Rona Eastwood, Senior Associate Director of Conductors at Askonas Holt, received a degree in Music and English from Exeter University after which she joined the first of many choirs and ensembles, with holidays devoted to touring round Europe and Scandinavia, plus forays to Japan and USA. Rona’s first job was the BBC Radio 3 production secretary, thence to the English Bach Festival, where everything from Bach to Rameau to Xenakis to Zarzuela was scheduled on a shoe-string by its indomitable Artistic Director in London, Oxford, Versailles and Athens. She then moved to Harold Holt, first to the travel department, then six seasons as assistant to Sir Ian Hunter preparing fourteen festivals, sundry concert series and special events. The move across to artist management followed, initially assisting Martin Campbell-White with conductors and occasional touring projects. She has remained with the company ever since, ultimately building an independent list of artists.
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.
Suzanne Calvin, has directed media and public relations at The Dallas Opera for the past 17 years. This followed a similar stint at the Van Cliburn Foundation, where she garnered personal praise in Moscow’s Pravda (June 2001) for her extraordinary information management. Her move to the performing arts came in the wake of a long and distinguished career in news. One of the first women to be named news director in a top-ten media market at the age of 22, Ms. Calvin is the winner of numerous state and regional journalism awards. She is also an occasional librettist (Undelivered, a 2014 cantata with composer Gregory Sullivan Isaacs), classical music programmer and broadcaster, non-fiction writer, producer, and winner of the 1991 Texas Playwrights Festival. Suzanne Calvin was cited by the internationally renowned performing arts website, Slipped Disc, for running one of the ten “Best Press Offices in the Music World” (2017). She also serves as the official “Voice of The Dallas Opera.”
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.
Ana de Archuleta, has quickly established herself as one of the most sought after managers in the operatic field. Representing a thriving roster of vocalists, conductors, and directors worldwide, ADA Artists can be seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. Ana’s vast background in the arts has played a major role in her success as an artist manager by having been involved in many facets of the performing arts as an instrumentalist, dancer, operatic stage manager, assistant director, opera chorister, and an operatic soloist. She is the business member of OPERA America and the American Symphony League, was invited to be a member of the 2015-2016 Women’s Opera Network Steering Committee, and a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts 2017 Arts Works Opera Grants.
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.