BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Kyle Van Andel

Meet OGR Board Member, Kyle Van Andel.

Where are you originally from?
Grand Rapids, MI

What do you do for a living?
There isn’t only one thing that I would say I do for a living, as I been able to manage my time in a way that allows me to wear more than one hat so to say. For the last few years I have been working in marketing, but currently represent as an Ambassador for Amway. Additionally, I serve with my immediate family as a member of my family’s foundation. Lastly I have become more and more engaged with the local community; by working closely with the amazing people over at Kids’ Food Basket, now the Opera of Grand Rapids, and most recently as a board member of the John Ball Zoo. It’s a thrilling time for Grand Rapids and I am excited to be increasingly more a part of it.

Hobbies?
My favorite hobby is most definitely travelling. The World is a beautiful and vastly changing place that offers so much to see and to experience. I believe we learn the most by immersing ourselves in other cultures and places, making ourselves uncomfortable and pushing ourselves. Travelling affords me with the best way to learn without being stuck in a classroom. It is also a nice way to experience warm weather in the midst of a Michigan winter….

Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
I have a number of favorite places to travel depending on the purpose but usually my favorite is the next place that I have never visited prior. I love to get lost in cities and experience the culture whether it be food, fashion, historical sites, etc. Although, a few reoccurring favorites that I cherish spending time in are London, Tokyo, and the British Virgin Islands.

What/Who got you involved with OGR? (Past and Current)
My family has for many years now, been big supporters of Opera Grand Rapids. It was near and dear to my grandmother, Betty Van Andel, which continued onto my parent’s supporting the organization to this day. This legacy inspired me to say yes, when my mother asked me if I would consider me to become more involved with OGR.
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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Peter Scott Drackley

Meet Spinto Tenor, Peter Scott Drackley, making his OGR debut in Scalia/Ginsburg this March.

Where are you originally from?
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Who has inspired you/been your greatest influence professionally? Why?
My voice teacher, Alexandra Lobianco, because she taught me how to sing in the most efficient way, and how to tell the amazing stories of opera and be in the moment of the character

Who/what brought you into the world of Opera?
My parents brought me into the world of opera. My father is a conductor/pianist, and he taught me about his favorite singers like Leontyne Price, Beverly Sills, and Jussi Björling. My mother is a lyric soprano and voice teacher. Her favorite roles were the title role in Suor Angelica, Countessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Alice Ford in Falstaff. She was my first voice teacher, and I still check in with her. They are my biggest advocates and some of my most trusted ears.
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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT Chrissy Amon & Robert Byrens

Opera Grand Rapids welcomes Chrissy Amon and Robert Byrens for A Cabaret Unleashed—an evening of cabaret favorites, including some surprises! Do not miss this collaboration between two of our local gifted artists!

November 14, 2019 | 7:30 PM | Betty Van Andel Opera Center

TICKETS $30
Buy online or by calling the Box Office: 616.451.2741

These collaborators first became acquainted when Chrissy studied with Robert as a GVSU music student in 2005. Since then, Chrissy has mostly performed on opera stages across the USA but has always had an affinity for Broadway and cabaret music. Her work as a singing actor propelled her twice to the finals of the international Lotte Lenya competition hosted by the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York. After her return to the Grand Rapids area, she and Robert partnered as spirited collaborators, presenting concerts throughout our community. Since most opera patrons would recognize Robert as the most masterful of classical musicians (and 25-year rehearsal pianist for Opera Grand Rapids), it will be a treat to hear him unleashed! He was, after all, the star of his high school rock band.Read More >

TY COOK Meet One of the Leaders of Act I


Meet Ty Cook, one of the leaders of Act I, OGR’s young professionals group. Learn more about Act I here.

Where are you originally from?
I was originally born in Ann Arbor, MI at U of M (Go Blue), and raised in Flint, MI.

What do you do for a living?
I support arts & creativity as the CFO of Stevens Advertising.

Hobbies?
My hobbies include discussing local and global arts, meeting new artists, finding new art mediums, and watching football.

Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
I don’t enjoy traveling but when I do travel, I typically go somewhere by the lakeshore for day trips or to Windsor because you can go and come back in the same day.Read More >

OGR Welcomes Alexandra Galla as Box Office and Community Relations Manager

Alexandra Galla is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Vocal Performance. Ms. Galla has performed with Opera Grand Rapids as a Chorus member in The Magic Flute and La Traviata, was the winner of the 2017-18 Collegiate Vocal Competition, and has been a part of the Opera Grand Rapids Emerging Artist program. Ms. Galla works part-time in the Box Office, and will join the staff full-time in September as the Opera’s Box Office and Community Relations Manager.