Guild Teaching Artists

Experienced Faculty that Bring Opera to Life in the Classroom


Caroline Altman

Caroline Altman has directed young artists for 20 years many venues including A.C.T., Marin Theatre Company, Vector Theatre Company, New Conservatory Theatre, Walnut Creek Civic Arts, Young Performers Theatre, Peninsula Youth Theatre, Broadway by the Bay, Playhouse West, and Yes Theatre in the Bay Area; Stagedoor Manor, Impact, and TADA! in New York; El Paso Opera in Texas, and Pineapple Studios in London’s Covent Garden. She toured for two years with the Imagination Company, Nationally with National Theatre for Children, and was Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco based Wicked Stage as well as Family Programming Director for 42nd Street Moon for 7 years.  Focused on the power of music and arts to bring about social change, Caroline founded The Papillion Players in 1999 in Lafayette, California.  This program coached and encouraged adolescent girls in the creation and performance of original musical, poetic and operatic pieces.  In 2006 she joined San Francisco Opera Guild as Director of Education where she founded the Summer Youth Conservatory as well as Book to Bravo, Creative Opera Workshop, and Voices for Social Justice programs for the Guild. She wrote and directed the anti-bullying touring production, “How Andy Found His Voice” which toured California venues to over 3,000 children in 2011-12. Caroline has composed 4 musicals and one opera for young audiences and two full length pieces.  She has been honored with a Shellie Award for Contribution to the Performing Arts and an SF Bay Area Critics Award for Leading Lady in a Musical, and is a working singer, actor, and stage director.

Jennifer Ashworth
  Janet Campbell

Janet Campbell is a busy mezzo-soprano concert soloist and a member of the San Francisco Opera Extra Chorus. She has a large private studio of amateur and professional voice students, and teaches at the San Francisco Girls chorus as well as San Francisco State University. She is also a professional pianist, an arts manager, jewelry designer and an excellent cook. Her favorite pastime is traveling to remote places with her Archaeology student daughter.

    James Craft

James Craft is a French-born American musical composer and songwriter living and working in San Francisco, California.  His range of skills encompasses classical and soundtrack composition, as well as folk and rock songwriting, musical arrangement, and music production. He holds a BA in Classics from the University of Notre Dame and is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  His work has been licensed for numerous films and television spots, including HBO and SHOWTIME.
  Mark Hernandez

Mark Hernandez has been a teaching artist for Opera à la Carte since 2000 and Book to Bravo since 2009. His professional experience includes over sixty roles, and he has sung with the San Francisco Opera Chorus since 2000. Offstage, Mark is a writer and arts consultant. For more information visit

    Kristen Jones


Kristen Jones, classical vocalist and performer, has been a teaching artist for the San Francisco Opera Guild since 2002. Her teaching experience includes California Center for the Arts, Escondido/ SUAVE: a Cultural Partnership Program for Teachers, the Bay Area Shakespeare Festival and the living history program at the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. Kristen performs with several companies around the Bay Area, and is the co-creator of Presto! Interactive Opera, bringing opera into the community.

       Julia Norton


Julia has been singing and performing her whole life. She trained in Voice Movement Therapy in 1997 and has had many works performed worldwide and has written for dancers, theatre, circus and music for children’s theatre as well as her own award winning album Lullaby Island Julia has been teaching for 20 years and is mother to a very vocal 9 year old son.

      Cliff Romig
Cliff is a regular with Opera a la Carte, performing roles in The Elixir of Love, Daughter of the Regiment and Cenerentola. Cliff sings with the San Francisco Opera extra chorus and freelances as a soloist with many Bay Area opera companies, orchestras and choruses. Cliff is originally from New York and has degrees from Middlebury College and Indiana University.

    Jason Sarten

Jason Sarten has sung through out the United States with companies including Opera San Jose, Sacramento Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, Lamplighters Music Theatre, Opera Ft. Collins (CO), Long Leaf Opera (NC), Abilene Opera Association, Cinnabar Opera and Livermore Valley Opera. Prior to pursuing a singing career Jason served as Band Director for Albany (TX) ISD. Jason has been a part of Opera ala Carte for nine years, Creative Opera Works for two years and one year with Sing a Story. Jason holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Music degree from Baylor University.
   Michael Taylor

     Andy Truett


Tenor Andrew Truett is a tenured member of the San Francisco Opera Chorus, and is a strong supporter of opera education. He regularly sings with The San Francisco Opera Guild in a variety of their educational productions, including Opera à la Carte, Sing a Story, Creative Opera Workshop, The Opera Guild’s Holiday Concert Series and the recently created, “How Andy Found His Voice”.
    Ron Valentino

Pianist Ron Valentino has performed with many of today's best-known classical artists, including Ruth Ann Swenson, Nathan Gunn and Deborah Voigt. He has been on the music staff of the San Francisco Opera and Opera Center, Los Angeles Opera and the New National Theatre in Tokyo . Additional credits include San Francisco, California, and Sacramento Symphonies, American Conservatory Theatre and the San Francisco production of Phantom of the Opera. A resident of San Francisco, Ron enjoys traveling and hiking.


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San Francisco Opera Guild

War Memorial Opera House

301 Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94102