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Board of Directors
Meet IOC Board Members!
Versatile actor and mezzo-soprano Alexis Wesley is equally at home in opera, oratorio, musical theatre, stage plays and film.
She is also a writer and producer of both independent film and theatre.
Locally, she has performed principal roles with The Definiens Project, Independent Opera Company and Pacific Opera Project.
Favorite roles include Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Charlotte (A Little Night Music), Prudie Cupp (Pump Boys & Dinettes), Madame Flora (The Medium), Spring Beauty (The Snow Maiden), Princess Anhilte (The Gipsy Princess), Gertrude (Roméo et Juliette) and Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro).
Favorite oratorio solo work includes Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Kodály’s Missa Brevis, Buxtehude’s Jesu Meine Freude and Vivaldi’s Gloria.
She is also a soloist/section leader for Lutheran Church of The Master in Los Angeles.
Originally from Cincinnati, she holds an M.M. in Voice from CSUN and is a graduate of the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in NYC.
By day, she is a graphic designer.
Erica Lazerow Davis
With a voice the LA Times called “opulent,” Erica Lazerow Davis is known for her beautiful high notes and strong acting.
Recent roles have included Marfa, Tytania, Lady Macbeth, Gilda, Antonia, Queen of the Night, Tatiana, and Rosalinda.
While Erica has established herself in Southern California with companies such as IOC, LA Metropolitan Opera, AVC Opera, Pasadena Lyric Opera, and USC Opera, she has also performed on the east coast and with such companies as Opera in the Ozarks.
Her oratorio performances have included Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Cantata 80, and Britten’s The Company of Heaven.
Ms. Lazerow Davis can be heard on the CD O sacrum convivium in which she performs with the chamber ensemble Convivia.
In addition to her solo career, Erica is on the faculty at CSU Northridge and College of the Canyons and has a private vocal studio in Santa Clarita.
Communications professional with over 20 years experience in public relations, social media, urban development, and arts management.
She has worked with global brands including Walt Disney Pictures, Tournament of Roses, Replay Jeans, Playboy Enterprises, and The Roger Wagner Chorale.
The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes.com, AllBusiness.com, Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Reader's Digest, and my photos have appeared in Life & Style Weekly, LA Business Journal, Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press, Benaki Museum (Athens, Greece), NEON-BREAKING NEWS ATHENS (Athens, Greece).
Professor of Music of Music at California State University, Los Angeles where he also serves as the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
He is a program author for Scott Foresman’s “Making Music” and “Making Music with Movement and Dance”.
He was a tenor soloist with the Los Angeles Bach Festival and has sung the role of the Evangelist in J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio as well as the tenor solos in the Mass in B Minor and the Magnificat.
He has sung with the Los Angeles Master Chorale under Grant Gershon. He has sung in nine productions with Independent Opera Company. Currently, he also is a member of Tonality, a professional vocal ensemble dedicated to promoting peace, social justice, and unity through music.
Baritone is a proud member of Los Angeles’ opera community.
A native of Los Angeles, he began his formal musical training as a youth with the California Boys Choir.
After a long break which included attendance at the University of Southern California and several private occupations in the field of Finance, he began studying with William Bohn in 1999 until his retirement in 2001.
He continued his vocal development with Richard Fredricks.
Presently, Mr. Simms works with Gail Gordon Dennis Parnell and Christopher Luthi.
Mr. Simms has performed the principal baritone roles in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Aida, and Otello, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte, Puccini’s La boheme and Tosca and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tsar’s Bride.
Janice Batzdorff, mezzo soprano, has appeared in numerous Independent Opera Company productions as a chorister.
She is a member of the Verdi Chorus, has an extensive background singing Jewish liturgical music, and has performed with the chorus for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera, Pacific Opera Project, and Celestial Opera.
A native of Los Angeles, she earned her bachelor's and master's degree at UCLA.
She works as a librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library where she hosts a book club, art and music programs, and writes book reviews.
Texarkana, Texas native Aaron Ball is an operatic baritone, actor, stage director, business leader, educator, author, motivational speaker,
innovator, visionary, organizational and individual coach, and leading advocate and consultant for the performing arts.
He is currently president & CEO of Randall Designs, Inc., the Emmy Award-winning design house (ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”) that created the costumes for DWTS’ first twelve seasons and serves as a member on Independent Opera Company’s (IOC) board of directors.
Praised for his expressiveness and high energy performances on both stage and screen, Aaron is also looked up to as an industry leader in the disciplines of talent development and vocal performance.
He is also a video producer and audio engineer having previously led a successful video production company, which currently places him in high demand among performing arts organizations these concerning days of COVID-19 and makes him particularly well-suited to help bring performing arts organizations up to speed and beyond in all aspects of remote production and pre-production.