Become a "Production Patron",or, an "Orchestra Advocate", sponsor a Principal Role or simply contribute to ICO's sustainability.

Ellen St Thomas pic.jpg

Ellen St Thomas directs Il Tabarro

Ellen St. Thomas will direct Island City Opera's production of Il Tabarro opening in March 2015 as one half of the double-bill Il Signor Bruschino and Il Tabarro.

Ellen also directed Virago Theatre's production of Il Trovatore in January 2014.  Her contribution to that production was a critical part of the success of opera at Virago and the decision to spin off opera production to its own company.  

Ellen is engaged in nearly every aspect of music and performance.  As an expressive lyric soprano, she has performed in concerts and shows across the Bay Area.  She has also lent her voice to cartoon characters for episodes of Madeline and Inspector Gadget for Dic Entertainment.  In addition to Il Trovatore for Virago Theatre, opera directing credits include La Boheme and Rachmoninoff’s Aleko for the Russian Center.  She is also a versatile producer with credits in TV/film and live performances.  Finally, she is a voice teacher at the Alameda School of Music, and has lead youth choruses in the Mountain View School District.  


Erin Neff directs Il Signor Bruschino (The Accidental Son)

Erin Neff will direct Island City Opera’s production of Il Signor Bruschino. Ms. Neff will also perform the role of Marianna, the slightly batty house maid who hilariously explains, in English, the goings on in this comic opera.

Ms. Neff made her directorial debut with The Mendocino Music Festival in 2012 with Il Signor Bruschino.

Ms. Neff’s dynamic mezzo-soprano performance abilities and radiant sound have earned her the veneration of her musical peers and made her an audience favorite throughout the country.  Equally at home in the operatic, lied and oratorio repertoires, Ms. Neff is much sought after in the vocal profession.

Ms. Neff’s roles also include the Empress Ottavia in West Edge Opera’s production of Coronation of Poppea. and a solo Concert at Stanford University as part of their Shenson Recital Series.   She made her solo debut with the San Francisco Opera as Blanche in their 2000 production of Louise and since then has returned to make several appearances with the company, including productions of Rigoletto, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Simon Boccanegra and The Marriage of Figaro.  She has also sung with Santa Rosa Symphony,  West Edge Opera, Opera Parallele, Livermore Valley Opera,  North Bay Opera, Festival Opera, and Sacramento Opera.

MShahani web article pic.jpg

Michael Shahani conducts Tabarro/Bruschino

This is MICHAEL SHAHANI’s first production with Island City Opera.  He has conducted more than 350 performances of more than 70 different operas and musicals, as well as several orchestras and choirs in dozens of concerts.  He has conducted most of the City Summer Opera and City College of San Francisco’s productions since 1989 including Kurt Weill's The Silverlake (U.S. premier), The Threepenny Opera (original version San Francisco premier), and Happy End (San Francisco premier), Ernst Bacon's A Tree on the Plains (world premier), Britten’s Paul Bunyan (San Francisco premier), Sondheim’s Assassins (San Francisco premier), Robert X. Rodriguez’s Frida (West Coast premier), K. A. Hartmann’s Simplicius! (U.S. premier), and Gordon Getty’s Plump Jack (world premier complete staged version). 

He founded the Moraga Chamber and Hesperian Ensemble orchestras.  He has conducted for Lyric Theatre of San Jose, Contra Costa Musical Theater for which he won a Shellie Award for Outstanding Musical Director, and has been a regular conductor for Verismo Opera, conducting fully staged productions of Rigoletto, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Das Rheingold, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Boheme, and most notably, Die Walküre.  He conducts the City College of San Francisco Masterworks Chorale and the Cinnabar Singers in Petaluma.  He has been a guest conductor with the Varna Philharmonic, Pleven Philharmonic, and Rousse Philharmonic orchestras in Bulgaria, the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Londrina in Brazil, and the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra.  

CeraUnaVolta color logo 20141025.jpg

C'era Una Volta to provide appetizers for Table Seats at Lucia di Lammermoor

Island City Opera is honored by C'era Una Volta's partnership in making a night at the opera a special event.  C'era will provide appetizers for table seats at ICO's Friday evening performances of Lucia di Lammermoor on Friday January 16 and Friday January 23.  

ABoyer headshot from OSJ.jpg

Alexander Boyer as Edgardo Ravenswood in Lucia di Lammermooor

Alexander Boyer performed the role of the heroic Manrico in last year's production of Il Trovatore.  This January, Alex brings his powerful, soaring tenor voice to the role of Edgardo Ravenswood in Lucia di Lammermoor.

During his residency at Opera San José, Alexander Boyer performed the roles of Nadir (The Pearl Fishers), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Manrico (Il trovatore), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi),the title role in the company premiere of Mozart’s Idomeneo,Canio (Pagliacci), Alfredo (La traviata) and the title role in Faust. Other roles performed for the company included Konstantin Levin (Anna Karenina), Mario Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Rodolfo(La bohème.) Previous seasons have featured Mr. Boyer as Des Grieux (Manon), Ruggero (La rondine), Nemorino (The Elixir of Love), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), and Don José (Carmen).  

A New York native, Mr. Boyer holds degrees from Boston University and Manhattan School of Music. He has sung the roles Arkady in Lee Hoiby’s A Month in the Country, the Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues des Carmelites), Alfredo (La traviata), and Luigi (Il tabarro). He has participated in the Merola and Santa Fe Opera programs, and is a winner of the Mario Lanza scholarship award.


Olivia Stapp directs Lucia di Lammermooor

Internationally acclaimed soprano and director Olivia Stapp will direct Island City Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.  Ms. Stapp has directed a broad range of productions for leading Bay Area opera companies including Festival Opera, Opera San Jose and Camera de Opera of Berkeley..

Ms. Stapp’s contributions to Virago Theatre’s productions of Don Giovanni and Il Trovatore were critical to their success and the subsequent launch of Island City Opera.

Prior to becoming a director, Ms. Stapp received the Fulbright Scholarship for vocal and theatre study.  After winning the La Scala Competition for Young Singers, she took on a position as a permanent artist at the Berlin Deutsche Opera, performing leading roles in such operas as Orpheo, Der Rosenkavalier, Carmen, and Don Carlo.  After taking time off to raise her son, Ms. Stapp returned to the stage as a dramatic soprano, performing leading roles in Tosca, Elektra, Lady Macbeth, Turandot, Nabucco, Salome, Anna Bolena and Norma in major theatres throughout Europe and the United States.,

RobertA FB photo.jpg

Robert Ashens conducts Lucia di Lammermooor

San Francisco-based musician, Robert Ashens, is Music Director and Conductor of Island City Opera’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor. Robert's distinguished career as pianist and conductor has brought him to many world capitols. He is Artistic Director / co-founder of West Coast Opera (Opera Oregon). He recently debuted with Berkeley, Anchorage and Golden Gate Opera companies and he co-founded the Johann Strauss Society of America..

Robert also conducted Il Trovatore for Virago Theatre. The success of that production prompted the launch of Island City Opera.

The Maestro also conducts ballet and symphonic works with companies internationally. This summer he returns to Eugene for Sound of Music (Shedd Institute’s OFAM), Anchorage (with Eugene Ballet’s Nutcracker) and Anchorage Opera’s Macbeth and Sound of Music.

Maestro Ashens has toured nationally as conductor with the Broadway companies of A Chorus Line and Jesus Christ Superstar, premiered many new works of both Broadway and Opera and maintains a monthly program, "West Coast Opera Presents Opera Night at Servino’s" in Tiburon.

With a repertoire of over one hundred operas, he has conducted to great acclaim for regional opera companies throughout the United States and in many major cities of Europe especially in Italy. He has also accompanied many opera luminaries in concert. Ashens is in constant demand as a lecturer, accompanist and program director for concerts and recitals nationwide.

Blacksmith bottle.jpg

Blacksmith Cellars featured wine for Opening Night 'Promotore' table seating  

Island City Opera is delighted to feature Blacksmith Cellars wines at each Friday evening performance, including Opening Night of Lucia di Lammermoor on Friday, January 16th at 7:30pm.  Every Friday evening performance features 'Promotore' Table seating with food and drinks including Blacksmith Cellars wine.  Blacksmith Cellars has generously donated two bottles for each table.

"We are grateful to Matt Smith and Blacksmith Cellars for their support of Island City Opera", said Robert Boyd, a member of ICO's Board of Directors.  "We'll match Matt's great artistry and craftsmanship in wine with great artistry and craftsmanship in our music.  It will be a perfect complement to a great evening of entertainment."   

Promotore table seating is limited to 5 tables for each performance.  General admission seating is available for all performances.



ICO Announces "Orchestra Advocate" sponsorship program

Sponsor the opera orchestra instrument of your choice through ICO's "Orchestra Advocate" sponsorship program.  Island City Opera's Executive Director, Eileen Meredith, said, "If you played violin or clarinet in your high school orchestra, but, gave it up to pursue your career outside of music, here's your chance to get back to music by sponsoring a violin, clarinet, or any instrument in ICO's orchestra for productions of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor", or, Puccini's "Il Tabarro (The Cloak)", or, Rossini's "Il Signor Bruschino (The Accidental Son)".

Sponsor's names will appear in ICO's programs and Sponsors can pose for a picture with their sponsored player at the end of any show.  Browse here to sponsor any player in any amount.


rafters DSCN0032  200w.jpg

Packed to the rafters at Island City Opera House Party

Island City Opera supporters packed Nancy Gordon's lovely Victorian home and gardens in Alameda on September 13th, to hear great music provided by Island City Opera and partake of great food provided by Asena Restaurant.

Eileen Meredith serenaded the last days of summer with Gershwin's "Summertime" and brought tears with "Un bel di" from Madama Butterfly.  Ray Chavez performed "No puede ser" as well as selections from West Side Story.  Shawnette Sulker was the queen of the afternoon with the Queen of the Night aria ("Der Holle Rache") from Mozart's Magic Flute.  Ellen St. Thomas performed the always popular "O, mio babino caro" from Gianni Schicchi.  Robert Ashens entertained everyone with flawless accompaniment and funny stories too.

A wonderful show of support for great opera in Alameda.  Click here for more pictures.  Video coming soon.


ICO DunnParty Eil M Chi bel.png

Island City Opera's July House Party

Here's a peek into Island City Opera's House Party in July, at the home of Susan and Jeff Dunn.  ICO performers and supporters gathered for an intimate concert of requested favorites.

Eileen Meredith graces us with 'Chi il bel sogno' from La Rondine by G. Puccini.

Buffy Baggott plays Rosina from 'Il barbieri di Siviglia' by G. Rossini as she sings 'Una voce poco fa'.

Alex Boyer breaks hearts with Frederico's lament, "E la solita storia del pastore" from the opera L'arlesiana by Francesco Cilea.

Maestro Robert Ashens accompanies on the piano and adds his own beautiful rendition of 'Piano Fantasy on Nessun Dorma'.

ray Granada.jpg

ICO's first annual Opera in the Park

400 Alamedans enjoyed Opera al Fresco in Alameda's Franklin Park, Saturday, August 2, 2014.

Buffy Baggott sang 'Habanera' from Carmen.  Ray Chavez wowed the audience with 'Granada' and 'E Lucevan Le Stelle'.  And, Paul Cheak performed 'Warm as the Autumn Light' from the Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore.

For great pictures see the Mercury News.

And, for English translations of Saturday's selections, see our Opera-in-the-Park page.

Gunslinger Sig.jpg

Sigmund Seigel interview on American Opera

It's the Fourth of July!  So listen to Island City Opera Board Member Sigmund Seigel's (Gunslingin' Sig) interview about American opera. Watch the whole thing to learn more about the history of opera, and its impact on his own life and the lives of others.

 Eil red dress Open Op Franklin 200px.png

Marketing for Opera Concert in the Park moves forward

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our ad in the East Bay Monthly!  We’re appropriately situated next to an article about L. Peter Callender, the artistic director for the African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco, and his drive to produce excellent plays and make the classics accessible to all.  The opposite page features an article about local museums, including our namesake’s Alameda Museum.  Stay tuned for a blog post about the history of Franklin Park.  

ASA Park Concert (200x133).jpg

Alameda Sun Sheds Light on Free Concerts

Alameda will be overflowing with free classical music this summer!  Check out this press release by Alameda String Academy published in last week’s Alameda Sun to read about the wealth of free concerts visiting Franklin Park. 

                Mark your calendars!

                -June 21 - Alameda String Academy concert at noon, activities at 10.30am

                -July 19 - Alameda String Academy concert at noon, activities at 10.30am

                -August 2 - Island City Opera Concert at 2pm

                -August 9 - Alameda String Academy concert at noon, activities at 10.30am

Eil Elks dome width 200.jpg

ICO Executive Director, Eileen Meredith, interview in Alameda Magazine

Just after the successful production of Il Trovatore with Virago Theatre in February 2014, Island City Opera's Executive Director was interviewed by Alameda Magazine.  The large audiences and artistic success of Il Trovatore propelled the launch of Island City Opera.

Sing for Am jpeg

Island City Opera receives donation from the Sing for America Foundation

Island City Opera is grateful to the Sing for America Foundation of San Francisco for their generous donation in support of ICO’s mission.

Sing for America is about helping to support the performing arts in our communities by combining your love of the arts with social media skills to help you fund your charitable interests - arts, health, welfare - whatever social good you serve.

Sing for America brings together chorus members, professional choristers and noted soloists for an annual concert to benefit Arts Education and Performing Arts Organizations.  This year SFA raised over $100,000 distributed to dozens of Bay Area charitable organizations.

You can learn more about Sing for America at

 Alameda Sun Logo

Island City Opera on Alameda Sun's front page

Check out the "News in Brief" section of the July 24th Alameda Sun. Next Saturday's free concert is mentioned alongside other community events.

ICO web banner footer no dome 20141002.jpg

privacy policy