Cole Porter

Kiss Me Kate

July 20–29, 2012

The musical comedy Kiss Me Kate, by the twentieth-century American composer Cole Porter, is based on Shakespeare's comedy The Taming of the Shrew, and features some of the best-loved melodies of the American musical theater. Kiss Me Kate will be performed on the mainstage with orchestra.

Tickets: $25

Performance Dates and Venues

Friday, July 20, Friday and Saturday, July 27–28, 2012, 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 29, 2012, 3 p.m. - Tusten Theater Narrowsburg, NY
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Saturday, July 21, 2012, 8 p.m. - Sullivan West Central HS, Lake Huntington, NY
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Sunday, July 22, 2012, 3 p.m. - Wallenpaupack HS, Hawley, PA
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About the Musical

Cole Porter's musical comedy masterpiece, Kiss Me Kate, remains an enduring favorite of the American stage. It is based on William Shakespeare's comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. The original production, starring Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison, opened on Broadway at the New Century Theatre on December 30, 1948, running for 1,077 performances.

Did You Know... Kiss Me Kate won the first-ever Tony Award presented for Best Musical, one of a total of five Tony Awards the musical won in 1948.



Synopsis of the Musical

Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are about to open a show together, a musical version of Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew. Is doesn’t take long to realize that the couple greatly resemble the characters that they play. Although divorced a year, Lilly throws a jealous fit at finding out that Fred has sent the same flowers that were in her wedding bouquet to Lois Lane, a young ingénue actress, for opening night. The fight results in Lilly quitting the show and making arrangements with her new financé, General Howell, to leave the theater forever and marry him immediately.

Meanwhile, one of the actors, Bill Calhoun, has lost fifty-thousand dollars in a floating crap game and signed an I.O.U. in Fred’s name. When the two gangster enforcers come to Fred for payment he turns the situation to his advantage. He confesses and explains that he won’t be able to pay the debt because his leading lady, Lilly, is quitting the show and he’ll have to give back all the money in the box office. To assure payment, the gangsters agree to “convince” Lilly to remain with the show, and never let her out of their sight until the end of the week, so that the debt can be paid.

Through the antics that follow, it becomes obvious to both Lilly and Fred that they are still very much in love with each other. That realization, and the fact that Fred’s debt is forgiven due to a forced change of management in organized crime, bring success to the show and a happy ending to the actors.



Cast and Production Team

Conductor/Musical Director: George Hemcher

Design and Stage Direction: Carol Castel

Assistant Director/Choreographer: Ed Moran

Stage Manager/Technical Director: Michael Celentano

Costume Designer: Nancy Hobbs

Set Painting: Kay Hines



Lilli/Kate: Julie Ziavras (July 20, 22, 28), Lisa Ferraro (July 21, 27, 29)

Fred/Petruchio: Dave Tillistrand (July 20, 22, 28), Julian Whitley (July 21, 27, 29)

Lois/Bianca: Lindsey Grebeldinger (July 20, 22, 28), Jacqueline Rose (July 21, 27, 29)

Bill/Lucentio: John Kaneklides (July 20, 22, 28), Cody Ryan (July 21, 27, 29)

Gremio: George Papadimitriou

Hortensio: Michael Celentano (July 20, 22, 28), Edwin Vargas (July 21, 27, 29)

Pops/Priest: Robert Brocaw

Ralph: Ed Moran

Paul: Cody Ryan (July 20, 22, 28), John Kaneklides (July 21, 27, 29)

First Man: Mark Robinson

Second Man: Scott Silipino

General Howell: Eric Barsness

Hattie: Carol Diefenbach (July 20, 21 & 22), Meredith Hudak (July 27, 28, 29)


The Chorus and Orchestra of the Delaware Valley Opera


Bass Eric Barsness (General Howell) has performed numerous roles with DVO over the past decade, including Don Alfonso in Cosí fan Tutte (2010), Colline in La bohème (2009), Leporello in Don Giovanni (2008), and Don Andres in La Perichole (2007). He has sung the premiere performances of works by David Berhman, Joe Hannan, Frankie Mann and David Tcimpidis at venues including Roulette in New York City and the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra’s “Music of Our Time” series. He can be heard on David Behrman’s My Dear Siegfried (XI Records), appears in Frankie Mann’s Island, and plays chef Antonin Carème in Terri Hanlon’s recent video Meringue Diplomacy. He lives in Callicoon and in New York City, where he works as Director of Development for Puppies Behind Bars. He has served as President of DVO’s Board of Directors since September 2010. return to top

Robert Brocaw (Pops/Priest) is a bass who sings with the Delaware Valley Opera, the Camerata Chorale in Poughkeepsie, the Hudson Opera Theatre, and the SUNY Orange Choir and Madrigal Singers. He is retired from Wall Street, and is a confirmed Wagnerite who dreams of someday singing Wotan. return to top

The career of DVO General Manager and Artistic Director Carol Castel has taken her through the theater world from musical theater to opera; from actress and singer to singing actress; from arts administrator to opera stage director. Her directing career has included over 60 opera productions in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In addition to a studio of private voice students, Ms. Castel coaches and teaches classes in acting, artistry, and performance practices for the classical singer. She is on the faculty of OperaNUOVA in Edmonton, Canada, and is the founder and General Manager of the New York Opera Studio. For more information about Ms. Castel, visit her web site at return to top

Baritone Michael Celentano (Hortensio) has appeared in performances in the Manhattan area including the Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly with Bleecker Street Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with New York Opera Studio, and Morales in Carmen with Capitol Heights Lyric Opera. Michael is currently working towards his Masters of Music in Opera Performance with SUNY Binghamton and Tri-Cities Opera and a student of Thomas Goodheart. He would like to thank Carol Castel and the Delaware Valley Opera Company for the opportunity to stage manage, technical direct, and perform. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Carol Diefenbach (Hattie) was in the original Broadway cast and National Tour of Diamond Studs, and has performed various roles in repertory theatre, movies, and television. Twenty-six years ago, she had the privilege to co-found the Delaware Valley Opera, and has performed with the company in over 35 operas, operettas, concerts, and outreach programs. Ms. Diefenbach has been honored by the Women in the Arts, Who’s Who of American Women, and the University of American Women, teaches voice in affiliation with the Vocal Arts Foundation in NYC, and continues to actively perform. return to top

Lisa Ferraro (Lilli/Kate) was most recently seen as Cinderella in The True Story of Cinderella at The Franklin Villagers Theatre. Other operetta/opera credits include Yum Yum in The Mikado (Cortland Rep), Margot in The Merry Widow (Rockland Productions), Gretchen in The Student Prince (Ocean City Pops). A graduate of Westminster Choir College, Lisa is also a certified yoga teacher and harmonium player who combines her passions or yoga and singing by leading kirtan, or call and response chanting, as well as workshops on the mystical power of sound and music. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Lindsey Grebeldinger (Lois/Bianca) appears with the DVO this season as Emilia (Otello), Lois Lane (Kiss Me Kate), and Meg Page (Merry Wives of Windsor). and appeared as Olga in last season's production of Eugene Onegin. Other roles include the Witch (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel), Ma Moss (Copland’s The Tender Land), Maman and The Chinese Cup (Ravel’s L’enfant et Les Sortilège), and Juno (Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld) with Hartt Opera Theatre, ZaZa in Lehar’s The Merry Widow with Delaware Valley Opera, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with Hartt Opera Scenes, and Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium with Connecticut Concert Opera. She sang for Marilyn Horne in a masterclass sponsored by Connecticut Concert Opera, performed as soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the New Haven Symphony, and has appeared as soloist in the Duruflé Requiem, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and the Brahms Alto Rhapsody. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The Hartt School, and is currently a candidate for Master of Music at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, where she is a student of Tom Baresel. return to top

George Hemcher (musical director), a native of Malvern, Pennsylvania, is a candidate for the Masters in Music Piano Vocal Accompanying Degree at Manhattan School of Music, where he is a student of Thomas Muraco. Most recently, Hemcher worked on Donizetti's Lucia Di Lammermoor in Thomas Muraco's Opera Repertory Ensemble, where he worked with two other pianists in transcribing a two-piano orchestral reduction of the opera. Hemcher also holds a degree in Music Merchandising from Hofstra University, where he was an active collaborative pianist with Hofstra Opera Theater, and was the pianist for their productions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Die Fledermaus. In 2011, Mr. Hemcher sang Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Hofstra Opera Theatre, and in 2010 he sang Dr. Blind in Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Mr. Hemcher studies voice privately with Tammy Hensrud. This season with DVO, Mr. Hemcher will also be Music Director/Conductor for Kiss Me Kate, and will be a rehearsal pianist for Merry Wives of Windsor, in which he will also be singing the role of Slender. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Meredith Hudak (Hattie) saw her first opera at age 12, and after eight years made her European debut standing next to her host family’s kitchen table in Florence (in German, natürlich). She has sung Zerlina, Mercédès, and Mallika with the American Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at the Bard Summerscape Music Festival. Ms. Hudak is grateful to Shakespeare for many things, but especially for giving her the opportunity to say, in all seriousness, “hey, nonny, nonny.” return to top

Tenor John Kaneklides (Bill/Lucentio, Paul) has been described as a “richly mellifluous tenor.” Most recently he made his debut with Pinehurst Opera Festival, where he performed Rodolfo in La bohème. Other operatic performances include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Central Piedmont Opera, and Triquet in Eugene Onegin and Gastone in La Traviata, both with Opera Carolina. As a Young Artist with Opera North, he portrayed Basilio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and covered the role of Ramiro in La Cenerentola. He has also performed as tenor soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, and Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ. Kaneklides has received several vocal awards, including the Bel Canto Prize from the Orpheus Competition, an encouragement grant from the South Carolina Metropolitan Opera National Council, and was a finalist in the 2011 Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition, where he made his Carnegie Hall debut. He holds degrees in Voice and Business from Winthrop University, where he is currently a Masters of Music candidate. return to top

Baritone Ed Moran (Ralph) is an emerging young artist who is quickly becoming known for his astounding musicianship and character portrayal. He has performed across the West Coast of North America and in Europe. With an extensive and growing repertoire, Mr. Moran has been seen throughout Canada in the roles of Capulet in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and most recently as Sam in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival. Praised for his "gusto and panache," Mr. Moran made his American professional debut as Benoit/Alcindoro with Opera San Luis Obispo in their 2010 production of La Bohème. He has also enjoyed introducing over 50,000 children to the world of opera with both Vancouver Opera In Schools and Opera NUOVA Outreach. He holds a Masters Degree in Opera Performance from the UBC School of Music, and a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Alaska in Anchorage. return to top

A native of Kastoria, a small rural town in northern Greece, bass Georgios Papadimitriou (Gremil) began his musical studies at the age of 5, and has been a choir member of the Greek National Opera and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation. He was accepted at the Greek National Opera Studio for the 2009–2010 season, where he covered the roles of Leporello and Don Alfonso. He is pursuing his M.M. in Vocal Performance at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, where he has performed the roles of Sobakin in The Tsar’s Bride and Palemon in Thaïs with Brooklyn College Opera Theatre. return to top

Voice Mark Robinson (First Man) received his BA in Theatre with a concentration in Directing at SUNY Cortland. He has directed over 100 professional, college, and youth theatre productions. His stage roles have included Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees, and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing, and directing credits include Amadeus, Pippin, Macbeth, Guys and Dolls, Lend Me a Tenor and The Dining Room. He is currently the Education Programs Manager at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, where he taught a week-long opera program for kids called the Youth Opera Experience, which was co-sponsored by the Delaware Valley Opera. return to top

Mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Rose (Lois/Bianca) is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education with a concentration in Voice. Previous performances include the roles of Anna Gomez in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul and Valencienne in Lehar's The Merry Widow. Ms. Rose has appeared as soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem at the 2011 PMEA State Conference, and appeared as a featured soloist under the direction of composer Frank Tichelli. This is her first appearance with the Delaware Valley Opera. return to top

Cody Ryan (Paul, Bill/Lucentio) hails from Middletown, NY and is a graduate of The Hartt School P.T.T.P. at the University of Hartford. Due to a partnership in training, Cody was able to spend his last semester starring in the new musical, Hello Out There, at Goodspeed’s New Works Festival, and in Hartford Stage’s World Premiere of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Other favorite roles include Bobby in the workshop reading of The Devil You Know, where he got to work with producers Stephen Root and Kay Williams, Tommy Walker in The Who’s Tommy, and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. He recently finished touring the world aboard the Silver Spirit with Jean Ann Ryan Productions. return to top

Tenor Scott Silipino (Second Man) is a local musician, singer and copyist/arranger. He returns for his second season with the DVO performing the roles of L'Araldo (Otello), Riley & Second Suitor (Kiss Me Kate), and as a DVO Chorus member. Last season he sang the Captain (Eugene Onegin) and was a member of the chorus. Scott holds a BA in Music from Susquehanna University, where he studied under Judith White and sang the roles of Samuel Paris (Ward's The Crucible), the Mayor (Britten's Albert Herring), M. Gobineau (Menotti's The Medium) and Little Bat (Floyd's Susannah). His past teachers include Dr. David Steinau and Kay S. Hooper, and he is a current student of Eileen Mackintosh. return to top

A singer, actor, and musician, Dave Tillistrand (Fred/Petrucchio) lives in the Bronx with his wife and daughter. Starting his musical life primarily as a saxophonist and bassist, David has made the rounds through instrumental music, musical theatre, theatre, opera, and composing/arranging music. He frequently sings with Regina Opera in New York City. In the theatre, he has performed everything from Shaw to Shakespeare to Guys and Dolls. return to top

Edwin Vargas (Hortensio), baritone from Puerto Rico, will begin work on his master’s degree at the City University of New York. He is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, where he performed with the Opera Workshop in the roles of Don Giovanni, Schaunard, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, and Rodrigo in Don Carlo. He has participated in the International Vocal Arts Institute in Chiari, Italy, and in Puerto Rico. Recent engagements include Sharpless in Madame Butterfly at Nevada Opera, and Marullo in Rigoletto at Capitol Opera of Harrisburg. return to top

Baritone Julian Whitley (Fred/Petrucchio) has been hailed for his “colorful characterization and clarion singing” in Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest (Opera News). Mr. Whitley received his masters degree from the University of Binghamton in conjunction with Tri-Cities Opera and received his bachelors degree at the Purchase Conservatory of Music. He made his debut at the renowned Berkshire Theatre Festival, where he sang over fifty performances of the title role in Bernstein’s Candide. Mr. Whitley sang on the premiere recording of composer Lee Hoiby’s opera, The Tempest, released on Albany Records. return to top

Soprano Julie Ziavras (Lilli/Kate) performs a diverse repertory of opera, art song, contemporary and international music. Her operatic roles include Donna Anna, Mimi, Rosalinda, and the Countess. In addition to her many appearances with the DVO, she has appeared at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Hall, and as soloist with the Greater Newburgh Symphony and the Manhattan Camerata Orchestra. return to top


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