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Production Team

Sabrina Gross (Stage Manager)‚Äč
Sara E. Widzer (Stage Director)

Sara continues to produce exceptional operatic and theatre works at companies across the United States and abroad. Upcoming projects include her return to Washington National Opera in September for the company’s 2017/18 season opening production of Aida as assistant director as well as her return to UCLA Opera. In the 2016/17 season, Widzer created a new production of After Life, The Scarecrow, & Letters from Quebec to Providence in the Rain at the National Opera Association Conference in Santa Barbara, California, followed by her return to UCLA Opera to direct a special recitative project at the Freud Playhouse. Past engagements include Susannah for Pasadena Opera, the remounting of Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed production of The Flying Dutchman for both Virginia Opera and Hawaii Opera Theatre, The Music Man for The Royal Opera House of Muscat, Don Giovanni, Tosca, Pagliacci and Hänsel und Gretel for Opera in the Ozarks, and Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame for Florida State Opera. She received her MM in Opera Directing from Florida State University, her BA in theatre from Connecticut College and has an Artist’s Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Shakespeare. Ms. Widzer is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, playwright/director’s unit. She makes her home in Los Angeles.

Michael Sakir (Conductor)

Micbael mbarks on his first season as Music Director of Opera Memphis in 2017-18. Recent guest conducting engagements include Des Moines Metro Opera, Eugene Opera, Opera Orlando, Intermountain Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera North, Opera in the Ozarks, and Northwestern University. He has held cover conductor and chorus master positions for nearly three dozen productions with Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Pensacola Opera, and Opera Boston. Sakir holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Boston Conservatory. He is a native of Northern California. 

Christopher G. McGinley (Chorus Master)

Chris is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance where he received a master’s degree in choral conducting. A long-time Pennsylvania resident, he taught general music and chorus for eight years at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, a K-12 independent school in Philadelphia. He is the founding director of Orpheus Men’s Choir, a men’s chamber choir he operated through Concordia Choral Arts, a community choir organization in Chester County, PA. He will move to Miami, FL in August to pursue a doctorate of musical arts at the Frost School of Music.

Grant Preisser (Set Designer)

Grant enjoys a diverse career across music, theater, design, and education. This past season began with his debut at UrbanArias. as Director and Production Designer for The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. He returned to Opera Orlando throughout their season as Scenic Designer for productions of Don Pasquale and Amahl and the Night Visitors, as well as Production Designer for Don Giovanni. Recently, he made his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra directing a concert version of La bohème, and this summer he will debut with Lawrence Opera Theatre directing The Magic Flute.

Jonna Hayden (Costume Designer)

As a professional costume designer for over 25 years, Jonna has designed and built shows for a variety of organizations, including the Eugene Ballet, Eugene Opera, Ballet Fantastique, the Eugene Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Eugene Symphony’s Yuletide Celebration, and the Oregon Festival of American Music. Her design work includes Eugene Ballet’s The Snow Queen and Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet, Ballet Fantastique’s The Scarlet Flower, New Hope Production’s Hairspray, and Eugene Opera’s Dead Man Walking. As the owner of J Hayden Creative, LLC, Jonna presents lectures on clothing history and costume topics at conferences and colleges throughout the Northwest.

Abbigail is thrilled to be a part of the production of The Woman of Salt. Ms. Coté is the former Executive Director of West Edge Opera in Berkely, Ca and the former Executive Artistic Director of EBAC in Walnut Creek, Ca. Abbigail is passionately committed to making opera accessible to all audiences, and continues to produce, direct, and perform around the country. Recent productions include Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Eugene Ballet and Orchestra Next, La Voix Humaine with UO Opera, and Law and Opera, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Castleton Music

Festival.

Abbigail Coté (Production Manager)