SUMMER INSTITUTE FACULTY
Houston native Stephen Hudson is constantly using his creativity to bring the best out of people. With a passion for performance art and music, Stephen has written songs, plays, and developed a company that inspires people to use what is inside of them to create a brighter future.
As a graduate of Houston’s High School of Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), Stephen began exploring his passion for music very early. Singing in numerous choirs across the city and his church since he was a child, his voice has had both gospel and classical training. He used his training to pursue and receive a Bachelors of Arts in Music Education from Loyola University in Louisiana.
Once he obtained his degree, Stephen made a decision to use his knowledge to teach in the public school system. Stephen was offered a position in Houston with the Sheldon Independent School District, where he served as overseer of secondary choral music. He was directly responsible for teaching music theory and appreciation to grades 9-12, and promoting and recruiting for the music program of the high school. He also wrote and directed seven outstanding musicals with the students of C.E. King High School. During his fourth year with Sheldon ISD, Stephen decided to take his educational career to another level by starting and finishing the graduate program with the University of St. Thomas.
During his time in New York City, he was an active singer, director, teaching artist and producer. He worked as a teaching artist with the Dreamyard Project of New York, focusing on music directing and voice teaching for Bronx youth. Simultaneously, he worked with Broadway's Babies, a not for profit organization that collaborates with the Broadway community to provide performance and music education to underserved communities both nationally and internationally. Through that relationship, he became Co-director of the New York City Youth Pride Chorus for two years.
The director, voice teacher, producer has returned to Houston and is very excited to be working with I Colori Dell'opera.
Geoffrey Peterson is a lyric baritone from Trumansburg, New York. He most recently created the roles of the “Pastor”/“Promotor”/“Walter White” in Houston Grand Opera’s world premier of Marian’s Song. Previous credits include “King Melchior” in Amahl and the Night Visitors, “Corporal” in La Fille du Regiment at Opera in the Heights, “Nosey Parent” in Speed Dating Tonight! with the Taos Opera Institute, and “Luiz” in The Gondoliers with the Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston. In the summer of 2021, he will be making his company debut at Opera Theater of St. Louis, in the Gerdine Young Artist Program, where he will perform the the role of “Doctor” in William Grant Still’s Highway 1, U.S.A, and cover several other roles, and perform in scenes programs throughout the season. In September of 2021, he will be making his company debut with Opera Orlando, joining their studio artist program. There, he will be making three Verdi debuts; “Baron Douphol” in La Traviata, “La Rocca” & “Delmonte” in Un Giorno di Regno, and “Marullo” in Rigoletto.
Mr. Peterson has also been active has a teaching artist with Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco program, leading empathy training workshops at the Harris county juvenile detention center & performing “Story book Opera’s”. He has also been a featured performer with their acclaimed Opera to Go program. Credits include “Pavo Picasso” (Strega Nona), “Dulcamara" (The Elixir of Love), and “Isabella”/“The King” (Cinderella in Spain). Mr. Peterson is also a private voice instructor at Springwoods Highschool.
An advocate for social justice through music, he has also been a soloist and ensemble member with community ensembles, including the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, and the Vitamin L Chorus. In 2021, he returned home to Trumansburg, NY to collaborate with the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts to curate a black history month concert that highlighted the works of some lesser performed african american composers, including Margaret Bonds, William Grant Still, Moses Hogan, Damien Sneed, Jaqueline B. Hairston, and H. Leslie Adams. Learn more about him here: https://geoffreypetersonbaritone.com/
Abby Powell was born in Ohio in 1980 and studied voice at The Juilliard School of Music in New York. While there she was awarded the Rise Stevens Award, the G. & M. Grunin Prize, and the Loretta Lewis Award in Voice, among others.Abby made her ope ratic debut as Zita (Puccini's Gianni Schicchi) and shortly after that was cast as Ma Moss (Aaron Copland's The TenderLand) at Aspen Opera Theater (Aspen Summer Music Festival and School) and The Juilliard Workshop, respectively.
The following year she returned to the Aspen Summer Music Festival to perform Brahms' Opus 91, Zwei Gesange fur Alt und Viola alongside the auspices of Masao Kawasaki, viola, and Orli Shaham, piano. The performance won her much acclaim – it was followed by an invitation to perform in Taiwan, as well as numerous opportunities in New York.
Ms. Powell has sung under the batons of James Conlon, Julius Rudel, Harry Bickett, Steven Osgood, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Neal Goren and Richard Bado, to name a few. Her operatic roles have included Juno (John Eccles' Semele), both Dido and The Sorceress (Purcell's Dido and Aeneas), Mêre Marie (Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites), Lyubasha (Rimsky-Korsakoff's The Tsar's Bride), Marcellina (Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro), Charlotte (Werther's Massenet), Brangaene (Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde), the title role in Bizet’s Carmen and many others.
Rojan Easo has been a local voice teacher and freelance musician in the Houston area for the past 9 years. While at Houston Baptist University, he received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Rojan has primarily taught music lessons and masterclasses at several Houston area schools and studios, coaching both singing technique and performance preparation. He has also sung with Houston Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Opera in the Heights. His most recent engagement was a recital of Schubert‘s song cycle, Winterreise.
Laura Coale has become known for her dynamic performances with Opera in the Heights. She has received much acclaim for her portrayal of Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, Aunt March in Adamo’s Little Women, and La Marquise in Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment. Houston Press reviewer, D.L Groover, has described her voice as “powerful, expressive, radiant, and unfettered." He has also stated, “she’s a commanding presence, and her character[s] are fully realized.” Mrs. Coale teaches privately and is on the voice faculty at Lone Star College Cyfair. She earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston.