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Press Released: 07 Jul 2023

OPERA America Welcomes New Officers and 14 New Members to Its Board of Directors

Susan G. Marineau Elected Chair of OPERA America

Estevan Rael-Gálvez Elected New Vice Chair

Mont Levy Elected Chair of National Opera Center Board

OPERA America is pleased to announce the election of Susan G. Marineau as the 14th chair of its Board of Directors.

Marineau serves as the current chair of The Santa Fe Opera, after serving as board president from 2015–2020. Her leadership at The Santa Fe Opera was recognized in 2022 when she received a National Opera Trustee Recognition Award for her service. She also serves on the board of San Francisco Opera and, previously, was a trustee of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Marineau joined OPERA America’s board in 2018 and served as vice chair of governance for the past two years. She and her husband, Phil, have been lead supporters of OPERA America for over a decade. Through their Marineau Family Foundation, they established OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors program in 2020 to incentivize opera companies to engage women in key artistic roles.

Along with Marineau’s appointment to chair, Estevan Rael-Gálvez, a trustee of The Santa Fe Opera and executive director and project investigator for Native Bound-Unbound: Archive of the Indigenous Enslaved, has been elected as the new vice chair for governance. Rael-Gálvez joins Vice Chairs Héctor Armienta, composer and artistic director of Opera Cultura, and Lee Anne Myslewski, vice president of opera and classical programming at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts; as well as Treasurer Ian Rye, CEO of Pacific Opera Victoria, and Secretary Michael Egel, general and artistic director of Des Moines Metro Opera.

OPERA America also welcomes a new class of 14 board members that includes artists, administrators, educators, and trustees drawn from the national opera field:

  • Angel Blue, Soprano
  • Cheryl Slay Carr, Board President, Nashville Opera
  • Antonio C. Cuyler, Professor, University of Michigan
  • Barbara Lynne Jamison, General Director and CEO, Kentucky Opera
  • Christopher Koelsch, President and CEO, Los Angeles Opera
  • Karen J. Kubin, Trustee, San Francisco Opera
  • Mont S. Levy, Trustee, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
  • Loren Meeker, General and Artistic Director, OPERA San Antonio
  • Andrew Morgan, General Director, Hawai’i Opera Theatre
  • Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Artistic and General Director, Tapestry Opera
  • Sylvia Neil, Board Chair, Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Julia Noulin-Mérat, General Director and CEO, Opera Columbus
  • Maggey Oplinger, General Director and CEO, Florentine Opera
  • Barbara Augusta Teichert, Trustee, Los Angeles Opera and Opera Philadelphia

In addition to joining the Board of Directors, Mont Levy was appointed chair of OPERA America’s National Opera Center Board. Mont joined the National Opera Center Board in 2020 and is a fervid philanthropist of the arts and culture in St. Louis, where he serves as treasurer of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

OPERA America is pleased to welcome two new board members to the National Opera Center Board:

  • Nicholas King, founder and executive director, After Arts
  • Alan E. Muraoka, scenic designer

“We are thrilled to welcome Susan G. Marineau, Estevan Rael-Gálvez, and Mont Levy into their new roles, along with this new cohort of board members. Their combined leadership and perspective will help guide OPERA America and the field as we continue to emerge from the pandemic,” stated OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca.

The work of OPERA America’s 37-person Board is informed by seven programmatic Councils with an additional 38 individuals from across the opera field. These Councils were created in 2021 to expand the representation of OPERA America’s diverse membership and incorporate the expertise of additional administrators, artists, trustees, and other experts in shaping and evaluating OPERA America’s programs.

OPERA America extends its profound thanks to Carol F. Henry for her service as board chair from 2021‒2023 and for her continued service as immediate past chair. Carol provided steady leadership of the board as OPERA America returned to full service after the pandemic and extended its services to companies and artists through an unprecedented period of rebuilding and growth.

Newly Appointed Leaders

Susan G. Marineau
Board Chair

Susan G. Marineau is the chair of The Santa Fe Opera. She also currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Opera. In a long career of service, she has been a board member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of San Francisco, and the Women’s Foundation of California. Marineau was also the president of the board of the Chicago Foundation for Women and founding president of Friends of Battered Women and Their Children.

Marineau has worked as an advertising copywriter, buyer for a large retailer, and marketing consultant. She now has a studio in Stinson Beach, California, where she paints when her opera duties allow. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana and her M.B.A. from Loyola University in Chicago.

Estevan Rael-Gálvez
Vice Chair, Governance

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.

Mont Levy
National Opera Center Board Chair

Mont Levy retired in 2018 after more than 20 years as a wealth advisor at Buckingham Wealth Strategies and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. He held served as CEO of Buckingham’s sister organization, BAM Advisor Services. Previously, he worked as the vice president of finance and administration at Grand Center Inc., a nonprofit arts and entertainment urban development organization in St. Louis, and as a partner with Follman/Levy Acquisition Group. Levy is a passionate and engaged advocate for the arts and a civic leader in St. Louis. He is a commissioner to the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, for which he served as chair from 2019 to 2021. He also serves as the treasurer of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and chair of OPERA America’s National Opera Center Board. In addition, Levey serves on the boards of the Forsyth School, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and the American Jewish Committee.

New Board Members

Angel Blue

Angel Blue is one of today’s most influential sopranos, celebrated for her honeyed voice and affecting deliveries of many of opera’s most beloved roles. She has received two Grammy Awards, the 2020 Beverly Sills Award, and the 2022 Richard Tucker Award. In the 2023 spring and summer season, she stars as Violetta in La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, makes her debut as Aida at the Royal Opera House, returns to the Santa Fe Opera to sing the title role of Tosca, and embarks on a European tour with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, among several other engagements. During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Blue dedicated her time to encouraging young singers to stay motivated through her online talk show, Faithful Friday, in which she interviewed people she found to be inspiring. Blue continues to prioritize encouraging and uplifting younger singers in the opera world.

Antonio C. Cuyler
Professor, University of Michigan

Antonio C. Cuyler (he/him/his), Ph.D., is a professor of music in entrepreneurship leadership at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (SMTD). He is the author of Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations: Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Color in the U S. and the editor of Arts Management, Cultural Policy, and the African Diaspora. In addition, Dr. Cuyler has authored chapters on access, diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music, opera, and cultural organizations in Music as Labour: Inequalities and Activism in the Past and Present, Business Issues in the Arts, Voices for Change in the Classical Music Profession, and The Oxford Handbook of Arts and Cultural Management. He also founded Cuyler Consulting LLC, a Black-owned arts consultancy that partners with cultural organizations to maximize their performance and community relevance through access, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI).

Barbara Lynne Jamison
General Director, Kentucky Opera

Barbara Lynne Jamison became the sixth general director in Kentucky Opera’s history in 2018. A visionary builder by nature, she has sparked multiple new initiatives, including commissions, engagement programs, innovative creative placemaking projects, and productions that provide meaningful experiences for people not traditionally served by opera. She has also introduced a groundbreaking community-led approach to producing mainstage opera and engagement programs by inviting and centering the voices of the community through deep, ongoing partnerships. In 2021, she led the move of the company’s operations into the newly renovated Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health. Jamison serves her local community as a Juneteenth Jubilee commissioner, chair of the Arts and Culture Alliance, and member of the Louisville Rotary Club’s Leadership Team. She is an alumna of OPERA America’s 2014 Leadership Intensive and a member of the organization’s Women’s Opera Network Streeting Committee and Government Affairs working group.

Christopher Koelsch
President and Chief Executive Offer, LA Opera

Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera's president and CEO since 2012, shapes the company's artistic vision and strategy. He oversees all aspects of artistic planning, including repertoire selection, music administration, and casting, as well as every aspect of the company’s strategic planning and resources. Koelsch has overseen the creation of over 50 new productions, including six world premieres, working with each creative team from initial conception to opening night. Under his guidance, LA Opera has prioritized artistic excellence and innovation, community inclusivity, and fiscal responsibility. He has led the company to expand its reach and diversify its artistic product through programs like Off Grand, a series of experimental programs in unconventional venues; a film and music series; live, free simulcasts of mainstage productions; and community-created operas. The company has also launched multi-year programmatic initiatives, including a series devoted to specific composers and an annual commitment to contemporary work on the mainstage.

Karen Kubin
Trustee, San Francisco Opera

Karen Kubin is a member of San Francisco Opera’s board of directors, serving on the executive committee and as its secretary. Recently retired from Morrison & Foerster LLP after 46 years of practicing law, Kubin won a number of groundbreaking employment class and other complex actions, earning her multi-year recognition as one of California’s top employment lawyers. Kubin also sits on the board of trustees of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is an associate director of the San Francisco Opera Guild, where she served as president from 2012 to 2014.  She is a former board member of the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Kubin is a strong advocate of music education and has blended this interest with her philanthropic activities. In particular, she supports the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Programs at San Francisco Opera, where many young singers have launched brilliant operatic careers — including several Kubin has proudly sponsored.

Mont Levy
National Opera Center Board Chair
Trustee, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Mont Levy retired in 2018 after more than 20 years as a wealth advisor at Buckingham Wealth Strategies and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. He held served as CEO of Buckingham’s sister organization, BAM Advisor Services. Previously, he worked as the vice president of finance and administration at Grand Center Inc., a nonprofit arts and entertainment urban development organization in St. Louis, and as a partner with Follman/Levy Acquisition Group. Levy is a passionate and engaged advocate for the arts and a civic leader in St. Louis. He is a commissioner to the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, for which he served as chair from 2019 to 2021. He also serves as the treasurer of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and chair of OPERA America’s National Opera Center Board. In addition, Levey serves on the boards of the Forsyth School, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and the American Jewish Committee.

E. Loren Meeker
General and Artistic Director, OPERA San Antonio

Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for her “inspired innovation,” stage director E. Loren Meeker has garnered worldwide acclaim for her keen artistic vision and rich, measured storytelling. With an international career spanning the U.S., Argentina, Singapore, and France, Meeker has worked at notable houses such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and Teatro Colón. In 2020, she was named general and artistic director of OPERA San Antonio. In her short time with OSA, she has achieved a number of artistic and organizational successes, including stabilizing the company through COVID; creating OSA’s first investment account; creating the company’s first Spanish-language program, Charlas Musicales; and producing the first Spanish-language opera for the company, María de Buenos Aires. During her tenure, OSA has also received the first awards in its history, from San Antonio Magazine, San Antonio Business Journal, and Theatre Network of Texas.

Andrew Morgan
General Director, Hawai'i Opera Theatre

Andrew Morgan, general director of Hawai'i Opera Theatre (HOT), is a seasoned arts administrator with more than 25 years of experience as a manager, performer, and stage director. Since taking the helm of HOT in 2019, Morgan has continually found ways to creatively guide the company, such as launching the HOT Digital Initiative in response to COVID-19. He previously spent 11 years at San Francisco Opera, culminating in his role as director of development, and before that served as executive director of American Bach Soloists in San Francisco. Morgan’s career also includes a decade with the renowned men's a cappella ensemble Chanticleer, first as a tenor and subsequently as artistic assistant. As a tenor and director, he has participated in over 50 opera productions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Morgan holds a bachelor's degree in music education (voice) from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in vocal performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Michael Hidetoshi Mori
General Director, Tapestry Opera

An internationally acclaimed Canadian-American stage director, Michael Hidetoshi Mori is the general director of Tapestry Opera in Toronto and the chair of the board of the Association for Opera in Canada. Under his leadership, Tapestry Opera has been called “the leader of the Canadian opera pack” by The Globe and Mail. Mori is also a founder and member of the executive committee of Indie Opera TO. In his career as a stage director, he has worked regularly in site-specific settings and conventional theater. His recent directing credits include R.U.R. a torrent of light and TAP:EX Augmented Opera for Tapestry Opera; Maada’ookii Songlines for the Luminato Festival; co-directing Shanawdithit for Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon; Pomegranate at Buddies in Bad Times; Rigoletto for Sacramento Opera; and Il trittico for West Bay Opera. He is the winner of the 2017 and 2022 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction in opera and musical theater.

Sylvia Neil
Board Chair, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Sylvia Neil made history when she was appointed as the first female board chair of Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2020. Alongside her husband, Dan Fischel, Neil has co-sponsored numerous Lyric productions and organized and sponsored The Heroes' Fund to help mitigate the company’s financial losses caused by COVID-19. Neil has had a distinguished career in civil liberties advocacy and academia. She is a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School, where she formerly served as associate dean, and she founded and chairs the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and Law at Brandeis University. She was previously an adjunct professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and taught at DePaul School of Law and Roosevelt University. Neil is a vice chair of the Art Institute of Chicago and sits on the boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Public Media, and Brandeis University.

Julia Noulin-Mérat
General Director and CEO, Opera Columbus

Julia Noulin-Mérat is an American, French, and Canadian producer and designer who has served as general director and CEO of Opera Columbus (OC) for the past three seasons. Recognizing changing audience preferences and expectations, Noulin-Mérat has brought her extensive experience with immersive theater and operatic performances to OC and is redefining the very concept of regional opera, with original productions that celebrate emerging talent, fresh perspectives, and modern technology. Previously, Noulin-Mérat served as the associate producer at Boston Lyric Opera and as co-artistic director of Guerilla Opera. She is the creative director for Hong Kong-based More Than Musical. Noulin-Mérat has worked on over 400 opera, theater, and television productions, including 26 new operas and 22 new plays. She holds a Master of Business Arts Administration and MFA in set design from Boston University and is an alum of OPERA America’s Leadership Intensive and Mentorship Program for Women Administrators.

Maggey Oplinger
General Director and CEO, Florentine Opera

Maggey Oplinger joined the Florentine Opera as general director and CEO in 2019. Under her leadership, the company presents timeless works within the context of the Milwaukee community, approaching opera as a powerhouse for different voices and stories. The Florentine brings opera to 15,000 students and the city as a whole through great performance experiences, connection, community, and unsung voices at center stage. In her former role at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Oplinger served as director of community partnerships and director of shared experiences. In those roles, she participated in fundraising, corporate and community relationship-building, and curating new takes on traditional performance. Oplinger holds bachelor's and master's degrees in voice performance from McGill University and a graduate diploma in nonprofit business administration from Concordia University’s Molson School of Business. She also spent five years with Johnson Controls as an innovation catalyst and sales proposal team lead prior to returning to the arts.

Cheryl Slay Carr
Board President, Nashville Opera

Cheryl Slay Carr is associate dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and professor of music business at Belmont University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Master of Public Administration from Clark Atlanta University, and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Carr teaches, speaks, and writes extensively on diversity, law and justice in the arts, and marginalization in the entertainment industry. Her publications include Music Copyright Law and Music Business Careers: Career Duality in the Creative Industries. She is the founder of Minding the Gap, an annual symposium on equity and inclusion in the entertainment industry. Carr founded and managed her own law firm, practicing law as an entertainment and intellectual property attorney, and continues to represent a select roster of clients. She joined the board of Nashville Opera in 2019, became vice chair in 2020, and was elected president in 2022. 

Barbara Augusta Teichert
Trustee, Los Angeles Opera and Opera Philadelphia

Barbara Augusta Teichert is a member of OPERA America’s National Opera Center Board. A former board member of Washington National Opera, she currently serves on the boards of Los Angeles Opera and Opera Philadelphia, her hometown company. She has helped underwrite productions for those three companies, as well as intermittently for the Metropolitan Opera, beginning with Tan Dun and Ha Jin’s The First Emperor. The oldest daughter of a classical keyboard player and an interior designer turned volunteer and docent, Teichert graduated cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in art history in 1975. She subsequently dropped out of grad school when “deconstruction” became fashionable and shifted from theater volunteer to theater employee. Initially, she worked as a box office assistant, and later as a box office manager and as a subscription manager. Twenty-five years ago, Teichert’s enthusiasm for theater and dance (and Gilbert & Sullivan) was overtaken by opera, which she cheerfully calls “music theater on steroids.”

New National Opera Center Board Members

Nicholas King
Founder and Executive Director, After Arts

Nicholas King is a managing director at Fort Point Capital, a registered investment advisor providing wealth advisory and risk management solutions to individuals, families, and institutions across the U.S. Driven by a desire to combine his passion for music and business, he founded After Arts, a thriving community of professionals who share a passion for and background in the performing arts. Previously, King maintained an active career as a concert pianist and performed in major recital halls in seven countries. He also founded the Art of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young musicians and giving back to the community. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Mannes School of Music and the Advisory Board of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. King holds a B.M. in classical piano from The Royal Conservatory of Music, an A.D. from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and an M.M. from The Juilliard School.

Alan E. Muraoka
Scenic and Production Designer

Alan E. Muraoka has worked in the entertainment industry as a production designer and art director for film and television, in corporate communication, and as a theatrical set designer, having been honored with two Emmy nominations and three Art Directors’ Guild Award nominations. Splitting his time between New York and Los Angeles, Muraoka initially started his career as an assistant set designer in New York on the Broadway productions of On Your Toes, The Tap Dance Kid, The Three Musketeers, Smile, and Jerry’s Girls, and the ballets Bournonville Variations for choreographer Peter Martins and Ives, Songs for Jerome Robbins, both at New York City Ballet.

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.