Oliver has been designing costumes professionally since 1991 at institutions as Atlanta Opera, Connecticut Opera, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Charles Playhouse, Colonial Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Mixed Company, Stratford Shakespearean Festival (Ontario), The Yard, NYU/Tisch, LSU, Swine Palace, Trinity College, Gordon College, Simon’s Rock College of Bard and The Boston Conservatory. Most recently he dressed Olympia Dukakis and the cast in Berthold Brecht’s Mother Courage for Shakespeare and Company.
In the past 20 years Oliver has worked with popular entertainers such as Raquel Welch, Liza Minnelli, Alicia Silverstone, Keanau Reeves, Maureen Stapleton, Marge Champion, Harvey Fierstein, David Hyde-Pierce, Bebe Neuwirth, Carly Simon and Olympia Dukakis. In 2001 he designed the costumes for a fully staged “Romeo and Juliet”, with the accompaniment of Virginia Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestra JoAnn Faletta. A chapter on his personal views of designing for Shakespeare was published in “Shakespeare Festivals Around the World” (Xlibris Corporation) in 2004.
In 2005 he collaborated with Grammy Award recipient Carly Simon and Artistic Director Wendy Taucher (The Yard) on “Created by Carly Simon: Dances at the Yard” with new compositions by Ms. Simon. His Broadway debut was June of 2007 “Broadway Bares XVII-Myth Behavior” produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Tony award winner Jerry Mitchell and Director Denis Jones. The event raised an unprecedented $743,787.00 for the support of men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS.
Warwick is an award winning theatre director, with credits from major theatres across the US. In 2009, James Warwick was appointed President of Theatre of Arts, a College for the Contemporary Actor in Hollywood, California. He was Interim President of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles campus 2007/8 and directed over a dozen productions for their Company series. Recently he served as associate artistic director at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Chester Theatre Company, as well as artistic director of the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Warwick’s starring theatre roles include An Ideal Husband on Broadway, and King Arthur in the US national tour of Camelot. He played Brad in The Rocky Horror Show on stage in London for the first year of its run in addition to many leading roles in the West End and in regional theatres across the UK and America.
Warwick was born in Hertfordshire, England and has had leading roles in UK TV including Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime (alongside Francesca Annis), the detective series 'The Terracotta Horse' and the BBC serial The Nightmare Man. He also appeared in the Doctor Who serial Earthshock as Lieutenant Scott. Warwick has worked in American television, with guest star roles in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Civil Wars, Home Improvement, Murder She Wrote, Babylon 5 and Alias among many others. James Warwick also is a voice actor in hit electronic games including Battlezone II: Combat Commander, Qui-Gon Jinn and Clone Wars.
(Pictured left: Valentin Fedorov amid his puppet creations.)
Fedorov has been art director at the Chuvashia State Theatre of Opera and Ballet since 1988, where he has designed more than 40 productions for opera and ballet to critical acclaim. Chuvash, a mostly rural province in the middle of the country has a centuries-old history of puppetry. Fedorov’s fanciful sets and unique 6-foot tall “stick” puppets add to the whimsical and imaginative storytelling that sets Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker apart from others.
Moscow Ballet Producer Akiva Talmi raves, “Valentin brings his love of life into his puppets and even into his backdrops by adding treats for the eye, such as angels with three dimensional trumpets, and paying homage to great Russian artists in the interior backdrop with the “painting” of the Russian Troika, the famous sleigh pulled by three horses abreast, which is practically a symbol of Russia.”
Akiva Talmi is Founder of Talmi Entertainment which specializes in producing fine art tours and special events marketing, and has toured Moscow Ballet annually in N America since 1993. During his 40 year career, he has included presidential daughters in Moscow Ballet’s “Dance with Us” program, presented at the National Press Club in Washington DC and been instrumental in building the careers of dancers including Alexander Godunov, Charmaine Hunter and Valentina Kozlova. Talmi holds a BS and MA in Music Composition from The Juilliard School. He is a recipient of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Award, the Richard Rogers Award (5 times in 5 years), Leonard Bernstein Award, and the AICF Award - Isaac Stern, President. He composed the music for feature length films "Two" (CoImar), "Longest Journey" (Columbia), and for “Carnival” and “From the Top” (CPTV). Talmi founded TE Inc. in New York City in 1980 and management offices are now located in the Berkshires, Massachusetts.
Talmi created and produced the 1974 TV program “From the Top” starring world renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman and NYC Ballet star Violette Verdy for CPTV. Yale Repertory Theater provided Obie Award winning playwright Lonnie Carter and actors Chuck Levin and Paul Schirmahorn for the production. UCT provided Dr Frank Ballard, puppet master, and his team and WGBH provided innovative film/video director Fred Barzyk. In 1981 he introduced Americans to Russians star ballet dancer Alexander Godunov in the The Alexander Godunov Retrospective Ballet Tour throughout the USA. Two years later, in 1983, Talmi produced From Bolshoi to Broadway starring Bolshoi Ballet artists Leonid Kozlov and Valentina Kozlova. Later Talmi secured the starring role in the Broadway revival of “On Your Toes” for Ms. Kozlova and subsequently principal dancer positions for both Kozlovs with NYC Ballet under George Balanchine. In 1983 and 1984 the Silk, Satin and Denim tour starred Valentina Kozlova and Nina Fedorova of New York City Ballet and featured the Haute Couture designs of Ungaro, Christian Dior, Pauline Trigere, Oleg Cassini, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors. This was a promotional and marketing project for Hess Department stores. The Cynthia Gregory Celebration Tour in 1984 starred America’s Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory and was a 34-city ballet tour. As sponsors of this national tour US President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan invited Mr. Talmi to the White House for the first ever official State Dinner on cultural events. First Lady Roselyn Carter and Vice Presidential wife Tipper Gore also served as honorary chairpersons for other tours.
1989 to 1992 saw the collapse of the “Iron Curtain” in Russia, the rise of independent ballet companies, and the rise of Talmi’s International Glasnost Festival Tours. The production traveled to 54 American cities and featured stars from the Bolshoi Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the National Ballets of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and the People’s Republic of China. Accompanying seminars were presented at Yale, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Purdue, and Vanderbilt Universities. In the early 90’s “Russian Ballet Performances” at the Washington Constitutional Hall with orchestra, was aired on the National PBS TV stations and the Great Russian Nutcracker toured for the first time with a troupe of 80, award-winning dancers from top Russian schools including Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Perm and Vaganova. Talmi continues to tour Moscow Ballet annually presenting classic Russian story ballets including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and more.
Mary Giannone Talmi
Mary Giannone Talmi holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and is co-founder and co-producer of Talmi Entertainment. She received two Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Achievement Award in Choreography from Massachusetts Council on the Arts and was selected for the American Ballet Theatre's Choreography Workshop under Mikhail Baryshnikov.
She founded Connecticut Dance Theatre, a modern dance repertory company which specialized in the reconstruction of the works of Doris Humphrey, has choreographed for Albany Berkshire Ballet (ABB)since 1972, and was a significant force in the Regional Dance America movement of the late twentieth century. Two of the works she created for Albany Berkshire Ballet, Celebrationand Concerto, are included in the National Choreography Plan. In SummerDance ‘95 her fast-paced Temple Cavesreceived critical acclaim, and she has staged shows for country music's The Forester Sisters.She also choreographs for Dayton Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet II, and the Jacob's Pillow Dancers. Talmi has taught at Boston Ballet, Wright State, Ohio State, Vassar College, and Walnut Hill School.
Mary and Akiva Talmi have created and presented several significant education programs in addition to producing annual North American ballet tours. Their commitment to delivering hands-on programming for American children began in 1972 when as directors of Connecticut Dance Theatre, they invited co-artistic director of Dance Theater of Harlem (DTH) Karel Shook, to work with their North End Dance Troupe in Hartford, CT. Shook invited several Hartford students to study at DTH on scholarship, among them was Charmaine Hunter, an extremely gifted young dancer, who went on to became DTH’s 2nd Prima Ballerina and star of Arthur Mitchell’s Fire Bird.
The Talmi’s received federal grants for their programs and, in 1986, toured American Ballet Theatre’s Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory in the “Celebration Tour” which championed “Just Say No” campaign for children with First Lady Nancy Reagan as Honorary Chair. Other programs include: TV programs produced and aired for children on PBS stations; General Motors sponsored “New Horizons” interactive program presented over a semester in 13 public elementary schools in San Antonio; “Russian Cultural Ballet” program which was produced nationally in nine museums and art institutions; and “Cinderella Around the World” dance and literacy program, to name some of Moscow Ballet’s educational outreach.
On a collegiate level, the Talmi’s presented the “First International Glasnost Festival Tours” from 1987-92 which starred artists from the Bolshoi, Kirov, Hungarian, and more world class ballet companies. The tours included symposiums, film screenings, poetry readings, Master Classes and speakers, including Kirov’s Emeritus Artistic Director Oleg Vinogradov, for students in universities including Dartmouth, Yale, Middlebury, and Vanderbilt and for the public. Currently Moscow Ballet presents New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life, a three-pronged approach to developing children’s good health: addressing movement, diet, and creative expression through interactive experiences with Moscow Ballet dancers and live performances to thousands of American children.