Performer Biographies

Around the World in 80+ Notes

Shira Renee Thomas

Award-winning soprano Shira Renee Thomas has been praised for her “…perfect intonation, elegant control, and artistic phrasing”, and has been described as “…a wonder of dramatic and lyric intensity”. She has performed as a soloist with such opera super-stars as Quinn Kelsey, Nicole Cabell, Ana Maria Martinez, Rod Gilfry, Christian Van Horn, and Milena Kitic. She has portrayed over twenty leading operatic soprano roles with organizations including Opera Pacific (Costa Mesa, CA), the Pacific Symphony (Costa Mesa, CA), Valley Opera and Performing Arts (Canoga Park, CA), Opera Modesto (CA), Opera San Luis Obispo (CA), Opera Company of the Highlands (Hudson Valley, NY), Mission Opera (Santa Clarita, CA), and Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater (Logan, UT). Among the many awards she has earned, Shira won First Place in the prestigious Llangollen International Eisteddfod Vocal Solo Competition in North Wales, a competition that has hosted such competitors as Luciano Pavarotti in past years. Shira is Co-Founder and General Director of Valley Opera and Performing Arts, currently in its 16th season, where she is also principal soprano.

Dylan F. Thomas

Dylan F. Thomas has performed in opera, musical theater, and jazz all over the world in such organizations as Universal Studios Japan, Valley Opera and Performing Arts, Opera San Luis Obispo, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, Opera Modesto, and Opera Pacific. In addition to his performing career, Dylan is a very accomplished stage director, having directed for Opera Pacific, Pacific Symphony, Mission Opera, Cal State Los Angeles, Santa Monica College, and Opera Fairbanks in Alaska. He has directed such opera royalty as Quinn Kelsey, Ana Maria Martinez, and Christian Van Horn. He is also the Co-Founder of Valley Opera & Performing Arts, where he has acted as Principal Stage Director for the past 16 seasons. In addition to singing and directing, Dylan is also an educator, artist, and accomplished children’s book writer, with six books currently published (

Gabriel Manro

Multiple Grammy Award winning baritone Gabriel Manro has been called “a new kind of baritone…a knock-down baritone.” —San Francisco Classical Voice. Indeed, Manro regularly sings dramaticbaritone roles such as Don Carlo di Vargas (La forza del destino), Andrei Shchelkalov (Boris Godunov), and Tonio (Pagliacci). Mr. Manro made his professional operatic debut as Third Inmate in Jake Heggie’s ground-breaking opera Dead Man Walking for Opera Pacific with Frederica von Stade. Manro has created roles in numerous contemporary and world-premiere operas and musicals, and has performed with such companies as Los Angeles Opera, LA Philharmonic, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Las Vegas, Opera San Luis Obispo, Golden Gate Opera, Valley Opera & Performing Arts, and many other U.S. companies. Internationally, he has performed with Hungarian National Theater and Opera Grand D’Avignon, among others. Gabriel also played Jafar in Walt Disney Company’s original stage production of Aladdin.

Julia Timmons

Hailing from Los Angeles, Julia Timmons spent her formative years performing with the Colburn Concert Choir, and appeared in numerous productions with LA Opera Connects including Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, Krafka’s Brudibar, and Villanueva’s White Bird of Poston. Most recently, Timmons sang the leading roles of Cornelia in Sartorio’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Sandrina in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera at Carnegie Mellon University Opera. Timmons also had a large hand in writing and producing a Pastiche project which was the first ever fully virtual Carnegie Mellon Opera production. Graduating with both college and university honors, Timmons was recently awarded her Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance with a Minor on Music Technology by Carnegie Mellon University. In the fall, she will return to Carnegie Mellon in pursuit of a Masters of Entertainment Industry Management.

Tali Tadmor, pianist

Dr. Tali Tadmor is a Los Angeles-based pianist, educator, music director and vocal coach. Her performance career includes collaborations with a wide variety of musicians and appearances at worldwide venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Great Hall at the heart of China’s Forbidden City. Though classically trained, Tali is sought after in a wide variety of musical settings, ranging from world music, pop and worship, to her own compositions. Tali received both Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees on full scholarship from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) majoring in Keyboard Collaborative Arts. She currently serves as Chair of the Collaborative Piano program at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and has been with the LA Opera family since 2008.

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