Reunion for The Hart Institute of Women Conductors in San Francisco

by christian.anderson

The Dallas Opera Announces the 2017 Reunion for

The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors 


Institute Fellows to Meet at San Francisco Opera

Next Week for Annual Reunion, April 12-13, 2017


Seminars and Master Classes, Including Work with Members of the Distinguished

Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera


Additional Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

And the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

DALLAS, APRIL 4, 2017 – In connection with its twenty-year commitment to address a long-standing gender imbalance at podiums throughout the opera world, The Dallas Opera is delighted to announce that this year’s annual reunion of the Fellows of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera will take place at the famed War Memorial in San Francisco, California, in partnership with the San Francisco Opera.

Women conductors who participated in the first two residencies are eligible to attend this year’s reunion, April 12 and 13th.  The intensive two-day workshop will feature career enhancement seminars from San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock, Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, and Sheri Greenawald, Artistic Director of the Merola Opera Program and Director of the San Francisco Opera Center.

“In thinking about how the conductors could get the most out of our annual reunions,” explained Keith Cerny, the Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO of The Dallas Opera, “it occurred to me that moving it from one music capital to another would allow the Hart Institute Fellows to meet and work with artistic staff and administrators from the most influential organizations in our field.

“San Francisco Opera is an internationally-recognized leader in the world of opera,” Cerny adds, “so we were especially pleased to receive an enthusiastic response to our overtures. I’m certain the Hart Fellows will greatly benefit from this experience.” 

In addition to high-level discussions and focused seminars with opera leaders, the conductors will engage in hands-on master classes with The Dallas Opera’s Martha R. and Preston A. Peak Principal Guest Conductor (and co-founder and artistic director of San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle) Nicole Paiement, as well as San Francisco Opera Chorus Master Ian Robertson.

These master classes will also benefit from the participation of some of the finest young opera singers at work in the field today: Adler Fellows selected from the renowned Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera.

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock said, “We’re delighted to welcome Dallas Opera and the Hart Institute for Women Conductors to San Francisco Opera for a collaborative venture with the Adler Fellows of the San Francisco Opera Center. The Institute is charting a dynamic and critical path forward, enriching the whole field by nurturing a talented group of conductors. We are honored to be a part of this year’s program.” 

The following conductors will be traveling to San Francisco next week, to take part in the 2017 Hart Institute Reunion:

  • Elizabeth Askren (U.S.)
  • Natalie Murray Beale (U.K.)
  • Mihaela Cesa-Goje (Romania)
  • Alexandra Cravero (France)
  • Jessica Gethin (Australia)
  • Stephanie Rhodes (U.S.)
  • Anna Skryleva (Russia/Germany)
  • Chaowen Ting (U.S./Taiwan)
  • Lidiya Yankovskaya (U.S./Russia)
  • Zoe Zeniodi (Greece)

Final Bow Hart Institute for Women Conductors
The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors will meet again for its third residency on November 6, 2017 through November 18, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.  This year’s institute will include two public concerts (on November 11th and November 18th) in addition to intensive one-on-one’s, master classes, career advancement curriculum, and opportunities to conduct the highly regarded Dallas Opera Orchestra.

The institute, conceived by Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny, was created with initial support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

Since that time, it has garnered additional generous support from Linda and Mitch Hart and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Mr. Cerny noted: “The Dallas Opera has demonstrated, in multiple ways, its unshakable commitment to reshaping the opera field through the use of innovative public outreach, and by exploring new technologies, commissioning new works to expand the operatic repertoire, and programming with passion and imagination.

“This much-needed program, generously supported by benefactors here in Dallas and elsewhere,” Mr. Cerny adds, “will enable more women conductors to add their talents and insights to our collective understanding of this phenomenal art form.”


The tremendous success of the first two institute sessions has been recognized by music lovers, opera VIPs and the national media, earning a feature in Opera News magazine (published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild), as well as a segment on PBS NewsHour seen across the U.S.

The Dallas Opera is providing the Institute Fellows attending this reunion with a travel stipend and in-town housing.  Most meals will be provided, as well. 

There is also the potential for one or more participants to be invited back to Dallas to serve as Assistant Conductors or Guest Conductors on future Dallas Opera productions.


Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America, remarked: “The Dallas Opera continues to expand its influence and stature among American opera companies, as shown by this exciting new initiative.  The company is to be applauded for taking a significant step to remedy the existing gender imbalance on the podium.  This effort complements OPERA America’s support of the work of female opera composers and promises to enrich the art form by encouraging more gifted artists to express themselves through opera.”



San Francisco Opera Center was created in 1982 to oversee the Company’s artist training programs established by former general director Kurt Herbert Adler. Today, the San Francisco Opera Center encourages young artists with major operatic potential to develop and flourish through intensive training, study and performance. Renowned opera singer Sheri Greenawald has served as director of San Francisco Opera Center and artistic director of the Merola Opera Program since 2002. Adler Fellow alumni include Leah Crocetto, Heidi Melton, Patricia Racette, Nadine Sierra, Elza van den Heever, Deborah Voigt, Dolora Zajick, Brian Jagde, Lucas Meachem, Noah Scott and Mark Delavan. Graduates of the Merola Opera Program include Anna Netrebko, Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato, Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson.



The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family

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