Ashley Thunder Lowe
The following people have educated, motivated and inspired Ashley. They are the foundation of her success and an imperative part of her life. She is eternally grateful for their guidance and friendship.
Classical music coach- Maestro Mario Laurenti
Mario Laurenti gained recognition as a dramatic tenor, having sung in major companies throughout Europe including the Rome Opera and San Carlo Opera Theater. He was born in Supina, Italy in 1921 and sang in the era of Di Stefano, Corelli, Tebaldi, and Tagliavini. His own debut was as Turridu (Cavalleria Rusticana) in Rome. He was chosen by Martha Graham to be the lead tenor soloist in her international and Broadway productions of Klydemnestra. Mario's interest broadened over the years to stage direction and opera production. His stage directing experience took him to the Philadelphia, San Antonio, Hartford, Tampa Bay and Stanford Opera companies.
Language coach 2013-2014-John Smith
In his youth the late John Smith discovered his gift of communication. This led to his passion to become an elementary school teacher. John taught language classes for many years before becoming a chorus master and language coach with Opera Tampa for over 15 years, choral director at St. Petersburg Catholic and St. Petersburg College. He also performed with the Tom Kats jazz band as vocalist for over 15 years.
His starring roles included the jailor and Sciarrone (Tosca), Talpa (Il Tabarro), Emperor Altoum (Turandot), Marullo (Rigoletto), Frank in Die Fledermaus and five different roles in La Traviata in over of 28 different productions of that opera. John was fluent in seven languages, he held a MA in Spanish, French and Portuguese and was a Vietnamese interpreter during the Vietnam War.
Piano teacher and language coach- Violet Mandese
Forty years as a pianist and music educator, Violet Mandese continues her involvement with music by giving piano lessons and staying active with many musical organizations in the Tampa area. She has been director of the San Carlo Opera Chorus, music director for the Spanish Lyric Theater, a musician with the Master Chorale, Florida Orchestra, president/treasurer and performer with the Friday Morning Musicale.