Elizabeth Askren, Franco-American conductor, has guest conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. Equally at home in opera, she assisted productions in major European venues (Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées…) before débuting most recently with the Opéra de Toulon, the Romanian National Opera of Cluj-Napoca, and the Dallas Opera. Askren is the Founder and Artistic Director of TOA – Transylvanian Opera Academy, Romania’s first opera studio. Since its creation in 2017, TOA has been showcased in the national media, with partners such as the French Ministry of Culture and the Paris National Opera’s Academy. She is invited throughout Europe and the United States to teach and speak about conducting and the art of leadership. Askren holds diplomas in piano and conducting from the Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Conducting Institute of Bard in the United States, and the Schola Cantorum and the Ecole Normale de Musique in France.
Lisa Bury, was recently appointed to The Dallas Opera’s newly created position of Chief Advancement and Strategy Officer. Lisa previously served in senior positions at the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Interim Chief Development Officer, Seattle Opera as Director of Development as well as at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Florida Grand Opera. Lisa Bury earned both an M.B.A. and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University. She holds additional degrees from Ithaca College in New York and Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Ms. Bury has a previous connection to The Dallas Opera. In 1991, she worked as an intern to Director of Production John Gage. A long-time member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) where she has acted as both a presenter and committee chair, Ms. Bury has also been a presenter at OPERA America, the League of American Orchestras, the Tessitura Conference, and the Association of California Orchestras, for which she also served as a board member and development committee chair.
Ian Derrer, The Dallas Opera General Director and CEO, returned from Kentucky Opera, where he spent the past two seasons as General Director. An internship with The Dallas Opera in his final years of college brought him to Santa Fe Opera as production assistant in 1996. He also worked as a freelance assistant director and stage manager for Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Pacific, and Washington Opera, learning opera production from the ground up. In 2004, Mr. Derrer joined the staff of New York City Opera as rehearsal and music coordinator. Two years later, he moved to Lyric Opera of Chicago, starting as rehearsal administrator and moving up to director of production and head of the rehearsal department. He spent eight seasons at Lyric Opera of Chicago, with one summer as rehearsal director for Santa Fe Opera, before becoming artistic administrator of The Dallas Opera in 2014.
Mariana Fonseca, as Director of Merchandising and Ancillary Strategy, drives the strategy and delivery of American Airlines’ ancillary products, including paid seats, checked bags, upgrades and flight changes. She is also responsible for establishing and managing partnerships with providers of third party travel products such as hotel stays, rental cars and travel insurance. With 7 years at the company, Mariana has held multiple leadership positions in Finance, Alliance Strategy and Corporate Planning.Through these roles, she has positively influenced American’s revenue growth strategy by balancing the needs of the customers with the service expectations that come from operating the world’s largest carrier. Mariana holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a Civil Engineering degree from the Instituto Teconologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. A fluent Spanish speaker, Mariana lived and worked in Mexico before joining American in Fort Worth, Texas.