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Press Releases

Chelsea Opera Welcomes New Board Member

February 1, 2013 | By Lynne Hayden-Findlay
Mr. Geller was born and raised in Portland, Maine, where musical studies led to his joining the local Portland Symphony Orchestra as a French horn player by his senior year in high school, later becoming Principal Horn of the orchestra. He was a scholarship student at New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in French horn performance and continued with Master’s Degree studies in Musicology. He did extensive freelance performing and teaching of French horn in Boston, and eventually moved to New York City.

After working for some years at a variety of non-musical and musical jobs in the NYC area, Mr. Geller was hired by the Metropolitan Opera as one of its initial Met Titles performance “callers” when the system was introduced in 1995, at the same time becoming Assistant to the Met Titles Supervisor. he has also done titles calling and score reading for the Metropolitan Opera’s Live In HD series as well as for the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and for numerous television projects. He continues to work at the Met and for other organizations on a freelance basis after formally retiring in 2011. He became acquainted with Chelsea Opera’s co-founder Lynne Hayden-Findlay during the years both sang with New York City’s St. George’s Choral Society. They kept in touch and after Chelsea Opera was founded, Mr. Geller became a big admirer of what the co-founders and their colleagues were doing.

Formed in 2004 by professional singers, Lynne Hayden-Findlay and Leonarda Priore, the company was launched with an all-volunteer production of Suor Angelica. Initially, Ms. Priore and Ms. Hayden-Findlay had only intended to produce this one opera. However, artist and audience response was so compelling that they agreed to move forward, incorporating Chelsea Opera and obtaining their IRS non-profit designation in a record eight days. They have since produced Cavalleria Rusticana, Amahl and the Night Visitors (three times), Pagliacci, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, The Ballad of Baby Doe, The Scarf, The Bear, a 5th Anniversary production of Suor Angelica, Le Nozze di Figaro, and This is the rill speaking/Bermudas and The Medium. Their November 2010 production of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied garnered rave reviews from both The New York Times and Opera News. Madama Butterfly last June featured the return of “America’s Tenor”, Daniel Rodriguez. The company’s first world premiere, The Mark of Cain by Matthew Harris and Terry Quinn, opened on schedule in November, just a week after the city was devastated by Hurricane Sandy!

Chelsea Opera, was a WNYC-FM *STAR* Incentive recipient. Support has been received from The Banfi Vintners Foundation, The Bettina Baruch Foundation, The Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In-kind support is provided by JetBlue Airways, the official airline of Chelsea Opera.

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