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Kristina is a former Equity (union) actress and singer, who has spent over 15 years in professional theatre and nightclubs. She’s the author of thirteen books
(including the new Singing Secrets)
and writes articles for national magazines. (To learn more about her books, check out www.kristinaseleshanko.com ) Her musical, Jane Eyre, the musical classic (written with composer Suzannah Doyle) premiered in the winter of 2003 to glowing reviews. To see what critics say about Kristina's vocal abilities,
Kristina has a 3 + octave voice that fits into both the legitimate and high belt category. She's sung opera, musical theatre, jazz, pop, and a few things in-between.
Kristina performed with the Cabrillo Opera Festival (Soquel, CA) for two years and was featured in such roles as Monica in The Medium and Lauretta in Gianni Schicci. She also performed selections such as “The Prayer” from Lakme and “The Laughing Song” from Die Fledermaus.
In addition, Kristina has performed in a wide variety of nightclub and cabaret acts; in the early '90s, she had a regular gig singing jazz at New York City’s popular Village Gate, where she sometimes opened for such groups as Harry Connick Jr.’s band.
Kristina has been involved in theatre for over 22 years, and has created 30 + leading musical roles. She's performed everything from classic Broadway belters, such as Winifred in Once Upon A Mattress (San Francisco City Players), Nancy in Oliver! (CCT), and Petra in A Little Night Music (Opera Theatre Corvallis). She’s also created the legitimate soprano roles of Luisa in The Fantastiks (Encore Productions, Santa Cruz, CA) and Theresa in Villa-Lobos’ Magdelana. She recently performed in the first non-touring production of Jekyll & Hyde since the musical hit Broadway, singing the pop role of Lucy. In addition, she’s sung such a variety roles as Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Cabrillo Stage, Soquel, CA), and Evie/Anya/Isle/Ginnie in Stop The World I Want To Get Off (Wharf Theatre, Monterey, CA), for which she was awarded the Bay Area Critics Award for Best Actress. Kristina also performed in the world–premiere of Pollicino (Cabrillo Stage, Soquel, CA), written by German composer Hans Werner Henze—a production that was covered by such media giants as Newsweek magazine; in addition, she was featured in the ensemble, Off–Broadway production of Tiffany (Second Stage, NYC).
Kristina trained at the Frohman Academy for Musical Theatre Education in Carmel, California. Here, she studied with industry professionals in the areas of dance, acting, and voice. In addition, Kristina spent seven years studying privately (in the areas of jazz, Broadway, and pop) with Patti MacDonald, vocal coach to all Miss Californias. She also spent two years with the Cabrillo Opera Workshop and studied opera privately for three years with it’s director, Dr. Nellie Arnold.
Kristina was recently given a Spotlight Award for Best Female Vocal (Cottage Theatre). She was also awarded the title Best Actress by the critics of the California Bay Area for her performance in the musical Stop The World I Want To Get Off. In addition, she was awarded First Place Vocal Solo at the 1989 Reno Jazz Festival, California Grand Champion of Musical Comedy & Stage in 1986, First Place Solo Winner at San Francisco’s Artist’s & Model’s Ball, and competed for many years in California’s State Talent competitions, frequently winning First Place prizes as a soloist.