Valley of the Sun Chapter 2015-2016 Board of Directors
Advisors and Committee Chairs
Fall Workshop Chair / Programs Co-chair: Nichole Jensen
Fall Student Auditions Chair: Nichole Jensen
Spring Student Auditions Chair: VACANT
Advisors: Thomas Jones, Jennifer Nagy and Christy Welty
Past President, SNATS Advisor: Dr. Rachel Velarde
Arizona District Governor
Dr. Rachel Velarde
2015-2016 Nominating Committee
To Be Determined
Dramatic Mezzo-soprano Alexis Davis Hazell is emerging as an active performer on the international opera stage. Her performances have earned accolades for the size and quality of her instrument, and the dramatic intensity she brings to the development of character.
Internationally, Alexis has sung the roles “Maria”, “Lily” and “Strawberry Woman” with European tours of the Gershwins’ masterpiece Porgy and Bess, in Russia, Poland, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Germany and Switzerland. These critically acclaimed performances were in collaboration with the Mikhailovsky Opera in St. Petersburg, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the Polish National Opera of Warsaw, leading to her debut at the Kuressaare Operadays Festival in Estonia. She has performed at the Hamburg State Opera, the Festspielhaus of Baden-Baden, and Theatre 11 in Zurich. Her experience with the same opera continued with debuts at the Dresden SemperOper, and the Deutsch Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf.
Alexis’ work regionally has included frequent concert work as a mezzo soloist in works such as Rossini Stabat Mater, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and Handel Messiah. Appearances for Alexis in recent seasons include La Badessa in Suor Angelica with the Southern Arizona Symphony; Dritte Dame in the Phoenix Opera production of Die Zauberflöte and Annina in the Phoenix Opera production of La Traviata. During her doctoral studies, she has also accepted regular cover assignments of larger roles with Phoenix Opera and Arizona Opera. Among the most recent are the Amneris cover in the Arizona Opera production of Aida, and Azucena cover in the Arizona Opera production of Il Trovatore. In fall 2014 she appeared as Giovanna in Arizona Opera’s Rigoletto.
A recent recipient of The Golden Seat Belt Award presented to faculty with the highest student retention rates, Alexis serves on the Voice Faculty at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. She has been instructing young voice students in their Performing Arts department along with courses in music humanities since 2004. A magna cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Temple University, Alexis earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at Arizona State University. Alexis is also the Creative Director of Jazzoperetry, Inc.: the production company currently featuring the touring concert series Earl & Alexis: AMERICAN SONGS. top of page
Rachel Stoddard, soprano has been a Music Educator in the Phoenix area for the past 20 years. Currently she runs a large private voice studio in the North Valley and serves as the Vocal Music Director for productions at Phoenix First. Rachel sings with the Sonoran Desert Chorale and is often a featured soloist. Former Choral Directing positions include Scottsdale Christian Academy, Arizona Christian University, Paradise Valley Community College, the Phoenix Boys Choir (training choir) and the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Musical Direction credits for dozens of school and community theater productions include Mary Poppins, Celebration of Christmas, Oklahoma, Joseph, Pirates of Penzance, The Music Man, Fiddler, Bye-Bye Birdie, Honk!, Peter Pan, Godspell, It’s A Wonderful Life and many original shows and summer camp programs. Over the years Rachel has performed with various Valley organizations such as the Valley Chamber Chorale, The Phoenix Bach Choir Festival Voices, The Phoenix Theater, Stagebrush Theater and Theaterworks.
She earned a MM degree in Music Education from ASU and a BM degree in Music Education from Susquehanna University. Professional affiliations include NATS, NAfME, AMEA and ACDA. Rachel is married to director, writer, actor Mark Stoddard, who serves as the Performing Arts Director at Phoenix First. Their three sons are also heavily involved in the performing arts. Philip attends the Juilliard School, where he received his BM Degree in Vocal Arts and is currently pursuing an MFA in Acting. Stephen sings in the Shrine of the Ages Choir and is the President of the a cappella group Elevation at Northern Arizona University and Zachary, who was actively involved in both solo and choral music in high school and who will be spending the upcoming year as a foreign exchange student in Germany prior to attending NAU in the Fall of 2016.
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Bio Temporarily Unavailable
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Andrea Pitman, soprano, is an Arizona native and made her debut with Arizona Opera as Lucy Brown in The Threepenny Opera and with The Phoenix Symphony as First Fairy in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most recently she sang the role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with the Prescott Pops Symphony, performed the soprano solos in Messiah with The Phoenix Symphony and Grand Canyon University, returned to the role of Madame Goldentrille in The Impresario with Opera Revolution, and appeared as a guest artist in Lyric Opera Theatre’s Die Fledermaus, singing Strauss’ coloratura aria, Frühlingsstimmen.
Andrea’s repertoire displays her versatility in a range of comic and dramatic roles. She has especially enjoyed the comedic characters of Norina (Don Pasquale) and Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), as well as the two sopranos in The Impresario, playing the young Mademoiselle Silberklang in addition to the imperious Madame Goldentrille, a role she also performed in Austria with the Salzburg Opernensemble. Other roles include The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), performed with the Salzburg Opernensemble and in the U.S. with Intermezzo Opera; the title role in The Merry Widow; Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, and Esmeralda in The Bartered Bride.
Equally at home in musical theatre, some of Andrea’s favorite roles include Marian in The Music Man (for which she received an ariZoni award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical), as well as Sister Sophia (Sound of Music) and Mrs. Mops (Menken’s A Christmas Carol) which she performed with Broadway Palm West. She has also appeared around the greater Phoenix area in Showtune Productions’ performances of Broadway Showstoppers and Sounds of Christmas.
Andrea received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in voice from Arizona State University, where she currently holds the position of Faculty Associate in Voice. She also earned a Master of Music in voice from Northwestern University, where she served as a teaching assistant. She maintains a private voice studio in Chandler, where she currently resides with her husband and two young sons. top of page