San Francisco, March 29, 2018 – Leading contemporary opera company Opera Parallèle (OP) has elected nationally recognized arts and opera marketing leader Marcia Lazer and Forell/Elsesser CEO and President Simin Naaseh to its Board of Directors, and arts marketing and communications professional Nancy Roberts to its Advisory Council. OP President Susan McConkey announced the elections after the the company’s successful 2017-2018 season, which concluded with capacity performances of the Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration, One Story Two Operas, in collaboration with SFJAZZ in February.
OP Board President Susan McConkey says: “As a clear signal that Opera Parallele continues to fuel organizational growth, we are honored to bring on three incredible women who represent strength and diversity across multiple disciplines. Each of them connects us to new relationships and opportunities to broaden our impact on stage and in our communities.”
About OP’s New Board and Advisory Council Members
Marcia Lazer has over 40 years’ experience as a marketing and communications professional in the performing arts industry, including senior positions with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Center Theatre Group (Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum), and South Coast Repertory (Orange County’s Tony Award-winning theater, one of the country’s foremost producers of new plays). She also held management positions with direct marketing firms specializing in arts and entertainment, with non-profit and for-profit performing arts clients nationwide, including Disney Theatrical. As San Francisco Opera’s Director of Marketing from April 2006 through her retirement in August 2017, she was responsible for all aspects of the Company’s marketing functions including marketing and advertising strategy, subscription and single tickets sales campaigns, pricing, institutional branding, patron relations, box office, and audience development through outreach events such as the annual AT&T Opera at the Ballpark simulcasts. At the Met, where she worked for fourteen years (including as Marketing Director from 1981 to 1986), she was responsible for marketing the Met’s annual 30-week opera season and American Ballet Theatre’s 8-week summer season in the opera house, among many other summer presentations. She holds a master’s degree in musicology from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in music history from Wellesley College, and completed Columbia University’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management program.
Simin Naaseh serves as the CEO and President of Forell/Elsesser. While building on the firm’s 55-year tradition of technical excellence and exceptional service, she takes special interest in advancing the company as one of the most innovative structural engineering firms in the nation. Constantly striving to improve, Simin has reinvigorated the firm’s long-standing tradition of investing in Research & Development. Simin is well recognized for her experience in the implementation of innovative seismic protection technologies such as seismic isolation, and has lectured internationally, sharing her knowledge on the subject. She thrives on building strong relationships with clients and professional colleagues and applies this strength internally to foster a collaborative working environment. She enjoys design/build, large-scale, and complex projects particularly because of their intrinsically collaborative nature. With a history of managing both large and small projects since 1983, Simin also recognizes that the key to a project’s success is working closely with clients to create a customized solution to suit each client’s goals, whether that means attention to seismic performance, cost-effectiveness, or a fast schedule. Simin received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Azar Abadegan in Tabriz, Iran, and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
Nancy Roberts has over 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations, communications, and project management for mission-driven organizations. She is a Senior Associate at Gigantic Idea Studio, a marketing/outreach agency that promotes environmental programs and behaviors for local government and green business clients. For Gigantic, she focuses on strategic outreach and communications planning, metrics, and integrating social media into traditional marketing campaigns. From 2010-2017 she consulted with the San Francisco Opera on social media, and launched their Twitter account, which now has over 88,000 followers. From 2002-2015, Nancy served on the faculty of the Choral Management Institute, a program of Chorus America. She teaches green marketing for the International Diploma Program of UC Berkeley Extension. Previously Nancy was Director of Marketing and PR for Chanticleer for five years. Other arts-related posts include Director of Marketing for San Jose Symphony, COO for Opera World, and Information Service Director (in charge of research and publications) for OPERA America, the international service organization for professional opera. Nancy has an M.B.A. in Sustainable Enterprise (Green MBA), from Dominican University of California, and M.A. and B.A. degrees from George Washington University.
About Opera Parallèle
Award-winning Opera Parallèle develops and performs contemporary operas in a dynamic balance of known and new works, in new productions that shed light on their subject matter and engage audiences’ senses and sensibilities. Opera Parallèle is the only organization in the Bay Area presenting fully cast and staged contemporary operas exclusively. Opera Parallèle also commissions new orchestrations of contemporary grand operas, to give a sense of intimacy to its productions and to give a new life to works which might not otherwise be performed. Opera Parallèle’s interactive educational programs are dedicated to engaging increasingly diverse communities.