OUR MISSION

To offer Cleveland an educational and outreach-focused/oriented opera company that seeks to connect with all audiences, from the seasoned opera-goer to those with no previous exposure to classical music of any kind. We will achieve this mission by:

  • Reaching out to atypical venues in order to perform “portable” concerts of opera scenes and other vocal art music.
  • Educating audiences of all ages by presenting lecture recitals, which give the audience/performers an opportunity to connect with the text/history/theory behind classical music.
  • Programming unique operas, concerts, and revues with the aim of piquing the interest of the community.
  • Mining Cleveland’s rich community of artists and musicians who are equally committed to de-mystifying and revitalizing the traditional art music scene.

 

OUR TEAM

 

Megan Thompson
Executive Director/Artistic Director
Megan Thompson holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music from Stetson University, with an emphasis in Vocal Performance and Psychology. In addition to her musical background, Megan works as a Special Project Manager for Center for Arts-Inspired Learning and holds an Associate of Arts degree in Drama/Technical Theatre, her forte being lighting and set design. After holding many leadership positions throughout college and her early professional career, Megan was hired to start a girls’ choir for Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood as well as a drama/musical theatre program for two of the Cleveland Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. With her background in education, management and event coordination, Megan was recently appointed Executive Director/Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Light Opera with the intent of developing a company focused on education and outreach in Northeast Ohio.
Alejandra Martinez
Director of Community Outreach and Opera Avengers Host
Alejandra Martinez holds a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University. While at Stanford she served as President and Fundraising Officer on the board of the Stanford Savoyards, a student-run light opera company dedicated to the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. Under the guidance of Michael Burden, Dean of New College, Oxford University, she authored a collection of musicological essays on Handel’s operas. Later, she would focus on performance and interpretation of German Lieder at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Alejandra was recently honored with the Elly Ameling Award for Excellence in Recital Performance, for a program of music from Spain and Latin America.
Charles Lemon
Technical Director
Charles Lemon works in the Audio/Video/Home Technologies field and brings vast and varied experience to Great Lakes Light Opera. Charles has built sets and fabricated props for numerous productions beginning with his high school production of Quilters. Most recently, Charles served as Technical Director for Great Lakes Light Opera’s production of The Medium at the Alcazar Hotel in Cleveland Heights. He built the set, acted as Master Electrician and fabricated puppets for the shadow theatre.
Aleksandr Gordienko
Administrative Assistant
Aleksandr Gordienko dreamed about a career in IT since he was 15. By the time he was 22, he realized his childhood dream and received his university degree in Computer Science. Currently, he has many of IT projects successfully implemented in a big electricity and gas companies. He has quickly become a respected expert in the IT field. Today, Aleksandr dreams about becoming helpful in culture and arts distribution all over the world. Living in Russia, he doesn't allow the thousands of miles to stand in the way of being a part of Great Lakes Light Opera's team.
Seth Johnson
Teaching Artist
Seth Johnson holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Bradley University, where he was the winner of the Concerto/Aria Competition in 2015. He is a passionate musician who has worked with numerous opera organizations. Such groups include the Opera Youth Outreach, Opera Illinois and the Opera Workshop at Bradley University. In these groups, he performed such roles as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Archibald Grosvenor in Patience. He also had the opportunity to study in Duino, Italy at the International Music Festival of the Adriatic in the summer of 2015.
Meg Martinez
Marketing and Artistic Associate
Meg Martinez is an actress, singer, and theatrical jack of all trades and holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts from Brown University. As a performer, she has been seen in such roles as Mary Poppins, Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida, Philia in A Funny Thing...Forum, Rapunzel (and others) in Into the Woods, Susan in [title of show], and more. As a choral singer, Meg studied with Grammy-winning conductor Dr. Robert Page and sang at venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Strathmore in Washington, D.C.. She was also hand-picked by Dr. Page to be a member of the All-Star College Chorus with the PSO Pops in 2013, performing in a special tribute concert for Marvin Hamlisch. Besides being a performer, Meg spent her first two years of undergrad as a Dramaturgy major at Carnegie Mellon University and has experience in quick-change wardrobe crew, directing, casting, props, and stage management.
Stephanie "Annie" Maxwell
Administrative Assistant
Stephanie A.K.A. "Annie" Maxwell is an administrative professional with an eclectic background in work and volunteer experiences. Annie has assisted several start up companies while she often volunteers for animal rescue associations on and off. She has participated in many small community based acts for singing as well as theater across the West Coast and of recent note has performed for FIODA (Falkland Islands Operatic and Dramatic Association) while living overseas. In her spare time she focuses on writing several novels, one of which aims to bring exposure to chronic illness patients in an empowering light. She hopes to spread enthusiasm through campaigning art expression and is honored to be apart of Great Lakes Light Opera.
Michael Sajewski
Opera Avengers Writer
Michael Sajewski holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production from Full Sail University. A freelance writer and lifelong storyteller, Michael has captured his ideas through short films and documentaries, stop motion animations and feature length screenplays. Michael creates original podcasts for Great Lakes Light Opera’s Opera Avengers. He is responsible for researching each opera and finding a fun and creative way to present the plot. In addition to writing the Opera Avengers Podcast, he also lends his talents to the Great Lakes Light Opera by writing original librettos, including Macabaret.