Stay Connected

facebook_icon1twittericon1 youtube_icon1

Sign up for our Newsletter

By Subscribing to our monthly Newsletter,

You will get special offers and news about Golden Gate Opera productions,
Aria Parties and events delivered
directly to your email.


The Boy Who Grew Too Fast

by / Monday, 20 February 2017 / Published in Events

Be glad to be yourself, don’t try to be another. What you are nobody else can be.


The Boy Who Grew Too Fast
A bullying prevention one-act opera for opera fans, families and children, a newly re-discovered gem.
Music and libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti.


Not on sale


The Boy Who Grew Too Fast
First performed in 1982 by Opera Delaware at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington
Second performance in 1986 by the London Philharmonic.
Welcome to The West Coast Premiere

Language: English

CAST OF CHARACTERS (and who they are in the story)

MISS HOPE (soprano): The fourth grade teacher

POPONEL (tenor): The Boy Who Grew Too Fast, taller than the other 4th graders and starting his first day at a new school.

MRS. SKOSVODMONIT (mezzo-soprano): Poponel’s mother, very concerned about her son making friends;
kids have always been mean to him because of his unusual size. She speaks to the teacher before bringing her son into the class.

DR. SHRINCK (tenor): Wears a white doctor’s coat, has created a magical “Shrinking Machine.”

MISS PROCTOR (contralto): Dr. Shrinck’s silly nurse.

LITTLE POPONEL (boy soprano): When Poponel goes into the shrinking machine, a shrunken version of Poponel, or “Little Poponel,” comes out!

LIZZIE SPENDER (girl soprano): A quiet new girl in the class on her first day of school, the only child who wants to be friends with Poponel.

MAD DOG (bass baritone): A student from the school who was bullied last year and has now become a bully.
He has no friends. His real name is Maddox, but he picked a mean sounding nickname and thinks he’s “tough.”

POLICEMAN (non-singing role): After Poponel has saved everyone, the Policeman arrives, sees that the bully is no longer a threat,
and claps Poponel on the shoulder. He shakes everyone’s hands and agrees to drive Mad Dog home to get ready for the next day of school.

CLASSROOM OF SCHOOL CHILDREN (child singers and actors): The 4th graders on the first day of school

To the top


GIAN CARLO MENOTTI (b. 1911 d, 2007) The Italian American composer, conductor, librettist and pianist, Gian Carlo Menotti was born July 7, 1911 in Cadelgliano-Viconago, Italy, a small town near Lake Lugano. He died February 1, 2007, at the age of 95. The sixth of eight children, Menotti began writing songs when he was only seven years old. At the age of eleven he wrote both the libretto (words) and the music for his very first opera, The Death of Pierrot. By the age of 13 when he entered Milan Conservatory, Menotti had written two operas. He studied in Milan until 1928 when his family emigrated to the United States. At Toscanini’s suggestion, he entered the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia as a composition pupil of Rosario Scalero. Fellow students included Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber.

Over the course of his career, Menotti wrote several ballets and numerous choral works, as well as over two dozen operas. He is best known for writing the classic Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, which was the first opera to be written for American television. He won the Pulitzer Prize twice, for The Consul (1950) and for The Saint of Bleecker Street (1955). Menotti founded the noted Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy in 1958 and its American counterpart, Spoleto Festival USA in 1977.

To the top


Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers – and never succeeding.
I wanted to create an opera that would completely hold the attention of children.

To the top

SYNOPSIS (The story in a nutshell)

In the classroom:
Poponel (POH-POH-NELL) Skosvodmonit is a nine-year-old boy who has just moved to town after his father’s death. His mother brings him to school and speaks to the teacher before bringing him into the classroom. His new classmates mock and bully Poponel because of his startlingly unusual size and because of his curious name.

When the children go out to recess and won’t allow the new boy to play with them, Poponel asks his new teacher for help. The teacher (Miss Hope) remembers a Dr. Shrinck, who has invented a shrinking machine, and tells the boy that the doctor could shrink him to the size of the other fourth graders.

In the doctor’s office:
The teacher takes the boy to the doctor’s office where they meet a silly nurse. The doctor says he will be able to help Poponel reach a normal size but at a price: The boy must conform perfectly to everyone else’s actions. He must do and say the same things as everyone else. If he does not, he will grow back to his normal size. Poponel agrees! The nurse demonstrates how the shrinking machine works. She goes in, and a shrunken nurse comes out. Then she goes back in and comes out her regular size. The boy goes into the shrinking machine, and when he comes out, he’s not sure where his head is because it used to be much higher up! He’s not sure how to walk because he used to take bigger steps. The doctor easily helps him to get used to his shrunken size. The boy and the teacher return to the school.

Back in the classroom:
The teacher announces a surprise for everyone. The new Little Poponel enters, but no one is impressed.
When Mad Dog (whose real name is Maddox), a kid who was bullied so much that he dropped out of school, comes back to the school and threatens to bully all the other children unless someone will be his friend, only Poponel agrees to be his friend. Poponel’s actions make him grow tall again, but Mad Dog doesn’t mind. They are friends.

Mad Dog agrees to come back to school and Poponel is a hero. His classmates rejoice, thank him and appreciate Poponel as a fine person to know. All agree that each person has differences – but being unique is special for everyone!

To the top


Jacqueline Goldgorin – The Teacher, Miss Hope

Jacqueline GoldgorinSoprano Jacqueline Goldgorin sings the role of Miss Hope, the Teacher in Golden Gate Opera’s West Coast Premiere of Menotti’s The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

A favorite of Marin County audiences, she premiered the role of Mary Todd Lincoln in GGO’s world premiere of Lincoln and Booth by John Cepelak and Christina Rose in 2012. She then portrayed Dew Fairy in GGO’s Hansel and Gretel at Marin Center in 2012 and 2013. Some of her other roles with various companies include Cio-cio San in Madama Butterfly, the title role in Suor Angelica, Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème, Marguerite in Faust and Micaëla in Carmen. Jackie is not only a fantastic singer but also a wonderful person and convincing actor. She portrayed the electrifying devious diva, two-timing Flora in Montemezzi’s rare verismo gem L’amore dei tre Re. Her last opera was part of Fresh Voices series, and was about the life of Alma (born Schindler) Mahler- Werfel. She portrayed numerous characters, including Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoshka and Poulenc. The soprano has most been performing recitals of Ginastera and Granados songs, most recently at Teatro Pregones in NY.

Anna Yelizarova – The Mother, Mrs. Skosvodomnit

Anna Yelizarova
Anna Yelizarova, mezzo soprano, sings the role of The Mother in Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

Anna made her debut with Golden Gate Opera singing the title role in Carmen in school performances.  She has also sung the roles of Mother, in Hansel and Gretel, and  Suzuki in GGO’s mainstage production of Madama Butterfly.

Originally from Moscow, Ms. Yelizarova has performed over twenty-five roles throughout the United States and internationally including: Carmen; Angelina; Dorabella; Dido; Azucena; Prince Orlofsky; Olga; Maddalena; Siebel; Marcellina; Suzuki; Marina; Ulrica; Mistress Quickly; La Zia Principessa; Smeton; Zanetto; 3rd Lady; Flora, Mother (Amahl & The Night Visitors and Hänsel & Gretel), and Annio.

Anna has sung with Opera San Jose; Livermore Valley Opera; West Bay Opera; Opera in the Heights; Dicapo Opera Theatre; Natchez Music Festival; Center City Opera; New Opera NYC; Long Island Opera; Opera Company of Brooklyn; Opera Manhattan; Martina Arroyo Foundation; NY Lyric Opera Theater; Intermezzo Opera Festival; Lamplighters Music Theater, and others. She has been a soloist in numerous concert performances, including orchestra concerts with Midsummer Mozart Festival; Gateway Classical Music Society; and opera scenes at Carnegie Hall with Pacific Encore Opera.  Ms. Yelizarova holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in voice from the Manhattan School of Music and NJCU. In Russia, she received BM in Conducting.

Michael Orlinsky – The Boy, Poponel Skosvodomnit

Michael OrlinskyMichael Orlinsky, takes center stage as The Boy, Poponel Skosvodmnit, in Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

A tenor, Michael has performed over 50 roles in his steadfast career. He has sung primarily as a baritone, and has sung with a number of  opera companies throughout the Bay Area including: West Edge Opera; Livermore Valley Opera (LVO); West Bay Opera; Opera San Jose; Solo Opera; Island City Opera; Contemporary Opera Marin; the San Francisco Opera Guild (SFOG); The Lamplighters; Opera Cultura and more.  For Main Street Opera in Chicago, Michael sang the roles of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Enrico in  Lucia di Lammermoor; and The Father in Hansel and Gretel.  Michael often works with New Music as a composer and performer.  Along with many art songs; he has composed a Requiem.  He will be joining Opera Cultura in their upcoming production of Bless Me Ultima, where he will sing the role of NarcisoMichael earned his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at North Park University in Chicago.

Courtnee Rhone – Lizzie Spender, The New Girl

Courtnee RhoneCourtnee Rhone, soprano, joins Golden Gate Opera in the role of Lizzie Spender, the New Girl in Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

Courtnee graduated from Dillard University, where she was a  member of the concert choir and the female quartet on campus. After moving to California to pursue a career in opera, Courtnee performed with several choirs, including the Diablo Choral Artist and the Pacific Masterworks Chorus.

In addition to her chorale experience, Courtnee has also portrayed roles with Bay Area musical companies including Verismo Opera and The Lamplighters Theatre.  In addition to performing, Courtnee is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Vocal Performance at California State University East Bay, where she is studying under Christine Abraham.  She recently placed second at the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter NATS competition and will be traveling to Angers, France in the summer to study the role of La Cadette, in Isabelle Aboukler’s Cendrillon, with the Franco American Vocal Academy (FAVA).


Carmello Tringali – Dr. Shrinck

Carmello TringaliGolden Gate Opera welcomes tenor Carmello Tringali in the role of Dr. Shrinck in GGO’s West Coast Premiere of Menotti’s The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

A versatile performer and Bay Area native, Carmello has performed a wide variety of roles in terms of voice type, musical style and character. Mr. Tringali’s favorites include: Candide with the Douglas Morrison Theatre, Hylas (Les Troyens) with the Kent Nagano Project, Teapot/Frog in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges with Redwood Symphony and Mengone in Haydn’s Lo Speziale with Bay Area Opera Collaborative. His portrayal of the Italian barber, Pirelli, in Sweeney Todd (The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) at the Bay Terrace Theater in Vallejo was a standout. With Bay Shore Lyric Opera he performed Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin (Yevgeny Onegin) and was singled out by the Solono News as “an amusing fop.”  He was also the Lensky understudy.  Carmello made his West Bay Opera debut earlier this season, singing Borsa in Rigoletto.  He has performed Faust (Faust-Gounod), Rodolfo (La bohème) and Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) with Verismo Opera and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Bay Shore Lyric Opera.  In addition to being an accomplished singer, Mr. Triangali is also an actor. An aspiring music and drama therapist, Carmello immerses himself in the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of each performance.

Alexandra Jerinic – Miss Proctor, the Nurse

Alexandra JernicMezzo soprano, Alexandra Jerinic, joins Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast in the role of Miss Proctor, the Nurse.

Before her Golden Gate Opera performance, Alexandra sang the role of  Alisa in California Opera Association’s Lucia di Lammermoor.  Her portrayal of Alisa was reviewed as “delightful” by Donald Munro of the Fresno Bee.  She also portrayed Madame Flora (Baba) in The Medium with the same company.  Other engagements have included concert appearances with Solo Opera; La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with New York Lyric Opera; a performance of Mercedes in Carmen with Opera San Jose; and the role of Mallika in Delibes’ Lakme with California Opera Association.

A versatile artist, Ms. Jerinic is at home performing Mozart, Rossini, Strauss, contemporary repertoire, and multiple engagements as Hansel, in Hansel and Gretel.  Her performance as La Frugola in Il Tabarro with Island City Opera was hailed as “excellent” by Robert Commanday, founder of San Francisco Classical Voice.  She also has a special love for Menotti, having performed The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mother in The Consul, and Baba in The Medium. Her next engagement will be the principal role of Angelina in La Cenerentola. For more information, please visit


Leith Grifoni – Little (Shrunken) Poponel

Leith GrifoniLeith Grifoni joins Golden Gate Opera as the Little (Shrunken) Poponel in The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

Leith was born dancing and singing. His first musical theater lead role was at age 5, performing as Peter Rabbit;  and he has been performing on-stage in musical theater, with choirs, and dancing in Ballroom and Latin dance competitions ever since.  He has also been in several children’s theater performances with Marilyn Izdebski  in productions including Winnie the Pooh, Charoltte’s Web, and Cinderella. He also performed in the Wizard of OZ through YES Theater and in the Grinch with the Thorckmorton Theater children’s productions.

At the tender age of 6, Leith was accepted into the elite Choir at San Domenico School.  In 2014, his singing career expanded to working with Singers Marin , singing in many concerts and community performances.

While Leith loves singing and performing, he is most passionate about his Ballroom and Latin dancing, which he started at age 7.  He regularly competes in International dance competitions in all ten dances, and performs at events and shows around the Bay Area.

Gregorio González – Mad Dog, the Bully

Gregorio Gonzales

Critically-acclaimed singer, Gregorio González, debuts with Golden Gate Opera, singing the role of MAD DOG, the Bully, in The Boy Who Grew Too Fast. 

Since beginning his operatic career in 2002 as resident artist at the Los Angeles Opera under the great Placido Domingo,  Gregorio has sung throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. At the Los Angeles Opera, Gregorio sang in over a dozen productions, including two Placido Domingo concerts and Friends Gala concerts. Gregorio has performed with Amsterdam’s prestigious Concertgebouw;  the Dutch National Opera; Vienna’s Theater an der Wien;  Palacio de Bellas Artes, in Mexico; Teatro Nacional de Panamá, Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Connecticut Opera; Des Moines Metro Opera; San Diego Opera; The Ojai International Festival; and The Festival International Cervantino, among many others.  Gregorio has over 50 roles under his belt and has created many new roles in world premieres. He has collaborated with personalities such as Robert Wilson, Willie Decker, Colin Graham, Mstslav Rostropovic, Emilio Sagi, Placido Domingo, Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko.  For more information please go to: .

Artistic Staff Biographies

Roberta Wain-Becker – Artistic Director, Golden Gate Opera

Roberta Wain-Becker
Roberta Wain-Becker has been the Artistic and General Director of Golden Gate Opera (“GGO”) since 1996.

Roberta has expertly guided GGO through its first performances in San Francisco at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor’s Florence Gould Theatre from 1998-2004, to its recent productions in the Marin County Civic Center Theaters (“Marin Center”). Passionate about sharing opera with everyone, Roberta founded GGO’s Outreach “Opera-tunities” Enrichment Program for K-12 school children, enabling the company to reach almost 100,000 school children to date, through its in-classroom and in-theater operatic performances specifically designed for children.

Since 2005, Roberta has lead GGO in performing full operas at the Marin Center from the standard repertoire, such as: Madama Butterfly; Carmen; Gianni Schicchi; I Pagliacci; Cavalleria Rusticana; and Hansel and Gretel. In addition, she has developed new works; adding in 2012, GGO’s performance of the bold opera Lincoln and Booth, composed by John Cepelak. She helped facilitate international collaboration by bringing talented singers from The Opera of the Croatian National Theater to Marin County to perform in GGO’s production of Haydn’s Der Apotheker at Mill Valley Community Center – providing free performances for seniors and for Mill Valley Middle School students. Roberta has been instrumental in developing innovative and exciting new ways to bring opera into the lives of the community. Under her guidance, in 2005, GGO implemented its unique “Aria Parties” which bring opera “up close and personal” by giving exclusive performances in patrons’ homes. In 2013, GGO instituted its theme of “Opera in Unusual Places” and began staging outdoor opera performances at the International Sausalito Art Festival.

Since beginning its Outreach “Opera-tunities” Enrichment Program for children, GGO has expanded its programs beyond Marin County to enrich the lives of school children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

An acclaimed singer in her own right, Ms. Wain-Becker’s professional opera career spans 30 years of international and U.S. regional opera company engagements. She has performed at many prestigious opera houses such as: The Israel National Opera; New Opera Festival di Roma; Teatro Lyricod’Europa; Portland Opera; Mississippi Opera; Florida Grand Opera; Arizona Opera; Whitewater Opera; Marin Opera; Berkeley Opera; Sacramento Opera; San Francisco Opera and others. A featured soloist, she has performed with symphonies in the west, including the Sacramento Symphony; Jackson Symphony; Boise Philharmonic; Billings Symphony; Diablo Philharmonic; Marin Symphony; Santa Barbara Choral Society; and Oakland Symphony among others. Winner of the Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Award, Ms. Wain-Becker has also received awards from the Wagner Society of Northern California and William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation of New York among others. With over 50 roles in her repertoire, Ms. Wain-Becker taught singing at the San Francisco Community Music Center for 10 years, and taught voice for the international training program for rising opera talent at the California Opera Association’s Summer Institute in Fresno, California.

Brian Asher Alhadeff – Conductor/ Music Director

Brian Asher AlhadeffBrian Asher Alhadeff , who was hailed by 805 Living Magazine as the “Maestro of the Central Coast,” conducts Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast. 

Brian has successfully conducted other productions for Golden Gate Opera (GGO) including GGO’s World Premiere Opera in June of 2016, and its production of  Abraham Lincoln: The African American Connection.

He has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of Opera San Luis Obispo (“Opera SLO”) since 2011, and is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, as well as the Principal Conductor for the Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo and State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, California.

Brian has been instrumental in expanding awareness of classical music through his “Countywide Arts Collaboration” strategy, weaving together numerous well-established local performing arts organizations for large-scale theatrical productions throughout the Central Coast. An internationally acclaimed opera, ballet and symphonic conductor, Maestro Alhadeff has conducted to critical acclaim both nationally and internationally.  He recently conducted the Opera SLO Grand Orchestra to critical acclaim at the 3300-seat Vina Robles Ampitheatre;  establishing the picturesque location as Opera SLO’s summer home for the exciting Symphony at Sunset Pops concert series.

Maestro Alhadeff was Artistic Director and founder of the Hradec Kralove International Summer Opera Festival (Czech Republic). He also conducted the Albanian premier of American composer, Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2. He conducted The Romantic with the Albanian National Radio and Television Orchestra.  Maestro Alhadeff studied conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Janacek Academy in Brno (Czech Republic).  A frequent university guest lecturer and competition judge, Alhadeff holds a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola Marymount University, a Masters of Music from California State University Los Angeles, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from UCLA.

Timothy León – Assistant Conductor

Timothy LeónTimothy León  joins Golden Gate Opera’s production of  The Boy Who Grew Too Fast as the Assistant Conductor.

Timothy is an uniquely diverse artist; equally adept as an operatic tenor, a conductor and a pianist. Mr. León has been featured with such companies as: the  Los Angeles Philharmonic; LA Opera; Los Angeles Master Chorale; Pacific Chorale; Pacific Repertory Opera; Golden State Pops Orchestra; Opera San Luis Obispo and Nevada Opera Theater in the United States, and in Europe with Opera Toscana, New Operafestival di Roma, Tuscia Operafestival and Narnia Festival.

A specialist in the Italian language and repertoire, Mr. León has sung many leading roles in the standard repertoire including: Norma; La Traviata; Don Giovanni; and Madama Butterfly just to name a few.  Maestro León’s conducting credits include Pagliacci/Suor Angelica for StageWorks Festival in Washington, D.C.; Le Nozze di Figaro, La Traviata, Suor Angelica, La Bohème, L’elisir d’amore and Verdi’s Requiem in Italy for Tuscia Operafestival; as well Stabat Mater of Pergolesi, and Esultate Jubilate of Mozart.

For more than 14 years he sustained his relationship as a singer, coach and conductor for both the Tuscia Operafestival and the International Lyric Academy of Rome and Viterbo. For the past four years he has collaborated in a similar capacity with the Narnia Festival in Umbria, Italy – including training young artists worldwide.

Mr. León’s more recent engagements have expanded to include the German repertoire. He sang Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, his first Wagnerian tenor role, in Los Angeles Lyric Opera’s production of Die Feen. He also sang Bacchus in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos.

Maestro León serves as Music Director/Conductor for three Los Angeles based companies: The Celestial Opera Company; Landmark Opera and Opera by the Glass. He has collaborated with renowned singers such as: Carol Neblett, Rod Gilfry, Elizabeth Futral, Birgit Nilsson, Fedora Barbieri, Hao Jiang Tian and Giorgio Tozzi.  Maestro León has served as Artistic Advisor and Conductor for Tuscia OperaFestival; Assistant Conductor for Pacific Opera Project; Assistant Conductor for the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival; Assistant Conductor for Pacific Repertory Opera; and is appointed Assistant Conductor for the Narnia Festival in Italy as well as for the Marina Del Rey Summer Symphony concerts. He is the founder/creator of the OASIS Concert Series at Hollywood Lutheran Church and maintains private vocal studios in Los Angeles and New York.


Edna Garabedian – Stage Director

Edna Garabedian has been the principal Stage Director for special projects and full opera productions for Golden Gate Opera since 2005.

A visionary, Edna is able to create meaningful staging not only in the theater, but in any setting. As Stage Director, Edna has directed Golden Gate Opera’s productions of: Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Hansel and Gretel, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi “Opera’s Greatest Hits” Gala. Edna has also produced and directed countless operas for the California Opera Association, including, La Traviata, Cosi fan Tutte, Il Barbiere di Seviglia, Otello, Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Il Tabarro and many others.

A world-renowned Mezzo-Soprano, she has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and has sung the leading role for some of the greatest opera houses in Europe and the United States. Not least among these are: The Munich Opera; Frankfurt Opera; Kassel Opera; Nurnberg Opera; Hannover Opera in Europe. And the Spoleto Festival; Staatsoper Bonn; New York City Opera; San Francisco Opera; Los Angeles Music Center Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Seattle Opera; Houston Opera; San Diego Opera; Baltimore Opera; Kansas City Lyric Opera; and Portland Opera in the United States.

Ms. Garabedian is the founder of the Fresno International Grand Opera, and CEO, Artistic Director, and founding director of the prestigious California Opera Association. She has received innumerable accolades and awards for her performances around the world, including those at the Metropolitan Opera. She was winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1970) and of the Baltimore Opera Auditions. Ms. Garabedian taught at the International Music Institute of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and has served as Professor of Voice on the faculties of Northern Illinois University; California State University at Fresno; American University, and San Francisco University.

Richard Adamson – Scenic Designer and Stage Manager

Active as both a Director and Scenic Designer, Mr. Adamson is the Scenic Designer and Stage Manager for Golden Gate Opera.

He has designed sets for musicals and operas at colleges and regional theaters in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Most recently he designed Opera San Luis Obispo’s production of La Bohème.

After receiving his BA in voice at Pepperdine University, Richard got his graduate degree in Music Theater Direction under Götz Friedrich and August Everding at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Hamburg. He assisted in directing productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Les Troyens – Fabrizio Melano); the Hamburgische Staatsoper; the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Der Zwerg und Florentinische Tragödie – Adolf Dresen), and the Deutsche Opera (Aida – Götz Friedrich) in Berlin.  Among other important works,  he has designed and directed productions of La Traviata, Cosi fan Tutte, Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lakmé and the Sisters of Manzanar for California Opera Association; and Hansel and Gretel for Golden Gate Opera in Marin, Tosca for Livermore Opera; and La Bohème for Opera San Luis Obispo.

Ruth Kahn – Violist

Ruth KahnRuth Ellen Kahn is the Violist for Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast.

Ms. Kahn is the Violist, Founder and Artistic Director of Musica Marin. A native San Franciscan, Ms. Kahn is a graduate of The Juilliard School of Music and has performed on every important concert stage in this country including: Carnegie Hall; Avery Fisher Hall; and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, among others.  Her extensive chamber music experience includes performing with such eminent artists as: Cynthia Phelps; Shmuel Ashkenazi; Maurice Bourgue; the Miro String Quartet; the Colorado String Quartet and the West End Chamber Players.

She has received numerous awards, prizes and critical acclaim and has been invited to perform for prestigious organizations such as the New York Viola Society and the Hertz Hall in Berkeley, California. She has also performed as soloist with the Mexico City Philharmonic and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. Ruth has been Artistic Director of two chamber music series in both New York and New Jersey; one of which resulted in a recital in Carnegie Recital Hall as a recipient of the Artist’s International Competition Award. Among the many orchestras  she has played with are: the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; the New York City Ballet Orchestra; the New York City Opera Orchestra; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra; the Carmel Bach Festival; the San Francisco Opera; and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

Ruth is also an accomplished violinist, and is co-concertmaster of The Russian Chamber Orchestra of the Bay Area.  She has toured with the New England Symphonic and New York Chamber Ensembles to Morocco, Israel and Jordan, where they performed for the Royal Families. In addition, she has been invited numerous times to attend the Spoleto Festival in Italy.  Ms. Kahn is very active in the area of viola pedagogy and has been the assistant to Paul Doktor at The Juilliard School; taught master classes and has maintained a private studio in both the New York metropolitan and San Francisco Bay areas.  She is currently on the faculty of InterHarmony Music Festival in Italy. Her teachers have included Karen Tuttle, Paul Doktor, Heiichiro Ohyama, Louis Kievman, and the world-renowned violist, William Primrose.

“The viola recital by Ruth Kahn showed off the naturally rich sound of her instrument.Kahn let loose with a welter of secure technical passages and produced double-stops that were vibrantly in tune, Kahn sunk into the dark sound of her viola and pulled the harmonies out with full color.” -Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey

ORCHESTRA provided by MUSICA MARIN, Ruth Kahn, Artistic Director.

CHILDREN’S CHORUS as the classroom of children in Golden Gate Opera’s production of The Boy Who Grew Too Fast, provided by the following:

Colorful Universe Children’s Performing Troupe, Lin Pan, Artistic Director.

The Colorful Universe Children’s Performing Arts Troupe (“CU”) was founded in Cupertino in 2013 by Director Lin Pan. Their goal is to help young singers become the best vocalists they can be. They help their students become skilled young musicians through engaging and tailored classroom teaching, consistent and rigorous training and frequent performance in local and international festival and competition venues.

In addition to performing in the Bay Area, CU has performed nationwide: from the Dolby Theater (with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphony) to Carnegie Hall.  Most recently, CU was invited to perform at the Silicon Valley Fall Festival, where they received special recognition from the City of Cupertino.  In 2016, CU finished an European Concert Tour by attending 51st Anniversary of The Sound of Music Festival in Australia and won the best vocal distinguished award.

The singers from Colorful Universe:

  • Senior group: Jack Zhang, Sophia Song, Lilian Wang, Audrey Paleczny, Jessica Wang, Ariel Li
  • Junior and Youth Group: Sophie Fu, Chloe Ding, Stephanie Fu, Angela Yu, Jessica Huh, James Yu, Ben Yu, Vivian Wang, Kaylee Kuntay, Joanna Chen, Hashi Kolli, Joelle Yu


Singers Marin Youth Choruses, Jan Peterson-Schiff, Artistic Director.

Golden Gate Opera is pleased to have the participation of several singers from Singers Marin Youth Choruses. Our long time relationship with Singers Marin in productions such as Hansel and Gretel, since before 2005, is always a wonderful collaboration.

Patricia Schmidt – Children’s Chorus Communication Liaison

Maria Aguila and Michele Sheehan, Co-Chairs of Bullying Committee of Novato United School District

Stay Connected

facebook_icon1twittericon1 youtube_icon1

Sign up for our Newsletter

By Subscribing to our monthly Newsletter,

You will get special offers and news about Golden Gate Opera productions,
Aria Parties and events delivered
directly to your email.