Dwayne Littauer, President of New Orleans Opera, today announced the appointment of Clare Burovac as the Company’s next General Director, effective September 15, 2020. Ms. Burovac will serve as General Director-Designate immediately. She succeeds Robert Lyall, who will step down as General Director of New Orleans Opera in September and will serve as Artistic Director for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
Clare Burovac comes to New Orleans from Portland, Oregon, where for the past eleven years she served as Director of Artistic Operations for Portland Opera. Professionally trained as a violinist, she began her career in opera as a stage manager and was awarded a prestigious fellowship in opera production by OPERA America, the national association for opera. She served on the production team at the Seattle Opera and moved into the position of Production Stage Manager there before joining the Portland Opera.
In announcing the appointment, Mr. Littauer said, “We are delighted to welcome Clare Burovac to New Orleans Opera. A proven leader and advocate for opera, Clare combines broad experience in producing opera with a passion for developing young artists and connecting audiences with opera. She will be a major asset to our Company and the New Orleans community.”
Clare Burovac said, “I am thrilled to be invited to be the next General Director of New Orleans Opera. The rich history of this Company is really the history of opera in America for three centuries. The opportunity to honor and advance this great tradition is both exhilarating and awe-inspiring.”
Mr. Littauer praised Maestro Lyall for his 23 years of service leading the New Orleans Opera through some of its most difficult times and for consistently presenting outstanding productions to the community. He also thanked Dr. Ranney Mize, Chair of the Transition Committee that undertook a national search for the Company’s next leader. Dr. Mize expressed his gratitude to the 11-member committee for their work over the past six months. “The Transition Committee set out to find the best possible leader to continue the long and rich tradition of opera in New Orleans while expanding our commitment to the community. Clare Burovac brings these skills to our Company and our city. We are delighted to welcome her.”
During her tenure at Portland Opera, Ms. Burovac oversaw all artistic planning and education and community engagement programs, including the Company’s new ‘Opera a la Cart’ initiative, which brought free outdoor performances to all corners of the Portland metro area. Under her leadership, the Company produced two world-premiere recordings, expanded access to opera in the schools, and produced the Company’s first bilingual opera, a Spanish/English production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for Portland Opera To Go, which traveled throughout Oregon and neighboring states. As the director of the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program, Ms. Burovac developed the program into one of the most competitive in the United States.
A frequent judge of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Clare Burovac is a member of the steering committee of the Women’s Opera Network for OPERA America and served as a mentor for the inaugural year of its Mentorship Program.
When she takes the helm as General Director, Clare Burovac will fill a position that was held by Robert Lyall for the past 23 years. Maestro Lyall said, “I am very happy to welcome Clare Burovac as the next General Director of New Orleans Opera. I know the community will support her work enthusiastically and generously as they did for me, and I wish her great success.”
Marc Scorca, President and CEO of Opera America, was also enthusiastic, saying “When Clare Burovac was selected to participate in OPERA America’s Fellowship Program early in her career, we knew she would progress to a top position in the field. We are delighted to learn of her appointment as New Orleans Opera’s next general director and know the company will be well-served by her deep knowledge of opera, production expertise, and national stature.”
Ms. Burovac will immediately be named General Director-designate. Her tenure as the first woman to be General Director in New Orleans Opera history begins in mid-September when she and her husband, stage director Christopher Mattaliano, make New Orleans their new home.