Tony Kostecki, General Director
Tony Kostecki was appointed General Director of Seagle Music Colony in January of 2008. Previous to this appointment, Tony held the position of General Manager of the Colony from 2006-2007.Before moving into management, he was on the faculty of Seagle Music Colony as a coach/accompanist and conductor for ten years.Between 2002 and 2007, Tony was Director of Education at Fort Worth Opera and also Director of the Fort Worth Opera Studio.During his tenure with Fort Worth Opera, Tony oversaw the creation of the Fort Worth Opera Studio Young Artists Program and all outreach aspects of Fort Worth Opera.From 2002-2007 he was also the Fort Worth Opera Chorus Master and writer of many of the supertitle translations for Fort Worth Opera.
As a coach/accompanist, Tony worked for Fort Worth Opera, Shreveport Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera Express and Kansas City Civic Opera.A native of Topeka, Kansas, he received his undergraduate degree in Music from BenedictineCollege in Atchison, Kansas and his Master of Music Degree in Piano Accompanying and Organ Performance from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
Darren K. Woods, Artistic Director
Darren K. Woods was appointed General Director of the Seagle Music Colony in the summer of 1996. Since that time, the Colony has experienced incredible growth in almost every aspect including budget, production quality, facilities and faculty/staff. The caliber of young artists at the Colony continues to rival any other program in the world with recent debuts of our artists at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera and even on Broadway. Because of this extensive growth and the need for Seagle Music Colony to have a full-time presence in Schroon Lake, Darren transitioned to part-time Artistic Director in January 2008. In February 2017, Darren returned full-time to Seagle Music Colony and is now also leading the Colony’s development and fundraising efforts. Darren was General Director of the Fort Worth Opera, from 2001 to 2017. Under his leadership, the Fort Worth Opera increased subscription and donor bases and also moved from a full season to a festival format company. Expanding on Mr. Woods’ dedication to young artists, the Fort Worth Opera Studio was founded during the 2002-2003 season with four members who participate in main stage productions, perform for more than 50,000 children each year and receive coaching and lessons from resident and guest artists. Prior to his appointment in Fort Worth, he was the General Director of the Shreveport Opera in Louisiana. While in Shreveport, Mr. Woods founded Shreveport Opera Express, or SOX, a touring, arts in education program that involved school children working with professional artists in the schools.
Mr. Woods is a frequent vocal competition judge. Over the past few years, he has served as a panel judge for the Richard Tucker Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Lieber Competition, the Denver Opera Guild Competition, the Dallas Opera Guild Competition and the Marguerite McCammon Competition. He has been a guest grant panelist for the State of Louisiana (Music, Opera and Theater), the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Nevada and the Fort Worth Arts Council.
Mr. Woods performed as a professional operatic tenor for twenty years prior to beginning his management positions in such venues as: The New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Washington Opera, L’Opera Madrid, Opera Trieste, Seattle Opera, the Dallas Opera, Baltimore Opera, the Santa Fe Opera and many others.
Jim Koehnle, Managing Director/Technical Director
Jim joined the Seagle Music Colony full-time in 2015, where his duties include oversight of all technical theater aspects of SMC’s productions, as well as oversight of the Colony’s buildings and grounds. Along with his creative expertise, Jim brings with him nearly 15 years of professional experience in the technical theatre industry. He spent two summers at SMC as the assistant technical director and scenic designer for Little Women, Sweeney Todd, and The Pirates of Penzance. In recent years at SMC, Jim designed the sets for Falstaff and the world premiere of Roscoe. He recently was associate set designer for the world premiere production of Voire Dire at Fort Worth Opera. Jim received his BFA in Production Design and Technology from Ohio University, and his MFA in Scenic Design from Kent State University. Academic work includes teaching technical theatre and design at Syracuse University, Kent State University, and Lindenwood University as well as a position as technical director and scenic designer for Lindenwood University. His professional work includes positions as props artisan/carpenter for The Virginia Stage Company and Syracuse Stage as well as props master for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Porthouse Theatre. Additionally, Jim continues to work as a cabinetmaker and freelance furniture designer.
Dr. Byron Jones
Washington DC area Tenor Byron Jones is well-known to audiences, having performed regularly for more than two decades in opera, concert, recital and intimate cabaret settings, in such venues as the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Opera House, and Millennium Stage, Lisner Auditorium, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and numerous regional theatres. A versatile artist, he continually seeks out new challenges. Jones has received critical praise for his warmth of tone and clear diction. He has performed with the Washington Opera, Baltimore Opera, Opera Vivente, and Florentine Opera. He remains active as a singer and stage director. Dr. Jones is Associate Professor of Music (voice) at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA, where his activities include directing, teaching, and coordinating opera activities. A specialist in languages, especially French, he has given master classes for the Washington National Opera Institute for Young Singers and the American Singers Opera Project. He holds degrees in French Language and Literature from the Universities of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Massachusetts-Amherst degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland-College Park (Maryland Opera Studio) and Shenandoah University.
Stephen Lusmann has enjoyed a successful international career singing over forty leading baritone roles with major opera houses, including the Oper der Stadt Bonn, Opera de Monte Carlo, Stadttheater Luzern, Washington National Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Glimmerglass Opera among many others. As an active concert soloist he has performed at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall and with numerous symphony orchestras and festivals in the United States and Europe. On recordings, Mr. Lusmann may be heard in Richard Strauss’ opera Der Friedenstag on the Koch International label, Operngala on Tonstudio AMOS, and on E. E. Cummings: An American Circus, songs of Logan Skelton on the Centaur Records label. He also recorded two more CDs of Skelton’s songs that were released in April 2013 on the Blue Griffin label: Ohr Songs: The Mad Potter, Clyburn Songs: A Kind of Weather and Anderson Songs: Through the Eyes of an Islander. His students are having tremendous success performing professionally in opera, concert, musical theater and young artist programs throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. They are performing with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Bayerische Staatsoper München and on Broadway. In addition they are winning prestigious international vocal competitions and are members of university voice faculties. He is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, was the voice teacher for the Fort Worth Opera Studio from 2010-2017, taught at Music in the Marché in Mondavio, Italy and has been a voice teacher at the Seagle Music Colony since 2001.
Dr. Chad R. Payton
Dr. Chad R. Payton is excited to return to “the hill” for his eleventh summer! Previous to beginning teaching voice at SMC in 2016, he was a two-time young artist with Seagle Music Colony (2002, 2005) and served as General Manager (2010-2015). Dr. Payton is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Capital University in Columbus, OH. Since 2016, his private NYC Studio and SMC Young Artists have placed in various levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and are singing with Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Chautauqua Opera Company, Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Delaware, Middlebury Opera, and have received Career Blueprint Awards from Opera America. His music theatre artists have been seen in Naked Boys Singing in NYC, have won the national music theatre NATS competition, and are singing at festivals such as the International Performing Arts Institute in Germany.
Payton made both his Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center debuts in Michael Ching’s opera, Corps of Discovery: A Musical Journey, and has presented chamber music recitals with his professional ensemble, Payton and the Pipes, in Italy and throughout the United States. He has presented technique and audition masterclasses at The Boston Conservatory, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas El Paso, and Utah State University.
Pianist and vocal coach John Cockerill is excited to be joining the Seagle Music Colony music faculty in 2018. Cockerill holds an M.M. in Musicology from UNL and a M.M. in Collaborative Piano from CU-Boulder. Active in opera and musical theatre, he has served on the coaching staff at Des Moines Metro Opera, and he was the assistant music director and conductor at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake, CO for three seasons. He is a company member of Chicago Fringe Opera and was featured on the recording of Ross Crean’s The Great God Pan (Navona Records, 2017). He is currently the musical associate at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY.
Jennifer McGuire is a pianist and vocal coach based in Nashville, Tennessee, and is Senior Lecturer of Collaborative Piano at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. An active recitalist, McGuire has had recent engagements at Symphony Space in New York City, the University of Memphis and the Eastman School of Music. She is a core member of the Atlantic Ensemble, a chamber group featured annually on the Accueil Musical de St.-Merry concert series in Paris, France. McGuire has worked for Cincinnati Opera and Dayton Opera, spent three summers as a repetitor for the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, and is a regular staff pianist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. In 2014, she co-founded a mentoring program for young professional vocal coaches with pianist Roger Vignoles, which runs biannually at the Blair School. McGuire is thrilled to join the faculty of the Seagle Music Colony
Pianist José Meléndez is in demand as a vocal coach, conductor, and collaborative artist. His professional engagements have taken him to Europe, South and Central America, Asia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and throughout the mainland United States. He is committed to the artistic development of young and emerging singers, and has been associated with numerous young artist programs, competitions, and training centers. He holds a full-time position at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he serves as Assistant Conductor, Collaborative Pianist, and Vocal Coach for various AVA productions and events. Mr. Meléndez has held professional positions with Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Hawai`i Opera Theatre, Ocean City (NJ) Pops Orchestra, Connecticut Grand Opera, Bay Area Summer Opera Theater, Westminster Opera Theater, Indianapolis Opera, and Opera de Puerto Rico. He worked with Opera New Jersey for over a decade as Assistant Conductor and Principal Coach, and as Music Director of the Young Artist Program. In the fall of 2013, he joined the faculty of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Mr. Meléndez holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Coaching from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
R. Jason Smith
R. Jason Smith returns to the Seagle Music Colony faculty for his fifteenth season in 2018. He’ll be remembered by audiences as Music Director and pianist for Crazy for You, The Fantasticks, The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Most Happy Fella, Guys & Dolls, and Carousel. He is currently staff coach/accompanist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Previous to this position he was Principal Coach for the Fort Worth Opera where his duties include being rehearsal accompanist for main stage productions as well as touring across the state of Texas with Children’s Opera Theatre. Mr. Smith received a Master of Music degree in Opera Coaching from Florida State University after completing a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Utah. Other experience includes work as an apprentice coach/accompanist for Utah Opera.
Matthew recently served as the Associate Conductor for the 2017-2018 national tour of The Sound of Music. A NYC-based music director and pianist, recent engagements include recitals with world-renown soprano Deborah Voigt and cabaret performances with Broadway veterans Mary Testa and Norm Lewis. Matthew’s music direction credits include productions and workshops with Abingdon Theatre Company, The York Theatre Company, Light Opera of New York, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, American Lyric Theatre, College Light Opera Co., Forth Worth Opera and Kentucky Opera. Upon completing his M.M. in Collaborative Piano from the UNC School of the Arts, Matthew was selected for the William R. Kenan Jr. Teaching Artist Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education where he made his Lincoln Center debut with a multi-media art song recital. In addition, he has served as a coach and pianist at Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division as well as Montclair State University. Favorite past Seagle credits include Albert Herring, Into The Woods, Roscoe and last season’s The Light in the Piazza.
Known for probing dramatic productions of traditional repertoire, as well as innovative new productions, Ms. Evans work has been seen at the opera companies of Fort Worth, Santa Fe, San Diego, Arizona, Dallas, Palm Beach, San Jose, North Carolina, Knoxville, Indianapolis, San Antonio and Grand Rapids. Among her international credits are the legendary Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Montefeltro Festival and Teatro Petrarco in Italy. Dedicated to the education of young performers, she taught at Southern Methodist University, served as an acting coach for several young artist programs and now leads masterclasses regionally and internationally. Upcoming is a modern Nozze de Figaro at Carnegie Mellon and a return to Indiana University, where she will create a new production of the Bernstein Mass.
Director of Productions – Richard Kagey has been Director of Productions at Seagle Music Colony for over thirty years, directing operas and musicals as diverse as Oklahoma! to 2006’s workshop and performances of Morning Star by Ricky Ian Gordon. After spending numerous years on faculty at several colleges and universities, Mr. Kagey has begun freelance directing full time. He was involved with Pasatieri’s opera Frau Margot from its inception, and directed the first workshop production at Seagle Music Colony during the summer of 2005. In the summer of 2007, he directed and was also set desginer for another Pasatieri premiere, Hotel Casablanca, for the San Francisco Opera Merola Program. The opera was a co-production with the University of Kentucky, where he also directed the piece. He is currently working extensively with Atlanta Opera and will direct Of Mice and Men during the 2008 Fort Worth Opera Festival. Other experience includes direction at regional theaters and opera companies across the country as well as several years as a press agent for Broadway theaters.
Kyle Lang’s directing credits include La bohème (Virginia Opera), The Bear (Wexford Festival Opera), Don Quixote and the Duchess (Central City Opera), Apprentice Showcase (Santa Fe Opera), L’enfant et les sortilège and Gianni Schicchi (Simpson College), Dead Man Walking (Opera Fayetteville), The Face on the Barroom Floor (Tulsa Opera), and Short Works (Central City Opera). His choreographic credits include Vanessa (Wexford Festival Opera), Turandot (Virginia Opera), The Merry Widow (Boston Lyric Opera), The Merry Widow (Utah Opera), La Traviata (Fort Worth Opera), Jenůfa (Des Moines Metro Opera), The Last Savage (Indiana University), Sweeney Todd (Virginia Opera), La Traviata (Des Moines Metro Opera), Ariadne auf Naxos (Virginia Opera), Carmen (Opera Omaha), Falstaff (Virginia Opera), Le Nozze di Figaro (Virginia Opera), Die Fledermaus (Opera Memphis), and La Traviata (Lyric Opera Baltimore). Kyle has assistant directed for Santa Fe Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Virginia Opera, Utah Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis, and Indiana University. He is privileged to have danced as a soloist and in the corps de ballet with ZviDance, The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington National Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and with Christopher K. Morgan, performing in countries across Europe, South America, and the Middle East. He pursued music studies at the University of Southern Mississippi before earning a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and his home is now in North Bethesda, Maryland. This season, Kyle will be directing for San Diego Opera, Utah Opera, Virginia Opera, and Carnegie Mellon University.
Board of Directors – Seagle Music Colony, Inc.
Seth Bader, President
Joe Kelly, Executive Vice-President
Julia Pitkin-Shantz, Vice-President for Development
Lisa Reid, Vice-President for Renaissance Campaign
Joel Friedman, Vice-President for Governmental Affairs
Raymond McGee, Treasurer
Barbara Repp, Secretary
Phyllis Shames Korn
Tony Kostecki, General Director
Darren K. Woods, Artistic Director
Ann Breen Metcalfe
Board Members Emeritus