2023/24 Rufus & Rita Cast
Sara Dailey, Mezzo - Playing Rita & Rufus
Sara Dailey is a mezzo-soprano from Chicagoland with a passion for performing new and underperformed works. Sara has sung new and/or modern pieces with the likes of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Earlham College, and others. She has appeared on the Indiana University Opera Theater stage as Meg Page in Falstaff, Alma March in Little Women, and the Mistress of the Novices in Suor Angelica. She frequently
lends her voice to oratorio works, both as chorister and soloist. She is a former member of NOTUS, IU’s choral ensemble dedicated to performing new choral works, with whom she sang the world premieres of several new pieces. Sara earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
from Indiana University.
Raelee Gold, soprano - Playing Rita
Raelee Gold is a doctoral student at IU under the tutelage of Dr. Brian Horne. Last Spring, she premiered Cohen’s Lo Vashamayim Hi & selections from Getty's The White Election. Previous appearances include Laoula in L’Étoile, Amore in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Amy in Little Women, and Leila in scenes from Les pêcheurs des perles. Gold earned an MM in voice performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, where she appeared in L’Enfant et les sortilèges (La Princesse/Le Feu) and The Bartered Bride (Ludmila), and La Traviata (Annina) with CoOPERAtive Opera. She earned a BM in vocal performance from Texas Tech University, appearing in Suor Angelica (Suor Genovieffa), and L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Damigella, Virtú, Pallade). In concert, she has sung soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.
Kathleen simunek, soprano - playing the sloth and rita
Jacobs School of Music senior Kathleen Simunek is thrilled to be a part of Reimagining Opera for Kids this season. Simunek has been seen as a chorister in multiple IU Opera Theater productions including: L’Étoile, Candide and The Merry Widow as “Clo-clo.” Next spring she will be a chorister in Indiana University’s first Russian opera Eugene Onegin. Simunek enjoys working with children and encouraging them to love music. As a child she spent 10 years in the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, and worked alongside directors with 8-12 year old singers during Choralfest teaching many their first steps in trained singing. She hopes you enjoy ROK and continue to support the arts
Steven M. Warnock, baritone - playing the Sloth & Grandma/Vet cover
Scottish baritone, Steven M. Warnock, is a classically trained singer working in a broad range of styles. He performs in operas and musicals, engages with his community through music forward volunteering, and collaborates regularly with composers and creatives to bring new works to life. Warnock is determined to broaden exposure and access to the arts through his performances and engagement in global communities.
Ansley valentine, stage director
Ansley Valentine is a professional director for the theatre as well as an educator. Ansley heads the M.F.A. program in Directing at Indiana University. He loves music theater having directed or produced several. His credits include Cinderella, Crazy for You, Les Misérables, Company, and Annie. He is glad to be directing for Reimagining Opera for Kids.
Danielle Long, Mezzo - Playing Rufus and the Sloth
Danielle Long earned her Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance at Saint Olaf College, in Minnesota. After attending vocal programs in Austria and Germany, Danielle began her studies at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, earning her Masters of Music in Voice Performance with a Graduate Certificate in Vocology. Last year, Danielle performed as: Rhiannon in Rhiannon’s Condemnation with New Voices Opera; Isabel in Pirates of Penzance with Cedar Rapids Opera; and as the alto soloist for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, and for Handel’s Messiah. Danielle also appeared as Macduff and King Duncan in IU Theatre’s production of Macbeth. In the second year of her Masters, Danielle performed as the Sorceress in IU Opera’s production of Dido and Æneas, as a chorus member in the world premiere of Anne Frank, as Adza in IU Opera’s production of L’étoile, as the Clown in IU Theatre’s production of The Winter’s Tale, as the alto soloist for Beethoven’s Messe in C. Danielle has also been engaged as a recitalist throughout the Metro-east area. She loves pulling out all the stops to make kids and parents laugh with her canine antics as Rufus in Reimagining Opera for Kids’ production of Rufus & Rita, by local composer Lauren Bernofsky, and she can’t wait to continue bringing opera shenanigans to the Bloomington community in 2024.
ADDITIONAL CAST MEMBERS:
Ben Rardin, Grandma/Vet
Ben Rardin, Grandma/Vet