Stars of Broadway Started Out at College Light Opera Company on Cape Cod

Cape Cod is known as an artistic community. Playhouses, art galleries, and concert halls thrive. Visitors and locals alike are able to enjoy top-rated productions put on by talent from all over the world.

Since 1969, The College Light Opera Company has been providing an intensive program of musical theater. Each summer, dozens of college students, graduate students, and recent graduates from across the country, and around the world, make their way to College Light’s Falmouth Campus for a dose of practical training in staging and preforming top-notch, professional music theater under the guidance of a trained professional staff. The intensive program yields results. With College Light Opera Company in its 49th year, they boast an impressive list of alumni who have gone on to do great things.

In 2002, Andy Einhorn was College Light Opera’s Associate Conductor and went on to earn the title of Principal Conductor in 2011. He is now the current conductor and music director for Hello, Dolly! on Broadway with none other than Bette Midler. He is also the music director and pianist for accomplished singer and actress Audra McDonald, and somehow, he finds time to guest conduct at symphonies across the country.

Another accomplished conductor who started out at CLOC is John Morris Russell. From 1990 to 1992, he served as the Associate Conductor and from 1993 to 1995 he was one of College Light Opera’s Principal Conductor. He went on to serve as the conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic and now resides in his home state of Ohio as the Conductor for Cincinnati Pops.

Analisa Leaming joined College Light Opera Company as part of the Vocal Company in 2006. She went on to join the cast of Hello, Dolly! and star as Anna in The King and I on Broadway. In addition to her stage work, she hosts a podcast called “A Balancing Act” for anyone in the arts desiring more.

Also currently on Broadway is Geno Carr. He was a member of the vocal company in 1997 and is currently acting on Broadway in the production of Come from Away.

One of the most acclaimed set designers in Broadway history once designed sets for College Light Opera Company in Falmouth. John Lee Beatty was the technical director and scenic designer during CLOC’s inaugural season in 1969. During the course of his career he picked up two Tony awards for his designs for Talley’s Folly (1980) and The Nance
(2013). He has received 13 other Tony Award nominations, for Fifth of July (1981), A Small Family Business (1992), Redwood Curtain (1993), The Heiress (1995), A Delicate Balance (1996), The Little Foxes (1997), Morning’s at Seven (2002), Dinner at Eight (2003), Doubt (2005), Rabbit Hole (2006), The Color Purple
(2006), The Royal Family (2010) and Other Desert Cities (2012). For his prestigious work, Beatty was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2003.

Nancy Anderson, from Needham, returned to the Cape for 3 summers in 1990, 1991, and 1992 to be part of the vocal company with College Light Opera.  She performed on stage in the long running show, Kiss Me Kate, at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London’s West End. She also appeared on television in Madame Secretary (2016), Great Performances on PBS: Kiss Me Kate and South Pacific, the made for TV movie, Broadway for Broadway, and the TV mini series, Broadway The American Musical (2004). 

At the Historic Highfield Theatre, a former carriage house, on the grounds of Highfield Hall in Falmouth, this year’s crew of 32 talented singers, a fine 18-piece orchestra, 13 dedicated technicians, two box office representatives, two accompanists, two associate conductors, a choreographer, a stage manager, a co-op work director, a chef, a business manager, a marketing director and a bullpen of professional directors and conductors are celebrating their 49th year, with nine full-scale productions over the course of 11 weeks. Make plans to see a performance this summer where you’ll be seeing the stars of tomorrow, TODAY!

You can buy your tickets online, or the Box Office is open Monday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and Tuesday through Saturday, from 7 pm through intermission. Or you can call (508) 548-0668. Shows run through August 26th.

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About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
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