GENERAL DIRECTOR MATTHEW BUCKMAN
APPOINTED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF OPERA AMERICA
Buckman to serve a three-year term on the governing body of the national service
organization for the opera industry in the United States
Fresno, California – May 11, 2015
Fresno Grand Opera is pleased to announce that General Director Matthew Buckman has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Opera America, the national service organization for the opera industry. He will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2015.
The Board of Directors of Opera America is comprised of leaders in the field from around the country, representing major companies like Houston Grand Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera and The Metropolitan Opera in New York. Mr. Buckman was personally asked to join the Board of Directors by Opera America Present & CEO Marc Scorca.
Eddie Fanucchi, President of the Fresno Grand Opera Board of Directors, said “We were very pleased to learn about Matthew’s appointment to the Board of Directors with Opera America. We feel very fortunate to have him as our new General Director, and appreciate the attention this position will bring to our company and our community. We are turning a major corner at Fresno Grand Opera, and we are happy to have someone like Matt leading us.”
Matthew Buckman said “It is an honor to be asked to assume a leadership role in the opera field nationally, and I am exited for the awareness of our community that this appointment will bring. I look forward to joining my colleagues around the country to work toward a brighter future for opera, and to bringing some of their ideas back to our community.”
Marc Scorca, President of Opera America, said “We are delighted to elect Matthew to the Opera America’s Board. We always seek to have representation of our regional companies on our Board and are thrilled to have in Matthew someone with tremendous vision and managerial ability — and experience leading not just one, but two companies simultaneously. We look forward to working closely with him to strengthen our service to this important part of our field.”
Mr. Buckman has led Townsend Opera in Modesto for seven years, where he continues to serve as General and Artistic Director in addition to his role as General Director with Fresno Grand Opera in a full creative and management partnership between the two companies.
About Matthew Buckman
Matthew Buckman became the first Executive Director of Townsend Opera in February 2008 at the age of twenty-six, and has served as General and Artistic Director since July 2012. He has led a major revitalization of that company 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. He was named General Director of Fresno Grand Opera in November 2014.
Matthew is a highly sought after arts grant writer, artistic administrator, and project manager, having successfully written major grants for some of the premier arts funders in the country. He is regularly engaged to manage artistic events and projects throughout Northern California. Matthew is also a contributor to The Loose Filter Project, an arts think tank focused on creating wider cultural engagement for concert music and musicians.
Under Matthew’s leadership, Townsend Opera developed and implemented its first long-term strategic plan, completed a major staff reorganization, and recruited the company’s first professional production team. Matthew initiated and developed artistic partnerships with CSU Stanislaus and Modesto Junior College Departments of Music, and San Francisco Opera that have led to new heights of artistic excellence, and developed partnerships with health and human services organizations to expand the impact of the company in the community.
Matthew developed and implemented the Opera Remix Initiative, an artistic initiative designed to reconnect opera to the modern world by embracing cultural norms of the 21st century and experimenting with mode of presentation. The first event of the initiative, Opera Remix: Musical Worlds Collide at The State, featured the best of opera and classic rock, all performed by opera singers and written for a 15-piece rock orchestra. The first event nearly tripled the audience of the event it replaced, and subsequent events have continued to engage new audiences in new environments.
About Fresno Grand Opera
Fresno Grand Opera was founded in 1999 by Fresno native Edna Garabedian, winner of the 1961 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, after a successful career as an opera singer and stage director. Under the leadership of General Director Ronald Eichman and Artistic Director Joseph Bascetta, the company enjoyed sixteen years of high quality performances of the standard opera repertoire and concert performances by legendary artists, including Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Renée Fleming, Kristin Chenoweth, Marcello Giordani, Juan Diego Florez, and Audra McDonald.
Beginning with the 2014/15 season, Fresno Grand Opera entered into a groundbreaking artistic partnership with Townsend Opera of Modesto that has the two companies co-producing each season for performances in both communities. With the appointment of Townsend Opera General Director Matthew Buckman as the second General Director of Fresno Grand Opera, the two companies commenced with a full artistic and management partnership that is quickly changing the opera landscape in the California’s Central Valley and garnering national attention from the opera industry.
2405 Capitol Street, Suite 103
Fresno, CA 93721