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Article Published: 20 Jan 2022

Transitions: Winter 2022

In December, the U.S. Senate confirmed Maria Rosario Jackson as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Jackson is a tenured institute professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) at Arizona State University, where she also holds an appointment in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. An expert in strategic planning, policy research, and evaluation with nonprofit and government organizations, Jackson was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Obama in 2013.


Derrell Acon

Derrell Acon has been named Opera Philadelphia’s first vice president of people operations and inclusion. He will leave his post as associate artistic director and chief impact officer at Long Beach Opera but continue as associate artistic director and creative producer for Heartbeat Opera.

OPERA America has welcomed Sophia Bennett as editor of Opera America Magazine and Sarah K. Ivins as director of marketing and communications.

Lisa Bury has joined San Francisco Opera as chief philanthropy officer. John Keene has joined the company as chorus director.

Loose Tea Music Theatre has hired Tim Crouch as general manager, Francesco Corsaro as director of development, and Rochelle Smith as director of marketing.

Portland Opera has named Damien Geter interim music advisor.

Paul Gunning has joined Lyric Opera of Chicago as vice president and chief marketing officer.

Joel Ivany

Edmonton Opera has appointed Joel Ivany as artistic director. Ivany will remain involved with Against the Grain Theatre as its founder.

Joseph Li

Minnesota Opera has named Joseph Li as vice president, artistic.

Will Liverman

Virginia Opera has appointed baritone Will Liverman as creative partner and advisor, where he will work with the artistic and civic engagement teams. The company has also extended the contract of Artistic Director Adam Turner through the 2024–2025 season.

Shawna Lucey

Opera San José has appointed stage director Shawna Lucey as general director and CEO. Lucey’s directorial work has been seen at companies including the Met, San Francisco Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and Opera San José.

Susan Miller

Intermountain Opera Bozeman has appointed Susan Miller, most recently director of marketing and outreach at Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, as its first-ever general director. She succeeds Executive Director Jackie Vick, who retired last June after leading the company for 13 years.

Knoxville Opera has announced that Artistic Director Brian Salesky will step down after the 2021–2022 season. Executive Director Jason Hardy will become general director and CEO, and Dean Anthony will serve as producing director.

Giuliano Kornberg

The Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera has announced that Giuliano Kornberg, its chief revenue and development officer, will succeed Alice Sauro as executive director, effective February 1.

Central City Opera has announced that its general and artistic director, Pelham “Pat” Pearce Jr., will transition to artistic director and senior vice president. A newly created chief executive officer position will subsume the general director duties.

Luz Villarreal has joined LA Opera as director of communications, replacing Vanessa Flores Waite.

Melissa Voigt has been named Sarasota Opera’s senior development officer.

Caroline Worra

Charlottesville Opera has appointed soprano and vocal coach Caroline Worra as artistic director.

The Glimmerglass Festival has announced that Francesca Zambello will step down as artistic and general director at the end of its 2022 season. She will continue as artistic director of Washington National Opera.