As highly-trained professionals and currently working artists, we bring a collective 70 years of experience in the worlds of musical theater, acting, opera and classical music. As working artists, we are exposed to the most up-to-date techniques and trends that we can immediately share with students. We have a passion for bringing this experience to young people so that they may have the exposure to these art forms and receive the encouragement we experienced as students to express ourselves and explore our creative potential. In addition, we continue to work as teachers in our fields, regularly teaching private lessons and group master classes at the high school and college levels.
Curt Branom, Tenor and Acting Instructor
Curt Branom is currently playing in San Francisco’s long running hit show Beach Blanket Babylon. Thanks to an eventful few years, Curt now plays Governor Chris Christie, Michelle Bachmann, Tom Cruise, Buster Posey, Kurt from Glee! and many others. His favorite character, however, is the flamboyant King Louis XVI. Curt has performed with the San Francisco Symphony and recently appeared with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at Davies Symphony Hall. His New York credits include Hurlyburly, A Lie Of The Mind, Our Life And Times (1999 MAC and Bistro Award), and How Now Voyager. Other regional credits include Sweet Charity (Bay Theatre Critics Circle Nomination for Best Actor), Little Shop of Horrors, Li’l Abner, Sugar, Oklahoma, Some Enchanted Evening, And What Give Up Showbiz? and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. In New York, Curt studied acting with Fred Kareman, and he works currently in San Francisco with Linda Lowry. He loves teaching acting and has held masterclasses at Bucknell University, San Francisco’s Music Conservatory, and Songfest in Los Angeles. His commercial and voiceover credits include Microsoft, Intel, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 3DO, MTV, Evite.com, and “Fly Away Home.” He is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.
Kristin Clayton, Soprano and Voice and Acting Instructor
Kristin Clayton is a voice and acting instructor for PSAW. She has been a professional opera singer for over 20 years and has been teaching voice privately and at Russo Studios in San Francisco to all ages and levels of experience. Kristin encourages exploring the student's innate love of performing, while teaching basic vocal and acting technique in a way that is fun and easy to understand. She began her association with the San Francisco Opera in 1993 in the Merola Opera Program for young artists and was a 1994-95 Adler Fellow, singing and covering roles for the company and training professionally. She has sung leading roles in opera houses all over the United States and in Northern California. One of her most recognized performances in the Bay Area was in Teatro ZinzZanni, where she performed the role of “The Diva” for almost 12 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Brenau Women’s College in Gainesville, GA and Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music.
Nicolle Foland, Soprano and Voice Instructor
A private voice teacher since 1991 and master class teacher since 1996, Nicolle has developed a holistic approach to singing and teaching singing. Her technique focuses on involvement of the entire body through breathing and postural alignment to produce a healthy sound for all voice types. Singing professionally since 1992 and an alumna of San Francisco Opera Center’s Adler Fellowship program, she began her career with the San Francisco Opera singing many roles with the company, including Musetta in La bohème, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow among many others. She has sung the role of Violetta in La traviata with Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Michigan Opera Theater, and Utah Opera and has performed with Los Angeles Opera, Opera Bilbao in Spain, and Seattle Opera as Musetta. Nicolle has debuted in many other leading roles, including Countess, Desdemona in Otello, and Mimi in La bohème, with such American companies as New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera, Arizona Opera, Central City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Colorado, and Opera Boston. She has made multiple appearances with the San Francisco Symphony and has sung with many other orchestras, including American Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and Colorado Symphony. Nicolle is also an avid recitalist, appearing on performing arts series throughout the U.S. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Northern Iowa.