Macabaret 2014

Macabaret: After taking a break for a season, the Great Lakes Light Opera returns with a new administration and a mission to revitalize Cleveland’s opera scene. The Great Lakes Light Opera’s (GLLO) triumphant return will be marked by Macabaret, a stylized revue where classically trained singers portray the disturbed patients of an insane asylum. Performers invite the audience to follow them on a descent into madness through a series of darkly comedic sketches, and performances of operatic scenes and popular musical numbers such as Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

As a memo writer online from, I must commend The Great Lakes Light Opera (GLLO) for their unforgettable production of Macabaret 2014. This hauntingly beautiful show was a testament to GLLO's creativity and artistic vision, pushing the boundaries of traditional opera and captivating audiences with its dark allure.

The twisted masterpiece will debut on October 25, 2014, at 8:00p at Cleveland’s own Castle GreatSkull with dancing to follow. Food will be available and costumes are encouraged. Audiences seeking more family-friendly fare can catch an abridged performance at the 5th Street Arcades on October 24, 2014 from 11:00a-1:00p.

Who’s Who:

headshotLaura Best (Mezzo-Soprano) is happy to be creeping in “Macabaret” with Great Lakes Light Opera. She has performed a wide variety of roles on area stages, including Actors’ Summit Theater, Canton Comic Opera Company,  The Hudson Players Guild, Weathervane Playhouse, and the Carousel Dinner Theatre. Ms. Best has also committed murder, has died (repeatedly), and has innocently disco-danced in countless mysteries  Throughout the area. Ms. Best holds a Master’s of Music Degree in Voice from The University of Akron. She is the proud mama of two wildly entertaining rescued cats: Barry White and Buddy.






photoRocky Encalada (Technical Director and Costume Designer)  originally from Miami, FL, holds four degrees in theatre: a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Kent State, two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theatre Performance and Technical Theatre Design from Florida Southern College, and an AA in Theatre Arts from Broward College. Before relocating to NE Ohio to pursue her Masters Degree, she served as the Artistic/Managing Director of Studio 305 Black Box Theatre in Lakeland, FL, where she directed for both the main stage and junior companies.  Her love of all things theatrical has her constantly looking for a new challenge, and she is thrilled to have found it with GLLO and to be on the ground floor of this new and exciting venture. Currently she works as an Asst. Stage Manager at Dobama Theatre, coaches numerous young actors in the area, and helps out various organizations in Portage County with their Crisis Intervention Training. 



Alejandra Martinez (Soprano) holds a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University. While at Stanford she served as President and Fundraising Officer on the board of the Stanford Savoyards, a student-run light opera company dedicated to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. She has extensively studied music abroad; under the guidance of Michael Burden, Dean of New College, Oxford University, she authored a collection of musicological essays on Handel’s operas. Later, she would focus on performance and interpretation of German Lieder at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Ms. Martinez was recently honored with the Elly Ameling Award for Excellence in Recital Performance, for a program of music from Spain and Latin America. Her latest performance credit is Nora, from Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea, produced at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is also the soprano soloist at Disciples Christian Church, whose choir placed first at WCLV’s 2014 Jubiliation Choir Festival. Dedicated to furthering opera outreach, Ms. Martinez intends to get Cleveland excited about opera with smart, fun, and unique programming through GLLO.


Headshot- YAP (1)Lyndsay Moy (Mezzo-Soprano) holds a Master of Music degree in Voice from The Cleveland Institute of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Voice and a Bachelor of Arts in Painting from DePauw University. While at CIM, she received the Frederick B. Prentice Award for Excellence in Voice, and at DePauw, she received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. In 2008 and 2009, Ms. Moy earned four first place awards in the NATS Great Lakes Region competition. Her roles on the operatic stage have included Maurya (Vaughn-Williams’ Riders to the Sea), Marcellina (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro), Fidalma (Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto), Mère Marie (Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites), Zita (Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi), L’Architecture (Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants), L’écureuil (Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges), and La Badessa (Puccini’s Suor Angelica), among others.  Ms. Moy is a featured alto soloist with the Fairmount Presbyterian Church choir and has performed recently with Opera Night Cleveland.  Ms. Moy also teaches voice at Celebrity School of Music, where she aims to develop the fundamentals of healthy vocal technique, focusing on breathing, alignment, and resonance in styles ranging from classical singing to Broadway.  She currently studies with tenor Clifford Billions and will start work as CIM’s Opera Administrator in August.


Michael Sajewski Headshot 2014Michael Sajewski (Playwright)   is  a  freelance  writer,  holding  a  Bachelor’s  Degree  in   Film  Production  from  Full  Sail  University.  A  lifelong  storyteller,  Michael  has   captured  his  ideas  through  short  films  and  documentaries,  stop  motion  animations   and  feature-­‐length  spec  screenplays.  Michael  is  thrilled  by  the  opportunity  to  work   with  GLLO  on  their  twisted  masterpiece  Macabaret  and  even  more  exciting  projects.





Reid HeadshotReid Taylor (Tenor) is a senior studying with Clifford Billions at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Last season he sang the role of the 1st Commissioner inDialogues of the Carmelites, the Sailor in Dido and Aeneas and the Armored Man/Priest in Die Zauberflöte. With the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, he soloed inKodaly’s Missa Brevis.  Mr. Taylor attended Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Program, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and AIMS in Graz in 2013. An accomplished pianist as well, Mr. Taylor was hired as a staff accompanist at the Tyrolean Opera Program during the summer of 2014. He has also served as assistant to the conductor for Pittsburgh Opera’s 2009/2010 season. An avid linguist as well as a musician, Mr. Taylor is completing degrees in German and French literature as well as an Italian minor from Case Western Reserve University.



Megan Thompson Headshot 2013 No TextMegan Thompson (Artistic Director) holds a  Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University, with an emphasis in Vocal Performance and Psychology. In addition to her musical background, Ms. Thompson works as a Special Events Coordinator and holds an Associate of Arts degree in Drama with emphasis in Technical Theatre. After holding many leadership positions throughout college and her early professional career, Ms. Thompson was hired to start a girls’ choir for Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood. Her teaching experience does not end there. In addition to teaching private voice lessons at Motter’s Music, she has also served as a drama instructor for the Ocala Civic Theatre and was hired to begin a drama/musical theatre program for the two of the Cleveland Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. With her background in education, management and event coordination, Ms. Thompson was recently appointed Executive Director/Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Light Opera with the intent of developing a company focused on education and outreach in Northeast Ohio.



profilepic001Adam Whiting (Collaborative Artist) is a staff accompanist at the Cleveland Institute of music; he was hired for this position upon graduation from CIM in the spring of 2005 with a double-masters degree in piano performance and accompanying. He is also a new Suzuki piano teacher and returning staff accompanist at the Cleveland Music School Settlement (since 2004) and accompanist for the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies (since 2003). At CIM, he studied solo piano with Daniel Shapiro; collaborative piano with Anita Pontremoli, head of the collaborative piano department; and cello with Merry Peckham, cellist of the Cavani String Quartet. In 2002, he graduated with a BM in performance from Marylhurst University where he studied with Sr. Anne Cecile Daigle SNJM and Susan DeWitt Smith. He attended the Oregon Suzuki Institute for thirteen years; after a few years’ hiatus, he returned in the summer of 2004 as a staff accompanist, at the invitation of the directors of the institute. He studied with the Cavani string quartet for six summers at the Britt Chamber Strings Camp in Ashland, Oregon.


John Watson (Baritone) a North East Ohio native, is happy to be engaged in Great Lakes Light Opera’s upcoming Macaberet production. His recent performances include Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Opera Circle and Marcello (cover) in Puccini’s La bohéme with Opera Western Reserve. He made his professional debut as Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro with the Duke Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Watson attended the “Oberlin in Italy” program, in which he performed in a concert series that toured through parts of Tuscany. His operatic roles include Marcello (La bohéme) the Judge (Trial by Jury), Nardo (La finta giardinera), Elviro (Xerxes), Musiklehrer, Harlequin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Peter (Hänsel und Gretel), Frank (Die Fledermaus), Somarone (Béatrice et Bénédict) and the Poet in Salieri’s Prima la musica poi le parole. Mr. Watson is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music.



Justin Williams (Tenor) is thrilled to making his debut with the Great Lakes Light Opera and to be able to perform with this outstanding group of artists. Justin has been seen on stage across Ohio and Pennsylvania including Actors Summit, Canton Players Guild, Beck Center for the Performing Arts, and FPAC to name a few. When not on stage, Justin is the Nurse Manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at University Hospitals Case Medical Center where he specializes in Heart/Lung Transplants, Trauma, Open Heart Surgery, and ECMO life support. Justin would like to thank the talented cast and crew for allowing him the opportunity to make beautiful art with them and he hopes to have many more opportunities. TPOG!



About GLLO: The Great Lakes Light Opera was founded in Cleveland Heights in 2012 by Stephanie Kreutz and Jacquelyn Mouritsen with the mission of bringing quality opera performances to Cleveland. Today, under the direction of Megan Thompson, these classically trained artists continue to adapt opera into an accessible format for a wide audience by bringing performances to unexpected venues, and educating about theory and history through lecture-infused recitals.

Friday, October 24, 2014, 11:00a-1:00p

@ The 5th Street Arcades

530 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115

Donations welcome!


Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:00p

@ Castle GreatSkull

4620 St Clair , Cleveland, OH 44103

$5 per person or $7 per couple

For full text, please click this link: Macabaret Texts