OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Gilbert & Sullivan Light Opera Company is governed by a seven-member executive board, elected by the company’s general membership (its performers and offstage personnel) for two-year terms. The board consists of a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a secretary and three members-at-large. The 2019/2020 board consists of the following great officers of state:
Christian Jurak (President) was elected President in 2019 having previously V.P. 2018 served as publicity director in 2016 -17. Chris first joined the company in 2016, debuting as Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe. He subsequently has appeared as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance (2017) and Colonel Calverley in Patience (2018), and will be seen this season as Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers. He also has been featured in the company’s revue show, The World According to Gilbert & Sullivan, for the past three seasons. Chris’ “professional” operatic career began at 9 when, as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, he appeared from 1978 to 1982 as assorted street urchins, altar boys and the front half of a giant teapot. He studied classical voice in the preparatory division of the Manhattan School of Music from 1985 to 1987, during which time he sang the role of Ko-ko in his high school’s production of The Mikado. After a “brief” hiatus from singing publicly, he joined the Waldorf Choral Society in 2014, and performed as a chorus member and soloist for two years. Chris works professionally as a physical therapist, and in his spare time enjoys updating the lyrics to G&S songs.
Louisa Cabezudo-Arnold (Vice President) is excited about her upcoming appearance in the ensemble of the company’s 2019 production of The Gondoliers. She has also been seen onstage in The Pirates of Penzance, Patience and as the $60 million diva Ava Higgs-Livingston in Lois Findlay’s A Marriage by the Book. Louisa is a New York City science teacher who enjoys singing as much as she does working with children.
Jordan Breslow (Treasurer) is in his ninth year with the company: principal roles in Patience (Major Murgatroyd) and A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit) and ensemble appearances in The Sorcerer, The Mikado, Ruddigore, Thespis, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance. He also has been seen with the Suburban Players of Wantagh in Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun and Girl Crazy, and as the title character in a Camp Kinder Ring production of The Wiz. Jordan was a member of the Binghamton Crosbys, the only all-male a-cappella singing ensemble at Binghamton University, and continues as their alumni coordinator. He has served multiple terms on the GaSLOCoLI board as business manager, publicity chairperson and treasurer.
Liz Talbot Stelmach (Secretary) is new to the board in 2018/2019. The stage has always been a second home for her. While studying classical and medieval/Renaissance music at LIU/C.W. Post and Hofstra University, she worked as a stage manager and on backstage crews for several Long Island venues. A former Sweet Adeline International barbershop singer, Liz now enjoys singing both harmony and melody in the ensemble for GaSLOCoLI.
Tamara Shyngle (Executive Board Advisor) has been a member of the company since 2004. While she always enjoys performing, she has found additional interest in working behind the scenes as well, serving as stage manager for The Mikado (2012). Her time onstage has included ensemble work in various shows, revues and plays. She has been seen as Isabel in The Pirates of Penzance (2010) and as Fleta in Iolanthe (2016), and also was a part of the Harlem ensemble in Star Playhouse’s 2010 production of Ragtime. A resident of Brentwood, she is a longtime board member who served a previous stint as president during the 2000s.
Darby Maxwell is a soprano who is participating in her second season with the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island. She studied voice privately with Greg Mercer at Hofstra University for four years, and is now teaching voice, piano and Johns Hopkins-researched and -founded Music Fun Time classes at Grace Music School in Melville. While at Hofstra, she performed as Dolly Trull in the Hofstra Opera Theater’s production of Benjamin Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera. Last year she performed with the ensemble in the company’s production of Patience.
Delaney Page Delaney is very excited to return for her 4th performance with Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island in the role of Vittoria. Past G&S productions include Pirates of Penzance as Kate, Iolanthe as Celia, and H.M.S. Pinafore. She has also performed in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors in the role of The Mother and Puccini’s La Boheme as well as The Music Man, South Pacific, Pippin, and Milk and Honey. Delaney has also sung with the Long Island Chorale, Long Island Cabaret Theatre, Patio Players, and South Shore Theatricals.
Christine Dentato recently played the role of Fiametta with GASLOCOLI and she was seen last season in the role of Patience, this is her first year as a board member. Christine has performed with Hofstra Opera Theater as Marcellina in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, The Fairy Queen in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Lucy Locket in Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera, La Baronne in Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne and as a wife in Schubert’s Die Verschworenen and Die Winterreise.
Gayden Wren (Director) has been a member of the company since the 1970s. During that time, he has directed The Sorcerer, H.M.S. Pinafore, Patience (twice), Iolanthe (three times), Princess Ida (twice), The Mikado, Ruddigore, The Yeomen of the Guard, The Gondoliers and Utopia, Ltd., as well as A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol; Very Truly Yours, Gilbert & Sullivan; and a number of staged readings of Gilbert plays. He is the author of A Most Ingenious Paradox: The Art of Gilbert & Sullivan (Oxford University Press, 2001) and the upcoming Only in Theatrical Performances: Reading ‘The Mikado.’
Thomas Z. Shepard (Senior Board Director/Music Director, Very Truly Yours) is a legendary producer of Broadway cast albums and classical recordings, in which capacity he has won 12 Grammy Awards and a special Drama Desk Award for lifetime achievement. He is also a composer, with extensive credits that include a completion of Arthur Sullivan’s score for the “lost” opera Thespis, presented by the company in 2014.
The following individuals have been elected lifetime members of the Gilbert & Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island, in recognition of their unique and valuable services to the company over the course of many years. Most of them are still with us; some have moved on to other pursuits, some have passed away, but all have made substantial contributions to everything we do, whether or not they are involved in a particular production.
- Stanley Bergman
- Jordan Breslow
- Bill Budd
- Robert Del Monte
- Michael Economos
- Martin Fuller
- Patricia Gallagher
- Phil Gellis
- Valerie Grehan
- Terry Hochler
- Elaine Lerner
- Stephen O’Leary
- Raymond J. Osnato
- Ellen Pickus
- Andrew Schwartz
- Thomas Z. Shepard
- Tamara Shyngle
- Barry Slonim
- Bob Tartell
- Thomas Trempy
- Gayden Wren