Lustig LIVE!

Oakland Ballet Company presents

Lustig LIVE!

Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center

Laney College, Oakland

900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607

Click Here for a map of Laney College

Friday, May 3rd – 7:30pm

Saturday, May 4th – 7:30pm

Thank you for joining us for 2024!

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OBC Artistic Director, Graham Lustig, introducing Lustig LIVE!

About Lustig LIVE!

Lustig LIVE!is set to ignite the stage with a thrilling fusion of classical elegance and rock ‘n’ roll energy! Led by the visionary direction of OBC artistic director, Graham Lustig, this dynamic performance promises an unforgettable journey through a kaleidoscope of musical brilliance. From the graceful elegance of Bach to the rebellious spirit of Elvis, Lustig LIVE! presents an electrifying spectacle, seamlessly blending live music and dance. So don’t miss your chance to be part of this exhilarating musical journey!

A new work inspired by the life and illustrious career of the great Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, the world premiere of Faun features Lawrence Chen as the Spirit, Karina Eimon as Romola, Logan Martin as Diaghilev and Graham Lustig as the mature Nijinsky. Live musicians include flutist Arturo Rodriguez and pianist Hadley McCarroll.

Also featuring Oakland Ballet Premieres of Uncertain Steps with William Skeen on Baroque Cello and Dialogues with guest dancer Stephanie Powell, soprano Shawnette Sulker, and pianist Hadley McCarroll, and the revival of Heartbreak Hotel with Hank Maninger on vocals & guitar, and Leor Beary on vocals and drums.

Guest Artists

Q

Stephanie Powell

Stephanie Powell is a tenured Professor of Dance at Long Beach City College in Southern California. Her dance training began with Cindy Trueblood at Civic Dance Center in Bakersfield, California. Her dance studies continued scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington and the School of American Ballet in New York City. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Sociology and Education, and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance with distinction from the University of California, Irvine, as a Chancellor’s Fellow.

While attending University of California, Berkeley her professional dance career started with the Oakland Ballet Company, under the direction of Ronn Guidi.  She continued by pursuing a diverse dance career with San Francisco Opera, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Donald Byrd the Group, Contemporary West Dance Theatre, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Ms. Powell was a performer in the Los Angeles Pantages Theater production of the Broadway show Lion King, where she danced featured principal roles as well as performed as a principal singer and actress in the roles of Shenzi and Sarabi. Additionally, Powell has modeled internationally for Redken and Trevor Sorbie of the UK. She has appeared on television on the Grammy’s, FabLife, the Jay Leno Show, and has danced commercially for artists such as MC Hammer, Kenny G, Janet Jackson, and Beyonce Knowles-Carter.

As a college professor for two decades, she has developed course curriculum and has taught courses in academia that include classical Ballet, contemporary Ballet, Pointe, Modern Dance, Jazz, Pilates,Turns, Zumba, Dance Conditioning, Stretch and Relaxation, Dance Appreciation, Choreography, Composition, Dance History, Hip Hop Dance History and Performance Workshop. She is a certified instructor of the New York City Ballet Workout, Zumba, Qiginition and (BASI) Body Arts and Science International Pilates, with a Dance Specialization. Powell has also taught as a part-time instructor at the University of California, Irvine in Ballet, Modern Dance and the Donald McKayle Etude Ensemble. She is currently the principal interpreteur of the choreographic works for the late Donald McKayle and stages his work for universities and dance companies around the world.

As a testament to her reputation and contributions, Powell is a recipient of the Long Beach Post Award for Best Teacher in the city of Long Beach, the Black Leadership Advancement Coalition Alumni Award and was a nominee for the “Woman of the Year” Award by the 54th Assembly District’s Assembly member, Bonnie Lowenthal. Powell has served as a volunteer for the NAACP and on a committee that helps organize the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference. She has been recognized as a leading figure in the community in the Cultural Arts Guide for the Long Beach Business Journal and a Black History Trailblazer in her hometown. As an alumnus of UC Irvine, she was honored with the Celebration of Teaching Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

To remain current in her field, Powell regularly attends conferences for continued education in her artform to bring up to date information, dance techniques and digital technology to her students in the classroom. She continues to direct productions, perform as a guest artist, teach in summer intensive programs as well as choreograph her own work in Ballet, contemporary dance, jazz dance and social dance throughout the United States, Australia, Europe and Asia. She enjoys traveling the world with her daughter and is delighted to return home to perform with the Oakland Ballet Company.

Stephanie Powell

Musicians

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Shawnette Sulker

Shawnette Sulker is a sought-after Guyanese American soprano artist in the United States and abroad, acclaimed for her “heart-breaking poignancy” and “beautifully tuned soprano” by the San Francisco Chronicle and for her “enchanting vocal splendor” by the Leipziger Volkszeitung. A consummate performer, she recently sang the leading roles of Bulrusher (Bulrusher by Stookey) for a workshop with the Cincinnati Opera; The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) with Livermore Valley Opera; Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea) with Intermountain Opera Bozeman; Mary Jane Bowser for a workshop of Intelligence (Heggie), which was sponsored by Houston Grand Opera as a lead up to their recent world premiere of the opera. She also recently created and premiered the role of Ariel in Allen Shearer’s new opera Prospero’s Island. Other recent portrayals featured singing Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) with West Edge Opera, Sister Rose (Dead Man Walking) with Opera Idaho, and Floralba (Messalina by Pallavicino) with Ars Minerva. More roles in the soprano’s repertoire include Pip (Heggie’s Moby Dick); Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos); Cunegonde (Candide); The Visitor (Sankaram’s Formidable); Carolina (Il matrimonio segreto); Musetta (La Bohème); Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro); Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi).

On the concert stage, Ms. Sulker recently performed several world premiere arrangements of Poulenc chansons with The Poulenc Trio on the Music at Kohl Mansion Concert Series, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Mission Chamber Orchestra, and as a soloist for the San Francisco Boys Chorus’ 75 th Anniversary concert. Other recent concert engagements featured recitals in New York venues Scorca Hall (an all- Brazilian Music program) and The Blue Building and at Stanford University; The Majesty of the Spiritual concert at Herbst Theatre and Lincoln Center (honoring the works of living masters R. Carter, J. Hairston, and L. McLin); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Berkeley Symphony. A sampling of her other concert repertoire includes Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras; Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen; Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate; Bach’s Coffee Cantata; Scarlatti’s Su le sponde del Tebro; Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor; Fauré’s Requiem; Orff’s Carmina Burana. International credits for Ms. Sulker include recording a CD with Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand, a concert of operatic favorites at Naple’s Teatro di San Carlo, singing Adele throughout the Netherlands and Belgium in a tour of Die Fledermaus, a recital at Red Door Studios in Amsterdam, and orchestra concerts featuring Porgy and Bess highlights and Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and Prague’s Smetana Hall.

The soprano has sung with such companies as the San Francisco Opera, Mark Morris Dance Group, American Bach Soloists, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Memphis, Opera Fairbanks, Union Avenue Opera, Opera Naples, Pacific Opera Project (POP), Opera Modesto, Eugene Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Natchez Opera Festival, to name a few. Upcoming engagements include performing a double bill of two contemporary opera with Opera Parallèle: the West Coast premiere of Little’s Vinkensport (as Sir Elton John’s Trainer) and the world premiere of Karpman’s Balls (as Susan B. Anthony). She will also be singing as the soprano soloist in Bond’s Credo and Dvorak’s Mass in D Major, both with San Francisco Choral Society.

Shawnette Sulker

Q

Arturo Rodriguez

Arturo Rodriguez is a Chicano flutist, composer, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Rodriguez is a frequent performer in the Bay Area. You’ll spot him in pit orchestras throughout the bay providing his dynamic flute and piccolo skills to companies like Mountain Play, YMTC, and Spindrift.

He’s also seen on the concert stage performing with ensembles like the San Francisco Philharmonic, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, San Jose Symphonic Choir, Awesöme Orchestra Collective, and Oakland Civic Orchestra.

He’s also an accomplished chamber musician and soloist where he currently performs with Ensemble 126 and the Etesian Duo. Mr. Rodriguez has performed in many concert halls and recordings including various titles in Undercover Presents and Act IV and V of The Dear Hunter’s albums. Aside from an impressive and engaging musical lifestyle, he is an avid composer.

In December of 2022, he premiered his most ambitious work for orchestra. His Requiem Sinfonica, a requiem without words, was written for the passing of the lives affected by Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire. His work was performed and premiered by various members and community musicians of the Awesöme Orchestra Collective.

He has also composed several works for flute solo (Metamorphosis Suite), Flute Ensemble which includes Iridescent Fanfare – which premiered at the 2022 NFA Convention in Chicago, Universal Creations which will receive its 2023 NFA premiere by Ensemble 126, and works for Flute Duo (Flute Duo No. 1 & 2), Flute and Harp (Nocturne for an Era of Remembrance – NFA 2023 Premiere and Lines for Flute and Harp).

Arturo serves as coaching faculty with the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra and Young Musicians Choral Orchestra. He is also the flute ambassador for the Awesöme Orchestra Collective. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of the Pacific in 2013.

He’s passionate about his little dog Autumn and spending time with familia y amigos. He’s a passionate leader and advocates increasing visibility and access for musicians and composers of color.

Arturo Rodriguez

Q

Hadley McCarroll

Hadley McCarroll is a well-known San Francisco Bay Area-based collaborative/solo pianist and teacher. She has performed in the US and internationally with LINES Ballet, Left Coast Ensemble, the Santa Rosa Symphony, Composer’s Inc, and sfSound. She has appeared at Flower Piano, Concerts in the Barn, Noontime Concerts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Festival del Sole, and has worked on the staff of the Royal Danish Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, and Utah Festival Opera.  Hadley‘s repertoire ranges from Cage, Lachenmann, Carter and Ligeti to Beethoven, Schumann and Janáček. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin. A sought-after coach and adjudicator, Hadley maintains an active teaching and coaching studio in Oakland, where she resides with her husband and son.

Hadley McCarroll

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William Skeen

William Skeen serves as Principal Cellist with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Voices of Music, and was Principal Cellist of the American Bach Soloists for nearly two decades. He is a founding member of the New Esterházy Quartet, the Cantata Collective, and La Monica. William taught baroque cello and viola da gamba at the University of Southern California from 2000-2020. Mr. Skeen has appeared as continuo cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Gustavo Dudamel), the Los Angeles Master Chorale (Grant Gershon) and San Diego Opera (Kenneth Montgomery). He’s been highlighted as viola da gamba soloist multiple times with the Dallas Symphony (Jaap van Zweden), Los Angeles Master Chorale, Carmel Bach Festival (Bruno Weil and Paul Goodwin), Oregon Bach Festival (Matthew Halls),  American Bach Soloists, and the Orquesta Nacional de México (Carlos Miguel Prieto). He has also performed the rôle of Principal Cellist with Pacific Music Works, Seattle Baroque, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Collegium San Diego. William was twice nominated for a Grammy Award: in 2012 for Best Small Ensemble Performance for “The Kingdoms of Castille” with El Mundo, and again in 2022 for Best Classical Compendium for “American Originals” with Agave.  Mr. Skeen has toured and recorded with many early music ensembles including Smithsonian Chamber Players, Musica Pacifica, El Mundo, Agave, Galanterie, Con Gioia, the New Esterházy Quartet, La Monica, and Philharmonia Chamber Players. William has served on the faculty of the American Bach Soloists Academy, the Berwick Academy at the Oregon Bach Festival, the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Baroque Workshop, and co-founded the SFEMS Classical Workshop.

Mr. Skeen can be viewed on countless high-definition videos produced by Voices of Music. He has taken the stage as soloist, continuo cellist, and chamber musician at many summer festivals including Carmel Bach, Oregon Bach, Tanglewood, Caramoor, Mostly Mozart, Mendocino, Valley of the Moon, Ravinia, Ryedale, and most recently performed back-to-back memorized concerts of the complete Bach Cello Suites at the Whidbey Island Music Festival. 

William holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Southern California, with mentors Alan Harris and Ronald Leonard. He performs with his two baroque celli: a Giovanni Grancino from 1725, and an anonymous Italian five-string cello from the 1680s. 

Mr. Skeen lives with his wife, virtuoso violinist Kati Kyme, in Oakland. Talia and Liam, his accomplished musical children, are just beginning promising professional musical careers. 

William Skeen

Q

Hank Maninger

Hank Maninger has been playing in the Bay Area music scene his entire life. He started off as the bass player for Bonnie Hayes and the Wild Combo, recording two records and placing two songs on the soundtrack of the movie Valley Girl. He played bass with Chuck Prophet for a few years, touring Europe, and played guitar with surf revival pioneers the Aqua Velvets. As a member of the critically acclaimed western soul band the Hacienda Brothers, Hank toured the world and recorded four albums, in addition to a recent compilation of unreleased cuts.

Folks from the Bay Area are likely to recognize Hank’s signature sound on guitar, bass, and vocals. He has been active on the roots music scene since the early 80’s, playing in bands such as Bonnie Hayes and the Wild Combo and internationally with the Hacienda Brothers. When he’s not busy with Nashville Honeymoon, Hank leads his own roots trio (Hank Maninger and the Jukebox Charlies), and plays bass with The Seducers.

Lately Hank has focused on teaching and performing in the Bay Area with his own trio, and with Nashville Honeymoon, a classic country/Americana band that he leads with his wife, Lynne Maes. They have released three records of original material.

Hank Maninger

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Leor Beary

Leor Beary is a drummer, percussionist and singer who has recorded and performed nationally and internationally in a variety of Americana and roots bands, including Johnny Dilks, Lloyd Tripp and most notably, for 12 years as a member of the swing dance and jump blues band Stompy Jones (formerly known as Swing Session). He currently performs and records with the Berkeley-based honky tonk outfit known as Nashville Honeymoon, led by husband and wife Hank Maninger and Lynn Maes, as well as the surf and roots trio Hank Maninger and The Jukebox Charlies (both including Tim Wagar on bass)…both groups perform publicly and privately around the Bay Area and beyond (see nashvillehoneymoon.com)

Leor Beary