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Article Published: 01 Apr 2020

Skill Sets: Leadership Intensive 2020

The 15 administrators who gathered in January at the National Opera Center for OA’s 2020 Leadership Intensive represented a diverse range of professional specialties: marketing, development, artistic administration, production. What united them was a drive to obtain the universal leadership skills any opera professional needs to advance his or her career. During the weeklong program, the group attended seminars on everything from nonprofit finance, time management and public presentation skills, to conflict resolution and concepts of power and privilege.

The program is also designed to introduce the participants to a peer network that they can rely on for guidance and support after they have returned to their companies. This year’s class will come together for virtual meetings later this year and will attend roundtable conversations for Leadership Intensive alumni at OA’s future annual conferences.

“The Leadership Intensive helped me find my own unique path toward stronger leadership,” says Piper Gunnarson, one of this year’s participants, “and it connected me with colleagues with whom I bonded like family, and who will continue to be resources for information and inspiration for many years to come.”

The Leadership Intensive is supported by American Express.

The Class of 2020

Derrell Acon, Director of Engagement and Equity, Long Beach Opera

Joe Barnes, Company Manager, the Metropolitan Opera

Robert Boldin, Artistic Administrator, Pittsburgh Opera

Aisling Fitzgerald, Opera Producer and Production Stage Manager, Wexford Festival Opera/Cork Opera House

Yvette Guigueno, Director of Development, Pacific Opera Victoria

Piper Gunnarson, Executive Director, On Site Opera

Pierina Lavanca, Coordinator of Institutional Projects, Auditorio Nacional del Sodre

Margarita María Mora Medina, Director of Marketing, Advertising and Communications, Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo

Julia Noulin-Mérat, Associate Producer, Boston Lyric Opera, and Co-Artistic Director, Guerilla Opera

Lauri Pokkinen, Audience Outreach and Social Responsibility Manager, Finnish National Opera and Ballet

Andrea Puente-Catán, Major Gifts Officer, Hispanic Affairs, San Diego Opera

Chris Thoren, Fogel General Manager, Strategy and Communications, Chicago Opera Theater

Eleanor Parker Walter, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, Opera Birmingham

Noah Stern Weber, Independent Consultant

Arthur White, Director of External Affairs, Michigan Opera Theatre

This article was published in the Spring 2020 issue of Opera America Magazine.