Leadership

Steffanie Pearce

General Director

​With over 30 years of experience in the field of opera Steffanie Pearce is a producer, director, performer and teacher of the great art form. Born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Ms. Pearce began her career as an operatic soprano with formal studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music finishing at The University of Southern California with a double major in opera performance and acting. She completed apprenticeships with both the Cincinnati Opera and the San Diego Opera and won many international vocal competitions including the Pavarotti Competition, Montreal International, D’Angelo and the American Traditions competition. She went on to an International singing career with opera companies including Opera de Marseille, Opera Lisboa, Opera Colorado, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, San Diego Opera and The Buxton Festival in England performing at such major theaters as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and The Philadelphia Academy of Music. 

She moved to Naples in 2000 and founded Southwest Florida’s first opera company, Opera Naples, in March, 2005. She served as General/Artistic Director, budgeting and casting productions, creating outreach programs, teaching, stage directing and fundraising until her separation from Opera Naples in May, 2014. In June of 2014, she re-organized and expanded into Lee and Charlotte County with the creation of Gulfshore Opera. She lives in Collier county with husband Samuel Vasquez, daughter Aria and many family members living in Lee and Collier Counties.

In 2016, Ms. Pearce was honored by WGCU Makers Award.  Chosen as one of five women in all of Southwest Florida, she was recognized as an authentic, passionate and inspiring woman who will leave a special lasting impact on the people, economy and culture of SWFL.

Debra Haller

Managing Director

Debra Haller, CPA, MBA, leads the team responsible for developing operating infrastructure and financial processes to support the activities of Gulfshore Opera in Southwest Florida. Ms. Haller’s expertise in partnering with not-for-profit organizations blends her strong technical accounting background with a sound plan for organization development to create an effective organization that actively pursues its mission.

Maestro Greg Ritchey

Music Director

​A versatile musician on the podium and at the keyboard, conductor Gregory Ritchey has held positions with companies both in the US and internationally including the Wexford Opera Festival, Palm Beach Opera, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Most notably in recent seasons, he has conducted productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, The Turn of the Screw, Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, and a workshop of Terence Blanchard’s opera, Champion.  As the newly appointed Music Director of Gulfshore Opera, he has led performances of Madama Butterfly and RigolettoDon Pasquale, La Traviata, and returning this season to conduct La Bohème.  He has also been for several years Associate Conductor at Palm Beach Opera, where after a recent performance on the Waterfront Concert series, for which he served as conductor and Music Director, the Palm Beach Arts Paper noted, “Mr. Ritchey is to be congratulated for leading such massive forces in a splendid and stirring performance. The audience rose to their feet with acclaim.” During his time at PBO he has also been Chorus Master for more than thirty-five productions.

A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Mr. Ritchey maintains an active chamber music, collaborative and solo piano career, performing throughout the United States and Europe. In a recent recital at the Wexford Festival, Opera News noted that Mr. Ritchey “partnered superbly at the piano.” Mr. Ritchey has previously held music staff positions with companies across the U.S. including the Dallas Opera, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Bard Music Festival, Virginia Opera, and Sarasota Opera. He has also been a faculty member at the University of North Texas, Louisiana State University, and Texas Christian University. In addition to the MM degree from the Juilliard School of Music, he also earned a BM degree from the University of North Texas.

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