Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Artist Bios

Amanda Kindred  -  Galatea

Amanda Kindred is a senior vocal performance major who is currently involved in University Choir.  Her past opera performances include the narrator in the student written opera Goldilocks and Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica.  She is thrilled to be playing Galatea in Acis and Galatea for her final opera performance at Millikin University.



  Emily Wheeler  -  Acis

      Emily Wheeler is a Sophomore Vocal Performance major appearing in her second Millikin opera. She previously appeared as The Abbess in Suor Angelica (2014). Emily sings in the University Choir and plays mandolin for the Big Bluegrass Band. Additional theatrical credits include Into the Woods (Lucinda), Big River (Susan), and Les Miserables at the Springfield Muni. She would like to thank Terry, Dr. Gorton, Professor Oeck and Professor Sepulveda for their wisdom and encouragement. 


Christina Kruger  -  Damon

Christina Kruger, a junior Vocal Performance major, made her Millilkin Main Stage debut last year in Suor Angelica as the Monitor.  She has previously been involved with the Millikin opera program as part of the tech crew for Bach: Sacred/Secular Cantatas.  Other college theatre appearances include roles in Once Upon a Mattress, Hairspray, and Big River.  She has also performed at the Jeannette Lloyd Theatre in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Annie, and God’s Favorite.


  Kiara Colon  -  Acis

Kiara Colon is a Senior Vocal Performance Major at Millikin University. She has been performing in the Millikin Opera Theater program for three years and has participated as a chorus member in the production of Bach: Sacred and Secular Cantatas and as Zita in Gianni Schicchi. Kiara has also performed in four opera scenes, three of which were originally performed in Italy for the Italian Opera Immersion. She has learned and performed roles such as Cenerentola in Cenerentola, Meg in Falstaff, The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and The Abbess in Suor Angelica. Kiara is involved in the Millikin University Choir and a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. as well as the Honor Greek society, Order of Omega. 


  Jacob Laughhunn  -  Damon

Jacob Laughhunn, a junior vocal performance major, has recently appeared in Millikin’s productions of Gianni Schicchi as Gherardo, Sacred/Secular: Cantatas by J.S. Bach (Peter) and Le Malade Imaginaire (Thomas Diafoirus).

Morgan Bothwell  -  Polypheme

Morgan Bothwell has been in multiple college productions including Orpheus in the Underworld, Bach's Coffee Cantata, Le Malade Imaginaire, and the title role in Gianni Schicchi. He has had the extreme honor of working with opera star Alan Held in a masterclass setting and he is an alumnus of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Program, during which he had the pleasure of working with some of the finest musicians in the nation under the leadership of Phyllis Hoffman. Other credits include Pangloss in Candide and Le fauteuil and L’horloge comtoise in the opera L’enfant et les sortileges. Morgan Bothwell is in the studio of Terry Stone.


  Phillip Lopez -  Polypheme

Phillip Lopez, Bass-Baritone, is a Junior Vocal Performance Major from Avon, IL.  Since entering Millikin University, Phillip has been involved with the Millikin University Opera Department performing roles in 2013's Sacred & Secular Cantatas by J.S. Bach, 2014's Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, and other solo recitals and ensemble performances.  Phillip has also been involved with Millikin University's University Choir, enjoying the choir's program and the tour to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia during the summer of 2014.  In the spring of 2014, Phillip was awarded an outstanding sophomore award from Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors Society.  Phillip is also President of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity.  


Abigail Karnes  -  Galatea

Abigail is a junior vocal performance major with a theatre minor. She has recently appeared in Millikin's Main Stage production of Puccini One Acts as Nella in Gianni Schicchi. She also played French Horn in the pit orchestra for Millikin's Cinderella in 2012 and was the assistant stage manager for Millikin's production of Sacred/Secular: Cantatas by J.S. Bach



  Terry Stone -  Director

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice, Director Millikin Opera Theatre, Millikin University

Terry Stone joined the teaching staff at Millikin University in 1993. Currently he teaches voice, solo song literature, and coordinates the Millikin Opera Theatre program. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Vocal Performance at the University of Illinois in Urbana, with emphasis in opera production, and has sung professionally with opera companies such as Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit, Sarasota Opera Association and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.


Dr. William Gorton  -  Musical Director

Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera, Millikin University

William Gorton is Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Millikin University, where he teaches studio voice, serves as coach and conductor for the opera program, and directs Tudor Voices, a select chamber choir specializing in early music. Dr. Gorton has had a diverse career as singer, voice teacher, composer, and conductor. The Founding Artistic Director of the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale, he acquired his DMA in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University. He also served as Assistant Chorus Master for the Phoenix Symphony Chorus. With a M.M. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, William has had a busy career as a professional tenor and voice teacher, performing numerous opera roles and oratorios with organizations such as Sacramento Opera, Opera Pacific, Pacific Repertory Opera, National Messiah Festival at Bethany College, Orchestra X of Houston, San Francisco Opera Guild, the Santa Fe Opera (Apprentice Artist), and others. Dr.Gorton is also a published composer. His hymn, “O God in Whom We Live,” can befound in Worship and Song, a United Methodist hymnal.


  Daniel Derrick  -  Scenic Design

Scene Shop Foreman

Daniel is in his 6th year with Millikin University, serving as Scene Shop Foreman and Sound Engineer for the Theatre and Dance Department.


  Jess Gersz  -  Costume Design

As a Freelance Designer and Technician Jess has had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects.  From panda heads (Revenge of the Space Pandas) to runway fashion (Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2014), Jess is always looking for new adventures in costuming.  Recent highlights include, Scrooge No More! (Shopper), An American Tragedy(Assistant Designerand The Architecture of Becoming (Draper).


Jess holds a MFA in Costume Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. In addition to his University of Illinois experience, Jess has worked at The Glimmerglass Festival,  Millikin University and Ohio Light Opera.

Brandon Kersten  -  Stage Manager

Brandon Kersten (Stage Manager) first had a production role with the Millikin University Department of Theatre and Dance production of String in 2013 as an Assistant Stage Manager. Since then, he has also worked on 2014’s Puccini One-Acts (Assistant Stage Manager) and Planet of the Perfectly Awful People (Stage Manager) with the Department of Theatre and Dance. Brandon will also serve as the Stage Manager for the upcoming play Venus in Fur at Pipe Dreams Studio Theater.


  Andie Burns  -  Assistant Stage Manager

Andie Burns (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to be working with the Department of Music for the first time as a Freshman Theatre major. Recent Stage Management credits include: [title of show] (Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre), Seussical! The Musical (Third Mask Theatre Company), and A Chorus Line (Muhlenberg College Summer Music Theatre). This semester Andie will be the Assistant Stage Manager on Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson with Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre and Equinox, A Concert of Dance with the Department of Theatre and Dance. 

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL