Dona D.Vaughn

Dona D. Vaughn, Artistic Director
Dona D. Vaughn, Artistic Director of Opera Maine,also serves as Artistic Director of Opera Programs at Manhattan School of Music. From 1998 to 2010, she was Stage Director/Acting Coach for The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She began her career as a performer in the original Broadway productions of Company, Jesus Christ Superstar and Seesaw. She was Assistant to Producer Kermit Bloomgarden for the Broadway productions of Equus and Hot l Baltimore, and Associate Producer for Pavel Kohout’s Poor Murderer, as well as ABC’s daytime drama All My Children. Directing credits include New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Wolf Trap Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Birmingham, Lincoln Center Playwrights’ Festival, Kennedy Center, and DiVivreVoix (Vivonne, France). Among the operas she has directed at Manhattan School of Music are Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Transformations, Bloch’s Macbeth, The Mother of Us All, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Summer and Smoke, Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Formerly a member of the voice faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh and Marymount Manhattan College, Ms. Vaughn often conducts master classes across the U.S., Europe and China, and serves as an adjudicator for vocal competitions, including The Metropolitan Opera National Council, The Richard Tucker Foundation, Denver Lyric Opera, The Jenson Foundation, The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Artist in Training Program, and Premio Spiros Argiris International Competition (Italy). A graduate of Brevard College, where she currently serves on the board of trustees, she earned a B.A. in vocal performance from Wesleyan, and has received that institution’s Outstanding Alumni Award. She holds an M.A. in theater directing from Hunter College, and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Southern Maine. She studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen, and dance with Martha Graham. Ms. Vaughn has written for Opera News and Italy’s Musical!

Richard Gammon, Studio Artist Program Director

Richard directed the world premieres of Jorge Sosa’s The Lake (ArtSounds) and
Tonatzín; the American premiere of Scarlatti’s Erminia at The Kennedy Center
(Opera Lafayette); and the workshop of J Ashley Miller’s pop opera Echosis
(Atemporchestra). Selected productions include Susannah (Charlottesville
Opera); Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda at The Kennedy
Center with Thomas Dunford (Opera Lafayette); CARE Monologue Film Project
(Cleveland Play House); Much Ado About Nothing (Kentucky Shakespeare
Festival’s Globe Players); Monroe’s The Life and Times of Joe Jefferson
Benjamin Blow (National Asian Artist Project); and Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna
and Rorem’s Three Sisters who are Not Sisters (Manhattan School of Music).
Richard is the Director of Opera Maine’s Studio Artist Program (Perla’s An
American Dream, Three Decembers, Trouble in Tahiti, Gianni Schicchi, The
Medium); and is co-founder and director of Art with Arias, a recital collaboration
with the Portland Museum of Art. Recently, Richard was the Creative Associate
for Seán Curran Company’s world premiere of Dream’d in a Dream (BAM Next
Wave Festival); an Artist in Residence at both Hewnoaks Artist Colony and the
Institute for American Art; and has worked with LA Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint
Louis, Fort Worth Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera North, and the Lyric Opera
of Kansas City. Upcoming: Der Kaiser von Atlantis and L’île de Merlin (Wolf Trap
Opera), Madama Butterfly and An American Dream (Virginia Opera), Sumeida’s
Song (Opera Maine SAP), and Associate Director for The Grapes of Wrath
(Michigan Opera Theatre). www.richard-gammon.com

photo by Suzanne Vinnik

Caroline Koelker, Executive Director
In 2015 Caroline Koelker was appointed executive director. In this role she is responsible for implementing all aspects of the opera company’s productions, outreach, and fundraising.

Koelker most recently served as event coordinator and development manager for Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA, where she earned her Master of Music in Opera Performance. A native of Maine, she earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Maine in Orono. Koelker is a resident of Westbrook and is a Trustee and singing member of Una Voce Chamber Choir.