The Cast of the Boston Tea Party Opera
at the New York International Fringe Festival
Check out our creative team and crew here.
Neal Harrelson as Samuel Adams
Neal Harrelson has captivated audiences across the United States, England, France, Spain and Australia with his “outstanding voice and imposing stage presence," (The Longboat Observer) as well as his “easy top range and fine sense of style, and clear and winning high notes” (Opernwelt). Highlights of his singing career include his Carnegie Hall debut in the Bach Magnificat; Queensland Opera in Brisbane, Australia as Alfredo in La Traviata; Arturo in Bellini’s I Puritani with Opera de Nantes; singing Rossini’s Messa di Gloria with the Orquestra de Valencia. In addition to maintaining an active solo career, Mr. Harrelson is a sought after private voice instructor in New York City training both professional opera singers and some of Broadway’s leading men and women.
Ras Dia as Gov. Thomas Hutchinson
Ras is delighted to join the cast of BTPO at FringeNYC. A native of Harlem, New York, he has appeared as the Marquis (La Traviata) with New Jersey Versimo Opera, as Don Giovanni with Barefoot Opera (UK), as well as Roger in the London and Paris premieres of Jonathan Pontier’s Domestic Scenes. He is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Purchase College (SUNY), and the Boy’s Choir of Harlem.
David J. Baldwin as James Otis
Bass, Pianist, David, former resident of Chicago, has performed solo roles with New York Opera Exchange, Palisades Opera, and Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance. He sang the role of Tiresias in The Bard Music Festival’s production of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. He has performed with the choruses of The Metropolitan Opera (including the Grammy-Award-winning production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle), The American Symphony Orchestra, Church of the Transfiguration, and Soho Synagogue. David is a frequent music-director at NYC’s historic Duplex Cabaret Theater. This spring, he returned to Chicago and performed bass solo's in Mozart Requieum.
Charles Armstrong as Richard Clark
Charles is thrilled to make his NYC debut with The Boston Tea Party Opera family. National Tours: Are You My Mother? and The Little Engine That Could (ArtsPower). Regional: Forestburgh Playhouse (NY), Weathervane Theatre (NH), and Atlantic Stage (SC). Thank you to the team, friends, family, and Dr. David Bankston for all their love and support.
Alyssa Sarnoff as Solo Dancer
Alyssa is a native New Yorker, and is very excited to be a part of the Boston Tea Party Opera. She started her vocal training and performing in the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus, while also attending the School at Steps Pre-Professional Program where she received her dance education. Alyssa is a rising Junior at Northwestern University, as a Musical Theater Major with an Economics double major. Alyssa is delighted to be a part of this production and reunite with Choreographer Karen Gayle.
(Affiliated with the New York production in preparation for production in Boston)
Soprano, Anna Richardson has sung with the Riverside Symphony Orchestra, New York Opera Exchange, and the Savannah Voice Festival. She has played La Feu in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges and Crobyle in Massenet’s Thaïs at the Conservatory of Music in Brooklyn College. She also played Papagena in The Magic Flute, Meg Brockie in Brigadoon, and Ruth Putnam in The Crucible at Pepperdine University.
Kerry Gotschall as Elizabeth Adams
Kerry Gotschall is very excited for the premiere of BTPO after having been a part of the project since 2013. Originally from Houston, this upcoming season, Kerry will be seen as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) and Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with Connecticut Lyric Opera (CLO). She has recently performed with CLO as Der Trommler (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) and with Bronx Opera as Lucia (The Thieving Magpie). Additional roles: Suzuki in Madama Butterfly (Kansas Concert Opera), Marta in Iolanta (Opera Slavica), Jo in Little Women (Seagle Music Colony), Dorabella in Cosi van tutte (Seagle Music Colony), Witch in Hansel and Gretel (CLO, NYLOT).
Colette Boudreaux as Molly Pitcher
Soprano Colette Boudreaux has been praised for her “richly beautiful instrument– supple, silvery in tone, technically secure, and dramatically convincing" (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Since making her Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York, she has been heard with Asheville Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center, Grandview Opera and the American Musical Theater Ensemble. Among her awards, Boudreaux won Third Prize in the Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, received the Kriendler Scholarship at Manhattan School of Music, the Dean’s Scholarship at Oberlin Conservatory and has also been recognized by the American Traditions Competition.
Mary-Anne Wright as Ruth Otis
Actress, singer, writer
Originally from South Africa, Mary-Anne has performed in various projects including 'Hazard a Little Death' at The Planet Connections Festivity and JD Lawerence's 'Jury Duty' under Ty Lowman Productions. Mary-Anne is also currently working on her own show called 'In the Wake' which is expected to premiere in New York later this year. Mary-Anne is thrilled to be playing a part in 'The Boston Tea Party Opera' ; a show which no doubt promises to have a wonderful future.
Melvinna Melrose Johnson as Mrs. Attucks
Melvinna Melrose, soprano, She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is part of a New Jersey based opera company called Trilogy which is under the direction of American opera singer, Kevin Maynor. As an undergrad, she performed as Mimi in La Boheme. She has performed in community theater musicals in New Jersey including Little Shop of Horrors (Cranford Dramatic Club), Hair (Black River Playhouse), and Les Misérables (Plays in the Park). Her experience also include performances at venues such as Symphony Space, Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Prudential Center.
Kevin Barrett as Captain Preston
and Captain Hall
Kevin is an experienced actor, public speaker,and writer. During the past 20 years, he as been singing in select choral groups and small opera companies. He has performed in musicals such as Godspell, Lil Abner, The Music Man, No No Nanette, Mame, Oliver, Company, and Pippin. His operatic experience includes Cavalleria Rusticana, Il Pagliacci, Madam Butterfly, Ahma and the Night Visitors, La Boheme, and La Traviata. Kevin played the role of Muhammad Jones, a sophisticated drug dealer who saves his daughter, but is then executed by a hit man on a mission in the movie, "The Killing Machines". He has also taught acting skills at the Newburgh Performing Arts Academy.
Kelly Horan Galante
(Affiliated with the New York production in preparation for production in Boston)
Soprano, Kelly Horan Galante's favorite roles include: Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd), Martha and Lily (The Secret Garden), The Third Lady (Magic Flute), Ma Moss (The Tender Land). She is the Assistant Creative Manager at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum in Boston, MA. Kelly studies with Anna Gabrieli of Belmont, MA.
Chad Cygan as Samuel Adams
Chicago native and Juilliard graduate Chad Cygan (tenor) is excited to join the company of the Boston Tea Party Opera in the role of Sam Adams. Chad has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, the Oratorio Society of New York and in 2014 he has portrayed Jasper Vanderbilt in The Rivals with Bronx Opera, Philippe in New Moon with Light Opera of New York, Fenton with Utopia Opera in Verdi's Falsaff and Tamino in Geneva Light Opera's Magic Flute. He will sing with Utopia Opera (Susannah), Chelsea Opera (The Face on the Barroom Floor) and Opera Cooperative (Cosi fan tutte) in the 2014-15 season. More information can be found at www.chadcygan.com.
Scott Joiner as Captain Scott
Praised for his “bright, arching tenor” (Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle), young American tenor Scott Joiner recently made his San Francisco Opera debut in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser's The Secret Garden in “a splendid performance” (SF Classical Voice) as a “jaunty Dickon with a lovely tenor” (Classical Review). Joiner has also performed roles with Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Knoxville Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC, Asheville Lyric Opera, the Opera Company of Brooklyn, American Opera Projects, Intermezzo Opera Festival, Teatro Magnani di Fidenza and has appeared as a soloist with the Escher String Quartet, Colorado Music Festival, Harrisburg Choral Society, Asheville Symphony, the Hendersonville Symphony and others.
Robert Balonek as Paul Revere
Robert Balonek, baritone, is thrilled to be working with the Boston Tea Party Opera again! He recently finished his Alice Tulley Hall debut with the American Classical Orchestra as Charon in Handels Alceste. This summer, you can see Robert in Victor Herberts Natoma with the Victor Herbert Renaissance Project as well as Ford in Falstaff with the Utopia Opera. In the fall, Robert will be singing the count with the Salt Marsh Opera. More at
Michael Bragg as John Hancock
Michael made his professional debut in 2004 as Koko in The Mikado with Lyric Opera Cleveland after being a young artist with the company for two previous seasons. In 2005 he sang the role of Gershon in the world premiere of The Eglantine and went on that winter to do a national tour of A Christmas Spectacular with Denyce Graves and Andrea Bocelli. 2009 saw him as an Oompa Loompa in the world premiere reading of The Golden Ticket with American Lyric Theater and this season he will be in another world premiere reading of The Turing Project, also with American Lyric Theater. In 2011 Michael made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Götterdämmerung and in the 11/12 season was in Les Troyens, Parsifal, and, again, Götterdämmerung. This season also marked his Carnegie Hall debut performing the Verdi Requiem with the Manhattan Symphony.
Alexandra Fees as British Redcoat Soldier
Possessing a rich middle register and sizzling stage presence, Ms. Fees debuted the title role in Carmen in January/February 2014 in Huntsville, AL. Ms. Fees’ dynamic vocalism has gained her playful and plush soubrette roles, such as Adele (Die Fledermaus, Ars Nova) and Despina (Così fan tutte, Mannes College) while maintaining a shimmering sound perfect for sweeping, sensuous roles such as Sister Genofievva (Suor Angelica, Mannes College) and Amy (Little Women, Mannes Opera).