As Principal Guest Conductor of The Dallas Opera, OP’s very own Nicole Paiement played an integral role in the first ever Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera from Nov. 28 – Dec. 6.  Six conductors and 4 observers were selected from over 100 applicants from 27 different countries.  The goal of the inaugural institute was to further the careers of distinctively talented young conductors.  The program included hands-on conducting with the full Dallas Opera Orchestra, master classes with TDO’s Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement, seminars and discussions on topics centered on women conductors making their mark in the field, and networking with other participants.

In an article before the start of the institute, OP was mentioned as Nicole Paiement commented on her role:

Nicole Paiment

“The Dallas Opera’s Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement, who also serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor for San Francisco’s renowned contemporary opera company, Opera Parallèle, commented, “In tandem with my work as a professional conductor, I have spent many years striving to develop and support exceptional young talent, both onstage and in the orchestra pit.  I am tremendously pleased to be able to continue this aspect of my career in a leadership role here in Dallas, and to be responsible for guiding each carefully selected group through this newly developed Dallas Opera program.

“The women taking part in this program will have the all-too-rare opportunity to observe another woman in this leadership role,” Paiement added, “something that, regrettably, I never experienced in my early career as I sought role models from among my professional peers.  I sincerely hope my work with the women in this institute can serve as a source of both valuable insights and inspiration.”

Read the full article by Celeste Hart announcing the 6 winners HERE.

Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny looks back on the experience:

TDO Women Conductor's Photo by Karen Almond

The conductors take a bow at the final concert at the Winspear Opera House. Photo by Karen Almond

“The inaugural conducting program at The Dallas Opera was very intensive, especially since in its first year it covered a vast range of material in just nine days. (In the future, when more funding will be available, the institute will last a full two weeks). The curriculum was focused around two primary areas. The first was hands-on conducting experience with The Dallas Opera Orchestra, and master classes with singers and piano presented by TDO’s Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement. The second curriculum area, which I designed personally, was a series of seminars, panel discussions and role plays on important topics including personal branding and image management; conducting successful media interviews; succeeding in a male-dominated field; selecting repertoire for career impact; accepting and declining specific engagements; partnering with the concertmaster; and finding the right artist manager. The program culminated in a public concert on Dec. 5, 2015, with each of the six conductors conducting an overture and two arias or small ensembles with orchestra. The concert received excellent reviews, and the very high standard of the singers in the performance was noted by multiple reviewers.”

Read the full article by Keith Cerny HERE.