Bill Doherty
General Director, Central Florida Lyric Opera Inc.
Pianist/Conductor/Composer/Vocal Instructor

Bill Doherty has been performing as a concert pianist since the age of four and continues to delight audiences all over the world with his virtuosity at the keyboard.  His musical studies included intensive training in piano, conducting, musical composition and voice, studying with such well-known teachers as Albert Bowen (Tanglewood), Barbara Marchesani, Pasquale Caputo, Solomon Mikowski and Sonia Vargas (Manhattan School of Music), Abraham Kaplan (Juilliard School of Music), Carmen Savoca and Peyton Hibbitt, and Rita Shane (Metropolitan Opera, Vienna StaatsOper).  As an operatic tenor, he sang with the Mohawk Valley Opera and the Tri-Cities Opera, and was later mentored by the legendary soprano Licia Albanese (Metropolitan Opera, La Scala).

As a pianist and conductor, Mr. Doherty has performed in some of the world's finest performance halls and Cathedrals including The Prudential Center (Boston), Lincoln Center (New York), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York), the Villa Faccanoni - Lake Iseo (Italy), and on tour throughout the Italian Riviera. He received international critical acclaim for his performances in Kyoto and Osaka Japan with operatic soprano Takako Yamamoto and tenor Oscar Feliu.  Most recently, he conducted members of the Central Florida Lyric Opera and the St. Timothy Choir in a special Mass of Thanksgiving at the Vatican for Pope Benedict XVI and in concerts in an around Rome, Italy. He has conducted and accompanied extensively in opera for over 20 years, collaborating with some of the world’s greatest operatic stars including the legendary Licia Albanese and serving as accompanist to world-renowned Metropolitan Opera sopranos Deborah Voigt and Susan Neves.

Mr. Doherty is also one of the nation's leading voice coaches and operates a teaching studio in both Florida and New York City. His students have drawn international attention in principal roles with opera companies throughout the United States and Europe, on and off Broadway, and by winning top awards in national and international vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera Competition (NYC).  Most recently, his student Fernando Varela and his trio “FORTE” has been featured advancing in the world-renowned talent competition America’s Got Talent.  An internationally recognized teacher and workshop clinician, Bill Doherty has conducted Master Classes in opera and voice at universities and conservatories throughout the world, including Marymount Manhattan College NYC, and the Conservatoire Leo Delibes, Ville de Clichy-La-Garenne, France, among others. His interviews and performances have been broadcast on PBS, CBS, and NBC. He has also appeared on various talk shows including the "Late Show with David Letterman".

Year after year, for the past eighteen years, Mr. Doherty has served as adjudicator for the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s International Vocal Competition in New York City and has also performed as an accompanist for the Foundation’s Gala concert at Lincoln Center, NY.  He also is adjudicator for the prestigious Gerda Lissner International Opera Competition, NYC.

He is Founder and General Director of the Central Florida Lyric Opera, Inc.  His recent work with the International Opera Center of America, Central Florida Lyric Opera’s International Exchange Program, has been recognized and commended by both Florida Governor Charlie Crist and former United States President George W. Bush. Mr. Doherty is the Director of Music at St. Timothy Catholic Church in the Villages.  Among his many other honors and awards, Mr. Doherty is the recipient of the New York State Council on the Arts Humanities Award.  Most recently, his signature has been immortalized on the Muro di Alassio in Alassio, Italy.

Grant Norman
Acting Coach/Stage Director, Central Florida Lyric Opera Inc.

Best known for his portrayal of the Phantom in the Broadway production of Andrew LLoyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Broadway star Grant Norman, himself a graduate of Central Florida Lyric Opera's Resident Artist Training Program, now returns to the company as Acting Teacher and Stage Director..

Grant Norman started out in theater with the Red River Dance & Performing Company in Fargo, ND.  He was a member of their company for 4 years, during which time he worked his way through the ranks to become a principal dancer.  During his 11 original productions with the company he was fortunate enough to work with its directors, Kathy & Eddie Gasper. Their experience and generosity proved to be invaluable to Grant.  Kathy was a successful classical ballerina and Eddie was a Broadway veteran and former Assistant to Bob Fosse. Under their tutelage he learned Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Character dancing. 

Grant Norman’s first starring role in musical theatre was with the Red River Dance & Performing Co. as “Paul” in Carnival; which happened to be a joint production between the Red River Dance & Performing Co. and The Fargo/Moorhead Community Theatre.  In the following years, Grant began working in many wonderful regional theatres throughout the country while returning to Fargo and the Red River Dance & Performing Co. to play “Tony” in West Side Story. 

Some of his most highly acclaimed regional roles included “Smudge” in Forever Plaid (Alley Theatre, TX), “Petruchio” in Taming of the Shrew, “Curley” in Oklahoma (Jupiter Theatre, FL), the “Prince/Wolf” in Into the Woods (Seaside Music Theatre, FL), “Max” in Lend Me a Tenor (Hippodrome Theatre, FL), “Gaston” in Gigi (Royal Palm Dinner Theatre, FL), “Johnny Canton” in 1940's Radio Hour (Ruth Foreman Theatre, FL), “Adam” in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Mark II Dinner Theatre, FL), “Corporal Billy Jester” in Little Mary Sunshine (North Dakota Repertory Theatre, ND), and “Sydney Carton” in A Tale of Two Cities (Backers Production, NYC).

In 1990, Grant Norman began his long-standing musical affiliation with Maestro Bill Doherty when he joined the Central Florida Lyric Opera’s Resident Artist Training Program.  As a member of the training program, Grant studied classical Italian opera singing with Mr. Doherty and also appeared in numerous concerts and opera programs with Bill Doherty and the Central Florida Lyric Opera. 

Grant moved to New York City in 1991 where he immediately joined the cast of two legendary Broadway shows - Miss Saigon and The Phantom of the Opera. “My time with The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway led to the opportunity to tour the U.S. as the Phantom in the National Touring Company. I then went on to play the Phantom in London at Her Majesty's Theatre.  After I returned to the States, I took some needed time off; and then accepted a contract, working for Disney, touring the U.S. and Canada as the “Beast” in Beauty and the Beast”, (a role for which he was nominated for two National Theatre Awards). “Although I loved touring our beautiful country, I was happy to be home again in New York.”  Once back in New York, he landed a role in the Off-Broadway production of Johnny Guitar where he can be found on the Original Cast Recording.

Most recently, Grant Norman finished a 2 1/2 year run playing the role of Gaston in the Broadway production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and also appeared in the hit television drama “Law & Order”.

Andrea Elena
Master Class Faculty/Stage Director, Central Florida Lyric Opera Inc.

Tenor, Andrea Elena has sung over 90 leading tenor roles in virtually every opera house in the world including La Scala (Milan), Teatro Comunale (Florence), Teatro Regio (Turin), La Fenice (Venice), Teatro dell’Opera (Rome), Teatro Filarmonico and the Arena (Verona) Teatro Comunale (Bologna) Teatro Regio (Parma) Teatro Bellini (Carania) among others.  In addition, he has sung in Germany, Holland, Austria, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, United States, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, South America, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and China.  

Maestro Elena has received acclaim from such great artists as Giuseppe di Stefano, Mario Del Monaco, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Alfredo Kraus.    In addition, he has been the recipient of prestigious honors from The King Olav of Norway, The Queen Giuliana of Holland, the Premier Aznar of Spain, Henry Kissinger, The Princess of Morocco Yasmine, Nelson Mandela, President Scalfaro of Italy, the Premier Netanyao of Israel, President Mitterand of France, Helmut Kohl, Lady Diana and Prince Charles, and others too numerous to list.  

His operatic performances have been broadcast on Italian TV (RAI), German National TV, and throughout France, Spain, Switzerland.  His performance of the “Verdi Requiem” from Royal Albert Hall was televised internationally and attended by Lady Diana and Prince Charles.   

He has recorded for such prestigious record labels as Columbia Records, Nuova Era, Orpheus, Kikko Records, Lyra, Bongiovanni Classics.  He has performed virtually every leading tenor role in the lyric and lyrico spinto repertoire and has appeared in over 500 performances as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto alone.  

During his career, he has shared the stage on numerous occasions with such great artists as Renato Bruson, Piero Cappuccilli, Fiorenza Cossotto, Mirella Freni, Cecilia Gasdia, Nicolai Ghiarov, Nicolai Ghiuselev, Bonaldo Jiaiotti, Raina Kabaiwanska, Leo Nucci, Aldo Protti, Ruggiero Raimondi, Katia Ricciarelli, Giuseppe Taddei, and many others.  He has been a favored tenor by many well known conductors such as Maurizio Arena, Bruno Bartoletti, Richard Bonynge, Mario Braggio, Riccardo Chailly, Gianandrea Gavazzini, Peter Maag, Giuseppe Patane, Michel Plasson, Georges Pretre, Nello Santi, and Hubert Soudant.  

Most recently, while continuing his personal opera and concert activities, he has devoted himself to the future of opera and young, gifted performers by teaching privately, stage directing opera productions throughout the world and by coaching singers in master classes, both in Italy and abroad. 

Central Florida Lyric Opera
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