SAN FRANCISCO, September 3, 2013 – Opera Parallèle has named Tod Brody as the company’s first executive director, effective September 1 – announced on behalf of the Board of Directors by Chairman Robert Ripps. With a solid six years of critical and box-office success in pursuit of its mission of producing and presenting contemporary chamber opera, Opera Parallèle has taken a crucial step toward organizational maturity by hiring its first executive director. Mr. Brody will work alongside Founder and Artistic Director Nicole Paiement to create a professional administrative structure to support Opera Parallèle’s operations. He will have primary responsibility for financial matters, marketing, fundraising as well as assisting Opera Parallèle’s Board of Directors with strategic planning and organizational development.
Tod Brody is well known in the field of contemporary music both as a professional musician and as an arts leader. For ten years, he served as the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum (ACF-SFBAC), a national service organization dedicated to enhancing career opportunities for composers and other creative musical artists. During his tenure with the organization, Brody presided over a tripling of the budget and increased its focus on providing needed financial support to Northern California composers. A gifted flutist, Mr. Brody is well known to local audiences as an advocate for 20th and 21st century operatic works as a performer with the Sacramento Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Earplay and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. He is also active as a chamber musician and orchestral player. Acclaimed for his skillful interpretations of the work of living composers, Mr. Brody has performed dozens of world premieres and participated in numerous recordings. He has been on the music faculty at UC Davis since 1991.
“I have been following Nicole Paiement’s career for many years and have been continually impressed with her commitment to new work, the skill she brings as a conductor and her astute selection of collaborators,” said Brody. “Opera Parallèle has consistently produced remarkable work and, in recent years, has also achieved impressive organizational strength. I’m very enthused about contributing to this brilliant team, which has almost unlimited potential for further growth.”
“Tod brings to Opera Parallèle not only his diverse management experience but also a deep knowledge of contemporary music,” said Mr. Ripps. “The board feels strongly that these skills and interests are a perfect fit with the dynamism and charisma of Artistic Director Nicole Paiement. Nicole’s tireless efforts alongside those of her creative partners, Resident Stage Director Brian Staufenbiel and General Manager Jacques Desjardins, have resulted in steady growth since 2008 when the company reoriented toward contemporary chamber opera. We welcome Tod to the Opera Parallèle team and look forward to continuing the Company’s remarkable artistic growth.”
“It is such an honor to welcome Tod to the Opera Parallèle family and I offer my heartfelt thanks to our dedicated board members for their continued leadership and support in building this world-class contemporary opera company,” said Founder and Artistic Director Nicole Paiement. “In Tod, we’ve found an almost unbelievable combination – an arts leader with management experience and a gifted musician with a passion for contemporary repertoire. We are very lucky to have him and I look forward to this next phase with Tod as my partner.”
Opera Parallèle is a professional opera company-in-residence at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the only organization in the Bay Area that presents contemporary opera exclusively.
During the 2012-2013 season, Opera Parallèle greatly expanded its footprint in the community presenting many newly imagined educational and community outreach activities as well as tripling its public performances. Undertaking a significant expansion, Opera Parallèle presented critically acclaimed performances of three operas rather than one, including Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti in a double bill with Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and a public workshop reading of the company’s first commission, Dante De Silva’s Gesualdo, Prince of Madness.
Over the last few years, Opera Parallèle has brought many superb productions of contemporary work to the community, including the award-winning world premiere of Jacques Desjardins’ re-orchestration of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, the Bay Area premiere of Philip Glass’ Orphée, the first West Coast performances of John Rea’s chamber version of Alban Berg’s 20th century masterpiece Wozzeck and the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s opera Young Caesar in conjunction with what would have been the late composer’s 90th birthday.
Opera Parallèle collaborated with SFMOMA to present an evening length production of the rarely performed Four Saints in Three Acts by composer Virgil Thompson and librettist Gertrude Stein, in combination with the world premiere of Luciano Chessa’s A Heavenly Act. In prior years, under the name Ensemble Parallèle, with its mission more broadly focused on contemporary instrumental music, the company presented 125 performances including 28 world premieres, released 12 recordings and commissioned 19 new works.
Tod Brody / Susan Walker
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