Kala Maxym, FounDer & CEO
Kala founded Five Senses Tastings as a “side gig” while she was working full-time for a busy NYC-based tech start-up. Every day she would wake up at 6:30 am and work for a few hours before hopping on the subway to the office, work a full day (ok, it's possible she took a few sneaky calls in the stairwell), and network, rehearse, and work on the music tasting programs in the evenings and on weekends.
Kala's diverse professional background is extremely diverse and includes working as a Senior Program Analyst with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s overseas law enforcement initiatives (OPDAT), as a gemologist, and as a professional opera singer in the U.S. and abroad. She was particularly honored to sing at the 2008 London Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama, and she has also sung for Chilean Presidents Michelle Bachelet and Sebastián Piñera. While each experience was enlightening and inspiring, early in 2016, Kala felt the call to dedicate herself entirely to her company and so…
She quit her day job and moved to LA all in the same week and is now working full-time on her beloved Five Senses Tastings. From her LA launch event at Diane von Furstenberg to her first ever radio interview and a packed event schedule (including a recent event one of the country's most recognizable zip codes: 90210), the City of Angels is clearly where Five Senses belongs.
Kala holds a BA in Political Science (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Barnard College and a MMus in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory as well as Graduate Certificates in Spanish-English translation and Grant Writing. She speaks fluent Spanish and German (and muddles her way through French) and maintains an active classical singing career in the greater LA area. She is a former bone marrow donor and the Secretary of the Board of the Icla da Silva Foundation (please ask her about it).
Kala lives in Los Angeles with her two beautiful orange kitties, Caspar and Ollie.
Mirabelle Ordinaire, Storyteller
Mirabelle is a freelance director, assistant director, dramaturge, translator and teacher.
She was the first director in residence in the newly created Academie of the Paris Opera in the 2015-2016 season and will be back at the Paris Opera Academie this season with a new production of Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne. Other engagements for the 2016-2017 season include Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino with the Orchestre National d'Ile de France and an oratorio on Alan Seeger.
Previous engagements as a director include Offenbach's La Vie Parisienne Salle Gaveau (Paris, 2015), A Theory of Perpetual Motion (Gaetano Marangelli, The Tank, NYC, 2013, staged reading), Lorca in New York (La Nacional, NYC, 2012), and Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter (Arthur Seelen Theatre, NYC 2007). She has served as the Red Bull Theatre Company's French theatre consultant and was the dramaturge for their production of Genet's The Maids (dir. Jesse Berger, 2012).
She has collaborated with Kim Weild since 2006 and was the dramaturge, choreographer and featured dance soloist in Weild's production of Charles Mee's Fêtes de la nuit (Ohio Theatre, 2010, nominated for Best Theatrical Experience 2010 Drama Desk Awards). She served as assistant director under Christophe Perton for Euripides' La folie d'Héraclès (Vieux-Colombier - Comédie française, 2010), Marie NDiaye's Nothing Human (4th St Theatre, 2010), Les grandes personnes (Théâtre National de La Colline, 2011), and Peter Handke's Souterrainblues & La femme gauchère (Théâtre du Rond-Point, 2013). She has also served as assistant/interpreter to Robert Wilson on La Fontaine's Fables (Comédie française, 2003-2004), and as assistant to Andrei Serban on Verdi's Otello (Opéra Bastille, 2004).
Mirabelle is a member of the English Committee of the Maison Antoine Vitez, dedicated to translating and promoting international drama in France, and has translated numerous plays, screenplays, and librettos — most recently the new children's opera The Way Back Home (Joanna Lee/Rory Mullarkey), directed by Katie Mitchell and co-produced by the ENO and the Paris Opera. In addition to translating the libretto she served as assistant director for the French creation of the opera in 2015 at the Paris Opera Academy.
Mirabelle was trained as a tango and flamenco dancer in Paris, Seville, Buenos Aires, and New York, and performs regularly in Paris & New York. She received a PhD in Theatre at Columbia University in 2011 where she received the Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellowship and the Whiting Fellowship and taught courses in Writing, English & American Literature, and Shakespeare. She teaches acting and directing workshops at the Institut de Sciences Politiques in Paris.