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Press Published: 17 Aug 2023

OPERA America Announces 2023 Opera Hall of Fame Inductees

Recipients to be honored at OPERA America Salutes Awards Dinner, January 26, 2024, in New York City

OPERA America is pleased to announce the induction of seven exemplary artists, administrators, and advocates to the Opera Hall of Fame as the Class of 2023. They join a distinguished roster of previous inductees who are honored in OPERA America’s National Opera Center.

The 2023 Opera Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Michael Bronson, arts administrator and producer
  • Wayne S. Brown, arts leader and administrator
  • Anthony Davis, composer and teacher
  • Susan Feder, arts funder and advocate
  • Frayda B. Lindemann, trustee and philanthropist
  • Sherrill Milnes, baritone and teacher
  • Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano and humanitarian

See below for full biographies of the inductees.

The Opera Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of outstanding living American artists, administrators, and advocates who have strengthened the art form and the field. It was established on the occasion of OPERA America’s 50th anniversary in 2020 to help celebrate the progress of the industry over the past half-century.

Nominations for the Opera Hall of Fame are open to the public each winter and are reviewed by a selection committee composed of established professionals and supporters from the field with a deep understanding of the entire opera industry. The 2023 Opera Hall of Fame inductees were selected from a pool of 166 worthy nominees.

“The contributions to the field of the 2023 Opera Hall of Fame recipients cannot be overstated,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America. “We look forward to saluting these remarkable individuals who have shaped the field through their talent, dedication, and generosity. They have paved the way to a bright future for opera.”

OPERA America will induct the Opera Hall of Fame honorees at the OPERA America Salutes awards dinner on Friday, January 26, 2024, in New York City. The event will include cocktails, dinner, and musical performances by singers from the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

The OPERA America Salutes awards dinner generates essential support for OPERA America’s professional development programs. Proceeds underwrite the organization’s Leadership Intensive, New General Director Roundtables, and Mentorship Programs. Single tickets ($350+) and tables ($5,000+) to OPERA America Salutes will be available at operaamerica.org/OASalutes; reservations are required by Friday, January 5, 2024.

Nominations for the 2024 cycle of the Opera Hall of Fame will be accepted beginning December 1, 2023, and close January 15, 2024. For more information about the Opera Hall of Fame and to submit nominations, visit operaamerica.org/HallofFame.


Michael Bronson
Arts Administrator and Producer


Six-time Emmy winner Michael Bronson has over 60 years of experience as an arts administrator, arts management consultant, and producer of cultural television and radio programs. In addition to serving as the technical and business administrator for the Metropolitan Opera, he produced the first 10 years of the Live from the Met television series. He has also produced more than 50 television programs for American opera companies and symphony orchestras. Bronson served in the Opera/Music Theater Program of the National Endowment for the Arts and is currently a consultant to the Electronic Media Association, which represents over 120 opera companies and symphony orchestras in the negotiation and administration of the Integrated Media Agreement — the national agreement with the American Federation of Musicians covering media activity.

Wayne S. Brown
Arts Leader and Administrator

Wayne S. Brown has served as president and CEO of Detroit Opera since 2014 and plans to conclude his tenure at the close of the 2023–2024 season. He was previously director of music and opera for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he managed the NEA grants for music and opera projects and directed the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships and the NEA Opera Honors (2008-2011). Before that, Brown managed music events associated with the 1996 Olympic Games in his role as producer of music programs for the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia. His other previous roles include executive director of the Louisville Orchestra and assistant manager of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Brown is a founding member of the Magic in Music Advisory Committee for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and an emeritus board member of OPERA America.

Anthony Davis
Composer and Teacher

Anthony Davis is an internationally recognized composer of operatic, symphonic, choral, and chamber works who has been on the cutting edge of improvised music and jazz for over four decades. Davis was written eight operas, including X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X (1986), Under the Double Moon (1989), Amistad (1997), and Wakonda’s Dream (2007). His most recent opera, The Central Park Five, which premiered at Long Beach Opera in 2019, received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Davis is a distinguished professor of music at the University of California, San Diego. In 2021, he was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Davis is currently a board member of OPERA America.

Susan Feder
Arts Funder and Advocate

For the past 15 years, Susan Feder served as program officer in the Arts and Culture program at the Mellon Foundation. Among the many initiatives she launched were the National Playwright Residency Program, Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative, Musician Pathways programs, the National Alliance for Audition Support, the Regional Arts Resilience Fund, The Black Seed, and the National Latinx Theater Initiative. Her grantmaking in opera supported the development and production of numerous new operas across the U.S., as well as training programs for composers and librettists, the PROTOTYE Festival, and OPERA America’s New Works Forum, New Works Exploration Grants, and Co-Production Loan Fund. She previously served as vice president of the music publisher G. Schirmer, editorial coordinator of The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and program editor at the San Francisco Symphony.

Frayda B. Lindemann
Trustee and Philanthropist

Frayda B. Lindemann is president emerita of the Metropolitan Opera Association and a member of the Executive Committee, and has been a managing director of the board since 1991. She is also a board member of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and in 2012, she was elected chair of OPERA America. For many years, Dr. Lindemann has given time and support to the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, which provides training for exceptionally gifted young singers. For 35 years, she also supported young musical talent through her work with Young Concert Artists. Lindemann holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Columbia University and was an associate professor in the Music Department of Hunter College for 12 years; she now serves as co-chair of the Music Advisory Board at Hunter. She is an emeritus board member of OPERA America.

Sherrill Milnes
Baritone and Teacher

Sherrill Milnes is one of the leading baritones of his generation. From the 1960s through 1990s, he appeared over 650 times at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was honored with 16 new productions, 7 opening nights, and 10 national telecasts. Famous for his Verdi roles, he was one of the most recorded American singers of his time, and he performed and recorded with many of the 20th century’s greatest singers, such as Caballé, Horne, Pavarotti, Price, Sills, Sutherland, and Tebaldi. In 2001, with his wife, Maria Zouves, Milnes co-founded the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs — the VOICExperience Foundation and the Savannah VOICE Festival — which provide training for aspiring young artists while fostering new audiences for the arts. Milnes has won three Grammy Awards and was honored with a 2008 Opera News Award.

Frederica von Stade
Mezzo-Soprano and Humanitarian

Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, affectionately known as “Flicka” to her fans, has enriched the world of classical music for four and a half decades, appearing at the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. A noted bel canto specialist, she excelled as the heroines of Rossini’s La cenerentola and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Bellini’s La sonnambula, while also garnering acclaim for her interpretations of Mozart and French repertoire. Beginning with her debut in 1970, she appeared over 300 times at the Metropolitan Opera. Von Stade retired from full-time performing in 2010 but has continued to make special appearances in concert and opera. She has created roles in numerous new works, including Dead Man Walking (2000), Three Decembers (2008), A Coffin in Egypt (2014), and Sky on Swings (2018).


For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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