Board and Founding Members

João MacDowell

Joao MacDowellArtistic Director

NY based Brazilian composer Joao MacDowell has been identified by the international press as “a new thinker in the genre” (Dagens Nyhatten 2018) A career that spans from electronic music to bossa nova to opera, the composer for ESPN soundtrack to the 2014 FIFA World Cup premiered his fifth opera “The Seventh Seal” in the Stockholm Modern Art Museum (Moderna museet),  as part of the Bergman Festival for the centenary of the director, in 2018.

His third opera “Cries and Whispers,”  premiered in New York on March 26th, 2015 at Scandinavia House and in June at Bergman Week, Fårö, Sweden. In 2014 the National Theater Orchestra (OSTNCS – Brasilia) premiered his Symphony No.1. The documentary  “Parece Que Existo” detailing aspects of his life and career won Best Feature Film and Best Soundtrack awards at the Brasilia Film Festival (2012). His second opera, “Plastic Flowers”  (New York, 2012) has received two staged productions in Brazil (Vidigal, 2014 and Copacabana, 2015).  Tamanduá -Tamanduá – his first opera (New York, 2008) was later staged at Montclair (NJ-2009) and New York (20014). It has received the Boston Metropolitan Opera Merit Award (BMO-2014).

Athena Azevedo 

Executive Director / Production Director        

Athena Azevedo has produced with IBOC since our “Brazilian Opera” debut concerts in 2014 and was recently responsible for our “Cries and Whispers” concert premiere at Scandinavia House, NY, 2015. She also serves as the Treasurer of the IBOC Board. As a creative producer with a background in art exhibits, cinema, and photography, Azevedo has managed projects and produced photo shoots with world-class photojournalists, portrait and fashion photographers such as James Nachtwey, Henry Leutwyler and Walter Chin. Before coming to IBOC, she has worked on development projects with non-profits and arts organizations such as the Berkeley Film Archive and Art Museum, The Mint Museum of SF, Burn Magazine, Vanderbilt Republic and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts. She also works as a producer at an award-winning branding and graphic design agency, IF Studio. Athena Azevedo received her BA in “Cultural Construction and the Narrative Image” from the University of California, Berkeley and found her passion for Brazilian culture and arts during a year abroad program to Salvador da Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.

Athena Azevedo’s collaboration work with Designers Toshiaki and Hisa Ide from IF Studio NY to produce IBOC posters and brand identity has gained 7 international awards, since 2014.

Jonathan Arak

Theater and Staging Committee Director Jonathan Arak-crop

Stage Manager, Director. Jonathan Arak Directed the World Premiere of TRAVELS with Opera Roanoke, as well as their production of SWEENEY TODD. Mr. Arak also directed the European Premiere of Neil Simon’s BILOXI BLUES (in Limerick, Ireland). In New York, he helmed JOHNNY PYE AND THE FOOLKILLER with The Harold Prince Musical Theatre Program. At The Warner Center for the Performing Arts, in Ohio, he directed AMADEUS, AS IS, AMERICAN BUFFALO, and COMPANY. He spent two seasons in Los Angeles where he worked on the sets of FRASIER, THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, NEWSRADIO, and HOME IMPROVEMENT. Prior to his time on the west coast, he assisted Harold Prince for six years, on such productions as New York City Opera’s DON GIOVANNI, KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN, and the World Premiere of GRANDCHILD OF KINGS. He graduated Oberlin College with Honors in Theatre and is a recipient of a Revson Foundation Directing Fellowship.

Christina Morgan 

Public Relations / Editor / LibrettistCR Morgan 2

Master of Ceremonies, Editor and Public Relations Director. A founding member and Secretary of the IBOC Board, Christina Morgan has been a professional writer and editor for over ten years. She has worked at some of the world’s most prestigious publishing houses including HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt where she was privileged to work with some of the world’s most renowned authors including Umberto Eco, Jose Saramago, Alice Walker, and others. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and a lifelong classical music enthusiast.

Sandra Barreto – Grant Administrator

Sandra Barreto has been working with IBOC since April 2015, where she researches, organizes and applies for grants that fit the goals of the company. Barreto is a Brazilian lawyer, with Master degree from Italy, focused on arts and copyrights. Before starting to work at IBOC, she worked as an international lawyer, with knowledge in agreements and corporate documents, using her skills in languages, Portuguese, Italian, English, German, French a and Spanish to fulfill her client’s needs.

Alexandre MacDowell

Executive Director – Brazil

Luigi Porto 

Director of Media and Documentation

Electroacoustic musician and sound designer Luigi Porto comes straight from Italian cinema.

As an arranger and composer he has been publishing albums with Italian bands and experimental ensembles; he also scored films and documentaries.

As a sound designer Luigi Porto did the sound for several feature films, some of them recipient of the most important Italian awards (Nastro D’argento, David di Donatello) and screened at the most important European festivals (Turin, Venice, Rome, Cannes, BAFTA and an Academy Awards BFF selection). Luigi had solo and collective exhibitions as a sound and multimedia artist.

Abby Powell 

Mezzo-sopranoAbby B

Praised by The New York Times as a singer of “solid and youthful”    tone, Ms. Powell has prolific experience on both operatic and world recital stages. Lauded by the likes of renown singers Leontyne Price, Phyllis Curtin, and Marilyn Horne, as well as conductor James Conlon, Ms. Powell graduated from The Julliard School in New York City with a Master of Music in Voice.
Ms. Powell has been the recipient of numerous awards, including The Rise Stevens Award, G. & M. Grunin Prize for Music, and The Aspen Music Festival Voice Competition. Additionally, Ms. Powell was awarded The Maxwell H. Gluck Community Fellowship Scholarship, which enabled her to organize and perform outreach concerts in the greater New York City area. Abby Powell currently resides in New York City and she is committed to championing new works.

Clarice Prietto 

Mezzo Soprano –  Rio de Janeiro.
Clarice Prieto

Masters in Music from University of Rio de Janeiro (2008) and BA in piano at UFRJ (1989). Mezzo soprano under contract with the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro between 2008/2013. Clarice  was debut as Santuzza in “Cavalleria Rusticana” (2014) and performs regularly and has toured Brazil extensively, with shows such as “A Palavra Cantada de Manuel Bandeira” (by yours thesis), “Carmen” (by Bizet), “ El amor Brujo” (Manuel de Falla) , as well as, in the opera “Magdalena” , the oratory “Vida Pura” ( both by Villa-Lobos) and “Missa de São Nicolau”  (by Almeida Prado). Clarice has performed with full orchestra in a number of concert with conductors such as Ricardo Rocha, Roberto Duarte, Luis Gustavo Petri and Silvio Viegas.

Néviton Barros 

Conductor – Chorus Director 

Maria Ines Moraes 

Communications and Special Events

Bruna Reis 

Marketing Advisor

Rafaela Martins

Public Relations

Joana Cid 

Media Producer

Brazilian born musician and producer, Joana has extensive experience in large rock and pop concerts both as stage producer as well as a bass player, notably with the band “Tipo Uisque,” touring extensively in Brazil, Europe and the USA. Since moving to New York in 2014 Joana has been collaborating with Joao MacDowell, as assistent producer for “Cries and Whispers” opera concerts (Scandinavia House – March 2015), also as audio engineer, vocal editor and studio manager at Come Together Music.


Cila MacDowell

Video and Technology Content Production

Cila headshot

Chair of Contemporary Sculpture at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Videoartist responsible for the projections at the Theatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, possibly the most prestigious opera company in Brazil.

Daniel Belquer 

Intermedia Artist

Screenshot 2015-09-27 04.42.56

A contemporary intermedia artist, Daniel Belquer works internationally to blur the temporal frontiers once bounding classic artistic genres from emerging technologies. Daniel has worked as an artist, Max/MSP programmer, designer, technician, composer, teacher, project manager and as experimental theater director. Wearing several hats has kept him engaged in the technical as well as artistic aspects of his installations and theatrical works, incorporating the DIY spirit into his work ethos. Since 1999 Daniel has collaborated and assisted over 2,000 students in music, performance art, acting and programming workshops. He lives and works in New York City, where he’s the Head of the Creative Team at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center and founder of Harvestworks’ International Art Collective(HIAC). He has recently presented his projects at Prague Quadrennial (Czech Republic), Pasinger Fabrik (Munich), SESC Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro), Agora Arts Center (Berlin), Harvestworks, 3 Legged Dog, The Dark Circuits Festival, Firehouse Gallery, Emily Harvey Gallery, Parsons School of Design, Transfer Gallery, Maker Faire, Spectrum and Hyphen Hub.

Laís de Azeredo Rodrigues 

Collaborator Video Documentation – Rio de JaneiroLAIS DE AZEREDO RODRIGUES

Lais works since 2007 with cinema and audiovisual content for operas, concerts, and ballets. Degree in journalism, with extension in History of Art and Architecture, both in PUC-RJ, she made movies, between documentary film and fiction as director, screenwriter, researcher, and editor. Led the research of the movies: Copacabana, by Carla Camurati, O Bem Amado, by Guel Arraes, and Tempos de Paz, by Daniel Filho, among others.
Integrated the team of Darcy Ribeiro in the implementation of the Distance Education Project in Brazil and, as a consultant at United Nations, of implementation of the TV Escola. In 2003, at the Mostra Brasil 40º, in London, was the curator of segment Brazilian Cinema. Participated in the digital restoration of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade’s movies.
Since 1999, with the opera Madame Butterfly, in  Municipal Theatre of São Paulo, begins to make projections on scenarios, also participating Rita’s scenario, by Donizetti, in the Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão. Even with Carla Camurati, makes projections in assemblies of Romeo and Juliet, Tosca, Carmen (concert version), The Makropulos Affair (Janácek) and The Seven Deadly Sins/The Fly of Lindberg (of the double Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht), all in Municipal Theatro Municipal of the Rio de Janeiro, where also signed opera Aida’s videos, with scenography of Hélio Eichbauer.
Lately, documented exposure War and Peace for the Portinari Project, made the images projected on the scenario of Hélio Eichbauer, in Zii e Zie show, of Caetano Veloso, participated in the realization of the videos for the commemorative concert of the 40 years of Aquarius Project, at the beach of Copacabana, beyond the creation of virtual scenarios for the play Timon of Athens, Shakespeare, in theaters in Rio de Janeiro.

Bebel Franco  Bebel Fasce1

Image Production

Visual artist. Responsible for a weekly column at Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo and for the Brazilian themed decoration of the Macy’s Store. (2011)


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