MANAGEMENT & STAFF
Born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Steffanie Pearce began her career as an operatic soprano with formal studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music, finishing at The University of Southern California Opera Workshop.
Ms. Pearce was an apprentice with The Cincinnati Opera and The San Diego Opera. She was the winner of numerous international vocal competitions, including the Pavarotti Competition, Montreal International, D’Angelo, Baltimore Opera, and the American Traditions competition.
On the opera stage she is most noted for distinctive portrayals of tragic heroines: Tosca, Violetta, Leonora, Marguerite, Donna Anna, Mimi, and the Three Heroines of Tales of Hoffman. She has been a guest artist at many opera companies, including Opera de Marseille, Opera Lisboa, Opera Colorado, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, San Diego Opera, The Buxton Festival in England, Baltimore Opera, Opera Delaware, and the New Jersey Opera Festival.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Pearce has appeared as a guest soloist at such major theaters as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Philadelphia Academy of Music, Blossom Music Festival, and Marlborough Music Festival.
Soon after she moved to Naples in 2000, Ms. Pearce perceived an interest in opera within the cultural community. She incorporated Opera Naples in March, 2005, and became the founding General/Artistic Director. She continued in that capacity for six years, during which time the company matured and added staff until it became appropriate to separate the artistic and executive functions.
While her full-time focus is on her artistic/production duties, Ms. Pearce continues to perform locally and teach classical vocal technique.
Thomas Smith, an arts executive whose career has spanned more than 15 years, came to Opera Naples in July of 2011 with experience in all facets of opera administration. Previous positions include: Executive Director and CEO of Des Moines Metro Opera, the first such appointment in the company’s history; Director of Finance for the Cincinnati Opera Association, responsible for managing an operating budget that grew in excess of $6.5 million; plus, an endowment valued at more than $15 million, four years with the Baltimore Opera Company, leaving that organization with the title of Director of Administration; and a one year term as President and CEO of The Modesto Symphony in 2009-10.
Tom’s education credentials include a B.B.A. in Finance from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, an MBA from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master’s of Arts Administration from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He has written and spoken for Opera America on topics including the implications of Sarbanes-Oxley on the opera industry, budget management and insurance issues.
Thomas serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Naples Music Club, and was a member of the 2012 GAIN leadership class through the Collier County Chamber of Commerce. He is a native of Hampton, Virginia.
Music Administration, Chorus Master, Educational Outreach Director
Robin Shuford Frank
Marty L. Pearce
Dr. Leslie Kaye
Box Office Manager