



With Benjamin Brittens „Peter Grimes“ at the Oper Köln 1994 came his career break through with Ben Heppner making his debut in the title role and GMD James Conlon conducting.


Since then he has staged, as a freelance Opera Director, ninety opera productions

worldwide, among which the world premiere of the reconstructed original score of Verdi’s

„Gustavo II“, an association between Philip Gossett and Ricordi Milano, at the Gothenborg Opera House in Sweden, 2002, as well as the German first performance of this Opera in 2004 in Darmstadt.

Among some of the Opera Houses where he directed are: Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper), Frankfurt, Dortmund, Nürnberg, Bremen, Oldenburg, Weimar, Augsburg, Meiningen, Chemnitz, Oper Leipzig, Houston Grand Opera

(USA), am Taipei National Theater (Taiwan), Theater St. Gallen, Stadttheater Bern, (both

Switzerland) Landestheater Linz, Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, (both in Austria),Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux (France), Icelandic Opera in Reykjavik, Bergen (Norway), Göteborg Operan (Sweden), Schlossoper Haldenstein bei Chur (Switzerland), Opera Bilbao, (Spain)

Teatro Colon de Bogota (Colombia), Dresdner Musikfestspiele (Germany), Händel Festspiele

Halle (Germany) and for the Expo 2000 (World Exhibition) in Hannover (Germany).


Nominated since 1994 many times in the „Opernwelt Jahresbuch“, (most important Opera Yearly Book where more than 50 acclaimed music critics nominate the best artists and decide who will be the artist of the year) in the category „best Director“.

Pilavachi has attracted the attention of many critics among whom Jürgen Feldhoff of the

Lübecker Nachrichten Newspaper who wrote „Rarely does a stage director manage to

translate music so perfectly well in pictures and motions as Pilavachi“ and Peter Krause,

Editor of „Concerti“ wrote: „Pilavachi is a master of actors directing and an inventor of

strong pictures“.

In May 2015, he directed the world premiere of Gordon Getty’s Opera „The Canterville

Ghost“ at the Leipzig Opera House and more recently, 2017, also in Leipzig the first staged

production since 1887, of Charles Gounod’s „Cinq-Mars“ (Der Rebell des Königs, Cinq-Mars) with great acclaim.


In recent years Pilavachi, works enthusiasticly with young singers and is also invited by

University’s of Music and Theater to direct productions with the Bachelor Students in Opera such as 2011 Haydns „L’Infedeltà delusa“ at the University of Music and Theater in Hamburg,


June 2018, Bittens „The Rape of Lucretia” and in Mai 2020, Mozarts „Virtual Zauberflöte“ at

the University of Music in Lübeck, October 2018, the „Internationale Opernwerkstatt,

Festival für Junge Stimmen“ in Switzerland and December 2019 Britten’s „A midsummer

night`s dream“ at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen.


American Soprano Leah Crowne is known for her powerful voice with a “metallic edge and rich color” (Forum Opéra[Blog], Béziers, France), “house-shaking power,” (The Rutland Herald, Middlebury, Vermont), and “impressive stage presence” (The Coloradan, Ft. Collins, Colorado). She delivers “fine artistry with legato, Italianate vocalism and musical precision” (Maestro Michel Plasson), as well as a “good mix of strength and vulnerability inher characterizations” (Director Anthony Pilavachi). 

Nadine Benjamin.jpg

Nadine Benjamin

Mindset Coach


Nadine is a mentor, certified High Performance Coach and Mind Coach, and founded her opera and mentorship programme ‘Everybody Can!’ in 2015 to provide a platform to encourage and support others in recognising and achieving their own visions. She has both produced and sung principal roles in Otello and Tosca for Everybody Can! Opera. An Ambassador for London Music Masters, Nadine was “highly commended” at the 2016 Aviva ‘Women of the Future Awards’ and invited to both Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street in recognition of her work as a mentor and singer.

Nadine is a natural coach to singers because of her unconventional journey to an impressive career as a soprano. This year, she made her debut at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden as a soloist in the new work The New Dark Age directed by Katie Mitchell. Hailed by ‘Opera Now’ magazine as one of their favourite top ten sopranos in “a new generation of sopranos who are destined to have impressive careers”, Nadine won the inaugural Fulham Opera Robert Presley Memorial Verdi Prize in 2015. Nadine’s debut solo CD ‘Love & Prayer’ was released in 2018.


Barbara DeMaio

Dramatic Soprano

The American Soprano Barbara Fox DeMaio, has a deserved international fame.

Her vast repertoire includes all the great roles of a Puccini and Verdi soprano, performed in theatres in Italy, Swizerland, Germany and France; Tosca, Lady Macbeth, Turandot, Aida, Abigaille in Nabucco, and also Amelia in Ballo in Maschera, Elvira in Ernani, Lucrezia in I Due Foscari, Leonora in La Forza del Destino and Odabella in La Scala's Attila directed by Riccardo Muti. She is also a noted interpreter of Norma, the Bellini heroine. Since returning to the United States she has added new shows to her repertoire; Bolcom’s Medea and Hoiby’s Bon Appetit! as well as

the Witch in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel , Domina in Forum, Mama Rose in Gypsy, Grandma Helene in Freaky Friday, Ida Strauss in Titanic, Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Costanza in the play Enchanted April.


DeMaio is currently an Assoc. Prof. of Voice at the University of Central Oklahoma, teaching both Opera and Musical Theatre styles, Executive Director of Painted Sky Opera and a Level III Somatic Voicework© teacher. In October, 2016, she was honored to be named as a Member Laureate by Sigma Alpha Iota. Her DMA Vocal pedagogy degree at Shenandoah University included dissertation research on the effect of menopause on the elite singing voice that she has since presented in the form of workshops and presentations across the US, at La Voce Artistica in Ravenna, Italy and at The Voice Geek Conference in Colchester, England.


Stacey Mastrian


Stacey Mastrian, a “manifestly courageous” (Boston Globe) and “very impressive” (Berliner Zeitung)

Italian-American soprano, has sung at venues such as the Konzerthaus (Berlin), the Kennedy Center (DC),

Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (Montréal), Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center (NY), St. Peter’s

(Vatican City), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), and in more than half of the U.S. states. and Mexico. Dr.

Mastrian has been a Fulbright grantee and Beebe fellow to Italy, and she specializes in Italian repertoire

from Monteverdi through Verdi to Maderna and beyond. Her collaboration with pianist Scott Crowne

on their CD of 20 th -century Italian art songs, Sonetti e favole (Sonnets and Fables—Stradivarius Records,

Milan), has been lauded as “a perfect amalgam” (GB Opera Magazine). Awards have included the

Respighi Prize (Chamber Orchestra of NY), Pavarotti Scholarship (National Italian American Foundation),

and Gold Career Grant (Shoshana Foundation). Dr. Mastrian taught Italian diction and repertoire for six

years at Peabody Conservatory as well as at American University, University of Maryland, and as

Assistant Professor of Voice/Opera at Gettysburg College’s Sunderman Conservatory of Music. She

maintains a select private studio online and gives voice, diction, and embodied anatomy workshops

worldwide. For more information please visit www.staceymastrian.com and www.mastrianstudio.com.


Scott Crowne

Vocal Coach

"With flawless playing and collaborative spirit," (Journal of Singing: Vol. 77, No. 1), 

Scott Crowne enjoys a diverse and active career as a pianist, conductor, coach, and teacher. In the realm of opera, he is in high demand as a coach and music director. He is currently the artistic director and principle conductor of Opera Susquehanna in Pennsylvania. In the past he served as principal conductor and music director for the Hub Opera Ensemble and the American Singer's Opera Project. As a coach, he has worked for such institutions as Bel Canto in Tuscany (Florence). the Mediterranean Opera Studio (Sicily), the Middlebury German for Singers Program, the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater, the University of Miami Festival in Salzburg, the voice department of Towson University, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Center.


He finds great fulfillment as a teacher for young musicians as well. As professor of collaborative piano at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he performs with faculty, guests, and students on a regular basis. In addition he serves as the music director for the opera workshop program and frequently the college musical theater productions as well. Off campus he served as music director for the undergraduate opera workshop and taught graduate vocal literature classes at the University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, he works each summer with high school students for the Washington National Opera's Family Opera and Opera Institute. 

As a pianist, he is praised for his sensitive and supportive collaboration with singers and instrumentalists. He performs in Europe and across the United States many times a year in addition to frequent concerts in the Mid-Atlantic region. Venues include Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, the Leopoldskron in Salzburg, and the Teatro Eschillo in Sicily.


Complimenting his love of performance, he is also an inquisitive researcher. He enjoys searching out unusual and interesting music to enrich the standard recital repertoire. His particular interest is in the music of Herbert Howells (1892-1983), on whom he did his dissertation and just published an edition of art songs for Novello and Co.

He received his BMus summa cum laude at the Catholic University of America where studied piano and composition. He received a teaching assistance-ship to the University of Maryland (DMA, MMus) where he performed in numerous concerts and recitals as a vocal accompanist, chamber musician, continuo artist, and orchestral pianist. He spent three years as a répétiteur with the Maryland Opera Studio, assisting with the preparation and performance of operas and opera scenes. He participated or served as pianist for masterclasses for Jennifer Laramore, Evelyn Lear, Elizabeth Bishop, Marcello Giordani, Jerry Hadley, Steven Blier and Martin Katz. He has worked with conductors such as Matthias Kuntzsch, Christoph Hagel, Asher Fisch, Ken Slowick and Kenneth Merrill. His teachers include Rita Sloan, John Greer, James Litzelman, and Wendy Dengler. 

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