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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
Christina Loewen became Executive Director of Opera.ca in July 2009 after holding the position of Director of Operations from July 2008. For over 14 years, Christina has worked in the performing arts sector in opera, music and dance in roles ranging from marketing and touring to general management. Christina spent five years with Opera Ontario, the partnership of Opera Hamilton into Kitchener-Waterloo Opera, served as Director of Touring for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, General Manager for Arraymusic and most recently as Managing Director for Danny Grossman Dance Company. She holds a degree in Theatre and Dramatic Literature from Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario and an Arts Administration diploma from Confederation College, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Nicholas Payne is the Director of Opera Europa, the leading organization for professional opera companies throughout Europe. He has worked in opera since joining Covent Garden in 1968 at the end of the Webster/Solti period. After a spell at the Arts Council during the early 1970s, he worked for four different UK opera companies over 27 consecutive years: as Financial Controller of Welsh National Opera; General Administrator of Opera North; Director of the Royal Opera Covent Garden; and General Director of English National Opera. Mr. Payne writes and broadcasts regularly on operatic and general arts subjects.
Stephen Trampe is the Founder of Owen Development, a St. Louis based real estate development company. Owen has developed over 20 new and historic projects including the historic rehab of the Centene Center for the Arts, the development of the Sally Levy Opera Center for Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the $70 million conversion of the Petrolite Chemical Company Campus in Webster Groves, Missouri. Steve is also Chairman of Sequoia Sciences, an emerging leader in drug discovery. Sequoia has developed an unparalleled library of structurally diverse compounds isolated from plants. Sequoia’s partners include the Missouri Botanical Garden, Washington University, the Danforth Plant Science Center, Montana State University and the University of Liverpool. He is a founding member of the St. Louis Arch Angels which since 2006 has invested approximately $23 million in 25 start-up tech companies. He is also a founding member of the Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) modeled after the MIT program and the Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP) a translational science initiative at Washington University. Steve is Chairman (in perpetuity) of the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation which has the largest collection of architectural artifacts in the United States. He has served on the Board of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for over ten years and has been Chairman of the Facilities Committee since the committee was established. Steve has served as President of Circus Flora, the only one ring European Circus in the United States and has served on the Board of Craft Alliance, St. Louis Film Festival and the Arts & Education Council. A good mediocre singer, Steve sang in the St. Louis Symphony Chorus for ten years and in a traveling troupe during college.
Timothy O'Leary has been General Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis since October 2008. Prior to his appointment, he served as Opera Theatre's Executive Director, working together with outgoing General Director Charles MacKay who recruited him for the position. Previously, Mr. O'Leary served on the senior management team of New York City Opera where, as Director of Operations and Planning, his responsibilities ranged from labor relations to production budgets to audience development programs. Mr. O'Leary has also served as Managing Director of New York's Gotham Chamber Opera, where he produced American premieres by Handel and Sutermeister and collaborated with the Lincoln Center Festival and the Spoleto Festival USA. His fundraising experience includes a tenure as Manager of Institutional Gifts for New York City Opera, as well as consulting assignments for Broadway's Roundabout Theatre Company, the Alliance for the Arts, and Theatre for a New Audience. In addition to his administrative experience, Mr. O'Leary has also worked as a stage director and assistant stage director for companies including New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, and others. His training includes an apprenticeship with San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, graduate studies at Columbia University in Theatre Management, and an undergraduate degree in English and Drama from Dartmouth College.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Carol F. Henry grew up in Sacramento. She received her Bachelors and Masters of Arts in Education from Stanford University in 1961 and 1962, and taught in the Manhattan Beach City School system until 1966, when she married Warner Henry. Carol’s volunteer career began in 1970 with her involvement with the Junior League of Los Angeles, and since that time she has served on many community boards including KCET Women’s Council, The National Council on Alcoholism, Cate School, Teach for America, the Los Angeles Opera League, the Pasadena Art Alliance, and the Art Center College of Design, and she currently serves as a Director on the Board of Advisors to USC Thornton School of Music. Carol has served on the Board of Los Angeles Opera since 1985, where she began her term as President of the Board on July 1, 2005. Carol and Warner have apartments in San Francisco, Park City, and Paris and they currently reside in Pasadena, California. They have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Keith Cerny (pronounced SUR-nee) is the seventh general director in the history of the Dallas Opera. The former CEO of Sheet Music Plus, Keith managed the day-to-day operations of the award-winning, 25 million dollar revenue company with sales to over 170 countries worldwide. Previously, he served as an Executive Director at Russell Reynolds Associates, recruiting CEOs and senior executives for universities, conservatories, museums and foundations. From 2004 through 2007, he served as Executive Director (COO) and CFO of the San Francisco Opera; managing all marketing, fund-raising, box-office, endowment, communications, finance and staff functions for one of the nation's leading opera companies. As one of SFO's two principal officers reporting to the San Francisco Opera Association, he managed the organization to three consecutive years of balanced budgets. Keith earned B.A. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in Music and Physics with highest honors, an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School, and a Ph.D. in Economic Development Studies/Econometrics from The Open University in the U.K. He also completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders-Arts offered by National Arts Strategies and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
David Bennett joined the Gotham Chamber Opera as Managing Director in July, 2006 and was named Executive Director in May, 2010. He came to Gotham from Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), Lower Manhattan’s center for dance education, creation, and performance, where he served as Managing Director. While at DNA, he led a $5.7 million capital campaign for DNA’s new home and oversaw the organization’s emergence as a significant producer of modern dance in New York City. Prior to DNA, Mr. Bennett was a Senior Consultant with Arts Resources International, where he provided a range of advisory services to non-profit arts organizations, including project feasibility studies, financial operating estimates, economic impact and market analyses, and fund-raising feasibility studies. Before working in Arts Administration, he enjoyed a successful career in opera, appearing as a baritone with a number of companies and orchestras throughout the United States, including the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony, Skylight Opera Theater, and Florentine Opera of Milwaukee. Mr. Bennett holds both an M.B.A. and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and serves on the Board of Directors of OPERA America.
Marc A. Scorca joined OPERA America in 1990 as president and CEO, and is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the organization. Since that time, the OPERA America membership has grown from 120 opera companies to nearly 2,500 organizations and individuals. An additional 16,000 subscribers now receive a variety of free and fee-based services. A strong advocate of collaboration, Scorca has led several cross-disciplinary projects, including the Performing Arts Research Coalition, National Music Coalition, and The First National Performing Arts Convention. Under his leadership, OPERA America has administered two landmark funding initiatives in support of the development of North American operas and opera audiences and launched an endowment effort in 2000 to create a permanent fund dedicated to supporting new works and audience development activities. OPERA America’s relocation from Washington, D.C. to New York City in December 2005 has increased communication and collaboration with and among members both locally and nationally. Scorca has led strategic planning retreats for opera companies and other cultural institutions internationally, and has participated on panels for federal, state, and local funding agencies, as well as for numerous private organizations. He also appears frequently in the media on a variety of cultural issues. Scorca attended Amherst College where he graduated with high honors in both history and music.
Anthony Freud joined Lyric Opera of Chicago as general director on October 1, 2011, opening night of the company's 57th season. The London native is the fourth general director in Lyric’s history. Freud previously served as Houston Grand Opera’s third general director and first CEO (2006-2011). From 1994 to 2005, he served as general director of the internationally respected Welsh National Opera (WNO), Wales’s national opera company and the largest provider of opera to regional England. From 1992 to 1994, Freud was the executive producer for Philips Classics, where he oversaw large-scale recording projects for such artists as Jessye Norman, Seiji Ozawa, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Bernard Haitink. Freud is an Honorary Fellow of both University of Cardiff and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Darren K. Woods was appointed General Director of the Fort Worth Opera in July of 2001. Under his leadership, the Fort Worth Opera has increased subscription and donor bases and has received rave reviews for production quality. Expanding on Mr. Woods’ dedication to young artists, the Fort Worth Opera Studio was founded in the 2002-2003 season with four members who participated in main stage productions, performed for more than 100,000 children and received coaching and lessons from visiting guest artists. In May of 2007 Fort Worth Opera celebrated its first commissioned work: Frau Margot by Thomas Pasatieri, with a libretto by Frank Corsaro as well as celebrating the first annual Fort Worth Opera Festival.
Dr. Frayda B. Lindemann is vice president of the Metropolitan Opera Association, as well as a member of the executive committee and a managing director of the board. In addition, she is a member of the board and chairman of the executive committee of Young Concert Artists, and she also supports the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program (LYADP) of the Metropolitan Opera. Each year, the LYADP discovers and nurtures a group of exceptionally gifted singers for individualized training through the resources of the Metropolitan Opera’s own music and artistic staffs, as well as from invited master teachers. From 1975 to 1977, she was an instructor in music at Columbia, and was also an editor of Current Musicology, a publication of Columbia University Press. For nine years after that, she was assistant professor of music history at Hunter. Lindemann’s other professional affiliations include the Palm Beach Civic Association (director), the American Musicological Society, the Alumni Association of Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the National Actors Theatre (board member) and the Parents Council at Brown University.
Gregory C. Swinehart is the United States and North American Managing Partner of Deloitte’s Forensic & Dispute Services practice. Greg has spent twenty two years providing specialized economic, operational, and accounting consulting services to clients. Greg has been with Deloitte approximately fourteen years. Prior to joining Deloitte, he was a partner in a boutique consulting firm. Before getting his MBA and starting in the consulting world he was a product and process engineer at 3M. Prior to his current roles at Deloitte, he led practices in Minneapolis, New York and Chicago.
Although J.A. “Gus” Blanchard retired from full-time employment at the end of 2002, he currently serves as non-executive chairman of the board of ADC Telecommunications of Eden Prairie. Previously, he held chairman & CEO positions at eFunds Corporation (2000-2002), Deluxe Corporation (1995-2000) and Harbridge Merchant Services (1991-1993). His work background also includes 25 years at AT&T and a brief stint at General Instrument Corp. An alumnus of Princeton and MIT Sloan School, he has served on the boards of Wells Fargo & Co. as well as ADC Telecommunications. Opera became his first musical love and passion as a result of the Texaco radio broadcasts in the 1950s. In addition to service with Minnesota Opera that began in 1996, he was a director of New York City Opera for five years, and has sought out opera performances in Europe, Asia and Australia in addition to numerous American venues. He and his wife, Mary, have two married daughters and reside in White Bear Lake, MN.
Gregory Carpenter joined the staff of Opera Colorado as director of development in 2004 and became general director in 2007. He is responsible for overseeing artistic and administrative operations of the company, guiding a staff of seventeen full-time employees. As the director of development, he proved himself as an exemplary leader in the areas of fundraising operations, working with a 45-member governing board and overseeing a full-time professional staff of four. He has successfully generated revenue through special events, donor cultivation, community partnerships and corporate support. Carpenter was the chairman of the fundraising committee for the National Performing Arts Convention. Prior to joining Opera Colorado, he worked for three years as the manager of development with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. There, he worked closely with the National Symphony Orchestra leadership and an 85 member board to achieve and exceed annual fundraising goals averaging $8.9 to $10.5 million.
Rena M. DeSisto is head of marketing & corporate affairs for Europe, the Middle East & Africa; and Global Arts & Heritage executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In her marketing & corporate affairs role, DeSisto oversees the company’s marketing, sponsorships and philanthropy for the region. In her role of global arts & culture executive, she oversees the programming of Bank of America-related investments in nonprofit arts institutions and the communities they serve. DeSisto also oversees a grant program for nonprofit arts organizations to strengthen their ability to educate and serve their local communities. Previously, DeSisto was philanthropy executive with the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and before that, marketing executive. She served as co-lead on the marketing and communications team that combined Bank of America with Fleet, and which launched the Bank of America brand in the Northeast States. She has also held the position of senior vice president for FleetBoston Financial Corporation, where she oversaw marketing, philanthropy and communications in Metropolitan New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
David B. Devan David B. Devan was appointed as general director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia (OCP) in 2011. He joined the company in January 2006 following an extensive North American search to identify a managing director and was subsequently appointed as executive director before assuming his current role. During his tenure, Devan has spearheaded strategic planning initiatives and built partnerships within the community and the opera world. Key achievements include the creation of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater, and the establishment of the nation's first-ever collaborative composer-in-residence program with New York partners Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group. Under his leadership, OCP has also established the American Repertoire Program, a commitment to produce an American work in each of 10 seasons starting in 2012, featuring new works by Nico Muhly, Kevin Puts, Jennifer Higdon and Theo Morrison. OCP has also achieved a balanced financial position and received major national grants to fund institutional capitalization. A native of Canada, Devan attended Brock University in Ontario and Stanford University's Graduate School of Business Executive Program.
Allen R. Freedman Allen Freedman graduated from Tufts University in 1961 and from the University of Virginia Law School in 1964. He also attended New York University Graduate School of Business, studying accounting and banking. In 2000, Freedman was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. Freedman founded Assurant Inc in 1978 and retired as CEO in 2000. He has also been a private equity investor since the 1970s. He previously served as chair of the Board for two public companies, Systems and Computer Technology Corp. and Indus, Inc. He has served as chair of the audit committee of two public companies, currently chairing the audit committee of Stonemor, MLP. He is designated as a “financial expert” by the Stonemor Board for the purposes of the audit committee. At Eaton Vance and Assurant, he is a member of the finance and portfolio management committees, which deal with investment policy and implementation. Freedman and his wife co-founded the annual Freedman Prizes at Hartwick College, which are intended to dramatically reposition the focus of this small liberal arts college in Oneonta, NY. In 2009-2010, over 30 student-faulty fellowships were awarded to stimulate undergraduate/tenured faculty participation in the undergraduate learning experience.
Jake Heggie is the American composer of the acclaimed operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, The End of the Affair and To Hell and Back, as well as the stage works For a Look or a Touch and At the Statue of Venus. The recipient of a 2005-2006 Guggenheim Fellowship, he has also composed more than 200 songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works. His songs, song cycles and operas are championed internationally by many of the most celebrated singers of our time, including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Joyce Castle, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Ben Heppner, Kristine Jepson, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Kiri Te Kanawa and Bryn Terfel, to name a few. The operas - most of them created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer — have been produced internationally on five continents. Since its San Francisco premiere in 2000, Dead Man Walking has received more than 150 international performances. Moby-Dick, which recently received its 2010 world premiere in Dallas, was commissioned by The Dallas Opera with San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, State Opera of South Australia and Calgary Opera. Upcoming projects include songs commissioned by Carnegie Hall, The Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, as well as "Ahab" Symphony, commissioned by University of North Texas at Denton, where Heggie will be guest artist-in-residence during the 2010/11 academic year.
Andreas Mitisek has been the artistic and general director of Long Beach Opera since 2003. There he has conducted a number of productions including Elektra, Bluebeard's Castle, Volo di Notte by Dallapiccola, Jenůfa and The Ring of the Nibelung. He is also increasingly sought after as a guest conductor in North America, leading productions for Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Vancouver Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater and Yale Opera. A native of Austria, he served as music director of the Wiener Operntheater from 1990-1997, which earned critical and popular acclaim as the foremost contemporary opera company in Austria presenting the world premiere of The Eternal Triangle Trio by Farber, the Austrian premieres and Viennese premieres of Der Reigen by Boesmans, Der Revisor by W. Egk, Oedipe by Enescu, Le Grand Macabre by Ligeti, The Second Mrs. Kong by Birtwistle, Das Schloss by Reimann, Nixon in China by Adams, Death in Venice by Britten and The Devils of Loudon by Penderecki.
Now entering his third season as General Director of the Palm Beach Opera, Daniel Biaggi is committed to expanding the company’s mission of presenting high quality opera productions and engaging educational and community outreach performances to the communities it serves. Under his leadership, the company ended the fiscal year 10 for the first time with a budget surplus after successful fundraising initiatives including a major Matching Grant Campaign and Board of Director’s expansion plan.

Prior to his engagement at the Palm Beach Opera, Biaggi was Associate Director at Guy Barzilay International Artist Management in New York, co-managing the careers of over 40 singers worldwide. He has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Sarah Lawrence College in New York, coaching singers in operatic and art song repertoire with an emphasis on languages and diction. He has given master classes and performance seminars at the Juilliard School of Music as well as the Chautauqua Voice Institute. He has worked extensively for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, giving pre-performance introduction lectures and participating in the organization’s various Teaching Artist Programs as performer and educator.

A frequent panel discussion guest and competition judge, Biaggi has served among others as panelist for the 2008 OPERA America Conference in Denver, and has been jury member for the Tucker Foundation Career Grant Competition and Awards Nomination Panel, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition. His commitment to young singers has led him to be invited to MissionAudition as part of Sherrill Milnes’ V.O.I.C.Experience, NYIOP pre-selection auditions in New York, Berlin and Zurich, and has been Advisor and Judge for the National Society of Arts and Letters Local Florida Chapter Competition. Biaggi holds a Post-Graduate and Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, a Bachelor of Music Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a Certificate of Musicology from the University of Berne, Switzerland.
James Feldman has served as an Instructor in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School since January 2009 and is an attorney in Washington, DC specializing in Supreme Court litigation. Feldman was an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 to 2006, with responsibility for representing the government, where he argued 45 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as a Law Clerk for United States Court of Appeals Judge Skelly Wright and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, and as part of the Iran-Contra Independent Counsel team. He serves on the Boards of the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Washington National Opera. Feldman received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Columbia University and graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, where he was President of the Harvard Law Review
William Florescu became the General Director of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company in May of 2005. During his tenure, he has overseen the expansion of the Company’s repertoire, producing works including the Florentine’s first Bellini opera (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), first Baroque opera (Handel’s Semele), the Midwest premiere of Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry and a world premiere of Don Davis’s Río de Sangre. He has also directed mainstage operas including The Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute and Rigoletto, as well as touring education operas by nationally renowned arts education expert John Davies, including Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, The Three Little Pigs, Pinocchio (which was televised by Milwaukee Public Television in April of 2009), Jack and the Beanstalk and, most recently, The Billy Goats Gruff. In October of 2008, Mr. Florescu oversaw the creation of the Florentine Opera Studio, a season-long residency program for young professional singers, which enters its third year in the Florentine’s 2010-2011 season.

From 1999 until early 2005, he was the General Director of Lake George Opera in Saratoga Springs, New York. Previously, he served as General Director of the Columbus Light Opera. While in Ohio, he was also Associate Dean and Director of Opera/Musical Theatre at the Capital University Conservatory of Music, and served a season as Assistant Artistic Director for Iowa’s Dorian Opera Theatre.

Florescu is a frequent judge of vocal competitions, most recently for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, The Eastman School of Music, The Montreal International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition, and Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Vocal Competition. He has served on the Opera Review Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and as an on site reporter for the Endowment. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Cultural Alliance of Greater Milwaukee.

Florescu is currently working on a book about auditioning in opera for young singers. He received his training at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Trinity College of Music in London, Miami University and the Ohio State University.

Christopher Hahn was appointed General Director of Pittsburgh Opera in 2008, having served as Artistic Director since 2000. Since then he has significantly enriched the company’s repertoire, introducing Baroque and contemporary operas presented in a variety of production styles.

Trained in his native South Africa, Mr. Hahn began his career in opera in 1983 at San Francisco Opera as Rehearsal Administrator. He then managed the San Francisco Opera Center, including the world-renowned Merola Opera Program, the country’s leading training program for American singers. Following his 13-year tenure in San Francisco, he served as Artistic Administrator at Los Angeles Opera with Plácido Domingo and Peter Hemmings.

Mr. Hahn’s expertise in recognizing young vocal talent has made him a sought-after juror at American and international vocal competitions, including the Bernstein Competition (Jerusalem), Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, the Francisco Viñas Competition (Barcelona), the McAllister Awards and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Barbara Leirvik was a Trustee of Opera Cleveland, serving on the company’s Executive Committee, and a founding member and trustee board member of N.O.V.A. (New Organization for Visual Arts). Leirvik has chaired and served on fundraising events for these organizations as well as the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland and the Cleveland Ballet for the past 30 years. In addition, she is an Ambassador member of OPERA America and supports the Cleveland Institute of Music, the CIM Opera Department, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua Opera. Leirvik is visual artist who specializes in painting on furniture and canvas, and worked for many years as a commercial interior designer. She is married to businessman and investor Ronald K. Leirvik.
Charles MacKay, General Director of The Santa Fe Opera, is only the third individual to hold this title in the Company's 55 year history; the other two being the founder, John Crosby (1957-2000) and Richard Gaddes (2000-2008). Mr. MacKay's tenure began October 1, 2008.

Mr. MacKay's association with The Santa Fe Opera is a long one. Raised in Santa Fe, his first professional involvement in the field of opera was as a French horn player in The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. Subsequently, he held a number of positions with the Company, including Box Office Manager, Development and Sales Manager, and finally, Business Manager.

He left Santa Fe in 1979 to join the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, eventually becoming Acting General Manager. In 1984, Mr. MacKay was invited by Richard Gaddes to serve as Executive Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL). He was named General Director the following year, remaining there for 23 years, until 2008. During Mr. MacKay's tenure at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the company gained national and international acclaim for the presentation of innovative repertory and the discovery of important young singers.

Mr. MacKay served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of OPERA America, the national service organization to the field, for eight years until June, 2008, and remains a member of the Board. A frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he is a member of the Curtis Institute of Music Board of Overseers and the Board of the William M. Sullivan Musical Foundation. He also served as Chairman of the Opera-Music Theater panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the recipient of a Missouri Arts Award in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of the arts in Missouri; a Doctor of Music honoris causa from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and the St. Louis Arts & Education Council's Excellence in the Arts Award.
Susan F. Morris attended her first Santa Fe Opera performance as part of the Gala Opening Celebration for the company’s 40th season in 1996. As a token of her admiration for the company’s founder and general director, Mrs. Morris and her husband established the John Crosby Production Endowment Fund, which each season helps to underwrite one production. She became a member of the board of directors of The Santa Fe Opera in 1999 and was later elected vice president in 2001 and president in 2003, serving until 2011. During that time, she chaired the Building a Sound Future Campaign, providing the single largest gift to the $30 million multi-year campaign to improve rehearsal and patron facilities. Mrs. Morris was a hands-on president, bringing to the opera her extensive experience from the board of trustees of her alma mater, the Masters School and providing advice and support to Richard Gaddes, the company’s second general director. She spearheaded the search for the company’s third general director, identifying and then recruiting Charles MacKay for the position. In her leadership capacity, she participated in the strategic planning process undertaken by the board of directors in concert with Mr. MacKay. Mrs. Morris has advocated for the company with the Mayor and City Council, and also walked the halls of the state capitol to campaign on behalf of The Santa Fe Opera with state legislators. “The Morris’s contributions to both institutions are immeasurable, and a lasting legacy to their passion and commitment to the operatic art form,” observed Charles MacKay, general director, The Santa Fe Opera.
Esther Nelson combines an extensive career in the arts with significant management expertise. Prior to joining Boston Lyric Opera in September 2008, she was a management consultant for a broad range of clients that included the New York Historical Association, their research library, and their associated Fenimore Art Museum; the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY; the European International Music and Arts Foundation; the Cultural Diplomacy Institute in New York and Berlin, Germany; Albany Symphony Orchestra in New York; The Douglas Moore Fund in New York City; Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta, NY; Virginia Opera; Memphis and Portland (Maine) Operas; and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Nelson was, until the fall of 2002 the General Director/CEO of Glimmerglass Opera, one of the country’s largest and most prestigious opera festivals. During her seven-year tenure, the company experienced significant artistic growth and fiscal stability, including the elimination of its accumulated deficit and development of a surplus. Her leadership earned her a professional citation from the governor of New York. Before coming to Glimmerglass, Nelson was the General Director/CEO of Nevada Opera in Reno, NV, where she was responsible for all administrative and artistic activities and founded the company’s successful state-wide Nevada touring program. During her tenure the company also experienced financial and artistic growth.

Nelson has also served as evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the New York State Council, and is a frequent speaker and panelist. She also consults with OPERA America, the American service organization. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive and Finance Committees of Assurant Insurance Company of New York State; the Spring Brook Home for Adults and Children with Disabilities; and on the international executive committee of the Friends of Amerika Haus, Berlin, Germany. Previous Board affiliations include Hospice, New Orleans; The Durham Arts Council; the Academy of Music in Reno, NV; First Fortis Insurance Company; and Bankers American Life.
Nicole Paiement founded Opera Parallèle with the primary intent of promoting contemporary music and opera. Paiement has since gained an international reputation as a conductor and specialist of contemporary opera and contemporary music. Her recordings include many world premiere works and she has toured extensively in the US and Asia. As Artistic Director of Opera Parallèle, she conducted the 2007 world premiere of Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar, the west coast premiere of John Rea’s re-orchestration of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (2010), the San Francisco premiere of Philip Glass’ opera Orphée (2011), the world-premiere performance of Jacques Desjardins’ reorchestration of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby (2012), and the Bay Area premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar (2013).

Paiement is an active guest conductor both in the US and abroad. For Dallas Opera she recently conducted a new production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ opera The Lighthouse. She will return to Dallas in January 2014 to conduct Tod Machover's Death and the Powers. Paiement is also Artistic Director of the BluePrint Project - a new music concert series sponsored by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is also on faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she conducts the orchestra and opera productions.
Kenneth G. Pigott’s career includes more than 40 years of operational, investing, acquisition and finance experience. He is managing partner of Vaduz Partners LLC, a private investment company specializing in information technology services. He has led multiple successful private investments involving business transformations of several companies, including USA.NET, Collegis, Premier Systems Integrators, Intertech Resources and Systems Maintenance Services.

Pigott was a corporate partner at the Winston & Strawn law firm (1968-1979). He graduated from Iowa State University (where he captained the school’s football team) and from Harvard University Law School. He also served as a financial advisor to Gillett Holdings, DeBartolo Corporation and Reading Company (1979-1985).

Pigott serves as an executive committee member of the board of Chicago’s Merit School of Music. Along with his wife, Jane DiRenzo Pigott, he also actively supports the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, the Harris Theater and the Music Institute of Chicago. They also support health, education and civil rights initiatives including infectious disease research and clinical services at Northwestern University, the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, Reading in Motion, the Posse Foundation, the Civil Rights Center of the University of North Carolina and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Pigott, 67, and his wife live in Chicago. Their seven adult children live throughout the United States.
Kathryn Smith joined Madison Opera as General Director in July 2011, following seven years as General Director of Tacoma Opera in Washington, and a previous tenure as assistant artistic administrator at The Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Smith has distinguished herself as a strong leader throughout her career and is credited with rebuilding Tacoma Opera after the company had been reduced to a one-production season. Over the course of her tenure there, she significantly raised the company’s profile, expanding the repertoire to a three-production season including both rarities and mainstream fare, while eradicating years of accumulated debt and operating in a fiscally responsible manner.

A Seattle native and graduate of Harvard University, Smith began working in opera in high school and has worked at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Wolf Trap Opera. In 1997, she joined The Metropolitan Opera's rehearsal department, and was subsequently promoted to assistant company manager and then to assistant artistic administrator. She received ArtsFund's 2008 Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award and has judged for The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Portland Opera's Lieber Competition.
Following an extensive national search for an executive to lead the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, Melia P. Tourangeau was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in February 2008 and officially took the reins of the organization in late April 2008. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO) is the only combined 52-week orchestra and opera organization in the United States. The company has an annual operating budget of $18 million and employs 60 full time administrative staff and 85 contracted musicians.

Under her leadership USUO increased ticket revenue over $1 million, returned the Annual Fund to pre-recession levels, secured over $6 million in bridge support between 2008 and 2012, and reached a Phase 1 Goal of $25 million in a Comprehensive Campaign effort in December 2012. She has also been able to hold expenses to 6% over a six-year period averaging a 1% increase annually between 2007 and 2013. Utah Symphony’s seventh Music Director, Thierry Fischer, was identified and contracted beginning in 2008 and 27 new musicians have been hired for the orchestra. Ms. Tourangeau strives to develop trust and communication throughout the organization and with its constituents.

Prior to joining the USUO, Ms. Tourangeau was appointed President of Grand Rapids Symphony in April 2005 after a year long national search. As President, Ms. Tourangeau was responsible for the overall financial, operational and administrative management of the organization with an $8.5 million annual operating budget, an administrative staff of 33 and 75 contracted professional musicians. Under her leadership, GRS balanced the budget and increased community support.

Ms. Tourangeau joined the Grand Rapids Symphony as Education Director in January 1997 and was promoted to Director of Operations, then Vice President and General Manager. Prior to joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, she was the education coordinator at the Akron Symphony Orchestra where she held that position for two-and-a-half years. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in 1994 from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a major in piano performance and a minor in musicology. In April 2007, she received a Master Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on non-profit leadership at Grand Valley State University and was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the honors society for public administrators. Ms. Tourangeau was on the Executive Committee and the Board of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, was a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club, and on the Conservatory Committee of the Oberlin College Alumni Council.

She is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the International Women’s Forum, the League of American Orchestras, Opera America and the Alta Club. She and her husband, Michael, and their two kids, Olivia and Zach, enjoy all of the wonderful outdoor and family activities accessible on the Wasatch front.
Francesca Zambello officially assumed the role of Glimmerglass's Artistic & General Director on September 1, 2010.

An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, Zambello’s work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Covent Garden, the Munich Staatsoper, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and English National Opera. She has staged plays and musicals on Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, BAM, the Guthrie Theater, Vienna’s Raimund Theater, the Bregenz Festival, Sydney Festival, Disneyland, Berlin’s Theater des Westens and at the Kennedy Center. In May 2011, Zambello was appointed Artistic Advisor to Washington National Opera.

She has been awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for her contribution to French culture, and the Russian Federation’s medal for Service to Culture. Her theatrical honors include three Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, Helpmann Award, Green Room Award, Palme d’Or in Germany and the Golden Mask in Russia. She began her career as the Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera Theatre and as an assistant director to the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. She has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Juilliard and Yale. An American who grew up in Europe, she speaks French, Italian, German and Russian. She is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Francesca Zambello most recently developed and directed the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis' Heart of a Soldier for the San Francisco Opera, where she served as Artistic Advisor from 2006-2011. Her acclaimed production of Show Boat opened at Lyric Opera of Chicago in February 2012, and she opened a new production of La Traviata for Opera on Sydney Harbor in March 2012. Her new production of Aida runs July through August at The Glimmerglass Festival.
Since 2005, Emilie Roy Corey has been a trustee of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the only national service organization for community arts educators. She has served on the boards of numerous other cultural organizations, including the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, New York City Opera and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. From 1995 to 2000, Corey acted as board president of the Council of Senior Centers and Services, and more recently she joined the foundation board at PBMC Health, a community hospital located in Riverhead, NY. A native of Worcester, MA, Corey attended Simmons College in Boston and subsequently spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil. After returning to the U.S., she earned her master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and embarked on a twenty-year career in community services for the elderly, working for the Human Resources Administration, the Department for the Aging and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. After retiring in 1991, Corey began piano and voice lessons at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and later continued her studies at the Greenwich House Music School and the Lucy Moses School.
Larry Desrochers has been general director and CEO of Manitoba Opera (MO) since 2000. Under his leadership the company has experienced a creative and organizational renaissance. He has improved the quality of productions, hired an increased number of Canadian artists and expanded MO’s education and community engagement programs. Desrochers commissioned MO’s first new opera, Transit of Venus, and presented the North American premiere of a children’s opera, Jason and Hanna. He posted operating surpluses in 12 of the last 13 seasons. Prior to joining Manitoba Opera, Desrochers was the executive director of the Winnipeg Film Group, where he increased training, exhibition and distribution programs for independent filmmakers. He also oversaw major touring exhibitions of Manitoba films to South America and France. He began his career as associate artistic director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, where he founded the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. He produced and directed the 1999 Pan American Games opening and closing ceremonies, featuring more than 5,000 performers, including Canadian rock band The Guess Who, reunited for that occasion. Trained as a theater director, he has staged productions at a number of theaters in Canada, including premieres of a new works. Desrochers has served on a variety arts boards and committees and is the past chair of Opera.ca. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Winnipeg and a recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Difference Award for his contribution to arts and culture in Manitoba. He is also a member of OPERA America’s Strategy Committee.
Robert Ellis has had a lifelong interest in opera, and he currently serves on the boards of San Francisco Opera and Opera Parallèle, a contemporary opera company also based in San Francisco. He works as an advisor, investor and director of Internet companies. Over the past two decades, Ellis has undertaken numerous Internet ventures: He served as a principal of xoom.com, which completed an IPO in 1999 and later merged with NBC’s Internet properties; founded Compact Publishing, an early digital publisher, which was sold to The Learning Company in 1995; acted as CEO of eNature, which was sold to the National Wildlife Federation; and founded Bonjour Paris, a travel destination site. Earlier in his career, Ellis was vice president of Time-Life Inc. and worked as a correspondent for TIME magazine. Ellis was a co-producer with Tod Machover, Keith Cerny, The Dallas Opera and the MIT Media Lab of the February 2014 nine-city simulcast of Death and the Powers from the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.
Perryn Leech has been managing director of Houston Grand Opera (HGO) since May 2011. He previously served as HGO’s chief operating officer and, before that, as technical and production director. In his current role, Leech oversees all aspects of the company operations, which are sustained by an annual budget of $25 million, and leads an eleven-member Senior Management Team. In 2012, Leech spearheaded the development and implementation of HGO’s new strategic plan, A Voice for Houston, establishing the company’s business and artistic vision for the future. In that same year he also launched a historic fundraising campaign, Inspiring Performance – The Campaign for Houston Grand Opera, which is on target to meet its goal of $165 million by the end of 2014. Before his tenure at HGO, Leech spent five years as technical director at Welsh National Opera and prior to that was production manager at English National Opera in London. He had previously worked for twelve years as a freelance production electrician in London’s West End and toured with many companies in the UK and Ireland. From 1989 to 1996, Leech was the head of lighting at the Edinburgh International Festival. It was during this time that he first collaborated with HGO on their two productions at the Playhouse Theatre – Nixon in China and Four Saints in Three Acts. Leech serves on the boards of Houston Downtown Alliance, the Electronic Media Association, Houston Arts Combined Endowment Foundation, and Wortham Center Operating Company.
Zizi Mueller joined Boosey & Hawkes in 2008 and became its president in 2012. During her tenure as publisher at Boosey & Hawkes, she has instituted the Emerging Composers and New Voices projects, innovative programs supporting young and emerging composers. Additionally, Mueller has signed Osvaldo Golijov, Sebastian Currier, Anna Clyne, Sean Shepherd and Oscar Bettison to the Boosey & Hawkes roster. As president of Boosey & Hawkes, Mueller represents the leading composers of contemporary music and opera and has collaborated on projects with many distinguished presenters, including the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others. Mueller came to Boosey & Hawkes with a wealth of performance and production experience. As executive and artistic director of MOSAIC, Mueller commissioned works from a wide spectrum of international composers and performed throughout the Americas and Europe. She has collaborated with celebrated theater directors, video artists and choreographers. As a performer and record producer, Mueller has produced projects for Naxos, Bridge Records, Newport Classics, New World Records and Premiere Records, among others. She is on the board of the Music Publishers Association and serves on the Symphony & Concert Committee of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Zizi Mueller received her training at The Juilliard School.
The outstanding American bass-baritone Eric Owens continues to garner high praise across the globe for his many performances, which encompass a widely varied repertoire of opera, concerts and recitals. In addition to being Wolf Trap Opera’s inaugural artist in residence, Owens enjoys a 2014 summer season of performances of Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Chicago’s Grant Park Festival as well as scenes from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Aspen Music Festival. He rejoins Sir Simon Rattle, Peter Sellars and the Berlin Philharmonic for additional performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, and he will also perform at London’s BBC Proms festival. Owens’ 2014-2015 season starts off with performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and continues with additional performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic in New York as part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. His opera performances this season include performances of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the title role in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman with Washington National Opera and his role debut as King Philip II in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia. His upcoming concert performances include Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with the Swedish Radio Symphony under the baton of Essa-Pekka Salonen, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony, and a role debut of Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as additional performances of Ravel’s L’enfant with Maestro Salonen and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2015, Owens returns as artist in residence to The Glimmerglass Festival, where he will perform the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth for the first time. Highlights of his recent career include performances of Alberich in Wagner’s epic Ring cycle with the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Handel’s Hercules with the Canadian Opera Company, Dvorak’s Rusalka with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in addition to the King in Handel’s Ariodante, Porgy, Capellio in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Lodovico in Verdi’s Otello, all with San Francisco Opera. Owens has created challenging contemporary roles, including the title character in Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel (world premiere at Los Angeles Opera, subsequently Lincoln Center), the Storyteller in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree (Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna) and General Groves in Adams’ Doctor Atomic.
Photographer Jill Steinberg is the board chair of VisionIntoArt (VIA), a nonprofit new music and interdisciplinary arts production company and Professional Company Member of OPERA America, as well as a board member and philanthropic investor of Original Music Workshop (OMW), a nonprofit music venue that provides support to a wide range of composers, musicians and emerging talent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, opening fall 2015. As a live performance photographer, she has documented VisionIntoArt’s biennial 21c Liederabend co-productions at Galapagos Art Space, The Kitchen and Brooklyn Academy of Music, VIA’s annual FERUS Festival, and VIA productions at The Kennedy Center, Krannert Center, Park Avenue Armory and Bay Chamber Music Festival. Since 2012 she has photographed Original Music Workshop’s In Situ concerts as their building has undergone a transformation from a sawdust factory to a state-of-the-art performance space as well as OMW’s Ex Situ concerts at The Greene Space, Federal Hall and Pier 15. She also works with Beth Morrison Projects, Opera on Tap, Heartbeat Opera and the terraNOVA Collective and has published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Time Out Amsterdam and Music Listening Today, among other publications. As a photographer, Steinberg has a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes workings of small and emerging performing arts companies and their artists. As board chair of VIA, board member of OMW, Strategic Committee member of PROTOTYPE – OPERA/THEATRE/NOW and now, as a member of OPERA America’s board, she will continue to champion them. She and her husband, William Steinberg, are founding donors to the National Opera Center.

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
Info@operaamerica.orgDirections
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.