Michael Mohammed joins OP as Community Engagement Ambassador

OP is pleased to welcome Michael Mohammed to the role of Community Engagement Ambassador. He is a performer, director, and arts educator at several Bay Area universities who has done extensive work researching the representation of historically excluded identities in opera and theatre.

A new, important, and evolving role, the Community Engagement Ambassador, works in partnership with OP Artistic & Community Manager Daniel Harvey to support the development of initiatives designed to diversify and enrich engagement with new and existing audiences. “It is one thing to sustain a company and another to sustain an art form.” Mohammed shared, “As OP’s mission changes and deepens, my role as Community Engagement Ambassador is to facilitate conversations about engagement, who we want to engage with; reaching forward and reaching back. Creating partnerships is a way to sustain the art, keep the doors open, and be at the forefront of how opera can move into new spaces.”

Mohammed has performed with Opera Parallèle on numerous occasions, including roles in Champion and In the Penal Colony and choreographer in Four Saints in Three Acts.

‘Tools of the Trade’ Technical Theater Artists Mentor Program

OP is partnering with Bayview Opera House (BVOH) to provide mentorship and practical training in the Performing Arts Track of BVOH’s Tools of the Trade program. The workforce development program primarily for Black San Francisco artists provides practical skill development in areas not easily accessible elsewhere, including stage and production management, scenic, costume, lighting, and set design.

The practical training sessions held via Zoom and in person at BVOH are facilitated and monitored by OP Artistic & Community Manager Daniel Harvey, OP Director of Production Tony Shayne, and BVOH Theater and Facilities Manager Ashley Smiley. The Performing Arts Track of the program takes place over five weeks, from early October through mid-November, when participants put into practice what they’ve learned at OP’s Harriet’s Spirit performances on November 13th and 14th.

Program mentors include Harriet’s Spirit Stage Manager Leontyne Mbele-Mbong, OP Director of Production / Lighting Designer Tony Shayne, Costume & Set Design Rachel Heiman, Harriet’s Spirit Librettist Roma Olvera & Harriet’s Spirit Composer Marcus Shelby, Lighting Designer Kevin Myrick, Video & Audio Technician David Saenz, Harriet’s Spirit Director L. Peter Callender, OP Artistic Director & Conductor Nicole Paiement, OP Artistic & Community Manager Daniel Harvey, and OP Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel.

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“We bend; we don’t break. We sway!

We are so inspired by these words from Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Congratulations to OP Honorary Board member Terence Blanchard for the historic debut and amazing success of the first performance of an opera by a Black composer at The Metropolitan Opera.

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