CAST & BIOS
Billy Chrissochos (Guitar, Music Director, Producer) was born in Astoria, New York but grew up in Athens, Greece. There he fell in love with his ancestral culture and Heavy Metal. He eventually fell under the spell of the electric guitar. He set out to create the first ever Greek inspired Rock Opera based on themes from the Macedonian dynasties of ancient and medieval Greece. The National Herald (Ethnikos Kyrix) proudly labeled it “Byzantine Rock.” The musical’s main premise is the pivotal year of 988AD which united Orthodox Christian Russia with Greece’s Byzantine Empire.
Dena Stevens (Choreographer/ Principal Dancer), a classically trained dancer, has been performing professionally since 2004. She has been a highly sought after belly dance performer for both private and public venues and has been the house dancer for many notable establishments. Her theater credits include Mosaic Dance Theater’s production of The Fisherman and the Djinn. She appears in an instructional belly dance DVD: Belly Dance with your Daughter. Dena is the Founder, Choreographer, and Artistic Director of her own troupe, Shazadi Dance Project.
Christina Stavrou’s (Lead Vocals – Olga) deepest lying passion is for the performing arts and she has been involved in various theater and music groups and productions since her early childhood. She started playing piano at the tender age of 3 and continued classical training for 17+ years, performing at Carnegie Hall and Kean University. She has fronted multiple bands as their lead singer over the last 12 years, most currently WTF!?! and The Vinyl Attic. She is pleased to join Billy Chrissochos and the talented cast of Porphyra!
Tommy Von Voigt (Lead Vocals – Vladmir) is a NYC-based singer, songwriter and producer with numerous releases under his belt, including punk, metal, hard rock and pop. Most recently, he has been splitting his time as the frontman for the hard rock band Von Voigt, while also working on his upcoming dance pop solo album. Long a fan of musical theater, Tommy is thrilled to be joining the cast of “Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera” in its third year.
Elaine Tuttle (Lead Vocals – Anna) is a professional singer, vocal coach, and full-time musician working as a session vocalist, and performing in 8 different musical ensembles on a weekly basis. Her musical styles include classical, ethnic music, metal, blues, soul, jazz, rock, pop, R&B. Elaine has released a critically acclaimed album of original music titled Spark it Up with her band Infernophonic, and with them has opened for such rock/metal legends as UFO, Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow), and Joey Belladonna of Anthrax. Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera was Elaine’s 9th performance at Carnegie Hall.
Ron Iglesias (Lead Vocals – Basil II) is a multi-instrumentalist from Bayonne, NJ. His primary instrument is guitar but he is also trained in piano, violin and voice. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from New Jersey City University. From there, he has gone on to teach music through JCFamilies in Jersey City, Jaime’s Music in Bayonne, NJ, Bach2Rock in Nanuet, NY and on his own privately. Ron has played guitar for productions of Little Shop of Horrors (Van Horn Theater Company), Godspell (Bayonne Theater Company) and Fame (Bayonne JCC).
Mike Savvas (Guitar, Tzoura) was born in Athens, Greece. From the age of 8 he was schooled in classical guitar and keyboards. At about the same time he found his other passion when he started his training in Martial Arts. Soon, he dropped his classic guitar for an electric one. He moved to Paris at 18 to study Greek Archaeology, his third passion. After his Masters Degree he decided to make a radical change, leave his job and move to NYC where he met Billy Chrissochos and joined his band Porphyra. The band combined all three of Mike’s interests; Heavy Metal, Greek History and the Combative Spirit.
Tracey “Tre Boogie” Beavers – Drums was born and raised in New Rochelle NY. He was excited to help out and lay tracks down for the new Porphyra record. Having learned the material in such short notice, he pulled through and enjoyed not just the music of Porphyra but the energy and emotions that are highly involved. Adding his own influences of everything from heavy metal to Motown and funk, this is some of his best work yet, and he is proud to be a part of the Porphyra band and now the Rock Opera.
Mia Stevens (Lead Dancer) is trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, and bellydance. She has competed both regionally and nationally. She joined Shazadi Dance Project in 2011 and has had principle roles in both theatrical shows “9 lives” and “Spicebox.” Mia wooed audiences in her lead role in “Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera” Carnegie Hall debut in May 2015 and at the Off Broadway debut at the Players Theatre.
Richard S. Khuzami (Percussion) has worked to produce and promote the finest in artistic achievement in World Music, with a special emphasis on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Of Lebanese descent, he is an accomplished percussionist, specializing in instruments from the Balkans, Anatolia, Middle East, and North Africa. He consulted with Carnegie Hall on their presentation of Eleftheria Arvanitaki in 2014. In 2015 he performed at Carnegie Hall with the Rock Opera “Porphyra” and last year at the Players Theatre. Richard has played in both of the band’s albums.
José A. Navia (Bass) is a professional freelance musician, composer, and arranger from La Paz, Bolivia. As a bassist, he toured through many countries in South America, such as Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Colombia. In his country, he won multiple music competitions, one of them being the National competition “Marathon Rock” where he won the prizes for best band and best musician. José is thrilled and excited to return to Porphyra to play a Grecian Rock Opera!
Peishan Lo (Principal Dancer), a New Jersey-based Oriental dancer and principal dancer of Shazadi Dance Project, has wowed audiences across the US with her graceful and powerful dancing. She has graced the stage with Serena Wilson, Layla Mary, Yousery Sharif, Nourhan Sharif and Andrea Anwar and has studied with Raqia Hassan, Aida Nour and Tito to further perfect and deepen her Egyptian Oriental dance technique. She previously danced in the Carnegie Hall debut of “Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera” in May 2015 and The Players Theatre in 2016.
Alicia Kubeck (Dancer) is a classically trained dancer who studied with Finis Jhung, Lance Westergard, Stormy Brandenberger, and Robin Becker, and was a featured dancer with the Concert Group Repertory Company and Spirit Dance. She worked as an audition instructor for the children’s program at the Feld Ballet before a career in advertising. Her passion for Oriental dance was sparked after studying with world-renowned dancers Serena Wilson, Layla Mary and Zenaide Zeina. She is honored to dance alongside Dena Stevens and the ladies of Shazadi Dance Project and to be a part of this production.
Despina Chrissochos (Director) This is Despina’s third year working alongside her husband, Billy Chrissochos, on Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera. Despina has worn many hats for this production such as Stage Manager, Co-producer, costume/prop master, narrator and recently Director. Despina and Billy are proud parents of their first born daughter, Triantafyllia, and await the arrival of their second child in September of 2017.
The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
Under the Auspices of
UNESCO Club of the Department of Piraeus and Islands
President Ioannis Maronitis
a Co-Production of the Hellenic American Center of the Arts
President Panagiotis Karousos
GW Printing and Kevin Chu
New Inspiration and Alice Lee
Yang Ber Yuh Medical Practice
The Aldo’s Regular Democratic Club
Fay Da Bakery
The Parkside Pub and Howard Haider
Mediterranean Foods and Tommy Tentalouris
Queens Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris
NYC Council Member Peter Koo
Father Paul Palesty and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Ruschell Boone and NY1 News
Maria Alvarez Castro
Many thanks from Porphyra go to Stella McGovern for all her behind the scenes work and for maintaining our website.