Board of Directors
Paul Albritton is retired from various positions, primarily in corporate law and management. He was involved in the formation of Opera Wilmington and has served on the Board since 2014. Currently, he serves as Secretary/Treasurer. Paul says “I enjoy and appreciate the many vocal and instrumental performances by the wonderful and talented groups we are blessed to have in this area.”
Jenny Callison, a retired communications professional, joined the Opera Wilmington board in 2015. You’ll never see her on the opera stage, but she’s a dedicated utility voice in her church choir and loves humming along to the arias she hears during broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera on Classical HQR 92.7.
Stephen Fortlouis has been an opera lover for as long as he can remember. As a toddler, he was introduced to the genre by Spike Jones and Danny Kaye records. Later he listened to the Met radio broadcasts (entranced by the sound of Milton Cross’s voice) and by his aunt, who sang all arias “auf Deutsche.” He is delighted to help engage all Wilmingtonians with opera, an amazing amalgam of all components that define the performing arts.
Lynne Herndon joined the Opera Wilmington board in 2018. She has been a music lover since her undergraduate days at Oberlin. Originally from Boston, Lynne retired to Wilmington in 2012 after a career in medical and scientific publishing which took her to opera houses around the world. In Wilmington she pursues her two passions of music appreciation and fiber arts and hopes to contribute marketing expertise and strategic perspective to Opera Wilmington.
Nancy King (Artistic Director)
Nancy King, Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Vocal Performance at University of North Carolina Wilmington, is at the heart of Opera Wilmington’s creative team. She wears many hats — all of them stylish — and can be heard frequently in performance with many Cape Fear area music ensembles. She can find connections between opera and almost any other art form and can put together almost any kind of program with the talent in the region.
Daniel Kopchick first fell in love with opera through the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown while working as a psychiatric social worker in Albany, New York. This affinity continued upon his retirement to Florida, where he enjoyed the productions of the Sarasota Opera and Opera Tampa. After relocating to Wilmington in 2017, he is excited to now be a part of Opera Wilmington.
Dr. Helena Kopchick Spencer joined the board of Opera Wilmington in 2016. A musicologist specializing in nineteenth-century opera and ballet, Helena is Assistant Professor of Music History and Affiliated Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In addition to directing seminars and honors projects in opera studies for UNCW students, she is a regular lecturer on opera for UNCW’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She particularly enjoys working with Artistic Director Nancy King to organize Opera Wilmington’s annual symposium of educational talks and performances. Also active as a bassoonist, Helena has performed with the Opera Wilmington Orchestra since summer 2015 (Rigoletto).
Philip Stine says opera is his passion. Because of his international career, he has been able to attend opera performances in Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong, as well as several cities in the United States. So he was very excited when Opera Wilmington was formed, and has been a supporter from the beginning. Phil has served on several boards and commissions in Wilmington, including WHQR and the County Commission for Women, where as the only man he was elected secretary.
Mary Tyndall is an elementary music teacher for New Hanover County Schools and an adjunct professor for Bladen Community College. She joined the Opera Wilmington Board in 2017 and continues to appear in Opera Wilmington productions as an ensemble member. She says, “My love of opera and the opportunity to share it with people of all ages is very fulfilling to me.”
Tanya Hanano Wheeler
Tanya Hanano Wheeler works full-time as an Acute Care Physical Therapist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She joined the Opera Wilmington Board in 2016. She is currently studying voice with Nancy King and pursuing a degree in vocal performance. She also performs locally with Cape Fear Chorale and with the UNCW Chamber Choir. Tanya made her professional debut as an ensemble member in Opera Wilmington’s Rigoletto and has also appeared in the ensembles for Cosi Fan Tutte and Carmen.