I Do! I Do!
Music & Arts Community Center
Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz
2020-2021 Season Sponsor: Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family
The show begins with Michael and Agnes on their wedding day. Their vows behind them, they look forward to spending the rest of their lives together. We watch as they go through their wedding night jitters, raise a family and negotiate midlife crises. Michael eventually admits to his infidelity, and, although Agnes is angered by his actions, she forgives him and the couple reconciles. They rediscover how much they really need each other. Then, after 50 years of marriage, the couple leaves their house to the next pair of newlyweds.
Andrew M. Kurtz
Music & Executive Director
Gulf Coast Symphony founder Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz enters his twenty-sixth season as the Symphony’s Music & Executive Director, and conductor. His deep rooted commitment to new work, community and education, combined with a vibrant artistic vision has led to creating and nurturing one of the most dynamic arts organizations in the region. His conducting has been called “passionate, expansive, expert, and musical.” He was named the 2007 Performing Artist of the Year at Lee County’s Angel of the Arts Awards. Kurtz’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of music styles from baroque to contemporary, and multiple genres including symphonic, opera, ballet, musical theater, jazz, cantorial, and symphonic pops.
An avid arts educator, Maestro Kurtz was Resident Music Director at the Luzerne Music Center. Kurtz is a past-president of the board of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. In 2001, he won First Prize in the Dell’Arte di Firenze International Conducting Competition, and made his European conducting debut in Florence. In 1995, Kurtz made his international operatic debut in Tel Aviv while working as a staff conductor at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. In 1997, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational tour production of The Best of Puccini. He was a scholarship conducting student at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and boasts numerous other conducting credits, including the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Charlotte Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, and the Ocean City Pops.
Kurtz completed his doctoral studies in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his master’s degree in music history and a bachelor of arts in music and drama. A native of Philadelphia, Kurtz has called Southwest Florida home for more than 28 years, where he currently resides with his wife, Julie, and their son, Benjamin.
Michelle Kasanofsky has been playing piano for almost 56 years and is a professional musician as well as a music educator. Michelle received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied jazz piano there as well as studying classical piano at Boston University. She completed her B.A. degree in performance cum laude at Dowling College in Oakdale, New York where she studied classical pedagogy under the tutelage of the world renowned piano maestro, Dr. Carlo Lombardi. Michelle continued on to achieve her Master’s Degree in Music Education from C. W. Post Long Island University in Greenvale, New York in 1998 and in 2016 completed her Education Leadership Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Michelle is originally from New York and spent most of her life on Long Island. While in New York she music directed many off-Broadway productions which included Always, Patsy Cline and performed all over the world in Europe, Japan and Korea. Since moving down to Florida in 1998, Michelle has taught chorus, drama and dual enrollment music history at Port Charlotte High School. In 2014, she was selected as Charlotte County’s Teacher of the Year. She met her New Yorker husband, Neil Kasanofsky at a local theater company’s production of Red, Hot and Cole in 2000 and they have been together ever since. They have a blended family of 6 children, 7 grandchildren, a dog and a cat. Since 2000 Michelle has performed and music directed at Venice Theatre. Her productions have included Ben Vereen’s Hair, Mamma Mia, Cabaret, Toxic Avenger and Dreamgirls to name a few. She has also md’d at Sarasota Players, Manatee Players and Charlotte Players. Michelle has played for Broadway touring companies at venues such as Barbara B Mann and Ruth Eckerd Hall for shows including Chorus Line, Legally Blonde and West Side Story as well as accompanying artists such as Bernadette Peters and The Irish Tenors.
Jasmine Deal, Stage Manager
Jasmine has been a professional stage manager and theatre technician in the Sarasota area for several years. She serves as an audio and lighting engineer at Venice Theatre where she recently graduated from the Technical Theatre Apprenticeship Program with her masters in Stage Management. Some of her favorite credits include Ragtime, Spring Awakening, [title of show], Blood Brothers and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Christian Londos, Technical Director
Christian Londos is a technical director with a background in lighting design and scenic design. Christian has a passion for story telling and contributing to the larger aesthetic of each production. He holds a BFA in Technical Theatre from Florida Southern College in Lakeland Florida.
At the Music & Arts Community Center
A strong advocate for music and the arts in the community, the Gulf Coast Symphony honors Ms. Reiko Niiya as she performs with 10 of her musician friends.
Starts Jan 25
Enjoy Broadway tunes from Gypsy to Oklahoma! with perhaps a bit of pop and rock music mixed in!