Alonso Escalante, artistic director of the Opera de Bellas Artes, will participate in the Leadership Intensive 2021 organized by OPERA America

OPERA America is pleased to announce the 13 participants selected for its 2021 Leadership Intensive program. The Leadership Intensive exemplifies OPERA America’s long-term commitment to identifying and encouraging the most promising administrators in the field who will help advance opera in the future. coming years.


Leadership Intensive 2021 participants are:


  • James Barbato, Director of Art Administration, Palm Beach Opera;
  • Esther Blevins, director of marketing and communications for Knoxville Opera;
  • Eric Broker, director of marketing and communications for the Minnesota Opera;
  • Kelvin Chan, founding CEO of Vital Opera and CEO of VOXCRAFT;
  • Matt Cook, executive and development director, Pacific Opera Project;
  • Julia Cooke, Artistic Director and General of the Baltimore Concert Opera;
  • Alonso Escalante, artistic director, Opera de Bellas Artes;
  • Kathryn Frady, Executive Artistic Director and Founder of Marble City Opera;
  • Sara Litchfield, director of youth and family programs at the Seattle Opera;
  • Jessica Phillips, clarinetist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and co-founder of MET Orchestra Musicians;
  • Mitra Sadeghpour, consultant in education;
  • Linda Schulte, Director of Development, Saint Louis Opera Theater; and
  • Hannah Waldman, Director of Development, Long Beach Opera.


This eighth Leadership Intensive class was chosen from a pool of 35 applicants through a competitive selection process. Candidates were evaluated based on their potential to make significant contributions to the field of opera (Alonso Escalante was selected by Ópera Latinoamérica, OPERA America’s partner organization in Latin America, which also funded his participation in the program).


“The Leadership Intensive has proven to be a catalyst for the development of a new generation of opera leaders who would not otherwise have access to such specialized learning opportunities or an international network of peers,” said Marc. A. Scorca, President / CEO of OPERA America. “Alumni of the program now hold more than 10 percent of executive leadership positions at member companies in the United States.”


The Leadership Intensive, which was supported with funding from American Express in 2020, offers participants an extended professional development experience that will reinforce their leadership skills and advance their careers. Participants will be immersed in the program from August 13-20, 2021, for a week-long curriculum that will address strategic issues, develop essential skills, and foster strong professional connections.


The expert faculty includes Astrid Baumgardner, J.D., certified professional coach; JiJi Lee, storyteller and writer; Jeremiah Marks, Chief Financial Officer of Opera Philadelphia; Michelle Ramos, J.D., Ph.D., Executive Director, Alternate ROOTS; Jonathan Tessero, creative director and producer; Sarah Carter, director of learning and leadership for OPERA America; Laura Lee Everett, director of programs for OPERA America; and Marc A. Scorca, President / CEO of OPERA America.