Participants Selected for the Women’s Opera Network Mentorship Program
Backstage Brunch (April 6) will benefit Mentorship Program and feature performances of new works by Laura Kaminsky
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation's leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce that protégés and mentors have been selected for the organization’s Women’s Opera Network Mentorship Program, now in its second year.
The Mentorship Program is intended to provide a unique opportunity for promising female administrators (protégés) in the field to be paired with established leaders (mentors) who can help them identify advancement barriers and create plans for professional growth.
The following three protégé-mentor pairs have been selected for the 2019 Mentorship Program:
See below for biographies of the protégés and mentors.
The Mentorship Program was created in 2018 to help further the goals of OPERA America’s Women’s Opera Network, a task force designed to address and advance gender parity in the opera field. The Women’s Opera Network seeks to provide ongoing support for emerging female professionals in opera and to design programs that nurture and advance talented women.
The mentors and protégés will work together during 2019 through remote as well as in-person sessions, including site visits to the mentors’ opera companies and meetings at Opera Conference 2019 this June in San Francisco.
“As it enters its second year, the Women’s Opera Network Mentorship Program is helping build deep relationships between promising administrators and established leaders,” stated Kathryn Smith, chair of the Women’s Opera Network Steering Committee and general director of Madison Opera. “The 2018 class of protégés and mentors have repeatedly said that the program strengthened their skills and connections, which by extension strengthens the opera field. I am grateful to everyone who supports the Backstage Brunch and makes the Mentorship Program possible, investing in the future of female opera leaders.”
Backstage Brunch: Saturday, April 6
The third annual Backstage Brunch, a special morning in support of the Mentorship Program, will be held Saturday, April 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at OPERA America’s National Opera Center in New York City. Co-chaired by composer Laura Kaminsky and philanthropist Lynn Loacker, the Backstage Brunch will feature a showcase of works written by Kaminsky, including excerpts from her operas As One, Some Light Emerges, Today It Rains (recently premiered) and Hometown to the World (work in progress), to be performed by soprano Cree Carrico, mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, baritone Jorell Williams and pianist Margaret Kampmeier.
The performance will be followed by an interview with a mentor-protégé pair from the inaugural Mentorship Program cohort — Mitra Sadeghpour, director of opera at University of Northern Iowa (protégé), and Stacy Brightman, vice president of education and community engagement at Los Angeles Opera (mentor) — led by Astrid Baumgardner, head of career strategies at Yale School of Music and president of Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training.
To make a donation to the Women’s Opera Network Mentorship Program, visit operaamerica.org/BackstageBrunch or call 646.699.5248.
New York City Meeting of Women’s Opera Network
Immediately following the Backstage Brunch, OPERA America will host the first-ever New York City convening of the Women’s Opera Network, bringing together female administrators, creators, business leaders and other industry stakeholders. The meeting will provide insights into various initiatives supporting the leadership of women in roles throughout the industry. The event includes a networking reception with attendees of the Backstage Brunch from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., followed by a presentation and discussion from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is $20 at operaamerica.org/WONNYC.