July 1, 2014

Photos available upon request

CONTACT: Richard Clark Director of Marketing & Communications 414-291-5700 ext. 213 rclark@florentineopera.org


“The National Service Organization for Opera nominates William Florescu to multiple board positions. Florescu and the Florentine Opera Company will host The Opera America Board Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in conjunction with the launch of its 81st Season.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—June 23, 2014—Florentine Opera Company General Director William Florescu accepted nominations to board positions of ‘Secretary of the Board’ and ‘Chair of the Membership Committee’ at the recent OPERA America Conference in San Francisco. Florecsu, General Director for the nation’s sixth oldest opera company, will host the National Service Organization for Opera for their Fall Board Meeting in Milwaukee during the Florentine’s 81st season premiere of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer)– the first new production of Wagner’s work on the Florentine stage in over a decade (more on this production below). Leaders from across North America will be present for the board meeting, activities throughout the city, and the Florentine Opera’s opening night performance of Wagner’s classic opera.

On October 24 and 26, 2014, the season embarks on an epic journey with a new production of Richard Wagner’s THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER)at the Marcus Center in Uihlein Hall – Florescu announced, The Florentine opens its 2014-15 season with a ghostly tale as powerful and mysterious as the sea itself. A tormented ship’s captain is condemned to endlessly sail the seas for eternity, only to be released of his curse by the true love of one woman”. Bass-baritone Wayne Tigges (Olin Blitch in Susannah, 2012) returns as the tormentedDutchman, opposite British soprano Alwyn Mellor, making her Florentine debut as Senta. In the August edition of Opera, Martin Dreyer writes of Alwyn Mellor’s performance as Brünnhilde in Opera North’s concert staging of Götterdämmerung, “(Alwyn) Mellor, introduced into this cycle as Sieglinde, impressed then, as now, with her animation, never afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. Her disappointment at Siegfried’s treachery was tangible. Her no-holds-barred, open tone allowed her to ping her top notes with deadly accuracy while keeping a smile on her face, thus riding the orchestra exultantly. She has matured wonderfully, even over these past two seasons, and is unquestionably in the very top flight of Wagnerians anywhere.”

This performance was broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on 7 July and remains on iPlayer until Sunday 13 July). Florentinefavorite bass Peter Volpe (Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, 2006; Timur in Turandot, 2011; and Zuniga in Carmen, 2012) returns as Senta’s father, Daland. Danish tenor David Danholt makes his debut as Erik, and mezzo-soprano Jenni Bank (Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro, 2013) sings Mary. Maestro Joseph Rescigno (conducting for Florentine productions dating back to 1981) conducts the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in this new production directed by Paula Suozzi.

Ticket sales begin September 16, 2014 – Subscriptions are now on-sale. For more information and ticket packages visit www.florentineopera.org or call (414) 291-5700 ext. 224 or 1-800-32 OPERA.

By Richard Wagner
Performed in German with English translations projected above the stage                                                         

Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 2:30 PM

All performances are held in Uihlein Hall at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Stage Director / Paula Suozzi
Conductor / Joseph Rescigno
Dutchman / Wayne Tigges
Senta / Alwyn Mellor *
Erik / David Danholt *
Daland / Peter Volpe
Mary / Jenni Bank

*denotes Florentine debut

For additional biographies or to schedule an interview, please contact Richard Clark, Director of Marketing & Communications, by telephone at 414/291.5700 ext 213, or via email at rclark@florentineopera.org.

The Florentine Opera Company’s productions reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs that engage the entire region. As a leader in Wisconsin’s art community and the nation’s sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Audiences enjoy beautiful main stage productions that include first-rate vocal artistry brought to life by established and emerging international, national and local opera stars. With a foundation of fiscal responsibility, the company continues to grow its artistic and educational programs. Through its in-school educational programming, the Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences, and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin, as well as support from corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of OPERA America.


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Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson; PKJohnson@operaamerica.org

New York, NY—OPERA America, the national nonprofit service organization for opera, is pleased to announce that seven new members have been elected to its Board of Directors. Elections were held during OPERA America’s recent Annual Business Meeting at Opera Conference 2014 in San Francisco, CA.

Serving first terms are Emilie Roy Corey (trustee, National Guild for Community Arts Education, New York), Larry Desrochers (general director and CEO, Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg, Canada), Robert Ellis (board member, San Francisco Opera and Opera Paralléle, San Francisco), Perryn Leech (managing director, Houston Grand Opera), Zizi Mueller (president, Boosey & Hawkes, New York), Eric Owens (bass-baritone, New York) and Jill Steinberg (photographer; board chair, VisionIntoArt, New York).

“I am delighted to welcome these outstanding new members to the Board of Directors,” stated OPERA America President and CEO Marc A. Scorca. “Each of these seven individuals, representing the administrative, publishing, governance and artistic spheres of our industry, brings a different set of valuable skills to the leadership of OPERA America at this exciting time in our industry. With their added perspectives, we look forward to furthering our work to increase opera’s civic impact,” he continued.

At the Annual Business Meeting, six current members of the Board of Directors were also re-elected to a second term:

  • David Bennett (executive director, Gotham Chamber Opera)
  • Keith Cerny (general director and CEO, The Dallas Opera)
  • Carol F. Henry (trustee, Los Angeles Opera)
  • Timothy O’Leary (general director, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)
  • Kenneth G. Pigott (trustee, Lyric Opera of Chicago)
  • Stephen Trampe (trustee, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)

Four officers of the Board of Directors were re-elected to their posts:

  • Frayda B. Lindemann, Ph.D. (trustee, the Metropolitan Opera) as chairman
  • Stephen Trampe (trustee, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) as vice-chairman
  • Darren K. Woods (general director, Fort Worth Opera) as vice-chairman
  • Timothy O’Leary (general director, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) as treasurer

Two members of the Board of Directors were newly elected to officer posts:

  • Susan F. Morris (trustee, The Santa Fe Opera) as vice-chairman
  • William Florescu (general director, Florentine Opera Company) as secretary

The OPERA America Board of Directors oversees the organization’s portfolio of programs, including professional development activities, research and advocacy, educational offerings, and grant initiatives such as the Building Opera Audiences program and The Opera Fund in support of new works. The Board of Directors meets three times each year, and the next meeting will take place in October in Milwaukee, WI.


Emilie Roy Corey
Trustee, National Guild for Community Arts Education
Since 2005, Emilie Roy Corey has been a trustee of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the only national service organization for community arts educators. She has served on the boards of numerous other cultural organizations, including the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, New York City Opera and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. From 1995 to 2000, Corey acted as board president of the Council of Senior Centers and Services, and more recently she joined the foundation board at PBMC Health, a community hospital located in Riverhead, NY. A native of Worcester, MA, Corey attended Simmons College in Boston and subsequently spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil. After returning to the U.S., she earned her master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and embarked on a twenty-year career in community services for the elderly, working for the Human Resources Administration, the Department for the Aging and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. After retiring in 1991, Corey began piano and voice lessons at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and later continued her studies at the Greenwich House Music School and the Lucy Moses School.
Larry Desrochers
General Director and CEO, Manitoba Opera
Larry Desrochers has been general director and CEO of Manitoba Opera (MO) since 2000. Under his leadership the company has experienced a creative and organizational renaissance. He has improved the quality of productions, hired an increased number of Canadian artists and expanded MO’s education and community engagement programs. Desrochers commissioned MO’s first new opera, Transit of Venus, and presented the North American premiere of a children’s opera, Jason and Hanna. He posted operating surpluses in 12 of the last 13 seasons. Prior to joining Manitoba Opera, Desrochers was the executive director of the Winnipeg Film Group, where he increased training, exhibition and distribution programs for independent filmmakers. He also oversaw major touring exhibitions of Manitoba films to South America and France. He began his career as associate artistic director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, where he founded the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. He produced and directed the 1999 Pan American Games opening and closing ceremonies, featuring more than 5,000 performers, including Canadian rock band The Guess Who, reunited for that occasion. Trained as a theater director, he has staged productions at a number of theaters in Canada, including premieres of a new works. Desrochers has served on a variety arts boards and committees and is the past chair of Opera.ca. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Winnipeg and a recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Difference Award for his contribution to arts and culture in Manitoba. He is also a member of OPERA America’s Strategy Committee.
Robert Ellis
Board Member, San Francisco Opera and Opera Parallèle
Robert Ellis has had a lifelong interest in opera, and he currently serves on the boards of San Francisco Opera and Opera Parallèle, a contemporary opera company also based in San Francisco. He works as an advisor, investor and director of Internet companies. Over the past two decades, Ellis has undertaken numerous Internet ventures: He served as a principal of xoom.com, which completed an IPO in 1999 and later merged with NBC’s Internet properties; founded Compact Publishing, an early digital publisher, which was sold to The Learning Company in 1995; acted as CEO of eNature, which was sold to the National Wildlife Federation; and founded Bonjour Paris, a travel destination site. Earlier in his career, Ellis was vice president of Time-Life Inc. and worked as a correspondent for TIME magazine. Ellis was a co-producer with Tod Machover, Keith Cerny, The Dallas Opera and the MIT Media Lab of the February 2014 nine-city simulcast of Death and the Powers from the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.
Perryn Leech
Managing Director, Houston Grand Opera
Perryn Leech has been managing director of Houston Grand Opera (HGO) since May 2011. He previously served as HGO’s chief operating officer and, before that, as technical and production director. In his current role, Leech oversees all aspects of the company operations, which are sustained by an annual budget of $25 million, and leads an eleven-member Senior Management Team. In 2012, Leech spearheaded the development and implementation of HGO’s new strategic plan, A Voice for Houston, establishing the company’s business and artistic vision for the future. In that same year he also launched a historic fundraising campaign, Inspiring Performance – The Campaign for Houston Grand Opera, which is on target to meet its goal of $165 million by the end of 2014. Before his tenure at HGO, Leech spent five years as technical director at Welsh National Opera and prior to that was production manager at English National Opera in London. He had previously worked for twelve years as a freelance production electrician in London’s West End and toured with many companies in the UK and Ireland. From 1989 to 1996, Leech was the head of lighting at the Edinburgh International Festival. It was during this time that he first collaborated with HGO on their two productions at the Playhouse Theatre – Nixon in China and Four Saints in Three Acts. Leech serves on the boards of Houston Downtown Alliance, the Electronic Media Association, Houston Arts Combined Endowment Foundation, and Wortham Center Operating Company.
Zizi Mueller
President, Boosey & Hawkes
Zizi Mueller joined Boosey & Hawkes in 2008 and became its president in 2012. During her tenure as publisher at Boosey & Hawkes, she has instituted the Emerging Composers and New Voices projects, innovative programs supporting young and emerging composers. Additionally, Mueller has signed Osvaldo Golijov, Sebastian Currier, Anna Clyne, Sean Shepherd and Oscar Bettison to the Boosey & Hawkes roster. As president of Boosey & Hawkes, Mueller represents the leading composers of contemporary music and opera and has collaborated on projects with many distinguished presenters, including the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others. Mueller came to Boosey & Hawkes with a wealth of performance and production experience. As executive and artistic director of MOSAIC, Mueller commissioned works from a wide spectrum of international composers and performed throughout the Americas and Europe. She has collaborated with celebrated theater directors, video artists and choreographers. As a performer and record producer, Mueller has produced projects for Naxos, Bridge Records, Newport Classics, New World Records and Premiere Records, among others. She is on the board of the Music Publishers Association and serves on the Symphony & Concert Committee of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Zizi Mueller received her training at The Juilliard School.
Eric Owens
The outstanding American bass-baritone Eric Owens continues to garner high praise across the globe for his many performances, which encompass a widely varied repertoire of opera, concerts and recitals. In addition to being Wolf Trap Opera’s inaugural artist in residence, Owens enjoys a 2014 summer season of performances of Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Chicago’s Grant Park Festival as well as scenes from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Aspen Music Festival. He rejoins Sir Simon Rattle, Peter Sellars and the Berlin Philharmonic for additional performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, and he will also perform at London’s BBC Proms festival. Owens’ 2014-2015 season starts off with performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and continues with additional performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic in New York as part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. His opera performances this season include performances of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the title role in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman with Washington National Opera and his role debut as King Philip II in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia. His upcoming concert performances include Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with the Swedish Radio Symphony under the baton of Essa-Pekka Salonen, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony, and a role debut of Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as additional performances of Ravel’s L’enfant with Maestro Salonen and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2015, Owens returns as artist in residence to The Glimmerglass Festival, where he will perform the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth for the first time. Highlights of his recent career include performances of Alberich in Wagner’s epic Ring cycle with the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Handel’s Hercules with the Canadian Opera Company, Dvorak’s Rusalka with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in addition to the King in Handel’s Ariodante, Porgy, Capellio in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Lodovico in Verdi’s Otello, all with San Francisco Opera. Owens has created challenging contemporary roles, including the title character in Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel (world premiere at Los Angeles Opera, subsequently Lincoln Center), the Storyteller in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree (Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna) and General Groves in Adams’ Doctor Atomic. (Photo by Paul Sirochman Photography)
Jill Steinberg
Photographer; Board Chair, VisionIntoArt
Photographer Jill Steinberg is the board chair of VisionIntoArt (VIA), a nonprofit new music and interdisciplinary arts production company and Professional Company Member of OPERA America, as well as a board member and philanthropic investor of Original Music Workshop (OMW), a nonprofit music venue that provides support to a wide range of composers, musicians and emerging talent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, opening fall 2015. As a live performance photographer, she has documented VisionIntoArt’s biennial 21c Liederabend co-productions at Galapagos Art Space, The Kitchen and Brooklyn Academy of Music, VIA’s annual FERUS Festival, and VIA productions at The Kennedy Center, Krannert Center, Park Avenue Armory and Bay Chamber Music Festival. Since 2012 she has photographed Original Music Workshop’s In Situ concerts as their building has undergone a transformation from a sawdust factory to a state-of-the-art performance space as well as OMW’s Ex Situ concerts at The Greene Space, Federal Hall and Pier 15. She also works with Beth Morrison Projects, Opera on Tap, Heartbeat Opera and the terraNOVA Collective and has published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Time Out Amsterdam and Music Listening Today, among other publications. As a photographer, Steinberg has a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes workings of small and emerging performing arts companies and their artists. As board chair of VIA, board member of OMW, Strategic Committee member of PROTOTYPE – OPERA/THEATRE/NOW and now, as a member of OPERA America’s board, she will continue to champion them. She and her husband, William Steinberg, are founding donors to the National Opera Center.

Chairman: Frayda B. Lindemann, Ph.D. (trustee, The Metropolitan Opera)
Vice-Chairman: Susan F. Morris (trustee, The Santa Fe Opera)
Vice-Chairman: Stephen Trampe (trustee, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)
Vice-Chairman: Darren K. Woods (general director, Fort Worth Opera)
Treasurer: Timothy O’Leary (general director, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)
Secretary: William Florescu (general director, Florentine Opera Company)
President/CEO: Marc A. Scorca (OPERA America)

David Bennett, Gotham Chamber Opera
Daniel Biaggi, Palm Beach Opera
J.A. (Gus) Blanchard, trustee emeritus, Minnesota Opera
Gregory Carpenter, Opera Colorado
Keith Cerny, The Dallas Opera
Emilie Roy Corey, trustee, National Guild for Community Arts Education
Rena M. De Sisto, Bank of America
Larry Desrochers, Manitoba Opera
David B. Devan, Opera Philadelphia
Robert Ellis, trustee, San Francisco Opera and Opera Parallèle
James Feldman, Washington National Opera
Allen R. Freedman, opera patron
Anthony Freud, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Christopher Hahn, Pittsburgh Opera
Jake Heggie, composer
Carol F. Henry, trustee, Los Angeles Opera
Perryn Leech, Houston Grand Opera
Barbara Leirvik, opera patron
Charles MacKay, The Santa Fe Opera
Andreas Mitisek, Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater
Zizi Mueller, Boosey & Hawkes
Esther Nelson, Boston Lyric Opera
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Nicole Paiement, Opera Parallèle
Kenneth G. Pigott, trustee, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Kathryn Smith, Madison Opera
Jill Steinberg, photographer; trustee of VisionIntoArt and Original Music Workshop
Gregory C. Swinehart, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP
Melia P. Toureangeau, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Francesca Zambello, The Glimmerglass Festival

Ex-Officio Members
Christina Loewen, Opera.ca
Nicholas Payne, Opera Europa

For more information about OPERA America and its services,
visit operaamerica.org.





ABOUT OPERA AMERICAOPERA America (operaamerica.org) leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.

  • Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
  • Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America’s worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 Company Members, 300 Associate and Business Members, 2,000 Individual Members and more than 10,000 subscribers to the association’s electronic news service. In response to the critical need for suitable audition, rehearsal and recording facilities, OPERA America opened the first ever NATIONAL OPERA CENTER (operaamerica.org/OperaCenter) in September 2012 in New York City. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, OPERA America is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.

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