Our TEAM

Scott Skiba

Executive Artistic Director

Cliff Wilson

Artistic Administrator

Daniel Bell

Grant Writer

Alissa Hartman

Salesforce Database Assistant

Domenico Boyagian

Music Director and Principal Conductor

Dean Buck

Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master

Emma Rose Lewis

PR and Marketing Assistant

Lindsey Hewett

Salesforce Database Assistant

Megan Thompson

Director of Education and Engagement

Dr. Stephanie Ruozzo

Education and Engagement Associate

Annemarie Forgie

Salesforce Database Assistant

Known for his savvy style on the podium and ability to communicate, Maestro Domenico Boyagian has proven to be highly valuable, sensitive and compassionate in his aesthetic delivery. Born and raised in Bologna, Italy and the son of the internationally renowned Armenian-Italian Verdi baritone Garbis Boyagian, Mº Boyagian arrived in the U.S. in 2000 to pursue his musical studies in piano and conducting.  In the 2014-15 season, Mº Boyagian is guest conductor with Opera North (NH) in his debut conducting La traviata. He is also an invited guest conductor in the fall with the Manhattan School of Music where he will work with young artists in scenes programs.

www.domenicoboyagian.com

With a background in performance, technical theater, education, and event coordination, Megan Thompson was appointed Executive Director of Great Lakes Light Opera (GLLO). Under her governance, Great Lakes Light Opera became a leader in accessible opera productions, and perhaps more notably, the only company in the area with an adult-focused education program. Cleveland’s premier opera company, Cleveland Opera Theater, took notice in 2016, and a merger was arranged to better serve Northeast Ohio. The role of Director of Education and Outreach was created for Ms. Thompson. In this capacity, she has grown the company’s flagship Opera for All outreach initiative by more than 300%; delivers and oversees the adult lecture series and Opera 101 pre-show talks; and designs and oversees youth programming and partnerships, including Fall 2020’s Hip-Hopera program for high-schoolers. Additionally, Ms. Thompson manages the company’s other forms of outreach including marketing, social media, and volunteer management. 
www.meganthompsonmezzo.com

Cliff Wilson is the Artistic Administrator for the company and works closely with the General Director and Artistic Director. He served as Artistic Administrator of Opera Cleveland until the end of 2010.  He has had the opportunity to work with our directors, designers, artists, and technical staff.  Prior to Opera Cleveland, he served as the Director of Operations for Lyric Opera Cleveland, a company that produced a summer opera festival each year.  Cliff has a Master’s Degree in Education, taught for eleven years in the Cleveland Public Schools, and worked with a local chamber orchestra after teaching. He is glad to assist Cleveland Opera Theater with their fine productions each season.

Dean Buck is a Cleveland-based conductor, now serving his fourth season as Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master with Cleveland Opera Theater. His conducting has been described as "fearless and firm," (Cleveland Classical,) and "maintaining a constant, flexible rapport with singers." (New York Observer.) He has additionally served as Music Director for Cleveland Opera Theater's {NOW} Fest for the past two seasons, supervising premiers, workshops and performances of works by such composers as Evan Mack, Dawn Sonntag and Griffin Candey. Dean has recently served as guest conductor for Heights Chamber Orchestra and Suburban Symphony Orchestra, and assistant conductor for the Mediterannean Opera Studio and Festival in Caltagirone, Sicily.  He holds a masters degree in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

As a music historian, Dr. Ruozzo's research focuses largely on early musical comedies and the World War I output of Jerome Kern for the Princess Theatre, but her abiding passion for opera has led to lectures and publications exploring the art form through the 21st century. These projects include presentations on Mozart's Da Ponte operas and Thomas Adès' The Tempest as well as an article discussing the contemporary relevance of Verdi's "Va, pensiero."

She continues to modernize and advocate for music pedagogy in her position as Adjunct Professor of Music History at Wichita State University by developing their first entirely online and remote music history curriculum in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Daniel Bell is a grant writing volunteer with the company. Daniel was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil from 2017-19, where he organized English language and cultural diplomacy programs at the Federal University of Viçosa. He is passionate about the power of opera and art to educate and foster intercultural understanding. He graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English in 2017.

Award-winning Stage Director Scott Skiba has led more than 70 new productions, earning recognition for his imaginative stage direction and dynamic physical approach to storytelling that is “masterful…ingenious…first-rate...vivid and emotionally charged." Scott serves as Executive Artistic Director of Cleveland Opera Theater, where his recent production of La Traviata was named “the best professional opera production Cleveland has seen in years.” Additional credits for the company include new productions of Madama Butterfly, Le nozze di Figaro, La Bohème, A Streetcar Named Desire, Tosca, La Rondine, Gianni Schicchi, Il Tabarro, Pagliacci, The Threepenny Opera, and the Cleveland premiere of Evan Mack and Joshua McGuire’s The Ghosts of Gatsby for The National Opera Association in a co-production with Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. 

www.scottskiba.com

Emma Rose recently moved back to Cleveland after spending time in Pennsylvania working as a broadcast journalist. She is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University where she studied broadcasting and public relations. Emma Rose is currently working for a marketing agency, Studiothink, as a digital media associate. When she's not working or staying home because of a pandemic, she loves to travel and can't wait to be on an airplane again! She is also a Miss Ohio candidate and will be performing an aria as her talent. 

Alissa Hartman is a virtual Salesforce Admin volunteer with Cleveland Opera Theater, helping to optimize data in the platform. Alissa is passionate about the arts and their ability to ignite and inspire creativity. In her free time ,she enjoys practicing as a hobbyist photographer and visiting national parks and forest preserves. Currently residing in Chicago, IL, Alissa grew up in Michigan and is an alumna of Michigan State University.

Annemarie Forgie is a virtual Salesforce Admin volunteer with Cleveland Opera Theater, assisting with maintenance and development of the company’s CRM system. Annemarie has spent most of her professional life serving non-profit organizations and is passionate about leveraging technology to make a meaningful impact. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Annemarie is a life-long animal lover and advocate. She lives in New York with her husband and several rescue pets.

Lindsey Hewett is a virtual Salesforce Admin volunteer with Cleveland Opera Theater, assisting with the cleanup and optimization of the Salesforce org. She is a graduate of McGill University in Canada with a B.S. is Computer Science and is passionate about helping nonprofits use technology to automate their daily tasks. Lindsey has been immersed in the arts her whole life, growing up singing in jazz choirs, dancing in musical theater productions and leading youth dance teams, and more recently teaching aerial arts dance classes. Lindsey currently lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and 2 rescue dogs.