Ginger Land-van Buuren, Executive Director

  

Before moving to Las Vegas from New York City Ginger was a Portland Opera Resident Artist. While in NYC Ginger was well received by The New York Times and Opera News in the New York debut of An Incomplete Education, with The Bronx Opera, in which she sang the lead role of Gontron le Comte. In her professional operatic career Ginger performed with Palm Beach Opera, Dicapo Opera Theater, Pacific Opera, Opera In The Heights, Natchez Opera Festival, Portland Opera, Opera Astoria and the National Lyric Opera, singing the roles of Queen of the Night, Lucia di Lammermoor, Donna Anna, Madame Goldentrill, Constanza, Gilda, Cunegonda, Miss Wordsworth, Violetta, Musetta, Lady with a Hand Mirror, and Nella among others. Ginger also performs in concert across the country with her TechnOpera band OperaRisque’. Ginger is also a member of Actor's Equity and has performed as Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly, Madame de le Grande Bouche (The Wardrobe) in Beauty and the Beast, Ellie Mae in Showboat, Lucy in The Telephone, Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel , Velma in Chicago, Rose Murrant in Street Scene, and Clara in Passion. As a member of SAG Ginger can be found on the big screen in the movie, Find Me Guilty, starring Vin Diesel and in the award winning short film Cold Dark Night Of Brilliance, in the role of the “Angel of Mercy” in which she performed and recorded the title track and is also the voice the “Laughing Opera Singer” in the Fandango commercials in theaters nationwide. After relocating to Las Vegas with her husband Christiaan, Ginger co-founded Vegas City Opera with Skip Galla Katipunan, and continues to perform with the company. Ginger feels very lucky to have found an amazing group of talented people to work with and call friends here at Vegas City Opera. 

Dean Balan, Musical Director

  

Dean Balan is a dynamic collaborative pianist and music director based in Las Vegas. Current appointments include Music Director and Conductor for Vegas City Opera, company pianist for the Nevada Ballet Theatre and UNLV Ballet, and music director at his church. Recently, Dean was a Fellow of the Collaborative Piano Institute, where he studied with faculty from the Metropolitan Opera. 

Dean became a theatre musician at age 13, when he was hired by Las Vegas’s Super Summer Theatre series. Favorite theatre credits include: Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian Resort; Mary Poppins at the International Thespian Festival; The Fantasticks; and the educational pilot of Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical.

Dean has been featured at the Las Vegas Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and Serenades of Life: Doctors in Concert, presented at the Smith Center in Downtown Las Vegas. He is also an active orchestral keyboardist and has appeared with the Desert Winds Orchestra, UNLV Wind Symphony, and Henderson Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to keyboard work, Dean has an extensive background in choral, barbershop, and contemporary a cappella music. He has been a guest clinician for the Las Vegas A Cappella Summit and appeared with choirs at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, as well as with the Candlelight Processional Chorus at the Disneyland Resort. 

Dean earned his B.A. in Anthropology from UNLV, with a Minor in Biological Sciences. He is a member of AFM Local 369-Las Vegas and the Theatre Musicians Association. Visit him online at the Las Vegas Accompanists directory (www.facebook.com/LVpiano) or www.deanbmusic.com

Skip Galla Katipunan, Artistic Director

  

Skip hails originally from western Pennsylvania and is living his best life pouring his art heart into Vegas City Opera. He is a countertenor & baritone who believes that performance is an essential expression of the human experience. Everyone deserves the opportunity for cultural growth and artistic communion! He studied voice at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT before embarking on his long, strange journey.  His visions have unfolded on and off myriad stages across the country and abroad in Germany and China, eventually landing him in Las Vegas, where he and the cunning Ginger Land-van Buuren brought Vegas City Opera to life.  He has many years of stage experience, none nearly as satisfying as here in Las Vegas.  During his days he challenges his mind working as a Nurse in Infection Prevention at UMC Hospital. His dedication lies in his work, his family, and bringing opera to his community in ways that will surprise them, engage them, and ultimately enrich their lives. 

Rebecca Morris, Programs Director

  

Rebecca has performed operatic roles all over the country and the world. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, and has received certificates from the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, The Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute and The Opera Academy of California in San Francisco, CA, the Crittenden Opera Theater Institute in Washington DC, and the Flagstaff in Fidenza program in Fidenza, Italy. She has performed in numerous productions with Arizona Opera and Phoenix Opera and only recently moved to the Las Vegas area. Most recently, she performed the roles of The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, The Mother in The Consul and The Woman in Erwartung with Sin City Opera. She runs the Noteworthy Vocal Studio Las Vegas, and has 20 years of experience teaching and training young singers. She made her Opera Directing Debut with Sin City Opera’s L’Etoile in the Spring of 2017, where she took the whole production into outer space! She brings a bounty of enthusiasm and a depth of experience to the Vegas City Opera Production Team and is excited for the opportunity to help expand this great art form in the Las Vegas Valley.

Andrew Stephenson Kurcan, Creative Director

Andrew Stephenson Kurcan is a Multimedia Producer and Creative Director who partners with corporate and artistic sector clients to create exciting, purposeful content. After spending nearly two decades working on projects spanning the film, television, radio, and corporate realms, Andrew knows how to drive a project from inception to delivery. Blending careful planning with strategic risk management, his work is results-oriented, attuned to customer needs and expected outcomes.

Andrew has successfully mounted international production projects for a number of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. Equally comfortable in front of top CEOs and heads of state, his experience and candor allow for a free and innovative exchange of ideas. In addition to his extensive technical and creative production background, Andrew is a classically and jazz-trained musician.

Andrew holds a Master of Music in Trombone Performance from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. 

Emily Kurcan Stephenson, Director of Education & Outreach

Emily Kurcan Stephenson is active behind the scenes of several opera organizations. She is the Director of Outreach and Education for Vegas City Opera. Ms. Stephenson also serves as a Co-Managing Diva with Opera on Tap, most recently founding the Las Vegas chapter with Dr. Michelle Latour and Stephanie Redman.  Previously she worked with the Colorado and Twin Cities chapters as both a Co-Managing Diva and regular soloist.

Ms. Stephenson holds an MM in Vocal Performance and an MA in Musicology from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.  Her research has been presented to the Southwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and published on Operagasm.com. She holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Baldwin-Wallace.  She studies with renowned soprano Luana DeVol.  

About Us

Our Vision

VCO envisions an interdiscplinary hub of creativity, learning, and professional development for local artists.  VCO hopes to provide a nurturing environment in which performers can take chances and flourish in their performances, all the while sharing the excitement and vibrance of contemporary opera with audiences of the Las Vegas Valley, tirelessly working toward a future where our communities embrace and seek out the opera arts.  

Community Outreach

BOOK - VEGAS CITY OPERA for your next business, professional, or personal gathering. We can provide a wide range of stylings, from operatic favorites to Broadway standards. We offer full concerts, soloists, and everything in between. Perfect for weddings and special events. VCO is always interested in new ways to reach the community. VCO has special non-profit event pricing.  


Contact gingerl@vegascityopera.org for availability.  

ARTISTS FOR ARTISTS