FEATURED IN: Remix8, Hard to Handel, Lammermoor Inc, Pop-up Opera, Bollywood Lakme, Opera Frontier @ Palace I & II, Arabian Magic Mozart, Violettas Shift, Tasting Notes, Rejoice Abyssinia
Gail Simpson (Founder, Artistic Director, Soprano) is grateful for the soulful work of producing and performing for Opera Frontier since 2007. Highlights include working with world music performers to create Bollywood Lakme and Arabian Magic Mozart; creating the role of Lucy Ashton in Opera Frontier’s Lammermoor, Inc, a Business Tragedy; and most recently her collaboration with Circus Abyssinia on Rejoice Abyssinia which took her back to Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
In addition to these roles, Gail has appeared at the Bear Valley Music Festival, premiering compositions by Michael Taylor and, most recently, singing the role of Diana Devereaux in Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing with the Festival Orchestra. In 2014 she sang Clotilde for Pocket Opera’s production of Norma. In 2011 she was the featured soloist in Opus Q’s concert, Songs for a Winter’s Night. In 2009, she gave a concert in Homoroduifalu, Romania to celebrate the birthday of Her Royal Highness, Princess Margarita, and subsequently sang in London for the great Romanian soprano, Nelly Miriciou.
In her first incarnation as a singer, Gail won critical acclaim in her San Francisco debut — a Jerome Kern review called A Fine Romance; at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe she was Katie in Joseph Lilis’ Cole Porter review Some Like It Cole. She also sang Cunegonde in Candide, Magnolia in Showboat and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. In addition to performing, she produced her own critically acclaimed cabaret show at the Plush Room, and two operettas with Bay Area director Ross Halper.
People who know Gail are not surprised to find her exploring the frontier of opera. Prior explorations include working two years in Ethiopia on UN drought relief projects, getting a PhD in economics, founding an Inc 500 company, serving as a hospital chaplain, and running a non-profit that supports socially responsible investing. Opera Frontier was hatched in Gail’s mind while daydreaming in Roger Dilahunty’s dance class instead of concentrating on the jazz-blues routines he so ardently wanted her to master. She studies voice with Heidi Moss Erickson. Her current passion for fabulous singing makes opera a truly fascinating frontier. A third generation Californian, Gail lives in the East Bay with her husband and their two lovely daughters.