Opera Parallèle’s own Nicole Paiement has been featured as one of the “30 Profiles in Courage” in Musical America! She was nominated, then chosen from hundreds as an example of someone who has “taken a risk, spoken out where others were silent—all to the measurable benefit of their arts organizations and the field.”
Profiles in Courage: Nicole Paiement
December 2, 2014 By Georgia Rowe
Founder and Artistic Director
Launching an opera company is always risky business, but dedicating one to contemporary work takes exceptional courage. When Nicole Paiement started Opera Parallèle in 2007, naysayers didn’t expect it to last out the year. Today, 30 world premieres, 20 commissions, 134 performances, and 14 recordings later, it is a unique and treasured presence on the San Francisco music scene. Paiement, a native of France, gained a Bay Area reputation through her teaching posts at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and University of California, Santa Cruz. She directed new music groups Ensemble Parallèle and Blueprint, of which Opera Parallèle was a natural outgrowth. Paiement, who often collaborates with her husband, stage director Brian Staufenbiel, has said that she wanted to explore obscure corners of the repertoire. The idea was to work “in parallèle” with other organizations and art forms, producing operas that would enhance and expand audiences’ perceptions of multiple disciplines.