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

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.

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.


Where are you originally from?
Greensboro, NC

Who has inspired you/been your greatest influence professionally? Why?
This would be a difficult question to answer. I have always been inspired by the many teachers I had as a student. I suppose as soon as I became an “artist”, I received most of my inspiration from colleagues: singers, conductors, stage directors, etc. There have been too many influences to list!

Who/what brought you into the world of Opera?
As a student, I began to listen to opera recordings. I heard two very famous singers perform recitals in person: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Leontyne Price. Those events changed my world.
I had NO idea how the human voice
could sing like that and they could enthrall an audience. The two programs
were amazing.

Where do you live now?
I live in Greensboro, NC where I am a Professor of Voice at the University of NC at Greensboro.Read More >

GREGORY SANIAL From around the world to OGR

Opera Grand Rapids Board Member Spotlight

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Miami, but combination of my father’s military career and my own military career means I moved 24 times.

What do you do for a living?
Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer at Grand Valley State University

Reading, Running, NY Times Crossword Puzzle, homebrewing, time with my 6 year old daughter.

Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
Europe… my wife was born in Prague and grew up in Norway, there is so much history and things to see.

What/Who got you involved with OGR? (Past and Current)
Bob Evett recruited me when I indicated my interest in supporting the organization.Read More >