ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, WILLENE GUNN served as a member of the faculty of the San FranciscoConservatory of Music for 30 years, as Director of the Conservatory Opera Program. Upon her retirement in the spring of 2005 the Conservatory conferred upon her the honorary degree of Doctor of Music. Ms. Gunn taught voice at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and staged operas in workshops at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Nevada. She directed over 90 major works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Bernstein and other major composers for Nevada, Sacramento, Arizona Operas, Rogue Opera and the San Francisco Opera Center and other companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of the San Francisco Opera Merola Program, Ms. Gunn performed extensively on the West Coast as a dramatic mezzo-soprano with the San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Oakland and Nevada Opera companies in Aida, Falstaff, Peter Grimes, The Medium, The Consul and numerous others. Her symphonic repertory included Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. She performed in operetta, musical comedy and legitimate theater, in roles ranging from most of the mezzo-soprano roles in Gilbert and Sullivan, the alto leads in The Sound of Music, Carousel, and South Pacific, and as Hecuba in The Trojan Women. She produced and directed over 35 productions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and in 2000 the Conservatory awarded her the Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching. While at the Conservatory, she directed over 100 scenes a year in the opera workshops.
In southern Oregon, Ms. Gunn served as Artistic Director of Rogue Opera from 2006-2009 directing the highly-acclaimed Merry Wives of Windsor, The Magic Flute and La Bohème. She co-created Rogue Opera’s Opera in the Schools program OperAntics! and created, directed and produced three Opera Workshop with Voices from the Valley Opera Scenes Concerts during her tenure. Ms. Gunn’s textbook, Teaching Opera, The Role of the Opera Workshop …With Scene Catalogue, written in partnership with Kathryn Cathcart, was published by Leyerle Press in February, 2008.
GENERAL DIRECTOR, LORRIE HALL professional singer, grant writer and non-profit arts consultant was the Executive Director of Rogue Opera from 2004 – 2009 leading the organization through a major fundraising and capacity building process until her departure. Lorrie has performed as a dramatic soprano in southern Oregon in numerous Rogue Opera main stage and Opera in the Schools productions including Mrs. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, the Witch and Mother in Hansel and Gretel, Peep-Bo in The Mikado, Bertha in The Barber of Seville and in many concerts and events. Prior to moving to Medford in 1999, Lorrie lived in San Antonio, Texas where she was pursuing a music degree at the University of Texas-San Antonio and performing with the San Antonio Choral Society and Symphony. Formerly a physical therapist and college educator, she now focuses on Brava! Opera and her work as a non-profit arts consultant in Medford and Los Angeles.
DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC RELATIONS, MARY WITT comes to Brava! Opera from a career in finance in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her decades long relationship with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival brought her to the Rogue Valley and the discovery of opera in its thriving music and theater scene. An arts advocate with extensive experience in non-profit board leadership, Ms. Witt received her BA from UC Berkeley.
BOX OFFICE AND ADMINISTRATION, AMIE VAUGHAN
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lorrie Hall, President
Willene Gunn, Vice President
Lauren Cypher, Treasurer
Alan Balzer, Secretary
Ellie Holt-Murray, Member
Dr. Michael Hall, Member