staff & board



Scott Williamson, D.M.A - General & Artistic Director bio / blog
email (company manager):  


Steven White - Principal Guest Conductor bio
email (company manager):  


Liz Lochbrunner - Director of Operations


Amy Cofield-Williamson - Co-Director, Artist Apprentice Program


For general inquiries, please email




Meet our Production Crew


Rod Gomez, Director, has served as faculty or associate faculty member of San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Opera Academy of California, Holy Names College and Summer Music West International, directing opera, operetta and musical theater. He has been on the faculty of Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI) for seven years where he has directed La Clemenza di Tito, Die Zauberflöte, Dido and Aeneas, as well as 2010's Suor Angelica ("This was a production that mined every detail of the scenario's psychological complexity with harrowing results. Gomez's achievement was all the more notable in the context of [San Francisco Opera's highly effective staging the preceding fall]... A 'must see' event of the summer"(Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Examiner). He has also served as Artistic Advisor and Resident Stage Director for New York's One World Symphony and directed numerous productions for the company including Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro and Peter Grimes, among others. Other recent New York-area productions include Chelsea Opera's I Pagliacci ("Endearingly homey," New York Times), dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's Die Königskinder ("Rare Humperdinck opera a Treat!" ABC News), Pocket OperaNY's Cosě fan Tutte (Time Out NY's Critics' Pick 2010), Fairy Queen for Big Apple Baroque, Giulio Cesare with the Opera Company of Brooklyn, West Side Story with New Jersey Concert Opera and the American premiere of British composer Joby Talbot's Path of Miracles at New York's Winter Garden. In addition, he has directed productions with San Francisco's Pocket Opera (Madame Butterfly, Rigoletto, Martha) and at California State University, Northridge. He holds a B.M from California State University, Northridge and an M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Beckie Kravetz - Wig Master and Make-up

Beckie Kravetz, Wig Master and Make-up, trained as a theatrical mask maker. A job at Santa Fe Opera introduced her to the mask-like scale of operatic makeup, and after apprenticeships at Santa Fe, Spoleto and San Francisco Operas, she served as the assistant wigmaster and principal makeup artist with Los Angeles Opera for 20 years. Beckie's skills have transformed singers including Placido Domingo, Sir Thomas Allen, Carol Vaness and Samuel Ramey. She also created the makeup, masks and wigs for television commercials starring Michael J. Fox, Charles Barkley, Michael Jackson and Madonna.

In addition to her work in the makeup and wig department, Beckie was the resident mask maker at Los Angeles Opera. She has created masks for opera, theater and film across the country, and has exhibited her work in galleries, museums and opera houses. An solo exhibition of opera-inspired bronze masks of opera characters, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in LA, launched her career as a visual artist. Beckie now lives in western Massachusetts, and her work focuses mainly on figurative sculpture and masks. The opera continues to be a great influence on her work. A full portfolio can be seen at

John Lipe - Stage Manager

John Lipe is a stage manager from Carbondale, Illinois. He has been a director or assistant director for Opera Omaha, Utah Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Central City, Palm Beach Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Center at Duquesne, Sarasota Opera, and Indianapolis Opera. He has stage managed performances with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Toledo Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Opera Birmingham, Tampa Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Recent work has included Porgy and Bess, Rigoletto, The Rape of Lucretia, Wozzeck, and Carlyle Floyd's latest opera Cold Sassy Tree.

Tláloc López-Watermann - Lighting

Tláloc is the founder of a lighting and video design company called Light Conversations LLC. He designs lighting for theatre and opera companies around the country. Tláloc is also a company member of The Plastic Arts with whom he recently co created a new piece about exploration, art, and the obsession with the new, at the Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn NY. He worked on the video projections for Tristan und Isolde at Seattle Opera. His lighting designs have been seen around the country at companies such as Crested Butte Music Festival, North Carolina Opera, Opera Louisiane, Toledo Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Todi Music Fest (Portsmouth, VA), Opera Roanoke. Some of these productions include: Carmen, Man of La Mancha, Salome, La bohčme, The Marriage Of Figaro, Madama Butterfly, The Crucible, Eugene Onegin, The Daughter of the Regiment, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Falstaff, and The Magic Flute, Tosca, Don Giovanni, Footloose, and Hairspray, among others. He has also designed for In Strange Company in Albuquerque, NM. He assisted Connie Yun on her Seattle Opera productions of Tosca, Marriage of Figaro, Falstaff, and Don Quichotte. Tláloc has a BFA in Performance Production from Cornish College of the Arts and an MFA in Design from NYU/Tisch. Tláloc was the 2002 Allen Lee Hughes Lighting Fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Please visit

Jimmy Ray Ward    Laura Powell Ward - Set Design

With an MFA in Scenography from UNC-Greensboro, his credits include work at many theatres along the East coast such as Spoleto Festival USA, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seaside Music Theatre, Flatrock Playhouse, and the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. As resident designer for Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, VA for it's last nine seasons, some favorite designs include scenery forInto the Woods, Big River, Seussical, Grease, Proof, costumes forHamlet, Beauty and the Beast, Joseph...Technicolor Dreamcoat,and lighting for Driving Miss Daisy, Wit, and Rapunzel, among many others. Now leading his own company, Jimmy Ward Scenic, he continues to design and produce regionally, while also teaching at area colleges, including Radford, Hollins, and Virginia Western. Despite years of working in a field he loves, Jimmy feels that his best productions to date are his children, Henry, Lily, Gracie and Frank.

Joey Neighbors - Set Builder

Joey Neighbors is pleased to be building for Opera Roanoke, most recent productions include Flying Dutchman, Carmen, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Magic Flute. He has worked with Opera Roanoke on countless productions on and off since 1986. Along with his work with Opera Roanoke, he also works with Off the Rail Theatre in Roanoke, Opera on the James in Lynchburg, and Annapolis Opera in Annapolis, MD. He has owned his own business for 13 years, Neighbors Handyman and Custom Carpentry, doing small remodeling/repair jobs, tile work, and custom built-in's and Sets for Opera Theatre companies.

Sueann Leung - Costume Director

Sueann Leung is a New York-based freelance costume designer and stylist. She has been featured in a number of fashion columns, most notably The Wall Street Journal. Giulio Cesare is her third opera following The Five College Opera Project's Dido and Aeneas and Seven Deadly Sins. She is regularly on the design team for Ensemble for the Romantic Century, which fully stages theatrical concerts that blend music, theater, and dance, and recently finished a successful run of Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart over at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Other ERC productions include Frankenstein, Dracula, and Akhmatova: The Heart is not Made of Stone. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Costume Design and Gender Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Fascinated by the links between sartorial signifiers and the creation and recreation of one's various identities, the fusion of her two fields of study is often reflected in her work.




Meet our Apprentice Artists


Sarah Cupp, soprano, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from the University of Virginia. She currently works as a Child Life Specialist in the Pediatric and PICU units at Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital. Before moving to Roanoke, Sarah was a member of the Richmond Symphony Chorus where she was often featured as a soloist.

Steele Fitzwater, bass, is a West Virginia native who will graduate from high school in the class of 2014. After graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in vocal performance and an operatic career. Steele has been performing as a junior apprentice with Opera Roanoke since last season.

Tanner Lambert, tenor, from Roanoke, studied at Southern Wesleyan University for two years, under the direction of Dr. Melanie Rowell. He is continuing his undergraduate education at Radford University, where he studies Vocal Performance and Music Therapy.

James Lego, bass, graduated in May 2011 from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, where he completed a Bachelor of Music in composition in three years, earning magna cum laude. As the Apprentice Program's first conductor and composer, James wrote a piece for women's ensemble titled Be not afeard for our first Masques installment.

Tatiana MacMartin, soprano, was born in Quebec, Canada and raised in Midlothian, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education at Virginia Tech. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Music Education, also at Virginia Tech.

Adam McAllister, baritone/tenor, is a native of Bluefield, Virginia. Adam holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Bluefield College, a Master of Arts in Worship Studies from Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Music History from Radford University.

Leah Melfi, mezzo soprano, is a native of Cicero, New York. She received her Bachelor of Music from Liberty University in May 2012, and is currently pursuing a career as a solo performer. She made her debut with Opera Roanoke in the chorus of The Flying Dutchman.

Grace Ellen Moore, dancer and mezzo soprano, is a native of Roanoke who grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Tulsa, and has performed in Opera Roanoke's productions of Madama Butterfly, Il Trovatore, Carmen, and The Flying Dutchman.

Jeremy O'Brien, baritone/tenor, from Salem, received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Roanoke College in 2011. After graduation he joined AmeriCorps as a Corps teacher for Project YES! teaching in the inner city of Chicago. As a new member of Opera Roanoke's Apprentice Artist Program, he made his debut in the chorus of The Flying Dutchman.

Krystal Ramsey, soprano, is from Roanoke. She received her Bachelor degree in English from Tuskegee University, and studied vocal performance in Italy. She made her Opera Roanoke debut in the chorus of Carmen.

Brooke Tolley, soprano, graduated from Radford University with a Master of Arts in Voice in May 2012. As the first member of Opera Roanoke's Apprentice Artist Program, she made her debut as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly in the Spring of 2011.

Brynn Scozzari, soprano, received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Roanoke College where she studied voice under the direction of Marianne Sandborg. As a new member of Opera Roanoke's Apprentice Artist Program, she made her debut in the chorus of The Flying Dutchman.

Tara Sperry, soprano, received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Utah and a Master of Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently, she is an Adjunct Voice faculty member at Greensboro College. Tara made her Opera Roanoke Apprentice Artist Debut in the chorus of Carmen. Also an aspiring stage director, she made her debut as stage director for our first Masques installment in November.

Anna Sterrett, soprano, graduated from Randolph Macon Woman's College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and continued her education at Longy School of Music where she studied with Anna Gabrieli. She currently studies with Sondra Gelb in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Becca Wiles, mezzo soprano, is currently pursuing degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Technology at Virginia Tech and expects to graduate in the spring of 2014.

Paul Wolf, tenor, is from Doylestown, PA. He is a sophomore at Virginia Tech studying Vocal Performance and Music Education with a minor in Leadership.

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Board of Trustees


Bruce Johnson, M.D., President
Jeffrey Marks, Past President
Debra Vascik, Secretary
George Lester, Treasurer
Bill Krause, At-Large

Dr. Rita Bishop
Jay Cummins
Vernon Danielsen
Angle Falconetti
Linda Fallon
Donald Fink
Sally Godsey
Linda Haberman
James Jennings
James Pietrzak
Sarah Powell
Charles Robbins
John Stroebel



Consulting Trustees


Regine Archer
Doreen Fishwick
Helen Fitzpatrick
Elizabeth Futral
Wilbur L. Hazlegrove
Joseph D. Logan, III
Donald W. Richman, M.D.
Richard B. Sessoms
Jane Stuart Smith
Sheila Strauss
Elsie Wilson Thompson
Tom Tielking
Douglas Waters
Linda Gavel Webb
Barton Wilner
Mary Meade Winn