Our Board of Directors

David Bender

Founder and Co-Artistic Director

Mr. Bender has sung leading tenor roles with the New York City Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Seattle Opera Company, as well as having performed leading operatic roles in Germany for over ten years. He has had a distinguished career in Oratorio singing, with compositions written for him as tenor soloist by Roy Harris, Richard Yardumian, Gian Carlo Menotti and Paul Allen Levi.

Professor Bender is a graduate of Columbia University and has received Teaching fellowships at the University of Colorado, and The University of California. He is former Professor of Voice at New York University and at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna.

Barbara Meister Bender

Co-Artistic Director

Barbara Meister has interpreted countless leading roles in opera as well as musical theater. She has performed for companies in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, St. Paul, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

She began her career at the Metropolitan Opera Studio, and also sang leading roles at the New York City Opera. She was brought to Broadway following her discovery by Richard Rodgers, an event which led to her appearance on Broadway as Maria, in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and a subsequent two year NATIONAL TOUR. She has sung with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, and in Wolf Trap, Chautauqua, Milwaukee, starring in operetta and the musical theater. She has starred on European television with appearances in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Gala concerts with orchestras in Vienna, Munich and Berlin have brought international recognition to this “dynamic performer”.


Jane Bergère

Co-Artistic Director

Jane Bergère is an Olivier and multi-Tony Award winning producer. Prior to producing on and off Broadway Jane was the Artistic Director of Connecticut’s Broadway Theatre in Darien, CT where she produced over 50 musicals. Recognized by The New York Times, Jane brought Broadway to Connecticut and is responsible for launching the careers of many actors, directors, choreographers and current industry professionals working on Broadway. Currently represented on Broadway: Water For Elephants. Past productions include: Metamorphoses, The Shark is Broken, Funny Girl, Beetlejuice, Kinky Boots, Angels in America, and War Horse, to name a few. Off-Broadway credits include The Exonerated and Blindness. Jane has also produced shows in London, Australia, Canada, and Korea.


Patricia Sheridan

Co-Artistic Director

A New York Singing Teachers’ Association Distinguished Voice Professional, Ms. Sheridan has completed The Oren L. Brown Professional Development Program core curriculum of Vocal Anatomy, Vocal Acoustics, Developmental Repertoire, Vocal Health and Comparative Pedagogy. She has served on the board of NYSTA and is a member of both NATS and NATS/ENY. She is the co-founder of ACTING OPERA and presently serves as the President of the Board and Voice Specialist at The Midwest Institute of Opera, based in Bloomington, IL, at Illinois State University