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“Bird Experiencing Light” by Morris Graves (1969), Seattle Art Museum

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"Bird of the Spirit" by Morris Graves (1943)

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Dina Emerson (mezzo-soprano) lived in New York City from 1988-2000. While in NYC, Dina became a member of the Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble, with whom she created many works, toured the globe & recorded several cds throughout the 1990’s. Hailed as a “vocal chameleon” by the Village Voice, Dina became known in New York as a singer who could master almost any vocal style and sing complex and difficult work, and her extensive training in physical theatre made her a great candidate for interdisciplinary projects. In 2000, Dina began a 6-month temporary job as the lead singer for O by Cirque du Soleil. This lead to a nearly 20-year stint as a singer for Cirque, when she moved to another show, Mystère, where she ultimately sang more than 5000 shows. With the recent reopening of Las Vegas and the world of live performance, Dina will again be seen & heard on the stage of O starting later this Summer.

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Elisabeth Harrington (soprano) has been a singer and music educator for 30 years. She began performing at age three as a bratty soloist in the children’s choir at her neighborhood Methodist church near Greensboro, North Carolina, where her mother was music director. Adolescent piano and dance recitals, high school marching band, “show choir” and musical theatre productions followed. Through good fortune and the generosity of Rotary International, she escaped to Milan, Italy, for her senior year of high school, where she was introduced to the world of opera. She returned home to study Voice and Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Vocal Performance as a Masters student at UNC-Greensboro, followed by performances with the Sarasota Opera Young Artists Program, the Aspen Opera Theatre Center, and the Greensboro Opera, among others. Elisabeth was a Metropolitan Opera competition regional finalist in 1996. Shortly after returning to school in the early 2000s to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts at CU-Boulder, she was hired at Humboldt State University where she has taught voice and opera, serving as music director for musical theatre productions since 2006. Local stage credits include Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Ferndale Repertory Theatre, and several opera productions with Plays in the Park. Bird of the Inner Eye marks her debut with Dell-Arte International and the Arcata Playhouse.

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Jodi Gilbert (soprano), a native Californian based in Amsterdam, is known as a dancer, singer, actress, and teacher of performance skills in the USA and Europe. As a performer singer/actor/dancer she  has worked with Meredith Monk (Quarry, Carnegie Hall 20 year retrospective) , Elizabeth Swados (Nightclub Cantata), Dell’Arte Players Company (The Bacchae), Orkater (Ballast), Het Nationale Toneel (Bourgeois Gentilhomme), Feri de Geus (You’ve got a Watch, I’ve got the Time), and with Jenn Ben Yakov (solo show, Living in a Dream, Golems, One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor) As a vocalist in Europe she has worked primarily with Paul Termos 10-tet, Roscoe Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg and ICP (opera Behang), Michael Moore, Available Jelly, Maude Sauer, Han Buhrs and the Schismatics, among others.  As a theater/music/movement teacher she has been on the faculty of the Amsterdamse Hoge School v.d. Kunst (departments of Modern Theater Dance, National Ballet Academy(HBO and Vooropleiding) and Crea. (1990-2018).

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David Belton Powell (tenor)  was born and raised in Humboldt County, but much of his life away in pursuit of study and performance. While working in New York, he played the role of Tamino at Lincoln Center and at the Symphony Space with New York Lyric Opera, and Newland Archer in the world premiere of Age of Innocence with Classical Singing in New York. David returned to the redwoods to perform with the Dell’Arte Company (Blue Lake: The Opera, Turning Blue Skies Gray) and to complete his MFA in Physical Theater at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.  He also performs and provides vocal direction at Ferndale Repertory Theater. David began his operatic training at Humboldt State University. He then continued to the Boston Conservatory and studied privately in New York with Julliard faculty. He is delighted to be singing the role of Morris Graves in Bird of the Inner Eye.

James Hildebrandt (puppeteer) is a multi-media artist who lives in Arcata. Sculpture, puppetry, and painting are his primary media, with a focus on community arts projects. Most of his work can be seen in the local area through theatre productions and outdoor art installations. Whether it’s building giant puppets with local elementary and junior high school students for an outdoor performance, or sharing how to make shadow puppets with the Wiyot tribal members in order to teach their native language through a visual form of storytelling, James brings his technical capabilities as contribution to whatever a project requires. His most recent creation was designing and building two identical stainless steel sculptures, 18 feet high, portraying salmon leaping up and over a bikeway to create a gateway to the Arcata Arts district. This project includes working with other artists to educate through visual art in schools to bring the awareness of the incredible biodiversity of the creek that begins in the redwood forest, flows through the city of Arcata, and into the estuary. James designed and performs with the bird puppet featured in Bird of the Inner Eye.

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