Maximiano "Max" Mendez
Max Mendez has been active in the Inland Northwest music community for nearly 25 years. For the last eighteen years at North Idaho College, he has served as Professor of Music and Director of Choirs and Vocal Studies. Additionally, he acted as Division Chair of Communication and Fine Arts.
He has worked in the opera world for the last 33 years, starting as a developing artist in the chorus of Opera Pacific (Orange County, CA) in 1990. Since then, he’s sung featured and lead roles with Opera Pacific (Costa Mesa, CA), Long Beach Opera, Spokane Opera, Inland Northwest Opera (OperaPlus!/Opera Coeur d’Alene), Spokane Symphony, and Walla Walla Symphony. Max has also served as chorusmaster with INO from 2001-2019.
Mendez has lived in the Inland Northwest since 1997, raising his four children with his wife, Michelle, and supporting the arts in all capacities. He has served on the Board of Directors for Spokane Public Radio and is currently on the board of the Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance.
As an arts administrator, he was a founder and artistic director of Spokane Choral Artists. Max is committed to accessibility, inclusion, and relevance in the arts. He believes in the awesome and profound power of music.
Dan Wallace Miller
At the beginning of his career, Dan Wallace Miller founded and was the Artistic/General Director of Vespertine Opera Theater, a company that was devoted to three things: increasing accessibility to this historically exclusive art form, shattering preconceived notions of what opera could be by focusing on site-specific work, and programming pieces that provoke introspection and discussion. Among the works produced was a commission of Heart Mountain, the story of a Pacific Northwest Japanese-American family that was forcibly incarcerated during the Second World War. With the input of local Japanese-American community leaders such as Densho and Washington State Senator Bob Hasagawa, the work was performed in the former courtroom where their forebears were held and charged in 1942.
Since founding Vespertine Opera Theater, he has directed grand opera in 3,000 seat houses, small and challenging immersive chamber shows, and everything in between. Dan’s extensive directing experience has included Carmen with Kentucky Opera; Il Trovatore, The Combat, and a film version of Tosca with Seattle Opera; Dido and Aeneas with Central City Opera; The Magic Flute with Pacific MusicWorks; and staged excerpts from Der Ring des Nibelungen for the Miami Music Festival Wagner Institute. Other engagements have taken him to Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, Opera Colorado, and The Atlanta Opera.
Alexandria is a graduate of Whitworth University and studied Family Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver before completing her Washington State Certification in Early Childhood Education. Before joining INO, she was a preschool teacher and assistant director at a local early childhood learning center. Alexandria was inspired to pursue a career in the performance arts realm because she recognizes the importance of arts and culture in a community and how they can bring people together. Alexandria lives in Spokane with her husband, young son, and three dogs. When not working, Alexandria volunteers for a local dog rescue, tends to her vegetable garden, and enjoys crafting, knitting, and reading.