Artistic Advisory Council to Host Industry Q&A Sessions


Registration is Open for Six Free Sessions with Industry Experts Across Multiple Disciplines

NEW YORK, April 6, 2020 –  On Site Opera, New York’s pioneer opera company rooted in site-specific storytelling and the immersive experience, announced today a three week initiative to bring industry operatic giants from their Artistic Advisory Council together to initiate discussions across multiple areas of focus. Established in the Fall of 2019, the diverse Council was assembled to bring together artists to steer the organization into new levels of exploration and growth. Today, with the threat of a precarious cultural future, the lens of focus is shifting to the greater good of art permanence in the face of crisis.  A series of 6 sessions beginning Tuesday, April 7 will include topics including the new opera creation process, arts administration, design and production, arts marketing, directing, and talent management. The series encourages professionals, prospective professionals and students to attend talks about topics outside their current area of focus to use this time to develop a more expansive knowledge and approach to their own role in the artform, priming the community for a dynamic and efficient restart once theater doors reopen.

“I’m thrilled that the Artistic Advisory Council of On Site Opera has become a collective of some of the most brilliant operatic professionals in the country, both as leaders in their respective disciplines and as top-notch human beings,” explains Justin Werner, council chair. “Having every artistic aspect needed to create an operatic performance represented in our diverse group is an invaluable tool for our discussions, and I know the artistic professionals who tune in will have more hope of getting our industry through this terrible crisis.”

Limited to a number of participants and currently accepting online reservations, the first session, From the Top: The New Opera Creation Process, on April 7 includes Mark Campbell, Pulitzer Prize librettist whose works have been seen at more than sixty venues around the world, and Geoffrey McDonald, On Site Opera Music Director, lauded as a vibrant and versatile conductor at the forefront of the opera scene.

On April 9, the council will host two talks with administrative focus.  Pivot and Turn: Transitioning into Administration includes Sandra Wu, the Director of Artistic Administration at the Kentucky Opera who secured more than $200,000 in grant dollars on behalf of Chamber Music International, and Piper Gunnarson, a seasoned nonprofit arts administrator and current Executive Director of On Site Opera. Later that afternoon, participants can also engage in Marketing A Career in the Arts with celebrated baritone Jorell Williams, and Maya Rose Tweten, Founder and Creative Director of digital and print studio MayaRose Creative, in addition to holding a prominent role at The Metropolitan Opera, managing international partnerships and creative marketing for their live streaming initiatives.

Exploring Opera Design and Production takes center stage on April 10 with scenic and projection designer Cameron Anderson whose work has been installed in theaters all over the world, and Emmy nominated Lighting Designer Shawn K. Kaufman for his work on the Harry Connick Jr. TV show with over 20 years of experience in opera, theatre, fashion, television and special events. Later that afternoon, Justin Werner, founder of the Stratagem Artists boutique management company, and the in-demand mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert will lead On Behalf of my Client: The Agent/Singer Relationship Q+A to discuss expectations between both parties, identifying career targets, and cultivating meaningful career viability.

Lastly, resident stage director for New York’s Loft Opera, Laine Rettmer and General and Artistic Director of On Site Opera, Eric Einhorn will conclude the series on April 14 with Direction Before the Rehearsals: Preparing for the Stage.

“While our performances and events may be temporarily sidelined in these trying times, it is a great opportunity for our industry to come together, to learn, to teach, to listen, and to inspire ideas for the future,” explains Eric Einhorn, On Site Opera’s General and Artistic Director. “While for many in the arts and beyond, this pause will be a major setback, it is what we do in our time now that will best prepare us for the future,” he continues. “It is time to talk to each other so when the world moves forward we can do it with a richer and more diverse perspective.”


April 7: From the Top: The New Opera Creation Process, 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

April 9: Pivot and Turn: Transitioning into Administration, 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.

April 9: Marketing a Career in the Arts, 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

April 10: Exploring Opera Design and Production, 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.

April 10: On Behalf of my Client: The Agent/Singer Relationship, 4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Participants can register for each video chat session at



Founded in 2012, On Site Opera is the leading presenter of site-specific operas in non- traditional venues throughout New York City. Rooted in collaboration and storytelling, On Site Opera celebrates the connection between artist and audience through highly curated experiences led by seasoned opera artists and bold and innovative creative teams. To date, OSO has produced 18 operas in as many unique locations to critical acclaim, including Shostakovich’s The Tale of The Silly Baby Mouse using large-scale puppets in performances for families at the Bronx Zoo; Gershwin’s Blue Monday in the historic Cotton Club of Harlem; and Rameau’s Pygmalion in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, which explored new technology in opera through the use of Google Glass supertitles. Each production invites New Yorkers to explore their city in new and unique ways, while cultivating a new generation of opera audiences.


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