OPERA America Announces 13 Participants for Its 2021 Leadership Intensive Program
OPERA America is pleased to announce the 13 participants selected for its 2021 Leadership Intensive program. The Leadership Intensive exemplifies OPERA America’s long-standing commitment to identify and encourage the field’s most promising administrators who will help move opera forward for years to come.
The 2021 Leadership Intensive participants are:
- James Barbato, director of artistic administration, Palm Beach Opera;
- Esther Blevins, marketing and communications manager, Knoxville Opera;
- Eric Broker, marketing and communications director, Minnesota Opera;
- Kelvin Chan, founding general director, Vital Opera, and general director, VOXCRAFT;
- Matt Cook, executive and development director, Pacific Opera Project;
- Julia Cooke, artistic and general director, Baltimore Concert Opera;
- Alonso Escalante, artistic director, Ópera de Bellas Artes;
- Kathryn Frady, founding executive artistic director, Marble City Opera;
- Sara Litchfield, youth and family programs manager, Seattle Opera;
- Jessica Phillips, clarinetist, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and co-founder, MET Orchestra Musicians;
- Mitra Sadeghpour, education consultant;
- Linda Schulte, director of development, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and
- Hannah Waldman, director of development, Long Beach Opera.
This eighth class of the Leadership Intensive was chosen from a pool of 35 candidates through a competitive selection process. Candidates were evaluated based on their potential to make significant contributions to the opera field. (Alonso Escalante was selected by Ópera Latinoamérica, OPERA America’s partner organization in Latin America, which also underwrote his participation in the program.)
“The Leadership Intensive has proven to be a catalyst for the development of a new generation of opera leaders who would not otherwise have access to such specialized learning opportunities or to an international network of peers,” stated Marc. A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Alumni from the program now hold more than 10 percent of executive leadership positions at member companies across the United States.”
The Leadership Intensive, which was supported by funding from American Express in 2020, offers participants an extended professional development experience that will bolster their leadership capacity and advance their careers. Participants will be immersed in the program from August 13 to 20, 2021, for a weeklong curriculum that will address strategic issues, build essential skills, and foster strong professional connections. Expert faculty include Astrid Baumgardner, J.D., certified professional coach; JiJi Lee, storyteller and writer; Jeremiah Marks, chief financial officer, Opera Philadelphia; Michelle Ramos, J.D., Ph.D., executive director, Alternate ROOTS; Jonathan Tessero, creative director and producer; Sarah Carter, director of learning and leadership, OPERA America; Laura Lee Everett, chief programs officer, OPERA America; and Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO, OPERA America.