Creator, Producer, and Benevolent Host of OperaNow! Michael Rice has not let let the semi-success of the show go to his (evidenced by the picture above) huge head. He was born in Chicago, the son of two families that stayed despite much of the "white flight" that was occuring throughout the city. At the age of 10 he moved to Connecticut where his family began to "move on up." His first success on the stage was at the age of 13 protraying Tevye at a Catholic grade school (you figure that one out.) He has worked as a singer for several years now, taking him all over the country and even EUROPE! (can you believe it?...that's where opera started for the love of God!)
His love of broadcasting and more importantly, spreading misinformation, led him to start OperaNow! as a bully pulpit from which to spread FUD and annoyingly laugh at his own lame jokes. Along the way, he realized people seemed to enjoy what he and his wacky friends had to say and could not be more delighted at the result.
The son of immigrants and a product of Chicago Public Schools, Oliver was never supposed to find opera. Oliver's passion for opera is evidence of a latent gene most people possess, regardless of class, race or environment. As with other proclivities, the more they are exercised, the more perverse they become. The quest for moments of sublime beauty, or small deaths, has made Oliver an obsessive collector of Compact Discs (ancient documents of singing.)
As a singer, Oliver has been rejected by some of the most prestigious institutions. He did not realize that being short, brown, and having a small voice would ever be an obstacle in opera.
In 2006 he created The Opera Company whose mission is to employ only the smartest and most versatile types of singers: those who are enthusiastic about developing other performance disciplines like mask, clown, dance and commedia dell'arte; those who love song and music and have the intelligence to choose repertoire that feels authentic to them; those who want a different path than ABC YAP and who know that opera is theater and theater requires collaboration, rehearsal, sweat and sometimes tears.
Or those who are just really hot guys.
Doug Dodson, originally from Spearfish, South Dakota, began his journey to mid-level Internet stardom at the University of South Dakota, where he earned a BA in anthropology with minors in music and classical humanities. Against all odds, he was able to find a field of study that actually drew upon all three of his undergraduate research emphases: baroque opera. Mr. Dodson went on to complete an MM in vocal performance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Comfortable in a variety of musical styles, Mr. Dodson has been featured as a soloist in concert and chamber works by Adès, Bernstein, Britten, McClure, Mozart and Saint-Saëns, as well as many of the baroque composers you might expect. Operatic credits include roles in the stage works of Conradi (Die schöne und getreue Ariadne), Handel (Giulio Cesare and Semele), Purcell (Dido and Aeneas), and Monteverdi (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), plus an enjoyable foray into the world of Gilbert and Sullivan (though not as a countertenor, much to the relief of Gilbert's undoubtedly uptight ghost, I'm sure. However, methinks Sullivan might have been amused by the Major-General in falsetto. The world may never know.)