Mark Morgan • Artistic Director

2013 Summer Concert Series

"My heart almost literally jumped for joy several months ago when I read in the Boston Globe about the formation of New England Light Opera. Talk about filling a void!" So began a letter sent to NELO in our first year. It is representative of the kind of enthusiastic response we have received again and again over the past nine seasons."

New England Light Opera was born in January of 2001 with a three-fold mission:

  • Fill a major gap in greater Boston's cultural life by staging productions and concerts of operetta and early musical theatre, in English.
  • Support Boston's artistic community by offering professional performance opportunities to local singers, actors, instrumentalists, directors, technicians, etc.
  • Increase the accessibility to, and protect the historical legacy of, significant works of light opera and musical theatre through research, reconstruction, translation, and, most importantly, performance.

"The New England Light Opera got off on the right foot and waltzed happily away with Lehar's "The Merry Widow"' last weekend", wrote Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer about our inaugural production.

Our first season (2002-03) consisted of our Lights Up! Gala concert and our inaugural production, The Merry Widow, for a total of 4 performances. Our second season (2003-04) was greatly expanded. It began with our Summer Concert Series in Topsfield, our 2nd Lights Up Gala concert in Boston, and continued with three new productions: The (In)Compleat Works of Gilbert and Sullivan, All The Things You Are: A Jerome Kern Celebration, and the world premiere of the new musical Smooth Sailing. Our third season brought us America's Song, a concert featuring our artists plus the new NELO Concert Chorale, the smash hit Night and Day: A Cole Porter Celebration and the first Boston production in 65 years of Sigmund Romberg's The New Moon. Our fourth season included My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration, our first Viennese Ball, and the world premiere of our new By Strauss! Show. Our fifth season included our first full production, The Gilbert and Sullivan Radio Hour. Season six included the world premiere of a new show, Yes Yes Jeanette: A Musical Fantasy on Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald as well as our new revue The Roaring 20's. Season seven included a year long residency with Salem State College, performances for the Firehouse Center in Newburyport, and our 7th Annual Summer Concert Series. We returned to full production in year 8 with a concert celebrating the music of Victor Herbert, a hit revue of the music of the 1930's called Happy Days Are Here Again, and a luscious evening of the music of Franz Lehar. Last season included a 100th Birthday tribute to Broadway composer Frank Loesser and na hilarious evening of Offenbach called Yes We Can-Can!

New England Light Opera is a musical theatre company for the whole region and our shows have been performed in over 25 communities from the North Shore to Boston, and metro west to the Cape. We have also now produced over 50 Summer Concerts, 8 Rising Stars High School programs, live appearances on WBGH and WERS, and numerous other for hire performances.

Board of Directors

LYNDA FAIRBANKS ATKINS is President of the Board. She is a marketing and capital development professional with experience in the for profit and not for profit worlds. Lynda is a singer and has long been active in community affairs and the arts.

ELIOT SHERMAN is Treasurer. He has more than thirty years of financial management experience in a wide range of organizations, for-profit and not for profit. He is on the faculties of two universities and lectures nationally for the American Institute of CPAís. He says he has supported the arts in Boston for years as both his sons were outstanding young musicians.

KAJA FICKES, Clerk of the Board, is an actress, singer, and professional fund-raiser. Kaja has performed with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Turtle Lane Playhouse, Ocean State Lyric Opera, Raylynmor Opera, the New Opera and Musical Theatre Initiative, and other New England companies. She has worked in development at Harvard, Roxbury Latin, and Boston College Law School, and is currently a Major Gifts Officer at WGBH public radio and television.

MARK D. MORGAN, Artistic Director, has worked professionally in almost every aspect of music and theater production over the past 18 years. He has worked with opera companies, theaters, churches, schools, and community organizations all over the country.

As a singer/actor, Mr. Morgan has performed major roles with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston (the award winning productions of 1776, Assassins and Sunday In the Park With George), the Ohio Light Opera, Ocean State Lyric Opera. Seacoast Repertory Theater, Colorado Lyric Theater Festival, and more.

Conducting has always been the major focus of Mr. Morganís career. He currently serves as the Director of Music and the Arts at Hancock Congregational Church in Lexington and serves on the voice faculty of eastern Nazarene College. He has served as the conductor for a numerous of community choruses, opera companies, churches, and theater troupes across the country.

Mr. Morgan holds dual Masters Degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Voice and Conducting and a Bachelorís Degree in music from Macalester College. As part of his doctoral studies at the University of Colorado, he studied 19th and early 20th century American musical theater.

Ex Officio: ANGELA JAJKO, Associate Executive Director, has performed with Granite State Opera, Longwood Opera, BASOTI, New England Light Opera, and Harvard University, and has appeared with the International Lyric Academy in Viterbo, Italy as a soloist in the Concert Opera Program. In addition to having performed such roles as Carmen, Orlofsky, Augusta, Marcellina, and Pirate Jenny, she has recently appeared in concert as Amneris and La Principessa, and will be featured in a concert of verismo opera scenes with New Hampshire Opera Theatre in October 2010. Ms. Jajko has also worked behind the scenes in many productions as a costumer and stage manager. She holds degrees in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory and the University of California at Los Angeles.