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Rose Valley Chorus & Orchestra


Synopsis    Who Was Victor Herbert    Production History


    The Red Mill graphic


Production Staff

  • Bob Allen (Producer) joined the chorus in 1981 for Ruddigore and happily sang his part for several seasons before flubbing a line found him backstage. He continues to be amazed at how the efforts of so many talented people, working independently throughout the region, come together to produce such delightful productions. He has produced and/or stage-managed dozens of productions over the past 24 years. Back to top
  • Alan Alvarez (Gaston) was Big Jule in Guys and Dolls, Lord Battersby in Me and My Girl, and Marcellus in The Music Man. Previous major RVCO roles were Gangster Two in Kiss Me, Kate, Vernon Hines in Pajama Game, and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls in 1984. Some of his favorite roles with other groups were Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha, Jigger in Carousel, Luther Billis in South Pacific, and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes. Back to top
  • Helen J. Beldecos (Dora) joined RVCO in 1985 and has performed regularly ever since. Her roles include Lady Battersby in Me and My Girl, Shaindel in Fiddler on the Roof, Mae in The Pajama Game, Mrs. Rose in Hello, Dolly!, Fatima in The Desert Song, and Maud Dunlop in The Music Man. Behind the scenes, Helen has been in charge of tickets and treasurer. "RVC is a wonderful group of talented performers; it is a pleasure to be associated with them."Back to top
  • Bud Berman (Pennyfeather), together with his wife, Mona, has appeared on stage in many non-Rose Valley productions, including Trial By Jury, Pajama Game, Fiddler on the Roof, Barnum, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls, Li'l Abner, Pippin, Bells Are Ringing, and Company. Rose Valley productions include New Moon, Yeomen of the Guard, and Plain and Fancy. Both can be found in their day jobs at the Berman & Asbel law firm in Media. They are happy to be back at Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra with their old and new friends. Back to top
  • Mona Berman (Kitora) see above. Back to top
  • Bruce Bogdanoff (Pianist) made his stage debut with RVCO in Me & My Girl as the Pearly King and other ensemble roles. A neurologist, he joined RVCO in 1989 as pianist for Mikado. With Ohev Shalom Players, he played keyboard for Pippin and was Bobby in Company, Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, General Bullmoose in Li'l Abner, and Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie. He performs with various chamber music groups and the RVCO Chamber Trio. Back to top
  • A. Scott Bullitt (Burgomaster) was Enoch Snow in Carousel last spring, Sir Marmaduke in The Sorcerer in 2003, and Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady in 2002. He made his debut with RVCO as Mordcha the Innkeeper in 1973's Fiddler on the Roof and has performed more than twenty-five roles since. He has also appeared with Stagecrafters, Footlighters, and other local community theatre groups, as well as local dinner theatres. Among his favorite roles with RVCO are Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, the Wazir in Kismet, Dr. Daly in The Sorcerer, Sir Ruthven in Ruddigore, Ko-Ko and Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, and Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls. Scott also frequently performs with Concert Operetta Theater of Philadelphia, where he has sung roles by Lehár, Kalman, and Oscar Straus. Most recently he appeared as the Grand Duke in Lehar's The Czarevitch. Back to top
  • Arnza W. Chamberlain (Lora), new to RVCO, began her musical career at an early age. Raised in North Philadelphia, she began the viola at six and was in the elementary school string quartet and Philadelphia Children's Orchestra at seven. Throughout high school and college, she was in the choir and orchestra. With great pride, she played in the Philadelphia All-City Orchestra. She is manager and artist developer of her daughters' singing group "Min-US-ONE."Back to top
  • Al Chaney (Set Designer) began his artistic life as a soprano, singing with the Videon Boy Choir for many years. Since that time, his life in music has grown to include several aspects. He received formal training as an operatic singing-actor at Temple University in Philadelphia and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and has appeared on concert programs, opera stages, and on tour in Austria, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and the United States. A lyric-baritone, his roles have ranged from the small part of the Master of Ceremonies in the world premiere production of What Now, Semyon? to the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni. As an administrator, Mr. Chaney spent seven years with ConcertOpera, Philadelphia, his last five as Co-General Director. Now fully at home as a stage director and designer, Mr. Chaney has recently designed and staged productions of La Traviata, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Guys & Dolls for area companies. This production marks his debut with RVCO. Back to top
  • Michael Chang (Sound Design) Ever since his two daughters and loving wife dragged him into theater in 1993 (Narberth Community Theatre, The King and I), Michael has become the "sound man of choice" for several local community and school theater programs. His set design and construction activities at Bala Cynwyd Middle School over the last eight years have earned him the nickname of "Boss". He has also produced four shows for Narberth Community Theatre, served on their board, and worked to enhance shows for Thespis, Etc., St. Francis Players, St. Thomas Players, and The Wolf Performing Arts Center. When not doing theater, he is the VP for Management Information Systems at MFI Associates in Ardmore, PA. Back to top
  • Ken Clark (Set Construction Chair) was first listed under Costumes for Kiss Me, Kate in 1998. After lugging costumes, installing grommets, and posing occasionally as a "Male Model," he explored other avenues and proceeded through Stage Crew to Set Construction Crew to Set Construction Chair, which he did for Patience, Carousel, and HMS Pinafore/Cox & Box. He has also done bit parts on stage: a Policeman in Hello, Dolly! and a Suspicious Character in Guys and Dolls. Back to top
  • Bruce Conley (Dirk) was David Bascombe in Carousel last spring and is happy to return for this production. A chorus member since 1988, he has enjoyed performing minor roles in many past shows: such as Brigadoon, The Yeomen of the Guard, Hello, Dolly!, and Die Fledermaus. Back to top
  • Fred Dittmann (Willem) was the Captain in Carousel last spring and Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls in 2004. He has sung with various musical groups and performed with theatrical companies from a young age. Fred's credits include: Private Willis in Iolanthe and Arac in Princess Ida for Savoy Company, Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers and Usher in Trial By Jury for G&S Society of Chester County, singer and actor with Christmas Revels, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Ardensingers, and Anything Goes with Episcopal Academy players. He currently sings with The Tonics, a local a cappella group. Off stage, Fred is a senior vice president with Pennsylvania Trust, studies voice, and serves on various charitable boards. Back to top
  • Arnie Finkel (Stage Director) first joined RVCO as Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! and then directed our productions of Stop the World-I Want to Get Off in 2001 and Die Fledermaus in 2003. "I have been in show business since getting my first taste of an audience in sixth grade. I have been directing and conducting since I was nineteen years old. Over the years I've done somewhere over fifty musicals and a few "straight" shows as well. This has been a really joyful experience for me. It's a pleasure to be surrounded by such talented and super nice people. My best productions have been Lynne, Margo, and Bruce. And their productions are the dividends.Briana, Allyson, Sammy, Rachel, Julia, and Max. As always, my thanks and everlasting love to my wife, Lorri."Back to top
  • Sally Foster-Chang (Rose) debuts with RVCO in this show. Elsewhere, she has been seen locally in a variety of roles since 1993. She studies classical voice with Dr. Richard Johnson and has studied acting at the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts (Santa Maria, CA), The Arden, and Walnut Street Theaters. Directing credits include: Cabaret, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, The Musical (Narberth Community Theater), Our Town, Footloose, Inherit the Wind, and Miracle Worker (codirector for Bala Cynwyd Middle School.) Currently she is the dramaturge for an original play which explores the ethical issues surrounding genetic engineering (Re-Inventing Eden by Seth Rozin) at Interact Theater. Sally is a nurse practitioner at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center where she runs an Occupational Health program. With the recently established WolfPAC program in Ardmore, a nonprofit drama school for kids, Sally hopes to pass on her love of theater to a whole new generation. Back to top
  • Carol Freed (Music Director/Conductor) started piano at the age of six and was first music director as a senior at Lower Merion High School. Since then she has been music director/conductor for many local theater groups. She joined RVCO in 1977 as accompanist and became music director and conductor with The New Moon production in 1985. Her longevity with RVCO has now earned her the distinction of lifetime membership. "What a privilege to lead such a wonderful and talented group of people, both actors and orchestra." Off the podium, she sells real estate with Weichert Realtors and does vocal coaching. "Thanks to my husband, Marvin, for supporting me, always."Back to top
  • Helene Furlong (Assistant Music Director/Heather) has assisted in the musical direction for all our shows starting with Ruddigore in 1990. She has danced and played roles onstage, been in the chorus, played clarinet in the orchestra, worked stage crew, and called cues. She most recently music directed the production of Mistrial by Jury at Ardensingers. Helene has a B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University and belongs to the Philadelphia alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international women's music fraternity. She would like to thank her family for their love and support for her musical endeavors and to especially thank Carol Freed for her excellent tutelage. Back to top
  • Bill Hendrix (Arn) "I've been with RVCO for 8 years and 19 shows following my retirement from the corporate world and flying for the military. It doesn't get any better than this-great people, great music, great musicians, and outstanding audiences."Back to top
  • Dottie Hespenheide (Matilda/Set Painting Chair) "This is my seventh year with RVCO, and I'm continually impressed with the quality of our performances (and the scenery!!). I still enjoy singing in the chorus and doing what I can to help with set construction and painting." She received the RVCO #1 Award for 2003. Back to top
  • Carl Heyde (Alphonse) made his RVCO debut as the First Policeman in Carousel last spring and then sang the Carpenter's Mate in HMS Pinafore last fall. His first show was just two years ago when he was reluctantly dragged onto stage in Pirates of Penzance at Thespis, Etc. No longer reluctant, he also appeared recently in South Pacific with the Brandywiners and Bell, Book, & Candle with Methacton Community Theater. He has particularly enjoyed working with the talented and friendly cast of The Red Mill. Back to top
  • Valerie Hoffman (Community Outreach) is a lifetime member of RVCO and wishes she had more time to perform on stage with Rose Valley, but keeps herself "warmed up" singing with four different choral groups. Back to top
  • Alfred Hurd (Zeeman/Waltz Master), a lifetime member of RVCO, enjoys the chance to do a wide variety of tasks on and off stage?mostly building, hauling, and management. He has performed on stage with his wife, Eleanor, in 69 of the 81 shows in which they have participated. Back to top
  • Eleanor Hurd (Rora), also a lifetime member, has enjoyed being in many shows with her husband, Alfred?see above. The reason for not being on stage for many recent shows is that they are working to create a community performing arts complex for Delaware County. This complex will provide a home for the many community groups that lack their own space, including RVCO and 22 others currently signed up. They are now working to secure a site. Back to top
  • Gregory D. Kasander (Con Kidder) returns to RVCO where he appeared as Robin in Ruddigore, Cyril in Princess Ida, and directed The Merry Widow. Recent roles include John Wilkes Booth (The Lincoln Affair), Father (Children of Eden), Melchior (Amahl.), Cat (Honk!), and John Dickinson (1776). Greg is also currently appearing as Marcellus in The Music Man for ACTS communities. Other directorial credits include The Mousetrap and Dangerous Corner. He thanks RVCO for this wild role and looks forward to returning to directing soon!Back to top
  • Elizabeth Knecht (Tina) was Jaqueline in our Me and My Girl, Sandman in Hansel & Gretel, and choreographer for several shows. She trained at Lehigh Valley Regional Ballet Company under Alexi Ramov, later at Joffrey Ballet School in New York, and was coached by Dame Margot Fontyn of the Royal Ballet of England and Assaf Messerer of the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia. She has performed with numerous dance companies. Her musical theater credits include the Bucks County Playhouse, Dan Perna Productions, Trinity Opera Theater, Berta in Barber of Seville, April in Company, Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Elena in a world premiere opera production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, just produced in both Philadelphia and Italy this past summer. She appears in recital, concert, and cabaret venues with Night & Day, performing jazz, show tunes, and light opera in recital halls and restaurants. An accomplished choreographer, she teaches ballet at the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. Back to top
  • Sharon Kope (Pianist) A musician all her life, Sharon began piano lessons in first grade and violin lessons in fourth; by tenth grade she was church organist. After high school she toured Europe with America's Youth in Concert. She studied at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, and graduated from Wittenberg University in Ohio with a bachelor's degree in church music. She enjoyed a tour of Germany her senior year, visiting many different churches and organs. For 20 years, Sharon was the organist and Director of Music for Immanuel Lutheran Church in Norwood and is now the Director of Music at Mount Hope United Methodist Church in Aston. She is also the director and accompanist for the Sunshine Singers of Delaware County. Sharon is married to her wonderful husband, Bob, and has two terrific boys, Kevin and Tim. When not involved with music, she likes spending time with her family, doing crafts and traveling around the country. Back to top
  • Doris Krewson (Flora), a native Philadelphian, graduated from Muhlenberg College with a minor in music/voice and while there studied voice privately and sang the leads in Curt Weil's Down in the Valley and Minotti's Telephone. She was soloist for the American Chorale and sang with the Heritage Choir of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She sang in Rose Valley's 1987 production of The Vagabond King. From 1970 to 1999, she directed a children's choir at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Woodlyn. In 2003 she was guest soloist for a vespers/concert at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Doylestown. Doris has been and continues to be a church choir/wedding soloist. Back to top
  • Peggy Long (Clog Waltz Choreographer) has danced in and/or assisted with choreography in our recent shows of Carousel, Guys and Dolls, and Me and My Girl. A long-time member of RVCO, Peggy has enjoyed performing with the group in many shows, including favorites as Pajama Game, Plain and Fancy, My Fair Lady, Kismet, and Brigadoon. She thanks everyone for being so great to work with!Back to top
  • Joyce Malin (Properties) has been a member of the RVCO family since 1992. Being Properties chairperson gives her an excuse to roam all the yard sales, flea markets, and second hand shops she can and is a direct result of early crayoning deficiency and lack of formal preschool. "Many thanks to Erma for all her help."Back to top
  • Janice Manley (Costumes) returned as costume chair for The Mikado in 1997 and has dressed most of our shows since. She first appeared on our stage in Brigadoon of 1961, where she met her husband, Bob, and together they have participated in RVCO ever since-both are now lifetime members. She often plays the piano in the orchestra and for rehearsals and has served on the Executive Committee; Bob now plays violin in the RVCO orchestra. She also has credits with Ardensingers and has coordinated costumes for OperaDelaware. Back to top
  • Barbara Matheson (Stage Manager) has appeared backstage as Bobette in many RVCO shows, including Carousel, Patience, Guys and Dolls, Me and My Girl, Die Fledermaus, The Sorcerer, Hansel and Gretel, The Music Man, The Yeomen of the Guard, The Pirates of Penzance, and My Fair Lady. She has also had various "roles" in business management with several theatre groups. Between shows, she likes to travel with her husband, Don, a long-time RVCO member who currently plays trombone in the orchestra. Back to top
  • Jack McEwen (Piet) was featured as Liver-Lips Louie in Guys and Dolls in 2004 and Bob Barking in Me and My Girl of 2003. "This is my sixth season with RVCO and I'm enjoying the shows and friendships more each year."Back to top
  • Royal McGeorge (Berndt) debuts with RVCO. With other groups he has sung in the chorus for The Savoy Company since 1995, the G & S Society of Chester County, and Thespis, Etc. With the North Light Players of Roxborough, he was General MacKenzie in 10 Little Indians. In college, he sang in The Mikado and performed in a variety of dramas. Off stage he is a retired school teacher having taught mathematics and physics in several school districts, a retired Lt. Commander of the U. S. Naval Reserve, and a weapons system instructor and system safety analyst. Back to top
  • Joanna McLaughlin (Nora) With this performance of The Red Mill, Joanna has come full circle as this show was also her first big production in high school. She has been part of RVCO for 23 years and says "I'm so grateful to Rose Valley Chorus and you, the audience, for allowing me to pursue one of the great loves of my life, performing in musical theater. God bless!"Back to top
  • Bill Michael (Pierre) joined RVCO in 1992 and has appeared in many of our productions since. He met his wife, Kathy, through RVCO and has performed with his daughter, Maggie, in two RVCO shows. Besides being on stage, he has worn many other hats over the years. He currently serves on the Executive Committee and is the Membership Chair. Back to top
  • Elizabeth Oliver (Gretchen) A native of the Philadelphia area, coloratura soprano Elizabeth Oliver has performed with a number of regional opera companies and choral groups such as The Delaware Valley Opera Company, The Lancaster Opera Company, and the Philadelphia Singers. Some favorite roles she has performed are Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Frasquita in Carmen, and Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors. She will appear as Yvette in Roxborough-based DVOC's June production of La Rondine. The Indiana University graduate resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Tim, and two adorable shih tzu puppies. Back to top
  • Tim Oliver (Christian) has been featured in many operas and oratorios. Recently, he portrayed the Swan in Orff's Carmina Burana at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall (City of Hope Foundation) and the Angel in Ralph Vaughn Williams Hodie (Susquehanna Valley Chorale and Orchestra). He has enjoyed working with the Lancaster Opera Company, the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, the Delaware Valley Opera Company, the Independence Symphonia, the Main Line Opera Guild, the Trinity Center Opera, and the Old York Road Symphony Orchestra. He has performed over 30 different operatic roles for these groups. Tim holds a B.A. in music from Lycoming College and is a manager at Cunningham Piano Company, a Philadelphia institution since 1891. He is thrilled to be "acting" (wink, wink) opposite his adorable wife once again. Back to top
  • Steven Pollack (Kid Conner) appeared with RVCO as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus and directed Me and My Girl and Hansel & Gretel. His many performing credits include: opera roles of Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Germont in La Traviata, The Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Schaunard in La Boheme, Rigoletto in Rigoletto, and Father in Hansel & Gretel; and musical theater roles in Company, Show Boat, The Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd, and South Pacific. He was one of the original members of Peter Nero's Voices of the Pops and a soloist with the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. He is developing a new Philadelphia Cabaret Dinner Theater with Franco & Luigi's Pastaria Restaurant. With Elizabeth Knecht, he appears with Night & Day in recitals, concerts, and cabaret, and will be directing Oliver this spring at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. Originally from Boston, he went to Franklin & Marshall College and Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he received a Mennen Fellowship and University Honors for his composition and conducting achievements. He operates and teaches musical theater at the Night & Day Musical Theater Studio in Philadelphia and will be teaching a musical theater program in conjunction with the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. Back to top
  • Mary Punshon (Bertha) was Josephine in HMS Pinafore last fall. Other RVCO roles include Lalume in Kismet, Psyche in Princess Ida, Phoebe in Yeomen of the Guard, Vittoria in The Gondoliers, where she met her husband Wayne, and Mabel in RVCO's ongoing production of Pirates of Penzance In The Schools. With Ardensingers, Berks Grand Opera, G&S Society of Chester Co, and Thespis, Etc. she has portrayed Angelina in Trial by Jury, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Melissa in Princess Ida, Lady Angela in Patience, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and the title role in Iolanthe. Mary frequently performs with Concert Operetta Theater at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, most recently as Manja in Countess Maritza and Masha in The Chocolate Soldier. A founding member of the Main Line Opera Guild, she sang the role of Saffi in the Guild's production of The Gypsy Baron. Other favorite roles include The Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Ceneretola in the opera of the same name. A voice performance graduate of Kansas University, Mary currently studies with Kathryna Barone of the Bryn Mawr Conservatory and is soloist at Lower Merion Baptist Church. Back to top
  • Sally Sapega (Wora) joined RVCO for Carousel last spring and returns for this show. She has previously performed with Thespis, Etc. as Pretteia in Thespis, as the Ghost of Christmas Future in Gilbert & Sullivan's A Christmas Carol, and as one of the daughters in The Pirates of Penzance. Sally also performs with the Media Chamber Chorale. Back to top
  • M. Jane Smyth (Master Painter/Graphics) has designed graphics and sets for many of our shows, most recently HMS Pinafore/Cox & Box, Patience, Me and My Girl, The Sorcerer, Pirates of Penzance, Yeomen of the Guard, and Mikado. Her favorite shows were Most Happy Fella, Music Man of 1982 (as Eulalie and her son Greg as Winthrop), and Carousel of 1977 with both of her children. Off stage, she was a graphic designer with West Chester University and won a Gold Award for the West Chester University Magazine design. Jane and her daughter, Becky, won a Blue Ribbon for their scale miniature and Best of Blue for the division of miniature settings at a recent Philadelphia Flower Show. Their latest artistic venture is a beaded jewelry website? Back to top
  • Kevin Strauss (Franz) is delighted to have become a regular performer and a member of the Board with RVCO. He has appeared in The Sorcerer, Patience, and HMS Pinafore, and was Dick Deadeye in RVCO's Towne House dinner theatre performance in January. He was The Usher in Trial by Jury with G&S Society of Chester County last winter. Musically, Kevin has sung all of the major Gilbert and Sullivan light opera roles in the confines of his shower, kitchen, and SUV. He is also a member of The Savoy Company, and appeared with them in The Mikado, The Sorcerer, and The Gondoliers. When not singing with RVCO, he is the CFO of AIDS Care Group in Chester, collects G&S memorabilia, and pretends to be a gourmet chef. Back to top
  • David Swartz (Governor) This is David's fourth Rose Valley production, having sung the roles of the Boatswain's Mate in HMS Pinafore and Bouncer in Cox & Box last fall, in the chorus of The Sorcerer, and portrayed Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard. Other recent roles elsewhere include Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, King Henry II in The Lion in Winter, Gloucester in King Lear, and the Stage Manager in Our Town. He also recently directed Blithe Spirit. Back to top
  • Karen Troppman (Comtesse) joined RVCO in the fall of 2004 as Lady Ella in Patience. She currently sings with The Bel-Canto Lyric Opera Company of Philadelphia. With other groups, she has enjoyed playing many character roles including Patricia Fodor in Crazy for You and Mrs. Upton in Mame. She has also understudied the roles of Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Agnes Gooch in Mame, and Carrie in Carousel. Karen also enjoys children's productions and was Mrs. Hawkins in Treasure Island at Media Theater. She has also been in the choruses of Evita and State Fair. She has performed with many choral groups in the past including The Brandywiners and Swarthmore Chorale. She studies voice with Louise Young of Glen Mills. Karen sends her love to her husband, Bill, and children, Mark and Anita. Back to top
  • Judy Zon (Makeup) first chaired makeup for The Music Man in 2000, and then returned for The Pirates of Penzance, My Fair Lady, The Sorcerer, Die Fledermaus, Me and My Girl, Guys and Dolls, Carousel, and HMS Pinafore/Cox & Box. Back to top
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