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Greek-American mezzo-soprano, Layna Chianakas, has been hailed as "the type of singer that makes one remember why to go to the opera." Her versatility as a singing-actor has aided her in the portrayal of many leading opera roles including Carmen in Carmen, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Sesto in Giulio Cesare, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, The Woman in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine, and the title role in La Perichole. She was named Artistic Ambassador of the United States, performing recitals for some of the foremost diplomats of our country and giving master classes in Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala, British Guyana and Jamaica. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Ms. Chianakas moved to Kassel, Germany, where she taught voice and beginning piano with the Musikschule-Ehlen for four years. She returned to the United States and received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois. Ms. Chianakas is currently Assistant Professor of Voice in the San José State University School of Music and Dance. www.laynachianakas.com

Susan Rosner specializes in architectural and portrait photography. Photography is her passion and she is passion driven. Her images of people and places demonstrate a strong sense of design and character. Her work, featuring Portraits and Interviews, includes shows in New York City and the Bay Area. Rosner's photographs and articles have appeared in View Camera and Camera Arts magazines. See her work at www.susanrosner.com. Rosner and a colleague, Natalie Kulukundis, work together as www.fotomentours.com, leading tours and workshops in Northern California, teaching photography at numerous locations. Ms. Rosner, a graduate of UC Berkeley later earning an MBA in Finance & Accounting at JFK University, Orinda, CA, became a photographer after completing a 15 year career as a new product development manager in banking and a five year appointment as academic dean of a French graduate business school, Institut Superieure de Gestion. Rosner is also an avid golfer. www.susanrosner.com

Director of Keyboard Studies and Associate Professor at San José State University School of Music and Dance, Gwendolyn Mok began her studies at age 6 at the Juilliard School of Music. She attended Yale University, as an undergraduate, and State University of New York at Stony Brook, earning a Doctorate. Mok has appeared in many of the world's top concert halls including The Barbican, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and The Hong Kong Performing Arts Center. She is frequently invited to play and record with major international orchestras most notably The London Symphony, The Philharmonia, The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, The Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra and The Residency Orchestra of The Hague.  Legendary Ravel interpreter, Vlado Perlemuter chose Mok to be the last student to whom he would pass on his knowledge of Ravel. With the support of a grant from the French Ministry of Culture Mok studied with Perlemuter and since 1995, has been performing and teaching Ravel's works around the world. Her master-classes have been held at London's Royal College of Music, Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Dartington International Summer School in Devon, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and most recently at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Recently, Mok appeared with the Symphony Silicon Valley in her London production, Gershwin 1920's Radio Hour, performing Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F in four sold out performances at the California Theater in San José.  

Uba Owl is one of 14 US artists chosen for the Beijing Art Biennale taking place during the Olympics at the Beijing National Art Museum, where her painting will remain after the exhibition closes. She has exhibited widely in galleries, museums and universities throughout US, Europe and Asia. Her work is in many private and public art collections.

Uba Owl is a founding member of a new interdisciplinary art movement, alterrealism. Passionate about political and social issues, she often touches these subjects in her art. Uba Owl’s painting's remarkable achievement, realized through her talent with color and line, is the creation of a sustained emotional effect despite multiple narrative tensions. There is a sense of quiet power, of emergence and beginnings, of wisdom against an anticipated struggle. This is a bold departure from much male-dominated Western art, which often chooses a concrete narrative image while creating sub-surface ambiguities of emotion. It is a painting of intuition itself, succeeding in the far more difficult and demanding task of capturing a way of feeling. www.ubaowl.com

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