Production Bios

Jon Fay

Studio Program for Young Artists and Outreach, Opera Show Chorus, Director of Development Activities

Jon-FayMr. Fay is a tenor who has starred in Broadway shows and performed over 20 leading tenor roles with major opera companies throughout the United States including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Arizona, Nevada, and more. He has also performed leading tenor roles in national premieres, as well as in the PBS production of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.

Now on the faculty of the UNR Department of Music, Mr. Fay directed the UNR Opera Theater Program for several years after Ted Puffer retired; directed and designed the set and lighting of UNR’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors; directed and designed the set for UNR’s production of Susannah; conducted Nevada Opera’s Trial By Jury; and directed and prepared the chorus for Nevada Opera’s Artown 2012 production of Act II of Die Fledermaus.

Kathleen Kimmel

Theatrical Director

Kathleen Kimmel has been a resident artist with Nevada Opera since 1980, having performed principal and comprimario roles as well as singing in the NVO chorus. She has been assistant director, and director on many Nevada Opera productions, including Madama Butterfly, Magic Flute, Pirates of Penzance, Daughter of the Regiment, Cenerentola, IL Trovatore, Masked Ball, Hansel and Gretel, Trial by Jury, and most recently, the international premiere of Jack and the Beanstalk. While on a performance tour of Italy, Kathleen created the role of “The Young Mother” in a new opera, The Other Wiseman, in Rome.

Kathleen served as Theatrical Director for Skyfire, a musical/dance/theater company for high school students. Her five years with Skyfire included three performance tours in Europe. This group won many awards including an international award for their performances in Europe.

Ms. Kimmel directed a program for at-risk teenage boys and girls at China Springs and Aurora Pines Youth Camps in Northern Nevada for six years. This program was administered by Douglas County, Nevada, and funded by the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. It was geared to prevention and rehabilitation of young substance abuse victims.

For eight years, Kathleen Kimmel directed the award winning NVO Education and Outreach program, Nevada Opera Studio, which shared the joy of opera with up to 28,000 children annually, in rural Nevada school, as well as the Reno-Tahoe, and Las Vegas urban and rural areas. Kathleen was awarded the Silver Star Award for her contribution to education and her work with The Nevada Opera Studio, by “Truckee Meadows Tomorrow.” In Las Vegas, The Studio was also given the “Class Act,” award to work with students in the Greater Las Vegas metropolis.

Joachim Schamberger

Director and Virtual Theater Designer

Joachim Schamberger works internationally as a Stage Director and Virtual Theater Designer.  Recent productions include La Bohème for Connecticut Grand Opera, Sweeney Todd and Rigoletto for Shreveport Opera, Martha andThe Wizard of Oz for the Landestheater Coburg, Germany, Falstaff for Théâtre Municipal Castres, France and Sweeney Todd for Nevada Opera. Additional productions include Angelica/SchicchiLucia di LammermoorLa Rondine andAida for Opera Tampa, Las Horas Vacias at Lincoln Center with the New York Opera Society and the world premiere of Max und Moritz by Norwegian composer Gisle Kverndokk in Washington, DC. Since 2010 he has been the artist-in-residence with Indianapolis Opera, where he has directed Tosca,Ariadne auf Naxos, and La Traviata, and both directed and designed new productions of The Flying DutchmanDas RheingoldThe Tragedy of Carmen,Faust and Amahl and the night visitors. Mr. Schamberger frequently works at music festivals and conservatories throughout the world and has mounted productions of Die Fledermaus, Die ZauberflöteThe Rake’s Progress,Idomeneo and Don Giovanni for the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel,Così fan tutte and The Wooden Sword for the Conservatory at Stony Brook University and Die Fledermaus for Indiana University. In addition to directing, he is a Visiting Professor of Opera at DePauw University where he has produced productions of Albert Herring and Die Fledermaus. He has worked with young artists at the Brooklyn College Conservatory, the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, the VOICExperience and at The Juilliard School. A graduate of the Musikhochschule in Würzburg, and the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera, Mr. Schamberger studied digital film production and 3-D animation at the New York Film Academy.

John Baril


A most versatile conductor, JOHN BARIL has led critically acclaimed performances of symphonic and choral music, ballet, opera, operetta and musical theater. He has collaborated with such artists as conductor Stephen Lord, soprano/director Catherine Malfitano, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, director Paul Curran, the late director Colin Graham, conductor Marin Alsop, dramatic mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick and pop chanteuse Toni Tennille. For the past twelve seasons, he has worked closely with the apprentice and studio artists in the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program at the Central City Opera Festival, leading them in mainstage youth performances of Manon, Pique Dame, The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto, Madame Butterfly, Tosca, La fanciulla del West, CandideLa traviataLittle Women and Carmen. In 1996, he was Chorus Master for the Newport Classics recording of The Ballad of Baby Doe, an opera he has performed with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. During his tenure at Yale University, where he was the Managing Coordinator and assistant to the Artistic Director, he again worked closely with developing artists in repertoire, language, style, performance traditions, and led them in performances of La cenerentola and Tchaikovsky’s rarely-heard Iolanta as well as numerous scenes programs.

A native of Stagecoach, Nevada, JOHN BARIL attended the University of Nevada—Reno, where he was awarded full scholarships in tuba, conducting as well as in music education and, later, vocal performance, and from which he graduated cum laude. This led to a thirteen-year relationship with the Nevada Opera Association, where he began as a chorister at age 17, soon thereafter studying under the late, famed vocal pedagogue Ted Puffer (and teacher of Dolora Zajick), and sang numerous comprimario roles including Dancaire, Spalanzani, Normanno, Goro, Monostatos, Gastone, Parpignol, Don Basilio, St. Brioche, Harry, and the Magician in The Consul as well as conducting L’elisir d’amore, Hänsel und Gretel, Mame and Il trovatore, and several productions of The Nutcracker with the Nevada Festival Ballet. He has judged Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in Phoenix, San Diego, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Mississippi.  Recently he lead Opera Colorado’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro and looks forward to a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia for Central City in summer 2013.  Last fall, he returned to Opera Delaware to conduct Cavalleria Rusticana and I pagliacci and is at the helm for a new Central City Opera production of Dead Man Walking in summer 2014.

Michael Fernbach

Lighting Designer

Michael-FernbachMichael Fernbach received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Nevada, Reno and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oregon.

Michael is the Theatre Design and Technology Specialist in the Department of Theatre & Dance, sharing the scenic and lighting design responsibilities, as well as designing all the sound and special effects that are required for the Nevada Repertory Company’s season production. He also teaches classes in Theatre Sounds, Automated Lighting, and AutoCAD for the Theatre.

Designing lighting professionally outside the realm of the University is part of his creative outlet. Michael does lighting for a wide range of events including corporate events, concerts, dance, musicals, and special events locally and nationally. He also works as a consultant and technical director for various performing arts groups throughout the community.