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Article Published: 01 Apr 2019

Diverse Participants, Universal Goals

The 16 opera administrators who gathered in February at the National Opera Center for OPERA America’s 2019 Leadership Intensive represented a diverse range of professional specialties, including marketing, development, education, finance and artistic administration, as well as geographies — from Toronto, Ontario, to Santiago, Chile, with many American cities in between. What united them was a drive to obtain the universal leadership skills that any opera professional needs to advance his or her career.

During a week of concentrated sessions and seminars at the Opera Center, the group worked not only on practical skills, such as public speaking, financial management and dining etiquette, but also examined the personal qualities that go into making a true leader. The program, which has been supported by American Express since its inception in 2012, is also designed to introduce the participants to a network of peers that they can rely on for guidance and support in the years ahead. This year’s class will come together again at Opera Conference 2019, from June 12 to 16 in San Francisco, where they will join alumni of past Intensives for roundtable discussions.

The Class of 2019 

Daniel Benavent
General Manager
Theatre Aspen

Vincent Covatto
Senior Manager, Organizational Membership, 
OPERA America

Priti Gandhi
Chief Artistic Officer,
Minnesota Opera

Matthew Gray
Producing Director,
American Opera Projects

Rebecca Hass
Director of Community Engagement,
Pacific Opera Victoria

Jeila Irdmusa
Marketing and Communications Manager,
Boston Lyric Opera

Ben Jewell-Plocher
Director of Education,
Sarasota Opera

Erik Johnson
Senior Financial Analyst,
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Gloria Larenas
Artistic Director,
Teatro del Lago

Anh Le
Acting Director of Marketing and Public Relations,
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Jaime Martino
Executive Director,
Tapestry Opera

Daniel Moss
Senior Director of Institutional Partnerships,
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Mariel O’Connell
Associate Producer,
Beth Morrison Projects

Chidi Ozieh
Managing and Media Director,
Ardea Arts

Paulina Ricciardi
Administrative Coordinator,
Ópera Latinoamérica

Sneja Tomassian
Chief Advancement Officer,
Cincinnati Opera

This article was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Opera America Magazine.