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Press Released: 11 Aug 2022

OPERA America Welcomes Six New Members to its Board of Directors

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

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, welcomes 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.



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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

See the full Board of Directors and Council Members at the link below

OPERA America's Board of Directors


For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

For press inquiries, contact Press@operaamerica.org or 212.796.8628.