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Alix Jones

Founder and Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall Opera Theater

Announcing the summer opera team…

By Opera

Madama Butterfly Director, Nathan Troup has been named Boston Lyric Opera’s Emerging Artist-Stage Director for the 2015-16 season. Additional upcoming highlights include La traviata and Le nozze di Figaro for The Boston Conservatory; new-works residency at Brandeis University with experimental opera company Guerilla Opera; touring production of Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas in a co-production with The Boston Conservatory and OperaHub; a new production of Elena Langer’s Four Sisters for Boston Opera Collaborative; and continued collaboration with live performance at Museum of Fine Arts – Boston.

Madama Butterfly Conductor, Michael Sakir is equally active on the podium and at the keyboard.  In the 2015-16 season, Sakir makes his guest conducting debuts with Eugene Opera in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and Opera Orlando in Mozart’s The Impresario and Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias. He also returns to Des Moines Metro Opera as conductor for Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei.

Conservatory Director, Kirk Jackson is pleased to return to HHOT for his third consecutive season.  He recently appeared as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Jersey Lily at Dorset Theatre Festival and also directed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to close out their season. Other directing credits include: Tartuffe (Franklin StageCo.); ‘ART’ and Take Me Out (Cap. Rep.); The Internationalist, R&G are Dead, Take Me Out (Helen Hayes Award), (Studio Theatre, DC); The Busy World is Hushed, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Nickel and Dimed (Actorstheatre, Phoenix); Tartuffe, The Importance of Being Earnest, Uncle Vanya, An Absolute Turkey, and Six Characters in Search of an Author (USD/Old Globe Theater, San Diego). He has assisted director Ivo van Hove on groundbreaking productions at New York Theatre Workshop, most recently, Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage. He has taught and directed at Princeton, NYU, CalArts and Bennington College (faculty since 2001).

Conservatory Coach, Sara Chiesa is delighted to return to HHOT for her second season. She has coached and performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Italy. This summer, she will expand her travels to coach/play Orpheus in the Underworld for New Opera Singapore. In the 2015-16 season, she is working as a Pianist/Coach for l’Opéra de Montréal, Opera Saratoga, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Ms. Chiesa spent the 2014-15 season as the Pianist/Coach for the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera. There, she coached and played rehearsals for Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin, Die Zauberflöte, and La fille du régiment. She spent the summer of 2015 as the pianist/coach for Suor Angelica, The Medium, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Chicago Summer Opera. Ms. Chiesa is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and she holds a collaborative piano degree from Florida State University (D.M.A.) and two piano performance degrees from Bowling Green State University (M.M.) and Oakland University (B.M.). She has worked with Virginia Opera, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Prague International Piano Masterclasses, the CoOPERAtive Program, V.O.I.C.Experience, and the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.

Marc Scorca give lecture at Hubbard Hall

By Opera

Monday, July 28, 11am

Marc Scorca, president of Opera America, will give a free and open talk to the community at Hubbard Hall, 25 East Main Street, Cambridge, NY.  Discussion topics will include:

  • General State of the Field.
  • The importance of an entrepreneurial portfolio approach to a life in opera.
  • The importance of being an autonomous artist.

This will be followed by an audience question and answer.

Marc A. ScorcaPresident/CEO

Marc A. Scorca joined OPERA America in 1990 as president and CEO. Since that time, the OPERA America membership has grown from 120 opera companies to nearly 2,500 organizations and individuals. An additional 16,000 subscribers now receive a variety of free and fee-based services. Under his leadership, OPERA America has administered two landmark funding initiatives in support of the development of North American operas and opera audiences and launched an endowment effort in 2000 to create a permanent fund dedicated to supporting new works and audience development activities. OPERA America’s relocation from Washington, D.C. to New York City in December 2005, the first step in the construction of a National Opera Center scheduled to open in 2012, has increased communication and collaboration with and among members both locally and nationally. Scorca has led strategic planning retreats for opera companies and other cultural institutions internationally, and has participated on panels for federal, state and local funding agencies, as well as for numerous private organizations. He also appears frequently in the media on a variety of cultural issues. A strong advocate of collaboration, Scorca has led several cross-disciplinary projects, including the Performing Arts Research Coalition and the National Performing Arts Convention (2004 and 2008). He is currently a member of the US delegation to UNESCO, and serves as an officer of the board of the Performing Arts Alliance and the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as on the Music Advisory Board of Hunter College (CUNY). Scorca attended Amherst College where he graduated with high honors in both history and music.

HHOT is awarded a grant from the Puffin Foundation.

By Opera

The Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.

This award will go towards funding our costumes and props for Nozze di Figaro and Gianni Schicchi as well as our scenic designer, Carl Sprague, who just finished design work on the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Workshop your acting with HHOT

By Opera

Workshops are available for individual registration this summer sponsored by the conservatory program, at $10 per class!  Call the Hall to sign up- 518-677-2495.  All classes are in the blackbox theater. Both workshops are appropriate for seniors in highschool through adult/professional levels.

Featuring Aliana de la Guardia for a Suzuki Acting workshop: July 21 and 22, 6-8pm; July 22 and 23 10am-12pm

Featuring Christine Decker for an Improv workshop: July 23, 24 and 25 from 6-8pm.

alianaThe Suzuki method of acting, developed by Tadashi Suzuki, is one of the most commonly taught acting methods in the United States. It has been taught at schools such as Julliard and Columbia and has been gaining popularity with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Suzuki method works to build an actor’s awareness of his body, especially his center. The method uses exercises that are inspired by Greek theater and martial arts and require great amounts of energy and concentration. They result in the actor becoming more aware of his natural expressiveness and allow him to commit more fully to the physical and emotional requirements of acting.

Aliana de la Guardia is a classical singer, actor, and producer hailed by Stuff Magazine as “an anomalous player on the Boston music scene.” The Cuban-American performer began training in theater and film at a young age in her native New Jersey and completed studies in voice and opera at The Boston Conservatory.  Aliana is the general manager of Guerilla Opera, a boston-based company specializing in nw ensemble works.

Improvisational Theatre is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. In its purest form, the dialogue, the action, the story and the characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script. christine decker Improvisational techniques are often used extensively in drama programs to train actors for stage, film and television and can be an important part of the rehearsal process. However, the skills and processes of improvisation are used outside of the context of performing arts, as well. It is used in classrooms as an educational tool and in businesses as a way to develop communication skills, creative problem solving and supportive team-work abilities that are used by improvisational, ensemble players. It is sometimes used in psychotherapy as a tool to gain insight into a person’s thoughts, feelings and relationships.

Christine Decker, a Cambridge native, has over 35 years experience throughout the US as a professional actor, teacher and improviser and is well known by patrons of Oldcastle Theatre Company of Bennington and the Theatre Company of Hubbard Hall where she most recently appeared as Shirley Valentine in a one-woman show.

Your very own Opera Singer!

By Opera

Hubbard Hall Opera Theater – Housing Host information 2014

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HHOT artists for the 2014 summer season will need a place to stay in the Cambridge area for some or all of the time between July 19 and August 24 for the performances of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.  In every case HHOT will honor the specific time frame that works with the host family.   HHOT will always be in contact in advance of the guest’s arrival to confirm the dates and then put you directly in touch with your guest to work out any details by July 1.  HHOT artists will be at least 18 years old and HHOT will honor any requests to house a person of a certain age or gender.

schichi 4HHOT artists may share rooms, as long as we can assign roommates in advance.  They expect to share bathrooms and are willing to bring their own linens, towels and cooking utensils if necessary.  In most cases guests require some access to a kitchen.  Internet and laundry access is not required, but is appreciated.  Transportation and meals are not required of the host family, but are always welcomed.  You may not see much of your house guest as rehearsals generally start by noon and will finish after 10pm.

If requested, HHOT will hire a house cleaner for the hosts before or after the stay of their guest/s.  Hosts receive a complementary bottle of wine upon the arrival of their guest/s and are invited to a private dinner party just before the final dress performance.  Hosts will receive two complimentary tickets to the performance of their choice, but must call the Hall to reserve in advance.   Should there be any problem over the course of the homestay, HHOT can always be reached via phone or email to help resolve the issue.  After the departure of the HHOT artist, we will follow up with all of our hosts  to request feedback and make sure that the homestay went well.

In addition to maintaining an excellent music festival in the Cambridge Valley, as a host you have the opportunity to get to know interesting musicians and actors from a variety of cultural backgrounds.  Many of the friendships formed during these homestays have spanned years and some musicians have even relocated to this region because of the outpouring of welcome they received during their first stay.  We couldn’t do this without you.

Alix Jones, Artistic Director


Announcing summer artistic team

By Opera


Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya (an upstate native)

What galvanized the entire production was the high level of the music making. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, who is also music director of Juventas New Music Ensemble and Harvard’s popular Lowell House Opera, is a skillful and incisive musician, and she got an exciting, accomplished performance from her small orchestra. ” -Lloyd Schwartz, Pulizer Prize winner for Criticism (New York Arts)





Director, Marriage of FigaroPatrick Hansen

Mr. Hansen has been on the musical staffs of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, The Juilliard Opera Center, and Glimmerglass Opera as well as being the Director of Artistic Administration for Florida Grand Opera during the opening of the 500 million dollar downtown Miami arts centre.

The former director of the Young American Artist Program at Glimmerglass Opera, Mr. Hansen recently presented masterclasses and coachings with the Young Artists of Virginia Opera and returned to the Kennedy Center for his fourth collaboration as stage director with the Washington Chorus’ “Essential Verdi”. Future productions include directing L’Elisir d’amore for Eugene Opera, Rameau’s Venus and Adonis for Opera McGill,Little Women for Ithaca Opera and Fille du Regiment for Fargo-Morehead Opera.


kirkDirector, Gianni Schicchi: Kirk Jackson

Jackson has performed on and off Broadway and throughout the U.S. in nearly 200 productions, including the world premieres of Terrance McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion! (Broadway), Doug Wright’s Quills (New York Theater Workshop) and Interrogating the Nude (Yale Rep.), David Lindsay-Abaire’s Wonder of the World (Woolly Mammoth, D.C.), Samuel Beckett’s one-man Stirrings Still (Center Stage, Baltimore) and the US premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker’sThree Birds Alighting on a Field (Manhattan Theater Club). He directed the US premiere of Howard Barker’s Uncle Vanyaand has assisted Belgian director Ivo van Hove on groundbreaking productions at New York Theater Workshop: More Stately MansionsHedda GablerMisanthrope and The Little Foxes. Jackson’s other directing credits include, Legends!,The InternationalistRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Take Me Out (2005 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Production) at Studio Theatre, Washington DC; The Busy World is HushedKiss of the Spider WomanNickel and Dimed, and Gray’s Anatomy at Actorstheatre, Phoenix, AZ (multiple Zoni Awards and nominations); Strange Interlude at Washington Shakespeare Co. (two Helen Hayes Award nominations); Take Me Out and ‘ART’ at Capital Rep. in Albany andThe English American (Best of Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe Festival). For the MFA program at the Old Globe Theatre (USD) he has directed TartuffeThe Importance of Being EarnestUncle VanyaAn Absolute Turkey and Six Characters in Search of an Author. A founding member of the Obie Award winning Cucaracha Theater, Jackson has taught and directed at Princeton, NYU, and CalArts. BA, Binghamton University (Don A. Watters Award for outstanding achievement); MFA, Yale School of Drama (Carol Dye Award for outstanding achievement as an actor). Jackson has taught at Bennington since 2001.

HHOT has been inducted as a professional member of Opera America!

By Opera

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OPERA America is dedicated to supporting the creationpresentation and enjoyment of opera.
OPERA America draws on resources and expertise from within and beyond the opera field to advance a mutually beneficial agenda that serves and strengthens the field through programs in the following categories:

  • Creation: Artistic services that help artists and companies increase the creativity and excellence of opera productions, especially North American works;
  • Presentation: Opera company services that address the specific needs of staff, trustees and volunteers;
  • Enjoyment: Education, audience development and community services that increase all forms of opera appreciation.

The association provides members with an array of publications and online resources, regional workshops, an annual conference and network-specific services such as conference calls, listservs and direct contact with staff with expertise in opera production, administration and education. OPERA America provides members with tools to maximize the effectiveness of financial and human resources, expand the scope of repertoire and programs, and extend their reach to new and diverse audiences.

HHOT receives 2014 scholarship funds from the JM McDonald Foundation

By Opera

In the spring of 1952, J.M. McDonald established the J.M. McDonald Foundation, Inc. This is a trust whose income is to be used as donations to deserving charities.

Primary interests of the Foundation are education, humanities, health, and a variety of social and human services.

As of the year 2005, 53 years after its inception, the J.M. McDonald Foundation, Inc. has grown many times over and is active in awarding grants primarily in upstate New York. Thanks to the foresight of J.M. McDonald, Sr., the Foundation will continue the charitable example he modeled years ago.