OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors

40 Board Members and 55 Council Members now guide national programming and strategy.

By: Aug. 11, 2022
OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, has welcomed a new class of six board members that includes creators, administrators, artist managers, and opera company trustees. They join the Board of Directors under the ongoing leadership of Chair Carol F. Henry, esteemed philanthropist and founding trustee of Los Angeles Opera.

After a unanimous vote at the annual meeting of OPERA America's voting members, the following board members were elected to two-year terms :

  • Anthony Davis, composer and pianist
  • Ana De Archuleta, director of artistic operations, National Sawdust; president and CEO/founder, ADA Artist Management
  • Sue Dixon, general director, Portland Opera
  • Virginia Croskery Lauridsen, board chair, Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Estevan Rael-Gálvez, trustee, The Santa Fe Opera
  • Gene Scheer, librettist

Supplementing OPERA America's 40-person Board of Directors, 55 individuals from across the opera field and beyond now serve alongside board members on seven programmatic Councils. These Councils were created in 2021 to expand representation and incorporate the expertise of additional administrators, artists, trustees, and others in shaping and evaluating OPERA America's work. This broader participation brings greater diversity of age, specialty, race/ethnicity, and expertise to OPERA America's leadership structure than ever before.

"We are grateful for the expertise our new slate of board members brings to the Board and Councils. Together, they provide us with broader insight and perspective on the field," stated OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca. "We already have experienced the benefits of a structure that reflects our field and the communities we serve more fully."

OPERA America extends its profound thanks to five board members whose years of service ended in June: Ned Canty, general director, Opera Memphis; Laura Kaminsky, composer; Bill Palant, managing director, Étude Arts; Jane DiRenzo Pigott, trustee, Lyric Opera of Chicago; and Dona D. Vaughn, artistic director, Opera Maine. With Kaminsky's departure, Lee Anne Myslewski, general director of Wolf Trap Opera, has been elected as vice-chair and will serve as co-chair of the Artistic Services Council. Myslewski joins Héctor Armienta, composer and artistic director, Opera Cultura; and Susan G. Marineau, board chair, The Santa Fe Opera, as officers.

Four co-chairs, elected in 2021 to provide strategic guidance to OPERA America in stewarding the field's pandemic recovery and commitment to racial justice, have been extended for an additional year: C. Graham Berwind, III, trustee, The Metropolitan Opera; Wayne S. Brown, president and CEO, Detroit Opera; Annie Burridge, general director and CEO, Austin Opera; and L. Michelle Smith, CEO/founder, no silos communications.

NEW BOARD MEMBERS (Publicity Photos)

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors Anthony Davis

Composer and Pianist

Anthony Davis is an American pianist and composer. He incorporates several styles, including jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, non-Western, African, European classical, Indonesian gamelan, and experimental music. He has played with several groups and is also a professor of music at the University of California, San Diego.

Davis is perhaps best known for his operas; he has been called "the dean of African American opera composers." His better-known compositions include X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which was premiered by the New York City Opera in 1986; Amistad, which premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1997; and Wakonda's Dream, which premiered at Opera Omaha in 2007. His opera The Central Park Five premiered in 2019 at Long Beach Opera in California and won him the Pulitzer Prize for Music the following year.

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors ANA DE ARCHULETA

Director of Artistic Operations, National Sawdust;
President and CEO/Founder, ADA Artist Management

Ana De Archuleta is a strategic and dynamic arts entrepreneur, quickly establishing herself as one of the most sought-after leaders in the operatic field. As founder of ADA Artist Management, she has focused on identifying exciting new talent and nurturing the careers of the finest performers, from emerging to internationally renowned artists.

De Archuleta is an active business member of OPERA America, lending her expertise to many committees and panels. She is also a board member of the new Olga Iglesias Project, helping and promoting the native lyric artists of Puerto Rico, and serves on the Advisory Board of Seagle Festival. A sought-after mentor to resident artists of many performing arts organizations, De Archuleta frequently offers her insights into the business aspect of the opera world via master classes and one-on-one consultations. She has judged vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Fort Worth Opera's McCammon Voice Competition.

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors SUE DIXON

General Director, Portland Opera

Sue Dixon was named general director of Portland Opera in 2019, becoming the first woman to hold this position. She brings over 30 years of experience in advancement and strategic organizational development to the role, along with a deep commitment to the mentorship and development of the next generation of artists and leaders. As general director, she has led the organization in a period of great transformation, including a brand overhaul; a new mission, vision, and values, with a focus on people-centered company culture; and a renewed commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Dixon previously served as Portland Opera's director of external affairs, leading the organization through an innovative reorganization to integrate marketing, development, communications, and patron services functions. Sue currently serves on the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon and as a board member of Third Rail. She has been a grants panelist for the Governor's Gold Awards for arts and culture and the Oregon Arts Commission.

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors Virginia Croskery LAURIDSEN

Board Chair, Des Moines Metro Opera

Virginia Croskery Lauridsen is a world-renowned classical musician and former faculty member at Simpson College. She currently serves as president-elect for Des Moines Metro Opera, as chair of education for the Civic Music Association, and on the Advisory Board for the Des Moines Symphony's Sound of the City Campaign. She was previously on OPERA America's National Opera Center Board. As a performer, she was a winner of the third Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition and an original cast member in the first national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera.

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors ESTEVAN RAEL-GÁLVEZ

Trustee, Santa Fe Opera

An anthropologist, historian, and Indigenous slavery scholar, Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez is currently the executive director of Native Bound-Unbound: Archive of Indigenous Americans Enslaved, an unprecedented initiative to build a digital repository/database centered on the lives of millions of Indigenous people whose experiences were shaped by slavery.

Rael-Gálvez has led a career as a senior executive at national nonprofit organizations and government agencies. He served as senior vice president of historic sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.; executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center; and state historian of New Mexico. In 2015, Rael-Gálvez launched Creative Strategies 360°, a consulting firm that supports transformative work within communities, governments, educational institutions, and cultural-based organizations. He has served on several commissions and boards, including those of the Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the School for Advanced Research, and the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee.

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to Its Board of Directors GENE SCHEER


Gene Scheer's work is noted for its scope and versatility. With composer Jake Heggie, he has collaborated on many projects, including the critically acclaimed 2010 Dallas Opera world premiere of Moby-Dick; the operas Three Decembers and It's a Wonderful Life; the lyric drama To Hell and Back; and the song cycle Camille Claudel. Scheer worked as the librettist with Tobias Picker on An American Tragedy (Metropolitan Opera, 2005) and Thérèse Raquin (The Dallas Opera, 2001); with Joby Talbot on Everest (The Dallas Opera, 2015); and with Jennifer Higdon on Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera, 2015). Along with Higdon, Scheer was nominated for a Grammy for best classical composition for Cold Mountain; the opera also won the 2015 International Opera Award for best world premiere. A composer in his own right, Scheer has written songs for singers such as Renée Fleming, Sylvia McNair, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Larmore, Denyce Graves, and Nathan Gunn.


Carol F. Henry
Trustee, Los Angeles Opera

Immediate Past Chair
Timothy O'Leary
General Director, Washington National Opera

Wayne S. Brown
President and CEO, Detroit Opera

Annie Burridge
General Director and CEO, Austin Opera

C. Graham Berwind, III
Trustee, The Metropolitan Opera

L. Michelle Smith
CEO/Founder, no silos communications

Héctor Armienta
Composer and Artistic Director, Opera Cultura
Council Co-Chair, Civic Practice

Susan G. Marineau
Board Chair, The Santa Fe Opera
Committee Chair, Governance

Lee Anne Myslewski
Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
Council Co-Chair, Artistic Services

Ian Rye
CEO, Pacific Opera Victoria
Committee Chair, Finance

Michael Egel
General and Artistic Director, Des Moines Metro Opera
Council Co-Chair, Membership and Development

Marc A. Scorca
OPERA America

Ana De Archuleta
Director of Artistic Operations, National Sawdust
President and CEO/Founder, ADA Artist Management

James M. Barton
Board Advisor, The Glimmerglass Festival
Chair, National Opera Center Board

Afton Battle
General Director, Fort Worth Opera
Council Co-Chair, Membership and Development

Astrid Baumgardner
Teacher, Coach
Council Co-Chair, Learning and Leadership

Alejandra Valarino Boyer
Director, Ravinia's Steans Music Institute
Council Co-Chair, Civic Practice

Tassio Carvalho
Senior Manager, Customer and Data Science, American Airlines

Khori Dastoor
General Director and CEO, Houston Grand Opera
Council Co-Chair, Learning and Leadership

Anthony Davis
Composer and Pianist

Rena M. De Sisto
Former Global Executive for Arts and Culture and Women's Programs, Bank of America

David B. Devan
General Director and President, Opera Philadelphia

Sue Dixon
General Director, Portland Opera

Carol E. Domina
Trustee, The Metropolitan Opera
Trustee, Opera Omaha

Peggy Kriha Dye
General Director and CEO, Virginia Opera
Council Co-Chair, Marketing and Communications

Anthony Freud
General Director, President, and CEO, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Denyce Graves-Montgomery

Virginia Croskery Lauridsen
Board Chair, Des Moines Metro Opera

Carol Lazier
Trustee, San Diego Opera

Anh Le
Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Council Co-Chair, Marketing and Communications

Beth Morrison
President and Creative Producer, Beth Morrison Projects

John Nesholm
Board Chair, Seattle Opera

Marilyn Pearson
Former Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Estevan Rael-Gálvez
Trustee, The Santa Fe Opera

Kamala Sankaram
Composer, Singer, Teacher
Council Co-Chair, Artistic Services

Gene Scheer

Matthew Shilvock
General Director, San Francisco Opera

Nadege Souvenir
Board Chair, Minnesota Opera
Council Co-Chair, Trustees

Ryan Taylor
President and General Director, Minnesota Opera

Roger Weitz
General Director, Opera Omaha

Carole Yaley
Trustee, Central City Opera
Council Co-Chair, Trustees

Wayne S. Brown, President and CEO, Detroit Opera
David Gockley, Retired General Director, San Francisco Opera and Houston Grand Opera
Frayda B. Lindemann, Ph.D., President and CEO, The Metropolitan Opera
Charles MacKay, Retired General Director, The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Susan F. Morris, Honorary Chair, The Santa Fe Opera

Ex Officio
Christina Loewen
Executive Director, Association for Opera in Canada

Alejandra Martí
Executive Director, Ópera Latinoamérica

Nicholas Payne
Executive Director, Opera Europa

National Opera Center Board

James M. Barton, Chair
John E. Baumgardner Jr.
C. Graham Berwind, III
Larry Bomback
Todd Calvin
L. Henry Cox III
Douglas Cuomo
Margee M. Filstrup
Jeanne Goffi-Fynn, Ed.D.
Jane A. Gross
Mont Levy
Karen Kriendler Nelson
Frederick W. Peters
Jane A. Robinson
Anthony Rudel
Jeri Sedlar
Thurmond Smithgall
Shoshana Tancer
Barbara Augusta Teichert

Council Members (as of June 30, 2022)
Jen Benoit-Bryan, Learning and Leadership Council
Vice-President and Co-Director of Research, Slover Linett Audience Research

Stacy Brightman, Learning and Leadership Council
Executive Director, The Ebell of Los Angeles

Jessica Burton, Trustee Council
Board Governance and Nominating Committee Chair, Opera Columbus

Antonio C. Cuyler, Learning and Leadership Council
Director of the M.A. Program and Associate Professor of Arts Administration, Florida State University

Patrick Dailey, Learning and Leadership Council
Countertenor; Faculty, Tennessee State University

Aliana de la Guardia, Membership Council
Artistic Director, Guerilla Opera

Kim Eberlein, Trustee Council
Chair of the Board, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Randall Eng, Membership Council

Aiden Feltkamp, Communications Council
Emerging Composers and Diversity Director, American Composers Orchestra

Damien Geter, Communications Council
Composer and Singer; Interim Music Director and Artistic Advisor, Portland Opera

Susan Geyer, Trustee Council
Secretary of the Board, The Dallas Opera

Barbara Glauber, Learning and Leadership Council
Trustee, New England Conservatory

Julie Grady Heard, Trustee Council
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Board Member, Cincinnati Opera

Carleen Graham, Learning and Leadership Council
Dean of Vocal Arts Division, Manhattan School of Music

Liz Grubow, Communications Council
Vice-President and Managing Creative Director, LPK

Piper Gunnarson, Trustee Council
Executive Director, On Site Opera

Patrick Hansen, Membership Council
Director of Opera Studies, McGill University

Ruth Harper, Trustee Council
Trustee, Pensacola Opera

Rebecca Hass, Communications Council
Director of Community Engagement, Pacific Opera Victoria

Eiki Isomura, Artistic Services Council
Artistic and Interim General Director, Opera in the Heights

Jessica Jahn, Membership Council
Costume Designer

Givonna Joseph, Membership Council
Founder and Director, OperaCréole

Kathleen Kelly, Artistic Services Council
Coach, Conductor, Educator, and Librettist

Ryan Krause, Trustee Council
Trustee, Fort Worth Opera

Sharon Landis, Trustee Council
Trustee, Arizona Opera

Steven Lankenau, Membership Council
Senior Director of Promotion, Boosey & Hawkes

Peter Leone, Trustee Council
Chairman of the Board, Opera Philadelphia

Chevalier Lovett, Trustee Council
Trustee, Opera Orlando; Chief Operating Officer, Florida Rising

Lucia Lucas, Artistic Services Council
Singer - Heldenbaritonistin

Robert Milne, Trustee Council
Trustee, Pacific Opera Victoria

Marion Newman, Artistic Services Council

Andrew Ousley, Communications Council
President and Founder, Unison Media

David Salerno Owens, Trustee Council
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant, Portland Metropolitan; Committee Chair, Portland Opera

Andrea Puente-Catán, Trustee Council
Director of Major Gifts and Hispanic Initiatives, San Diego Opera

Miguel Rodríguez, Membership Council
President and Founder, Athlone Artists

Arlene Palmer Schwind, Trustee Council
President, Opera Maine


OPERA America (operaamerica.org) leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera. The organization is committed to:

  • Promoting collaboration and effectiveness among opera companies, universities, and allied businesses.
  • Delivering professional development to artists, administrators, and trustees
  • Increasing appreciation of opera through educational and audience development resources.
  • Offering support and services that foster the creation and presentation of new works.
  • Fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion across all aspects of the opera industry.
  • Undertaking national research and representing the field to policymakers and the media.
  • Managing the National Opera Center, a custom-built facility that provides a centralized space for collaboration, rehearsal, and performance.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America fulfills its mission through public programs, an annual conference, regional workshops, consultations, granting programs, publications, and online resources. It is the only organization serving all constituents of opera: artists, administrators, trustees, educators, and audience members. Membership includes 200 professional opera companies; 450 associate, business, and education members; and 3,400 individuals. OPERA America extends its reach to 80,000 annual visitors to its National Opera Center and over 83,000 subscribers and followers on digital and social media. Representing over 90 percent of eligible professional companies, OPERA America is empowered to lead field-wide change.

Over the past five decades, OPERA America has awarded $20 million to opera companies and artists across North America. This strategic philanthropy, made possible through OPERA America's Opera Fund endowment and in partnership with committed foundations, supports new work development, audience building, civic practice, co-productions, and field-wide innovation at its member opera companies. Awards to individuals advance the careers of women and people of the global majority in creative roles, highlight emerging artists, and recognize the leadership of exceptional trustees.