Daniel Frost Hernández
Founder & Executive Director
With a track record of success, Daniel Frost Hernández has been the driving force behind the conceptualization of Opera Hispánica, the nation’s first and only Hispanic opera company. Under his leadership as Executive Director of Opera Hispánica, he has increased its Board of Directors, forged relationships with major institutions, increased institutional and individual financial support, and presented sold-out concerts throughout the city. Mr. Hernández appeared as a panelist on the Opera Quiz for The Metropolitan Opera’s international broadcast of Wagner’s Parsifal and again as a featured guest during the same company’s radio broadcast of Bizet’s Carmen. In 2013 he worked in talent relations and production for the 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. A native of San Antonio, he has held positions at Primary Services, a Houston-based recruiting firm for Fortune 500 companies within the oil and gas industry. A trained tenor, Mr. Hernández studied opera at the Boston Conservatory and Moores Opera Center and has performed with regional opera companies throughout the United States. He is currently President & CEO of Frost Music Group.
Reviewed as having “the most expressive conducting hands since Stokowski’s,” (New York Daily News) Argentinean pianist and conductor Jorge Parodi has worked as a conductor and opera coach at several prestigious institutions, including the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), The Banff Centre (Canada), SIVAM (Mexico), Opera Tampa, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Connecticut Grand Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Hofstra University and New York University. He has collaborated with artists such as Tito Capobianco, Sherrill Milnes, Julius Rudel, and Rufus Wainwright and he was assistant conductor to Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia.
Jorge Parodi is the Music Director of the Undergraduate Opera Theater at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has conducted its productions to critical acclaim. The New York Times praised its latest production –Schubert’s Die Verschworenen– as ‘superbly performed”. About its previous production –the United States premiere of Paisiello’s Nina– the New York Times said: “the opera played beautifully, with graceful music throughout, sonorous choruses and a radiant finale”.
Mr. Parodi is the Vocal Coach of the premier Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, and a faculty member of V.O.I.C.Experience, a vocal workshop under the direction of Sherrill Milnes. He has been a long time faculty member of the International Vocal Arts Institute, one of the world’s foremost summer opera training programs. Also with IVAI he taught at the Nagano Opera Master Class (Japan) and at the Inaugural Opera Master Class in conjunction with China National Opera (Beijing). He has offered master classes at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires) and the Escuela Superior de Canto (Madrid).
A prizewinner at the Bienal de Arte of Buenos Aires, Mr. Parodi completed studies in Conducting and Piano Performance at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música of Buenos Aires. He holds a Masters degree in Accompanying and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan as a full-scholarship student of the eminent accompanist, Martin Katz. He participated in the recording of the complete edition of the music for piano by Muzio Clementi with the German label, Aurophon; he is featured in recordings for Albany Records and MSR Classics.
Desiree Alejandro has worked backstage at dell’Arte Opera Ensemble and Bronx Opera on such shows as Le nozze di Figaro, Il trittico, La gazza ladra, and Hansel and Gretel. As a singer, her performances include the title role in Florencia en el Amazonas at the University of Houston, Second Lady in The Magic Flute with Amore Opera, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, and Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Amarillo Opera, where she was also a Resident Artist. A native of Fritch, Texas, Desiree received her Masters of Music from the University of Houston. She lives in Harlem.
Ken Benson was a leading vocal manager and Vice-President for 25 years with Columbia Artists Management, Inc.
He has recently expanded his activities to include acting as vocal consultant for both individual singers as well as organizations, including for the past two seasons at the Juilliard School of Music. He regularly gives master classes for such schools as Yale, UCLA, Mannes, DePaul, Manhattan School of music, Roosevelt University, etc.
Mr. Benson serves on the juries of most of the leading vocal competitions, and he also interviews, lectures and writes on opera and singing. He contributes regularly to Opera News and Classical Singer magazine.
For many years, he has appeared as panelist, and this season, as Host of the Metropolitan Opera Broadcast Quiz.