Institute for Women Conductors

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Announcing the 2017-2018 Class of the Hart Institute for Women Conductors

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The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors is preparing for its third residency, which will take place between November 5, 2017 and November 19, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.  This unique new program is already having significant international impact, and conductors from previous programs are achieving great success in their careers.  

 While the Hart Institute began with a focus on supporting talented conductors, the challenges faced by women opera administrators are equally daunting.  To address this imbalance, The Dallas Opera is adding a new component to this year’s institute.  Beginning in 2017, and for the next six years, TDO will invite between two and four American opera administrators to join the program each season.  These women will be selected on the basis of their potential to become the leader of one of America’s top opera companies later in their careers. 

Directory of Women Leaders in Opera


The selected opera administrators will attend all sessions during the annual residency in Dallas.  This curriculum includes the role of the Board, leadership development, personal branding, media and PR training, effective artist management, and navigating recruiting processes for senior level positions.  To continue to develop their musical skills, which is essential for any opera executive, the administrators will observe rehearsals with The Dallas Opera Orchestra and conducting master classes.  Special sessions on Marketing, Development, and Finance will also be offered to these administrators.


One of the goals of the program is to build a network of talented leaders.  In addition to the residency, selected administrators will be invited to participate in quarterly conference calls to continue to develop their personal networks and leadership skills.


This program is open to women who are American citizens or green-card holders.  There is no age limit and, in an effort to encourage greater diversity, The Dallas Opera is encouraging women of various backgrounds to apply.  In addition to women currently working as opera administrators, applications are being accepted from women working in other arts organizations, as well as performers, directors, designers, choreographers, and composers looking to make a transition into line management.


To apply, please submit a cover letter of up to two pages describing your interest in the program and what you can contribute, a resume, and a list of three references.  The application deadline is July 15, 2017, but early applications are encouraged.  Selected applicants will receive a stipend, travel, and housing for the duration of this year’s institute on November 5, 2017 and November 19, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.


About the Program

The Linda and Mitch Hart

Institute for Women Conductors

Women conductors from around the world are invited to apply to the third residency of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute of Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera, a unique program designed to further the careers of distinctively talented female conductors.  Accomplished female singers, opera coaches, composers, accompanists and instrumentalists with established careers looking to move into conducting are also encouraged to apply.  While successful applicants will generally be 40 and under years old, there is no strict age cutoff. This year residency will take place in Dallas from November 6 to November 18, 2017.

This unique and internationally well-publicized program includes hands-on conducting opportunities with the full Dallas Opera Orchestra; master classes with music director of The Dallas Opera, Emmanuel Villaume, renowned Italian maestro Carlo Montanaro, and TDO’s Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement; seminars on leadership and personal branding with General Director & CEO Keith Cerny and Alec Treuhaft, retired Senior Vice President of IMG Artists; as well as seminars and sessions with other prominent leaders in classical music and opera.  The intensive working sessions include selecting the right artist manager, best practice in working with executive recruiters, opera management and fund-raising, and other topics. At the end of the program, each conductor will have access to high resolution video material of her conducting full-length overtures and arias / ensembles with The Dallas Opera Orchestra.  This material will be hosted on the TDO website, and may be used with prospective artist managers, opera General Directors and symphony CEOs, Artistic Directors and Administrators, and the media.  A sample of this video material from one of last year’s conductors can be found here.

Six conductors will be selected for the program, and all participants will conduct a cast of exceptional young singers and The Dallas Opera Orchestra in two public concerts on November 11th and 18th, 2017.  In addition, four additional American citizens or legal residents will be invited to observe the program, but will not have the opportunity to conduct.  The Dallas Opera will cover the travel, housing, visa costs and honorarium of the selected participants to the Institute.

The Institute also boasts a 2-day networking and master class’s reunion in spring or summer following the fall residency.  The current generation of the Hart Institute alumni spring’s reunion will be in partnership with San Francisco Opera and the Adler Fellows in April 2017.  The date and location for the upcoming application cycle will be announced in due course.
While The Dallas Opera is not able to make a firm commitment that program participants will be hired in the future, TDO’s 2017-2018 season will welcome back several members of the past two classes of the Hart Institute in a variety of Assistant Conductor and Guest Conductor roles.


The program is generously supported by Linda and Mitch Hart, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation.

Media Links:

Jessica Gethin wins Brian Stacey Emerging Conductor Award
Culture Map Dallas
Slipped Disc
WQXR New York
D Magazine Frontrow
Pizzicato Magazine
The Dallas Morning News

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Participants of the Institute of Women Conductors


Alba Bomfim


Mélisse Brunet


Lina Gonzalez-Granados


Karin Hendrickson


Carolyn Watson


Monica Wolinska



Marie Bucoy-Calavan


Catherine O'Shaughnessy


Maria Sensi Sellner


Hanah Threlkeld



Elizabeth Askren


Mihaela Cesa-Goje


Alexandra Cravero


Tianyi Lu


Chaowen Ting


Zoe Zeniodi



Ching-Chun Lai


Michelle Rofrano


Carolyn Watson


Parisa Zaeri



Jennifer Condon


Jessica Gethin


Natalie Murray Beale


Stephanie Rhodes


Anna Skryleva


Lidiya Yankovskaya



Arianne Abela


Alexandra Grabarchuk


Avlana Eisenberg


Co Boi Nguyen