LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Lourdes Lopez
Artistic Director

Lourdes Lopez became Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet in September 2012, bringing with her a nearly 40-year career in dance, television, teaching and arts management. As a Soloist and Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, she danced for two legends of the art form, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She is also Director of Morphoses, a New York-based dance company she co-founded in 2007 with Christopher Wheeldon, aiming to revitalize dance through innovative collaborations with important artists from the worlds of music, visual arts, design, film and fashion; and by inviting younger and broader audiences to engage in and actively experience dance.

Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958 and raised in Miami by her parents along with two sisters. She began taking ballet lessons at the age of five, on the recommendation of a doctor. At the age of eleven she received a full scholarship to School of American Ballet, (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, allowing her to continue her ballet training in Miami during the year and then in New York during the summers. At fourteen, she moved to New York permanently to devote herself to full-time studies at SAB, and shortly after her sixteenth birthday, she joined the corps de ballet of New York City Ballet.

Under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, her star rose quickly at New York City Ballet where she was soon dancing leading corps and soloist roles in much of the company's repertory. She was promoted to Soloist in 1981 and Principal Dancer in 1984, performing countless leading roles for Balanchine and Robbins. Lopez's great interest in children also found her writing and contributing to many of the company's Family Matinee series.

Upon retirement, Lopez joined WNBC-TV in New York as a Cultural Arts reporter, writing and producing feature segments on the arts, artists and arts education. She was also a full-time senior faculty member and Director of Student Placement, Student Evaluation and Curriculum Planning at New York's Ballet Academy East. She served on the dance faculty of Barnard College and guest taught at numerous dance institutions and festivals in the United States.

In 2002, Lopez became the Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation, which works to educate the public about dance and to further the art of ballet, with a special emphasis on the work and achievements of George Balanchine. In this position, she oversaw the 2004 Balanchine Centennial Celebration, a worldwide festival honoring the choreographer and his legacy. Among the events that year was the symposium "Balanchine: Past, Present and Future," which was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, and which was a collaboration among the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage Museum, and The George Balanchine Foundation. Lopez also co-founded The Cuban Artists Fund, which supports Cuban and Cuban-American artists in their endeavors.

Lopez was recently elected by The Ford Foundation as the first artist to serve on its Board of Trustees. In 2007 she received an award from the American Immigration Law Foundation honoring Cuban Americans for their accomplishments and contributions to American society and in 2011, she received the prestigious Jerome Robbins Award for her years in dance. She has served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Lopez is married to investment banker George Skouras. They are the parents of two daughters: Adriel, a Yale University graduate and currently Executive Assistant at United Talent Agency (UTA); and twelve-year-old Calliste.


Michael Scolamiero
Executive Director

Michael Scolamiero previously served as Executive Director of Pennsylvania Ballet for 17 years where he led several successful fundraising efforts, established major gift, planned giving, comprehensive sponsorship programs, and a repertory fund for the creation of new works. Throughout his career he has been a steadfast advocate for the arts, significantly broadening the reach of Pennsylvania Ballet into the community, helping to make ballet accessible to all audiences.

Prior to Pennsylvania Ballet, Mr. Scolamiero served as Executive Director at Choral Arts, where he considerably reduced debt, recording a surplus during his seven years with the organization and premiering several large, symphonic choral works at the Academy of Music.

Additional posts include Administrative Manager for the Haddonfield Symphony, and Executive Director of the West Jersey Chamber Music Society.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in music education from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA and a Master of Music in clarinet performance from Pennsylvania State University.


Pamela Gardiner
Executive Vice President, Artistic Affairs

Pamela Gardiner has been arts management executive for the past twenty-seven years, her working partnership with MCB Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella began in 1984 at the Madison Festival of the Lakes, where Villella served as Artistic Director and she served as Executive Director. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs in the College of Letters and Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison and as an Assistant Trust Officer at the Cleveland Trust Company.

Gardiner holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison; an M.A. degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University; and a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University. Since 1993, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Foundation of Greater Miami. She is a member of the Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio Bars and of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the Florida Bar Association. She was recently appointed to Case Western Reserve University School of Law's Art Law Committee.


Roma Sosenko
Principal Ballet Master

A former soloist with New York City Ballet, Roma Sosenko works closely with Miami City Ballet dancers re-staging ballets and rehearsing them for each performance. During her career as a dancer, Sosenko danced roles in Jerome Robbins' The Four Seasons, The Goldberg Variations, and Interplay and George Balanchine's Ballo della Regina, Symphony in C, Chaconne, Coppelia, Jewels, and Scotch Symphony, among others.

She has been seen on PBS in several productions: Balanchine's "L'Enfant et les Sortileges", "A Lincoln Center Special: A Tribute to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins", "Live From Studio 8H", and also performed the role of Columbine in the film of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™.


Joan Latham
Ballet Master

Joan Latham joined Miami City Ballet in 1992 as a dancer and now serves as ballet mistress, responsible for re-staging and rehearsing the dancers in much of the repertoire. She began her dance training with Damara Bennett at City Ballet School in her native city of San Francisco. She also studied at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, where she performed and toured with their company.

As a soloist with Miami City Ballet she performed soloist and principal roles in much of the Balanchine repertory including Apollo, Symphony in C, Agon, Divertimento No. 15, Scotch Symphony, Valse Fantasie, the Sugar Plum Fairy in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ and others. She was also featured in works by Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Edward Villella, as well as classics such as Swan Lake, Giselle and CoppĂ©lia. Joan and her husband Arnold Quintane have three children: Emma, Olivia and Arthur.


Gary Sheldon
Principal Conductor

Maestro Sheldon is the winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, awarded for recorded performances conducting William Bolcom's music with clarinetist Richard Stolzman and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on the Marquis Classics label.

He is former principal guest conductor for the San Francisco Ballet and conductor for Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio. He is former music director for the Marin Symphony in California, where he received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Marin Cultural Center and Museum.

Sheldon has guest conducted major orchestras including the BBC Symphony -- London, Montreal Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Artistic Director of the Lancaster Festival in Ohio and Principal for the Festival at Sandpoint in Idaho. He is a native of Bayshore, New York and a graduate of the Julliard School.


Haydée Morales
Costume Designer & Director

Haydée Morales was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. Her career has enveloped both design and production for dance, Broadway, opera and film. Morales acquired her theatrical training at Barbara Matera Costume Shop in New York.

She joined Miami City Ballet in 1986. Since then, Morales has designed and overseen countless productions, including George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ (in collaboration with Jose Varona), and Edward Villella's full-length ballet The Neighborhood Ballroom and Gismonti Brasil. Also, Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Kennedy Center Commission, The Mystery of the Dancing Princesses. Morales has also recreated costumes from the original designs of many Balanchine ballets, as well as for dances by Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon and Trey McIntyre.


Francisco Rennó
Music Advisor to the Artistic Director

Francisco Rennó is the winner of various piano competitions and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in North and South America. He has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout two continents, including appearances at Carnegie Recital Hall and The Phillips Collection. For ballet performances, he has performed as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Kansas City, St. Louis, Berkeley, Naples, Torino and The Kennedy Center.

Rennó was company pianist for the Kansas City Ballet from its inception in 1981 until he joined Miami City Ballet in 1999. He composed the music to Edward Villella's "THE WALTZ: Our Lady of Oblivion."


John D. Hall
Production Director and Lighting Designer

John Hall joined Miami City Ballet in 1995 and is responsible for coordinating all Lighting and Scenic Design elements for the Company. Some of his Lighting Design highlights since joining MCB include Slaughter on 10th Avenue, Giselle, Coppélia, Edward Villella's The Neighborhood Ballroom, and Twyla Tharp/Elvis Costello's NIGHTSPOT. Hall and his wife Shannon have two sons, John and William.




Arnold Quintane
Ballet Master

A native of France, Arnold Quintane is a former principal dancer for Miami City Ballet. As Ballet Master, he is now responsible for directing the dancers during rehearsals. Arnold was trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School under the direction of Claude Bessy. After graduating he went on to dance with Belgium's Royal Ballet of Wallonia, under the direction of Afro Cuban choreographer Jorge Lefebvre, where he gained prominence as a principal dancer.

In 1991, he was invited to join Miami City Ballet, where he danced principal roles in most of the company's repertory. After retiring from the stage in 2001, he earned his BFA from New World School of the Arts/University of Florida and an MFA from Hollins University. During this time he was a teacher at The New World School of the Arts, where he was a rehearsal director on pieces by choreographers such as Garth Fagan, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor, as well as creating several new works of his own.


Top image: MCB Dancers in Symphony in Three Movements, Photo © Joe Gato, Symphony in Three Movements, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Headshot Photos © Gio Alma