Meet Deb Stallings, OP President of the Board of Directors

OP is thrilled to announce the appointment of Deb Stallings to President of the Board of Directors. Stallings is a nonprofit management, fundraising, and social justice advocacy leader. “We are very excited about Deb’s election as we know she will lead the Board with vision and with grace.” Simin Naaseh, OP Board Governance Committee Chair.

A native of Tennessee, Stallings moved to California in 1996, bringing her leadership and resources to organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay area and Napa. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Development at Horizons Foundation. Throughout her well-established career, Stallings has served on the boards of many nonprofits, including the Napa Valley Unity League, Napa Emergency Women’s Shelter, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

Of her motivation to join the OP Board Stallings shared, “What inspires me most about OP is the commitment to telling stories that are so relevant to today – sometimes age-old conversations where we as a community have made shockingly little progress. I think Opera Parallèle gives us a new way to stay in those conversations and a new approach to actually advance issues like equity and belonging.”

Meet David Murakami

David Murakami is a projection designer and film director focused on the union between the cinematic and theatrical. He was OP’s Director of Photography for Everest – A Graphic Novel Opera.

Tell us a bit about you and how you develop your craft.

Curiosity. As a Projection Designer, the most important element that hones my skills is a willingness to explore. Sometimes that means doing in-depth research on a particular artistic style or technical element, or just opening up youtube and allowing myself to wander and discover what fascinates me. My role is to bring new ideas, visions, and technologies to traditional spaces, and the best way to prepare for that is a willingness to explore and get lost in the vast depths of pop culture available today. Nothing better demonstrates this than Everest.

How did Everest – A Graphic Novel Opera differ from other projects you have done?

The animation technique was very different than anything I’ve done before. Still, for my career, Everest marks a return to the kind of filmmaking that defined my early career, albeit on a much grander scale.

What were the main challenges and the most satisfying aspects of this project?

The speed and limited time required was certainly the most challenging aspect; managing the process and handoff between illustrator, to animator, to compositor was a sequence that was fraught with difficulties. Ultimately though, the most satisfying aspect was that of discovery; whenever Illustrator Mark Simmons delivered a new panel for dissection, Animator Sam Clevenger and I would sit and brainstorm all the possible ways we could bring it to life. That process of “unwrapping” Mark’s gifts and imagining how we could build upon his work was extremely rewarding.

Describe your experience working with the OP team on this project.

As always, working with Brian Staufenbiel is a wonderful experience. He is the kind of collaborator who always pushes you forward, keeping his eye on the end result and trusting his team to show him how to get to that final destination.

Charlotte Fanvu as Meg

“It is an incredible experience to get the chance to take on a character who lived and existed through this real-life story.”

OP is excited to introduce Charlotte Fanvu performing in her first operatic role as Meg in Everest – A Graphic Novel Opera. The 11-year-old San Francisco native who began her vocal training with the Young Women’s Choral Projects at age six loves the spotlight and enjoys being on stage singing, dancing, and acting.

Of her experience in Everest portraying the character of Meg Weathers, a real live girl Fanvu shared, “It is an amazing story and a little hard to believe that it is true. It is an incredible experience to get the chance to take on a character who lived and existed through this real-life story.”

Fanvu has read a few of the graphic novels popular with her peers but doesn’t consider herself a fan. Recognizing the similar storytelling techniques of graphic novels and opera, Fanvu appreciates how the musical part of opera enhances the storytelling. “With graphic novels, you get to express emotion, tell a story and see the characters and how they are feeling. You can do this too with opera. Through the music, the story comes to life and gives the work depth.”

Charlotte Fanvu at an ‘Everest’ audio recording session

Learn more about OP’s groundbreaking film production of Everest – A Graphic Novel Opera.

Photos by Daniel Harvey
(Click on the + sign to enlarge the photo)

Opera Parallèle invites you to the


Thursday, September 30, 6:00-7:00 PM. 

OP is inspired by the year ahead, and we want to share that excitement with everyone. Join us as we announce our exciting upcoming season and learn more about the works we have selected, our collaborators, our talented cast, and special guest appearances from some of the season’s artists and composers (and a librettist!)