University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Goldstein Museum of Design
College of Design


Minnesota’s design museum, in partnership with the Mill City Summer Opera, invites you to our 6th annual benefit, a night of opera by design!





Thursday, July 16, 2015 5:30-9:30 pm, Mill Ruins Courtyard, Mill City Museum

Honorary Chair: Tom Fisher
Outgoing Dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design;
incoming Dayton Hudson Land Grant Chair in Urban Design and
director of the University’s Metropolitan Design Center

• Mill City Summer Opera singers and stage combat demonstration
•“Adopt an Object” to support GMD’s accessible collection photo project
• Immerse yourself in the design of opera costumes, sets, and more!

Hearty D’Amico hors-d’oeuvres and cash bar

• $65 through June 16
• $75 after and at the Door
• $100 VIP - includes exclusive backstage tour (limited)

Purchase tickets online at

For ticketing assistance or inquiries contact Barbara Lutz:

612.624.7434 or


The Evening's Mill City Summer Opera Performers


In the three years Brad Benoit spent in the Resident Artist Program, tenor he sang many roles with the Minnesota Opera including Ruiz in Il trovatore, Arlecchino and Lampwick in The Adventures of Pinocchio, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Gabriele in Casanova's Homecoming, Lord Cecil in Roberto Devereux, Parpingol in La bohème, the Third Jew in Salome, Gastone in La traviata, and later as a guest artist, Pong in Turandot. He also covered the roles of Don Ramiro in Cinderella, Leicester in Mary Stuart and Edgar in Wuthering Heights. Last fall, Brad was a featured soldier in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' Silent Night and covered Nicklaus Sprink, a role he sang at the last minute on opening night from the side of the stage to rave reviews.

Mr. Benoit has participated in several prestigious training programs at Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and the Staunton Music Festival. Mr. Benoit is a graduate of Chicago College of the Performing Arts and has sung several roles there: Cecco in Il mondo della luna, the Lyric Tenor in Postcard from Morocco, the Prologue in The Turn of the Screw and La Théièry in L'enfant et les sortilèges. He has also performed the roles of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi for Opera in the Ozarks, and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette and Hadji in Lakmé at his undergraduate alma mater, Loyola University New Orleans.

On the concert platform, Mr. Benoit has been a guest soloist at the Schubert Club, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle and Skylark Opera. In addition to a performance career, Mr. Benoit currently heads the vocal program at Shattuck St. Mary's School.


Stephen Cunningham, baritone, is a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. He holds performance degrees from Oklahoma State University and the University of North Texas. He has performed the title roles inGianni Schicchi,Le Nozze di FigaroandFalstaff, as well as Secretary of Defense in The Manchurian Candidate, Escamillo in Carmen, Bottom inA Midsummer Night's Dream, Don Alfonso inCosi fan tutte and Commendatore inDon Giovanni. Stephen has also been involved in numerous workshops with Minnesota Opera including The Shining,The Manchurian Candidate, and Doubt, and with Florentine Opera in Sister Carrie.  This will be his third year joining Mill City Summer Opera chorus and educational outreach program.







Geoffrey Loff,from Miami, FL, has a distinguished and varied career as répétiteur, collaborative and solo pianist, assistant conductor, and composer. Geoffrey made his concert debut at 13 and has performed as a soloist forThe Chopin Foundation and the International Miami Piano Festival. An advocate of opera and symphonic transcriptions, he has performed such rarities as Liszt’s transcriptions of Wagner’s Tannhaüser OuvertureandBeethoven’sFifth Symphony.As a collaborative pianist, he has been a frequent performer for The Mainly Mozart Festival and the Chopin Foundation. In 2008Mr. Loffwas commissioned by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation to compose and perform a piano trio at the 70th anniversary memorial of Kristallnacht at the Miami Beach Holocaust Museum. Geoffrey holds two degrees from the University of Miami (Bachelor’s inPianoPerformance, 2010;Master’s in CollaborativePiano, 2012)and hassincebeen consistently employed. Hewaspianist and music director for Atlanta Opera’soutreach program(2012-2013), young artist and assistant conductor for Opera North (2013), and resident artist for Minnesota Opera (2013-2015). He has been a staff pianist for theJohnDuffy ModernOperaInstitute (2013, 2014) and staff pianist and assistant conductor for the Janiec Opera Company as part of the Brevard Music Festival (2015). Upcoming engagements include assistant conductor and staff pianist positions for Skylark Opera and Mill City Opera over the Summer, as well as being astudio pianist for Houston Grand Opera for the 2015-2016 season.


  Soprano Siena Forest is a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera for the 2014-2016 seasons. This coming season, Siena will be performing as Echo in Strauss'Ariadneauf Naxos and in the Duluth, MN performance as Pamina in Mozart'sDie Zauberflöte. This past season with Minnesota Opera she appearedas the Dew Fairy inHansel and Greteland Frasquita inCarmen. In addition, she covered the roles of Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Adina and Giannetta (The Elixir of Love) and Jocelyn Jordan (The Manchurian Candidate).This summer she is covering the role of Marie (La fille du regiment)with Mill City Summer Opera. In December, Siena will be the soprano soloist in Handel’sMessiahwith the South Dakota Symphony. Siena graduated with a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana University where she studied with Carol Vaness. She was the winner and recipient of the prestigious Wilfred C. Bain Opera Scholarship, as well as the Schilling-Tourner Friends of Music Voice Scholarship. Siena appeared with Indiana University Opera Theater as Gretel in Humperdinck’sHansel and Gretel(2013), Nannetta in Verdi’sFalstaff(2013) and Musetta in Puccini’sLa bohème(2011), and was the soprano soloist in Haydn’sMissa Sancti Nicolai(2014). She performedThe Impresarioas Mademoiselle Silberklang in Carol Vaness’ Opera Workshop. In summer 2014 Siena starred as Pamina in Mozart’sThe Magic Fluteand the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with the OK Mozart International Music Festival under Constantine Kitsopoulos. In the summer of 2013, Siena was a studio artist with Central City Opera in Colorado where she received an Award in Honor of Patsy Rose Musser. At CCO, She sang scenes as Susanna in Mozart’sLe nozze di Figaro, Euridice in Gluck’sOrfeo ed Euridice, Noemie in Massenet’sCendrillonand Rose Maurrant in Weill’sStreet Scene. She has also performed scenes as the First Lady inDie Zauberflöte,Gianetta inL’elisir d’amore, Despina inCosí fan tutte, Clorinda inLa Cenerentolaand Rosina inIl barbiere di Siviglia. Siena is currently studying with George Smith and hails from Medfield, Massachusetts   David Lefkowich is an accomplished stage director and fight choreographer and has enjoyed success with different companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatre alla Scala, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Directing credits include Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, Le Nozze di Figaro and L’Histoire du Soldat at the Ravinia Music Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro James Conlon conducting. David also directed L’Histoire du Soldat at the Juilliard School, with Maestro Conlon. He made his European debut directing Le Portrait de Manon at the Gran Teatre Liceu in Barcelona, Spain and followed with The Rake’s Progress at La Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium. Other credits include directing and choreographing new productions of Simon Boccanegra (Kentucky Opera), La fille du Regiment and Acis and Galatea (Madison Opera), Salome (Minnesota Opera), Roméo et Juliette (Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Tampa, Seagle Music Colony), Tosca at Boston Lyric Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte (Opera Saratoga), La Traviata (San Francisco Opera, Lake George Opera), Le Portrait de Manon (Glimmerglass Opera), and Il Trovatore (New Orleans Opera, Fort Worth Opera). He was thrilled to fight direct the world premieres of Appomattox(Philip Glass) at San Francisco Opera, and Miss Lonelyhearts at the Juilliard Opera Center, La fanciulla del west at the New York City Opera and the New York off-Broadway run of A Clockwork Orange. David is a guest artist and performs master classes at several Young Artist programs and universities including the Atelier Lyrique at Opera de Montreal, Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program, Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artist Program, the Juilliard School, McGill School of Music and Ithaca College. A graduate from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Theatre, David has a certificate from École Jacques-Lecoq in Paris, France.  David is currently the Artistic Director of the Mill City Summer Opera in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he directs the yearly offerings including Pagliacci. Barber of Seville, Tosca and the upcoming Daughter of the Regiment. 


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Ann Carlson Birt
Douglas A. & Ruth Hanold Crane
Linda Hersom, SHO, Inc.
Holly Hunt Enterprises, LLC
Dorothy Ollmann
Kevin S. Ringdahl & David Mohr,
Morgan Stanley


Phil and Linda Boelter
Kathleen E. and Paul D. Campbell
RR Donnelley
HGA Architects and Engineers
Otto Painting Designs
Peterssen/Keller Architecture
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
Streeter & Associates
Tom Newton

Program Partner

Mill City Summer Opera