"PALM BEACH CHRISTMAS SPECIAL"
Mr. Graham Fandrei
Mr. Graham Fandrei (Belizean-American) classical singer and performing arts professional, has worked both nationally and internationally as a performer and in artistic administration.
Mr. Fandrei’s performing career spanned from performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in Holland to the Nissay Theater in Tokyo, Japan and Broadway to perform in film director Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Boheme on Broadway.
Mr. Fandrei has been a guest soloist for orchestras and chorales across the U.S., including the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Master Chorale of South Florida, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Symphony, the Back Bay Chorale in Boston, MA., and he was a core member of the Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire.
Mr. Fandrei studied music at both the New England Conservatory of Music and at The Juilliard School. Mr. Fandrei has been a life-long educator, teaching at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Washington Jefferson College, the New World School of the Arts, and at the MAST Academy in Miami, Florida. Mr. Graham founded Magic City Opera, Miami's social opera company (www.MCOpera.org),
Mr. Fandrei most recent projects include performances with the Pittsburgh Camerata and the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, creating opera productions for Royal Caribbean's Azamara Cruise Line, Executive Director duties with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, national anthem singer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his present role as Director of Programming for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Ms. Nathalie Avila
Cuban-American soprano, Nathalie Avila, has quickly gained recognition for her “sumptuous tone” and creating a “vivid portrait” of the roles she portrays in theatrical and operatic productions.
Most recently she was seen as Michaela in Miami Lyric Opera’s production of “Carmen”. She also starred as the title role in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” with Miami Lyric Opera, Maria in Sociedad Proarte Grateli’s “La Novicia Rebelde”(“The Sound of Music”), Sylvia Varescu in Kalman’s operetta “The Gypsy Princess” with Sociedad Proarte Latinoameticana at the National Theatre in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and as the title role in Puccini’s “Tosca” with Miami Lyric Opera. Past performances include Mimi in “La Boheme” with Opera Naples (cover) and with Miami Lyric Opera where she was commended for her “gorgeous tone on her final aria “Sono andati”. She was also seen in the title role of Suor Angelica with the Miami Summer Music Festival where she was praised by critics.
“Luckily for the audience, young soprano Nathalie Avila more than met Puccini’s vocal and acting requirements. Avila possesses a large, shimmering voice that is pleasing to the ear and easily cuts over Puccini’s fully textured orchestrations. Her rendition of the aria “Senza mamma” received well deserved shouts of ’brava’ from the audience.”
In 2014, Ms. Avila opened the spring season as Suzel in “L’amico Fritz” with Miami Lyric Opera where she received praise for her “glamorous Suzel, commanding the stage with a sumptuous lyric soprano.” Ms. Avila has performed the roles of the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with Gulfshore Opera, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Miami Lyric Opera, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw with the Siena Music Festival, Liza in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades with the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Mimì in La Bohème and Micaëla in Carmen with the Emerald City Opera.
She has been featured as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Choir and Orchestra, and in numerous concerts with Sociedad Proarte Grateli, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Miami, Symphony of the Americas and the Florida Chamber Orchestra. While living in Copenhagen she was featured as a soloist in Copenhagen’s Wednesday Concert Series and the Amager Music Festival.
Ms. Avila was chosen by Montserrat Caballe to sing in Las Voces de Montserrat Caballe, a concert featuring a select group of artists from her 2012 Masterclass in Zaragoza, Spain. Ms. Avila was the recipient of Encouragement Awards from the 2012 Florida Suncoast Opera Guild Competition and the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a Semi-Finalist at the 2013 Marcello Giordani International Voice Competition.
Nathalie Avila holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from The Royal Danish Academy of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree from the Peabody Conservatory where she was the recipient of the George Castelle Memorial Award. She is currently an adjunct voice faculty member for The Bower School of Music at FGCU, Miami Dade College, and The New World School of the Arts.
Mr. Garardo Ortega
Mr. Gerardo Ortega received his Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from the
University of Florida at New World School of the Arts. He is the Artistic
Administrator of the Downtowner Concert Series and Director of Music at
the First United Methodist Church of Miami.
Mr. Ortega's most recent stage credits
include performing “a fervent Lysander with a ringing tenor,” (South Florida
Classical Review), in Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream with the Miami
Music Festival, Danilo in Léhar’s The Merry Widow with the Barry Opera
Theatre, and “a charming and compelling Nemorino” (El Nuevo Herald) in
Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore with the New World Opera Theatre. Gerardo’s
stage credits also include the title role of Faust with Coral Gables Opera,
Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaf and the Italian Singer in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with Harrower Opera, Parpignol in La Boheme and Dombé in Lakmé
with the Florida Grand Opera, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with the Riuniti
Mr. Ortega’s recent concert appearances include competing as a National
Finalist in the New York Lyric Opera Competition Concert at Carnegie Hall,
the Tenor Soloist in Ramírez's Misa Criolla with the Civic Chorale of
Greater Miami, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Barry Chamber Group,
Claussen’s A New Creation with the Maryville Orchestra, and Handel’s
Messiah with the New Presbyterian Concert Series. In 2022, Gerard debuted
with the prestigious South Florida Symphony with much success
and is delighted to return for the 25th Anniversary season with a performance
of Messiah and a tour of opera arias with orchestra. In November,
he will be singing the Tenor Soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the
Taylor Music Group orchestra and is looking forward to interpreting the
lead role Manolo in the highly anticipated world premiere of the musical
Always Remember by Marilyn Morales- the musical about the Cuban-
Mr. Ortega works with critically acclaimed professionals such as Manny
Perez, Elaine Rinaldi, Greggory Buchalter, Caren Levine, Dreux Montegut,
Anna Fateeva, and Alexandra Naumenko.
Ms. Kristin Michelle Palmeri
Ms. Kristin Michelle Palmeri Is a Vocal Sensation and Recording Artist. After graduating from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy with Scholarship, she decided to continue to tour and broaden her career to Europe and Canada. Her shows included, Opera America, Actors Playhouse, Singing for WSLA Awards in Monaco, touring with the Sicilian Orchestra in Italy, New American Youth Ballet and more.
She is currently working as a singer, creator/director of her band “AmeriKana” and recording original music with her producer located in Italy.
Ms. Palmeri is also on the board of Directors for the SGHY foundation and helps raise money for less fortunate children in public NYC Schools. Implementing extra curricular activities and summer camps. Ms. Kristin even wrote the song for SGHY foundatioin’s Gala they hold each spring in New York.
Dr. Robert Sharon
Dr. Robert Sharon was a scholarship student for his entire course of study at The Juilliard School, where he was awarded his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Piano. Dr. Sharon received his Ph.D. in Performance from New York University and The Manhattan School of Music.
He has studied under such world-famous pianists as Mitchell Andrews, Jane Carlson, Mieczyslaw Munz and Artur Balsam.
Dr. Sharon was a soloist with The New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Philharmonic and The Palm Beach Opera Orchestra.
Dr. Sharon has won critical acclaim in chamber music and as accompanist and coach, having worked with such luminaries as Abraham Kaplan, Jennie Tourel, Samuel Sanders, Willard White, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Thomas, James Conlon, Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, James Judd, Philippe Entremont, Leona Mitchell, Marilyn Mims and Virginia Zeani.
Dr. Sharon was an Artist-in-Residence at The Dreyfoos School of The Arts. In addition, Dr. Sharon was the Accompanist, Vocal Coach and Music Director for various productions at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
In 1999, the University of Florida awarded Dr. Sharon the title of “Distinguished Educator.” Currently, he is on the Music faculty of Palm Beach Atlantic University and is Founder and Artistic Director of The Robert Sharon Chorale, a community chorus in West Palm Beach.
The Robert Sharon Chorale
The Robert Sharon Chorale is a community organization which strives to present the best of all types of choral music – Sacred and Secular – in a concert setting.
Our mission is to share the magical sounds of Choral singing with the public. Our goal is not only to convey the joy of making music, but to foster music appreciation, as well. We believe music is the “universal language of the heart”, which can be understood and appreciated by all.
In addition to concerts in Florida, the Chorale undertakes European concert tours to share our voices and our music.
Ms. Sofia Sanabria
Ms. Sofia Sanabria is a triple threat performer and a BFA graduate from New World School of the Arts and University of Florida with over 10 years of experience in the industry.
Performing live as a featured singer in various venues for the Marlins Team, Tunes for Tots South Florida, the Downtowner Series, and as a Worship Leader for FUMC, she was able to bring all her three passions: acting, singing and dancing together within a musical theatre venue. Her favorite roles to date are Ragtime (Mother), Yerma (Yerma), On The Town (Ivy Smith) and more. Most recent work, Beauty and the Beast at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
She began dancing at 3 years old and soon found herself taking belly dancing, hip hop, jazz and ballet classes. At 6 years old she started doing professional work including commercials and short films. Her television credits include: Corazón Valiente, Una Maid en Manhattan, Alguien te Mira (Telemundo); Sábado Gigante (Univision); Miami 305, Grachi (Nickelodeon) and NBC. She toured around in South America promoting her single and performed on live radio and television including Pequeños Gigantes.
Mr Alexander Zenoz
Alexander Zenoz is a First-Generation Cuban-American born and raised in Miami, FL -- a city deeply saturated to the roots of it's daily culture in art and music. From a young age, he has always been drawn with a strong vocation to this magnificent profession that has seemed to underscore the everyday ebb and flow of this community. Throughout his life, he's been shaped by this unmistakable surge of art and culture flowing through the veins of this city. Following suit with his natural talents, and his endless determination to grow, he's attended many unique performing arts academies and conservatories.
as of 2013, Alexander has professionally worked as an artist throughout South Florida, New York, and California -- including some international credits. He's even been the opening act for artist such as Kimberly Locke, Todrick Hall, and Deborah Cox. Today, he continues to invest his time in the South Florida Community and local arts, as he seeks to expand on the celebration of diversity and instilment of equal opportunity, equity, and justice within this world. Accomplishing this through the gifts of his voice and his ability to inspire others, continuing his mission in establishing a deeper meaning and understanding of the arts and the endless benefits they provide us as a society.
Miss Emily Ricca
Mr. Isaiah Gonzalez
Miss Emily Ricca, a free-lance ballerina, has danced professionally for the Ballet de San Juan, Florida Dance Theatre, Boca Ballet Theatre, the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, as well as a guest ballerina in Paris, France with the “Théâtre du Marais” where she worked with Mr. Michael Denard of the Paris Opera Ballet. Miss Ricca is noted for performing excerpts from the ballets Giselle, Raymonda and Swan Lake including both the white swan and black swan pas-de-deuxs.
As an educator, Miss Ricca created and is currently performing “The Emily Ricca Dance Through Time” project; an evolution of dance from ancient Grecian time through ballet and jazz to today’s contemporary dance. Miss Ricca was also the resident artist at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center,
Isaiah Gonzalez is a graduate of New World School of the Arts. He has star in works by Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, and Ohad Naharin. Now he is working with Emily Ricca and her dance company to create new works that shine a light on dance from different time periods and creating contemporary works of art that can be enjoyed by all.