Matthew Buckman is the General Director of Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera in Modesto, where he leads a full creative and management partnership between the two companies. He became the first Executive Director of Townsend Opera in 2008 at the age of twenty-six, and has served as General Director since 2011. He was appointed General Director of Fresno Grand Opera in December 2014. Recognized nationally for his innovative programming and commitment to engaging new audiences, Matthew serves on the Board of Directors of Opera America, the national service organization for the opera industry, and is a contributor to The Loose Filter Project, an arts think tank focused on creating wider cultural engagement for concert music and musicians.
He has led a major revitalization of Townsend Opera during his tenure by significantly improving artistic standards, developing successful partnerships with regional arts organizations, streamlining operations, moving to a larger theater and developing progressive and creative artistic programs. In 2011 Matthew developed and implemented the Opera Remix Initiative, an artistic initiative designed to engage 21st century American audiences. With experimentation at its heart, Opera Remix features events in non-traditional venues that target specific new audiences through combining opera with other art forms that have a wider following in 21st century American culture.
Prior to his appointment at Townsend Opera, Matthew served as Director of Development for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra for two years. He also served as Operations Manager, Development Assistant and Orchestra Manager for the same organization.
Matthew has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from CSU Stanislaus, where he served for three years as assistant conductor of the university orchestra. Mr. Buckman played soccer at the collegiate level for four years, is currently a National Referee for the United States Soccer Federation, and officiates both professional and Division 1 collegiate soccer as a hobby.