Songs for a New World
Music & Arts Community Center
2020-2021 Season Sponsor: Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family
Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz
Victor Ryan Robertson
Gaby is a stage and screen actress, singer, and dancer, recently seen playing Tara in the World Premiere of Compensation (Island City Stage) and hosting The Inside Track at Gulfstream Park. Gaby was born and raised in Venezuela where she got an extensive background in classical ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and Latin urban dance. She discovered her love for Musical Theatre in the UK while training at City Academy London and has pursued this passion ever since. After receiving her MFA in Theatre Performance from Florida Atlantic University, Gaby is now based in South Florida. Regional credits include Antonia in Man of La Mancha (MNM Theatre Co), Elaine in The Graduate (Michael Leeds), and Polly in The Gingerbread Lady (Primal Forces). International credits include A Dream Is A Wish and And The World Goes Round (Song Cycle Intensive, London UK). TV credits include a feature in Amazon Studios’ The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Follow her on social media for more @gabytortoledo / gabytortoledo.com
Victor Ryan Robertson
Tenor Victor Ryan Robertson is the only person to make his debut at The Kennedy Center (Champion/Blanchard), Metropolitian Opera (Merry Widow/Lehar), and Broadway (Phantom of the Opera) in one season. Last season Victor performed in The Merry Widow in Hong Kong, Terrence Blanchard’s critically acclaimed opera Champion at Opera de Montreal, I barbiere di Siviglia at Sarasota Opera, and Douglass Tappjn’s I Dream at Opera Carolina and Toledo Opera.
Other roles include: Rodolfo in La Boheme at Royal Albert Hall London, Sporting Life in Porgy and Bess with L.A. Opera, Capetown Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, English National Opera, Scottish National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Israeli National Opera, and Spoleto Festival. Rinaldo in Armida at Garsington Festival UK, Candide with Opera national de Lorraine, Orpheus with NYCO, Three Mo Tenors Edinburgh Festival, Moscow, Off Broadway, Kennedy Center, and Henley Festival UK.
Upcoming shows: Castor and Patience (World Premier) and Carmen with Cincinnati Opera, Central Park Five with Portland Opera, Malcom X with Michigan Opera Theatre, and Opera Omaha. I Dream with Opera Carolina and Charlottesville Opera.
Victor made his debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La boheme for Baz Luhrman’s adaption on Broadway at the Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. to a record 82 straight sold out shows in which he won the coveted Ovation Award. You can follow Victor on Instagram @Victorryanrobertson and his new supergroup Rock Me Amadeus! @rockmeammadeuslive
Paul Hambidge Jr. is humbled to be making his first appearance with GCS as a part of this beautiful and relevant piece of theatre. He has most recently been seen performing around the world with Holland America Line as a singer in their production casts. His favorite destination so far is Japan! Some of his favorite roles include Robert Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), Billy Bigelow (Carousel), and Rapunzel’s Prince (Into the Woods). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Paul would like to thank the audience for helping to keep theatre alive, his family for their unwavering support during these uncertain times, and the entire team at GCS for providing us with this opportunity to create and share this much needed message of hope. Enjoy the show!
Max Quinlan, Stage Director & Choreographer
MAX QUINLAN made his debut with the Gulf Coast Symphony with their production of Showboat in 2019. He will be directing their productions of Music Man and West Side Story. Max was the Resident Director for the National Tour of The Phantom of The Opera for several years. Previous to Phantom, Max served as the Resident Director for the Broadway Revival of Les Misérables. Favorite Directing credits include: Next To Normal, Detroit, Ragtime, and the film Sammy’s Fedora. Max worked for the Broadway Casting Office Stewart/Whitley and continues to teach musical theatre master classes throughout the country. Performance highlights include Les Miz (Broadway, OBC), Evita (National Tour, Che), Les Miz (National Tour, Marius), The Light in the Piazza (Jeff Award Winner), Jesus Christ Superstar (BWW Award Winner). Max is a proud member of AEA and graduate of CCM. For my newborn son, Jack.
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.
Molly Goodwin, Production Stage Manager
Molly Goodwin (Production Stage Manager) is delighted to return to Ft. Myers for GCS’ 2021 Spring productions. Previous GCS credits include: Evita, Elixir of Love, Tosca, Oklahoma, and South Pacific. Before the Covid theatre shuttering, she was the Production Stage Manager for the world premiere production of West Side Story at Stage Around Tokyo. Her other International Tour credits include a tour of Sister Act in Singapore, Manila, China, Tokyo, and Seoul. She also had the jolly experience of spending the 2016 holiday season as the Production Assistant for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Her National Tour credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act, GHOST, West Side Story, BLAST, and Legally Blonde. Regional credits include: Santa Fe Opera (Santa Fe, NM), The Warehouse Theatre (Greenville, SC), Creede Rep (Creede, CO), The Commonweal Theatre Co (Lanesboro, MN), and Timber Lake Playhouse (Mt. Carroll, IL). She has managed a variety of live entertainment aboard Holland America cruise ships, sailing to destinations in Australia/New Zealand, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Baltic and Alaska. Her favorite credit is Celine Dion's A NEW DAY: Live in Las Vegas. Goodwin holds a BA in Theatre/Dance from Luther College (Decorah, IA) and is a summa cum laude graduate with an MFA in Stage Management from UNLV (Las Vegas, NV). A native Midwesterner and current NYC resident, Molly’s professional life has kept her traveling since 2008. She sends her love to friends and family: thank you for roots and wings
Christian Londos, Technical Director/Sound Designer
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.
Charles Lawson, Lighting Designer
Mikal Mancini, Rehearsal Pianist/ Asst Music Director
Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 in E minor (“Trauersinfonie”), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36.